Get In The Way

Last week I was convicted to write this post. I didn’t really want to, and thus ignored those promptings. Again on Sunday, as Sheldon and I listened to a podcast from Anabaptist Perspectives (which BTW is a great resource for reinforcing and understanding some convictions unique to Anabaptism) I felt a nudge about this subject. And I again ignored those promptings.

This morning my social media newsfeed blew up with posts about the Super Bowl, some delighting in the winners, some speaking of the fun times, most were negative reviews about the half time show, and a few were about the way sex trafficking explodes during this event.

One of the reasons I dread even talking about this is because people can get very defensive. They think it means I’m being judgmental or legalistic. That is not my intention. But I need to be faithful to what I believe and what I see. What you do with it is between you and God. But I can’t continue to ignore the nudge to speak out.

I have never watched the Super Bowl in my life. Even as a teen, I reacted to the drama it always seemed to create. To be clear, I am not opposed to organized sports. Our family has a great time watching our hometown high school football team at a game or two every season. I actually enjoy watching the game of football. I get caught up in the cheering (much to my daughter’s embarrassment) and get excited when a touchdown is scored. But professional sports have always seemed over the top to me, mostly because I think that that kind of time and money spent on entertainment is ridiculous. The amount the players are paid, the lifestyles most (I did not say all) of them live, and the idolization of people who, to me, aren’t worthy of being called heroes just makes me uncomfortable.

As I’ve gotten older and realized what all is attached to this event, I have often felt appalled and a little ashamed at the way some people get caught up in the fury of everything.

It seems the half time shows continue to get worse. I read several years ago that the performer admitted that during her show, she can feel another character take over her body and identity. She even had a name for this other “person”. She was amazed at the feats she could perform and the moves her body made because, according to the interview, she didn’t remember doing them. If that doesn’t give you cold chills something is wrong.

One of the women I follow on Instagram had a series of short clips from yesterday’s show as a wake-up call for Christians. I was feeling sick by the time I watched maybe a minute of what was watched in full by millions. The blatant demonic symbols, the glorification of pornographic dance moves, the use of young girls in cages (yes, I said cages)…and I couldn’t even hear the words. I shudder when I think of what the show in it’s entirety was like. Even some secular writers are saying it was too much.

“Well, we don’t watch the half-time show, just the game,” or “I just like to see the commercials,” or “I just go for the food and hanging out with friends part.” I’ve heard these reasons. But I ask myself, “Does it somehow all go together?” If we support even a part of the event, are we somehow supporting the evil parts too?

I don’t really have answers to these questions, but I know what I feel God wants and what is right for me and my family. Can I really make a difference? What is one voice among so many? I asked Sheldon what he thinks would happen if the Church of Jesus would rise up and say, “This is not okay!” What would happen if no professing Christians would watch or support the Super Bowl in any way, shape, or form? Would the world notice?

I’m studying Romans 1 right now and it’s a heavy, rather depressing passage. After describing the moral decadence of society in his day, Paul says this in the last verse, “Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” Could that be us?

And maybe we need to broaden this a little. Maybe I didn’t participate in the Super Bowl yesterday, but maybe there’s other media that this verse describes. Maybe it’s books I read or movies I watch. Maybe it’s the way I conduct myself, or the way I speak.

Consider this passage in Ephesians 5, verses one through sixteen:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, “Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.” See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evilr.

The podcast I spoke of earlier was a sermon by Val Yoder called “Get in the Way of Evil.” It can be found here. (You may need to scroll through the list or do a search for that particular title.) It was incredibly convicting to me. It doesn’t matter what happens to me when I stand for truth. Many of our forefathers and many in today’s world gave their lives for truth. I am not responsible for how others respond to truth. What I am responsible for is my reaction to it. I am responsible to stand in evil’s way and say, “This is not okay!” Evil seems to be taking over, the darkness seems to be getting darker, wrong seems to be getting bolder. It’s high time to wake up, to rise up, to take the Power that raised Jesus from the dead and proclaim God’s truth, to shine the Light. To get in the way of evil no matter the cost. The Truth and the Light will always win!

I’d really like feedback on this. If you watched the Super Bowl and are my friend, I still love you! If you feel like I’m overreacting, I’d like to know that. If you feel like I do, I’d like to know that too.

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P.S. I may do a follow up post later about what I’m learning about sex trafficking too. It’s a heavy subject and I’m feeling overwhelmed with the pain of this sinful world we live in.

