Sunday, January 15, 2012

Because He Lives.....!!

Christ's Church   Shamian Island    Guangzhou, China

This past week has been full of memories and emotions as we celebrated the three year anniversary of meeting Sierra in China.  I love this time as we pour over our more than one thousand pictures and watch the many videos we took.  One of my favorite memories is the Sunday morning church service we attended on Shamian Island.  I was moved to tears  many times that day as we witnessed the fact that the love of Christ is alive and abundant in China.  The service was an English speaking one...attended two by both local Chinese and many adoptive families.  The hymns were divided, two sung in Chinese....two sung in English.  One of the hymns we sang that day in English...was "Because  He Lives".  I had always liked it and much emotion overtook me as I stood there with my new daughter singing about how she "will be able to face uncertain days..because he lives!!"
As Sierra and I watched some videos this past week...we came across the video I took in the church as we were all singing that hymn.  It brought back all the feelings and emotions and I have been singing in my head for days.  This morning I woke up and again...the words were there..."because he lives...I can face tomorrow!"  Sierra and I got ready and drove to our church.  We helped our friend set home for our food and fellowship time after the service.  We walked up the stairs...sat in our pew and waited.  I opened my bulletin, looked it over and ....gasped out loud.  There ...listed towards the end of the service...the last hymn were going to three years from the day we sat in that small church in China...were the words...."BECAUSE HE LIVES!!"

 I turned to my friend and showed her  and quickly told her the meaning.  I sat there for a few more minutes and realized I had to share this.  I raised  my hand and waited for the pastor to  notice.  He stopped and nodded towards me.  I explained about being in that church three years ago...I mentioned how not too long ago sitting in a Christian church in China would not have happened...I told them about how exactly three years ago today, we had sat in that church in China and sang "Because He Lives" ...the same hymn that was listed in our bulletin today.  Only God!!!  Needless to say when it came time to sing...already my eyes were tearing up.  At the first chorus  I was unable to sing.  The tears rolled down my face and my friend handed me a tissue.  How was it that this hymn found its way into our bulletin today...of all days??
No one asked me  "Kathie  what hymn should we sing today??"  But God knew........he was with us that day in a small church in China and he was reminding me...... that he still is with us today!!  Its moments like this that I am so happy I have a blog so I can write about these moments in my life and

share with you all!!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Welcome 2012!!

Happy New Year to all of you!!
I always love this day.  It is like you get a get a rewind, you get to do it again and maybe this time get it right.  You get to make resolutions and even if you don't keep are at least thinking about what is important in your life.  You get to reflect about the past year...the good the  bad and the ugly!  You get to plan for the future and wonder what this year will bring to  you and your family.
Three years ago we woke up on New Year's Day with a light heart and great anticipation.  We knew that just 7 days later we would finally be leaving on that big ole jet plane and heading for China.  It seems so long ago..but we knew 2009 was going to be a great year and it was!!
This year like most, has had its shares of ups and downs. January brought Sierra's 5th birthday.  It was hard to believe she was old enough to start kindergarten  In February my two year extended leave had come to an end and I had to return to work.  For the first time ever, I would be working while I still had a child at home.  Sierra attended a preschool that she loved and all was good!!  Sadly my first official day back, I  had to take a personal day.  Our good friend and "Uncle Jeff" to my children had died suddenly from bacteria meningitis.   He and Aunt Tammy had recently completed an over 30 day trip to Greece.  It was definitely a reminder to us all that we need to not put off for tomorrow whatever we can accomplish today.
In May Scott's Dad received the news that his cancer had spread to his brain.  We were spending as much time with him as possible.
Scott Sierra and I had a wonderful camping trip to our favorite Alpine Lake in June.  David and Amanda joined us for a couple of days and it was great. 

 Unfortunately Scott's Dad had returned to the hospital but luckily it wasn't too far from where we were camping so Scott could go and visit.
In August I celebrated my 52 birthday...and on that day God chose to take Scott's dad home.  We still miss him but are happy he is no longer in pain or suffering.  He suffered greatly towards the end and it was hard to witness. Again it made us realize how important time with your family is.

In August we also had a vi sit from hurricane Irene.  Much devastation from flooding was all around us. Since we lost power early in the storm , I never realized how the radar looked at the time Irene hit NY!! We are located at the top of the bottom triangle part of the state!

Sierra started school in September , luckily at  the same school I work at!!  She loves it and I love being able to sneak a hug during her lunch time!!
We took a few days in September and went camping again.  we needed to spend some time together relaxing and sharing special memories of Scott's Dad.  Sierra got to try out her new kayak! She also had fun fishing!
At the end of September we celebrated the Harvest Moon Fesitval with our friends, Jill and Steve and their truly awesome children, Noah, Hollie and Izzy.  When we took this great photo we had no idea that circumstances would have them moving to Maine by the years end.  I do so miss them and can't wait to go visit!!!

October brought the long awaited wedding of my son Paul and his beautiful bride Jennifer.  I can not say enough about that day.  It is one of my all time favorite memories!  Even though it was THEIR special day, they worked hard to make sure that all who attended had a wonderful time.  It was an amazing day and I felt like the the most special Mom alive!  I still get teary eyed thinking about it!!

Scott has been busy at work. Irene and another flooding storm have reeked havoc with our town roads. They have spent much time repairing and fixing and now we are heading into winter, which will also be a busy time.
The holidays were joyous...spent with family and friends.  I think we are getting better at really focusing on what is important during these times.  We are trying to get rid of stuff and un clutter our lives.  I know that God wants us to  live a more simple live and I am trying hard to follow.  I recently had a health scare, and it was scary. With god's helps and the prayers of many things, have turned out much better than I could have hoped for.. But it was a reminder to me that we are not in control of all,, if anything, that happens in our lives.
I will end this year in review with a few things that we are looking forward to.  Hopefully this spring Scott ,Sierra, David and I will be moving about a mile up the road.  We will be moving to the house that Scott grew up in.  It is bigger than the house we have now with a lot more closets.  (Houses built in the 1800s have no closets.)  It will be emotional for me but a good move for our family. I will  to see my adult children mature and grow as they make decisions about their futures. Sierra will continue to  blossom and bring joy to all she meets.  I  like playing with numbers so awhile back I started figuring  something.
January 12th is Sierra's Forever family Day.  Eleven days before she turned 3 she met us and  was no longer an orphan.  Tomorrow morning , when she wakes up, it will be 10 days before we have had her three years, and..... she will have had a family longer than she has not!!! 
Wishing you all a Happy, and very Healthy New Year!!