March 30, 2011

Cleanliness is next to Speechlessness

Quint’s room was a fantastic mess, to be sure.  We’d had a long day of indoor play.  Games, bubbles, cars, music, stories, and five-star “meals” cooked up one right after the other on plastic-ware and pretend stoves. 

As we tucked him in for bed, Anton made a sweeping gesture over the room and noted what disarray it was in, adding “it’s a BOY room…it’s supposed to be messy!”  We laughed and gave kisses and hugs and  gently closed the door, flipping out the light as we left.


Moments later, Anton called to me. 

“He’s up, I think.  In his room.  His light is on.  I think he’s playing.”

I made haste. Frustrated that he was out of bed.  A little miffed that he would be up and “playing”.  I could hear him clanking around. 

My signature “move” is to thrust open the door to gain the element of surprise.  And I did so with GUSTO, causing him to turn with wild eyes and yelp audibly. 

Red-handed and caught – he held three plates in one hand and some plastic strawberries in the other. 

I might have said “WHAT ARE YOU DOING OUT OF BED, WITH THE LIGHTS ON?!?!” a little too loudly.  I might have. 

But as my eyes began to settle on the room at large, I walked out.  I needed back-up.

“You need to come in here”, I motioned to Anton, already in bed himself.

We walked back, where Quint had resumed his project.

“Me clean my room, Daddy!”  He said with exuberant smiles and genuine happiness. 

“I see that, son.  I can see that”.

The once COVERED floor was completely clean.  And he was still busy.  Oh yes.

We sat down.  Anton in the rocking chair and I on the wooden chest. 

We were, in a way…speechless.


Quint bustled around us, placing things exactly where they belonged and making short order of what was once a mess into a very clean and organized little space.

His sheer delight to be cleaning his room was more than we could find words to respond to.  Our well-intentioned speeches about getting out of bed and breaking the rules went out the window and we sat somewhat dumbfounded watching him take great joy in clearing his mess.

I wanted to find fault in the late night project he had undertaken, but he was so thorough and cute and well-intentioned, all I could do was shrug my shoulders and hide smiles and stare bewildered at Anton as we exchanged confused and bemused glances.

We offered him occasional praise and he beamed.

The clothes were put in the hamper
The toys were put in their respective “spots”
The shoes were placed in the shoe basket
The books, placed back on the bookshelf
The room was spotless.

And so after about ten minutes, give or take, the boy was placed back in bed.  Fresh kisses.  Fresh hugs.  And tucked in.  Again.


And I reminded him that though he had done a wonderful job cleaning up his room, and that as much as I appreciated all his hard work, this time he would need to stay in bed and leave the light out.

He agreed and was off to sleep in minutes.  Must have been tired from working the night-shift.

I’m still savoring the moment, however.  I think I might be for a while…just remembering the way his little face was lit up “me clean my room!” and the way he took so much happiness in making us proud of him, (despite the, ahem, hour of the day).

Who says a boy’s room is supposed to be messy anyway?

He’s only three for a blink…

March 28, 2011

A Year Ago

Every once in a while, I like to reflect on a post written exactly one year ago. 

Still reeling from becoming a mother to two children, and only home from China for two short months, I “penned” this honest post about what we tell our adopted children about their past.

“On Painting A Pretty Picture”

I have re-read it, and I was gasping anew at what lies ahead.  Frankly, most days I am not prepared to see the pain in my children’s eyes when they start coming to terms with their humble beginnings. 

On the other hand, God doesn’t make mistakes.  They are right where they should be.  He took what was sadly, so broken and made something beautiful.

May we strive to be worthy of that blessing, and each of us – my children, myself, and AB…do truly good things with it…

There’s tremendous comfort there, I believe.

March 26, 2011

I’m still trying to figure out…

how to say “no” to this face…


and this one…(sob)


or definitely this one…(help me!)

IMG_1448- rev

this one (which makes me melt into a drippy heap)…


and this one…(precious boy)


and save me! - this one too…


by all means – if you’ve got some wonder-magic-poof-fairy dust-little dab’l do ya-fixit stuff

then you can send it my way to help me to harness the power of “no”….

send it on over.

meanwhile…SOS on the cute factor.

SOS, my good people.

March 22, 2011


Some things, you can’t prepare for.  No matter how hard you try.  No matter how much you think you’re ready.  You’re not. 

