Abundant Love

Abundant is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “amply supplied.”

On August 7th I was sitting at the DG house surrounded by girls when I saw my phone light up, it was my sister.  Knowing she knew I was busy, I knew it must be important for her to of called-so, I answered it.  From the cracking of her voice I could tell something was going on.  A thousand things crossed my mind.  Is everything at home okay? How fast can I get there? And so on.

Then she said,

“Abby, WE’RE GETTING A BABY. In 3 weeks.  You’re gonna be an aunt !!!!”

Tears of joy ran down my face.  The next 3 weeks I prayed nonstop for this angel that would hopefully be coming into our lives, and I held my breath.  A lot.  Knowing how bad it would hurt my sister and brother-in-law, and all of us if this fell through, I worried, a lot.

Anyone who knows what they have been through knows how big of a deal this was for us. Never have I ever been so thankful to be so busy.   I did anything and everything I could to keep my mind off of it.

Finally, the day came.  They flew out of New Orleans on September 1st.  Baby girl was to be born on September 3rd.  On September 2nd, Summer and Caleb met the birth parents-we prayed.  And we prayed some more.  A couple hours later they called, the meeting had gone as well as it possibly could have.  Of course we had so many questions, one of them being “who does the mother look like?” Is there anyone you could compare her to? A movie star, a family member, anyone?

Caleb and Summer both simultaneously agreed that the birth mother most closely resembled Molly Grace, our little sister.  What are the odds?

By this point face time was not cutting it.  I wanted to be home with my family, for whatever happened. Whenever they called, I wanted to be there.  I hopped in the car on September 3rd and made it home right before the birth mom was to go into surgery.

When I pulled up, I could see the anxiousness in my mom’s face.  Then, my grandmothers both showed up, and my aunt.  It was the strangest thing.  It turned into a “baby wait party.”

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So, we waited.  Finally a message came through, “healthy baby girl born at 12:24- 6 lbs. 12 oz. and 18 1/2 inches long.” Minutes later Summer sent a picture of the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.  IMG_0033.JPG

Immediately I loved her so much.  How crazy is that?  She was thousands of miles away.  I hadn’t even held her yet.  All I’d seen was a picture, yet I already felt so much love for her.  Instantly.

And as you can see, it was love at first sight for them. It was abundant love.

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But it wasn’t over yet… the wait wasn’t over.. The birth mother had the next 24 hours to back out.

That is when the real breath holding began.

For the next 24 hours we prayed, prayed, and prayed more.  Never has it ever been so hard to be away from my big sister.  Your sister having her first child is a moment you usually get to be there for, but my sister was thousands of miles away.  It was just Caleb and her there.  It felt so strange to be so far away from them at a time like this.

We all oohed and cried over ever picture they sent, and begged for more.

At last we received a message, “She’s ours!”

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The absolute best message I’ve ever received.

That is when the real waterworks began.  That is when thankfulness swept over me.  God had answered our prayers.  So many prayers were prayed.  So many prayers were answered.

At 12:24 on September 4th, the adoption was finalized and we could finally tell the world.

Caleb and Summer were the proud parents of a beautiful baby girl, sweet Damie Katherine .

They had to stay in that state for two weeks, it was the longest two weeks ever.  I was jealous of both my mom and Caleb’s mom for being able to fly to see that angel.

Finally the day came for us to meet her.  As you can see below it was a moment none of us will ever forget.   Damie Katherine was finally in Mississippi.   I was finally an aunt.  Everyone in the Airport had kind of begun to crowd around us, they could tell something big was happening.

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This is where the “abundant love” comes in.  Before this I didn’t understand what it was to instantly love, and to love abundantly.  It was then that I realized God was teaching me to love bigger, to love better.

I had no idea how much I could love someone I hadn’t even yet met .  But, I did.  Before I even met her I loved her so much and when I finally saw her in Summer’s arms walking off the plane, the love just grew in leaps and bounds.  And it just keeps growing.  With every smile, every picture, every facetime, everyday.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love children so to finally have a baby in our family, to finally be an aunt, I was beside myself with excitement.

Over the past two months I have spent every minute possible with this angel child, and every time I have to head back to school she is my hardest goodbye.  I am so glad I get to spoil this little girl and be her favorite aunt (sorry guys).  We are so blessed and so in love with her.  We are so thankful.

It’s National Adoption Month and to me, adoption is all about “ABUNDANT LOVE.” The birth families have to love abundantly to give up their babies, and the adoptive parents have to love abundantly to adopt.  I have seen my sister and brother-in-law love so abundantly from the very start of this adoption process.  I hope that one day I can learn to love people as abundantly as they do.

This month when you think about National Adoption Month, think about this-abundant love.

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Delay, you say?

Delay – a period by which something is late or postponed, to be late or slow.

Let’s face it, we live in a world where we are CONSTANTLY in some sort of hurry. It”s like we are running a race, why I have no idea. Sometimes I wish it would just slow down.

Back a few months  ago I sat on a airplane (that was not moving) for two hours because we needed to wait for the ice on the windows to melt.  Who’s fault is it that the ice had to melt? No one’s, right? Exactly.  But see as humans we become immediately aggravated and impatient, myself being at the tip top of the list.

Anyways, after waiting and waiting (and waiting some more) my plane finally took off. When I landed in Dallas, I took off running hoping and praying my next flight hadn’t taken off without me.

When I made it to my gate I realized it had been momentarily DELAYED. (15 minutes at most, they said) Thirty minutes later they told us only thirty more minutes.  After a few rounds of hearing that my nerves were shot, as were all of the people around me.

