Saturday, February 23, 2013

Quiet Voices

Today I write for myself. For the future and whatever it all may mean. On several occasions the Lord has made a statement to me that at the time made no sense,but would make sense later.That happened again yesterday and this time, it excites me.
For example a year ago this past Fall I was getting into my car in the church parking lot.I was feeling quit wonderful and carefree that day after service so I invited the Lord to tell me anything he wanted! whatever you want to say Lord im right here and im listening. He said,to my surprise "you are living your life under a canopy of fear" (why is it that we often ask God to speak and when he does we dought and tell ourselves it was us,not him) It caught me so by surprise I did just that, and dismissed the random thought.looking back Im sure it was a sting to his heart.As if calling a friend excitedly saying you cant wait to hear how theyve been,only to find yourself also talking to your child or spouse at the same time and needing to get off the line moments later.
Anyway 2 months later I went to a dermatologist and had a suspicious spot I needed to have removed for a biopsy, the biopsy was precancerous and more would need to be removed. It was then that I realized just how full of fear I was.For weeks my mind swirled downward toward worst case scenarios.I could not seem to help it. 15 stitches later and a nice scar to prove it im of course fine, but the issue of why all the fear, needed to be addressed. In the end im now grateful that my fear issues were exposed and thankfully dealt with by the leading of the Holy Spirit and of course the Word.Without that lesson perhaps I would have always been too afraid to say yes to an adoption.I needed to remind myself of his good intentions for my life,that he is for me not against me and most of all that I exchanged my old life for this new one,whatever it may look like.

So yesterday I was walking through the house alone.My favorite music playing,windows open causing a breeze to spill throughout the house.I stood and leaned in the doorway of my soon to be sons room.I take in a deep breath and sensed the danger involved.By this I mean 20% of adoptions fall through and I personally know of 3 friends of mine that have experienced it recently.Ive seen and heard the pain and confusion involved.Ive spent most of my months more aware of the danger of total heart break than I have of whats to be and motherhood.But not yesterday.I leaned and sensed that present danger but I saw clearly the Lord leading me through this steep and narrow path with its cliffs,rough conditions,and danger.I saw him as my good shepherd leading me through this and I smiled at how this revelation could change everything.
I talk to the Lord often about love.I know he is love and to know it I must know him,his character,his nature.I know love is patient,love is kind....all of that very good but over said stuff.I wanted to know something new about love, and in that quit voice I heard him.That statement that is not understood yet.And when he said it,it was so mysterious and romantic.Surely he had a grin on his face as he said," is like lightening." my heart swelled up like a balloon at the hope of someday understanding what that could possibly mean.It has been all these tiny quit moments with him that keeps my heart alive.So now I wait to see what he has in store for me next.But I hope it is lightening.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Condo,The woods,& Today

As Ferrill and I go down this path of adoption, we've had some crazy,stupid,and beautiful things happen.Things so personal,so deep and profound that I know I will remember these lessons for the rest of my life. I would like to share some of the greatest and most monumental to us both. This post will mostly likely be long, but perhaps you will find for yourself a gem of wisdom or revelation as you read.That is what I hope.

It was this past June Ferrill and I had just made the decision to finally adopt and we had just heard back from the agency that they had accepted our application.We were more nervous than excited at that point,mostly due to the financial intimidation that comes with adopting. Within days of that call things got really crazy for us. We've owned a home out of state for several years before we moved here and had been trying to sell for sometime.We were paying 2sets of bill and for the first time ever, we were late on our mortgage payment because we simply didn't have the money.Also within days Ferrill was in a crazy car accident while I was out of town. Our car that we had just finished payments on had been totaled after he was hit at over 50mph at a stop light.Everyone was lucky to be alive and Ferrill was the ONLY one who walked away without even a scratch or bruise.Their were a dozen other things happening at that time also that required money.Our missions trip to Haiti the following month, a new car now, $1500 to do a homestudy, we needed to go to the dentist... it was all too much.
 I remember like it was yesterday. I had just gotten off the phone with Ferrill from work  after having yet another conversation about money,(I was cleaning a condo that day)and this thought went through my mind "Lord this is insane! How do you expect us to adopt a baby if we can't even financially stay afloat ourselves! This wont work!" and I heard this response from God so clearly,"you can choose to be pitiful, or powerful, but you can't be both."  
I knew it was the leading of the Lord to adopt,i knew it was his leading to leave our home and move here to pastor. And after that moment a crazy thing happened. My flesh was scared and I was crying so hard but I could feel this aggressive fiery voice raising up in me! The next thing I new I was declaring "I WILL NOT BE FINANCIALLY OR IN ANY OTHER WAY INTIMIDATED!" I declared the goodness and faithfulness of God and my commitment to his will for my life.

