YOUNG LIFE SCOTLAND

This new year also means a brand new chapter for our family:

YOUNG LIFE SCOTLAND!

The ministry of Young Life has been woven into our stories since high school. Young Life is the place where Adam and I first met, the place we’ve made life-long friends, and the place where we gave our broken hearts over to Jesus. A decision for Christ made early on in life can drastically change the course of generations to come. Adam and I are eternally grateful to have been impacted as a couple of high school kids through Young Life, and equally grateful for the chance we have had to serve YL in our area and region for the past 15 years. I have been soaking in some the fullest, most cherished years of my life helping to lead my high school friends here.

Since college Adam and I have desired to return to a more full time position with Young Life. We have found that the need is great and the call to Scotland is clear, and we are praying that the passions and skills God has planted within us will make way for new growth He is preparing in the UK. Adam will get to continue his work in financial planning while integrating it with this new position as Country Developer for YL in Scotland. We are so excited for the chance to build community, come alongside the wonderful YL staff in Scotland, start Young Life College, encourage generosity throughout Scotland, the UK and Europe, and share the BEST news with kids abroad.

Entering this new chapter of ministry with Young Life really is a homecoming for our family, but it does not come without all kinds of emotions attached. We will DEEPLY and dearly miss this community that has loved our family well through the mountains and valleys, joys and sorrows. There is still much to put in order in the coming months as we prepare to make this giant leap as a family, but we trust fully that God has every detail, He has our family and He has our future. And so we say, “Lead on, Lord.”

Prayers appreciated as we prepare for this new year and new chapter for our family serving Young Life in Scotland.

THEN I HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD SAYING,

“WHOM SHALL I SEND? AND WHO WILL GO FOR US?”

AND I SAID, “HERE AM I. SEND ME!”

- ISAIAH 6:8

Sacred Sisterhood

A few months back Lucy asked for a picture of Maggie for her room, so this weekend while our boys were away we set out to find her a frame.  Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Maggie was a thriving, growing baby girl for the 8 months I carried her inside.  Never were there any red flags to indicate anything was amiss during my pregnancy.  The night she was born she looked so much like her siblings—a tiny 2 pound version with similar sweet features all perfectly placed and beautifully formed.  Our doctors believed a “cord accident” had been the reason we lost her at 31 weeks.  Without any warning she was just gone in a moment and our lives were changed forever. 

Lucy has been having such a hard time for the past several months. Bedtime is a particularly tender time where her thoughts come tumbling out. My heart has broken all over again watching Lucy process a piece of her family, her heart and her story without ever even meeting our Maggie girl. Sobbing after we have read the stories and said the prayers and soaked in the snuggles each night as we tuck her in.  Sobbing because of how far Heaven is, how long we will have to wait to see Maggie again, how her big brothers have each other and mom and dad have each other, but there’s no one just for her.  Sobbing because she’s worried her friends won’t believe that she has a sister, too, since they’ve never seen her.  Deep, heart-wrenching sobs as she names each little friend that has a sister to play with and dress up like and fall asleep next to, but all she has is pictures and stories, blankets and loveys and tiny hand and footprints belonging to her sissy.  It’s a new layer of grief that is all her own, and my heart hurts SO much for the pieces of our family I cannot put back together for her here.  When my words fall short and the tears keep falling, I hold her longer and pray that God will be ever so near to my Lucy girl and the parts of her story that feel so incomplete. 

So many times in life we don’t get to see the full picture.  There are giant question marks looming over deep, broken hurts that take a lifetime to wade through.  Grief WITH hope is excruciating, but I can’t even imagine grief WITHOUT hope.  Eternally thankful for a Savior that took our place so that we may one day have the wholeness, the peace, the complete picture and the sweet HOPE that Heaven holds.  Magpie, your girls are missing you extra today.  We’ll meet you There.

Perspective

There have been times in my life where I couldn't see outside of my current circumstances.  Some days it is the struggle to feel worthy, heard and enough.  Other battles have overlapped many chapters and seasons along the way.  Our crew of four keeps me on my toes with so many ages, stages, personalities, victories and battles in these day-to-day trenches of motherhood, homeschooling and life.  This place we are in feels like treading water with rest, calm and smoother seas just out of reach.  The tiny years are precious and priceless, utterly exhausting and unbelievably passing by in a blink.  As I settle in late each night after tucking the last of my babes into bed, I look back at my day and mull over all the places and moments I wish I would have done so much better

We have been wading through these little years for over a decade now, and sometimes it is hard to see much farther than the daily work of maintaining, growing, teaching, building up and pouring into each heart in my home.  I wonder if the hard, heavy season of parenting that we are so deep in will ever feel lighter.  Then I turn around to find my oldest growing up right before me, and I gain some perspective.  With his twelfth birthday just around the corner, he is at that little bit older, next step up stage where gears are turning, independence is taking shape, and great conversations live alongside thoughtful acts, hard work, helpful gestures and bigger picture moments.  I sit back and take him in, knowing that the person he is becoming is less of a reflection of my own capabilities as his mama, and so much more a picture of the capabilities of a good and gracious God that fills the gaps where I come up short.  These glimpses of the man God is growing this guy into serve as a reminder that our years together under one roof are now fewer than the years I have spent with him so far.  I am beginning to see that the things that seem so challenging won't always be so hard (and the easy things might not always seem so simple as my little people grow up).  So very grateful for this sweet big kid stage in the midst of all the rest, knowing full well that Year 9, Year 6 and Year 3 of his younger siblings are fleeting.  Through trials and triumphs these little years are just for a season, and these little people I've been given certainly don't keep.   

Lord, give me perspective for this season.  Clear my tired eyes to see each of my little people the way YOU see them.  Equip me with the patience, grace, wisdom and rest to sustain me in this journey of parenting.  Turn my worry into trust, my self-doubt into wisdom and my weary heart into thankfulness overflowing.