Tuesday, June 19, 2012

honey it's hot outside...

It's 90 degrees out right now. It's listed as feeling like 96. Dew point is at 70 degrees (anything over 55 is pretty much unbearable). Gabriel, Eli and Tya are all napping in air conditioned rooms, and Max and I are sitting perfectly still in the living room in front of our media of choice. Mine is blogger.com, his is Sponge Bob. 

This summer so far has been good. I feel like the depression I was battling lifted once I got home from California. California was a lot of work, but it was fun, and so worth it. I got a cute hair cut and got lots of bonding time with my aunt and uncle. I watched my little boy chase waves. It was pretty close to heavenly. I got to spend time with my brother and even with my dear friend Emily. I got to see mountains, which is so therapeutic to me, probably because I am named after them and feel empowered and encouraged when I see them. 

 I have been doing really well with the extra kids I am watching, and I have even been able to keep them creatively entertained with outside play and art projects. My stress level has been really low, and I am managing the extra little ones well. I am making a constant conscious effort to be serving these kids out of love, not just tolerating them because I am getting paid to do so. I have let the kids paint, use pastels, mod podge, etc. I'm even having fun drawing again. We had a birthday party for Scout, and have been playing with the neighbor kids a lot too. 

maximo and gabe actually being allowed to make a mess!
mixing colors and loving the artistic freedom

i'm starting to draw again. here is my little sparrow.

We've gotten to celebrate birthdays, mother's day and our second father's day with out dad recently. I love having parties here in our home, it's what I have been looking forward to for a long time. We had a surprise 60th birthday party for Uncle Norm and David. We had some of our church family over, it was really nice to have everyone here. This weekend we are hosting a cocktail party here with our friends. Everyone will dress up and we will play games and eat and drink like fancy grown ups. I have been working on making little hanging lanterns for tea lights that I will hang in our tree. I made them out of baby food jars and wire. They are so sweet. We love opening our home up for friends and family. 

birthday blessings being prayed over  uncle norm and david

Eli is teething. He is a hot mess most of the time these days. He is pushing through his top two teeth. Slimy, slobbery, whiny, snotty, cranky boy. And he does this funny face that looks like a little baby honey badger. Scary, yet kinda sweet. Can you see the resemblance?

ew. but cute.

 And that wraps up my lengthy update. Can't wait to post pics of our party this weekend.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Lord gives and the Lord takes away.

Life is so fragile. On so many levels.

Preethi and her family
It's such a gift... and really an absolute miracle. In the last few months I have had friends get pregnant and another dear friend miscarry. I have various friends struggling with fertility issues, and I have various friends expecting second and third babies. Yesterday my dear friend's first grand baby was born, and the same day my friend Preethi (a mama of three little boys) lost her battle with cancer. I hate how that sounds though, because she didn't lose. She gained what each of us truly desire and yearn for all our lives: face to face presence with the Lord, ultimate peace, perfect health, HEAVEN. 

While Preethi was especially sick in the days before her death, I had a hard time knowing how to pray. I was fervently praying for healing, for her boys to be able to keep their mama and for her husband not to lose his amazing wife. I was asking for a miracle, all of us were. But in the back of my mind I remembered praying like this in the days leading to my dad's death. And in the days leading to my dear friend Heidi's dad's death. And in the days leading to my friend Laura's mom's death. So I felt my self asking God is it really worth it? You already know the outcome... and based on the last two years, it's never the way we want it..." Is that lack of faith? I don't know. 

Then I remembered a year ago as we prayed for a miracle over Hannah's sister's baby. We prayed that this baby (who had Potter's Syndrome I believe it's called) would grow kidneys. And a circulatory system. And guess what... God did it. After numerous tests and specialists looking her case over, her baby Jaden was the first EVER recorded case of a Potter Syndrome baby surviving. He'll be one this fall. 
God knows what he is doing. He loves that we ask him for the impossible. He loves that we have faith in him to do the unimaginable. He is there for us when we are disappointed in the outcome, and he is there for us when we are rejoicing over the outcome.

Tomorrow is my second father's day without my dad. I was at Target yesterday and saw everyone huddled around the father's day cards. I started to walk over thinking "oh I should grab one for daaa.... oh yeah." 

I had a dream about dad this week that was really emotional. I was sitting next to him at a table and my head was resting on his shoulder, like I was a little girl just sitting with my daddy. (He was fragile and weak though, as if he was ill. I think I dreamed of him like this since Preethi was so ill and she was on my mind.) I was weeping, since I knew it was a dream, and I knew it was going to be over soon, and he said "tell Sam I miss him and that I love him. And tell  Grace and David and Gil too. And tell mom.... it's okay." I held on to the words he spoke knowing it was a dream, but also feeling like I knew I had to remember as if it was a real message from dad to the rest of the family. I miss him a lot.

It gives me great joy and comfort though, to know that dad is in heaven right now with Jesus. And Preethi. And my friend's little baby. 

I'm so thankful for God's grace over the past two years. Please pray for Preethi's family as they have a tough road ahead of them. 

So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold -- though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. 1 Peter 1:6 - 7