Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Yesterday I had a few moments of solitude while my baby sister took Walkie with her to the grocery store.

I actually had a few glorious moments to wander around my empty, quiet, messy house.

During those few moments I completed several full, complete thought processes.

I never get to............

These past few days have been quite difficult.

I don't know if it's me or Walker.

His bad attitude or mine.

Or a witch's brew concoction of them both.

I think the craziness of the season is partly to blame.

We've been hustling & bustling all around lately, & while I love that we can do that, it creates such a crazy lack of consistency that throws us both off our game.

I'm tired.  He's tired.  And our grace runs short with each other.

I find that I lose my mind {and go hunting my chocolate stash} over little things.

I discover that he defaults into "whiny" mode........... and pelts you with rapid fire questioning.

It becomes a vicious, crazy cycle.

Too often I get sucked right into that cycle........... and stay there FAR too long.

I find myself wishing that Daddy would hurry home from work or that it would be bed/nap time or that I could just eat a cupcake in peace & quiet.

However, what I too quickly forget is that these one, two, three, or fifteen bad moments of the day do NOT add up to make a Bad Day.  There are still wonderful, redeeming, joyful things in each day.

As I think back over the past few days, I've had some really, syrup-y sweet moments with Walker.  I mean like "he hung the moon" kind of moments!!!

But I roughly tossed them aside & chose to let the bad, unpleasant moments dictate my entire day.

I don't want to live that way.......... that's such a yucky, miserable, thankless way to live.

I've thought long & hard about it, & I uncovered a few things that were wonderfully, redeeming moments in the past few days.

My husband cleaning the kitchen up after dinner....... pots, pans, dishes, & everything in between.
The way Walker's little, squishy body feels in his red & white striped Christmas pajamas.
Heart to hearts with my baby sister.
A super cuddly little boy.
Orders from sweet clients.
Breakfast with friends.
Learning that Walker loves cinnamon rolls.
Hearing the sweet sounds of Daddy & son playing cars together.
Listening in awe to my son's English vocabulary grow & grow & grow.
Melting every time he says, "Mommy, I'm so happy I'm in America with you & Daddy."

Those are PLENTY enough moments to redeem the yucky in my day.

Of course, I can't think about redemption without thinking about Jesus, who came not just to redeem our moments, but to redeem our very lives.  And for this I am eternally thankful!!!!!  Motherhood has put under a microscope my heart & actions like nothing else I've ever done.  The day to day, moment by moment mothering is exhausting!  When push comes to shove......... I usually shove {not literally, of course.}  In those tough, hard moments, my character is revealed.  And I come up lacking!  I fall short!  I am SO thankful for Jesus's redeeming love, that says all is not lost.  Hope is here.  There is Grace even in & especially for these "crazy" moments.

As I struggle through how to live a gracious, redeemed life, I pray that my son will see far more of Christ at work in me than he sees of my sin.  I pray he'll see a Mommy constantly battling to maintain grace in all situations & relying fully on Christ to walk through the ups & downs of every day.  And I pray that he too will cling to that grace & redemption in his own little life.

Psalm 107:1-2 "Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary"

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Kitty Katty.

Lately our indoor kitties have been fighting. 

A lot.

In all honesty, I think they are finally rebelling against the fact that a child now lives here full time & the situation appears permanent.

They were fairly good for the first few months that Walk was home, but now it's a different story.

At one point, their violence was just too much, & Daddy made the executive decision to introduce them to their new outdoor home.

However, our little lawyer presented his air-tight case for why the kitties needed to come back inside.

He won his case, & single handedly saved Sawyer & Sheppie's little cat lives.

The cats have gone a few weeks without major violence.

But yesterday was another story.

They had to be sequestered for the better part of the day.

I told Walker that Daddy was going to put the kitties outside again if they kept fighting like this.

He wasn't too keen on that idea, but I think that he understood.  {somewhat}

Walker resorted to the only Person he thought could help the kitties............ he prayed.

Here's what he said:

"Dear Jesus.  Will you please help the kitties to obey?  I want them to stay inside.  I don't want them to go outside.  Please help them to obey God & not to disobey so that they can stay inside forever.  Thank you, Jesus. Amen."

I love this boy!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Adopting the Wounded

"Were you sleeping in America with Mommy while I was in Uganda?"

This is the question Little Man asked my husband this weekend.

Apparently, Walker is beginning to piece together the fact that my husband & I lived in America, in our house, & with our families {without him}.

AND that he was living in Uganda, in an orphanage, all alone {without us.}

How do you answer that?

