Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Give Thanks!

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name;
 make known among the nations what he has done.
  Sing to him, sing praise to him;
 tell of all his wonderful acts. 
 Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
  Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." 
1 Chronicles 16:8-11

From the very beginning we knew that what we needed, God would provide.  How He would choose to provide it was a mystery.  For the last 3 years Chris has been in college, receiving tuition assistance through the VA.  In January his payment was unusually late.  Up until this time we had been using the money to pay off debt.  God began stirring in my heart the desire to adopt, so we prayed, for weeks we prayed about where He was leading us.  In God's perfect time the payment came and we had enough for our initial application fees.  A month or so later we refinanced our home, giving us just the amount we needed along with our first Chip-in to cover our Home study.  And so it went.  Through different means and only as we needed it God provided.  One day in the mail I received two checks, the exact amount we needed for our love offering for Reece's Rainbow.  Again and again God has shown his perfect provision.  It has never been more than we needed or early, a daily reminder that all good things come from God!  These are not works for us to boast about, but only to the glory of God!

The VA money was coming to an end and yet we still had $6000+ still to be raised for our travel expenses.  We started a campaign called "Twenty for Taiwan"  in which we raised just over $3000!  It came in a little at a time, a continual reminder that we are held in the palm of God's hand.  During this time racking our brains and just about at whits end emotionally, I get a call from our Pastor asking if the church could sponsor a dinner for us and another church family. 

How could I say no?  When we felt like we had nothing left to offer, no energy, no time, God provided.  He gave us a church family that has stood beside us, prayed, worked and even carried us in this journey!  
Our only responsibility for this dinner was to share our story and even that God provided!  I planned and stressed over what to say, but in the end God provided  just the right words.

Over 250 people came to our dinner!  The gym was packed, tangible evidence of the outpouring of God's love through his people.  All the food was donated from local restaurants.  Not only did our church come together, but our community as well.  More than 50 silent auction items lined the tables.  This is not the kind of event I could have planned.  Many thanks to the church staff and members who put it all together!  In total they raised just over $6000!

When Pastor Allen called the next night to tell us the total it was not hard to believe; it was exactly what we needed!  Had God not already shown us He would provide?  Is His provision not perfect?  It is indeed!

"Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Ephesians 5:20

Monday, October 15, 2012

Blurry Vision

Through teary eyes tonight I said good-bye to my son, promising to see him soon.  Oh how I pray I can keep that promise!  Our Skype visit was much more emotional than the previous ones.  He knows that we are coming.  He sees us and Mommy and Daddy.  He continues to ask when he is coming home. 

Even without a final decree yet signed or travel plans made I can look at that little boy across the world through the camera and say he is my son!  It was so hard to see him crying.  I want to be the one rubbing his back to comfort him and to wipe those tears, but I am blessed to know he does have the kind of caregiver who will do those things.  She spoke words of comfort and encouragement and though He is unseen, my son has a heavenly father sending His Holy Spirit to comfort and give peace.

Monday, October 1, 2012

More Than a Bath

I would like to share this story with you that my friend wrote who is recently home with 3 new children that her and her husband adopted from overseas.  Many days have been filled with struggles as they adjust to each other, new routines, and blending a family of now 7 children.  Adoption is not easy.  It is not for the faint of heart.  It is a road that challenges our faith and our very identity.  Do I have what it takes to parent this child?  Will we survive this adjustment and still like each other?  Will life every be easy again?  Adoption, from what I have seen, changes you.  Your heart and your faith will never be the same again.  Though there are struggles, it also brings with it the greatest of joys and glimpses of the great love the Heavenly Father has for us, His adopted children!


As I bathed Nicole tonight I couldn’t help but be filled with thoughts .. tender thoughts for this little girl. I admit that often I struggle with why God chose us to be her parents or more precisely me to be her mom. I do not feel qualified to deal with so many of the issues this little girl, this broken girl has. At such a young tender age of 5 and yet we are her fourth “home”. How much has she endured? How will she ever learn to love us? Most important how will she learn to love herself. I don’t understand why things happen as they do in the world. I don’t know why she was moved from place to place never staying long enough to establish a “normal” life. I can’t imagine what she had to face. the unanswered tears.. the lonely nights of strange noises.. the food given strictly to survive and not for pleasure.. the struggle for dominance in order to be safe.. all these things I can’t comprehend. I do know that our Lord and Savior loved this little girl. He protected her and saw her through all in which she endured and tonight as I washed this broken soul my heart grew for her and my Savior. Her body may be whole although she is painfully skinny and shivers in the bath even though it is warm, but her emotions and her spirit are broken. As she put her little hand into mine and I lathered the soap on it and scrubbed it softly I was brought to think of this verse

"Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?
 If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him.
For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple.” 1 Cor 3:16-17

Isn’t that a thought? I wasn’t just washing a little girl but also the holy spirit within her. Let me tell you that gives you a new perspective on how you handle someone. The feeling of her hand in mine and the trust that she has in even a simple bath is enough to give me pause.. pause to the feelings I have had lately... the feelings of frustration and anger when she did things I perceived as bad or destructive. This child of God is doing the best that she can given the circumstances of life that were given to her. I do not have all the answers and I am still not “qualified” to deal with all her hurdles.. but God will equip me to know how to help her... and you know maybe that is just part of it.. it is not about me and what “I” can do for her to help.. this is about God and his redeeming love.. about how he can use someone like me (and my husband) to be His hands and feet .. we are not only taking care of our child but also God’s daughter. After her tender bath as I was rinsing her clean from suds it reminded me of how God has washed me clean and this verse really hit home

   "For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Titus 3:3-7

 I know that even as profound as this washing was for me tonight that I will still stumble and fail to do or act the right ways. She will still frustrate me and we will still have battles, but tonight as I washed “even the least of these” .. I washed by the Holy Spirit and that will forever stick in my mind and soul.