Fall 2013

Fall 2013

Saturday, June 28, 2014


I'm heading home tomorrow after a week on the East Coast. I had great plans for my time away. I was going to blog every day, spend much time with my Heavenly Father, catch up on long neglected emails to dear friends, catch up on sleep, and come home completely refreshed and rejuvenated. If I was going to be graded on my success, I would say that I bombed!
I started a blog post a few days ago, but never got it completed. I did spend time with God, although not as much as I anticipated. Finished an amazing book called "In the Grip of Grace" by Max Lucado (more on that topic another day), got one email sent, went to bed way too late, and woke up way too early (most days between 5-6am). I'm going home as tired as when I left.
But, I did have a good time. I attended a work conference which was very educational. Much info to use in my daily practice. The location was beautiful and the weather was perfect (only one day with a bit of rain). I got to see Martha's Vineyard, Plymouth Rock, Hyannis. My responsibilities were limited to just me (thanks to my wonderful hubby who held down the fort at home). 
And yet, I didn't quite find that peace I was looking for. I didn't see everything I wanted to. Emails and phone calls didn't get made. I didn't feel ready for this time to end because I had "so much" left do so. Silly, isn't it? This evening, I felt God speaking to me so gently. He reminded me that life is a journey. It isn't necessary to check everything off on my "to-do" list. The world is not going to end because I didn't see all the tourist attractions here in Massachusets. 
What matters is slowing down a bit (something I've never been good at) so that I can hear His voice and feel His presence. Stopping to give thanks for the innumerable blessings in my life. Praying for those who have specifically asked for it, as well as those that He brings to mind. Seeing the world through His eyes reaching out to make a difference in someone's life. Recognizing that I can't and never will be able to do it all and accepting that that is ok. And remembering that my dependence on my Savior trumps anything else. So thankful for His grace and mercy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Three years ago

How time passes! Three years ago today, we were in Sevastopol - meeting Matthew for the "first" time as our son. It had been six months since we had seen him and I remember thinking how tiny he was. 

The same and yet, so different!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Thankful Thursday is here and I want to take a moment to just reflect on a few of the many blessings in my life.

- Recently, I had the privilege of visiting with a dying patient. This person asked me what to expect over the next few weeks. I was honest about the physical changes that would probably take place and explained that I would do everything possible to maintain their quality of life while directing interventions that would alleviate their symptoms. The individual was so appreciative of this information that I was humbled by their response. And then, they said something that just sticks with me. I won't share their words exactly, but the message was that they had no fear of death because they were confident in where they were going. The only sadness was associated with how much they had loved the life they lived. What a precious message and something to strive for! I left that visit knowing that something very profound had occurred and that I had just experienced a touch of heaven. I don't know how to explain it well, but I'm so thankful for the ability to make a difference in the lives of my patients and for the difference they make in my life.

- Last weekend, I was having a really hard time - not dealing well with kiddos who were... Shall I say, challenging? By mid-afternoon on Sunday, I was at the breaking point. I had read a blog post that put into words so much of what we deal with, things that are rarely seen by anyone other than Mark and I. To know that there are others out there who "get it" is such a relief. Isolation is something we struggle with and some day are hard. Anyway, I was feeling pretty emotional. I opened up my email to find a note of encouragement from a church friend that was beautiful. God knew how much I needed to hear those words and He must whispered them in Lu's ear because she knew just what to say.

- This week, something happened that I never would have anticipated (and not in a good way). One of those things that just make me go, "why God? What could possibly be the purpose in this? And even if there is a purpose, why did it have to involve someone I love?" Although I don't have that answer, I am thankful that God promises He is with me even when I don't understand. 

- This sweet thing that is wrapping herself around my finger. I love my Miss Lucy!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Choosing an attitude of gratitude

Another week has passed and I haven't been here to update like I want to. I know... I keep saying that I am going to get back on track. The past two months have felt so chaotic. It started even before Maia was in the hospital in February. Up until about a week ago, there hasn't been a day in which at least two of us weren't sick. Mostly respiratory stuff, the kids kept reinfecting themselves and us. Matthew was the only one who didn't end up on antibiotics. Maia and I both get treated for sinus infections. Mark had strep. Needless to say, I am VERY thankful that no one else got it.
It seems like my days off and the weekends have been filled with one thing or another - or we have felt so rotten that we didn't do anything. Between Maia being sick and me being sick, I missed church for three weeks. Last week, we finally went as a family again. What a wonderful thing! It felt so good to be in God's house. Most of the time, the kids are distracting enough that I don't get to hear much of the lesson or sermon. But, just being among our church family and feeling His presence brought joy to my heart!
Work has been absolutely crazy for about three weeks now. As each week has drawn to an end, I think "whew... next week has got to be better." Famous last words. Next week? Maybe or maybe not. In spite of some really challenging situations, I am so blessed to have this job that I love. Are there difficult moments when I wish that maybe I had chosen a different profession? Well, there are moments that I do wish for calm. But, I can not imagine going any place different when I leave the house in the morning. God gave me such a gift allowing me to go back to school and become a nurse practitioner, then work with the elderly.
And if things weren't insane enough, we decided to get a puppy. Not an adult well trained, well behaved dog. Nope, not us! Lucy is now 9 weeks old. And after a week of calm transition, she has decided to let her personality show. Oh, my! We're working on house training, behaviors, crate training - all that fun stuff. Every time, I have had moments of doubt, God has reassured me that she did not join our family by accident. And she IS adorable - lol!
Each night at bedtime, I read the kids a book or two. Then, we have our devotion story and say prayer. I've been trying to help Matthew see that there is always something to be thankful for. He hasn't learned that yet, most days, he can not come up with even one good thing that has happened. But it's also been a good reminder for me. In the midst of the mundane, the chaos, the stress, the sadness, the every day life, I remember that I choose my attitude. I can grumble, whine, gripe... and often, I do. But I can also make better choices. I can stop to see His hand at work in our lives. I can thank Him for His presence in every situation - even the challenging ones. And I can trust that He will guide me and sustain me when I feel like I don't have it in me to go one more step. I am so thankful for a God who is full of mercy and grace, for a Savior who made the ultimate sacrifice for me, and for the promise of the resurrection that we will celebrate on Easter.

Monday, April 7, 2014

We have a new addition!

Meet the new cutie in our house!

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I had a vague feeling today that there was something of significance that had happened right about this time of year. And so I went back reading old blog posts. Sure enough...
Three years ago this week, my wonderful hubby got tired of listening to my tears at night and asked me to tell him what I thought about Matthew. I remember lying in bed, afraid to admit what God had been whispering to me. Mark didn't want Matthew to be transferred to an institution, but didn't feel like we were in any position to adopt again. I understood and respected that. So, I took a deep breath and hesitantly said, "I feel like he is our son." Mark told me that because I had trusted him in knowing that Maia was our daughter, he trusted me in knowing that Matthew was our son. And so our race to get him home began.
God was faithful throughout that journey and blessed us beyond measure. Yes, he has stretched us and made us move outside our comfort zone. The past three years have been some of the most difficult of my life. Moments of great joy, others of great sadness and frustration. 
As I looked back at your comments in response to my announcement, one really stood out. Veronica, you mentioned that now we would have no "what ifs?" We didn't have to wonder and worry about what had happened to Matthew. He would join our family as a much wanted son!
And for that, I am thankful! Thankful for the God who heard my cries, my prayers, my begging on behalf of a sweet boy whose face was etched in my heart. Thankful that He has been with us each step of this journey. Thankful for my son and the road to him which officially began three years ago this week.