At this point, he's not ready for {or wanting} a detailed answer.  He was more than content when Daddy simply said, "Yes."

But it pricked my heart nonetheless.

Reminded me anew that my bouncing, baby boy is a miracle.

It's nothing short of a work of the Lord that he has adjusted SO incredibly well into our family.

He LOVES his Mommy.

And is becoming uber-attached to his Daddy.

It seems that the Lord prepared his little heart to be placed into our family even before we were united forever.

He fits like a puzzle piece.......... that integral piece smack dab in the middle.

However, in his short little life, he has had to handle more pain, change, fear, & unknown than I've ever faced in my whole life.............. and he did it all ON HIS OWN.

Walker has wounds....... wounds that are healing & almost undetectable right now, but wounds nonetheless.

Wounds he'll eventually have to think through & vocalize.

Wounds that were caused by no fault of his own.

Wounds that could've been lessened my a million "if"s.

IF he had been adoptable before age 5.

IF someone could've found good medical treatment for his mother.

IF, IF, IF, IF, IF..............

I could drive myself batty thinking of all of these situations........ but I won't.

Honestly, the "if"s in his past don't bother me.  We all have "if"s.  Those things we can't control.

I'm far, far, far more concerned with his "when"s.

The "when"s are those definitive moments in his {& our} lives where the healing begins.

WHEN we chose to adopt.

WHEN we chose Uganda.

WHEN his orphange made the decision to begin adopting out their children.

WHEN we said YES to Walker's profile.

WHEN we became a family.

WHEN we came home.

WHEN he said his first unprovoked "I love you."

WHEN he says he wants to stay with Mommy & Daddy forever.

There will always be a million "if"s.  There's just no way around it. 

But the "if"s are easy.  Even cowardly.  They don't require anything but self-pity & loathing.

However, there can be TWO or THREE million "when"s.

These are hard.  They require deliberate, purposeful thought & action.  They require change.  Self-examination.  Consistency.

With each "when", the healing process works it's way in.  Pouring down, deep.  Deep into a wounded heart; a heart pitifully bandaged with old, dirty, grimy, reeking dressing.  The healing balm is no repsecter of wounds; it winds its way all around.  At first, reaching just those wounds on the heart's surface.  But little by little.  And ever so slowly.  Each "when" restores & binds up the broken places.  Some wounds will heal with noticeable scarring, but miracuously some scars will become unnoticeable, even forgotten.

It's a hard journey.

But it's full of promise, hope, love, joy, and a FOREVER FAMILY!

"Praise the LordFor it is good to sing praises to our God.....He heals the brokenhearted & binds up their wounds.  Great is our Lord and abundant in strength..." - Psalm 147:1, 3, 5


Thursday, December 13, 2012

I Saw. I Pinned. I MADE IT!

'Tis no secret that I love to pin.

It's a fun guilty pleasure.

It's an inspiration spring board.

And it's a real aggravation sometimes.

Like when you end up following someone who goes on a pinning rampage.

Posting a plethora of pins to their new board "Zombie Fairies."

You just have to roll your eyes, take a deep sigh, & go unfollow their obnoxious behind.

Once you've done that........... well, you're golden.

And all freed up to see CAH-UUUTE stuff like this handprint Christmas tree.

Because I didn't have enough orders to work on yesterday.  {I jest}

I made a spur-of-the-moment decision that we would make Walkie's handprint into a Christmas tree.

And because I rebel on even the tiniest of levels, I decided that the handprint needed some sprucing up.

Here's what we came up with.

Create a diamond pattern.  Trace lines onto canvas.  Lines need to be approx. 2" wide.  Paint in your lines.

Ta daaaa!  Diamond pattern complete.

Prepare the little hand.  Don't glob on the paint. Smooth it out in a nice, thin layer.

If the paint didn't show up on the canvas as boldly as you'd like, go back in & carefully fill it in.

Draw a trunk on your tree, top it with a glittered star, add some garland, & voila! It's ready!

Such a great idea to bring out every year at Christmas or give as gifts to the Grands!

We put ours on the door where I've hastily thrown up our Christmas cards............ somebody please find me a cute way to display my Christmas cards!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Oh the Joys of the Mundane & Yucky.

Yesterday started with a tiny little voice calling to me from the other room.

"Moooommmyyy!  May I get up please?"

If I'm not awake yet, then Walkie Talkie comes to climb in bed with me & snuggles for a bit.

Our rank morning breaths mingling between our kisses & hugs.

Hanging in the air.  Threatening to kill one or both of us.

Somehow we make it through.

