We’ve moved back to the Rock House, and our den here is blinding in the mornings, sun pouring in. This used to be Grandma and Grandpa’s home, and now it’s ours, outlined in hot pink azaleas and wild poppies in the Spring. Now books line the shelf where Grandma’s dolls used to be. Now four boys rattle the walls, the sixth generation of Haines to live here.
I’m unpacking boxes here again, holding what dishes I didn’t sell up to the light. We had simplified down to an apartment and aimed to be givers after cancelling an adoption (my dream of baby girl). We wanted to open ourselves to God and turn away from the comfort levels we had come to know.
We were opening ourselves to Africa, specifically Ethiopia, wanted to know how to serve her. We were opening ourselves to close-knit community, neighbors’ children knocking on our door just as the baby drifts to sleep. We were opening ourselves to the world, ready to sacrifice, condense, and move.
And then I got pregnant with my fourth son, and another son needed therapy, and our dear friends (our close community) moved to another location.
Things have a way of changing, scales a way of falling from eyes. God’s grace can wreck what it is we think we’re doing here. Over and over again in 2011, I had a plan. And my plan always, mercifully, seemed a knee-slapper to God.
Tomorrow is the first day of 2012, and I’ll wake up at home, to relief, and four boys will roll around like puppies. Something will break. I’ll make an extra pot of coffee in the afternoon, and I’ll call my sister, again, and say, “we’ve had three bloody noses today, and I had to climb a tree to get Jude down!”
I’ve yet to unpack the box with my husband’s photos from Mozambique, how I framed for him the trip and the people that changed (saved?) our lives. I forget sometimes about the tattoo on my back, the one with part of the Ethiopian flag. After a shower, I’ll catch a glimpse of it in the mirror. Broken dreams are always building blocks for new dreams, so Seth leaves for Ethiopia in three weeks.
And this time, I’m trying not to have a plan. I only know that God is with us, and it’s never what we think, and that things will fall apart, and that even then, especially then, it’s ok.
What are your dreams for this next year? As you see them shift, change, and redirect, stake this claim today:
“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be the glory […]” (Ephesians 3:21-21).