A woman near me told her husband, “don’t lose your cool, someone else will.” I chuckled when I heard the words and waited.

Sure enough, a lot of someone’s lost it.  As I watched it happen I realized how broken our society is.

Everyone was frustrated, rightfully so, but it’s just a part of traveling.  But that’s the thing, we don’t understand delays. We do not even try to understand them.  We don’t like it when things go our way, its just how we are wired. We are not patient.

Since this happened a few months ago I have noticed countless times how much we as a society go crazy because of a minor delay. During this time I have come to realize that life’s about hanging on for the ride, enjoying the bumps and loving the delays.

There  will always be speed bumps in our life but is that any reason for us to slow down?

Turn up the music and dance through the delays.

“Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools.” Ecclesiastes 7:9

The beautiful picture God painted after a day full of delays.

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Five ways to let go, live, and be fearless

If you could belt out any song you wanted what song would it be? And what would it reveal about you?

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We all have secrets, every single one of us whether we like to admit it or not. That’s just how people are. We are scared to show the world the things we’re afraid of. We are afraid of not being accepted or being “strange.” It’s really hard for us as people to fight the things we’re afraid of.
You see, some of us are outgoing, and some of us or not. But regardless, we all hide little bits of ourselves because we are simply scared. The important thing is that we overcome that fear. We have no reason to be scared, its just life.

Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat. Its kind of like having a monster under the bed, fear is fueled by what might be. Not by what really is. Why do we worry so much about what could be? Why do we worry at all?

The LORD is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1

I don’t know about you, but that calms my fears.

Here’s five ways to let go, live, and be fearless:
1. Just breathe-it’s simple. Inhale, exhale, and repeat.
2. Love- hate will get you every time. Always love.
3. Forgive- life is too short, what’s done is done. Move on.
4. Take life one step at the time-quit planning. All we have is this moment right now. There is no better moment to overcome your fear and accomplish your goals than right now.
5. Smile- happiness is free, and contagious so why not spread it.

“Very little is needed to make a happy life. It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.” – Marcus Aurelius

Don’t survive, LIVE.


Henry David Thoreau once wrote: “Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each.”

     One day we’re gonna look back on how our lives went and we are gonna miss it. But I think what we will realize when we look back is how much we rushed it away and how much of it we literally missed out on.  Not that we “miss” it.  But that we “missed” it.  How much of the air we didn’t breathe in.  How many ships sailed without us.  

Some days we get so caught up in getting through the day or the week or the month that we just try to survive.  I can’t begin to remember all of the times I’ve said, “If I can just get through blah blah day I’ll be okay…” But that’s the thing, life isn’t about surviving or “getting through” it’s about truly living. Those days we rush away and just get through, we won’t ever get them back.  Those years in life that we spend planning the next year, we don’t get those back.  So why do we rush through them?  Why do we just try to “get through?”

IDA Scott Taylor once wrote: “Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it is gone, and do not be troubled about the future, for it has yet to come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.     

        Life happens in a blink, so how are you gonna spend it? We like to say we make good use of my time, but do we? Do we take in each and every moment? Do you? Do I really chase my dreams? Do you really chase your dreams?  Is what you are doing now going to be worth remembering?

When someone tells you that your dreams are too big, don’t take that for an answer, keep believing. We have to follow the signs, regardless if the quick sand tries to pull us down.  We have to keep following our heart, we have to keep on living.  If you’ve got a dream, get out there and chase it.  You may not have the chance tomorrow so don’t keep putting it off.  It’s never too soon and it’s never too late to follow your heart, so dream big. LIVE life.  If it’s your dream, I’ll bet you it’s worth it.

Our biggest regrets are not for the things we did – but, for the things we didn’t do. For the things we didn’t say, for the dreams we didn’t chase. You never know where the next blessing will come from.  Get out there and find it.

      There is happiness in everyday, we simply must look for it.  So take a look in the mirror and remind yourself to be happy, because you deserve to be.  You just have to believe it.  

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Some will go one direction in life and others will go another, which way will you go?

I dare you to follow your heart and chase your dreams, I dare you to LIVE.

Back bending through the holi-daze-

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I’m home for a month for Christmas.  We went to Nashville to visit my cousin Kenton just a few days before Christmas which is where the above pic came from, after a evening of being lost in Opryland hotel where I decided to pop a backbend on the way back to our room (p.s. I haven’t done a backbend in at least a year-help).  Anyway, sadly Christmas is already over, it was wonderful. Really the holidays are my favorite time of the year to me it just makes life so magical, Ho Ho Hoooo…  I mean to be honest I’ve already started my countdown for next year. I know I know, it’s only been three days. Butttttttt…..

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Santa brought me the One Tree Hill series, and a Keith Scott Body Shop shirt (like my addiction needed to be fed anymore) for Christmas, so of course I must watch it all over again. Finally I talked mom into watching them with me and my little sister, MG, yesterday but while we’ve been watching my daddy and little brother have gotten hooked too- they even wanted to skip out on deer hunting to watch, wowzers!  We’ve watched 16 episodes in 24 hours, I’d say I’ve got them all addicted too. Oops… But trust me, it’s healthy, it’s “family time.”

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Blogging is a super new thing for me BUT I’ve decided to give it a shot.  I mean what could it hurt, at least one day I’ll have a way to look back and see what I was doing and where I was in life.  It’s almost time for the dreaded New Year’s resolutions or I should say January resolutions, heres a little fact: most people give up on their resolutions by January the 17th.  This year I’m shooting to make it to at least February. We shall see.

Embracin’ my moments,

-Abby