Getting Into A New Groove

I can’t believe it’s been a week since I posted last. And even my last post was a little lame. I never did come up with my perfect world list. There are just too many people to choose from!

And let’s just say my real world gives me too many choices, too! And I can’t seem to keep up with all of them. It’s all good stuff, just too much of it these past few weeks. In one sense, I feel like I’m disappointing someone almost every day, but for the first time in a long while I feel like I’m right where God wants me to be, doing what He wants me to do each day. And that is a good place to be.

My biggest challenge has been getting into a new groove with school, homework, laundry, groceries, finding a new schedule between working in the P31 office and working from home, interviewing, hiring and training a new assistant (since my wonderful assistant Aimy got a full-time teaching job last month), working on messages for upcoming events this month, and this new thing called “exercise” that I added to my routine this summer!

Now that I think about it, it’s probably the exercise that’s throwing me off. Running, and stretching, and doing all that gymnastics stuff Lysa talked me into takes time ya’ll. That was always my excuse before – “I can’t exercise because I don’t have time. ” Now it’s “I can’t ________ because I have to exercise. ” But I have to admit, I love it. I feel and sleep so much better now.

While we were on vacation at the end of the summer we made a list of goals for the fall. One of them was to spend more time with friends, and we really have been! Last weekend we went on a double date with some old friends Saturday night. We had a great time laughing and talking. Then we were invited to a cook-out at the home of some friends from Mexico that we met through our kids. It was a whole day of eating! After that we stopped by another cook-out for dessert and games with our church small group.

This past weekend we went running Saturday morning and then worked in the yard, cleaned house and I spent the whole afternoon putting up our fall decorations. Who cares that it’s 95 degrees? I am putting out those fall colors and pumpkin candles! That night we had some new friends from church over to our house. JJ grilled baby-back ribs for the first time ever and they were so delicious! We all just sat around sharing our stories about how we met our spouses, things about parenting we never anticipated, etc. They all have little ones so it’s kind of weird to be the ones they are asking for advice. Makes me feel a little old – but also very blessed!

Last night we had dinner with an Ethiopian family that we know through JJ’s job. JJ works with the wife, Zemen, who is from Addis. She came her for college and also to join her husband who is also from Addis. It was a wonderful evening learning all about their country, their traditions and enjoying our first ever Ethiopian meal. They are a wonderful source of help and encouragement as we prepare to bring our soon to be adopted Ethiopian daughter(s) home.

Speaking of our adoption, we found this past weekend that our dossier has been finalized and approved in the US. It’s on the way to Ethiopia to be interpreted and then processed through their court system. That is a really big deal!

We also had to make some decisions last week about a few girls we were interested in. All of the younger girls had been placed with other families while our paperwork was being finished. But there were some 10yr old girls we were drawn too. Then our agency reminded us that they are outside the age range we listed on our home study so we’d have to do an addendum to get approved – which would delay everything. After much prayer, we decided to wait for more younger girls to choose from. We feel like the Lord told us to adopt between the ages of 4-9 so we need to stay with that.

That has been hard. I have been concerned. What if they were one of our daughters and we just passed them up? But yesterday while I was reading my Bible God reminded me of the verse in Isaiah that talks about those who wait on the Lord. He promises that when we wait on HIM, we will be renewed with strength. I was reminded of His timing in all of this. And then I reminded myself that He already knows her name, He already knows who she is, and He’ll make sure she comes home to us.

Well, that’s a little re-cap of the past week here at our house. Tomorrow, September 11th, JJ and I are spending the day together for our 15th wedding anniversary! We decided not to go on a special trip since we’ll have a lot of travel expense for Ethiopia. So we’re going to a spa for a couples massage (first time we’ve ever done that) and then we’ll spend a casual day together, maybe go for a walk, see a movie, have dinner out, just be. I am really looking forward to remembering and celebrating the day I married my best friend!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Happy Anniversary! My husband and I have been married 16 years but today we celebrate the 20 year anniversary of our first date! He never forgets!

    It sounds like you are as blessed as I am in being married to your best friend.

    Have a great day tomorrow!

    Blessings,
    Cazandra

  2. Running My Race says:

    You go girl!!!!!!!! Hope you have a great anniversary, I love reading your blogs. Have a great time celebrating, it is pretty awsome to be married to your best friend.

    Love you
    Cris

  3. Happy Anniversary Renee and JJ. I pray you’ll enjoy a really special day together! May you continue to grow in love for one another and for the Lord.

    Renee, God gave me a ‘waiting’ verse this morning too. A very familiar one, but it’s timing is perfect as today I had wanted to move ahead with something that was on my heart. God is saying, keep waiting on Me.

    “Though it delays, wait for it, since it will certainly come and not be late.” Habakkuk 2:3 In the waiting there’s the promise and assurance of the fulfillment. Makes the waiting sweeter.

    Love ya! Have a great day,
    Joy

  4. nothingcanseparateme says:

    Happy Anniversary!! I just loved reading your “best friend” story. I pray for a story like this for my boys–a friendship that grows into love. My hubby is my best friend but the friendship came as we began dating not beforehand.

    So happy to hear that your adoption process is moving forward. I am sure that it is difficult to be patient in “choosing” your daughter(s) when their are so many children waiting for parents. Like you said, God knows what her name is and I pray that he will show you to her when the time is right.

