This Time Two Years Ago...

Those who know me best know this: I love to play "This time last year..." or "This time four years ago..." and then unearth some random memory from the recesses of my mind about a significant moment in my life. Maybe it's the writer in me, but this knack for conjuring up the past has earned me the title of "Historian" from my BFFs in our trio of friendship. When we are together, I am often the tour guide down memory lane, in which I have to remind them that yes, they were both THERE in that moment, and no, I'm not making this $*#t up (but it might be fun to do that some time). Granted, there are days when I can't remember the names of my own daughters, but I can tell you exactly what happened on this night two years ago.

Here's why May 9th stands out in my mind: It is when Barbie called at a moment of crisis in her life and asked to come live with us. Most of you know our story, and if you don't, then you can read about it here.

This past weekend, we made our annual end-of-the-spring-semester trip to visit Barbie in Nacodoches. I say "annual" because we have now done it twice (along with several other road trips to Nac), and when you do something two times in our family, well, it becomes a tradition (we are Aggies, after all). Jason's parents went with us, and it just made me have this "WOW God!" moment to see how our entire family has embraced Barbie as one of our own. We did our usual SFA things--demolished the leaning tower of onion rings at Clear Springs, drove around campus admiring the tall pine trees, and Jason took Barb to see a late movie (that's their thing). We then went to church with Barbie on Sunday, which we love to do every time we visit Nac. I always leave that place teary-eyed and sniffling because God gets me every time I'm there. It's like He touches that raw place in my soul to remind me of just how BLESSED this entire situation with Barbie has been. To remind me, "See, Amianne, I've GOT this. See what happens when you put your TOTAL TRUST in me?" There was a baby dedication, which always makes me misty, and the pastor stood up and showed us this jar of 900-and-something marbles (I can't remember the exact number, and I'm too lazy to do the math)--one marble to represent each week that the parents will have with their child until they move away to college. It just struck me that even though our Barbie jar is not very full (she came to live with us the summer before she left for college), it doesn't diminish the amount of love that we feel for her. And even though she doesn't physically live with us year-round, we still have a mighty impact on her life. We are still filling up that jar with marbles to represent the weeks that we have with her now. Because God is just awesome like that.

Enjoying our Onion Rings 
Gammy, Poppy, and Barb
Gammy, Poppy, & the Girls 
These past two years have taught me this: my plans are so simple compared to God's. (And, oh, do I love to make plans...)When I would dream about our family, was this what I envisioned? That we would "adopt" an 18 year old former student? Never in a million years. But there lies the beauty: God's plans for our lives are so much better than the ones that we dream for ourselves. All we have to do is trust Him. And that first step in faith can be the hardest step of the journey. God has taught me so much along this journey--bold, beautiful lessons about family extending beyond the bonds of blood, about truly placing my trust in God, about the unlimited love that God feeds my heart--if I just allow Him. Of course, this journey has also been hard and messy and imperfect. It's life, and my 30's have taught me to embrace the imperfect life that God has given me, not the life that I want people to think that I have. Pretending to be perfect is just silly. And exhausting. And so not what God wants from us. I do not write this to try to portray us as a perfect family. We are NOT. But we are happy (most days), and it's all because of God.

So I'm not going to apologize for this sappy, sentimental post as we celebrate two years of being a family of five. If you read my blog, you know that's what I do here: I ooze cheesy sentimentality all over my little corner of cyberspace. It's because I am just so GRATEFUL. This is my way of taking a moment to BE STILL in this crazy pace of life and say THANK YOU, GOD, for blessing me more than I deserve. Thank you for growing our family in a way that I never envisioned. Thank you for this time two years ago when I got that phone call that changed everything. Definitely for the better.

Two Years and Going Strong 



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