keeping track of the ordinary and the extraordinary
Saturday, December 20, 2014
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Playing around with my camera a lot this weekend and captured what our life looks like every (mostly) Saturday morning. Note the absence of Ethan. He chooses to sleep, and we let him.
Posted by Carissa at 3:08 PM
Friday, February 10, 2012
It is a good thing that this week started out full of sunshine because it's been a stormy week. Throughout the storms, there have been rays brightly shining through, yet my heart has been heavy as I wrestle in prayer and slog through the grey.
I would say the overall theme is that we need Jesus in this world. I need Jesus every moment of the day. From my sweet toddler who declared to the nurse at the doctor's office "I don't want to be nice! I want to be mean!" to my dad's overnight hospital stay to marriage struggles abounding in the body of Christ and junk rising up in my own marriage, it is evident that our only hope and confidence in this world is found in the One who sacrificed EVERYTHING to give us abundant life.
When I place my confidence and hope in how my kids are performing, how good they are and when I place the responsibility for my joy on my husband or my job, then my emotions roll along in a sea of calm (yay, I'm happy!)...then rollicking and scary (wow, I'm overwhelmed, how do I do this?)...then peaceful (oh, so nice)...then not-so-peaceful and uncertain (I thought we were doing great...aren't we? Yikes, we've got issues!), well, it's exhausting. Even the good things become exhausting, draining, sapping the life right out of me. It is time to lay down self and those wishy-washy emotions and pick up all of Jesus.
Jesus LOVES me. He LOVES the body of Christ. He is Healer, Redeemer, Living Water, Bread of Life. Our Anchor and Lifeline.
...This was so that by two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled to Him for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before us. Now we have this hope as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul -- it cannot slip or break down under whoever steps out upon it -- a hope that reaches farther and enters into the very certainty of the Presence within the veil, where Jesus has entered in for us, a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.
The Message puts it like this:
God can't break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable. We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It's an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.
Father, may this day -- regardless of circumstances good or bad -- be one of those days in which I fix my eyes upon You. You are so good and holy, so full of mercy and grace and truth. You are our Helper and our Friend. You have made us beautiful in your sight. Bless all of the ones struggling this week with eyes to see that you are the Anchor for our souls, our certain hope. Give us strength and strong encouragement. You tell us in Isaiah "And the effect of righteousness shall be peace [internal and external], and the result of righteousness, quietness and confident trust for ever." I receive it and claim it! In Jesus' name, Amen
Posted by Carissa at 7:24 AM
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
So loved, loved, loved Super Bowl Sunday. Sunshine and warmth broke through in February (wow) and we soaked it up. Literally. I had a black sweater on and could barely bring myself to go inside and get my house ready for Super Bowl company, what with all that heat on my back, a smile of delight on my girl's face, the dog chasing her ball. The boys were playing basketball after the Super Bowl with their cousins...in short sleeves. It's on days like this that I know God is delightfully dumping sunshine and warmth on me, knowing that sometimes I need to feel it with every ounce of my being.
Posted by Carissa at 6:33 AM
Monday, January 30, 2012
Adoption can definitely be a lonely path. Not so this weekend at Created For Care in Atlanta, where I -- along with over 400 other adoptive moms -- landed for a time of refreshment, encouragement and cheer. Actually, the thing I liked most, the thing that I found most refreshing, was spending time with my friend Deb. Coming in a close second was waking up in the morning to silence, slowly stretching myself awake, glancing at the clock and rolling back over. Beautiful. Priceless. They should make one of those credit card commercials about that.
I walked away with one thing: I need more Jesus.
During a session completely anointed by the Holy Spirit, amidst all of these women worshiping our Abba Father, I knew each person in the room was embraced by Grace, drowning in the sea of God's love, in awe as we watched the screen flash pictures of family after family. Diverse families from all over, all testimonies of how God brings beauty out of the ashes of our world and ourselves. I was really in a state of awe. This was refreshment for my soul. This was shouting out the character of God...which I sometimes question. His compassion, mercy and grace and kindness, the things that make up His perfect character, were ALL OVER those pictures, filling my heart with JOY.
The speakers were real and transparent people, dealing with the often hard realities of adoption and speaking practical wisdom. They told us about their trials, mistakes. In short, it wasn't pretty. Yet it was beautiful. Overall, it was about this:
Abide in Jesus and let Him do the rest. Do what HE wants you to do, not what YOU want to do or the adoption community wants you to do or your feelings want you to do. Be under His discretion. Do not forge ahead without Him. The speaker was talking to a room full of doers, risk-takers...and controllers. Sometimes we don't need to do anything but pray....wait...sit at the feet of Jesus...rest...and play kitchen with our little girls.
More Jesus, less me.
Posted by Carissa at 11:13 AM
- ► 2011 (24)
- ► 2010 (81)
- ► 2009 (40)
- 06/12/10 HOME!
- 06/09/10 Embassy Date
- 04/28/10 PASSED COURT!!!
- 04/27/10 COURT DATE #3
- 04/19/10 COURT DATE #2
- 04/07/10 COURT DATE!
- 03/19/10 Received Court Date
- 03/11/10 I-600A Approval Notice
- 02/25/10 USCIS fingerprints
- 01/28/10 Accepted Referral!!!
- 01/22/10 Dossier to Ethiopia
- 01/13/10 Dossier off to IAG
- 01/07/10 Homestudy approved!
- 12/22/09 Homestudy off to DCFS
- 12/02/09 Home Study #3
- 11/10/09 Home Study #2
- 11/02/09 Home Study #1
- 10/26/09 Contract to IAG
- 10/14/09 App. to IAG
- 10/09/09 Meeting with Pastor
- 09/16/09 Fingerprints!
- 09/11/09 Meeting with ECFA
- 08/28/09 Decided to Adopt