As I write this my heart is bursting with happiness. I just spent the afternoon welcoming a beautiful little girl from Uganda into her family and our sweet circle of friends. One year ago, when I came home with Mari, my friend had no idea what the next year would hold in store for her. NO idea. But God was working behind the scenes and now my friend just came home with her fifth child...a daughter from the Pearl of Africa.
I am overcome.
So here I am contemplating 3 more days (because I am behind again, I know) and I have to begin with...
#22...watching my friends adopt.
When our first three children were born, we were the "pioneers" in our group of friends. No one we knew, at least no one who lived around us, had yet walked that road. After we settled here, God started bringing adoptive families into our lives one by one. Then our friends, several who already had biological children, began to feel the nudge to adopt and now...well it has literally exploded in our community.
Every time a watch a friend walk this journey, my heart rejoices. Not only because a child is coming home but also because they will now, finally, know what I have tried to communicate but have difficulty putting into words. Like so many God-moments, until you live it you really cannot imagine what it is like.
So today another friend knows...really knows the miracle He works when He binds your heart forever to a child who does not share your DNA. Tonight she looks at her new daughter, freshly home and overwhelmed and in complete culture shock, and watches her breathe. Today another family gets to live that little slice of Heaven...
#23...Hot apple cider.
I am drinking it now. Mulling spices float at the top and the scent fills my home. Winter is coming, and I am happy. My children sip at their mugs carefully but can't wait for it to cool because it just smells so good. DJ comes back for seconds and then runs back upstairs to finish watching the football game with his Dad. I love this time of year.
Today I look around my table and marvel at how full and alive and busy my home is. Cooking recipes that I grew up watching my mama prepare for us, and then seeing them smile as they chow down makes me happy. Sitting back with full bellies...well, I do not take that for granted because so many are hungry. So many go without tonight while we eat leftovers. We are blessed...abundantly blessed. As we celebrated today, and shared what we are thankful for, Mari spoke up and said "I am thankful for my own home." We all took a breath and waited...
then she polished off her green bean casserole and said, "Mom, this is good...it did not make me sick!"
I think that is a compliment.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends. May you see the blessings, one by one, that He so freely gives. May you be awed by His mercy, moved by His love, and inspired to share the endless love of Jesus with those who so desperately need Him.