Saturday, February 27, 2010

Waiting on a Court Date



We’re waiting on a court date for our sweet baby girl.  It’s been a month since the day we laid eyes on her for the first time.  Since then we’ve received pictures here and there, bittersweet pictures that tell of her growth...and strengthen our longing for her to be in our arms.  I have not yet seen her smile or kick her legs or drink a bottle.  
I think of when the boys were babies, and how many times I cherished their smiles and quiet moments of pure sweetness.  And then I would turn around and complain about the monotony of the endless days of diapers, feedings, naps (I actually lived for nap time, now that I think about it), laundry and  -- the most frequent complaint of all   -- “I never have any time to myself.  I never get a break!” (After all, it was all about me...)
Perspective is an amazing thing, especially when it’s God’s perspective:
  
Behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
         The fruit of the womb is a reward.
    Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
         So are the children of one's youth.
    How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them... Psalm 127:2-5   
Now that I cannot possibly have and hold this newest member of our family during these first months of her life, I would give anything to do all of the “monotony” because I’ve finally figured out, after all these years, that all that drudgery is actually a blessing...a gift...a reward.   And babyhood is fleeting.   The years fly by and my 9-year-old barely fits in my lap and I stand eye-to-eye with my 11-year-old.  These are golden years with the boys...but those baby years were golden too.  I just didn’t see it that way sometimes.   
I can’t wait to experience babyhood again, with God’s perspective gently molding my own.  But I have to wait.  In the meantime, I pray...
Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord.   Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children... Lamentations 2:19
Father, will we get a court date this next week?  I don’t want to wait any longer.  I know Your timing is always perfect, but I am a mama who wants her baby now.  Thank you for your protection over her, and please love on our little one for us.  In the meantime, may I see each simple everyday act as you see it...an opportunity to bless my family and others.
I pray for the IAG families with court dates on Monday.  May these families pass and get assigned embassy dates quickly...but in Your perfect timing.   I pray blessings on others traveling now or soon to get their children.  May You protect them and make this time rich with warmth and joy.   In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Dwelling in Him



A BSF question this week:  What thoughts about God’s love for believers in Jesus Christ do you receive from the following?  John 15:9, John 17:26, Romans 5:5, Romans 5:7-8
Here’s what thoughts/truths I received:
He LOVES us!  We are told to ABIDE in His love.
Jesus makes God KNOWN to us; therefore, as we know Him, we experience this amazing LOVE WITHIN.
The LOVE of God has been POURED OUT within us through the Holy Spirit!  I just love those words.   Picture God’s love being splashed onto you, and as you are drenched from above, you soak it up, and it’s beautiful and peaceful and good and it fills you up like nothing else ever will.
God DEMONSTRATES His love for us...the best time was that one time on the cross through Jesus...and many, many times over and over again in the
everyday blessings...
still and quiet moments before Him...
blessing us with peace which surpasses all understanding...
mending our broken hearts...
healing our broken bodies...
because we DWELL in the shelter of the Most High, we ABIDE in the shadow of the Almighty.
Emmanuel, you are the ultimate dwelling place.  Nothing here can ever compare.  Your dwelling place is overflowing with love, reaching out to me always, pulling me along the path of love.




Monday, February 22, 2010

This Lenten Season
















“Until the love of God that knows no boundary, limit, or breaking point is internalized through personal decision; until the furious longing of God seizes the imagination; until the heart is conjoined to the mind through sheer grace, nothing happens.  The idolatry of ideas has left me puffed up, narrow-minded, and intolerant of any idea that does not coincide with mine.
The wild, unrestricted love of God is not simply an inspiring idea.  When it imposes itself on mind and heart with the stark reality of ontological truth, it determines why and at what time you get up in the morning, how you pass your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, and who you hang with; if affects what breaks your heart, what amazes you, and what makes your heart happy.” Brennan Manning
Abba Father, direct this distracted heart straight into your arms of love this Lenten season.  May I cease striving and know that You are God.  It is no longer I who live, but You live in me.   May my thoughts feast upon Your words of truth this season.  Teach me the steadfastness of Christ.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Project 365 - This Week





In my driveway, my current love








Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines

Longing

a sweet little lamb at Klein Creek Farm last spring (Ethan’s field trip)

