If His Grace is Sufficient

I’ll never forget some of the comments we received when we announced that we were adopting a child with DS. “People with DS are always so sweet!” “They can grow up and become “normal” adults just like anyone else.”

I recognized my own nature through the words of others as the Lord worked on my heart’s motivations. What if Leo wasn’t sweet? Or didn’t grow up and become “successful,” as defined by the world’s standards? What if he is hard to love and it feels more like suffering than joy? Would these be contingencies that would prevent me from seeing Leo as worthy of love and honor? 

I felt the grief pile on yesterday as I prepared for another hard conversation with Leo’s teacher. Another day Leo would be suspended because of his aggression. 3 years home yet still facing the same aggression.

Leo’s teachers are worn and honestly, I get it. I wondered if I would be able to advocate well for him. Would his teachers see him as more than his aggression? Would I remember what makes Leo worthy of love and dignity on the hard days too?What if he never grows out of this violent behavior? Would he still be worthy to be fought for and seen as precious, more than his negative behaviors? 

I began worrying what his future might hold if people couldn’t see the hurting child underneath. I sat, wrestling with these uncertainties as I turned on the news. I saw a picture of George Floyd’s face on the screen. As the verdict was reached, I remembered so many of the responses to this horrific tragedy. “If he had been compliant, this would have never happened.” “He was just a criminal with a bad reputation.”

“Just a criminal.” I couldn’t get it out of my mind as I thought about his family grieving his life. The question circulated in my mind again. “What makes George Floyd, like Leo, worthy of compassion and dignity?”

Would the same people that label George Floyd as a criminal also see Leo as his aggression and his track record at school? Would these behaviors be what one day marks him too?

More grief and fatigue set in as I thought about the black community, remembering the pain and the collective trauma. Would my responses to their pain prove that people are more than what they do, that they are human beings, made in God’s image? That they are worthy, not because of their clean record but because God made them and is sustaining their beating hearts.

I had no idea how symbolic Leo’s middle name, Worth, would be on this day. Because while the world discriminates between good and bad, and sees people through reputations and labels, God’s kingdom is different. Leo’s struggles won’t get the final word. Because of Jesus’s shed blood, no criminal background, no addiction, no stronghold will be able to separate us from his scandalous love.

All who take refuge in God won’t be defined by their brokenness. They will be marked by God’s forgiveness, cleansing power and His acceptance. Adopted and treasured.

Leo’s life matters. George Floyd’s life mattered. God help us to see people the way you do. May our words and deeds reflect the gospel that we believe. That your grace is greater than all of our sins. That people are worthy of dignity.

“But God shows his love for us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:8 

Enough

I remember it like it was yesterday. My grandma slaving in the kitchen, faithfully pouring herself out to take care of her people. This was her labor of love. Always thinking about her family and their needs.

But then I remember her eyes when she would finally sit down at the table to enjoy her meal. Before her bottom barely touched the seat, he’d shake his tea glass.

All of the women at the table couldn’t get up fast enough to give my grandpa a refill. I didn’t really understand why. They said it was something about respect.

Before my grandma was settled into her chair, I knew the critical comments would be just around the corner. “This peach cobbler sure is dry. Did you do something different?” he’d say.

All eyes on her. I saw the life drain from her face. I remember thinking, “What does she need to do to be good enough for you?”

“I think it tastes great, grandma. Thank you for working so hard to make this meal for us”  I’d say passive aggressively, hoping to make a point.

I wonder if the combination of my bent towards running away from God and that model of friendship is when idols started taking deeper roots in my heart. Fear of man. Anxiety. Idol of approval. Critical spirit.

Little did I know how much God was using these broken pieces to show me His heart.

Zephaniah 3:17 became instrumental for me. “The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

He will rejoice over me with gladness? How could that be? All I’d ever felt is not good enough.

For years, walls around my heart started coming down as I started getting honest and talking to Him about my fears. Would He be a safe place for me? Someone I could really trust? Would His leadership and lordship over my life help me to feel protected and lead me to surrender or cause me to fear? Would I project that voice of condemnation onto Him or receive His free gift of forgiveness and feel safe under the shadow of His wings?

What if His love failed me, though? If I let those walls down, I’d open myself up for more hurt.

