Thankful list for May:
-a little piece of good news early on in the month that gave us some much needed hope
-on the day of more incredibly hard news from our adoption agency, I read “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me.” Micah 7:7. We continue to trust a plan that we don’t understand, continue to try to be thankful for circumstances that we don’t like... its not easy.
-this funny row of family portraits by Tuck
-new pictures of Aida…so thankful for them even while it is so hard to watch her growing up
-the gift of a video from our agency
-"if you learn to trust Me- really trust Me-with your whole being, then nothing can seperate you from My Peace. Everything you endure can be put to good use allowing it to train you in trusting Me." -Jesus Calling
And a few random things that have nothing to do with adoption:
-incredible Andrew Peterson concert (if you ever have the chance to see him in concert take the time to do it)
-The Tiller’s watching our kids, the Doley’s watching our kids
-Tucker “Mom, can I get up early to spend time with God?”
-Krista cutting out stuff for me
-end of the year BSM leadership party… so thankful for these students and their hard work and their desire to serve their campus
-Mother’s Day Tea at The Learning Center… bittersweet- my last one with Tucker and my first one with Libby (apparently our kids have the same "I'm taking a picture head tilt" as their mom
-how special my family made me feel on Mother’s day
-the incredibly timed, encouraging, and thoughtful Mother’s Day card from Katie
-Ben was gone for just a few days… I’m so thankful it wasn’t longer, thankful when he returns!
-finding two sweet kids in the same bed
-"Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy." -1 Peter 1:8
-one of my favorite events of the year… watching our students participate in the Go Now commissioning service (so proud of them for answering the call to go)
-Libby's haircutting skills bring laughter on a sad day (her haircutting tips: use blunt children's scissors and for an "edgy" look cut bangs and layers only on one side of your face)
-thankful for the BSM intern this year, his hard work, heart for the nations, and how well he loved our kids
-camping weekend with friends at Lifelight: incredible view and scenery, Morgan’s new faith, watching Tucker watch the Newsboys. How a wet tent, muddy surroundings, sunburn, and a weekend of port-a potties will make one really appreciate a dry, cool, clean house.
-much needed encouraging email from Dianna
-3 months of enjoying Tucker going to Worship with us (thankful for this article
that led us to consider it and gave us some practical advice on how to move our children in that direction)
-children laughing when they should be sleeping (I know I will miss those sounds when they get older)
-celebrating our anniversary… we didn’t get the trip to Africa we hoped for but we are thankful for a night out, thankful for ten years. Thankful for the friends who watched our kids so we could go. And I’m oh so very thankful for him (but you can read that here
Libby's one sided haircut
Ben (the intern) with Libby
photo booth at Lifelight
This week, I sat on cold tile floor painting tiny little toes sparkly purple. I fashioned pirate attire and buttoned up princess dresses and watched Mater and Lightning McQueen zoom around the playroom. I cuddled up next to our oldest as he read to me about dinosaurs, and we took off with our new friends Jack and Annie as we escaped to a mysterious tree house. I rolled up my jeans and dug in dirt and colored sidewalks with a princess donning rain boots. I visited the library and watched fresh excitement fill our boy as he signed up for his first summer reading program. I danced with bare feet hitting the floor in the living room with our 3-year-old in my arms and laughter spilling out of our mouths. I did dishes in the kitchen while our 5-year-old sat on a stool nearby and asked me questions about what it means to “not count the costs,” and I marveled at how our God teaches me through our kids.
This week, I stayed at home with our kids as you worked hard and made sacrifices so that I could. And even when you were gone, I witnessed your love for me through the way you've taught them. You can tell a lot about the way a man feels about his wife by the way he leads his kids to treat her. I am reminded of your love when our boy offers to help, when he shows respect. When he protects his sister, when he tells her she’s beautiful. I am reminded of your love when our girl says “please” and “thank you” and when she pulls my face close, pats my cheeks, and whispers she loves me.
This week, I watched you sit on a porch and share life with a neighbor. I spooned strawberry jam onto hot biscuits you baked for us in the morning. I listened to you share how you were going to admit a wrong and ask for grace from a friend. I watched you pitch baseballs to our sweaty boy and a neighbor kid and chase them around the bases in our backyard with the well-warn diamond path. We cooked a college student’s favorite dinner, and she joined in on the family Bible time and marched from Bethlehem to Moab with us, and I saw Christ fill our living room when ministry and ordinary life meet the way they should. I watched you play with our daughter and listened as laughter filled a room. I ran in the morning breeze and chatted with a sister friend and felt the breath of 30 minutes away that renewed me while you wrestled kids and wished you were still sleeping. I listened to your plans for this summer’s ministry and for next semester’s ministry. I read love notes you left me on bathroom mirrors.
