Abbie's arrival was full of joy, but soon met with overwhelming anxiety. You can read that story here. I remember countless hours spent rocking and singing my sweet Abbie to sleep. I also remember the tears streaming down my face while my other two girls played just outside the door, unable to fully take care of them anymore...or so I felt. My heart was pulled in so many directions after having our third. I was in survival-mode far too often. I can only pray my kids don't have to dish out mega-bucks in therapy fees as a result!
If any child has been a challenge from day one, Abbie has been it! She is sneaky and head-strong. If you tell her "don't do it", she's going to do it...with a twinkle in her eye! This is my child who actually laughs as she's being scolded for getting into trouble. But for all the mischief and grief she has put me through, she is as sweet as they come...and I'm not just saying that!
Abbie loves fiercely. She's the first one to let out a long, southern-twanged, "Awwwwww!", when she sees something cute, like a puppy or a baby. She's the first one to jump up and say, "I'll help!" when asked. She takes care of her big sisters just as much as, or at times even more than, they take care of her. And, Abbie gives the tightest around-the-neck hugs I have ever experienced. You know it when you've had a hug from that little love bug!
Abbie also loves to talk. I thought my ears were tired before she came along, but oh wow, they were just being conditioned for the years to come! The child has something to say allllll day long! She's the kind of child that "never meets a stranger", so consider yourself warned. She'll have you roped into a conversation in a skinny minute!
Being the baby that she is, Abbie is also incredibly cute. She oozes cute! Everything she does is cute (well, almost). From performing made-up dances in the living room to singing worship songs to the top of her lungs to saying the prayer before we eat, the child will melt your heart. And there's not a heart alive that has been melted quite as much as her daddy's heart. Those two are so taken with each other!! The bond they have is really beautiful to watch.
Sometimes I think about how we almost didn't have an "Abbie"...and it makes my heart ache in a big way. Oh the blessings we would have missed out on!! There was excuse after excuse after excuse for not having a third child, but then someone in ministry made us really stop to think about the root of all of our excuses. Simply put, all of our excuses were purely selfish.
From day one, our sweet Abigail has taught us surrender in a way we previously hadn't known. She has been a catalyst to giving up control and letting God take the reigns in a greater way. Two children? Well,that felt "do-able", but three has honestly been more than I felt I could handle in my perfectionistic, do-it-all-just-right head...and that's a good thing! My crew keeps me at the feet of Jesus, right where I need to be kept.
I'm sure the days ahead are faced with more challenges as I try to parent this one who is often a puzzle. However, I am just as positive that there's a ton of love and hugs, lengthy conversations, and utter cuteness around the bend. And you know what? I can't wait to soak in the joy of it all, thanking God each day for the beautiful gift He has given me in my precious, spunky Abigail!
"Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him."