like this on Facebook

Monday, January 4, 2016


Christmas 2015...the best one yet.

This Christmas letter is brought to you by the letter G and by the numbers 2 and 6.  As I type Grant is holding down the couch, the 2nd to go down in what will surely become known as PukeFest 2015 and which, if history repeats, will strike all 6 with terrible ferocity before it’s end.  It’s one of the perks of a large family: we literally share everything.  
I pray this letter finds your family well and anticipating Christmas.  We Michiganders are in the grip of a record snow drought.  It has left all the Smalls standing on the front porch, new sleds in hand, wearing flip flops and confused expressions.  We are a stalwart bunch, ready to greet winter with gore-tex and mitten warmers only to have fall revisit again and again, a sort of seasonal Ground Hog Day.  Maggie (3) is perhaps the only Vos who is in favor of global warming.  She strung together her first two word sentence this fall at Peter’s LaCrosse tournament: I cold.  She hasn’t stopped saying it since.  That is why we are giving her brochures for retirement villages in Scottsdale AZ for Christmas.  She’s an old soul, happiest with her slippers and sitting quietly on someone’s lap.  She would make the perfect therapy dog.
I could spend the next two pages going on about the kid’s academic achievements and athletic prowess, painting for you the rosy picture of a perfect family and, well, that would be the funniest Christmas letter of them all.  Because the truth of it is that it’s been kind of a wrecking year.  One that’s left us gasping and straining to find grace and we are only now starting to feel our equilibrium come back.  Abram was perfectly chosen for our family.  Had he been placed with a small family of quiet intellectual introverts, they’d all be dead by now.  Boy is loud and active and all the things we didn’t expect a boy in his health to be.  Such a gift.  Such a handful.  He walks around the kitchen counters, hands feeling for all the things like some Asian Helen Keller.  We sit, watching, a string of drool connecting us to our shirts and reminding the kids waiting in line for their homework to be checked that that’s what we pay their teachers for.  Dinners are a joke.  We will never again have a civilized family dinner in our lives.  Never again.  And don’t even get me started on the laundry.  So we pick battles.  Lucy walks out the door each morning looking like she’s been dressed by a blind gypsy, hair in a million directions, grinning a grin that reveals all her front teef are gone.  Bless her.  She has spent the last 6.6 years scripting our dialog, all her directives starting the same way, “and then you’re like...”.  Which is why she and Abe are a perfect fit.  He willingly enters into her world just to be one of the guys.   And she allows him to stay as long as he takes direction well.  Which, thankfully, he does.  
These Smalls, they have adjusted so well. We have added two to their number in 12 months and they just roll.   And on days they can’t roll anymore, when none of us can, we leave the little guys in capable hands and take the four olders out for some two on four time, which is about as good as the ratio gets around here.  We chew our food and linger over dessert and drive in the driveway refreshed and ready to enter into the madness again.  And Dan and I escape for nights out, saying a quick prayer for the sitter and knowing we can never pay her enough to compensate for what she’ll go through for the next 5 or so hours.  We return wearing stupid grins and with literature about tubal ligation to save her the time googling it.  
In reality, these kids are gold.  They love each other well, most of the time, serve their younger siblings, most of the time and obey us when they feel like it.  We shoot for 2 out of 3 in this life of lowered expectations.  Our family is big and loud and free-range and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  Except Dan.  Sometimes I catch him staring far off and think maybe he’s dreaming of 2.5 children and a dog.  But then he pulls Maggie up on his lap and holds her tight, working to decode her signs in the most patient of ways and I know he was made for this.  We all were. 
Father has used our kids to teach us the most wrecking and beautiful lessons.  They’ve shown us that needs revealed must become needs filled, without question, without hesitation.  Just go.  We stink at this so often, but He continues to work on it with us.  We’ve watched them fly across the world, twice, to gather up their siblings and bring them home, even though it meant sharing rooms, toys, mom and dad.  It’s bled into their everyday lives.  Grant spends every spare moment he gets in the Special Needs room at his middle school, mentoring, tutoring, friending.  It’s his work and he is passionate about it.  And Peter, he shares a room with Abe and is woken often by his night terrors and even though we’ve put a sweet, soft bed up for him in another room, he choses to be there for his brother.  Tess spends herself on Maggie’s behalf, playing with her, teaching her new signs, carrying her teeny self around perched on Tessie’s hip like her very own baby doll.  And as we all settle in, Lucy has discovered that having littles she can boss around isn’t half bad.  Most often they are her dogs, complete with yarn collars and leashes.  She is the quintessential director and they the principal actors.  Growing our family through adoption has taken us by storm and none of us will ever be the same, thank God.
Dan and I continue to labor side by side, as we raise this crew and find other work Father is calling us to.  We feel a growing need to pour into his employees.  They are dear to us.  But we also are so wrecked for the orphan.  China owns us, I think.  And while we don’t anticipate adding to our numbers unless Father makes it really clear (burning bush), we feel a loud call to help others bring their children home.  God has given us a soap box and we’re standing on it, sometimes with quivery, tired legs, but still standing.  Standing until they are all home.  
And in the meantime we are here, raising our Smalls in the best way we know: with love and levity and exasperation all mixed up.  The boys have become addicted to fishing, the girls to horses.  The chickens continue to make us breakfast, bless them, and our insurance provider continues to look the other way as the kids jump on the tramp, zipline into the woods and launch themselves down the creek on boats hammered together of scrap wood and ingenuity.  There are Perler beads permanently imbedded in the rug and wallpaper is peeling under the drinking fountain.  These things bear witness to the life lived here.  It is messy and beautiful and full, so very very full.  
We pray this Christmas season gives birth to another growing year for all of us.  One in which we find ourselves wrecked for something after Jesus’ own heart. And as we worship King turned Baby so we could be called Daughter and Son, may we invite courage to add to our numbers, strength to overcome the dark of this temporary world and boldness to proclaim the truth that Jesus, and only Jesus, saves.