This week, I grew by watching you and listening to you. I grew because you served me and taught me how to serve. I saw Jesus through you. I felt loved because of you.
This week, I thought about 10 years of marriage—of joy and of pain, of routine and of change, of laughter and of tears. I thought of Birmingham’s green hills, Georgia’s trees all hanging low, and of Texas sunsets in spaces wide; I thought of family lost and grief shared and family gained and joy multiplied. I thought of our first apartment, our first rented house, our first home purchased (and the three other places in between). I thought of seminary graduation and celebrating a job and packing up our things and driving half way across the country. I thought of holding our first-born in our arms, of exhausting nights, and of the blessing of that first smile. I thought of your arm tight around me as we kissed our second-born good-bye and watched them wheel her back for heart surgery just six days new to the world. I thought of sitting at our dinning room table with damp faces as we saw our third child’s huge dark eyes for the first time. I thought of hurts unspeakable and joys unimaginable, and I thought of how I shared all of that with you: The man of steadiness and strength and wisdom and conviction that I respect and love. The man who loves me wholly and sacrificially the way our Father designed, like Christ loved the Church.
This week, I laughed with you, tickled kids with you, talked with you, held hands with you, washed dishes beside you, discussed books with you, listened to music with you, dreamed with you, read the Word with you, worked beside you, and kneeled to pray with you.
And next week, we’ll do it all over again.
And I couldn’t be happier about it.
Happy Anniversary, my love.
And this week, I'm thankful you no longer have that mustache.
In the evening we bend and four sets of knees imprint the carpet. And we talk to Him (well, Libby sometimes whispers, sometimes sings), and then we all recite the familiar words together, “Our Father, Who art in Heaven …”
And as the moonlight warms the room with its haze, I look to see three sets of white feet lined up in a row next to mine, and I ache and pray for her sweet brown set to join us.
“Thy will be done…”
And there is a day fast approaching on the calendar. A day to celebrate for many, a day of remembering what was lost or what was never had for so many others.
And as I rejoice over what I have and ache over what I don’t (and what she doesn't), I know that there are so many hurting, grieving, weary women dreading the day that feels like salt in their wound.
I’ve been thinking about them as I bend down.
This weekend, when the moon goes dark and then becomes just the tiniest sliver of light, I’m bending down. I’m praying for the hurting. The forgotten. The weary. The exhausted. The broken. The angry. The bruised. I’m praying for women everywhere. I’m bending down on their behalf.
I'm bending down for you: The Mama who never got to bring her child home, whose crib remains empty and rocker remains still. For the young woman who tries to be happy for all her friends and their swelling bellies and Facebook pictures. And for the woman who has birthed one child or two and is struggling with the mystery and silence of secondary infertility. For the older woman who knits the baby blanket — soft and warm — she never needed for her own.
The graying woman in front of me in the checkout line who doesn’t hear from her children, doesn’t know who will take care of her when life gets harder. For the mother whose child has chosen a path of bad choices and left her behind in a sea of guilt and questions. I’m bending down for you.
The mom who knows there will be one less Mother’s Day card this year. For the mother whose grief is no longer new but still just as real, who feels stuck while everyone else has moved on. For the mom who would give anything to hear her little girl’s voice yelling in her house again. I’m bending down for you.
The mommy who stays steady by the hospital bed and watches her child hurt and feels helpless and wonders if things will ever feel normal again. The mom struggling with a nest that is empty while only feathers remain, trying to remember who she was and what she did before she had kids. I’m bending down for you.
The exhausted new mother who’s struggling, wondering if she will ever sleep again, stop crying in the shower, figure out this nursing thing, feel attached to this little person she doesn’t know how to make happy, be brave enough to tell others that she isn’t enjoying motherhood yet. I’m bending down for you.
The adopting mom who wonders if the wait and paperwork will ever end. The mommy with her child newly home wondering if he will ever love her, ever trust her, recover from his scars. The foster mom who just said bye to one more child, wondering how much time she has to heal before she does it again. The mom who made the hardest choice to give her baby up and thinks about him everyday. I’m bending down for you.
The single woman who longs for a child of her own. The woman who aches for her own mom, wishing she were still here. The woman whose mom was never around, never available. I’m bending down for you.
