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Plotting for our Joy

This has been helpful to me in recent days... 
“Life is a winding and troubled road. Switchback after switchback. And the point of biblical stories is to help us feel in our bones not just know in our heads, that God is for us in all of these strange turns.
The life of the godly is not a straight line to glory. It’s more like a dark and seemingly unknown trail through the mountains. There are rockslides and slippery curves, and hairpin turns that make you go backward in order to go forward.
But along this hazardous twisted road that doesn’t let you see very far ahead, and may even make you feel like you’ve been lead to the edge of the cliff, God gives us encouragement and hope that all the perplexing turns in our lives are going somewhere good.
Often when we think God is farthest from us, and has even turned against us, the truth is, that he is laying a foundation for greater happiness in our lives. God is plotting for our joy. He is plotting the course and managing the troubles with far reaching purposes for our good and for the glory of Jesus Christ."
From John Piper's book, A Sweet and Bitter Providence


God Knows

Yesterday we got an email saying that the wait times for infant boys have increased again, and the wait is now 10-16 months. We are four days away from being at 10 months... and definitely part of the group that gets to the end only to have the end move further away from us (it was 4-6 months when we first sent in our dossier, at 6 months we were told 6-8 months, and at 8 months we were told 7-10, and now 10-16).

Reading something like this after all of these months (and years) knocks the wind right out of you. I felt like I couldn't breathe for a few moments, and I was barely able to compose myself enough to be able to call Don and tell him the update. 

It's hard. Really, really hard. And I don't even want to talk about it anymore. The pain and disappointment run deep and contain many complicated layers that I wouldn't be able to explain anyway.

But God was gracious to remind me today through many tears that He knows, He understands, and He is near. 
He never withdraws himself from his afflicted. He is their help, truly, effectually, constantly; he is present or near them, close at their side and ready to provide help... he is more present than friend or relative can be, yea, more nearly present than even the trouble itself.- Spurgeon on Psalm 46
Thank you to so many of you who have stood by us in prayer throughout these many months. It looks like it could still be a long road, and we appreciate your continued prayers. 



Summer Fun in Pictures

Here are some of the things that have been occupying my time this summer:

Redecorating our house by finding new purposes for old items. Here's one example... this "J" has been laying around for awhile. I've tried it in the bathroom, thought about it for the nursery, and finally moved it above the stove. 

Trying new recipes. My goal is one new recipe a week. This week was Caprese Chicken... it turned out great!

Gardening. Love, love, LOVE gardening... just realized it this summer! So fun. I've planted or transplanted at least 40 different perennials, bushes, or trees this summer. Seriously... 40, and I've loved every minute of it!

We re-landscaped the entire front of the house, including edging, laying sod, mulching, and doing all of the plantings. 

I've been sprucing up our furniture. Here is a glider I picked up at a resale shop last summer- I finally spray painted it, and it looks great!

These are some benches that were at the house when we bought it. The wood was loose, so I nailed them back together nice and tight and spray painted them red. So cute!

You can see in the backyard we also edged here and planted grass (Don edged, I mulched and planted the grass- it's coming in slow, but it's getting there!). Most of this whole area was dirt before. 

I've been reading this parenting book, and it's knocking my socks off! Seriously. I don't think I've read even one chapter without a few tears falling... it talks about "dazzling your kids with the love of Jesus", but you can't read it without being "dazzled" by this love yourself! Highly, highly recommend!

Definitely thought I'd be chasing a little one around this summer, but as it turns out, God has given me this time for some much needed rest, enjoyment, and time with Him.  It has been a gift, and I've loved every minute of it!