When Quint woke us up Saturday night – it was a scream.  From his room.  A panicked scream.  And he called for his Daddy.  And when I think about the way it sounded now, it makes me shudder. 

In our sleepy state, we assumed he was having a bad dream.  But there was something different…something wrong about it.

And when Anton got to Quint – when the door to his room was opened and I could hear from my bed the sounds he was making – my mind jumped alert and I raced out of the bed hearing myself say loudly and too frantically “Honey!?  What’s wrong?! What is it?!”  Knowing there was an urgency deep down.  Knowing somehow that something with my son was not right.

He was struggling to breathe.  And oh, the sounds he was making.  Friends, I would not wish it on anyone.  It was horrifying.  His throat sounds as if it was closing off.  Worse and worse as the seconds and minutes ticked by.  He was gasping for air.  Trying to cry and not able to – not really.  Trying to speak, and not able to .  And the reality and panic of it had woken him up and created a whirlwind of anxious decision making. 

I wracked my mind – my heart beating rapidly and my adrenaline propelling me into frantic pacing and crying.  No, I was not calm.  I was hysterical.  My three year old son was gasping for air and I could not think.  All I could say was “what did he eat?”  and “what did we do?” and then “please, God – no…don’t let this be happening…please!  What do I do!?  Help us!?” 

We called 911 and what seemed like 30-minutes was truly only about four,  before they were at our door and racing in to help our boy.  When he saw them – he knew it was bad.  That is to say – our three year old knew it was far worse than even he – in his limited understanding – could grasp.  He tried to cry – but was struggling so much to breath, he couldn’t do his normal volume any justice at all.  Only tears – slipping down his face and some panicked eye darting and hand flailing. 

They gave him oxygen.  That seemed to calm him down.  But just a bit.  Soon there were six of them – Fire Department, Medics, God bless them.  Truly.  Each one gentle.  Each one kind, considerate. 

It was evident to all that Quint’s airway had shut significantly – but whether it would continue to close remained to be seen and he needed treatment fast.

He was taken via ambulance to our local Children’s Hospital – again, God bless them for being there.  I’m so grateful we have such a wonderful hospital so close by. 

After examination, he was diagnosed.  Croup.  He was given oxygen, steroids to decrease the swelling in his airway, and an additional liquid medicine to help with the irritation in his throat. 

For those mothers reading this that have experienced Croup – you can attest to how scary it is.  But for those who haven’t, and maybe like me thought of Croup as some strange loud cough…and nothing more?  I will tell you what the nurse told us:  “Croup is the one thing parents never seem to have any idea about…and it’s the scariest thing they’ve never thought of”.

I can echo that.  It truly is the scariest thing I never, ever gave a thought to. 

It’s a virus.  It’s like the Flu.  But it’s based in the throat.  Near the vocal chords. Hence the “barking” cough.  But friends? There is an element to Croup that I was not aware of – and it’s terrifying.  It’s called “stridor”.  And that is where the vocal chords become so inflamed, they swell and cause the airway to close.  As in potentially all the way.

And we are so GRATEFUL that Quint was old enough to call for his Daddy.  That he was present enough to know to scream out as best he could, when he realized something was terribly wrong.  I shudder to think what might have happened had he not done those things.  I can’t even go there.

Children are prone to it – because their vocal chords and throats are much smaller than adults. 

And it’s just as contagious as a cold, we were told.

There is nothing they can do for it – it’s a virus. 

I have never felt so helpless in my life.

Needless to say, we are home and recovering and still reeling, in a way, from our way-too-close-call.  There is nothing worse than a sick child.

Or seeing your child gasping for air…

If your child has a barking cough, consider putting them in your room for the night so you can monitor their breathing.  Quint had a slight barking cough (think seal) for most of the day – but we didn’t think anything of it – because he also has allergies like every human being living in Texas this time of year.  They might have rolling fevers or runny nose.  They might have decreased appetite.  Much like the flu!  Take whatever precautions you need to, to keep your babies safe.  You might not be able to prevent it, but you can be prepared if it does happen.  If your child wakes up struggling to breath, open your freezer and let them stick their face in and breathe the cold.  It can relax the throat and decrease swelling.  Call 911 – don’t try to drive your child to the hospital.  You can’t make a decision to pull over or keep driving should the situation deteriorate.  Most of all – try to stay calm.  I was so upset, I think I made Quint panic more than he already was.  And panic, it turns out?  Makes the vocal chords swell.  Yes.  Yes it does.  I’ve got to work on that.