My view of God was too small. Too human. I didn’t believe that His love is perfect. That He is love. Because if He changed or vacillated under circumstances, he wouldn’t be God. He’d be me.

“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” I remember reading that growing up but what did it mean for me? How could my identity not be rooted in what others think of me-good or bad? Didn’t it come from my role as a mom, wife, daughter, friend?

I was enslaved and didn’t even know it. Because up until that point, my identity was determined by how I feel about my own goodness, enough-ness.

I needed freedom to get the focus off of my inadequacies and my accomplishments and rest in who God is and what He has done for me. The freedom to believe that my best obedience can’t compare to God’s holiness.

Freedom to stop looking to my performance, striving to earn God’s love and instead, beholding His mercy on me behalf.

Believing the truth that no one could hurt or offend me more than I’ve offended God. I needed to worship the One who paid the price when I wasn’t enough. The One who has always been enough.

The only One who can truly heal, redeem, set free, break chains, restore. Trusting in Jesus is the freedom my heart craved and still craves.  I am not enough but He is more than enough for me.

“If the winds and waves were calmed at His word, your heart can be too. No matter how loud it gets or how tumultuous it makes you, be still and let Him do what you cannot.”
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The Painful Parts of Adoption

No one prepares you for the joy your heart feels when you finally meet your son for the first time.

For the answers to prayer, God’s provision and the open doors when this little picture of an orphan boy becomes life size, right in front of you. When they place him in your arms for the first time.

No one prepares you for the grief that comes when you have to leave your son behind in an orphanage to go home and finalize paperwork. To say “Goodbye, I’ll be back” on that last visit, wondering if he’ll feel further confusion that these strangers who just entered his life are leaving him in that place. The amount of control I’d have to give up in order to get on that plane and fly back home without him.

No one prepares you for the feeling that your heart might explode when all of your children are together, meeting their new brother for the first time. When he’s on U.S. soil and you almost have him home.

No one prepares you for that first year. To experience all of the things you learned about trauma and realize no amount of texts book could compare to the real thing.

No one prepares you for how hard it is to see your son unable to connect, detached from you and the other members of your family while running up to strangers for hugs and affection.

No one prepares you for the violent behavior and the amount of praying, advocating and hoping it will get better. Or how hard it would be to acknowledge just how bad things are. The worry that we might discourage others from pursuing adoption if we stated our reality.

No one prepares you for the strong desire as a mom to protect your son’s image in hopes no one would look at him like a hopeless cause.

Or the internal conflict I’d feel when I can’t keep other kids safe. The resentment my heart starts feeling towards my own son. The fear that it won’t ever get better.

No one prepares you for the amount of tears you’d cry, wondering if you’re the problem. Because I’m his mom and I don’t know how to help him.

No one prepares you for the desperation when you contemplate if your son will end up institutionalized or in a different family one day. The torment to even entertain that thought.

But no one prepares you for the way God would use friends to minister to your heart. To walk through this with you, to cry with you, and to pray for you. To see the hands and feet of Jesus felt through community. The precious whispers from the Lord saying. “I love you. I’m carrying you.”

No one prepares you for the grace God would give to keep going. The comfort He would bring knowing He’s experienced every painful emotion you’re feeling and He understands. The refuge He would be to my aching heart. The promise that He goes before me and His name is mighty.

No one prepares you for the faith He would give to believe that all of His ways are good, when things around you are falling apart. To know that He always has a plan, even when I can’t make sense of it.

No one prepares you for the peace that abiding in Him would bring. For the anchor He would be as I zoom out and remember His mercy. The hope I have as I wait for Him to restore all things to himself. That He is faithful even if things stay the same.

How He would wrap His tender arms around us and remind me of my position apart from my adoption. My hostile heart that He softened and His endless pursuit of me when I continue to doubt His love and spit in His face. That His loving kindness never ends. And to know that He loves Leo more than we ever could.

Please pray for our little guy as he starts some intensive behavioral therapy. We are hoping and praying that God would heal his little heart. We are unsure what the future holds but we know God will continue to meet us right where we’re at.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
 and in his word I hope. Israel, hope in the LordFor with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with Him is plentiful redemption.” 

