Recently I sat down to write out my five year plan. Typically, this isn’t too difficult, I simply map out my goals personally, financially, spiritually, educationally and family wise. This time though my five year planning had a reality hit me like a ton of bricks. It was this moment that I realized in four short years, my oldest son will be graduated from high school, and at the end of my five year plan he will have completed his first year of college. This made me then see that in five short years my daughter will be a sophomore in highschool and my youngest son in seventh grade. I sat, notebook and pen in front me, in shock; unable to work on my five year plan as I was lost in the sudden reality of how soon my kids will be grown up, and lost even further in memories.
I was 19 when I had Zion. I was still a kid myself. I will never forget the first time I felt him move in my stomach, the first time I held him and learned what it felt like to truly love someone other than myself. I will never forget the late nights, the sleepless nights, the giggles, the learning to sit up, to crawl, to walk and to talk. I remember his first day of kindergarten, of middle school and just recently of high school. I have laughed with him, cried with him, set goals with him, celebrated successes, mourned failures and above all I have gotten to watch him grow into a young man.
I was 23 when I had Aysa. Still young on so many levels. I had grown up and matured in many ways through raising Zion, through learning to be a mom and care for another life. I was surprised when I found out I was pregnant with this baby girl. I was more surprised when I held her the first time after her being born, and realized I could love another child so much. I had no idea I was capable of loving with such depth. I remember this little girls’ first laugh, learning to sit up, to crawl, to walk, to talk and above all I remember how much she added to mine and Zion’s lives. I have shared with her moments that I cherish; I know there are many more to come with her as she begins her journey into becoming a young lady. She is learning to love herself the way she is; to not listen to what the world says a girl should be or look like; instead she is learning who God created her to be. It’s lovely getting to watch her embrace who she is, her gifts and talents, her strengths and weaknesses. It’s an honor to be her mom; to get to love on her, to pour into her, to encourage, to guide and to pray for her.
26. That’s the age I was when Azariah a.k.a. Riah joined my life. I was nervous. How would I love another child? How would this change our family? My nerves were calmed instantly upon his birth. Zion and Aysa surrounded me as Riah entered the world. Zion instantly fell in love with his brother; never letting him out of his sight while nurses bathed him, weighed him and swaddled him in his blanket. I clearly remember holding precious Riah in my arms, while Zion and Aysa snuggled up on either side of me in my hospital bed. I knew then I had been truly blessed. I was given three amazing babies to love on and build memories with. I also remember his first laugh, him learning to sit up, to crawl, to walk, to talk. I remember how he did all this earlier than Zion and Aysa because he wanted to keep up with his bubba and sissy. He has added so much laughter to our home. He has tested us with his strong personality, but he has courage and a strength that I admire. He has traveled between Oklahoma and Washington since he was one due to his dad and me getting divorced; and while this is less than ideal, there have been many blessings from it. I get the honor of getting to talk with him, building him up, encouraging him. He gets to learn that he is brave and courageous and cling to the fact that God will use the situation for something great in his life. I get the honor of loving him, of holding him in the moments his heart hurts, of him sharing his feelings with me, of praying with him and over him.
All this and so much more ran through my head while I realized that in five years, each of these kids would be five years older. While this sounds simplistic, when I realized that five years is a blink of an eye, I realized how much more I need to be in the moment with these kids. How much more I need to let go of thinking I need to be somewhere else, to be in college, or to be keeping up with friends around me. Instead, I am right where I am meant to be, doing exactly what I am called to do. I am raising three kids to be world changers, to be lights in the world. I am raising three kids to have a heart like His, to follow their hearts, to embrace each moment, to be thankful for our blessings and each other.
My five year plan changed drastically in that moment. Five years. Five short years. In five years I will love more, be in the moment more, laugh more and continue to build my kids faith and their relationship with Christ. In five short years I will give my kids wings to fly, a strength to follow their hearts, the courage to walk in faith and a deep rooted knowledge that they are dearly loved and cherished, that they matter.
I'm a single mom of four radiant kids who believes in relationship with Jesus over religion. I'm trying not to battle with fear anymore - instead I am choosing to follow what God has called me to do. With that you'll find me here, trying to be brave, with the goal of being authentic and honest about God, single parenting and the beauty in the mess of my joyful chaos. It's sure to be a journey... and I am blessed to share it with you!