We had a much needed weekend away. Life has felt heavy and I think a weekend together as a family along with some awesome grandparents and a fabulous uncle is just what we needed. We headed up north to my parents' cabin. We spent the beautiful weekend outside. The fall colors were beautiful. The fall air was refreshing. The extra hands to chase little boys was a blessing. The time spent with teenagers without TV and computers was amazing. So, first I'll share some pictures with you.
We played some t-ball
And a family game of Volleyball (without the net). I love having a family big enough to play games like this!
Went on walks and collected things like rocks and sticks (that is what little boys do!)
Went on four wheeler rides with grandpa
and wagon rides behind the four wheeler
Went grouse hunting (or was it a walk in the woods) with uncle Michael
And just plain had a fun, relaxing wonderful weekend :)
Now, onto some thoughts I've had. As I said above, life seems heavy these days. Not that it isn't filled with lots of smiles, fun times and joy beyond what I could have dreamed up. My heart overflows with joy much of the time ... and yet there is a sadness mixed in there too.
I am simply amazed at how each of the kids have adjusted to life. The little boys are doing great. They are smart, resilient, amazing little guys. I am blessed to be their mom. That doesn't mean there are not struggles. The big kids have adjusted well. They help me so much! Bringing them to Africa with us on our first trip was a bonding time for our family. It opened their hearts to things that only traveling there could do. They are so happy to have their brothers home. That doesn't mean there are not struggles. Our marriage has deepened to a level it has never been. I'm thankful for that. That doesn't mean there are not struggles.
But, after traveling to a third world county my heart is heavy. I can not know the stories of my son's life and not feel a heavy heart. Friends, there are things that are forever etched on my heart ... like a sweet little girl whose hand I held in Ethiopia. She has a disease that if she does not get the medicine she needs she will die. She needs a medicine that is not accessible to her where she is. She needs a family to love her and take care of her. Re-entry into a first world country after being in a third country has many challenges.
And then, as I enter into a "what can we do about it" thought process there seems to be so much tension. Tension on how to help. Tension on rules, regulations ... tension on what the right thing to do is. The picture is so very BIG. This world can be such a messy place.
I have friends waiting and then waiting some more to bring home their children through adoption. I feel for them in that wait. It is hard!
I hear stories of children that were trafficked. It's frustrating. It's hard to comprehend. I say over and over again ... how does this happen. It's back to the messy world thought!
Injustice. It's simply not okay. And, it's heartbreaking.
If you have read my blog, I'm guessing you've figured out that I am a Christian. In saying that it means I also admit I am a sinner. I mess up ... all the time. Another thing that is heavy on my heart is when I see people fighting. I'm not saying that with a critical spirit. I hear of people doing amazing things and then I see people being critical of what they are doing. Time that is spent on being critical of one another rather than encouraging one another. That is not suggesting that we should not call each other on things we see that are not right. We need each other. I need others to tell me when they think I am doing something wrong ... even if I don't like to hear it. I believe we all need that. But that does not mean we should be working against each other. We need to work together. We need to encourage each other.
Okay ... there is it. Some things that are heavy on my heart.
"But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you many be hardened by sin's deceitfulness." Hebrews 3:13
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up" 1 Thessalonians 5:11