Psalm 130: 5&7

If it makes you happy

#74683 way God is using my kiddos to convict and encourage:

My brother came home from college to visit and let me tell you, my kids are OBSESSED with their Uncle Lucas. He headed back last night but this morning, Abram was having a rough start to his day. My sweet Emma, hoping to comfort, says, “Abram, we’re gonna see Uncle Lucas today!!” Before I could say anything, Hallie chimes in: “Emma, we’re not seeing him today. He went back home.” E: “I know, Hallie! I’m just trying to make him happy!” Hallie responds gently, “Well, telling Him a lie isn’t the way to cheer Him up.”

My 1st thought was, “Holy cow. My 6 yr old just spoke straight life to her little sister.” And then, the Lord starting working on that truth in my heart. How often do I chase after happiness at the expense of true freedom?

I see my former ways creep up. If my kids would just go to sleep at bedtime so that I could have a breather, I’d be happier. If they would stop arguing all the time. If they would just obey me. If my husband would serve me more and respond exactly how I want him to. If he’d affirm me more. And then I think about how much I am at the center of my universe. It’s all about ME. Because without Jesus, I am the king of my life. Everybody is here to serve me and make my life happier so I can put my feet up. If everyone would bow down to me, I wouldn’t have to give up my rights to comfort. I wouldn’t have to love God more than I love an easy life.

But THANK GOD my kingdom was overthrown. Thank God I serve a King who though he was in the form of god, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. A king who became poor so that I could be rich. One who recused me from myself and to Himself. One who laid down every right He had so that I could be brought into His family. One who was tempted in every way, yet without sin. Blameless and spotless and full of mercy.

Because of Jesus, I am no longer a slave to my happiness. I’m able to find everlasting joy, peace and contentment that comes only from loving God and being loved by Him. I’m able to give up the rights I think I deserve, and lay down my life for others.

Thanking God for his comittment to shape me into His image because man, am I a work in progress. But how faithful God is! Because Jesus overcame death and separation from God, I can die to my selfishness and live for Him. Praise God that Jesus is ALIVE. That he forgives, delivers, and sin doesn’t get the final say so. He will restore all the broken ways of this world. Including those selfish desires that try to rob me of true joy and abundant life. Praise God that we will one day be in His presence, enjoying Him forever.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for hinself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2: 11-14

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery”  Galations 5:1

Sorrowful yet always rejoicing?

Sometimes it’s just plain hard for me to rejoice always and to count suffering as joy. I’m not talking about the type of rejoicing that is flowery and optimistic, but in a genuine way. I need more than glass half full optimism to get me through children dying from cancer, shootings, injustices around the world. Even in my mundane, ordinary day, I need purpose. I need to know that another day of wiping butts and cleaning up blocks matters.

Hallie asked me recently, “do you like taking care of us?” and I lost it. Because sometimes this broken world gets to me, and I don’t operate from a place of celebration for what God has done for me. I don’t always feel his love or presence and I desperately need his truth to speak life into these dry bones. That question she asked me won’t stop ringing in my ears. I find myself asking God the same thing. Do you really care for us, cause sometimes I don’t feel it. This morning, God said so very clearly to my heart, “I love you. Look to me. Fix your eyes on me. Your life is hidden with me.” In Hebrews, it says “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before him endured the cross.” I find so much comfort in knowing God as the ultimate suffering servant. He understood how hard it would be but delighted in showing mercy. Hebrews 12: 3 says “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint hearted.” & v. 12 “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”

In Jesus’ name, there is victory. There is healing and hope. We are not consumed by suffering because of God’s great love for us and because His kingdom is coming. So to my sweet Hallie girl, I LOVE taking care of you. It isn’t always easy and I don’t always show it but it is for joy that I will keep going and enduring alongside you, believing that God is faithful. While we share in Christ’s sufferings, my hope is that we would know him and the power of his resurrection and that celebration and victory would be our song.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Back to the Basics: Empathy & Compassion

God has been teaching me so much about how scandalous His grace is. This morning, I was reading one of my favorite bible stories, The Prodigal Son, and I couldn’t help but just stop and worship. This story gives me chills every time. A son who was only looking after himself, wanting his share of the money and to be his own boss, leaves his father to live it up. But after his money runs out and he realizes how much he needs his dad, he starts for home. The son is a long way off and begins worrying if his dad will take him back. The father sees his son from a distance and takes off towards him. It was considered a humiliation for a middle-aged man to run and to lift his robe exposing his legs but he was so excited that his son was finally coming home. Before the son can begin apologizing, the father throws his arms around him and throws him a party.

