Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tonight



I walked in to my living room tonight to see this (well, minus me, because that would just be spooky) and I thought, "How did my life become this?"

I smiled on the outside. I smiled even bigger on the inside, then I walked back into the carpeted kitchen cave to saute the sprouts.

Everyone tasted one bite of sprouts. Robert said, "These brussels sprouts are terrible." But at least they tasted them. I didn't even have to twist arms.

We played two rounds of a game that turned into four and I force-fed Christmas candy. We're a family, here. The big kids, they've got a hold of my heart. I don't know how it happened, exactly. We had more life issues around that table than you could pile into a VW bus. Cory and I didn't solve anyone's problems over the past year. (There's evidence that we've somehow managed to do the opposite.) But it was never about that. We weren't out to change the world. We just kept the door open and they walked in. And then we didn't want them to leave.

So if you're thinking that something seems too crazy, if you're thinking it's just not you, if you're thinking "But I'm an introvert!" or you're thinking that you don't have the time/money/patience/room, I'm asking you to reconsider.

The gift, it's for you.

40 comments:

  1. Amen my sister. And it's a gift to me. Just looking at that pic made me smile, and hanker for tough beans on a scribbled up couch.

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  2. sometimes when i think of changing the world i am overwhelmed, feel stuck; helpless. but really, all we have to do is show up. show up to this life and live with our hands open. you inspire me like so much.

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  3. The most beautiful picture you have ever posted. Perfect exposure? Perfect light? Perfect metering? Not so much. Perfect love??????? Abundant. And honestly, what could be better than that? All sorts of perfect!

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  4. Outstanding! I am loving how God is using you and your family (all of them). Keep up the good work. Don't get discouraged you are a Blessing and a terrific role model to those around you. Thank You!

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  5. Beautiful family of God!
    Now the important stuff...what's up with that pillow? ;)

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  6. Shoot....I missed it. Should have said waz sup with dat pillow? ;)

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  7. What I thought of this entire post is JOY. There's so much joy squished there on that couch. Think of how much of it we miss when we don't reach out and snag the gift.

    Thanks for always sharing your heart.

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  8. Those gifts are pretty amazing, aren't they?! LOVE all those beautiful smiles!!

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  9. ain't that the truth. help someone else and end up helping yourself way more.

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  10. All I kept thinking is how wonderful it would be to sit next to someone on that couch. You have so much love to give, and you remind us daily of how much we can all give.

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  11. Gorgeous. Reading this makes me want to restart our adoption proceedings....

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  12. Welcome to the family of God in lil ol Indiana!! This is what Christmas is all about, minus the brussels sprouts.

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  13. Sheesh, I've been relying on that 'I'm an introvert' line for a long time now. Are you telling me it doesn't cover all unpleasant and boundary stretching situations?!

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  14. keeping your door open.
    then jesus carries our "but i"s right out of the way.
    amen.

    i love your living, friend. inspired and edified by you.
    xo sleep tight

    p.s. gorgeous family. duh.

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  15. It's true. I'm working on the same message as pertaining to the adult home we frequent.

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  16. Our Little OrphanageDecember 16, 2011 at 4:05 AM

    I am a new follower and must say I don't think I happened upon your site by accident. Since I was a young girl I always wanted an "orphanage". Fast forward many years God has blessed us with a home large enough to accommodate that dream. Here I have been saying "I want to do this and that" to our home but I can't because we don't have "this or that" to the degree that I had forgotten about the blessing we have been given. Yes money is so tight that it is hard to do anything but you have reminded me of the reason we are doing this and it isn't about the perfect floor, or the table I want that I can't have or anything else I pout about when here I sit knowing the family I am going to spend Christmas with and there a children out there that don't have a floor or a table and pray night after night for one thing.......a family to love them.

    It makes me sick to my stomach to think that I could possably have been using that as an excuse. No, I may not have the money right now to buy the big things we really need like a new roof, or central heat through the whole house yet, that is a requirement, or all the rooms fixed but I can stop putting off all the little things that I can do right now. Perhaps that is God has been waiting for me to realize. Thank you!! You have truly been a blessing to me. My hubby would probably thank you too if he weren't asleep lol. May God continue to bless you and your beautiful family. (my apologies for the long post and the parts where I was kinda thinking out loud)

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  17. You've got one of the biggest hearts this earth has been blessed with!!

