For three weeks I have tried to write this post. It has sat in various stages of completion in my drafts folder. Here I sit again, hoping to finally click “publish”.
Her first full week at home went amazingly well but my emotions grew increasingly raw as the week progressed. Two years of prep and planning and praying and waiting followed by two weeks of crazy cramming life in all came crashing down on Friday night as tears flowed and simply would not stop. And Satan he whispered all week to my weaknesses and my mind spiraled in ungratefulness to God until I was nothing but a hot mess of tears. And I messaged a friend who replied with so much grace and love and I talked long with Matt and I slept long with the windows open.
And Saturday morning I woke up to this:
Bring Me the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun. Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. Satan’s temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden her. The garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn’t have rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation.
When you focus on what you don’t have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is “fixed.”
When you approach Me with thanksgiving, the Light of My Presence pours into you, transforming you through and through. Walk in the Light with Me by practicing the discipline of thanksgiving.
I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord.
—Psalm 116:17 nkjv
The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman.
And Satan, he still whispers, but my heart turns to giving thanks….thanks for weakness that makes me strong in Him, thanks for hard days that make good ones shine brighter, thanks for the gift of being a mama to these five girls, thanks for husband and friends and family and so much love and support. And thanks for hope for all that lies ahead.
And God in His great mercy and wisdom walked me through my dark places knowing that hers were coming soon. On Tuesday of her second week home, Haiti baby became home sick for her native land. We have no idea what triggered it, but for three days she would not eat and barely drank. She slept and cried silently. We looked at Haiti photos and watched the Jesus Story for Little Children in Creole. And I held her. A lot. (A nearly broken toe ensured that I spent most of that week sitting.) Two friends spoke to her in Creole, trying to comfort her and encourage her in her native tongue. A doctor’s visit showed nothing physically wrong, but by Thursday we were looking seriously at a trip to the ER for IV fluids. But some wise advice and the prayers of countless friends all over the country led to her deciding that popsicles were tolerable and that day she ate five. Followed by a small amount of water and some white bread, if I remember well. Friday dawned and a new child was before us. Her food preferences were still more “refined” than when she first came home and would eat anything we put in front of her. But she was happier, more talkative, more comfortable, more her. And she’s been that way ever since. We know more struggles will come, but we are so thankful for where we are right now.
The other girls continue to adjust. The older two seem fairly unfazed while the younger two have wrestled more. This transition has provided many opportunities already to learn about compassion and putting others first and that it’s okay to cry. It’s given us many new chances to talk to the girls as we try to keep the attention-giving somewhat in balance and we help them try to understand why things are different right now.
The girls are also trying to finish school. This living, breathing, walking, giggling “toy” that has come to live with us has made school a near impossibility. And while I have adjusted my expectations, we still have to finish the school year. And I don’t want to be wrapping this one up just in time to start the next one. So we plow ahead and I try to maintain some sense of structure. School wraps up here on May 10. I.cannot.wait. Neither can they.
I think that’s about it here. Have a wonderful rest of the week!
For His Glory ~