I am a 30 something year old mom of five precious boys and two sweet girls. Five of our children are here with us and two are in the arms of Jesus. Our sweet baby girl Hope was diagnosed with Dystrophic Epdermolysis Bullosa and our youngest son came to us through adoption, our youngest daughter through foster care, and I've recently been diagnosed with malignant melanoma the Lord has shown us just how Faithful He is. We will continue to Journey and follow Him where ever He leads. We feel very blessed that God chose us to be the parents of each of our kids, and we look forward to what He has in store for us in foster care!
Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, "Better is one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind."
Time is such a commodity in today's world. It is something we seldom find we have enough of. I feel like God has taught me a huge lesson in the past weeks. I find that whatever God has for me to do...he also gives me the time and resources for...even when it doesn't make much sense. The truth is God gives us enough time...but most of us, myself FOR SURE included, squanders it. We waste it on things that just don't matter and then hurry like crazy to accomplish anything. We make time for what matters most. When I sat down and thought about where the largest parts of my time were spent...I found that I had some work to do.
Sometimes, I feel like I am literally chasing the wind...looking so forward to what God has next for me that I often lose sight of what he has placed directly in front of me. God keeps bringing the above verse to my mind and I am certain it is not coincidence. I am a "do-er", when I don't know what else to do I just busy myself.
As I reflected on the seven years since we've held Isaac, I have thought a lot about what matters...and for that matter...what doesn't. In the name of grief I have spent a great deal of time on things that don't really matter, just busying myself to numb the pain, as time has gone on, I have learned to recognize when I have slipped myself into "autopilot" and have had to work hard to walk through the pain and continue to focus on the blessings directly in front of me.
I am so grateful that I have four amazing children here on earth and two waiting in Heaven. They are such gifts that the Lord has used in miraculous ways in my life to shape and form me into the person I am. My goal is to fill one hand with what matters...and have tranquility, and a free hand to help others up than to grasp frantically with two hands to things that just don't matter. Better is ONE handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind. If you always have two handfuls you never have a free hand to lend.
In the grand scheme of things, we spend so much time in our brief lives on things that just don't matter, chasing after big careers, money, material possessions...it is the American way. Trouble is...it will never bring peace or tranquility...just toil and chasing after the wind...it will never be enough. At some point we all have to stop...refocus and decide what REALLY matters, in the end for me, I have found that to be my relationship with God, my family, relationships and serving others.
While my heart aches and longs to hold Isaac and Asher, I am overwhelmingly grateful for their impact on my lives. I am so blessed that God chose me to be their mother. EACH of my six children has brought so much to my life and continue to do so and one of the biggest has been putting things into perspective. I GET to be a mom. I GET to be a wife, and a daughter, and a friend. Those things matter. Those things deserve my time. So I sure do have one hand overwhelmingly full sometimes, but I am beyond grateful for the tranquility that has come from Him alone. Seven years out, I can tell you that it still hurts like crazy, but it is well.
I am so grateful for my handful...and I wouldn't trade it for two or three or four because His peace and tranquility are so much better than ANY American Dream or anything I could ever imagine. The world might say that being a stay at home mom and wife don't matter...that my time would be better spent earning more money and making our lives more comfortable...but I am grateful that my value doesn't come from the world...it comes from Him, and I know I am doing what He has called me to and I am just thankful to have the opportunity to do it!
It is time to take a breath, rest in Him, and just trust, stop waiting for the other shoe to drop or the next tragedy around the bend...it is time to abide in Him and enjoy my handful, knowing that whatever lies ahead He has gone before me and already worked it out. This school year we will be embarking on some student led learning...I will be focusing this year on ENJOYING my amazing kids and exploring our world with them and I just couldn't be more excited about that!
Seven years ago...our sweet second son was born. I will be forever grateful for the way he changed us. My heart aches still, I can't help but wonder what kinds of things he would like what it would be like with him here in our family. Some days it is hard. I trust that God's ways are higher than ours, and that he doesn't waste a hurt. I have to admit though I have to constantly remind myself to NOT relive the past, or pine over what could have been, because right in front of me I have what is and thanks to this little guy, I am DETERMINED not to waste it.
Hello! Well it has been an amazingly busy, blessed, and exhausting week! Last Thursday we took the kids to a local amusement park and rode rides and water slides ALL DAY...from open to close and they were ROCKSTARS. We had so much fun! The following day was a planned zoo day and visit with Jacob's birth mom who was in town from out of state visiting her family. I was apprehensive, but God was SO with us the whole day and it was great to see her finding peace and closure. It was a bit awkward and I am guessing it will be as we continue to establish a relationship and healthy boundaries.
God orchestrated a beautiful story when He decided to weave our stories together and I am so grateful. I'd be lying if I said it was not a bit nerve wracking, but God carefully sprinkled some of our friends throughout the zoo to pray for and with us and just provide a breath of familiarity. All in all it went well, aside from it being insanely hot and the kids bickered a lot and Jacob pooped through two outfits. :)
We got home from the zoo and since we'd been playing hard for two days we decided to insist upon a family nap time. Just as I got everyone settled our phone rang...and normally my instinct would be to let it go to voicemail and check it later but I was prompted to answer the call. I was stunned when the person on the other end of the phone said, "Hi, this is _____, I was wondering if there was any way you could take twin four month olds on respite for the weekend." I caught my breath and asked for more information and time to talk to Howard.
We decided ultimately to take the babies ( I know...we are crazy). This meant an 8 year old, a 5 year old, a 3 year old and 3 four month olds. The babies had some special needs but were about the sweetest things ever! We went to a Fourth of July party with all 6 in tow and it was so much fun. We enjoyed them immensely! They blessed us more than I ever could have imagined. We still feel honored to have had the chance to hold them even if only for a weekend! AND let me just say that after doing 6, 4 seems like a breeze. ;)
We had one more visit with Jacob's birth mom before she flew back home and it was also very sweet. She loves him so much and is very considerate of our family. She brought the kids donuts and a new blanket and rattle for Jacob. I feel overwhelmingly grateful that Jacob's story is being written so beautifully...he will hopefully never doubt how much he is loved by us and by his biological family.
We've spent the past week cleaning and reorganizing the house and preparing for a yard sale to help us with the cost of our August trip to Reading to finalize! If you are in town, stop by the weekend of the 20th (Isaac's Heaven Day) and see if there are any treasures waiting here for you! :) I am so thankful for your continued prayers for our family and for Jacob's birth mom! We are blessed to have such a wonderful support system. I still stand in awe of what God has done! He is so faithful and so worthy of our praise!
Go ahead and mention my child, The one that died, you know. Don't worry about hurting me further. The depth of my pain doesn't show. Don't worry about making me cry. I'm already crying inside. Help me to heal by releasing The tears that I try to hide. I'm hurt when you just keep silent, Pretending she didn't exist. I'd rather you mention my child, Knowing that she has been missed. You asked me how I was doing. I say "pretty good" or "fine". But healing is something ongoing I feel it will take a lifetime. ~ Elizabeth Dent ~
"When I Lay My Isaac Down" - Carol Kent "The One Year Book of Hope" - Nancy Guthrie "Holding on to Hope" - Nancy Guthrie "Empty Cradle Broken Heart" - Deborah Davis "Waiting With Gabriel" - Amy Kuebelbeck "Streams in the Desert" - LB Cowman "It Takes a Parent" - Betsy Hart "I'll Hold You in Heaven" - Jack Hayford "Crazy Love" Francis Chan "Radical" David Platt