Archive for May 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

Responsibility and Surrender in Parenting

Of all the things I want for my children, nothing compares to this desire: that they trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins.  I want my kids to experience the greatest joy and happiness imaginable for all eternity and that's only found in Jesus. It is such a delicate balance to intentionally strive with all that I am to make Him know to them, yet recognize that all of my efforts WILL NOT save them.  Ultimately only God can stir their hearts to believe.  It's something I wrestle through on a daily basis-this balance between responsibility and surrender.  Tonight, I was encouraged through an illuminating reminder from Gospel-Powered Parenting by William Farley. (Side note: I just started reading this book and wow-I love this one.  I mean, I.LOVE.IT.  Really.  I LOVE this book and the message it's sharing. It is so worth buying.)

"God is sovereign, but parents are responsible.  God's sovereignty is our hope.  Parents are utterly dependent on God.  He can save any child, no matter how dark the circumstances.  On the other hand, God normally reaches children through their parents.  It is fatal to presume upon God's sovereignty by neglecting parental faithfulness.  Yet it is also a mistake to assume that it all depends on us.  It doesn't.  In fact, none of your efforts will prevail unless God bestows the gift of faith on your children.  We are utterly dependent and responsible at the same time."  pg.22

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cinco de Mayo

Ok, so Cinco de Mayo wasn't exactly yesterday.  But the days fly by and since I have trouble remembering my children's names, chances are that there's no way I'll remember our little moments together unless I put them up.  Rockin' out to the fiesta music, munching on yummy tacos, making our very own pinata (and yes, I know that word needs a little squiggly thingy on top of the "n" but I have no idea how to do it and I don't really care either), and my personal favorite memory of the evening-Addie Beth finding out how awesome a good old fashioned sucker can be.  She kept saying, "Mmm!  Mmm!  Num-mee!  Mmm!"  Priceless! 

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Friday, May 20, 2011

What's More Real Than Laundry

It is embarrassingly easy to forget all that God has done for us-to forget all of His benefits.  The simple things like a sink full of dishes and a bedroom full of dirty laundry can seem so much more real than all the good that God has done for me.   I love to go back to these words from Psalm 103 again and again and again to help me remember:

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."

 "He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities.  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him."

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hope for Moms (like me) Who Fail

I love this little section from a post I saw that was written for The Gospel Coalition Blog:

"And mom who fails her children regularly (because that’s everyone else), preach the gospel to yourself this day. If you have any grasp on your reality, you are likely painfully aware of every failure you’ve made with your children. And maybe you are fatigued by the fears of future failure as well. It’s okay that your children expose your own sin. In fact, it’s the mom who doesn’t seem daily aware of her failures that most concerns me. Christ has made the way for you to be at peace. If you sinned against your kids, ask their forgiveness. If you are kicking yourself for your failures, preach God’s grace to yourself. Don’t learn to live with your sin—don’t embrace it with the attitude “that’s just how I am.” But don’t deny it either. Be honest about it. You sinned. You confess. God forgives. You get up and walk forward in confidence. It’s called gospel grace, and THAT is the legacy to leave your children."

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Truth for Today

I'm waking up today aware that apart from His grace, I am just so quick to discouragement.  I'm seeking to cling to these things today:

From Spurgeon's Morning & Evening:

"Long ere time began or space was created God had written upon His heart the names of His elect people, had predestinated them to be conformed unto the image of His Son, and ordained them heirs of all the fulness of His love, His grace, and His glory. What comfort is here! Has the Lord loved us so long, and will He yet cast us away? He knew how stiffnecked we should be, He understood that our hearts were evil, and yet He made the choice."

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:4,5

Could there be any better reason to rejoice today?

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Sunday, May 15, 2011

3 Gifts Unmeasured

Oh, how we love these little people! What a blessing it is to be their mama...even on days like today when I know that I have been more irritated than grateful, more exasperated than kind. Lord, help me see them as the gift that they are when I wake up tomorrow (or in the middle of the night).  

