"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Lord, thank you for making my life shambles!

A couple of weeks ago I went to the movies with Amanda. As we were leaving, I mentioned something about the blog. This is an excerpt of our conversation:

Amanda: Mom, why do you blog and tell everyone about your life?
Me: Well, I don’t tell them everything about our life, but I do share whatever I can when it can be used to glorify God.
Amanda: Yes, Mom. But anything, technically can be used to glorify God.
Me: Aaahh….exactly. That’s why I blog.

"The Lord shall be a light unto me." Micah 7:8

Well, I think I’ve had enough time to pull myself out of the dark hole, actually….that’s wrong. Let me start over. I think that God has graced me enough to pull me out of the dark hole I was in and allow His light to fill my heart and path.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

A couple of weeks ago when I decided that I needed to get away from blogging and the outside world and cast my troubles at His feet, it was because I truly felt weak. Not in a physical sense, but an emotional sense. I felt like I had done everything I could physically do to change my world and nothing was working. Rejection is tough. I prepared for Anna Grace’s rejection and expected the worst. Well, I didn’t take into consideration the fact that I would be exhausted physically and that life goes on around you while you are sulking at the fact that this dream child that you had conjured up in your mind, was not what you expected. Though, be warned, preparing for just the child having adjustment difficulties is not enough.

Adoption has strengthened our marriage and made us see sides of each other that we had never seen. God has always been the glue that has bound Scott and I together. We are each other’s soul mates and know that our marriage was created in heaven. We both love each other with a love that we have never known. We both agree on that. But, with the ever-daily increase of stress created by the change in our family dynamics, we continued to put God on the back burner. This was done instead of putting Him front and center, where he belongs and where He would be our focal point. In our humanness, we removed our focal point and blindly kept walking into the darkness. We were no longer a united front, but just trying to stay afloat. We were now encountering more than the “Anna Grace” issues.

”Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess. 5:16-18

I needed this time to bring myself back into God’s presence and I have. I am so thankful for the close friends that I have developed during this journey. They have prayed for me and God has answered. They have reminded me that God loves me as I am, with all of my faults and that His love is unconditional. His Holy Spirit, who has filled my heart, again graces me.

The scripture above reminds us that we need to give thanks for ALL things. This is such a powerful verse. This leads me to what my life has been like the past few weeks and what it is today. The morning that I wrote my post asking for prayers and stating that I was taking a “hiatus” from blogging, I had pretty much hit rock bottom. My relationship with Scott was probably at the lowest point it had been in many, many years and I felt like I was angry, frustrated and lashing out at everyone around me as each rejection from Anna Grace tore into my heart. I couldn’t get past it.

Well, today, I am loudly giving God the glory and saying a prayer of thanksgiving for my marriage problems, for Anna Grace’s rejection and for being utterly and completely miserable for the past couple of months. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you for allowing Scott to walk away when he thought he couldn’t take anymore, thank you for filling my heart with grief and with pain every time Anna Grace wiped away a kiss or pushed me away, thank you for overwhelming me with cries and tantrums from each of my children, thank you for making me sit down almost daily with tears streaming down my face wondering “what have I done and will my life ever be normal again?”, thank you for taking me to limits I never knew existed.

Why do I give thanks for what seemingly appear to be pretty devastating moments in one’s life? Because, I needed each and every one of those occurrences and moments to bring me back to Him; to make me realize that I cannot do this alone; to make me want to give up the fight and finally, on bended knee, surrender it all to Him and ask Him to carry my cross. I don’t think if I had not hit that really low point, I would have done it.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Roman 8:28

It is because of these trials and tribulations that have been set before me that I can firmly stand in my faith and say that I am doing exactly what I was meant to be doing in this life. I have been obedient and have been blessed with this path, but it is so much sweeter when the path is lit by our Savior.

Today, my marriage is stronger than it’s ever been. Scott and I are a united front in both our spiritual and our earthly life. We pray together nightly, which we haven’t done in so very long, we have made it a point to make time for each other, come hell or high-water. He has taken on some of the attachment/disciplining with Anna Grace, which has given me a breather. We look forward to our moments together at night now instead of looking for escapes to be alone and hide from the world. And all of this we give God the glory and honor for. Every adversity has the seed for a greater benefit, and most trials are just stepping-stones to a richer life. God DOES mean all things for our good.

This leads me to share now about Anna Grace. All I can say is that this little girl, who has brought more strife into my world than I could have ever imagined has taken my heart and wrapped it around her pinky. In 6 weeks, she has brought out just about every emotion a human being can express. I have been ridden with guilt, saddened, angered, frustrated, brought to tears, and grieved. But, I have also experienced moments of joy, laughter, bliss, silliness, and sometimes more love than I have ever thought my heart could hold.

She now smiles when her Mama talks to her and frequently comes and climbs on my lap just to give me a hug or a kiss. Each and every one of those times, I have to stop and catch my breath. Her beauty both inside and out amazes me. She is a resilient, little survivor who is so full of life. She takes everything in. She has begun to trust and allows me to comfort her, although at times she still fights her little heart when we get too close. My saddness has also allowed me to see that she has the wonderful quality of compassion. A few times she has seen me crying and come up to me and caressed my arm or smiled at me as if saying, "It's ok, Mama."

I thank God for those difficult moments, because He has allowed me to show her that I will love her unconditionally, the way that our Heavenly Father loves us. Someday, the shadows of her past will no longer be viewed as something that torments her, but instead, she will realize that indeed they were those stepping-stones that led her to her forever family. The dream child that I had conjured up was truly not the one I received....the little girl I received is so much more!!!!

Yes, I am thankful for all of the difficulties that I have endured in my past and in these recent weeks, because they have made me appreciate and love those very special people in my life; my fabulous husband, my beautiful children, my loving family, my wonderful friends and most of all….my faithful and sovereign God!

And yes! Each of those radiant smiles were for her Mama!!!!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Smiles for the heart....

A quick peek at our photo session today. Here are some of the cute ones and some of the bloopers of our 2 hours of fun trying to get these 3 little ones to smile in sync. AJ was totally reluctant to sit and within 1 second of being "posed" would be crawling or walking away! It was exhausting, but Scott and I, along with 3 photographers really had a lot of fun. Enjoy!

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