Archive | September, 2013

A Voice

23 Sep

When I asked God to help me guard my mouth, I really didn’t mean I wanted no voice. 😛

“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” -Psalm 141:3

I was feeling fine yesterday, though my throat felt a little scratchy before I went to bed, but this morning when I woke up my throat hurt all over, and it was nearly impossible for me to say anything.

Turns out, when your throat hurts every time you speak, you start to choose your words much more carefully. (and side note; sign language simply does NOT convey jokes and sarcasm very well. 😛 )

Why expend energy putting someone down, when you could use that effort to encourage? Who would want to waste their words on meanness, when it’s easier to not say anything. In many ways, it’s still about self – but through the selfishness of wanting to avoid pain to myself, I can see the pain I avoid causing others.

Then on the other side of that; communication without a voice.

“Speak for those who cannot speak;” – Proverbs 31:8a

Now, considering I’m not headed to destruction, the rest of that verse didn’t really apply, thus “8a”, but I’m still learning to appreciate the power of a voice. Alyssa is the best at understanding me – both actual sign language, and miming – and she has been helping to translate this morning after Mom thought I said something about wanting to fly. 😀

Though it’s a pain (literally and figuratively) for me not a having my voice today, I thank God for showing me that I CAN stop myself from saying things that aren’t Christ-like, that I CAN instead choose to build up, and encourage.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers.” -Eph 4:29

Edit: Turns out that I can actually speak without it hurting too much – as long as I only talk in a really high squeaky voice. 😀 Lyssa finds it hugely annoying, whereas several of the boys find it hilarious. Oh well, at least I can convey a message without some elaborate charades now. 🙂

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There IS a family

20 Sep

About a month ago, i guess, I saw a link to this blog post on my facebook feed.

http://therebelution.com/blog/2013/08/help-viktor-and-yuri-get-adopted/#.UjxhOcZQErU

I remember seeing the picture, and the title, but to be honest, I didn’t even click on the link. I mean, I didn’t have any connection to these people, what could I do? It’s not like WE were going to adopt the kids!

Well, so much for that thought! Mom saw the post a day or two later, and started talking about it all the time. I still didn’t think anything would come of it that would really involve me very much, maybe we’d raise some money for them – I could make some hair bows and beaded socks to sell, maybe bake a couple hundred cookies – nothing we hadn’t done before. But though we are now raising money for an adoption, it’s for our own. 🙂

Mom and Dad began discussing how well we were set up to adopt a child with special needs. With Dad in the Army, we’ve got fine medical coverage, and a steady income, and we’ve had some experience with special needs with Talyah since she has down syndrome. Also, we’ve got three teenagers in the house now – plenty able to help Mom with running the house and keeping up on things. 🙂

Once Mom and Dad made the decision to go ahead with the adoption, everything started moving along quite quickly . We got in contact with a bunch of people we’ll need along the way, and actually just had our home study this morning.

So to answer a line from that blog post, “there is no family.”, well, there IS a family. It’s us.

~ thisbigsister

In The Beginning

20 Sep

Well, I guess not the true “beginning” per se, but the beginning of being a big sister was 16 years ago for me. There’s been plenty of craziness over all these years, living in over a dozen different houses in at least four different states, and two different countries,  but through it all, my family has been there around me, steadily growing bigger, and closer together.

I was definitely jealous of Alyssa when I was little (and still am now, on occasion). She took attention away from me, and whenever she did something I enjoyed doing, and did better than I could, it would frustrate me. (I would usually simply move on and find something new to do.) Much later I learned that imitation was a form of flattery, but as a kid, it just annoyed me. 😛 Now, 16 years after making me a big sister for the first time, she’s my best friend, and also my stylist. 🙂

So, that’s my beginning of being a big sister – jealousy.

It’s interesting for me to look back now, at 18. I can’t even imagine my life without Alyssa, not to mention all my other siblings. They’ve taught me about patience, kindness, the power of a simple smile, forgiveness, to be fair in deals, to look at the big picture, and also to look at the little things, and so many other lessons besides, but most of all, they’ve showed me love.

A random hug or kiss from any one of my siblings lifts my spirit so much. Sammy especially lately – he’ll come running over to give me an extra hug, just because, as he says, “I know it makes you happy.” 🙂

And now, I’m writing this blog, to tell the story of adoption from my view, from This Big Sister, as I become a big sister once again. 🙂