Levi is officially two years old! Take a few seconds to listen to him tell you himself:
We can’t believe how much he has changed in just one year- it is almost unbelievable.
It seems silly to celebrate a two year old’s birthday seeing as he doesn’t even know what a birthday is, but I did want to make his day extra special with the hopes it would distract me from strolling down memory lane and allowing the negative emotions surrounding his birth to come back. I made it the whole day without shedding a tear which is truly a praise report.
Levi must have been extra pumped about his big day and woke up wide eyed at 3am. He was loud enough that soon after he also woke up Malachi. They were both playing and having a grand ol’ time up until abut 6:30 when I made them both lay back down.
For dinner we went out to get Levi some birthday queso, one of his favorite treats. Then I took him into Target and let him pick out a new stuffed animal, a job he took very seriously. He settled on a fluffy elephant and hasn’t let it go since.
We had a few small gifts for him.
Refrigerator magnets to try to distract him from the actual fridge. And a fine motor porcupine to help with those skills.
We are pretty low key about birthdays and holidays around here.
Both of the boys did so wonderful at their therapy sessions this week!
We made the decision to keep Malachi home from school this week. The flu and strep has been floating around his school and if it ever hits his classroom they let me know and allow us to make a decision on sending him. So both boys got to tag along to work with mommy this week. Levi is getting to be a little too much to handle in the office, coming up with ways to entertain himself when he is bored. I took this photo very quickly for Jake so he could see the antics Levi has been up to lately. I know I shared a similar one with you all last week, but his confidence level is continuing to grow.
Malachi has always been into watching (well, listening to) cartoons but recently he has been starting to show interest in movies and plot lines. I brought our portable DVD player to work with me so he could try out a few movies- Peter Pan and Mary Poppins. The more singing the better, and he has really been actively listening to them!
He is such an amazingly neat kid. I wish each of you could get the chance to know him and see how awesome he is. This week he has been VERY into picking out what he wears each day. I got him some much needed new shirts in his size and most of them have dinosaurs doing various things on them. He loves when I give him options to choose from.
His seizures are still being well controlled with the new medication change, and he is only having 1-2 medium ones each day! Sleep is still pretty limited- he is going to bed around midnight each night and waking up at 4:14am. I am sometimes able to get him back to sleep around 6:30 for an hour or two until the wild Levi wakes up all up.
On Tuesday we hosted the soccer banquet for our girls team. We try very hard to take the time to honor each girl and really enjoy speaking life into them. Here is a photo with one of our favorites, who sadly (for us) is graduating this year. I know her daddy and aunt read the blog religiously so I know they won’t mind me sharing her beautiful face with you all.
Jake and I spent a long time talking about coaching soccer this week. It is one of the extracurriculars that we do that isn’t directly pointing to God, but as we talked we could speak about God moment after God moment where we have been able to plant seeds of the gospel with the teens. Although coaching is an enormous amount of work for our family, we still feel like we are doing what God is calling us to do. To make an impact in the world you have to be willing to spend meaningful time and build meaningful relationships with the lost. Soccer gives us that opportunity.
Speaking of teenagers, holy moley y’all! Our Sunday night home Bible studies have been growing, and we are now up to 35-40 middle school, high school, and college aged kids at the house. I am still cooking dinner for them each week, which is a marathon but oddly a lot of fun. Tonight we did fettuccine Alfredo, ham/turkey sliders, cheeseburger dip, pizza rolls (a weekly staple), and peach and cherry cobblers. It requires a lot of multi-tasking a lot of careful planning with the grocery ad, building the menu around all of the buy one get one free items that week. We have been going chapter by chapter through different books of the Bible and the conversations have been so great!
Yesterday the women’s group at our church went on an adventure to a small town about an hour away to do some shopping. The shops were all on one strip through the center of town, and all unique non-chain stores with one of a kind treasures. It was an all day adventure that went from 8am-4:30pm so I don’t often choose to go on these as it is hard on Jake. But they needed someone to drive the church bus so I used that as my justification to myself for going haha.
I started out with a small group of them but ended up breaking off and walking the strip by myself, glancing through shops along the way. It felt so odd yet so refreshing to be alone. It felt good to be anonymous, and not the mom pushing the wheelchair. I laughed to myself in every single store, marking each one as “non-handicap accessible” and just imagined the thought of trying to bring Malachi’s wheelchair into the narrow, jam packed stores there. Then I laughed even harder thinking about Levi and the ticking time bomb he would be around all the glass valuables.
It was such a relaxing getaway.
I didn’t really need anything in particular and we don’t exchange Christmas gifts with outside family and friends, or even each other so I wasn’t really watching for anything. But when I saw this throw pillow I knew I needed it in my line of vision each day.
Just in case you can’t read it, it says: “God didn’t promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, nor sun without rain. But He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.”
I know I have told you this before, but contentment is an emotion you have to choose to take hold of. If you truly desire it, you can find contentment in each and every situation God brings you into. But in order to truly grasp that contentment you have to lock eyes with it and now allow yourself to look to the left or the right.
Since this is such a struggle for me I made the decision to cover the walls of our new home with scripture and things with a godly focus. That way anytime I start to let my focus stray I am able to quickly remind myself of the blessings that we have been given. I need my life and my soul to be saturated in the words of God and the promises He has spoken to us as His children.
Someone wrote me a brief message on Facebook this week that humbled me greatly. This particular momma had lost her son last year and she never got the chance to be the medical momma that her son’s diagnosis would have required. Here is a portion of what she shared: “Seeing you and your boys, the honest way you write about the blood sweat and tears, the truth you reveal about how difficult it is but possible with God…It is priceless for me. I miss my boy and wish every day that God had planned for me to be a special mama like you. Seeing how wonderful you are with those boys in spite of , and through, the immense struggles…it helps restore a tiny piece of the brokenness within my soul. Somehow reading what all you go through helps me feel closer to my son. I imagine I’d have experienced many of the same trials.”
This message rocked my world. I don’t know that I can justly explain the many reminders God gave me through this small note, but it was like He peeled off a clouded layer from my eyes and help me see that some looking into our lives see the pain and struggles yet still desire for a chance at our world.
Have you ever stopped to realize that your trials could have been someone else’s blessings?
That hospital stay you had with your child….but then you came home. Some moms don’t get to say that.
That seizure that lasted four minutes…but he snapped out of it. For some children that moment could mean death.
That surgery or treatment that you had to endure…but there was a fix for your issue. Some parents don’t have that blessing.
What a powerful reminder that the journey that each of us have been assigned can be a source of light for others traveling similar paths, even when we feel like our days couldn’t be darker. And, oh my, how the blessings are often hidden in plain sight.
This week I have been thanking God for even the dark days as I remember that I could have missed this life. I could have buried these children and never been given the chance to know them. So instead of wallowing in pity at our sleep deprived 3am play times I should embrace those moments, recognizing how truly blessed I am.
It is all about what we choose to focus on.
4 thoughts on “Lock Eyes With Contentment”
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THANKS FOR SHARING
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Once again I took your words and placed them carefully in my heart. Your blog always, always comes front and center in my week. Without you knowing it, you lift me. You lift me above the struggles and pain To a place I can not explain. I think it is a place of hope. I love you and the family.
Dear Leah, this blessed me in so many ways. I copied down into my journal lots that you said. I think it is amazing that you have such an involved outreach to so many young people, even when you have so many things taking lots of your time and energy on a daily basis. That is surely an inspiration for me. Also, I love all that you said about contentment and thankfulness and our perspective and focus. Your blog is such a ministry. Thank you for your faithful life, and for sharing. You and Jake and your boys are in my prayers. Sending love.