Thursday, October 29, 2009

we got it!!!

"Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the
east and gather you from the west."
Isaiah 43:5

Wouldn't you know, just shortly after I posted yesterday's blog, God answered one of my biggest prayers?!? His timing is always, always perfect.

Today our agency called with news of our court date! If all goes well on Tuesday, November 24th, Luke "M," will be forever our new son!

Oh, how I wish I could post his Ethiopian name and beautiful photo, but soon enough!

As only God can do, our court date falls right around the same date that Sara became our forever daughter three years ago. Amazing, eh?

We still have some hurdles to jump and we would greatly appreciate your prayers. "M" has an uncle who is unable to raise him. He will need to travel from the region of Soddo to Addis Ababa in order to attend court and sign off on his nephew's adoption papers. I can only imagine how difficult that decision has and will be for him.

About 50% of the court cases fail the first and second time due to incomplete or incorrect paperwork, so this is another prayer request.

Finally, all children are required to have updated medical tests prior to their travel to the US. Please pray that our sweet boy stays healthy and does not have any medical complications.

If all goes well, we should be able to travel early in January. I can't think of a better way to start of 2010, can you?

To all of you waiting for referrals, court dates and travel, please know that I continue to pray with you.

For those of you who feel a tug on your heart to make room in your hearts and home for an orphan in need, listen to your heart! :-) God will never require more of you than you can handle and He will be with you every step of the way.

For everyone else, please keep praying with us for the 147,000,000 (plus) children worldwide in need of a family and home. There are countless ways that all of us can make a difference in the life of a child. No act of love is ever too small to change a life. Let's all rise to the occasion, because together, we can make a difference.

Whether God answers your prayers today, tomorrow or next year, He loves you immensely and has so many blessings to bestow upon you.

(Side note: The photo above is so very precious to me. In 2006, God introduced me to 15 amazing women. Together we embarked upon the adventure of a lifetime when we all adopted daughters with medical/physical needs from China. Although a few of the girls required surgeries and/or ongoing medical care once they were brought home, many of our girls surprised us by being 100% healthy. God is good, all the time.

Since then, several of the families have returned to China to bring home another daughter or a son. Several more families are currently in the process of bringing home a second or a third beautiful child. Our big, extended family just keeps growing and I am such a proud and happy auntie! I cannot wait to see Luke officially join the family...and photo!)

This adventure we're on is so amazing, and I'm so thankful to be on it with each of you!

In Christ and through Christ, we are LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

To God be the glory,

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

contentment

"The rabble with them began to
crave other food,
and again the Israelites
started wailing and said,
"If only we had meat to eat!"
Numbers 11:4 (NIV)

This morning in Liam's Bible class, he was learning about the Israelites time in the desert. As I listened to the story, I remembered again why it's important not to dismiss the Old Testament and assume it's no longer applicable to my life today.

The Lord was using the Israelite's time in the desert in order to prepare them for the great blessings He had for them in the Promised Land.
God rained down manna from Heaven and required only that they collect enough to eat for that day. No fire, no meal preparation, no clean-up. Not even chewing was required! The manna was sweet like honey and melted in their mouths.

But, manna wasn't good enough. They longed for the foods they enjoyed in Egypt, while they were slaves. And so they complained. (Actually, the NIV translations says they wailed. Even better, I mean worse.)

If you're not familiar with the story, God Almighty was far from pleased with their lack of gratefulness. His track record with His chosen people was awesome (as in truly awe-inspiring,) up until this point.
And yet, the Israelites still doubted God's best for them. They wanted what they wanted, when they wanted it.

I think what infuriated the Lord the most was their inability to be content with what He had already blessed them with. Those who chose to whine did in fact receive their meat, but that was all they enjoyed.

"But while the meat was still between their teeth and before it could be consumed, the anger of the LORD burned against the people, and he struck them with a severe plague. Therfore the place was named Kirbroth Hattaavah, because there they buried the people who craved other food."
(Numbers 11:33,34 NIV)

The key point of Liam's lesson today was contentment, and let me tell you, my spirit was deeply convicted.

The chances of quail raining down from the sky is pretty slim, thankfully. But, you see, quail isn't on my prayer list today. I'll take an Ethiopian court date, breakthrough in my areas of struggle, and complete healing from the flu. (In that exact order.)

However, those things weren't God's best for me today. And yet, I am extremely blessed.
God desires me to be content with exactly what He has blessed me with today.

As much as I want what I want, I would rather be content with what the Lord has given me today. I want to believe in His impeccable track record. I would also like to be alive to enjoy the very best He has for me when He grants it.
Probably the wiser choice, wouldn't you say?

Oh, Friend. Contentment in this day and age is truly a challenge. There is very little that we are truly left wanting for. Even without money in the bank, a little piece of plastic can momentarily make are "dreams come true." And yet, as I try to teach my children daily, those things that we work hardest for, and wait to receive, are so much sweeter in the end than instant gratification.

And so, may God give us patience during the wait, wisdom to know God's best for us and faith to believe that His promises will always hold true.
(By the way, were you wondering why I chose the above photo? Well, that was me earlier today when I tried to ignore the painful truth about how much I have in common with the Israelites during their 40 long years in the desert!)

Today, I'll gladly gather my manna, allow my heart to be humbled and remember that in Christ I am truly LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Learning to be content, one day at a time,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

turning a corner (finally!)

"Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice."
Psalm 105:3
Chelsea and Sara have both recovered from the flu. Yay! Thankfully, I'm starting to turn the corner as well.

It's been an exhausting few weeks. Lots of life got canceled along the way. And, even worse than the symptoms was the onset of some serious Cabin Fever. This girl has got to get out of this house. Soon!

One of the things I have missed most has been my early morning quiet time with the Lord. This morning as I dusted off my Bible, I felt my spirit sigh.

There's a saying that says, "Starve a fever, feed a cold." I have yet to determine if it's accurate or not. One of my good friends gave me a new saying that definitely holds true. "Starve your flesh, feed your spirit."

My flesh has had my complete attention for the past eleven days. My spirit has unfortunately, been left to fend for itself.

As I spent time reading God's Word today and giving Him my complete attention, I felt His incredible love and peace wash over me. It felt so good.

I hope your body and your spirit are both doing well, my Friend. This is the time of year where sickness seems to run rampant and our schedules start to get really crazy.

If you're feeling worn out and struggling to keep your focus, I encourage you to take a few moments and allow God's amazing peace and love to wash over you. Yes, our bodies need to be cared for and fed, but spirits do as well. :-)

Keep pressing into Him and enjoy LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

And now, to break my cabin fever,