With September coming to a close tonight, I guess you could say that we are embracing the changing of the seasons in our house. Although it was warm this weekend, we have had some cooler days and evenings lately that have me longing for Fall. We've been a little temperature confused in the last couple of days but I have high hopes that we'll cool off again and be back in our sweaters soon. For my family's sake I need it to cool off because I jumped the gun and started swapping the summer stuff for our fall/winter wear and naturally, the day after I did it we hit 80 degrees.
Isn't that the way it goes??
I grew anxious to dive in and start the transition largely because the Lord blessed us with a family who handed down tons of clothes for both of my kids and I needed a place to put them! So I spent a day pulling everything out of every drawer, assessing it and weeding out what was too small or out of season. I don't know about you, but whenever I do this I have very mixed emotions.
On one hand, I get very excited to put some new clothes in their rotation, things I can't wait to see them in or that I know they will enjoy wearing. But at the same time, I get sad pulling things out that trigger memories of them looking so cute or seeming so little. It amazes me how quickly and how drastically their sizes change. In the last couple of weeks I've really noticed how short Ava's pants are, how Carter's arms seem to be sticking out of every long-sleeved shirt or how shoes that fit both of them just a month ago are suddenly too small. How does that happen?? Do they really grow overnight? I'm thinking they do! But I'm also so grateful and feel so blessed when the Lord meets our needs by using other people who give to us so generously. I appreciate hand me downs so much and I always want that to prompt us to give with the same open arms, resisting the urge to hold tightly to "our" stuff. It's a blessing to give but it's also a blessing to receive. We are grateful!
Ava is turning into a little clothes horse. She loves to pick out her outfits now and she is tuned into what everyone is wearing. When I brought home bags and bags of new (to us) clothes for her she was seriously like a kid in a candy store. She just kept squealing and telling me, "I sooooo escited Mama! Wook at all dese new clowes for me!" She especially loves dresses and the more "twirl-ability" the better :) When I ask her about her class at Church or who her friends are she likes to describe people by what they are wearing, ha ha! She has loved picking out a new thing to wear each day, sometimes multiple times a day, and I'm realizing how often I have to make deals with her regarding clothes and shoes. I try to be pretty relaxed and let her change outfits or wear what she wants when we're at home but when we go out I hold my ground about what shoes she needs to wear or if I think she'll be too cold or hot. I seriously thought I had some years before I had to compramise on clothing choices with her but I guess not! Even now I catch myself telling her how cute she looks based on what she's wearing and then wince a little thinking I need to be clear that I think she's cute all the time, regardless of her outfits or her looks :) Yikes, I'm sure I read too deeply into stuff like that but I just see so many sweet girls in student ministries at our Church who are already enslaved to the approval and opinion of others instead of basing their self-worth on what the Lord says about them. I think we as Moms can contribute to that if we aren't careful and unknowingly pass down our own insecurities to our daughters too. At three I think I've got some wiggle room but I do want to choose my words carefully, you know?
Of course I should probably stop worrying so much about that and instead turn my focus to Carter, who thought he might want to wear the princess crown that Ava loves :) I so badly wanted to text this to Trav at work and tell him that Carter asked me to put this on him then said "Coote!" when I did it!! That would have brought him home pretty quickly!!
The seasons are changing in many ways right now. Not only are the leaves falling and children's feet growing, but so are their interests and abilities. We are just 10 days away from Carter's second birthday, which I can't believe. I really don't have a toddler on my hands anymore ...Ava is defintely a preschooler and Carter isn't too far behind. They play so well now and both of them talk constantly. I can't keep them out of many things (case in point) and I'm starting to reason more and more with them instead of just issue consquences.
There is much joy, plenty of opportunities for patience and a greater dependence on the Lord than ever before.
Things like this mean a great deal more to me these days. As the seasons change all around me I'm realizing how much I need to change with them. I need to plug into my source for strength, power, perspective, wisdom and ask the Lord to meet me daily, or hourly in my need. Change is usually good, although it can be hard and it almost requires work. I'm so thankful that the Lord is faithful to my children and faithful to me. For all the times I fail them, I'm so grateful that his grace covers me and reaches deep into their hearts to speak to them too. I feel like everyday is another day of learning and growing, for me! I'm realizing that so much of parenthood is learning to roll with the constant changes while holding tightly to the Lord and seeking His wisdom above my own.
As your October begins, I'm hoping that you will embrace the changing seasons in your life too, knowing that the Lord often uses these times to teach us more about who He is while we rest in Him, our unchanging rock.
On another note, I have high hopes that all of the new clothes and the outgrown clothes will land in the right spot tomorrow as I'm not sure I can take one more day of chaos and extra laundry...Sound familiar?? Change is a process, no matter what kind it is!
Happy Monday, friends!