Rejuvenate 2019

Make fresh or new again. That’s the definition (according to dictionary.com) of the word “rejuvenate.” I’m still basking in the afterglow of last weekend which I spent in PA with around 100 other foster and adoptive moms. Seriously, we were completely spoiled…massages, powerful times of prayer and worship, a DIY spa area, a coffee bar, manicures, eyebrow waxing, tears, laughter, fun crafts, food we didn’t have to make or clean up :), lovely decor, encouraging speakers, being surrounded by other ladies who just get it.

And getting to experience it all with my BFF Crystal was the icing on the cake. We’ve been friends since Kindergarten, went through 13 years of school together, were in the same youth group…I 20191019_204352don’t really remember life without her. Then, in another remarkable twist, we both faced infertility and now have adopted children. So blessed with this woman of God!

Anyway, I went to Rejuvenate Retreat expecting to have a good time, learn some things about this journey called adoptive parenting, and leave refreshed. And I did all that. But what I wasn’t prepared for was the sense of belonging I felt, the feeling that I was at home. It brought some deep emotions as I related my experiences to Sheldon after I was home. (And yes, I was glad to be back on Sunday night with my people!) But it’s hard to explain this belonging…

I dearly love Virginia and our friends here. I feel supported and cared for in many ways. However, there are unique challenges and feelings that only other adoptive moms can understand. That support and love was tangible last weekend – in the way women surrounde20191019_150027d other women and prayed, in the way we could laugh and cry together over a shared experience, in understanding fears we face, in the passion and love of committing to children who grew not in our bodies, but in our hearts. There is nothing that compares to that empathy.

 

I learned or was reminded that…

  • Only 2-4% of American women are adoptive mothers. There’s a reason I sometimes feel alone.
  • There is no pain so great that the Heavenly Father cannot heal. Just ask Mandy Litzke, one of our speakers. Find her here.
  • True success is measured by my faithfulness to God’s call.
  • I can trust the next chapter of my life and my children’s lives because I know the Author.
  • If the road seems hard, remember that most worthwhile things in life are hard.
  • God has a special place in His heart for these children who have come from tough places.
  • My identity shouldn’t be found in how I parent or how good a wife I am or how my children “turn out.” Peace can only be found in my identity as God’s beloved daughter.

My heart and soul are filled. What an amazing gift from God that I could experience this time of rejuvenation! (Special recognition for the man who capably stepped into the Mr. Mom role…I didn’t worry about a thing…even my daughters’ hair for church! He’s a keeper!!!)

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Living in the Moment

I’ve been re-reading One Thousand Gifts lately and have been convicted by the way I rush through life to the next thing. Have to get the laundry done, have to get another meal on the table, have to get the children to school, have to, have to, have to… But moments slip by and I miss the glory there. In my rush to the next thing, I miss Him in that moment. I miss the grace, I miss the beauty, I miss the wonder. The following quotes are some of my favorites…

“Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away.”

“On every level of life, from housework to heights of prayer, in all judgment and efforts to get things done, hurry and impatience are sure marks of the amateur.”

“I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done – yesterday…I just want time to do my one life well.”

I can slow the torrent by being all here. I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment…In the present. I AM – His very name.”

I want to slow down and taste life, give thanks, and see God.”

So, here’s to slowing down time by being present in every moment. I sure have a lot to learn!

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We just returned last night from a family vacation to Myrtle Beach, SC. Our children are such a fun age for this. Yes, we still have the tempers, the impatience, the “she hit me,” the “Dad, when are we gonna be there,” the whining…but there’s a wonder in this age when everything is still fun and exciting. Eat delicious burgers at Steak and Shake? Check! Explore the aquarium? Check! Go mini-golfing? Check! Hear some great Southern Gospel singing? Check! Stay in a motel?! Check! Jump waves and build sand castles? Check and check!

By the way, although I enjoy songs from many genres, I’m an unapologetic Southern Gospel music fan! When I was younger, this was a tiny bit embarrassing. Liking SG wasn’t “cool” and wasn’t something I told everyone. One of the nice things about getting older is that you don’t care so much about these things. Some of my fondest childhood memories involve falling asleep on Mom’s shoulder when a concert got a little late, the thrill of getting the entire group to autograph their picture or CD, whole days at the Blue Mountain Gospel Music Festival in Kempton, and trips to the Smokies for week-long Gospel sings. I was raised on it, and I still love it!

