Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Philippines

We are currently looking into the Philippines in our adoption research. There are still a few things we need to get in order to be able to fully pursue the adoption:

- We would like to pay down the car and student loans a bit more
- We want to save 50% of the funds needed to adopt before starting the paperwork (about $15,000, total funds would be about $30,000)
- The countries we are looking into like for individuals to be under a certain body mass index

I ordered a workbook called Eyes Wide Open by Margi Miller and Nancy Ward. It came in the mail today. We are looking forward to learning more about this process and growing our family.

The Battle

This Christian Life many of us have answered the call to comes with sacrifice and heartache. Many people have a backwards theology or way of thinking tin which one thinks if things are tough it's because they did something wrong or have angered God. I am slowly learning that it is the opposite.

I believe that when you feel attacked you more than likely are. However Satan, the father of lies, is the one on the front line attacking you. God on the other hand is with you through the battle, fighting it for you. Ephesians 6:12 states "For 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." This is why the Bible tells us to have the armor of God on each day (to learn more click here)

I do need to make a note here to say that I do not think every bad thing that happens in our life is an attack. Often times there are consequences for our actions (let's say you get caught with drugs and you go to jail - that is a choice you and you alone made) and those consequences are God's way of getting our attention. Also because we live in a fallen, broken, messed up world bad things happen. And when those bad things happen God will use them to mold us into the man or woman He wants us to be.

If we aren't being attacked for doing something wrong, then why are we attacked one may ask. The answer is simple, because we are doing something right. Satan hates it when when we serve the Lord and answer His call. Satan seeks to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) and if he can't get you to not accept Christ as your savior he will do whatever he can to keep you from fully experiencing what the Lord has planned for your life.

It may not always be easy but what Christ did wasn't easy. He loves you and has a plan for you.

Remember that when you're in a boat, alone, in the middle of the ocean and sharks start to circle, you are not alone. God is with you. But also remember Christ wasn't in the boat! He's in the water waiting for you to trust that He has already won the battle.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Choose To Be A Blessing

There are many things in life that we don't have choices about. For instance you didn't pick the day you were born or what color your eyes or skin would be. We don't usually choose for others to hurt us or to be let down. Yet there are also choices we do make. One of these things is if we will choose to bless others or not. Now,being a blessing doesn't mean you have to have  alot of money or even time. God has given each of us strengths and weaknesses. As for me I am not good at public speaking, but I can encourage others in hurtful times. A simple smile can be a blessing to a hurting stranger. Also when you are a blessing to others you will start to feel better yourself. I encourage each of you today to be a blessing to someone else.
Choose To Be A Blessing
by John Waller
Let it be said of us
While we walked among the living.
Let it be said of us
By the ones we leave behind.
Let it be said of us
That we lived to be a blessing for life.

Let it be said of us
That we gave to reach the dying.
Let it be said of us
By the fruit we leave behind.
Let it be said of us
That our legacy is blessing for life.

This day
You set life, you set death right before us,
This day
Every blessing and curse is a choice now,
And we will choose to be a blessing for life.

Let it be said of us
That our hearts belonged to Jesus. Let it be said of us
That we spoke the words of life.
Let it be said of us
That our heritage is blessing for life.

This day
You set life, you set death right before us,
This day
Every blessing and curse is a choice now,
And we will choose to be a blessing for life.
we will choose to be a blessing for life.

Because blessings and curses are choices
Will we build up, tear down moment of truth is now
This day
You set life, you set death right before us,
This day
Every blessing and curse is a choice now,
And we will choose to be a blessing for life.
we will choose to be a blessing for life.

For your Kingdom, for our Children
For the sake of every nation
For your Kingdom, for our Children
For the sake of every nation

We will choose to be a blessing for life.
For life.
Blessing for life.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Not to Say

It amazes me that there is a need to tell people what is appropriate to say and not say in certain situations. Of course often things are said out of ignorance, being uncomfortable, and misplaced genuine concern. And like with anything else there are things one should not say when it comes to infertility and adoption. This even goes for people that have been through it themselves because frankly every situation is different. Here are a few:

What not to say to those experiencing infertility:

