Monday, January 2, 2012

a new day

Dearest Lily,

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.

Always yours,

Mama oxox


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.


Justine said...

This is beautiful. Thank you. And I love the Christmas morning pictures!!!

cara said...

Could your family get a little more beautiful Patti??? Ha. You all are BEAUTIFUL!!! LOVE these pictures. Thank you for sharing. I always see the LOVE in your family. What a blessing to see such a sweet, godly family in this world. His light shines brightly in those that live for Him. And I love what you wrote about it all. I know you will not close your eyes.

I am SO happy for ALL of these orphans that have received forever families. I am praying and praying for Brent to be rescued fast. I will continue to spread the word. God truly has done amazing things through you as you keep taking these steps of faith and doing what He has called. I know it has not all been easy for you because I know the enemy strikes when we step out for the least of these. But the fruit of that leap of faith is truly glorious. And greater is He who is in us than he who is in this world. Much love to you this year in 2012. Thank you for ALL that you do and for being such a wonderful friend. Give Lily hugs and kisses from all of us.

Gilda said...

This is a beautiful post, and thank you for reminding me of the little ones who need our help. I just donated for Brent and shared on my facebook also, his little face just makes me smile and hurt for him at the same time.

nicole said...

Praying for the little ones still waiting to be rescued.

Pictures of Lily and all your kids are always a spirit lifter. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

what a wonderful post! i ADORE the picture of you all!did you see Bobby's fund is nearly at $400!!! i nearly fell off my chair! thankyou Patti and thankyou to all ' A Perfect Lily' readers! you are so wonderful each and every single one of you! wow wow wow xxxxxjane xxxxxx

Krista said...

Your family is so beautiful Patti. Your spirit is beautiful. We wait. God knows.

Cindy said...

Such a great post. I loved the analogy of the strand of pearls, so true. Each day is an amazing gem waiting to be polished and admired.

And what a beautiful family! Loved seeing their faces as they came through the curtain.

Unknown said...

Such a wonderful post that puts perspective on all of our lives. To hold true to our mighty Creator for all that we have and to remember those less fortunate. Thank you for the adorable, beautiful reminder.
P.S. Is Miss Lily walking? She looks awfully comfortable standing alone in some of those pictures :) She is turning into an adorable little toddler.

Mrs. K said...

Beautiful post Sweetheart. You are so full of wisdom and understanding. Love seeing the family tradition of hiding the tree and presents on Christmas morn. It brought back such sweet memories. Love ya, Mom

cathy said...

Thank you, Dear Friend, for your beautiful words and equally as beautiful, photos...

You are facilitating one of God's many miracles by helping us help those precious angels across the sea who have no families or future. Thank you for this gift you are sharing.

The pictures are spectacular...the pictures of our children are our treasures...We are so very blessed.

The pictures of Lily with the phone are adorable--as well as the one with her standing, in her red velvet pjs looking over her brother's shoulder---one of the many pearls on your own priceless strand.


Patti said...

she IS, Erin:)

Heather said...

That Lilybug. She is beyond precious, with her little baby bare feet and blond hair...what a blessing. I bet you, never in your wildest dreams, imagined where that one extra chromosome would take you. :) Not just to Holland, but to Eastern Europe and all over the world...

April Vernon said...

Beautiful thoughts, Patti. I loved seeing the pictures of your whole family! Happy New Year!