We’ve long discussed attending Singing in the Sun, and this year our children seemed a good age to try it. It was great hearing some of our favorites. We had very fun family times too. I asked Shanna today what her best thing was. Her answer? “Burying up your feet in the sand.” Why did we spend money on any other activities? Our children would have probably been perfectly happy in the sand and water all day, every day!

And today, it’s back to the schedule of school, doing laundry (such sandy, wet things!), and trying to soak in all the moments. Our garden is growing, the dogwoods and azaleas are blooming, the sky is blue, we are healthy. Bella was feeling a little blue about the long-anticipated trip being over. I reminded her (and myself) of the quote, “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.”

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Hope your day is blessed!

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Memories of Lynnae

Eleven years ago I think I was on a plane somewhere over the Atlantic. About 36 hours before that I received a phone call from my Mom. “She’s gone,” she said. They say time heals, and that’s partly true. The sharp pain of loss may be gone, but the ache of missing her never will be. I’m reminded of this when…

I hear one of her favorite songs on the radio and think of how she could sing so beautifully…

I laugh with my Mom and sisters and someone’s hearty laughter is missing…

I spend time with her children and catch glimpses of her in their smiles, their eyes, their memories…

I tell stories about her to my own children and feel a sadness that they will never know her here on this earth, that I never got to share motherhood with her…

I think of the last time I held her. She was so sick and her arms felt so frail. I was flying back to Romania in days, and we both knew that, apart from a miracle, this was our final earthly good-bye…

I see her handwriting in an old card or letter and wish I could still be receiving those cards and letters from her…

I remember seeing her earthly body one last time before the casket closed, in my mind’s eye I see them lower it into the ground…

But I can smile through the ache because she’s an even better singer now; I’ll hear her laugh again; I’ll see her smile, her eyes, make new memories; I’ll get to introduce her to my children; my next hug from her will be strong and healthy; just being with her will be gift enough; and know without a doubt that her grave will become resurrection ground. The time I’ll have with her will be infinitely longer than the time without her. Holding onto the these things and the promise of Heaven lessens that ache a little bit. But the tears still fall…

 

 

Beauty in Diversity

I see that my resolution last year to blog more lasted for about the first six months. Maybe this year?

When all the racial unrest was going on in Charlottesville (virtually our backyard), I played with a blog post in my mind. But so many others weighed in, and I sort of put it on hold. Racial issues are an emotional thing for me, mostly because of the diversity in our own little family. Our youngest said something this week that made me revisit these thoughts and feelings.

I don’t know if it’s because we were with both extended families over Christmas, or what brought this on, but our three-year old African American daughter said to me, “I don’t like being black. Nobody else is like me!” Now I don’t know how you would respond, but my heart broke a little bit. When I was three, I’m pretty sure I didn’t think about my skin color. And in case you’re wondering if we make a big deal of it in our family, we have always tried to have our children embrace their ethnicity and the unique, physical characteristics that brings. We try to make it a normal part of life. I remember Bella telling me after she started Kindergarten a few years ago, that she prayed for God to make her skin lighter. The only thing I can do is assure them that God made them beautiful, that they are loved just like they are, and that diversity is part of God’s plan. But I worry that as our children grow, they will be subject to racism in a way I never had to think about.

Why do we think one shade or skin tone makes a person better? What is it about white Americans that make us think we are somehow on a higher rung of some social ladder? And (since most of my reading audience is in this category) are white Mennonite Christians really as unbiased as we’d like to think we are?

You see, I’ve asked this question of several people who fit that above category, “Do you think you’re racist?” Most quickly answer, “No!” But my next questions sometime stump them, “If your Godly white son wants to marry my Godly black daughter someday, would you be OK with that? Would it bother you to have biracial grandchildren?” Some look a little startled, as if that thought never crossed their minds. One lady told me that she doesn’t think she could allow that. I hope she changes her mind before she gets to Heaven, because I’m kind of thinking that God isn’t going to have separate ethnic sections for worshiping Him. My Bible says that every tribe, tongue, nation, and people will be gathered around His throne. Seems like we could start that mingling here. All our lives we’ve sung, “Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world. Red, brown, yellow, black, and white; they are precious in His sight.” But somehow when you personalize things, it starts to feel different.

We stereotype, whether on purpose or not, all the time. I do it too. Maybe certain weaknesses are stronger in certain ethnic groups. But how does one decide which weaknesses are better to have than another? Why can’t we focus on the strengths that run in different ethnic groups? I love how Shanna responds to music – she has soul that doesn’t come naturally for me. Maybe the passion, emotion, and affection Bella shows is because of her heritage. Our boys have certain strengths that are part of their heritage too. We all do. Can we focus on those, and let God take care of the born-in weaknesses (which we all have as well)?

