* I have learned that parenting FIVE kids is CRAZY! Lots of people say that after three it really isn't that hard to add more. Well, I have to tell you that it has been a journey this last year getting used to all the adding - adding up more groceries, more laundry, more homework, more ER visits - it IS CRAZY! But we've also got to add up more hugs, more giggles, more memories!
* I have learned that when you have FIVE kids - there will ALWAYS be someone MAD about something! They may be ticked at you, another sibling, or just ticked at life in general! And guess what - IT IS OKAY!!!! It is NOT my job as mom to make everyone feel all warm and cozy inside all the time! It is my job to raise up a few young men and a sweet little girl who can work through problems, who have conflict/resolution skills, who can handle disappointments, and who know what consequences for their actions feel like.
* I have learned that having FIVE kids is EXHAUSTING! There is not a day that goes by that I feel energized at the end of the day - most days I am truly and deeply exhausted! Some days it is just physical - and others it is emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually! Being a mom is no easy feat and it is not for the faint of heart. Don't get me wrong - it is ENTIRELY worth it - but it is exhausting!
* I have learned that parenting kids from Hard Places is Hard Stuff! I have shed tears for and with broken little boys who do not know why or how life turned out the way it has. I have been told hurtful things - emotions directed my way because that is the only way they know how to deal with the loss. I have learned to hear the grief and hurt and not to take it to heart. I have learned to show love and grace in the midst of the storm.
* I have learned that with heartache comes healing! I have watched all FIVE of my children struggle to find their place in our family over this last year. I have watched all five of them grieve how life used to be. We walked through crazy months of bickering and fist fights - through tears and deep sighs. As everyone found their place and God worked in our family, I got to watch my children discover new best friends. I got to watch brothers bonding with brothers and littles giggling and playing! I am amazed at the unity in my kids these days and I am reminded of how far we have come - and I'm thankful!
* I have learned that I am nothing on my own! It takes a team to parent FIVE kiddos and I am SO very thankful for my husband! Beyond that - I am SO very thankful for a loving Father who walks with me daily and gives me patience and love for those around me! It is easy to get caught up in the day to day Crazy Busy Every Day life - to try to lead and control and take care of things myself. It is about this time that I fall flat on my face and God is always there to help me back up...reminding me that I am NOTHING apart from Him.
~ I have learned a lot over the last year as we have started our lives as a Family of SEVEN! The biggest thing that I think I have learned is that life is not a destination...it is a journey! There is NO ARRIVING....just carrying on! And on THIS journey - the one we are CHOOSING to follow - we KNOW who is LEADING....we are THANKFUL for HIS leading! We may be CRAZY BUSY in our Every Day Life but we will continue to FOLLOW HIS STEPS....will you?