Walking down the aisle, hand in hand, all we saw for the future was hope. With my delicate veil trailing behind, I trusted that hand that gently held mine.  The hand that said, "We're gonna make it."

He looked so handsome that day, dressed in his finest suit with tails.  His bow tie was slightly off-center, his cheeks flushed from the excitement of the day.

He was finally my husband.

That humid southern day marked the beginning of our life together, the road that would lead us to who-knew-where.  But, we would travel it, hand in hand.

Now, four and a half years later, we rock our toddlers late in the night.  One has a fever and the other just can't go to sleep.  Soon, they both develop a rash and have to be sent to grandmother's during the busiest month of the year.  We thank God for our families. Once they return to our arms, our days are again filled with back-breaking work to make ends meet.  Meals are made, diapers are changed, and exhaustion has already set in by afternoon's nap.  It takes endurance to keep up with the two little feet that give life to this house.

But it's worth it.  To live this life, hand in hand.

Adeline

Maralee

We watch our babies grow up before our eyes.  "How did they get so big?" we wonder.  These two, they are full of joy.  They laugh a deep belly laugh and roll around on the bed.  They are brave little ones as they trust daddy during play.  Each day, their words become more audible, syllables slightly more punctuated.  They are learning.

Maralee & Adeline

Learning how to get their way or just trying to communicate?  Their selfish little souls are too young to realize that the world is full of others in need.  They cling to mommy when introduced to new faces.  They need me.  To teach, nurture, and protect them.  They watch me...all the time.  To my dismay, they have seen my face of sadness.  I hope that they realize it is only temporary sadness.

I ask God for help.

Please, let them see that smiles can be found even through life's pain. Let them grow up thankful for their health and thankful that both their mommy and daddy are alive.  Let them experience love...let them find a hand to hold one day.

With winter's chill, our house has become their playground of imagination.  One colors while the other cooks.  She is given her own jewelry and purse.  The other a broom just her size.  They delight as they dance and communicate in their own special language.  They fearlessly conquer the stairs and hold on to Mommy's finger as they cross the street.  With obedience comes reward.  A treat that makes life sweet.

Watching these two identically precious little miracles nourish their bodies, I know that there is still hope for the future.  There is still much joy to be found in our days.  After an evening's meal, I'm amazed that we were given the chance to watch them grow over this past year.  A chance to teach, cry, laugh, sleep, sing, dance, read, and love.  These gifts with such big blue eyes show me my Father's love.  They remind me to be thankful as so many others experience heartache this holiday season.

Adeline & Maralee, 20 months old

Sitting on the floor, I can feel the heat coming up to envelope the room.  The white lights twinkle in the dimly lit room.  Each child has three gifts to open and one shared.

Glancing in his direction, our eyes meet.  We share the same look of gratefulness.  All we need is right here - in these four walls.

A house that is firmly rooted in Christ.

A family that has re-evaluated the meaning of living simply, loving justly, and walking humbly with our God.

His hand grabs mine as we watch our two curly-haired girls bounce around the room.  I hold on to it; lovingly ready to move forward with him.

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

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