Friday, July 29, 2011

When Grace is Six-Foot-Four with a Tongue Ring

The week has wound its way down. Is it really Friday night, or is someone messing with my head? All I know is that it was Sunday and I was stuck in the terminal at O'Hare for about seven hours and now the house is still, the sun's low, and I feel like I blinked just twice.

There's a new groove being cut into my soul and it looks like teenagers and it feels like bone-deep exhaustion, the kind where you miss night altogether, you fall into bed and it's already tomorrow and you're just so happy to be there, to slide into nothing for a while, but instead, your eyes burn up at a black ceiling and you don't know what else to do, so you pray.


Calvin, Haven, Ruby, Silas

And with every day that closes, the going seems more inevitable. And with every stretch of sun across a streaked July sky, the staying seems more soul-settling than it did before.


Ruby, Robert, Silas, Calvin, Fernando

My life, it's growing wilder all the time. I can feel the selfishness peel away, but trust me, I've still got plenty in my grip. I can feel the low-boil of love for kids who might not know how to love me back, but it's all good, because I've had practice.

Sometimes things seem to make a bit of sense, I could swear I hear the pieces fitting tight against each other. But not all the time. I'm the girl who works a reason like a days-long sudoku. I'm scribbling and erasing just to do it all again. In the end, even if my reasons fit neatly into the little boxes, I'm sure they won't add up. And what I'm learning, amidst the boy giggles and the girl cries and the grown-up appetites and the piles of laundry is that it's best to just hand it on over and live while I wonder. Because none of this is up to me and all of it - all of it - is a gift.

31 comments:

  1. You swoon me with your melody.

    To read you is one thing, to know you is another.

    I love the depths of your heart and the risks that it takes.

    I hope one day those rascals will look back and see just where they were and what they had with you sitting on the bench beside them cheering their lives along.

    You truly are a gift.

    You make me want to be more.

    xxoo

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  2. If that is H. Please tell her she is beautiful! Before you tell her to get back to work! ;)

    What a life you lead dear One!

    Rebecca

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  3. Can you say more? You know...the details?

    Does this mean you're adopting teenagers now? (Am I really far out in left field to wonder that? I really don't mean to be so clueless....)

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  4. my selfishness is peeling, too. it hurts.
    i love this post. so thankful for the encouragement i ALWAYS find here.

    fun fact: once upon a time, my tongue was pierced.

    i love you, happy friday!
    xo

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  5. Haven you are GORGEOUS! And I'm GLAD ya' know it! :)

    Rebecca

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  6. It seems you've got an adventure here. Not in the amusement park sort of way, but in the conquering the great unknown sort of way. What a time its going to be. Godspeed!

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  7. This post makes me want to cry.

    Love it.

    I love how you've opened up your life and how you're so very real and living, rather than just talking about what you want to do in the future, etc.

    Haven, Robert, Fernando..I honestly think they're so lucky to know you.

    You rock, girl.

    xoxo~

    TT

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  8. The Holy Spirit and You stir something in me. I hope it continues and I can oooooze it all over the teens that will walk into my classroom in only three short weeks.

    Thank you.

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  9. You make me want to be more too, and AMEN to gifts!

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  10. I love teenagers.
    I love your kids.
    I love Jesus : )
    Thank you for reminding me of all three of those things I love tonight.

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  11. You have an amazing gift with words,I am so grateful that I found you!thank you for being you and loving like you do.

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  12. You encourage me to become more of what God is calling me to be. These words of your life are like iron sharpening me. Blessings.

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  13. Your words are an amazing gift and encouragement. I always look forward to what is next.

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  14. my favorite part: "grown-up appetites".
    uh-huh. that is my world:)
    say good-bye to the $60 grocery bill!

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  15. It's the living of it that counts. Yes.

    I've got one who is 6'5" - no tongue ring, but a headful of unruly black curls.

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  16. You've got your head on straight girl. Are all those peeps staying at your place???

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  17. For the past 6 weeks there's been a soon-to-be 13 yr. old Haitian boy under my roof and growing more and more deeply embedded in my heart, in large part because of these words you wrote: Do not let fear and indecision hold you back. Match the courage of that precious boy or girl. Find their faith and hope and meet them there. My DH and I wrestled with this situation for 2 months and even said absolutely NOT at one point. But always your words echoed in my heart and soul and eventually we knew G. was meant to take his place among our family. What a gift he has been to us! Thank you for challenging all of us. Your words and example are impacting lives.

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  18. I've told you before how these big kids, the ones who need a mama's love and a place to put down roots, how they have a special grip on my heart. One day our home will be the place they can call home too. Until that day comes, I'm here cheering you on! You're investing in eternity here, my friend!

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  19. You are an inspiration, I love your writing/blog. God Bless you and your growing family!

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  20. Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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  21. Sister friend...."live while I wonder"...that is IT!!! My mind is a rat race most days, often going places I didn't ask it to go. It can be paralyzing. It just won't slow enough to let there be peace sometimes. I am always wondering about the future, the past, the now. I shall LIVE while I wonder...thanks.

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  22. This is so lovely, and I feel lucky to have stumbled on your blog tonight. Amazing writing. But, seriously, your second paragraph is amazing.

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  23. love your heart for God and for others...
    love that you aren't afraid of walking a littler farther out on the limb to take these into your lives....

    will these three be with you full time or just for a season?

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  24. Teenagers are such a unique, incredible group, aren't they?! My Preacher Man hubs has a big heart for teens, too. So often they are misunderstood or unappreciated, but oh how they crave love and attention and praise. Reaching out to them can be tiring and trying, but the rewards and learning are gifts for all to unwrap.

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  25. I love it. I am right there with you sister friend!

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  26. Your obedient heart is so beautiful, Shannan! I love your wild life! You bless so many and in doing so you are pleasing the One who gifted you with your amazing writing abilities.
    xo

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  27. I love how your heart swells and swells! Give give give!
    -heather

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  28. I've just been catching up on three weeks of your posts and loving every single one of them. Loving your honesty, your commitment to life and to God, and your unabashed humor. I adore your trip to Chicago, your appreciation and joy for your kids, and your willingness to open your heart and your resources to others who are so desperate yet so afraid to let love in. It's been a trying few weeks in my life (yet not really in comparison to the life of many across this nation and this world) and your words continue to resonate deep into my soul. Sometimes your words feel like an expression of my own thoughts and soul....and it's always a fulfilling feeling to know that others of similar makes, models, and with a heart for God's people exist in this world.

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