Waiting on the Good

Yesterday I stared into the mirror and applied eyeshadow knowing I was one moving song away from this time being wasted.  The whole weekend had felt heavy, and not just because of too much food.  My heart has hurt for families – friends now – ahead of us in this adoption process, who have waited so long to exit this stage we recently entered.  I long for a word, for news, for hope, because when they move, it’s good for everyone.

Honestly, and everyone asks this , the wait hasn’t been that hard.  Perhaps we are strange in that regard, but the past almost two years since we first met our girl have simply flown by.  There have been moments when my heart has hurt because of her absence, but for the most part, life is just too busy to stop and think much about it.  We know she is well-cared for and loved and truly quite happy where she is, and so we do not worry.  And we know that God holds her closer and loves her more than even we ever will, and we rest in His timing for her home coming.

But yesterday, oh my heart hurt and I asked God “why” and “when” and I cried out “oh, please, let someone hear something soon!”  And I left for church, kids in tow, eager to worship with the body of believers and excited to kick off a campaign to benefit the orphanage, but still somewhat raw.

As I stood there in that pew we occupy every week and we sang, my heart was comforted by the music and the words, but when we began with Mighty to Save and the words “Savior, He can move the mountains” flashed onto that giant screen it simply made me stop as I was reminded….He is able to move the mountains.  And He is good.  No matter what happens, no matter how long this process takes, no matter if we are stuck in passports for another year – He is still good.  He can move the mountains, and if He chooses not to, I must trust in His good purposes anyway.

I don’t want to wait any longer.  I don’t want our friends to wait.  I really don’t want those kids to wait.  But there is purpose in the waiting.  This time of preparation and waiting have opened my eyes to things we need to be working on here, now.  We have drawn closer to the Lord and learned to lean harder on Him.  And we continue to wait on His timing.  We wait on Him to move those mountains of paperwork and bureaucracy that keep these children too far away.  And we will continue to trust in Him because He is good.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

 

A Grateful Catching Up….

November 15 – A last minute girls’ night invite and actually accepting it….

No photo, but after a ridiculously long Thursday, so thankful for a friend who invited me to come hang out for a bit.

November 16 – A long drawn out date with my favorite….

Budget talks over margaritas, laughing long at the Tim Hawkins show, and discussing life and the future over dessert.  After a long month of busy and gone, this was just what my heart needed. 

November 17 – Tank tops in mid-November and a clean garage….

So thankful for time as a family to clean out our bordering-on-a-Hoarders-intervention garage and a beautiful day to boot.

I could post a picture of all of our junk…but I think I’ll just leave that to everyone’s imagination.

November 18 – A little girl and a long sheet of bubble wrap….

Oh the joy of bubble wrap.  Especially when it’s outside.

November 19 – For so much….

Another non-photo day, but still….

For a daughter who helps me at the grocery store when I’m dragging through sick, the week of Thanksgiving.  For another daughter who puts dinner in the crock pot while I’m away.  For the kind people at TJ Maxx who didn’t charge us for the $70 Le Crueset dish a certain child broke while scouring the racks for my favorite coffee.  For a husband who sends me to bed early.  For a warm drink as I snuggle under covers. And for a long night of sleep to help me recover.

November 20 – Crazy science experiments that entertain for hours and color foils for all the girls….

November 21 – Girlie buffet lunches and Thanksgiving feasting Part I (complete with princess dress up)…

I’ve been told boys don’t eat like this for lunch, but we loved it….Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

November 22 – A holiday at home and a heart that overflows “thanks”….

Again, no photo from yesterday, but so thankful for this holiday at home every year.  What a gift it is to us to have a day to make our own traditions (and to have extra time to digest all of the Thanksgiving goodness before another feast this weekend). A late brunch and soup for dinner.  The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade on television and The Odd Life of Timothy Green at the cheap theater.  We did notice that our holiday tradition of seeing a movie on Thanksgiving Day has given us adoption-themed movies the past two years (Kung Fu Panda 2 last year), neither of which we knew were adoption-themed before we ever saw them.

Caught up for now; more to come tomorrow.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

A Quick Note….