It would make sense for the father to stand with his arms crossed in disappointment with a “That’ll teach you!” look yet he embraces him. I love how God uses story after story to show us how he can’t stop loving us, even when we’re unappreciative, when we’re undeserving, when we doubt his goodness. He doesn’t shame us. He rejoices that we are back, even though we’ve wandered. He runs towards us, pursues us, longs for us to come back home, and throws his arms around us. This grace is so scandalous because it doesn’t say, “I’ll do for you what you do for me” or “If you show appreciation, I’ll be glad to help out.” or “Why do you deserve my help when you haven’t earned it?” or “That’s what you get!” This grace is a scandalous, unconventional grace that says, “You didn’t deserve it but I gave it anyways. I’m going to give you everything even though I owe you nothing and you can do nothing for me. I am going to help you, even if you don’t deserve it.” This is the abundant grace of God that reaches into our hearts and moves us to see His goodness.

So this morning, I’m asking the Lord, “How does this story fit in today? What are ways I am giving this grace and where are areas I’m withholding?”

With the recent Colin Kaepenick story and the many emotions and opinions surrounding “Black Lives Matter” “Blue Lives Matter” “All Lives Matter”, I don’t want to be another unhelpful opinion slinger. I want to know, “How does grace fit in here? How does love and truth fit?” That question brought me back to the basics as I thought about how I respond to my children.

This morning, my 2 year old fell and hurt her knee. It was a light fall, but with the fall came lots of emotion. But my first inclination was to comfort. I went to her, and kissed her boo boo. I asked what I could do to help. I could have immediately responded with, “That’s what you get for playing on the chair when I told you not to.” or  “That didn’t hurt. It could be a lot worse,” comforting my child came like second nature. I starting thinking about the areas where I may not be so quick to comfort, but rather, dismiss, diagnose, judge.

I’ve heard people label others who may speak out of their hurts as “snowflakes” and “softies” or “punks.” There seems to be a lot of pain, trauma, and frustration . I may not understand the pain or maybe the person is responding from their experiences but that doesn’t mean the pain underneath the behavior doesn’t exist.

I thought about how my 2 year old may have responded if I said, “I have done so much for you by baby-proofing this house. I’ve made it nearly impossible for you to get hurt yet you get hurt anyways. Besides, there are people that have been through much worse. They’ve fallen and broken bones, and you don’t even have a mark. You are the one that caused this pain by being on the chair I told you not to get on.” With so many oppurtunities to connect and to empathize, instead, I’ve created distance. There is so much power in saying, “I hear you. I see you. I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m here for you.” But I’ve pushed her away because she feels like mommy doesn’t care.

Yet, we do this. When people say, “This hurts”, we say, “Suck it up. People have been through worse.” Is that the way of Jesus? What does God mean when he commands us to weep with those who weep? (Romans 12:15) He doesn’t say “weep with those who weep if you think what they are weeping about is reasonable.” He says to meet them in their weeping, to come alongside them, and to empathize. Period. He says to become all things to all people, that by all means we might save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22) He says that he comforts us in our troubles so we may be able to give others the same comfort in their troubles. (1 Corinthians 1:4) When it’s easy to be harsh and want to “tell everyone like it is”, he says that a gentle word turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) Does all of this mean we can never speak truth? Absolutely not. God is a god of grace and truth (Ephesians 1:4-6)  I pray that the Holy Spirit would give us wisdom and discernment on when to comfort and weep and when to offer truth in love. When we do meet our brothers and sisters in their hurting and we empathize with them, then maybe we can come alongside them and help them wrestle through these heavy emotions. And how should that love look when we speak it? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says “ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful,  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” May we lay aside name calling and being experts at diagnosing everyone and ask if we’ve done our part to offer compassion and grace .May we get back to the basics of comforting people when they say, “This hurts.”  May we resist the urge to give facts at the expense of comforting. May we seek to help when we speak words of truth instead of cut down and may we not forget the grace that God has so generously given us before we climb onto our soapboxes. May love mark us instead of our strong opinions. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3

 

WADE, PARTY OF 6!

