Happy Valentines Day - 2016
This year I've learned (and am still learning) a new kind of love.
It's a beautiful type of love. A sacrificial type of love. A not-in-it-for-me type of love. A I'll-love-you-with-my-whole-heart-even though-tomorrow-is-not-promised love. A love that dies (and many times) daily. A love that knows no bounds. A love that desperately hates the self-seeking sin it sees and destroys it for the sake of another. A love that fights a spiritual battle not of your own making. A love that says "no matter what, I'm not giving up". <~~~ that is true, biblically-based love. That is Jesus' love. And we love because He first loved us.
Through God's sanctifying grace, foster care will birth (and continue to birth) this type of love in you. In our short 6 months of foster care, I've learned what love is in such a deeper way. Through it all, I'm seeing (with the eyes of my heart) God's love in such profound ways. Wow. I'm just blown away by His love.
Our Valentine's Day today: Guess what I woke up to this morning? Not your typical flowers and romantic-ness. LOL. I told Kalen happy valentines and he responded with,"is today the official day?" Haha. So, that is the extent of our special valentines today. But you know what? I didn't freak out. Because truly, Kalen shows his love to me daily and I don't need a "holiday" to solidify it. (Don't think I'm superwoman who has no feelings, just keep reading :) ) That's not my security, though years ago it would have been. Kalen and I have been through so much in our almost 5 yrs of marriage. Our love is deep, deeper than a Valentine's Day card, or a little sentiment (even though those are always welcome and appreciated!). This foster care process has wrought out in me so many things, but one would be entitlement; the feeling that I deserve this and I deserve that, while throwing a pity party when things didn't go my way (Literally- so sad, maybe some of you know what I'm talking about?). I see now, there's just no time for that in a person who's been saved from the wrath of God by a sacrificial Savior. I just am so thankful that this morning when I woke up to a messy house with no flowers, I can truly say my heart wasn't hurt or wrecked. That's amazing, a miracle! That just comes to show how God's love does cool things. Through this season of taking care of these babies, I've realized to a new beautiful level how this life isn't about me. I like this new kind of love... It's humble and simple. This new kind of love doesn't find its security in having a flower picture to post on Instagram or a beautiful new piece of jewelry to show my friends/family (yes that was me a few years back!). I like what God is doing in my heart. I like this new kind of love! Happy Valentine's Day, friends! May this next year you learn a new kind of love, too! ❤️❤️❤️
In Kalen's defense, we did have a valentines family date on Friday night to Shanks (glow in the dark putt-putt with L)! It was fun! L was scared of the glow in the dark animals, she thought they were real! Poor baby. We snuggled the whole way through!
Sunday church and lunch with our new Valentine this year! ❤️❤️
Below are some pictures showing how I found this new kind of love:
SUCH Bountiful grace and mercy God has shown me through my relationship with L. I have had to learn how to be a mommy with her and have made so many "uh-ohs" (as L would say), but she forgives me every time.
Nothing is impossible with God.
L loves "dada" and is coming up with new words every day. Her most recent is "wow!", which we caught here :).
A little glimpse into some of the time we had with M. We are so glad to be God parents and look forward to what the future holds in that regard.
Below are some of the precious adventures we had together as a family of 4:
Pedetrician appointments - whew! Victorious when these were done!
Rang in the New Year together!
Had fun with family!
Made Christmas memories!
M's first Christmas- what a blessing to share it with him❤️❤️❤️
These two❤️L is the sweetest big sister.
My favorite Christmas presents this year.
After-bath snuggles; (my favorite)
Play dates with friends (so life-giving!)
We love the Dunn family!
And the Johnson family!
Visits with grandparents; we love nana and pops!
We love didi and papa c!
I'll end this valentine's post with a magnet I found on my mom's fridge tonight. She cut out the picture from our Christmas card and placed it in this magnetic frame that says "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee". I'm confident He will keep this promise to these babies that I love so dearly. Thank you Jesus for this new kind of love...The love you abound in infinitely. We can only experience it finitely. Keep showing us new sides of your love. ❤️
Amazed and thankful,