waiting

The “why” behind Hope in the Middle

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That’s me and Esther the night she was born. What smiles!

But it wasn’t like that on the journey.  It wasn’t like that as we waited for nearly two years. It wasn’t like that as we wondered if “M” would change her mind. It wasn’t like that as I swam from hope to hopelessness day after day after day.

No. It was hard. Waiting is hard. Uncertainty can choke. And when we’re doing something we feel like God has called us to, the lack of answers can paralyze.

That’s where I was when most of Hope in the Middle was written. Not smiling holding our sweet baby girl. But fighting in the trenches. Asking myself if God was worthy of my trust.

And I fought and fought hopelessness. And He kept loving me and loving me and loving me.

Because the cross promises we’re never alone. It promises we are always loved. And it reminds us that hope is only found in Him…no matter what uncertainty we find ourselves in the middle of.

“Maybe hope is more than something we do. Maybe it’s primarily about a gift–a promise. Hope is the guarantee I cling to when I lack the faith to act or even believe. It’s a good gift from a good God.”

(PS-I’ve ordered about 15 extra books. If you still want to pre-order, let me know. 8 days till release day!!)

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.” (Psalm 62:5-7)

 

 

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A new book is coming!

I’ve been silent on here lately for 1 pretty huge reason.

It’s taking all my spare time and extra thoughts.

…A new book is in the works!…

If you’ve followed this blog for long, you probably remember the depths of spiritual warfare and low moments we faced from 2012-2014 while waiting for Esther’s adoption.

There were times during that journey when things looked hopeless as the waiting dragged on and on.

But God was faithful (always). He refreshed me continually with one word. 

Hope.

I studied and studied hope during those years. I wrote what I learned. 

And now I’m putting it out there for you to read.

Not because it’s amazing. Not because I want you reading my journal. 

But because God has changed me through hope. He’s refreshed and encouraged. He’s stretched me. He’s comforted.

Here’s a small excerpt from the intro…

“I have written this book as a reflection of my  own life. Yes, I talk about our adoption journey, but this is ultimately not an adoption book. I also write as a homeschooling mom, but this is not a homeschooling book. If you’ve ever questioned God’s sovereignty in the middle of your suffering or ever found yourself feeling hopeless in the middle of life’s hardships, I believe this  book is for you!”

So I’d covet your prayers…Hope in the Middle releases on Tuesday, October 10.

You’ll be able to buy it through Amazon or my blog…in print ($10) or on Kindle ($7).

(And I may even have a pre-release coming up for you tomorrow!)

Trusting God will graciously use this book to weave hope into the broken parts of all of us! Thank you for praying!

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” (Psalm 39:7)

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Writing…I love it. Editing…not so much!

 

 

Abortion & Adoption

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)

When you want to scream…

Black Friday. Sitting in this restaurant at the beach. I feel a rush of unexpected thoughts. Angry ones. Thoughts I journal in the parking lot…

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“It’s not fair. That’s what I wanted to scream. At the oblivious family with the newborn. It’s not fair that we are still waiting. Not fair that a mother will face a situation where giving up her baby is the most loving choice.

And my mind rolls with a list of unfair things. So much so that I stop eating and ask for a to go box. The injustice swirling in my brain and leaking into my heart is too much.

So I lay it down. Not because I want to. Not because I don’t want to fix it all. But because the burden is too heavy and hurts too much.

I give it to Him. He takes it. Takes me. All broken, confused, and mad. Just like He took my sins “in His own body on the tree.” He takes my burdens now. And reminds me He is only good. Wraps me in His love and promises He sees it all.

He has plans. Maybe grace will let me be part of them. And in His goodness. In His love. I get up, leave the restaurant, and walk out into the winter sun. Yes, He is good.”

Maybe we are numb a little. Maybe we forget some days we are waiting. But we still covet your prayers. For our family. For our future baby. For the birthmom.

…Thanks…

“Oops, All Berries”

Have you tried them yet? “Oops, All Berries.” Full of sugar and sugar and sugar. And last night I had two bowls of them! Why? Frustration…

Yep, here’s another adoption post where I let out the uglies. Did I ever assume this adoption was for the light-hearted? No. Did I assess my patience level much higher than it is? Yes.

Last night I checked the online list of NC Bethany families waiting to adopt. Last week there were…count it…16 of us waiting…wondering…obsessively checking our cell phones. We were 1 in 16 waiting families.

Last night the number…12. What? 4 families got placements recently. 4 families got THAT phone call. 4 families are holding their sweet babies. 4 families got picked over US!

And there we sit, middle of the list, with our humongo family squeezed into a little square picture. The only family on there with more than 1 kid.

Do birthmoms look at our profile and think we’re insane? Do they see that mild look of crazy in my eyes that sometimes wonders if I can even handle another?

This isn’t a contest. The spiritual me rejoices in God’s miracle working hand, and I’m reminded that I serve the same God.

But the flesh side of me…it’s pretty ugly. I get all worked up. I eat 2 bowls of cereal. I give up on the whole thing.

Then I read these words I recently wrote on a prayer card…

“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” (Psalm 39:7)

My hope is in Him. I’m not waiting to be picked. I’m not waiting for a phone call. I’m watching for my faithful God to move. My hope is in Him.