Adventure with Engagement AWE · Family travel · Hope · Motherhood

A wonderful gift waiting for us in China!

Molly could be weighed against feathers.

She is so little for all the machines surrounding in the burn hospital, giving and taking.

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Shanghai General Hospital , China

She had suffered through God knows how many surgeries, not to mention the endless skin-graphs.

Did I tell you we met her in China at the burn hospital in Bejing?

So many children, so little time!

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Molly

You know the feeling of wanting to take them home with us in.

We brought a big white stuffed dog for Molly.

 

When our Tyler bent down eye-to-eye with Molly he gave her his high-beam smile (a wonderful gift in itself); then, he took the big dog out of it’s red package and handed it to her.

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Tyler

We were all happy-surprised when she reached out on her own to take it from Tyler.

She turned to her mother and hugged her with her dog between them.

Every door in my heart blew open.

I was full of love for Molly, but I had some questions. 

When she leaves here will she be stroller’d out into the great outdoors?

As she grows, will she pedal down neighborhood streets on her two-wheeler? 

Will the other children accept her?

Will she swing around the pole of parking meters?

When she sleeps will she reach out for stars?

I look at her mother and remembered every emotion rocking her heart.

All I want to do is to sweep Molly up and rock her for a solid month-and-a-half.

dawn

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Family travel

Starving for a loving God

Some believe that we are puppets and God is pulling the strings.puppet strings

Some believe that everything that happens is prearranged by God.

I know you’ve heard that before, and you might just believe it.

I did.  

I’d heard it most of my life, and it seriously affected my willingness to trust God.

I didn’t know it, but I was starving for a loving God.

Screen Shot 2019-02-20 at 2.43.47 PMIn time, a loving God found me.

After being drenched in love, I could no longer believe that God arranged our accident, or any accident.

Just so you know, let me tell you where I’m coming from.

I’m coming from the frontage road on a Texas freeway when our car flipped several times, caught fire, and my 7-year-old son burned to death.

That’s where I’m coming from.

And if you think Ryan’s death was a lesson to me from God, no offense, but you’re not thinking straight.

God’s heart was the first to break. God’s tears were first to flow.

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“God is Love.”

Now does that sound like a God who would plan an accident that kills a little boy?

I no longer believe that God arranged our accident or any accident.                 

dawn

Faith · Family travel · Hope

My questions / Hopes’ answers

I’ve told you some of my deepest questions. Now I want to show you some of Hope’s answers:???

– I no longer believe that God is punishing Ron and me for Ryan’s death.

I no longer believe that God arranged our accident or any accident. God is LOVE.

–I believe that life is not selective. All people, whatever their color, creed, or cash are not singled out for disaster.

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Trenton and Colton in Jaipur, India

-I believe that death is basically random and we are simply caught in the crossfire.

These are my blessings, and sometimes my curse.

Dawn   

I want us to unpack each of these gifts in the next few weeks.  

Join me daily Instagram@ dawnraymondhirn

Faith · Family travel · Hope · Relationship

My heart / God’s home

Pre-accident, I only knew God from a distance, more like a ‘sky-God.’

Many of us were taught how to pray to the ‘sky-God’ in heaven. woman & cross keem-ibarra-560576-unsplash

After the accident, I found God, or God found me, and I learned that prayer is conversational.

God had come to live in my heart, not in the sky.

As my Faith grew, I began to grow too.

I was given Wisdom, a spoonful at a time.

For instance, I realized that Ryan was a Gift given to me, not a Gift taken away. 

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Ryan ’94

From the beginning, I felt honored that God entrusted Ryan to me, but more than that, God entrusted himself to me in an intimate ‘horizontal’ relationship.

dawn

Feel free to comment or add your story.

 

Encouragement · Family · Family travel · Relationship · Travel

Confession

Diving Heart-first into the Adventure from “I” to “we,” I had to stop reading about everybody else’s Adventure and remember that we’re on an Adventure ourselves. (It’s not too late).

Before we go on, I have a confession to make:

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Ryan ’94

I never really wanted kids in the first place.

I figured they’d just get in the way of everything that matters most to me.

But somewhere along the way, this ‘loner’ changed her mind.

Which led to Ron and I talking about family, children, and our future and found that we were on the very same page.

The birth of our first son, Ryan, was the most life-changing event of my life.

I learned that family relationships were paramount. But you probably already know that.

So, three children later, we packed up the boys and went on a 6-month around-the-world Adventure. And I saw immediately that they weren’t ‘in the way’ like I thought.

