Riah…transformation, hidden things, and celebration!

“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you Father, Lord of heaven and earth because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children.  Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”  Luke 10:21

I read this verse this morning and my heart was filled with such joy.  I feel so lacking sometimes in so many areas…as a follower of Jesus, as a wife, as a mom, as a friend, as an adoptive mom…as a homeschool mom…Our world is full of great examples, inspirational people, knowledge, ideas, methods, books, resources…It is so much that sometimes I feel at a loss to even know where  to begin.  I think as I’ve studied God’s Word recently and  walked my crazy life day to day, I am so thankful for the Spirit of my loving Heavenly Father…who gives wisdom and grace in the moments of my life.  Maybe I can’t have the most knowledge or have studied the most on any of the main areas in my life, but I can trust in the best wisdom—that of Heaven.

As I thought on this verse, my heart was also delighted thinking of the past two years with Riah.  God has transformed a little precious life…a mommy’s heart and our whole family.  Now that Riah has had so much time to be a daughter, a sister…part of a family, SHE is immerging!  I love seeing more of who she is and seeing as this verse says, that God has revealed Himself to her in intimate and beautiful ways….ways that I will never know or comprehend, because He’s chosen her heart.  From the time she first was able to go to church with us, we noticed something special…The music captivated her! She was so focused…arms raised to heaven, even when she was less that 2 years old.  She was worshipping.  That has only deepened and grown more beautiful as she’s grown…Almost every time she’s with us in church, someone behind us comes up to us with tears because they’ve been moved by her worship of her Heavenly Father.  She sings at the  top of her lungs!! No reservation.  It is beautiful.  Lately, she has been making up her own songs, which I know a lot of kids do, but when I can make out her words, she is singing songs to Jesus!  One of her most common songs says something like, “Oh, you know my name…” this has special meaning to me…and then there is always a “hosanna” or a “Oh, God…” in there.  She has a beautiful little voice—one blessing of not having Dave’s or my vocal genes J.  I love knowing that God has given her a heart of worship…I often wonder what her calling is…what did God plan 3 years ago for this little girl?  Why are we the chosen ones to get front row to watch His miraculous plan and purpose unfold in her life?  I love our little princess…she IS for His good pleasure.

A few days ago, we went out into the beautiful fall sunshine because Riah said, “Mommy, I wanna ride my bike!” I thought it was a perfect idea, so out we went…Now, ‘riding her bike’ for the past 6 months has meant sitting on it while I push it. She has been trying to pedal, has learned to hold on with both hands…but keeping her little lefty on there has been so difficult and her left leg, not quite strong enough to keep the pedals going, but this week..SHE DID IT!! She pedaled…she was focused, strong and determined!! I’ve loved seeing this in her.  Lots of things are “I can’t.” (Those are usually the things she doesn’t want to do) But, when she WANTS to do it, she does.  She pedaled. I screamed.  She looked at me like I was crazy!  You know sometimes you look at your kids and you don’t mean to but you see the limitations…as Riah is getting older, she is having to overcome more and more…but she is doing it! God is strengthening her body, but more importantly her spirit.  She is not afraid anymore.

She pedaled her little trike down to the park…stopping a few times, her foot slipping off a few times, but she got it!  Something that 5 months ago on her birthday, I could barely imagine is now a reality and a success for her!  I got the camera, the flip mac…and followed her! Cheered her on! Was way over the top. But, it’s how I felt.  I love remembering that 2 years ago this little girl could not even stand on her own….now she’s riding a trike!  She looked at me like I was crazy and sort of like, “Mommy, of course I can ride my bike.”  It is SO fun to celebrate though (and brag on her a bit!)

What a VICTORY!! GO RIAH!!


She continues to have therapy every week on her hand and leg, but the best part is that she isn’t scared anymore…we just got a new therapist a couple months ago and after a month, she said, “Mommy, I love Mr. Glen.” She does.  She loves her therapists. She’s even starting to test them and disobey them…which I don’t love in the moment, of course, but I do love seeing that she has the confidence to test the waters, just like my other kids would do!! I always tell Riah’s therapists, they’re lucky they have Riah’s personality to work with and not Evie!! She’s our little Strong Will.

As we’ve walked this road of adoption, acceptance, becoming family and many things regarding the physical body, God has shaped and molded Riah and I so much.  I see the changes in my family as well…The kids are amazing—the love and acceptance has been beautiful—like God’s.

I was blessed to go to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert this past weekend with Ella…for those of you who know his story, he and his family have brought 3 children into their family through adoption.  One has already gone on to Heaven through a tragic accident…but God has used their lives to further the kingdom…He has used this tragedy to bring HIS HEART to so many families.  His heart is for the Orphan. It is for the needy.  His heart is drawn to the poor, the broken.  This is the heart I love and long to have.  God has to break so much to make mine more like His, but he is growing it one piece at a time.  I loved hearing the many stories of adoption, of Christ’s heart being lived out on this earth…God reminded me of my story. Of Riah’s story. We are all lost, alone,  broken and in need of  a place to belong…a place to be loved.  Ours is a story of redemption.  Because I have been forgiven of so much, God has enabled me to love. But my love needs to come out of His love and acceptance of me.  His love is perfect and unconditional…mine, I’m afraid is very tainted, selfish and conditional.

As I’ve walked with Riah, learning to become her mommy here on this earth, I continue to pray to have His heart…to love…to be her defender…to help her…to comfort her, but so often I find myself in My Heavenly Fathers’ arms receiving from Him—first from Him, then poured out.