My Awefull Life » A Pilgrimage of Wonder

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If we are connected on social media, you have seen me write often about our white deer. I use the term “our” as she truly has grown to be a strong presence in our personal geography, around our home and to each member of our family. She has been a surprise messenger in this chapter of our family’s story, one I whole-heartedly believe to be divinely appointed. I find God speaks in and through as much or as little as we give clearance for in our lives, and so while she may appear to be just an animal to some, she has become a vessel to teach, encourage and inspire me. So when we discovered, some time around the start of the year, our deer had been injured, you can imagine the tears shed. Again, just an animal you may think, but I took it personally, felt the ache and heartbreak in my chest as happens when loved ones are hurting. Over the months following, conversations with fellow-concerned neighbors and several phone calls to local wildlife organizations led us to believe she had been hit, possibly resulting in a broken hip. She stands on three legs, and rarely if ever sets down one of her back legs when walking, but she has improved over the weeks and months – she is strong and with a small herd of her own, has purpose to fight. As I made calls, hopeful for someone to assist in her healing because of her uniqueness, I was told more than once she was not protected and the only help available was to put her down if she was beyond the point of recovery. ‘Isn’t that just the world?’ I remember thinking – this upside down kingdom in which we currently reside, but will never be Home. Where the beauty is in a constant battle to survive the cynical, apathetic, put-her-down mindset. This is just like the world, I heard deep within me. The flippant dismissal of those worthy of honor…But, she has purpose to fight.

As winter turned to early-spring, there were a few evenings we arrived home to the herd congregated out near our fire pit, as if to say, they- like us- are ready for the gathering of souls around campfire, for community and family and s’mores. Other evenings we have found her bedded down right out in the front yard, a peaceful guardian over our home. And with every happen-upon, each encounter, God speaks. Sometimes a simple settling of the soul, a reminder of His watchful provision, and other times a profound, course correcting revelation. In spite of life-altering injuries, her life speaks without fail into my own heap of broken pieces and parts. Without fail, God is there when I see her and am reminded to stop and listen and watch. Without fail.

A few days ago my husband told me about an encounter one of the neighbors recently had, where he basically intervened to save our deer from being killed because of her injuries. As Rob relayed the back and forth between the neighbor and the wildlife official, every word sunk in and I found myself replaying the conversation several times in my mind over the next day or two. One man ready to pounce; one man using fact to diffuse the danger. She has survived and improved for months now, she is surrounded by her herd, her kids…She has purpose to fight. I am not exactly clear on how the conversation ended, other than the official backed down and agreed to give her some time.  As I pondered the events I again was brought back to the skewed perspective this world touts supreme. Picturing the two men standing in the field, surveying the situation – one with death in hand and one with life in words, I thought of Satan and God conversing over Job. And how I imagine God defends us, His children, against an enemy who roams the earth back and forth (Job 2:2) looking for his next prey, prowling just as a lion (1Peter 5:8). As we are hunted, we are protected, shielded by the truth of our identity.

The evil one says, ‘She is worthless, broken, beat-up, without purpose.’ And THE One answers with, ‘She is My divine creation, and in her brokenness I AM making her whole. She may limp, she may stumble, but gaze upon her beauty there in the herd; Look at her children surrounding her. She has purpose to fight!

Friend, whatever your injury, however the cracks of brokenness fall across your life – you have purpose to fight. For it is by the Love that fought for us, we are in turn compelled to combat the backwards, upside-downness of this world. You, dear one are a divine, unique creation by a God who fights on your behalf, and calls you beautiful, fractures and all.

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  • Pat - Absolutely beautiful– the story, the writing, the writer’s heart.ReplyCancel

  • Teasi Cannon - This is beautiful. Water to my brokenness:)ReplyCancel

Good morning, Monday.

Hello there, fresh week.

I see you too, familiar old obligations and to-dos.

There you loom, poised to impose and weigh-down.

I am leaving you there in the corner of the morning for now.

You can wait. My soul can wait.

Just a few quiet moments.

Let us wait.

And imagine, ask, ponder…

Lord, Thank you for blues of oceans and petal confetti of spring falling in the breeze.

Thank you for your Artist’s Hand,

thank you for taking my feeble brushstrokes, and making them lovely.

What is it you wish to create this week, God?

What art do you have for me today?

How can my life paint your Glory?

Please God, let it paint your Glory.

Amen

Monday

Greetings friends, on this final sun-up to down of 2013. As I have hinted here and on other social media outlets, our little adoption blog is long overdue for an update. Sitting here in my favorite chair, close to the fire, avoiding eye contact with the boxes of holiday decor needing to be packed away, I figured today is as good a day as any to let you know the new blog name/URL. Mind you, while the domain has been purchased and secured for over a year now, nothing has been moved over nor redirected just yet. We like to keep it real and fresh, and by that I mean unorganized and scattered. BUT, I am putting it out here now for the entire six of you reading, so now I am accountable in 2014 to make it happen.
In the coming days, RichmondFamilyAdoption.com will become, My Awe Full Life (myawefulllife.com)! Yea!
More background and story on the new name soon, but today as we close out another year of abundance, hardship, revelation, struggle and always always wonder, I thought I’d share our family slideshow recapping 2013. It is not only a great preview of the heart of My Awe Full Life, but also a visual testimony of God’s unending goodness to us. In every season, He has been faithful. Much love and hope for your New year friends.
Always,
-Sarah

Music credit: Brooke Fraser (featuring William Fitzsimmons)

  • kris - just lovely….so many memories you have made this yearReplyCancel

  • Crystal - there are more than 6 of us… 😉ReplyCancel

I searched for her every day following our Monday morning encounter, one week ago. Eyes, scanning the fields and hillsides, yet she made no other appearances. The week wore on amidst a season of Hope and Wait, but also one teetering on cliffs of haggard and weary, until another Monday found me fighting back tears of defeat. Illness, busyness, loneliness- hallmarks of the worldly robber- stealing joy as he goes, scattering discouragement in its place. Scarcely a whisper, “Strength will rise as we wait upon you Lord…”

Car curving downhill, and there I see her- all white and bright against the leafless trees watching guard. She’s crossed the road and next to us, looks back before trotting off through the trees, gaining speed as I gain just a portion of perspective. “Two Mondays- I wonder what it means,” I think aloud to my wide-eyed passengers.

Miles pass on and notes begin, music filling the air between us. “I wike dis one,” our tiniest declares her approval. “Yes I know that You’re with me here, and I know, Your love will light the way,” singer declares. I like this one too, I say silently.

Nearing school, volume is lowered, prayers offered- declared really, over our fragile fold. Prayers of Mercy and health, Joy and Peace, for mountains to fall…As the car line advances and “Amens” whispered, my oldest questions, “But Mom, why do you want mountains to fall?” Her door open now, she gathers bags and apple, hustling to keep line moving. I turn and tell her, “I will explain it to you this afternoon- we can talk more then, promise.” I love yous exchanged and she’s off, as are we, back to the hill and hopeful eyes watching tree lines for another glimpse, another message hidden for us in creation. And given it all-the sacrifice and battle, the tears and wandering- it is the anticipation of a finished conversation with my girl about my God, an opportunity to actually parent and pour into and not merely pour milk for, that brings respite by way of a smile. Glimpses of Joy on a Monday- darting through trees, up and down hills, lighting the way, always looking back beckoning us to press on.