See we have the cure for the racism that rocks our hurting world. His name is Jesus. Look through His eyes and we see beauty in the differences. We see beauty in the heart of someone who might not look like we do. We feel the soul connection with someone from a different culture because we share the same “bloodline.” It’s the connection we can start now. Here. It’s a little bit of Heaven on earth. It’s because we’re one blood, created in God’s image.

Maybe our big world will never be such that my little girl won’t feel her differences. But if God’s people work together, the Church can be a safe place to be different. Our generation has the potential to make it happen. It will start in my home. I hope it starts in yours.

Mothers’ Day 2017

mother's dayAs we faced infertility, entered the world of foster care, experienced the blessing of adoption…I’ve always had mixed emotions about Mothers’ Day. But today I think I feel only gratefulness.Me and Mom

First of all, to my own strong Mother. In March of 1981, she lost her father to death. I was born in June, and seven weeks later she stood again at the graveside of a man she loved – her husband, my father. I don’t remember those first months and years much, and I’m sure she struggled to raise me and my three older sisters. But with the help of her God and the many people He sent our way, she raised us well. My childhood felt very normal and she was quick to remind us that, “we have it good. We know where Daddy is and that he loved us!” So, thank you, Mom, for all the memories you made with us, for your prayers that still follo20170315_112703w us, for leading by example what it means to depend on Jesus, for teaching us to reach out to others around us, for investing in the lives of your grandchildren who all adore you, for all those moments when you felt like giving up and pressed on, for showing up anytime we need you (even the middle of the night sometimes!) You are one of my heroes and we are blessed to have you in our lives! We love you!

And then to three other mothers. You gave life to the four children we adore. You chose life for them. We are forever grateful to you for bringing them into this world. And even though circumstances didn’t happen as you would have wished, we love you and honor you today. We love your babies as if they are our own and we teach them to love and respect you, their bio mother, who is and will forever be a part of our lives! You are loved!

And to all those women out there who are still wishing and praying and longing for a baby and are still waiting, I understand. And I pray that someday you find fulfillment in a plan that is much better than you could ever dream!

Farm Edition & Additions

We live on Wondernut Farms. We were told by the previous owner that it got it’s name because of all their projects…every time they’d go to the bank or the city with plans for something, the people would “wonder what the nuts were up to now!” 🙂

We moved here with our dog, Bailey, two hens, a rooster, and six cats (one inside, five outside.) Our steer, Buster was added a little later from his pasture at Sheldon’s parents. Two cats disappeared and we are down to only one hen named Stella.

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Sweet Bailey

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Waldo and my animal-lover-who-wants-to-be-a-vet daughter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I came home one day to this scene…new chicks under a heat lamp and a very pleased little girl with her daddy…in my laundry room!

And now we are adding to the McDonald menagerie…20 ewes (unnamed because they all look the same), eight chicks (unnamed for the same reason), one ram named Samson,and a donkey named Eeyore who is supposed to protect the sheep from predators. We discovered that, although he is very good at protecting the adult sheep, he sees tiny lambs as enemies. This discovery was made rather tragically when he killed an out-of-season lamb we had named Waldo. So the equine vet was called out to geld the donkey. We were privileged to pay her to tell us that it had already been done. :/ But while she was here, we had her neuter our two tomcats. You never know what might happen at Wondernut Farms! 🙂

Next step: a guard dog. A short road trip for Sheldon and I happened today as we ventured south near the NC border for a Great Pyrenees puppy. I’m pretty sure that among the twists, turns, hills, “Beware of the Dog” signs, and rebel flags there were a good many loaded shotguns. In the boondocks, we found a lovely little farm with our cute puppy. Her name is Sasha, she’s 10 weeks old, and she’s already about 1/3 the size of our full-grown Golden Retriever! Time will tell if she’s better at this protection thing than her Eeyore predecessor! 🙂 In the meantime, did I mention she’s cute? And that she will likely be as tall as Sheldon when standing on her back legs? And that she has the instinct to view not only the sheep, but all the animals and people here as “her flock”? And she’s really cute! 🙂

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Yielded & Still

I don’t remember exactly when my husband came home from work and told me he was asked to relocate to VA. I knew I married a country boy with dreams of acreage and farm animals…more elbow room away from the hubbub of Lancaster County. And I wanted to support those dreams, as long as I didn’t have to give up too much!

