Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Legacy

It's been almost a month since my dad passed away.

I've had so many thoughts swirling in my head since I received the phone call from my mom telling me that my dad had been out watering flowers at my aunt's house. His foot got tangled in the hose and he fell.

They were on the way to the ER.

A lot happened from the time that I got that call and when I laid my eyes on my dad lying in the ICU in a deep, deep sleep from which he would never wake due to the Traumatic Brain Injury he had suffered.

We had one final week.

7 days.

For that, I am thankful.

We each had time to say what was on our hearts and assure him that we would be okay if God was calling him HOME.

..........................

But, there are a few things that I cannot get out of my head and really wanted to put them on paper in hopes that I can take what I have learned and move on.

Speaking of moving on...

I've heard this many times how after a loved one passes away that the rest of the world around you just goes back to normal.  And, you feel left. Left in grief. Left in sorrow. And yet, you, too, must move on. Just in your own time. Your own way.

But, to get to the meaning of this post...

God has taught me many things over the past month.

I want to highlight just a few things that God has laid on my heart lately.


WORK DILIGENTLY

Among the many things that my dad was known for, being a hard worker was close to the top of the list.

Growing up, I remember him working...a lot.

Sometimes 2-3 jobs at any given time.

At times, I didn't really understand.

But, as I grew, I began to understand.

You see, my dad did not have much growing up.

Times were hard.

We heard many stories of how hard it was for him and his many siblings.

He wanted more opportunities for his own family.

I imagine he dreamed of that goal as he worked though college, something that was not the norm for his family.

It was his honor to send both me and my brother to great schools and then on to college.


It's funny, my dad would often comment to my friends..."I just don't know how Rebecca does it all. Husband, 6 Kids, Work, Volunteer Things, etc.

Well, Dad - I learned from the master of hard work and that leads me into my next point.



LOVE WHAT YOU DO AND WHY YOU DO IT


It did not matter if it was patrolling the Natchez Trace Parkway, teaching a Jr. High Science Class, directing traffic in a parking lot, taking up tickets at a ballgame...

You better bet if my dad was doing it, he loved it and gave it his all.

It didn't matter how small or menial the assignment was, he did it with all of his heart.

Y'all, if you could see the precise planning papers of various tasks throughout the years....

His attention to detail was impeccable.

I'm pretty sure this is where my OCD tendencies were born.

For example, there is only one right way to fold a towel.

No exceptions.

Nope, not even one.

And, they have to go into the cabinet a certain way as well.

And, don't even get me started on the dishwasher.

Let's just say, that's my job at my house and I am completely okay with that. :)

I digress....

Back to the point.


This verse comes to mind in covering the past two concepts.

Whatever you do, work at it with all you heart,  as working for the Lord, not for man.
Colossians 3:23

You see, I believe when you are in God's will and doing the work He set out for you, whatever that may be, it is with pure joy that you give it your all. After all, it is that very work that He has led you to in the first place. He alone can provide the strength needed to complete the tasks set before you.

Lastly, and this one seems so cliché.


LIFE IS SHORT.

But, it is.

My dad was fortunate to live 82 years on this earth doing exactly what he loved every day.

I know many are not blessed to even make it to their 82nd year.

But, this simple reflection has conjured up all sorts of emotions for me.

I am a dreamer.

Okay, if you could hear my husband's laugh as he would read that statement....

Well, he says I live in A Rainbow World. You know, all rainbows and unicorns.

Hence, the name of this blog. :)

I have big dreams, y'all.

Why not?

I have actually personally witnessed several dreams, that seemed insurmountable, actually come to fruition.

Isn't that what our Heavenly Father wants from us?

Why do small things that we can tackle on our own?

Dream Big

Dream without limitations


If God  is leading you in a certain direction, follow.


Is God calling you to do something that just seems too big?




My favorite song right now is Hillsong's Oceans.

This song is my personal anthem right now...


You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where my feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me
Take me deeper that my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am yours and You are mine



May I live so that my trust is without borders.

Spirit, lead.

I am Yours and You are mine.


........................................................




Thank you, Dad, for all that you taught me and so many others!

I have no doubt that you heard the following words when you entered heaven's gates -"Well done, good and faithful servant."
















 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Our Super Star


Sam David has the incredible opportunity to play for our state's only wheelchair basketball team.

This is only the 2nd year for our team's existence. Therefore, we are very limited with resources.

Last season, our team only had access to used, borrowed sports chairs to use during practice and games.

There was not a single one of those sports chairs that came even close to being small enough for our SD.

So, Sam David just used his personal day chair which came with challenges. But, even flipping over a few times on the court didn't slow our tough guy down.

But, a few weeks ago, we got a message from Sam David's coach that we might be able to borrow a small sports chair from another team in a neighboring state. 

Wow! What a blessing!

So, at our practice this past Saturday, Sam David got to try out the borrowed sports chair for the first time.


Y'all, it was a perfect fit!

I don't think he stopped smiling for the entire practice!


Once again, we have been blessed beyond measure!

We cannot wait to cheer on our Sam David and the Wheelcats this upcoming season!


