More than the birds

Airport terminals, a sick room, government offices, a cemetery, and doctor offices…these are very intense places – places where I have spent a good deal of time since the beginning of the year. If I were to focus on this list, I might call 2018 a year of stress, sorrow and changes. Some days, if I am being honest, the adjectives that reflect stress and sorrow might be those I pull out first. The struggle is real.

But there is another list: cards, gifts, hugs, gentle words, advice over coffee, flowers, furniture, a vehicle, practical help, food, prayers.

Our lifestyle and work, it relies on the generosity of God and his people. I feel it often and am humbled. However, during this season – I can’t find the words to express how God has spoken to my heart through the small and large gestures of those around us.

When I was in the States, separated from my hubby and little ones – visiting with my mom knowing it was her last days and counting down the days until we would add our 6th child through adoption – life felt so out of control. I found rest at a chair in my parents’ living room next to a huge bay window that looks out over their backyard. The snow was persistent during my visit. It felt like a new beauty to me, since I hadn’t experienced a Michigan winter in so many years. I sat in that chair (a big, leathery one with a foot rest that bangs out with a lever) and watched the cardinals at the bird feeder. Their color is shocking against the snow. Breathtaking really. Even the female who is brown and not as pretty as her mate – there is something about watching for her bright orange beak seeking out her treasure. Day after day as I watched for the pair of birds, God reminded me of the simple truth that I had learned in Sunday School from Matthew 6:26

See the birds of the sky, that they don’t sow, neither

do they reap, nor gather into barns. Your heavenly Father

feeds them. Aren’t you of much more value than they?

Those birds were consistently sitting on the edge of the feeder swinging in the cold wind….like the storm around them didn’t matter. It was such a beautiful reminder. I kept telling myself, “I can trust God during my storms. I can trust Him with the days ahead. I can trust God with this new season.”

We have entered a new season. A season with six children and a season without my mom. Both are taking some getting used to. So we are pulling back a bit – spending some time near my dad and taking a few months in the States. We feel like this is God’s provision for us. As we help my dad clean out the basement and find a new normal, it is a treasure in the midst of my grief. Days well spent.

We also see these months as a time to get a new leg made for Little Man (can you believe he has outgrown that prosthetic again?!), and we have the chance to get some needed medical care and physical therapy for our new son, B. We have some digging to do to find out how to make him as healthy as possible – we would appreciate your prayers.

B has been with our family for almost two months now and is doing great. We are so proud of him. He is studying English with gusto, takes in our family chaos with a silent smile, and is ever willing to try new things. I seriously can’t even describe how amazing he is.

How? How can a kid grow up in an orphanage and still be this sweet, open, and courageous? It is one of the many miracles that surround B…another treasure. I look at him and see how God has provided – provided something I didn’t even know that I wanted or needed. He has given us new love and the chance to be a part of B’s miraculous journey. Could there be a better gift for me in this season?

God values and loves me even more than the birds.

2 thoughts on “More than the birds

  1. What a lovely vision of the snow and the beautiful cardinals that frequent your parent’s feeder. Cardinals are my favorite bird, their color is so striking, and they are so “family oriented”. We see them every year, building their nests, teaching their young to fly and then seeing them all coming to our feeders. Sadly, we also have cats, and one left a cardinal as a “gift” to me the other day on our porch. This is part of God’s plan also, He knows a cat is a hunter and there will be victims of his hunt, I may not appreciate the “gift” but cannot berate the giver. We are constantly seeing the “nature of things” in our world, we do not understand most of it, but we know it is God’s will at work. He has such great plans for your family….Little Man is growing so fast, and your newest son B is a wonderful surprise every day for you. You have so much joy and happiness in your family, God has surely blessed you all.

  2. I am proud of you and Brian an all of your little birds. He surely does not forget us in all our trials. God bless you and your new “B”. Love Jean.

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