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Counting Joy

It's been a hard week. We've been watching some dear loved ones go through trials that we don't have any control over. I wish there wasn't brokenness in the world. And I wish that joy and peace could be constant companions. But sometimes seeing those 'constant companions' in the darkness is a battle. And maybe that's ok - the battling, I mean. Maybe if it were easy then we would take them for granted - or not see those gifts all. These 5 loves were such a gift to come home to yesterday. I got to walk out of a hospital room full of questions ...and hold these babies, (Who aren't babies any more). We celebrated Evangeline's birthday last night. I was so tired after driving 6 hours to get home from that hospital visit...but joy. Joy was waiting when I walked wearily through the door. Bouncing and giddy for celebration. Expectant, ever-ready joy.

And though darkness has also come and gone from our personal lives, I still got to kiss my Indian princess and remember that 8 years ago yesterday I held and kissed her for the very first time on the other side of the world. Oh, the days of darkness before that - for her little broken heart (I just can't fathom it). And oh the days of darkness in between, when grief and longing rear their heads in our souls. But here she is in my arms now...healing heart and hope-filled. Sweet, hopeful joy.

And that tall fellow on the left. He has music in his soul. His old, wisdom-filled soul. He plays the piano with his whole heart and it fills our home with song, day in and day out. So that I am always singing. Singing in sunshine and singing in rain. Singing in echo of the joy that was placed in his heart by his Creator. Tender, song-filled joy.

And that beauty in the middle, who's arms gather them all. Like a second mother. She has been my steady companion through it all. A gift of friendship that is still blooming just as she is blooming into womanhood and a strength all her own. Beautiful, strength-filled joy.

And the squishy little fellow on the right. Our surprise in the middle of a long and uncertain adoption journey. My calming dose of sleeping and snuggling infant during difficult days. And my always ready cuddler. A gift of hugs and kisses whenever things are hard. Present, comforting joy.

It is always a good exercise to count your gifts. To thank the Giver. But maybe you are a weary soul who is battling for any glimpse of joy today, feeling like the darkness is surrounding and there are no gifts to be seen. I have been there too, friend. And I have found that the hope-Giver is constant, whether the visibility of His gifts remain constant or not. Sometimes in this broken world we will wander blind and grasping. Sometimes darkness will seem to win. But it didn't. No matter what darkness feels present to you, there was a King who entered it, who battled it on your behalf, so that you might have expectant, ever-ready, sweet, hopeful, tender, song-filled, present and comforting joy. All of these were His gifts to begin with. <3


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