Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008: The Year in Smiles

It seems that this is the time of year that we get introspective and take a longer look at what we've accomplished in the past 365 days (or 366, as the case was this year). Hopefully, as you look back, your year is filled with joyful moments, lessons learned, and resolutions accomplished instead of with regrets or frustrations.

When 2008 began, I was a brand-new mom. I know, I'm still a 'new' mom, comparatively speaking, but one year ago, I had only been a mom for about three weeks. I was exhausted, confused, frustrated, overwhelmed... Earlier today I was remembering the feeling of panic that used to fill me when Hubby would walk out the door for work, leaving me at home with this inscrutable newborn. And a year ago I was crying a lot. My body responds to exhaustion by crying. And I cried. And cried. And cried. I had no concept yet of the loving sacrifice that is parenting. Although I had been married for almost five years, and in ministry for all that time and more, it took the 24/7 context of parenting my own child to wake me up and begin to truly teach me about selflessness and contentment. Not that I've arrived, mind you. But I see how far I have to go, and that's half the battle, right?

I'm now the mother of a toddler. A one-year-old. He eats 'real food' now, and walks on his own, and doesn't need me to sustain his life as he did a year ago, but he still needs me. Now he needs me to kiss boo-boos, read him books, give hugs to Elmo, feed him yogurt, and sing silly songs while I change his diaper. And I love every minute of it. His smiles and giggles are worth every second spent walking the hallway with a screaming baby on my shoulder, singing Amazing Grace for the 96th time because that's the only song my addled brain could recall the words to.

I am just completely thankful to God for all the blessings of 2008:
  • a healthy, growing marriage relationship with my loving husband
  • a sweet, healthy toddler
  • personal growth in my pursuit of godliness and my trust in Him
  • as always, His amazing financial provision throughout the year
  • many opportunities for ministry at camp and our community

and so many many more- God's blessings are so bountiful- I was thanking Him for all He has given me the other day, and this verse came to mind: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over." (Luke 6:38) And that's how I feel about God's blessings in my life. They are so abundant. So, thank You, Lord. For 2008. And for not letting me stay the same as I was in 2007.

To close this post, I'll sum up 2008 in smiles. So here's a smile from Z for each month of 2008. Happy New Year!!!

January: (5 weeks old)

February: (2 months)

March: (3 months)

April: (4 months)

May: (5 months)

June: (6 months)

July: (7 months)

August: (8 months)

September: (9 months)

October: (10 months)

November: (11 months)

December: (One Year!!!)


Janine said...

Oh. My. Gosh.
What a guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You are blessed indeed.
Happy New Year.

Anonymous said...

Your little one has just got the greatest face. Whenever you post a picture of him there's just something about his smile that makes me feel happy. What a joy he must be.


messyfunmommylife said...

Your birthday boy is absolutely beautiful!

Erin said...

He is such a cutie.