Monday, May 23, 2016

Family Day 2016!

This was us 2 years ago.

And this is us today.

When I look at this current picture, I see love, joy, God's faithfulness, lessons learned (yes, more wrinkles and less hair for some. Ugh, hum!!), and wisdom gained.  No, I suppose it has not been all smiles.  Yes there has been growing pains and adjustments but boy oh boy, the joys FAR outweigh the pains.  The Lord is so very good to us!

Today is a day of celebration!  Much like we celebrate our day of birth; today we celebrate the uniting of our family as five.  It's Family Day 2016!!! We are joyful to be celebrating this day together!  Our two years as a family of five have gone so fast and yet it seems that it has always been the five of us.  

All day my mind has been reminiscing about this special day that my family was reunited two years ago.  The past several days I have recounted this week in my mind: the travel, the anticipation, the concerns, the excitement, the steps our feet took in Hong Kong that ultimately led us to our son, the emotional reunion (read more here),  the fear, the love, the joy, the new beginnings, the awful travel home (the nitty gritty travel details), and the beautiful reunion.  My mind has relived the moments, the memories that led up to our family's gathering at a small east Tennessee airport.  Today is about remembering and celebrating how God can create a family from two opposite sides of the world through His amazing love.

You see no matter how a family is formed, it is special.  Each June, I remember the anticipation and excitement leading up to our oldest son's birth.  Each May, I share the memories and crazy details that brought our daughter into the world (an exciting story to say the least! this story really needs its own blog post!) and each May 23rd, we celebrate our youngest son's union into our family.  Though his birthday is in July and we love to celebrate his day of birth, we do not have the memories leading up to that day or know the anticipation of his arrival but we do know that May 23rd, 2014, the Lord blessed us again in such a great and mighty way that only His hand could.

 His hand led us to our son in a clear and direct manner.  His hand held ours as we awaited our son's arrival home (and it felt like forever!).  His Hand provided for our every need: financially, spiritually, emotionally. His hand brought us to a family of believers to worship with and encourage one another (on the other side of the world).  His hand provided safety during travel.  His hand comforted our family while we were separated.  His hand united us, though strangers.  His hand carried us through rough, challenging days of misunderstanding.  His hand brought us trustworthy, caring health care providers to assist in meeting Brody's needs.  His hand shapes us to be parents to meet our children's needs.  His hand continues to guide and direct us.....if only we choose to follow.  I love the tender image in my mind when I read from Isaiah 41,

The Creator of all the Earth is holding my hand!  And yes, most days He is holding me UP with His right hand.  What a "great love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God!" I John 3:1 This love is too great to contain!  Share it.  Live it.  Maybe your opportunity to live out His love is through a warm smile to a lonely stranger, through an encouraging note sent to a struggling friend, through a meal provided to someone in need, through sharing your story of faith with one who's lost, through sacrificing a worldly comfort to support a Compassion child, through loving the difficult to love.  Whatever small next step you need to take, step out.  Follow His hand and love others well.  The rewards, though unplanned, are great. 

Happy Family Day Hurleys! Love each other well.

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