Building with Expectation

It's the last few days of June and I am almost writing this too late if I want to keep up with my goal to write a blog each month, sorry if I kept you waiting!
Summer always moves at a quicker pace and it feels so busy to me, but I don't know of anyone who doesn't love it, including me.


June is a sentimental month for me because it includes my birthday, and then mine and my husbands wedding anniversary got added in just 5 days later. But this June just really felt big to me.
The concept of time is what has been mulling around in my mind this month, and I'm trying to figure out what changed that has made this particular year feel so life-altering - I guess this is my attempt to talk it out with you and let you in on a little of life in the Kotynski home.
But really what I'm learning and what I mostly want you to know is that each day is a fresh start, and I'm realizing what a special gift from God that really is. We have the ability to see things in a new way, to smell new things, to laugh with new friends, and to learn a new skill each and every day. And I think that I forgot about all of those things, but my daughter is teaching me all over again the wonder that is the world that we live in.


Today she is 20 months old, and really that just makes me feel like Junie girl is already 2. She went potty on the toilet for the very first time a few nights ago and I screamed so loud out of shock and excitement that I scared her and made her stop going, but then she quickly started peeing again and clapped along with myself, my husband, and my mama. She will attempt to say every word that comes out of my mouth, sometimes flawlessly, but always adorably. I have never met anyone as crazy as she is, seriously! I mean, she has already broken her arm once in her short life and pretty much every day there is a moment where she could knock a tooth out. Just tonight she slipped on a book and fell on her face...oh my heart.

It's a strange thing to have a child and watch them grow at the pace that they do, mentally and physically.
This month I have deeply felt the realness of her growth and I'm accepting that it is, in fact, inevitable. But despite her rapid new developments that are happening every hour, I'm thinking about mine.
Do I still grow at lightening speeds..or do I slow down with age too?
Maybe I'm hindering myself from growing...maybe I have a greater capacity than I allow for myself?
Can others see growth in me the way that I see growth in Juniper?
I feel do I survive in a world that seems to get faster and faster each week?


I turned 25 earlier in this month of June. Does everybody always ask you if you 'feel' older on your birthday? I never understood why someone would ask me that, but, each year there is always one. It's usually my mom.
But actually this year I felt it. Maybe not physically older, but I felt the weight of time and the brevity of life.
Maybe it was the whole, 1/4 of a century thing, but it really got me thinking about the first 25 years of my life and the next 25 years of my life - it's making me realize that there is great opportunity and such high potential of growth...maybe more than I have experienced in the first 25 years of life.
Because 25-50 feels a lot bigger than 0-25.
The first quarter of my life was spent being influenced by many people, as all of our lives start out. We learn from our parents, our bodies change and we learn how to form relationships, figure out what some of our skills are and how to use them. We continue to grow up and maybe add another person or two into our sphere and fall in love, and decide to leave and experience life separated from the way we were raised - college. The years between graduating college and getting married are maybe messier than we would like, or maybe it went quicker than we had planned. Maybe the feeling of being on your own is freeing and you want to stay there longer than you originally thought.
Maybe you connect with this?
I'm thinking about my next 25 years and realizing that this is my time to build. I am no longer attached to who I was growing up as a little girl, I have my own family with my husband and daughter and our fun new dog, Peyton. I can start building from scratch, right here and now with what I have.


John Zachary and I just celebrated 3 years of marriage and it's feeling really permanent - not in a bad way by any means, it has always felt permanent because thats how we view marriage to be - but the longer that we are married, the more future things we plan for, the more struggles we endure together, the more big conversations we have. It's a reminder that we are in it together for the long haul, and no matter what the year has looked like for us, each new year I come out loving him more and wanting more life with him. It excites me to think about what we are already building together, what we plan on for our future, and the fun surprises that we can count on along the way.

Its a sweet feeling to leave the first 25 years of life knowing that much of it was shaped by my own family and the environment that I grew up in, and entering into a new 25 years knowing that much of Juniper's childhood is shaped within this small Broad Ripple home that we bought 3 months before she was born.


I'd say that the addition of Zach and Junie's life are of best things that could have happened to me, because it's forced me to think about someone else for a change.
To allow myself to accept the unforced rhythms of grace into my life through the life of my daughter have been more than refreshing, but so much fun.
I'm learning to really and truly love something is to simply appreciate that it exists. Junie finds so much joy at the simplest things, and it's contagious. It makes me check my own attitude allows me to realize that life would be so much better if I was looking at the world as she does, an opportunity to explore and learn from everything.
And that is the beauty of my marriage with Zach too. We are two very different people, but he challenges me to look at things differently, he expands my knowledge, and invites me into different things that I never would have considered trying, and I am confident that he would agree that I do the same for him.


So I guess I feel like I'm at the beginning again, and really it's right where I want to be. Another 25 years. Maybe my growth seems like its at a slower pace..but I think that is because that my growth isn't necessarily as physical and mental as it is spiritual. My heart and soul are growing in ways that I don't think it could without my sweet family with me. Yes, the growing pains are the worst, but the result are as sweet as honey.
And so I am laying down my life and starting to build again with deep expectation that at 50 I will see the faithfulness and promises of God that have been woven through these next 25 years.
 And what I learn now with be only the platform for the next 25, beginning again.

So as I finish typing so I can go get my daughter who just woke up from her nap, I will leave you with this quote from one of the best books I've ever read - A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken

"If its half as good as the half we've know, here's Hail! to the rest of the road."


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