Wednesday, September 30, 2009

October Challenge!!

I just posted October's challenge on This Next Generation.

Take a peek!

http://thisnextgeneration.blogspot.com

Monday, September 28, 2009

I am EXCITED

I am EXCITED.


You want to know why???

Because God is working and moving and answering prayers. And I cannot wait to see what He's going to do.

Last month, I was pulling files at work and praying about my life, where God is calling me to, and how I am supposed to make an impact for the fatherless. An idea popped into my head to start a another blog focused solely on our call to care for the orphans. I will post a monthly challenge, and I invite anyone to join me in it. I will be posting October's challenge soon. So I'd created the blog, This Next Generation, http://www.thisnextgeneration.blogspot.com/ but had kept hesitating to release it or post about it. The Enemy kept whispering in my ear, "Nobody your age cares like you do. Nobody your age will read this blog." So I didn't continue with it. I set it aside for "another day", whenever that would be.

Yesterday I saw a sweet comment on my last post about a girl, Audrey, who is starting a new blog focused on the orphans. You can find it here.

Today I read a post on Ellie's blog about a new organization she is starting. I sat at my computer and tried not to cry because I felt as though she was writing the words that were on my heart that I have been unable to formulate into a post.

God is raising up people from this generation who have a passion for the orphans. God is raising up girls my age who want to see change. God is raising up teens who see James 1:27, "Religion that God accepts is pure and faultless is this: to care for the orphan and widows in their distress." And they don't just read it and say, "Someday, when I have money, or when I have time, or when I know what I'm doing with my life, I will do something about this verse." This generation is going to make a change. It's going to be one step at a time, one child at a time, one penny at a time, one prayer at a time. But I am confident that God is moving and I believe that His call is for everyone.

I am EXCITED to see what God is going to do and I am hopeful that He is going to be glorified.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dreaming







Sometimes my head is just a little stuck in the future. I have trouble staying in the now, the present, today. I dream alot... i love trying to imagine what it will be like to finally be a wife and a mom.

What it will be like to finally adopt my first little one.
Whether my family will be large and made up of many nations like this one is.....will I have children from all over the world??? I have this idea for my family room someday. I want a built-in shelving unit in my family room with lots of shelves, one for each country that my children are from. Then I'll put decorations/items from their country in their shelf and we'll have all of the places represented in our family room.... that more than you wanted to know??? Oh sorry you get it anyway :)

If God will open the doors for me to run an orphanage to house these precious ones who are fatherless, these children who have no voice. I dream of the next time I get to wrap my arms around this precious one. What is God going to use her for??? What does He have in store for my Claudia girl??

Only the Father knows if any of these desires He has placed in me will come to fruition. But it never hurts to dream, right???

I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. 12"When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I'll listen. "When you come looking for me, you'll find me. "Yes, when you get serious about finding me and want it more than anything else, I'll make sure you won't be disappointed."

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Warrior Princess

Women were created by God to long to be fought for. We long to be loved enough to be rescued, protected, and pursued. However, God also created women with a fierceness and a desire to be warriors too.

This week's chapter in Captivating was about this very topic. As I read about this aspect of our femininity I began thinking about what battles we fight. The Lord has placed every woman (and every man as well) in the Greatest Battle- the rescuing of souls for the Kingdom. Each of us has been called to fight in that battle. We have been given people to protect, to pursue and win their hearts over.

But besides that mission, the Lord was really impressing on my heart the question What are you fighting for, Molly?? What battles are we as women supposed to be fighting for?? The Lord has given us women a tenderness, a compassion, a deep fierce love for the people in our lives and that is going to be a crucial tool as we serve God in whatever He calls us to.



I think we can answer that question when we look at the Bible and at the holy ambitions the Lord has placed on each of our hearts. Our battles are going to be different. I think it's important though for us to have in mind our goals and purposes in life. As I prayed through what the Lord wants me fighting for I thought of several things:


Purity in every aspect of life

Orphans


Adoption


Truth


And so I ask you today, dear daughters of the King, have you put on the armor of God and taken your place in His battle??? Have you asked Him what He wants you to fight for?? Have you fallen into passivity, believing that you are not enough for His mission?? Remember, God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called. YOU are enough, and He will equip You to do His will.



