Friday, February 3, 2012

Haven = Six

Six years old?  Who told you that you were allowed to keep getting older?!  I can not believe that my beautiful girl is six!  I love you so much and am so thankful that I've got a front row seat to the amazingness of you!  It has been a big year, this 5...the most important thing being that you believed in Jesus as your Savior and asked Him to be Lord of your life!  It was a decision that you didn't take lightly and, like everything, you did in your own time when you were ready.
Haven's baptism- December 28, 2011

 I have loved to see your desire to do what pleases God and to know His Word.  He has given you a heart that longs for what's right and that deeply loves other people.  I've been humbled and amazed at your generosity this year and your willingness to follow through with even the simplest of ideas to help other people.  You are a born helper- big or small, you truly have a helpful spirit and that has been especially needed in the last month as our family has grown.  You are such a little mama to E and it makes me smile to see you trying to care for him in the same ways that I do.

You are the best big sister and take seriously (sometimes a little too seriously) your job; Mati and E are blessed to have you love them so much!  You love hard and good and long and feel it all deeply.  You get that from me and my first inclination is to tell you I'm sorry because loving that way gets you hurt, but I really wouldn't want you any other way.  Loving people well is part of who you are.

You are a crazy voracious reader!  Nine times out of ten if I can't find you, you are off reading somewhere. You love school and learning and workbooks and going to CC.  You have easily transitioned into school this year and I love being there at the moment when an idea finally clicks for you.  You love to be creative and do art projects.  This year found you slightly obsessed with perler beads, but God even used those to teach us some lessons and help others.  You discovered a love for audio books and that's how you usually pass part of an afternoon.  Listening to a story while you craft is maybe your perfect way to spend a quiet time.

You are funny and crazy and love to be wild. You love a good wrestling match and to sit and cuddle.  You love Indian food, ice cream and apples.  You like to dig in the dirt and get your nails painted.  You love to play games, help in the kitchen and boss people around (again-you get that from me and I'm sorry!).  You love to color and paint and help weed the flowerbeds.  You love a good bike ride, campfires and trips to the library.  You love adoption, helping other kids and playing computer games.  You are a beautiful combination  of so many good things.  

God has great plans for you in being six years old.  New challenges, lessons to learn, places to go...but I'll be right there with you.  I'm your biggest fan, Haven and know that you will face it all with a brave smile and a willing heart.  You are my BEST GIRL!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Created for Care

view from our room Sunday morning

Last weekend I had the privilege of spending my weekend with 400+ adoptive moms at the Created for Care Retreat in Georgia.  Thankfully, for so many reasons, one of those 400 moms was Amber.  I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from the weekend, but I knew I was supposed to go.  It was an amazing weekend full of incredible teaching, worship and intense time spent with the Lord.  I met some new heroes like Susan Hillis and Beth Templeton and decided I want to be like them when I grow up.  I was encouraged and equipped in parenting all my children, and not with trite ideas or strategies, but with the Word and Its power.  A few of the stand-outs...

-Bad days do not change who I am...and I am F(ragrant) R(eflection) E(ternity) E(verywhere)

-By faith Abraham: obeyed, moved on, received power, offered up...look forward to what God's doing in your child; do not look back and make their identity about what happened to them in the past

-Make our waiting Spanish!  Esperar- to wait, to hope....make our waiting hoping

-The world sees orphans, Jesus sees disciples

-"I am the mom who Jesus loves"...believe it, live it!  Freedom, empowerment and intimacy come when I live in the reality of who I really am.

-The revelation of my child's identity in Christ transforms my parenting.  I need to pour into that- to call forth the treasure of Christ that is within.

-An orphan is defined by what's missing.  A son or daughter is defined by relationship.

-I can not afford to have thoughts in my head about myself (or my child) that God doesn't have about me.

-The facts will change, but the truth never does.  I need to give them language about the truth of who they are.

I realize this might not make much sense to anyone else, but that's okay.  It means a lot to me and I'm still processing through the impact it will have on my parenting.  I feel like I've been given a run for my money this week on parenting, let alone making any lasting changes.  But it is a process and one bad day or week or, heck, even bad month, will not define us!  The bottom line for me this weekend was to know the truth and speak it into my kids' lives; the truth about who they are, who God is, and doing all I can to point them to Him to find their identity.  We left their believing that "Not one, not one, not one of our children will fall away from Me.  They will all know know my heart."  I am standing on that promise!!