We are super excited to announce that we are adopting!!! The Lord has been working in us for many years and we are so thankful for the things he has used to bring us to this point. We are absolutely blown away by how good and sovereign He is. Realizing that God has graciously given us three insanely wonderful children blows our minds. Sometimes, I just look into their eyes and there is so much grace, I feel like I’m going to melt into a puddle on the floor. And then to think how much more God feels about me; I can’t even comprehend the magnitude. Being loved by our Creator and perfect Father has been the absolute center of our calling to adopt. The fact that God has regarded me as his child, that he would choose me even when I am so unworthy, has been the most extravagant love I’ve ever experienced. The Lord has shown me so much in the last year about his covenant love and how unshakable and constant it is. It is our hope that we can say to just ONE fatherless child, “We love you. Not because you were born into a good family. Not because you are my flesh and blood. Not because you don’t bring any challenges to the table or because it’s super low risk. Not because this won’t require sacrifice. But because Jesus loves you, you are SO worth it and we chose to love you unconditionally.” Taking this leap, with all of the unknowns, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient and He will provide EVERY need is so overwhelmingly peaceful. I pray that we can live out the gospel that says, “Even in your mess, I love you and I want you, no matter the cost.” So thankful that we serve a God who is a father to the fatherless, defender of the weak and oppressed. May we live that out and get just a glimpse of the love that God feels towards us!

Ways you can be praying for us:

-For wisdom, discernment, and peace on the child God has for us

-That God would prepare our hearts and our children’s hearts for the challenges and adjustments

-That He would protect our child through this process until we can bring them home safely and prepare their heart for this change

-That we would trust his timing and be open to his leading

Thank you guys for following us on this journey! Much love to you all!!

 

in the details

Hey folks, Kalee hasn’t posted in a while, so i, the “hubs”, dusted off this old gem and decided to give everyone some insight into TheWadeClan™ in recent weeks.

Okay, so as most of you know, our second bundle o’ joy Emma Grace entered the world this past Sunday at about 3 in the a.m. Emma and Hallie hold joint ownership in the title of the most beautiful little girls their mama and dada have ever seen. We love our little girls more than anything and thank Jesus every day for ’em.

Emma’s had a rough couple of days. We know more details than I’ll share, in the interest of time and privacy, but she’s a bit sick. We know she has some type of infection and a few other things but we won’t get into all that (mainly because daddy is tired of crying, on the real). These different issues cause her to stay in the NICU, hooked up to IVs and monitors and having to sleep in a warming light most of the time. I’m a hands-on dad. I enjoy kissing ’em, holding ’em, cuddling ’em… you know, mostly things they don’t particularly care for 🙂 It’s hard to do that stuff with all these things attached to her.

With our baby girl having to go through this tough time before we ever leave the hospital, get her home, before we really even get to meet her, this is definitely the toughest time Kalee and I have ever experienced. We’ve never dealt with a sick baby. It’s tough! However, it’s awesome to see how God uses such difficult circumstances on such a personal level to draw us near to Himself. He’s using all these little things to  renew in us an appreciation for having one another in marriage to lean into and pray with. Besides getting Emma healthier, God is also using this time to bring Kalee and I together on a level that’s deeper than we’ve been before. We see things from a different light. I can’t count how many times in the last couple of days I’ve stopped mid-sentence and thought “Am I really living what I say that I believe?”  (definitely something us Christians should put more thought into). He’s also allowing us to have a renewed sense of care and gentility towards Hal-bug. She is going through the biggest change of her life right now and we’ve got to be more patient than ever with her. This entire situation is really tough… but God’s using it. I can’t help but think of the lyrics from the Hillsong song “Oceans” —

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

I really don’t know why this is happening with our little girl, but I do know that God works in the intricate details. I know He knows what he’s doing. That’s the hope we have. I can’t say when or even if she’ll get better, I can’t make that call. But I can rest assured knowing the one who does make the call has our best interest at heart. He never never ceases to amaze us and will always hold true to his promises.

Lamentations 3:20-24
My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.  But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:   The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.

(here’s a bit of that Piper quote in the middle, it’s got some huge implications)

“not only is all of your affliction momentary, not only is all of your affliction light, in comparison to eternity and the glory there, but all of it is totally meaningful. every millisecond of your pain from the fallen nature of our fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in your path to obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that. I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism, I don’t care if it was slander or sickness, it wasn’t meaningless! It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing! Don’t look to what is seen. {…} it’s working for you an eternal weight of glory. Therefore, do no lose heart but take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourselves every morning, get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.”

