Thursday, January 24, 2013

New Year, New Grace

Another year has flown by, faster than I care to acknowledge. Three of my kids are in school, and when I smell that eraser/glue/play-doh cologne that wafts from their hair each afternoon, it transports me back to Reardan Elementary where I can still see my name tag on my little desk, and I can still feel  my tears steaming against my cheek as I  hid in the kindergarten closet. How can my kids be this old? How can I be this old? I sometimes feel like I'm about to wake up and be five all over again, after all- how could I be a wife and have four kids? But there it is. Wrinkles stare back at me from the mirror, framing my grey eyes. Time has passed, playground stresses have turned into mothering worries- and yet the same God rules over all. The God that carried me through all the childhood bumps and bruises will carry my little lambs as well.

Elijah is in first grade now. It's hard. I don't envy him- having to learn to thrive in a new school, new culture, and new language. But he does it with grace. He is kind-hearted, and he perseveres. He is slowly beginning to read and write (in cursive), and comprehend more words in Spanish. He tells me it's hard to keep up in class as he often just sits there wondering what Heaven will be like. He talks a lot about that these days. If an almost 7 year old can  have genuine faith, I believe he does. The other day I overheard him sharing the gospel with a little Finnish boy who was here on vacation. He takes God seriously.

Levi, despite all my initial concerns for him, has excelled in Spanish. He not only has learned to be social, but he's actually starting to tell jokes in class, and doesn't hesitate to use his newly acquired arsenal of Spanish vocabulary (including telling me my "barriga is muy grande!). He LOVES his teacher. We LOVE his teacher. The minute he walks in the door from school, he lugs out the lego bin and starts creating. He is my artist. He is intense. He doesn't care what others think about him. He is very thoughtful. I think if he couldn't draw or dance or create, he would simply die. We see him taking active steps to try to please God with how he treats his siblings.

Eliana is a beauty who's soul runs so deep. Understanding her is like trying to grasp smoke out of the air. She is very bright and social, and VERY emotional. She was the first in her class to learn everyone else's names. She is always swirling around the house singing lines from her favorite Spanish kids' songs. We are learning how to tread tenderly around her, and how to help her plumb the depths of her emotions and learn to control them. Her eyes fascinate me. I wish I could dive into them and see the world as she sees it!

Lucas has suddenly found the key that unlocks fluency of the English language. He went from speaking broken phrases last week to suddenly speaking perfect complete sentences this week. What last week weeping and clinging to Nathan's legs is "Daddy, can I please come with you?" this week. He is finding his fit amongst his siblings as a peer and not just as the baby. He loves to help. His new chore is putting away the silverware, and he does it meticulously. He is the frosting on the cake that is our family. None of us can get enough of him.

We were blessed to have Nathan's parents here with us for six weeks this Christmas season. It was so nice to have family close. We love them, and so appreciate their humility and godly examples. Having family come and go makes me long for Heaven where there will be no more goodbyes.

Nathan and I continue to love each other- truly, madly, deeply. These first 8 years of our marriage have been so full of surprises and changes, and yet I am thankful to look to the future with a God I know is good and a husband that I trust.


Anonymous said...

You are amazing!! Your family is full of love and affection just as I strive for. Your love for Nathan is amazing, although I don't blame you for loving him, great guy. Not many love as deeply and fully as you both do, and I continue to see that in today's society. The husband is someone who makes the money, puts food on the table and it seems as kids come into the picture often times the relationship dwindles. That is why both you and Nathan are such an encouragement. The way you look into your children's souls, it really brings joy to the soul to know that our Saviour can create such astonishing, tender hearted children. To look into their eyes, seeing a great God work and to hear that they proclaim Christ already is soo amazing. I thank you for being such an amazing person Julie, and such an amazing family and I love you all so much. About five years ago our great God called you overseas and a very long ways from a lot of loved ones and I thank you for being soldiers for Christ!! I must say that I miss you all dearly. Thank you! God Bless you all!

Steven Ward

Christine said...

Julie, I love this post! You have a beautiful family, and I loved reading about you all! I have learned from you from a distance, but how much I wish I could sit down and talk with you right now-- about being a missionary and a mother and so much more! I am so jealous Kurt will get to see you in about a month!
I am praying for you! Love to your whole family!