our hard work is not done in vain.

We just got back from our trip to Sacramento to spend time with Nick's side of the family. Even for a short one hour flight there is a lot of preparation that goes into travelling with 3 kids, I mean 2 (sorry Nick). Despite all of my nerves with getting all of us ready, I was most nervous about my boys on the trip. Kids are unpredictable and even though my boys have done fine in the past, they are at different ages now and I did not know how they would do.

What surprised me the most was how much my boys (well, mostly Calvin) actually hears what we tell him. On an average day I cannot even begin to count how many times I am trying to teach him manners, respect, hospitality, the Bible, how to behave in social environments, and of course to be kind to his little brother. It can get exhausting, but I know he is worth it. It's my job as his parent to lead him in the ways of the Lord. This trip showed me that all those teachable moments and times of trying to exercise patience does not just go into one ear and out the other.

Here are a few scenarios over the week where Calvin really caught me off guard and made me a proud mama. So please let me boast here for a moment because I truly love this little dude.

  • When asked by the TSA woman before we went through security what his name was Calvin responded: "Hi, I'm Calvin Nicholas Davis." She then proceeded to give me back our ticket and he said "Thank you very much."
  • Even though I am embarrassed to admit it, we went through the drive-thru at Krispy Kreme for Calvin to have his first donut-amazingness experience. After his first bite he said "Mom and Dad, this is belicious (he has a hard time with his v's), thank you so much. I love it!"
  • Nick preached at an OPC (Orthodox Presbyterian Church) on Sunday and Calvin noticed a little boy around his age holding a hot wheels car. He chased him down, introduced himself and then switched hot wheels with him. Calvin's original truck was quite larger (and much nicer!) than his new friends and we had left church without exchanging them back. Calvin in the car told Nick and I "It's ok Mommy, my friend likes my hot wheels."
  • When we landed back in San Diego, Calvin was excited to see my mom as she was waiting for us at the airport. Once we got into our truck he told my mom, "Thank you Nonna, thank you for picking us up. I missed you."
  • Max was crying over something small and Calvin without being told went up to Max, rubbed his head, kissed him, and said "It's okay Max, brother is here, you are SO cute."

I do not share these small memorable moments to say I have the best kid ever, but rather to encourage you. It is easy to get discouraged or to think that our kids don't hear us when they act disobedient or do the opposite of what they know to be right. But we can't let the troubling or trying times keep us from helping to raise them into great children. All that we pour into them now will help shape who they will become. 

Calvin (and Max too) showed me that all our efforts are worth it and that they matter. Each person our kids come in contact with can either have a good or bad encounter. I want my kids to chose kindness and respect always and with everyone. And while I know this will not always happen, I only pray that when it is hard I will remember these proud moments and realize they do hear me sometimes. This trip truly showed me that our hard work is not done in vain. They are like sponges just waiting to soak it all up. Parrots. 

Do your kids surprise you by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors you have tried to ingrain into them? Do you ever feel like you are sometimes talking to a brick wall? What do you do to stay encouraged to raise your kids in the fear and admonition of the Lord?

Here is a huge photo drop from our drip visiting our family in Sacramento:

My husband's family lives on a huge farm where there are lots of quads, tractors, and land...my boys were in heaven.

My husband's family lives on a huge farm where there are lots of quads, tractors, and land...my boys were in heaven.

Calvin and I learned how to ride the quad (we went very slow).

Calvin and I learned how to ride the quad (we went very slow).

We bought both boys a ticket on the plane and brought their car seats aboard. It was so amazing having them in one spot for the whole ride and they seemed to enjoy it too. We received lots of looks for carrying our seats aboard but I would totally do it again. Calvin also made a friend on the plane ride up who sat in between Nick and him and I sat next to his mom and her newborn. 

We bought both boys a ticket on the plane and brought their car seats aboard. It was so amazing having them in one spot for the whole ride and they seemed to enjoy it too. We received lots of looks for carrying our seats aboard but I would totally do it again. Calvin also made a friend on the plane ride up who sat in between Nick and him and I sat next to his mom and her newborn. 

The boys on their way to go see Uncle B

The boys on their way to go see Uncle B

Nana and Papa with all their grand babies. Calvin refers to all of them as "The Cousins"!