We are thanking God for His mercy and grace – and I’m asking all of you with small children – be aware of Croup!  We were totally ignorant of it. 

Waiting for his medicine to work
Relaxing ~ now that he can breath again
After 2:30 AM and completely wiped out from his ordeal
The next morning ~ recovering in Mom and Dad's bed.  Still wearing all the medical monitor pads on his arms and legs.     

March 18, 2011

The Family Portrait

I'm sure many of us can point to very specific times in our lives when our "family portrait" wasn't quite where we envisioned it would be, or where we wanted it.  I'm sure we can recall the sting of feeling something was missing
Someone was missing.
I don't usually forget how that sting felt for long, but I guess sometimes I might lose sight of it in the hurry and stress of the day...
…I might forget the way that pang always seemed to follow me around - reminding me that there was this huge part of my heart out there in the world somewhere - and I just couldn't seem to reach it, no matter how hard I fought for it or longed for it.
And so now and again, I remind myself to look around and see that I have indeed reached it.  I found those pieces of my heart.
And my new “family portrait” is a nice little piece of "just perfect"...goofy grins and all. 

March 14, 2011

Her Royal Highness, The Princess of the King


It’s hard to feel like a Royal Princess, isn’t it?  But if God is our King, and we are His children…well...

I don't know how you spend your days.  But lately? 

I spend the majority of my days changing diapers, serving meals, acting as a referee for toddler spats, raising my voice far too much, kissing ouchies, grooming hair, washing faces and hands, cleaning dishes, sorting mounds of dirty and then clean laundry, feeding the dog, wiping counters, cleaning up spills, solving earth shattering issues like who took what toy from whom and when will he or she give it back - and all while shlubbing around in grubby sweats and a stained t-shirt with yesterday’s remnant makeup on and frizzy hair piled high on my head. 

Doesn’t that sound sooooo glamorous? 

Doesn’t that sound sooooo familiar?

Not much like a Royal Princess is it?

It’s hard to keep an eternal perspective when you’re knee deep in daily life.  Hard to keep your focus fixed on the Lord, when all you really want to do is find a corner to cry in.  Or sleep.  Whichever. 

But do you know what God says in 1 Peter 2:9?
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

What a proclamation over our lives!  Ladies – this is BIG STUFF!  Why have we been given such a title?  Well, the verse tells us, doesn’t it?  To DECLARE the praises of the One who gave us that title! 

Do you think that God knew full well when He made me that I would have days (many, many days) like the one I described above?  That I would have moments where I felt I could not raise another finger to do my “duty” as wife and mother?  And do you think He knew that when He granted me with that glorious title, there might be some times that I would feel less like royalty and more like a lowly servant?

Yes!  Of course, He did!  And that’s why His loving care and demonstrative words in 1 Peter give me such HOPE!  He knew me and YET He loved me and gave me His favor!

Even on my worst, hardest day – I am still all of those things to God.  He doesn’t see the worn out sweats and stained t-shirt…He sees ME.  His Daughter!  His Princess!  His special, holy, chosen child! 

And I believe He really wants us to remember that even during these difficult “trench living” years – you are still offering a Praise offering to God.  Serving my children and helping them to grow in God’s purpose…even when it just means feeding, dressing, brushing teeth, and reading the same story over and over and over again, and yes – even resolving toddler spats - that’s still a beautiful declaration of praise to a Living Holy God!  The same God who loves my children with a burning passion!  The same God who has called them out of darkness and into the light!  Out of all the mother’s the world over – He put them in my care.  What an awesome commission!  Knowing I would have days like today.  Days like the one I’ve shared with you.  He knows they are right where they are supposed to be.  And that’s what we have to remember.  You are never out of His love

For me, it’s so hard to remember to live in that place.  But this is TRUTH to walk in – You ARE: Chosen.  Royal.  Holy. God’s SPECIAL possession.  And our response?  “Declare the praises of Him who called you OUT of darkness into His wonderful LIGHT”!