So, he married me. A girl who grew up in the heart of Lancaster’s Amish country, a few miles from pretty much anything. My first job was at a market stand in Philly, I worked at a restaurant with tourists, we could walk to Rockvale Square Outlets from my childhood home, went to school where tour buses would pass slowly to look at all the Mennonite children at play, thrived surrounded by people, loved the “rat race” of lots of plans. Not to mention that my Mom and sisters, nieces and nephews are very important to me. I was so homesick in Romania sometimes that I thought I wouldn’t survive.

When the VA “bomb” dropped, I was sure it would be something we’d think about and that would be as far as it would go. I prayed for closed doors…no house, no church, no school for the children. But as time went on and everything fell into place, Sheldon got more excited about it, things moved forward, I felt like I was smothering with panic. How would I ever survive an interstate move? How would I ever adjust to another…life, so different from the one that was comfortable? On the outside, I was a submissive, sure-I’m-excited, no problem kind of wife. I started to feel like I was allowing a wall to be built in our marriage. Can’t he see that it won’t work? I’ll fall into deep depression! I won’t function! I CAN’T DO THIS!

I was feeling convicted. I knew in my heart that this was God’s will for our lives. Too many things worked out too well for it to be a series of coincidences. I fought it, oh, how I fought it! And few knew the battle raging inside my heart. I wanted to come to the place where I not only supported Sheldon’s dreams, but also shared them. And only a miracle would make that happen.

One morning in April 2016, I woke with a song in my head that I didn’t even know well…but the words swirling in there were, “And when you’re tired of fighting, chained by your control, there’s freedom in surrender. Lay it down and let it go.” Sheldon was leaving for a two-day trip to VA. We were recovering from a fever/achy flu. I was weepy and I remember praying, “OK, God. I’m so tired of fighting this. Just take this whole VA mess and help me allow you to make it a beautiful thing.” I was trying to pack. Sheldon’s mom had offered to keep the three youngest children so I could do just that. I drove Bella to school late that morning having allowed her to sleep in to make sure she was fully recovered from her sickness.

As we drove, I finally came to the place where I felt ready to give up. Almost to school, I felt a terrible headache come on. I got out of the vehicle and pain shot down both legs. I tried to decide if I should drive home or tell someone I didn’t feel well. But what was wrong with me? I didn’t want to make a scene for nothing. And who would I call? Sheldon was 4 1/2 hours away. So I left. The pain became more intense. I couldn’t even think. I remember very little of the drive home (about half an hour) except for saying, “Jesus, help me,” over and over. And one other thing I remember. The song that I woke thinking about? It played on the radio.

I pulled into the garage, stumbled to the bed, wrote a text (didn’t send it) to Sheldon that said, “If I don’t wake up, I love you!” I’m not the kind to think everything is a spiritual attack, but this sure felt like it! It was like I yielded my control of our family’s future and made Satan mad. I slept fitfully for about an hour. By then, I had weird numb spots…my face, my feet, my hands. I was starting to think migraine. I called my mom and told her that I’m home alone and I think I’m having a migraine. But what if it’s a stroke or something else? So I asked her to call me in an hour to check on me. (Hey, what are moms for right? 🙂 )

I was also convinced that I had a panic attack. I called Sheldon and told him what was going on. He wondered if he should come home and I told him I’d be okay. Then after I hung up I thought, “No, I won’t! Please send him home, God!” A few minutes later, Sheldon called to tell me he was not staying in VA with me feeling so strange. “Thank you, Jesus!”

I began packing in the girls’ room. I carried the radio to the room to see if I could get it to work. That station never worked in the house before, but I thought I’d try…it came in clear as a bell. I thought, “About 2 hours ago, ‘that song’ played. A good radio station doesn’t play the same song that often.” Guess what one of the first songs was? (It is now “my song” and probably will be forever!) So many moments through that long day when I could see my Father saying, “Whatever is in your future, I’m here. You’re not alone. I love you. You are mine. I’ll be the same in VA as PA. Trust Me.”

The next days were some of the lowest I’ve ever experienced physically and emotionally. (After my seizure in October, we wonder now if it was seizure activity I experienced. We’ll probably never know for sure.) But I had a peace and security unlike any I’d ever known before. All the walls and fears and worries were stripped away. People were so supportive. We felt so carried through it all.

