I know I promised to keep everyone updated on our family through our blog after the whole ordeal with Mclaine in the NICU in Temple, but who knew transitioning to 3 kids at home and working full-time and teaching a graduate class could be so time consuming?! :-) Seriously though, I miss the outlet that writing became for me (and us) while we were in Temple so I'm going to try to do a better job of keeping this blog up to date. So much has happened since we came home so I'll just start with some of the more recent stuff and if I ever get to go back and write about the older stuff I will.
As a parent, one of the things that is so difficult for me is to keep my cool with the kids when they are acting up and the other day Maria was reminding me that we needed to step back and enjoy...not tolerate...but enjoy our kids. I mean, these are the lives we prayed and cried for as we waited on the Lord to grow our family! I honestly can't imagine our lives without them, but on a day-to-day basis, I find that I'm more annoyed by misbehavior and arguing and complaining and being disrespectful and all of the other things that bother me at that moment. In reality though, Maxwell, Miller and Mclaine are the answer to our prayers so while I am complaining about their misbehavior, etc. does the Lord ever look at me and think, "so what was that you were telling your kids about the Scripture that reminds us to do everything without arguing and complaining?!" Or what about stewardship? Am I being a good steward of the gift of children by losing my cool with them for things that may be important, but that don't warrant such a strong response from me? Can I get a witness here?!
So at this point, you are probably wondering what has caused such a change in my approach to blogging. Well, I discovered that part of our journey as the Upton family, is also about our journey as parents, as husband and wife, as friends, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ and the list goes on. This is where the "update" comes in. After going through this process of realizing how much time I spent frustrated/annoyed and how little time I spent enjoying my children, Maxwell said just about the most wonderful thing you can imagine yesterday.
While driving down the road, Maxwell said, "Mommy, I'm praying for Miller and Mclaine," to which we obviously replied, "That is great Maxwell."
Maxwell: "...you know what I'm praying for them mommy?"
Maria: "What Maxwell?"
Maxwell: "I'm praying they will know Jesus and ask Him into their heart because we all need Jesus."
Now, I don't know about you, but sentimental or not, that has to bring either the biggest smile to your face or a tear to your eye (a happy tear!)...or maybe both depending on whether you are an emotional wreck at the moment. I think I mainly smiled, but I've been known to get misty every once in a while, too. Along with all of the other "things" that go on every day with our kids, I'm keeping this conversation on repeat in my mind as I attempt to do a better job of enjoying my kids.
May you enjoy whatever it is the Lord has given you--expected or unexpected--in this life.