Thursday, April 24, 2008

Flexibility (Or Lack Thereof)...

Although I do not have a great number of faults (ha! ha!) I do have some. Here's the biggie! In a nutshell I am an inflexible person. I like organization. For example, I function best with grocery spreadsheets, ToDo lists, and itineraries. I like control. For example, I like it when others do things MY way & agree that MY way of doing things is certainly the best/most efficient method. I like voicemail. For example, I stress out when someone calls me because I may not know why they're calling or have the correct/instant answer to the topic at hand. Ridiculous, I know. Remember, be kind, I am confessing my faults here!

So, I get it and I am trying to improve my flexibility & tolerance for change/differences. But it's really hard for me. I mean, come on, it would be so much easier for me if everyone would only accomodate my schedule. If they'd only look at things from my perspective. If they'd change their attitudes, their preferences, their personalities, etc. to be more like my own. Then we'd be getting somewhere.

"Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be." (Thomas a Kempis)

Whoosh! (air leaving my lungs). Yeah. What a boring world with only one schedule, one perspective, one preference, one personality. No spontaneity. No pillow fights. No just-because flower deliveries. No fresh ideas. No chances to learn. No dancing in the rain. No opportunity to grow in a different direction. And seriously, why should I expect others to change when I have faults of my own (only a few, did I already mention that!?).
Okay. I take it back. I want you to be YOU because by doing so you enrich my life. And, I'll not get angry if you call me at midnight on a Tuesday evening; we'll talk for as long as you'd like. And if I try to impose my ideas/preferences on you; call me out (ahh, do so gently, please). But...don't ask me to leave the house without a shopping list. That's asking too much :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Saturday in the City...

This past weekend Blake & I took a quick trip to the city. Considering that the city of Chicago is less than an hour from our house it might not seem too thrilling but, to this ex-country girl (whose roots go very deep), going downtown is always an adventure. The day was cloudy & overcast (not like the previous Friday or the following Sunday) but we did manage to dodge most of the rain showers throughout the day.

We caught the train early and attended a fundraising brunch for a youth outreach program called GRIP; its mission is to serve local churches and communities by helping them reach at-risk youth and grow them up as fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ. The program we attended communicated some startling stastics about fatherlessness, violence and the daunting challenges facing these young kids/young adults daily. Whether its in our backyards, our state, our country or the world at large, there is no shortage of ways to share His love with others.

After the luncheon, we hit the stores of Michigan Avenue and wandered around a bit before heading to our hotel. Blake was able to get a fabulous room rate at the Hotel Intercontinental which is a historic Chicago landmark-of-sorts right on Michigan Avenue.

We ate dinner at Vongs Thai Kitchen and on our walk home stopped at a corner Walgreens for some Haagen-Dazs mango shebert (heavenly!).

My mom recently requested pictures of her kids (& spouses) that were NOT shot at arms length. With three of her children married but with no kids of their own, we figured that's how all couples took their pictures! :) Anyways, these are for you, Mom.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Our Little Warrior...

My SIL said something to me recently that has really touched my heart. When speaking of our son in Ethiopia she said, "but you know, he is one of the lucky ones who will survive." As the words sunk into my head, my breath kind of 'whooshed' out of me for just a moment. Wow! She's right! What hope!

While the details of his abandonment and/or reliquishment may be horrific, he WILL survive. He will find his way (by God's grace) to a safe place, an orphange. His grandmother may carry him for miles (and days) in the hot sun or the steaming rain. His mother may hand him to a orphanage volunteer with her last ounce of strength. He may succumb to pneumonia or a vast number of ailments without medication to ease his pain. But, because God is creating us to be a family & has chosen a specific little boy in Africa to be our son, I know he WILL survive.

So, the past few days, instead of picturing my little guy shivering in the cold or crying in the darkness, I have begun to think of him as our little warrior! It lifts my spirits & it inspires ME to be strong, too. If a little boy halfway around the word can fight the battles which may come his way, surely I can, too. But for the grace of God go I...

NOTE: I recently came across a link to this picture & it speaks 'peace' to me. I thought I would share the beauty with you.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Which One?

We got some good laughs out of this on Friday night. You tell me? Which one do you cuddle with & which one do you order from a Chipolte Mexican Grill?

A Weekend in Indiana...

We spent this past weekend in Indiana enjoying the beautiful SPRINGTIME weather with our nephews, Jonah & Jared...oh, and their parents, too! :) My brother-in-law, Peter, can be quite the hilarious fellow but I think I will save my reflections on that topic for a later post. For now, here are some snapshots from the weekend.

Cuteness at it's all-time high! Too bad you'll have to spend this week sleeping in your basket instead of in Uncle Blake or Aunt Christine's arms.
Here is Jonah, ready for church & looking oh-so-handsome. Perfect photo-op...
Be good for your Mama, boys, especially later this week when Daddy's away flying. We love you!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Part IV: The Waiting Game

Waiting. We all love it, right? We love the anticipation of an unknown timeline with countless variables. We love the anxiety created by pesky HOW TO and WHAT IF questions that tumble about our minds. We thrive on unpredictability & uncertainty. We cannot wait for another delay to be imposed or another roadblock to be created. It’s awesome! It’s exhilarating! It’s an adrenaline rush! It’s…ABSOLUTELY NOT FUN! But, it is part of our lives, yours & mine.

God does not ask us to wait without purpose; He continues to mold & shape us, to strengthen & refine us. He has done that for us as individuals and as a couple throughout this process. We are convinced that adoption was in God’s plan for us all along and we wait with GREAT anticipation for the day when we hold our son for the very first time.

Even though it spans the greatest amount of time on the calendar, this post entry (Part IV) will be the shortest. There's not much to say; waiting is waiting. And, although at times it appears no progress is being made, we know that God is “working all things together for good.”

When we shared with family & friends our plans to adopt a child from Ethiopia, we included one prayer request with the announcement. It was as follows: We sincerely covet your prayers for wisdom during this emotional & exciting process – specifically that we can live believing in God’s ability to create faith in our hearts which is greater than our fears. It is our prayer to this day & we are so very thankful to serve a God who is always listening.

Stay Tuned for Part V: The Referral! To be shared on a Future/Unknown Date.