Ava’s Autumn

“Childhood is the most beautiful of all life’s seasons.” – Unknown

It’s fun to try to see the world through the eyes of your child. I love to watch as she stares in wonderment as the leaves dance and swirl on a breezy day. Or when she turns her head in every which way to find out where that little birdy is singing from. Or when she breathes in sharply when the wind blows a little too hard… then exhales and smiles. What is she thinking?

Ava loves her walks. Especially now that she is finally facing forward in her stroller. She just takes it all in ~ the whole big world around her, and it’s so fun to watch her discover it.

She cranes her neck to see all the trees above her when we walk down the path near our house. She’s silent, but smiles.

I talk to her most of the way. I tell her about how God made it so that the leaves change color in the fall. And how, in a few short months, our lake will be frozen over with ice and we’ll be able to walk on it. And all about the 4 seasons, and how wonderful it is to see it change every few months. I wonder how much she understands. I wonder if it sinks in a little or does she tune me out {already}?  Or does it all just sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher… “Blah, blah blah, blah, blah blah, blah…”

I begin to think about all the things I want for her to experience in this life. The simple things… like ice skating and horseback riding, collecting sea shells and baking cookies, jumping in piles of crunchy fall leaves and roasting marshmallows over a campfire, learning to ride a bike and ballet lessons.

Then I think about all the big things I want her to experience… like an personal friendship with her Lord and Savior, pursuing her dreams and passions and traveling to the places she desires to go, learning and growing, falling in love, and one day becoming a Mommy herself. I know I’m thinking in leaps and bounds here, but as a parent, it’s my job to train and teach this little one ~ both the simple and the big things of life.

“The fundamental mission of motherhood now is the same as it always was: to nurture, protect, and instruct children, to create a home environment that enables them to learn and grow, to help them develop a heart for God and His purposes, and to send them out into the world prepared to live both fully and meaningfully.” – Sally Clarkson

It’s kind of scary sometimes when I realize the responsibility of it all. But, really, what a privilege! My goal is to keep as close as I can to the Lord… because He will never steer me wrong as I learn to steer my daughter. I depend on Him {His Word, His principles, His wisdom, His love} to guide me in Motherhood. That enables me to rest and not fear.

“In a sense, I give my children their best theological education by seeking to really know and love God in my own life and living my life out before my children.” – Sally Clarkson

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

A very important thing that I want to pass on to Ava is a love for life. There is so much to enjoy and experience in this journey, and I want her to be raised in an atmosphere of finding joy in the simple things. I found this quote recently, and I just love what this daughter had to say about her mother:

“My mother always had a sense of wonderment. The color of a leaf, a sprinkling of snow, the smell of hot soup… she found the greatest pleasure in everyday things.” – Nancy Bradford

As I watch my little girl explore and discover her world, I realize that a big part of how she perceives it has to do with me. How do I respond to the beauty of nature? How do I react to the little somethings in my day? Will she learn {joy} from me? Will she learn to sing? Will she learn to love? Oh, how my attitude affects the future!

I don’t want to be so “respectable” that I can’t jump in the Autumn leaves with my children… Or squeal with delight when the first snow falls… or get so “tickled” that we can’t stop giggling together. There is such joy to be found in this life. And I want Baby Girl to experience it all. And, yes, I do know that not all lessons in life are a joy to learn, but I think we can keep joy in the journey even when it’s hard. I want her to have an example of that joy continually set before her little eyes.

“There is no influence so powerful as that of the mother.” – Sarah Josepha Hall

So as Ava discovers this new season, I want to remind myself that it’s my job to show her how to enjoy and appreciate this beautiful life the Lord has given us. It is a gift. She is a gift. A most precious gift. I love you, Baby Girl!

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