This is us, years ago at St. Peters square: connected with the world, literally people from every country around the world, physically and through prayer and history. Too cool.

This one is for Jana. She, of the cool art and a fav blog, is waiting. She is waiting for that referral of her baby. It is hard. Especially this week, with the great rejoicing of the tide of referrals and court passes. But I’ve been thinking about Jana.

She put up the coolest thing: the song played at her wedding. Little did she know, it is one of my favorite hymns. Yes, an old favorite Catholic hymn: “Oh God Beyond All Praising.” If I can find a link to the music, with singing, I will link or post it (it’s that great). But read the words, they are so good, perfect. And that hymn, her post, got me thinking.

You see, it’s all connected.

All of it. It’s supposed to be, of course.

But we forget.

Or at least, I do. Too often.

And then I am reminded and the beauty of it catches in my throat and pricks tears behind my old crazy eyes.

My husband and I were sitting outside after dinner, watching the kids rip and tear and talking about this hymn, Jana’s post and the connections. (yes, we are that nerdy, we sit around talking about religion….we can’t help it).

You see, this particular hymn is a song of rejoicing. But in that rejoicing and praise is also so much, so much that is not so rejoice-y. In fact, it alludes to how hard things can be or get – waiting, suffering.

we’ll triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless you still:

It includes how we can not just limp along and wither through suffering, but even triumph through hard things, things we can’t figure out and don’t like, and still know that all things work to His good. It’s so easy to forget that. I do, all the time. Or I mouth the words but don’t really ingest them, believe them. That’s the hard part.

This hymn is an Easter hymn. Easter is preceded by Lent, a time of fasting, going without, doing penance or suffering (in varied ways). It is the ultimate WAIT. Waiting on Christ himself and the manifestation of God’s will and glory. And during lent, historically, the church brings new members in at the Easter vigil, walking through lent with them, suffering and waiting for that light of Easter, in union, support and solidarity with them.

And at the Easter Vigil (which starts in utter darkness and then bursts into literal, flaming light) this song is often played at the end, the recession, with trumpets blaring and bells ringing and voices raised in glorious cacophony of grinning joy.

And Jana’s got it right -this song in her head and heart. And mine too. Because really, the coolest thing is the support that I’ve found and can give through these blogs. The connections. The adoption process, with all the stops and starts and sinking despair and desperate waiting and soaring joy, is an intense small reduction of the most real life. And, at the best, we can walk through it together, suffer, wait, help bear the burden and shout with glee, as we each wind our way through this long road….looking for the light at the end, waiting on His word. His Word.

The adoption process is a personal Lent. And Easter comes with the arrival of our child.

But the best part about this song, and one that I’m thinking about, is that this song DOES have it all. It doesn’t minimize the wait, the sorrow. But it does reveal the promise, that it will end with us marveling at the beauty of a new child and wondering at the ways it all came together. God’s way, the perfect mystery of it.

It makes me prickle with anticipation and joy, because I know how good it is. And it is going to happen. For all the waiting families, the ones who are about to fly (literally and figuratively), it’s just a matter of time.

But it’s real. It’s there. This hymn is centuries old. And it still makes me smile and cry at the same time. Because it’s about Easter, the real one, our little one in our personal reflecting pool. But it’s the realest stuff there is.

I don’t think it’s just a coincidence when the best, realest, parts of life parallel the most important stuff in the universe. I thinks its bricks, falling on our heads, helping us to see in our blind world.

It’s this, ultimately, it comes to this: it’s the connections. Make them and you’ll see life for real.

…to marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways.
And make a joyful duty, our sacrifice of praise.

So, Jana, this one’s for you. And all the rest of you families as well.
We will wait in wonder, with you.
And connect the dots.

>Tardy, almost Wordless Wednesday (Thursday Edition)


So, I’m late. That pretty much sums up my week.

I’ve been behind since about 5 a.m. Monday morning. And you can see that this isn’t a wordless Wednesday at all, but hey, it’s Thursday now so I can yak for a moment, eh? It’s been a crazy hormonal week.

So I think this photo sums it up: what I should be doing. Not meditating, better: praying. More. Better. I’ve been distracted and harried and so my prayers are lacking. Thus, I’ve been caving to hormones and stress. ugh. So. More prayer. Maybe some time painting if I can carve out a few minutes or more. That always helps. My kids are much better at having fun, of course!

On another note, we are giddy and rejoicing for all the referrals and court passes for the Gladney families!! It’s been a flurry of fabulous news this week. So, despite my crazy week, once again we see, God is so good, all the time.