Wednesday, November 25, 2009

makin' music

"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts...
And be thankful...
sing songs, hymns and spiritual songs
with gratitude in your heart to God.
And whatever you do,
whether in word or deed,
do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Today was a day to sing songs and make music. It would have been really easy to wallow in self-pity and feel down, but to what end? God has every situation in our lives under control and He is working out all of the details for our good and His glory.

Geoff is enjoying a much needed break from work this week and we are all enjoying having him home. Our day started off with a (very expensive) visit to the travel clinic in order to get the required vaccines we need to travel to Ethiopia. One step closer, and we were actually able to enjoy some laughter in between the needle pricks. Here's to staying healthy!

Our next stop was a delicious late breakfast, followed by an afternoon at the Oregon Zoo. Like yesterday, the weather couldn't have been nicer. We ended up spending quite a bit of time in the new Africa exhibit. (I think it made all of us feel just a little bit closer to our missing family member. And besides, who doesn't love banging on African drums and watching lions sun bathe?)

At the close of a near perfect day, I'm left remembering how important it is to stay focused on all of the blessings I have in my life. It's so easy to focus on the negatives, the things that need to be done and the problems I have yet to resolve. Honestly, though? I really don't think that is what God's intention is for my life.

When all is said and done, this life on this earth is just a blink of an eye. Yes, it's important. God has exciting adventures for each of us to pursue--and our lives here do have eternal value. But I think sometimes we get so wrapped up in the details that we forget that our number one purpose is to love God and love each other.

Today God gave me an opportunity to just be. To enjoy the incredible creations He has surrounded me with. To rest in His love. And, to laugh and make music with my beautiful family. And that, my Friend, made for one incredible day.

Sure, I came home and there were laundry and dishes to do, my new son is still sitting in an orphanage in Ethiopia and I still have a hurdle of problems to face. But, I can rest in the fact that God's got all of the details under control. He is holding the world, and each of us, safely in the palm of His loving hand. And that, is a very good thing!

There are so many things wrong in this world; so many things that can steal our joy and peace. It's a battle we all face daily. Whether to give in to life's struggles or press into God's grace. May we, together, choose to rejoice in all that's right and make a little music for our Glorious King.

Today is a day to rejoice and enjoy LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Singing for Him,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

not yet

"Know therefore that the
LORD your God is God;
he is the faithful God,
keeping his covenant of love
to a thousand generations
of those who love him
and keep his commands.
Deuteronomy 7:9 (NIV)

So, it didn't happen today. Our adoption agency called around 10:30 to let us know what we had suspected. Whatever delays happened last week affected the scheduled court dates this week. Ours has tentatively been rescheduled to December 20th.

Not much to say. We're all incredibly disappointed and sad. But God is faithful. We're holding onto our firm belief that His timing is always perfect.
I was hoping to post our big news today along with official photos of our new son. I will, I promise. Just not yet. Instead you can see how beautiful it was down at Cannon Beach, OR.

After the call came, we decided a beach day was much needed. God surprised us with a summer-like day in the middle of Winter! Who would have thought?!? A little ocean are and playtime on the beach was just what this family needed. Hopefully next time, we'll have one more Ivey along for the day!

Taking a break in our regular routine gave me some much needed time to refocus my spirit. God reminded me of how faithful He has been to my family.

When we traveled to China in 2006, we had of course, hoped to travel earlier to receive our precious daughter. But God had other plans. Miraculous plans that required us to travel no sooner and no later than November. We were able to visit Sweet Sara's finding spot. Not only that, but we were able to meet the two people who first found her and interview them on video tape while our guide translated every single precious detail.

I'm sad, truly sad, because I really want my new son home safe. I want to wrap my arms around him and reassure him that we are real and that we will be his forever family. I long to see my husband meet him for the first time and watch that bond begin to grow. I can't wait to see him get to know Chelsea, Liam and Sara. They are so anxious to bring him home. And we will. Just not yet.

In the midst of my sadness and disappointment, I need to remember that none of this is about me. God is in control. He has good plans for all of us. And, He has every single one of our needs and our son's needs taken care of. It just looks different than I expect it to at this moment.

Friend, if God doesn't appear to be answering your prayers or responding as you would hope, I understand. I know how very hard it can be to wait and hold onto your faith. I just want to encourage you to keep pressing into Him and trust that "all things work together for the good of those who love Him." (Romans 8:28)

He's got us covered. This will all work out. I just know it.

On behalf of my family, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your faithful prayers. You have no idea how much your love, support and prayers have blessed us throughout this journey. May God bless you abundantly!

God is good, all the time. For His glory alone I am LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

Keeping the faith,