I pray you can be encouraged in this through Christ. thanks for reading.

Parenting our children the way God parents his

Opinions. Everybody’s got em’. And if you don’t think people do, have a kid. The lady at the grocery store, the doctor’s office, your neighbor. How we dress our kid, what we feed her, how we discipline. And don’t get me wrong, wisdom is great and If I thought I was doing everything right, there’s no room for correction there, but sometimes, you just wish people would keep their opinions to themselves. We struggled when Hallie was born with how we were to parent. “Let them cry it out; they need to learn independence.” (A 2 month old infant needs to learn to be independent?) “Add rice cereal to her bottle to help her sleep through the night.” “Ignore her temper tantrums and she’ll stop.” And the list goes on. It was quite overwhelming, I must say. However, over the past year or so, God has taught us so much about parenting. And what better example to look at for parenting than our perfect Father.

Sometimes, I think parents think they have to have it all figured out. They can’t let their children see their struggles, and they can’t admit any wrong. We hope we can be transparent and authentic with our children. Based on our learning experience thus far, these three characteristics are the foundations in which we hope to parent: Humility, Forgiveness, and Grace. When we mess up, we want to be able to humble ourselves, admit to Hallie that we were wrong, and ask for her forgiveness as God continues to redeem that part of our lives. Last week, I was having a rough day, and I was not being very patient with Hallie. She was, like every good toddler, getting into everything she could when she grabbed my cup off the counter and dumped the water out. This issue seems to be reoccurring, so I instantly lost self control, and got onto her, as if she was being a defiant, disobedient child. As soon as I got onto her, I could tell that she really didn’t understand why I was so upset and I realized that I had completely lost patience. As she began to cry, I picked her up and comforted her, and told her I was sorry for getting upset with her. After I comforted her, and she could see I was not angry at her, it’s as if she completely forgot about it and didn’t hold it over my head. It was such a beautiful picture of the way God forgives us when we humble ourselves and admit wrong.

Grace is another foundation that I use more than any as I am with Hallie all day long, working to be gentle with her. Temper tantrums have been a fun journey. They don’t call it terrible two’s for nothin’, people! It doesn’t matter what we do, she is going to act like a toddler, especially when we are in public. And while some would say putting the fear of God in them by acting in aggression or anger, Corey and I work really hard to offer grace. Someone once told me by ignoring a tantrum, they’d eventually go away. It seems even in my 20’s, I still get my own temper tantrums. If I’m overwhelmed or having a rough day, something as simple as a pen breaking could throw me off the edge. Now if in that frustration, I communicated to Corey the hard day or struggle I was having with something, he completely ignored me, it would make me feel even more frustrated. God always offers grace for those moments when I’m flustered and I act out of frustration, so we work hard to be patient and as gentle as possible, while still correcting any disobedience she may display.

We are still figuring this parenting thing out. We’ll never conquer it or have it all together, but we hope to live out the gospel in every situation and show her God’s love. We’ve made plenty of mistakes, and will make lots more, but we know God’s grace is sufficient for us and is greater than all of our mistakes, and when we are confronted with a tricky situation, we hope to use humility, forgiveness, and grace instead of Dr. Phil or the neighbor next door.

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Time flies

I finally did it. I created a blog for our thoughts, adventures, struggles, hardships, and just our crazy life in general. This will definitely be an answered prayer for Mr. Wade. Instead of me rambling on and on in bed until 1 AM, I can occasionally get my scatter-brained thoughts on paper. As we are planning our sweet girl’s 2nd birthday party in less than a month, and the arrival of our Emma Grace in less than 2 months, I’m realizing how fast time really does fly. Sometimes I get so caught up in life, I don’t even take a minute to soak up the goodness of the little moments. Pictures are the greatest. They take me back to the seasons of life I was in. Usually in those moments, I’m overwhelmed or flustered by something so silly, but when I look back, I don’t even remember the struggles. I’m just thankful for that particular season. And as always, whatever may come of this crazy life of ours, I’m reminded of God’s unfailing love and grace each new day. I’m reminded that he has an awesome plan for our life. Thanks for tuning in to our journey and following our life. Plenty more to come!Image