"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory.
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.
O Lord of hosts (Jehovah-sabaoth),
how blessed is the man who trusts in You."
It is hard to believe that we have been home from China for two months. Our lives have been a complete whirlwind as we adjust to being a family of eight. From doctors' appointments to trips to the beach and Carowinds to Daddy going back to work, we have been on the move. Our life is not easy right now, and some days are really, really hard, but we see God's hand of mercy and provision for us at every turn. He is teaching me to cling to Him moment by moment. He is revealing how far I have to go in His command to die to myself daily. I struggle with patience and some days just want to head for the hills!!
And yet, I would not change ONE thing about my life. I feel so blessed that I can hardly hold back the tears at God's goodness and His precious gifts.
In the last few weeks, I have seen such a huge shift in how I view my "big" boys. I have seen them grow up right before my eyes. I have come to depend on them so very much and my love for them has deepen in ways I could not have imagined.
I am so proud of the way my oldest son Gabriel (10) has stepped up since his daddy is now back at work. He does so many of the things that Tollie would do if he were here. I think I was most proud of him the day we went to Carowinds for the first time without Daddy. Gabriel carried Aaron Li around in Snoopyland, taking him to ride after ride, saying he didn't care if he rode any rides or not, he just wanted his little brother to have a good time.
I am amazed, humbled, and many times convicted when I see how patient and kind my Carter (8) is, especially with Aaron Li. He never gets ruffled when tantrums are thrown, but just patiently tries to help everyone to be happy. He is quick to sacrifice his own things in order to bless others.
I can't help but laugh at Cason's (almost 7) crazy antics as he tries to make Aaron Li and Meili laugh! He loves to play with them and can keep them entertained so Mommy can actually go to the bathroom! He is a joy and helps me to laugh when the stress of the day is almost too much.
I see over and over again how God prepared our family for our new babies, how He has gifted each of my boys with what we would need to love and care for our precious new additions. The Lord is good and faithful. He can be trusted to do more than we could ever imagine. I am so thankful for how He has put me in a place that I have NO CHOICE but to cling to Him. He knows that as soon as I feel my life is under control and I get comfortable, I stop depending on Him. I pray that He never lets me do that again. (With six kids, I don't think I have to worry!)
And these precious babies, oh how I love them (even when I am ready to pull my hair out!).
Aaron Li, who we are still calling Yao-Yao (YOW-YOW), is simply an amazing child. He is SO smart. He has picked up English at an amazing rate. He LOVES to laugh and play. He is FEARLESS (which really isn't a great combination with his low blood platelets!). He adores his BaBa (daddy) and asks constantly for his brothers when they are not here. His favorite food is hard boiled eggs and he always reminds me to put salt and pepper on them. He loves to sing and some of his favorite songs are "Jesus Loves Me," "Deep and Wide" and "You Are My Sunshine." He is very very aware of everything that is going on around him and it is impossible to sneak anything by him! He is VERY strong-willed and when he says NO, he is very very sure about it. He loves to be loved and it breaks his heart if we are displeased with him. He is my sweet (most of the time) little boy, and I love him with all of my heart.
My baby girl, Meili, is my joy. She lifts my heart. She is a Mama's girl and won't go willing from my arms very often. I can't stand to be away from her any more than she can stand to be away from me. She melts me with her smile, and I adore the way her eyes look like little crescent moons when she laughs. She has come so far in the time we have had her. She has gained SIX pounds and gone from only sitting up to now walking (video) across the room. She has also picked up many English words. She is terrified of our dog and says, when she sees him, "Bolt, GET" with her little finger pointing him away. She loves music, and her favorite song right now is "Deep and Wide." As soon as we start singing it, she starts waving her arms around, doing the deep and wide motion and chimes in "IIIIDE" when we get to the word "wide." She is very very smart and imitates everything she sees (for better or worse!). She is the sweet gift I have had in my heart for so many years and is everything I prayed for and more.
So, I am thankful. For the good days and the bad days, the happy and the sad days (isn't that a song?), I am so very thankful. I am thankful to my Lord for blessing me beyond all I could have hoped for. I am thankful that as unworthy as I am, He still blesses me. I am thankful for the amazing husband I have, who has such a gift of love and patience, who rarely gets ruffled, and who is always willing to stop what he is doing to care for others.
Although I pretty sure when I was younger, I probably never imagined my family looking exactly like it does, I am SO glad that God didn't let my small dreams get in the way of His amazing plans. He is worthy of our praise. He is worthy of all honor. He is worthy of our very lives. Praise His wonderful name for He has done great things!
This song, "Sovereign" by Chris Tomlin, speaks what is in my heart so perfectly. The Lord God Most High (El Elyon) is sovereign over every detail of our lives, and He is teaching me to trust Him, no matter the circumstances. (Click here to listen.)