"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
19Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should."


Ephesians 6:10-20

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Worship


While playing keyboard today at church I looked down at the front row and there was my youth pastor's daughter standing next to her mom with her eyes closed singing her heart out to Jesus.

It was precious to see a child so young so eager to worship and praise her Father. It was beautiful to see an example of covenant children being raised up in the church to be Godly young men and women. Wow it makes me excited. It was convicting to see her passion and her understanding of worship.
I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all your wonders.
I will be glad and rejoice in you;
I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2
It was just a really good reminder to look at my heart and reflect on my heart for worship. I long to have the humility and faith of a child. I long to come to the Lord like a child every time I worship. To just rest in the peace and goodness of the Father and praise Him for all that He is and all He has done!!

re⋅demp⋅tion 
–noun
1. an act of redeeming or the state of being redeemed.
2. deliverance; rescue.
3. Theology. deliverance from sin; salvation.
4. atonement for guilt.
5. repurchase, as of something sold.
6. paying off, as of a mortgage, bond, or note.
7. recovery by payment, as of something pledged.

"In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding."
Ephesians 1:8

Redemption. It's kind of a big word. Maybe not the most complex word ever but it has a huge meaning. I think that we throw the word around alot without really stopping to think about what it means and what impact it has on our lives. Our pastor is doing a sermon series on Ephesians and it has been excellent so far. Today he focused alot on redemption and since i keep thinking about I figured I might as well write about it!!

The first point that stuck with me is that we can do nothing to contribute to our redemption. Absolutely nothing. We have nothing to offer Christ. No good intentions, good deeds, or good behavior will ever add to His redeeming sacrifice. In the same way, we cannot be redeemed except through Christ. We were deep in the bondage of our sin, entangled by our evil thoughts and deeds before Christ's blood poured over us and blotted out the sin. There is no way to be redeemed except through the saving blood of Christ. He had to offer His own blood, His own life. I often trick myself into thinking that by serving, saying kind words, and doing the right thing that I can somehow rectify some of my sin. But I can't. I am only forgiven and redeemed because of Christ.

I'm sorry Jesus for my ungrateful attitude. All too often I take for granted the fact that You saved me. You took my sin upon Your shoulders and bore the pain for me. I stand in awe of Your sacrifice and in awe of Your love. Please help me to develop a deeper understanding of You and how You want me to live as a redeemed daughter of the King.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Proverbs 31

I've been reading through the Proverbs and last night I got to the last one- Proverbs 31. Somehow I'd forgotten about this chapter and I got really excited to read through it again. It'd been awhile since I'd sat and contemplated this chapter, specifically the chapter on being a Godly wife. Here it is:


A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth more than rubies.
Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
She is like the merchant ships,
bringing food from afar.
She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
She considers a field and busy it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hand to the needy.
When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, praises her;
"Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all."
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

Proverbs 31
I read these verses and was encouraged and overwhelmed all at the same time. My first thought, which I wrote in my bible was, what an awesome calling God has given us. Lord would you make me that wife some day?! Ladies, we have been given the greatest calling of being wives and mothers to the men that God raises up for us. Though that day is far off for alot of us, God began working in our hearts long ago to prepare us for the role that we will play in our future marriages and families. My second thought was, oh wow. I have such a long way to go before I could ever get close to being all of those things this chapter talks about. There are so many things that I need to change, so many things I am not. But, we're a work in progress, right?? That's why the Lord starts His work in our hearts at the beginning, and He will give us what we need for the task He lays before us. Anyways, after reading and praying I shut my light off and a poem popped into my head. I'd written a poem off of this chapter back here, but I'll post the one I wrote last night as well.



A greater call

A greater calling none can find
No greater commitment do any vows bind
To be a faithful, loving wife
Through joy and through strife.

To serve and work togehter
To be faithful for forever
To risk, fail, and succeed
To follow and to lead

To be the other half
of a team that would certainly lack
if the other were not there,
They're partners, lovers, a pair.

To cling to his hand,
through dark desert land.
Learning to trust and submit
in this God-given man.
To be a faithful loving wife
A great calling none can find.


