I am so sad to miss out on this opportunity to get to celebrate LeAnne and the gift of this baby boy. I was asked to share a devotional and while honored, also know my wisdom and experience pales in comparison to many ladies that are in LeAnne's life. Especially the example of her mom Judy. I am so thankful for their close relationship and friendship and the instruction that her parents and Josh's parents each of them to seek after the Lord. The is no greater accomplishment. My own parenting has been a constant learning process and with each new child I realize how little I only thought I knew. I pray for less of me and my weaknesses so that HE can fill and lead our family. My thoughts to share are:
Live Fully in the moment. While it is easy to love a sleeping, snuggling, cooing baby. Kisses on warm fuzzy heads & velvet skin. Chubby little fingers, toes and thighs. That breathtaking love so deep that our hearts hurt as they sigh and find utter fulfillment resting on our chests. As those first hours turn into days and then weeks of lack of sleep & showers, crying and dirty diapers, hurting breasts that are barely get a break, the wishing for the next phase of babylife can set in. But that 3, 6, 9-month mark will come all too fast. The time we have to protect, instruct and influence them is short. Lord help us as moms to see thru your eye. To see. To see the gift of each day, hour and moment.
Laugh Often. My own kids antics can quickly push me over the line of sanity when I stop looking at how can this be funny? When I view questions as interruptions, when I view a tired or sick child as a kink in my day I had planned on paper. As I sit typing this up, I watch our 4th and most rambunctious, always loud child, slowly and diligently sorting and lining up his crayons in perfect order in his school box. How many moments have I robbed him and myself of joy for being annoyed that the crayons where on the floor and snapped to pick them up. I saw a wall decal just this week that said "Boy: noise covered in dirt." It made me laugh and brought a fresh breath and new retinas for me as I washed clothes covered in sand and cat poop. As I washed boots that had been filled to the brim with gravel, as I had to tell the boys to put on clean underwear, wash their hands, not to wear their socks 2 days in a row, to take the karate outside, that "no we were eating only meat for supper", that if I can smell them from more than 20 feet away from all the grease from them working on the trailer it didn't matter that it wasn't bedtime, it WAS bathtime. There is a time to laugh and oftentimes it is when we least feel like it.
Love Always. This new baby coming into the Hudson's home is going to be a tangible gift of love from God. Babies are so easy to love and overwhelm us with emotions. To love so deeply a child you have only seen for mere seconds. That we have loved since the instant the lines turned pink. From the first kick in mommas tummy. It is an echo of the Lord's heart for each of us. May we follow the Lords instructions to pursue righteousness in our own hearts as we lead our children to Him.
"The parent must always self-parent first, self-preach before child-teach. Christ incarnated in the parent is the only hope of incarnating Christ in the child." - Ann Voskamp. Love produces better results. Love is Jesus's way. By His example we can see how to gently yet passionately and unselfishly love our children.
Lord thank you for the blessing of this baby boy. Not just another child, but another warrior for your Kingdom. Thank you for the gifts you have bestowed in him already. Open the eyes of the Hudson Family to help develop those gifts as you entrust him to their care. May there be plenty of love and laughter even in the days of long nights and overflowing laundry. May Elijah and Maddie take on the role of mentors to their younger sibling. Thank you for the gift of relationships and children. May be love like you love. Amen.