What a journey our family has been on. We have all changed in so many ways that I feel like I need to introduce us all over again and give a little review of where we are and where we are going!
Parker: Parker is the most changed in the last year. I have watched her shrug off some insecurities, embrace her Jesus and begin to work out her faith in a year of transition. I have watched her walk onto a new Premier level soccer team, assess, struggle, work hard and grow. I have seen her embrace a new school, seek out those who are following Christ, realize how sheltered she has been and begin to share her faith. I have had the joy of taking her away for a weekend and telling her about the beauty of purity and literally watch some major lightbulbs go off! (that was fun. I highly recommend Passport to Purity by Dennis and Barbara Rainey) She turned 11 in December and I am just blown away that she is rounding out her Elementary school years.
Emery Kate: Emery is a marvel. Last May, her appendix ruptured and she spent 10 days in the hospital. She has learned what is means to persevere. She has experienced pain and has faced it with grit and determination. Emery is the toughest Stewart kid. No argument. I have watched her embrace her role as a little mommy, and has loved her brother in the face of hurt, anger, joy and frustration. I watched her walk into so many new circumstances and not look back, but I have also seen her feel emotions that don’t make sense to her and try to sort them into something that makes sense. I had the joy of sharing a weekend with her as well, sharing the amazing plan God has for her life. Emery is 9 and in the fourth grade.
Bradley: Bradley is our all out boy. He is active, loud, extreme and emotional. I think the full effects of our year, between moving to Washington and becoming a big brother really hit once we moved. I have watched him struggle to reassess his role in our family, love this new brother and find contentment. BUT, he is a six year old boy and in the face of it all, he still has a joy about him that just makes you smile. He still loves all sports, being outside and knowing all sorts of facts about whatever we are doing, like the tallest building in Seattle…which I adore about him. He is all boy, but he still snuggles up next to me and I hope that never ends. Bradley turns 7 next week and is in the first grade.
Judson: I know I said Parker was the most changed, but in actuality, it is this guy. He is a completely different child. He is loud, all out, active, and affectionate. He calls us “my family” and when he prays, he simply tells Jesus about his day. He is attending preschool three days a week for a few hours and is three and a half. He has gone from the 20% in height to the 75% in 13 months. He loves trucks, especially the ones with trailers, his train table and Temple Run!
I wish I could say it has been all sunshine and rainbows, but we have fought for every bit of ground we have gained with him. This journey has revealed more about my depth of flesh than I care to admit, but GOD, is rich in mercy and in spite of myself, He is restoring the years the locusts ate, for Judson and for me! I am so desperate for Jesus, for His thoughts, His mind, His love.
What an adventure we have lived, especially since August. The sights we have seen, the things we have heard, the questions we have been asked, the conversations we have had, the narrowing we have experienced have been an adventure! And, I am so very thankful!