I don’t know how you do it over in your world, but at my place…some days can feel like an awful lot of darkness.  Not because I’m wallowing in depression.  No.  Because I’m muddling through Life!  For me, that’s the grind of living in the toddler trenches.  For you?  Maybe that’s the stress of trying to start a family.  Or perhaps the pressures of trying to raise Godly teenagers.  Or maybe just trying to fulfill your career path in a hustle and bustle fast paced office! 

It's easy to forget that God is at work for GOOD for those who Love Him! Romans 8:28 reminds us:

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

So let’s review:

Only the good things in our lives? 

All things!

Even when my kids aren’t behaving and the laundry is piled up and I can’t remember what I’m doing after circling the house three times??

All things!

Even when my boss is disappointed in me or doesn’t take notice when I do great things?

All things!

Even when we feel hopeless?  Or sad?  Or unsure?

Sweet friends, ALL THINGS.  God works for the GOOD of those who love Him.  That means that even if you’re too tired to make things good today – or even tomorrow…God is still at work for GOOD.  You are still his SPECIAL POSESSION.  His treasure. 

You are still His Princess.  No matter what your t-shirt looks like.  Or your hair.  Or how high your laundry is piled up.

Be proud of where you are. 

Be proud of who you are. 

And let your life praise the One who has called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light…

March 10, 2011

This, that, or the other…

My husband asked when I was going to post again.  That’s pretty sad, isn’t it?  And I admit, it’s been a bit sparse around here.  Is it just me?  Is it truly like with the impending feeling of Spring around the corner also came an overwhelming amount of things to accomplish?  I don’t know what it is, but I am buried.  In work, parenting, appointments, and life.  I could make a list, but don’t we all have pretty much the same list?  Life happens.  And before we know it, we’re posting only once a week…ish.  Sad, sad, sad state of affairs my friends.

So rather than regale you with the details of how the “list” has worn me so very thin and made me feel like a hibernation sleep session that lasts a minimum of 1 year would not be such a bad thing, I’ll give you some bullets.  Cuz’ everyone can do bullets, right?  I mean, that’s a no brainer…ish. 

  • The blog design business?  That “little” thing I thought would be fun?  Holy cow!  No foolin’ people…it has blown up!  And it IS fun.  So happy – but wowza…
  • I’ve decided to attend a Ladies Retreat that my church is hosting.  All the retreats I’ve attended in the past have been in cabin-esque type places.  Beautiful – but typically you share a cabin with up to 6 other women.  Now, not to diminish this, because I have made some wonderful relationships in this way.  However, this time the Retreat is at a Hotel.  A Hotel people.  An honest to goodness Hotel.  As in amenities.  As in turn down service.  As in fresh white towels.  So I knew what had to be done.  I pleaded with AB to consider that what I really needed on this Ladies Retreat was just that…a RETREAT.  Since one of the options was a room to yourself…with a King bed, (did I mention white towels and cable and lots of pillows all to yourself?) well, I might have begged asked to do that with extreme glee.  Get a room by myself.  Because I’m all for doing all the fun eating/playing/activities/sessions during the day – but then to be able to go to my room at the end of the day and be ALONE.  Shhhh.  Do you hear that?  That’s me.  Alone.  In my hotel room.  And there is silence.  Peace.  Quiet.  And towels.  That I didn’t have to wash or fold.  Just throwing that in there.  So people – I’m going!  You’ll hear my squeals of JOY as I drive to said Hotel and experience an entire weekend of ME time.  Don’t be alarmed.  It’s just me.  Alone.  And no one will need anything from me for three days.  Oh my gosh…I could cry.  
  • Easter is like, what…tomorrow or something?  Because that décor is everywhere.  And the Cadbury Eggs – which I’m definitely not opposed to – are now showing up in multi packs and mini packs and all over the good world.  Man, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year.  Ahem.
  • There is disturbing news coming out of Ethiopia in the adoption world.  This is just sad and sorry and I’m happy that we are not in the process right now.  After everything we went through during our wait with China – my head just might pop off if I was trying to do this right now.  Give me a break!  What about the kids, people?!?  They are no less an orphan today as they will be tomorrow…and especially not if you keep this kind of stuff up.  Tear the whole structure down when one board is lose?  GAH!
  • Those "little" heart matters that I intimated in the post before last are still there – of course.  Still ugly. Still trying to figure out a solid way to rid myself of them.  But I’ve taken a lot of comfort in encouragement from others – especially those who have reminded me that RECOGNIZING I even have issues that need work and that I AM in charge of fixing those things was a big move.  And it’s true.  I love to place blame on anyone but me.  Isn’t that delightful?  Don’t you just want to get coffee together now?  (cough)  So, yes.  Still working on it.  Gonna be a long process – I can see. 
  • Is anyone looking forward to summer like I am?  I can’t help it.  I know I’m jumping ahead here…but I’m so ready for VACATION.  You heard me.  La Cabin calls……
  • I was thinking it would be fun for AB and I to host a weekly Vlog (video-blog, ma).  (See, I made a funny there.  That was for my “ma” because she’ll read that and say “what in the hootin’ hollerin’ is a ‘vlog?!?”…now she knows.)  Won’t you just love to see our mugs interacting?  I mean, people will tune in for that, right?  Anyone?  Hello?  (crickets)
  • Pictures?  Anyone?  Here’s what I love:  I love that when Anton can be home and being that he loves to cook – he is often on the kitchen.  Well, little man just LOVES to help.  So here’s what I love.  I love that Anton has the patience of a saint and teaches his 3 year old how to cook.  That’s what I love.  When I see Quint stirring up some awesome sauce for this or that?  Well, that's just...mmm mmm good! 

