Saturday, August 1, 2009

Our Great Escape

We are home. Back from the week down at the Gulf of Mexico. Oh, if you have never
been to the Emerald Coast...GO! It is just the most beautiful beach I have ever seen here stateside. We stayed in Seacrest, FL....right in the middle of Rosemary Beach & Seacrest. It has now spoiled me for all other beaches.....well, all beaches remotely close to TN. You know that narrows it down. No, I grew up going to the Outer Banks of NC, Virginia Beach, VA and later before Tony and I got Grace we would head up to Cap Cod or Maine. Each have their own unique beauty but Rosemary Beach is the perfect beach for a family with a 5 year old. Water so clear that Grace could fish right off the beach with a net. The Lord blessed us with gorgeous weather for FL in July. Low humidity, rain in the evening one night but sunny clear days except for one and mid 80's. It was perfect. We were blessed to have a family we are close to here in Franklin to also be down there last week. It had not been planned but it made our time so special. Thank you Patrice, Richard, Kaia & Mei Li for making our time even more perfect. These dear friends have a place at Rosemary Beach & were a 5 minute walk from our rental. Kaia, Grace & Mei Li all from China were such a special sight on the white sugar sands playing together. Patrice has been one of my precious sounding boards in the last year so to spend time with her "away" in paradise was such a needed joy. The week was such an overdue escape. Tony said on the drive through Alabama yesterday that he just felt so good & rested. That is how we all are. Rested & ready to focus on all the possibilities this fall might bring. We have so many good things on the brink of starting....Anna's Forever Families-giving our first grant, starting adoption #3 and all the loves of fall that our little family adores...Grace's 6th birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc. It is amazing how the gift of escaping for just 7 days has helped us. We will be ready for later this month. We will be strong. Our time together uninterrupted has given us a chance to catch our breath for the hard climb ahead. This picture above is the sunset of our last night. Anna's colors all over it. We were greeted back home tonight with a similar sunset just before it clouded up and started raining again. I have no doubt they were little messages from Anna.

I will be honest. Quiet times at the pool by myself I could visualize my sweet Anna toddling around in floaties with a scar down her chest. It was just my mind playing tricks on me as I watched another mother's 3 year old. I missed her not being there in the fun. I missed not swimming with her like I had at the local pool here last July. Her & her funny little float. Then I would pray my prayer of "God Help Me!" & within minutes a peace would cover me. The peace of knowing she is happy...happier than I can even imagine. Happy without a scar down her chest, because a surgery was never intended to happen. Instead of floaties she wears the wings of the smallest of angels. She walks in an ocean of serenity not waves. Then I would thank Jesus yet again for my peace and for my Grace. My strong one. The one I feared would actually pickle herself if she did not come out of the water. She is so strong, so beautiful and such a blessing to my life. I am so proud of the child she is and thank Jesus for the precious time he gave me with her this last week. Such a sweet time that Grace even cried the last night at the idea of leaving. Grace is not a crier so we knew she was heartsick over leaving. Oh, such wonderful memories she will carry with her from this family vacation. That is so precious when you are little.

So it is back to school and work this week. I am energized by the idea. That tells me yet again how rested I am from our great escape. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for giving us such a wonderful break. His hand print was so visible throughout our week. So many "little" things that just made us so aware that He was close. Again, I will tell you how in awe I am over the closeness of our Savior to our family. He overwhelms me with His presence. So I will end this post with some pics. Two of the picture is of the girls posing together(including friends of the C's who came down the end of the week). These two additional girls are from Africa and are the sweetest most endearing girls. We laughed when we took the picture by saying, "Say, we are the world!" What a gorgeous picture of young girls from our Father's magnificent world. How amazing is His colors! The last pic is of our family. Yes, Winston was even in our wonderful week. God bless you all & thank you for your prayers!

In His Hands,


heather redington said...

oh....even fuzzy butt came! I am so glad for your time of rest, memories and time together! Love ya friend and seeing your photos made me really miss you even more! Blessings, Heather

Tisra said...

You look so YOUNG and rested in that last photo, Jo!!!! I am THRILLED for your family time- what amazing blessings of peace and unity He gave your family through that!!! I can feel the airy-ness to your words, He has lightened your load and you are STRENGTHENED for the trek ahead. And where you are not strong, we'll all be praying for each step you must take. Anna's sunset is so beautiful... it's like a promise of good things to come, even though there remains sadness over the beauty that is no longer with you. There is good to come.