Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hello, 2016

Hello, 2016.

Hello, fresh start. Hello to new resolve, goals, and blank calendar pages. Hello, memories to be had. Hello, songs to be sung. Hello, new people to love. Hello, feelings to be felt.

I do a word every year, with the exception of 2015, for many reasons.

This year, I can't choose between 2 words, so I'm picking them both. They are both/and. They are essential for growth is so many ways. They are where.I' And they go together on multiple levels.

Self-care & Prayer

That's what they are. No fluff, no fru-fru...and really no words needed to explain.

I must take care of myself. I need to do that spiritually, personally, physically, as a parent and wife, friend, homemaker, and a children's director at my church. I need to put up firmer boundaries. I need to be able to prioritize and fight battles that matter (instead of all of them). I need to take care of me so I can take care of those who need me. 

2015 was essential in my spiritual growth, especially in prayer. It was such a dark year. "Valley of the Shadow of Death" we call it around our home. Through prayer, I saw answers that I have never quite seen, and I have prayed prayers I have never quite prayed. Between the War Room and a new focus in my prayer journal, I have seen God work in my heart and those around me. I was brave when I used to struggle to seek the answers to hard things. I was tested in seemingly every way, and on the other side, I realized that through prayer, I sustained.

I didn't thrive. But this year I will. Sustaining can often be as important as thriving, I think. But this year, I will thrive. I will seek. I will find. And I will use this verse to guide me:

So, hello 2016. It's me. 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Ruby's Adoption Day

Today is not just any day.

It is Ruby Grace's Adoption Day.

We've had her since birth. We're really lucky like that.

But that doesn't mean these four and a half years of waiting was easy. At all.

There were days of doubt where we weren't sure if she was forever going to be ours. There were days of sickness where I wondered if I'd always be the one taking care of her...there for her in the night...rocking her to sleep. There were moments of sheer terror...moments where we love her so much but aren't sure what the future holds.


There were moments/hours/days/weeks of peace. Peace that I didn't understand, but peace that I so desperately needed. And then just when we thought our journey was almost done, a new wrench would be thrown in to the mix. And the flood of uncertainty would be overwhelming us once again.

She will love being the lime-light. She thinks everyone who she knows (at all) will be in attendance at some point on her day. She calls this her "Dee-Option Day" and we've had a countdown on the wall due to the sheer excitement that's built up at our house!

Today we will all write a blessing in her blessing book...the one she will keep for all her days. Where words and scriptures are written specifically for her life. And we will be thankful. Our hearts will be full. Fuller than normal. Because this day...this celebration...this can't be taken from us. It's ours forever.

Today and forever - she will be a Keathley. It's a piece of her that no one can take away. And though I'm adopted myself, I'm not sure I ever understood the importance of Gotcha Day until I had kids to "gotcha" myself.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Adoption=The Gospel. Our journey is brutal at times....harder than we'd ever imagined. It's not fair. It's steep, and to be quite honest, there are days when you don't know if you're going to make it through to the next day.

And then you the grace of God. And that grace? It's where we live. The ups and downs and ugly and beautiful...grace surrounds us always. And though my story looks so different than the one I had planned...I'm so grateful.

For it is so.much.better.