Months after my breakthrough Ferrill would have an experience of his own.He was feeling overwhelmed and needed to get away from the office, so he went for a walk in some woods far away. During his walk he was talking with God "Lord you know our difficulty, you know our needs emotionally and financially right now".Ferrill was also concerned where will this $30,000 come from for this baby."Lord if you could just give us some encouragement or a blessing to help that would be amazing." As he was walking he looked down and saw a $5 bill laying on the ground. It was warn,wet and weathered from laying in the woods for who knows how long and he picked it up praising God that he had heard and even though it was only $5 it still ment so much to his heart. Now,that alone was cool,but what happened next is amazing!!! As he held it up with both hands thanking God for this answer to prayer it immediately fell into 2 pieces.Like it had been burned right down the middle and when it happened he said he heard the voice of God say this to him," Ferrill you need to understand that this... means absolutely nothing to me." When he came home and told me the story and showed me the $5 bill I just remembered thinking all day,how blessed we are to belong to a God that doesn't need or require us to have money.He wants us, and he wants us to trust him.Simple but surprisingly difficult to do and accept.
So this brings us to today.8 months since then and a son due in April. And this is just some of whats happened.
  •  When we went to buy a car our credit was a nightmare from missing our house payment (25% interest) we prayed and called a place being led by the Holy spirit. Turnes out the dealers daughters go to the school associated with our church and he said it would be an honor to finance us through there business.We were able to get a car better than we could have hoped for.
  • Dec 19th we signed a contract to sell our out of state house.2 days later we were matched with our baby.
  • The day we were matched we had 24hours to write a check to the agency for half the cost! $11,520! When we checked the account to see what had came in it was exactly the amount needed as of that morning.
  • Feb 8th we finally closed on our house.It was done. and 4 days later we had the sonogram and found out we were having a son
 As of last week we still needed $8000 to be completely funded. Sometimes I still wonder how this is all happening and where the rest will come from.We just say Lord this is your plan.Help. And yesterday someone gave us a check for $1000, We finally went to the dentist this past Wednesday and since she knew about the adoption she pulled us aside and said she wanted to do all the work for free!!! Then this morning we recieved another $1000 online and even while ive been writing this, Ferrill brought in the mail with a  $200 check! All I know is this. If God is for us,who can be against us? Yes this journey has been long and challenging in many ways but my testimoney is that so far,its been the most amazing thing Ive ever seen the Lord do in our lives in spite of the difficulty.His love for us and this baby cannot be measured and as much as I want this all to work out,he wants it more.Whatever plans God has for your life remember he has already made a way for it.Do not be lied to or intimidated! Just say yes,trust in his goodness and enjoy the adventure hes been anticipating.

           Of course we saved the $5 bill. It now sits framed in our nursery as a beautiful reminder.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Gender Reveal and Quick Peek

 Happy Valentines Day! As you know Tuesday was the sonogram for the baby.I was so full of nerves,but it was pretty magical.Seeing the baby cover its face and suck on its toes, finding out the gender... but it was a lot to process. The rest of the day was a blur of finishing the registry and intimate glances between Ferrill and I.We needed time just he and I to process things.To enjoy our precious secrete. But today it began to sink in, and I woke up with no walls, and I did as I always do.I sat in the nursery,only this time... I stared at the face of my child.This beautiful mystery before my eyes, and I cried. It wasn't a " im stressed or nervous" cry (as they often are) it was,my heart is wrecked and I cant believe this lovely thing is happening to us. Maybe more words will come to me later, but I dont have many now. My heart is so hopeful and full of peace. So here's what you came here for. Enjoy.

PS: After service on Wednesday we told the youth group and close friends to meet us in the gym for a "reveal" party.The buzz and energy from everyone's excitement was so amazing.A moment I will remember forever,

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Boy or Girl?

Well, the appointment for the sonogram has been made.Tuesday  Feb 12th we will know if we are expecting a son or a daughter and be taking a sneak peek at who's to come!!! I cant wrap my brain around what to expect (that's a feeling im getting more and more familiar with) But I hope its like the day we were matched and met this girl. Peaceful,full of laughter, and easy. I like  suspense. I don't despise the unknown like im realizing many do. Because once you know something,you cant unknown it. That's how I feel right now. I am SOOO excited to finally know, but the unknown can be so romantic I think.

