Friday, December 31, 2010

December 30, Jesus Calling Devotional:" I am leading you along a way that is uniquely right for you. The closer to Me you grow, the more fully you become your true self--the one I designed you to be. Because you are one of a kind the path you are traveling with Me diverges increasingly from that of other people."

For the last two days, I have been chewing on this and trying to determine why it speaks to my soul so deeply. Today as I once again sat down to spend a few moments with Him, it hit me (He learned me :-) I look to identify with others on their paths... sometimes, even trying to immulate the path they are on in my personal walk with God. Whether that be through how I express my faith, my "causes", or just how I view the specifics of how I relate to Him. The devotional goes on to say, "However, in My mysterious wisdom and ways, I enable you to follow this solitary path while staying in close contact with others." I and I think I could say "we" here (sneaking suspicion I am not alone in this) are constantly searching for who we are--we want our value, purpose, and call to be very defined. I want the Lord to define me and how I should handle life, what I am to do and who I am to be so that in any and all situations, I will know what the right thing is. Here is where I ask myself, "why?" "Because," He says, "you resist being soley dependent on Me." Guilty. I do....we do. Just give me the instructions. I want the plan because I don't want to screw things up. I don't want to be wrong. I want to be independent and self-sufficient. "But that is not how I designed you." He says. I MADE you to be dependent on Me. "My abundance and your emptiness are a perfect match." --J.C. "But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us." I am truly just a pot. It just hit me this morning that the only hope of being what I long in my soul to be, my only hope of loving others, helping, knowing what to do and how to live is to cleave to the one who made me, walking my solitary path, listening, asking, depending on Him at every turn and in every moment. Our journey is one of increasing dependence. In that, all that we need and were designed to be can come into fruition. Outside of dependence, self-righteousness can rule and we miss not only what we really are and are called to be, we miss true fellowship with Him.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The risk of close relationship....

What does it look like to truly live your life before God? Big question, I know, with no quick answer. However, I got a revelation today about a little more of what it looks like for me. God gave me a picture once in my head. It was me standing in a completely white room, with Him as the only one in the room. He said that one day I would stand before him just like that without anyone else there. That is how he wanted me to live my life today. Just like that--before him as if there was no one else in the room. Easier said than done. I realized today that I HATE to disappoint anyone! Even if I can see that what I did to upset that person is really not a big deal, it makes me want to crawl under a rock and feel very sorry for myself. "Are you that arrogant that someone else can't feel the freedom to share that they were disappointed by you in a good way? Don't you want to know that and want them to feel like they can share those things if they need to?" Is what I heard the Lord say. Ouch. Yes, Lord, I do. "Rest in my grace for you. Rest in my favor for you. Then, you will be able to respond in a way without shame or condemnation that is humble and seeks forgiveness." The risk then? being "found out". "I am not perfect and because I am letting you in my life, you are going to see it and I really don't want you to!" Is what my heart says. "It's time for you to move into this kind of relationship. You have what it takes in the fullness of my favor to be able to take responsiblity when you wrong someone and not be flooded with shame." Is what He calls me to. And because I don't stand before him condemned, I can stand before others wrong but still not condemned. My identity is in him not in what others think of me. Whew. That was a load off...So, all my precious friends, I love you and I am going to disappoint you. There. I said it. I will try not to do it intentionally, but if I do, let me know so I can ask for forgiveness. Then, I am going to stand in the forgiveness of Christ the same as I did on the first day I knew him. :-)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Such an easy word to spell, but why so difficult to say? Having grown up as the youngest sibling in my family (and in my husbands), I have had to privelidge of watching my older siblings and in laws raise 20 nieces and nephews right before my eyes. Some of them are young still, like mine, but a couple are in college with a handful more just on their heels. I must say, my older siblings have done FABULOUSLY with raising their kids. I have witnessed how to do things and how to patiently respond; what things to worry about and what to let go; balancing acts and most of all that things go by SO fast and make sure you just enjoy the moment, for it truly is fleeting. Needless to say, I felt pretty confident about my knowledge and preparedness going into parenting. Don't get me wrong, there were many things I was not prepared for and have learned a long the way. I have been stretched as a wife and a mom with each new addition, and have seen so much of my own sinfulness and inadequacy. However, despite these challenges, I have always somehow managed to juggle all the balls myself, with little help from friends, and occasional help from family. So when we brought Mia home, I anticipated change (and maybe got more than I bargained for:-) and transition, and a new level of busy but I didn't expect to have to ask for help consistently.