He will tend his flock like a shepherd;he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.   Isaiah 40:11
Jesus, thank you for this verse, a promise for our little baby girl, a promise for us.   Yesterday we saw four pictures of her.  How I wished for more.   I cannot put into words the longing to gather this baby into my arms, to touch her beautiful face, to make her smile.  It’s heartbreaking to be halfway across the world.   But you are there with her.  Father, thank you for filling her little heart up with your abounding love, your tender care.  May she be blessed today with Your presence...hope, trust, love, peace, security.   Lord, I would love to see her smile today.   Jesus, it is a joy to be your child, to know that you delight in your children and that we are inscribed on the palm of Your hand.  You never forget us.  You never leave us.  We are continually in Your thoughts, gently leading those that are with young.  Jesus, dwell with her now.   Gather that little lamb into your arms, when I cannot.  In Your name, Amen

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Praying








little somethings for her first care package:  onesies, a teether, and a blanket


Lord, you have brought me gifts for this baby...
friends and family who pray.
From Dad, who always writes e-mails in capitals: 
WE WILL ALL LOVE OUR LITTLE HELEN. I WAS GOING THROUGH THE BIBLE THIS MORNING PICKING OUT SCRIPTURES THAT I THINK ARE FOR HER. SHE IS A BLESSED CHILD THAT WILL BE A BLESSING TO MANY. 
PSALM 71:6 BY THEE I HAVE BEEN SUSTAINED FROM MY BIRTH; THOU ART HE WHO TOOK ME FROM MY MOTHER'S WOMB; MY PRAISE IS CONTINUALLY OF THEE.
From my Mom, mighty prayer warrior:
Come child, on the wings of angels.
May your road be without trouble and burdens 
for you are precious in the eyes of our Father. 
You are sent by the Most High, wrapped in His love, truly a gift from heaven. 
I bless you little one with the protection of 
Jesus' blood that has been shed for you.
I bless you with a life lived through the Father's heart. 
I bless you to walk in a manner to fulfill the purpose you were created for. 
May all who know you be blessed by your presence. 
Amen!!!  love mom
Can't wait to hear more about getting our baby!  I am so excited it makes me cry!
How special she will be and I pray a vessel mightily used by the Lord.
From my new friend Aimee, also adopting a baby from ET:
Romans 15:13 
May the Lord continue to fill us with hope as we continue on this journey.  I continually intercede for our girls body, soul and spirit that they may be filled with his promises, hope and encouragement.  We're coming baby girls!!!! Please Lord quicken our steps to these precious babies!!! 
My “The Hole in the Gospel” friends: Deb and Katie and Sasha, have been lifting our little one up in prayer for months.  Thank you, so much, dear friends.  Your encouragement and prayers and joy have been such a gift.  You KNOW...because you have walked this path too.  So excited for each of you and what God is doing in your families.  I pray for each of you and your precious children.
My BSF group:  They pray for the paperwork, that not a piece of it gets misplaced, and for process, that God’s hand will be in every detail.
Our wonderful friends we share life with have prayed for you, Baby Girl, and were overjoyed to see your first pictures.  They await your arrival with much anticipation and joy!!!
Not to us, O Lord, not to us,
But to Your name give glory
Because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth.  
Psalm 118:1

Monday, February 8, 2010

Speaking of Grace...

One of my favorite photography bloggers wrote about grace.  I loved all the comments too.  I read about God's love, our love in John this morning.  And then I checked this blog.  (This isn't my usual order of things!)  I am a shameless follower of this man's amazing photography/fashion blog, and I was delighted when I read his thoughts.  It reminded me that love encompasses good manners and grace as it's defined in his February 2nd post.   So often love and grace are in the little things.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Grace

