love

3 Years Ago Today…

These are the words from my journal 3 years ago today…

In the waiting room. A hospital we’ve never been before. Me not in pain. Not pushing through contractions.

But facing fear that’s fighting faith. And battling something like labor but different enough to deserve another name.

Thankful. Excited. Humbled. The right word won’t come to mind.

Like the ignorant way I feel when thinking about Christ’s love. There will never be words.

Never.

This is all unexplainable. All grace. He is so faithful.

photo 2

“In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4b-6)

And now…on her 3rd birthday…it all still seems like grace.

Thanks M…You are still the bravest person I know. We love you!

Happy birthday Esther Grace!

IMG_5680

 “For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” (John 1:16)

 

 

 

 

DR Day 4!

We are tired tonight. Maybe my bones ache. It’s a good feeling somehow.

This morning we did a kids’ program in a neighborhood. 85ish people came. Our supplies dwindled. We tweaked as best we could. God is faithful. 

Could I please bring 1 or 10 of these sweet, brown faces home with us?

img_2777

This afternoon we worked at the church. We scrubbed paint off the floor. And my thoughts were…I.Am.On.My.Hands.And.Knees.Scrubbing.

How is this worship?

img_2788

Then Stephen’s quiet voice interrupts…”Can I bring y’all some ice water?”

Yes. Scrubbing floors can be worship. And bringing ice water. And holding little hands. And Jesus, aren’t You the one Who washed feet? Am I better than that?

Foolish me.

Love gives and gives and says I’ll do whatever is needed. Because that’s what He did.

“And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” (Isaiah 58:11)

We made it to the DR!

We’re here! Got up at 3:00 weary by now but here. And safe!

Our flights were great. The boys loved the mini-TV’s on the first flight. I sat beside a Will Smith look a like in the airport. We ate a cold cinnamon bun at 5:00…delicious!

We got to tour the amazing work that God is doing here in the Dominican…baseball ministry, church, school, etc. It’s clear His hand is here, and He is leading Gary and Allison and their team.

Humbled. That’s how I feel.

My eyes are heavy, but my heart so full. Full of joy at seeing how God is working. Full of a little conviction at how dog gone selfish I am.

Ann Voskamp’s new book, “The Broken Way” is my trip read. Couldn’t be more ordained. It’s okay to be broken. Broken to be poured out. Filled with Him.

God, help me to live like that. Hands always open. Help Stephen and Caleb to see this. To see how You came to love. How you’ve called us to love. Could there be anything greater than being emptied for Him?

“Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?” (Isaiah 58:6)

img_2578

img_2586

Open Adoption & Love

Esther and I were reading a book before bed. Then this thought…I love you enough to have had you. To have gotten big. And uncomfortable. And to have went through all the pain of bringing a baby into this world.

Then another thought…But I don’t love you enough to do what  your birthmom did.

I’m not sure that makes sense.

To the end of my days…as I watch Esther grow…no matter how our special open adoption plays out…I will always believe that Esther’s birthmom has a love for her that I will never understand.

It’s a love different that mine. Braver maybe. Willing to give up more maybe. A love I am struggling to describe.

And she handed her to us. Trusted us. Believed we would love her. Cuddle her. Read to her.

And we do…more than my heart can handle.

In the story of Esther’s already amazing life, I can’t forget her birthmom’s role. Won’t forget. What she did. How she carried her. Chose life. Then loved her enough to let me be her Mom.

It was God’s plan. And she was brave enough to follow love down the hard path.

If I thought adoption meant we were doing something speical…boy was I wrong.

If I thought the Gospel was about me doing something special…wrong again.

It’s all because of Him. All because of the cross. All because of His love.

And sometimes love does hard things. And sometimes love reads books.

IMG_3247         IMG_3246

For M’s privacy I cropped this but see those hands holding tightly? Love…

A Selfish Marriage

He was out of town last week for 3 nights.  We survived.  I was thrilled when he returned home.  But something made me feel  guilty.

I honestly enjoyed being in control.

It was nice not having to worry about another adult.  I liked running the show without additional input.

Am I being too honest?

We miss him when he’s away.  Everyone is happier when he’s here.  We thrive as a family.

But the sinful me still likes to call the shots.  I like it my way or no way.  And his leaving reminded me how desperately I need a Savior.

I need someone to look to Who has really laid it all down.  Someone Who’s said, “Not my will, but yours, be done.”

Marriage is for His glory.  It teaches me how to love like Him.  It teaches me how to sacrifice.

When the seasons are long, and marriage is hard, we can look to the cross.  To Him.  And we can lay it all down…all over again.  And love because we have been loved.

“And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me.Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done’.” (Luke 22:41,42)

043