Monday, December 9, 2013

eyes that see....

On the way to church yesterday, I saw something I have often looked at, but never really seen before. I had the boys in the car seats and Ryan was doing a training at another church, so even just getting everything ready alone for all of us had been a task. I went a way that I often drive, and was stopped at the same signal I am often stopped at. Sitting in the median was a family that lives protected by the concrete dividers in the middle of this busy road. Most times I only notice the beggars that tap on our car window, but this time, I saw the families that live there. A mother, probably young, but her skin weathered from outdoor living, was patiently brushing her older daughters hair lovingly and gently. South Asians have amazing hair, but without the luxury of water, shampoo, and coconut oil, I can imagine the tangles in that hair were tough to brush out. But she did it so gently. There were also some girls just twirling around to some imaginary music just living in the joy that comes from laughing with friends and family. I also saw a daddy caressing and kissing his sleeping little man in his arms, who was about the size of my boys. I could hardly stop tears as I looked at their faces- they were not begging for anything... they might have been in want, but unlike some others they were not demanding that I give something to them. They seemed content... so unlikely that if this was my lot in life that I would find joy in the midst of struggle. I would call myself an outdoorsy person, but I greatly love my house with a roof over my head at night. Sleeping under the stars with only a concrete over pass to protect is not ideal. I thought about taking a picture of them, but that might be exploiting them, but just picture with me the people you pass every day that you might have seen but never looked at. We all have them... people at our office, checkout counter, walking a dog out our window... and all of them deserve a smile and the chance to hear about our great God. There may not be a chance for you to share every time you see them, but you can pray. I was not able to get out of my car with the boys in the back and share with these people, but I prayed, and the prayers for them changed my outlook on my day. I could have been annoyed that I had to deal with both little guys alone at church (no nursery here!) or that when I came home I had to clean and cook while taking care of them all alone... but because of the impact of praying for those road side dwellers, I saw my work as a joy, and a privilege to have a house to clean, to have food- good healthy food to cook, a place to bathe my boys and clean pajamas to dress them in, and a bed with freshly washed sheets.

I was blessed by this word of the Lord today, and I thought I would share with you as you prepare your heart and home for Christmas. Let the GLORY of the LORD ARISE in and around us.... and let us SEE it...

Isaiah 60:1-5
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
    and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
See, darkness covers the earth
    and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
    and his glory appears over you.
Nations will come to your light,
    and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
“Lift up your eyes and look about you:
    All assemble and come to you;
your sons come from afar,
    and your daughters are carried on the hip.
Then you will look and be radiant,
    your heart will throb and swell with joy;
the wealth on the seas will be brought to you,
    to you the riches of the nations will come.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Being Their Momma

Being a mom has been one of the most amazing, challenging, and rewarding things I have ever done. Raising twin boys is seriously crazy, but every moment with them is filled with excitement, noise, food, trucks, slides, giggles... such a huge blessing. and every morning as they wake up, I watch in wonder as they grasp me around the neck and hold me tight. They call me momma! ME! I have wanted to be a momma for my whole life, even though I did not know what it would look like or what it would involve.

As I sit with food crusting on the high chair, and toys scattered on the floor, I laugh in my heart with the joy that they bring. Along with the messes come sweet indescribable moments filled with the intimate love that only a momma and her babies have. Sons are truly an inheritance from God, and I can't be more in love with HIM for giving them to our family... or with them... those little sweeties (who sometimes masquerade as a destruction duo!!) I don't know what it feels like to birth a child and to have them look up at you with your eyes or smile, but these Ethiopians could not be any more perfect for our family.

I will never get tired of being called their momma. The feeling that overcomes my whole being and I am simply in AWE of the creator that he saw fit to create them for us and to place in our family tree a graft from a whole other culture and country to be called "Rainbolts". Wow. And they want me to BE their momma! That blows my mind too! They are still pretty little, but they are intimately attached to me and Ryan and when I hear them say, "momma.... dada" I fall in love all over again! I assume any loving mother feels this way about their children, but I just find it to be even more divine when you find this type deep love and joy when there is no genetics or biological ties. They could not be more loved if they were biological... and I do still cringe a little when people ask, "Are they really your children?" YES. Instead of being annoyed that not everyone can understand the mystery of adoption or the love that a momma has for her babies (yes, sometimes Momma Bear comes out and wants to lash out when someone makes a comment about the color of their skin, or if I ever want "my own" children) but I need to use these opportunities to share about the adoption we have in Christ and how he loved us when we were most unlovable. The picture of the gospel that God has written on the faces of my little boys is precious. They are not perfect. I am far from perfect. But He is always perfect. And He chooses the little children to led us to truth. the simple things to confound the wise.  In their eyes, people see true Joy and the love of the creator who did not leave them as orphans, but HE came for them and rescued them. As a loving Father, He has cherished them and placed the lonely in families.

Seriously, I just marvel at the goodness of the Lord to put them in our lives and to not only grow and change them right before my eyes, but he grows and changes me in the process. I am still far too selfish and I like things my way and I need ME time, but overwhelmingly the day is now not build around me or what I want to do, but around how we can serve others, to help the boys grow and learn, and most importantly around HIM and what HE wants us to do. What an amazing God we serve that He gives us far more than we deserve. And in His strength we press on to know Him more and share His fame around the world. and I will cherish every laugh, every smile... and even say thanks to Him for the dirty floors and scattered trucks and teddy bears.