Tuesday, January 27, 2015

humbled at just the right moment

It always amazes me that I pride myself on having such a great memory, yet I have to learn some of life's greatest lessons over and over again. (It just goes to show how much we need guidance and wisdom in this world.) Too often my mind travels to a place of pride whether it be of my gifts or my circumstances, and I begin to pat myself on the back as if I accomplished such things with my own strength.
Recently Matthew and I were simply discussing the joy of watching the beauty and pure love pour out of our son. We couldn't believe what an amazing little boy he was and how often he was obedient, joy-filled, and sympathetic towards others. I mean what almost two year-old could be as wonderful as our Silas (which we never said out loud, but I'm sure we both thought it)? While this moment of parental pride may seem harmless and even "normal" in our society, I know that my mind went to a place of pride because I was immediately humbled the days following this conversation.

Silas had shown small doses of the "toddler phase" as he has tested the water on previous occasions, but never for as long or as consistent as he has of late. Instead of his usual greetings and gratitude towards strangers and loved-ones, Silas has been "swatting" people away and grunting his new favorite word: "NO!"  Not only has his attitude been less cheerful, but he just seems to have a more selfish heart as he's tried the innocent art of lying and taking from others.

Such behavior is not without expectation, but it quickly brought my heart sadness and my occupation embarrassment. However, the recent days have also brought me yearning for God's wisdom. I recognize how little I know about parenting, and how much I need to be on my knees praying for my children daily. There is nothing I can do to save my kids, nor can I implement a perfect plan for the perfect offspring. But I can humble myself before the Lord and remember that each day brings new and different experiences, all of which I can grow me closer to God and hopefully portray humility to my own little man. No matter where we are, life can change in an instant. Nothing is certain except the love of our Lord.


Friday, January 16, 2015

time change?

Who needs to adjust to a three hour time change when you are only going to be there three days? You basically have to change an hour a day and then start all over when you get home. But when you wake up every morning around 4 am, it makes for a long and tiring day. Yet, it was all worth it to visit my family in San Diego. The joy Silas brought my grandmother who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's will always be etched in my memory. There's nothing like the playfulness of a child to make you forget your memory is lapsing. Kids don't know the difference, so it helps break down those self-conscious barriers we all naturally form when we are told we have an illness we can't control. Kids don't judge us as harshly as we judge ourselves. It's an unappreciated gift.

Silas has already been to California, but each trip is a first for him. That's a joy I wish we all possessed!
This was the first plane ride where Silas was actually distracted by the iPad (even though nothing worked on it but our free boring apps).
A great-grandmother's adoration for watching the next generation grow.
A grandfather's adoration for introducing the art of speed.
We love you San Diego family. We wish we could visit more, but we thank you for living in such a beautiful place and opening your hearts and lives to us thousands of miles away! Jaj, you will always be with us in our hearts and prayers!

~SanDiego Buster

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Holiday Tornado

The holidays always come and go kind of like a tornado. There's that calm before the storm in which I watch my favorite song on YouTube in order to get in the right mindset:  "Here With Us" by Joy Williams. It's amazing, and I've already decided it will be played when I pass away from this life. I sit with my best friend listen, stare at the beautiful lights on our simple Christmas tree and try to focus my heart and mind on what it means to celebrate the birth of my Savior. It's my favorite part of the holidays by far.
Then the wind comes. Family is in; family is out; friends are sprinkled around if your lucky; meals are consumed; presents are given and received; then there's the lightening of stress, especially when you have four Christmases to tackle with various degrees of personalities in play. But when it's all said and done, the normalcy of routine is resumed and the realization that life is not about special occasions, but the day-to-day love that I feel from the maker of Heaven and Earth. It's an appreciation that we all forget to remember the rest of the year, and it is why I can maintain joy after the hustle and bustle is over.

Here's a snapshot of the joy we  experienced:

Having Gibby in town was the best!
As serious as he looks, I believe more sugar was consumed than constructed
Happy birthday cousin Easton!
The annual Christmas pic with our gifts from our Paris Aunt!
Watching my BFFs kids with Si man was awesome.
Silas has mastered the "cheese" but Wyatt wasn't so sure.
Cousin Tanner will be missed for a while.
The kitchen from Dee Dee was a huge hit for this little chef.
The most surprising and amazing present came from long working nights from this Christmas elf.
He built us a dining room table from scratch!  I've never been so proud of my man!
Silas was excited too.
A couple of tired boys on Christmas morning.
Matthew couldn't wait to give Silas his first set of hot wheels. It was like a passing of the family heirloom.
Our red and green Christmas breakfast- so good!
Uncle Matt, did I tell you what we did Christmas morning- we went to a fire station!
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Thanks Fireman Dan and Aunt B for a special Christmas experience!
The highlight of NYE was a trip to Starbucks
Show um the cheese buddy.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years from the Smiths!