Sunday, August 22, 2010

Time to bid summer farewell...

"Time is not a commodity, something you pass around like cake. Time is the substance of life. When anyone asks you to give your time, they are really asking for a chunk of your life." Antoinette Bosco


Here it is again. I feel like it was only yesterday the summer loomed hot and long ahead of us. I looked at the calendar, wondering what we would do with all the glorious free time. I dreamed of late mornings sleeping in, cuddling with the ladybugs, trips to the farmers' market, plenty of corn on the cob and friends to go with. Most of those things we actually accomplished, though not as often as I would have liked!

And now, I look behind us, thankful for all the days spent with friends, the fun activities that made this summer special and wondering what ever happened to that free time???

Dare I say that I am slightly (ever so slightly) even looking forward to the schedule of school?

As we sat watching Toy Story 3 this weekend, I actually cried. Ugly cry, people. My mind wandered to a time when my own daughters will outgrow the comfort and giddiness of toys and play things and replace them with lip gloss, pedicures and concerts. I let my head drift to a time when boys will knock on our door and Sunday evenings will incorporate Youth Group and mission planning. I looked down the row and sitting several seats away from me was my eight year old daughter, rapt with attention sporting a sweet American Girl shirt, that will in time, become too childish for our flaming redhead. Alarmed, I realized I had seen the first Toy Story with my nephew, ANDY, who is now 21 and a junior in college. And the core of the movie, hit just a little too close to home!

But it made me really grateful. Grateful for time. Emily went to a birthday party this evening and as we were leaving she thanked me for bringing her to the party. She thanked me! And all I could think was that I thank her for being my child. Many times during the course of this summer, we would be driving to the next scheduled event and I would glance back to see the girls bee bopping about in the back seat and I felt such gratitude for those moments we could share. So, even though I feel my pants size has increased due to the amount of time spent stagnant in the drivers seat of our vehicle, I would not trade the new friends, old friends, fireworks, baseball games, singing lessons, dance camp, mini camp, playgrounds, VBS, missionary training, playdates, science camp, fellowship, and so on!

We still have two short weeks to breathe in the summer air, one of which we plan to spend at the beach.

I pray you have had a good summer and that God has given you and your family peace about returning to the classroom.

Monday, August 16, 2010

See this face?

This is a happy face! And there are so many of these little faces desperately desiring the smile that comes from the security of family and roots.

This child was brought to us through the gift of adoption. Though we do not live constantly reinforcing the fact that Hannah came from China; she knows her story.

We tell it like it is.
She knows this.
Her sister also knows this.

As parents, we have already had difficult conversations that highlight the reality that Hannah came to us through a miracle...a miracle that changed our lives and convicts our hearts to always and forever try to unite other forever families and children.

My dear friend Michelle, is an adoptive mama that has made a difference. She has worked tirelessly on a calendar that will benefit children and families alike. Please visit Michelle, offer your support and pray about all of the children needing and wanting families of their very own.

I am off to order my calendars!! :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

On being married...

Now you will feel no rain, For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold, For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness, For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies, But there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place, To enter into the days of your togetherness.

And may your days be good and long upon the earth.
~ Apache Wedding Prayer Blessing

When we were married nine years ago, I asked one of the officiating pastors and a long time friend to incorporate this blessing into our ceremony. He did so gladly.

I thought it was beautiful.

I still do.

And, I assumed that it was an ancient Indian prayer historically connected to the Apache culture.

I was wrong. It is actually linked to a movie associated with the Apache's called Broken Arrow. We live and we learn :)

Marriage is like my experience with the prayer. We go into it thinking one thing and learn that there is so much more to it. Our culture glorifies and celebrates marriage for the celebration itself. However, it often occurs to me on those dark nights when the children are sick, or when critters come a callin', I have Rob to lean on. And he has me. It is the way that God designed.

When our finances look bleak and the house is in disrepair, I look to him. And he looks to me. When we sit at a dance recital or ready for our youngest to head back to preschool, he shares his joy with me and I with him.

And all along, in every circumstance, we do our best to trust it not unto ourselves. Thus we have grown, and we have faith in a God far bigger than any of the dreams we began this marriage with.

Marriage does not mean blissful days filled with total agreement. It just doesn't. There are days where that exists, but not all the time. We were not wired that way. We are called to be unconditional and fortunately, we are designed to be able to accomplish this task. However, we only achieve this only through another committed relationship, that of our intimate relationship with the Lord.

Marriage is an ever-changing, ongoing event. Sometimes, there is silence. And volumes are spoken. Sometimes, there is endless noise. And nothing is accomplished. Sometimes, we bicker, fight, gripe, moan, whine, complain, heavily sigh, challenge, regret, and even forget. We forget the love we began with, we forget the respect necessary for a good marriage, we forget to be unconditional in loving our spouses. And if we are blessed, our spouses forgive us and we forgive them. It is as it was designed. We think it is about us...ultimately, it is about Him.

And sometimes, like today, we do not take for granted the gift that has been given in the union of two people for His purpose, raising some pretty spectacular children. I take this moment to be grateful...for a husband who provides, for a husband who loves me, for a husband who loves our children far more than he could ever love himself, for a husband who loves the Lord and desires to know him better, for all of these things, I am grateful.

Happy Anniversary, Rob. How quickly these nine years have much I look forward to all the years that will follow...


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