I woke up to the sounds and events of the morning routine, and praised the Lord for each and every step he has guided us through in our lives.
Our morning starts with:
Sarah grinding coffee and getting it ready for the family.
Alli coming onto our bed to pray with us and snuggle for a few minutes.
Sarah coming in to say good morning and give us each a kiss and then waiting for us
to say the word "Yes".... the question is unspoken. (May I use the computer)
Alli then gets up and daddy gets ready for work.
I go in and put my hand on Anna's shoulder and whisper "Good morning sweetie. I love you."
I kiss Erika on the forehead and whisper I love you's.
Then, I go in and start breakfast. Today we had sausage and eggs.
Erika comes out of the room and daddy tightens her legs. That is a routine that is etched in stone. LOL She gets lingering hugs from both of us and I finish cooking our meal.
Everybody chatters away, laughs and finishes their short stint on the computer.
The chickens are let out, laundry is sorted, the trash is taken out, everybody gets dressed and
daddy walks out the door. We all sit down for a small devotion... and that is how each day starts.
This was typical for each day all these years, minus one person. Miss Alli.
And then, nearly 8 months ago, Alli came home. Our morning routine changed drastically.
Alli did not come in for snuggles. She did not pray. She did not want to eat, and she did not want to join in on the morning routine. There was a lot of accusation and yelling from one hurt little girl. She changed our routine for a while. :) We had to bend and break out of our own mold, so that she could find the door to enter in.
It was sort of like bringing a new baby into the house. You have to get used to the new routine or no routine for a while. It isn't always pleasant.
In fact, there were days of exhaustion and later than normal bedtimes. Sarah sometimes would sleep in late and Mike and I would grind our coffee as quietly as we could so nobody would wake up... just so we could have a moment before the day began.
Alli was really trying, but didn't have the life tools to know what to do. We knew she was trying. We could see it on her face. I am so glad for Mike's insights into her. We slowly guided her into a new routine over the months and things improved one day at a time. 3 steps forward, 2 steps back. 3 steps forward, 2 steps back.... and then 10 steps forward. 7 steps back. :) You get the picture. :)
There were trust issues, OF COURSE THERE WERE! She had no reason to trust us. She needed to see us in action. She also
Mike and I have prayed a lot of extra during this transition time. We prayed for the girls who were missing their routine and for Miss Alli, who didn't know what she was missing.
I remember telling her... "You are no longer a visitor! You are a part of us! You are a Minich!"
And then slowly.... she started to turn a corner. We could see it... I don't know if she could or not.
She was like a person afraid of the water. She would dip her toe in and stand on the side, satisfied with the idea of the water, satisfied with the wet toe, but too afraid to jump in and immerse herself. We knew, if she would just enter in, she would love it. But much of the time she would shrink back in doubt and fear.
But there is something different going on now. It has been moving in this direction all along. It is just easier to see now.
Instead of hours to work through something, it takes minutes. Instead of us seeking her out, she seeks us out. Instead of us initiating prayer time, she does. Her joy is joyful, without holding back. Her play is fun, without nervously controlling.
Her meal times are pleasant, without demand and her bedtimes are peaceful without harsh words.
Her relationships are strengthening and I even heard her talk about "when I'm older, I'm going to..." and "Next year, we can...." Those words are words of joy to me. She isn't thinking she will be somewhere else anymore. She knows she is home. Our home. HER HOME!
We have seen her transfom and in the process, we have been transformed too. Each of us, in a new way, has reached out harder and deeper and we have each grown in our relationships.
The Lord knew that we needed some transformation too... so he put us all together. :)
This morning.... when I heard the coffee grinder go off.... and I heard the patter of feet coming down the hall to wake us, and I heard the I love you's and we were all up and in our own little family routine once again... just as before... except with Miss Alli fully engaged, happy and entering in...... I praised the Lord a little extra. :)