Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sweetness in the Midst

Sipping from the warm mug Joshua brought me from his secret stash of "Dove Hot Chocolate Mix" that was a Christmas gift and in limited supply, I feel more filled up than I have been in a very long time.  This gray, overcast day could lead one toward a sense of somber dispiritedness, but here in this sacred place, our home, I feel so very much warmth, so much shared by everyone who inhabits this place.

I am here at my desk, reading and writing, remarkable in the fact that I have had the entire day to relax and had no agenda.  This happens so seldom that it brings me up short, as if I don't quite know what to do with myself when I don't have a huge list of "to do's" awaiting me.

This peace I feel today has been a long time coming.  As I drifted in and out of a bleak and difficult year this past year, I sensed I was losing a part of joy.  Heavy topics hovered overhead as new realizations were grasped about Kenny's future and decreasing functioning, as the girls and Josh all struggled mightily in the face of emotional turmoil that was unsteadying for them, and as our concerns around our church served to press inward on my soul.  It was, in many ways, a time for grieving, and that needed to be respected and allowed the space and time it needed so that I could learn and grow from it.  

The life of the LaJoy Family is one filled with taking leaps of faith, both big and small, that others might not take for themselves.  Moving to Colorado with no jobs, jumping into 4 businesses in a period of twenty years, adopting five kids from orphanages overseas, homeschooling, and much more all seem normal to us despite being choices others would shy away from.  The single thread through it all has been that each individual choice felt Spirit led, we were really only saying "yes".  

Saying "yes" as often as possible has brought us a life of deep satisfaction and contentment.  Speaking with a prospective adoptive mom this week on the phone and sharing a bit of our story as it relates to her own journey, I realized that if I had looked at my life through a lens twenty years ago and saw the challenges ahead, I would have laughed and said , "No way!".  Listing some of the disabilities we have among our five, it was still hard not to have my heart swell with incredible love, which I hope she heard in my voice, as I described so much that initially would have scared me to death early on, and yet are now part of our family's story of Overcoming.  We have much more ahead, I know, as I am not naive, but also because I hope we all always have the courage to say "yes", to do things differently, to be as counter cultural as we feel called to be, for it is the sweet spot where risk and reward collide.

These five young people are our very heart.  Dominick and I are truly the luckiest parents on the planet, and we say it often.  As the girls and Josh helped me make meatloaf in the kitchen this afternoon, Matt was busying himself working on training to do some of our business accounting work.  Kenny is at the liquor store with Dominick today, stocking and doing his very best, too.  We work side by side, all of us, in such harmony!!  We learn together, side by side, with so much laughter and depth!! We play together, side by side, with such openness and joy!!

We are living a life so rich in love that I never would have dared dream of it in my younger years. 

I am grateful for every trial this family has walked through, for it has molded us and shaped us into a different sort of model.  Others might not like that model if they walked by it, but we sure do.

As my fingers walk across these keys, struggling to find just the right words to express the deep, deep sense of gratitude I am experiencing today, I know this kind of sweetness is impossible to replicate with mere words.  It is only possible to find in the hushed conversation I had with Matt this morning as I sat on the edge of his bed rubbing his sore back.

It is only possible to find in the heartfelt conversation I had with Angela on the couch one evening this week as we analyzed our hearts and delved into emotional territory only a deeply connected mom and daughter can walk through.  

This gratitude is only possible when Joshua,  now towering over me I(and tippy toeing at times to increase that height!), slings his arm over my shoulders and rests his head burrowed in my neck. 

It is possible only in the sideways glance Dominick offers me during an unusual situation that brings to mind another moment thirty years old and we wordlessly gauge how we will respond.  

Replicating this gratitude in language can't come close to seeing the delight in Kenny's eyes as he returns from his first Masonic Lodge meeting filled with a newfound hope and budding sense of belonging he so desperately needs.  

Explaining this soul deep gratitude is only possible when reading Olesya's message to me about wanting to pay for part of a cooking class we just enrolled her in because "I want to be proud of this class, and feel like I worked for it, therefore I really do want to pitch in. It will give me a sense of ownership, in a way." 

Oh, how much sweetness there is in the midst of the chaos of the world!  How much sweetness there is in the midst of maturing and growing and tentatively spreading wings ever so gradually!  Thank you, God, for helping us all work together to create a home that is truly a Sanctuary for each of us, where we feel safe, accepted nurtured and seen.

1 comment:

Romulo Vela (Mole) said...

Hello Cindy, you and your family are Sensational people! My respect from México.