What Keeps Me Going

Fridays on this space are dedicated to sharing what keeps me going... A moment, a photo, an event or a memory that stands out against whatever might have gone wrong or felt dark in the last seven days.

My answer for this day and truly, for every single day of her life... This girl...

Today, my sweet Addie turns two. I am having a hard time putting into words what this birthday means to me. First of all, I stressed big time over how to celebrate such a special milestone on a Good Friday. It still feels a little strange to be filled with such happiness on a day that is traditionally so solemn and melancholy. But celebrate we must, even while holding this day as holy and sacred.

Last year, I felt so shocked when Addie turned one that a year had already gone by. Now, I feel that same exact way, times two. People say that once you have children, you can't really remember what life was like before they came along. Well I remember what it was like, but what stands out to me is that while I certainly had fun, took advantage of opportunities and enjoyed myself as much as possible, I spent all those years blind to life.

Now, in the midst of motherhood and raising this amazing beautiful girl, I know fully in my heart what this life is all about for me and for us as a family.

It is not about perfection, but being present in every moment.

It is not about always having a good time, but in making good times happen whenever we can.

It isn't about checking accomplishments off of a list, but throwing the list away to see beyond it and embrace the possibilities of the unknown.

It's about singing songs we don't know the words to. 

It's about being messy and loving deeply and accepting each other fully for all that we are.

It is about the moments that make her laugh and make me cry.

It's not about how many earth-shattering revelations we have, but about sitting down to dinner together as often as we can.

It's about seeing the world through her eyes--shiny, everything new, full of beauty and possiblity and absent of cynicism.

It's about connecting.

It's about tickles and snuggles and ice cream and the best hugs I have ever received.

It's about a love so intense that I could never describe or explain.

It's about teaching her what this day is and why it's so important to us and our faith. It's about realizing that God has trusted us as parents with the most incredible gift we could ever hope to receive. Her. Her life.

All this, and she's only two. Oh Addie, how we love you! Thank you for being the best, most patient and understanding teacher I have ever had. You bless us each and every day. Happy birthday, my sweet angel girl!   

I would love it if you joined me in sharing what keeps you going! Leave a comment to let me know you're participating and each week, I will include a list of everyone who is playing along.

**Special thanks to my dear friends Jenn over at Raising a Kid & Katie, my sisters Emily & Kate (who can be found here and here), and also to my amazing mom and dad for your sweet and funny stories last week. I love hearing about the moments that stood out to you!


Us said...

Last night Omar held a service at the chapel for his students to remember the passover meal the night before Jesus was crucified. He recreated the entire meal, as if Jesus and the disciples had just finished their meal and left for the garden. It was a very special moment for the students, but it was truly a joy for me to see my husband be a part of it. As he explained the significance of each part of the meal and all four cups, I felt an immense sense of pride. I was seeing him do what he does best. It is moments like this, that I need to appreciate and consciously remember!

Dennis said...

What's keeping me going is knowing that Sunday will be the end of the solemn season of Lent. It's always a long and exhausting time for me, especially Holy Week. I can't wait for the shouts, "Christ is Risen! Alleluia!"

Kate said...

During a week that was much harder than I ever thought it would be there were two things that kept me going:
1. The constant love, encouragement, and support that I continuously receive from my husband.
2. The deep and beautiful lessons that my loving Lord taught me throughout the week: 1. No matter what type of structure or building we live in, Christ lives in our hearts. and 2. In the grand scheme of life, existence, and eternity, it does not matter what house we will live in while we are here in Iowa. While we are here we will be serving God's people in our church and at work every day. We will be having children and watching them grow. We will be a family. In whatever house we are in. And God will living there too. :-)

nicola@which name? said...

Happy happy Birthday, Addie! She is just beautiful and your list and collection of photos were outstanding (and so beautifully matched). And I agree, but I will say it took me a long time to come to some of these same places!

sara said...

What incredible words! I really had to pause in order to take in all that everyone shared this week.

The end of Lent taking place right at the beginning of spring is no coincidence. I feel blessed to also celebrate the birth of my first babe in the middle of the beautiful season of re-birth.

Many thanks to you all for stopping by this space and sharing such deep and meaningful pieces of yoursef.

Happy happy Easter!!!