Merriest of Christmases to you all.

Love, Dan, Megan, Grant, Peter, Tess, Lucy, Abe and Maggie (and 11 Kevins and a Keloid scar named Steve).

Saturday, December 5, 2015


I pushed the Asians around Costco yesterday, pushing a cart full of embarrassment and 100 pounds of white rice because I just finished the book Lights Out by Ted Kopple or, as Dan calls it, That Ridiculous Book That's Making You Crazy.  We used to watch the Nat Geo show Preppers just so we could laugh at them with their barrels full of oatmeal and their jury-rigged water catchment system on their backwoods plot of somewhere.  And now suddenly they don't seem quite so boob-ish.  Can we talk about this?  The world, it is going haywire.  Perhaps no more than it has the last 2,000 years, but still.  And my thought that we'd just ride our lives out before things got really bad is starting to feel naive.  Anne Graham Lotz (Reverend Billy Graham's daughter) believes we will see the second coming in our generation.  She is prophesying this boldly and often.  She is either a false prophet or the real deal, but either way, she heads up a large and growing body of people who believe the end is near.  Wether you stand in her camp or not, you cannot ignore that the world outside our doors has become uncertain and scary and we are in possibly imminent danger of a cataclysmic event that will leave us hungry and scrambling.  And I'm starting to think that it is foolish to not prepare at least a little.
Please hear me very clearly: We are not out to be the last people standing, not arming our family and running tactical training exercises to ensure that nothing breaches our bunker.  This world doesn't hold our citizenship and we will not cling to it.  But if something happens, I need to be able to feed my family until help arrives. To that end I'm laying in stores to feed and support my family for a month.  Which is why I am buying 50 pound sacks of white rice and telling the checkers it's for a rice table for the little one's Christmas.  That's a lie.  I would rather chew off my arms than welcome that mess into my kitchen.  I'm squirreling away for winter like an Ingalls: sugar, oatmeal, peanut butter, rice, beans and batteries.  A hand crank radio and a source of water and perhaps a smidgen of chocolate. No guns, no hazmat suits, no camo tarps.  Just enough to feed my crew until help arrives.  It's less prepping and more just being smart.  The internet is rife with conspiracy theories and scary what-ifs put out by some very interesting people.  Don't read them.  Don't google "surviving a power grid outage".  You will crap your pants and then order four thousand dollars worth of stuff you probably don't need from Amazon, like a barrel of wheat berries and a hand grinder.  Trust me, I almost did this. But don't be naive and think that you are immune either.  Can you do me that solid?  Can you at least lay in supplies to keep your family going for a month or two so that I feel better about the whole deal?
Jesus will win.  That is truth we can take to the bank. I will not live in fear and won't feed that bitter pill to my Smalls, but I will be smart and prepare to care for them in the case of things going a little nutso for awhile.  If it were just me, I'd probably drive to Schulers, lay down in the fiction section and wait for Jesus, but it's not just me and I won't sacrifice the well-being of my family to the fear of being thought odd.  Better an ounce of prevention than a pound of cure, or something like that.  Y'all are my family and I want you to be prepared, want to sit down with you post-whatever at Marie's for a Balsamic Salad and say, whew! That was a humdinger and if I never see another grain of rice again, it'll be too soon.  Join me there?  I'll save us a table.
This is me being real.  And obligated by the husband reading over my shoulder to tell you that he does not buy in, but as the world's greatest, most caring and generous man, has allowed me to ride the crazy bus for the lot of us, bankrolling far too many trips to Costco this week and shaking his head over the 2 cords of wood I had delivered yesterday.