For all the hurting women in my life, forgive me when I’ve failed to encourage, failed to remember, failed to be there, failed to pour out all the gifts of encouragement and time and love that others have used to fill me up. I am remembering you this weekend. I’m praying that I will learn to show His love by sharing mine.
I’m praying for peace when it seems far away. I’m praying for healing when it seems impossible. I’m praying for encouragement when it seems unlikely. I’m praying for joy when it seems unattainable.
I’m praying for His power, His glory, His peace, and His strength to fill all the wounds and gaps and empty places that only He can.
I’m reminding myself and I’m reminding you: We have a Savior Who understands pain.
We have a Savior Who longs to comfort us and hold us. We have a Savior Who walks with us and before us at the same time. We have a Savior Who bent down low to wash feet, mix mud into healing balm, to pick up the cross.
And Who also stood tall and crafted the moon from His very command, determined that some nights it would disappear, and that the dark would come.
And Who then makes the light return again.
I’m praying for hurting women everywhere this Mother’s Day weekend.
Will you bend down with me?
Thankful List for April:
-our first Buckner Ethiopian family picnic day
-hearing the heart of a 19 year old Ethiopian girl adopted at age 16
-watching Tucker attempt Ethiopian dancing; watching Libby only care about the popcorn
-meeting other adoptive families
-news on our “time frame” (a lot longer than we wanted to hear… but it was news)
-“From your limited human perspective, it may look as if I’m mismanaging things. But you don’t know what I know or see what I see. If I pulled back the curtains to allow you to view Heavenly Realms, you would understand much more. However, I have designed you to live by faith, not by sight.” –Jesus Calling
-The year we had with our adoption coordinator, Leah, and all the support she offered us a long the way. We will miss her!!
-It's been over 6 weeks since we got the call about the "snag" in our adoption process... thankful His plans are better than ours
-“Why are you cast down, O my inner self? And why should you moan over me and be disquieted within me? Hope in God and wait expectantly for Him, who is the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 42:11
-our families "focus" for the month of April (planned in January) and Bible verse... seemed pretty much perfect
And a few other random things that have nothing to do with adoption:
-My dad got to stay a few days into April
-cleaning tables at church with Ben
-gift card to Red Lobster and friends who watched our kids so we could go on an almost free date
-grace and forgiveness from a friend
-my fun putt-putt and snow cone date with Tucker
-friends who are so willing to give up time to help me
-Meegan and Lauren's great job at the photography workshop (and yes, I attended a photography workshop on how to use my nice camera and then took every one of these photos with my phone)
-“if anyone would be first, He must be last of all and servant of all” -Mark 10:35
-Love and Respect conference
-the rare joy of Libby falling asleep in my arms
-Tuck’s prayer “Please, let the man that shot three people come to know Jesus. And please raise the 3 people from the dead”
-that Meegan and I have a “usual spot”
-pizza and “The Parent Trap” (the original)
"Ultimately God's kingdom far outweighs in signifigance the personal comfort of my children. As much as I adore my children, as crazy as I feel about them, I betray them if I put their happiness and comfort over God's overall purpose in their lives and in our world." - Sacred Parenting
-Tuck learned to tie his shoes
-Libby’s love for coloring and painting (though I have to admit we would love it a lot more if she would keep the coloring and painting strictly to paper)
-Libby’s current love for mermaids and her creativity (even though she has never seen the Little Mermaid)
-celebrating Ben (and the amazing man that he is) and the day that God introduced him to the world
-the way our college students celebrated his birthday
by Jen Hatmaker... it reminded me how thankful I am for my mom, mother-in-law, and sister who work so hard in the education system impacting today and tomorrow, the teachers who so greatly influenced my life, and for the teachers who have
make a difference in the lives of our children.
This year spring has tried to come with its warmth and breeze and new growth spreading across the earth. But winter just can’t seem to let go, and the harsh cold keeps poking its head out and breathing its frost across our days.
And we can’t pack up our clothes yet and move on to another season.
For the longest time I believed firmly that she would come home in April.
And then I released that hope into the winter wind and knew April would be when we held her and whispered, “We’re going to be your mommy and daddy” and left her behind with that promise.
But instead April became the month of hope deferred, of dreams not met, and of a thousand tears and a million prayers.
And with my heart broken into a thousand pieces, I found myself thinking and caught myself saying, “All that is left to do is pray.”
