Last night around 9:30, Mark had just come home from Bible school and was heating up his dinner while we were chatting about our day. I heard Ezzy crying, so I went to check on him. He was sitting up, wide eyed, and grinning. I decided to take him into the kitchen to see his daddy. We fed him a bottle (he’s obviously feeling better as he’s eaten everything that doesn’t move AND has kept it down) and then let him sit with us. If you haven’t met Ezra, then let me tell you that he grins all the time. He’s the happiest baby that I’ve ever met. He’s not phased by anything, except for being left behind. Otherwise, he’s always happy. So he sat with us and just grinned and raised his one eyebrow (just like his dad). And we ooh’d and ahh’d over him as we, his parents, should. 🙂 We love our Ezzy-ra. He blesses us every day, and he’s my daily reminder of how much God loves us as He entrusted us with such a beautiful little person. Ezra is called to bless others, and he already does that.

And in case Ryder ever reads this, I have to transition over to my firstborn . . .

Ryder has been presenting us with new daily challenges; Mark keeps reminding me that he’s a two year old, which I realize. He just comes up with new things every day, and not all of it is great. And as I’ve prayed over him and as I’m now reading “Praying the Scriptures for Your Children,” I’m realizing how important my words, my prayers, and my communication with Ryder are. He takes in everything. He is a smart cookie. He’s an emotional, intelligent observer who lives life to the fullest and in the fastes way possible, and he doesn’t miss a beat. That requires parenting that doesn’t miss a beat. It’s quite revelatory when your child imitates your behavior . . . sobering, humbling, and sometimes embarrassing to say the least. So God’s been teaching me that the things that I say about Ryder are very important. The way that I respond to him is key, and it’s vital that I pray the Word over him. He’s a fireball that needs a good foundation. Mark and I can either snuff out his personality and his giftings in order to tame them down, or we can direct them in the right avenue so that they flourish correctly. It’s a big job; most days I feel like a failure and wonder why me . . .

Yet as I learned this morning, all the hard work does pay off. Today is Ryder’s day to go to preschool, and I desperately wanted to avoid the dramatic crying, holding on to my leg scene. So when we got in the car, I decided to pray out loud (I knew R would be listening). I prayed for Daddy as he goes to work, for Chan and Pop, Nana and Grandad, Hav, and Ezzy. I listed out their days, and then I prayed for Ryder and his day. I worked through the plans of his day and what he’d be doing. Then I asked the Lord to go with Ryde, to give him a wonderfully fun day, to protect him and watch over him. And strangely, Ryder was silent the whole way to school. He didn’t say a peep, which was weird. Once we arrived, I put Ezra in the stroller, then carried Rydey in, took off his coat, kissed him and told him to have fun, and he went right in with his teacher. Both teachers looked at me like wow!! Once Ryder went around the corner, they whispered how well he did and how there is light at the end of the tunnel! I couldn’t help but grin as we all shared the joy of Ryde’s progress. He made my heart proud.

As I think about my kids, I see how my eldest is so like me. I feel for him as I feel like he’s his own worst enemy. He could avoid so many struggles and so much heartache if he’d not be so stubborn and strong willed. I don’t want him to be a head case like his mama. I want him to enjoy life like his little brother does. I want joy for him. And he can have that, if Mark and I will continue to speak the Word over him and take the time to direct his little personality (with God’s wisdom and help). I know Ryder will be a conqueror, and I know that God’s got lots in store for this little man. I have this deep assurance that Ryder has been called by name, and God’s got beautiful things planned for my guy. I also feel that Ezra is gift to Ryder as he will be Ryde’s encourager, source of laughter, and faithful companion. I so look forward to seeing my boys grow together. And I’m humbled and a bit in awe of how God chose me to raise these two young men. I daily realize that Mark and I need God’s help every minute of every day, yet I also realize that God knows how to design families. We’re the right parents for our kids. So as much as I don’t understand the pairing of me with boys, I know there’s a reason for it. And I know God’s got plenty of help for me . . . 🙂

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