Just Life

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I’m having a hard time writing lately, perhaps due to a full schedule, possibly due to feeling a little low and wondering if I have anything to say. My local friends would laugh at that, given that if you stopped by for a cup of coffee, I would be able to fill an hour with conversation. I have posts rolling around in my mind, but today I’m going to give a quick family update, because I feel capable of that!

We had a great visit with Hannah. She was home for a full week and we used it well. Her first day home, we made a list of things she most wanted to do and people she hoped to see. It made our days intentional, so we didn’t get to the end of the week and wonder where it went. We knit felted slippers and baby shoes, made Jesse Tree ornaments, and cooked. We sipped coffee, watched a couple of Jane Austen movies, and spent time with the kids.

The family gathered together at least three times to share dinner. The older crew watched The Butler, and the entire family watched 42; I recommend both. She headed back to work and sent me a text Monday morning saying, “I’m so happy to be back in the OR.” She loves her work and the Lord has given her the gift of hands that can heal.

[In the last paragraph, I thought to myself, I should write a post about knitting, about my perpetual Jesse Tree, and about 42. Maybe I do have some blog posts in me.]

With Hannah home, we got to enjoy more time with Mimi and Andrew. Andrew has a fantastic new job, which is making both of them very happy. Mimi is working on some successful projects of her own.  Never one to be conventional, she has some creative ventures up her sleeve.

Noah has been flying around the country interviewing at medical schools and has one acceptance already! He is in Denver today. We are so excited for him and for Katie, who signed on to spend the rest of her life with him (and as a Qualls). They set this goal and are working hard to follow God as they get ready to start their life together. Wedding plans are coming together – and it occurs to me that there should be some blog posts coming about that.

Samuel is currently in Portland on a field trip with the mechanical engineering students. He is a senior this year and will graduate with a ridiculously high gpa in May. His dream is to get a job in hardware engineering at Microsoft. Anybody have any Microsoft connections?

Isaiah moved to the Seattle area two weeks ago to intern at Overlake Christian Church in Creative Arts. He is on the worship team and primarily doing music, but with some graphic design in the mix. OCC livestreams their services, so last Sunday we came home from church and watched their 11:00 service. Don’t tell Isaiah, but we watched the worship service more than once – not to mention, the sermon by Pastor Mike was fantastic. Isaiah is coming out of a rough year, and my heart is at peace that he is right where the Lord wants him to be.

Ladybug is having a great junior year – half time at the high school and half time at home. Bee is growing, learning, and drawing closer to me. Dimples is working hard toward her goal of rejoining the family. Sunshine is having a great homeschool year and loves karate – hey, another blog post. Did I mention that some of the kids and I have started taking karate?

Eby and Little Man are having a solid school year, doing karate, playing outside, and this week they played their first two basketball games ever. Basketball is showing me a side of Eby that I didn’t know was there and I’m convinced that sports are going to be a good thing for my sensory-challenged boy. I had to blink back tears when he scored for the third time in his first game.

Sometimes I feel that if I’m not going to write a profound post, I shouldn’t blog at all. So today, I’m breaking out of that pressure. Friends, I hope your week has had bright moments. Have a wonderful weekend, and thank you so much for reading. This journey is hard – we’re wading through some deep waters – and in the midst of it all, I give thanks. God is giving us sweet moments to hold on to.

If you have a minute, please leave a comment and say hello. You can give an update on your family too!

Lisa

 

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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.

40 Comments

  1. Angela Arnett Stone
    January 31, 2014

    Thank you for the update. We're wading through calm waters but aching for the waves to come again, to continue your analogy. We're making peace with the calm and trying to enjoy it. There is more time for fun and service which is wonderful.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Calm sounds wonderful to me! I have to know why you are wanting waves – are you waiting for a new child to join your family?

      Reply
  2. Deborah
    January 31, 2014

    Sometimes the hope that comes from a post that sounds like normal mundane life is the most profound thing I will encounter today. Don't ever doubt that your posts – every one – inspire and bring hope and healing to hurting Momma's everywhere.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Thank you, Deborah. I really appreciate hearing that.

      Reply
    2. Chantelle
      January 31, 2014

      Amen! 🙂 <3

      Reply
  3. Elizabeth
    January 31, 2014

    I LOVE This post!!! I love getting to know you – this morning my hubby asked the kids if they could meet anyone in the world who would they meet – their answers were so cute and some were so intelligent!! Made me proud! Anyway I wrote down 3 people and you were one of them! I would LOVE to sit and have coffee with you but Alabama is not even remotely close to you!! HA! I am hoping to meet Mary Ostyn next weekend in ATL at the Created for Care conference..SO excited about that!! Anyway I would like to meet and have coffee with YOU, Jen Hatmaker and Beth Moore! HA HA! I thought you would want to know who my other 2 were 🙂 Have a wonderful day my Cyber BF :-))

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Elizabeth – you are far, far too kind. One of these days we'll have that cup of coffee together. Mary is wonderful – I'm so glad you'll get to meet her. We're doing a workshop together at Refresh and I'm looking forward to it.

