Monday, July 11, 2016

one trip around the sun

Being adopted in America

It's been an entire year since Alex and Yana (legally) entered into our family.  A year since Adam and I flew home together, with our teenagers in the row beside us from the Moscow Airport. A year since their shoes touched American soil. A year since we sat in customs and they applied for their permanent residency card at LAX international airport.

I have learned a few things over the past year...
They are:
1. Choose joy.
2. Comparison is a joy killer
3.Don't miss the Glory of God

Choose joy

I find myself the most unhappy when I feel like I was wronged.
I sat in my husband's office today, I was a nice wife and had brought him lunch. 
I caught myself complaining to him about everything on my mind. He just nodded and listened to me. But after a good 5 minutes, I thought to myself, just shut up. So I did. I think he appreciated that :)
Instead of complaining, I choose joy. I talked about good things, without the undertow of bad or annoyed. Our conversation change for the better after that it usually does when I become thankful.
So, how do I teach that to kids? How do I teach them to just shut up and be grateful. To think about the good in life.
How do you tell a 17 year old that the car you drive is not important or a 7 year old that the doll she has does not need to be an American Girl. How can I explain to my 5 year old that she will not always be invited to every birthday party or my 13 year old that a flip phone works just like a iPhone.

"Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it's the Lord's purpose that prevails." Proverbs 19:21

They see what others have and think that it will bring them happiness. And the silly thing is, I do the same thing. If only I had land, or a bigger house, then maybe we would all be happy.
It's a lie. That's not what makes us happy. Joy is a choice. Joy is content. Joy is recognizing the blessings and being thankful even in the hardest of situations.

Comparison kills joy.

In a world filled with social media and everyone keeping up the Jones', it is hard not to compare. The exotic vacations, the new cars, the clean houses, the fancy food, and the mommy-daughter time splattered all over your Facebook, twitter, Instagram for all to see. Although I know I should be happy for them, something starts in my brain taking away MY happy. Thinking wow that's so fun, wish I could do that.
EW! Stop it! Be happy for someone and move on! Those pages are highlights. No one posts the waking up to a mound of dog poo all over the shag carpet for the second day in the row (true story).
Comparison kills joy. I need to remember no one posts the poo.

Don't miss the Glory of God

When I value what the world values, I miss the glory of God and what He is doing in my life.
Yes, I love things and I love my family, but those things are God's, so I'll trust him with them. Giving it to him all the good, praising him.
While I am at it, I guess I'll bring him the bad too. The yuck I was complaining to Adam about in his office. The stuff I only tell that one person, I want to just tell it to God.
God is sovereign and he uses me for His glory, I just need to make sure I am listening.

It's easy for me to complain. It's easy for me to want what others have. And it's super easy to just go on with my hurried day to day, not acknowledging my Savior and my Creator.

But instead, I am going to choose God.

or at least continue to try to

One trip around the sun as a mom of 4. Oh how all of our lives have been remodeled, reshaped and remolded. He just keeps chipping away at us.


  1. One of your best blogs yet. Something I think everyone can relate to if they are honest. Thanks for posting! I really enjoyed it!

  2. I'm so glad to hear from you again! And, you're so right. I'm struggling this a bit myself as I see the jet skis and amusement parks and huge homes of the other host families. Our apartment with some (new!) play dough seems to pale. But, my daughter is well-loved, dressed and fed, and content. I strive to be as content as she! You're right--choose joy and be quiet. ;)