Blessings and Books

Three of the Qualls clan on a sibling panel at Refresh.
Three of the Qualls clan on a sibling panel at Refresh.

For someone who has hardly left her home since Christmas (with the exception of physical therapy), I’ve been traveling more than I expected.

First, we went to Refresh, which was as wonderful as ever. Our family felt so loved. We hugged loads of people, had some tearful conversations, and Russ and I even had a little time alone. Put it on your calendars now, friends, February 26-27, 2016. There is nothing like being with over a thousand fellow adoptive and foster parents to encourage you in the journey.

Second, a dear friend scooped me up and took me on a getaway that was amazing. We talked so much that we actually finished some conversations – a new experience for us. Usually we’re grabbing time in small chunks, so this was a treat. I  was a little afraid that when I got away from the activity of home, the dam would burst and I would cry the entire time. There were some moments like that, but we also laughed, ate good food, and marveled at the beautiful earth God created. I was reminded that heaven must be glorious.

I got home late Monday night, and Tuesday morning I found myself on the sofa with Claire, arms around each other and tears running down our faces. We talked and cried; then she read Tear Soup to me, and we cried some more. I kept her home for the day and it was a precious time together.

I’m nearly done reading a missionary biography my friend, Darlene, gave me. Since opening the cover, it’s been difficult to put down. Hard lessons about suffering, being faithful, and finding joy in the midst of trials are just what I’m craving.  Evidence Not Seen is meeting the need of my heart in this season.

Do you have any faith-strengthening books to suggest? Biographies, missionary stories, and books of people who have overcome great trials or challenges are what I’m drawn to right now.

Yesterday morning I looked out my bedroom window to see a large pot of tulips that miraculously appeared in my backyard while I was away. Bright pink blooms, with oranges flowers still coming up; the colors of Kalkidan’s bedroom. It was a sweet surprise.

To everyone who has loved and given so much to us, thank you from the very depths of our hearts. I want so much to thank each of you individually, and hopefully I’ll do that one day, but for now, please accept our thanks. We feel your love.

Have a wonderful day, friends.

Lisa

This post may contain Amazon Affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

16 Comments

  1. Rachel Davis
    March 12, 2015

    You've probably already read it, but Corrie Ten Boom's "The Hiding Place" is one of the best books I've ever read. It's the gospel story and a tribute to her sister who endured Nazi concentration camp hard times with her with grace.

    Reply
  2. Jennifer Shapiro Isaac
    March 12, 2015

    Darlene Deibler Rose is one of Greg's favorites – I think he heard her speak at his church when he was young. I bought him that book for his birthday last month!!! Love you!

    Reply
  3. AmyE
    March 12, 2015

    I've been reading Kara Tippett's, A Hard Peace. It is so encouraging to hear her talk of finding God's grace and goodness in her hard journey as she prepares to say good-bye to her loves. A hard read but a good and challenging one. I think of you often and pray for you when I do. Next year … Refresh Conference!

    Reply
  4. Monique Mccardle
    March 12, 2015

    I found Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place very inspiring 🙂

    Reply
  5. mary anne
    March 12, 2015

    We, too, lost our adopted 21 year old son this year after a four year fight against cancer. "Trusting God – Even When Life Hurts" by Jerry Bridges was very helpful for me in just reminding me of the truths about God. " Walking with God Through Pain and Suffering " by Tim Keller was also very, very good. Praying for your family when I pray for mine. So grateful for the comfort of loved ones, the Hope of heaven and the peace and joy of the Lord, especially when our hearts are broken so. God bless your mama heart!

    Reply
  6. Courtni
    March 12, 2015

    I'm reading Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand. True story.

    Reply
  7. Melissa Joy
    March 12, 2015

    The One Year Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie has changed my life as I trudged through heavy grief of burying my babies. God's light in the darkness, and His presence in the absence of those I loved so dearly, was daily given to me as I made my way through her book. I highly suggest it. Also, Jerry Sittser's "A Grace Disguised" is something I read, and if you haven't been given that one yet, you might find it very pertinent and a specific grace.
    I am continuing to pray for your family, Mrs. Qualls. The Lord knows, even when I feel speechless on your behalf.

    Reply
  8. Amber
    March 12, 2015

    I love Darlene Deibler Rose's book! Have you read Bruchko? A great missionary story!

    Reply
  9. hannehsmom
    March 12, 2015

    I was there, in that room, watching and listening to the amazing words of inspiration from your children, and the others. I too, have deep regret over what I have brought upon my biological daughter by choosing to bring in hurt children into our home. I walked away from there with the words of your daughter stamped onto my heart: "The hard life is so much more beautiful than the easy life!" I am changed. I know that no matter the hardships, it is soo much more beautiful. Find peace in the everlasting beauty of Kalkidan.
    The book that helped pick me up off the floor, (literally) was "Grace – More than we deserve, Greater than we imagine," by Max Lucado. May you feel God's grace sustaining you at this time.

    Reply
  10. Karen Twombly
    March 13, 2015

    In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham

    Reply
  11. LisaV
    March 13, 2015

    Lisa and hannehsmom – how did you get your daughters to move past their pain of having hurt children in the home? We are in that place now and would love to hear your thoughts.

    Reply
  12. Kayla
    March 13, 2015

    Evidence Not Seen is a great read, one so many people have never heard of! Have you read any of Jerry Sittser's books? I have not read them but I have heard him speak and found him so encouraging, in the context of grief and loss.

    Reply
  13. Mariah
    March 13, 2015

    A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss by Jerry Sittser. When he was driving home with his family, a drunk driver hit their car head-on and instantly killed his wife, mother, and one daughter. The book is insightful and deals not only with the most difficult aspects of grief, but also his shaken faith and being sustained by the goodness of God. In the preface he writes, "this book is intended to show how it is possible to live and be enlarged by life even as we continue to experience the loss. My aim is not to provide quick and painless solutions but to point the way to a lifelong journey of growth." You can read the reviews and take a "look inside" the book on amazon.com

    Reply
  14. Laurel
    March 13, 2015

    You are on my heart and in my prayers, often.

    I recently read "You'll Get Through This: Hope and Help for your Turbulent Times" by Max Lucado. Great book. The back cover says,

    "You fear you won't make it through. You fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten?"

    Reply
  15. Nancy
    March 14, 2015

    I am almost finished "One Light Still Shines" by Marie Monville. She is the wife o the man who shot all the little girls in the Amish school house in Pennsylvania (only about an hour for where I live). Wow! What powerful book! I shows how God was with her every step of the way as she and her young family worked through the tragedy.

    Reply
  16. Kristi
    March 19, 2015

    After my brother Zeke died, someone gave me the book "choosing to SEE" by marybeth chapman! Its heartwarming, funny, and heartbreaking all in the same chapter. it was exactly what I needed.

    Reply

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