It's a new day and a new year. Last night I lay in bed with you sleeping peacefully beside me, as I reflected over this past year and all that it held.
I tell your daddy this all the time, but those moments that I'm drifting off to sleep- the hazy moments that are the bridge between reality and dreams- are my favorite part of the day. Because the world, or at least my little world, is obligated to stand still for just a few minutes, when little ones are sleeping and responsibilities must wait. And in those moments I can reflect on the events of the day, and savor each one, like pearls on a strand. And maybe it's the veil of sleep that's descending that makes those pearls so breathtaking, or maybe it's the ever-present grace of God that overshadows every failure or misspoken word or human error, but as I'm remembering, I'm filled with such a sense of peace, and such an appreciation for the life I've been given, that the best word I can use to describe those twilight moments would be: contentment.
So last night, as I was reflecting back on the strand of pearls that was last year, I was overwhelmed again by the beautiful and wonderful sense of purpose your life has brought to mine. I'm in awe of all the God has done through your life already...and I'm so excited to see what the future holds as well.
If someone would have told me a year ago, when I had just begun advocating for orphans, about all that would happen in the months to come, I might not have believed them.
If someone would have told me that Olga's family would be just weeks away from traveling to meet her...or that Kareen would not only be rescued, but appearing on national news...or that Peter would officially be a Kehm right now, and just a few days away from his Gotcha day...or that Albina and Artem would have wonderful committed families, determined to bring them home this year...I would have had to pinch myself, to see if I was dreaming.
In fact I do find myself asking your daddy almost daily... and especially when I watched Kareen's story on the news (we had to go find a tv at a fitness center just to watch it!;)) ...can you believe this is really happening??
Because these moments- the ones lived out day to day, with no veil of sleep to shroud them, but indeed covered in the grace of a loving God- have so often been the stuff dreams are made of. In fact so many of the moments of this past year were in reality...our dreams come true.
I don't want to sugar coat this year, Lily, because there have been disappointments as well- devastating ones.
I read this today, and it is so true: Good and bad run on parallel tracks and usually arrive about the same time. Life is never all good or all bad. On any given day, we may see the brightest lights and the dimmest darkness.
I'm still heartbroken over orphans left behind, like Brent and Robyn, and ones whose future is uncertain at best, like Ty and Tanner. I want to do everything I can to raise awareness and funds for these children, because just as the bright spots of last year, they are truly glimmering, although undiscovered pearls.
And when I think about the life I've been given- filled with its own little ups and downs, but so, so blessed - I don't want to turn my eyes to those other pearls, because the ones I'm holding are so breathtaking. We have it so good, Lily. So good.
We're blessed beyond measure to live in the nation and the generation that we do, blessed by the generosity and kindness of a loving extended family, we've been showered with gifts and laughter and joy, we're blessed to be surrounded by our children and friends and loved ones, we are exceedingly, abundantly blessed more than we could ask or think.
I've been given a very precious gift in this life, and I don't want to spend it gazing only at the pearls before me, soaking in each moment as if there weren't others who don't know this wonderful side of things, this parallel side of the track called contentment. I want to cherish what I have, and give honor to the One who gave it to me, but I always, always want to keep my eyes on the ones who desperately need hope.
Lord, help me to keep a right perspective this year. Help me to value what you've given me, and take time to enjoy each and every precious pearl you've placed on the strand that makes up my life...
.... but help me never to forget those hidden and undiscovered pearls lying across the ocean, help me never to close my eyes to their value, and to the desperate need that they be found and treasured for the beauty that they are.
It's a new day and a new year, dearest Lily. And I can't wait to see what God will do.
Please don't miss THIS OPPORTUNITY to redeem a pearl...
A faithful reader, Sue has issued a challenge:
In Brent's current picture on RR they have him in purple. Did you know that purple ribbons and purple in general is used as a symbol of hope for those with pancreatic cancer (similar to pink for breast cancer). Maybe we can challenge everyone who has lost someone to pancreatic cancer or to any type of cancer, to donate to Brent in honor of their loved one. Pancreatic cancer is called a "silent killer" and the fate of these special needs orphans is another "silent killer" that we need to talk about and wipe out.
Go HERE to donate to Brent.