Friday, May 23, 2014

Quote for the Day

'Waiting on God requires 
the willingness
to bear uncertainty,
to carry within oneself
the unanswered question,
lifting oneself to God about it, 
whenever it intrudes upon 
one's thoughts.'
        ~Elizabeth Elliot

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Father's Heart for those who don't even know He exists....

When you love someone (or in our case two someones) as deeply as the Lord has allowed us to love Felix and Betty, The Lord teaches you a few things...

So far here's my musing of  some of the things God has taught us. (so far)

Our whole family loves those kids.  We are so bonded to them in our hearts, we were and still are willing to endure any and every hardship and inconvenience to get them for our own.  If we could, we would give anything and everything for them.  We would spend any money, endure any sickness, give up any and every earthly good.

I would travel to Africa and give birth to this new baby there, as terrifying as that sounds, if it would mean we could adopt those kiddos.

But as of right now, God is saying no or at least wait.

So here we sit.  With all this love and broken hearts.

All this desire to know and be known by them.  To hold them, to tell them we love them. And that we will always be there. But, at least right now, we can't.

All this while they don't even know we exist.

And there it hit me.

This is the heart of the Father.  (Only times about a million) for those children of His who he loves and is literally willing to (And Did in fact give up ALL THINGS for)

All those children of His who DON'T EVEN KNOW HE EXISTS.

See, we have payed some of the costs for this adoption.

But God in Christ payed everything.  He payed it all.  And he payed for EVERYONE.

Would I, by choice, fully pay for the adoption of a child who would NEVER actually be mine?
Just because I loved them so much,and I wanted to by any means I could, to make it possible for them to come into my family? Would I be willing to make the way, just because of my love, with full knowledge they would NOT be mine?

God, In Christ, Did exactly that.

He payed for EVERY person for all time to be brought in to his family.

Fully knowing they wouldn't all come into his family.
 Yes, clearly many would. But not all.
But imagine his heart for the ones who have never heard?
It must be breaking, beyond anything I can imagine.

My heart is breaking for children I have known for a few months, from afar, in pictures and written words.

Imagine the heart of the Father, who designed, made, and knows each one, every tear, every thought, every little bit about every single one. He fully knows them.

See Felix and Betty don't know about us.  I mean, they know their need. They are probably well acquainted with their lack of a mommy and daddy.But they don't have any idea that there is a mommy and daddy somewhere who love them and want them so badly.

So the other morning, I was sitting there pouting about this thought to myself. And as he often does, God spoke to my heart, and said.... 'Christa, There are millions of people who are in this exact place with me.'

Well acquainted with their lack.

But no idea that Jesus loves them.  That he payed the ultimate and costly price for them to know and be known by Him.  To be a part of His family.

an estimated 2 billion people, to be exact.

Romans 10:14
 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?

We have to be passionate about the lost.  It can't just be numbers. We have to go. We have to tell them.  We have to send people to go. We have to Give generously to the cause of sharing Christ with the ones who have never heard.  And we have to pray for those who are there. We all HAVE to do something.

Its a lot like adoption. Clearly not everyone is called to adopt. But we are all called, as believers to care, and not just mentally feel sad for, but actually serve practically in some capacity the fatherless and vulnerable children in our world.

It is not enough to be sad about orphans, or about the fact that there are millions who haven't heard the gospel.  We have to move.

What if we had adopted Felix and Betty, fully and legally, and all that lacked was for us to get on the plane and go tell them, to go help them actually experience their adoption?

I can't think of anything more tragic than that.

But God.

Ephesians 2:4-5
 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

Go. Send. Pray. We have to.

If we don't, well, I can't think of anything more tragic than that.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Family Photos we took for our dossier.....

 I wanted to share these beautiful photos Abby Breyer took of our family for our Dossier. Even though we can't use them for our dossier now........ 

She did such a good job and we really appreciate it! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Grace when you are Crushed!

