Wrapping Up 2014

2014 is coming to a close. Sherwin Williams asked me if I would take a survey for them regarding my recent purchase there. I agreed because they were our heroes as we painted and repainted our new to us dining room chairs. I like to tell people they rock when they do. I picked most of the paint colors for our new house from their selection – and then we had to buy it from Home Depot because we simply could not afford SW. Champagne taste on a beer budget – story of my life.

I digress.
So I’m taking this survey and I have to select my age bracket. I’m not a big age person – it doesn’t ever stress me out or make me feel panicky. I honestly don’t think about it – like ever – like sometimes I have to take a moment to remember how old I am. Well, according to Sherwin Williams, I am now lumped in with the forty year olds. I’m sorry, what? Something about this totally weirded me out. I can’t say why. I have friends who are forty and I don’t think of them as old or worn out or that much different than me at all, but it sent me into sort of a sappy, reflective tailspin. 
That plus the insane number of self assessments and “be who you are” books I have read in the past few years, has me considering that only now, only after tipping over the top of the thirty year hill, do I really feel like I know who I am – and only now have I really begun to grasp that I will not ever fully know myself because I will always live in change and forward motion. At least I hope that I do, because if I’m not moving and evolving, what, exactly, AM I doing?
I snuggled up between my two girls in the bed that I share with their Daddy. The fire raged in our fireplace while the cold tried to push toward us from the windows. Their heads rested heavy on each of my shoulders as their little breaths slowed into steady rhythms. Josh left us at nearly 9 pm to go paint our new house, and so no one waited for me downstairs. Jude slept soundly already. No one else needed me, so I just laid quiet their between them, reflecting, thanking, begging. 
Adelle and her strong will, her tender heart, her love for people, her brilliant mind, her resiliant spirit, her love for the Jesus that she only understands in part but embraces entirely. Everyone who interacts with her likes her, and she likes them, too. She is brave – more than I know how to be most of the time. My own struggle to constantly be available to give her what she thinks she needs. My own struggle to mother my wonderful, awe-inspiring, demanding five-year old. Oh God, please help me love this Sugar Bear of mine well. 
Marilee and her strong heart. Sometimes I just listen to it beat in her chest, feel it pulse beneath her ribs – steady, strong, and healed. My little Snuggle Nugget, who rolls her own way, paves her own path, and loves as hard as any of us – in her own way. She’s a trail blazer, this one. Strong and determined and hilarious. Charming, sweet, and tough as nails. My own struggle to give her enough of me. She’s sandwiched between a big sister who requires a lot of my attention and a baby – who inherently requires a lot of attention. Oh God, please help me mother her in a way that makes her sure she is loved and seen entirely – that she is special, vital to our family, vital to your kingdom. 
Jude and his easy like Sunday morning demeanor. Oh, the way he smiles with his whole little fat face. The way he leans into me when I kiss his cheeks. The way he asks so little of me when he needs so much. He has rounded out our family in the nicest of ways, and he is a gift – a representation of God’s sweetness in my life. I remember standing on the ramp at First Baptist Orlando, holding my about-to-pop belly full of Jude, and watching Josh love people so well down below on the floor level. I watched and I begged God to give Jude his Daddy’s heart and disposition. For now, it seems that He has done just that. How I hope that I never forget to be grateful for Jude – no matter what curve balls he throws at me down the road.

My babies – they truly are my treasures. I hope that I remember to treasure them better in 2015.

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