As of this year, I went back to teaching on a very part-time basis (teaching one class twice a week for 2 hours). The timing and all plus the way it worked out was truly a God thing. I have loved every minute and as far as I can tell, my little ones at home are still doing great and thriving, not really missing out on too much mommy time. However, to say that I am on a faith journey is an understatement. I am truly in over my head and I do NOT know what I would do without the friends in my life right now. Hear me in that I am not desperate or overwhelmed. On the contrary, I don't recall feeling this much peace in the midst of this much chaos ever in my life. Between two boys in two different schools on two different schedules, extra weekly dr. visits for one child, then two toddler girls at home and one more small child home half the time, and one teaching job, house work, a good marriage to tend to, a new health plan to implement and trying to relax and have fun and just enjoy my life and my family I can honestly say I have never in my life been this busy. But it is a good and necessary busy. But I have had to learn how to say one really difficult word. Help. God has been gracious to make it a little easier on me to ask in that he has introduced our family to another one (the McKinneys) who are at mine and Ben's new school. To say that I am blessed by the servant hearts they have is an understatement. Not just willing to take ALL of my kids when I need it, but asking to. We do trade off and I get to reciprocate the favors, but I'd have to say it isn't quite even. :-) Yet, as I have been in a constant state of receiving from these friends (and others) I find myself questioning whether or not I am supposed to be doing what I am doing. Then the Lord started to show me something. Our culture pushes on us the idea that if you can't manage it all, all by yourself, you must be doing something wrong. Self-sufficiency is glorified, and it just so happens that my flesh tends to fall in line with that. I really am dependent on others right now. Not in a "if you don't come through for me I am going to die right now" kind of way, but in a way where I truly see my NEED for others and for relationship with them. I am living the life I believe God is calling me to live and yet I am seeing that this life necessitates that others come along side me in this journey. I would be ignorant to think God isn't accomplishing other things through my dependency beyond the needs of our family being met, but at the same time, it is quite evident that He is teaching me something and shining a light on my pride. I love even this, though. I don't have time to tell you how many times the Lord has worked out things in my schedule that proved to be more than I could "plan" for. There have been many mornings that I have woken up with "more to do than I had time for" and though filled with some anxiety, watched the Lord work the details of my day out for me in ways that I just couldn't despite my best efforts. So, thank you Lord, for your faithfulness in the little things. Thank you to my sweet friends who have selflessly come along side us to walk with us and share some of the load. Hopefully, if you find yourself in over your head, yet sure you are walking into something you believe God has called you to, you can learn how to say a humbling little word that crosses my lips frequently. Help.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I was recently asked to write our adoption story to share for a women's retreat at our church. Having experienced so much since the beginning of it and not wanting to submit a book about it as opposed to a short synopsis, I just asked God to lead me what to say, and it was give the nutshell of the how and what and then just write what I have learned through the process. 13 years is a long time to journey but as I began to write all that God had shown me through just this journey, I was suprised. Just thought I would share, forgive the spacing issues, copy and paste was easier than retyping:-)

Some days just stick out in your mind. Moments that upon entering into them seem quite mundane and regular
can in an instant become markers that put you on a different path, some how becoming etched in stone in your mind and heart.
Walking into our university library as a 19 year old college student to write an english 101 composition paper was one of
those times in my life. Given the freedom to chose our topic, I non-chalantly picked up a recent copy of TIME magazine,
and thumbed through articles on current events. Intrigued by one of the titles, I turned to a story that explained
the then recent policy institued in the nation of China that limited couples to bear only one child. I read on
about how culturally speaking the family in China was very much centered around the paternal figure, elevating and
valuing him above the female members of the house. This cultivated a strong desire for male children, and thus in
turn conversely resulted in many baby girls born only to face abandonment, rejection, or death. I read the accounts of
people who had stumbled upon these precious infants in garbage dumps and allys; stories of babies being aborted and
thrown into rivers. But I also read that there were some baby girls taken to orphanages. Babies allowed to live, but
without a mom to hold them and a family to care for them. And in a moment, as if upon my eyes being opened an invitation
had been extended, I instinctively told my Father, "I'll take one." In my mind, as long as there was breath in my lungs and
love in my heart, there was no reason why I couldn't adopt one of these baby girls and love her. My heart broke for the rejection
these little girls were feeling just because they were little girls. I would do it. I would step into this senseless horror
and love a child. I knew I could at least do that. Nearly 13 years and three biological kids later, I found myself along side
my husband in a taxi cab being shuttled quickly through the bustling streets of Kolkata, India, where we were lead to a small,
white, unsubstantial, building in the middle of many more buildings. It was all a blur as we were hurried in and up a flight
of stairs that suddenly opened up to a room full of cribs. Moments later I found myself staring down at two big, tear-filled,
uncertain brown eyes belonging to the daughter of my heart. Thirteen years I carried this child in my heart and all of a
sudden, here she was. To say this moment was surreal would be an understatement. However, the journey in between was anything
but. What I haven't shared was the twists and turns and the emotional ups and downs we encountered along the way. I will spare
you these details, but I will share what I learned as a result. First, life is NEVER about the destination, it is always
about the journey. It is not about where we go, how we get there, but WHO we go with. Moses and the people of Isreal did not
wander through the wilderness, they were lead through the desert with a purpose by God's Presence. Logistically it didn't need to take
13 years to bring home the child God planted in my heart as a teenager, but it was his best for us. I have learned that long-
suffering can't happen in a short amount of time. I have learned that I am more sinful and selfish than I ever realized I was
and that He is more wonderful and I could ever possibly begin to fathom. I have learned that while a desire to adopt may seemed
to have come from me, it indeed originated in the very heart of the Father. I have learned that as sons and daughters of the Father,
created to immulate His heart, and in the likeness and nature of Christ "do what we see our Father do", we should
not be suprised when our heart responds with a desire to care for the abandoned and orphaned children of this world, but instead
should be suprised when we don't. I have learned that God will finance what He favors. I have learned that to follow Christ is
at times inconvienient, uncomfortable, exposing, impractical, scary and unsafe. I have learned that to be misunderstood and
criticized is par for the course. I have learned that I was invited to go on a bus ride but not asked to drive or plan the details
of the trip. But, in all of this, I have seen deeper parts of the Heart of God and I ever even knew existed. I have come to
know more deeply the intimate love and grace he has for us and the lengths He has gone to to be with us. I have learned that
when I looked down into the eyes of this child whom I had never met and did not birth, I saw myself, and as I watched my
own arms reach down and draw her to myself I saw God's hands reaching out to me.

