I realize it’s not a novel idea to choose a word as a theme for the new year, but I never claimed to be novel anyway.

As we move forward in our adoption process (please, Lord, let our daughter come home this year!), as we live between our two homes (January through June in America and June through December in Turkey), and as I continue to seek the Lord in my roles as wife, mother, and cross-cultural worker, I have chosen FAITH to be my word for 2013.

The verse that keeps coming to mind and heart on the topic of faith is Hebrews 11:6, ” And without faith, it is impossible to please God…”

I feel so lost in my own life sometimes:

  • Adoption is slow and each step brings up 1,000 more questions. We don’t know where the money will come from and can’t fund raise like others do.
  • Living between two continents is hard. We know this is what God has called us to, but we’re always saying goodbye to someone and we’re always missing one home while we enjoy the other.
  • I am still so unsure about day-to-day parenting as new issues and conflicts arise every day, and I constantly feel like I could be doing more to keep our home and serve my family.
  • Pssssst… I could go on, but I’ll stop here since these are the “biggies”.

From the beginning of 2013, looking ahead, I need faith because I want to please God in all these areas. So I’m asking God to work in my heart and grow my faith this year. And I don’t want it to be quiet, unmeasurable faith. I want to have the kind of active faith James writes about in his second chapter:

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Do you have a word for 2013? Where do you hope to grow and learn this year?

Take me away

Our sweet, precious friends shooed us out the door– we kissed and hugged and kissed the kids and finally got on our way. The open road was beckoning. 

Dinner was lovely. Two adults talking about this and that. I didn’t have to cut anyone’s food in smaller bites. No one spilled anything. No one made loud, fake bodily noises to get their siblings to laugh. No one fought. No one cried dramatically about what they were being asked to eat. It was quiet, it was enjoyable, it was refreshing.

The open sky and the crystal blue water called out to us and we meandered down the harbor on foot enjoying more uninterrupted conversation about everything and nothing in particular.

Ben & Jerry’s was overpriced, but it’s a special treat when you live overseas. We indulged. Happy Anniversary to us.

And when you add in the view and the company, that ice cream was worth a lot more than money.

We walked back along the harbor, and out onto the beach. There was no hurry. No baths to give. No pajamas to wrestle onto struggling bodies. No cups of water to deliver. No one to tuck in.

We slept. And slept. And slept until 9:30 this morning!!!!! No pitter-patter of feet at O dark thirty ready for the day. No rumpled spirits from bad dreams to soothe. No missing pacifier in the night. Just sleep. Blissful sleep!

We showered and ate and packed our few things back into the bag and headed home. Talking and singing and pointing out the sights the whole way. A break is so nice. But it’s also nice to come back to the hugging and rough-play and off-key singing and kitchen dance parties and spilled milk and Blue’s Clues and lost lovies and hand-drawn pictures and boys smelling like sweat. And even the loud, fake bodily noises.


::Link Love::

{The Secret Sterlization of Women in Uzbekistan}

          Absolutely heart-wrenching. It’s so easy if you live in the West to pretend the whole world is OK and atrocities against humans don’t happen anymore… not true. Eye opening article. 

          Love this. Want to seek to be more of a “loser” in my marriage.

          Yes. Need to work on this…

          Again, yes. I need to work on this…

          Most days it feels like an uphill battle to disengage my parenting from “culture” and try to be biblical in the way I teach and relate to my children. It’s good to remember my goal is not for the world to think I am a good parent (whatever that means to them!) but to point my children to Christ.

          This.is.so.me. Just letting go and playing with my children (not directing their play or encouraging their independent play) is SO hard for me.

          Such a good reminder why the “little things” are actually big things that matter very much!
          If you live overseas, this is a great read! Ten years from now when I look at my life now, I will probably not remember all the little things that got under my skin and irritated me about living overseas– I will remember the good things, the fun things, the memorable things.

{Why the City is a wonderful Place to Raise Children
Such encouragement for those of us seeking to raise kids in big cities!

Only a Day Away…

Doodlebug crawled into a full bathtub tonight in his pajamas. I had already bathed him, removed him, toweled him off, diapered and dressed him. I guess he thought he wasn’t done playing.

Some other bug of mine* has had three pee accidents in two days.

This mess was waiting for me when I got out of the shower this morning:

I am so glad God designed parenthood to be a tag-team effort.

Sometimes it’s easy to take our husbands for granted– laugh at their different methods, belittle their effort to “help”, and deem ourselves the most capable parent of the home.

I tell you what, take Hubby away and I feel pretty darn incapable. Sure, he does stuff differently (like leaving the house without brushing his daughter’s hair), but at least when he’s here someone can supervisor the monsters while I stand in a stream of hot water and wake up. I don’t have to give bath, clean the kitchen up, and get everyone jammied before 8pm all by myself. Someone can clean up the kid who peed his pants while the other can start the laundry and locate and mop up the pee-puddle.

What a blessing to have a partner in this awesome misadventure of parenthood! I’m so glad my love will return tomorrow afternoon! (Rumor has it he’s bringing presents too– help with the kids and fun gifts??? What’s not to love?)

*Name withheld to protect the guilty.

Why Oh Why?

Can’t I let my husband be a parent?

I have found since Bug’s birth that I simply cannot let him parent without my input. And the rare moments when I do take incredible self-control.

I really don’t know what my problem is. I married a wonderful– no, a stellar man. Seriously ladies, does your husband do the dishes? Mine does. Everyday. That’s right folks. I hate dishes. I loathe dishes. Maybe it’s not so much the dishes. I can wipe them down without a cringe. I cannot stand to put my hands in that dirty water. Bits of food, leftover crust all floating around in a lukewarm soupy mess– GROSS!

Does your husband change diapers? Mine does. He doesn’t mind stuffing the Fuzzi Bunz, he washes them when my hands are full and I haven’t had a chance, he dumps poop… He changed more diapers in the hospital when Bug was born than I did.

The realization just has not struck me (how long will it take?) that he is an incredibly competent father. Sure, he doesn’t do everything the way I do everything, but must I really leave him a detailed list of instructions when I go out baby-less for a while? Does he really need to know that I actually hold her a little more level than that while feeding her? And that I either turn on the heartbeat bear or the mobile when I lay her down, but not both?

Maybe there’s just some mommy hormone (I sure have enough of those) that makes me feel like I inherently know and because his way is different, it’s wrong…

Can you make resolutions after January 1? I want to be better about keeping my mouth closed around my wonderful hunk of a man– he is a good dad after all.