journey

Hope in the Middle Releases Today!

Back in 2013 I sat in our bedroom hopeless. The adoption process had started with no end in sight. Our three boys were young and demanding most of my attention. Jeremy and I were struggling through a hard, unexpected season in our marriage.

Life kept moving. I kept smiling. But inside, there were parts of me dead. My soul was numb.

The everyday tasks felt mundane. I’d curl up on our bed and cry.

Hopeless.

That’s when I started to write…and write…and write. Because writing lets me get things out that words don’t.

I allowed myself to ask hard questions. Why do I feel so hopeless? How can I call myself a Christian and not feel hope? Didn’t Christ die to offer a different life, a hopeful one?

Somehow, like it did back in 2007, a book was formed. There were chapters and headings. And God spoke clearly in places like McDonalds. And I wrote things down on napkins.

Hope became a book. Hope became a life-changing word.

God has led me on a journey to find hope. He’s taught me that He offers hope to us in the middle of everything. He Himself is life-changing hope.

I’m not sure where you are. I’m not sure where you’ll end up in your journey of life. I don’t even know where I’ll be. But I believe we could all use a reminder of real hope. I believe God intends for us to live lives full of hope.

And I’d be super humbled and honored if you read this little book I’ve put together…Hope in the Middle.

“But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.” (Psalm 71:14)

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“Hope isn’t revealed through an adoption referral. Hope isn’t found in living a smooth, safe life. Hope has already been fulfilled through Jesus’ death, life, and sweet grace. In Him alone I find hope for my yesterdays, today, and tomorrows. In Him I find hope in the middle of all uncertainty. ‘For such a time as this.’ He is hope.”

 

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When you go back…

The last time we were here I got the phone call with the referral for Amelia. The referral we turned down. The baby girl I wept for. The one I now know was not ours.

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This week we went back. Same park. Same me. Same 3 crazy boys.

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And I breathed deeply. Accepted that today, as it is, is God’s best for me.

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We went letterboxing. Followed clue after clue til we found the little box buried under a rock. Stamped our hands. Signed our names.

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A journey. A search. Finding joy along the way. Over bridges. Up hills. Around trees. Not really knowing the destination but being sure it’s there.

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“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 123:1-3)

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Parenting as a Journey

Each stage of parenting is tough. It’s tough having newborns, tough when they start crawling and walking, tough when they hit the terrible two’s /three’s (and it often continues way longer than that!), tough when school decisions must be made. And I’ve heard that the pre-teen and teen years are even tougher.

When I look at parenting as a journey things seem a little simpler. When I remind myself that the journey doesn’t have to be perfect, I find joy. God will give me grace for each step and stage, and through His unwavering love, I will love.

My Journey of Grace

While perusing my 2012 journal to see exactly what resolutions I kept and which ones got rewritten again this year, I came across this entry from last January.  This journey of finding freedom and joy in the Gospel had just begun…

Father,
You have called us by grace to show grace.  I am not under the law.  I don’t have to be perfect.  You were perfect for me.  You keep order, so I can love life with my family.  Yes, I’m commanded to “bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” but You are the one who sees the big picture of their lives.  I trust your grace is enough.
Trusting and loving You,
Me

The journey continues a year later, and I’m guessing a lifetime to come!