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I was wrong.

They were the way.

A blind man could see that the value of our time with our children took us down a whole new, and necessary, path of Adventure.

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St. Petersburg, Russia new family

On top of that, we found brothers and sisters we’d never met before, and it was our children who introduced them to us.

We were so much larger than just 1 family.

We are worldwide.

We are the universal family of God.

Colors of India
Our new Indian friends in Agra, India

dawn

(We’ve started on our new Adventure together like we talked about last week, and I swear to you that it won’t be the same, for me, if you don’t come along.)

These are my thoughts today. Is there anything–dreams, thoughts or adventures–that I’ve missed?

 

Family travel

Be Prepared!

Bosnia-Herzegovina, as part of Yugoslavia, helped found the World Organization of the Scout Movement in 1922.    “Budi spreman!”, they cry —  their version of Be Prepared!

Family sign CroatiaAll over the world, scouts are shouting their version of the motto.  Personally, I prefer the Armenian translation:    Always Prepared, Elevate Yourself and Others with You.   

Tyler Eagle Scout

The Hirn men, all scouts, understand the importance of ‘being prepare.’  And, thanks to the scout leaders, have also learned the importance of “elevating yourself and others with you.”

Always Prepared is my motto, or my delusion, I don’t know which.  The strongest motto sets you in the right direction, but doesn’t necessarily secure your safety.   Our world trip took us into areas we had never been, without the benefit of cell phone technology, daily weather forecasts, fresh water, meds and transportation.  We did our homework before we left. And though we were ready with bottled water, paper, homeschool materials, and a few meds, we could not anticipate everything.  We understood before we left-Pakistan, Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Syria- were not places we would be going.  In 1992, Ron and I dared not step foot in the Balkan because of the vicious Yugoslavian war.    But it was safe enough when we returned with the kids.  What a blessing the Balkan was to us each!

Ron overlkng orange roofs, Old Town Dubrovnik Croatia

Some signs are promising:                                                Others, not so much!

We are bracing ourselves for a second US hurricane hit in a month. Harvey left unprecedented damage in Texas, and now Irma is on the warpath.  Nobody in her path can Be Prepared alone. It takes a team of friends, neighbors, weather forecasters, and public service announcements.  But regardless of the warnings, unless you are wise enough to take direction, you may find yourself in the middle of a 10 ft. storm surge.  And no amount of bottled water or canned food at that point is going to help you.

Be Prepared.  Better yet, stay Always Prepared listening to those around you, accepting offers of those out of state who beg you to come away from the storm’s path.   You know who you are!

Stay safe!  Be wise.  And Be Prepared.

Dawn

Adventure with Engagement AWE · Family travel

Walking back through . . .

Ever been to one of those flea markets where you walk in and are immediately hit with a visual overload?   No matter how hard you try to squeeze it all in, you’re never gonna see it all the first go around.  Here’s what you do:

To take in what you see first, walk around.  Then, reverse your direction.   Walk back through the other way, and you can catch all the things you missed the first time.  Be sure to come back again either alone or with somebody different.  A new face and a new day offers new details!

First time I went to Europe, I was a single girl on the hunt for travel, a fresh outlook on life and a job that could support my wanderlust.  Second time around, I was a married lady.  The man of my dreams and I bought a tiny old VW camper in Germany.

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And for 10 months spent every moment living the dream of being together 24/7, touring cathedrals, monuments, and wonders of the world.  After about 6 months of concentrated love, exhilaration and togetherness, the cathedrals and monuments began looking alike.  Ron and I had blown through most of the 100+ paperbacks we brought from home and while the love was still strong, the togetherness and exhilaration were wearing thin.  But we agreed it would be only a matter of time till we walked back through.

Fast forward 21 years: A little larger camper this time, and a whole lot more patience!

6man circular bike Parier PlatzThis time, we took our three boys and Ryan’s backpack, to be as close to a complete family as humanly possible.

They mocked our romantic photo ops with their own interpretation of true love.

The Balkan experience was a first time walk-through for us all.  Ron and I had previously avoided this ’92 war-torn area and found another route to Greece.

Sunset excellence!

Walking back through is never the same.  Isn’t supposed to be.   Many things change; some things never do.

Kind of like the old saying about which is more important: monuments or footsteps?  The answer is: Footsteps.  A monument only shows how far you got when you stopped.  And footsteps usually promise at least one more new adventure or one more walk-through.

If you’ve already been, go back.  If you haven’t gone, what are you waiting for?

Dawn