I have 5 days left to dream before I filll in the blanks. Today we drove to an old beach town to eat sandwhiches and go antiquing. All day long passing parks and swing sets. looking at treasures and my mind constantly saying "pink or blue? giggles or chuckles? rowdy or sweet?" I didnt mind it at all.

As it all gets closer I do realize,without a doubt I am falling in love. It has its moments of total joy and welcoming but every once in a while I am aware of the risk. Because like i said before its not final until after shes given birth,signed papers, and we leave. With everyday the risk of such a heart ache becomes greater as my heart becomes more fond of this mystery person whom I do not know. But during those thoughts that desire to steal my present joy, I stop to ask for courage. I look back at my own personal records of Gods goodness and faithfulness.I examine to see that he has no reputation of wrong leading's. I remember moments that didn't go as hoped and remember his constant comfort through those pains and him leading me back to my emotional health. (deep sigh) yes it is a great risk to take, but worth it. All great stories have risk.And I want the story of my life to be great.

What am I doing to prepare? well, I think I have most of what I need.Stroller,crib,bottles,formula,etc. I hope to have a baby shower soon for what I don't have. I guess mostly Ive been sleeping A LOT. Everyone keeps telling me too and I'm sure ill look back and laugh. And Ive been doing a crash course on love. Every morning I drink coffee in my amazing nursery (pictures soon) and I look around like I'm in a dream.Some days I think of what I still need,how much I already have,where the money still needed will come from and my heart will say to me "All you need, is to know love." So I pitch my bucket into the well that is the very source of love-God. and I draw from him my portion for that day. 

 Stay tuned... the adventure continues.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Tonight.. I choose brokeness.

This post is not about our adoption.(spoiler alert.This one is super serious) But about something that I wonder if many or few of us feel.

Yesterday was lovely.And the day before.But each day had a moment of extreme disappointment. I was disappointed by the character of some people I know. I was stunned at how even as Christians (those who are to be Christ like "little Jesus's") could speak to anyone,let alone another believer as if they were the scum of the earth. My heart was incredibly shocked,and grieved.

And then I hear of a tragic moment for a "friend of a friend".A mother of 4 beautiful young daughters who lost everything they owned in a house fire,as well as 2 of her precious daughters. Devastating. 

And now today a personal injustice done after years of work and pursuit. This mad me angry,and discouraged
  And tonight while my husband and friends were out I made the mistake of turning on the world news. An American woman murdered in Turkey,who was only a tourist. More political people exposed for corruption. A man holding a 5 year old boy hostage in a bunker (day 4 now) after shooting and killing his bus driver. The debate over new gun laws after our historical and devastating loss of all those lives in Connecticut. I was about to burst. "Lord, what can I do!What is happening in this crazy world?!" He response?, "Just be broken."

And the tears flowed like a river.Like a river that had been dammed up a terribly long..long time. Im having even now,hours later,a very difficult time articulating the heaviness I feel from it all. Where is the balance? Between grieving as we should over our broken condition,our broken government, our broken nation,our broken world? and being just plain blind to it as long as it doesn't affect us? I used to think that to be a christian meant you had to be happy 24/7. And as time went on its been great discovering and showing that we are all so human, and to be "happy" all the time is stupid and unrealistic as well as a disadvantage, once you realize or experience the greatness that can at times blossom from a time of pain or brokenness.I think that perhaps what grieves the Lord,is when his people are not grieved.Not crying out.Unmoved. Lets face it, we can go from hearing about a shooting or murder directly to a cheeseburger commercial without even a flinch. Have I been taught not to respond as I should? Im starting to think yes. Why? Is it because the Lord hears the cries of his people,and comes to us and answers prayer? And if their is no cry then... their is no prayer or no response to it? And what makes me pray? Is it when im thankful or most often when I am in distress?We are a generation that is entertained by immorality and murder.  Our hearts are not easily moved.We do not like to pray.We do not like to feel sad. I wonder what the remedy is.(these are all the questions going through my mind tonight)

I don't even know why im writing this. Its really sad.Im really sad.This is the kind of thing I write in my journal not post about or share with people! But then again im sure this will quickly pass.A good TV show will come on,ill make a cup of coffee and this moment will soon be gone, and the Lord will once again look to his people in hopeful anticipation for someone to cry out.To intercede. So tonight i will give this sadness its wish. And i will cry out to the only one who is able to help, and hope that he is in some strange way pleased that sorrow has breached these high walls.

2Chronicles 7:14,15
 If my people who are called by my name,will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways,then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins,and heal their land.My eyes will be open and my ears will be attentive to their prayers.

Deuteronomy 11:12
It is the land the Lord your God cares for.And his eyes are continually on it from the beginning to its end.