This week has been busy! We are packing, wrapping things up at work, fitting in visits with family and friends, and spending time with our puppies! Of course I’m cleaning like a mad woman too! I’ve spent hours communicating with others who have adopted from Ukraine via Facebook, email, and/or phone calls, as well as Ukrainian contacts and our agency. I’ve thought many times I’m ready to leave so I can relax and sleep! ha
Amidst all the busyness I’ve lost sleep and precious time with God. My quiet times are late at night reading a short devotion from a book or on-line at Proverbs 31 Ministries. I spend much of my quiet times in the car listening to Christian radio. God really speaks to me through His music. I’ve posted one song that I’ve loved listening to for weeks now…I love the line, “He will never let you go”. I forget how enormous God really is and that He has orchestrated all these events in our lives. “For such a time as this” Ester 4:14.
Well, as I’ve prayed for encouragement, God has truly answered my prayer throughout these past weeks! It's like He's saying, "Alicia, keep going, don't give up, there is a little person waiting for you!" I wish I could capture them all in a jar or a movie and re-play it daily when we are in Ukraine. Here are a few examples:
1. My co-workers made a special lunch and dessert for me! How awesome is that…I didn’t have to plan a lunch for three days because of the left-overs! I love you girls…thank you! Another example are the prayers that covered us in Sunday school with our closest friends and church family.
2. My principal recognized me for being nominated for the "Excellence in Teaching" award. He made me feel so special and that I really deserved this honor.
3. Another co-worker is selling items at school and has given me 1/2 the profit! Are you serious?? YES! What a selfless act!
4. A parent in my class donated 4 tubs of clothes, books, movies, shoes, toys, ect. to me and didn't ask for anything in return. Another selfless act!
5. Notes, gifts, donations, hugs, phone calls, emails, etc. continue to arrive at our feet. God is working in so many lives and we are being directly impacted. It's amazing and humbling.
Thursday was so special for me. My friend, Becky, emailed the staff and planned a prayer meeting before school. I was over-whelmed by the response! There were at least 20+ people holding hands and lifting Todd and me in prayer! The prayers were so special to me as God spoke to my heart about how richly blessed I am! The entire school community has been so supportive and encouraging and God is working in the lives of many people there. The cards, kind words, gifts, donations, and prayers are cherished by our family and will have a lasting legacy in our lives.
Another blessing came in the afternoon. My 21 students have been keeping a secret from me for a while now…and they threw a surprise baby shower for me!! In the middle of my read aloud, parents with arms of cupcakes walked in my room for a special time. The students had been hiding their gifts in my co-worker’s room all week long and I had no idea! I was showered with cards and books for “Little Bo”. Tomorrow I’m going to have each student sign his/her name in their book and one piece of advice. I will share those funny and beautiful pieces of advice laterJ It is going to be tough good-bye tomorrow…tears were already flowing today.
Then, my friend Deb, who has been such a faithful and true friend, created a book of prayers from co-workers, family, and friends. Such a treasure for me to read through each page as many others are praying for us while we are away! Thank you Deb!
As I’m typing this, I’m listening to Chris Tomlin’s song, “Forever”…”forever God is faithful, forever God is strong, forever God is with us, forever, forever…”
Yes, today was a blessed day indeed!