Monday, January 23, 2012

5 years old

Today I'm amazed that I actually have a 5 year old.  Your short life has gone by so quickly to this point and I must admit that I'm a little saddened that your baby years are behind me.  It's good for me to have this sadness sometimes so that when my long days with you and your 2 year old brother and 1 year old sister seem endless I can know that this phase passes more quickly than I'd like. 
At 5 you are probably the most imaginative little girl I've known.  You can spend hours playing in your own little world made up of dogs, and wolves, and dolphins.  You crawl on all fours and shuffle around the house.  Your brother is normally trailing behind you barking and begging for you to let him in on your play.  Today, Lydia totted up to me and did a little fake bark and giggled.  She, too, is learning from her sister.  You also have a little sass to you and your brother is picking up on that too.  I have to remind you that you are the leader of your siblings and they look to you for guidance and an example.  Mostly, you fill those shoes effortlessly and with confidence. 
Bethany, daddy and I have been so blessed to have a special little girl like you.  You are uniquely sensitive and in-tuned to other's feelings.  You have the most infectiously sweet spirit that everyone notices.  I can't remember a time when strangers didn't comment on how you smiled and had a sense of joy about you.  It's a gift the Lord has given you and I pray we are able to nurture it and help grow it inside of you.  This past year has been your biggest year of adjustment thus far.  In the spring we brought JP into the family and though you had prayed for him as long as you could talk, I know your little mind and heart had no way to be prepared for the change.  It took you some time to get over the fact that he couldn't speak English and you'd have to "teach"  him.  Some days you'd tell me that "It's too hard to teach JP English."  Thankfully, he picked up his 3rd language easily and was able to communicate with you.  It wasn't until we moved to Memphis and the nursery worker at church told me that one of the children had made a comment that JP didn't look like you and Lydia and you stuck up for him and told the little boy that he WAS your brother!  It was then I knew you had accepted his place in our family and had bonded with him in your own way.  You now stick up for him even when he gets in trouble with mom or dad!  Your next big adjustment was moving to a new state and away from your family.  It was not an easy decision for Daddy and I to move you away but we knew the Lord had called us to Memphis and to our neighborhood.  I had to trust the Lord that he also had called you here.  It's been 6 months and I can see how this move is part of your calling and the special life He has planned for you.  You've made friends with our neighbors and have a good time with them despite the differences that ya'll have.  I can see that, in life, you will be able to relate to and love and care for others who may not share your skin color, family dynamic, religion, educational level, economic level or dreams.  I can see the Mercy that God has given you already take shape and it's beginning to bloom even at 5 years old. 
You are such a special girl that lives herself out in such a special way.  I pray you also keep your kind spirit and joyful disposition and my most earnest prayer is that you become a strong woman of the Lord.  You listen to his leading and follow no matter the cost.  I sometimes feel inadequate to be the one entrusted to guide your impressionable heart.
 In Jeremiah God says, "I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  We will take those words to heart as we guide you through this next year and throughout your life.
Love You Bunches,

Sunday, January 08, 2012

It's a New Year

So, I have gotten some phone calls about the newsletter being left out of the Christmas card giving.  I apologize people.  Please don't make me feel anymore guilty about the fact that I didn't send one the year that we bring our son home.  I have decided to write our letter here for those that check it regularly but NOT this post.  I just don't have the motivation right now. 
I did want to share something else though.  With the New Year I also reflect on the year that past.  This year was a year of adjustment and transition.  It was a year of me, personally, letting go and allowing God to prove Himself trustworthy and good despite my struggling with the path He has led us down.  I'm so glad I didn't allow fear and Satan's schemes to keep me from obedience.  I honestly measure my years in spiritual growth. There was a time when it never entered my mind to think this way but after the year my Mom passed away I grew so much and went so much deeper with the Lord, that just thinking of what the year brought reminded me of where the Lord had brought me. 
Our Church here in Memphis has issued a spiritual challenge in 2012.  There are certain "disciplines" they are urging members to master this year as a way to prepare for missions and a general life of ministry.  There are some pretty rigorous challenges and first I was not compelled in the least to be a part. But the Lord working on my heart convicted me in some areas and I decided to pray about and practice the ones the Lord impressed on me.  One of the disciplines I've decided to take on is reading the bible in a year.  I decided to read it in chronological order and came across a bible that is a 365 day chronological bible.  Already I've been refreshed with having read the Word daily and knowing that God's Word never turns void and my heart is soaking up what it needs.  Today something struck me while I was reading and I wanted to share this passage,
"This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind.  Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.  Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on earth."
Gen 9:12-16
It's amazing that today I can still find a rainbow in the sky.  A sign of the covenant that God made so long ago between Him and man.  It's the very nature of who God is and the characteristic that God has shown me in 2011; Trustworthy.