Friday, May 22, 2009

My Favorite Author

Dear Ones:

For those of you who do not know, I am a HUGE Max Lucado Fan. I seriously would like to own EVERY SINGLE BOOK he has ever written. I just got an e mail with a tidbit from his new book that I am chomping at the bit to go out right now and get. I wanted to share the tidbit with you:

The Cure for Disappointment

by Max Lucado

Don’t ask God to do what you want. Ask God to do what is right.

When God doesn’t do what we want, it’s not easy. Never has been. Never will be. But faith is the conviction that God knows more than we do about this life and he will get us through it.

I just love how he is so real, and honestly no one in my opinion makes the Father more approachable or more  relational.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Childlike Faith - Guest Spots

Elijah (picture by Chris)

Dear Ones:

Last week Elijah and Noah went on their first discipleship camp retreat. This is a series of youth meetings they will have over the summer to help them develop their personal relationships with the Lord. Both had beautiful experiences to share when they came home.

During a time of worship, and boy do these kids worship, both boys felt the Lord speaking to them. Here is what they had to share:

Noah: "we started to do worship and I was sitting there and I felt like God was telling me that when we pray we need to pray for HIS perfect timing and not when we want things to happen."

Noah shared he was so moved by worship he just wept before the Lord as the Father spoke to him.

Elijah: "I thought God was telling me that I really REALLY need to trust him more through ANYTHING I do no matter how big or small the task is and in order to trust him more I need to love him with all my heart and to grow closer to our holy father."

These were their own words they shared with me and they were too wonderful to not share them with all of you on this journey with us.

Father, help my unbelief, Give me childlike trust in you each and every day.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What I Desire To Be Certain Of In Uncertainty

Dear Ones:

Man I just gotta get this blog post out. Ever have that feeling? Also, I apologize in advance it could be a long one. I have spent the earlier part of the morning in tears. It has been a good cry with God. I have some clarity and some direction in my heart. I just hope I can clearly communicate all that is bustling around in my mind right now.

I have to tell you that I do not think there is anyone else who HATES uncertainty more than me. I am the plan girl. Just ask my husband. I like to start everyday with "what is the plan for today?" I like all the ducks in a row, an outline, clear specific directions, The A+B=C kinda gal....ok enough all ready I think you get the idea.

Well, on July 9th 2007, our family started down a very uncertain path. Mind you I had no idea just how uncertain it would be. Honestly, I will tell you, I thought it would be a matter of waiting but following a series of events and the timeframe would be the hardest part.

We started an international adoption in Guatemala. Soon after our dossier was turned in the country closed. It is still closed to new adoptions and many who had referrals are still waiting to bring their precious children home. We terminated our contract in December of 2008 because we just did not have the funds to continue and finally felt a peace to move forward. The discouraging part was we lost most of the money we put into Guatemala and were left with a pile of debt. I feel like I could have lived with this but just having debt and no daughter has at times been so hard to swallow. Domestic adoption proved to be way more expensive than we thought it was going to be and with nothing but debt we almost lost all hope that our Mercy would ever be a reality. A dear friend of ours told us about the foster/adopt program which had no fees but unfortunately also no guarantees. We feel like at this point it is our only option and are waiting for a call. This brings mixed emotions because just because we bring someone into our house doesn't mean this will be their home and that almost breaks me.

So there is the background on my uncertainty. Now onto the heart of this post. You know when you go through difficult times and you finally get to the point of OK God what am I supposed to get out of this? Well, I think I finally know what I am to get. I have mentioned it before in other posts but somehow it is clearer to me now. This is it:

God is good regardless!

Sounds simple right? Well, this has been an emotional battle I have been fighting for some time and at times it literally has felt like it was one I was doomed to lose. 

I received a devotional in my e mail this morning that somehow made it click. Not that I feel like I am where I need to be just yet, but at least I understand where I need to go and it is a place I so DESIRE to go. I feel like it is essential.

There are "some things in life that are beyond our understanding this side of heaven." I realize our adoption experience is not a tragedy, and I have to accept I may never understand how it has all played out. I guess that is why it is called faith. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1 Trusting God is not my comfort zone. I like to see, hear, feel, taste & touch. I like certainty. 

This whole process has been a lesson in faith and trust. Like it said in my devotional this morning, I believe my greatest lesson in faith will be this:

God is good, all the time!

I have to give you this quote from this morning. "Faith by it's very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God's character must be proven trustworthy in our own minds." Oswald Chambers

That is it!!!!!!!!!! I want that!!!!!!!!! More than anything else I want that. I want God's character to be proven trustworthy in my own mind more than anything else! Regardless! Even during the most difficult circumstances of my life.

I will keep walking. I will keep yearning, I will keep seeking for both my daughter and my Heavenly Father. Please continue to pray for me dear ones. Sometimes I am so weak. I am counting on this:

"My grace is enough for you, when you are weak, my power is made perfect in you, so I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong." 2 Cor. 12:9&10


PS stay tuned for some special guest blog entries hopefully coming this week.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Week 19 - Blurb Photo Book Contest Entries (Amateurs/Beginners)

Dear Ones:

"I am submitting this photo into the Blurb Book photo contest. I am granting  Faces permission to use my photo in a printed version of a book for commercial use and possibly advertising of a photo book on both the Blurb and ♥ Faces web sites."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jesus With Skin On...

Dear Ones:

It is just a lazy Sunday afternoon here at our house. It leaves me lots of time to ponder. I am thinking about a lot of things from today. One thing in particular was a phrase mentioned at church today.

Jesus With Skin On

How necessary this can be in our lives. I know some of my most precious memories are when I can remember someone being Jesus with Skin on to me. Those who listen, care and do not offer unsolicited advice or judge. Those who no matter how bad it gets, or you can get, still stand with you. My Pastor is always this way. He is one of the best examples of Jesus with Skin on that I can think of. I have friends like this. Faithful precious friends, that even when I think I can't possibly tell them how I am really feeling AGAIN, because they might cringe with weariness, still somehow they remain. My precious boys and my beloved husband can be compared to no one. They see me at my worst and somehow are faithful and true. I am so thankful to have these experiences. They help me glimpse my Father's love for me.

I so want to get know. My Father's Love FOR ME! I wrestle. I can not tell you how many times since we have started this adoption that I have felt punished. Like Eric and I just didn't hear right, or we are financial idiots, or we have messed up with our own kids too much or etc. etc.  I have seen people bring their children home and I wonder why that is not my story. What have I done so wrong? This is a daily battle. Some days I am so stripped bare that all I can say is not my will but yours be done. Those are the good days. Others I am not so compliant and I just want to understand. 
 I am embarrassed even as I write this, that faith can be such a struggle at times. I hate that! I wish it came easy! I wish I was one of those who when I can't see or hear a thing just KNEW! I want to know MY JESUS with skin on in my HEART! Please heavenly Father reveal your true character to me. To my heart. My mind knows what it should know, but I want my heart to know You and your love for me like never before! And Father help me to be Jesus with skin on to those around me...

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