Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I am overwhelmed when I sit here and see all that God has done in our family the past couple of weeks. Why do I ever doubt?? Why do I ever lose sight of who He is?
I am overwhelmed by how BIG our God is. Our God moves mountains, completely transforms hearts, performs miracles, and has a plan that is so huge and detailed that I can't even comprehend.
I am overwhelmed at the power of prayer. God has been SO FAITHFUL. God has been SO GOOD. And He answers every single prayer. I know, sometimes it feels like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. I have been there. But i have also seen and experienced God answer prayer and it is awesome.
I am overwhelmed by the love and support that God has given us. When I got home from work I had several emails in my inbox from dear friends. They were full of words of encouragement that touched my heart. I love you all so very very much.
I am overwhelmed with the thought of the journey that's ahead of us. I follow a gazillion adoption blogs and I read daily of the ups and downs of the process. Yet at the same time the Lord has been preparing me for this for YEARS! I have prayed for this very thing since I was 6 years old when God first touched my heart for the orphans. So while it's going to be long and hard I couldn't feel more ready for us to do it.
I am overwhelmed at the thought that somewhere, my little sister is in an orphanage. In fact if I dwell on this thought for too long I start feeling panicky- like I HAVE TO GO FIND HER NOW!!! Maybe some of you fellow adoptive families can relate. Or this is just a weird thought that I have.
I am overwhelmed at the thought that God cares deeply for each one of His children. He saw me when I was struggling on Sunday and Monday with the news about Claudia. He gave me little kisses from heaven today and has restored my mourning for rejoicing and hope of another little girl who will join our family. I thought of Isaiah 61:3, "bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." He truly did this for me today and I am so thankful.
So today I encourage you to look at our God in a fresh new way. To see Him for ALL THAT HE IS. To remember His miracles. To remember His plan. To remember His word. To remember His Son. To remember His love. Because we serve such an awesome God.
Monday, May 25, 2009
MUTE THE MUSIC ON THE RIGHT HAND COLUMN OF THE BLOG BEFORE VIEWING!!
When I need to express myself I always create something- a video, picture, poem, or scrapbook page. I was feeling sad so I made a slideshow. Just thought I'd share it with you. It made me laugh and cry at the same time. How can you not laugh listening to her giggle?!
The big picture was taken of my brothers and I in Arizona in 2007. I had asked my dad to take the picture like that and I made a scrapbook page afterwards about how I had prayed as a little girl that this picture would have another little girl in it (at the time I was praying it'd be Claudia). Lord willing, that picture will have another little person in it in the near future. :)
So much has happened in the past 9 days that I don’t even know where to start. It has been such an emotional rollercoaster.
The day before Mother’s Day, my dad saw this little boy in the ER. He was about 11 years old, in the foster care system, and very depressed. My dad told us about him while we were at my aunt and uncle’s house Mother’s Day afternoon. My heart was breaking for this little boy as my dad told us about him and I started to cry. My mom said, “Wow. This makes me want to get a foster care license and do something to help these kids out.” I didn’t really think anything of her comment, and the conversation turned to other topics. 2 Thursdays ago, out of the blue, my mom said, “I called DCSF today to inquire about foster care licenses.” I was shocked. My parents had made comments in the past about adoption but I thought that this was another “false alarm.” Part of my heart was leaping for joy at the idea that maybe God was doing a miraculous work in my parents. The other part of me was building a wall. I have dreamed and prayed SO LONG for us to adopt, and I was so afraid of having those dreams crushed again if this “adoption talk” was just a temporary idea.
The next day, the Lord was really convicting me of my response to my mom’s comment the night before. As I prayed I realized that my lack of encouragement to her the night before came from unbelief and fear. I didn’t believe that God would create a burden in my parent’s hearts for the orphans. I didn’t believe that God would finally say yes to my prayers for our family to adopt. I was so scared of being crushed with disappointment and scared of what this journey would hold for our family. God was gracious and granted me a new attitude and I approached my mom that night with excitement and awe of what God was doing in her heart. She told me that she and my dad were interested in trying to get Claudia, my little Guatemala girl and would like to get a foster care license. WHAT?!! The people at the orphanage had told my dad and I in March that they were going to try to get her through final court and into the US to a foster family until the paperwork could get switched over. I was elated. So we sent an email off to Guatemala to let them know we would like to be her foster family if she got out of court. God had done a miracle in my parents’ hearts and it is AMAZING. I am praising Jesus still.
Everyday last week dragged on and on and on waiting for a message back. I had my mom checking her email hourly LOL. No response. No answer. I prayed some more. I prayed for patience. I prayed that God would move the mountains and do a miracle for sweet Claudia and allow her to be my sister- something I’d dreamed of ever since I met her. My mom and I spent Saturday cleaning out our basement and building some simple shelves to store boxes on in an effort to prepare for getting a home study done.
Then yesterday afternoon I checked facebook and there was a short little message that hit me like a punch in the stomach. The judge has decided to transfer Claudia to a government orphanage and she will not ever be available for adoption. This simple sentence held SO MUCH and I felt myself go numb. If I thought my heart couldn’t break again I was wrong. My heart broke for Claudia. I couldn’t even take in all that this means, and I feel like I am still reeling. It made me angry that a judge can just stamp “ORPHAN FOREVER” on a child’s life. Who gave them that authority? It is so sad. I am so disappointed and I feel helpless. There is nothing at all that I can do to keep Claudia’s life from being turned upside down in the next months. There is nothing at all that I can do to save her from the bleak future that she has. Nothing I can do to get her here with a mama and papa. We have emailed to ask when she will be transferred in hopes that I will be able to see her one last time when I go in 3 weeks.
