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Austin had his first football practice today. Yes, he played last year, but it wasn’t with the school district. THIS year, begins his first year as officially playing with the school.

I’m not sure what it was, but going with him into the locker room to meet the coaches, I just looked around the room and saw all these teenagers and it hit me: my baby’s grown up.

It made me all weepy on the way home.

It’s gone by so very fast.

I am so terribly proud of my kids. They are well behaved. Kind. Compassionate to others. And it’s so wonderful to not only recognize this myself, but to have other people see it and comment on it as well.

My sister is younger than both of my boys and has Autism. But not only do I know they will be kind to her while I’m there, I have evidenced them being especially kind to her when no one is around. I love knowing this! I love knowing that my boys are kind, yes, even if they are boys.

We have only a short amount of time to raise our children well and then whatever we have, or have not taught them during their childhood years, will have to suffice.

That is a very scary thought to me.

I may only have 4 more years with Austin and I have to make every moment count. That’s my job that God assigned to me. I have to ensure that every available opportunity is given to him to succeed.

And it is a difficult job!

And one I take very seriously. We have based so many decisions on this fact. We moved for a better neighborhood. We moved for a better school district, and a much, MUCH better education for our children. Both Mike and I work, and have or are currently working 2 jobs to give them better. We not only attend church, but we base a portion of our lives around it: Sunday school, Sunday evenings, Wednesday evenings, fellowships, witnessing and mission opportunities. We wanted BETTER for our children than we had; we want them to strive for MORE and HIGHER things than we did, and they won’t learn it if we don’t offer them every opportunity for succeeding.

But the best thing we could ever give our children is PRAYER.

I have the sweetest “Aunt Bo” who gave me the most wonderful gift for Brooklyn’s birth: Power of a Praying Parent. I love this book! It is probably the best gift anyone could give another parent. And it’s the best thing we can do FOR our children.

I want the very best life can offer my children. I want GOOD things, not bad. I desire SUCCESS, not defeat. So every morning, I take out my prayer journal, and I pray over my children. I want them to always follow God, to seek Him with all of their hearts, I pray for happiness and joy in all things, and I pray for conviction of sin. Yes, even that. I want them to have their own relationship with God, not mine. I want them to model Christ, not me. I want them to have the mind of Christ, not my thoughts and opinions.

It’s funny how something so little…..looking around and seeing Austin as he really is, not just as a Mother sees her son…..can bring out such emotion.

I’ve hugged them all just a little more today. I snuggled with Chandler while he watched his show. I hugged Austin while he was soaking wet from the water balloon fight. And I cuddled with Brooklyn while we read her favorite book together. And I tried to listen….honestly LISTEN to them today. Listen to their stories, their odd jokes that only they find funny, listen to their ideas of the future, listen to and watch their expressions as we talked…..listened to how they feel, and think, and dream.

I only have a little bit of time…..and it’s slipping away from me.

I have to make the most of it.