What a year! So much greatness happened. So many memories I will cherish forever. So many events, conversations, situations, and circumstances that have changed who I am. But to be honest, I'm happy to say goodbye to 2015. I'm ready to put it behind me and start new.
I'm excited about the new year. New goals. New promises. New adventures.
I have a feeling this year will be the best yet for us. For Michael. For Mandy. For the two of us together and the two of us separate. We have dealt with so much the last few years. And much of that has left me a bit raw…raw in a sense that I've learned way more about me and how I love him and others. About how I can love better. About how I will love better. And on the flip side, about how I will receive love better from him and others. Love is a two-sided coin…giving and receiving. And both are vital in any relationship.
For 2016, I'm so looking forward to "us"…to falling truly, madly, deeply in love because we have a Savior who is truly, madly, deeply in love with us.
Oh my heart. These kids. They have challenged me and taught me so much this past year. Challenged me in a sense that as they get older, I receive glimpses of the future and how parenting will drastically change. I pray fervently over their hearts…that the Lord will protect them and grow them and teach them more and more and more about Himself each day, and in each moment. I honestly feel that it has taken me 38 years to know the Lord for who He is and how He loves me and how to truly let my heart only desire His. I don't want it to take that long for these four.
For 2016, I will continue to pray fervently for these treasures and continue to show them my love for Christ and hope it transcends to their love for Him.
As individuals, I have very different prayers for each of my sweet ones.
But can I take a moment to reflect how I see each one today?
My oldest. My Drew. I'd love to say he has matured this year…but truth is, he's always been mature, disciplined, obedient, responsible. What I have seen? Amazing growth in his confidence. He knows that he is a leader. He knows that he is smart. He knows that he is good-looking. He knows that he is well-liked by his peers, teachers, other adults, everyone. He knows all of this…yet he has a humble heart and uses his gifts to encourage others.
For 2016, I look forward to this one understanding more fully who he is
because of Christ's love for him.
My second born. My Noah. I once told a friend of mine, "I don't know if you and I will still be in touch in 20 years, but no matter what, find me and ask me what Noah is doing. He will be doing something BIG." I can't explain my Noah. Maybe as "set apart"…he has always had the neatest outlook on life. The biggest heart. The most encouraging soul I know. Like his older brother, he is brilliant. And kind. And obedient. But he doesn't know this. Honestly, he doesn't care. He cares that others are happy and included and honest and truthful and considerate and taken care of. That's his heart...100% for others.
For 2016, I can't wait to see the insight this boy discovers about who he is and how God has gifted him so uniquely.
My third born. My Isaac. He has changed the most, I believe. He has taken off with his reading. He loves math. He loves FOOTBALL. Finally. He loves to play it and watch it and he gets in to games with the rest of us crazy football people. He loves school. He is my cuddly one. My snuggle buddy. Isaac is a kid that adults always comment on…"He's so cute!" … "He's so polite." … "He says the funniest things." … "He is such a little charmer." And yes, all are true. He will be the first to grab the door and hold it open for a string of people. Even in the snow. He has matured this year. And I'm so excited to watch him continue to learn and grow and mature.
For 2016, I'm anxious to see this boy discover how much God loves him-- loves his heart, and his laughter, and his way of just being my Isaac.
And the final Fernihough. The princess. My Lindley. She is still sweet and sassy. She still adores her brothers. The brothers…as she refers to them. She still has the power to get what she wants…but it might be harder now, take a little more persuasion on her part. As she grows older, I realize how hard it is for her to be the only girl with three brothers. But I tell her daily that it is a special position. And as she gets older, it will just get better. She learned to whistle (not always a pleasant talent) and ride a bike this year! She has grown and matured. She still has her special way of putting outfits together. Oh, she learned to brush her hair and put it in a ponytail this year too! She is a doll. I still look at her at times and wonder how in the world did I ever end up with a girl!? So glad I did…but man, what a learning curve.
For 2016, I'm praying for this princess to know she truly is a princess…a daughter of the King.
As 2016 quickly approaches, I'm excited for a clean slate. I read somewhere that tomorrow is the first of 365 empty pages of a new book…so make it a good one. As my book is written, I'm excited to share it here. Looking so forward to a great year! Wishing you and and yours the same!
Oh, and here are a few of my favorite photos from our fall shoot with our amazing friend and photographer, Kristi! :)