sometimes He meets you right where you are

I was reading a blog post by a fellow adoptive mother who is waiting to bring home her China kiddos. Because of past experience, and her life circumstances, she was fully trusting God and His plans for them. But her peace in trusting Him came from the fact that she felt sure she knew what His plans for them were… of course, she was wrong. And she is thankful that she trusted in Him and his designs, because things are more beautifully crafted now than how she had pictured them in her mind. Sometimes you have to step towards the Lord and meet Him where He is.

And then there’s us. In many ways we were trying to write our own story, and you all know how well that worked out… But I was thinking about this mom, and how she had the “perfect” age range in mind, and how we did, too. God asked her to step out of her vision and towards His, but He met us right where we were. Of course, most of this is not happening as we planned or envisioned. He is stretching us and growing us, and we are excited about His plans. But he did give us that one thing- the age. It’s perfect for us because it met both Chris’ hopes and mine. And I think it’s a wonderful age for transitioning (learning a new language and being small enough to cuddle). I also think it’s a great Age for Austin to meet his new brother, because he loves playing with other little boys – the more energetic the better! So, that being said, I believe that God knows exactly where we are in our lives- how strong our hearts are, how flexible our minds are, and how tightly we hold onto control. Knowing this (and knowing more about our hearts, futures, and what we are capable of than we do), he has us meet at just the right place. The path we wanted to be on and the path He has for us intersect somewhere. Sometimes it’s messy. Sometimes it’s crystal clear, but it is always good. I’m excited to walk down this path. I know that my stubborn, selfish heart will struggle with letting go of control. I know that this will not be an easy change for any of us. But it is going to be so, so very good.

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“The LORD is good to all, And His mercies are over all His works.” Psalms 145:9

“Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

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I Was Overwhelmed

My Monday morning was not going as planned. And it wasn’t even 7AM, yet. Austin was up, coughing, right as my alarm was going off. Chris got up with him, but within minutes, he was at the shower door saying, “Hi!” It’s ridiculously cute, and I love getting to see him, but that turned into him wanting to shower with me. I did (there went 5 of my extra minutes), but letting him shower with me meant that before I could get myself dressed and made up, I had to go get a diaper, lotion, and clothes on him first. There went another 5 minutes. And we had to wave bye to the school bus. Of course, we had to wait a few minutes before it passed…. As I continued (or tried to) get my hair done, Austin followed me back into the bathroom and opened all the drawers. And of course, when Austin saw me putting clips in my hair, he wanted to put clips in his hair. Since I needed both hands to do my hair, he was pushing me all around the bathroom, trying to get me to move over, lift him, do his hair, let him do mine… My time just got sucked away from me. How could so much go so wrong, and so early in the day? I needed help, but instead of stopping to give my anger and frustration to the Lord, letting go, leaning on Him…. I had a mini meltdown. I hadn’t even gotten dressed yet.

I’m ashamed of the way I raised my voice to my toddler. I was telling him how he was ruining all my plans for the morning… like he had a clue what I was talking about. I lashed out at my husband. When my husband came to take Austin, Austin screamed. His screaming and crying just further raised my blood pressure. And then I cried. I cried over the fact that I woke up early to get everything done, all for naught. I cried because the pressure that was in my head when I lay down to sleep was still with me when I woke.  I cried because I didn’t have time to create the image of myself that I try so hard to keep when I go into the office. I cried because my half-asleep husband wasn’t a mind reader. I cried because I feel like I have to manage everything by myself, even though I know I shouldn’t. I cried because of the way I acted towards my boys. I cried because I wasn’t the composed, godly woman I wished I was. I cried because I didn’t see Austin again before I left, and the last image he has of me is of me leaning over him, completely exasperated and frustrated.

I was running late, and walked out of the house, letting the door lock behind me. I remembered my jacket on this rainy morning, and stood outside waiting for my ride. I just breathed, and tried to pray my way out of the funk I was in. I hated how the morning turned out and wished I could do it all over. Right as my carpool got to my house, I realized I forgot to grab my laptop. Kinda needed that. So, had to go back in and get it. I am just thankful that my heart and mind were calming down enough that I remembered it. Of course, on the first rainy morning of the week, I was fully expecting that us leaving five minutes behind schedule, paired with the weather, meant that our commute was going to be terrible. But, oddly enough, the traffic was all going the other direction this morning, and we made excellent time. We got a good parking space, too.

I have since apologized to Chris for my behavior in the morning. I wish I could apologize to Austin before tonight, too. But that will have to wait. Chris says he’s been praying for me, so hopefully that means both of our days will get progressively better from the way I allowed them to start. I had some catch up time with a friend of ours today, and that was good for my heart, too. Without knowing lots of details about my day or our adoption, he was super encouraging, and trying to relay a sense of calm to me, and telling me to have faith.

And I feel better. I still hate how this day started, but there is not much that can be done about it, now. I’ll just keep praying my way through the day- which I should be doing anyway. Now, if I can just find a way to make a little quiet time, and to be still. To still my busyness. To still my heart…

Adoption Grant Approved!

