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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Reality check

Well, since I just wrote about how thankful I am for soccer, I think that leads right into this post about doing a current reality check. It also fits right in with decluttering, taking things out that I just don't have room for.

I read an article yesterday about a couple moving out of a 2100 square foot apartment into a 100 square foot bus that they've remodeled into a tiny home. Their goal is to get free from the burden of stuff in order to live an adventurous life. Though they're excited, the process of letting their stuff go was actually quite painful. The hardest things to let go are the sentimental ones.

So, here's my current reality for this upcoming semester. It is Juan's last semester of high school.Let me say that again because I don't think it's really sinking in yet, for him or for me. This is Juan's last semester of high school.


But, God? It feels like he just got here!

And this is what the calendar already looks like just for January with the non-negotiables. Nothing extra added. Soccer games at 4:30 and 7:30 every single Tuesday and Friday throughout the season (which goes till March). Tournaments in the beginning of January. Orthodontist appointments. School trainings.

With it being David's first season and Juan's last, I don't want to miss any of those games except for the ones that are a bit further away. (Thankfully my teacher badge gets me in for free!)

In order to do that, I need to prepare ahead. First, I bought extra underclothes to brave the cold. I'm going to have to pack my car with extra blankets, hats, gloves, and maybe hand-warmers. Second, I have to make sure I don't add any extra evening activities that will end up wearing me out. With games on Tuesdays and Fridays, I've got to leave Wednesday and Thursday nights free. Which takes out weekly women's Bible studies. :( Learning to say no to extra work things is easy for me--I just tell myself there will be other seasons of life when I can be more available. Learning to say no to ministries I am passionate about--that's hard.

But I know myself pretty well, and I will stretch myself way too thin and end up resenting all of it--the Bible studies, the soccer games, even my job. Then my students and my family will pay for it.

I feel like God is telling me to embrace more times of quiet and solitude over this coming semester, to find ways to minister to others in a way that also recharges my own batteries. I feel like He's telling me to back out of extra social activities (that drain me, anyway) so I don't miss the small opportunities that might pass right by me without my even noticing.

As I read through The Best Yes recently, I got two main points. Take out the clutter (say no to the things that either don't fit anymore or just get in the way of our purpose) and say yes to those few things that God is truly calling you to in this season.

For me, I know I need to say yes to being physically, mentally, and emotionally available to my son in his last semester of high school so I don't miss out on any last opportunities to make a difference in his life before he hopefully goes to college next Fall. I know I also need to say yes to embracing quieter moments in my life to recharge and keep myself healthy, to quieter ways to minister to others from the comfort of my own home. I need to say yes to finding and making time to write because writing is my outlet. When I write, I process my world. When I don't, I start to go crazy. I also need to say yes to time with my husband so we maintain a healthy relationship and stay on the same page regarding our sons. When we all start running in different directions, it's easy to lose any and all sense of communication, and then we're a mess.

I gleaned so much wisdom out of The Best Yes study, but this is the quote that resonated with me the most, one that I need to put up on my wall and remember on a daily basis. Maybe it will speak to you, as well.

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