Monday, July 12, 2010

If God is for us....

So, I cannot stop listening to this song (should be playing right now if you are reading this blog) "Our God" by Chris Tomlin. I think the reason I like it so much is because I am really coming to believe with all my being that indeed, my God is for me. That doesn't mean He always wants what I want (or that I want what He wants) but He is ALWAYS for ME. He roots for me. He cheers me on. He has got my back. He won't leave me, mislead me, take His eyes off me, and surely if there is anything ANYTHING in my life that I face that is overwhelming, whether I got to that place by choice or not, I am sure that He goes before me, is my rear gaurd and walks beside me to see me through. There is nothing our God can't do and if there is nothing He can't do, then there is nothing I can't do with Him beside me. Too often we face our future not with a sense of who He is and what He is calling us to, but with who we are and what we are capable of. I recently have been bombarded with stories of marriages that are in trouble. Everywhere I turn I am hearing of another couple who is struggling some very seriously in this area. I have been talking to God and asking for clear pictures of marriage in general and for wisdom as some of these couples are asking us for advice. Two things I feel God shared with me are this: one, a better understanding of our roles in covenant marriage as defined by God, and two: HIS role in a covenant marriage as defined by Him. First, He brought me back to the garden. To Adam and Eve and what it was like for them when He first breathed life into the dust that they were. The single greatest gift He gave to them was Himself. Communion with the Father on a DAILY basis in the garden. Oh to walk in the cool of the day, in the garden with my Father at my side, talking, lauging, having him explain all that He had made to them, fellowshipping with no shame guilt or walls of any kind to get in the way. This was man's greatest loss when we chose to sin and rebel against Him. Thus surfaced our deepest need which is to regain what was lost. Without the Love and fellowship of our Father, we are lost, broken, hurting, beings with no purpose or direction and no Hope of ever being the glorious display of His image He designed for us to be. Redemption and reconciliation of man was the ultimate plan. Marriage plays a HUGE role in this. AS a spouse to another broken hurting human being, my role is unique and unlike any other. I have the Holy and sacred honor of loving as my Jesus loves and was poured out for me. NO OTHER PERSON IN MY SPOUSE'S LIFE HAS THIS OPPORTUNITY. For it is in truly seeing my husband and all that he is, both broken and all that he was designed to be, and TRULY loving him in spite of all this, do I even begin to walk out the same kind of love that Jesus shows me and showed me when He died for me and continues to pursue me with loving kindness on a daily basis. Many people can show love to my husband, but no one has the opportunity to show him as deeply as I do or in the same ways as I do. I am the only one with the honor of stepping in Christ's footsteps in this way. And when He is not being easy to love (like me a lot of the times) is when my opportunity to be like Jesus is the greatest. It is an honor to choose to love in the face of suffering and persecution or rejection because that is the purest form of the love of God I can display. In doing so, I am playing a key role in my spouses life in the story of redemption of His soul and reconciliation of himself to God. We must stop seeing our spouses lives and their offenses in terms of only what that means to our lives. There is a MUCH bigger story going on. It should break our hearts for our spouse when they are going down the wrong track because that means they are getting further away from HIM. HE is what they need and our job is to listen and obey God in how we should respond so that that holy relationship can be restored. Marriage should be a glorious display of the intimate, committed, long-suffering love God has for his people played out in our lives. Marriage has a kingdom purpose that is bigger than just the story we are living in our short little lives. Second, I have heard ALOT of people regurgitate the lie that has been fed to them, that they never should have married in the first place, that they weren't the right ones for each other, and that they should just divorce