      Reply
  4. Erin
    January 31, 2014

    It is wonderful to hear how everyone is doing!! And it sounds like you have lots to talk about in the future! This year has started out a bit rough as this mama was down sick with the flu – we're in trouble when mama is down and out! Thankfully, my DH has pulled us through – that and some good meds 🙂
    This actually reinforces to me how important my self-care is for the whole family – I had been run down and exhausted which, no doubt, contributed to getting sick.
    🙂 ErinH

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      I'm glad you're feeling better, Erin. You are so right about self-care; when we get sick, it's tough on everyone. And chronic stress is hard on the body.

      Reply
  5. Allison
    January 31, 2014

    I love this picture of my beautiful cousins! Hugs to you all from Connecticut!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Thank you, Allison. Hannah and Mimi are a study in contrasts!

      Reply
  6. Susan PD
    January 31, 2014

    Thanks for this Lisa….we’re going through a rough patch with our H now, so I can no longer say that she’s the ‘easiest adjusting’ child on the planet….the grief was just delayed until adolescence. I believe in my heart that she will come through it but the daily stuff does get me down sometimes. It always helps to check in to your blog.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Susan, so good to hear from you. I think the grief has hit Bee much harder as well. We just have to keep holding on and waiting for healing. Take care of yourself too!

      Reply
  7. Janell
    January 31, 2014

    I'm at Sr. Staffing Manager at Microsoft, I can get your son in contact with our Campus Recruiting team. Have him send me his resume.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Janell – thank you so much! I will put him in touch with you.

      Reply
  8. Paula B.
    January 31, 2014

    Ran into Hannah at Winco…got a hug and a micro update, and sent along my love and greetings to you and your family. I drive past once a week, but always with classes looming and a list of errands to accomplish, I never call ahead and make plans to stop in. What you said about making a list with Hannah and being 'intentional' is exactly where I need to be – life becomes a blur, 'an unholy smear' as Ann VosKamp penned it in _One Thousand Gifts_. Thankful to be able to keep in touch by reading your blog posts and see how God is transforming your life – painful as the journey is, and drawing courage and encouragement for my own journey. You are a blessing to so many.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Hannah told me she saw you! We've got about five years to catch up on. Don't worry about calling, just stop when you have time one day. I would love to see you.

      Reply
  9. Peggy Clarke
    January 31, 2014

    Hi Lisa!
    I am thrilled for Hannah that she was glad to be back in the OR! I admire kids who take on that career with zest because you have to or you would never make it through! She is an awesome young woman-you should be proud. We are just plain enjoying the SD weather. I am sure you find that hard to believe, but it is true. It is too cold to go out so I find myself totally enjoying cuddling up with a blanket and relaxing with a cup of tea. I love all the seasons, so I love SD because it changes constantly. I would bet the MN winter has been a bit of a shock for Hannah. I am still waiting for you to come and visit us in SD. I know that Abbey would love it if you did. We love having Abbey and family here in SD. We were able to attend Kian's concert the other night and it was so good. Looking forward to Megan and her children coming to stay for 3 days next week. I am getting some photos ready to enter in the Farm and Home Show next week. Have a terrific day! Peggy Clarke

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      What a fun update, Peggy! Thank you. We're talking about a road trip to MN in May 2015 – we have a wedding this June, so our spring will be packed. We'll look forward to a stop at your house and I intend to completely impose on Abbey. Have a great weekend!

      Reply
  10. blesseday
    January 31, 2014

    Don't try to be profound–just be yourself! Those who enjoy your writing also care about you and your family, and I for one really enjoyed hearing about how everyone is doing! You have so much to be proud of, to be thankful for, to be grateful for, to celebrate. I hope all the good things can help your mind and spirit ease through the hard things!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Thank you – I don't know why I put that pressure on myself! It was fun to write today.

      Reply
  11. Katie Szotkiewicz Patel
    January 31, 2014

    Lisa,
    Like someone else said, even your " mundane' posts bring us comfort! Keep writing, what ever comes to mind! You are blessing us. And your "big girls" are gorgeous ! 🙂 hugs

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Katie, you are sweet. Thank you. Isn't it fun to see two sisters who are so unique and different? I love the contrasts and similarities.

