Slow Down…

My son and I pray together every night before bed. Our prayers are often unconventional in that our bedtime prayers occur in multiple locations.

Last night I was squeezing in my walk. My son came into our office area and asked that I pause the treadmill.

Sometimes, we need to get off the treadmill of life and take a moment to pray.”

I paused the treadmill and my mind for a moment…when had my teenage son become so wise? 


We prayed, standing on that treadmill, and then, he ran upstairs to bed. It’s that age… Fourteen…not an adult ready to navigate the world but becoming one’s own person forming beliefs about the world.
And this son of mine has enough wisdom to know that sometimes, we just need to get off the treadmill of life and pause in a moment with our Heavenly Father.

How did I ever get so lucky?

I smile, knowing in this quiet stillness of the morning, that there is no luck. God knew this child halfway around the world was to be my son and I was to be his mom.

So, here’s a little shout out during this National Adoption Awareness Month… adoption is an amazing blessing from God.

Sometimes, you just need to pause from the craziness of everything and be still with Your Father. He has an amazing plan for you. It may not be adoption, but He may be trying to whisper into the deep places of your soul to those unspoken hopes and dreams.

Slow down…listen…and step in faith.

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Mysterious Ways

God works in mysterious ways. We hear people say this expression a lot, but sometimes you just have this moment in time when you know without a shadow of a doubt that God’s hand has touched your life.

This little guy is the center stage of one of those moments.

In 2007, our house was fairly quiet with a predictable routine. Our lives were calm with just my husband, daughter, and myself. We were anxiously awaiting the news of an adoption referral. In October of that year, this little white dog wandered into our yard as my husband was mowing. He made the mistake of telling me the pup had no tags, so I opened my front door. The little pup walked in through the door and into my heart. Over the next week, no one claimed him despite our efforts to find his home. My friend suggested the name Franklin since that was the street he was found on. The name fit. 

This little pup affectionately called Franklin turned our house upside down. Franklin’s crazy antics prepared us for our son. He flipped the predictable to the unpredictable. He helped me to be more spontaneous. He reminded me to not take everything so seriously. He prepared me to be a better mom to my son.

Yes, I believe God sent this pup into our lives as a gift to prepare us for the greater gift of our son who joined our family in March 2009.

Through the years, Franklin did crazy thing after crazy thing. He ate non-food items and stole more things off the kitchen counter and table than I can remember. I held that pup like a baby…he was my baby. We nursed him a year ago from a stage 2 wound back to health. Shortly after that, he developed diabetes and we began administering insulin shots twice daily. 

Two days ago, his health took a turn for the worse. We did everything we could for him to make him comfortable and help his situation, but he slipped away the next morning. He is no longer suffering.

My heart is sad. My house is quiet. But, my life has been enriched by the gift of a little white dog who wandered into our lives and into my heart.

God definitely knows what we need when we need it. 

Grace in His Timing

Sometimes, it takes someone else to help you realize that you need to take a step back. After my last two blog posts, my friend messaged me to see if I was okay.

I reassured her that I was. Then, I reflected on my recent thoughts.

Really, it’s been a matter of when things don’t go as planned. 

Perspective is everything, and my friend’s question was the prompting where I realized I needed to step back for a moment.

It can be very, very helpful to reflect on how God has worked in the past to remind us He is still working.

So what comes to mind…

  • The sadness in infertility only to realize my child was born halfway around the world and placed in my arms five and half years later through the joy and incredible blessing of adoption.
  • The joy in receiving a job offer and being excited at the thought of being able to get ahead only to find out a few weeks later, my husband was laid off. Guess what? All our bills were paid, we both learned a lot through the time, and my husband is back to work.
  • As part of the pastoral search committee, we extended an invitation for a pastor to come to our church. He declined. Our church needed some time to step back and unite in prayer. During this time, God spoke to our church and this pastor who felt God calling him to our church. We will welcome his family into our church very soon.

My thoughts in all this? Despite how “perfect” I think my plans may be, God’s timing is perfect. 

My gut wrench response is to want to be anxious, but I know just as in times past, I must trust God and His timing in my current situation. My plans may unfold a little differently than I originally had hoped, but He sees the entire picture. 

When have you experienced God’s grace in the timing of your plans?

Connections

We spent a few wonderful days with our Wisconsin friends. Our story is an amazing one of adoption and reunion. Our boys spent time together in an orphanage overseas. Their friendship started as little tots. A phone call led to a planned meeting at a Goodwill store in Wisconsin as we drove home from a trip out West. The boys touched each other in amazement that first reconnection encounter as though wondering if the moment was truly real. We spent several days together after that initial reconnection and made a commitment to get together yearly for our sons.

The truth is, we enjoy each other’s company just as much as we delight in seeing our boys reunited and interacting. There is no day to day drama to deal with. They simply enjoy their time together. As parents, we share our adoption stories and parenting struggles, but we laugh, too, and for a few days, just do life together.

We laugh, joking…you know, we could have thought you guys were crazy!! It is our joke but also our expression of gratitude for this friendship between boys, between parents, between families.

God has used our son’s adoption to bless us in so many ways. This gift of connection is a gift of friendship. It a special story of hope, answered prayers, and dreams fulfilled. 

Our boys…the connection to bridge our life stories. 

God is an amazing God of connection.