expressions of God through my children

People ask me all the time lately how my little girl is doing. 

Wonderful.  She is wonderful, sincerely, she is a delight.

She is still a baby and so she cries, gets cranky, and has poopy diapers, but still in all of that she is a gift.  My heart has been overwhelmed with love with each of our children, but she is different.  And because the question comes at me so consistently, I began to contemplate a better answer.

As I laid in bed a few nights ago, it was clear:  she is, more than anything, an expression of God's love to me.  Moments later, I realized this was true of Davis and Ronin and Evan and Eli, each has been an expression of an aspect of God's character to me.

Davis was and continues to be an expression of God's provision to me.  He was an extreme surprise to us; I was pregnant a month after getting married while on birth control.  While he was unexpected to us, four months after he was born when Kevin left for Basic Training; there was no doubt the Lord had provided for me a son--a son that had the eyes and heart of his father.  Davis was so much like his Daddy, it seemed sometimes I wasn't without him.  During the very challenging days of Kevin's PTSD, Davis was an incredible help to me with his younger brothers, and still is a huge helper to me.

Ronin is an expression of God's grace, of His undeserved blessing.  Kevin left for the Mojave when Ronin was two days old, and was gone for a month.  As a baby, Ronin was incredibly laid back, a means of grace for a mother who was helping a certain 3 year old adjust to life outside the spotlight.  When Ronin was five months old, Kevin left for the 15 month tour to Iraq, and we went 10 months before we saw Kevin.  Little Ronin seemed to lavish grace on me through smiles and giggles and a general sweet disposition (though he did have a bit of an aversion to discipline).  He consistently surprises me with his humor, his ability to understand without words what I sometimes feel, and his ability to make me feel valued and honored.

Evan and Eli are expressions of God's miraculous power and redemption.  If you don't know their story, it's blogged and you should read it--because if you have ever doubted miracles happen, their little lives are evidence they still do.  Not only do I see the hand of God to work miracles when I look at them, but also I know He redeems what has been lost--in part now and in full later.  Kevin missed the age of six months to about one and a half with Davis and Ronin, which is the reason we tried for a third child, because he was out of active duty and wouldn't miss that precious time of growth in this unborn child.  Well, there were two instead of one.  And the younger two were so like the older two during those stages it was as though the time lost with Davis and Ronin was redeemed in Evan and Eli.

And then there's Baylee.  Since nearly the beginning of our marriage, we have been operating at a pretty high pace.  One adventure after another after another.  While five kids does not quite seem like a time to rest, it is.  It has come with a set of different challenges that my heavenly Father has given me a precious girl as a means of saying, "I love you." 

This season will still be an adventure but a different one, one where I can catch my breath, one where I see His hand of provision in a more mature way, His grace in a new way, His power and redemption in a new way, and one where He wants me to know the depths of His love.