    God bless your family!
    Kim from PA

  5. Helen (aka: bride of Martinstein) says:

    Hi Renee!

    Happy Anniversary!

    Our 15th anniversary is on the 18th! And in addition to both being married to Techies, we are both “older women,” except I am just 10 months older than he is, so we spend 2 months being the “same” age.

    Wasn’t that a perfect month, that September of 1993?

    I am so happy for you that you are getting a little girl. What an amazing journey this must be for you and your husband, and your kids!

    Have a wonderful massage… just breathe and relax and breathe and relax…….

  6. Digging for Pearls says:

    Renee,
    Congratulations on 15 years! 🙂 It’s amazing how quickly time goes by when you are having fun. Hope you have a great day together.

    Blessings,
    Pearls

  7. Happy Anniversary!!!! I hope your day is relaxing and romantic!

    You’re right, God knows who your daughter(s) is\are, and you will not miss Him. He will lead and guide you and your husband to whom He has already appoionted to be yours. Rest in Him and continue to let Him lead you! God Bless, April

  8. Have a wonderful anniversary. My husband and I were able to get away for our 15th last December to a B&B up near Asheville. It was divine. The couples massage sounds great though!

    I am happy that your dossier got approved. I've been wondering what was going on with it. You've been so patient. I know God will reward you with the most precious girls!

  9. elaine @ peace for the journey says:

    Hearing about your week nearly wore me out. I can’t imagine living it, but I probably do in many ways.

    Getting into routine with my kids this school year has been hard, but we’re finally there! I love the fact that you decorated for Fall. I’d better get in gear and find that wreath and table cloth (the full extend of my decorating until Christmas).

    How’s the writing going?

    Keep me posted, friend.

    peace~elaine

  10. Happy Anniversary! Enjoy your day together.

  11. lilscrapper says:

    Renee:

    Congratulations on your anniversary! Enjoy the day!

    About the adoption: my husband and I adopted a beautiful 4 year old last fall. She has enriched and blessed our life beyond belief. When we started our journey we were looking for an infant as it was our first child. But when we saw her picture we thought she was gorgeous. God worked small and large miracles, moving mountains and governments to get us to her. Now we can’t imagine our life without her and she is PERFECT for our family. Trust in HIS timing and HIS plan, it will all come together and be incredible!!!

    You can check out our journey at chindreams06.blogspot.com

    aubrey

  12. Bonnelle Pagel says:

    Renee,

    Thank you so much for the reminder on waiting on the Lord. So many times I try to figure things out or I want something so bad that I try to come up with a way to make it happen. If I just wait on Him though… He always makes everything work out perfectly because HE is perfect. This reminder is timely.

    Happy Anniversary to you and may you have many, many more years with your best friend. What a blessing from the Lord!

    Love & blessings to you,

    Bonnelle

  13. Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) says:

    eh-hem….excuse me…I didn’t get the memo about interviewing for your personal assistant. Really, it’s OK. I know it would be difficult given the geographical distance between the two of us. 🙂
    Love you.

    Knowing HE will provide the perfect person for you. Keep us updated! Your new assistant will love serving the Lord by serving you! Praying the glorious fruit God produced between you and Amy lingers long and forever!

    Happy, Happy Anniversary! Enjoy your day today!

    God will lead you perfectly with your daughter(s) just like He did with your new home.

    Excited to follow all He is doing in and through you!

    Warm hugs,
    Sharon
    (Big Sis)

  14. Renee,

    Happy Anniversary!

    Congrats on your dossier being in the hands of the courts in Ethiopia! That is a BIG BIG STEP!

    We are right there with you and waiting for our son to get his final court date.

    I would love to share some adoption information with you privately. I feel as though God is prompting me to share some things that might also give you more peace as you wait on the “right” child that He is bringing your family! There is a LOT to be said for waiting on His child vs. you selecting out of fear that you might be passing up the “right” one.

    The journey of adoption is not for the faint of heart and is truly one of the biggest faith walks any of us can embark on.

    I am praying with you and JJ as you trust in Him to lead the way!

    Hold tight to His promises! Hold tight to what He showed you when you began this journey. Don’t allow the enemy to cause either of you to 2nd guess what He promised in your hearts long ago!

    Many blessings – In His amazing grace, Jill

  15. Happy Anniversary to ya’ll. Praying for the adoption process to go well and that you don’t have to wait too long, and I enjoyed reading about your spending time with friends. We need to make time to do the things that count, don’t we?

  16. "B" His Girl says:

    Renee,

    God has been bring you to my mind to pray for over the last couple of weeks. I thought you might be under a major attack from the enemy. Glad to hear you are in a new groove. Your family is celebrating lots of milestones. Enjoy the moments.

  17. Melissa Milbourn says:

    Hey There Friend,

    Thought I’d stop here to say that evidently our e-mails aren’t playing very well together 🙂 I received yours, but you didn’t receive mine. I’m trying to remedy that with our tech people. I also have trouble talking to people with hotmail accounts.

    Anyway, regarding your e-mail, I’m interested. My plan is to contact Barb Spencer tomorrow (she e-mailed me today).

    Take Care!!

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