2015 has been an amazing year. A year filled with learning new things, finding joy and embracing all that God has for me. 2013 and 2014 were years of survival. I guess adding 3 little boys to your family and having six kids under the age of 7 will do that to you. God is so faithful and so good. He saw us through those years, those moments of figuring out how in the world to do this new thing. And he has brought us to this incredible place of joy, of finding ourselves, of fighting for our faith and seeing him in new ways.
We are all healing from the hurts, the hardness that adoption can be. We are praying for the bad memories to be erased and working so hard to make new joyous memories. He is teaching me to wonder again. To marvel at the sunrise, the sunsets, the beautifully painted sky. To be childlike in the way I see the world. He is teaching me to find joy in the words and actions of my kids, to truly SEE them and to speak life over them. He is teaching me to let them go and be light. He is showing me how to fill them up so they can fill others up. I don’t want to brag, because that is not my way. But my kids are incredible. God has done a work in them that is so amazing. This year has been such a grace, watching them grow and shine. So crazy thankful!
He is teaching me to go my own way, whether or not others agree. To not please people, even if they are doing something good and I think I need to follow. He wants me to be me. He wants to use me as I am, not as a prettied up version of myself. This is so freeing!! The greatest blessing ever. Last night Matt and I were talking about Kiki and how she just doesn’t listen. Matt said, she does her own thing and doesn’t give a shit what anyone else says. Just like her mama! Pretty much sums it up. And you know what, I am so thankful God brought me to that place. It’s not always the best character trait, but it does allow me to be who I am and go forth doing what he has called me to do. I want that for my kids. Not a watered down version of themselves but a true picture of humanness that runs after all God has for them, not looking to the right or left but keeping their eyes fixed on Jesus. Because as the woman says in War Room, we are HIS before we are yours. I am HIS before I am a wife, a mother, a member of a church, a sister, a daughter, a friend. I am HIS first and foremost and if he calls me to adopt, to give lots of money away, to love the unloved, to care for the poor, to fight for justice then I am going to do it despite what the world around me thinks or says.
He is teaching me about writing, art, creativity. To find it and love it and do it. To teach my kids about it and how it is a form of worship to him. He designed us all to be creative. To give back to him through song, art, words, design, photography, gardening. These things feed our soul and draw us closer to him. I long for my kids to know this and be free to use their talents to honor the Lord. We all have gifts, we just have to feel free to take the time to engage in them. This year I am coming back to the creative things of my childhood that I have missed for so long. The reading, the writing, the coloring. And it is just so incredibly wonderful. I am learning about this blogging thing this year. It can be kind of hard. I love it as my creative outlet. And I want it to be there for my kids. That is my only goal with it. So I bare my soul and write as if my kids are going to be reading my journal when I am 90. But then I worry about sharing it. Do others really want to read this, do I need to obsess over site stats and how many likes it gets on Facebook? Ahhh, the answer has become so easy. Do my own thing and don’t worry what anyone else thinks. I don’t feel like I am supposed to write for anyone. Just for me and my kids and to use it as my outlet. The social media world can think what it wants.
And then there is the vulnerability. God has brought that in front of me this year as well. He is teaching me to be open and honest, to not hide behind anything. To dig deep into the soul as I engage in community. Because we all want that. We just don’t always feel comfortable doing that. It is so much easier to talk about the football game or the vacation rather than tackle the big things like religion, racism, raising kids, the poor. I love being honest about what is really happening in my life rather than sugar coating it. If I had a hard day, I am probably going to tell you rather than smile at you and say it’s all fine. Because being real and vulnerable and true produces deep lasting connections. It allows friendships to blossom. I mean really we have this one life and I would rather go deep and let people in than live my life not really feeling. Being vulnerable is hard, it can kick our a**, but it is REAL living. And I long for that. I am so thankful that God has thrown that in my face this year.
The Lord has been teaching me about feeding my soul this year. I am so so thankful for this lesson. This bonk on the head. I am a severe type A personality. If I am not doing doing doing I don’t feel worthy. I feel and live best in a clean space with laundry folded, however there are times when I have to be ok with putting other things before that. If he whispers to me to go write, I need to sit down and feed my soul and not put it off. If he calls me to open my home and create community, I have to not be obsessed with whether or not it is perfectly perfect. He is softening my hard edges and teaching me that community, creativity, learning is often more important than doing. It’s the Martha and Mary concept. Martha was distracted by all that had to be done, but Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. I need to learn to be more like Mary. To sit at his feet. To be filled up by the only one who has all the answers. He is teaching me that sitting at his feet encompasses so many things. It is conversation with good friends, it is loving big, it is being vulnerable, it is creating, it is taking in a good book, it is being filled with his word, it is long walks with the kids, it is vacations and mission trips. Jesus is everywhere and he longs for us to be all encompassed by his love.
This year has been so so good. The best ever really. I have learned so much, grown in my faith in huge ways and felt wrapped up in a love that is so huge my mind cannot comprehend. His goodness is so amazing. It is mind blowing. His love in unending and unstoppable. I am forever grateful for this Jesus who opens my arms wide to receive his glory!!
Happy Holidays friends!! Be blessed this season!!