Happy and Sad

The clock on the wall read just before 10:00 when the notification rang I had an email. I’d been standing in front of the mirror curling my hair but when I saw the sender, I snatched my phone instead, spun and sank onto the bathtub surround. I opened the email as quickly as my phone would flip through screens and read the short message. Rob’s voicemail picked up when I called. He was in a meeting but promptly texted to ask if he should leave. I gave him the run down and said I just need to make sure he was still good with our yes. He wasted no time in responding, “Absolutely.” So I typed up a quick email and sent it. Then watched the clock.

I texted family and friends asking them to pray. I sat down with my kids and explained the situation the best I could on their level. We huddled together on the worn, chocolate brown recliner that sits in the corner of the living room by the front corner window and prayed together. Lucas led us this time and his prayer was simple, “Lord, help this mama to pick the right family for her baby girls – even if it isn’t us.”

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I Will Choose Joy

Tonight the air was humid as we walked across the grassy field. We’d parked in the far parking lot, the soccer field separating us from the large building where we were headed for the restroom. My little girl skipped beside me in her ballerina attire – all but the shoes because the shoes are only to be worn inside – myself in leggings and a thin cotton striped dress. When I wear it, my husband always gives me a second look just to make sure I know he notices me. We’ve learned through our decade and a half together through tears and late night talks how to show the other the love we continue to choose as we honor our vows. My little girl skipped along beside me, talking nonstop as always. She talked about her dance class we’d just left and the bench we passed and the flowers she stopped to smell. 

We walked into the large, empty lobby. Only a handful of people milled about and I could see them watching and listening to my sweet little chatterbox as her voice stretched through the vast space and echoed against bare walls. She paused to do a twirl on the worn red carpet in her black sheer skirt and I cheered. 

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“Then Fan Again.”

The embers, still hot from the night before, seemed to puff out their chests in crimson the moment the air current changed. With a stiff paper plate my sister fanned the glowing-bellied coals until they ignited. Barely licking the dry kindling but not quite ready to bite, she whipped her tool of choice harder and faster pushing those tiny tongues up further until they reached her meticulously placed straw and twigs. The edges crisped an orange hue before the flames grew to consume them.

As sisters do, we chatted about life as we sat beside the fire ring warming our chilly extremities in the cool morning air. The sun poked through the natural holes gaping from the spread of leaves overhead to warm our cheeks as we watched the fire. But, as fires do, the flames calmed and slowed, retreating back to the embers that had given them life. We continued our talk as my sister knelt back down into the mixture of dust and ashes just outside the fire ring and rededicated herself to building it up again. Furiously, she waved for a few moments then sat back on her heels breathless and chuckled.

“‘Fan into flame…'” She quoted a partial verse from 2 Timothy before adding, “Then fan again.”

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Hard Days But a Really Big God

I wouldn’t consider myself a hopeless romantic. I’m far too much a realist to allow my dreams to overshadow my present tense. Yet, lately I’ve been praying for some big things; health concerns, marriages, broken hearts, hardships, unimaginable pain and none-the-least of which adoption details – our own and others. It seems everywhere I turn, life has taken its toll on the whole lot of us. And if I’m honest the weary tends to turn into worry in my mind.

A couple weeks ago I shared about some pretty big possibilities for our adoption. Two cases being for children with special needs. Another in the works.

Long story short:

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The Verdict is In…

The only way I can think to express my feelings about yesterday is to say that it was great. Guys, I’ve mentioned how rough life has been lately. So many facets go into that statement – here in not the space for sharing those details – but yesterday… Yesterday was like a breath of fresh air after a stuffy ride in an elevator.

We walked away from our meeting with the mama of baby Z completely trusting the Lord in His providence. Of course there were a few things we would have changed about our verbiage, but all-in-all, we have no regrets. I just have to interject here to say: All the assumptions that a mama couldn’t place her baby for adoption if she loved him are entirely false. This mama knows she can’t do her best for him right now and was diligently searching for a family who could. And guys, baby Z, oh my heart. He is. SO. Adorable! So, so sweet. Just picture black curly hair on the head of the tiniest little puckered face you can imagine and you might come close.

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Steadfast and Secure

Steadfast. It was the word I had searched the scriptures late 2017 to find that would describe the year ahead for my life. I so wanted to leave 2018 with a solid, consistent emotional state. Steadfast in discipline and hard work and consistency. Quite frankly, I wanted to learn how to not to wear my heart on my sleeve, to cross my “T’s” and dot my “i’s”, so to speak. What I learned instead, however, was what it meant to keep turning back to Jesus – the only One truly steadfast – when I don’t have it all together. And as the year closed with the scariest episode of my life, my new word for 2019 was already set on my heart. Secure.

The past six months have been a train wreck in devotion to my theme compared to last year. Yet all along, I’ve seen God weave in this concept of being secure upon every rocky bend and every tearful session of mourning over the way life used to be. I’m learning that being secure in Jesus doesn’t look like striving to earn my worth. It’s about being solely aligned with the value He sees in me, whether I’m achieving my to-do lists or not. It isn’t the least bit of the rosy feeling of comfort I had expected but rather a hard-fought truth that no matter how I fail, I am secure in Jesus. And let me tell you, there’s been a lot of failing…

And secure is exactly what the Lord knew I’d need during these past several weeks and months of unpredictability. I shared on Facebook recently that our future looks like a lot uncertainties right about now. I couldn’t go into much detail then and I cannot now, but suffice it to say, here are a couple quick things I will share:

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A Robot Heritage

On that morning eight years ago, the humidity hung heavy in the air. Temperatures would inevitably rise throughout the day creating an oven within the lab, but he paid it no heed. The weather being the least of his concerns. It was the faces that filled his eyes and touched his soul all priming with unrealized potential that held his focus. Uncertainty flooded his mind. His job would no doubt be an uphill climb to help the students before him realize and cultivate their capabilities.

It was mid August and there within the folds of time, he saw himself in the same classroom, in the same chairs as a student eager for instruction. The bunch before him, however, held a different set of priorities and the challenges ahead were far more than that for which he’d bargained. Though the year drug on and threatened to do him in time after time, he clung to the dream over thirty years in the making. Even with the stress of nightly classes to pursue his teaching license and a part-time job to supplement the income he’d lost upon accepting this position, he held fast to one truth. This job was his calling. God had orchestrated every piece and sustained him thus far; he wouldn’t just walk away from it nor give up on his students.

Those first two years were the toughest he’d experienced with even more classes in the summers and weeknights and extra work on the side to keep up with household demands. He even contemplated an offer to return to production with a generous swing in salary. But in the end, though the number was enticing, he knew where he needed to be.

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