Since then, I have thought a lot about it and I am amazed by how much I have changed since becoming a Mommy. I am not tooting my own horn here and BELIEVE me, there is MUCH, MUCH room for further improvement in my heart and my attitude. However, I think that it is important to sometimes look back and check your growth. I don't do that a lot. I spend a lot of time pondering and thinking on how I can improve myself (as a wife, mother, woman, etc) and those are very good self-evaluations to take. But just like any employer would do for an employee, I must also take that time to appreciate the areas in which I HAVE improved and HAVE reached goals in our life. I have to make note of how, ultimately, God has used the circumstances in my life to help me grow (as a wife, mother, woman, etc.)
As much as I know that the bride I was ten years ago loved Nathan and was ready for a lifetime with him, I could not have begun to imagine the life we have led this far. And yet, with relatively little strife between us, we have managed to stay together and to grow stronger and more complex in our relationship throughout these ten years. There is physical fruit from the years in our children, but there is also non-physical (for lack of a better word) fruit that I can see in the ways we communicate and deal with other day to day. That has taken a lot of rain (trials and learning) and a lot of weeding (removing expectations and/or wrong attitudes) on our part, so it is okay and even beneficial to stop and admire that for a bit.
I don't always feel like I have grown in areas of patience and understanding. I KNOW that I could use "several more inches" of growth in those areas and more. Still though, I know that for me to be able to get through these days ,when I am pulled in so many directions, with joy in my heart and love for my family still readily available when I lay down to rest, I MUST have grown fruits of patience and peace in my heart. It is a good feeling to be able to recognize that growth and to let that motivate me to grow further.
Let me encourage you to spend a few minutes today pondering the areas of your life that you CAN see growth. You may have a lot of areas in your heart that still need a good bit of tending and weeding out, but there is nothing that excites and encourages a gardener to keep working more than seeing the first fruits of their labor. And when your HEART is the fertile ground for these fruits, then your family will reap the abundant harvest of your efforts!
Ben encouraged in your growth!!
*the photos are from our May 10th trip to the Strawberry patch for Mothers' Day*