It's been another year...maybe one of the tougher ones. Thankful for a busier work year, thankful for health, AND at the same time challenged by life and relationships and all the ups and downs that come with marriage and raising children.
As we arrived at Richmond Beach my girls had fallen asleep briefly in the backseat. Thinking to myself 'ahhh so glad they had a little nap now they will be happy for photos'....I was once again proven wrong as a parent. Heidi was not happy. Annoyed that we woke her up she was having a bit of a struggle to want to take part in our 'photo opportunity'. Eva, being the social butterfly she is walked over to our photographer and simply introduced herself.
Now...Mrs. Melissa Kilner is not only a fabulous photographer, she is also a woman, and a mom and well...human. Thank the Lord! Cause instead of me feeling like I had to explain how out of control I felt...she looked at me and said 'Girl...I get it, I got you'!
I feel like I have known Melissa for a year or so now...but nope, just through social media we have followed each other. I have to admit, I don't get to many networking events etc. so what better way to meet someone then to have them do your photos. Now this maybe a little more than she bargained for and a glass of wine may have been more relaxing but oh well...I initiated her into my life. One thing I love about her is she is just as she portrays herself. Fun and funny with tons of energy. She is the same in real life! I LOVE THAT! Girl you got some energy and a smile that is contagious!
Heidi snapped to and her and Eva played around the driftwood. My girls don't always get along but when they do, it is a moment of a slow motion high five in my head! I really tried to step back this year. I let Melissa corral the girls and Bob and I stood off and just enjoyed being together. I wanted to TRY to take my own advice and not be that parent yelling at my kids through my teeth to smile.
Marriage has a funny way of testing your joy. You expect the other person is going to make you happy. When in reality no ONE, no THING (or nothing) can do that. It's a unrealistic pressure I found myself putting on Bob and one no one could live up to. It has been a year of love, forgiveness, and most of all grace. I have experienced grace. A level of grace I don't deserve. The kind the Bible talks about and we think we know... but do we really? When pushed and shoved and pressed...what comes out?? When my biggest worry was 'What will people think?' I found myself down a dark and lonely path. When I finally looked up and fixed my eyes on what was truly important...that question wasn't even one necessary to ask. My girls...as different as they are, are unique and deal with life in ways that makes sense to them. Their approach to the same situation can vary so greatly and everytime I step back I learn something new from them. I see something in me that relates and no longer sees certain things as good or bad...or right or wrong...just different. AND that's OK!!
Having a husband who has shown his vulnerability and loved me despite my own. It's overwhelming somedays to look back and some of the hurtles and choices made yet I choose to trust in God using everything for HIS glory and for good!
I read a devotional everyday from a book called 'Jesus Calling'. Today was 'no matter what your circumstances may be you can find Joy in My Presence'. I would not have made it through this past year without Jesus infused and center in my life. Holding Him close and having him show me true love. It's a year to celebrate being a family and being together and as thanksgiving approaches (and Canadian Thanksgiving just passed) ...I A M T H A N K F U L! Thankful for my favorite people!