Beautifully Broken

I’ve been mulling over the phrase “beautifully broken” today.  In my search to find a journal with a few empty pages, I came across one I had written in at last year’s Passion for Orphan’s conference.  I took thousands of notes while listening to the speakers and this phrase kept up popping up.

I’ve encountered a lot of brokenness lately –in my life and in those lives around me.  It’s hard to be in the center of brokenness with those you love.  It looks different for each of us – we each have messy lives filled with pot holes and gaping holes.  For children brought into our homes through adoption, messy describes the entire experience. Messy situations, messy feelings, messy paperwork, messy relationships.  It is broken and hard.

Yet like the phrase says, it’s beautifully broken.  In the past 24 hours, I’ve seen beauty rise from ashes. As a mother, it’s been very painful to walk alongside my child.  Funny thing is, for her, the healing moments have given her closure.  She’s been able to sleep like a baby, sing and play like a 7 year old.  And I’ve been working hard to hold it all together.  My feelings are so closely layered on my sleeves. I look at her, see the profound brave work she did at therapy yesterday and just want to cry my eyes out.

I see so starkly the brokenness that she’s had to carry.  I am angry for her, I’m sad with her, I’m deeply hurt by the circumstances of her life before she came into mine.

Lisa Qualls from Thankful Moms said it so well last year.  “We are not our children’s healers. God is.  We serve. We love. God heals.”

It’s hard to stand back and allow God to heal in his time.  I remember holding Desta as a little 9 lb. 5 month old, determined to keep pain at bay, help her body heal and show her selfless love.  I resolved that nothing would ever hurt her again.  Little did I know that the very act of saving would result in hurting. See, to bring Desta towards healing we had to take her from her culture, her family, everything that she knew.  We created deep vacuums of pain, questions and loss.  That is the story of adoption.  It’s simultaneously beautiful and broken.

So today, I will serve and love and allow God to heal.  I cling to His words, His promises that he is making us new.

Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever. Psalm 28:9

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Psalm 27:13

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Almost Perfect Summer

It was an almost perfect summer.  I went into this summer of 2016 with much lower expectations than in the past.  I set a few goals and resolved to keep the main thing the main thing.

What was the main thing?  Making sure our family focused on each other and loved well!

IMG_252720160809_005525004_iOSThis summer was filled with so many wonderful adventures.  Caroline got to discover why I love Honey Rock Camp so much!  Tobin explored new territory at Eagle Lake Camp.  Desta got her first glimpse into Eagle Lake and loved it.

IMG_3198We joined a local pool and I no longer have to watch any child on the pool ledge. I have three proficient swimmers!  We hiked miles and miles.  We summited a 14er and rode a horse.

IMG_0444IMG_1502Family vacations, Matt and I vacations, date nights, slow nights, s’mores and sunsets.

IMG_2202Throughout the summer I had to guard against the little voice in my head that often whispers “this won’t last.”  I had to shove away the fears that a momentous catastrophe would happen to my kids while they were away.  I had to pray against the troubled thought that a car accident or a great disaster would strike.

See, I still live in this world, at times, that says I can’t be happy. I have to suffer or at least be a bit uncomfortable.  Perhaps many more hours of therapy will help me figure out just where this thought began.

There were still fights and flare-up’s amongst our family.  Harsh words and slammed doors. Hurt feelings and grumpy days interspersed with “leave me alone” and “I hate you’s”  We are human and we have faults.

Today, as I sit in this super quiet house – children in high school, middle school and elementary school – I want to acknowledge the good of this summer.  The hard work of being a present family.  The endless and often thankless task of making sure I love well so others can love well.

Here’s to a great summer and a new school year!