Bittersweet Highlights

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It has been Quite. A. Year.  A bittersweet year.

I’ve spent months recovering from two major hip surgeries. My husband is currently recovering from back surgery. Our sweet Daisy, beloved pet for the last 13+ years, passed away.

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Daisy

And our son, Nate, moved nine hours away to attend college in Oregon. I miss him like crazy!

But there have been countless joys intermixed…

Andrew moved in. We’ve known him since just before he and Nate started kindergarten together, and he’s visited us in every home we’ve lived in since. But spending his senior year of high school with us sealed the deal… he became like a seventh son.

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Nate and Andrew, Kindergarten and 12th grade

What a special thing it was watching these two graduate from high school together. This summer he moved away, joining the Army, but we look forward to his Christmas visit!

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Graduation, May 2015

 

Sarah became a part of our lives. I have nothing but good things to say about this precious young lady. We love you Sarah.

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Graduation, May 2015

She and Nate are now both in Oregon for college, wearing promise rings, and envisioning their future together.

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Prom, May 2015

Nick also started college, part time at the JC down the street, receiving dual credit for high school, with a 4.0. He amazes me!

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Nick’s 16th, December 2014

He even became a licensed driver this year. Be warned! 😉

And to those of you who followed our adoption of Dzintars, you’ll be excited to hear the next joy… He officially has a L@tvi@n-American cousin! My sister and her family finalized their adoption of Dennis this year. Welcome to the family!

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Back: Adam, Dzintars, Nick, Papa (my dad), nephew Thomas, Nate, Kaleb, brother-in-law Clint, Middle: Me, Nana (my mom), niece Savannah, Front: Teddy, nephew Luke, new nephew Dennis, niece Sophi, Indy, sister Shawna Christmas 2014

And a forever precious summer memory spending a week at the beach with all 9 of “our” kids, including Andrew, Sarah, and Kaleb’s girlfriend, Eve.

Dzintars, Andrew, Indy, Teddy, Me, Nick, Nate, and Sarah

Sometimes They Let Me Hold a Microphone

The Lord takes us through different seasons in life. Welcome to my season of learning to overcome nerves(!) with public speaking. 😉 I’ve been serving in a Bible study ministry alongside some wonderful ladies who I am blessed to call friends, and sisters in Christ. Sometimes they let me hold the microphone, to share my heart with the women who study alongside us. They’re crazy like that. 😉  If you  feel compelled to listen, here is a small sample of the teachings I’ve shared.  I pray you find a nugget within to bless you today….
 


A Time To Cherish

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They say a mom is busiest when her kids are toddlers, but I say the teen years have been giving serious competition.
Every season brings a unique fullness, but the desire to be FULLY present is emphasized when you realize how soon they will be gone.
2015 is the year Nate will turn 18, graduate, and move off on his own to attend college. It is bittersweet times in my heart these days.
I’m so proud of how well he’s been steering toward his future. He got his first college acceptance after pouring himself into studying for his SATs and senior year classes. Senior photos were also taken, yesterday, and I’m looking forward to seeing the end result.
Childhood is short, and nearly over for Nate, so I’m cherishing my time with him. This motherhood stuff, with it’s “letting them go” phase, is so much harder than I ever imagined.

Family Is Forever

cropped-cropped-photo-9-e1444610074436.jpgHip surgery is quite the ordeal, but family has certainly made it easier on me! I rest, while my mom makes everyone lunch and my dad teaches my kids about history as they watch a documentary together. I’m so thankful they are able to be here with me during my recovery. 

 
Yesterday my sweet Aunt sent a text to encourage me from God’s Word, to persevere in the midst of trial, knowing that God will use all things for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. Then she asked me what He has been teaching me through it. 
 
So much! 
 
But I believe He has also used my trial to teach my kids, and that blesses me in a way I can’t fully describe. They have grown in compassion and servanthood over the last two years as they’ve seen me literally limp through my days. My 11 year old, Teddy, recently asked an older woman, a stranger to him, if he could help her lift a heavy item. She was surprised a young boy had even noticed she was struggling. It blessed her. It blessed me. My pain has opened their eyes of compassion a little wider, and that makes the trial worth walking through.

My sister came to visit me today. She brought 7 meals for my family, to tuck away in the freezer and make dinner easier on me after my parents leave. Such a sweet gift… my sister is to me! I know God loves me because He blessed me so, with family. Family is the sweetest gift. 
 
Dzintars is still learning what family means. He was told in L@tvi@ that his adoption was only until he turned 18, then he would be an adult and need to take care of himself. I’ve told him time and again that family will always be here for him. It doesn’t change at any age. Today I believe he finally understood. He and Indy came in to chat with me while I rested on my bed. We talked about how wonderful it has been having Nana and Papa here to help while Dad is at work, and how nice it was for Aunt Shawna and their cousins to visit and bring us food. A perfect opportunity… I said, “You see boys, I’m 40 years old and my Mom and Dad still come to help me when I need them. The love of a Mom and Dad never ends. There’s never an age when parents stop helping. My sister also still cares about me and wants to help. Siblings are your best friends for the rest of your life. That’s family.” 
 
Indy’s thoughtful reply… “family is forever”. 
 
Yes, family is forever! 
 
Dzintars sat quietly on the edge of the bed just nodding his head gently, then reached up to wipe a tear away. 
 
Thanking God for my family and the living example they’ve been, as it speaks to my children’s  hearts.
 
“Give thanks to The Lord for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever.”