Saturday, April 20, 2013

Somewhere in the Middle

In usual fashion, I'm a little behind with my writing {and my laundry}. Somehow last week got away from me, and I never had time to share about our special birthday girl! Last Friday, we celebrated S's 7th birthday. We kept the day simple - her favorite meal (Mexican), strawberry cupcakes, and a new big girl bike!

She had the biggest smile on her face when we told her it was her very own bike. I'm never quite sure how much S actually understands, but I'm pretty sure she understood this!

It's yours. Your very own. Today is your special day, and we are so very, very glad that God chose us to be your family! We love you, S! You are a treasure! Happy Birthday, sweet girl!

Somewhere between baby girl and big girl,

S, you fit right in! 

Right in the middle. 
Finally, right where you belong!
Right in the middle of this big, crazy family!

I am thankful for the privilege of being your Momma!
Everyday, I'm learning more and more what a gift you are.
Happy Birthday, my beautiful daughter!
I think SEVEN is going to be the best year yet!!!

Over the past week I've done a lot of reflecting on S's birthday. In many ways, her birthday was a bittersweet day, and I've struggled to find words to describe all that is in my heart. There are no baby pictures to look at, and there is no birth story to remember. And as I think about that day she took her very first breath, halfway around the world, the reality of all she has endured since then makes my heart ache. 

And that's where I've been. Somewhere between grieving for the tiny baby girl in the picture below and celebrating the big girl on her new bike in the picture above. Some days feeling as if she is still an ocean away. While other days marveling at how far she has come. Somewhere in the middle. Praying for mercy and compassion as I remember all that she has been through. Praying for wisdom and patience as I help her learn and grow. And, finally, praying for hope and expectation as I look to the One who can transform her into all that she is meant to become!

Somewhere between the hot and the cold
Somewhere between the new and the old
Somewhere between who I am and who I used to be
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me

Somewhere between the wrong and the right
Somewhere between the darkness and the light
Somewhere between who I was and who You're making me
Somewhere in the middle, You'll find me
Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Fearless warriors in a picket fence, reckless abandon wrapped in common sense
Deep water faith in the shallow end and we are caught in the middle
With eyes wide open to the differences, the God we want and the God who is
But will we trade our dreams for His or are we caught in the middle
Are we caught in the middle

Somewhere between my heart and my hands
Somewhere between my faith and my plans
Somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves

Somewhere between a whisper and a roar
Somewhere between the altar and the door
Somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more
Somewhere in the middle You'll find me
Just how close can I get, Lord, to my surrender without losing all control

Lord, I feel You in this place and I know You're by my side
Loving me even on these nights when I'm caught in the middle

I love these lyrics by Casting Crowns. I've loved these words for a long time, but now, more than ever, I get it. They so perfectly describe how I feel so much of time. 

I'm so thankful for what the Lord has done in my heart since S became part of our family. The journey has not been easy, but He has always been faithful. Even when my faith has faltered, His mercies have kept coming. In many ways, I was a different person before we started down this path, and the Lord showed such great mercy to not leave me where I was. In my self-sufficiency. In my striving. In my foolish attempts to always be in control. In all those places and more, He's mercifully changing me into who He wants me to become. His steady hands never let go. His patience never runs out. 

S, the same is true for you. My determined daughter, you are somewhere between who you were and who He is making you.  In His mercy, He cared for you those first six years of your life in that orphanage. When you were abandoned, He never left your side. And in His mercy, He redeemed you from that old life. He chose you to be our daughter, and He gave us the incredible responsibility and honor of being your parents. Your Daddy and I willingly offer our hearts and our hands for the Lord to use however He sees fit, and we will continue to love you and teach you and do all that we can to help you become the beautiful and bright little girl He designed you to be. S, I know you are caught in the middle, but I also know that the Lord is doing a mighty work in your heart. Every day I see more and more evidence of the healing that is happening on the inside. I love to see the sparkle in your eyes and the skip in your step. I love to watch you run free and hear you laugh loud. It makes my heart smile because, S, I know this is what you were meant to do! You were made for this very thing, and it is a joy to watch you grow and blossom into such a beautiful, little {big} girl!

I know it's hard, little one. I know it must be so overwhelming, and I'm sure there are times when you don't want to keep trying. Learning to talk is hard. Learning to be part of a family is hard. And learning to love and trust when you have been so hurt must be unbelievably hard. Harder than I can imagine. But He knows how you feel, S, and He's by your side. As you struggle to find your words, He know just what is in your heart. As you navigate this confusing place between baby and big girl, He's holding on tight. And as you grow older and begin to understand more, and as you try to make sense of your story, you can always, always trust Him because He's the One writing your story. It's a beautiful story, full of mercy and faithfulness, courage and hope! 

S, I know that our Father has big plans for you. There's so much more to learn and see and experience and do, and I'm here to walk alongside of you. Right by your side, cheering you on and praying for you to have the courage to open up your heart and receive His love and comfort. Open your heart wide, little one. He is saying to you even now,

Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you,
for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
surely I will help you.
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Happy Birthday, S. You are much loved!



  1. Beautiful, as always. I know it's hard to find time to blog, but keep it up. I believe Sophi will be reading this one day :)

  2. Happy Birthday, beautiful Sophi!