9/15/09

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Call for Prayer again!




Our dear friends the Arnolds returned from China with their precious Libi Faith a couple of years ago. God has done AMAZING things in this little girl's life. She is now walking, starting to talk, and potty-training. Libi could barely hold her head up when they brought her home. God has moved mountains with this little girl. And let me tell you, this family is head-over-heels in love with their Libi. The Arnolds are asking God to move a mountain again. This time, we have been asked to pray for Libi's big sister (who is so adorable I can hardly stand it btw). Haddie Hope is still in China. Their second little princess is being held back by some paperwork issues and we need her home ASAP. She needs to be united with her new family now not later. Would you pray along with me for this sweet little girl? Thank you sweet friends!

The following is what Amy wrote on their blog:
I am asking anyone and everyone who will go before the Father to do so on behalf of the Arnold family for our sweet Haddie Hope Jie. It is becoming more clear to me that she is being batteled over. I KNOW that we do not battle against flesh and blood! We fight a very real enemy who does not want these little ones to be free from the chains the hold them as orphans.Yesterday we received our LOA, our letter of acceptance from the China. It has been brought to our attention that there is an error on our approval from the US government. This error could be corrected, and a new approval issued tomorrow, or we may have to fill out another application and pay a fee and be delayed in going to get Haddie.As always, we trust the plan of our Father. We also know that He desires to hear our hearts. Our hearts are that our sweet girl would not have to wait another day and that this approval would be sent tomorrow. Please join us in praying over the next 24 hours that the officer, Mr. Michael James, who will make this decision would extend the approval to us with no further paperwork or fees.Thank you so much! It is so amazing to call upon this ARMY to pray!!
Ephesians 6:

10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

Friday, September 11, 2009

A new season..

It's funny how life works sometimes. Things that you wait forever on finally happen, God answers prayer in mysterious ways, plans change, things become more clear as God refines our hearts.

I feel as though I have entered a new season of life.... filled with new joys, delights, and experiences. There are new challenges as well, but so far the joy has been greater than the challenges! God has blessed me in so many ways and I am so thankful.
I never expected God to transform my relationship with my brothers. I am in awe of what He has done between the 3 of us over the summer. We all changed and learned alot and our relationship has done a complete 180. I am so excited to see what more God does in the next few months!

I never thought I would be surrounded by such amazing people this year. All but one of them have stepped into my life through various ways just in the past 6 months. This is truly an act of God's grace. Bloggy friends, this includes you too. I have learned much from you all in the past year!!
We have shared, laughed, and cried together (but mainly laughed).


I never thought that I would get to spend part of my week playing with 2 precious little boys as a job.


I didn't believe that our family would ever get any bigger. I had prayed and prayed for that to happen and I had finally surrendered that dream to the Lord, believing that it was not in His will. But He has shown me that He does change hearts, and this new season of my life will involve nurturing whatever foster kids He brings into our home.


And lastly, I most certainly did not expect to be looking at this beautiful flower sitting on my desk given to me by my boyfriend. Yes you heard me correctly. I am now dating my friend Spencer, who I've grown up with at church. And I am delighted to enter into this new season! :) So, to sum it all up, this is definitely a new season of life for me.


Ecclesiastes 3 talkes about how there is a time for everything.


There is a time for everything,and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.


He has made everything beautiful in His time.


I am slowly learning to embrace this verse. As aspects of my life change, I am learning to see that God is unchanging. His love, His mercy, His grace withstands time and trials. They are there yesterday, today, and forever. Through trial, pain, doubt and through smiles, laughter, and joy He stays the same.


I am also learning to see how He truly does make everything beautiful in His time. Sometimes, we don't see the beauty for years afterwards. I think there are occasions in which we won't see the beauty this side of heaven either. But I've found that if I seek the face of Jesus and ask Him to show me the beauty in a situation, He will guide my eyes to the place I need to look. Sometimes, He will turn my head 180 degrees. Other times, He will keep my face directly on His, because in Him, you can always find beauty.

Monday, September 7, 2009

7 Years Ago Today....

My favorite little girl in the whole wide world was born in Solola Guatemala.

