Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Reflections from 2008

As I ponder 2008 in its final hours, I think of a few things I have done and learned this year.

- A lot of changes took place in '08. We moved Dec. of '07, so adjusting to the new house took place this year along with trying to get our bearings, a LOT of painting, arranging, re-arranging, Craigslisting, and on and on.

- Sophia ended Kindergarten and started first grade and this year I feel like a full fledged homeschool Mom.

- We found out we are expecting our fourth little blessing in September.

- I got sick in November/December, and I was once again reminded that our times are in God's hands and he controls what we do and when we do it. A good, albeit lengthy and at times, painful, reminder.

Here are a few things I learned in 2008 from each of my children. Some of these things I've been learning for a while, but the learnin' continued in '08

Sophia: It's so wonderful to have a daughter and to do "girl things". It's been exciting to watch her learn to read and do so many other things. I feel like she's the guinea pig in so many ways because she's the first to do everything. She's the test spec. Oh well, I suppose being the firstborn has its perks.

I have learned from my girlie that God doesn't make mistakes and that I need to ease up on my first born. She is our quiet, but determined girl. When she was small, I wearied of the power struggles and wondered why she was made the way she is, a strong willed girlie. I learned that thinking that way is questioning God's plan. God makes each of my children unique and fashions their personalities according to his plan. Strong willed isn't bad, in fact, this year it has proved to be a tremendous blessing as Sophia has been a willing and necessary helper. I love her determination! She is tenacious and persevering. Overall, she has the will to do what's right which is a great asset to our family as she is the oldest. She's still only 6, but I can see a little glimpse now of why God made her as he did. How wrong it is for me to question God. I am so thankful that he made her just as she is.

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thing own understanding..." Proverbs 3:5

Elijah: I have learned soooo much from my boy this year. He went from a very non-verbal boy last January to talking everyone's ear off at the dinner table this Christmas. I've learned a lot about him and who he is and why he does the things he does as he has started talking more and more. The biggest thing I've learned from my little man is that "perfect" isn't always God's plan.

Eli is very sensitive although you wouldn't know it if you know him as he seems rough and boy-ish. He's not the average boy. I don't think he has any life long problems, but he's easily over-stimulated and a little behind in social settings. He does best with his daily routines as his safety net. It can be tough to watch your child be misunderstood and to often misunderstand him yourself. I have a much better understanding of my boy at the end of 2008 than I did at the beginning for which I am thankful.

Elijah has shown me that not every child is going to be the teacher's favorite or the star pupil or the most popular. It seems our society places such a high priority on having the "perfect child" involved in 10 extra-cirricular activities and the straight A student; Those things equal a successful child and parent. It's been a challenge bucking that ideal through this little man, but I learned a major life lesson: It doesn't matter what anyone thinks, if I am doing what God wants me to do to the best of my ability. People (me included!) can unknowingly say things that sound harsh and are ignorant of your situation, but it's not people I am to answer to. I need to look to the Lord, not people for affirmation and direction. He never fails to guide and encourage.

"Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;" Hebrews 12:2

Noah: From Noah I learned that caffeine isn't all bad! I need some to keep up with this little fella'! When the first two were 1-2 years old, I had to keep a close eye on them and that was hard work. Noah, on the other hand, in a word: "dizzying". I feel dizzy when this boy is awake. He never.stops.moving. I feel so guilty some days that I can't wait until naptime. Wow, wow, and wow! He's like the energizer bunny, he keeps going and going and going. My favorite time of the day, you guessed it, naptime. My weary little boy falls asleep in my arms and sometimes, I fall asleep too!

The thirdborn has been liberating for me. I think having Noah has made me a more relaxed parent. I simply don't have the hands or the brain power to keep everything and everyone perfectly in check all the time, and as maddening as that can be, it's also liberating. I just do the best that I can and I let the peas fly get squished between little hands as they will. Does it really matter that much? I hope I have gained a little bit of perspective as a Mom from my wiley thirdborn.

"Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Well, I started this post a while ago and I need to post it before the end of the year, so Happy New Year all! Here's to a New Year filled with its own set of learning experiences!!!

"Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." Psalm 37:3


No No Nanette said...

All I know of Noah, is my time spent with him in the nursery -- and he never does stop moving. I can completely understand looking forward to nap time. My Katie is busy, but not quite as much as Noah, and I look forward to nap time.

It is a blessing that Elijah has you for a mommy. Your love and understanding will give him the greatest advantage.

And I know what you mean about the firstborn -- I am still in the middle of learning how to relax a bit with Joey. I do expect him to be the perfect child and perfect older sibling at times. I forget he is just four.

Hope 2009 has lots more lessons and love from the new kiddo. How exciting!

Happy New Year :)

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