Abortion & Adoption

7 Jul

I was driving the other day and saw this bumper sticker. I googled it so you could see…

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It’s so simple. I’d never thought of it before. But could those 2 words be more similar?

The abortion topic is a tricky one. My hands feel tied. The thought of those sweet babies…oh I can’t even type it.

But adoption could be part of the answer. Couldn’t it?

Nope, not everyone is called to adopt, but I believe more people are than have responded to the call.

Jeremy and I knew we were called to adopt for years. We kept waiting for the “right time.” We wanted…1-our kids to be older, 2-to save up more money, 3-to do a little more research. Those were wise thoughts, but they quickly became excuses.

We prayed about timing, and one day I came across this song. (You can skip to 3:00 if you don’t want to hear his explanation.). And finally, we said no more waiting. We went for it and trusted God (most days!) to lead us.

Now there’s this precious mocha chic with crazy hair who has her Daddy wrapped around her finger. She dances. She kisses. She has a smile that lights up a room. She was the one. She was worth the wait.

I have learned more about God’s grace and love through Esther Grace than in any other way throughout my life.

So pray about it. Then go for it. The journey may be hard, but…wow…God is faithful!

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“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27)

In Light of Recent Events…

30 Jun

“Did you hear about the shooting in Africa?” Jeremy looked up from his phone at me. Just last week he asked, “Did you hear about the shooting in Charleston?” And the weeks have been filled with these type questions.

The answer to each was no. I didn’t know about any. He keeps me informed because I block myself from pain. I avoid the news. It easily upsets me and bad news hangs around in my head for weeks.

But we can’t always hide. We shouldn’t. And Jeremy knows this, so he updates me.

And my response to him after hearing all this pain that’s happened recently, “Why doesn’t the Lord just come back?”

It’s a sad world we live in. Sin runs rampant. We live for ourselves. And I’m pointing the finger at myself as I type. I am no different.

I held Kenan as Jeremy and I talked. And the thought came to mind, “God could use our kids. He could use me.” So I said, “We could raise 4 boys who grow up to be men who love God and change the world for Him.”

We beg God to do this.

May I be careful of passing the baton to them while excusing myself to sit back and do nothing. It’s hard to know what to do.

This phrase keeps going through my head. It doesn’t completely make sense, but it’s there. “Mercy forgives. Grace restores.”

The cross. His forgiveness. That has to be the answer. Unconditional love for broken sinners; myself at the forefront.

For me. For our world. “Mercy forgives. Grace restores.”

Father, do what only You can do. Glorify Yourself in this chaos. We are here, ready to do what You say.

“For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” (Isaiah 48:9-11)

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Blue Toenails on the Back Porch

16 Jun

She washed my feet. Put lotion on them. Painted my toenails bright blue.

We sat on the porch. Esther slept. I fed Kenan. And our kids jumped on the trampoline.

I was reluctant at first. This seems crazy. But I know her heart. I know pieces of where God is leading. And I believe with her that God could use foot washing and pedicures to change lives.

God moves people in different ways. He takes them different places. He takes the little moments and turns them into holy ones.

“Quietly, Jesus got up from the table, took off his robe, picked up a basin of water, knelt down, and started to wash his friends’ feet…One by one, Jesus washed everyone’s feet. ‘I am doing this because I love you,’ Jesus explained. ‘Do this for each other’.” (The Jesus Storybook Bible)

I am humbled by friends who love enough to serve. I am humbled by a Savior Who laid down His crown, washed feet, then bore my sins.

And when I fuss about God calling my “closest ones” away. He patiently washes my feet. Cleanses my soul. And reminds me that a life worth living is one that’s given away.

“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:3-5)

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Esther got hers done before her nap.=)

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Ya’ll…that’s the Creator of feet washing feet. Unbelievable!

A Slow Summer

8 Jun

School’s out in our house. We’ve got a summer fun list going. We’ve got a reading challenge going. It’s a necessity to keep the boys busy!

At night we’re reading The Tale of Despereaux. The boys beg and beg for just “one more chapter.” I read and Jonathan plays with my ponytail. It’s a sweet time for us.

We’re registered for Liberty Online next year. School starts back for us on July 20. We’ve got approximately 6 weeks to “build a treehouse, go to the pool and Frankie’s, and visit the beach.” Those are 4 unchecked items on their list.

I’m a little restless without lesson planning and typing up activity sheets. I love the structure of school as much as the freedom of summer.

I’m also remembering that to be still is to let God speak. Our society is so task oriented. I thought the other day how I wish I could be doing something “productive” while blow-drying my hair. That’s crazy.

My hope this summer is to really slow down. I pray my mind will be clear and focused on the moment. I long for the quiet times to become sacred.

I believe He wants to speak if we really desire to listen.

“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (Psalm 46:10)

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Car Wrecks & Prayer…Remembering

26 May

The stroller wheels rattled on the concrete as I pushed Esther to the end of the driveway and back again. Our early morning exercise before breakfast.

My mind wandered to the article someone had linked on my Facebook-“North Carolina church leader’s toddler killed in wreck.” It had similarities with an article written about us back in 2007-“Church keeping watch over family.”

I hurt deeply for them. I don’t understand. We are fools to ever say we understand someone’s pain. Is it possible to ever really empathize?

But I hurt.

Esther and I walk, and I point out the birds to her. And she points her little finger at the cows in the pasture to the left.

I think back to our days of uncertainty nearly 8 years ago. I curse the post traumatic stress that still haunts me at unexpected times. And I ask myself, “What was the one thing I wanted everyone to do when life spiraled out of control, and the pain was too real for words?

Simple…Pray.

The cards were nice. The meals were great. The visits were special. But ultimately, when life hangs in the balance and there’s nothing you can do, prayer become the lifeline it should always be.

So I prayed as Esther and I walked. And I thought of Stephen, now a 9 year old, playing video games inside the house.

Somehow God is always good. I write the words as a way of forcing myself to believe them.

And I pray some more. For this young family. For the days ahead.

And I’m so, so thankful we have a Daddy with arms big enough to hold us and a heart of love that sees our tears.

Praying…

“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 8:38-39)

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