Seeing all three boys together makes my heart full. They genuinely love each other. When Simon is crying, the older two will often try to soothe him without my help. When I watch them interact with each other I see glimpses of the future when they’re grown. I pray that they remain close friends like I am with my sisters, that they are godly men confident of who they are in Christ, and that they will be leaders of the next generation. I just love being their mom and I cherish each moment I have with them. :)
We celebrated Dakota’s 5th birthday with her last week! She and Trevor are such sweet friends. It has been fun to watch them grow up together!
and you can tell because of our shared love of all things Christmas. He supports me in my craziness of decorating way earlier than the rest of the world. However, I have tried to pace myself and only set up one Christmas decoration a day since November 1st. This particular day, Trevor’s job was his manger. Isn’t it fabulous and absolutely precious? I love you Trevor and your love for Christmas just like Mommy! :)
A picture story to tell of our festive celebration:
Finishing our trick or treating with our good friends. To clarify, since it seems to be confusing to some- I am pregnant- with a single baby, not twins. Though I did eat 100 or so Snickers bars that night…:)
Dear Trevor, Elliott, and Peanut Wilkie Zielke or “Eyeball Smart”,
I love you more than life. I’m proud of you, and I’ll always be rooting for you. I’m honored to be your mom. Never forget that.
I’m praying for you regularly to be men of integrity, and Godly leaders of the next generation. These are some things that I often pray and desire for you to grasp in our beloved, but fleeting time together in our home.
Love for God and His Word
Deuteronomy 6:4-7; 11:18-19; 31:12-13
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
18 Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
2 Timothy 3:14-15
14But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
I want to tell you about my faith on a regular basis. I want to tell you about God and how much He loves you and show you how to study His word. I know that it is a personal decision that only you can make, but I want to equip you with the tools necessary to make your faith your own and choose Christ. I hope my life example is/will continue to be one that embodies what a personal relationship with God looks like through times of blessing and through times of trial and tribulation.
I promise to recognize that you were each created very uniquely. I am praying for God to help me to realize each of your natural bent and unique inner design and direction so I can encourage you in the way God has specifically gifted you.
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.
I know you will be exposed to SO much in the world we live in. Materialism, greed, self-indulgence, pride, injustice. Grace and humility are few and far between, but I pray you will learn to choose humility and extend grace in all situations from an early age. It comes so unnaturally to us, but when you do this I promise you that is where you will find true joy and peace in your life.
What is desirable in a man is his kindness.
If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Speak kindly. Our tongues can bring death or bring life. Sometimes you’ll need to overlook little offenses made in ignorance or insults made in the heat of an argument. God will help you know when you need to bite your tongue and pray instead, and also when you need to stand up and speak. But always do so in truth and in love.
Excellence and Integrity
1 Corinitians 9:24
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
Live life with excellence. Easier said than done, I know! Do things wholeheartedly- loving Christ, your wife and your children. It is hard and it is tiresome, but relationships are what matter for they are eternal. Things are temporary. Invest in the eternal. Always choose righteous living, even when and where no one else may be looking- for God is! He blesses integrity. When you make wise choices, you will be free from the burden of sin and double standards. You are leaders of your families- choose to be a man of integrity for your wife and for your children.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Do not give up! Life is hard, but life on earth is so very temporary. If I have learned anything in my journey it is this: Do not live by circumstance., but instead live by the promise of what is to come! Life will let you down, but Jesus won’t. In all of my days, Jesus has never left me. Sometimes I dance with Him, sometimes He has to carry me. Do not give up doing what is right, for you will reap eternal blessing! Don’t do things for the praise of men, but do it because it is what God has called you to and He is blessed by your sacrifice of obedience!
I am so thankful for each of your precious lives. I’m thankful that I get to nurture you and with God’s help equip you to become exactly the man God has created you to be. I love you!
“One of the hardest parts of being a mother or a mentor is watching our children face a battle we can’t fight for them. If God is going to raise our children to be mighty warriors of the faith, He must be free to teach them to fight . As hard as the process can be to watch, how can a person experience the exhilaration of victory in a battle they never had to fight?”
