Sunday, October 19, 2008

Happy Face of the Day

Just wanted to share with you a quick look at Li'l Empress's first foray into the yard last week to play with the kids. Love that look of joy and wonder!

This past week was a tough one for us. Li'l Empress has been fighting the lingering hangers-on of that cold she caught in China. The Boss worked LATE every night of the week, then headed off for the local denominational men's retreat early Friday evening into Saturday evening. I've been working really hard with the rest of the Gang to get back to the swing of things after several weeks of unusual days and interrupted routines. This past week made me especially grateful that we obeyed the prompting of the Lord to "hibernate" this fall and strip all extras from our family calendar.

We had a lovely conversation over Sunday lunch today (Yummy hamburgers and french fries, thanks to Grandma W's extras that she froze from our welcome home dinner!). I asked the kids how our new real life compared to what they thought of or expected back when we were still waiting for Li'l Empress. We talked about the bumps in the road we've had and the joys we've experienced. By and large we all agreed that this has been a wonderful, growing and exciting experience. We gave each kid a chance to voice what's been hardest about all the changes and what they thought we could be doing better to manage those things. I was so proud of each of them, that they could recognize that the hard parts of the transition are just for a season. Not surprisingly, they all agreed that as hard as some days have been, none of us would trade the time we've had together while welcoming Li'l Empress home! It was a sweet time of hearing from each of them what they love the most about this new life and how they feel about their new little sister. And while Li'l Empress lay snoozing away in her room upstairs, Shaggy said, "Eating dinner just the 6 of us feels just weird now! Like something is missing. It's too quiet!"

My heart is very full today - of the goodness of our Father, of the love of my Gang, and the joy of a journey walked by His leading. The path wasn't always easy, and the journey often felt long and winding. Certainly not the straight shot down the path that I would have mapped out if I was the Trip Planner. But today, I can look back on all we've walked through to get here and say, "It is well with my soul."

God is good, all the time.
All the time, God is good.


Salzwedel Family said...

Amen and amen! It makes me smile to hear how well you are all doing.

Aus said...

Oh you guys are cool!

And isn't the expression on her face proof? Proof of what? Proof of 'all of it' that what you and your family have decided to do was, in fact, following the Call.

And why take the 'straight shot'? The idea isn't to 'follow the path' but to go off the path and 'make a trail' for the next guy! But that's something ya'll know already.

Blessings on all ya'll - and a bunch of hugs!

aus and family

Mervy said...

She is such a ham! Love it.

As you said, taking some time off from all the "extras" for awhile is a good thing. It helps you to refocus and reenergize.

It's a GOOD thing.

Kamandemmi said...

Your family is so amazing. We have been home from China for 10 years, 1 month and 16 days now, but who's counting? LOL, and you put us to shame. I so wish I had your vision to involve your family in the complete thought process of this "call". The Lord shines through in all you do and say. He is totally honored by your attention to His detail in your lives. Thank you again for pulling me back onto the trail you have so diligently blazed in His glory.

Mom To Six said...

She is so darn cute!!!

Chapter Two Manmi said...

She is so cute...what a smile! I am glad to hear you are all doing so well. Watch out for flying toe nail clippings though!! Yikes.

Kateri said...

Tears!!! Sniff, Sniff!

Brittany Ray said...

Hi Gang,

We love her picture in the yard!! Like your family, we share in the feelings of things being difficult, but oh so worth it. It's wonderful how one of your children said it is weird to eat with just the six of you and having Lil Empress snoozing. Even though we have only been home almost one month, it is hard to imagine that these girls weren't always just parts of our gangs. Certainly they are now where they belong.

Lots of love,
Brittany, Bayley, Addie, and the rest of our family

Kateri said...

I LOVE that picture!!!