Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Fighting Faith Atrophy...

Mr. McB and I were talking the other day about faith... what is it? How do we build it? Are we building/growing up our faith?

We just watched the movie, The Book of Eli, and if you have seen it... there is faith.... "the substance of things hoped for...the evidence of things unseen." (Heb 11:1) Faith inspires action... to "listen to the voice" as Denzel Washington put it in the movie...

We started talking about faith like a muscle... if it's not used, it starts to "waste away"... atrophy. How much time do I think about my physical appearance and the possible .... no .... definite atrophy taking place? I want to be WAY MORE concerned with the possible atrophy of my faith in our Lord Jesus. Just because I have exercised my faith in the past... doesn't mean my faith automatically continues to grow... It must be exercised! It requires intentional obedience... So... here's what I know...

*Faith comes from hearing... hearing from the WORD: (Rm 10:17)... So... I have to be in the WORD.
* We need to pray for each other so that our faith "does not fail"... (Luke 22:32)
*If I have Faith, but don't show it in LOVE... it's useless... (1 Cor. 13:2)
*I'm saved by Faith... (Eph 2:8)
*Jesus is the perfecter of my faith (Heb 12:2)
* I must ask Jesus in Faith... without doubt (James 1:6)

So... what is my faith inspiring me to do? What is your faith inspiring you to do? Real FAITH comes with real ACTION. I can't just pretend to obey... pretend to love the stranger... orphan... widow... I can't pretend to be in the word... or just trust him for my salvation and not trust him to do great and mighty things through me. If HE can SAVE me with this faith... surely HE can USE me with this Faith...

"Lord... I'm asking that you give us opportunities to 'jump in'... 'chase lions'... and 'love fully'... without thought of ourselves... with all thought on what pleases you... for we know soon... that this jump will feel safe... and you will take us even higher... or deeper... or wilder... or stronger... Thank you for refusing to allow me to sit in a state of atrophy.... I love you...."

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One year ago...

One year ago yesterday, we received "the call"... the one every adoptive family waits on... the one we are waiting on RIGHT NOW! ha! I remember like it was yesterday...where we were, what was taking place... where my phone was... EVERYTHING. We were in the middle of staff conference at Colorado State and had NOTHING to write on! Thank God for the iPhone so we could see pictures! pitiful, I know!
Today I sit and remember. Really a flood of emotions fill me, that I didn't anticipate. Of course, there is celebration and remembrance on how God brought EH into our family. I feel so humbled that God would choose me to be his mommy. I am indeed the blessed one. But it also brings back remembrance of brokenness. A time that E faced heartache. The "before us" story. You know, we have a tendency to think "our story" is where it began...and it is indeed not. When I saw him in pictures then, that was all I knew of him. But NOW that I KNOW him...his smile, his body language, his smell, the looks he gets when he's happy, afraid, mad... looking back on some of the pictures makes my heart ache even more. I long for Jesus to come and make all in the world right. Until then... I will rejoice for all the indescribable gifts He has given to us... and of course, one of those is our sweet EH... He is sweet, lovable, playful and simply amazing... we are indeed smitten. Enjoy a little part of our journey with the video.... (ignore the generic text...too cheap to pay for "premium" for just online sharing)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fingerprints, Grants, and Shirts... OH MY!

Most of you know that we are in the process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We started this journey at the end of May, and we already have our dossier complete... minus the dang FBI fingerprints. It's ok... I trust in God's timing... relax...deep breaths... (do you like my positive self talk...or psychobabble... I can provide therapy for myself free of charge)

Today I find myself consumed... consumed with thoughts of our little girl... wanting to KNOW her... hold her... and kiss her face.
I'm also consumed with the "work" of adoption. While our dossier is just "waiting" on the prints... we are completing grant applications and planning our August "Shirts of Hope" sell. Here's one thing I love about the consumption of adoption...