Sunday, September 20, 2015


We are alive.  I swear we are.  Only we've been drowning in adjusting and bucket lists and now back to school.  All summer I drank the lie that once the big kids got back in school I'd have time to write, but there are still the smallest Smalls and now no one to else to entertain them, to answer the million queries they throw at me all day, until 3:15 when Grant's bus pulls up and I fall on him like an addict, craving anything akin to adult conversation, while the littles continue to chirp around me like drunken Mina birds.  I've never seen anything like it.  We play the quiet game in the car and no one lasts past Go.  I'm serious.  They are horrible at the quiet game.  And so we go to Target nearly every day because there is so much to see and other people to answer.  Except Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings when they go to preschool.  All the first time moms are still waving and taking pictures when I throw my two into their classrooms and burn rubber out of the parking lot.  I am on the clock.  I have 140 minutes in which to remind myself that I can do this.  140 minutes in which to slow my breathing and not answer any questions.  Some days I just sit in my car and read.  Away is a beautiful place.  But so is together, which is why I'm nearly always ready to collect them again and hop back on the crazy bus, Maggie saying Mama every three seconds and Abe, with his two modes: asleep and loud.  They are my jam.
Back to school gets harder every year.  The forms!  The multiple checks written out for very small amounts, but never able to be added together in one convenient check!  Why is this?  The get to know you activities that involve brown paper bags and small object gleaned from around the house!  And, for Lulu, first grade means spending the first two weeks celebrating colors.  A different one each day.  Wear it, bring it.  By orange I've lost all will to live.  We.  Have.  No.  Orange.  This is not an accident.  There are certain colors I don't buy.  Orange is one of them.  Only 4 people in the world look good in orange and none of them lives here.  And orange is closely followed by brown.  I can't even.  Last week on green day I laid out no fewer than 7 possibilities for her show and tell.  It was a veritable buffet of green.  She wanted none of them.  Not even Peter's green LAX athletic supporter.  And so she went to school with a soft guy who had a bit of green marker on his fur.  This is no longer my problem.
Tessa has started the recorder.  Peter has started the trumpet.  Why do they hate me?  I missed all five curriculum nights.  If you miss one, you have to miss them all or they count it against you.  The kids, they count it against you.  Besides, with five different curriculum nights and Dan gone for 4 of them I either had to ditch or hire an au pair.  It will probably be on our permanent record along with dismal attendance and Lucy's altered Kindergarten schedule.  It'll probably mean my kids don't get into college, but we have attachment issues anyway, so college was always a long shot. And since college is a million years away, at least (shut up), I'm choosing not to think on it.  Especially on a day like today when the sun shone so bright and we hopped on bikes and ending up very far away and loved nearly every second of it.  And so I tucked 6 Smalls into bed tonight, sore legs and sweet smelling hair, gave them their blessings and said one of my own.  Because these days, they threaten to eat me right up, but I'll take em because they were never promised to me.  They are all grace given by a Father who sees our needs and fills us so full we nearly pop.  A Father who bids us sit still for a sec in the midst of the madness and give thanks for these full days.  A Father who meets us on the floor on those hard days when we've buckled under the weight and let our ugly leak out and who lays there with us while we have a good cry and then bids us back at it, to the work we've been called to.  As completely mad as this season is, I find myself so thankful.  Even if it is orange day tomorrow.
This is me being real.  And hoping an orange hair bow from halloween is good enough.

