I have an issue with cutting my babies' hair for the first time. Both Caleb and Benjamin have had the sweetest curls. I just don't know when to say goodbye to the curls and let them have a little boy's haircut. Caleb was well over a year old when I finally took him to get the curls trimmed off, and I must admit it desperately needed to be done. Though I was determined that I would not wait that long with Benjamin, I was still pathetic as I said goodbye to that soft downy hair. To make the cut-off date easier, we celebrated his first birthday with a haircut. Now he looks like a little boy not a sweet little cherub. So here's my happy little guy before and after. Sigh. May the curls grow back!
Caleb: Mommy, we forgot James the Red Engine!
Me: You don't have James. You mean the one at the store?
Caleb: Yeah, we need to go get James; we forgot him.
Me: We didn't forget him. We just didn't buy him.
Caleb: Why not? Me: Because we don't need him.
Caleb: Mommy, we forgot Emily.
You know that feeling that you get when you walk away from something at the store and just feel like you will always regret not buying it? It's similar to the one you get when you go to a new friend's house and realize that she has the space, clothes, furniture, neighborhood (we can all fill this in differently) that you have always wanted. It's been over six years since I lived in a third world country, washed my laundry two towels at a time, shopped daily for my bread in the market, and worked with college students who had fewer clothes than I had brought over in my two suitcases. How do I remember that I have enough... more than enough?
My oldest son wants every train he sees. He dwells on them, asks where they are if we don't buy them, remembers he doesn't have them days later. It would be easier to teach him contentment with what he has if his mother were content with what she possessed. Oh the riches that I possess!
After the birth of my second son (our baby turned one yesterday!), a friend told me to read Ann Voskamp's blog, which then led me to her book One Thousand Gifts. I read it, need to reread it, need to be reminded of the gifts God has given me. If I'm going to preach thankfulness to my sons, then I must live thankfulness. If I expect them to recognize God's grace in their lives, I need to open my eyes to His abundant gifts in my own life.
As a recovering (okay, trying to perfectly recover) perfectionist, I grapple daily with the fact that I will never arrive. I'll never have it all together, nor will my children. We're all just fumblingly trying to grasp the lesson of the moment that God has for us. Funny how my children's lessons line up so beautifully with what I myself need to learn.
I want to walk in obedience, in thankfulness, in joyful submission so here starts my list. It's not grand and will often be grammatically incorrect, but it's my first step in teaching my sons thankfulness... learning thankfulness myself. Remembering and recording the gracious gifts of my God.
In a world focused on self, my husband and I look around and struggle to find encouragement as we raise our little men. The modern norms seem to cultivate even more selfishness, especially in boys. I find myself wanting so much more for each of our little men. Someday, I want their wives to call us and thank us for teaching them chivalry, industry, and strong conviction. I want them to be so in love with Jesus that their love for others is contagious. Frankly, I pray that for my husband and myself.
So that's the grand vision. We are no where close to perfect and a long way from having our boys raised. Benjamin will be one year old tomorrow, and Caleb will be three in October... long way to go, right? But we have goal, a vision for who we want them to be, to help us prioritize the daily and focus on the eternal.
This blog will follow our journey as parents of sons, laughing at the priceless moments, processing the tough decisions, and seeking to consistently mentor our sons to a passionate relationship with the Lover of their souls. Please come along. Chuckle with us, pray for us, and share in the most exciting commission the Lord has given us yet.