Wow.  I really fell off the ol’ blogging/thankfulness wagon, didn’t I?  Sorry about that.  A busy weekend, followed by starting off the week under the weather left us catching up with life the past few days.  Hopefully I can catch up here over the long weekend.  Until then, have a wonderful, blessed, joyful Thanksgiving.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

We all need grace…

So this post has been popular in my Facebook feed today.  My husband even sent it to me in an email, sharing that he had been convicted too.  And rightly we should be challenged.  In this day of ever-present portable media, it can be hard to unplug from our gadgets and plug into real life.  But today it struck me different.

On a different day, I told my husband, I would probably feel convicted – or inspired, or challenged – too.  But today, I am that mom hiding behind the iPhone.  I am the mom who desperately needs a long, drawn out date filled with laughter and time to decompress (which – praise the LORD and Lord willing – I will get tomorrow). I’m the mom who has been “on” for more days than I can count and who may be just a *tad* hormonal this week.  This week I’m the mom who feels isolated and alone and like there’s no point in putting on make up because I have no where to go and I’m not going to see my husband until well after the kids have gone to bed.  Unless of course he sneaks home to change before evening meetings, which he did.  Then I’m kicking myself for looking like I do.

Yes, these years go fast.  As I see photos of my half grown daughter, I know the reality of the passage of time.  But let’s not over-romanticize these years.  They’re hard and they’re exhausting and they’re often very lonely.  And sometimes mom needs to check out for ten minutes just to keep going.

As one of our favorite parenting books says, “What are we characterized by?”  Are we characterized by an ever present screen between us and those we love, or are we characterized by being available and present, physically, mentally, and emotionally?  I’m the first to admit I can easily “check out” far too often.  My spirit is convicted and I have been prayerfully working through that bad habit of engaging a screen more than I engage my children. But some days it’s just a matter of making it through and much grace is needed on those days.

I’m a little raw today, if you couldn’t tell.  And at this point I’m not even sure I will click “publish” on this one, but if you’re reading it, I guess I did.  While I honestly don’t think the author of that post was condemning the mom on the iPhone, some of the commenters were less gracious.  So I guess my spin on it all is this – when you see that mom at the park on the iPhone, or the one wrangling two toddlers and an infant and running out of patience, or the one sitting at Starbucks reading a book while her son plays his iPod, give her some grace.  Say a prayer for her and for her kids.  Remember that some days are hard and long and, to use the quote I’ve seen floating around the internet, we are all fighting a hard battle.  She may not be a tuned-out mom.  Or she might.  Only God knows that.  Either way what she needs is grace, not guilt, encouragement, not exasperation, love, not lectures.

That’s my two-cents…

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Thirteen and Fourteen

November 13 – My girls and a quiet evening watching college basketball as a family…

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug(no, we’re not sad….just tired and snuggly)

November 14 – Soup season and my Crock Pot…..

My love for this kitchen appliance runs deep, as does my love of soup, making this the highlight of cold weather season in my mind.

We’re nearly halfway through November….what are you thankful for today?

For His Glory~

~Sara

 

Eleven and Twelve

And nearly a hundred more….

November 11 – A game of golf I’m actually good at….

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November 12 – Candles burning and the quiet calm of a fall Monday….

And continuing to list and count the gifts He gives daily, relentlessly, out of His over-flowing love for us….


I didn’t realize I haven’t listed the gifts here in nearly a month(?!), so the list is long, long, long…. 

2175.  last long run finished

2176. kind words that encourage, build up

2177.  a quiet night with my girls

2178.  another rainy Saturday

2179.  husband who spends his Saturday doing a project I could do, but just don’t have time for

2180.  painted bathroom

2181.  so many deadlines closing in

2182.  grace for each hectic moment

2183.  a God who is present and close by

2184.  the energy and motivation to just keep going

2185.  just a few more days of crazy-busy

2186.  iron to strengthen tired blood cells

2187.  Thursday

2188. crazy wind

2189.  swirling leaves

2190.  all this beauty of fall

2191.  a school week finished strong

2192.  warm soup

2193.  fresh bread

2194.  a “rest” day

2195.  fifth half marathon completed

2196.  dear friends who train with me and a dear friend to run it with

2197.  eyes open to the hurt in our kids

2198.  seeking how to make it right

2199.  girls’ surprise, coming home to a yard raked clean

2200.  productive late nights

2201.  foggy mornings and time in His word

2202.  cool rain

2203.  temperatures dropping

2204.  leaves falling

2205. race weekend here!

