Friday, December 17, 2010

Provisions in Funny Packages...

I just had to share this. Last Saturday night, we were driving into our neighborhood and our van started making these CRAZY sounds. The brakes went out on the van. On Sunday, only 3 of us could go to church because that is all that would fit in the borrowed car (remember our other one bit the dust and has still not been replaced). We take our van into the shop to get fixed because it is the ONLY vehicle that will move our family around. $600. BAM. AHhhhh!! However, they found a leak in the steering column and said that we needed to get that fixed ASAP because it would more than likely break while driving, and we would loose all control of the van at that point($740). WOW. In just 5 days we are driving 16 hours to see our family for Christmas. IF the brakes hadn't gone out (a problem we could detect easily) we would have NEVER known about the MUCH MORE DANGEROUS problem going unseen in the steering. I don't want to think about what "could" have been... because God is gracious enough to provide a way out of that circumstance. What was initially a huge burden, I now see as a blessing and God's provision of safety for our family.
Sometimes how we pray and WANT God to provide is completely different than how He sees fit. Pay attention to those squeaking things in your life... there may be an even more dangerous problem lying beneath it that God wants to deliver you from...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

the limits of poor, weak dust...

Just so you don't think I've "got it all together"... This post will surely debunk that myth. I've debated on whether or not I want to post about this, because it is my private journey and struggle currently. At the same time, I believe that there may be MANY who are possibly in the same place.

Over the last 2 1/2 years, we have faced a LOT of change in our household. Job changes, moves, financial changes, leaving family, adding to the family (soon to be 2xs), divorces in our close family, blah blah blah.

The last year has been interesting. While God has provided support that I could not have dreamed of, living in a new place is still just that ... new. unfamiliar. uncomfortable. lonely.

At the same token, we have been unbelievably blessed by some of the BEST neighbors and church family we could EVER ask for. So... within it, there is ALWAYS provision from the Lord.

If you know me, I have always been involved... and maybe over-committed. When we moved, I vowed that my "new life" wasn't going to be that way. It would reflect a "calm and peaceful home." Slowly, I have traded that for a life that has been slowly evolving into more than I can handle. Now, hear me out. I love Jesus more than life. I am not seeking "balance" because He owns me.. and I'll do whatever he wants. What I'm seeking is "obedience." I do not want to be busy with the WRONG things, but I will give my life away to the RIGHT things. I get the whole "my life is not my own" part... but that doesn't mean I can give it to any "good" thing. I hear my sweet Jesus calling me back... for a time of refreshing... It reminds me of this:

There was this guy, you might know him... Elijah. He loved the Lord with all he was. BUT, he was going through some not so great stuff and had actually RAN a very LONG journey... which landed him "under a juniper tree." That's where he actually laid and asked God to take him on home! Physical exhaustion led to depression for Elijah... you know... the guy that everyone thought JESUS was... ya, even he struggled emotionally! When Elijah laid there... God sent an angel and left food and water for him... and that kept him alive... from perishing. It didn't "fix" his exhaustion, but it kept him moving. The bible says that the angel said " get up and eat, or the journey will be too much for you." Basically... TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF or you will not be able to do what God wants from you.

ok, break from this story. I struggle SO MUCH with taking care of myself. In my heart, I do not want to be selfish or self-centered... but I know the Lord needs me to be healthy in order to do what He has called me to. I must see that taking care of myself and being self-absorbed are 2 different things. In addition, don't you love how God provided exactly what Elijah needed to continue? He didn't scorn him or just say "suck it up..." He provided, and allowed for refreshment. Back to the story...

Elijah went on for 40 days from that food... then went to a mountain where he MET GOD... in a still small voice... He went to the mountain of God... and there he was able to stand in the Lord's presence after being on a journey that almost killed him.
He then went from that place BACK to where he had RAN from... and eventually appointed Elisha as his successor... back to finish business and build God's story and legacy...

Ok. I'm not really sure what God is asking me. But I know that I am to a point that I can no longer go in the way I have ran in the past. And, i'm not exactly sure... but I think I MAY be sitting under a juniper tree!! WHAT IN THE WORLD?
Not where I want to be! When our physical strength is gone, all else ceases. God is faithful. He is enough. He provides enough. And I desire to meet Him on the mountain and receive Him fully so that I can continue on... back to the life He has called us to. I am a lover of Jesus, a wife to the Mr., a mom to my 3...soon to be 4... wonderful children... and a defender of orphans. I want to spend my life well... and in order to do that, I am in need of refreshement from God.. or "the journey will be too much for you."

