This was such a fun session! And a little sentimental to me.
Silas’s First birthday (I can’t believe it!!), It was great to be able to work with this beautiful family family again and even get a few branding shots for Sheree!
I have been privileged over the years to do multiple sessions for these sweet people going from their engagement session and serving them on their wedding day when it all began, all the way up through Silas’s newborn session and now THIS!
It’s hard to know sometimes what to say for sessions like this. Sometimes it’s easier to write for people you don’t know as well or have only known for a short time. There is a WHOLE lot more stress for me writing for people that I have known for as long as I have known Seth & Sheree (for me at least). Not the stress you may think, the stress of oh goodness, will they like it or not? I don’t really stress about things like that too much because I pray over each session and every post that God would just have me say what He wants me to say. The stress comes from narrowing down all that I COULD say into what I actually SHOULD say, making it interesting enough for YOU to read, and meaningful enough for THEM to enjoy reading.
So thats where I am. Sitting here asking myself how I can best encourage and pray for this beautiful young family as they continue to walk on their path with God, growing in themselves, their ministries, and as a family. (no pressure!)
In such a case, what would I want someone to tell me?
I think all of us enjoy hearing that we are doing a good job. And that DEFINITELY applies to this young couple. It is refreshing to watch as these sweet parents walk around the prayer room praying with Silas. That is a habit that they will NOT regret. Especially as he grows and starts developing his own prayer life and relationship with God. As far off as that may seem right now, it is right around the corner.
What else would I want someone to tell me?
Personally I always enjoy when someone older and wiser or with more experience with me shares encouragement to point me in the right direction or encourage me in some of the things I am doing.
I definitely can’t claim to be wiser or have that much more experience, though I could play the older card. But as for encouragement, I would say “keep going and be consistent.” Consistency is one of the best things you can do for a child. Studies as well as experience has shown that when a child knows the expectations of them, they have a better chance to rise to the occasion and meet those expectations successfully. Unfortunately, we as parents can tend to place expectations that go along with our mood that day instead of setting the bar and being consistent with those expectations. Why? because some days you will feel like enforcing and somedays…let’s be honest, somedays we just don’t feel like it. Consistency and communication are two of the best things that you can give a child though. Don’t believe me? Try it and see. Even at 6-12 months of age, they know.
And lastly, I always appreciate when people tell me something they have found that they would do differently or something to watch out for.
In this case, this is nothing new, but I feel it bears repeating. It has also been the center of my own prayers and focus over the last few months for myself, my husband, and our children.
They are watching. They are listening. They see things and perceive things and will absorb things by osmosis that you didn’t even realize was part of you. Either that or they will NOT do things because they don’t see you do them and as a child, if it’s not part of their world, they have no idea that it exists or that they should be doing it. One thing I try to do is even when my children are NOT around, I ask myself, would I want my child to see me doing this? Would I take the time to TEACH my child to do this? How would I respond if I saw my child doing this?
Of course there are some things that are ok and even good for an adult to do but not for a child to do, those I am careful to either do when they are not around or explain to them that this is for Mommy and Daddy, not for Naysa and Malachi. Like cutting an apple or opening the oven door (yes Malachi is almost strong enough already to do that) It may sound unrealistic, and maybe I have a little head start because of working in a daycare for 11 years, but I really can’t tell you how many times a day I really do ask myself “What if Naysa did this” or “Do I want Malachi to do this?” if the answer is no, I then ask myself “Should I wait and do this later? or should I not do this at all.”
Kids truly can serve as quite the accountability. The way you look at them is how they will look at you. They way you talk to your spouse is how they will talk to others and eventually their spouse. The way you respond to situations is the way they will respond. And the way you treat others is the way they will learn to treat others.
It has been SUCH an honor to watch this family grow and I absolutely can not WAIT to watch as they continue to grow as a family, in God, and as all around wonderful people.
Seth & Sheree- Parenting is not always easy. We have to be intentional and we DEFINITELY don’t get a day off. But its worth it. You are both doing such a fabulous job.
Seth- Someone once said, the best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. REALLY love her. and SHOW IT as often as you can. Sometimes the smallest things are the things that make the biggest impact on not just your beautiful wife whom I know you love so much, but also those around you and especially Silas and any future children you may have in the future.
Sheree- Though I think the whole “good mothers have messy houses and happy kids” thing may be a LITTLE over the top, remember not to get so caught up in perfectionism that Silas thinks the house and photography and all you “have to do” is more important than him. I heard someone say one time that she fought her child for 30 minutes to let her get some work done before stoping, taking 30 seconds to listen to what she had to say, 2 minutes to goof off with her and record a silly video, and in less than 5 minutes, her daughter’s heart was full, she was reassured, and didn’t interrupt her mom for the next 2 hours as she worked to meet a deadline. I learned a lot from what she said, and have found that it really does make a difference, even as I am typing this I have stoped half a dozen times to match cards with Naysa, scroll down to the photos more than once so Malachi can see Silas, and am currently snuggling while I type. Oh and of course break up and talk through at least 4 tantrum “thats MINE!” fights. It is so worth it though! Even if it cant always be like this, I try to enjoy it as much as I can as long as I can. You never know which “few minutes here and a few minutes there” will make the biggest impact on Silas as he grows up.
Thank you again for allowing me the honor of capturing you all at just one more precious milestone in your lives. I pray that as you all walk through life together you will truly learn to grow in God and please Him above all else. If you do this God will take care of the rest and Silas will turn out to be a wonderful young man, even better than you could ever have imagined.