So I have been “on the mountain” and “in the valley” the past 10 days. Right now, I feel like I’m still in the valley. I know that there are people with MUCH HARDER valleys than this. But none the less, it is still very painful. But looking back on the past years, months, weeks, days, and hours I can see that God is faithful, sovereign, and good. I told my mom yesterday that we picked the best life verse. I keep saying it over and over to myself and it is like water to my soul. “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 He has plans for Claudia and He has plans for our family. I really am so excited to see what God will do now. My parents are still very commited to going forth with something. We are not sure exactly what we’ll do- foster, adopt, international adoption??? But God will guide the path. I started praying even last night for whatever child God will bring into our family instead. He works in mysterious ways, and has really used Claudia to spark the spirit of adoption in all of our hearts. I am so thankful for a loving God who will take me in His arms and hold my hurting heart. I am so thankful that He is going to be Claudia’s Father no matter where she is taken. I am so thankful for the work He has done in my parent’s hearts. We praise you Lord for what you have done, are doing, and will do. We know that this is just a chapter in the story that You are weaving.
“ Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather them from the west. I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’ and to the south, ‘Do not hold them back!’ Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth- everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43:5-7
I am so proud of you Mom and Dad! God has a plan for our family that He will reveal in His perfect timing!
Friday, May 22, 2009
Friday, May 15, 2009
I am thankful for another day of life. Another day of praising Jesus for His goodness to me.
"Taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8
I am thankful for my amazing friends and family.
"But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7
I am thankful that in 28 days I will be back in the country of my heart. I don't think I've talked about this on the blog yet. For some reason I felt like people would think I'm being extravagant. But really, come on! How can you serve orphans (and all people for that matter) TOO MUCH? Our church is taking a group down to the same orphanage in Guatemala. God totally opened the door and I jumped in the group at the last minute. So.... I will get to hold my girl again. I just can't think about leaving her down there again though. SO HARD. But like I said. We're not thinking about that right now!! I'm just thankful I get to go there again! God is too gracious.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
I am thankful that the Lord continues His good work in my heart even when I fail Him. His grace is EXTRAVAGANT. His love is RADIANT. We serve an awesome God.
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6
A little look into my heart today. :)
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
by Hillsong United
I've been running, trying to be one who sees
I've been working salvation out on my knees
There is nothing better than knowing
that we are redeemed
I'm believing, trusting in creative hands,
I am praying for our world to bow to your plan
And this one thought is unmistakable:
I take up my cross and follow you Lord
When you stand the tall trees and mountains bow
When you speak the fiercest of oceans is still
And I see the sinner seek devotion
The lost become chosen, and I fall to my knees
I'm forgiven; my Savior who did not deserve death
He was blameless and I was lost in shamefulness
I'm delivered, but it doesn't seem right
unless I keep my eyes focused on the savior who gave his life
In the middle of a world that denies it believes
It is breaking apart at the very seams
There is one thing to be alive for
And it's to take up my cross and follow you Lord
I will take up my cross and follow Lord where you lead me
And I will take up my cross and follow wherever you go
I heard this song for the first time today and thought it was beautiful. The lyrics are so good. Our God is so amazing. I just can't even express it. He is truly indescribable and I am falling to my knees today when I consider all that He has done. I am redeemed, my sinful heart has been transformed to one of devotion, the lost have become chosen, I'm forgiven, I'm delivered. The tallest of trees and mountains bow to our God.
THIS is why I love my Savior. As the song says, there's only one thing to be alive for, and it's Christ. Everything else in this world leaves the soul feeling empty and needy. But He wants us to live life to the fullest- and He will fill us up with the joy of the Lord. Praise the Lord!!
1 Corinthians 1:7-9 (the Message)
Does that not bring a smile to your face? A breath of relief? Joy to your heart?
It did for me!! The Word just pours into the soul and refreshes. I was getting a little weary in my "spiritual adventure" this week and was so encouraged by this scripture. God got me started on this and He will NEVER GIVE UP ON ME. Not when I mess up. Not when I disappoint Him. Not when I run out of strength to keep running this race. He will never give up on me. Instead He just lavishes more grace, love, and mercy on me. It is amazing!
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ."
Friday, May 1, 2009
So here's some things I'm hoping to accomplish this summer. Check back with me in September and see if I got any of them done lol!
1. Build some basic wooden shelves in the basement to try and organize my mound of sewing/craft/scrapbooking supplies. It is driving me crazy.
2. Finally sew this "exposed seams" quilt I've been wanting to do for over a year. I got an instruction book for it but haven't made the time to do it.
3. Memorize Scripture. I've been SO SO SO bad about this. My mentor and I are going to focus on this in the summer.
4. Take long walks with the dog.
5. Go to the pool alot.
6. Read LOTS of books.
7. Start volunteering at the community center here in town. They have a Hispanic Outreach Program so I'm praying I'll be able to put my Spanish to use! :)
What are some of your goals this summer?? Share with me!!