These last two weeks I have been in the Word more and have              written more scripture and prayer in my journal than                      I had the ENTIRE last year put together, I am fairly sure......

I think the Lord was strengthening my heart and mind, for nights like last night.......
We told our kids what was going on yesterday.....
The news of the new baby was of course met with joyful squeals....
and followed up with the news of our delayed adoption and the fact that Betty and Felix were no longer for sure our own......

Solomon being 1 1/2 had nothing to say on the matter.

Eden being three said with joy, "Is the baby gonna pop out today?"
"No honey."

Jubilee and Tobias at 7 and almost 9 cried and ran off announcing that mom already had enough baby's!
They came back pretty quick of course and we told them it was ok to cry, we cried to, we assured them.

Jed being the young man of the house at almost 11 probably had some idea of what we were going to tell them.... it's a benefit of being able to read and being really into mama's phone at this point in his life.  And of having been around Mom for several pregnancies, all her classic symptoms being back.... 
He was sad but very quiet......

And then as kids often do they moved on with their day.  They played outside, the boys played their little league baseball game, (and won!) 

At bedtime we prayed as we always do for Betty and Felix.
It was super hard, to get the words out.
I prayed for God to bring them into a family who would love them, the family he has chosen.

And Jubilee burst into tears, mid-prayer. 
"But Mom,I want them in our family!"
And I joined her in crying to.  "So do I." I assured her.
As you can imagine, bedtime took EVEN longer than normal last night.

Anyway, this morning I am sitting here looking at the mounds of scripture God gave to me these last few weeks.  There is so much here.  I don't even know where to start.

I will share it all slowly over the next weeks I think.

Today I will start with Job 26:14
'Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways,
And how small a whisper do we hear of Him!
But the thunder of his power- who can understand.'

Next to this in my Bible, I have these words, our Pastor often quotes.
'You are God
I am not
You are always right
I am often Wrong'
I do not understand God or His ways. But I choose trust.
 Not perfectly, mind you. there has been plenty of pouting and foot stomping and tears and anger.
Kind of like a little kid who didn't get her way.

In the words of Mr. Beaver, from the Chronicles of Narnia, when Lucy and Susan asked if Aslan was 'safe'.' Mr Beaver's response;
"Safe? Of course he isn't safe, but he is Good. After all He is not a tame lion!"

 ok here's one more....

Hebrews 12:26-29
26 At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” 27 This phrase, “Yet once more”, indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, 29 for our God is a consuming fire.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Faith- walking by it, when it hurts and when it's glorious....

We have had a few rough weeks.  We have some announcements.
The main thing we need to announce is that God has chosen to bless our family with a baby. 

The old fashion way.  Christa is pregnant, due December 30th.  

We have held off in announcing it for a couple of weeks while we waited for our home study agency and our placing agency to come to a decision on what this means for the adoption.

They told us yesterday.  It is their policy to not place a child until six months after the birth of new baby. So as of now we can't proceed with our adoption at this time.  We are crushed. our kids are crushed.  

It's amazing how much you can bond with children you have never even met.  Children we have been praying for for 2 years.  Children who don't even know we exist.  That we are crying for them.  That we have literally been so sad we can hardly eat or sleep. It's ironic really.  That two little children that the world would call discarded, forgotten and unimportant would matter so much to us.  

When we started this process orphans were a number, a statistic. 148 million in the world. 2.5 million in Uganda.  The Numbers swirled in our brains, we knew we desired and needed to act.  But the numbers didn't become ours until we saw them.  

We tried to hold back at first, we said they were tentatively ours. We prayed for them to find a family. Then our faith grew and we prayed for them to find OUR family.  We added names to their names.  Names that we chose for them.  We put their pictures on our wallpaper of our phones. They were in our bedtime prayers every night and again in the morning by name and face we lifted them before The God Who Sees. 

 We picked clothes out for them.
Our kids talked about where they would sleep, how they would share their toys with them, where everyone would sit in the car.  We wondered what their favorite color was, what their favorite candy would be.  Whether or not they would like to play rough or sit quietly.        