And HE who has never stopped listening, never stopped singing comfort over me, never stopped speaking softly in my ear … He didn’t whisper this time.
His conviction stung deep.
“Prayer has never been all that is left to do.”
Prayer was the beginning more than two years ago when He asked, “Have you forgotten the adoption promise?” And when I responded, “But when, and how, and where,” He whispered in Ben’s ear, “Now”. And we asked a hundred times and a hundred ways, and the answers sometimes came slowly and sometimes came fast and sometimes came all at once. His answers formed our passion and presented our feet with the trail to tread. And if prayers made concrete, we would have paved a path to Africa and back a hundred times already.
But most of the time His answer was the long way.
Prayer was the middle of the journey too. And as the days dragged on and became two years of leaves turning, falling, and growing back again, the saints joined with us in our weariness and carried us, and prayer was never last. It was never the only thing they could do or the last thing they could do, but it was always the greatest thing they could do on our behalf. And her name rose up to the heavens like a chorus from His people: Aida.
And He said: “My son heaved on the cross and sucked in His last breath, and in His sacrifice gave you a gift of freely communicating with Me. And don’t dismiss His payment by dismissing this part of the gift. Talk to Me. Whisper to Me. Sing to Me. Shout to Me. Simply say My name. But don’t mistake prayer as a last resort."
There is power in prayer.
Prayer is for when disappointment squeezes your heart tight, when grief makes you forget how to breathe, when you are spitting fire, when you have great news, and when you have bad news. It’s for when there is no news at all. It’s for when you’re weary, or when you’re too confused to string together a sentence, or when you’re in the endless wait. It’s for when you don’t want to pray, and it’s for when you can only whisper a word or simply sit and listen to HIS. It’s for when you’re filled with joy and sing out the celestial shout, and it’s for when you’re entangled in the muck and can’t unwrap yourself. It’s for whispering over someone all suffocated by fear or for when you’re the one who’s suffocating.
It’s for when winter comes early and stays late.
It was for then, and it is for now, and it will be for tomorrow.
So all four of us keep whispering His name and her name, the repetition that has become the quiet rhythm in our home and in our hearts as the season’s have passed.
And it seems again that His answer is the long way.
("Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise." -James 5:13)
Thankful List for March:
*March 18th- the day we found out we had hit a major hurdle in our adoption process and that losing Aida was/is a possibility. From Jesus Calling
that day “exert your will to trust Me in all circumstances. Don’t let your need to understand distract you from My Presence.”
*joy and peace in the midst of hard circumstances
*He has a plan for Aida; He has her best interests in mind; He loves her most
*the Riddles brought Joshua home
from China!! (in the spirit of transparency- I'm 95% excited for them, 5% jealous
*canceled plane tickets… in the midst of our heartache He comforts us
*“give thanks in ALL circumstances…” 1 Thes. 5:17
*people who constantly check on me through text and facebook and email… it is so good for my aching heart and I appreciate their thoughtfulness so much
*my mom and dad still came to visit even though they no longer needed to take care of the kids… so grateful they’ve been here the last few days offering encouragement (AND distractions)
*we made it through the days I believed would be some of the hardest: last Wednesday- the day we were suppose to leave to go to Africa, Friday- the day we were suppose to meet Aida, yesterday- the day we were suppose to go to court (I officially really dislike April Fool's day)
“I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me (I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into Me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency). Phil. 4:13
And a few random things that have nothing to do with adoption:
*Tuck started going into the worship service with us every Sunday… oh how we’ve enjoyed worshipping with our son
*Meegan Weaver agreeing to do a photography workshop that benefits the BSM… so thankful for her generosity with her gifts
*good news for the Grubens!
*Tucker: “when I get to heaven will I get to meet Peter, James, and John?”
*good news for Dianna!
*great Spring Break mission trip experiences for our students
*a husband that loves me well
*we received so much help from different people in various ways this past month… I can’t list it all… thankful to have such servant hearted friends in our life.
