Monday, June 16, 2014

"Mercies In Disguise" A Father's Day Post

I love this song, Blessings, by Laura Story


It so perfectly describes the journey Hubby and I have been on for the past few years.

"What if the trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise."

We have lived this and have seen the Lord's hand in the trial that has been our life for the past few years.

We have struggled financially between job losses and a growing family.

It has not been easy...

especially for Hubby...

but through it all, we have been witness to the love and the provision of our Heavenly Father...

through it all, our hearts have grown for Him...

however, recently, Hubby's personal faith walk has become somewhat of a grueling marathon in which he has had to work very hard at staying the course even at his weakest moments...

those moments in which it would have been so easy to just give up...

to feel disheartened that all the training you did for this race was just not worth it...

was just too hard.

Hubby, however, has kept the pace and in those weak moments when he was the most thirsty and tired...

he chose to trust that the Lord would provide all the water and energy that he would need to keep running.

The trials of our race have become His mercies and we never would have been able to recognize that had we not been brought to this place of total dependance and trust.

Would we love for the Lord to make all of our financial worries disappear?

Of course we would but for now, that is not His plan and we have learned to wait.

Ever since November, many sweet friends have been praying hard for us and for Hubby to find another job and oh how we have felt those prayers.

It was so very scary when Hubby was laid off just 3 months after arriving home with Maggie and Lucy...


and one month before Christmas, with 7 kiddos!


ACK!

We had just begun to catch up from the last job loss, when we were plunged back into the stress of trying to make ends meet.

It was so hard on Hubby but instead of giving up and loosing faith...

he chose to see the blessings...

he was able to stay home and really get to know his two newest daughters...



he was able to reconnect with the kids and me as he had been working for a year in another state...


and he was able to help me manage the daily craziness of school and soccer and doctor appointments and therapies...

 
there were days that I really don't know what I would have done without him here.

BLESSINGS

There is another blessing that, I believe, has not yet fully come to fruition...

one that is taking shape...

one that has been on my heart for a long time now and one that could not have been revealed without those trials.

You see, for about a year now, the Lord has placed teaching on my heart...
only not for me...

but for Hubby.

I have watched as he has coached team after team in soccer...


I have watched as he has helped the boys with their math homework and rejoiced as they "got it"...

and I have watched him as he has nurtured and guided our family with strength and humor and patience and wisdom...

and now...

the Lord has provided the open door for Hubby to teach and to teach math...
his favorite subject!

Bleh

*grin*

Teaching was never something that Hubby had ever thought about or wanted to do.

He has had to let go of many of the expectations that society and his own, younger self had set...

and that was hard.

He has had to say yes to this, knowing that with a teacher's salary...

we will not be able to make those ends meet...

we will be short every month, way short, just on bills alone...

there will be nothing extra for, well, anything extra...

and that was hard...

that required a true leap of faith...

and he has said yes...

trusting that the Lord will fill that gap every month...

trusting that if this is where He wants us...

He will provide and He will bless Hubby with a greater sense of purpose...

a sense of worth that does not come from his salary but from his heart, and most importantly...

a greater and stronger faith as we watch Him show up, month after month.

From "Blessings":

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

We are excited to see what the Lord has in store for us this coming year but please pray for the boys as Hubby will be teaching at...

you guessed it...

their school!!

Bwhahahaha!

Happy Father's Day to a man who is learning and now has the opportunity to teach and to mentor and to make a difference.

I am so proud of you!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Six Years Ago...

This tiny...


but mighty....


beautiful child....


was placed in my arms.

video

Little did we know the journey the Lord had laid before us in this one precious, enormous moment.


Our hearts were opened to the Lord and broken for the orphan and we knew that this was not the end... 


but the beginning and our Lizzie's journey, her struggles, her heartbreak, her courage and her determination has helped to keep our hearts focused and steady.


Lizzie came to us ready, knowing and with a heart aching for love.


I can still feel her tiny arms wrapped so tightly around my neck the day we went back to visit her orphanage.


