Sunday, September 28, 2008

Unexpected Blessings . . .

Yesterday we had the absolute privilege of having new friends over. Had our upcoming move gone according to "our" time table, we would have missed out on this HUGE blessing in our lives, as we wouldn't even have met our new friends. It's really made my heart experience deep gratitude to the Lord.

Fall is in full swing in ND (lack of rich hues of purples, reds and oranges like IL), and winter will all too soon make its way here. Selling a home in ND in the middle of winter is about like selling an air-conditioner to an Eskimo. But as we once again try to lay those concerns aside . . . we have to wonder if there are even more unexpected blessings yet to be experienced.

Last fall at this time, we had just finished our dossier for Ethiopia and were going on the "wait-list" for our referral. This year we're still swirling in a sea of unknowns. Sometimes I feel sea-sick ... at times I wonder if we are sure of what direction we're going ..... other times I wanna jump ship altogether. Ever feel like that? :)

But as we look back over the course of life God has brought us on, we are so amazed by His faithfulness. It's most certainly not been a life of "smooth sailing" .... but He is worthy of our Praise, our Thanks and our Hope. We can follow Him confidently, knowing His way is the right direction in our lives.

What about you? Are you weary, overwhelmed, or feel as if you might sink? I encourage you to trust in your Heavenly Father. You never know when He is going to bring about "Unexpected Blessings" in your life.

Oh Lord, how we want to trust you more. Thank you for so graciously providing to our family "Unexpected Blessings", at a time we needed to see you so badly. Help us to be faithful, as you are faithful.

A fun little side-note. Our new friends happen to be walking the journey of adoption. Ethiopia. We are so full of joy to get the opportunity to experience this incredible miracle with them.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Need Prayer!

We're asking for your prayers for Getahun, our "far away son" in Ethiopia. Please see the post at our adoption blog for the info. There are links there to his story as well.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Sorting Socks and Singing

You know ... that dreaded task, of sorting/matching all the odd socks. It seems like a "never-gotten-to-job" around here. I oddly found myself alone while doing the task and my mind was just bombarded by all the details of our future that have yet to be determined. As often is the case though when my mind gets overly consumed by all the "unknowns", the Lord faithfully reminds me that HE KNOWS. He knows every detail, every question, every burden, every fear. Soon I found myself singing songs that He so gently brings to my mind to help me claim truth and not become numb by doubt.

I found myself amazed once again, by His faithfulness to me. After realizing what had just happened (yet again) ... I remembered a wonderful song by Chris Tomlin about this very thing. Press play and hear for yourself.

Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness ... to help my heart want to sing.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Slowly, steadily, surely . . .

"But these things I plan won't happen right away.
Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, be patient!
For it will surely take place.
It will not be late by a single day."
Habakkuk 2:3

I was reminded about this verse while visiting a friend's blog who is waiting to bring home their little girl from Ethiopia. It's a verse that brought me much comfort in the adoption process ..... and I should be clinging to it again as we wait for God to reveal so many unknowns in our lives.

You see, I can read this verse and say I believe it ..... for sure it's true, it's God's Word! .... of course it's true. Well, what happens when God takes us on a L-O-N-G journey of LIVING OUT this verse? OUCH! ...... we have a choice, moment-by-moment to choose to believe this is true. I don't know about you, but I fail in this miserably and often! I am faced daily with the challenge to be CONTENT right where God has me ... in the midst of one unknown after another.

Father, how I long for you to be glorified in our lives. Help us, as a family, to live truth and not embrace fear. Help me to TRUST YOU when my heart is weary. Give us eyes to see who you are, even when we don't understand your time table. Thank you for reminding me Lord that your vision will be fulfilled, just as it was in days long ago. This trusting thing is HARD Lord. I confess my lack of trust. Thank you for your Word. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Upcoming Adoption Conference!

Be sure to check out this great upcoming adoption conference!

You can find out all about at the Together for Adoption site.
There you will also find many helpful resources and encouraging articles.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Walking by Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight. II Corinthians 5:7

This goes against "worldly wisdom" .... and often it goes against the grain of "comfort". But what we know is that our Heavenly Father is able to be TRUSTED. He is worthy of our PRAISE. He is ABLE to carry us through. Yet how often do we find ourselves so distracted and consumed about what we can't see. We spend our energy worrying over details completely out of our control. We get overwhelmed by all the "unknowns" of life and they distract us from the things that we DO know to be true of God. Does God have you in a season of walking by faith? You can stand firm in Him, fulling believing that HE DOES SEE and know what's ahead. He is sovereign. It may not be a comfortable journey, but it will probably be one that makes you long more for heaven.

If you choose to walk this way, it will leave you changed. You will have to let go of some of the things that bring you comfort. I'm not talking just material things. I'm also not talking about blindly and aimlessly walking through life. Walking by faith takes a firm decision, a deep commitment, a focus on eternal things. It means following God's will for your life, even when He doesn't give you all the details. It means trusting Him, even when you don't have all the answers to what lies ahead. It means being vulnerable to Him and what He wants to do in and through your life. It means laying down your agenda, so that He can fulfill His. It means thinking less of yourself so that you can think more of the people and purposes that He values.

Beware .... walking by faith is anything but relaxing. It will challenge you to your core of what you truly believe. But what I can promise you, is that you will not walk alone. I don't know about you, but I find great comfort in Deuteronomy 31:6.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them,
for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A New Chapter . . .

WELCOME! Well, we're entering a new chapter on this journey of life. Right now this new blog is looking really, really empty! Kind of intimidating. :) I suppose you could summarize the last several months of our life by one word ..... t-r-a-n-s-i-t-i-o-n. Not sure what I think about that word, honestly. It envelopes SO many things. Fear, excitement, anxiety, UNKNOWN, and unanswered questions, just to name a few. Regardless though of what we think or feel, we can be sure that the One we serve is unchanging ..... He's our rock, our fortress, our strong tower. We can testify that without Him, we would surely be sunk!

Currently we are in the process of selling our house and relocating to Illinois. While we are anxious to have our house sold and settle into our new home/life/routine ..... our hearts are heavy and sad as we think of leaving dear friends and loved ones behind. Will that all happen in one month, or one year .... only the Lord knows. What we do know is we're only gonna make it through this transition by clinging to Him.

Many of you probably followed our journey to the most recent member of our family here. Well, as that journey came full circle and we now venture off on a new one .... it was time for a relocation on-line as well. While we needed to respect our agency's parameters for not sharing much about fund-raising on our Ethiopian adoption blog, we also are keenly aware that finances are such a huge part of adoption. So we hope that at this new "on-line home" we can address some of those issues and offer encouragement to those wrestling through all of that.

If you are a family currently on the adoption journey, be sure to leave a comment and let us know where you are at in the process. It would be a privilege to follow along with you and pray for you.

Soon, we'll be sharing more about what all our new ministry/life is gonna look like. Right now, we just wanted to say WELCOME! ..... Lord willing, we'll be striving to encourage, strengthen and equip families in their journey of adoption.