I realize this is a LONG post.. but I have to add this poem from a devo I read...

I'm too tired to trust and too tired to pray,
Said I , as my overtaxed strength gave way.
The one conscious thought that my mind possessed,
Is, oh, could I just drop it all and rest.

Will God forgive me, do you suppose,
If I go right to sleep as a baby goes,
Without questioning if I may,
Without even trying to trust and pray?

Will God forgive you? Think back, dear heart,
When language to you was an unknown art,
Did your mother deny you needed rest,
Or refuse to pillow your head on her breast?

Did she let you want when you could not ask?
Did she give her child an unequal task?
Or did she cradle you in her arms,
And then guard your slumber against alarms?

Oh how quickly a mother's love can see,
The unconscious yearnings of infancy.
When you've grown too tired to trust and pray,
When overworked nature has given way

Then just drop it all, and give up to rest,
As you used to do on a mother's breast
He knows all about it, the dear Lord knows,
So just go to sleep as a baby goes

Without even asking if you may
God knows when His child is too tired to pray
He judges not solely by uttered prayer,
He knows when the yearnings of love are there.

He knows you do pray, He knows you do trust.
And He knows too the limits of poor, weak dust.
Oh, the wonderful sympathy of Christ,
For His chosen ones in that midnight tryst,

When He told them, "Sleep and take your rest"
While on Him the guilt of the whole world pressed
You have trusted your life to Him to keep
then don't be afraid to go right to sleep...

Ella Conrad Cowherd...

If you are needing to be refreshed, don't wait... the Lord wants to give his servants living water... times of rest... so that we can then "get back at it"... just like Elijah did. If you don't know the story you should read it... 1 Kings 19. So... there it is... all my junk...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Reflecting and Expecting...

A year ago....


The last couple of weeks have brought about some great celebrations! We love that we can celebrate E's forever family day the same week as Thanksgiving... as it just brings a focus around the many many things we can be Thankful for. The last year feels like it has been a whirlwind! I am truly blown away by the grace of God upon my family...
I am so thankful that we can look behind us and see some of the hurts and fears slowly fade away. We have been able to witness one of the strongest little boys I know truly rise above circumstance. Not just some difficult things in his life in Ethiopia, but living with severe Asthma, many medical treatments, medicines, blood draws, etc... and the boy is simply courageous. His strength brings me to tears of thankfulness. I love that I can attribute that to not only the amazing Ethiopian culture that he comes from, but from the Lord Almighty, molding E into a strong little man. His joy for life makes me laugh, and his full out "love like there's no tomorrow" Love for us, and his brother and sister (and Lightening McQueen) is truly an amazing gift.
He has come so far... and yet, I know we are all still on a long beautiful, sometimes difficult, journey toward healing.
When looking at E, I can't help but see the beauty in Z & KG. They have walked this transition well, too. For only being 2&3 at the time, they have not only made adjustments, but fallen deeply in love with their little brother. The are officially the "three musketeers"... If you had asked me a year ago if that were possible I would have and maybe cried a little too. I thought certainly I had "ruined KGs life" because of her difficulties having a new brother only 6 months younger. They have moved from "Cain and Able" status to "normal sibling" status... which is a HUGE blessing and answered prayer. Z has been the true leader... setting the pace for the rest. He is kind, patient, loving, and wants to love his brother and sister. It's truly magnificent to watch the dynamic. Please don't get me wrong... we still have way to much whining, problems sharing, impulse control issues, and LOTS OF TRAINING going on in our house... but as for the 3 of them... they have come a LOOOONG WAY from where we were a year ago. Sleep issues... gone. Aggression... gone. Attachment issues... few if any. Bonding... strong. Praise the Lord! It came with lots of work, but SO worth it. Thus... the expecting...

With all that said... we have reflected on our year... and now with great expectation for the coming year. More change... more transitions.... more sleepless nights... but I know that God is unfolding His plan... even as we speak... to get us to our AJ just in perfect time....