Turns out parenting wasn't for us.

It's for them.

Most of all, it's for God.

And it's the most amazing thing I've ever done.

 Me — somewhere around 25 years-old.

"Gee. Babies are cute. I think I want one of those."

They were so cuddly and came with the cutest accessories — which for me was all the Winnie the Pooh stuff I could find — because I love Winnie the Pooh. There were Pooh high chairs, diaper bags, and Winnie themed bottle washers.

(Although, since I was planning to breast feed and knew nothing about baby bottles, I nearly spit out the green punch at my shower when I opened a package of those little nipple washers.)

I couldn’t wait to lavish my baby girl in ruffles and stick bows to her curls. I often wrote her name in beautiful cursive — Hannah Elizabeth or Gracie Rose.

I had the parenting thing all figured out.

Discipline – a breeze! I read books. I knew what to do. With consistency and a whack on the behind when necessary, people in Walmart would marvel at the behaved children.

“Wow. That mom has it all under control.”

Turns out we were often a marvel in Walmart as Logan streaked through the freezer section in his Buzz Lightyear underwear while I ran after him waving his clothes in the air.

“Wow. That mom has absolutely no control.” 

But I sure thought I knew what I was in for.

When Shawn finally got on board, he hoped for a boy who would share his love of his '69 Mustang in the garage.

So, from the moment each boy was born, Shawn's baby-talk consisted of car-care instructions and special onesies declaring, "My other stroller is a Mustang."

And no — cars and garages are not just for boys — but Shawn wanted a buddy, and I was looking for something to cuddle with and dress up.

Essentially, we both saw parenthood as the path to fulfillment.

Because those beautiful boys were cuddly and, even without the ruffles and bows, they were oh-so-fun to dress.

Yet, I struggled with happiness as a young mother.

I just wanted to declare myself inadequate.

"I'm not making him happy. He's not making me happy. We are both crying. Something is wrong here."

The early days of motherhood weren't my glory days. 

All-nighters.

Walmart tantrums. 

Bottle feeding guilt (I struggled with breast feeding). 

I loved my babies and would have died for them, but I find my connection is much deeper with them as older kids who I can easier communicate with.

Funny, though. Parenthood is nothing like we expected.

Shawn and I suddenly have these hot-blooded, strong willed, children who have their own interests and life goals, and it's just fun to watch them become who God made them to be.

They are four-dimensional, real people, who God created with plans of their very own. We are so blessed to participate in that, whether it makes sense to us or not.

Shawn has no interest in band, but he sees Connor's love for it, so he supports every squeak of that clarinet. Then afterwards, they go out to the garage to fix up that old '59 Fairlane that sits next to the Mustang.

I have no interest in football, but I still cheer Logan on in the stands and simultaneously pray he doesn't break anything.

Turns out parenting wasn't for us.

It's for them.

Most of all, it's for God.

And it's the most amazing thing I've ever done.

As they grow, and their interests shine, we keep reminding them that who they are comes straight from God and to do it all for Him.

And He rewards. 

We aren't perfect. Just come visit the chaos of a Monday morning when Logan suddenly remembers he left his only shoes in the creek two minutes before time to leave.

Or when "shotgun!" is called on the way out, and I'm pretty sure this is where Logan's tackling career really began.

But Connor loves that Ford symbol and buffing out a car on a hot day, just like his Dad. And Logan loves to sit and tell a story over ice cream with his Mom.

Somehow, as a family we follow God's individual paths while walking together and cheering each other on.

And it is truly so special.