The First Day of School

My Dearest Katherine,

Today was your first day of school! It’s pre-K 3 but you have a school uniform, so I’m counting it as your first day. You looked so big and grown and when I asked you what your favorite part was you said, “all of it!”

I was so sad all day because I know that today was the first step of many you will take further away from me and closer into the grown up Kobi you are suppose to be. The last time I asked you, (just a few days ago) you said you wanted to be a helicopter pilot when you grow up. You also have a wonderful imagination and have kept your father and I scratching our heads with some of the stuff you’ve said. You’re already reading books on your own, and tonight when we baked cookies, you didn’t need the chair to stand on, just standing on the step stool was enough.

You are growing and changing and I know it’s inevitable, but I also want to savor each moment, each memory we make together. You are going to change the world! You are strong, you are smart, you are kind, you are valued, you are funny, you are loved, loved, loved!

My prayer for you today and always is that you will always love going to school, that you would continue to love Jesus and shine His light wherever you go! That you would make friends but be okay with knowing that everyone won’t like you. I pray that you chase your dreams, and that you remember you are loved unconditionally, win, lose, success, failure. Keep trying, keep getting back up, always finish what you start. It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it!

Happy First Day of School my love!! I know you are going to learn so much, and I promise to try and learn with you and encourage you to continue to learn even when it means surpassing my knowledge! You were created to be great!

~Love Mom~

What I learned from giving up social for Lent

I share Kobi –  I didn’t realize how much I shared her on my platforms until I couldn’t post a picture or a story of our lives together. I really missed letting everyone know all the cool ways she’s been growing, but it did allow me to treasure the memories that much more.

Praying is a way of life – I really missed praying for my friends and acquaintances via my social platforms. It made me feel connected and like I was helping them, so to not have access was harder than I thought. I mean I did still pray but it just wasn’t the same.

Baking from Scratch Cookies, and Brownies mostly, but I’ve also made some ooey gooey bars, and I just made scones last night. I’ve also made several gluten free options.

Reminding myself of the Gospel daily –  It doesn’t sound like much, but it really did make a difference in how my days presented themselves because I would talk through the Gospel and then try to apply it to situations in my day. It just leaves me lighter and more forgiving.

Intentionality is HUGE – I had to be diligent to reach out to people, otherwise the communication was few and far between. I also had to be intentional with what I did with my time (hence the reading) and actually seek out news from different sources. Another benefit of being intentional is that we found some really great neighbors just by being intentional when our children played together to actually talk to the parents *read one of my biggest fears*. Being intentional also meant making time for myself to workout, I just feel so much better when I take 30 minutes for myself no matter the time.

Memories can be made every day – Somewhere along the way I grasped the concept that I could be intentional every day to make memories with Kobi and so that is what I did. I now have a slew of memories written down for the last month and it makes my heart happy.

Reading is fun! –  I already knew this, but I got to remind myself of this and I finished 3 books while I was away. Now that I think about it, they were all Autobiographies/Memoirs and they were wonderful. I read My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor, Born A Crime by Trevor Noah, and Becoming by Michelle Obama.

Making mom friends isn’t that hard – All you gotta do is show up, and be willing to be put yourself out there. I looked up a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group here in Miami and started attending and they have been a huge blessing! It’s been so nice to be able to connect with mothers in the same season of life. Kobi and I have had playdates and good outside of the home time together because of it. I also started going to BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) on the recommendation of the MOPS moms and that was so good to make connections with some great women not to mention the studies are phenomenal! If you haven’t heard of it you need to google it and sign up!

I AM A GOOD WIFE – This one is huge! Since we got married I had this false sense of what a wife should be because I never really had any true examples, so I’ve just been winging it; with God’s help of course but it’s still not been first hand discipleship so I’ve felt inadequate. However, during this time I’ve been able to be a bit more attentive to what makes William happy and what helps our family run smoothly and I’m actually doing a good job and I’ve found a joy I didn’t have before.

Eating Gluten Free and Vegetarian is pretty good – I realized during this whole thing that I needed to expand the way I worshipped and if I were to worship the Lord with my whole self I should take care of the body that I have been given. Therefore, I have been really buckling down on eating gluten free when I can because it makes me bloated and causes really bad back pain, (so not a real allergy but a sensitivity for sure). I also met with a woman who had PCOS and got rid of it and is pregnant with her second child by ditching the meat, and sense the Lord had already been talking to me about I decided to give it a go. The whole thing is still a work in progress and I’ve done some research so I think I’m on a path of a flexitarian. I’m trying to eat mostly veggies and really limit my meat intake when I can. The overall experience has been better than I thought and I’ve even made several gluten free treats from scratch.