Trevor turned 5 this month! Along with age 5 comes the beginning of school. Now I must say, as we approached the first day of kindergarten and as I read without much emotion all the Facebook status changes about going back to school, I thought to myself man, I’m so strong! I figured this day would come and go and I would be unscathed. Maybe because of the draining week of constant redirection and discipline that filled our daily routine, I don’t know, but I really wasn’t feeling much about the start of school.
For the past week or so, this song has been playing over and over in my head. I really love the words, and I felt God speaking to me. I thought I identified with it, that God was reiterating the promise that He would never leave me. It was nice…
I Already Know by Mandi Mapes
I'm closer than you can see My love is greater than you know Feel the weight of my mercy My arms are open I already know who's gonna save you I already wrote the end of the story You were made for me and I'll never leave you and in the end it's all for my glory Your life is my melody Part a song that I am singing in the dark it's hard to see but there will be redemption in the morning. Cling to me and wait As I cover you with my garments Can't you see you are my clay and I'm the potter and you're carryin' my fingerprints I already know who's gonna save you I already wrote the end of the story You were made for me and I'll never leave you and in the end you will be happy and in the end you will be with me and in the end it's all for my glory
Last night, or Kindergarten Eve, I was walking in our loft and my eye caught a picture on the wall. It’s a close up of Trevor’s profile, at age 2, and all our family and friends had written him notes of love and encouragement on the mat surrounding it. His little face was a chubbier, much younger version than I see today, but he had the same joy in his eyes. I’ve been with him every day of his life for the past 5 years, so these little changes aren’t as noticeable to me. But pictures don’t lie, and as I studied his obvious physical changes I couldn’t help but think of all the fond memories we have together. I’ve been Trevor’s primary caretaker, protector, defender, trainer, affection-giver, praiser, everything- every day for 5 years. And now I pass some of him on…to teachers, administrators, coaches, and peers. He’s never again going to be home with just me all day long. This is it.
As that began to overwhelm my heart, I walked into Trevor’s room. As he slept peacefully, he seemed so much longer than I remember. His features seemed so much more boy like than baby like. His hands were stronger and he even smelled more boyish than before. I started to run my fingers through his long shaggy teen boy like hair and the floodgates opened.
Somewhere during the snot flying and tears pooling on the bedsheets, I felt two strong arms embrace me. “You’re a good mom”, Michael said. No greater words could have been spoken to me at that time. Having Michael hold me, and just let me cry did wonders for my soul. In that moment I thought about how Michael and I were the foundation of this family, it was just us in the beginning and it will be just us in the end. We nurture our children for a short time, but in time they will go off to be foundations of their own families. And just Michael and I remain. Deep for just the night before Kindergarten I know, but I felt God needing to remind my heart of how important my relationship with Michael is and how I need to keep that of upmost importance. Because he and I remain…
As I cleaned up the remains from my cry fest, I thought of my song again. And it hit me- this isn’t for me, this is for Trevor! God has kept this running through my head to be ready to impart His promise that He carries Trevor, that He is with Trevor, and that “Jenni, I already know what is ahead for Trevor!” It was perfect. Of course after this revelation more tears ensued, but I felt God holding my heart and His peace covering my mind. He already wrote the end of the story, He made Trevor for His pleasure, He’ll never leave him…and in the end it’s all for His glory.
So I release him to you God. I trust that, somehow, You love him even more than I do and even more wholly than I do. Thank you for the gift of his life and for choosing me to mother him. Thank you that Your ways are higher than my ways, Your thoughts higher than my thoughts, and that You are SO much bigger than me.
I love you Trevor, Happy 5th Birthday. I’m so proud of all that you are.
Trevor has become obsessed with helping me cook, and he even calls himself a “little chef”. Haha! Elliott has joined right in.
My friend Erika has a clothing store: http://acupofcoldwaterclothing.blogspot.com/ where she sells things she has sewn to help fund their adoption of their little girl from China. I love it!
Erika made these little personalized aprons for them and I couldn’t be happier! I highly, highly recommend her services! :)
(And she made me a cute little business card holder…I love it!!) Thank you Erika!