Love Does

Let my words be few


Sometimes our story takes my breath away.  In the quiet moments, when you hear the crickets chirp –  “mommy, what are they saying?”  I playfully answer, “They are saying, ‘it’s time to get in bed little girl!'”.   Or when the frogs are croaking – “mommy, what are they singing?”  I think they’re singing “here comes the rain again!”

Everyday is an opportunity to respond to the whys the whats and the wonder of these little girls.  Some days that is quite overwhelming.  Other days I can’t help but wonder myself what is behind the things I see, hear and even say?

In Wellspring, we practice what we call “listening in 4 directions”.  In any situation, being sensitive to:  what is happening in you, what is happening in me, what is God up to in this situation, what is the enemy up to?  I think intuitively, even as children, we want to know what’s really going on.

It’s been about 3 weeks since my last blog.  I honestly had nothing nice to say.  My husband was gone for almost three weeks and I was pretty much freaking the hell out.  (sorry friends)  In that time, I think he knew in every conversation we had what was behind the words I was saying… I was pretty clear.  I don’t like you. Everything wrong with my day is your fault. You left me.  When you get back I will probably kill you.  { You get the picture.}

I said these things in complete frustration and despair, knowing that once he came home and my life returned to some sort of normal, I would eventually love him again.  And he knew that this was coming. This is how I respond to pressure and he would have a lot of work to do when he returns to get me to like him again.  I really wish I was more adult than this, but seriously, the struggle is real. (admitting I have a problem is the first step.)

When it comes to parenting, I have so much more awareness about my words and actions.  If there is one thing I want these girls to know, to be confident of, to go to bed with all certainty, it is… You.Are.Loved.

Friends, some days that is hard.  Not because I don’t love, but because life is simply hard.  Mothering is hard.  Changing patterns is hard.  Cooking dinner is hard.  Eating what I cooked… that can be hard too. 😉

Sometimes I love so well that I have to call my mom to tell her how awesome I did.  Sometimes I fail so badly I have to put myself in safety break.

True story:

Driving down Interstate 10, I have to pull over because Prissy has gotten her arm stuck in her carseat strap as she was trying to free herself from the constraints.  After 2 minutes of intense screaming I realized she wasn’t going to get out of this on her own.

Me:  girls, do not talk to me right now. Mommy is in safety break!
Prissy (whispering in the back): why is mommy in safety break?
Sissy (whispers back): because you made a really bad choice!

When we finally arrived at my parents’ house that night the girls told Nana that mommy had to go in safety break so we could all stay safe.    I hope they know that was love.

There’s an accountability I feel with the uncertainty of our days with these girls.  Even as things seem to point towards forever, there is still a knowing that I am not promised tomorrow.  Whatever they are, my days are numbered. They may be many; they may be few. I must live each one with full purpose of expressing love.

As we consider new names for each of these sweet faces, I am drawn to the stories in the Bible where God changed a name.  Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, Jacob to Israel, Saul to Paul… there was always purpose.  I find myself watching, listening, wondering with each girl what is it God is saying about them?  Who has he created them to be? How will the story unfold for their lives?  How does He see them?  In the stillness, in the quiet, I hear him say “Loved one.”

In my heart I know, Loved One is not just the name he has for them, but the name he has for me; the name he has for you.  When I fail, he still sees me as beloved.  When I win, his love is the same.  I long to express this kind of love to those around me. I hope that our girls see in everything around them, my words, this story of redemption… Forever, for always, no matter what….. you.are.loved.

My Story

Name the Graces

To see the glory, name the graces.             Ann Voskamp – One thousand gifts devotional

This line, this simple statement has replayed in my head for two weeks.  To see the glory, name the graces.  I remember a prayer when I was 18 years old, enamored by the story of Moses on the mountain calling out to God, “show me your glory”.  This has been a consistent cry of my heart through the years, Lord, show me your glory.  I’m in awe of glory and I long to see it daily.

In Exodus the story goes on to say that God positioned Moses in a cleft in the rock and covered his face with his hand as he passed by.  Basically, God put Moses between a rock and hard place then allowed his goodness to pass before him.

Friends, it is in the hard places of life that I am most clearly able to see God’s glory – his goodness – his graces.

When days are hard, when darkness falls, when motherhood squeezes every bit of life out of me I must choose to count the graces… and in that place, I see his glory.

What does grace look like in my life?   It looks like surrender to a plan that I never planned.  A move to a place I never considered to position us for a part we didn’t know we would play.  It’s pure grace that we have four parents, still living and well and able to help us raise children we never knew we would love.

Grace came from the lady at the pizza place who came in for her shift at what was obviously her second job.  And when this crazy momma became frustrated that our pizza order was completely wrong – she saw the exhaustion in my eyes and responded with patience, kindness and love.  She offered me ice-cream to calm my crying girls as we waited for our pizza.  When I said “I just need it in a box so I can leave”, she graciously carried it out to the car because my arms were tied up with little people.  We were on day 3 without daddy, my eyes had cried all day after leaving the land where we had just lost our dog and walked into an empty house…  she saw past my attitude, she saw me at my end and offered grace.  I will be forever humbled by her gift. Undeserved grace.

Grace is the sister that reminds you there’s an oil for your control freak ways…   Grace is the daycare that stays open til 6:00, just in case you need it.  Grace is the neighbor that waits hours outside to give your girls the gift they brought back from Disney World.  Grace. Grace. Grace.

Grace is the friend that walks with you through the pains of life, loss and love.  The ones that come around you when everything is falling apart and don’t say it’s going to be ok, but are willing to say, this stinks but I am here with you.

Grace is the fellowship, your people, the ones that live life with you. Grace is that moment when your head hits the pillow, all is quiet and you slip into rest.

Grace is his goodness, his faithfulness, his glory that passes before you, even when you’re too busy to see it.  Grace is the obedience of one to share the word or dream that God has given them, so you are better able to respond with obedience.

Take a moment.  Name the graces.  Find the glory.  It’s worth it.

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. ….   16 For of his fulness we all received, and grace for grace.    John 1:14, 16

Grace after Grace.  These are our gifts.

Thank you for being a channel of God’s grace in my life.  Every word of encouragement, support and prayer is deeply appreciated.  Please continue to pray as we move into the next phase of adoption.  I would love to move smoothly through this without any bumps or bruises.  I see the undeniable thread of grace in our story and trust that God is not finished yet.