2206.  the thrill of watching countless hours of work come to fruition

2207.  smiles on muddy faces as they crossed the finish line

2208.  new friends

2209.  lots of laughter

2210.  really good sleep

2211.  race bags unpacked

2212.  loaves of bread lining the counter

2213.  a day spent working alongside my girls

2214.  forty loaves of bread baked in two days

2215.  husband and oldest girl nearly ready to fly

2216.  learning daily the value of prayer, the power in talking to God

2217.  husband and first born in the air toward Haiti

2218.  photos from Haiti – braids and just-met sisters

2219.  sleep

2220.  leaves scattered all across floors – remnants of fall’s beauty brought inside

2221.  continually learning to release my own agenda

2222.  laughter of little girls

2223.  incredible music at church

2224.  worshipping the Lamb

2225.  a meal to benefit the homeless; girls’ eyes opened to their neighbors in need

2226.  battles worth fighting

2227.  restored fellowship

2228.  election day and freedom to choose

2229.  hope for the future because my hope is not of this world

2230.  trust in God’s plan, even though it may bring discomfort

2231.  a massage – gift of a sweet sister-in-law

2232.  adoption talk and a voice of balance and reason

2233.  missing my people

2234.  fluids for my very sick dad

2235.  only one more day

2236.  chatting with my oldest last night

2237.  beautiful pictures of love shown in Haiti

2238.  a husband I am beyond proud to call my own

2239.  feeling caught up on a Friday morning

2240.  my people home, my heart happy

2241.  tales from Haiti – laughter, tears

2242.  encouraging words for my oldest child – how she did so well

2243.  family time on the weekend 

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Nine and Ten

November 9 – These two people, safely home…

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November 10 – A slow Saturday and time together…

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugHappy to have *almost* all of my family under one roof, to hear first person the stories from Haiti, to reconnect, laugh, and watch my husband sleep.

May the rest of your weekend be blessed, my friends.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Seven and Eight

I couldn’t make myself to post yesterday.  My heart was heavy.  I was missing my people in Haiti.  I was disappointed in the Christian community’s response to the election.  And I was so darn emotionally tired.  I did go to bed thankful….but I don’t have a picture for this one….

November 7 – My Husband’s Family….

….And the incredible people each and every one of them are.  It’s a large family, so I won’t be specific, but I have been overwhelmed lately at how generous and loving and wonderful they all are.  And last night I was particularly thankful for my mother-in-law’s weekly family dinner that provided me a reprieve from cooking and some much-needed adult conversation and laughter.

November 8 – My Parents’ courage….

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….I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and admiration for all of the people I know and love in Haiti tonight, but I’m so proud of my parents for making this trek to Haiti to see this orphanage that has become such a wonderfully all-consuming part of our lives.  It’s hard and it’s hot and it’s exhausting and it’s outside their comfort zone.  And they’ve been sick and uncomfortable and, no doubt, stretched.  But I can’t wait until they get back to hear what they thought, and even if they never want to go back again, the sacrifices they made to go to this beautiful place mean the world to me.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Day 6

November 6….This sticker….

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And the privilege, right, and freedom it represents.

And I’m thankful that at the end of the day, I will rest easy because the true King will still be on His throne, regardless of who calls the White House home. And while we each think we know who will best lead our country, I find comfort knowing that ultimately we don’t know, but He does, and His ways are higher than our ways and His purposes are greater than our purposes and we can trust that no matter who wins elections, it is not outside His plan or control.  And we can know that we are called to respect and honor and pray for our leaders.  Every single one of them.  May we all find hope, strength, and peace in the knowledge that our salvation does not reside on Capitol Hill.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

Four and Five

November 4….This guy, on his birthday

On his birthday, and every day, I’m thankful for my brother.  I know that no matter what, he’s there for me and he loves me and my family. Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

November 5…A Monday at home and a strong start on the week….

After the wild and woolly month of October and not more than one day at home in thirty, today was a gift, a blessing, to sit and slow and start the week well.  We left once to take cinnamon rolls and chili to my brother and his fellow firefighters for dinner, courtesy of one generous friend who wanted to support Grace in her efforts to raise money for Haiti.  But the rest of the day we schooled and I planned and put on paper (or screen) so many thoughts rolling around in my head.  Oh, what a good day. 

 

For His Glory ~

~ Sara