I love this kid!  Green tomatoes, anyone?



So anywhoooo, I’m not gonna make any grandiose promises about how I’ll blog more or do better or whatever.  Life is for the living.  If I’m gone for a week at a time for awhile, just know that it in NO WAY indicates a stop to writing.  But rather a full, busy, and active life.  Stories are building up to be shared, and I have no intention to stop telling them.  Sometimes you just need a little breather, eh?  Lots of “heart” stuff happening that I’ll love sharing with you – but I figure I’ll give them a chance to kick in, before I start blathering about how much I’ve changed…nothing worse than someone who brags how different they are only slip back to exactly the person they were.  Yuck.  And since my wonderful husband reads this blog faithfully – bless his heart – I will spare myself the shame of being dishonest about how I’m doing with my attitude adjustment, eh? 

Everyone have a great weekend!!

March 4, 2011

A Pity-Party and Forgiveness

“I don’t like you, Mommy…I like Daddy!  I want Mommy go to work and Daddy stay home!"

He wasn’t mad.  He wasn’t angry.  He wasn’t frustrated.  We weren’t in the heat of a battle of wills. 

He was matter of fact in his tone.  Stating something that he thought I should know.

And I was eating a bowl of Ramen noodles and they were eating fruit and yogurt and hot dogs.  It was an ordinary night.  Daddy was working.  We were home and going through our routine.

But this was not part of the routine; this unexpected declaration of feelings.

Over that bowl of Ramen…I looked up at him with wide eyes.  Speechless.  He had never said anything of this sort in the past.

And before I could stop myself, tears began to well up and over my eyes…spilling down my face.  It was like a flash flood of the eyeballs. 

Try though I might to stop them from flowing, I could not contain how that simple sentence had wounded me. 

Yes, he’s three.  No, he doesn’t mean it.  {I think}.  Of course, he didn’t mean to be malicious or hurt me.  He was just being honest in that moment. 

He misses his Daddy.  He wished Daddy was there.  He isn’t always so fond of me, because we butt heads, he and I. 

And that’s actually alright – because the feeling is quite mutual.  I’m not always so fond of me either and I’d like to see more of Daddy too.

But in this moment, it cut deep.  I knew the intent.  Sort of.  And I recognized that the source of my pain in that moment had only "walked the earth" less than 40 months.  Still…

I felt broken by those words. 

“I don’t like you, Mommy”.

Oh!  The pity-party had begun.  After of all the hard work…all the pouring ALL. OF. ME. into that child day in and day out, going on 32 of those 40 months now.  The sleepless nights.  The exhaustion.  The sacrifice.  All for that simple sentence to come flying out of his mouth in all of his 3-year-old apathy.   I was crushed!

“I want Mommy go to work and Daddy stay home!"

First of all you “short, misinformed, know it all” …I DO go to work every day.  Hello?  What is this I’m doing right now?  Not only do I take care of you and your sister from dawn to dusk, but I have not one but TWO jobs that I work from home.  Sleep is like a dream that I sometimes get a glimpse of.  {actually, I do get at least five hours a night – and I’ll take them!}  I don’t even know my middle name anymore! {actually, I do…since it’s what I "go by"}  I haven’t worn makeup in three years!  {actually, I have it on now}  I can’t even remember what your father looks like, I’m so knee deep in potty time and diapers and meals and toys and butt creams!  {actually, we had lunch today with Daddy}  Mind you, I didn’t say any of this to him, but boy oh boy, did it run through my mind like a bullet train. 