and begin their new "search" for the "right" person. Can I just boldy say now, with a full heart of love, THAT IS A COPOUT!!!! What this discounts is the second thing God taught me. When you stand before God on your wedding day, and commit your selves to one another, there is a third person committing themselves to you at the altar. GOD. When you step into the covenant of marriage, God commits himself and every resource in the heavenlies to making your marriage work. HE IS FOR YOU and is FOR YOUR MARRIAGE WORKING. If two people seek God even at the depths of a pit for help, He will move heaven and earth to help because He is for us and not against us and He is for marriage. Notice, I did say TWO people. One willing person is not enough, although it may start with one heart who is willing and brave enough to walk and wait for the other person to come along. NO MARRIAGE is beyond saving if both parties will humble themselves before God and ask for his help. If your God is for you, NOTHING can stand against you!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I wrote this a few days ago, but just got around to posting...
"In this world you will have trouble, but I leave you my peace, that where I am there you may also be...." These words, based on scripture (John 16:33, 14:27), sung by the late Rich Mullins are what has been playing over in my mind this morning as I have awoken to all that awaits me this beautiful June morning. Twice have I read this scripture recently in the Jesus Calling (JC) devotional. Funny how it takes a while for truth to really set in. Sarah Young wrote in JC the question God posed to her, which is, "Why are you suprised when you actually encounter trouble?" (paraphrase) Today's trouble was waiting for me in the form of a leaking sink left dripping all night. The evidence was not only seen under the sink but also coming through the ceiling downstairs when I was on my way out the door for a sanity moment (walk to starbucks armed with worship on my ipod) before every one got up. After dealing with the mess upstairs, a pot was put under the drip downstairs and I was out the door to salvage what was left of my time alone :-) As I started walking, I noticed in myself a sense of shame and guilt for the leaking that was happening. Perhaps it is coupled with the fact that we have a handful of trouble left over from yesterday in the form of other house woes. "What have we done wrong?" Was the question I heard in my head. Therein lies what God really wanted to deal with me with. Why is it that when something goes wrong, we ( I am assuming I am not alone in this) automatically try and rehearse all that we have done to cause the trouble? I then noticed that the worry that maybe we made a bad decision in buying this house was causing me to feel ashamed, even before my God. It also exposes my pride. I don't want it to be seen that I might have made a bad decision or that we were mistaken in what we felt led to do. Ugh. Then comes the truth. I am not here to look good. I am not here to show anyone how to make good sound decisions. I am here to bring glory to God, to be less, so that He can be more in me and through me, to boast in my weaknesses. How incredibly counter-flesh that is. I was reading in 1 Kings where David was giving his charge to Solomon who was about to take the throne. He was urging his son to be faithful to follow God and obey with all his heart and soul. If he did, God PROMISED that there would always be a man on the throne to rule over Isreal. Time, of course, showed that faithfully following God did not last long in that family line, but what I know is that God would have been faithful to that promise. He is ALWAYS faithful to keep his promises. As sure as the sun rises He will not break the covenants he makes with His people. There in lies the peace He has left with me. He promises to care for his kids. He promises to provide. He promises that He will never let His righteous ones see decay. He is the lifter of my head, the lover of my soul.
And He ALWAYS will be because that is who He is and because Jesus opened a door to the Father that no man can shut, that no leak can flood, that no trouble can overshadow. So now then the question is not, "Why did this happen?" But "What does God want to do in this and through this and in me?" I am glad I got to this place before I walked in the door to an eight year old with a swollen, puffy, red, hurting eye....