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.
Phillipians 4:8
Last night we dropped the ball.  We were hanging out with good friends over a lovely dinner.  The kids had already eaten, our DVD player wasn't working, and so we sent them off to another's house to watch their movie.  I glanced at the movie, thought briefly about checking the rating, and then dismissed the idea.  It looked okay from the outside.  William picked it up too, said it was okay, and off they went.
We called them home, and they came in the door with stricken faces.  The movie had been scary, not good at all, not appropriate.  My heart sunk.  Then I got angry.  It wasn't pretty.  Parenting mistakes are heart-wrenching sometimes, especially when the blame lies squarely on my shoulders, the consequences heavy.  Wm read the Bible to them, prayed, and we tucked them in with kisses and regretful hearts.  We were mad at each other, mad at ourselves.  We didn't kiss each other good night.  
It is because of the Lord's mercy and loving-kindness
 that we are not consumed, because His tender compassions
 fail not.
    They are new every morning;
 great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.
    The Lord is my portion or share, says my living being; therefore will
  I hope in Him and wait expectantly for Him.
Lamentations 3:22-24
I drifted into a restless sleep.  The Lord woke me up with pursue love, pursue peace, I am the Redeemer.  It is a new day. 
We were at peace.  Christian woke up with a joyful smile and said, isn't it amazing, I didn't have one bad dream all night.  God says, "My word that goes out from my mouth, it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire."  Christian, God's word trumps fear...always.  He redeems our bad decisions, our imperfect ways.  
Thank you, Lord, for your overflowing grace this morning.
Part II
We’ve been going through the Sermon on the Mount in Sunday School.   Our teacher is an OT professor at Wheaton College, and it’s an amazing privilege to sit under him every week.  Some questions for today:  Do I live an uninspired life, doing the right things in an almost legalistic way, taking a defensive sort of stance in our world?  Wow, I never think of my life as uninspired, so no to that one.  Defensive stance?  Yes, I do that sometimes.  Do I insulate myself from “bad people” and live an inward existence that focuses on family and those I love the most?   Yes, I do I love to be insulated and comfortable.  It’s so...cozy.
OR
Am I actively engaged in kingdom work?  Am I doing what Jesus is asking of me?  Namely, to see the world as He sees it.  Then move out and do something about it.  Do we see the world as broken?  Are we as believers doing something about it?   Do we love the unlovable?  Do we serve those who don’t deserve it?  Do we tell others about the Gospel because we love them?  Jesus did.  
Which brings me back to last night.  We talked to our kids about protecting our eyes and ears from evil.  But what happens when they’ve been exposed to something?  Thankfully the discussion moves beyond “You’d better not watch that stuff anymore” to “How can God use this experience to further His kingdom?”  
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
      for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 
Pursuing righteousness will bring persecution.  But the persecution does not come from judging others’ choices or being a tattle-tale or being self-righteous.  It does come from living out a relationship with God and not being silent about that relationship.   My boys will have plenty of opportunities to pursue righteousness, and I pray that during those opportunities their thoughts will be intertwined with God’s thoughts of, how can this opportunity be used to do something about this broken world?   It’s not only keeping oneself set apart; it’s about engaging the world for Jesus.  Maybe that looks like extending grace to a friend or choosing to return blessing for insult.   Lots of times it’s just walking away from sin.   In the not-so-intertwined moments, our boys can rejoice that despite sin, mistakes, our bad parenting, whatever, God can use any experience to further His kingdom, and for that we should be rejoice! 
As I write this, I realize I so often fall short of my own prayers for my kids.  Nothing good flows through us apart from Jesus.  It is overwhelming to carry the responsibility of our life’s purpose alone.  I am grateful we walk with One who bears our burdens, removes our sin, the One who brings us help and strength and peace and gives us everything we need to accomplish His plan each day.   We walk in His power alone. 
Thank you, Lord, for Your light in the dark places of this world.

Friday, February 5, 2010

My One Find So Far

I have about a gazillion things to do and what am I doing?  It's occurred to me this week that I have a baby, I have no baby things, haven't had baby things in a long time and haven't a clue as to what I need.  My dear pregnant friend bought a diaper bag recently.  Diaper bag?  I guess I need one of those.  I forgot about diaper bags.  After she left my house, I spent an hour looking at diaper bags online.  I quickly discovered that Baby World has changed in the last ten years.   Diaper bags are not supposed to look like diaper bags.  High chairs now take a modern, sleek approach...so they don't look like high chairs.

So what have I been doing instead of cleaning out that very junky guest bedroom?   Googling things like "best all-purpose strollers" and "top ten diaper bags."   It's very easy to get caught up in the fuss.  I'm finding myself reading the opinions of people with websites entitled "Snobby Tot."  It's scary.   I'm bleary-eyed from reading the endless reviews and useless comments.  

The phone rings and I am saved.  My secondhand find --a $2 glider from the '70s-- is ready.  I had it reupholstered with $30 worth of fabric.   That is exciting.  And I know I need it for sweet baby girl.

Can't wait to rock you, little one.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I Wish I Lived This Quote


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