Almost a month after adorable back to school pictures were posted by seemingly everyone else around the world, and we are just now peeling off the final remains of packaging tape and crawling out from under stacks of toppled over empty boxes to pull out our real camera (yes, the one still half broken from bumps and jostles and sprinkles of flour dumped into it). And I’m amazed at how these half a dozen precious kids have grown since last year.
Once again I find myself in a mixture of tears as the time slips through my fingers, and joy as I have the honor of watching as God works in these little minds and hearts, continually growing them to be the young ladies and handsome young man that He has designed them to be. And me? I snap some pictures as I take a deep breath and try to soak it all in.
Back to School Pictures 2013-2014
Alyssa is 8 and in Third Grade. She has such a beautiful, loving heart. And she wants to be a mommy and a writer some day – so that she can tell her kids and others about Jesus. I’m humbled and honored that she would have such affection for loving little hearts and etching out words – the same intricate joys that fill my days.
Elliana is 8 and in Third Grade (just like her twin sister… is it getting easier to tell them apart, or is it just me!?). Oh, how I love this girl. There’s such beauty in the ways she loves on others and cares for little ones. She is bright and fun and humbles me with her love of Bible reading. In a few short weeks she’ll be finished with reading all the way through her Bible in under a year (something I hadn’t done until I was pregnant with her)!
Kayla is 7 and in Second Grade. She is breathtaking. Her blue eyes glisten as her smile and compassion light up the room. And she’s already practicing for when someday she can use her talents to be an artist/illustrator… and a mommy… and a farmer. Oh, how she loves animals. But it’s her sweet love for Jesus that is most dazzling.
Isaiah is 5 and in Kindergarten. He continues to be my handsome hero that loves to save the day, yet always has time to stop and give his mom a hug. Such passion and life and energy are brought to my days through this sweet boy. I don’t know what I’d do without him, but I’m so thankful for the mighty work God has done in both our hearts through him.
Annabella is 4 and in Preschool. She’s such a precious girl that melts my heart every time with her big beautiful eyes and her gentle spirit. She captures the beauty around her and is always ready for some fun – especially if it involves bikes or kitties or ponies or baby dolls wrapped just so. And her sweet voice singing to Jesus? It’s the most precious sound I hear everyday.
Ariya is 2 and loves to be a part of the action. :) Just thinking about this precious girl makes me smile. There is so much life and joy wrapped up in this little one. I find myself stopping more often to treasure these days of toddler-hood, or to stand in awe at how God made this two-year old so spunky and beautiful and brave and kind.
I am so blessed by these precious children that God has placed in our family. None of us are perfect. We have days that are tiring and long and hard – days where I feel like giving up as a Mommy and teacher to these wandering hearts. No, we’re not perfect. We’re truly a handful of sinners, striving to live and love and learn together for the glory of God. But, I will hold onto each and every one of these moments, before they too- are gone.
Thank you to those of you who have continued to pour out pure grace on us in these days of transition for our family. We are beyond blessed and have been doing very well! We still miss the home and family and friends we left behind, but our hearts are filled with pure joy and indescribable peace in this new place. Moments of loneliness and frustration and pure-craziness are there as well at times, but are truly sweet reminders that our hearts haven’t stopped beating and that the One and only true God is still working deep. – We are excited that our “old” home should be on the market within the next week. Would you join us in praying that it will sell quickly and that it will be a blessing to another family, as it has been to us!? Oh, such an entangling of emotions. I look forward to writing more in this space as we get into a new, sweet rhythm. I’ve missed plunking out words. And I’ve missed you!
Oh, and we found the two missing house keys!!!! In the bottom of an almost empty chip bag. :)