One of the many blessings that comes with having four babies entrusted to us at one time is that we have learned quickly that very little is in our control when it comes to raising these precious children. We went from a high risk pregnancy to months in the neonatal intensive care unit in the hospital, endured three surgeries and then went home with heart monitors for all four babies. If there was anything to learn from all of that it was that God is in control and protects our family every step of the way. Still, there are numerous times I have to be reminded of that as I catch myself worrying daily. Worrying whether the kids are eating enough, or if they are going to be cranky all day, if their tantrums will ever end, or if I'm capable of keeping them safe from darting into the street while they ride their trikes & cars in the driveway.
Daddy and "Blonde Daddy"
Yesterday was one of those worry-filled days and funny enough, I started my morning reading a chapter from The Bathtub is Overflowing but I Feel Drained by Lysa TerKeurst. It was entitled "A Mom's Greatest Fear" which talked about how God tells us not to fear (the phrase "fear not" or the equivalent is in the Bible 365 times!) but instead turn our worry over to God and trust in Him to provide and protect. So when we took all of our little ones to a family reunion in Galveston, which was on the water and also around a pool, I was trying my best to give up all of the worries and just enjoy the day. We hadn't been there more than 30 minutes when the kids found the pool and wanted to check out the water. I let them sit by the pool and put their feet in while Chris went to get their swimsuits. Sophia was kicked back, striking the cutest little supermodel pose on the pool deck. I was laughing at her and then turn to check on Noah & Finn who had walked back behind me - sticking their hands in the hot tub. As soon as I turned back around I saw Cohen floating face down about 3 feet out into the water. Of course I squealed and jumped in to grab him. He looked at me with confused and startled eyes like as if I had pushed him out there. I was shaking, he was shaking, we were both soaked! Right here is where I should've been singing Hallelujahs and praising God. Instead I was thinking I knew, I just knew it - this is dangerous, this is all my fault, there is no way we can ever get back into the pool nor around any other pool...ever! Chris came back and interrupted my little worry-fest with swimsuits in hand. He was hardly phased by my story, just said "well thank god you were right there" and then went on putting the bathing suits on the kids. There were no more incidents all day - Cohen got back in (with his swimsuit on this time) and was a happy little fish.
We came home with an exhausted group and put them to bed. I was trying to go to sleep but couldn't get that image out of my head. I just kept thinking - what if this or what if that had happened? So now I was worrying about the past also! Worrying about something that could've played out but didn't! "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:27 That verse popped into my head and I thought, what am I doing drowning myself in fear? I started my way overdue hallelujahs and praised God instead; for protecting us, for comforting me with Jesus's words. My mind quieted and I was able to join Chris in sawing a few logs before morning.
Sophia, Mema, Noah, CJ, Pepa, Madeleine, Cohen & Finn
Mema's Candid Cookies
CJ, Finn, Cohen, Noah, Jordyn, Madeleine & Sophia
Blackened Feet are a True Sign of a Great Day