Thursday, June 2, 2011

It has been said that you can only feel one emotion at a time......

I recently read the book "One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp. While I would not say this book is my "style" I would highly recommend it. Mixed in with all of her "floofy" language is a lesson that is so profound.....I hope to walk away with just a little of it and I think my perspective will be forever changed.

The VERY brief synopsis is that she is a mother of 6 who often feels caught up in the day to day "drama" of life, but learned by keeping a gratitude journal that if you are able to shift your focus, life becomes so much more. Ann says: "In the original language, "he gave thanks" reads "eucharisteo." .....The root word of Eucharisteo is charis, meaning "grace." Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. But there is more, and I read it. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning "joy."........Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. Chara. Joy. Grace, thanksgiving, joy. Eucharisteo. A Greek word....that might make meaning of everything?" She clearly goes much more in depth than this, but hopefully you get the idea. If not, read the is super floofy but I think it is an awesome read for anyone in spite of it's floofy-ness! :)

So, Ann sets out to keep a journal and write 1,000 things that she is thankful for, recognizes as grace in her life, and give her joy. And if you are curious, yes I have started a gratitude journal and no I haven't gotten very far....but when I do work on it, it makes me smile.

It has been said that we can only feel one emotion at a time...and at this time in my life I am choosing often as possible. It is a conscious choice and it is clearly not always easy, but I think God will continue to show Himself faithful if I continue to choose to see it.

So, here is my hearts current Eucharisteo.....enjoy.

I remember clearly last summer when we did Rock the Block at my house and I met this little guy and his mom. Since then, her story has become part of my life. Sterling is the same age as Aidan. They go to the same school. We live in the same neighborhood. I have felt beyond privileged to request your prayers along the journey and I know many of you have been faithful to pray with me for Sterling. Multiple surgeries, many procedures, seizures they needed him to have and seizures that they didn't, IV's, hospital stays, too many MRI's and much faithfulness on the part of his family later.........

Sterling has now gone 31 days with no seizures. Brings tears to my eyes. I recognize this as God's grace in the life of this family. It brings be great joy to have been able to witness their faithfulness throughout this journey. I am incredibly thankful for Sterling and his 31 days of no seizures.

Now, on to my friends the Lewis family. Our friendship literally began with the courtship of their Jack and my Ella Mae in late 2009. Which would make them both the ripe old age of 2ish when their love blossomed. Allison and I met when we were in the grocery store and the 2 love birds spotted each other.....and the rest is history.

I remember having them over for a play date and while they were at our house Allison explained to me that she had to keep her cell phone close by because they were anxiously awaiting a referral for the adoption of their child from Ethiopia. And so her story began to unfold in my life. They finally received their referral in July of 2010 and Judah ("to praise") became a part of their forever family. However, God didn't intend for them to ever be together here on this earth. Judah died shortly after from preventable illness. Despite their prayers and the prayers of many friends, God took Judah home to be with Him.....but God wasn't surprised by any of this. Through their grief, they were able to advocate tirelessly for the Compassion International Child Survival Program in Judah's honor. Countless babies just like Judah have surely received the care they needed to avoid his same fate simply because this family used a tragedy in their life to bring God glory.

Towards the end of 2010, they got a new referral......this little chubby friends name is Micah...."who is like our God?".....

Now this sweet family is least here on earth. This brings great joy to me and so many others. I am so glad they God chose to pour out His grace on my friends in an amazing way that only HE can take credit for. I am thankful for the used to be five, now six Lewis crew! (click here to read more of the story on Allison's blog)

Ok, I am going to have to go SUPER broad strokes on this last story, because otherwise the full spectrum of drama that they have endured would simply blow your minds. I have known Tesney since I was a child. She grew up in the small town of Hamilton, AL where my father was raised. We were there many weekends at my grandparent's house, went to the same church, Maywood camp etc. Tesney and her husband Greg made the decision to adopt a child with Downs Syndrome because DS kids had always been near and dear to their hearts. They were originally to bring home this sweet little lamb named Sarge.....

What a cute little muffin he is. Towards the END of the long process however, they got the heartbreaking news that a family member had come forward to claim sweet Sergey. Great news for him but, as you can imagine, it broke Tesney and Greg's hearts. But, God gave them strength and resilience and they hopped right back in to the process. In March of 2010 they introduced us to Kirill.....
If you are at all good at the math, then you realize that was over a YEAR AGO. The trials have been HUGE. They are currently on their THIRD trip to Russia.....and for those of you who are at all good at the geography, you realize that is not a quick (or cheap) trip. But, in typical "God showing off" fashion.....

Here they stand a couple of days ago, in Russia, with Kirills birth and adoption certificates and passport photos. They went on the trip to go before the Supreme Court and be granted a new trial AT BEST. They didn't even bring enough underpants for more than a few days......but God had a different plan. And now they simply wait for the director of the orphanage to bring this sweet little boy to them Monday morning. They will be able to head home with their son, and start their new life. If you have a few days :) I highly recommend you read more of the story on their blog

Once again, I recognize this process, even with all of the pain and sorrow, highs and lows, as God's grace in their lives. Through the TERRIBLE ordeal they have endured, God has paved the way for so many children like Kirill to be adopted from this region........and be orphans no more. That brings me immeasurable joy. I am so thankful for my friend, and the many lessons God has taught me through her.


If it is possible for joy, gratitude and grace to weigh heavy on one's heart, then I would say that these 3 families have caused that to be the case for me lately. As I look back over the last few years, I see God's grace tangibly playing out in the lives of people around me and that is truly something to marvel at.

So, if it is true that you can only feel one emotion at a time, then I choose to feel gratitude. God has done so much for me and for those dear to me.

This just seemed like a great place to start a blog.....hope there's not a rule that your first post is supposed to be short.


1 comment:

  1. Love that you have undertaken this mission of internal soul searching poured out to the aholyexperience now have a vessel in the form of this wide open blog...fill it with the beauty and grace that is your adorable family...God will smile with your efforts I'm sure...congrats on your new voyage...I'm looking forward to it