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crossing over

So lately, every where I go, just about, I encounter someone, believers and some not, who are interested in or are pursuing adoption. For some, the call is so near, it almost engulfs them. It is all they can think about until God starts to put things in motion. It is kind of like watching someone in labor:-) Ask any woman, the week or so (some even longer) before she delivers, she is SOOO ready! Enough preparation already, bring it on! I have gotten the privilege of being with several friends during their births, and there are some definate signs of stages of labor that are in many ways identical in each process. It is funny to see some similar "progression of stages" during the adoption process. I told Brian that what I am seeing is not so much that many people are all of the sudden "deciding" to adopt. I mean, we didn't just start having orphans recently, they have been around for a while. I believe that there is a spiritual movement, started by the very heart of God to care for these kids. Why now? I don't know. I do know God sees the full picture of eternity and time and I am sure there is a bigger kingdom purpose to all of it than what any of us can realize. God is doing something big, all on his own, and is inviting a lot of people to join Him. The reason I call this one crossing over, is because I believe that during the process, many times He also changes our hearts. We start out thinking that this is about us. We decided to adopt. We are starting the process. The reality, all you did was say yes to something God called you to. You cross over from a "us" centered purpose and God begins to show you the "Him" centered plan. I came across this verse this morning, and it really spoke to me. "I know longer call you servants because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead I have called you friends, for everything I have learned from my Father, I have made known to you." John 15:15. He has made us about His business. What an exciting thought that we are actually joining God in something He is doing. That gives me an extrodinary amount of peace knowing that He can't fail in His pursuits, which means in Him, neither can I. Not to mention that He calls us friends. Wow.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Egg hunt anyone?

Recently, I was talking to my oldest son about God and as I was talking, God began to put a picture in my head to help me illustrate the point I was trying to make to him. While I will skip the background story except to say it was around Easter, the conversation went something like this. "How would you feel, Ben, if I woke you up on Easter and said let's go on an Easter egg hunt, only to walk down stairs and show you that I had put all the Easter eggs in a big pile in the kitchen. Granted they are all still full of treats, but they aren't hidden. What would that be like?" Of course he said, no fun. That is when I shared with him that God has given us an innate curiousity and desire to discover and that He is what is in the Easter eggs. He has tucked these treasures all over the universe. Some are found in books, some are found in relationships, some are found in brokenness and pain, some are found in places that you didn't even know you were looking for an egg in. Some are found in the eyes of a child waiting to be adopted. Many of you know the story of my niece and her homecoming, Josie Love Mayernick. Suzanne and I often talked about how much of a treasure she is and one day I added that she was a hidden treasure. God hid a unique thumbprint of His beauty in her, and it took a journey filled with uncertainty, pain, and faith to get to the point where that egg could be opened and revealed in perfect timing. We don't always know what is going to be inside the egg. Like I said, much of the time we don't even really know that we are on an egg hunt. But rest assured, He has done this very thing. Matthew says the kingdom of God is like treasure hidden in a field and it is worth selling all you have to attain.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Why International?

From the very beginning of our journey, there were different questions or comments that came up over and over again along the way. One of them was, "Why do you want to go adopt all the way across the world when there are kids right here in America that need homes?" Most of the time, I believe this was simply asked out of genuinecuriousity and not with ill-intent. Either way, it came up again today so Ithought I would take a moment to respond to this. It is a good question for which there is not one simple answer, but I will share my thoughts. First, I think when people ask this question, there is an assumption that adoption was ONLY a choice of the adoptive family. This fails to recognize a basic Christian principle that God has prepared in advance good works for those who are now followers of him. He has a plan for each of our lives and it was authored by Him. So in essence, while we make the choice to adopt, we are also recognizing that He has something in mind, and it then becomes a journey to discover Him and that plan. It is obvious that His plan for some families is to seek to adopt here in the US, and some overseas. So ultimately, I think that question should be directed to Him and He would welcome it :-) My second response to this is this: recently, Haiti experienced a terrible tragedy. The earthquake that hit completely devastated this country in so many ways. When news of the devastaion hit, Americans and mandy other people in nations abroad joined together in an effort to respond with all kinds of aid for these broken and suffereing people. You didn't hear people say, "Well, we have homeless, hungry people here in the US (or Great Britain, etc) , shouldn't we feed them and take care of all of them before we run off to Haiti?" No. We heard of people in desperate need and we responded to meet that need. See, we are made in the image of God and are thus, His image-bearers.
As the bearers of His image, we will be sensitive to those in need, no matter where they live, just as He is. In many cases of overseas adoption, this is what has happened. Someone hears of a situation of an individual child, or of crises in an area, and are broken and moved to respond with the same love, compassion, and care our Papa God shows to all who are broken and in need. His loving arms reach all over the globe and show no favoratism or partiality in regards to race or nationality, so why, then, if we are made in His image, made to do what we see the Father do, being lead by His Spirit, would we not do the same thing? Even from a political standpoint, where would the world be if America had never looked out for those vulnerable people in other nations and reached out to them, despite that we haven't fixed every single problem in our country first? Simply put, I just don't think love has borders. I believe in reaching out to those in need here, which many, many are doing, and those in other nations. As believers, we are called to make disciples of all nations. Jesus called us to the ends of the earth. I see this as just one snapshot of how that call is fufilled.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We MUST do something...

