A peaceful Mother's Day has really given me a chance to ponder what it means to be a mother. Even more specifically what it means to mother MY children. Being a mother is the greatest gift I have EVER received (besides SALVATION and the last name FLINT...)!!! It you to get just a little glimpse into why being a mother to these five AMAZING children is such a gift.
*Joseph William Flint (Born Sunday June 17, 2001-Father's Day that year and Tyler's Birthday)*
Joseph is my gift in MANY ways. I had a wonderful, unmedicated birth with Joseph. I labored in the tub and was able to be fully present in every way. It was truly holy and I'm forever grateful to have had these moments. He was being born as the sun was rising and I felt God's presence in the room in such a mighty way. It was beautiful.
His name was chosen for several reasons. "Joseph" is biblical. In Hebrew "Joseph" means "Jehovah increases". That is our prayer that God would increase Joseph's life. That he would be blessed with more than we have and that he would experience EVERYTHING God has for him. "William" is a family name. My Papa's name is David Williams and My Grandpa's name was Dexter William Morgan.
At approximately the age of three we realized that something was "different" about Joseph. While I was pregnant with Jesse and JoyAnn, Joseph began to exhibit strange mannerisms and regress verbally and lose some fine motor dexterity. He also became increasingly anxious and agitated. By the age of four there was an official diagnosis of ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Through this frustrating, complicated and overwhelming disorder God has taught me SOOOOO much. Joseph sees the world in a very different way. I am amazed every day by him. God is growing me, stretching me, making me more like Him as I parent Joseph. Please don't get me wrong there are days I HATE AUTISM. There are days that I don't really like being Joseph's mom, but I ALWAYS LOVE HIM!!! I am learning to be his advocate and to accept him, FULLY and COMPLETELY as I release MY preconceived agendas for him. He is my "chocolate-eyed" boy with the delightful smile. Anyone who knows Joseph understands how his voice (whether singing or telling "stories") can draw a captive audience. I am pleased and blessed to be Joseph's mother.
*Jesse Morgan Flint (Born Sunday March 21, 2004)
My gentle spirit and #2 son. Nathan chose the name Jesse. He liked it's traditional sound and the fact that it was biblical yet fairly uncommon. Of course being a Dukes of Hazzard fan I wonder sometimes if he chose it because he liked Uncle Jesse ;-). Morgan is my maiden name. I wanted to honor my family of origin.
Jesse has a gentle, loving and unique spirit. He loves others with a deep love. However, he wears his emotions on his sleeve. He is afraid to cry sometimes and I think he stuffs his feelings too much. He doesn't stand up for himself and usually is the one to compromise. Lately however, he is becoming quite the pistol. Jesse's gorgeous smile and nice voice will come in handy someday I'm sure ;-). He loves his sister immensely and takes care of his little brothers quite well. Jesse is more patient with Joseph than JoyAnn usually and they are learning to play together quite nicely. I could easily say that he is a delight to be around.
He is mechanically minded and loves to figure out how things work. Jesse is too hard on himself though and expects perfection from himself and others THE FIRST TIME. I would say that Jesse is my "middle of the road" kid. He is average in learning, development etc. and is totally ok with that!
JoyAnn Renee Flint (Born Sunday March 21, 2004)
JoyAnn is truly a princess. Although she's not girly at all(hahahaha). She is a little demanding, dramatic and diva-ish. However, she can jump higher, run faster, hit farther, catch better etc. than either one of her brothers. I hear that she looks exactly like me (God bless her little soul). She has a precious smile and beautiful eyes. She is smart as a whip and probably a little advanced (even if I say so myself).
Mercy and compassion towards others (besides her siblings...lol) are a gift of hers. She has a desire for the things of the Lord and I believe her heart is softening to Him. She misses her Nannie and talks about her quite often. She is a tremendous help with James and Jonathan. She acts as if she doesn't need people but she really does. She is totally connected to Jesse. I love her and look forward to becoming a good friend to her in years to come. I pray she can always talk to Nathan and me about anything. She will make a great wife and mother someday.
Jonathan Israel Flint (Born Sunday December 20, 2009)
This lil' man is just a love bug. We call him "smiley". He has a great smile and a lil' tongue just goes non-stop. He is ABSOLUTELY precious. You would never know that he was a preemie or had to be on a vent for a short time. I have a feeling that Jonathan is going to be an overachiever. He can already roll over both directions. We call him "turtle boy" because when he gets stuck on his back though he gets angry. He has sweet eyes and a cute little "boo boo" lip. Jesse has a connection to Jonathan that I can't wait to develop. Jonathan loves to play, swing, be held and look at people.
Although we NEVER planned on having twins AGAIN I am so blessed to have Jonathan. I cannot imagine my life without him. He holds a special place in my heart and I am so blessed that his time in NICU was short and we don't have any reason to believe that he has long term effects from prematurity.
James Paul Flint (Born Sunday December 20, 2009)
Named after our fathers (James Morgan and Randolph "Paul" Flint) he is a precious way to complete our family. #5 has a crooked half smile that lights up a room. He sings himself to sleep and everytime I hear it I want to cry with joy and happiness. He is a hunk, chunk and "the hulk". He really has bulked up from a mere 4 lbs. 11 oz.
James just loves to be held and is quite social. I love the fact that he takes things at his own pace. He doesn't seem bothered or worried about anything. I hope he can stay that way (granted he is only 4 months old...lol). The only thing about James that is challenging right now is his VERY LOUD cry. It hurts your ears and makes you want to scream right along with him (especially at 4 in the morning).
I am glad that James was part of a duo. A few of my friends refer to James and Jonathan as the "Sons of Thunder". I pray that God will use James and his twin MIGHTILY for His kingdom.