I can still hear her cries as one by one the nannies asked to hold her.


I can still see that smile, that incredible, beautiful, relieved smile as we got back on the bus to leave the only place she had ever known and I told her to wave bye bye...


The Lord had prepared her and she knew...

video

and I knew that we were going to be ok.


It was on the plane ride home that I began to understand - as Lizzie began to cry. It was a deep, tired, frustrated, I just don't know what to think right now kind of cry and nothing I was doing was soothing her, nothing that had worked previously was working now...


so I began to sing, as I had done so, so many times with our other children in those precious moments of closeness and comfort...


I held her in my arms and began to sing and as I did, this precious 2 year old angel, looked up at me with such surprise and curiosity that it stopped her crying and as I realized that this was probably the very first time in her entire 2 years of life that anyone had ever held her and sung to her...


my heart was forever broken and the enormity of what my precious child had missed, of what all these precious children miss, came crashing down on me and I began to cry...


The Lord was preparing me and I was beginning to know and as I have watched and loved our sweet little Lizzie May these past 6 years, the Lord continues to fill my heart with love and awe for this incredible child!


Lizzie is strong


and courageous (except when there is a lizard within 10 feet – hehe)!


She is determined


and loving


and has a laugh that will make your heart smile...


and she loves us, oh how she loves us


 My beautiful Lizzie May....


We went to the beach to celebrate you yesterday...


it was so appropriate as it reminded me of the immenseness of your beautiful journey and of the depth of our love for you.


And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13


Faith, Hope and Love perfectly describe this journey with you my love. 

As every year, posting your One Year Home video.

video

Looking forward to the rest of your beautiful life my precious Lizzie!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

A Lesson in Grammer

well, sort of...

It's the end of the school year, which means, end of the school year awards...
and this year...

my sweet, funny, lovable Charlie 


whom I will forever think of as this crazy kid who should probably always wear a helmet...

Got recognized as MVP for his midfield play on his soccer team


and...

  as Athlete of the Year for his grade at school!


The coaches comments at the awards ceremony were so nice but as she began to further describe Charlie, she paused for a moment as she said, "Charlie is just so..."


well the pause was long enough for someone from the crowd to fill in for her...

"Charlie is just so...  CHARLIE!"

Afterwards, one of the other parents told us that there are not too many kids who can claim that they are their own adjective!

That's our Charlie!

Love you sweet boy and so very proud of you!


I am waiting for the day that I can open the Webster's Dictionary and find your name with the meaning...

Charlie - crazy, funny, sweet, kind hearted, friendly, smart, lazy, LOUD, lovable and apparently...

athletic!


Monday, June 2, 2014

Happy Birthday Lizzie!

My sweet Lizzie has managed to stretch her 8th birthday out for about a week now!


It started last Sunday at JuJu's house in the pool


and ended Friday night with just a few close friends...


 in the pool!


Gotta love summer birthdays!


My sweet, wonderful Lizzie, what a journey we have been on!


You are tiny


and tenacious


and so totally terrific!


 You make an impact on this world my darling and captivate those whose paths you cross.



You are part of the reason why we are where we are now, in our faith and in our lives.

 We did not "save" you...


  you did, however, help to save us!


 You were the catalyst my love...


 that ignited our hearts for the Lord....


 turned what was a flicker into a flame and helped me to understand what He had been preparing me for.


At 8 years old, you get it and will be ready for the path that He has chosen for you so much sooner than most.


I don't know what that path will be yet but I know you will rock it!


 You are my puppy loving....


 soccer loving.....


 Jesus loving....


Superstar!

I have to close with one of my favorite set of pics.  They are from your championship soccer game when your team won...


 and you were celebrating with your friends, until...


 you saw me....


 on the side lines taking pics....


 without a second thought, you left your team and ran as fast as you could...


 straight into my arms!


 In that precious moment all the "hard" of the past 6 years just melted away and I did not want to let you go!

Happy Birthday my precious one


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."  Jeremiah 29:11

His plans for you are good my darling and we are blessed to be able to love you!