While my mind is turned towards adoption, my heart is turned upwards. I really start to think about why God cared so much for orphans that He would command us to care for, leave behind our food, visit them, and set them into our very own families. What I think is so important is that the "them" becomes "us" through adoption. The MIRACLE of adoption starts to stir in my heart... just by filling out papers. It also stirs within me prayers... for our baby girl... for her birth family.... for the forgotten children... and for God to BURN a HOLE in the heart of Christians to act... care for... give to... visit...hold... love....

"Go and do the same..." Luke 10:37

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Don't miss this!!!!

When we were first starting our adoption process, I was given the book "The Connected Child" to read in preparation. I knew when reading the book I thought "this is stuff I really need to remember." Yet Somewhere in the chaos of assimilating a toddler into a house of practically 2 other toddlers... it became kinda fuzzy. I also remember thinking "I'm an experienced social worker, I'll know what to do" and "we are just gonna treat him like our other kids and it will be fine."
It's funny how you think you know something before you've walked through it... and then you start walking the journey and you realize all you THOUGHT was right isn't. ha. humbling, yes.

This summer, we were blessed with the opportunity to be a part of the second "Empowered to Connect" training classes offered at Irving Bible Church's Tapestry. It is an 8 week class, with LOTS of reading from several amazing books like: Attaching in Adoption, Parenting from the Inside Out, The Out of Sync Child, and the list goes on... It has been so AMAZING to sit with other adoptive families and talk about our "real life" struggles and victories with our children from "hard places." It has changed our perspective and expectations on how we should "dance" in relationship with our children. While there are always things that you disagree with, I believe that 95% of what they discuss EVERY ADOPTIVE PARENT SHOULD LEARN! I say this from a professional and personal standpoint! :)

All this to say... if you are in the Nashville area... I would HIGHLY recommend attending the Empowered to Connect Conference in September sponsored by Show Hope. For more information click here

Monday, July 19, 2010

A recap of where we've been...

Over the past 8 months, we have been "cocooning"... even in blog world! ha! We brought E home from Ethiopia the day after Thanksgiving and put our blog to private at that time. I think there were things on my heart and mind I wasn't ready to share with the whole world. During this time, we have been refined... re-defined... and ready to re-enter the public blog world...haha!
It truly has been one of the hardest, and yet most beautiful times of our lives. God has litterally stripped us of all "assumed control" and has shown us what it is REALLY like to gravel at the feet of Jesus. He's revealed parts of our hearts we didn't want to see... and it has left us with choices to make. We simply want to "leave it all on the court" in this life... and we want to challenge others to do the same. To start this blog... I want to just copy one of my posts from this past 8 months to give you a glimpse into the McB journey...

Here's the thing... I don't know why... but God is bringing us to a place we've never been before. I don't know what that looks like or what he will do... but I'm pretty sure it's gonna look crazy to anyone who doesn't understand the WHY of what we are doing. I just don't want to live my life with regrets, or boundaries placed upon my life by ME... or Society... or anyone. I want to only accept the boundaries placed within my life by God Almighty. I really want to GIVE HIM MY ALL.... What does that look like? My time... energy... service... love... money... house... comfort... car... TV... reserve... I just want to LOVE LOVE LOVE. him... others... the people on the street we want to avoid looking at... people I disagree with... those who are hurting... those who are blind... the self-righteous... the sick... the poor... the orphan... the diseased... those without clean water... the homeless... the druggie... the prostitute... the atheist...the sex-trafficer... the victim... the offender... I really want to LOVE like Jesus. And I'm starting to think that may start to look pretty crazy... At the end... when I stand and look at Jesus...I want to know I loved with HIS power and not what "I thought I could do." Simply Love with the love of Jesus...

We are excited to start this new journey.... one of learning... stretching & growing... one of meeting the next McB... one of shedding the unnecessary. We hope you will join along...laugh at us... see the messes we make... and see the Maker redeem!