Friday, August 16, 2013

Striving and Exhausted?

Are you striving for holiness and good things yet to find yourself feeling exhausted?

Let me first congratulate are striving!!! I think the easiest thing to do in this life is to just conform to what is around you.  To take the easy way out.

Most of us seek out God's Word by attending church, studies or just reading it.  We learn these truths that lead to life.  Our pastors instruct us with useful habits and biblical ways of growing our faith. Friends will suggest helpful tips to raise our children.  Magazines articles, pinterest and blog posts will overload our brain with ideas of everything from how to be a more financial savvy cook to time management skills for the 834 jobs in your life.  It's completely overwhelming, right?!?!

My intentions of being the most Godly wife, mom and woman I can be can lead me actually farther from Christ.  It's when I become so concerned with self-involved that I stop seeking Christ.

God's word says apart from Him we can do nothing.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.  John 15:5

So in actuality when we worry ourselves so severely with doing all of the right things, it is leading us away from the BEST thing.  And it is making those right things impossible for us to grasp.  We cannot reach our goals and create these character traits we so badly long to have without seeking Christ above all.  I know this.  It's something I've been taught for a long time. But to keep myself on that path is tricky.  Life gets busy and I  get anxious because I'm not meeting up to the expectations I've put on myself.  I was feeling this way the other day.  Stressed with the many to dos, the failings of the week piling up as well as my dirty laundry.  I so badly want to glorify God and be the best for those around me.  I  felt like I was striving to reach the impossible at that moment in the car.  With my baby crying and my head swirling, I felt so exhausted.  Then I heard a line in Matt Maher's song, "Lord, I need you" that brought me back to the truth I know.

It goes...

"where you are, Lord I'm free, holiness is Christ in me"

"holiness is Christ in me".  That is it.  I can only achieve holiness because of the life and work Christ did on the cross.  It is His work in my heart that changes me.  I can strive and strive, with only being left disappointed in my progress.  Meeting with Him and heavily depending on Him daily is how we build ourselves into more holy people.  Just like the verse in John 15, we can be striving in many ways, but if we are leaving Him out of the equation, the striving is in vain.

Don't let yourself fall into this rut.  Seek Christ through His word, pray throughout your day and trust in Him for your holiness.  Don't give up or keep striving for all those good things, just make sure you are doing it through HIM.  I keep repeating this to myself...

holiness is Christ in me
holiness is Christ in me
holiness is Christ in me

Praise God I do not have to do it all alone.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Real Life Love Story

July/August is a big time for our's how it all began really.  Our anniversary is August 2nd, then our first children came home in July and one of our daughters has a birthday in July.  CRAZY months...and crazy blessed.

Love stories can be so magical and make you all fluttery.  I should know, I'm an expert of love stories.  Since a young girl, I've watched every fairytale/romantic comedy, poured over pages of Jane Austin novels and memorized every line of the most famous love songs.  It's something most girls do as they grow up.  It's in our DNA, right?!?!?  Longing for the one to come in and sweep you off your feet. But the reality of these love stories is just that...reality.  After the sweet song fades over the dreamy couple kissing in the park...real life happens.

It's where the bills add up, arguments over dirty laundry and long days leave us feeling less than magical when we come home to our significant others.

That's where real love stories prevail. It's where the butterfly feelings that create that first magic develop roots into something that can last the fiercest storms.  Don't get me wrong. I still love the romance and my husband still takes my breath away.  But underneath that there is now more.

It's grown by the bearing together, talking through the hard moments and living life together through the seasons.  When I think hard on what makes me love Scott, I see a very different reel of moments playing than I ever thought.

I see the long flight and bus ride to our resort on our honeymoon.  Me terribly sick with a sinus headache, feeling much less like the blushing bride I was going for.  He was patient, caring as he found me (crack laced) Mexican cold medicine and nursed me back to health.  We spent our first night at our gorgeous resort not canoodling in the moonlight, but me passed out from the medicine and him watching tv as he rubbed my head.

Through tear stains, I see the image of late night talks where we worked through disappointed expectations and hurt feelings.  I can see him holding me close...accepting me even though I made mistakes.  Forgiving me when I said hurtful things.  Though, these don't seem like moments you want to remember, the end results of resolution and knowing he will stick with you through it all is the best romantic high of all.

I can see him in the faint light of 3 in the morning changing a diaper of a newborn who doesn't want to let me sleep.  This after he's worked all day, helped with the older children and still has to get up in a few hours. He sacrifices all the time to make my life a little easier. This dying to self to serve me is grander than the most expensive bouquets of roses.

The best moments in my highlight reel weren't as pretty or magical as the ones I pictured years ago. We are not gussied up in most of them (to be honest...I'm probably dirtied haired  and in spit up covered pajamas).  They aren't images of fancy dates or long walks on the beach.  They are made up of late night laughter after children are sleeping, stolen kisses on last minute planned date nights and moments of sheer clarity where I know God has made this man to walk alongside me during this life.

I'm grateful for the wistful, romantic moments we've had, just as I am for the hard, real life grit that makes our relationship what it is. I'm blessed to have shared FIVE years with this amazing man and I would not write our love story any differently.  It might not look like a Meg Ryan movie or be as dramatic as Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth in Pride and Prejudice, but it's glorious.  It's life-giving.  It's passionate.  And it's fun.

