Sunday, January 30, 2011

Jennifer's Walk

This has been a strange week for me. I didnt plan on it being this way, but it turned out to be. I wont go into the details about exactly how or why or what led to this, but I have had a week of deep contemplation. Contemplation of how I got here to this place in my life. Why am I who I am...and  how am I not who Im not? See what I mean, strange? As I had really been exploring some of these things...things at the core of who I am, I discovered one of my first books, if not my VERY first book. Jennifer's Walk by Anne Carrier appropriate????

I flipped through it and suddenly started to wonder if some of the ways I think about life and home and family and 'mommying' stem from this very book? There are sweet illustrations of a farmhouse and open land with fields of daisies and home and adventure (within the safe bounderies of the homestead). The story was of  a little girl's independence and the safety and security of her return home with open arms waiting for her....reaching out to recieve her. What I remember loving most about this book was the inside cover that showed the map of this girls "walk". Like little breadcrumbs...a bird's eye view. All of her adventures from beginning to end ~but showing the full picture!!! Looking through this book again made me think instantly about my life and all of my adventure's  and many mis-adventures too. About the dreams that I have been chasing all my life and have been so blessed to have many of them come true. Inevitabley it made me contemplate my 'own walk'. How my life's walk has become, by God's Grace, my Christian walk. How God has been leading me the whole way, even  before I knew Him. Preparing my steps and paving my way To Him. I just had to find the right road. That wasn't exactly easy...but it has been worth arriving at the destination.

My walk started in sunny southern California. There I grew up loving sunshine and how it feels on my skin  and how it looks on the water. I was born to love the ocean and mountains and being barefoot. I learned how to sing John Denver songs before I even learned to talk. I always loved babies and I am sure it started with my baby brother. In reaching back into the depths of my memories though, some things were scary to the little girl I was on the adventure through my young life. I remember walking to school in Kindergarten this one particular day (alone....UM...I guess I dont NEED to know why, but why?????? ) and  a group of three boys, big scary boys...probably 2nd graders, told me that I cannot walk on that side of the street any more and that if I did it again, they would  break  my nose. Well  you better belive I never walked on that side of the street again. I was terrified of their threat. I remember being so pre-occupied by the thought of them actually breaking my nose, that I know I worried about it ALOT. It's so strange to think about it 32 years later and remember that feeling of  fear. I also remember having to knock on the car window of my crossing guard to wake him up so he could get me accross the busy street. The feeling of being 5 and having to wake up the the person whose job it was to protect me from traffic was puzzling to me...even then. From an early age I got the impression that I had to be on my toes.

I also remember my mom being distracted. Sadly...but to be always felt to me like she was too distracted for me. She was sick alot. I remember her talking to me about dying. How if she died she would still  keep an eye on me and I would know she was near because she would "come back" as a bee and I shouldn't be afraid of bees, I would know it was her becuase she would land on me, but not sting me.  WHAT????? At the very young age of 5 or 6, when a little girl should be dreaming of growing up to be just like her mom, I remember thinking .....that is crazy. I was from that moment on, terrified of  (A) my mom dying and (B) Bees. She died when I was ten. I walked into the world of becoming an adult too young on that day. I assumed the role of  mother to myself  and my brother. Already my life was a winding road.

I survived Kindergarten and so did my nose. I survived the death of my mother~and I never had a bee sting. I survived Middle School and High School and my first love. I survived being a step-daughter and earthquakes and cross country moves and bad choices. I survived young adulthood. I walked into marriage at the very young age of 20. Then I quickly walked into the best years of my life when I was 21. No... not because I could finally drink~ that never held any allure for me~ When I was 21, Ricky was born. My first dream come true. My reason for being born. To love this child, to be his mommy to be his protector and peanut butter and jelly maker. To be his cheerleader through life and walk him to Kindergarten....(no one was gonna be breaking any noses on my watch). 3 years later, Zachary was born. How could one girl be so darn  lucky????  I had two of  the CUTEST and SWEETEST baby boys ever, and they were the center of my life. Life wasn't easy by any means...but those boys made life worth living. This marriage road was a rocky one. At times a scary one. Eventually I had a choice to make and contemplated with much fear which road to take....and I walked  towards the road to PEACE.

It was during this time that I discovered the identity of the still, small voice that had been guiding me and calling me and protecting me all my life. It was The Voice and The Call of my Heavenly Father and He was calling me to come and forever be protected and safe in Him. I have been on this walk with My Lord for 11  years now. I have learned to wait on Him. Hope in Him. Live in Him. Trust in Him. These things have not been easy. Discovering Him honestly was the easy part. Learning how to live for Him and re-define my life as His and not my own has not been easy. To put the pain down and leave it there. To search my heart and sift through my dreams, and find  the ones he planted there early on. To discover the ones to keep and others to leave  behind, has been a process. I have learned to like myself as I have learned to see myself ,with even a glimpse of how He sees me. I have sought Him out, and He has revealed  more and more of Himself to me.

He has taken me from being a scared little girl with a love for sunshine and a song in her heart, to a woman who is living the dreams He planted there before the beginning of time. He has set me on the road to eternity with Him. He has designed  me with a soft heart and a strong spirit. He has blessed me with a strong hand to hold and the safe protective embrace of my husband. He has blessed me with healthy wonderful children. He has blessed me with a strong network of great friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. My life is full and grand and perfectly mine. He has now set me on a path to be a mother to a baby girl on the other side of the world. With all of the mess that troubles this world and all of the hardship and heartache that infects this planet... He has designed a path for me to bring me closer to Him. He called me to be His and gave me ears to hear.

I have realized that I am not on this road alone, and I never was.

"Before I formed you in your mother's womb I knew you. Before you were born I set you apart."
~Jeremiah 1:5

"All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."
~Psalm 139:16

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Latest News in TeunisLand

Well the date that we have been working towards for many months now, finally came and was assigned to our family last Friday. Teunis' are officially DTE ( Dossier To Ethiopia) on January 14th, 2011 for an infant girl 0-12 mos.We certainly still have a long wait ahead of us, but all of the paperwork, and protecting the paperwork, is done. It feels really good to finally be standing in line and now be able to focus on all  of the many things still to do to prepare for the life change of having a baby in the house again. We will be having a blast making a little baby girl room, of which my hubs has already started and actually almost finished. We will be taking a wonderful spring break vacation back to the Gulf Coast and thawing our from our wintery weariness and finally get some sunshine on this skin. We will be saving ,saving ,saving for the impending "To The Ends Of The Earth" journey for our baby girl. Mostly though, we are going to be looking ahead with wonder as we wait for ~The Call~  that tells us our wait is almost over and we have a daughter.

We look forward to posting the adventures of our  journey here and until there is more to tell, we ask that you continue to pray for the process and for patience for us.

Steve and Jen