Saturday, May 22, 2010

Paint chips, Puffs and Praise

Finally the rain stopped awhile so I could get back to scraping the paint off the porch on this big 'ole house we're trying to make home. The children were all busy playing out back and it allowed just enough time for the flood gates to open once again. Something about working on this house reminded me of "the other house" that we still are waiting on closure for. Perhaps it was remembering all the long, hard months we worked on "the other house" to make into home ... knowing how it seemed to be all in vain now, that really hit deep once again. If I allowed myself I could believe any one of the crazy lies that flash through my head on a given day.

As I willed my mind to think on truth I went back to recount all the times I could think of in the past few years that God has shown Himself sooooo faithful. Quickly the Lord brought to mind waiting in a surgery prep room as I signed papers for a procedure that was so against everything I wanted. Doing so gave us a fighting chance on escaping a full-blown illness of cancer. I remembered how I had wrestled through the journey and how God has shown Himself as the God of all Comfort to me. Even when I felt so empty, He was there. He would NEVER ask me to face something without Him. By His precious grace we'd later have the privilege of bringing home TWO orphans.

While I kept scraping the porch and wiping the tears with Puffs, my mind traveled to another hospital room. This time it was when God spared my amazing middle son's life from a deadly sledding accident. I don't know HOW many times the doctors told us in that week stay just "how close" he was and all the "ifs". But instead this guy now towers over me and is so solidly standing on a firm foundation with a heart for many to know the Lord. Oh what PRAISE fills my heart.

That memory of course brought me to a more recent "close call" with my oldest, which you can read about here. Again, God spared that son's life. Lord, your MERCY is more than I can even comprehend.

Many of you have faced your own hardships.
  • Trusting God for finances for your adoption.
  • A medical diagnosis.
  • The indescribable loss of a loved one.
  • A lost job during the crumbling economy.
  • The fear of the unknown.
  • A broken marriage, by a spouse who got up and walked away.
  • The loss of a dream.
No matter what we face there is someONE there if we will choose to look to Him. We have to choose to look to Him though. He never forces Himself on us. He not only knows our name and the number of hairs on our head, but He knows every detail of what we're going through. He even knows the things we can't voice out loud.


3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion
and the God of all comfort, 4who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those
in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

HELLO!!! .... there is PURPOSE in what He allows in our lives.

5For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ
our comfort overflows. 6If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation;
if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance
of the same sufferings we suffer.
7And our hope for you is FIRM, because we KNOW that just as you share in our sufferings,
so ALSO you share in our comfort.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7

I deserve NOTHING, yet He cares enough about me to SHARE in everything going on in my life!

I continued scraping all that paint away, leaving a trail of wet Puffs behind me. I must choose to REST in HIM knowing that all the chapters of our story have not been written yet. It is NOT up to me to make that house sell. It is NOT up to me what the future brings. It IS up to me to TRUST HIM, to WALK WITH HIM, to LOOK TO HIM.

God isn't "good" because the house sold. GOD IS GOOD because He's THERE on the front porch in the midst of paint chips, wet Puffs and a host of unknowns. HE is the very REASON there is PRAISE.

Maybe you're in the midst of your own storm. He knows every tear you've shed. HE wants to be your comfort.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Two Years With Family . . .

Oh sweet Arsema's hard to believe you've been home with us now for two years. We have watched you change in many ways. It seems so long ago you were our precious orphan babe fearful of much, highly guarded and withdrawn.

I think back to the year long journey of bringing you home. The paperwork ..... endless paperwork. The HUGE financial mountains we had to climb. The THOUSANDS of hand-made cards that were designed, made, distributed and sold to help bring you out of the status of orphan and into the arms of family.

I'm so thankful for all that God has done in your life. You bring such JOY to those around you. Your eyes still speak volumes. It's hard for me to comprehend sometimes just how God brought you into our lives. That He would choose us to step out in faith ... so many odds against us ... so that you'd be surrounded by family. Every mountain, was worth the climb, my precious child.

When we first met you your heart was so broken, your body so stiff, your demeanor so cold. Now I get to hear the pitter-pat of your feet in the mornings as you come to find me and offer me huge hugs.

I think of your dear sweet birth-momma who gave you life. When I close my eyes I can still feel her snuggled into my shoulder and enveloped in my arms. When I look at you and your sometimes timid and shy eyes I know where they come from.

What a blessing it is to see you settled into family life. As long as big sister (who you've pretty much caught up to in size now) isn't bossing too much, or we don't leave you behind a closed door (like in the Sunday School class) ..... you are the happiest girl on the block. You absolutely adore your big brothers and you pretty much can get them to do anything you want. :) Unless you throw a fit. None of us are really into fit-throwing, but you are catching onto that as well.

God has a wonderful plan for your life, sweet Arsema. I am so humbled that I get to be part of it.