Saturday, May 16, 2015


They are lined up on the shelf, or will be as soon as I get around to doing Lucy's.  These albums with hard spines and shiny pages, chronicling their starts, my Smalls.  Filled with glossy pictures of the days following their births, first encounters with siblings, grandparents, family, friends.  My kids spend hours lying in sun puddles poring over these pictorial accounts of how it all went down and I never realized how precious those albums were until I had my China babies who lack them.  No birth pictures, save a grainy black and white finding picture taken at the police station.  No record of how their mama felt or who came to visit.  No list of gifts given or weepy snaps of wonder filled faces seeing them for the first time.  Just a one inch by one inch photo and an address of their finding spot. They come with nothing; literally the clothes on their backs.  Maggie also had a rattle, all the little plastic pieces broken off so only the ring remained.
But adoption, if nothing else, is a redemption story.  And so our birth pictures look like this:

No stripey blankets to secretly steal because they swaddle so well.  No balloons shaped like bears.  Just us in a Chinese Government office becoming 7.  What came before us will always be a part of her story.  A vital part.  And we will tell it to her.  But her birth happened this day.  And the day we walked off the airplane in Grand Rapids, MI and all our family and friends were waiting.  That was her birth story too.  And someday our China babies will wonder, of course they will wonder, if anyone ever really wanted them at all.  They will be trying to make sense of the cruelty of being left and they will wonder and we will tell the story of their adoption birth and we will show them the pictures and we pray it helps them understand how very very much they were wanted.
Which is why I've asked a dear friend to photograph at the airport.  Walking off to a crowd and a photog all feels a bit showy, no?, but please hear me on this: we want nothing to do with ticker tape parades or fanfare.  We are deserving of neither, but are only simple sheep doing what our shepherd has bid us do.  But we do desire, very much, to record that moment when everyone who has loved our China babies home, who has supported us and loved us and who have wanted Maggie and Abram to join the family finally lay eyes on them.  And so we asked for professional pictures, not as a record of how brave/obedient/philanthropic we are, but as proof to them, to our China babies, that they are wanted.  Nothing says that like a crowd of people waiting for a first peek.  A family who cheers when they see you for the first time, running down that hallway.  This, then, will their birth story.  And I want to fill an album with it to join the others on the shelf, to be opened in a sun puddle, feet crossed and lips pursed.  So if you join us at the airport, please know that you are sharing in Abram's birth story.  If you have prayed him home, please join us and give him the gift of proof of his wanted-ness. Just get out of my way, please, until I have my girls in my arms.
This is me being real.  And challenging you that if photography is a gift for you, then offer your services to help an adopting family somewhere record their child's homecoming.  It's a beautiful way to care for orphans and to give tangible proof to the redemption work that happens when a child becomes one less.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


We leave day after tomorrow.  I can hardly type it.  The suitcases are bulging with everything we could possibly need for the next two weeks.  Which means we've probably forgotten something really important like underwear or deodorant.  But none of that will matter as long as we have our boy.  
Flying away from my girls will be the hardest hard.  My beautiful sister wrote this to me, "It is a very hard and very good thing you are doing, and you can't do the good without engaging the hard, and that must cause you pain."  It does indeed.  I have found myself watching my girls this week and crying silent tears at the thought of flying away from them.  It seemed easier when we were leaving all three, but it's clear Maggie needs to come and it's just too darn expensive to take them all.  China is not for the faint of heart and they've been once.  They have wonderful babysitters and a Nana and Papa who have strict instructions to rest up so they can be ON when we land.  We will need their help more than ever when we get home.  
Friday morning we fly to Chicago, to Beijing and then to Hohhot, Inner Mongolia.  It's about 24 hours of travel and with Peter and Maggie both sick as dogs right now, we could really use some prayer coverage.  
Sometime on Monday, May 4, XingYou Chen will be brought to our hotel and given to us.  The next day he will officially become Abram XingYou Vos.  We will stay in Hohhot until Friday morning when we'll fly to Guangzhou for the rest of our time.  Medical exam will take place on Saturday with our consulate appt on Tuesday morning.  On Wednesday afternoon we will be given Abram's Visa and will be free to leave.  We will fly to Beijing late Weds and then home via San Francisco and Chicago on Thursday the 14th.  
We need you, prayer warriors.  
~This trip is taxing at best, a bit of a killer with young kids.  Maggie is a wild card.  Pray she feels well as she is a cuss when she's sick.  In fact, will you pray for health for all of us, including Lulu and Tess?
~Pray for our goodbyes on Friday.  I can't even.  
~Pray for our girls being left home.  For their tender hearts and that the time speeds by until we are together.
~Pray that the seeds of adoption will be sown as we share our journey with whoever is crazy enough to listen.  This is work we are all called to do if we claim to follow Jesus, this caring for orphans work.  Pray it gets done.
~Pray for unity for Dan and I.  That this bring us even closer together.  That satan's hand is stayed as he seeks to break us down in myriad ways.
~Pray for our Abram boy.   That his heart will be prepared for the incredible upset he is about to face.  He has known such loss already, ask Father to heal his heart as he knits him into our family.