Today my heart breaks and my arms feel so so empty. I think of her mom who labored hours on end to deliver this sweet little girl, and she never got to know the delight of Claudia. I pray that she knew Jesus and that she is in Heaven looking down on her little girl who turns 7 today. But it breaks my heart that she never got to hear the infectious giggle of her little girl. I would give anything to have met this woman, who must have had the biggest heart of joy that she passed on to her daughter. Claudia laughs and smiles more than anybody I know. And tonight, I would do just about anything to have her next to me.

Amidst my heavy heart, thoughts, and tears I rejoice in the fact that God gave me this little girl. She changed my life forever, and I will never be the same. This girl lit a fire in me for the orphans, and my love for her has burdened me for the fatherless even more. I have learned how to trust God for the impossible even more, and I have learned that sometimes the only option is to place the most precious things in life in the hands of God. I put Mighty to Save with this video because this is still my song for her. I believe that God is still mighty to save- her and all the other children stuck in this mess of paperwork and laws. I believe that He has the power to bring her home. Whether or not that's in His plan is one thing- but I'm choosing to believe that one day she will come home.


video

Happy Birthday my sweet Claudia girl. I schemed all day yesterday about how I could manage to stow away on a plane and be with you on your special day. You are a delight, beautiful, funny, precious, and LOVED. You, sweetheart, have stolen a piece of my heart and I will never get it back from you. You changed my life, my goals, my priorities. If only you knew the prayers that I have prayed for you and your future, and the tears that have been shed over your precious life. I believe that God has a plan and a purpose for you. Feliz Cumpleanos mi chica preciosa. Te amo para siempre.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Who is this girl and why do they call her Guatemolly?

So I totally stole this idea off of MckMama's blog http://www.mycharmingkids.net and really liked it. So I'm doing a post very similar to it. I thought it'd be fun to go back and reminiscence- though I admit I feel slightly narcissistic devoting this entire post to me. Who knows how many times I'll use the word "I" in this. But doing this is always a great time to be reminded of God's faithfulness!

In mid-fall of 1991, I was born, the first child in my family.

In Summer of 1995, after playing with my poor mom on the couch for 3 months while she was on bedrest, my 2 always-obedient, sweet-as-can-be, ever-loving twin brothers were born. Suffice it to say, my life was changed forever. But I love them both them so incredibly much. Even with the years of toy guns, running, war cries (for serious, you should've been present during the many battles that took place at our home with my brothers and their friends lol).

In 1996 my Dad went to Guatemala for a week. He brought back a native blouse and skirt. I wore it to church and our good family friend started calling me Guatemolly. Who would have thought?!


In 2000, my life-long dream (at least for the 9 years I'd been alive) was fulfilled when my aunt and uncle took me to swim with the dolphins in Florida. I also adopted a little dark-skinned baby doll from this toy store in town. I wrote a story about how her parents had been killed in a mudslide in Guatemala and I was chosen to adopt her. That summer, I pushed her around in a life-size stroller, dressed her in baby clothes I bought at garage sales, and carried her in a baby carrier at the grocery store.

In 2002, we made the big jump from homeschooling to private Christian school. It was probably the best decision my parents ever made for me. I had a fantastic year there and absolutely loved it.

In 2005, my best friend's family adopted from Guatemala. I remember the day they announced their plans for adoption like it was yesterday. That was the first time that I remember my heart breaking for the orphans. If only I'd known how broken one's heart can actually be for something. The next 3 years I begged my parents to adopt or have a baby. God had other plans.

In 2006, after much prayer and consideration, we decided for me to continue going to the same Christian school for high school. I joined the worship team, dissected a pig, and grew in my faith (not because of dissecting a pig. Just had to clarify that).

Summer of 2007 was a big one. God dropped a job at the dermatologist's office right in my lap. I wasn't looking for a job. And I didn't think I needed one. But He gave one to me anyway. Turns out, I started homeschooling that fall, and had I not taken that job I would have been terribly lonely and bored sitting at home all day.

Fall of 2007 I woke up one night and realized that I'd had this crazy dream. I'd dreamt that for my birthday, I'd received all of these nice presents- none of which I wanted. In my dream I was upset over getting these gifts because I just wanted to go to Guatemala. After telling my parents about it, they decided maybe they could work out a way for my Dad and I to go. I had NO IDEA this dream was of any significance- but this is EXACTLY what God had planned.

