If you've visited here for any length of time, you know that the journey I am on is filled with it's fair share of difficulty, heartache, and pain. Sometimes it feels as though we only get brief moments of "normal". It feels as though most of our days are difficult. Some days I think I'm a complete whiner and wuss! Then I look back over the past 8 years and realize there may just be a reason I feel overwhelmed. As you know my Dad passed away in June of 2006, after a brief 2 week battle with liver cancer. That Christmas my Mom was rushed in for emergency surgery on a massive cancerous stomach growth. In December of 2007 my mom passed away. 2008 was spent grieving, learning a new normal. In July of 2009 Malia joined our family. We had many months of difficult adjustment followed by a few short months of relative calm. Raina joined our family in December of 2010. More adjusting. 2011 marked the year that we knew we had to take some drastic measures to protect one of our boys from severe bullying, and entered the difficult (at least to me) journey of homeschooling. In 2012 we knew there was another child waiting for us in China and thus began the fundraising. The fundraising effort almost did us in. It is something I wish we had never done. Not because we didn't need the funds, but because of the negativity/judgement we faced. In July of 2013 Jackson joined our family. More adjusting. More dealing with some less than supportive people.
I've waited for many years for life to become easier. More relaxed. Less stressful.
But what I wanted and imagined is not happening...unless I choose each and every day to see the beauty in the little things. Kids waking with a smile, family suppers, kids delighting in little things, minutes alone with Martin, hugs from teens, gorgeous fall weather. I'm learning that this thing called life is ALL about the little things. It's about embracing the "here and now". It's about taking what comes our way and seeing the "beautiful" in it.
All these years I know that God has been working. Working to mold me and shape me into what He wants me to be. In the past 2 years I've finally begun to see and feel the difference in me. Even Martin has noticed. I'm seeing myself more and more as God sees me. I'm beginning to embrace the difficult. I've begun to see the good in it. I still struggle some days with self pity, doubt and questions. It seems so unfair sometimes. But I am beginning to see that "difficult" can be a very good thing.
On the days that I struggle to not let the "difficult" rule my life, I am reminded of the song Blessings by Laura Story. It perfectly sums up what I've been learning.