Dear Avra…

Each day this month I will be answering one question from these December Journal Prompts.

Day 4: Who made the biggest impact on you this year?

Dear Avra,

No one else has ever impacted or changed my life to the extent that you have this year.

In January, you taught me what real dependency is. As a newborn, you were completely reliant on your dad and me to meet your every need. We faithfully fed you, bathed you, swaddled you, changed you, rocked you, snuggled you, and did everything in our power to keep you safe. Through all of this, you gave me a picture of what it looks like to truly depend on my Heavenly Father. Just as we worked hard to sustain your life in those first few weeks (and beyond), He is constantly working to sustain mine. I can rely on Him 100% to meet my needs.

In February, you taught me the value of community. So many people loved you so much and wanted to spend time with you. We had lots of visitors who came to shower you with love and support us as we learned how to navigate life as a family of three. You showed me that I can’t do it all on my own and that God uses the relationships He’s placed in my life to build me up and keep me going.

In March, you taught me how good laughter is for the soul! You laughed for your first time and it was spectacular! Thank you for bringing me so much joy!

In April, you taught me that it’s important to be flexible. By this point, we had established a fantastic routine that was working very well for us. But when your first cold, your four-month sleep regression, and a couple major family trips all came up in the same month, we learned that we needed to be able to flex a bit (…or a lot) and that sometimes it’s nice to just go with the flow.

In May, you reminded me that just because change is hard, doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. You started to roll over and we decided it was time to stop swaddling you. I was scared to let the swaddle sack go because you had always slept so well in it. But I had to remember that these changes were reflective of healthy growth and development—and that was something to celebrate, not something to fear!

In June, you taught me about patience. I thought for sure you were getting your first tooth that month, but you kept us all waiting.

In July, you showed me what true determination looks like. I constantly watched in awe as you pushed yourself to reach that next milestone—learning how to crawl! Whenever you fell down, you got back up and kept trying. You worked so hard and it paid off. It was inspirational!

In August, you taught me about being gracious to others. We had just finished up a summer out at camp, but instead of getting some down time, my schedule ramped up as I helped the FBC KIDS team prepare for the fall kick-off. I had lots of work to do, and unfortunately that meant that I had to spend a little less time with you. I wouldn’t have blamed you for digging in your heels and completely protesting that situation, but instead you showed me grace and we got through it together.

In September, you taught me to be brave enough to scale the mountains that I face in life. For you, the mountain was a staircase, but you learned to climb it like a pro. You weren’t scared. You weren’t intimidated. You didn’t let anything hold you back. You lived up to the middle name that your daddy and I gave you—Valor (which means boldness and determination in facing great danger, or heroic courage).

In October, you showed me that patience eventually pays off when we finally saw that very first tooth poke through your gums!

In November, you taught me the power of intentionality. Your daddy went away to school for a week, and the two of us had to stay home and occupy ourselves for six long days. That week I decided to make some intentional choices about how we spent our time, and we got up to all kinds of fun activities together! Being intentional allowed us to bond in new ways and strengthen our love for each other.

This month, in December, you are reminding me that I am not in control. God is. Things don’t always go according to my plans (especially with your naps right now), and that tends to cause me a considerable amount of anxiety at times. But I am thankful for the reminder that I need to surrender every aspect of my life (and yours) to Jesus. I am not big enough, smart enough, strong enough, or powerful enough to be in control of all things, at all times. But Jesus is!

Sweet Avra, these are just a few of the ways that the intersection of our lives has changed me forever. You have, without a doubt, made the biggest impact on my life this year… and I’m guessing that’s not about to change anytime soon! Thank you for being such an excellent teacher!

All my love,

6 thoughts on “Dear Avra…

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