Sunday, March 25, 2012

All About Me

So this weekend, I turned 35. Can you believe it? I can't, but in honor of this blessed occasion (cough, cough), I thought I would post 35 things about me. Well, at least I hope I can come up with 35.

1) I know two stories about my birth. First, my parents really want to have me and
2) My Dad fainted in the room before I was born.
3) Samantha means "listener."
4) I was born in Arizona.
5) When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a newspaper editor, to earn my PhD, and win a Pulitzer for best novel. (Ha!)
6) I am a better athlete now than I was in high school (or at least I don't care as much as I did then and slow is better than nothing!).
7) Yep, I color the gray hairs on the top of my head.
8) My life passage is Psalm 139. I read it and cling to it in good times and bad times.
9) I met the man I married when I was 16 years old on a mission trip in Ensenada, Mexico.
10) I was 18 when I knew I was going to marry him (it took a little bit longer to convince him!)
11) I am not a good housekeeper.
12) I always knew I wanted to get married, I didn't want to be a mother.
13) I love to jump on the trampoline (don't tell my kids!)
14) 9 times out of 10 I will choose a bike ride to a run.
15) I am an avid reader.
16) I fancy myself a writer.
17) I am actually about 15,000 words into a novel.
18) I may have grown up in Utah, but I was never a Mormon. (by the way, as long as I can remember, there have been paved roads and running water in Utah)
19) I am an introvert, barely.
20) I love to create: whether by sewing, writing, making, cooking. I take great joy in the process of creating.
21) One of my favorite things about God is that he is a Great Creator.
22) My favorite name of God is El Roi, the God who sees, because he always knows me and my struggles, even when I can't give voice to them.
23) The greatest compliment I ever received was when, as a high schooler, my Dad told me that I reminded him of his sister, my Aunt Kathy, who died much to early at 36 of breast cancer.
24) I despise laundry.
25) I am exceedingly proud of the fact that I completed a marathon. In 5 hours, 12 minutes, and 20 seconds, but who is counting?
26) Sometimes, I am irrationally anxious.
27) Over the years, I have really learned to enjoy a good glass of wine. It makes a night complete or it redeems an otherwise bad day.
28) I am thankful beyond measure for the life that I get to lead.
29) I am really awkward at meeting new people and shy in those kinds of situations.
30) I really, really, really like thinking about, creating, and eating fantastic food. However, you might not think it's so fantastic because some of it's kinda weird.
31) I have worked very hard in the past two years to regain good health in my body. Consequently, I will probably be gluten free for the rest of my life.
32) Three of the greatest things I have ever had a hand in creating are my children: Josh, Katie, and Olivia.
33) Two more blessings are waiting for me. And I am waiting for them.
34) I do not deserve the love and companionship I receive from Eric. He is truly a gift to me.
35) I am a Daughter of God, my King, I have been redeemed from my sin by the death of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am constantly being molded more into likeness of God by the Holy Spirit. This is who I am.

Now that I am at the end, I've thought of more to tell you, but I'm out of numbers. I guess you'll just have to wait until next year when I give you 36!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Weight of Waiting

I'm sure that sometime in my almost 35 years of living, I gave a pithy remark to someone who was waiting for something. Maybe they were waiting to find out the result of a medical test or waiting for the announcement of a child for their family or waiting for a loved one to come home. And I said something well-meaning like, " Oh, don't worry, it'll happen soon enough," or thinking "why are you worried, it'll all work out as God planned."

If ever I uttered or thought those words in your general direction, I sincerely apologize.

While I believe firmly in Christ's admonition not to worry, that God has all our yesterdays, todays and tomorrows firmly in his grasp, and I try to live within that, I had yet to experience the weight of waiting.

And it feels like I am walking through waist-deep water wearing a lead-lined cloak. It is hard, it is heavy, and there is little relief.

There is so much waiting going on in our family right now. Two big ones, in fact. One is the exciting and family changing news that E got a new job. We have been blessed with his past 12 years at Gift of Life. That job has shaped how we view the world, how we live, and how we shape our family. Many, many wonderful decisions and relationships have been made as a result of this job. E has done phenomenal work. He has touched families in their darkest moments and brought them the slightest glimmer of hope in the dark of grief. I am more proud of him than I can adequately use words to describe. But this work is hard on a family. At an age where kids understand that "Daddy can't come because he has to work," even if it is noble work, it is difficult.

So God put into our laps, at a time when we weren't really looking, a job that is near to our home (within bicycle distance), with regular hours (how does 8-4:30, M-Fri sound to you--to me it sounds FABULOUS!), with much less call time, and is a perfect fit for E's skills! You know what that sounds like? God's infinite and loving provision for our family.

But now, we are waiting. Waiting for time at GoL to come to a close, waiting for a new job to start. Waiting.

And I think that this waiting would be bearable if our other waiting wasn't so heavy. Our lead-lined cloak is two beautiful, precious kids whose parents can no longer care for them due to AIDS, poverty, or both. And we have no idea what their faces look like, when we might even possible know what their names are, or when they come home to us. This is the waiting that is heavy.

These past weeks that cloak has been heavy on our shoulders. We have seen the beautiful faces of abandoned children waiting for a home. We have heard the statistics again. In a country of 1.9 million there are 359,000 orphans. We have been reminded that truly following Christ is to "care for the least of these."

Although our cloak is heavy, I take comfort in the fact that my current family is beautiful. I am so proud of the glimpses of God that I see in my kids that it makes me cry. I overheard the girls singing "Jesus Loves Me" as they put their dolls to sleep. I am infinitely proud of the growth I see in their anger management, their accountability, their love of God. Everyday they bring me joy. In this time of waiting, my marriage relationship has changed in ways that I never imagined possible. God is using our waiting to show us what a great gift we already have. And to teach us many things at a time when we are open to learn.

But still the waiting weighs heavy on us, and we are anxious to end our waiting time. If I was totally honest with you, I would admit that this is the first doubt I have felt in my life. Not that God isn't good or that He doesn't have a wonderful plan for my life, but that this just is not going to happen.

So I balance the joy and the mundane of my days with the weight of my cloak. Don't worry about me, because I'm not worried. But if you don't mind a prayer on our behalf, it would be greatly appreciated!