Thursday, January 16, 2014

Checking In

Sitting here in front of a blank screen, I hardly know what to say. It's been so long since I checked in, I didn't even remember my password when I tried to log in.

My house is quiet, except for the constant humming of the washer and dryer. The sun is streaming in through the windows, and it's a welcome sight after what has felt like days and days of cold and dreary weather.

The big boys are on an adventure with Will. The littles are sleeping, and Sophi is resting in her bed.

And this is a very welcome sight! These few moments of quiet and reflection after what has felt like a very lively and very full month are just what I needed today, and I am so grateful.

I don't even know where to begin. There is so much that I would like to say...

I would love to share more about my time with Faith Ana, updates on her adoption, and news about our 1800 approval. I have some amazing pictures from my time in Greece and a few pictures from our Christmas that I really want to post. I could also tell you about the struggles we are having with S, and how we've definitely hit a rough stretch with this precious little girl of ours. And, in case you forgot, we also have a new baby expected to arrive in the next few weeks!

It almost takes my breath away when I sit still long enough to reflect on all that we have going on. December was a whirlwind, and I can hardly believe that we are marching almost halfway through January. Life definitely looks different than I ever dreamed it would.

Kind of like my laundry, I feel a bit like I will never get caught up. And, honestly, I've even contemplated dropping this blog altogether. I've sat here this afternoon soaking up the sunshine, the quietness, and most of all, His presence in the midst of it, asking Him what words, if any, He wants me to share.

And verse after verse, page after page, speak of one thing...

His faithfulness.

And I know the one message of this blog today is simply to continue to proclaim His faithfulness.

His faithfulness despite my doubting.

His faithfulness in the middle of what feels like darkness.

His faithfulness in my crying out for help, wisdom, direction, patience, grace, love, and for increased faith through it all. 

And I keep coming back to this one thing...

That He is faithful,

That He continues to be faithful to me and to our family. 

It's what this journey has been all about. It's the title of this blog. It's the name of our newest little girl. It's the Word He speaks to me every single morning. It's why I write, and why I will not stop.

My words here might be fewer and slightly more spaced out over the next few months, and this blog might change a little as our family grows and continues to change, but one thing I can guarantee. His faithfulness will not change!

I have no idea what this new year will bring, and I feel like we are entering 2014 with what feels like an armload of unknowns and plenty of changes and challenges. And, honestly, it is a bit unsettling. It feels hard and scary, and, yes, I've had lots of moments when I've wondered what in the world are we doing?

Eight kids. Two with very special and unique needs. I never in my wildest dreams could have ever imagined this reality. It is a reality that constantly highlights my weaknesses and my imperfections and daily brings me to my knees.

I'm swimming in deep water now, hanging on tightly to His strong arms. I'm looking to Him because I've learned that on my own, I will drown. My best efforts and my most determined attitude will do nothing but sink me. Even my God-given strengths and gifts, apart from His life in me, are no different than helpless arms flailing against a current that is just simply too strong for me to navigate and manage on my own power. I've learned this lesson the hard way over the past few years, and I've shared before what a mercy it has been for me to be stretched in ways that I never could have imagined. It is a good thing. A very good thing. 

Will and I have had endless conversations and many late nights during this past month simply talking about where we have been and where we are going. And this has been a good thing, too. It's been good for us individually and good for our marriage as we've brainstormed, talked about, and, most importantly, prayed for our family and contemplated the changes that we are walking through. It's drawn us closer to each other, and, most importantly, closer to the Lord. The circumstances that are difficult have just made us realize more and more how desperate we are for Him!

I've mentioned before that we are very much in a hard place right now with S. I'm not sure that I can even begin to describe the struggles we have been facing with her and the regression that we are now seeing. It's frustrating and confusing, and we are desperately seeking the Lord for guidance, compassion, and love for this little girl.

The other kids are handling the challenges well, but they each have their own issues that we are working through that require our diligence and patience as well (including potty-training for a certain stubborn 3-year old)! The combination of it all makes for very full and messy days!

And, I know that our days are only going to get fuller. 

Here's a few specific things that we are praying about:

We are considering which one of us will go pick up Faith later this spring and who will stay home. There are so many factors to consider in making this decision including the cost of airfare, having a new baby at home, and the logistics of leaving so many little ones at home for such a lengthy period of time. Over the past few months, we have also learned about additional medical testing that will be required for children being adopted from Bulgaria, which, in turn, adds a few extra days to the pick-up trip.

As we think about Faith coming home and trying to make our home as wheelchair accessible as possible, we are thinking about making a very small addition to our house and adding on a bedroom for her.

This is also the time of year when we begin planning for the upcoming school year, and it's hard to even imagine what life will look next fall when our family has grown to include two more little people. We are praying about what direction to take with the boys for school next year and, although we have loved the little school that they are attending now, we are considering the option of homeschooling them again in the future.

In the midst of it all, we are planning, preparing, and counting down the days until this new baby's arrival, and we are preparing for what it will look like to be the Momma and Daddy to 8 little people!

We are also trying to figure out our finances and our budget for 2014 as it is affected by all of the things listed above.

And, so, as we look ahead, there's a lot for us to think about. There's a lot that I could worry about. There's a lot that I could be anxious about. It could weigh me down. It could consume me. It could make me doubt Him. It could make me me question this story that He is writing. 

In fact, sometimes I feel like there is this attitude and belief {even among Christians} that if things are hard, then it must be wrong.

That maybe we have missed God's will. 

That maybe we didn't hear Him correctly. 

That maybe we got off course along the way.

That maybe Sophi's adoption was a mistake.

That maybe we misheard God telling us to bring home Faith.

That maybe we should have taken more precautions to prevent this pregnancy.

That maybe if we had just stopped at three {or four or even five}, we would not be strapped financially.

That life would be easier and that easy is better. 

Isn't that what the world says? 

Actually, it's not that uncommon in the Church either.

It's definitely what the Enemy says, and his voice shouts loud, especially when it is hard.

And for that reason, I will continue to proclaim, even louder, His faithfulness! I will tell of His mercies. I will testify to His goodness. And I will share our story, this crazy story that He is writing for our family

And I know, deep down in my heart, that it's a good story with a glorious ending. 

Even when the current chapter is hard, I know that it is good. Because He is good and because He is faithful

Through it all, my prayer is that His glory will be revealed. In my life. In our family. And, even here, through this little blog.

There's a new chapter that is about to begin, and I can't wait to share how the story unfolds. I'll do my best to keep you posted as I continue to tell you of His faithfulness!

Thank you to all who continue to pray for our family. As always, we are incredibly grateful.

For the word of the Lord is upright,

And all His work is done in faithfulness...

 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation...

Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him,
On those who hope for His lovingkindness,
 To deliver their soul from death
And to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord;
He is our help and our shield.
 For our heart rejoices in Him,
Because we trust in His holy name.
 Let Your lovingkindness, O Lord, be upon us,
According as we have hoped in You.

Psalm 33


1 comment:

  1. I've been waiting for an update from you and I'm so glad to read this tonight! Your words really resonated with me tonight - I'm right there with ya, sister, in many ways. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness! Please let me know if there's some way we can help over the next few months. Praying for you often - much love!