I guess that old saying is true. After a great weekend away at Created for Care 2013, I couldn't have been more ready to pour love out on my 8 most favorite people in the world!
It was just what I needed to recharge and revive and inspire me to be the wife and mother that God wants me to be.
The parenting lessons I learned were huge, but the message of grace was even bigger. I tend to end each day with an assessment of how well I parented, how the school day went, how patient I was (or wasn't), how the kids responded.....and usually, I end up thankful that "his mercies are new every morning." I never get it all right, and guess what? I never will. But, by the grace of God, I hope to get it better in the days to come.
So, like Philippians 3:13-14 reminds, I'm choosing not to dwell on all the things I wish I had done differently, but instead I'm pressing on toward the goal.
The theme of the weekend was "step out in faith, wait with hope and LOVE BIG."
It was an adoption retreat, so we adoptive mamas all know about the step out in faith part. We surely all know about the waiting and hoping part. Those two stages though compose a relatively short part of the journey. It's the LOVE BIG part that really makes a difference as we walk this path--and really, it's not so specific to adoption. Almost everything I learned this weekend about how to raise up our kids that came to us through adoption applies just as much to our kids who didn't. All kids need compassion, all kids need to be nurtured and all kids need to be LOVED BIG.
It's no easy task and like I described in a previous post, I'm usually up to my eyeballs. But, I am so, so grateful that God has called us to raise this big family. How blessed we are by our marriage, our seven kids, our family and friends that he has surrounded us with. As I rocked our sweet little Eli to sleep tonight, I just starred at him, an absolute gift, and thanked God for him and my other six tucked in their beds. Truly, I am so lucky.
During an amazing prayer time this weekend, God reassured me through scripture, song and the words of others that I am right to think that mothering these children well and being the wife, daughter, sister, friend......that I'm called to be is WAY outside of my capabilities.
But he also reminded me that he doesn't expect me to do this in my own strength. No, "It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect." Psalm 18:32
Truly my soul finds rest in God alone,
my salvation comes from him.