  • "Just relax" Have you ever felt relaxed after someone saying this? If not then this is self explanatory!
  • "Have you tried..... or Why don't you....." As well meaning as the beginning of this question sounds it is NOT a good idea. There are some people in a person's life that can get away with this, but even then it can get old. Why is it a bad idea? It implies they haven't explored all their options and can make them fill that once again they are "lacking" in some way.
  • Don't minimize the problem. This is a tough journey for any couple. Don't imply that it's "ok, because you can sleep in....travel....focus on your career....etc"
  • Don't be crude. Although it is often said that laughter is the best medicine don't make jokes and unless they are making the jokes don't laugh. 
  • "Have you angered God?" or "Maybe it's a generational thing..."
  • "You'll eventually get pregnant!" Although you may feel that you are being helpful YOU DO NOT KNOW if they will ever get pregnant.
  • "Adopt and you'll get pregnant." Yes, everyone knows of someone that adopted and then got pregnant. Here is the thing the actual likelihood of that is very low. Also, that statement implies that the child they may adopt holds less value than the child that they give birth to.
What not to say to those considering adoption:
  • "Oh can you not have kids?" Just because someone wants to adopt does not mean they are experiencing fertility issues. Many couples are answering the call in James 1:27 "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
  • "What if you adopt and then have your own baby?" Just as God adopted us when someone adopts a child that child is their "own" child.
  • "Adopted kids have issues." It's not a secret that children that have certain "life experiences" (i.e. abuse, poverty, etc.) can have problems that need extra attention. this is regardless of adoption and does not mean these children don't need a forever home.
  • "Don't adopt from overseas, kids here need help." Yes children in America need help too, but what many do not understand is that the poorest of the poor are rich compared to orphans and widows in many other areas of the world. 
These are just a few things that should not be said, but the main thing is to be careful with the words you choose. Also though these things can be hurtful if you have experienced these things remember that forgiveness is good for your soul.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Somehow...


Somehow things move on. I think about how our world works and sometimes, well often times, things don't make sense to me. There have been a few times that I swear the events surrounding me made me feel as though time was standing still.

Some of these moments are filled with good. Such as when Jason and I got married or when I graduated. Then others are sad or sorrowful times. Such as when my grandmother passed away. And even though time felt as though it stood still for me and others surrounded by the situation, for others, life simply moved forward.

Understandably, if everyone stopped for everyone's tragic moments then nothing would ever be accomplished, but sometimes it feels as though that isn't fair.

I remember sitting in my bedroom knowing something was wrong. Driving to the doctor's office knowing he would tell me what WebMD, experience of friends, the MayoClinic website, and my gut had already told me. I knew in my heart that I had a fertility issue. Did I know how severe? No, but I knew it was there. I had had other doctors tell me that I hadn't given it enough time and that we should wait out my symptoms to be 100% sure before starting treatments. Then I went to my sister's doctor. As soon as I told the nurse my symptoms she seemed sympathetic and concerned, as did he. I remember as I listened to the doctor at each visit not really hearing him and feeling as though I was in a fog. I also remember thinking how could others go on with day to day life while I was going through something that should be so simple. As time has passed I am usually fine. but then some months, like last month, I for some reason had convinced myself that it was the month I would be pregnant. But I wasn't and time stood still again.

This same feeling happened when my nephew Joshua was born and passed away on the same day. My mom and I planned his funeral. I have to say that was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I remember at one moment when I was running around town getting everything together I sat in my car in the Lifeway parking lot, after being asked if the Bible I was picking up was a Christmas gift, and it dawned on me: It's Christmas! I mean I knew it was, but during that past week and the days that followed that wasn't our family's focus. I sat in my car and watched the shoppers and people driving around and thought to myself: "don't they know? do they not get it?".

And then I heard this still small voice saying "no, most of them don't get it. they have no idea why they are here or what was done for the." I was reminded that as most of them did not know about Joshua, that most of them had forgotten about our Lord's Son that came here to die for us. And now as is is almost Easter I have to ask "don't they know? do they not get it?". The only Son of God that came here as a baby boy with the soul purpose of death on a cross to save us from ourselves. I hope you all know that and that He loves you.


A side note: I am really into the meaning of names. Joshua means "God is Salvation" and is actually the  English translation of "lesous" which also translates to Jesus when speaking of the savior. And although I realize we don't have exact dates for Jesus' birth, looking back on it I find it almost fitting that Joshua was born just before Christmas and his due date was just after Easter.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Showing Up

The past couple of weeks have been so busy at work. We are getting ready for our annual banquet scheduled for next week. This event dictates our budget for the next year. There is more involved in it than people on the outside of it could ever imagine.

Through this "busy busy" attitude I've had lately I have noticed over the past couple of weeks is I have not been as devoted to my study of the Word and I have definitely felt the drain this has caused on me.

Day to day life is so much harder when I'm not consistently in God's Word. I more easily let circumstances get to me and I find myself complaining more and focusing on myself more than Christ and others.

Yet, I know that He has not left me.

He is waiting on me.

I think of God as a friend that I have a coffee date with everyday. He is available whenever I am and He meets me right where I am.

He shows up even on days that I don't. Not only does God never stand us up, He waits for us every day to spend time with Him.

All He ask is that I show up and for some reason even that is hard to pull off.  I must daily make the choice to show up and let Him work in me and through me.