There we are, the six of us.
Erik (1974), Sarah (1978), Catherine (2007), Camille (2008), Jack (2009) and Jude (2011).
The Snyder family itself was established 4 June 2005.
And regarding those other dates after our children's names...Yes, you saw them right. No typos. The chilis are close in age- about thirteen months between them, except we took about a year's "break" before having Jude.
Our family represents six individuals, but also relationships of husband/wife, parent/child, and siblings. If you're a mathematician, correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's 720 (6x5x4x3x2x1) possible combinations of relationships at any one time throughout the day.
If these dynamics weren't complicated enough, throw into the mix the factor that we are ALL in a constant state of change!
Our four children are growing and learning everyday. How to dress themselves. Feed themselves. Express feelings and thoughts. Communicate. Solve problems. Resolve conflict.
But they aren't the only ones with something to learn.
This year, as we approach our seventh anniversary in June, Erik and I are only "seven year olds" when it comes to marriage. Marriage is a pretty big deal, and not easily navigated by children seven years of age. But that is essentially what we are.
Especially when it comes to parenting, it seems that once Erik and I figure out what works for a child, then they have to go and grow up and everything changes all over again..
Each new day is a step into something new for all of us. When it comes to marriage and family, each day is a baby step.
I don't know about you, but the unknown of each day can be intimidating. Overwhelming. Uncertain. Fearful. The ground can feel shaky. I can feel shaky! Can you relate?
Erik and I are really grateful that we don't have to walk this day alone without a helping hand. More than a helping hand, really. We believe that God is real, personal, and near. He is capable and willing to help us. He is wise to offer counsel for each one of our unique and constantly changing situations.
Psalm 37:23 is beautiful in expressing this -
The steps of a man are established by the Lord;
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong;
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
I don't know about you, but this verse about God gives me confidence as I enter each new day... as a woman, as a wife, as a mother. It doesn't promise me that I won't fall - believe me I will and do... often in these relationships! But God does promise that He's holding our hand. Implication? He's not distant but NEAR. We are not alone in our day, or in our marriage, or in our parenting.
Think about watching a baby learn to walk. The parent doesn't laugh at the child, but is NEAR, encourages, and is available when the child needs help. The parent doesn't give up when the child doesn't take off running, but is delighted with the progress.
Baby steps don't imply success. Or victory. They imply HOPE. PROGRESS.
Each day, Erik and I want to grow in dependence and surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ in our lives as man and woman, husband and wife, parent and child.
We don't have the answers. But we are going to Him who is wise.
We don't always get it right. But we are learning.
Our hope as a family is to go together to the Lord through prayer and His word, to seek His counsel, and to trust Him to guide us, and to help us up when we fall.
As we share our our mistakes and what we're learning, we hope that the focus won't simply be on these, our baby steps. May the focus be on our Living Lord who is kind and willing to enter our human experience - He holds our hands! - as we take baby steps through this journey of life.
May it be an encouragement to you in your own journey, one baby step at a time.
Sarah and Erik