Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Oh That You Would Bless Me Indeed...

"It looks like you're heading out on vacation," said the man to me while our families stopped at Wendy's for lunch at the same time. "No," I smiled. "You don't go on vacation with four small children--you go on TRIPS!" lol

stopping for lunch on the way to Arkansas
I'll admit, I had been bracing myself for this "trip" for quite some time. (Traveling with a nursing newborn=enough said!) I'm happy to say we all more than survived though and had a wonderful time in Arkansas. Here are some thoughts I wrote about during our trip at the end of June...

It was a full week of traveling for our "troupe de Toller." ;-) We left on a Thursday for my college suitemate's wedding...not that it really needs to be stated, but 4 children traveling 7 hours (that's not including necessary stops) is certainly no walk in the park! (Thankfully, we had a minivan;-)
Between breaking for lunch and dinner, nursing the baby, filling up the van, needing to pick up some last-minute items, and running into crazy roadwork-induced traffic (we were at a complete standstill for some time, which apparently led a fellow driver to take a nap while he was waiting--we passed by his non-moving truck and saw him snoozing!) we turned our 7 hour trip into a TWELVE HOUR journey! It was exhausting, but I have to say I always love extended time I get to spend with my hubby in the car.
DH and me at Lizzy's wedding
He laughs at all of my witty attempts and puts up with my desire to be the best back-seat driver that ever was, and we just get to spend lots of time talking to one another...in between the endless question from the kids of "are we there yet?" We would have arrived much sooner to our first destination, except that we discovered we had one headlight out. It was too late to go to the dealer or to an auto store, and Wal-Mart didn't carry the right sized bulb, so we weren't surprised to find blue flashing lights directly behind us when we tried to enter the highway. Thankfully, the officer was amused by our large display of Apple stickers on the back of our minivan, (there's one for each member of our family) and he was gracious in understanding we couldn't find the necessary bulb, so we got sent on our way. (We did find a bulb the following day.)

Our first stop was Heber Spings, Arkansas, where my college suitemate was getting married.
OBU classmates
I got to meet her sweet (now) husband and also got to catch up with former college classmates that I hadn't seen in almost 15 years. I'll admit that it's hard for me to revisit days from that part of my past. I often feel like a failure because I withdrew from school for a time so that I could regroup and figure out exactly what I needed to do with my life. The Lord would have a word for me regarding that on the second leg of our trip tho...

DH's parents
After the wedding, we headed for DH's parents' home where we led worship for a revival.
The birthday boy!
 The sermon that Sunday evening was on the Prayer of Jabez. I've always focused on the actual prayer in that passage, where Jabez petitions the Lord to bless him, enlarge his territory, and keep him from evil. I'd never noticed the part right before that though where we learn that Jabez's mother named him Jabez because he was "birthed in pain." And while the world might have looked at him and called him by that name, the Lord did not. In 1 Chronicles, we read that the Lord granted Jabez's request. It's so hard not to become consumed by how the world views us, but MY prayer is that my gaze would be so fixed upon God that I will see myself through His eyes.

The revival wasn't the only thing going on that Sunday, June 26th--it was also Gabriel's 4th birthday!

friends from our adoption agency
Paw Patrol bracelets he wears every.single.day!
And I found that the Prayer of Jabez had me reflecting upon these last four years with my precious baby boy. Jabez asked God to enlarge his territory, and I truly believe that God has done that to our lives through our son. We have people in our lives that wouldn't be there were it not for him--friends we met through our adoption agency, and of course, Gabriel's amazing birth mom--and we also have been given a heart for adoption and those who hope to adopt. God has given us a different outlook on certain things, especially infertility and showing grace to others when they're walking through valleys, and the best part is He's grown our family in a way that we never could have done on our own. God has truly "blessed us indeed and enlarged our territory." This precious, amazing, long-awaited son that we have been given is truly the greatest gift I have ever been given.
The Lord continually uses him to teach me of His great love and might, and He also uses Gabriel to bring a sweetness and joy to our lives. I love the way he and his sisters love on each other, the excitement he shows over even the smallest things, and his snuugles--ohmygoodness does he give the best snuggles! :)

Gabriel: I pray you never question the great blessing that you are to me and how loved and wanted you truly are by so very many...

1 comment:

  1. My four year old has those same Paw Patrol bracelets. :)