Nana and Papa with all their grand babies. Calvin refers to all of them as "The Cousins"!

Max definitely loves to make a scene and smiled at every person passing by as he made a long and slow walk to the baggage claim. 

Max definitely loves to make a scene and smiled at every person passing by as he made a long and slow walk to the baggage claim. 

If you would like to hear about how we traveled with car seats on the plane and how we attempted to make our trip easy with two kids let me know and I might do a post on it.

i am a worrier.

The moment you find out you are pregnant, your mind becomes clouded with many mixed emotions. For some, one of the many is worry. A baby is now inside of your tummy, growing, and you are completely unable to help him or her. We can eat all the right things, exercise, drink lots of water, and pray. but the feeling of helplessness--of not knowing how your baby is doing each day can cause overwhelming anxiety and fear. 

My own personal grocery shopping/ fire fighter is here to protect the museum.

My own personal grocery shopping/ fire fighter is here to protect the museum.

I thought that once my kids were born and I had seen their faces that worry would go away, because I could at least tangibly touch them and and protect them. But as they have grown my worry and fear has only grown in different ways and I know it is not healthy. I don't sit on my couch all day worrying about their every move, but I have come to realize that I'm always examining everything to the smallest degree in order to eliminate any threat from coming their way (naive, unrealistic, I know). 

In some ways I blame social media and how it keeps mom's nerves up by posting the newest cancer-causing this, don't do that, do this, and if you do or don't it's all over anyways. As a parent you are faced with so many decisions and it is difficult to navigate what the best decision to make is for the well-being of your child.

Being a worrisome person can be exhausting and one can drive themselves crazy over the "what- ifs."  Of course I want to give my kids the best life I can give them in safety and health, but ultimately it is God alone who has their future in his hands. Every day there is something new to worry about and given my natural tendency to worry anyways I have had to choose my battles carefully. After talking to many mom friends and doing some research, here are a few things I think are worth worrying about and paying close attention to:

  • car seat safety: Even if we try to be the best driver in the world, the truth is there are plenty of dangerous people on the road who cause accidents. I can control my driving but I am realizing how many people on the road are texting, intoxicated, high or just plain distracted. Thanks to some great Facebook car seat safety groups, I have learned so much about how to best protect my kids in the car in case something was ever to happen. I will never throw out a manual again and never knew the importance of strapping my kids in correctly until after hearing some very sad stories.
  • nutrition: What we put into our bodies can either help us or hurt us. By giving the boys healthy food choices I can help them have a balanced palate that will only give them more delicious options in the future (I realize Calvin is a toddler and he will never say no to ice cream or treats, but by eliminating unnecessary foods on a daily basis like soda, juice (at least undiluted), chips, etc, I not only get rid of more unhealthy choices but am also saving us some money).
  • sleep: No brainer here. Non-negotiable. Sleeping is healthy. We are creatures, not the Creator, and since we have limitations we need rest. Sleep keeps us sane. I will always try to protect nap-time and bedtime for the sake of everyone in my household. 
  • hand washing and baths: Both my boys constantly have their hands in their mouths (all the time, no matter how many times we correct this bad, germ spreading and absorbing habit!) . They love rolling in dirt and just acting like boys. We try to wash their hands regularly and we do daily baths. My OCD has me washing my hands all the time because I always think of weird scenarios. I will wash my hands after touching salt and pepper shakers at a restaurant because of how many dirty hands have touched it before me. 
Bath time. 

Bath time. 

God is sovereign over all things. No amount of worrying or protection of my own can ever over rule God's hand in their lives. I find this both comforting and unsettling, but I am reminded by the Scriptures and by my pastors that I don't have to live in fear because the same God who spoke the world into existence and has saved me from the tyranny of the devil is the same God who created and sustains my kids lives--and my own. Our days are numbered. I can choose to embrace each day with my family or I can live in fear over what might happen next. At the end of the day, I pray that God would keep them safe and that I will get another day to love them and teach them about who Jesus Christ is and what he has done to save us from our sins.

Today I have my two boys and my husband. We are sick with colds but still generally healthy. We have joy.  We have hope. We have peace with God through Jesus Christ. I will not take for granted these wonderful gifts. 

Do you ever worry about your kids? Their future? Their health? What are some ways you try to protect them?

For those who are older and wiser, do you ever stop worrying about your children?