Thank you, dear ones, for your support.  It means the world to us.  We are terrified and anxious and thrilled and a million other things all rolled up.  Bless you for putting up with that mess.
This is me being real.  Pretty positive Maggie has been unpacking things over the last few weeks and squirreling them away in places I'll find when the kids move out.  Please let it not be perishable of expensive.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


This boy.  He has no idea what is about to hit him.  No idea that in a few short weeks, Lord willing, he will be orphan no more.  That he'll belong to two bros and three sisters and 20 Kevins and a Keloid scar named Steve.  And a mom who defrosts Lucy's hot dogs in baggies in her arm pits while making everyone's lunches.  He has no idea the chaos and beauty and sheer lunacy that is this family.  That we regularly drag our kids to Ann Arbor just to buy peanut butter and popcorn, that laundry gets cleaned but not folded, that there are more toys in the yard than in the garage most days, despite ridiculous threats.
Y'all, we might be two weeks away from having him in our arms, his chubby cheeked, curly lipped self (yes mom, he does sort of look like Grant.  Sort of.)  Father is throwing open doors and showing me once again that my trust is barely enough to keep my lips above water and yet, his hand, it's always there, pulling me away from the abyss of my doubt.  I told my sister this week I feel like a remedial student in trust school.  Totally failing that class most days.  Laying in bed, wondering if Father will answer the big prayer to get us there in time for his birthday on May 7, doubting wether all the pieces will fall in.  And if they don't?  Father will still be on his throne.  Because the delivery part is not my deal, just the go part.  So I'm packing like a madwoman.  Thinking and over thinking how many NoGii bars and Aldi's dark chocolate and beef sticks these people of mine need to survive another China trip.  Wether he'll need pull-ups.  If his buns are squishy and how soon it'll be before I feel comfortable giving them a little squeeze.  Whether his eyes are the same black as his sisters and how they'll get along.  How long it will take to hear him say mama and how badly it'll wreck me.  If my girls will survive two weeks without us and how wicked sad I'll be to give them some last sugar before I head to the airport.  Oh my stars, can't imagine walking away from their sweet selves.  
But there is this: our boys needs us and I would move heaven and earth for any of my children, Chen XingYou being no exception.  And so we'll pack twenty deodarants for the orphanage workers (don't judge me) and we will buy our plane tickets in lieu of taking the kids on a smashing vacation this summer and we will walk away from two people we love most in the this world, leaving them in such capable hands, to go and redeem another that we love most.  
Because we have been called for such as him.  Cannot wait.  
So we wait for our Travel Approval to be issued.  
And you'll know when it happens because we will be shouting it from the rooftops.  Us and the Smalls, who keep reminding me that this is family work by their eager anticipation and, in Lu's case at least, their sometimes funky moods as they get less than all of me, my mind split in seventeen hundred million different directions over seven thousand miles.  This is family work.
This is me being real.  Admitting to you that I sent Dan to take the kids out to dinner even though I already had flank steak marinating in the fridge simply because I needed to hear myself think for one hour.  Admitting that one hour was woefully inadequate, but happy to see them run through my back door anyway.  Can't wait till those 5 become 6.  Slightly terrified of when those 5 become 6.  Just being real.

