Today I woke up encouraged.
Saturday's have become a difficult day for me for many reasons, but I'm trying to make them as positive as I possibly can for my husband and my boys.
We have had a Saturday tradition for a while now, and have kept with it. We take our boys to a local restaurant every Saturday morning for brunch. It's been a fun family time now for many months. Sometimes we go alone. Sometimes friends and family come, but we always go. It's a little chaotic at times in between 20 trips to the bathroom and eyesight bigger than appetite trips to the buffet; but we love it. It is a time on the weekend where we can sit down and just "enjoy" our boys.
I've talked so much about my sweet Maddie Grace in these posts, but today I want to talk a little bit about my other two loves, My boys.
Isn't he the sweetest little guy?
Noah is 5 years old and in Kindergarten this year. He absolutely loves school. He is very smart and is already reading! He loves life and he loves his cousins, all 8 of them. =) He loves his Mimi and Papa and Grandma and Papa and enjoys spending the night with them and getting spoiled rotten. He loves reading books and playing the Wii, computer and his DS. He is very sensitive and has the sweetest, softest heart. He's a Momma's boy when I'm around, but as soon as Daddy walks in the door he is all about his dad. He wants to look, act and be just like Rick. It melts my heart. He loves his little brother but hates it when he is mean or steals his toys. =) He accepted Christ as his Saviour on the night of Easter in 2010. He can quote the entire Christian alphabet and has such a great memory for scripture. He loves doing devotions and reading Bible stories.
We are so proud of Him!
Isn't he a cutie pie?
Well, my little Eli is the complete opposite of Noah. He just turned 3 in December, although he looks like he's 4 or 5. He's very tall. He is a little loud, rambunctious and ornery as can be. He has such a joy for life. He loves his Mommy like no other and is completley a Mama's boy. =) He has a very short attention span, but he loves to play games and sing songs. He loves to eat candy and many times I find him sneaking it out of our "snack cabinet." He adores his big brother and wants to do everything just like him! He enjoys anything physical like running, jumping, tackling, etc. He loves sports and I'm pretty sure he will be very good at them. He is left handed and seems not to let it prevent him from doing anything. He is very smart and has a great vocabulary. Sometimes we just don't know what he's saying due to his speech delay, but he's making so much improvement! He spends his days by my side playing, singing and laughing. He is such a sweet joy.
So, as you can see. We are blessed, so very blessed to have such precious little boys. I think so often how different my life would be without them. They are my life. They are my job. =) And I wouldn't want to be doing anything else but be their Mommy.
I also wanted to share some pics of my pregnancy with Maddie and the boys...
The boys sure did love their little sister. =)
So, as I continue to miss my sweet Maddie so very much, and wonder how different my days would be if she were here along with my boys; I still have my sweet Noah and Eli who love me like there is no tomorrow. I have my sweet boys who trust in me to take care of them.
What a job.
So often I think I have taken "raising children" so lightly. And until I went through this heartache of losing a child, I know I did.
Everything I say, everywhere I go, everything I do, affects them. They are like little sponges who soak up exactly what they see. They are me and they are Rick.
So, I guess what I am realizing is how much I must improve in so many ways. For one day I will be in Heaven and they will be left with just memories and examples from my life.
We all want the best for our children. I think sometimes I may go a "little" overboard. I guess this is evident when it takes my kids 2 hours to open their presents on birthdays and Christmas morning. =)
Okay, yes I admit it.
I do definately go overboard, but I am quickly realizing that the presents don't last near as long as the memories we create. For they will outgrow the clothes and the toys, but they will always remember the words I say, how I act and what I do.
Oh Lord, help me. Help me to be a wonderful mother. Help me to raise good strong boys who love you and serve you. Help them to see a mother who prays and trusts you. Help me.
And Lord, remind me never to take them for granted, never expect too much and to always cherish every moment with them, for I know how quickly they can be gone.
Just a few days ago, a sweet lady wrote these words on a post for my blog.
She said "just reading all your sweet blogs and my heart is just aching ...even though I only met you once (I think) what a wonderful blessing you are!!! No man could have a more wonderful wife and no children could have a more beautiful mother then you....they will rise up and call you Blessed."
What a sweet compliment. It got me thinking about this verse.
Proverbs 31:28 Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
It made me sort of recharge and say okay, My Maddie is gone and I can grieve, but I need to be strong for my boys. At the end of my life, I hope that they can call me blessed. I want this to be true. I want to be a wonderful wife and mother and I need help, because I fail so many times on my own.
I have been praying. I have been reading God's word. I have been trying my absolute best to be more patient, but I feel I have been struggling to do so, because I have been lacking is sleep.
I am still having such a hard time at night and I'm not getting the rest that I need. As a result, I am tired and weak throughout the day; and if you know my son Eli, you know that it takes bundles of energy to keep up with him and his fast pace.
So, as my Saturday continued, and I was beginning to grow weary, I was blessed with another little (hug) from God.
We went home after the fun day at our family brunch, and a wonderful soulwinning experience.(one person got saved by the way) I then got on my computer and received the sweetest encouragement.
A sweet friend of mine, Chrissy, had sent me an inbox with this verse.
Psalm 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth beloved sleep.
I read that verse and it comforted me. Since I struggle at night and haven't slept much since I lost Madeline, I've been searching for verses on rest and sleep. I've been praying for the Lord to help me sleep and let the nightmares stop. I took the time to read this verse and the devotional that went along with it. It encouraged me so much in that I need to make time for this beloved sleep. My heart is broken, yes. I feel like part of me is missing, yes, and some days the sorrow makes it hard to breathe.
But... I still have a job to do. I have to rest because everyday when I wake up, I GET to be a mom to the sweetest two little boys this world has to offer.
So, why did I share this verse here today??? If you read the next few verses following this in Psalms 127 you will find this...
Lo, Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies at the gate. Psalm 127 3-5
So this verse on sleep that Chrissy sent me, led me to these verses on children.
Did you see God in that? I did. =)
Oh my, what a job I have to do. My children are an heritage of the LORD! Do you realize how powerful that is? He gave them to me as his reward. Wow!
Yes, they have our last name Ross, but they are God's children. They are of His heritage. I have given these babies to Him and He is trusting me with his sweet chldren. He is allowing me to raise them and teach them.
Oh may I teach them that they are God's children. May I teach them to love, honor and praise the Heavenly Father all their days. May I teach in the good times and in the bad, to praise God and thank Him for His goodness.
It would be easy for me to fall apart and tell them that God took Maddie, but that would be a lie. For God gave Maddie. Maddie was His to give and when He chose to call her home, He knew what He was doing. Through the words I write now, I know what He is doing.
He is using the precious life of my sweet girl to reach people; to bring lives to Christ. For even at her funeral, people came to know the Lord. I'm so thankful for this.
My daughter is a soulwinner. My daughter is a missionary. Oh Lord may I be. May I teach my boys to be. May I live a life to please you. May I be a wonderful loving mother that at the end of my life, your heritage, my heritage; can rise up and call me blessed.
Thank you Lord for this priveledge of being a mother, may I never again take it lightly. May I remember that these little fruits of my womb are SUCH a reward!
Psalm 127:3 Lo, Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
I loved every single minute of expecting sweet Maddie Grace =)