Friday, September 4, 2009

safe and cherished

"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;
no one can snatch them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me,
is greater than all; no one can snatch
them out of my Father's hand."
John 10:28,29 (NIV)

I realized today how easy it is to lose my perspective. I can so quickly get caught up in the burdens of today that I forget what this life is really about.

The blessings of today are just a foretaste of the incredible joy we will experience in Heaven.

The burdens of today will one day be made right. Maybe in this life, but if not, when we see our Creator face-to-face. The struggles will all have been worth it.

My Beautiful Friend, if God seems far away today, take courage! His grip is firmly on you and He will never let you go.

God's promise to love me forever is my reason for LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Holding tightly to His hands,

Thursday, September 3, 2009

strengths



"But they are your people and your special possession,
whom you brought out of Egypt by your
great strength and powerful arm."
Deuteronomy 9:29 (NLT)

My beautiful Chinese daughter started reading at the young age of three. Now that she's four, she's reading picture books on her own. I stand amazed.

God has brought great healing to my sweet girl's body, brain and heart. She's still healing and growing, but has come so very far.

I can't tell you how many times throughout my week that I still catch my breath when I look at Sara KangXia.

This little girl in my daughter! God took a one-day-old abandoned infant, born with a cleft-lip, cleft-palate and two holes in her heart, and brought her half-way across the world to be a part of my cherished family. I am so blessed by this little girl.

She makes me laugh. She drives me crazy. She forgives me for my impatience. She pushes my buttons. She brings tears to my eyes when she whispers words of love.

She challenges every boundary. She notices the little things in life. She frustrates her siblings. She tries hard to follow the rules. She takes our things and hides them in the couch. (Seriously.)

She is so full of life and joy. She gives me life and joy. She is my daughter, and, oh, how I cherish her!

Thank you, Jesus, for entrusting this precious child to me. Please continue to heal her and grow me.

Oh, my Friend, is God calling you to do something totally crazy? Say, "YES!" You will never be the same. Don't let fear talk you out of it. God has an amazing journey mapped out for you!

Through God's miracle of adoption, I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

With JOY!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

more new life

"You created all of them by your Spirit,
and you give new life to the earth."
Psalm 103:40 (CEV)

After rejoicing in the miracle of Chelsea's baby sunflower (see my previous post), I noticed yet another miracle in my garden—Liam's squash.

You see, when we bought the plants for our garden, the woman who sold them to us offered us a 'runt' for free. A very sad looking squash plant that couldn't hold it's head up. I love underdogs! (Under-plants?) And besides, who can turn away a free gift?

So, we brought the little guy home and used two pencils to prop it up. Over time, it started to grow stronger, but after our hot spell earlier this month, it started to wilt again.

This little plant reminds me an awful lot of myself. I started out incredibly wilted and in need of God's love and care. After a season of intense healing, I felt like a new person.

And then came the season of scorching heat. The fires didn't destroy me. Rather, God used them to make me stronger and bring new life.

God's ways are so beyond mine. I'm so thankful that He is my Gardener, and that He is both patient and gentle with me—regardless of my condition.

"As long as I live, I will sing and praise you, the LORD God.
I hope my thoughts will please you,
because you are the one who makes me glad."
Psalm 104:33—34(CEV)

Oh, Sweet Friend, if you are feeling worn out and discouraged by the season you find yourself in, please don't give up hope. Remember that God is the Lifter of Heads.

He delights in you! He loves you. You are His beloved. Keep pressing into Him, for it is there that you will find all that you need—and so much more.

God's mercy, grace and love enable me to continue LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Thankful & rejoicing,

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

answered prayers


"You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,
but you will restore me to life again
and lift me up from the depths of the earth"
Psalm 71:20

Over a month ago, I posted a picture of Chelsea's sadly withered sunflower. At the end of my post, I shared that I wasn't giving up hope on her flower, but would pray that God would in fact revive it.

Sad to say, it got worse—to the point where I was certain it was completely dead. The stem itself looked as dried out as firewood.

On more than one occasion, I was tempted to pull it up by the roots and toss it in the recycling bin. But then I remembered that I had asked the God of the universe to give new life to Mr. Sunflower (Mrs.?) and decided to keep waiting and praying—Summer wasn't over yet.

A couple of days ago, I went out to water our little garden. And wouldn't you know—God answered my prayers?!?

Sure enough, the previous two flowers were completely dead and withered, but out of nowhere, appeared this precious little baby sunflower.

Oh, how I love miracles!!!

God has worked so many in my life. And yet, I'm still surprised (and tickled.) Every. Single. Time.

God, the Giver of Life and Restorer of Broken Things is beyond worthy of my praise and glory. He is oh-SO-good.

Don't give up hope on God, my Friend. He answers prayers both big and small. Some of your requests may seem ridiculous or outrageous, but God delights in showering you with His love and answering your prayers. (Granted, sometimes He finds better answers and outcomes for us, but they are always, always good.)

Remember the encouragement Jesus gave us when He taught about effective prayer—

"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:6—8 (NLT)

He loves you and He will bring good things to pass in your life. Including granting new life to seemingly dead things. Isn't He amazing?!?

Keep hoping and LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Rejoicing in new life granted,

Monday, August 31, 2009

incredible

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
Genesis 1:1 (NIV)

How could something so small, make something so incredibly intricate?

My response?

A really BIG, a very powerfully and a wonderfully creative God.

I've never been able to comprehend the theory of evolution. To me, it's altogether far too complicated. Not only that, but it simply does not resonate with the breathtaking beauty that exists right outside my door!

"Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!"
Genesis 1:31a (NIV)

I couldn't agree more. God is SO good.

On a side-note, I'll be taking a week-long hiatus from technology. I'm off on an adventure to thoroughly immerse myself in God's awe-inspiring world—and hopefully learning more lessons from the Creator Himself. I've written a few short (yes, this is still Amy typing!) blogs to post during my break. Hopefully all goes well and they post on schedule. :-)

I pray your week is especially blessed. May God pour out His abundant blessings of grace, peace, joy and love upon you and your loved ones.

LIVING A (VERY) BLESSED LIFE!