You are just a little over ten months old and are learning all kinds of new things. Here's what you're up to this month:
-You took your first steps the week before you turned ten months. The most you have taken in a row is about five, but you get in such a hurry and try to run, so you fall. I can tell that you're a risk taker, not hesitant or scared to try something new. And, oh my, are you still active!
-You have learned to drink from a sippy cup, which excites me because I'm planning on weaning you when you turn one. Then you will get to drink cow's milk instead of water from the cup. And Mommy will get longer breaks than just three or four hours at a time. You're still nursing once during the night, so I'm hoping you will drop that one in the next couple of months and Daddy and I can even spend the night away.
-You now have the four upper teeth and two bottom.
-You're still small to average sized, wearing twelve month clothes and size three shoes. I've started putting shoes on you more lately since you've begun walking.
-You still adore your sister and she adores you, too. I hope you're always best friends.
I CANNOT believe you will be one soon. Last night I prayed that God would help me to soak in and remember you and your sister as little girls because it seems like the days fly and you're both changing too quickly. Sometimes I just wish time would stand still. And, I'm guilty of getting so busy that I don't just stop to enjoy these moments. It's something I have to remind myself to do often.
What a blessing it is to be your Mommy!
Our church has been challenged over the past couple of weeks by our pastor to remember what God is doing in each of our lives. We have been going through a series on Exodus and learning about the way God led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt and that despite seeing Him move in mighty ways to save and provide for them during their journey, the Israelites over and over again lost sight of how powerful and gracious their God was to them. They forgot how He provided safety and protection, food and water, and forgot the miracles He performed. While it's easy to wonder how they could lose faith when God was all around them, I have been convicted to realize that I too easily shrug off the beautiful blessings the Lord has given me and forget about the mighty ways He has moved in my life.
So, I'm following my pastor's advice and am remembering the work God has done in my life in the last year. Here goes:
-After suffering a miscarriage in June '10 and being devastated by the loss of our sweet baby, God has taught me to trust Him and His perfect plan. I would have never guessed the day that I went to the hospital to have the D&C that God would form another beautiful baby in me the very next month. Now we have our precious Heidi and we will celebrate her first birthday in April. He has taught me to find my hope in Him, no matter my circumstances.
-I feel like I have grown so much in my faith in the last year. I can't take any credit for that. God continues to pursue me every day and feeling His spirit in me is the best feeling ever. I am a long way from where I want to be, though. I still have so much to learn and I pray that the Lord will continue to fuel this fire in me to want to know more and be more for Him.
-I have seen a desire to know the Lord grow in my father and that is a beautiful blessing. We have conversations about the Lord that I would have never in my wildest dreams imagined we would share.
-God is teaching my sweet Ansley to love Him, to pray, and to memorize His scripture. Just about the sweetest thing I have ever heard is her reciting the verses she has memorized. She has recently learned 1 Thessalonians 5:11, "Be kind to one another and build each other up." I've been able to remind her of that verse when she has a conflict with a friend.
-God has continued to provide for our family since I quit my job to stay home and raise our daughters.
-He has grown sweet friendships in my church family. They are truly that - family.
-Most importantly, He continues to love me despite my constant sin. Despite my grumblings and complaining when I have hard days. Despite my lack of faith in some areas. He continues to teach me.
I know there are things I am leaving out. God is so good to me and I'm thankful for my relationship with Him. I'm thankful that He is so present in my life and is worthy of my trust and praise.
Ansley is very into dress-up these days. It's something that sparked her interest with the very first Disney princess movie she ever saw (Beauty and the Beast) and her imagination grows every day. She's got quite a collection of princess dresses, tutus, and costumes and it doesn't stop there. Today she discovered the joy of wrapping herself in a blanket and pretending it was a wedding dress. I can remember doing the same thing when I was a little girl and I was supposed to be taking a nap. She adorns herself with her blanket "hair," necklaces, bracelets, and plastic high heel shoes. It melts my heart to watch her waltz around the living room, especially when she asks Jeff or me if she looks pretty. Such a reminder of how important it is to every girl, young and old, to feel beautiful and treasured.
I've seen photos on Pinterest of little girls in their mothers' wedding dresses and thought that would be such a sweet picture to have when Ansley is older and preparing for her own wedding. During Heidi's morning nap I got mine out and I hope I never forget the oohs and ahhs that came from Ansley as soon as she saw it. To her it is the ultimate princess dress. She only got to wear it for a short while because my camera battery died and Heidi was to wake soon, and she threw a humongous fit when I put it away. But, my hope is that one day she and Heidi will at least give a thought to wearing it or even using parts of it in their own weddings. If not, that's okay. At least I have these photos of her wearing the most important dress I have ever worn.