Sometimes You Gotta Pull Away…

23 Oct

As soon as I shut the car door the tears fell. Uncontrollably. At Pizza Hut with Jeremy for lunch it happened again. Whoa pregnant woman…slow down…get control. But I couldn’t. Still barely can’t hours later. There’s a lot going on. Good stuff. And well, I haven’t had much time alone recently.

The latest-We’ve sold our house in Durham. We feel so blessed that God brought along the perfect buyer. This was part necessity/ part desire. With 4 little boys running around (and a spunky little girl), they need more space…outside space. So we’re praying and looking and making plans for our family’s future. All exciting-really! But some days a little overwhelming (grace can do that).

I am quick to hit emotional walls like the one I’m in now where I just have to pull away. Jeremy said it at lunch before I did.  The 2 months before Esther came I did the same thing. Silenced this outlet and that. Started this personal study and that. Shut the door on things so I could breathe more deeply. So I could be established in the only thing that’s really established.

So here we go again…indefinitely. And I share for 1 reason…There may be others who need to pull away. Maybe no one else knows it but you. Be encouraged. You’re not alone. We are all huge messes in need of huge grace. Praise be we serve a faithful Father. Farewell…for now!=)

My chosen study for this go round…Ann Voskamp’s devotional “One Thousand Gifts Devotional: Reflections on Finding Everyday Graces.” Maybe I’ve already done it once.=) But it helps me focus on Him, and the Gospel, and all the things I forget when life gets crazy.

And this…just because:
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“And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.” (Matthew 14:23)

On Having 5 Kids…

15 Oct

February 5 will be here soon, and we’ll officially welcome child #5 into our family. Holy cow! I never dreamed I’d type those words. But God has always been writing a story and often it seems way different than mine.

I’m learning, though, that although the term “5 kids” can embarrass me a little (if I’m totally honest), that I’m not going to have “5 kids.” I’m going to have the following…

Stephen Andrew
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Caleb Joshua
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Jonathan Seth
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Esther Grace
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Kenan Samuel

And each of those babies are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” They were each “knit together in their mother’s womb.” (Psalm 139:13,14)

Because 5 isn’t a number anymore. It’s become a name. It’s a representation of all that is and all that I pray God will do. In them. Through them. And in me.

Pure grace.

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.” (Psalm 139:17-18)

Infertility, Fertility, & Adoption

23 Sep

Let me clarify 2 things off the bat:
1-We’ve never struggled with infertility.
2-Not everyone is called to adopt.

But here’s what I do know. Something Jeremy and I have talked about lots in recent weeks…There is a special love you have for a child you adopt.

It’s not greater than the love you have for biological children. It’s not less. Just different.

Strong. Emotional. Indescribable. Real.

I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it moves me to tears nearly every day.

I’ve birthed 3 babies. I’ve adopted 1. And this I can say with confidence…

Women who struggle with infertility-Don’t worry that you’ll miss something if you never birth kids and choose the path of adoption. You won’t. In fact, I’m wondering if it could be the other way around.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
(Psalm 139:1-6 ESV)

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Worth it…

13 Sep

I looked into her big brown eyes the other day, and this is what I said:

It was worth it…

-Every tear
-Every sleepless night
-Every worrisome day that passed by
-Every phone call that wasn’t our agency
-Every time I closed the nursery door
-Every time I rocked an invisible baby
-Every time I looked at others in envy
-Every dollar
-Every prayer
-Every journal entry
-Every painful step of hope God led us on

It was all worth it. You are worth it.

And God says the same thing to me. Every day. You were worth it all.

“Thus says the LORD: ‘The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you’.” (Jeremiah 31:2,3)

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Our Big Surprise…

9 Sep

The first time I saw this picture I thought our family was complete…

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And this little girl, well, she just lights up our home…
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But sometimes God has other plans. Big plans. Perfect plans. And sometimes they show up in pictures like this…

So around February 5th that little boy will make us a family of 7. Surprised? We were! All I can say is…

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)

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