I was feeling so sorry for myself and I cried and cried.  Not all crazy and outloud or anything.  Just like pathetic tears falling frantically into my soup.  Literally.  I was crying in my soup.  Oh my gosh.  I’m a cliché!

Soon after, Quint noticed my tears and leaned over.  He said:

“Mommy?  Wrong?”

“I’m sad,”  I replied.  And more tears hit the chicken broth.  “I’m sad because you said that you don’t like me.  And it really hurt my feelings because I love you so much.”

“Oh.”  And then he smiled.  A kind of coy smile.  Knowing.  I won't even delve into the psycho-analysis of your toddler smiling when he's hurt you.  I don't even think he knew how to react to what I had said and his smiling was a nervous response.  And I might have even taken the time to chastise him for that smile, save the fact that I rushed away to grab a tissue and spare my dinner getting completely watered down.

As I sat back down he stared at me.  For a long time.  And I held my tissue and tried my darndest to “dry it up”.  Finally he reached over and patted my arm.

“Mommy?  Me like you.  Me like you AND Daddy.  Ok?  Me love you.  Ok?”

“Ok, Quint.”  Drying my eyes and trying to let it go.

“Mommy? …………..Sorry….”

And just like that.  It was better.  It was done and we moved on.  With his rejection in one moment, I was crushed and broken.  Because I have given him my everything.  And then he spoke one little word and it was better.  Because I love him.  And I forgive him. 

And the point of this post?  Not just to make you say, “been there!” {I’m sure many of you have}  Not just to make you giggle a bit or feel bad a bit. {though I hope you did...giggle that is}

The point is, as I dried my tears and resumed my eating and life went on…I felt a picture coming into my mind.  A picture of a heavenly Father {stay with me} who loves us beyond comprehension. 

Beyond any other measure.  Who made us.  Lavished us with His bountiful creation.  Cares for us.  Watches over us.  Listens to us.  Rejoices in our success.  Hold us up when we fall and comforts us when we cry.

From dawn to dusk and dusk to dawn again.  Never resting.  Always with His eyes upon us. Always keeping His "little sparrows" in His line of vision.

Every. Single. Moment. of our lives.  Caring for and loving us deeply.

And Who, gave up everything He had for our sake; His Son.

I’m sad to think of how many times I have grieved the heart of God with my choices and my often flagrant disregard for all He has done for me and all He has done in my life. 

How often do we say to Him with our words or even our actions:

I don’t like You

I don’t trust You

I don’t love You

Maybe even, “I don’t acknowledge You”

How much does that grieve God’s heart?  I don’t even like to think about it.  Let alone realize how many times I have behaved as if I felt that way.

Thankfully, God doesn’t hang onto my short-comings.  He is a gentle, caring, and faithful Father who loves us anyway…despite the words that come flying out of our mouths.  Even when we wound His heart, His love for us is so much greater.  Nothing can separate us from the Love of God!

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. {Romans 8:38-39}

That is POWERFUL! 

The emotions I felt….I'm telling you - I wanted to run out of the room and cry and feel sorry for myself all over the place when Quint said he didn’t like me.  It's silly maybe - to let it get to me that way.  I like to think I'm made of tougher stuff than that.  But I wanted to shout out all the things I had done for him.  I wanted to list off all of my good qualities and why he should see that I’m the best thing that ever happened to him. I wanted him to see me.

Despite our turning our eyes the other way, God keeps His focus trained on you.  He does not run away.  He does not bury his head.  He does not shout at us.  {well, maybe sometimes…to me anyway} Instead, He seeks us out.  He comes after us with an intense passion and love.  He has called you by name and you are HIS.  He is not letting you go…

When we ask for His forgiveness, the Bible says He is generous and forgives us – out of his Deep Abiding Love for us.

Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. {Micah 7:18-19}

I don’t know about you, but I’m so glad that God is willing to “hurl” my sins into the depths of the sea!  I’m so grateful that He is always showing us – even in our everyday lives, if we are willing to see – that He loves us and is at work even when we have our own pity parties – He still works out our lives for His glory! 

