Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Significance on a Wintery Wednesday Morning

Good morning, friends.

It's a biting 27 degrees here this morning. Peyton and I are the only two who have managed to crawl out from from the big cozy nest of blankets on our beds to brave the chill downstairs. Peyton is eating breakfast and contentedly watching PBS Kids, and I'm sitting down for a quick rendezvous with my computer before the rest of my world wakes up.

This morning I have a simple thought: What do I want to make significant today?

You see, on a typical day surprisingly too many things become "significant" in my mind. Unfortunately, almost none of them are things that I should attach significance to.

signif⋅i⋅cant- adjective. important, of consequence.

So on this chilly Wednesday morning, as this year nears its segue into the next, I commit to being intentional about where I attribute significance in my life.

Will you join me?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Plans Change...Mountains to Move

Do you ever have those moments/days/weeks/seasons when your words are few, but you still somehow feel the need to say something? Anything. Every now and then my fingers just want to dance their way across the keyboard and write their own story. Come what may, they need to flit and flutter and plink and plunk and create a masterpiece out of the silence.

Tonight I spent some time looking at recent pictures of pudgy pink newborns and giggling bouncy toddlers who fill up the hearts and homes of many of my friends. I found myself so excited for them-- and so sad for myself.

A *very* small handful of you know that Jeremy and I very seriously and prayerfully considered a vasectomy reversal earlier this year. We knew that God was calling us to open our hearts and grow our family, so we thought that this was the best and most affordable option for us. We even went in for the consultation and had the procedure scheduled.

About three weeks before the appointment, I knew that we needed to cancel. My spirit was keenly aware of what my mind wasn't-- that our lives were about to be turned upside down and that we needed to wait.

Waiting is tough. Especially when you aren't 100% sure what you're waiting for. But I can tell you one thing, the wait is always always worth it.

As we've danced around this topic, the conclusion that we've come to is that we absolutely love being parents. Love it. Love. It. (Did I mention that we love it?) What's more is that there are 147 MILLION orphans who desperately need and want parents to love them. A daddy to tuck them in at night. A mommy to feed them until their bellies are full. A brother to pray over them. A sister to sing and giggle and dance with...and as much as they need me, I know that I need them too.

Our idea of increasing our family biologically is off the table. Something about it just feels off now-- not wrong, just not the best plan for us. Jeremy and I don't have any idea how or when we can ever begin to look at adoption-- the mountain seems too steep, but I know that He loves those lost little ones out there enough to bring them home to us when the time is just right. Until then, we'll keep on praying, believing and loving them from across the world.

By the way, the only thing Peyton asked Santa for this year was one G.I. Joe-- and gifts for all of the orphan boys and girls all over the world. Tears fell down my face when he shared his Christmas wish to Santa Clause. What a beautiful and merciful heart. I'm so thankful.

Monday, December 14, 2009

News...without *too* much news...

Aren't you curious now?

Without further ado, I wanted to give you all a quick update on Jeremy's job search.

Tomorrow at 1:30pm, Jeremy has a phone interview. Please pray that if doors are supposed to open that they will. Moreover, if this is not the best opportunity for our family, then our prayer is that the Lord clearly and swiftly shuts the door.

I'm sorry to leave things on a bit of a cryptic note, but that is the most important detail at the moment. I'll share more as soon as I know more.

Thank you, thank you, thank you wonderful friends! Jeremy and I absolutely feel your prayers.

Friday, December 11, 2009


Chirp, Chirp...oh, wait...umm... (cough, cough)

Tweet. Tweet. Tuh-weet!

Ahh, that's better!

Do you tweet? If so, how do you like it? I created a Twitter account about 9 months or so ago and I haven't done ANYTHING with it, but today I decided to take the plunge after I saw a tweet that I wanted to re-tweet. (Whoa, I feel like I'm speaking some alien cyborg language. My head is spinning. Is yours?) Nevertheless, I successfully did it!

I downloaded TweetDeck to help synch Facebook and Twitter! I would love any Twitter, TweetDeck or Facebook tips, tricks or sanity-saving solutions to keep my social-networking sites organized.

Wanna tweet with me? Follow me here! Let's do this thing. It always helps to have moral support.

I knew I'd have to hop on board the train at some point if I wanted to stay connected to the world. That day has officially arrived.

