Week in Review: 2014 {Week 18} Reflecting on a Week in Haiti

Sometimes we go some place hard and we see miracles.  My husband gets to see them almost every time he travels to Haiti.  Sometimes we go and we just quietly serve and God meets us there in small, secret ways.  That is almost always my experience in Haiti.  And I’d lie if I said I wasn’t ever envious of his “Wow, God!” trips but there is simple beauty in the “wow, God” moments I have as well.

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

This trip to Haiti was stocking the clinic and counting pills.  It was cards with my dad and several nights of heavy rain.  It was getting to know old friends better and making new friends.  It was cleaning toilets and wiping tables and washing dishes.  It was being made less, while God became more.  It was medical clinics and the Creole word vagen (lots of female issues treated on this trip).  It was holding sweet brown babies and watching tweens braid hair.  It was ten year old boys who look like they’re eight and some seriously impressive Haitian futbol (barefoot, no less).






It was watching an adoptive grandpa bond with his future grandson.  It was devotions on Heaven and one day being invited into the homes of those we were there to serve and sermons on the dying, conquering sheep.  It was Psalm 23 said simultaneously in English and Creole.  It was worship and being prayed over by a beautiful teen girl in a language I could not understand but deeply stirred my soul.

It was diesel smells and unbelievable dust and drought conditions.  It was mountains and trees and fresh mangos.  It was food distributions and Pastor Daniel guarding the door and thoughts of Teddy Roosevelt’s exhortation to “walk softly and carry a big stick”.  It was a day at the beach and watching these children whose lives are anything but normal be normal for one whole day.


And it was watching two precious boys be united with their forever family.  It was seeing the huge, unbreakable smiles on their faces when their parents arrived, and remembering that exact.same.look on our own Amania’s face just a year ago.  It was their unspeakable joy as they said farewell to their friends, and it was their friends’ returned joy for them.  It was hope and beauty and a reflection of Heaven.

This Haiti trip was like going again for the first time.  Without Amania there, I was free to experience a team as a team member, not an adoptive parent.  I was able to spend time with any and all of the children.  And I was able to walk away and not feel guilty if I wasn’t “bonding” with my child.  It was a gift and a privilege to be there again.  It is a hard, messy, special, wonderful place, and it gets in your blood and gets a grip on your heart and you can’t ever forget.  You don’t want to ever forget.  These kids, this place, they are all amazing.  God is here.


For His Glory ~

Signature

The Day After Mother’s Day….For When You Don’t Feel Like Mom of the Year

While it’s welcome and appreciated, if you’re honest there are some days, most days maybe, you don’t feel like you deserve the praise or recognition that comes on Mother’s Day.  You feel like most days are a total crap shoot and in spite of your best laid plans, you have no idea what today is going to bring, and it makes you crazy sometimes.  And some days you look in the mirror and wonder what happened to the woman who used to know about fashion or business or politics and when did she disappear exactly and will you ever see her again?  And you look at the gifts and talents God has given you and this deep drive to be excellent at something, anything, all while feeling like you’re flailing through each day just hoping to raise children who don’t end up in prison.  And sometimes you wonder what on earth God was thinking when He gave you these children.

Do not resist or run from the difficulties in your life. These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth. Embrace all the circumstances that I allow in your life, trusting Me to bring good out of them. View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Me.

When you start to feel stressed, let those feelings alert you to your need for Me. Thus, your needs become doorways to deep dependence on Me and increasing intimacy between us. Although self-sufficiency is acclaimed in the world, reliance on Me produces abundant living in My kingdom. Thank Me for the difficulties in your life, since they provide protection from the idolatry of self-reliance.

from Jesus Calling, May 10

Oh, how great the temptation is to despair at times!  Our soul becomes depressed and disheartened and our faith staggers under the severe trials and testing that come into our lives… We may come to the place where we say, ‘I cannot bear this any longer.’

What have you done in the past when you felt weak physically?  You could not do anything.  You ceased from doing.  In your weakness, you leaned on the shoulder of a strong loved one.  You leaned completely on someone else and rested, becoming still, and trusting in another’s strength.

It is the same when you are tempted to despair under spiritual afflictions.  Once you have come close to the point of despair, God’s message is not, ‘Be strong and courageous.’ He knows your strength and courage have run away.  Instead, He says sweetly, ‘Be still and know that I am God.’

That is all God asks of you as His dear child.  When you become weak through the fierce fires of affliction, do not try to ‘be strong’.  Just ‘be still and know’ that He is God.  And know that He will sustain you and bring you through the fire.

from Streams in the Desert, May 10

And sometimes you fall on your face and you cry out and you realize that God often calls us to serve in obscurity and that He doesn’t always call the qualified, but He qualifies the called, and that all of this is a preparation for something else, something we can’t see yet, maybe even something eternal.  And so you put your head down and you push through, and you choose hope and you choose joy. And the labor pains continue long after the child is born, but it’s all becoming something glorious.

I would have despaired unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord….Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage.

~ Psalm 27:13-14

For His Glory ~

Signature

Weeks in Review: 2014 {Weeks 13, 14, 15, 16, & 17}

Whoops.  A whole month got away from me again, didn’t it?

April was a wonderfully full, fun, whirlwind type of month.  Emma and Amania kept us busy with their soccer schedules, and the unpredictable Kansas weather gave us rain outs (and snow days) that offered much-needed reprieve (even though we are all still so done with cold weather, yet it just keeps coming).  We finally processed the paperwork for Amania’s name change (now it is actually, legally spelled the way we’ve always spelled it).  We celebrated Easter.  We forgot the frock.  We had out of town guests for a weekend and I slept through my alarm for a half marathon that I trained for.  We had the girls’ spring choir concert and art show at the beginning of the month.  We finished the school year (almost- one week of outside classes remain for the oldest, so we’re not “official” yet).  And I was blessed to travel to Haiti for a week (more on that next week).

And now we settle in for summer.  I’m soooo looking forward to some organizing and creative projects around the house, pool days, dining al fresco, and time to just relax.  For now, some photos from the past month….

new friends

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

 new shoes for a race I didn’t run

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

way too much money spent at Starbucks in an effort to just.keep.moving

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

calendars for each girl to inspire us all to finish the school year strong (and quickly)
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

we are all adopted

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

a pile of human puppies as we attended another soccer game

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

and spring flowers that survived the interminable winter

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug

Next week will hopefully bring stories from Haiti and the next few months will hopefully bring many posts that have been on my heart but not yet ready to share.  Until then, have a wonderful weekend, friends.  May you know your God and enjoy Him.

For His Glory ~

Signature