Friday, September 4, 2015

From Grumble to Humbled

Why do I grumble?

Why do I complain or groan or bellyache about anything?

As I watch my sweet girlies and their daily struggles...

I am humbled and reminded of all the reasons why I should keep my grumbling mouth shut!

All three of our beautiful daughters from China have had their fair share of challenges and there are days when I am ashamed of the things that I think are worthy to complain about.

Walking for my precious Lucy is hard...


as determined as she is to get those sweet little legs of hers to move the way she wants them to...


it is just hard...


and I watch her struggle.

 I watch the effort it takes for Lucy to just stand up straight and take a step forward.

 I watch the effort it takes for our sweet Maggie to just - utter - a - word...


or to keep her body still...


even long enough to hold a smile for a picture...

and I am reminded of the ease in which I move, the ease in which I speak, the ease in which  I do anything...

and I am refined just a little bit more...

I am molded and shaped and tweaked into an image just a tad more Christ like and a little less "world like"...

and while the "world" may look on and wonder "why"...

why would we choose to take this on...

and while we sometimes look within and wonder "why"...

why did we choose to take this on...

I am drawn back to the place of peace...

that place of understanding that only comes from trusting the path that HE chose for us.

I can look back now and recognize all the blessings that we would have missed had we not acknowledged the burden that had been placed on our hearts.

I can tuck those blessings away for the hard times yet to come...

cause they will come.

My girls live in "hard" everyday, but...

they no longer have to live it alone...

"God sets the lonely in families"

and that is the answer to the "why".

Have you asked yourself what burden the Lord might be placing on your heart, the blessings you might be missing?

When I see these faces...


even when it is hard...

and especially when it's not - grin...

I am so very glad we asked...

and answered.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Only Three More Years...

until he is in my decade again!


Although he would prefer to remain in the 80's...


the 1980's that is!


*grin*

Happy Birthday to one amazing man!


I cannot take you back in time...

although I hear T*p Gun 2 is in the works...


booya

I no longer have big hair and shoulder pads...

(nope, no picture, no way, no how)

and you no longer have long hair...


thank goodness...

cause I do not have time to make 5 pony tails before school each morning!

just sayin...


No, I will not cannot recreate the 80's, but I can tell you that when we are in our 80's...


I will love you just as much as I do today!


Happy Happy Birthday to my Maverick!

Monday, August 10, 2015

It Was Just Your Typical Day...

until we decided to have a family day...


outside...


in August...


cause we wanted to sweat have some fun together!


So we ventured out to a park...



a park under a bridge...


a park with a pier and some pretty cool views.



It was all fun and games until...





an unsuspecting family caught...


a stingray!

gasp

One of these days I will tell you about my run in with a stingray!

Let me just say that it ended with a week in the hospital, 2 surgeries and a hickman for 6 weeks - me - not the stingray!

Yeah...

Don't mess with stingrays y'all!

So anyway this unsuspecting family hooked a stingray and was clearly having trouble trying to release it while not getting hit by that barb!

It was not going well...

They needed help and my eldest who had just completed an internship at our local Aquarium knew it.

Now let me just back up a bit here and mommy brag fill you in on what Christian has been up to this summer!


Way back in the fall of last year, Christian was nominated by his teachers to compete for a paid internship position at our wonderful, local Aquarium.

He completed his application and his essay and was selected as one of 20 students to train once a month for 4 months.

At the end of that 4 month period, the students again had to write and present a paper that they had researched and written.

Ten students were then chosen from the 20 to actually participate in the internship this summer and...


my sweet boy was one of them!

This was a true gift from the Lord and came at a time when Christian was really struggling with the direction in which he was being led...

as in no discernible direction...

other than feeling as if the military was not where he needed to be...

until this internship!

Now my sweet boy has a clearer picture of where he needs to be and the path his life may take!


He loved his time at the Aquarium!


I have to admit that as much as I love animals, the ones he was working with...


tend to give me nightmares...


hehe...

but he loved it!


How awesome is the Lord to provide such a clear direction for one so young in age and in faith!


so, back to the family day that was interrupted by a stingray...

It had been one day since Christian's internship had ended and he felt like he was right back at work!

He sprang into action and knew just what to do!

He was able to release the stingray...

without anyone getting hurt...

remember...

barb...

hospital...

surgeries...

shutter!

And...  he got to educate the family a little bit in how to safely remove the hook and release the ray!

They were so grateful...

and I was so proud!


Thank you Lord for providing some direction.


Thank you Lord for reinforcing that direction by using the same animal who caused me some real life nightmares!


hehe

Just love watching Him work!

It took me a long time to be able to get back in that ocean but, over the years, the call of the boogy board...


overcame the fear of the barb!

*grin*

So our family day turned rescue mission ended with some ice cream, some pats on the back for my sweet Christian and one very happy stingray...
I think maybe we have earned some points in stingray land...

I hope so anyway!

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Three Day Event

It was a three day event...


It started on Friday...


continued on Saturday...


and ended on Sunday.


This three day extravaganza included...


yummy food...


funny family...

a cute little puppy...


and one very beautiful princess...

Yep, it was my sweet Maggie's (aka Princess Ariel's) birthday and we needed to celebrate!


So celebrate we did!


It all started Friday night when we loaded up the gang and headed out for some Chinese food! Y'all, this was the first time that all of us had gone out to eat since Maggie and Lucy came home, almost 2 years ago, and...


we got to include some really wonderful...



really sweet...



kinda crazy...


and always fun family!

The festivities continued on into Saturday when we got to play and swim and picnic by the pool...

and ended on Sunday with an ice cream cake and...

a very cute little puppy to play with...

courtesy of my nephew!


Beautiful Maggie...

your journey has not always been easy...
sometimes, it has been down right hard...
scary hard...
as your story began long before we met you.

However, I know that the tragedy that began your life...

is known to the One who loves you with such a love...
My sweet one, He has claimed you as His own and with that, He has claimed your pain and your suffering and will continue to heal your broken heart and in that beautiful healing...
we are all healed...
and while we may not yet know exactly (or even approximately) how old you are...
we do know how well you love and how well you are loved.



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. 1 Corinthians 13:2
After all that you have been through, you are rich in love my precious one...

He protected that beautiful heart, that joyful spirit...
and that is the best gift of all.



Happy birthday my beautiful Maggie!