First, our Christmas.
Then, Christmas at Rhu-Rhu’s.
Finally, Christmas at Gigi and Pop-pa’s.
As my husband and I quickly approach our ten year anniversary, I’m more grateful everyday for the choice that I made in my spouse. I’m thankful that I chose a spouse who is going to help my walk with God and not hinder it. I’m thankful that I chose a spouse who is committed to our family and committed to raising our children in the Lord. I’m thankful that I chose a spouse who exhibits patience towards me. I’m thankful that I chose a spouse who works hard to provide for our family, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. I’m thankful that I chose a spouse who exhibits the agape love of 1 Corinthians 13 in our marriage.
As a 21 year old, I know that I did not fully grasp the importance of my decision when I said “I do.” I have a feeling that if I am blessed with another ten years of marriage that I’ll look back at this ten year mark and think I didn’t know the half of it then either. I’m so thankful that looking back over the past ten years brings joy, and that I’m confident and comforted by my choice in my spouse.
And, my prayer for my children choose someone who is a Christian, seeking to follow and obey God daily. As I pray for them, I must teach them. I have to first teach my children to love and obey God. If they don’t live that life, finding a spouse who loves God isn’t going to be important to them. There are many other influences in the world telling them what their priorities should be in a spouse, and loving God isn’t on that list. I also have to teach them about the gravity and significance of marriage. Once again, there are many other influences telling them that marriage isn’t significant, that it isn’t really that big of a deal such that marriage can be stopped and started again without consequence. However, marriage is something to be honored as precious and valuable.
Though teaching my children about marriage is a complex matter, instilling the importance of a spouse who loves God as well as instilling value and worth in marriage should lay a strong foundation for preparing them for marriage. I know that I am blessed because my spouse loves God and honors marriage, and my desire for each of my children is that they make choices that result in marriages that are blessings as well.
Troy is always saying things that surprise me. His creativity always makes me smile even when it shouldn’t. For example, a few months ago I told Troy to stop doing something (I don’t even remember now what it was) he said, “But Goofy did it!'” At the time Troy was holding his stuffed Goofy animal, and Troy was using Goofy to perform the action that I asked him to stop doing. Troy thought he had the best of both worlds: getting to do what I told him not to do and passing the blame to someone else.
I think that we can easily fall into this way of thinking as well: doing things that go against God’s will and then passing the blame to someone or something else. What about the woman who dresses inadequately and inappropriately, but blames the man for looking? Or the parents who fail to teach their children about God at home, but blame the Bible class program? What about the Christian who fails to give to God, but blames the economy? Or the countless other ways that we try to push our faults to someone or something else? Brushing the burden of sin off to someone or something else may ease our conscience, but it will not cleanse sin off our record to God. Sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2), even if we try to push the responsibility of our actions off of ourselves. Consider 2 Corinthians 5:10: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” We must be careful not to fall into the dangerous trap that removes personal responsibility for the sin in our lives.
And, considering my role and responsibility as a parent, I must teach my children that they must take ownership of their actions rather than passing the blame off to something else. Sometimes I think our instincts as parents may encourage us to make excuses for our children, thinking that we are protecting them in some way. However, I think that when we consistently make excuses for our children we do them a great disservice because we don’t teach them the importance of personal responsibility and accountability. Though no parent wants their child to do wrong, we must realize that our children will be better off in the long run if they are held accountable for their actions, ultimately so that they will understand the severity of sin and the importance of obedience to God.
It is amazing that in such a short time you can change so much. Those brand new baby days are gone, and have been replaced with a baby who really responds and interacts with us.
You have become very vocal this month. You love to have a “conversation” with us, particularly when you first wake up in the morning. I love how you smile and respond to us! You are very expressive, and I love to see the faces you make.
You’ve been sleeping even better at night in the past few weeks. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been putting you down between 9-10 and you’ve been sleeping from anywhere to 6-8. It is wonderful! I also feel like we’ve gotten into a pretty good bedtime routine and you go down pretty easy.
We’ve had quite a bit of cold weather lately, and though you don’t like the cold you do like to be outside. You don’t like your football hat though, even though I love it. : )
I love to watch you with Ella and Troy. They love it when you talk to them and smile at them. Troy will tell us: “He’s grinnin’ at me!” In the picture above Ella decided (on her own) that she was going to read a book to you. It was precious!
You have really enjoyed sitting in your bumbo seat. I think you like being up where you can see all the action going on around you (and I don’t blame you!). You are still not a fan of your pacifier, though you’ll suck on it every now and then for a couple of minutes. You haven’t found your thumb yet either, but you do suck on your hands sometimes, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you get your thumb soon. Several times when you have been sleeping I’ve noticed that your mouth moves as if you had a pacifier, but you don’t have your hands or your pacifier in your mouth. It is pretty cute to watch though!
(I didn’t start writing these monthly posts for Ella until she was 17 months old)