      Reply
  12. Susan Patterson
    January 31, 2014

    Lisa, there have been many days when I longed for the "routine" days – I've learned that they are blessings, and blessings should always be shared. Thanks for catching us up on things. Love you – susan P

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      Susan, you're right, the routine days really are wonderful, and sharing them reminds me to be grateful for the many blessings. So many exciting things are coming for Noah and Katie! Did you breathe a deep sigh of relief when he got accepted to med school? I did!

      Reply
  13. Elizabeth
    January 31, 2014

    It was neat reading an update on your crew, I am a more recent reader, so it is part of the 'getting to know' process for me. A previous commenter talked about a calm before more turbulent waters. That is where I believe my family is. We've been going through a depth of despair I've never imagined possible. It takes courage (as I believe you have previously posted about) to embrace and live the happy moments, despite knowing that everything wrong and hard will come back, maybe with greater intensity. I feel like our journey of long, deep tunnels has just begun and we're are getting a break before being plunged back into the depths of water too deep to swim. May Jesus give us courage to sing His hope and embrace His light that shines still brighter in the darkest night.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      I am praying strength and joy for your family tonight, Elizabeth.

      Reply
  14. Julie
    January 31, 2014

    We are working hard toward completing our China adoption this summer, while teaching public school and parenting two teens and a 7 year old. Feeling challenged but incredibly blessed. Thankful. Always enjoy your blog. 🙂

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      January 31, 2014

      That sounds very full, and very good, Julie. Thank you for the update!

      Reply
  15. Lynn Adams
    February 1, 2014

    What fun to see your girls and to know that we would have fit right in with the knitting and movies! Wishing you all the best 2014. It sounds like some very special moments are ahead.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 1, 2014

      Lynn, I'm sure that we would have a wonderful time together. I keep thinking that I want to call you sometime – I've always appreciated your wisdom. I'll email you.

      Reply
  16. Jane H.
    February 1, 2014

    It is a snowy, blowy day here in Michigan. We have soup in the crockpot…some good books to read. So thankful for a warm roof over our head and plenty of food in the pantry. So much more than many have. Our son was in a car accident this past week….not his fault, totaled our car, but he was sore from the air bags and very shaken up. If you think of him, Dan….pray for him as he commutes to work in this snow. I know he is very anxious. Life has some hard challenges right now and also some very wonderful things happening. I see the hand of God on our family. Love reading just what is going on in your life….you don't have to wait to be profound…..your life encourages me.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 1, 2014

      Jane, thanks for sharing a bit of your life. I'm sorry about the accident! That must have been very scary. I'm praying for Dan tonight.

      Reply
  17. Margaret
    February 1, 2014

    Non-profound posts are fun too Lisa…and it sounds like you could follow Hannah's approach and make a list of things you'd like to post about. But I am praying that you start to feel more like writing and less low…that's a tough thing to combat.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 1, 2014

      Thanks, Margaret. I need to start a new list of upcoming posts!

      Reply
  18. adventisthomemaker
    February 2, 2014

    Please don't feel that you have to say something profound in order to post! I enjoy reading all of your updates. 🙂

    We live across the street from Microsoft's Redmond campus but I'm not sure we'd have the connections your son needs. My husband works in I.T.; he's a systems architect (but not at Microsoft).

    Our family is fundraising right now. We thought that we would be able to submit our dossier in January but the legal guardian suddenly expressed reservation about our finances. So we're fundraising now to raise the rest of the adoption costs, which will give us a good enough financial picture that we'll get an ok to move forward. God is in control! 🙂 That's the life lesson I'm relearning right now.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 2, 2014

      Cassandra, thank you for sharing a bit of your life. Blessings on your fundraising efforts – it definitely requires a lot of trust.

      Reply
      1. adventisthomemaker
        February 6, 2014

        Lisa, I had to come back and let you know that God is a God of miracles. Tonight our adoption became fully funded. Jeff's boss generously donated the entire remaining amount needed to fund our adoption. God is so very good and He does care about the little girl over in Taiwan who we are praying daily for and hope to bring home soon!!

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          February 7, 2014

          That is beautiful! Thank you for sharing that with me.

          Reply
  19. Jennifer
    February 5, 2014

    I am late in dropping by, but I enjoy the "deep" posts, but I also enjoy these, here is just an overview of life and how we are. I have not blogged in a long time because I have felt stuck and this may be the inspiration I need to get back to it. Blessing on your family and I hope all is great. If perchance Noah is looking at any medical schools in NC I am here!

    Reply

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