Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Something Tangible

Yesterday was an exciting day because we received the first tangible thing that reminds us this is all real. Brian got his passport! I applied for mine a few days after he did so mine won't be in for a few more days. I didn't expect them to come in so quick so we were very excited!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Never settle

“Sometimes I want to ask God why He allows poverty and suffering in the world but I am afraid He might ask me the same question.” – Anonymous

There is something about witnessing miracles when God does something in the world around you. Even greater still, is when God does something within you that others can’t even see.
Lately I can get up and look in the mirror and not really recognize the person staring back at me. A few short months ago I was in hot pursuit of “comfortable”. Brian had finally decided he was definitely getting out of the military and I can’t tell you the relief this brought. I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to worry about his safety anymore, relieved that I wouldn’t have to raise our children alone for a year at a time, and relieved that none of us would feel the pangs of loneliness the way we had grown so accustomed to. But there was that part of me that was relieved for a very different reason. I didn’t want to move. I felt I had “served my time” and I wanted comfortable for a change. I wanted to settle down. In hindsight, I think I was walking a dangerous line where settling down was becoming the desire of my heart and would have caused me to settle for much less than God had planned.

I don’t even know when the change happened. If it is true that wherever your money is going your heart is sure to follow, then paying for the adoption might explain the growing love for Africa and these people with such deep needs. Or maybe it was when I determined to read biographies of other Christians and fill my head with something better than the television had to offer. I’m not sure. I was reading one of those books called “Ashes to Africa” (which I totally recommend) and Amy Bottomly was describing the difference between her “rated ‘R’ self” and her “rated ‘G’ self”. That was so interesting to me. Yes, no matter how transparent we are we have this side of us that others don’t see; something darker than we would want others to know about. For me that was selfishness. It was a desire that really was about wanting to take a few years to let life be about me and my family. Today things are more in order. My heart’s desire is really God’s presence; seeing Him at work and letting Him work through me. I went from not wanting to travel to Ethiopia to wondering how long I can stay and what I could possibly accomplish while I am there. I don’t think anyone could appreciate this difference but me. Only I knew the depth of my selfishness before, and only I know how my heart feels like it will burst open and hemorrhage if I can’t be among these orphans and reach them in some small way. This is the nature of Christ. We see miraculous things around us in the world all the time. But the ability to change a person’s heart… to change them at the core of their being; there is no other who can accomplish such a thing. My friends, as I type this tonight I pray for you reading this that God will steal your insecurities and your fears. I pray He will set your hearts ablaze with an all consuming fire to know Him and experience Him like never before. Gandhi is often quoted as saying “be the change you want to see in the world” but I’m asking what would happen if you determined to be the change God wants to see in the world? I am praying for revival tonight. Furthermore I am praying that you would determine to let it start inside your very own heart.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Lonely

Today I am working on some adoption reading that is required. It is pretty much a real snooze. I am beginning to think everything I need to know about adoption I learned from my church family (and God, of course).

In Psalm 68:6 the bible tells us that “God sets the lonely in families.” People always ask what made me want to adopt and honestly I think it was God’s idea. But I think the passion comes from knowing what it is like to be the lonely one who was “set in a family”. I love the way that verse is worded because I close my eyes and picture God just picking us up and “setting” us down where we need to be. Of course it never feels that simple. It usually feels like chaos when God is working in your life. But to Him it is that simple. The things that make us worry and fret are of no concern to Him as He lovingly lifts us up and places us in just the right place at the right time for what we need. I know what it is like to be that kind of lonely and for that I am very grateful. The more I understand about adoption, the more I understand about God. I can clearly remember when I first came to my current church. I had been a Christian for a few years but I still felt a little uncomfortable deep down. I had a very hard time accepting that a church “family” could really be like family. I had a hard time believing that I would be accepted once they knew me well enough to discover all my flaws. I was certain one day they would realize I didn’t fit in and didn’t really belong. But that isn’t what happened. I found that they accepted and loved me through the good times and the bad and there was a place for me there to love and invest in others, too. I don’t know if you will ever be lucky enough to come to my church but I hope you find a church that knows how to love like Jesus. Yes, God does set the lonely in families. I should know. Even though it feels so far away, we know each day brings us closer to the day God “sets” our child in our family. Hold on sweet child, we are coming.

I haven’t been around the past few days because we received an unexpected blessing when a friend invited us to stay in Florida at the beach for a couple of days. We didn’t think we would be able to go to the beach this year because we were saving for the adoption, but God just seems to know what you need when you need it. We were definitely in need of a break. Now it is back to the grind!