This past year has been one of the sweetest years of my life. No, let me rephrase that. It has been the sweetest year of my life. My heart has grown in ways that I didn't know it could. Spaces were filled in my spirit that I didn't know needed filled or that I thought had been filled as best they could be. God continues to bring a strength and resiliency to my being that surprises me. Saying I'm thankful just doesn't seem to be enough to describe it.
At times I feel guilty admitting this. I feel guilty acknowledging the depths of the joy that I feel. There has been an inner battle inside me between my grief over the loss of Aiden and Jeremiah and the joy I have before me raising Gavin, Gabe and Dominic.
But, there's no denying it. I am realizing more and more, I am feeling more and more that God does truly have great things in store for me and our family. I have prayed for so many years for restoration, but I think I didn't really believe that it was possible. For so long I have felt so broken.
But dare I say it? Dare I say that I don't feel broken anymore? Beaten. Battered. Scarred?
Of course. Yes, I am those things.
No. I'm claiming it. I am declaring it. I am not broken anymore.
I carry my wounds and scars with great pride, but amongst those wounds, I feel a sense of wholeness that has eluded me for a long time.
Tears fill my eyes as I say that.
I am choosing... I am trying to live beyond the labels I have given myself.
I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a friend. I don't want to define myself by my grief anymore. There's too much joy- too many blessings that surround me. And honestly, I'm not sure how much choice I have in this. There's no way to deny it.
Look at these faces.
These precious faces are some of the greatest gifts I have been given and they are greatest gifts I will leave behind me.
And I haven't even mentioned my husband... He is the greatest father. The most amazing and supportive husband. He is such a sturdy rock and safe place to fall for all of us.
I'm gushing a little. Yes. Yes, I am.
I couldn't be who I am, I couldn't be where I am, without him in my corner and by my side. I may joke that I 'wear the pants' in our family, but let's be real for a second... I may 'wear the pants' around here, but it only works because my hubby is the best pair of suspenders a girl can own!! Oh, how I love him!
God is so good.
We'll be celebrating Dominic's 1st birthday in a few weeks. His first birthday!
Can you believe that he is nearly one already?
This past year has been so utterly sweet because of him. Dominic has brought such joy, laughter and thanksgiving to all of our hearts. I don't know if our little boy will ever be able to understand the healing that he has brought to our family.
Listening to his giggles, watching him explore and learn, feeling and seeing his arms wrap around each of us, being witness to the love that he has for his dad and his brothers and the love that they have for him...
It truly, without a doubt, is absolutely and positively, the most rewarding, the most stunning and wonderful experience to be a part of.
I think about how much love I have for my husband and our children and I know God's love for us far surpasses that which I am capable of feeling. How great is that? God's love has sustained me and has carried me through many dark days. He has gifted me with the support and blessings that I have needed to find my way.
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yes, even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely your goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.