I think you get the picture. We made them our very own.

Things have never looked so good financially for the adoption.:
We had someone anonymously offer to pay our travel fees- $16k! 
All 7 of our passports came in the mail last week.  

All while we were quietly waiting and processing this news. 

It seems like God was opening doors and closing doors all at once.  It has been a whirlwind of confusion and emotions.  We honestly still are processing it all.

Our agency can't 'hold' our sweeties for us.  We wouldn't want them to really.  If a family comes along before we are able to start paper work up again that wants to bring them into their family, we would be thrilled.  Painfully thrilled. 

 We know God Has only our best and their best in mind.  

Of Course if they are still waiting when we are able to resume we would be thrilled to re-accept the referral.  

So here we sit.  The adoption busy-ness and hub bub at a quiet lull.  They told us we can continue to fund raise.  Who knows? Maybe by the time we can restart our paperwork we may have all the money we need!

Right now we are just resting.  We believe God is Good.  We know He loves Felix and Betty. We Know he loves us.  We KNOW he loves this little VERY unexpected surprise growing inside of Christa.  We know without a doubt HE IS THE GOD WHO SEES.  And we know he saw all of this from all time past. We know His plans are infinitely better than our plans.

We choose joy.
We choose faith. 
We refuse to accept doubt and fear and failure.

But b.e.l.i.e.v.e. me, it's a choice we are actively fighting for.
And yes it is 3:00 in the afternoon and I am in my PJ's! (just being real)

Please don't judge me, I'm not saying babies aren't a blessing.  I know I am blessed among women  to be a mother for the sixth time!  Its just an emotional roller coaster ride I didn't CHOOSE to get on.  But I am on all the same, and the ride is wild!  

About a week before all this came down I was telling a friend of mine how I feel like God has me in a place where I literally am being FORCED to walk by faith.  I told her "I see nothing by sight.... "

........If only I knew THAT day how much more I would be feeling that sensation soon. 
 I am literally blind right now as far as faith goes!

That same wonderful friend sent me this devotional: 
Its from the classic devotional Streams in the Dessert~
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.” Heb. 11:8

Abraham “did not know where he was going”--it simply was enough for him to know he went with God. He did not lean as much on the promises as he did on the Promiser. And he did not look at the difficulties of his circumstances but looked to His King---the eternal, limitless, invisible, wise, and only God---who had reached down from His throne to direct his path and who would certainly prove Himself.

O glorious faith! Your works and possibilities are these: contentment to set sail with the orders still sealed, due to unwavering confidence in the wisdom of the Lord High Admiral; and a willingness to get up, leave everything, and follow Christ, because of the joyful assurance that earth's best does not compare with heaven's least. (F.B. Meyer)

In no way is it enough to set out cheerfully with god on any venture of faith. You must also be willing to take your ideas of what the journey will be like and tear them into tiny pieces, for nothing on the itinerary will happen as you expect.

Your Guide will not keep to any beaten path. He will lead you through ways you would never have dreamed your eyes would see. He knows no fear, and He expects you to fear nothing while He is with you.

This pretty well sums up what is happening in our world right now.

  • Pray for us friends!
  • Pray for just the right family for Felix and Betty.
  • Pray for our new precious one, for the plan God has for this little life.
  • Pray for Christa's health. This pregnancy already has been full of the joys of morning all day sickness, and dizzy spells and other such fun.
  • pray for our kids who have conflicted emotions, excitement about a baby mixed with sadness about the adoption, its a lot to process when your in your 30's, I can't even imagine being 7.
  • pray for us, we truly desire for God to shape us, make us more like him and use our lives the way HE sees fit. pray for us to be shape-able. To become better parents, more fit to adopt, to parent any and all kids God see's fit to give us. To be people who make it our aim to be satisfied in and by Christ alone and to glorify Him through our lives.
Well that's about it! whew!