Michelle in Real Life

Today, linking up to Ann Voskamp's, One Thousand Gifts, my gratitude list continues and these two are on my mind...

77. a treasured REAL life
78. the bumps that make the good stuff so much sweeter

I remember before Elizabeth Edwards passed away she quoted, there is a crack in everything...that's how the light gets in."  Here is a little more from Anthem by Leonard Cohen.  

The birds they sang
at the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what
has passed away
or what is yet to be...
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
We've had our share of cracks, and it is how His light has gotten in, broken, bruised, He is there covering us with His goodness and light, all the time.  Within just the past 5 years, some of the big ones...

a son is born after years of infertility
he is diagnosed with cancer
a home is purchased, a fresh start
medical bills have piled up, the real estate market plummets
a pregnancy after years of struggling again
fears and realities of a quadruplet pregnancy
a husband and father has work every day
his company goes through major layoffs including his position during the pregnancy
yes, again this past winter
a time together to reflect before adding 4 more to our family
a husband and father is in a car accident on the way to the hospital 
our babies are born healthy at 33 weeks
another son is diagnosed, this time with a life-threatening heart defect
our focus is on our family and adjusting to our new life, guardian angels step in
outer relationships are strained

And through it all we are here, we are standing, and we are humbled by Him seeing us through it all, the darkest deepest moments of despair, fear, anxiety.  We have no idea what is to come and we know many have endured so much more...yet this is us.  Does it define us?  No, but the light that has seeped in has done some changing, rearranging, faith-building.

Another look...
a son is cancer free
financially it works...somehow...by the grace of God
time with no work, turns into time taking care of our son 
a husband gives it to God the second time around, a job just happens to be found so quickly, a better job
a son is given time before making any decisions about his heart and he thrives meanwhile
a life is thrown out of balance and then righted again with new perspective and faith rooted even deeper

We have been taken care of and none of it has been by our own doing, other than turning it over to Him.  All glory is His.

While this is of course about my family, I make no qualms about this...it's easy to have faith when things are going well.  When I just found out I was pregnant with our quadruplets, someone had told me she needed to give me some tough love, I just needed to have more faith.  It made my belief in this even deeper...We are not here to question someone else's degree of faith, especially if in our own life we have had little to challenge our faith.  (And tough love is never a good idea for those who are tough enough on themselves).  All of our stories are different.  I take comfort and growth in those who share the REAL, and am thankful for all those in my life who do.  

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