And Virginia has been one of God’s good gifts. We all love it! And even this PA-lovin’ girl married to her country boy is learning to enjoy southern, small town living. It’s a different culture…but that’s another story for another time! And those fears I had about not surviving and debilitating homesickness? They never happened…my Father was right, as always. Oh, I have imperfect days, trust me! But I’ve learned that surrender is sweet when you can trust the One you are surrendering too.

And “my song”? Give it a listen sometime…

 

Life Is Good

Life happened. It’s been filled with changes. We’ve had good and not so good experiences. And I keep thinking I need to get back to blogging again.

So, I looked today and saw that my last post was over a year ago!

One of my 2017 goals is to blog more faithfully. We shall see if this happens. I unfortunately have a habit of jumping into projects with both feet and then forgetting to follow through. Or maybe I’m too lazy to follow through! :/

I’ve always reacted to the overused “Life is Good” quote. The truth of the matter is that life here on earth is sometimes not good. People we love get sick, we face fears, we deal with overwhelming issues, we watch others hurting. But I like a song that says, “Life is good, ’cause God is. Life is good, ’cause I’m His!” That’s a quote I can agree with! And so even in those sicknesses, fears, overwhelming things, hurts…I can believe that because my God is good, life can be good too.

It’s been a year that I wouldn’t want to relive…but through it all, God’s been there. He’s carried us. He’s sent people to show us His love. He’s blessed us in so many small ways. He’s provided for all of our needs, plus some wants.

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Adoption Day!

 

In April, we were privileged to adopt our fourth child. She is a joy and delight and adds so much laughter to our home. I’m afraid she gets a little too much attention…hopefully she can grow up without being too spoiled! 🙂

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Our new house!

 

 

In June, we packed up the last of our belongings and began the trek to VA. I just never thought I’d be a southern girl. But here I am. Don’t ever tell God you won’t do something. Coming to the point of surrender to our move and new life is another story for another time. But surrender is sweet, and I am loving our new location, spring-like weather in February and all! Our house is old with lots of surprises. Some have been good…some have been “oh dear” moments. 🙂 I feel like I finally have things organized to the point that I can start to add some personal touches and that has been so much fun.

In October, I woke in ICU not remembering the two previous days. It was such an odd feeling. It has been a journey of faith for us as we wait for doctors to figure out why I had a seizure and what they should do. We are in good hands and know that God has a reason for everything. Not driving for six months has been a trial, but I’m counting down the last two months of that too…and we have had so many people who have helped out. Truly they are the hands and feet of Jesus to us!

So, I shall return to my Saturday projects. And we shall see if I reach my goals to meet you here more often! Then again, maybe it will be another year until I’m back! 🙂 Only time will tell…

No Second Best

Sixteen months ago we added to our family. Babies change things. Especially foster babies. Along with adjusting to a new little person, I went for two visits a week. So life happened, life was crazy busy, and an unexpected blogging hiatus happened too. Before we got Little C, my blogging was intermittent at best – non-existent at worst. 🙂 I didn’t realize it had been so long since I put my heart on here.

I try to pick something specific to be thankful for at each Thanksgiving. This year it is this…GOD HAS NO SECOND BEST!

For the first five years or so of marriage, I was sure that having a bio child was God’s best for us. If I just prayed enough, bargained with God enough, prayed Hannah’s prayer enough. Surely God knew we would do our best to raise our children for Him? But if that wouldn’t happen, we did have the option to adopt. However, that would be only the alternative, the second best, an option we’d turn to if all else failed. I had a talk with a friend also facing infertility and she assured me that she felt like adoption was God’s very best for them. I couldn’t understand. Children are a heritage from the Lord. Surely that meant “our own” children, not someone else’s.

Then God made us ready to pursue adoption – both ready at the same time. This hadn’t happened before. When I saw Bella for the first time with her black, untrusting eyes peeking out from under a pink hat and a shock of black curls…I knew. And five years later I still know. These children were MEANT for us. No, God doesn’t plan for birth parents to fail and sin, and it breaks His Father heart for a child to know rejection. But before the foundation of time, He knew. He knew the tears that would fall from our eyes as we experienced the pain of infertility. He knew that there were four precious children who would need the love we had to offer. He knew that He would bring us together in a beautiful picture of the visible Gospel. And He knew that my heart would change and I WOULD NO LONGER CHOOSE MY WAY ANYMORE, MY FIRST BEST AND SECOND BEST WOULD CHANGE PLACES. 

I am the mother of four children who are mine in every way that matters!

AND FOR THAT I’M THANKFUL!