A New Song for 2017

Abide. Rest. Comfort. Hope.

Another year gone, another word- but so much more -joins the list.

It was truly a year of practiced hope.

We’ve been raising a child with Reactive Attachment Disorder for about nine years… from foster care to adoption. It has been incredibly difficult and at times, I’ve felt helpless and hopeless.

My family has experienced trauma on a few fronts, all of which affected my marriage, bringing my husband and I to a year of counseling (which greatly helped). We also see individual counselors / mentors to help us navigate the emotional waters of raising a child of trauma (who re-injures in a home with other children.)

We live cross-culturally in a place we love, but in a place, all the same, that differs in language, culture, expectation, money, and norms. We weave in and out of Alemanish Germany, Alsatian France, and Northern Switzerland and a Christian conglomerate of individuals working together from every different denomination, from different countries, and from different cultures with a common purpose and many different ways of getting there. It would be enough to live within one of these cultures, but we daily navigate them all.

And to do that, we have to raise our own salary… which adds another layer of stress (I mean, opportunity to trust and hope and believe).

This is just a sampling.

Needless to say, the words abide, rest, comfort, and hope have been crucial to my last four years. Their deep meaning has carried me and comforted me and challenged me in ways I could never have expected. And as I said last year, each word continues on long beyond December 31st. They weave together into a more beautiful hug.

This year, for awhile, I thought my new word was going to be expectation. It’s close to hope… and I’m fine with a thread of hope continuing to weave through my life story. However, as I was recently on a walk and pouring out my heart to God, I heard myself asking Him for a new song.

Okay, that’s not a word. But I’m going with it.

My last few years have been heartache nestled among great beauty. I have so much to be thankful for, in spite of those things which have challenged me to the core. And, looking back at the me who arrived in Germany nearly five years ago… I’m a different person. Hopefully a better person. Certainly a person, though, that has been to the ends of herself multiple times. Who is clear that she is weak and only He is strong. Who lives in the constant reality of her inability to affect change in the circumstances around her and the incredible ability of God to be the Change-Maker. A person with deeper compassion for godly, loving parents who are struggling, suffering marriages, individuals with depression, the lonely, the lost, and the broken.

And I’m ready for a new song.

There are sweet glimpses of healing and growth and joy in my family’s future. This is where I thought expectation would be my anthem… but instead, I know the Singer and Dancer of my soul delights in this coming season with a new song.

A song of deliverance.

A song of joy.

A song of peace in storms.

A song of love.

For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears.
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NLT)

 

A Year of Hope – 2016

hope3

Abide. Rest. Comfort.

All beautiful words that have spoken truth to my heart and soul over the last few years. Words that don’t end on December 31st, but which follow me into forever.
Continue reading “A Year of Hope – 2016”

My {Dad}- Dream Whisperer

I looked down at their precious faces.

Serene.

Peaceful.

Safe.

I ponder the dreams they must be having… and all the things I want to say to them. To somehow enter into this moment without disrupting it.

I stroke a cheek.

Kiss a nose.

I lean down and whisper, “You are uniquely made. Beautiful for who you are. You are more precious to me than any earthly thing. You delight my heart. You make each moment worth living over and over. Forgive me for the moments I’ve missed. For my own selfishness. Innocent mistakes. Thank you for loving me so deeply. So freely. May you live and receive every blessing of God. May you choose love, patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control, faithfulness, joy, and peace.”

And on I go.

Sweet affirmations of love whispered into their ears while they sleep.

Dancing their way into the mind of the sleeper… speaking into the visions of their night.

Brightening darkened skies, cries to laughter, equipping the hero of their slumber.

And I smile.

Such truth seeps its way through this realm into another, influencing the deep images of the subconscience with hope, faith, and love… to awaken the dreamer with a new sense of belonging, value, and security.

Unexplained.

A dream that has embraced them tenderly.

By the dream whisperer.

Confession: If ever I’ve dreamed a beautiful dream… it’s been because my dad has whispered these sweet-somethings into my ear while I slept.

Words of tenderness, affection, hope, and promise.

Sometimes words of warning.

Often words of encouragement.

Words that blend my reality with eternity.

In a prophetic song of gratitude for what isn’t and great joy for what is.

Ethereal experiences that awaken me to far more than my day-to-day of laundry, dishes, and training children.

The Dream Whisperer.

My dad.

Stroking my hair, kissing my cheek, singing his father’s heart and hopes into my depths.

Easing my fears, welcoming my fears… replacing them with a father’s protection.

Sometimes he sits beside silently and lets the dreams free as they will be… weaving and winding, tossing and churning, mysteries of the night as the mind unravels its secret thoughts. Its hidden meanderings.

Only to wrap me in his arms when the terror brings me to.

Reminding me that he is always there… even in the ugly. The scary. The awkward.

Waiting to wrap me up.

To remember how desperately I need his comfort. His dream-whispers.

So I ask each night, “Daddy… will you sit with me again as I sleep? Whispering love into my dreams?”

And he smiles and comes. Delighted to be invited.

And his whispers begin.

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

Proverbs 3:24

To learn more about 31 Days in 2012 or view other 31 Dayers blogs, click here.

I’m spending 31 days writing about my confessions and the lessons {Dad} has taught me. This is day 18 of 31 Days in 2012.