Have you ever, just in your every day life, looked around and realized, "Hey, that was a small blessing." And then, "Wow, that was a small miracle." Or, "That could have only been a gift from God himself!" I love how God loves to remind us that He's there and loves to show us just how much He loves us. Sometimes I slip and wonder, "What did I ever do to deserve that?" The answer, of course, is nothing. There is nothing I could do to deserve God's love, especially not as much as He loves me. But I marvel nonetheless at the miracles I watch Him perform around me. Here are a few recent examples.
1. The Case of the Annoying Neighbor
These neighbors are just plain weird. They come and go -- and I'm not talking about during the day. I mean for weeks and months at a time. Right now, the dad/husband/man of the house has been gone for probably a year after a really really shady afternoon involving a Pepperidge Farm truck and a shipping crate. I couldn't make this up. Their two little kids disappeared at the same time. In addition to that strange behavior, we would always hear all this banging -- like they were throwing shoes at the wall -- early in the morning, as in before my alarm goes off at 5:30. Every day we would hear it and it lasted probably half an hour or so. I couldn't figure out for the life of me what could be part of someone's daily routine that involved making such noise, and slamming something against a wall that you share with neighbors at that hour of the morning. More recently we realized that their car hasn't moved for a long time, weeks. During the big snow storm 3 weeks ago, the car never moved and was never cleaned off or dug out. There has been another car that comes and goes from their house but it's not them. I suspect it's someone house-sitting or taking care of some other business in the house. Well, just the other day we noticed that the little car was packed full of household stuff and things. Could it be that these people are finally gone for good?? That could be a blessing.
2. The Case of Josh's Knee
For anyone who doesn't know, Josh has had trouble with his joints for a long time, particularly his right knee which has no ACL (not intact anyway). It was destroyed a few years ago and his doctors advised him to hold off on having it operated on. So just 2 weeks ago he injured the same knee, as I told you about in a previous post. This injury (torn meniscus) required surgery and the specialist who was going to do the surgery also suggested that it was a good time to take care of the ACL, but both operations could not be done at the same time. We scheduled the surgery on the torn meniscus (went perfectly yesterday afternoon) and had some serious discussion about the ACL surgery. The biggest issues were of course that he needs the operation to keep his knee from dislocating as much as it does (especially when he's carrying around a tiny baby in a few weeks), but we can't really afford 4 weeks of leave for his recovery. He gets short-term disability but that's only 60% of his pay and that's considerable for us. We didn't know what to do, but God did. Just to make sure we knew how much He loves us, He made a way. So, once Josh is fully recovered from this operation we'll be scheduling his ACL surgery to he can be fully recovered from that by the time our baby is here :] Honestly, that's a miracle.
3. The Case of Taryn Sophie
Again, for those who may not know, Josh has a cousin named Taryn. She comes from a very tough family situation. Her mother is a young girl (maybe 20) who is just not ready to be a parent. They have lived in and out of various shelters and other dilapidated housing in Baltimore city, and now she has all but abandoned Taryn leaving her mom to care for her.
Unfortunately, her mom is not much better off. She is unable to work, is still raising a teenaged son, and lives entirely on public assistance. Last year, her mom, Taryn's grandmother, became seriously ill and required hospitalization and more than one operation. While she was recovering she asked Josh's parents to care for Taryn. They agreed to help out because they knew there was no one else, but beyond that they really felt for Taryn. So Taryn (just barely 2 years old) came to stay with them at their house, enrolled in pre-school and blossomed.
She has been living with the Beck's since last spring and just recently her grandmother felt well enough to begin keeping her back at her apartment for part of the week. As you can imagine, over the months she's spent with them, everyone became incredibly attached to Taryn and the thought of sending her back to live in a place where she faces risks I can not begin to describe on this blog, was nothing short of heartbreaking.
Josh's parents have come to feel very strongly that they would be willing to adopt Taryn and raise her completely if something would happen to her grandmother, but at this point they are wishing they could adopt her anyway. They've seen amazing changes in her since she's been with them, and as I mentioned can't bear the thought of returning her to such an unstable home to live. As God's miracles never cease, Josh's mom was speaking to Taryn's grandmother just the other day when her grandmother says that she would like Josh's parents to eventually adopt Taryn. She talked about how they would be able to give her a life that she never could. Talk about miracles!! The road-block here would be that Taryn's mother is still the legal parent and would also have to agree to an adoption before it could happen. So this story is both a miracle and a request for prayer. Please keep Taryn in your prayers and ask God to help her mom do the right thing for her.
Oh ok, I'll toss some pictures in here for you too :]
SO excited waiting for Santa!
Dressed as the cutest Dorothy EVER for Halloween this year
Next to her perfect little pumpkin
Cheering on the Ravens like a good girl :]
My favorite "Taryn face"
Loving HER boy, Sheppie
You can't caption this one. Sorry.
It's amazing how sometimes the "small" things really aren't the small things at all.