*Conviction... oh how it hurts but so thankful He wants me to look more like Him
*3 wonderful years with our creative, puzzle working, princess loving, animated, beautiful Libby
*hard days in motherhood remind of my great insufficiency as a parent and my great need for Him
*coloring and dancing with Libby
*playing baseball in the backyard with the Tiller’s
*how much entertainment a cardboard box, stickers, and some paint can offer
*an overnight family escape to Dallas... laughter really is one of the best medicines
*being here meant we got to celebrate Holy week/Easter with Tucker and Libby, my parents, and our church family
*my Dad and Ben transformed our pantry door and
painted the difficult wall leading up our stairway
*my mom helped me paint our bathroom
*playing baseball in the backyard with my parents
*Jesus Storybook Bible videos and how much our kids enjoy them (you can find them on the Jesus Storybook Bible facebook page)
*Ann Voskamp’s beautiful blog: When You're Struggling Through Holy Week
. And a small quote from that post:
”He has touched our tears. He has cupped our broken hearts with His scars. He has whispered to the howl, “I know, I know. And I’ve come to begin the making of all things new.” We believe. Because we know. He knows our grief. We know His goodness. And the truth is – we don’t need an explanation from God like we need an experience of God…”
Ben canceled our plane tickets yesterday morning.
We have not lost Aida yet but there is a lot of uncertainty right now surrounding her adoption. We might share some of the details later but for now we simply ask for your prayers. It has been a difficult week of waiting in uncertainty for us and while this is not what we hoped for, our Lord has been gracious and offered us an unexpected peace. We know as much as we love Aida, He loves her even more and has the very best plan for her in mind.
Here are some specific ways you can join us in praying:
-You can pray for wisdom/clarity/answers for government officials in her country. Please pray for all truth to come to light.
-You can pray for continued peace for us as we wait for those answers… our hearts are aching.
-You can pray for Aida… pray for her as she continues to live and wait in the transition home. Pray that if we do not end up getting to be her forever family that God still has a plan for family for her.
Thankful List for February:
*our homestudy update was painless and brief… and we had a super clean house as a result of it
*the Kinsley’s brought Haven home from Ethiopia on Valentine’s day!!!
*we FINALLY got our court date… even if its not nearly as soon as we wanted it… we have a court date
*family and friends willing to make sacrifices to watch Tucker and Libby when we go
*Kelli’s perfectly timed encouraging card
*flights to go meet our Aida are booked!!!
And a few random things that have nothing to do with adoption:
*walks (talks) with Krista
*a broken hot water heater reminds me of how grateful I am that I have hot water, a generous perfectly timed check in the mail, friends who gave up their time to help fix it
*lunches with Meegan
*friends who planned a date night out for us and for their generosity
*Ben’s willingness to make sacrifices to take care of me when I’m sick
*prayer walking as a family around the neighborhood and the sighting of the neighborhood rooster
*my sister sharing a song with me... she would never guess how many times I've played it since she sent it
* "Remember that I can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different. Start with where you are at this point in time and space, accepting that this is where I intend you to be. You will get through today one step, one moment at a time" - Jesus Calling
*a new tradition of Valentine’s love note bags
*the rare moments Tucker and Libby act happy to have their pictures taken
*stranger in Target to Libby: “what is your name?” Libby: “Princess”
*the incredible segment about MercyShips on 60 minutes (you can watch it here
*"The Lord gives strength to His people; the Lord blesses His people with peace." Psalm 29:11
*playdate with the Lindsey’s
*Tuck’s desire to pray for his preschool classmates
*'Time memorizing scriptures is perhaps more important than "quiet time"- because when we fill our hearts with His word, we can fill all
our hours with His Word- and "quiet time" can then become all of our time
'. Ann Voskamp
*Shaina Weisgerber and the beautiful testimony of honesty and hope that she has been through her family's journey of struggle and loss (you can find their journey here
*Libby’s choice of the same red and white dress for "Choose Your Own Clothes Thursday"… three weeks in a row.
*Tuck’s question: “Mom, can I spend time in the Word again?"
*the book ”Treasuring God in Our Traditions” and all that I gleaned from it… excited to implement some of Noel Piper’s ideas for Easter this year with our kids
*the sweet children's book from my mom on adoption. My favorite line: "I trusted that God knew you, and knew me, and knew when we'd fit perfectly together."
*a new journey for Lena
*Saturday morning puzzle mania
*Two little monkeys jumping on the bed
I’ve used up my fair share of grace over this winter.
I’ve wrapped it around me like a warm blanket, thanking God for its abundance, asking for forgiveness for how much I need it, praising Him for giving it so freely, knowing I will need it again tomorrow.
The last five weeks haven’t gone like we wanted them to … how I wanted them to. A steady stream of disheartening news and estimated travel dates passed by, and I’ve been left broken and confused … trying to act normal. Like a part of my heart isn’t living in Africa, growing up in front of me through pictures and updates, going to bed every night without a Mommy and Daddy. And there is also the ever increasing awareness that this seemingly impossible wait is going to be nothing compared to the wait after we meet her and leave her there and wait to be able to return to get her. The days have gone by slowly like a clock ticking away moments lost with her and after weeks of overwhelming sadness; I found myself numb.
And then the court date we had been waiting for came.
But I didn’t react the way I was suppose to: I didn’t jump and squeal, I didn’t post it on Facebook, I didn’t want to write a blog, I didn’t call or text all my friends. In fact, I talked to as few people as possible.
Because I felt stuck feeling an emotion I wasn’t supposed to feel. Not the emotion people would want to see or hear from me. And the emotion hit me with such overwhelming force (a storm that had been brewing for weeks … or maybe it was more than two years in the making) that I didn’t know what to do with it; I couldn’t even identify it at first.
I stomped my feet and pounded my fist on the bathroom counter. I lay on my bed sobbing and begging God to give us a just a few weeks earlier, a few days earlier. Anything sooner.
Not April 1.
We had lost another month.
I felt cheated.
I realized IT was anger. I was furious.
What happened to the end of January, then to February — and why oh why did March get skipped over completely? And the questions keep pouring out of me.
Between my tears and bursts of anger, I’ve spent the last few days pleading for gratitude and for peace and a changed perspective. I wish I could say it was fast in coming; it’s not. But I press on reciting the Truths I know, rehearsing my thankfulness even when I don’t feel like it, expressing my feelings to a Savior that restores me through His understanding, feeling the warm blanket of His grace … knowing that healing and growth take time. The roots are there already. But they need both the sunshine and the rain to grow up out of the dirt.
Beautiful things sprout up in the spring.
And that’s when we’ll meet Aida.
Thankful List for January
*Valentine’s Shirts ordered, made, and delivered-our very last fundraiser (for post placement adoption costs)...we are done!!!
*Aida turned one… next year she will be home on her birthday!
*Kids picked out gifts for Aida (if you know Libby well then you won’t have a hard time guessing which one she picked)
* A court date was set for Aida’s biological family
* we are one step closer to bringing her home
*Kelli, Meegan, and Krista’s help with cutting out appliques… it made these Valentines shirts the easiest group of shirts yet!
*Getting some of our adoption education done
*Long conversation with Leah (from our agency) about getting ready to travel
*Kind offers of help from friends
*The Kinsley's will be going to get Haven next week and bring him HOME!!!
*My brother who always edits my blogs (okay not the thankful ones… you just get stuck with my typos in these)… and this month he did it without complaint 3 times
*Looking to find the positive in bad news about the wait (there is some positive stuff if I am intentional to look for it)
*Kelli calling me at 11:30 last night because she knew I was having a rough day… she was exactly the friend I needed- acknowledged my hurt and simply hurt with me, let me cry, and then made me laugh.
*The Bible verses recorded in the back of my Bible throughout the last year… a one page synopsis of the promises He has whispered to me during the last 12 months and continues to remind me of when I need it most
And a few random things that have nothing to do with adoption:
*Libby likes to announce when she enters a house or building “I’m here!!”
*Melty beads and making things with the kids
"Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me in the dark" -Jesus Calling
*Thankful for grace and forgiveness… especially on my not so good parenting days
*A stack of books to read by my bed (thanks mainly to families generosity at Christmas)
*Tucker loved his first soccer practice (and yes, Libby went dressed in a ruffly dress and cowboy boots and tried to join the team)
*Ben hung up shelves for me in the kitchen!!!
*Chick Fil A is really and truly coming to Wichita Falls… there is actually dirt being moved around and everything
*Taking Tuck with Kelli and Noah to meet some of the Rangers (two excited boys)
*Real mail from Dianna that always seems to come at just the right time
*Tuck lost his first tooth (and I have to admit-I don't like wiggly teeth so I was kind of thankful he lost it at school too)
*Libby always asks “where’s my Tucker” when picked up from preschool or church
*Choose your own clothes Thursdays
*Libby: “can you put the hats on them?” Translation: “can you put the tops on my markers?”
*Food… I take it and all of the endless amounts of choices we have for granted. Grateful that we have always been able to feed our children and never worried about where our next meal would come from
*"The more you trust Me, the more I empower you to do so." -Jesus Calling
*Dates with Ben (thanks Krista for babysitting so we could have a date out!)
*Superhero Dad night with Tuck’s preschool class
*Libby's love for dress up
*"My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness."
2 Cor. 12:9
*The little bit of time I got to be around Reese Blackburn