Life in our Little House on the Big River is, in a word, full. Ten years ago I married my best friend and since then we have been carving out a life together. This life building thing is an interesting endeavor. As we make each decision, or carving, we are always trying to keep in mind what we want the big picture to look like. What do we want our life to be, to represent? I thank God that He gave me my hubby. He challenges me, encourages me, lifts me up and brings me back to Earth. He is all the things I need, but didn't realize I needed before we were married. We met when we were sixteen years old and I marvel that at such a young age, we were able to recognize in each other the same goals, desires and passions we had for life. In a lot of ways we've grown up together and we are constantly growing still. At the time we were really just children (although it didn't feel that way then), but now I look back and am amazed that we made such great decisions in our lives for being so young. Sometimes I don't know where I begin and he ends, which reminds me of Genesis 2:24 - a man shall leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two shall become one - I see this everyday in our lives. As we have been carving our life for the past ten years, we have had an over-all, big picture we are working at, but the little things in life are what keep us the busiest. The trick is to use the little challenges to make the big picture come into focus better.
As I said, life in our Little House on the Big River is full. Ten years after we said I do, we find ourselves with four children, two mortgages, a dog, a cat and more laundry than I could have ever imagined! The Big Picture is full of goals, focus and dreams. The little details are messy, challenging and incredibly lovable! As we focus our attention on carving out our life, the most important piece of the picture is our children.
Our oldest is the Dreamer. She's exactly like my hubby and exactly like me at the same time. She has so many of his characteristics and so many of mine, I say she is a perfect blend of the two of us. She is exactly what I thought our children would be like. Not only is she a blend of our personalities, she is also a blend of our physical looks. People are always telling me she looks just like me - and just like Hubby. I don't know how it's possible, but it's true. Dreamer has the most amazing imagination. She loves to read and to write and she loves history (me, me, me). She is a thinker and tends to be very comfortable on her own, or in a small group of people (Hubby, Hubby, Hubby). She doesn't usually stand out in a crowd, because she doesn't choose to. She is comfortable in her own skin and isn't trying to please anyone else (again, Hubby, Hubby, Hubby). We have taught her that God created her exactly the way she is - and God doesn't make mistakes, so it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about her - God thinks she is perfect just the way she is. Dreamer knows this and lives it.
Our second born, the Charmer, is a beautiful blend of our extended families looks. She is charming, funny and social. She is more like me than Hubby. Charmer loves to visit and make friends - with anyone, no matter what age. She is a mommy at heart (just like I am) and loves to play house. She is also very, very helpful. She loves making people happy. She is noticed in a crowd because she likes it that way! She usually steals the show with her dimpled smile and her contagious laughter. She is also a question asker. Her questions are most often well thought out and amazingly deep, but sometimes they are very whimsical and silly. She has a harder time being alone, so when her big sister is at school she is almost always at my side asking me questions and wanting me to play with her. Charmer is also very comfortable in her own skin, but she tends to care a little more than Dreamer about what people think of her. I am always reminding her that according to Psalms 139:14 she is "fearfully and wonderfully made; [God's] works are wonderful, [we] know that full well." Charmer is a little girl you can't help but love.
My Lion Cub is our third born, and the oldest (by one minute), of our twin boys. He is 18 months old and looks just like his big sister, the Charmer. Lion Cub is quiet, gentle and very sweet. It's so interesting watching his little personality develop and grow. There are some things I have known about him since I was pregnant with him, and some things we are learning each day. Since I was pregnant with him he has always been the more passive of the twins. He stayed in one place in my womb and was usually the bouncing board for his "little" brother - things haven't changed much since then! Lion Cub loves to be loved on and he loves to be cuddled. I can't wait to find out more about him as he grows up.
My little Monkey is our fourth born and the younger of the twins. He is also 18 months old and doesn't look anything like his "big" brother. The little Monkey is taller than Lion Cub by an inch and, by all accounts, acts and behaves like the "older" brother. He is a beautiful child with almond shaped eyes and a heart shaped mouth. He's unlike any of my other children. Since conception he has been busy and active! He is loud, fast and strong, but, at the same time, he is a sweetheart. Sometimes he will take a couple of seconds out of his busy day and crawl into my lap for a little snuggle, then off he goes again. He climbs, crawls and wiggles his way into any spot he wants to go - sometimes getting himself into trouble!
This past spring we bought a new home on the banks of the Mississippi River. We had lived in our old home for over seven years - bringing each baby home to it. But the time came (when we heard the word "twins!") to look for a bigger house to meet our growing needs. This new home has been an amazing blessing - one that fell into our laps. I have much more to say, but I will have to wait until I have more time to write...
Our children, our marriage, our home. Full. By the decisions we've made and the actions we have taken, we have begun to carve out the life that we have both dreamt of. Some things have been out of our control, but the things that are in our control, we have not taken lightly. God's blessings have been poured on us and I thank Him every day. I pray that the decisions and choices we are continuing to make are pleasing to Him - and, in return, pleasing to us.