Forgive me Lord, for putting You through my selfish, short, misinformed, know it all attitude.

I like you.  A lot. 

I love You.

And I’m sorry

March 1, 2011


Friends…it’s time for a change.  To every thing there is a season, right?

And not just the new look, which I've pared down quite a bit from the fun Valentines theme. My sidebar has been moved to the bottom and now I have this nice large workspace to share from.  Woot!

I think part of the reason I’ve struggled to write anything lately, centers around some pain I’m feeling in my life.  I think we still call them “growing pains” even when we’re pushing forty. (meh)

I’ve been wrestling with some issues for years and they have finally hit the surface with a fierce bang.  So I’ll be blunt:  I’ve got some nastiness I need to purge out of my heart.  I’m seeing a deep need to line up what I believe with how I live out my life.  That includes the life I live out for you to see on this blog.  I struggle tremendously with negativity, a sense of unhappiness, and an overall feeling of discontent in my life.  As someone I am very close to recently put it: I am “perpetually unhappy no matter what goodness is taking place in {my} life”.  And I am here to tell you today, that I, (me…myself…you’re “looking” at her") I am the cause of so much of that – and I am ready to be set free of it.  I am ready to let it go and find peace

Part of that process for me is being able to articulate it through my writing.  Part of being able to write about the flawed nature of my heart, and the gunk in my life that needs cleaned up will be coming here and letting it spill out in much the same way I have discussed many things over the years.  Bare.  Honest.  And transparently.  Sometimes not so pretty.  Sometimes, well maybe a little pretty. 

But in order to write from the depths of my heart, I need to address something that has been bothering me and gnawing at me for some time.  Something that you probably would never even notice.  Mostly because I only hint at it here and there in this or that post, and that “hinting” needs to stop.  Maybe because I skirt around it, so as not to offend.  Maybe because it makes me feel vulnerable or exposed.  That also needs to stop.  So from the shadow to the light…


This is my faith:  I don’t want to leave any room for question.  I am a woman saved by the Grace and Love and Compassion of Jesus Christ.  I attend a Bible church.  I attend a weekly Bible study.  I am a sinner.  I love the Lord.  I love to sing worship and praise to my King and Creator!  It’s my favorite part of church – I admit it!  I cherish the HOPE that I have found in my faith in God and Christ’s sacrifice for me (and for you!) I’ve added a tab up on top called “My Faith” that spills out what I believe and why.  I urge you to read it!

My sweet friend Miss A recently told a group of ladies “I’m over what you think of me!  I just don’t care anymore!” Hear!  Hear!  I couldn’t agree more!  Too often we spend so much time trying to avoid stepping on the emotional toes of those around us, that we forget to stand up for what we know is right.  Forget to be who we have been called to be!  We worry so much what people might think of us…say about us…or heaven forbid – abandon us…that we silence ourselves.  Well, I’m over that, too!  I just don’t care anymore.  Or maybe I do…too much...and that’s why I’m ready to learn how to let that go.  For my sake.  And maybe even for yours!

I have been in church my entire life.  But in the core of my soul, I have behaved as if I was waiting for God to transform me into some beautiful swan…waiting for Him to do that good, good work in me…and you know what?  He would love to.  But I’ve laid down on the operating table, as Andrea Wells Miller put it so well, and I’ve got the ether mask on and I’m ready to go to sleep and be painlessly and effortlessly transformed.  Well, it ain’t that simple, honey.  Change requires work.  God would love to use me – but I believe He can’t use me to the potential that I have, because I’ve got too much crud in my heart and I’m not doing any work.  Time to get busy!

I’m so tired of apologizing for my belief system.  Gah.  So tired of it.  So tired about potentially offending the masses.  So tired readers might not want to hear what I have to say anymore if my relationship with my Savior is the focus of it.  I've done it to myself.  It's not you - IT'S ME!  Well, I’m OVER IT. (over myself, apparently!)

I love you guys, but I just don't care what you think about me any more.

I want to be a blessing through my writing.  I want to bless others  and share the Truth for those who want to hear!  I’m tired of living as if I’m still in chains, when I’ve been set FREE in Christ.  I don’t have to walk around unhappy, discontented, or finding the negative in every little thing.  I can release that and find healing – and that’s just what I plan to do.

