Answered prayers…extra graces…

I pulled up a picture today as I was getting ready to begin Christmas cards.  It was a family photo.  I think my heart skipped a beat.  When you look at your family photo you just see things that other people don’t.  Other people see Kevin, me, cute little girls, a little boy, green palm trees in the background.  People see smiles, family, kids….but  I…well, I  see something more.

When I look at our family photo I see answered prayer. I see a family that I dreamt of years ago when we struggled with infertility.

I see

Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”

and

Luke 1:37

“For nothing will be impossible with God.”

I see miracles in these faces.

I see the growth in my daughter Maiah…I see how far she has come.  I see how she use to be so shy and withdrawn and how much she has come out of her shell and become comfortable in her own skin. I see how she has become confident. There was a time when she didn’t smile in family pictures, she was to shy and now she is beaming.  I see how far she has come. I see a flower blooming before my eyes.

I see my daughter Mikayla and think of all of the hurdles she has gone through. I see joy in her.  I see maturity..  I see a fighter…not in a bad way but in a way that shows her strength.  I see a soul who feels on a very deep level and I understand her…I know her heart so very well…she is my mirror.

I see Micah and how much he has become a little man.  I see a gentle soul, a quiet leader.  I see my husband in him.  I see the way he looks over his sisters. I see how he prefers others and selflessly helps and gives.  I remember holding his little 5 lb. frame like it was yesterday and now he is 7…

I see Milena and I just laugh.  I see a three year old who thinks she’s 14.  I see lovable and cuddly and hilarious.  I see my baby.  I see the last one who let’s me just hold her.  I see beauty and a bull in a China shop all in the same person and she’s perfect. I see the baby who grabs my face and say’s “Mommy I love you so much”

I see Kevin and I see once again – answered prayer.  I see my soul mate and best friend.  I see the one who I have held hands through the good and the hard things of life for 15 years.  I see the one the Lord saw for me before I knew I needed him.  I see an amazing father and husband.  I see someone who protects and guards his family.  I see someone who honors God and actually lives like it honestly.  I see a man with integrity.  I see someone who has no idea how greatly he is respected not just by me but by whoever really knows him because his character speaks of who he models his life after. I see someone who constantly lays down his life for me and our kids.

I see me…and I remember the girl I was long ago…I remember the girl that didn’t have a hope for a future.  I remember the girl who didn’t know she could be loved.  I remember the girl who was afraid.  I remember the girl who didn’t know how to trust.  I remember the girl who didn’t think she would have children…and I see it…I see how far I’ve come..and I have so far to go but where I am today is not where I was before and who I have become is where I never knew I could be.  I am thankful for answered prayers…I am thankful for extra graces..this picture to me is all God’s grace..

When I look at this photo I see each person…individually…I see the great stuff and the really hard stuff. I see the answered prayers and the not yet’s. I see growth.  I see hope.  I see some crazy too because life with 4 kids can be a whole lot of beautiful and crazy wrapped into one.  I see God’s hand.  I see God’s beauty and creativity.  And I’m thankful the Lord has shown me more of Him….through them.