The Journey Home

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Photo journal 11.15.11

Daddy and Biruk enjoying the first snow of the season

Dressed up as Snow White, pushing Teddy in the stroller, holding an umbrella
Funky and fun sticker glasses
Leaf pile!  You should've seen the tub when I washed her hair after this....

All of our princesses at Halloween

Fun with Eli

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


A surprisingly warm breeze is charging through my home on this sunny November day.  All of the windows have been opened to welcome it inside, to blow through this little house and refresh us all.  I watch my sweet son and daughters outside, laughing and playing, screeching and singing, running and jumping on the trampoline, chasing the leaves being blown through the yard.  Almost all of the leaves are off of the trees now, signaling the soon-coming winter season with all of the cold and snow (oh please, Lord....LOTS of snow) and rosy cheeks and sledding.  How blessed to have the privilege of living this small life with those in our little family. . .Emma with her quiet, sweet ways.  Eli contemplative with eyes wide open, never missing anything.  Leah with her dimpled grin, sparkling blue eyes and passion to live life.  Kristen showing us every day that life lived outside in the fresh air really is better.  Biruk Abigail giving us the joy of arms open wide to love us and a smile to chase any dark cloud away.  

It is a life to be thankful for, to be sure.  It is a life worth living slowly, savoring every moment and entering fully into it without thinking about "what's next."  Isn't it true...really, really true...that this life, these small moments sprinkled on me throughout the day, are gifts?  Presents wrapped up in freckled cheeks, laundry, cooking, disagreements, not being able to find cell phone and car keys, read-alouds, laughter around the table, and wet leaves in the washing machine?  Then why oh why do I so often not think of it that way?  Why do I so often feel like I must trudge my way through this day instead of dancing through it and thanking the Lord for what happens in it, good and bad?  "Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise" the psalmist sings over me.  What I most long for is to feel near to my Lord, to be with Him as close as I can be in this flesh and not die from the exposure.  To be close to Him I must learn the discipline of thanking and praising Him.  My joy in this life depends on it.  Isn't that what sets us as Christ-followers apart, this joy in Him that can be found no where else?  Shouldn't I be able to feel the joy of being close to Him even when circumstances in my life would threaten to steal it?  The answer is yes, and I am now on the hunt for it, this joy that I have let Satan steal from me.  What is amazing to me is that I don't have to make my way to Jerusalem or some other holy site to find it.  It's jumping right now on the trampoline with velvety soft skin and big brown eyes shouting, "Mama, look at me!!"  It's building volcanoes out of sand in the neighbor's yard and giggling little girls whispering in one another's ears.  It's in my own back yard in hues of gold and scarlet-red.  It's blowing through the house carrying the scent of freshly turned up earth with it.  "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever."  Indeed.