Where did the time go?

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I just remembered that I have a blog. LOL. I’ve been so busy since February and time has flown by. I literally forgot that I can blog to keep you in the loop.

We just celebrated our 4th Gotcha Day with the twins. They have been in our family for four years already. They will be 5 years old in November. Crazy. Chayli is 14! Drew is 21. Really? Really. Our kids are growing up. I have some funny stories and cute pictures to share. They’re coming soon.

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These two…

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…make my heart smile. One made me a daughter. One made me a mother. Both teach me lessons. Both show me love. Both of them, though, ARE my heart.

I’ve wondered many times what kind of mom/person I’d be if I didn’t have my mom to walk the journey with me.

I’ve often wondered what kind of person I’d be if I never became a mom. So glad I’ll never have to know.

Love them both.

‘Fro Hawks!

We are blessed to have a teacher at our school who is African/American. She thinks it is her duty (and I am OK with that!!) to do my girls’ hair. The first time, she gave them Afro-puffs. This time they have fro-hawks…which THEY LOVE! They are adorable and they KNOW it. Then she first braided their hair she left the top in twists with some curl enhancer so that when she “Freaked” it out it wouldn’t be frizzy. I absolutely love their  FREAKED OUT hair. They do, too. They love the special attention she gives them. They wiggle when I do their hair, but not when she comes over. I don’t get it, but I’m not arguing either. LOL. I’m just thankful. Really thankful.

You see that happy missionary family smiling out of the postcard on your fridge? Their marriage is probably hanging by a thread.

In our first year on the field, three of the families we came over with left because their marriage couldn’t take the stress. It’s real.

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sad couple

Anybody can smile long enough for an updated newsletter photo

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I winced as the lights suddenly cut off.

“Really? Three nights in a row?” I thought to myself as my wife rounded the corner on the verge of tears.

“I can’t do this…I can’t do another night of no sleep!” she moaned. She was sick of the heat and the lack of air circulation every time the power cut out. In that moment, I should have hugged her but I wasn’t in the mood for complaints.

I scornfully shot back, “You are lucky to have running water! Most of the people in El Salvador would love to be in the circumstances that you are complaining about!”

I knew it was wrong but I hoped she would feel guilty enough to just suck it up. As this thought crossed my mind, my daughter’s voice rang out from the bathroom…

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This one.

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This one made me a mom.

                 Tuesday, April 11th, 1995, 4:03 PM, Ennis, Texas

This one taught me unconditional love.

               He loves everyone and wanted to grow up tell people about Jesus, then baptize them. He said he’d be called, “Drew, the baptist.”

This one made me want to pull my hair out.

Endless chatter and questions mixed with ADHD. Need I say more?

This one made me unbelievably proud.

Countless ways. Mission trips, achievements, service to others, but none more special than when loving his sisters.

This one challenges my faith and makes me seek God more.

He has always been determined to do things his way. I was always afraid he’d never make it to adulthood because of that determination. But he’s here, living life on his terms.

This one. So many stories.

This one. So much to learn.

This one. So loved. Still. Always.

My work companion

…at least he is not sitting ON MY computer this time. He is a sweet kitty and I LOVE how his little tail curls around his toes. How can one not believe in God when confronted with the complexities of life? This little creature…definitely a gift from God. Such personality. Notice the eyes…he’s not happy that I won’t let him ON the computer. He might not speak English, but he speaks. Does he not? I couldn’t create a creature so complex. He frustrates me and brings me as much or more joy at the same time. He’s adopted. I know those who get offended by the use of that term applied to situations not involving children, but adoption is God’s thing. Who am I to limit it? It helps people understand God’s great love for us and how he chose to take us into his family. Tex being in our family reminds me so often of WHOSE I AM. It might be a leap for you to make those connections. Not for me. And I fully expect to have my own lion in the eternal kingdom or at least a kitty. 🙂 …hopefully with a curly-Q tail.

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A walk to the beach

10 minutes from my house is the seaside…and I’ve yet to go, until today.  I set out for a walk more for exercise than leisure. I wanted to go and get back before the sun set but as I headed out…changed my mind.  Spring is blooming all around. Such promise and grace from God in just a small bud. I was mesmerized by the iridescence  I saw from as far as my eye could see. Water meeting sky at the horizon, there was no change. I looked one direction and saw the a giant pearl and turned around to see behind me and viewed a glorious sunset, and still to the side to see a giant military boat docked. As I continued walking to the pier the small pearl grew larger and larger until as I got close enough I saw waves and reflections from a hundred different angles, one included my own tiny reflection. From the second level of the Pearl, which seemed to house a reception area inside, maybe for weddings, I could walk in a circle and see so much of this place I now call home. A view of the ocean and many sizes of boat along for the ride. A view of the mountain with a lovely pagoda that lit up as the sun set. A view of day turning to night as evidenced by standing under the giant Pearl and watching it light up unexpectedly. Such a lovely place to walk and view God’s workmanship. I asked Him, (won’t you join me?) to show me His plan for my family in this place.

A funny or two…

Recently I made a new soup for dinner. Eden kept saying with every other bite, “Momma, I love Shoop.”

“You love soup?”

“Hmmm hmmm. I love Shoop.”

Finally she got it, and said, “Momma I love soup.”

I grinned.

Then with her next bite she said, “Momma, I really REALLY love…..” and I waited for her to say it, expecting to hear “soup”…but what she said with the most emphasis her little four year old mouth could muster was….”FOOOOOD!!!”

I laughed so hard! “Me, too, baby! me, too!”

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So every day on our way to school we pass by a group of older people doing Tai Chi (Tie Chee).

Every day Eden says, “Momma, what they do-ning?”  (I’ll be sad when she starts saying it right.)

Every day I say, “Baby that’s Tai-Chi.”

After about a week, I finally said, “Eden every day I tell you what they are doing. Now you tell me.”

Her response after a brief pause, “Tai Cheese.”

This from the kid who LOVES FOOOOOD!

How can I give this a title?

I’ve been sitting at my desk with a sick child on the couch, working from home, checking Facebook, trying to blog when I stumbled onto a “line” that caught my attention and took me over to a blog that I have followed in the past, but been just a tad bit too busy as of late to keep up with. Maybe you’re familiar with Ann Voskamp from A Holy Experience. Maybe you are familiar with her best selling book One Thousand Gifts. Maybe you’ve never heard of her before. As for me, I like her. I feel a kinship with her. I like the way she writes, the way she puts words together, the semantics and sometimes lack thereof that she uses. I’m a visual learner and in my opinion, she uses words as well as any artist uses paints on a canvas.

So, as I happened across this “line” I paused.

“Sometimes you don’t know you are walking through a door

until you are already through it.”

Along with a title that says, “when you don’t feel like you’re enough.” Hmm.

For those of you that have walked this road with us to as we journeyed to live as expatriates with purpose, you might be surprised to know that she pens my thoughts, emotions, and feelings along the journey well. Really well. But her journey is still unfolding in the direction of adoption.

These words here might enlighten you.

“There’s some risks you have got to take because it turns out you can’t live not taking them.”

That’s how we got here. Living in China. Adopting two girls from Ethiopia. And honestly, there are many days when I still wonder if I’m enough. But the Crafter of My Story tells me that He is and because I wear his mantle, I am. It’s a humbling place to live and challenging. There are days I want to quit. There are days the enemy wins the battle, but because I know who wins the WAR, I get back up.

I just thought you might like to understand a little more clearly how we got here and why we stay here. Click the link above to journey over to her blog. I hope to hear how these words speak to you.

Grace and peace,