Monday, March 28, 2011

How Things Are

Since we missed AH's birthday and EG's was immediately after our return from bringing AH here to be part of our family, we had a mini-celebration for them. Together, the girls and I made the table colorful. Izze fruit drinks - I had a coupon for them at Costco. Fun, fun - and pretty! Mrs. M and her family came and partied with us. AH had cookies as her treat - her first made by me as her mom; EG requested hot fudge sundae cake.

I don't know where to start.

Should I tell about how I hit the wall of exhaustion about a week ago and that it wasn't pretty? I was mean. To my true love! And there is forgiveness from Christ and in Christ. And God takes something ugly, meant by the enemy to destroy and ruin, and uses it for good, for I see myself, my marriage, my man, my God more clearly now.

 Most of  our kids and Mrs. M's two sweeties. They all had a blast together.

I could tell about how wildly happy I feel inside much of the time lately. Indeed He has made me the happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9). There is a great, joyous satisfaction in this calling. And I see His Helping Hand, always with me...

Even when a good but long day isn't over when I thought it would be, because there are sad, grieving tears coming from AH's eyes as she sorts through the adjustments and the painful past. But I am here, and she is here, by God's amazing grace, and she sits on my lap and cries, and we talk and I beg God for right words and right silences and for wisdom to counsel her well. And the root of tonight's heartbreak is exposed and we pray and she goes to bed and sleeps soundly.

 EG: 10 years old! AH: 11 years old! We opted not to stick candles in AH's birthday cookies, so she had to blow out candles on the second hot fudge cake.

Maybe I'll tell y'all what I keep saying to BB when we talk after his workday's done: I think it'll only take one more hour of counseling the girls for me to be certified for something! Oh yes, I'm taking classes in the School of Life: Sanctification through Interpersonal Relationship Counseling 201. That sounds pretty fancy, eh? The nitty-gritty: we've had a lot more sibling conflict than usual. It's to be expected and does not surprise me. Each spat and misunderstanding is an opportunity to counsel each of the girls in what it looks like to love each other well, to follow Christ's call to love your neighbor as yourself, to treat others the way you want to be treated, for the glory of God.  (And in case you wonder how I got into a 200-level class, it's because God enrolled me in a similar 100-level course when MK went through a rough spot a few years ago. Smile.). My prayer when the sibling-junk starts: Holy Spirit, help! Give me Your words for them. Help me to speak to them what You want spoken!

From Spa Day over spring break. Mrs. M brought her kiddos (do not worry, we did not subject her son, M, to any spa treatments. He played board games with the girls, played outside, etc - all very boy things!) This is AH in her rollers and Mrs. M in the background kindly letting MK brush her hair. We washed each girl's hair, rolled or used the flattening iron on it, painted finger and toe-nails and gave hand massages to those who wanted them.

Perhaps you'd like to hear about the ways that God surprises me, and how out of the muck of my meanness and fatigue last week, Jesus picked me back up, showed me what's best, and is still my Friend. Indeed His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He helped me see that it's okay to not push any longer. The baby has been born (AH is here). It's time to lay that burden down. What I mean by that is this: before she came we prepared. And it was the purging, reorganizing, shopping, the nesting on steroids that was truly necessary. But that season is over, thanks be to God, and He let me see that it's time to shift gears, quiet my soul, and receive from Him rest for body and spirit. So even in my time each day with the Lord, I'm not pushing. I am enjoying this little book immensely on Sundays here during Lent. I saw that Ann Voskamp had recommended it on her blog.

From the crazy-thoughtful Welcome to Texas party given for AH by two special families from church. The partying ended with a hyperactive snowball fight - balls of tissue paper from gifts, flying all over! Side note: the mantle/fireplace "decor" is a work in progress...I'll get all the photos hung eventually...oh, and we have no couch right one ordered, old one given away.

We are all learning. Though we've long loved AH and begged God to send her to us, it is true that we've never lived 24/7 with her until now. Each day I learn her heart, personality, character and hopes a little better. God gives His love to us, so that we have enough to give each daughter in this house!

A few more photos and some mercies...

 There are few photos of myself that I like. One of the kids snapped this one, and I was okay with it. :-)

EG is an active and agile child. She looks so graceful here.

AH is happy, praise be to God. It's a joy to see her smile and laugh!

Counting mercies - and this is nowhere near all of them!

805 CJ sleeping in my arms while she wasn't feeling well

806 a wounded, transplanted, delivered little girl softening, growing, bending, healing

807 stress that results in airing out one's relationship with one's husband

808 baby had a good night...good for her good for me

809 wavy blowy trees on this breezy spring day

810 little love notes from AH on our pillows at night

811 CA in her tutu

812 Jesus Calling by Sarah Young

813 Lent Devotions: Mosaic

814 Mrs M sending encouraging song lyrics to me by email: Be bold, Be strong, for the LORD your God is with you!

815 AH slipping some of her birthday money into our jar for our Compassion Boys

816 tears...adjustments...chaos...ALL things work together for good...

817 the wiggly dance that CJ does on her belly when I lay her down all super tired and ready for bed

818 the flappy I can fly thing that CJ's doing with her arms these days

819 watching LC pull CA in the wagon

820 on the back porch on a spring evening...

821 purple verbena blooming wild on the side of the road

822 buds on the pink oleander

823 noisemakers on bikes and little girls who make them

824 time "lost" from homeschooling in the morning, spent in conversation/training/discipling a daughter, well spent, thanks be to God...this heart of hers is far more important than math and grammar!

825 the bursting net of fish...God's overflowing kindness as yet another meal came to us by the hands of loving friends

826 I saw some wisteria in bloom

827 bluebonnets are beginning to cover the hillsides


  1. I feel as though I've gotten a wee bit caught up. Your cup continues to overflow with His blessings and strength. I thank God for your tender, counseling heart... He's equipping you with exactly what you need to minister to all of your loves. And, yes, at the end of the day there is forgiveness and fresh hope because we all inevitably fail.

  2. We had hot fudge sundae cake at supper tonight! with mint cookie ice cream. . . thought of you!

    I can't imagine the patience you need. May God give you what you need.

  3. I LOVE how you describe yourself as "wildly happy" in your motherhood. And I'm encouraged as always by God's continual work in your family. Thanks for catching us up on all the goings-on!


  4. "...hitting the wall...": Oh friend, I absolutely get it. There is grace for those days, Praise the Lord...and hope for his transforming power in our lives.