Miles’ 6th Birthday

I’m back-tracking a bit here, but I wanted to make sure I recorded each child’s birthday this year.  What a special day to pause and reflect on how each child is a unique part of our family and how thankful we are that God gifted us the joy of parenting him/her.  Miles and I have surely had our ups and downs and everyone knows by now that parenting him has quite possibly been the most challenging role God has ever called me to…but because of the challenges, the sweet parts are made all the more sweeter. I truly see God growing my love and affection for this little boy with every passing year and while his progress has been slower than a lot of adopted kids we know, I’m so thankful the Lord has allowed him to overcome so much and all the while, his heart seems to grow more and more tender to the gospel.  This has been the year of ninjas for our Miles so I was not surprised when he asked for a ninja cake! In lieu of big parties (which quite simply, we just can’t afford with so many kiddos!), we told the kids they could invite one special friend to celebrate with us and Miles chose his newest buddy from church, Isaac.  They had a blast playing and we are happy he has found a friend!  Here’s a few pics of his special day in May:

Chowing down on Miles' lunch of choice, hot dogs and cheetos!
Chowing down on Miles’ lunch of choice, hot dogs and cheetos!
Miles and his buddy!
Miles and his buddy!
All the kiddos!
All the kiddos!
Super excited about his scientist kit from Poppa and Nana!
Super excited about his scientist kit from Poppa and Nana!
Opening his "big" gift!
Opening his “big” gift!
His new skateboard!
His new skateboard!
Lighting the candles!
Lighting the candles!
Make a wish!
Make a wish!
Ninja Miles!
Ninja Miles!

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And Life Slows Down

There are times when life is so busy and so full that you would do anything to slow the pace down a bit.  Then there are times when God does it for you.  I’ve found myself in the latter for roughly the last three weeks because in His great grace, He created a little life within me and that little life is wreaking absolute havoc on my body, day in and day out.  The hardest part this go around (given this is technically my 5th first trimester to endure) is that I wasn’t mentally prepared for the halt. We have enjoyed the most delightful summer as a family…busy, yes. But a super-fun, play-filled, soaking up sun by the pool kind of busy and I’ve so greatly enjoyed the time with the children (time where school doesn’t beckon my attention each day) and time with extended family and friends.  Our new home has provided to be such an easy space in which to welcome others and we’ve spent our summer days and nights doing precisely that.  So when those two pink lines surprisingly showed up on the pregnancy test, I smiled and then I cried.  I knew whether I was ready or not, in a few short weeks, my life as I usually live it would come to a immediate halt.  Instead of spending quiet mornings in the Word and outside for a long run, I would be running to the toilet and then choking down breakfast in hopes that I could stop the throwing up before it got the best of my day. Instead of planning nutritious meals for our family to enjoy, I would be racking my brain for the next food I might be able to stomach while nutrition takes a back seat.  Instead of caring for my sweet Maggie, I would have to relinquish some of my precious duties to my hubby and my other kiddos…for one can certainly not smell broccoli steaming in the microwave or change a poopy diaper when you have nausea like I have!

And just like that…life slowed down.  I felt like I was managing fairly well and then it hit…I was running to the bathroom before dinner came back up.  This is the part where the days seem to get longer and longer, the food choices get harder and harder and I get more and more discouraged in the battle.  I truly wanted one more baby…I knew the minute Maggie came into this world that I wasn’t ready to be done.  Somewhere deep within, I felt like God had purposed to bring one more Cuthbertson into this world and my body is the vessel through which that happens.  So, there’s an underlying peace in this strange season of having to lay around all day while my family chips in to do the ordinary tasks that I’m normally responsible for.  And though I feel like I’m facing some of the same struggles that I’ve faced every time I’ve been pregnant, I’m also encouraged at my constant running to Jesus for grace and mercy.  Here are a few verses that have encouraged me to press on in the Lord, even on the worst of days…

“Yet God is my king from of old, who works deeds of deliverance in the midst of the earth.” Psalm 74:12

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord gives grace and glory; no good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprighlty.” Psalm 84:11

“And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said “I do believe; help my unbelief.” ” Mark 10:23-24

There’s not one thing I can do to change my situation…I’m pushing as hard as I can through the nausea each day and it still wins most of the time.  But my hope during the next few weeks is that I might be able to appreciate this time of being forced to slow down. Since I’m unable to bustle around my home all day cleaning, cooking and the like, I’m hoping for more moments like the ones I’ve had recently…where I had time to play Memory with Madden and read an astronaut book to Miles and play Barbies on my bed with Molly Kate and look through Mikias’ drawings, picking out my favorites and seeing the beaming smile spread across his face.  The truth is, when I’m able to live life like I normally like it, I rarely make the time to simply enjoy my children. And therein lies the beauty of God’s grace to me in the pregnancies that He gives me, they force me to treasure my children instead of treasuring my routine.