20140406-222842.jpg Last week, Josh's older brother, Jeff (or "Uncle Beff," as Micah affectionately calls him), came to visit for a few days. We thought it would be fun to make a day trip to the beach while he was here, since he is currently landlocked in Virginia. Now, I'm not the most uptight parent, or person for that matter, but I must've googled, "Is it okay to take a 3 week old to the beach?" a couple dozen times. I realized after my third day of Google searching, that my fears were less about the beach and more about what people would think about me taking her there.

I forgot there were so many fears involved in parenting. Some good and necessary, and some we tend to make up ourselves. But if there's one thing I do know and have learned through my short experience as a mom so far - it's that God gave my children specifically to me for a reason. And because I know this, I also trust that He will give me the wisdom and discernment I need to parent them as well.

Having kept one child alive for a year and a half now, I can tell you from experience, this is a lesson I would have liked to know from the beginning. It would have helped my self-esteem a ton when facing all the decisions and opinions on whether or not to get the epidural, vaccinate, breastfeed, or let my child watch TV. I needed the confidence to know that God has entrusted these decisions to me for a reason. And while that can also carry with it incredible responsibility, the point is that it's mine to carry.

So tomorrow I will wake up and make a hundred decisions for my children. Juice or water? Peas or Cheetos? Bath or not? And there are many factors that go into these choices we make. For example, you may look at the few questions I listed and already have an opinion on what the "right" choice to make is. But sometimes the area is grey. And sometimes the answer can be both. For example, a newborn doesn't need to be bathed every day. But a messy toddler probably does.

And while it may not be a good idea to take a 3 week old baby to the beach in 90 degree weather, without a tent and on a super windy day. Change the conditions and it's a perfectly, relaxing place to be.

So all that to say - we went to the beach. Yes, with a newborn. And yes, we had the most relaxing time. It was 75 degrees, probably cooler in the shade of the huge tent we sat under, and there was just enough breeze to cool us off without covering us in sand. The drive to the beach is only an hour, so you can bet we will be making lots of trips this spring/summer.

I said this on Instagram, but one of my greatest desires for my children is that they live and enjoy life! Not live in fear. So I guess that starts with me modeling it for them.

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