As a rule I don't by into this idea that kids grow up too soon. Each day of this life is a blessing, and I am thrilled to see my kids gain new levels of independence. I have never been one to look back and long for yesterday... and I don't plan to start now. I heard it said that we know we are old when our memories are stronger than our hopes. While memories are strong, I pray that I never reach the point that they eclipse the promises of God. These days with my young children are extraordinary... and yet they are only for a whiff of time. My relationship with God is eternal.
This picture of Caleb will always be a favorite. When we downsized... this one had to make the cut. It will come with us (frameless) to Guatemala. I admit that I appreciate the power of this photo now that I am older, but I also remember the power of those days. Having another infant in our grasp now rekindles those memories with strength.
The best parts of me have come from my understanding of who I need to be when I see my children. The best decisions I have ever made have come from me placing their future ahead of my own will. I am often foolish with my desires... but I am clear on their interest. We must open our eyes to clear perspectives. My children help me to see with the eyes of God.
Kellie held Sterling on the dock as we hit the lake at Warren County Armco Park. This summer is special to us because it is our final time with our family. That is my mother in the background. I know that we all will hold this picture tightly in our memories. A massive storm had just dissipated and we were left with calm waters and sun-filtered sky. Unspoken words filled the space with volumes of understanding.
This is family, and family is a tremendous gift. Unplanned excursions become our greatest moments... and they shape the way we see one another. If you have a chance to seize a moment, simply seize it.
Earlier in the day we had an opportunity to worship with a congregation in West Chester, Ohio. I provided the message... and I simply shared my heart. I want to be a story teller, and so I shared the stories that have led us to our passion. The church patiently listened to me talk for 40 minutes. Tears flowed from my eyes as I found myself back in the stories of: Aleksandra's adoption, Sterling's adoption, and the story of a little girl on a hill in Guatemala.
The power of God's story that runs through us all... compels me to share my belief.
And so... I always get the question, "How long will you stay in Guatemala?" I have learned to smile when this question comes and to allow myself to hold it for a few breaths. You see... it is not a question that I can answer. We never planned this path. God found us and showed us that this is our way. I don't know that I will ever leave Guatemala. It isn't up to me.
For us it isn't about being in Guatemala... it is simply about being in God's will. It is about looking at our children with the perspective of our today being more important that the memories of our past. The apostle Paul was at peace through his suffering, and Stephen had his eyes fixed on Jesus while the life was forced from his body. These stories aren't tragedies... they are testaments to the power of faith. They are evidence of belief. They are the simple truth of God filling a life.
There is incredible joy and unexplainable peace that is available when we are in the will of God. His promises are true when we are obedient.
In a short week our family will make our way to that land. We will spend 10 days working alongside our C.R.I. family and the beautiful people of Guate. We are in the hands of the God of the universe and we do not fear.
We want to be used. We want to make a difference. We want to share the power of this adoption story of God.
I was once lost... and now I am found.