On to the good stuff:
Besides getting my mom settled and trying to visit as often as we can, we have had the joy of our friends' first baby. We were able to spend some time with them at the hospital in the beginning hours of their labor, and I attempted to run up to the hospital to see the baby at least once before they came home, but never made it. I have seen pictures though, and he is beautiful!
This past week we celebrated Tyler's second "Gotcha Day" anniversary-his parents carried him out of an orphanage in Russia and into the hearts of a huge family who has been loving him ever since.
Along with some other family members, I helped throw a 50th birthday party for one of my sisters-in-law. Mary is always doing things for others, helping others, she is so generous...I hope this helped her see how much she is loved.
Yesterday, several families went to hear our friend preach for the first time at his new church. He and his family have been in Illinois for the past couple of years. They will now be about 2 hours away and we will be able to see them as 0ften as we want. The people at their new church seem so warm and welcoming. They just had such a joy about them. Not only will my friends be closer, but it is awesome to know they will be at a place where they are genuinely loved. We were also celebrating his son's 13th birthday. (At 13, each child in our group of friends receives a special gift-a watch or jewelry-this has become a sort of rite of passage to the kids.)
When we pulled into the drive last night after our long day, my daughter spotted a young morning dove on the porch railing. We weren't sure if it was hurt, but we decided to leave it overnight. With all the emotions and the hectic pace we have maintained over the past couple weeks, we are a bit tender right now. The last thing I wanted was to have to deal with finding this poor creature dead in the morning. So I prayed one of those prayers...."Lord, You said that You know every sparrow that falls. Please take care of this little bird...because I need it. I need to know that You are aware that I am overwhelmed and tired and weary and dry. You taking care of this baby bird will help my faith...even though I have no right to ask, seeing all the things You have done for me...rescuing me and providing for me, ...even though You are sovereign and in Your perfect and just holiness have the right to determine the life of this baby bird and mine, outside of my whims and wishes and weakness....if You could...."
I checked on the bird in the dark hours of the early morning. I didn't know what condition it was in, but it was still sitting on the railing where we left it last night. I went about getting ready for the day. It was an hour later when I heard the distinct call of the parents. It was firm and loud and steady. And I heard God's voice calling to me. It was firm and loud and steady..."I am here. I have heard you. Do not fear."
As I left for work, the parents were next to the baby, caring for it. My daughter called me later to update me. The baby was now in the landscape rocks. She thought we should name it. Without hesitation I said, "Faith, we should name it Faith!"
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. Matthew 10:29