What does that mean for my blog?  Well a couple things:

Six years after starting this blog, I have hundreds of daily readers.  (Hello! and I love you!!) I’ve built relationships with many of you and some of you lurkers or long-time silent readers.  I appreciate you!  I love that you have reached out to me over the years, just by showing up and hearing what I had to say.  I want you to stick around, but I know some of you will move on.  That’s ok!  I will miss you, but I know full well we sometimes have to agree to disagree. 

I have used this blog first as a place to cry on your shoulders about the long adoption wait, then about becoming a new mother, and then about becoming a new mother again.  About our journeys around the world.  About our children and parenting them.  I have grown and changed over these years…and I can see that reflected as I browse sometimes through my archives.   But as with all things – I’m entering a season of my life that calls for change.  I will still be writing about being a wife, a mother, and about my kids – but I am no longer going to censor myself. 

In order to do that I realize I have to let something go…something that is “anti” blogging, if you will.  I’m letting go of comments, starting with this post.  I think, as much as I love them:

1.  I don’t want to need them.  And sometimes I do.  Sometimes I’m hanging on for your thoughts.  And frankly, sometimes I might have put a lot of effort into a particular post and maybe no one has anything to say about it.  Well, I admit it - that hurts.  (sensitive, I know...I'm working on it)  Other times, I’m so worried about what I say that I hold back.  Sometimes I’m so concerned about offending, that I withhold what I really “mean” and skirt around it - losing my point in the process.  What a lot of work all of that is!  Makes me tired just thinking about it.  I’d rather just write what’s on my heart, have you read it, and let’s leave it there.

2.  I don’t want you to feel obligated to be “nice” or feel you have to be “courteous” and take the trouble to leave a comment when you and I both know we’re too busy most days.  I read over a hundred blogs – probably yours!  But I simply do not have the time to comment.  I love following your lives, but I cannot take the added time to leave words for each of you.  It’s too cumbersome with a house to run, a job, and two little ones.  And I don’t want you to feel that way about my blog either! For heaven’s sake, I want you to receive.  That’s all.  I want you to be able to come here, read what I have to say, and move on with your day.  I don’t want you to be obligated to me.  I want you to be blessed!

3.  I don’t want to publish disparaging comments for the whole of my readers to see.  I don’t want this blog to be argumentative, and I know that often with spiritual sentiment, things can become heated for those who disagree with each other.   If you are my family or my friend – and you were to write a comment that does not line up with my heart – I would still feel obligated to publish it.  And I’m not going to do that to myself.  I don’t want to.  I love you, but this is not the place for that.

4.  I’m not gone completely – I love hearing from you!  So many times I have been so encouraged by your thoughts and kind words.  If you want to contact me or if a post really speaks to your heart or ministers to where you are in your own life, please e-mail me!  

The Bottom Line:  This isn’t about you.  It’s really not.  This blog is not about you.  It’s about me.  It’s about me and my life and a place for me to be the woman God created me to be using the gifts He gave me to use.  So I can’t censor myself anymore (again, doing that to myself!) on what my readers may or may not think.  I just can’t.  It’s too exhausting.  I like to plunge deep and tear up the low ground and pull up the weeds and clear away the mud and wipe away the muck to get to the beauty.  That’s what I want to write about and that’s what I want you to read.  That’s what I hope you’ll stick around for...and that’s what I deeply desire will keep you coming back.

But if not, I’ve so appreciated having you…just by reading, you have blessed me.  And my family.  So thank you for that – really and truly.  This little corner of the web has become so much more than I ever thought it would - back when I started just by talking about my life and my adoptions.  So much more...

I’ll end this post with a perfect summation of my feelings, eloquently stated by the lovely Joanna Weaver in her book “Having a Mary Spirit”…

“My deepest fear is waking up twenty years from now still the same woman I am today.  With the same annoying habits and petty attitudes; with the same besetting sins and false beliefs.  I can’t imagine anything more terrible than getting to the end of my life only to discover God had so much more in mind for me – more freedom, more joy, more peace, more true effectiveness.  And I had missed it all, simply because I refused to change".”

I am moving forward and ready to love better, connect more deeply, live richly and contentedly, see the good, reach out to others, and find peace in my life. 

As my dear pastor says often….and may that make all the difference.

BE BLESSED LADIES!  Be a blessing to others and be blessed