Friday, November 28, 2008

A Picture Of What God Intends...

The last few days have been so amazing…

Usually, Thanksgiving is our holiday where we don’t travel... 5 days of ‘homebody’ bliss… we guard it like a precious gem. But this year, there were still so many that hadn’t met Abby, that we decided that meeting family was far more important than our tradition, so we packed up the car and headed somewhere else in the south.

My aunt and uncle were staying nearby, so on Wednesday evening, we were able to introduce Abby to my Uncle S. and Aunt S., as well as her brother and family. We had so much fun and Abby was in rare form…

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Abby with Aunt S.

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Abby with Aunt S. & Uncle S. (Mom's brother & sister-in-law...in many ways, my second parents and an amazing influence in my life...they are a treasure to me!)

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My aunt's brother and sister-in-law...they were so generous to open their home to us so we could all hang out together for the evening!

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The crew!

On Thursday, we headed out to another cousin’s house for Thanksgiving… B. & R. are always so amazingly generous to open their home on that day, there’s always a crowd…

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The entire Thanksgiving clan...they were so amazing with Abby!

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Us with my mom! Doesn't she look amazing!!

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Abby with cousin R, in front of one of his really cool cars!! I love this photo!!

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I had a hard time getting her out of the car!

This year was especially special to our family…Abby was experiencing her first Thanksgiving, and even more importantly, the overwhelming love and acceptance of my amazing family! I’ve read so many stories of extended families who opposed an adoption, especially an international adoption, but not my family, or Scott’s either.

I knew our families would be welcoming, but their love for her has touched me and moved me in a way that I can’t possibly put into words.

Abby has been celebrated…she has been accepted unconditionally…she has been loved…she has been treasured…I will be forever grateful to mine and Scott’s family for so completely showing her the love of Jesus…

But here’s what struck me as I considered this…

What has happened with Abby is a picture of what should happen in the church, it’s what God intended… We are all adopted children in the family of God, when a ‘new child’ enters the family of God, we should celebrate them, unconditionally accept them, love them and treasure them…just as God does each one of us.

But sadly, that is often not the case… Too often it seems that we want people to reach some standard of behavior before we accept them completely. We speak harshly and judgmentally of sins we feel passionate about, and we strip people of a safe place to heal from the past actions that have eaten at their soul. Ultimately, we don’t love others as Christ loved us…

At Thanksgiving this year, I am so thankful for mine and Scott’s family... A family who has taught me, through their unconditional acceptance of Abby, a little bit more of what God intended for the church, the body of Christ, to look like.

1 comment:

Leslie said...

I have to confess … at first I was getting all upset thinking you had been to my area and then as I kept reading I realized this was not the case. LOL! As if you would need to meet up with me when you are here to visit family! But if you do make it up this way, I hope we can meet.

Last 3 paragraphs … TRUTH. Thank you for sharing it so amazingly.

And Mr. and Mrs. L (as I have known them since I was Abby's age!) are a treasure to me too! Definitely one of the stand-out godly influences in my life as I was growing up.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!