    You amaze me with your simple open frank love for ALL that is in your life...I seem to learn something new about how wonderful people can be every time I pop in to see you here...

    Melissa {Miss Sew & So}.....xx

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  18. you do have a frank love for ALL!
    i love the fella hiding behind the pillow
    &
    that someone thought your heavenly brussels were nasty! hilarious

    merry chirstmas friend

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  19. that's a beautiful sight if ever i've seen one. love you clear up, dear girl.

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  20. The guy on the right, the expression on his face makes me think the photo was painful to him. :-)

    Brussel sprouts ARE nasty!

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  21. You have such a lovely and generous spirit Shannan. Those older kids are so cute!

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  22. This is the only thing I really miss about ministry. Being present with people who need you to be. I'm proud of you, Shannan...and inspired. :) And I bought brussel sprouts in your honor. But I haven't cooked them yet.

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  23. your couch looks like what it around our table every night for supper (yeah, i call it supper, does anyone else?) that smodge-podge supper table makes life very full...but very blessed as well. we don't always solve everyone's problems, but sometimes it helps put our problems into perspective. blessings to you and your smodge-podge couch guests!

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  24. I would really love to but my husbands heart isn't in it. Until it is, we keep our house with our four belly babies and three furbabies.

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  25. This should be titled "Portrait of Loveliness." I want this to be my life. We'll start with our 6-year-old and 8-year-old from Ethiopia. From there? Let the adventure begin!

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  26. Good words. Timely ones, too. We have someone staying at our house this weekend, and I confess my first reaction was very selfish when finding out this young woman needed a place to stay for a couple of days. Sigh.

    I claim to be a very hospitable person, but it's easier when it's on *my* terms and demands less time and energy.

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  27. So true, so true - God is stretching our hearts and opening our eyes wider - anything He is putting in our path these days, we are saying, yes. It isn't much yet, but I know it is only the beginning. The beginning of what, I'm not sure. And part of our openness is because of the encouragement I gain from your blog. Thank you!

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  28. SO Awesome! Totally agree.iam sitting in our little room at the orphanage that is our new home for the next year. Surrounded by little girls one is braiding my hair, one is massaging my neck, one is laying on my lap, and all the others are dancing their pants off to Just Dance on the Wii. They are laughing and squealing like they just won the lottery. Its like Little Orphan Anne in real life. I said to Heath just last night"Honey are you aware we have 4 Haitian kids"? I still can't believe all this. You are right the gift is ours and I am so thankful we were open to receive it. Blessings to you as you bless others.

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  29. So with you. In every way.

    (I adore you.)

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  30. Okay so this is awesome and I love your heart but the only thing I can think of to say is you have to go look up Kid History Episode 6 on YouTube. Hopefully you will laugh. A lot.

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  31. Love this! It's so nice to see someone (YOU) living what most people just talk about.

    Who rocks? YOU rock.

    I do wonder what your teen friends think of your creepy baby wreath?!

    Have a great weekend!

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  32. Jesus loves the little children...ALL the children of the world.....
    RED and YELLOW, BLACK and WHITE....they are precious in his sight.

    JESUS LOVES THE LITTLE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD.

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  33. oh it's so true, thank you for the reminder, my 1st instinct is always to say no, but when I force myself to say yes, I can't believe the gifts that He has for me
    xox

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  34. i realize you wrote this in 2011, but today in 2013 is the day i needed to read it. Megs blog lead me to your blog because i was drawn to your decorating style. then i saw you had a tab about adoption and sat here at my computer taking it all in. I came across a post with a bunch of links, and one of the links brought me here. The last words of this post are EXACTLY what i needed to hear. we have 4 biological children and are prayerfully considering adopting a brother and sister. 6 KIDS! all those fears your named are mine. We are scared. we are feeling selfish. we are asking for Gods clear direction and peace. thank you for sharing your story. You never know who its gonna reach and when.

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