Lately, Walk has started a new routine where he get his "business" taken care of before he comes to climb in bed with me........... takes off his diaper, puts his underwear on, goes to the bathroom, lets the kitties out, & turns on all the lights in the house........ then he comes back in bed with me.

However, this morning he came to my bed side & told me that his diaper had leaked.



Doing laundry became priority.

Before snuggles & cuddles & kisses.

Ugh!  Not exactly how I wanted to start our morning............. or............. any morning ever!

Thankful that we invested in that plastic mattress cover thingy.

Chalk that up to one of our best investments.

Now fast forward to the end of the day..............

I have a headache.

The kind where every smell is intensified.

Every noise is piercing.

And every turn of the head makes you feel like your on the tilt-a-whirl.

I lay in bed waiting for it to run its course................ when I hear, "Mooooommmyyyy, come please."

I do my best to resolve the situation from my position in bed, but Little Man's persistance beckons me to actually get out of bed & personally tend to this unknown issue.

I trudge down the hall {bad attitude in tow} to the bathroom to see what is the matter.

Let's just say that my day ended "poop"-ily.........and with more laundry to do.

In spite of the grand start & finish to the day, there were so many little gifts in the mundane moments in between.

Belly laughs.
A little voice reciting Bible verses.
Kisses wet with slobber.
Nap time solitude.
The huffs & puffs & hits & grunts & laughs of Daddy/Son wrestle time.

So many gifts in just one day.

Sweet & precious.

Gentle & rowdy.

Kissable & squeezable.

There is joy even for these moments.

Especially for these moments.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Firsts I Can Claim as Mine!

It is a year of firsts around here.

I have missed so many of his other firsts.

First breath.

First smile.

First tooth.

First laugh.

First cry.

First steps.

But, thank goodness, there is still a reservoir of Firsts to be tapped.

Firsts which I am blessed & honored to call mine.

Those "firsts".  Well, I crave them, need them, look for them, revel in them, photograph them, celebrate them, & carve them ever so deeply into the walls of my heart. 

Every first revives my soul, renews my hope, restores my joy.............. and ultimately points me to my Redeemer.  The One who makes all sad things come untrue.  And that alone is worth rejoicing over!

So even something as simple as a First Gingerbread House is a BIG DEAL in this house.

For me.

And for him.

We call this style Martha Stewart Tacky.

There are elements of true design & intent here, but the execution & materials used were pretty much a flop.

We won't be winning any contests any time soon.............but who cares!  :)


Monday, December 10, 2012

Update on Walker.

November was the month we decided to see exactly how much money we could spend.

And........... how quickly we could spend it.

It was a race we didn't remember signing up for.

Our wallets were stretched.............. much like I imagine a pregnant woman's belly stretching & aching as new, little life grows inside of her.

Our "budget" was laughed at & ridiculed in the town square.

Our fears were brought to the surface........ as we scurried around trying to find answers to what was going on with our brand new, bouncing baby boy.

Our faith was tested as we waited, went to doctor's appointments, waited, had tests run, waited, called for results {like a rabid Mommy looking for answers}, and waited some more. 

In the midst of all the crazy & waiting & our own "googled" diagnoses, Peace found us.  It quietly stormed in & took us hostage.  Of course, not every moment of every day, because at times, we wrestled for that Peace.  But the Lord graciously gave us Peace in the midst of the fear & unknown. 

We were living out what we believed............ that our sweet son is a gift from the Lord.  Walker has been entrusted to us for the time we have together on earth, & there are no guarantees.  None!  No guarantee that he'll be healthy or live a long life.  BUT there is joy & happiness & peace & love & family.  And there is a faithful, kind God who walks with us through all of the yucky & the fabulous & the mediocre in between.

There is much for which to be thankful.  There ALWAYS is! 

Isn't a thankful heart the key to living life fully alive?

So, despite the thousands of dollars in medical bills, we are THANKFUL!

Thankful for our Walker.

Thankful that we've been released from the neurologist with a simple diagnosis of tics.

Thankful that our baby boy will have his first real Christmas......... one that will be full of joy & hope, family & Jesus.

Our wallet will recover, & my Starbucks withdrawals will eventually be unnoticeable to the naked eye.

Our adoption of baby #2 has been pushed back, which makes me incredibly sad.......... but I trust in the Lord's goodness through even this little {but feels huge to me} setback.  Our journey to Walker was l-o-n-g, but he was absolutely the best possible match for us.  Totally & absolutely worth the wait.......... just like baby #2 will be.

And our family is secure & hopeful & joyful in the gifts of today!