I love being a part of Forest Hill Church for so many reasons. Chris & I had lunch with a pastor from our church today and really just talked about ideas and goings on and life.  It was really great to just sit and chat with him. Over the last 20 months or so, we’ve really started to feel connected to the people at Forest Hill. And it just keeps getting better.

The church, through the grace of God, is able to provide for us on so many levels. And today, I was able to pick up a check that will go straight to our adoption agency to help us further our adoption process. Isn’t it amazing and wonderful? The $2,000 is exactly what we needed to get our home study process going. And we were planning on getting that our early next week. The Lord’s timing is so perfect. I can’t wait to see how else He shows up for our family during this time in our lives. 🙂

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and Running, Running…

Ok, y’all. Here’s an update on my running progress as the days bring us closer and closer to the Chosen Marathon for Adoption in October. You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned running in any of my recent posts, and thought I must have fallen off my training, but it is not so! But before I get to my numbers….

Running has not been what I expected. I have never cared for running. I thought it was boring. Not to mention hard. But I’m seeing it differently, now. Training has been motivating, for sure. Having a goal was what I needed to start this and keep improving. Now that the target is clear, I can keep moving towards it. 

I’ve enjoyed my mornings in the neighborhood. It’s hilly, and probably not the best place for a beginning runner to start, but it’s what I have. I’m going for cost (free!) and convenience, here, and this is the best of those. But it has other perks, too. Running in the ‘hood means I can wave to neighbors I don’t otherwise see, and see things that are happening around us. And I’ve gotten boatloads of encouragement from neighbors who see me out and about. That’s really something! It’s like a cheerleading squad just for me! Ha!

And I’ve had so much time to talk with the Lord on these runs. It’s been amazing. God is my running partner, and  I am learning to listen to Him as we run. Of course, I can pour myself out to Him on these runs, as well, and I do my fair share of that. I am really learning to cast my worries on Him, to start my day with thoughts of Him, and to be able to focus on His presence in my life. I might never give up running just because I don’t want to give up that time.

Last night I did a night run. The weather was glorious. Cool. No humidity. There were crickets and frogs filling the night air with song. And I saw several frogs on my path, too. It was cool, and there is definitely something to be said about running at night. However…. I never used to workout after 7:30 because It would affect how I slept. But yesterday, I didn’t start hitting the pavement until 8:45pm. And last night was my long run. 6 miles. I ran for an hour and fifteen minutes, and warmed up and cooled down on top of that. So, yeah… I was out late, exercising, running more mileage than I have ever done- probably in my entire life. And I ROCKED it. I don’t know if it was the coolness of the air, or just that I’d had th perfect amount of rest, but I jogged pretty much the whole 6 miles. I got a side stitch after the first 1.5miles, and walked for a block and a half, but that was the only time. But, needless to say, I did not get good sleep. I stretched and stretched, drank chamomile tea, and stared at the ceiling. I listened to my hubby breathing (And snoring). THe dog, too. I checked facebook, and then stared at the ceiling. I tossed and turned, sat up and stretched some more. Cracked my back. Laid on my back, side, tummy, side…. and probably found sleep at about 3AM. So, lesson learned: if you’re doing a night run, start earlier and don’t make it your long run of the week. Or longest run ever. 

So according to my TrackRunner App, here are my stats:

Yesterday I ran 6.1 miles in 1 hr, 14 mins

This week, I’ve run 3 times, totalling 13.5 miles and 2 hours and 44 minutes.

In August, so far, I have run 7 times, for a total of 28.2 miles and for 5 hours and 59 minutes.

And since I started tracking, I’ve run 12 times, totalling 43.5 miles in 9 hours and 22 minutes.

Even though I don’t feel like it yet, I think I can say I’m a runner. 🙂 Yes, there have been times when I’ve walked as much as I’ve run. But, I think I’ve gotten to the point where I push through that first bit of exhaustion, and then I can just… keep going. And it’s AMAZING!

So, future child of mine, whoever you are, see how you are already changing me? I am learning to love something I onced loathed, all because I am running for you. Thank you.

Wait Training

Austin just turned one. We threw him a big birthday bash a couple of weekends ago, and I have been yet to give you the details. I will. Promise! But, things have been crazy around here, and I’m taking my time. Please bear with me.

Well, as that milestone approached and passed, we were very often asked if we were ready to have another baby, or what our plans were for having the next. We know a few couples who had their first child around the time Austin was born, and they are pregnant with #2. We have a bunch of soon-to-be first-time parents in our circle of friends, as well. So the baby talk is everywhere. Apparently Chris wants an insta-family, as every time he hears or sees a newborn, he let’s me know that he thinks we should have another – like, now.

I’m not in a rush to get pregnant again. But, if you know me at all, you know that I like to have a plan. Most days, I can give you an hour by hour rundown of what needs to get done, and the best possible way in which to do it. I used to be a pretty go-with-the-flow person, but now, when days are busy, I am a task master. I blame it on having a baby who needs to stick to a schedule, at least a bit. I can’t help it. And if I could, I’d have the future expansion of our family mapped out. I wish it were that simple. Continue reading