Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Forgetting God

The last few weeks have been a bit of a lull... a blessed lull. Well, relatively speaking. In our house nothing is ever really a lull, but they're as lull-ish as can be expected and my tired body has been drinking it up. It has been like surfacing for air after being underwater for too long. Afternoon cuddle time with Calista has once again resumed its rightful place in the universe and life again feels like it's closer to coming into balance.

Taking a break from fundraising so we could focus on our children wasn't an easy decision to make, especially knowing that we hadn't met our fundraising goal, but it was what we knew we needed to do. The cost of an adoption is much steeper than any dollar amount, and unfortunately no one knows this better than my children who have paid the highest price.

I've discovered that preparing for an adoption is in many ways like preparing for a marathon. Spending money on the right running equipment is only the beginning of what will get you to the finish line. The rest comes in countless hours and miles of preparation and we have so much preparation to do, mostly in the way of preparing those within the walls of our home.

I gave myself permission to shut out the vastness of the unknown, and just focus on what I do know- that God has blessed me with a more beautiful life than I could have ever hoped for. That regardless of the hardships that might come, I have known more clearly than I've ever known anything else that this is part of God's plan for me and my family. I gave myself permission to submit to the blind type of faith that the world rages against, and what sweet relief that has brought.

The past year has brought more challenges than we've ever had in our married life. Since we began the process, it seems like every area of our lives has been challenged. Satan has been on overdrive, pummeling our family from every possible angle- health problems, unexpected expenses, job challenges, fading friendships, strained family relationships. Dennis has said several times that the only other time in his life that he can remember being challenged this much was before he left to serve a mission. But as difficult as it has been, I've seen my children blossom into beautiful human beings- thoughtful and caring, hard-working and self-sacrificing. In the areas of our life that really matter, we have been blessed more abundantly than we've been challenged. It has been wonderful to be able to once again focus my days on the five beautiful little people that I get to raise and the wonderful man by my side, and shut out everything else.

A few nights ago I was going over our finances and was reminded how far we are from meeting our financial goals for this adoption. I don't regret for a minute taking the fundraising break that we did since our family needed it so desperately, but seeing the numbers made the all-too-familiar grip of discouragement begin taking its icy hold again. As I felt my mind darkening, I knelt in prayer and asked for the faith that has so often carried me through the past year.

But how distant God felt as I started to pray. It was like having an awkward conversation with someone I hadn't really talked to in a while. And here I came knocking, asking again for more. The lull that I had been enjoying for the past couple of months had made me more lax in my relationship with God. When I shut everything else out, I had also shut Him out without even realizing it. How grateful I am to those looming finances for bringing me to God again. I thanked Him for the hardships that had brought me so often to my knees over the past year and wondered why it's so hard for me to stay humble. Why do things in life have to be so hard for me to remember God? How quickly I forget Him when life becomes easy- but it's been struggling through the muck and the discouragment and despair that I have felt closer to God than I ever have before . I think of something James E. Faust quoted before he died, "The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay." And it's a privelege I would pay again and again.

Here are a few of our latest lovely lullish moments.
Without photo sessions to work on during the afternoons, this little lady and I get to spend a lot more time together.

Luke spent an hour assembling his Mila's shopping cart

A morning trip to Krispy Kreme

Calista falling asleep during our nightly reading of the BFG
Our little Cave Woman has decided that she is quite the comedian and keeps us laughing

Camden practicing the piano with Mila

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