Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thoughts On Life

So the past two weeks have brought news of two deaths to our family.  One unexpected. One expected.  One a life well lived, but too short by human standards at just 14 months long.  One a life well lived for 82 years.  Both bringing to our attention the preciousness and brevity of life.

Over these past two weeks, we've had many opportunities to talk about things with our kids that we might not otherwise:

Why do bad things happen to good families?
Why would God let this occur?
Why do bodies age and people get sick?
How can good come from sadness?
How can life be happy again when we loose someone we love?

One question we haven't had to answer is where these two souls are now.  Praise the Lord, our friends' sweet 14 month old boy is in the loving arms of Jesus now, running, laughing, playing and basking in the love of his heavenly father.  Praise the Lord Nick's grandmother (whom we call Da) is "home" now as she has so often longed to be.

Eli meeting Da for the first time in December

So thankfu for this visit.
One of the most touching statements made by our friend at his little son's memorial service was that he had no regrets.  He has made his family a priority and cherished every moment with his son.  So often we get caught up in the day to day rush that we forget to stop and cherish.  How precious each day is.  Not one is a guarantee.

It has really challenged me to be present each day and see the good in those around me.  I want those God has given me to love to know they are treasured.  Even more important than my love though is for them to know the love of Jesus in their lives.  That they would love him, seek him, and follow him with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength.

There is nothing more important.

The hope we have in Jesus has allowed us to celebrate these two lives knowing there is no better place to be than in the presence of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:55:57

“Where, O death, is your victory?

    Where, O death, is your sting?”
 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

God is Awesome

As much as I would like to keep this blog updated more often, it's just not possible with a husband, 7 little kids, homeschooling, working part-time, baseball, piano, ballet and all the other more important things that occupy my time these days.

But, I don't want God's awesomeness to go unmentioned.

Over the past three months we've been working our newest family member into the mix.

 God has repeatedly reassured us that although the wild and crazy family He has blessed us with is a mighty undertaking, He is true to His promises to equip us for every good work.

God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work. 
 2 Corinthians 9:8

I've come to realize that the whole "it takes a village" thing is really true.  I don't know if it was the seventh kid or the combination of it all, but I was barely keeping my head above water with sleepless nights (still sleepless, but I guess I'm used to it now:-), homeschooling after the adoption/holiday break and heading back to work with a new baby at home.

I kept thinking to myself, "I do believe this is too much for one person" (and of course I have Nick who is a great husband and dad and always pitches in, but a lot of the time it's just me at home).  I knew that God had me right where I needed to be--aware of my inability and dependent on Him and not on myself.

And then, like He always does, He began to show me in little ways (some big) that He totally has this whole big family thing in the bag.

I feel overwhelmed with homeschooling-God sends friends who volunteer to take a couple kids for the day and home school them with their kids.  Better yet, we go to their house and do school all together (translation-she cooks us pancakes for breakfast, grades my kids' math work, helps them with reading, makes lunch and invites us over to do it again the next week--you know who you are and you're totally AWESOME!).

My mom's friend, a retired teacher, wants to volunteer and asks if I'd like her to come once a week to help the kids with school--she's a "learning disabled" teacher and specializes in helping kids with processing delays and ESOL issues--AWESOME again!!!

Then my mom volunteers to do two loads of my overflowing-never ending-always growing-mountain of laundry every week for a year--you all know how AWESOME that is.  So at least now my kids have a fighting chance at having clean clothes :-)

Our internet modem died leaving us without internet at home--until Nick's friend just happened to have a Sony laptop that he no longer uses and GAVE it to us (I'm typing on it right now :-) AWESOME!

I had to schedule a test for Eli next week and wouldn't you know that the appointment time they had available was exactly the time that my aunt had just volunteered to come over to do an activity with my kids. What--I already have childcare for 6 kids taken care of and don't have to take all 7 kids to the cardiologist--I guess you can say that's pretty AWESOME!

Nick lost a chunk of his pay each week due to tax increases (not so good when you add a new baby), but just found out yesterday that he got an unexpected raise at his annual review that makes up for the loss--AWESOME!

I stopped by my mom's "girls' night out" dinner and left with pizza, salad and cupcakes for the whole family and didn't have to cook dinner.  This was a welcomed treat as it was already 6:30 and we were on our way home from a Costco trip.  

God had already showed up on our shopping trip.  I had misplaced my Costco coupons and was really bummed because there was a $6 off pull-ups coupon (I loathe buying pull-ups, of course not as much as I loathe changing sheets in the middle of the night--$6 off makes it a little less painful).  On the way there, I was praying that maybe they would give me another set or that somehow the coupon thing would work out.  I parked the big white bus (ahem, 12 passenger van) and went to grab a cart and to my delight--someone had left their coupons in the cart--I just laughed to myself-God is so AWESOME that He even cares about coupons.  The best part is that I got to tell my kids that story as we walked in to the store.  They were all pretty excited about that.

So anytime I start to feel a little overwhelmed by the task of raising up 7 arrows, I want to have these things written down to look back on.  Never do we need to be concerned for any of our needs--not for time or energy or wisdom or money or food or coupons for that matter.  God promises He's got it covered.

....Never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.... Hebrew 13: 5-6

The Lord is my helper people--that's pretty AWESOME!!!