I grew up knowing I had choices. My life didn’t have to look like anyone else’s. My opinion didn’t have to reflect the way those around me thought. I answered to God. And while our society has tragically subscribed to the theory that answering to God eliminates all of our freedoms, stunts our growth, and steals our joy, it is indeed the total opposite. God is light. As we draw toward Him we find enlightenment far beyond what any Renaissance moment could bring us, and we are taken to a place that human awakening cannot comprehend. His light, His unveiling of truth, His miracles of the heart and mind as we understand more and more pieces of His creation is the fulfillment we all spend our lives seeking after. If we are in a depth of misunderstanding, His light can penetrate our muddy perceptions. If we are in a dark sea of pain, His light can beam across the waves guiding us to a place of hope and safety. If we are in a fog of questions, turmoil, and inability to see one more foot in front of our faces, His light will show us that next step. And then the next. And then the next. Until suddenly one day we realize the fog is only a slight mist and then we might even find ourselves in a place of hopefully looking forward to what is next. But His light is just like all other light. If I squeeze my eyes closed tightly enough, I can shut it out. I can sense that it is still there and still refuse to allow it a place in my heart and my thoughts. I can shut myself off from what it has to offer and decide that I must stay in the pain, the turmoil, the fog, the questions. Because He often reveals it one step at a time. If I’m unwilling to take the one step then I simply will not see the next one. And it’s usually that one thing I will not offer Him. “I’ll give You everything but that.” He knows us too well. He knows if I see the step way down the road, I will pull the classic toddler move and fall flat on my face because I was looking, not at my next step, but at my destination. He is not the faraway adult waiting for me to be able to walk across the room, but the patient, present Daddy God who sits right in front of us where we can toddle a little distance and have Him inch back to let us take one more step on our own. Unless we need to fall. Then He is right there to catch us, stand us back up, and get us walking again. Funny enough, in our stubborn toddlerhood, we often seem to act like the Daddy God tripped us instead of our own clumsy, impatient feet, but He is still there as our Light and Love personified.
Last year I shared with you about our family’s choices for Halloween. Our tradition continued to bring a lot of joy this year, some things remaining the same and some looking quite different. As we got close and I asked the kids what they would like to do for a theme, John V came up with the perfect idea. Especially since Kailey is studying Creation in school. We do not fear because God is the Light in our darkness. I sat back in awe as I watched my 8 year old son plan the whole thing. Then the four year old threw in the perfect costume theme. They’re eventually going to completely replace me on the planning committee and I’ll just have to show up. I don’t have a whole lot of pictures. I am trying to strike a balance between documenting my babies and making sure I just participate in the moment with them. Not always having a camera or an iPhone between my eyes and what they are doing. What good are the memories if Mommy watched and recorded instead of just being there? So I try to do a little of both and once again, constantly adjust for that ever-elusive sense of a balanced mommyhood. We introduce to you: