No "Monday Menu" this week (as fascinating as that always is, I'm sure...) Just a buffet of random thoughts from my transitioning-back-into-real-life brain. We had a great time on our vacation last week. I'm not a good blogger. I didn't take any pictures at ALL. The above photo was taken by my daughter on our trip in 2004! (But it looked like that last week... really.) I'm hoping if any of my friends who were there took any, they might share! If you were on the trip and you're reading this... Bethany took some GREAT pictures of you and your kids! If you're interested in swapping, let me know! We spent last evening restoring my sweet brother-in-law's beautiful travel trailer to it's "original upright position" and returning it to him. It was so nice! We loved it! We ended up in the perfect spot and my talented husband was able to maneuver it perfectly. We had a wonderful time with about 8 or 9 other families (most of whom stayed in cabins nearby) sitting by the campfires, hiking, playing at the playground, keeping up with each other's kids, laughing, remembering, praying, singing... What a refreshing time!
And, now the laundry.
While the laundry is whirring, I'm letting the kids sleep in and I'm gathering my wits about me for a busy, busy April. I'm hanging on to this last day of March. I hope it goes slowly! My mind is just meandering a bit this Monday morning. If you continue to read, be warned. It's random.
We found out the day before Good Friday that we passed our home study! Believe me, I did not take that for granted. We have an excellent (and thorough!) social worker. It was a very "refining" process for us... quite beneficial, actually. I wasn't anxious or really worried, but it was good to get the word that we were officially approved and can now move on to compile the rest of our dossier (paper mountain.)
Last night while getting caught up on my email I found out that our case worker from our daughter's birth country will be in town this week and we get to meet her on Friday. I'm am beyond excited! She's the one who will connect us with our daughter! She may already know her! She and her husband run the orphanage over there and have a precious relationship with the children. From what I have heard of her, she is wonderful. I cannot wait to spend some time getting to know her. The next time we will see her is when we are there. God is so good to arrange this meeting with her on this side of the ocean, at this point in the process when it's so easy to get bogged down.
Just look what arrived in the mail the day before we left!!
This is an Adoption Journey bracelet created by Heather at Waiting for Our Heart's Desire.
I had ordered it from Heather a couple of months ago, and she mailed it to me the day before she left to go bring home her TWO precious new sons! I can't believe she took the time to do that during such a busy time.
Here is what she says about the bracelet:
"On both ends of this bracelet you will see two glass tear drops representing the sacrifices that are made and tears that are shed when a birth mother decides to give up her child. The second tear represents the sacrifices made, tears during waiting, and the tears of joy that come with the adoption journey. The world represents the far off land where I will discover my son. The big red heart represents my hearts' desire for a son. The three crystals (green, yellow, red) represents the flag. The most important bead on the bracelet is the original nickel prayer bead, from a very old prayer necklace that I had purchased. I also personalized mine with a blue baby bottle representing the son that God will one day place in my arms."
This photo doesn't do it justice. It is absolutely stunning and brings tears to my eyes. (I chose not to have a baby bottle charm since our daughter could be up to 5 years old.) I love this tangible reminder of this journey we are on. And I love accessories. Love them. I may just get creative and design some Adoption Journey Flip Flops or something... ;)
Will you please take a moment to say a prayer for John, Heather and their two dear sons as they are in Africa being united, and for their precious family who awaits them back home? This is a wonderful time in their family!
But I had the book with me! Here is the first post from last Friday, discussing the book The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace. I read this book last summer and I learned SO much. I am glad to reread it with such a great group to get their perspective and post some of my thoughts as well. Hopefully I'll get time later today to post about the first chapter, but if not I'll just hop right in with the second chapter on Friday. I would encourage you to pick up this book and read it with us! (If you are a man and would rather not read about how to be an excellent wife, you may want to pick up The Exemplary Husband by Stuart Scott and John MacArthur... ;)
Lastly, I'll share what I'm wrestling with this morning: Pride. I used to think pride was just an inflated ego or boastfulness. I haven't realized until lately that pride is simply self-focus. Self-focus can manifest itself in some really sneaky ways: insecurity, embarrassment, being angry when corrected/confronted, or putting myself first in any way. Needing attention is pride. Needing to prove myself right is pride. Worrying about what people think is pride. Pride encompasses so much more than I thought it did! Why should this concern me? Because James 4:6 says "God is opposed to the proud but gives grace to the humble." Did you catch that? God is OPPOSED to the proud. Martha Peace says, "When God opposes someone (as He does the proud), He sets Himself against that person. He is not merely neutral or passive towards them but is actively opposing them, facing Himself against them. Being actively opposed by God is an extremely precarious and unnecessary place to be." I don't know about you, but the thought of God actively opposing me, setting Himself against me, scares me to death! And all because I let my insecurity have free reign, or focus on myself too much. Wow.
Something to think about as I fold all of this laundry...