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Adoption Update: Waiting to Apply

Here's my Addie Beth rockin' her new Africa shirt.  As usual, her mouth's wide open because Baby Girl's got lots to say!  For example, "I wanna' hode-ju-me, Momma!"
I've been feelin' the love from many of you asking recently where we're at in the adoption process.  Thanks for asking!  Here's a little update:

Have we applied yet? Nope.

Do we have the initial funds (in other words, we have $5000 of the total $35,000) we need to start? Shockingly...YES!!!  God has been so kind to bless us through the incredible generosity of friends, family, strangers, Etsy, and photography (plus saving/renters). How can we thank you enough?! Every single time the Lord brings in more money for our adoption fund, I cry. I really see each gift as the Lord Himself looking at me and saying, "This is about Me and I'm in this." After all, people don't normally just dish out money without someone even asking! We've got the first chunk of the funds needed to apply and do a homestudy.

Then why on earth aren't we banging down the doors to start this process officially? Multiple reasons but the primary one is that we don't think that it's God's timing quite yet.

Huh? When we initially began thinking about adoption, our hearts were drawn to Rwanda.  But soon after that, Rwanda closed its doors to international adoption to revamp their policies.  It seemed like Rwanda was out and we began looking into Ethiopia as our hearts feel particularly drawn to East Africa.  But changes started happening with Ethiopia's adoptions, too.  We stopped, re-evaluated, and prayed more specifically, "Lord, where?"  We asked Him about the U.S., about Cambodia, about Uganda, Ethiopia, pretty much the whole world and didn't feel any definitive answer.  But over time we've been more and more stirred towards Rwanda so we're waiting.  It's likely that it will re-open over the summer or in the fall, but it's pretty unpredictable. We're waiting for a while to see if they open back up to international adoptions.

(Side Note: I've heard multiple questions about why we're not adopting from the U.S. given the vast amount of orphans here. To answer that really simply: even though our hearts break for the children here without a mommy and daddy, the U.S. is not where we feel that God is leading us to adopt.  We want to go where He leads us.  We rejoice with those of you God's stirred towards domestic adoption and pray for more people to adopt right here where we live.)

So what are we doing in the meantime?  We're loving the kids we've got and praying for the Lord's provision for this adoption!  We're planning a massive garage sale and excited to see how God uses that to bring in some more funds.

And if you've read all the way down to this point, here's a little extra fun tidbit:  We're praying about bringing home 2 little ones into our family instead of 1. It's our hope that God will give us 2 but we'll see...

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Adoption Fundraiser Garage Sale!

Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 11.
We're having an adoption fundraiser garage sale!

I'm so excited to announce that we're planning a big garage sale on Saturday, June 11 from 8am-4pm to help build our adoption fund.  We're thinking HUGE and we'd love your help!  I've read of many similar adoption sales bringing in anywhere from $1000-$4000 (isn't that nuts?) so I'm praying that Lord uses this in mighty ways to help us.  He is able!  Please pray along with me!

What You Can Do
1)  Set aside stuff to donate to our sale (clothes, toys, electronics, games, decorations, furniture, etc.).  If you're planning to donate clothing, it might be helpful to bag it according to size or at least baby/child/adult.  Unfortunately, due to space constraints, we won't be able to take your items until the week of the sale.

2)  Consider helping me run this crazy thing.  I definitely cannot do this on my own!  If you'd like to help by lending a table to place items on, volunteer to assist in pricing things, help me set out the stuff in the wee hours of the morning that Saturday, sign up to help handle the money during part of the sale, or volunteer to help tear down after it's over, please let me know.  You can leave me a comment below if you're interested.

3) Pray for beautiful weather and generous buyers!  

I'm so excited to be able to join with you to do this.  I love that adoption is such a community thing where we can join together to reflect God's heart.  I can't wait to see how the Lord uses this to help us gather the resources we need to adopt!  Thank you so much for considering.

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