I recently watched a video on the church's response the the orphan and the widow, in it, they were talking about how terrorists are now starting to target orphans, abducting them to train them up to be terrorists. Is there a more clear picture of the intentions of the enemy than this? The enemy is an opportunist and wants to take the most innocent and vulnerable of our society and do what he does best....steal, kill, and destroy. He is doing this in very overt and clear ways. What happens to those who do not get adopted? For many of them, their lives end up on a path of complete and total destruction. Sex-slavery, prostitution, drugs, child-soldiers (who, by the way, are often sodomized and infected purposefully with HIV upon arrival at these soldier camps), terrorists, alcoholism. Where the church does not step in, the enemy will and the results will be devastating and not just to these children, but to society. Contrast this to what happens to these same children when a loving, Christian family adopts and or takes responsibility for these children, then they are given the opportunity to get to know the One who loves them, made them, and has GOOD plans for their lives, not just here on earth, but for all of eternity. This is quite a contrast. It is the contrast we all face as humans spiritually as we chose to accept Christ or not. I know not EVERY believer is called to participate in EVERY ministry that has been formed. I personally don't want anyone to feel guilted into serving the Father in any way. However, there are certain things that scripture teaches are things that we should all be doing, things we don't need to wait for God to "call" us to. My job as a believer is never to convict anyone of anything. The Holy Spirit is fully capable of executing this job with grace and perfection. But, I cannot read the facts and statistics and not raise my voice in response. So, I am going to give you a list of scriptures that outline how we as the church are called to respond to the widow and the orphan. The way this response is explained in scripture denotes provision, concern, and consideration that was to be consistently incorporated as a way of life into the lives of God's people, not just a once in a while or and occasional when I feel like it type of response. Here are some of the references: Exodus 22:22-24, Deuteronomy 10:18, 14:29, 16:11, 16:14, 24:17, 24:19, 24:20, 24:21, 26:12, 26:13, 27:19; Job 24:9, 29:12, 31:16-18,21-22, Psalm 10:14,17-18, 68:5, 146:9, Proverbs 23:10-11, Isaiah 1:17, Jeremiah 5:28, 7:5-7, 22:3, Hosea 14:3, Zechariah 7:10, Malachi 3:5, John 14:18, Romans 8:23, 9:4, Galations 4:5, Ephesians 1:5, James 1:27 . Herein lies not only evidence that we are called to respond, all of us, but moreover and more importantly, look at how these scriptures reveal an intimate and precious portion of God's heart. God gave his most precious gift in Christ SO THAT WE MIGHT BE ADOPTED into his family. Clearly, adoption is centered in the very heart of God himself. To care for the orphan is to journey to get to know this portion of God's heart in a more clear and intimate way. I also have observed a wave going through the church (and also non-believers....for he reigns down on the just and the unjust) that He is burdening people in mass numbers to mobilize on behalf of the orphan and the widow to care for them, through MANY avenues, including adoption, foster care, sponsership, etc.... There are multiple ways to care for them. However, each of us needs to ask the spirit what that looks like in our individual lives, but rest assured, we are called to do something, not just look the other way. Jesus is always full of grace and full of truth. There is never a compromise of one for the other, so I ask and pray that my words will come across in the same way. But I do sense an urgency in my spirit for these precious children especially in light of what is also mobilizing against them. If you feel burdened, pray, press in to Him and listen, go to that meeting, make that phone call, start somewhere and God will begin to guide your steps, close and open doors. If you don't feel a concern, pray God gives you one. Ask that you might feel just a drop of what He does towards these children. I know GOd has to continue to soften my heart towards the things that He values all the time. Don't be afraid, for He will provide for you and in the process, you discover the greatest reward of getting to know Him more, trust him more and depend on him more. Please, Father, move in the hearts of your children, mobilizing them on behalf of the fatherless so that there won't be any children who don't know they are loved, and cared for, and made for a purpose.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

What is the hub of your wheel?