Happiest Anniversary to my love, best friend and partner in crime.
I love you.

This is my favorite recent love song...

Story of Love by Mandi Mapes

I see your smile
And it’s so much sweeter 
After all that I’ve been through
And when we laugh
I get a glimpse of forever
And I praise God that I found you

And anytime someone asks me
How it all unfolded I’ll tell them
Such incredible chances
Make for marvelous love.

Just like the sun lights up the moon
This love is a reflection
Of more than just me and you
Our lives were less than ordinary
And while I couldn’t see past tomorrow
God was making history

Oh my, what a beautiful story of love.  

Unexpected mercy
Is the greatest thing to find
When you’ve been broken many times
My soul found joy
And for the first time in a while
I felt singing

Isn't she lovely....

This is an overdue post for my oldest gal.  This mommy is having a hard time realizing her babies are growing up.  Because Leland was already a toddler *little man* when we brought them home, she was in all actuality my first baby.  And now she is FOUR!

This is for her.

Here is a picture of you, Miss Evy on your first birthday ....not even a week after I met you.

I cannot believe this isn't how you still look.  

You will always be my short little firecracker.  You were so tiny, but so powerful.  I had never met a 1 year old that could climb or do the things you could do.  You kept me on my toes and still do. 

Now instead of climbing the furniture, you are climbing trees.  You are the perfect blend of girly girl who loves to dress up as a princess and also play in the mud digging for worms.  To be honest, I often find myself caught in another time watching you because you remind me so much of my childhood.  I see you and your sister playing dolls or putting on a show for us on your make believe stage, only to remember your Aunt Gigi and I doing the very same things.  Your little bare feet running through the yard and Cinderella dress swishing as you go, makes me happy.  You enjoy life and live every minute to the fullest.  You are always the life of the party.  We cannot keep you from singing some song *most of them your own creations* and everyone you meet gets that sparkle eyed smile of yours.  I worried how you'd respond to not being the baby of the family when we brought your sister home, but you quickly picked up the new role of mothering her instead. I love that you love people.  You care for them, worry over others and enjoy being around people.  I could not be prouder of you, my spunky girl!

Thank you for making my life so sweet and letting me relive childhood all over again with you!

the morning of your 4th birthday

Happiest Birthday, Evy Elizabeth!


Here are a few pictures I took for her "Tea Party" themed birthday.

I added Liv in a few because I'm going to put one in their room! : )

3 years....oh my!

It's crazy to think that 3 years ago I became a mother.  It wasn't how I expected. My water didn't break in the middle of the night. I didn't need to call my doctor. No one rushed me away to the hospital. My husband wasn't even actually with me.  No, I didn't spend hours in labor or have a swaddled newborn thrust into my arms after birthing them.  My motherhood experience started at McDonalds.  Seeming perfect, right?!?!?  Ha!

I remember the days after getting the call.  Planning, making sure I had a few clothes in their right sizes and mostly praying.  As most new mothers, I was very anxious.  Unsure what to expect. I prayed. A lot! Asking God to help me...unsure of this task in front of me, but wanting it with every fiber of my being.  What if they hated me?  Cried when I took them home? But at last, I was there. Parking my car and looking through the playplace windows.

I saw what seemed to be a whiz of a boy (sort of think Flash from The Incredibles) whirling around the room.  I'm pretty sure I didn't even get a great look at his face until I gazed at it through the rear view mirror on the way home as he was finally strapped still.  : )  But I do remember as he ran past me giggling thinking, I never heard a sound so sweet before.  I can also squeeze my eyes real hard and picture her tiny face.  The big brown eyes gazing at me, her puffy little cheeks and the sweetest little fountain of hair held by a small bow on top of her head.  I remember picking her up for the first confused about what laid ahead, but knowing our lives would never be the same.

It's hard to remember those first days and I will not lie.  Unlike, the hazy yet quiet sweetness of bringing home a newborn, our beginning was tough.  Adoption is a beautiful gift born out of a tragic loss.  We do live in a broken world, scared by sin.  Adoption shows those scars, but just like the world Christ comes in with rays of hope.  Good things, joyful hearts and bonds that only He can forge are the other side of those scars.

Isaiah 61:3 says...

to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

I like to think that is the story of us.  My ashes of my sick heart because of hope deferred...their ashes of a childhood torn apart was made into a beautiful headdress that is now the Thompson family.  I will never forget the pain in waiting for children, or the struggles of our adoption because to me it only increases the delight and glory of the power of our God.  He took a sad, childless woman and two children without a home to make them whole as a family.  That is the beauty of adoption...taking something broken and making it whole. That is what He did for me through salvation.  I was broken, sinful and stained by this world around me.  But PRAISE to HIM for not leaving me alone.  Instead, through the sacrifice of His son, He adopted me. Made me His child.  Made me whole. A sweet  friend got me this necklace and it says it best in why we wanted to adopt...

we love because He first loved us.
1 John 4: 19

So happy "Gotcha Day" (back on July 18th) to our first and second born children.

July 2010

June 2013

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