Saturday, August 13, 2011

Who is Counting?

 152- The number of days

Our nephews and niece went back to live with their parents today.  They left as unexpectedly as they came.  They lived with us for 152 days.  There are too many emotions involved right now and I'm simply too raw to be able to clearly communicate what this means to our family.  So I have to go back to what I an accountant, I love all things numbers.  But I don't think I'm the only one that counted these days.  We believe that the Lord knew EXACTLY how many days AB, CB and baby B would live with us.  In fact, he has numbers for ALL of our days.  We are just grateful that for 152 of those, we had them as part of our days. 

There are lots of numbers, though, that we don't know.

I'm glad we didn't count...
the number of diapers we changed
the number of trips to the doctor/clinic
the number of potty breaks that interrupted our meals
the number of times we didn't get to sleep through the night
the number of days that didn't go the way we planned
the number of cartons of yogurt consumed
the number of lunches packed
the number of loads of laundry
the number of doses of antibiotics administered
the number of broken toys we repaired (or trashed)
the number of times we said "please don't whine"
the number of times we said "please keep your hands to yourself"
the number of meals we ate cold
the number of times we swept the kitchen floor
the number of responsibilities, outside of our home, that we just plum forgot
But we didn't count any of those things.  While it might have made for a nice record, it really doesn't matter.  Those numbers wouldn't reflect our purpose.

I wish we had counted...
the number of boo-boos we got to kiss
the number of "I love yous" we heard
the number of late nights RRL and I spent talking about God's hand in the day
the number of boxes of diapers that others delivered
the number of meals we didn't have to cook
the number of times someone else went to the grocery store
the number of people that have showed interest in our story
the number or prayers prayed on our behalf
the number of prayers we uttered on their behalf
the number of encouraging texts, emails, cards in the mail
the number of new songs, verses, and bible stories learned
the number of quizzical looks in the grocery store
the number of times our kids proudly introduced their cousins
the number of ways the Lord surprised us
the number of times we saw the kids hold hands
the number of times we got to celebrate a new milestone 
the number of times we found the girls snuggled in bed together
the number of games of hide and seek
the number of stories read during "circle time"
the number of times we circled the table to tell our favorite part of the day
the number of times we got to say "I'm so glad I get to do this with you"
the number of times we were shown AMAZING grace
I wish we had taken time to count some of those things because the numbers would be staggering.  We have truly been overwhelmed by our community and by the way God amazingly sustained us.

While I will never be able to tell you many of the specifics of those statistics, I do know that our Team of Five will never be the same.  Five months ago, three little lives stepped into our home and into our hearts.  We did our best during that time to blend into one family.  And we'll never be the same because of it.  I'm glad we didn't count the hard times, or the times we wished we had acted differently.  We didn't count because it really doesn't matter.  We didn't count because it never was about us or our "stats."  We know that the year 2011 will always be remembered as the year that for a while, we were a party-of-eight.  More importantly, though, this will be a time that we will all look back and remember that we had a front row seat to something we could not have orchestrated.  We got to stand in AWE as the ONE true God worked mightily on our behalf, right before our eyes.  We have learned to believe in miracles, and to watch for them in everyday real-life happenings.  They don't look like you would expect.  That's what makes them miraculous.  And, oh my, the benefits from that blessing of perspective are COUNTLESS!



Cindi Schrimsher said...

And you have been in so many minds, hearts and prayers countless times for countless days. Were there before 152 days ago and will be more than 152 days from now. The RRL/ABL team means so much... to me.. and to numerous others. Thanks ABL, for always being "REAL".

Kendra said...

This brought tears to my eyes, my friend. So thankful to you for sharing...thankful that the LORD is the counter of all our days and is SO intricately involved in the details of each of his children's lives! You are a blessing...

Heather said...

Y'all are amazing! Those 3 precious ones will never be the same either! So glad that His ways and His plans are better than ours. You guys are awesome! What a priveledge to get to watch you guys in action! hugs sweet friend!

Daniel and Tiffany said...

Thank you for this! Wow!

mindy said...

Aww, I know you must be filled with so many different emotions, sweet friend. I know you, Ricky, and your kiddos were an amazing blessing to those three precious lives. They will never be the same because you took a huge leap of faith and took what Jesus teaches us about hospitality to heart!! I am thankful for the way that your leap of faith blessed Keith and me!! We're praying for both parties of five as you all adjust.

Kelly said...

Wow, Allison. What a range of emotions you must be feeling. Those 152 days will make such an impact on every single person involved in this story. Praying for a good transition for all of you!

Jacqueline Vickery said...

Thanks for sharing this Allison. You and Ricky are a great example of the unexpected blessings that come from following God's plan!