God often puts pictures in my head to help explain truth to me. I guess I am a bit more impacted by visual images than just by words. One of the clearest pictures once was a wagon wheel. He was explaining to me that in our faith, Jesus represents the center hub and all of the spokes represented the life or expressions of our faith that flow out of the hub. In other words, the righteous acts, the good works, they are all centered on Christ himself and flow out from Him. I believe that all things we are called to whether it be adoption, or helping the homeless, or ministering to people of other faiths, that there is one ultimate unifying purpose. It is the same purpose for which God sent Christ, made the earth, and does all of what He does. It is the revelation of Himself and by that I don't just mean what He does, but the very essence of who He is. Whether He is proclaiming it to the world, or in a very intimate personal way to one person, His heart is the same. He is revealing Himself in all his glory, goodness, strength, grace and love to all of the universe. Knowing that helps me to stay centered. There is singular pursuit in the depths of my heart and that is to know more of Him and ultimately be able to help others see Him in their lives, too. I believe He is what our hearts long for more than anything else. I truly just love him and who He is. He is so gracious and patient with me. He doesn't get angry and mad at me when I make mistakes or am slow to learn as I often am. Because of how sweet He is to me, I just want to be with Him. He is the safest place my heart knows. He is FULL of grace and deals with his creation in the most graceful ways. It is always good to remember your chains. Remember where you were before God called you to some form of service. Remember the fears, the uncertainties, even the resistance. Remember the grace with which He called you to this. We are called to be no less graceful in our service to Him. We are ultimately here to reveal Him, in the fullest way we know how to. Whether that be through adoption or what ever you have been called to we are here to show His heart to the world. Having said that, I am here to say that our pursuit to adopt began as a graceful invitation. He pricked my heart as He opened my eyes the plight of the children of China many years ago. Later, He worked in my husband's heart to give us unity about it. He later provided the resources, the direction and the grace to calm all our fears in the process. He worked to bring us to a deeper place in our relationship with Him. We were painfully inadequate and sometimes downright afraid and unwilling. That is how each of us begin our journeys. We have nothing to bring to the table. God does it. So my hope is that through my story you can see God's faithfulness. How mighty He is. I hope you can see his sweet heart for the fatherless and how he goes to great lengths to show his love to them to make them feel wanted, accepted, and loved. I want our story to inspire you to trust Him more. If He is stirring your heart to adopt, just know that He will provide for all your needs: emotionally, physically, and in every other way. And in the process you will be blessed to know a deeper part of His heart. God is moving in HUGE ways right now to place the fatherless in homes and to revive the church so that we see our call to care for them. He is not only pouring out his heart and passion for this but releasing resources for it as well. He is just calling you to join Him! It is His call, His work, we are just blessed to be vessels for Him.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What other choice do we have?

Dreams. Dreams are SO powerful. Nothing can make one feel like they are riding on the highest cloud or crashing to the depths of the ocean floor than a dream realized or one crushed. I have had both. Looking in the eyes of my daughter, is one realized. Then there are those waiting on the wind. Ones I don't know if will ever be fulfilled. I do know this, I cannot put my hope in them. Maybe there is someone reading this with the dream to adopt. Maybe you even feel like you heard from the Lord on this, yet, the doors just don't seem to open. Or maybe your dream is something different. It doesn't really matter what that is. What does matter is what you do with it, or rather, to whom you take it to. Standing on the edge of your desires, what choice is there but to completely abandon yourself to the one who made you? I love and am passionate about adoption. I hope one day to adopt more God (and husband :-) willing, but I am even more passionate about seeing God become bigger and more real in peoples lives. I was born and raised in a Christian home, which I am grateful for, but it presents its challenges in the way of not reducing your faith to a religion. I got to a point in my life where I was SO tired of religion and yet I knew there HAD to be more. Let me tell you, there was. And there HE was. When I got tired of trying to DO, I came to HIM and asked Him to show me more. He hasn't stopped showing me more since. He wasn't kidding when He told Abraham that HE was the great reward. These were his words AFTER he began to spell out all that HE would do through Abraham....He still said HE was the great reward. The promise is not the reward. The adoption is not the reward. The dream is not the reward. HE is the very great reward. The struggle for me is to not forget that and begin to think that I must acquire the promises (blessings) of GOd in order to be fufilled. Right now I am in the midst of wrestling with that very thing. I cannot make things happen and don't want to . Sometimes I just want to throw in the towel because it is too hard to want something and not be sure that I am going to get it. I want to let go and hold on all at the same time. I guess I am coming to that familiar place that I have been so many times and realizing what choice do I have but to lay it all at the feet of my precious savior who has over and over and over again proven his love, faithfulness and good intentions toward me. What other good choice is there?