Monday, July 21, 2014

Sometimes... I forget

I know this may sound crazy.

But, sometimes I forget that my three youngest kiddos are adopted.

I forget that they haven't always been a member of our family.

I even forget that they are Chinese.

Crazy, huh?

But, it's true!

Then, I run across a picture like this.




Mike and I just returned home from a meeting about readoption.

This is something that needs to be done with internationally adopted children so they can obtain a birth certificate from the state you live in. It's not absolutely necessary, but tends to make life easier in the future.

We have already done this for Maylee, but we need to now go through the process for Sam David and Emma Claire.

So, when we got home from the meeting, I immediately went to their adoption file folders to locate the needed documents so that we could get the ball rolling.

That's when I ran across that precious picture. It's the youngest picture we have of our Sam David. A real treasure!

My eyes immediately welled up with tears.

I ached for that time he spent without a mommy and daddy to snuggle, to tuck him in at night, to kiss the boo boos.

Sigh.

The truth is..I forget.

But, it doesn't take much to bring me to my knees.

Oh, how thankful we are that God led us to Sam David.

I would do anything to have been with him for the first 2.5 years of his life.

But, that was not God's plan.

Our Heavenly Father is in the business of making beauty from ashes.

We serve a Mighty God!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Milestone ~ Happy Gotcha Day, Sam David!

Four years, y'all...

I cannot believe that it has been four years since our Sam David was placed in our arms.

What a crazy time it was four years ago.

Maylee was fighting a terrible bone infection and had spent the entire summer in the hospital.

In fact, when Mike and I left for China, Maylee was still in the hospital. Talk about stressful!

But, with Maylee in the care of grandparents, her doting siblings and a wonderful nursing staff at UMC, we boarded a plane to travel to China for our precious boy.

As with any adoption, there were a lot of unknowns.

Like Maylee, Sam David has spina bifida. But, unlike Maylee, he had never received any surgery for his spina bifida and he also had uncorrected bilateral clubfoot.

But, we were prepared. Expect the worst, but hope for the best. That was our motto!

We finally arrived to our hotel and walked in to see a crib!

Things were getting real!


Needless to say, we did not sleep much the first night we were there.

But, nonetheless, the next day finally arrived and we loaded up with the rest of our travel group to meet our new children face to face.


We anxiously waited in the Civil Affairs office in Guangzhou with a room full of anxious parents.

Finally, our time had arrived.

In comes our precious, tiny Sam David carried in the arms of a Chinese lady.

He was wearing a short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt and a diaper.

That was it.

He was handed over to me...

No, actually, I had to pry him out of the lady's arms.

I won't lie.

It was not pretty.

He screamed!

He cried!

We tried everything... juice..nope....snacks...nope....cuddles...nope

Time...he just needed time. Time for everything to sink in.

By the end of the day, he was starting to realize that we might be okay.

But, still, there was a sense of loss in his eyes.

His lip....he sucked on his bottom lip for comfort.



But, after a few days Sam David started to not only accept our love and affection, but also share some with us in return.

We had the incredible opportunity to visit the foster home where Sam David had lived most of the first two and a half years of his life.




We will forever be grateful for the House of Grace and the love that Ms. Sandra and the precious nannies had for our boy!

It was such a blessing to spend time there with the precious kids in their care.

God planted a seed there in our hearts.

God has been watering, weeding and cultivating that seed over the past several years and we cannot wait to see what fruit will produce from that visit four years ago.




So, so much has happened over the last four years.

Sam David had a major spinal surgery to detether his spinal cord and then we started the process of serial castings to repair his bilateral clubfoot.







Our brave boy has come so far and we are so very proud of him!


It didn't take long for our sweet boy to start showing his incredible personality!


Sam David continues to amaze us!


Sam David LOVES...

playing Wheelchair Basketball for the MS Wheelcats

playing Challenger League baseball

participating in 5K races with his friends, Mrs. Kim and Ms. Terry

playing outside with his siblings and neighborhood friends

building with legos

his "squishy" pillow

singing

ice cream

his mommy! :)



We could not be any more proud of our super special boy!




And, now I will leave with some recent pics of our precious boy!











Happy 4th Gotcha Day, Sam David!


We love you!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Year of the Horse

We all had a great time last weekend as we celebrated Chinese New Year.
















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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Let it snow!

We all enjoyed a real treat today!

It is so rare to see any snow in the Deep South.

So, when we do, it gets pretty crazy!

Schools close, cars slide all over the roads and kids go wild playing in the rare white stuff falling from the sky.

Since we homeschool, I had told the kids last night that if the local school district closed today, then we would too.

Imagine their delight when they rubbed their sleepy eyes to take a peek out of the window.

SNOW!

So, snow day it was!







































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Monday, January 27, 2014

Go Wheelcats!

This past Saturday was incredible!

Sam David recently joined our state's only youth wheelchair basketball team.

His team is composed of boys ages 4-18.



Watching the two teams work so hard and play with such effort was quite a sight to see!

The game was a nail biter that kept us on the edge of our seats.

Our hard working team ended up coming just a bit short, but only after going into double overtime!!!







Just look at that smile!


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