So often I am completely stilled that the God of the universe would answer my greatest and deepest desire with the story that he has.
From as early as I can remember, I have always dreamed of being a mom. As the oldest of four children, I always felt like I was my siblings' second momma. When I was little and someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always “a mom”, or “I want to work with orphans and love them as my own.” It's funny how God plants those little seeds in our hearts from the youngest of ages.
However, God's timeline was different from mine, but gracious. It was perfect. The miracles he has worked in my life have drawn me closer to him in ways that I never imagined possible. He took that desire to care for orphans and children and made it my story through adoption. So, THIS is my story and my greatest heart’s desire is to use all for His glory…
I’m now a mom to two fiercely, ferocious little boys that came to our family through adoption. Our story with each of them is so different and unique, yet, beautifully fitting to who they are.
Raising our two toddlers is messy and wild. Yet, Liam and Eli are my whole world and I am learning each day who Jesus is because of them.
There is loudness and silly noises. There is wrestling and boo-boos. There are snuggles and sweet “I love you’s” that round out every day in moments where my momma heart needs them most. And, I can see Jesus’ love for me in the way that I love and parent them. I can see his grace, unconditional love, and gentle arms always outstretched for me to fall into. Being a momma has allowed me to meet Jesus in a way that I had never experienced before I met these two tiny humans.
But truthfully, I have no idea what I am doing. My husband, Stewart, and I are literally winging parenting with the best of them and reminded daily that it is only because of Jesus that we can do this. He called us and chose us when he could have chosen anyone else. But he chose us, Stewart and Amber Justice, to be these little miracles mommy and daddy. It’s in that assurance that I find my miracle in the mess.
Liam is our almost 5-year-old. Every day we have three sayings we walk through together to start our day. They are simple, but I truly believe that no matter our age, stage or season, they can be life-giving reminders for us all:
Today is a new day, a new chance to love well, to forgive, be gentle with ourselves and each other. Yesterday is forgiven and today we have a fresh start.
For Liam, this means to be gentle with our hands and responses. For me, this is a reminder to be gentle with the gift that God has given me in myself. I can be harsh in the way that I talk to myself, especially when it comes to my appearance. When we’re intentional about having kindness in our hearts, it changes the way we speak to and love each other. If everyone had this thought, daily, what a difference each day could be.
Amen. Amen. Amen. Friends, not only do our littles need to hear these words, but WE DO TOO!!! We are so loved and we are worthy. We can do hard things. Even in the midst of mommying what we feel like is a mess, God has equipped me to do all the hard, easy, simple and complex things. With him and for him.
God is working miracles out of the messes that we see. When we feel like we are failing, or falling apart. He is our strength. He is the mighty hand leading us and guiding us every step of the way.
I love this verse in Psalm because it reminds me of who God is and all he has done for our family.
Praise Him! God deserves all the glory and I want that to be what my life reflects in every aspect, especially in my marriage and the lives of my littles.
Amber Justice is a beloved daughter of the King, dedicated sister, trusted friend, the wife to Stewart, and passionate adoptive momma to Liam and Eli. She pours her heart into her work as the Associate Adult Discipleship Director at Forest Hill Church. Her desire is to point people to Jesus. No matter where the He leads, she wants Jesus' name to be made greater from her little corner of the world.
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Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, public speaker, and musician. She serves as the Director of Communications and Donor Relations for the student sports-centric nonprofit she and her husband, Gage, run called Twelve. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to two little girls, Lina and Lili. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.