Friday, August 24, 2012

Celebrating a Milestone

10 years ago, despite our lack of a bank account or life experience, Paul and I embarked on the adventure of marriage together.

August 24, 2002
Today we celebrate the ups and downs that have made up our last decade. 

Between the two of us we have:

owned 9 cars

worked at 7 jobs

lived in 5 homes

brought 3 children into this world

went through college....twice.

And many more things that may or may not ever be mentioned....

Nearly 10 years later - celebrating with a trip to Bermuda
I can say I love him more than the day I married him, and no doubt will love him more the day we celebrate another 10 years.

I love you, Paul!  I am so glad I get to share life with you and that you are willing to share yours with me!  May God be given ALL the glory!

Happy 10 year anniversary!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Note to Owen

It happened so quickly.

Maybe when my back was turned doing dishes.

Or perhaps putting a load of laundry in the washer.

Or even in one of those moments when I blinked.

I tried to slow it down, cherish the moments.

But it still happened.


Owen is heading to Kindergarten.   In one week.

I have already become a weepy mess and the day is not even here.  The thought of our son heading off to a bit of life outside of us is tearing me up.  But I knew this day would come, and I am glad it is here, for his sake.  Owen loves to learn and he is so excited to go to school.

But I think of all those unknowns for him, those things that I went through that I really don't want him to experience.  I don't want to see him hurt.  I cringe of thinking of that day when someone verbally tears him down for something that at one point he cherished about himself.  Causing him to doubt everything about himself that at one time seemed so sure.

I want him to be equipped with the knowledge that I have now, after having gone through it myself.

But truthfully, those lessons are often learned through personal experience, and not because someone has told you.

Like not taking it personally when some kid thinks that your really cool backpack is 'stupid' or calls you a 'stinkyhead' or other equally horrifying things.  They only call you that to make their own selves feel better.  There is something about you that threatens them.  And by calling you out on your 'lameness' somehow makes them feel like you are back to their level.

I want you, Owen, to be sure of yourself, knowing God has created you as a unique individual, with unique qualities and tastes.  The best person you can be is YOU, not an imitation of someone else.

People's valuation of you should not matter, only God's valuation of you should.  Measure yourself by his ruler, by His Word, not by the measuring stick of your peers.

Love God, show others God's love, despite their actions toward you.  Remember, you don't need a certain number of friends, just a number of friends that you can be certain of.

There will always be someone richer, cooler, smarter than you.  That's just life.  But there will also be others who are poorer, wallflowers, back of the class.  That's life, too.  But God doesn't play favorites and you shouldn't either.  Treat each peer as an equal, someone who is loved by Jesus, and in need of Jesus' love.

THIS is what I want you to know before you go to Kindergarten, Owen.  It would save you a world of heartache.  But I know you, like me, will have to discover this for your own self.  I can only hope you figure it out sooner than I did.

Welp, there I go again, a weepy old mess...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

35


To date, we have seen 35 different children come through our doors in the last 3 1/2 years.

35.

We were discussing some past kids a few days ago and went back and counted each one and were a bit rocked by the number.

I mean, I know we have met, lived with, cried with, loved on a lot of kids.  But 35?  And we aren't done yet.

All I can say is that "His grace is sufficient."

We were in the van the other night and one of our girls asked if we remember all the names of the kids we have worked with.

"Of course.  We give each one of you kids a piece of our hearts.  And we remember where those pieces go."  That kinda just came out.  I didn't rehearse that line before I said it but once it was said I knew it was my heart speaking.

Aren't there days when some things just feel huge?  You look at the big mountain of challenge ahead of you and think that there is no way you can scale that one.

It could be a job, a relationship, the mundane tasks of life, or mothering babies/toddlers/tweens/teens.

Yeah, me too.  The thought of loving and caring for 35 kids seems pretty heavy.  And of course, they haven't all came at once.  But I kinda feel the weight of all those souls adding up.

But this is the work we were called to and signed up for.  I hope these kids will continue to let us be a part of their lives and, when they fall, will know they can call us because we care, and no matter what, we love them.

Whew. That's a tall order on my part.  I'm glad I've got the Lord to fall back on.  He's the one where the strength and compassion and wisdom comes from when we face those hard times with these kids.

We need to stop thinking we can do this on our own.  Yeah, we say we need the Lord, but are we living like we need Him?  or is He just in our back pocket for when things get a little rocky?

I need Him for those days of sunshine.  I need Him for those days of rain.  And those blah cloudy days in between.

We wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children...we were given this hope when we were saved.  If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it.  But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently for it.  Romans 8:23-25