When they look back on their childhood, I hope they remember it something like this. .

A beautiful picture of togetherness; of light and love shining amidst all of our imperfections. .

The truth is, this picture, this reality, didn't just happen by chance. .

My husband and I will celebrate 19 years of marriage next year. These years have not come with ease or certainty. We have been through so much together. We have experienced joys that have surpassed anything I could have ever dreamed for, but we have also experienced heartache and trials. We have been through separation and war. We have been through death and loss. We have been through sickness and infertility. 

We have struggled and argued and shared many unkind words. We didn't arrive here together by chance. No, it is only through our devotion to God and each other, that He brought us here. It has taken a lot of grace and humility. It has been years of lessons learned. Day by day, we are still learning the true meaning of sacrificial love. Together and as parents. 

Now with four children, the life we live as a family, the life we want our children to remember, takes a lot of intentionality. 

It means making decisions that aren't always easy. Decisions that mean we are different at times than what the world deems normal. We've said no to things when it would have been a lot easier to say yes. But these "no's" have guarded our children and this small season of life they experience called childhood. These "no's" have given us space and time to be together. To truly create community within our home. 

Family life has meant sacrifice and balance. 

No, we didn't just get here by chance. Decisions have been made and prayers have been prayed that brought us to this place today. It took me time to realize the value of intentionality. While, I could name hundreds of things I am struggling with and infinite ways I could do better as a wife and mother, I am learning the power of love and grace. I am learning that as God grows our family, He is also growing me. We will struggle and we will fall. But we will also triumph and find joy.

As our children look back on these days, together as a family, my greatest prayer is that they felt love. That this place, we intentionally prayed for and created, was a place they knew they always belonged. 

Mamas, I know each one of you are striving to create a place for your children. A place they will remember and cherish. And I know it isn't easy. I know there are days you feel like you are failing in a million ways. I know that some days you feel like you aren't enough. That you can't provide enough. Can we all find peace in knowing that none of us are enough in ourselves, on our own, without Him? We don’t have to do it on our own, but we must be intentional about asking Him to guide us. And I promise, He will.