 

 

To my Knight in shining armor on our anniversary

Dear Knight-in-shining-armor,

It’s been ten years. Life has been hard. The armor is a bit banged up from all the elements of this adventure we have lived together. It’s clunky, rusted, and hard to move around in. Even so, you still polish it and keep donning that heavy suit for me, making sure I feel our happily-ever-after hasn’t completely died.

It’s been ten years. The weight of the armor has been an unnecessary burden on you just because I liked the way it looked. It’s not realistic and I’m sorry I’ve made you carry that weight around all these years. For a girl who hates Disney I sure did fall for their lie…

Nevertheless I have seen the error and the damage I have done and on the day that we celebrate our love of being married. I would like to release you, to tell you to TAKE OFF THE ARMOR and go and get top dollar at the junk yard for the scraps so no other man can fall into that lie.

See the problem with you being a knight was that you were never really allowed to rest. You were always in a fight, and you served me no matter the situation and probably worst of all, you were never allowed to make a mistake. The only person who was ever that perfect was Jesus and yet that same standard was tossed upon you and polished so brightly it blinded me.

It’s only by God’s goodness and glory that we’ve come this far because I’ve had it all wrong this whole time. I’ve been walking around so blinded by the pristine shine from your armor that I couldn’t see you, and it’s just now that I am starting to see and believe the “you” you have become. You need to be in a position where you rest, where your decisions are valued, where you don’t have to be in a fight all the time, where you can be seen and where you can make mistakes knowing full well they are allowed and we can work through them together. If I’m suppose to be your helpmate, why can’t I help solve the problems instead of making you feel like they are all your fault even when they are out of your control?

Today we are ten years in… it’s been a hard ten years it feels like we’ve lived several different lives in that time. And although I feel like I’m starting from the beginning, I’m excited because I know that there are no filters, no light blindness, just you in your rawest form and I get to see you, to hear you, to watch you stretch out and become the man you were always meant to be.

I’m sorry for the things I did, the things I didn’t do, the things I said or didn’t say when I was walking around blinded by the armor I made you wear. I have repented for the damages I have caused our family and I am asking your forgiveness today so that we can start this next decade on the same page of realistic expectations, hopes, and dreams together. Happy Anniversary, my love. Thank you for loving me so faithfully and so unconditionally all these years.

Golden Birthday Celebration

Kobi turned 3 today! Making her 3 on the third aka her golden birthday. I feel like once she realizes what a golden birthday is, she will feel bummed because she didn’t really remember her celebration, so I tried to make it as special as I could.

For months I asked her what she wanted for her birthday and all she said was I want cake with my family. She wanted an orange cake with ten candles to be exact, so I set out to make from scratch (sans the orange color) a two layer cake with buttercream frosting and ten candles. It took waaaay to long but I had fun and she loved it!

We kept the celebration light. Pancake breakfast, naps, playing with presents, bubbles, and balloons, pizza eating, some Super Bowl style foods, tons of FaceTime/video chats, the orange cake of course and then we ended the night with a special Rockstar sized prayer for her third year of life!!

There are so many feelings I’ve felt today, but the one that stands out the most is gratefulness! She is my rainbow baby, full of God’s promises, and His power and I stand in awe that he saw fit to allow us to steward her life while we are on this earth. Happy Birthday Katherine Obadiah Harding! We love you forever!

My Prayer

Lord Jesus,

Thank you for all of your blessings, all of your provision and of your grace and mercy that you’ve given me and my family in 2018. Lord we wouldn’t have made it without your hand on our lives and I’m just so grateful!

Father God in this new year, in this new season I pray that we would know more of you, that we would be bold and that we encounter a fresh anointing of your presence.

I pray that 2019 would be full of joy and peace not just for my family, but for everyone reading this. That this would be the year where we fully surrender and trust you in every moment of our lives and that hope would arise, that love would arise, that faith would grow deeper and stronger and that we would lean not on our own understanding but on every word that you spoke, wrote down and promised.

Thank you Lord for the miracles that are coming! Thank you Lord for the signs and wonders, for the restoration, for the reconciliation, thank you for the healing and favor, thank you for the new life that will come forth. Thank you Lord for all good and perfect gifts come from you and you will give it all to us! Thank you in advance for those things we are waiting for to come to pass. Thank you Lord for your continued goodness and for every answered prayer, in Jesus name Amen!