My daughter Brinlee taught me a very important lesson this past week while on vacation in Cape San Blas, Florida. The lesson? There is so much beauty, excitement and wonder in the broken. The statement that our children teach us far more than we teach them is so true and that is exactly what Brinlee taught me once again. Every other year thanks to my mom and step dad we travel to Cape San Blas for a week of family, fun and BEACH. They rent us a house that holds all 23 of us for the week and our only responsibility is to get ourselves down there and back home safely…(this part was the miracle for the whole trip). Well we made it back to our home safely so sorry to ruin it for you but now you know how it ends. This blog  is not to tell you about our wonderful vacation in the fun and the sun but IS for my husband on Father’s day.

The world is a very different place through the eyes of our children who are 22, 4, 2 (almost 3) and 1.5 than it is for us and I strive more and more to see it like they do. While walking on the beach the first night on the pan handle Brinlee goes running to a large broken shell. “Look mommy an angel wing!” She runs to the next one. “Mom, another angel wing, and another!” “Mommy, there were a lot of angels here today!” As she collected “angel wing, after angel wing” I watched her excitement grow. We put them all in a bucket so we could bring them back to the beach house..she had a plan. In this moment I was amazed and it hit me. She sees beauty in the broken. I praised God that very moment for the lesson He was teaching me through my daughter that night on the beach and the lesson that would hold me together through the next 8 days.

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My mom is an artist and has been her whole life. She is a writer, a dreamer, a visionary and incredible. She shows my girls the beauty in the little things and is the one who taught by girls to paint shells. When Brinlee found the “angel wing” she knew exactly what she would do with it. She was going to paint it…and not only was she going to paint one ,she was going to paint every angel wing she found and give to someone she loves. I think she painted at least 50 over the week! Brian, she has so much of you inside of her. She is thoughtful, loving and meaningful in her gifts and see God’s work in the small things. This is so you and for that I am thankful. This activity also gave us a 30 minute break from the constant demands of having 3 children under the age of 4 without screaming, yelling, fighting, slapping, pinching, peeing, pooping, eating or crying and for that I am very thankful as well!

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Brian, this shell represents where our relationship currently is in this journey. It is colorful…there are days when we see every shade of life in front of us and when up close it feels very cloudy but when you take a step back and look you can see the beauty. It is strong because it is made by the hands of God. Our relationship was hand picked by Him because He saw the beauty in the broken. When I remember where we were when God brought us together I am in awe of what He has created. It has another half that makes it whole. It is tossed about in the waves and the storms and eventually is brought to shore to rest. You always told me that God can make the best out of the worst and that is exactly what He has done over the last 8 years, though we may have been broken separately we were made one through Him. Today I am thankful to be the one who was chosen to be your wife. Never has there been a man (besides God) who was strong enough to love me the way that you do.  In every way I have grown over the last 8 years there is a part of you. You are in my words, in my actions, in my dreams and visions, in my patience, in my generosity, and most importantly in my love.

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This life we have been incredibly blessed with is not always easy. This past week as proved that, but I am thankful that I have you by my side for the 24 hour car rides, the marker drawing, tantrum throwing, 100 “I need a snack” saying, no napping, smart mouthing days. Without a doubt you are stronger than you think you are and others see it. God gives us those people in our lives who come up to us just when we think we can’t do it anymore to say things like, “you must be a saint” or “you are the most patient person I know” or “I hear you have an extraordinary wife”…..sorry had to throw that one in there because it’s just too good…and yes people that really happened today lol! Our life is not perfect and at times feels very broken in the chaos but never forget that God knows exactly what He is doing and is taking the broken pieces and is making them into something so beautiful. I have already begun to see it!

 
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One of my favorite things to do is walk into the unknown with you. Right now I feel like our toes are at the edge of the water and we are about to jump in. I look at the last time we jumped two feet in and moved to Yorkville to start YPAC and am amazed by the many blessings we received because of it. I look at the day we stopped everything to spend an entire day in prayer together and am amazed at what we saw and are still seeing and learning because of that day. We are now at a place again where it is time to jump and trust in God’s plan. Whatever will come from it I know it will challenge us, it will stretch us and it will grow us in ways we can not see but isn’t that the fun of jumping in?

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Thank you for being the most beautiful father to our four kids. Thank you for loving me in a way no other man can and seeing the beauty in the broken but most of all thank you for showing me what loving God looks like and becoming more and more like Jesus everyday.  I am so blessed to be your wife!

I don’t have a card, or a fancy dinner, or anything really relaxing for you today, but I have words, me and three crazy post vacation children. Words are your love language so I hope this helps fill your tank!

Happy Father’s Day sweetheart! I love you,

Em