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Life around here, despite the cold, snow, and now the Colts losing the Super bowl, has been good. I am SO loving seeing my daughter begin to be amused by her siblings, and her parents :-) She has started to laugh more and she smiles all the time! She took five or six steps on her own this past week and is SO ready to run she can't stand it! I love that! It has been a challenge over the last few months, and I have had many moments of just being uncertain as to how she was going to adjust and wondering if she was truly happy, so it is SUCH a blessing to see her truly enjoy herself. I was telling a friend today about how much I have learned about bonding. It has really helped me feel bonded to her as she has begun to respond with joy and amusement to us. I had the revelation today that while God always unconditionally loves us, I imagine that He feels closer to us when we are able to receive His love and we respond to it. As much as there has been divine intervention in our adoption process and certain undeniable evidence of God's hand and how He has purposed for this child to be ours, I think I have been surprised at just the humanity involved. Building relationships in general just take time. You don't become best friends with someone the very first time you meet them. There has to be mutual affinity for one another and some sort of investment of time and emotion to build that. Even though there are many things about adoption that are different, so many of the same principles apply. I think my expectations/desires where just a little unrealistic for the time given. Hind sight is 20/20 though :-) It has been good to have people to talk to about this along the way, which I would encourage others in this process to do, and or seek out if need be. Adoption is amazing, and so much of it has been a beautiful, wonderful, experience, but there are challenges as well, and if you aren't careful to take those before God, and bring them out in the open with people who can give wise counsel and speak truth, the enemy can definitely have a hay-day with that. I am sure more challenges are to come, but praise God for a lesson learned :-)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Down for the Count...

Well, it hit today. I knew I couldn't avoid it for forever, it has been at least two or three years since I had a stomach virus, and it made a visit today. Praise GOd, and I mean that in ALL sincerity that it was only about 12 hours. But it was 12 hours of praying for many family members and friends in between lifting up prayers for Jesus to come back! So, since I have been laying in bed for the last twelve hours, I now am feeling SO much better (nothing like a BIG glass of gingerale!) However, my new burst of energy is hitting me at 1245 AM. SO, I am checking blogs, email, facebook, and the like and trying to catch up on all my people. I may even have to go and take some pictures of my house as I have NO idea what has been happening today! I do remember at one point seeing my little ones with a full bag, Costco size, of shredded cheese walking around the house at one point. I rememeber trying to mumble something to them from the couch, but it was to no avail. I think I heard my husband later when he got home trying to get my eight year old to vaccuum. I just laid there and told myself that there isn't anything that can't be replaced or fixed later. Ha! I also got the privelidge (why can't I spell that word!!!?) in all my time of praying for my sweet sister in law Karen and her husband today as they were in Russia standing before a judge in order to take custody of their son! God had some mountains to move there, (see and in true-saviour-of-the-universe and Lord-of-all-fashion, He did so! SO I am anxiously awaiting the day they can bring him home to his forever family! I laugh at my own life today and the fact that I at one point I apologized to my sweet Mia for the crazy life i have brought her too and assured her that it is indeed a better life despite what today looked like! I love to see God do God sized things and am so thankful for ANOTHER opportunity to watch this! (Also glad it was from the side lines this time! )

Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's never like I think....

So many people have asked about how Mia is doing and adjusting. Over the last two months, a couple of things have continued to be clear as I have fielded and pondered that question. She is doing amazingly well! It has been myself and my husband who have needed the most help :-) I was talking to my husband's sister who is in the process of adopting from Russia right now, and she was asking about how to prepare for her little guy coming home and whether or not she should re-read some of the books or what not that were required reading for the adoption process. In all honesty, I told her no. I began to think about how the one who has had the most adjusting to do is me. My husband and I are blessed to have a friend/counselor who is a "father" of sorts in our lives who gives us wise counsel and meets with us when we need it. We both have had issues come to the surface since we have brought our sweet daughter home. We were able to meet with him and talk about some of these things. Time after time as he spoke of God's heart for us and how it is to be revealed through us to our kids, I was convicted at the apparent self-centeredness, need to control things, and just plain lack of unconditional love that I was seeing come to the surface in my life and all the ugly things that were coming out of me as a result of these unsanctified places in my heart. It was at this point that I began to think about the question regarding Mia's adjustment and realized that one of God's purposes in this adoption has been to refine my own heart and purify these things. I told my sister in law, that instead of trying to focus on all the things that could be issues with your child, instead, ask Him to begin to prepare her heart for what He is going to be doing in her. Don't get me wrong, it is good to have made yourself familiar with the "maybes" and to have access to these resources if needed, but for the most part, we, the parents, are the ones who have accrued decades worth of baggage, compared to the few months or years these little ones have been alive!

I love that God does not leave us as we are. He is not content to save us and let us continue to walk in our sin and selfishness! Praise you Father that you are not only willing but able to deliver us from ourselves! I am excited as I see us beginning to change and it is freeing us to just enjoy our sweet Mia. She is SUCH a delight! Her smile is so precious and I live seeing her just thrive and grow as she basks in our love and delight just as I am growing and changing under the smile and delight of my Father.