Thursday, October 23, 2014

I Am So Proud - Ha!

Early morning chatter from Em and Lizzie:

Lizzie: "Mom, when I grow up, I want to be a professional dog pet-er!"
 
 
Em: "I just want someone to pay me to sleep!"
 

Allrighty then...

I guess the pressure off for home school as I would say they are well on their way to achieving their goals!
 
Bwhahahaha!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

My Hero

So if you read my most recent birthday post, here, you saw the card that my precious Lizzie made for me.


It reads that everyone thinks that I am a hero.

Oh no my sweet one!


You are the hero and it couldn't have been more evident than in the last 2 weeks.

After 9 weeks in a cast, 6 of those in a wheelchair, with not one but 2 casts...


I took you to soccer practice.

You were weaker and you had to wear your leg brace but you were determined.

I told your coach that you wanted to try but that you were in a brace that prevented you from bending your ankle and that you had not done anything in 9 weeks and that you might need or want to take a break every now and again.
 
Your coach reassured you that you could take a break whenever you needed it and as you walked away, he turned to me and said...

"You know she won't take a break, right?"

Yep, I knew...

and sure enough...

you played the entire practice and played hard...
 
and while you are not quite ready to play in a game...
 
last weekend...
 
you got to dress out and warm up and act as co-captain along with your amazing sister, who has been your biggest cheerleader and helper.
 

 
Oh my...
 
No, the hero is not I but you my dear.
 
I am merely the hero's mom and so thankful to be so!
 
I cannot wait to be able to post video from that very first game!
 
Knowing you, it won't be long!
 

Monday, October 6, 2014

One Year Older...

and I have to say that, this year... 
 
I feel just a bit wiser.

It has been a year full of challenges...
 
 
a year full of joy...
 
 
a year full of struggles...
 
 
 and a year full of blessings... 

 
 and even though I don't feel (gulp) 51...

the Lord has given me a type of wisdom this year that I think can only come with age...

and challenges...

and joys...

and struggles...

and blessings.
 
 
So, while I still don't love celebrating my birthday...

it certainly does serve as a reminder of how incredibly blessed I am.

So Friday was my birthday and it began with Em and Lizzie waking up at 4:00 a.m.
 
Yep 4:00 a.m.
 
They know that I get up pretty early each morning so they made sure they were up before me, to cook and serve me breakfast in bed, that consisted of chocolate covered peanuts in the shape of a heart and coffee!
 
They could have stopped right there and I would have been happy!
 
I mean who needs anything more than chocolate covered peanuts and coffee at 5:00 in the morning??
 
Certainly not I!
 
However, the goodies did not stop there!
 
The kids had all made cards for me and as much as the chocolate covered peanuts for breakfast, touched my heart, and my tummy...

these cards...

well, I will let you read for yourself...
 
From Emmeline...



who just has my heart as the Lord has hers!

From Charlie...



who is 14 and thinks that I will be able to sleep with him behind the wheel!  

Bwhahahaha

Silly boy!

From Caleb...





who makes me laugh and soothes my soul.

From Maggie...





who built me a church!

From Lucy...



who writes "I love Mommie" on everything, including her school assignments!

From Lizzie...

who is my hero!

From Christian...



who manages to make my cry every single birthday!  He said that he pulled some of this from other sources and wrote some himself...
 
oh my goodness...  
 
He will be off to college in less than 2 years and will take a large part of my heart with him.
 
Now I really did not need anything more than those incredible cards, but there was more...

After a full weekend of soccer...





Hubby and I got to walk the big bridge here in town...
 
 
 all by ourselves...
 
 
something I have wanted to do for a very long time...
 
 
it was wonderful spending time with my sweetie and just what I needed to close out this year of growth and learning and readjusting...
 
cause sure as shooting...
 
the minute I get used to being 51...
 
52 will come along!

Can't wait to see what God's got planned for this half of my life!
 
If it is anything like the last half...

I may need a nap...
 
or a drink...
 
you know... Ensure!

"wink"

Saturday, September 20, 2014

One Year Home

WOW!

A little over a year ago, we met this precious one...


 and one week later, this joyful one...


and little did we know how our lives were about to change.


The realities the Lord revealed to us on that trip...


and the realities that were revealed to us once home...


threatened to consume us.

Our new daughters' past realities forever changed us...

and the journey that had begun with Lizzie...


got kicked into high gear and it was hard...


really hard...  *grin*

and it was wonderful... 


really wonderful...


and it was scary...


and it was amazing...


all at the same time!


I am not going to try and cover the last year in one blog post as it is just so much...


so much emotion...


so much heartache and...


so much heart healing...


so many fears shared...


so many dreams born...


so much progress made...

video

 and in some areas, so much more to be made...


but always working and pushing and challenging...

video

 for all of us...

video

 It has been a year of great highs, as I have watched my newest daughters experience the world for the first time and as I have watched my other kiddos experience the way in which Jesus loves...


 and as I have watched as the Lord refines Hubby and myself.

 Clearly, we are learning just as much, if not more than our newest daughters are.

Yes, we are teaching them how to love, how to play, how to learn, how to appreciate the Lord's blessings and how to interact in a family...

but they are also teaching us how to love even when it is hard and how to appreciate the Lord's blessings and how to learn and how to interact in this family, our new family.


Somehow I am not surprised!

Pieces of ourselves are being revealed to us that are not so pretty and just when we begin to lose hope in our ability to stay the course, He shows us pieces, good pieces, strong pieces that we never knew we had!!

The one verse that keeps coming up for me in some pretty amazing ways is 1 Corinthians 13:

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

I know that we hear this verse a lot at weddings but there is just so much more to these words and right now, we are living this out...

Word by word, line by line, verse by verse, and sometimes we get it right and sometimes – we – just – don't.

There have been many times this past year that we have had to fully trust that we are right where we know He wants us to be.

There have been times that have tested our commitment to living out His plan...

not ours...

and not society's...

but His and lemme tell ya...

that ain't always a bed of roses and that's ok too cause it is just not about this life or our comfort while we are here.

Uncomfortableness...

not something that most people are “comfortable” with but something that can be used to reveal all that the Lord has planned for you.


I can only imagine how “uncomfortable” it must have been for my girls to leave everything and everyone they had ever known, no matter how hard their circumstances were.

They were leaving with a family of strangers, trusting that they would finally be loved, that they would finally be taken care of and that they would finally know what it felt like to belong...


and in their “uncomfortableness” they found love and provision and a sense of belonging.


Sound familiar??

We are all adopted and through some “uncomfortableness”, we have found love and provision and a sense of finally belonging.

It is no wonder that the orphan is never far from the Lord's heart.

Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.  Jeremiah 1:27

These precious girls are showing us how it should be done.



The past year has not been as hard as I know it could have been but it has not been as easy as I had hoped it would be.

Maggie and Lucy have worked so hard and come so far...

video

 but our sweet girls still have a long road ahead.

We are still unsure of their ages and still unsure of what their future might look like but one thing we are certain of...

Maggie and Lucy are gifts from God...


beautiful, treasured gifts from God who have survived circumstances, conditions and life experiences that would emotionally cripple most adults.

They have come from hard places and yet they love and they have joy and they teach us what it is to trust...

even when the very ground beneath our feet is shifting.

Lord, thank you for the past year, for Lucy and Maggie and for the beautiful, broken, redeeming journey that we find ourselves called to.

video

I know we have forever changed our girls' lives but the way in which they have changed ours is far greater.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:19-21