To that I say, "tweet-tweet!"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Promises in the ruins

I've started this post once already, but I had to stop and literally draft an outline to keep my brain from taking all sorts of bunny trails that would leave your mind reeling from the pandemonium that was 2009 for the Smith family. That was Sunday night. It's now Wednesday (almost Thursday) and plenty of words have spun around in my head that I really want to share, but my heart doesn't know just where to start.

The "beginning" is the logical response, right? But, where exactly the beginning begins, I'm still not sure. So tonight I'll share enough to bring you in to the here-and-now. In time, with love and a warm mug of hot cocoa by my side, the rest of the details will sift themselves into the crevices of our story.

Jeremy and I are at a crossroads in our life. It began in December 2008. We agreed just before Christmas last year to make a concerted effort to slowly dig our way out of debt. Step 1: Put our house on the market at the beginning of the year. And that's how it started. Simple. Easy. But that isn't quite how the story goes.

On January 2, 2009, I drove a beautiful young friend/student down to Garden Valley, TX so that she could begin an internship with Teen Mania Ministries. Some of you may know that Jeremy and I met back in 2000 when we interned for TMM as well (not that its pertinent to the story at hand). Anyway... As we were driving along TX-37 somewhere between Mt.Vernon and Mineola, I rolled down the window and as sunshine poured over me, I felt God breathe new life into my spirit.

I spent sweet precious time with Him on that trip. He spoke little, but promised much. It was a secret rendezvous with my Lover as He sang love songs over me. I came home revived, excited and ready for all that was surely just around the corner. My heart knew what my head did not.

And it looked as if plenty were about to happen: writing, selling our home, a little bit of side work for me, passing the baton and stepping down from student leadership, adding children to our family, writing some big checks to debtors...and more. But little by little, nothing and everything crashed into each other throughout the passing months with deafening silence and paralyzing emptiness.

Through a series of unscrupulous practices on the part of his management with Abbott, Jeremy's employment was terminated at the very beginning of August. Honestly, we were both flooded with relief and almost giddy with excitement for new doors to open. We didn't share with very many people what was going on, simply because we didn't have answers and we were confident that the tapestry God was weaving in our lives would be ready for display in due time.

Then, only three short weeks after he lost his job, Jeremy received a call and got an offer with another position in contract pharmaceutical sales that he hadn't even applied for-- right here in Lafayette. It's obvious that every single step of this process has been "worked together for the good" by our Daddy who takes incredible care of each minute detail of our lives, but we knew very clearly that this new opportunity was in no way the destination of the journey that we started upon last January. It was provision. And for that, we've been humbly grateful.

Fast forward to last Friday. Pharma had a conference call (for which Pharma companies are infamous) and the topic of said call: displacement. Displacement=Job loss. Again.

For those of you doing quick math, that is 2 job losses in 4 months.

At this very moment, I can say that it feels like opportunity coupled with a swirl of hope and excitement. Almost a sweet relief. But this time around, it's also filled with anxiety. Not anxiety over bills (because God knows we have needs that only He can cover), but anxiety over somehow missing His best for our family in the name of responsibility and wisdom.

Just this evening I read in My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers, "It is the things that are right and noble and good from the natural stand point that keep us back from God's best. To discern that natural virtues antagonize surrender to God, is to bring our soul into the centre of its greatest battle. Very few of us debate with the sordid and evil and wrong, but we do debate with the good. It is the good that hates the best, and the higher up you get in the scale of the natural virtues, the more intense is the opposition to Jesus Christ."

So tonight my reason, my prayer and my surrender for sharing this with you is to ask you to pray for us. I have full assurance that He loves us more than any of you could ever love us. We desperately need clarity, direction, open doors, discernment and laser focus right now. The house (still ours), more children (natural or adopted), writing, conquering debt...are all on pause for the moment. That's ok. We've learned immeasurable truth this year and we've felt our heartbeat as a family conform more to the heartbeat of God. Isn't that the most important blessing of any journey that we take with the Lord?

How to walk it out physically? Where to BeChange.LiveLove? We don't know. But we pray that we see some tangible answers (preferably) soon.
For now, I'm clinging to the promises that He spoke to me under the warm Texas sun-- promises that the ruins of our plans are simply the beginning of His.

(And for the record, I didn't consult the please have much grace for this tired brain-numbed blogger.)