Thursday, December 26, 2013
Changes and Blessings!
It's the Christmas Afterglow and I've had lots of time to reflect on the changes in our lives over the past year or so.
But before I get into that I have a little happy praise update. I shared a little story last time about giving a gift card to someone on a street corner asking for help with his cardboard sign. Within 48 hours, someone stopped by my house with an envelope of...guess what...gift cards! That made me smile for so many reasons, but mostly just because God is cool like that! We do something for Him, and He does something for us, so we can keep doing stuff for Him. Life is a great adventure!!
One of my favorite things that my 4 youngest have been saying to me is: "Remember when we..." They've been with us over a year now and this was our second Christmas together (although first in the U.S.)! I just love the signs that we're building family history together! In a couple of more weeks we'll have our 1 year anniversary of coming home together.
Christmas was a happy chaos!
Yes, a little like that! There's 6 of our 7! Here's #7(though he came first):
There he is...
So much has changed over the past year. I can remember when putting the serving dishes on the table caused stress for our younger children. It just was something they were not used to. Last Christmas, they were very somber leading up to Christmas day. They just did not know what to expect. This year they were crawling out of their skin with excitement! This year they got to go to the store and pick out presents which was great fun! We've seen some fears begin healing and some tough behaviors subsiding.
Can I admit that there are hard places hidden in adopting 4 children at once? Hard places for all including those who came home. Hard is not necessarily bad. Hard brings out what was able to stay hidden. We've all changed. Our expectations have changed. We've realized areas of sin in ourselves. We've discovered more of what God can do through us which we before thought impossible.
(As a side note, my own lack of organization hit me hard as I tried to prepare for Christmas for our family of 9! I am not afraid of the work of preparing for a holiday. Preparation is not bad or unholy. It can be an act of service and love too! It can drive us to our Savior. How often it is seen as a distraction from the "reason for the season", but I don't think we need to feel badly about spending time preparing.)
I've asked God: "What next?" And: "Is there a next?" For now the answer seems to be, "Love where you are." (This is for another post another time.)
But as I bask in the "post Christmas glow." I am thankful, so thankful for where we've been as a family and where we are. We've changed, all 9 of us. It's God's plan for us.