March of 2007 my Dad and I boarded a plane to Guatemala City. Desperate for my parents to adopt and desperate to give a child a home I was determined to find my sister (and convince my parents of it as well). I had been out of the country besides seeing the Bahamas on a cruise, had never been to an orphanage, and was utterly unprepared for what I was to see. But is there anyway to prepare yourself for that? I walked into the orphanage and was immediately greeted by a little girl with a swollen, tender growth on her pinkie finger. My very elementary Spanish prevented me from carrying any full conversation, so she and I communicated with hugs, smiles, laughter, and facial expressions. Later on that week my Dad removed the lesion on her finger, and we discovered she had taken a piece of both my Dad and my heart. Her name was Claudia.

April of 2007 I realize that you never fully recover from a missions trip. Your heart is just changed forever. I struggled with terrible guilt at the life I led here. I experienced intense longing to return. I felt a passion and burden like never before to change and help the children I had fallen in love with. I prayed night and day for my parents to adopt and talked about it incessantly. Oh how much I had to learn.

In August of that year, I joined 18 people on a plane to go again to Guatemala. This trip was quite different, as it was with a team, but God did just as much work in my heart. I was greeted again by the same sights, sounds, and children. My heart was broken again and my passion again ignited for the orphans. I vividly remember my quiet time one night in which the Lord brought (or dragged) me to a new level of surrender. I sobbed and cried out to the Lord. I did not understand why these kids could not be my siblings. I did not understand why they should live there and not in my home. I did not understand why Claudia could not be my sister. But that night I chose to place my desire for my family to adopt and the future of these children into God's hands. It was a night that definitely stands out in my spiritual walk.

2008- Funny how I can't think of anything to write as I approach the present lol. Let's see... I started my online homeschool program, got more involved with youth group, and grew some fantastic friendships. I started college trips, thinking that I would be graduating that spring. God had other plans for me, and though it was a big disappointment His plan was good. Also that year we sold our house after having it on the market for 18 months and moved into our existing house. It was overall a great but hard year, fillled with lots of lessons.

Spring of 2009- After nearly 18 months away from the country of my heart, I traveled with my brother and my dad to go back to Eagle's Nest. It was a precious trip, made even sweeter sharing it with my brother. I came back more in love than ever with the country, the language, and the people.

May of 2009- We started actively pursuing my Claudia girl. After much emailing, praying, and investigating I received the email that the judge had declared her unadoptable and was transferring her to another orphanage. I was devastated, but kept trusting that our God is mighty to save this little girl.

June of 2009- My most recent trip to Guatemala was probably the most bittersweet of them all. One of the most emotional, heartwrenching days of my life was leaving that little girl behind. I came home an absolute mess. But I found HOPE in that country, learned that I positively love Spanish, and was brought to a greater trust in the Father than I have ever had. It was a really really good trip.

As for Fall of 2009- God has already made the past few weeks an adventure. A few times I have felt a bit like I'm on a rollercoaster that is missing the stop button. Sometimes I handle it quite well, and other times I fail miserably. So I'm learning lots about the grace and mercy of God, and that He is good even in the desert or in the middle of a storm. I am getting SO excited about our family doing foster care!! There will be more on that to come in the next few months.

And now, reading through this, I'm amazed at God's faithfulness!! We serve an incredible God!

Thankful Thursday

You know when you don't feel like doing Thankful Thursday that you need to do it. So... after procrastinating the past hour I felt like the Lord really wanted me to do this. He obviously has something to teach me through this post! :)

"Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done."
1 Chronicles 16:8

"Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."
Psalm 106:1

"This is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24

Our God is faithful, good, sovereign, full of grace, mercy, love, and tenderness. He has blessed us beyond measure in so many ways.

I am thankful for LIFE today. I am thankful for the chance to live and breathe and love.

I am thankful for HOPE today.

I am thankful for GRACE today. It has been poured out so many times on me by the Savior- and I don't deserve any of it. It is by GRACE I have been saved. Nothing I have done has gotten me to where I am at today.