We all go through seasons of life. I personally am a spring and fall kind of girl. I love the freshness spring time brings, with the wonderful aroma of flowers blooming, particularly honeysuckle. In the fall, I love the change of colors and the crispness in the night air. In both seasons I enjoy the sunshine on my face and a blanket to cuddle with under the stars. In both seasons, you can find me sipping coffee (or tea) in my favorite spot in the evening s and early mornings, on my patio. Summers in Arkansas are just too hot. Almost unbearable to enjoy any activity outside. It gets to the point that even your swimming pool becomes too hot to swim in. And the winter, well anyone who knows me knows how I hate to be cold. I get “bone cold” and just can’t get warm.
2016 has felt much like a season of summer and winter combined to me. It’s been like the heat that presses on you where you pray for a drop of water on your tongue in hopes that it will bring relief. Or like those harsh winter days where you are so cold, nothing seems to be able to bring warmth to your body and you are so tense from shivering to the point where you physically hurt.
I remember several years ago my family and some of our closest friends decided to take a camping trip…..in August…..in 113 degree temps. What normally should have taken 10 minutes to put up a tent, took nearly three hours because of the heat bearing down to where it was impossible to even hold the tent poles in your hands. I recall watering them down just to try and bring relief so we could get the poles together. At the same time having to constantly take breaks to make sure we were staying hydrated. It was pure misery and something I have vowed to never do again in the heat of summer.
We all go through seasons of being uncomfortable. It’s only natural to want comfort. We gravitate towards what brings us comfort naturally, without thought. These uncomfortable seasons aren’t pleasant but they are useful. Ecclesiastes 3 talks about there being a time for everything under the sun. There is a time to tear down and a time to build. A time to weep and a time to laugh. Wherever you are, whichever season of life you are in, I want to encourage you to be all there! Look for beauty, for it is all around, even in the brokenness.
This has been a season of brokenness, pain, sorrow, and loneliness to say the least. A season where I have grown to trust the Lord, lean on Him to comfort me and trust Him fully along the way. Even in the darkest days, God has been so faithful to show His grace and allow me glimpses of the beauty that only He can bring. I look forward to the new season, and a new year.
I see families that come into adoption in much the same light, broken with raw hearts and emotions. The expectation of starting a family, but guarding their hearts because they just don’t know how much more disappointment they can take. Often times they have been through a season of failed pregnancies, failed fertility treatments, and the hope of a child seems so distant; the longing for a child becomes immensely painful. God put them on the path of adoption, a glimmer of light in a valley of darkness. A place to be vulnerable and completely reliant upon Him. The path is not easy, there is a lot of brokenness, for that is what encompasses adoption in the first place. God gives us the ability to see beauty even in a broken mess. He gives them hopeful expectations.
So what are my HOPEFUL EXPECTATIONS for 2017? I refuse to make New Year’s resolutions this year! WHY no New Year’s Resolutions? Well….by January 15th I feel like a complete failure, it’s way too much pressure for my vulnerable heart to take. Of-course I want to lose weight, get into the best shape of my life, put on a bikini by summer and grow spiritually by leaps and bounds. All that is great, but (maybe I am the only one….maybe not) I am so OCD that when I hit a slump (again by January 15th), I feel like a complete failure! Then here comes my pity party! I refuse to put that pressure on myself this year, but instead cling to being FAITHFUL and INTENTIONAL in all that I do. I look forward to all that God will do through ABBA Adoption, and how He plans to use me. Because I often say we are vessels for God to use and at the end of the day if all we do is an adoption, we have missed the mark. Tori and I are excited to share with you a sampling of what is on the horizon of our hearts.
- The Gathering: Tori and I will lead in a small devotional and time of fellowship (of-course there will be coffee!) followed by intentional prayer and accountability for women in our community that desire authentic community/relationships
- For Details check out our FB page
- Blogging: Get ready….we are women with much to say J. We desire to encourage adoptive and birth families alike as they journey through the process of adoption. (feel free to comment and give us your thoughts)
- Videos: Seriously…..I had to have a third point and Tori is shaking her head at me….but here it is….videos! We plan to put out videos to go with our blogs, and our devotionals of The Gathering. We are new to this, so don’t expect much! J
Our prayer for you as a new year begins is to look diligently for the beauty in the brokenness of life and be encouraged in the HOPEFUL EXPECTATIONS God has for you in this next season!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
If you are interested in learning more about our adoptive parent programs visit our website