Monday, March 30, 2015


We are coming off a couple rough weeks here.  I spent one whole nap time a day last week crying on the couch.  Crying and praying and reading my Bible and swearing I couldn't do this another second and then feeling Father assure me that I, in fact, could.  It's just been hard.  Hard, y'all.  This girl, she's the world's teeniest terrorist and sometimes we think she was sent here to undo us.  She controls us from her chair, set high on the counter, pointing at things faster than we can retrieve them and not really wanting them anyway once we do.  And just when we think we've got this bonding thing nailed, she gets sick or we go away for dinner or something and we realize again what complete idiots we are.  What utter dolts.  We know nothing.  She is king.  We are her serfs.  All bets are off with this one.  A wise woman once likened three year olds to drunken bipolar trolls.  Yes.  Add in inability to speak and the incredible adjustment from a life of neglect and near starvation to a totally foreign family and I think we're getting close.
This baby, we love her so much.  I ache with it.  She spent the better part of last month mourning something.  Our five day escape?  Some hurt of her past, just remembered?  We'll never know.  But she reacted fiercely, holding her food in her mouth for hours, refusing to swallow and losing two whole pounds, while I stood for hours by her chair, trying to coax her favorite foods down, tears rolling down my cheeks, growing angry and sad and hopeless in turns.  And she wants nothing to do with daddy in those sad times.  Wants only to be held by me, which is beautiful, but sometimes threatens to suck the life right out of me.  I lost count of how many times I tripped over her in those weeks, her needing always to be 3 centimeters close, always.  I shut the door of the bathroom, desperate for 5 minutes of solitude, only to open it minutes later and find her standing, silently, on the other side, self soothing, right arm rubbing left elbow, rubbing head.  It's her safe place, that rub.  And half of me wants to scream while the other half wants to cry with her.  She has been hurt.  There's no question of that.  Our baby has been hurt bad and we are only beginning to help her heal.
And I'll be real, since it's sort of my thing, and say that in my ugly moments I have looked at this child, whose progress seems so slow, who demands the lions share of my time and energy, I have looked on her with ugly resentment.  She has cost us so much time, money, energy.  We have given her everything.  And so a couple weeks ago, I collapsed on the couch after watching her refuse another meal, after laying her down with blankie and George and telling her I loved her.  I collapsed, wailing to Father.  I felt the need to remind him of all we've been through in the past 10 months.  Of how I have four other children who need me and a husband too and how I used to be able to pour myself out outside the realm of therapy and doctors appointments and bonding exercises.  I helped him recall how much we have given to bring her home and graft her in, because surely he'd forgotten.  And as I lay there, I heard my Father remind me, gently, always gently, "Beloved, those things were never yours to begin with.  Not the time, not the money, not even your very life.  Never yours."
And it's been a game changer.  This remembering that Father calls us to pour ourselves out on behalf of others, that our time, our resources, our very lives are not ours but belong to the one who will direct them for his purposes if we will only ask and listen.  And it won't be a rose garden, you can take that to the bank.  It'll be ugly and hard and it'll break you, but I'd rather take a day in the hard of Father's Kingdom work than a year chasing my own dreams because that'll leave me emptier than when I started.  I've spent many years doing that.  Do it still, often.
It's a hard line to toe, this adoption stuff.  It's so important to me to be real about it.  To not paint the picture that grafting a hurt child into your life will be all unicorns and rainbows, but also to not scare people away from this work.  It's the best thing we've ever done.  The hardest, most exhausting, best thing we've ever done.  Maggie has changed us, all of us and we will never be the same.  She has given us far far more than she has taken, has wrecked us in the best ways.  And all the things we've given her?  They were never ours to keep.  The things we are most reluctant to let go are the things Father bids us give.  For me it's been my time.  It's the hardest gift, the one I most resent having wrestled out of my greedy hands.   And Father, in his great mercy, has given me her nap time.  Two hours every day where I can find rest for my soul and body.  Because that's vital too.  If you're going to pour yourself out, you must make time to be refilled.  And somehow, miraculously, though sometimes I feel I've poured myself all out, there is always more.  Not because I'm enough, but because he is.  And so I wander through these days wondering how in hades I'll have time for one more, but knowing that the Father who has placed all these Smalls in our home will provide what we need to parent them.  All and more, because he is gracious and kind and enough.  There will be days when I forget that, happens all the time, but I'm asking him to boost my memory and break me in whatever way I need to be broken so that his precious work becomes my precious work.  And give me grace to do it with a right heart.  At least most of the time.  And while I'm waiting for those things, could we talk about perhaps miraculously solving the problems of toothpaste in the sink and why no one can seem to hang up their coats?  Can we solve those at least?  Because sometimes I think my sanity hangs on them.  Yours?
This is me being real.  Smirking over poor Lulu who, upon seeing a flyer in the mail for our adoption agency, sweet little available faces all over it, sighed "We're never gonna get a dog, are we?"  Prolly not Junebug.  20 Kevins, a bearded dragon who long to be a carnivore but must be a flexitarian, 6 Smalls and a keloid scar named cup is full.