Friday, January 31, 2014

Still waiting...

In case you are keeping up with our adoption saga, we are still just waiting!  We are waiting to be considered for two different sets of girls, one is A, a little one year old girl who we've known about since September.  I just cannot understand how it can take so so long for the social workers to respond and get things moving so these kids can get into their forever homes!  It makes no sense to me.  The other set of girls is two sisters, ages 9 and 11.  We just found out we will be considered for them this week.  This week we also heard from a social worker in Georgia about a three year old girl who is in a wheelchair after being paralyzed in a car crash.  She will be sending us some more information about her.

In the midst of all this it is easy for me to forget something very important- God has this covered.

The Job replied to the LORD:
I know that you can do all things;
no plan of yours can be thwarted.
Job 42:1-2

The LORD Almighty has sworn,
"Surely, as I have planned, so it will be,
and as I have purposed, so it will stand."
Isaiah 14:24

Since God has a plan and a purpose for us and these girls we are waiting to hear about, then there is nothing that will be able to keep his plan from happening.

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the LORD.
Proverbs 21:30

Not slow social workers, not a broken system, not somebody else's vision of where these kids should go, and not my ideas of what would be best- none of these things will succeed if they are against God's plan.  

Many are the plans in a man's heart,
but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21

I had to write this down today for myself, because it is so easy for me to forget these things and start to worry and fret and wonder how everything is going to turn out.  I am so glad God is trustworthy, I must keep my eyes on him.

And we know that in all things
God works for the good of those who love him,
who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dear Birthmother,

In this month where we remember the sanctity of human life, I just wanted to tell you thank you.

Thank you for realizing the value of the little life growing inside you.

Thank you so very much for not aborting that little life.

Thank you for carrying your child to term, enduring all the back pain, swollen ankles, and stretch marks that pregnancy brings.

Thank you for making the most difficult decision imaginable- to place your child in a home other than your own.

Thank you for loving and caring for your child even though you knew you might never see them again.

Thank you for choosing our family for your child- out of all the families you had available to you, you chose ours, and we are just so grateful.

Thank you so much for allowing us the privilege of raising your child, who is now our child in every sense, because of the miracle of adoption.

Thank you for giving your child life- a life to love, laugh, play, imagine, and grow up to be all that God intended for them to be. 

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Winter Color

In our part of the country the winter landscape can look a little bit forsaken.
The grass is dull brown and dead, the trees are bare and brown and gray.
Sometimes it's hard to see the beauty in the winter.
So this year I've started making an effort to notice the color God has put into winter. 
Yes, everything is dead or resting, but there are still beautiful
color combinations God has put here for us to enjoy.

 There is the green and gold of the cedar trees,
the endless blue of the sky with the brown of the tree branches against it,

the variations of brown in the bark of the trees,
and the dark old red of the berries that are still hanging on.

So for Tea Time Tuesday, I looked for a tea cup that had
those same colors, and found this one in my cupboard.
I love how it has flowers on the inside of the cup, so pretty!
I hope you can find some beauty in the middle of winter too!

Praise the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great;
you are clothed with splendor and majesty.
He wraps himself in light as with a garment;
he stretches out the heavens like a tent.
Psalm 104:1-2

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Do not lose heart.

This last Sunday our pastor encouraged us to focus on the one thing that God has called us to do in the coming year.  There may be a hundred good ministries we could be involved with, but what is the one that God has called you to do?  For me, my thoughts immediately went to adoption.  Adoption is the ministry that God has called us to do.  Lately though, I have been so frustrated, because although we are willing and waiting to adopt again, nothing is happening, at least that we can see.

Therefore, since through God's mercy we have this ministry,
we do not lose heart.

God's Word is so powerful.  This morning I read 1 Corinthians 4, and it was just what I needed to hear today!  God has given us this ministry of adoption, because of his mercy, so if it is what God has called us to do, we do not need to lose heart.  But, so often I forget!  I am so quick to give in to discouragement and doubt.  These next verses explain what I mean--

But we have this treasure in jars of clay
to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed;
perplexed, but not in despair.

What treasure?  The treasure of salvation and the good news of Jesus, which we are sharing with our children.  Yes, it's in a clay jar.  Definitely not in a crystal goblet.  But when we are so weak and imperfect, God's power shines through that much clearer!  He keeps us from being crushed and in despair when hard things happen.  Yes, I am hard pressed and perplexed today.  Why, if there are so many children waiting to be adopted, are we not able to adopt even one?  It is very perplexing.  Why do our children have to face so many hard things because of their past?  Life presses hard on us sometimes.  But it cannot crush us, because we have the power of God in our lives!

Therefore, we do not lose heart.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us
an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.

Oh, to keep an eternal perspective.  There are so many distractions in this world that keep our focus on our troubles and not on eternity.  But when we fix our eyes on the Lord, everything comes into focus.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

God, please help us keep our eyes on you.  The verses are all from 1 Corinthians 4, it is an encouraging chapter, I'd encourage you to read the whole thing!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dreaming of Roses

~Roses from 2012~
Lately winter has been making me feel a little down.  January
is my least favorite month of the year, so I have started to dream
about gardening again!  I would really like to plant some more
roses this spring.  Last year I tried to start some roses from
cuttings, and although they looked promising for a while, I
think they all died.  Probably I don't remember to water them
quite enough.  So, I guess I will have to break down and
buy some this spring.  I know I want a Zephirine Drouhin
climbing rose for our rose arbor, but other than that I'm not sure yet.
Does anyone have suggestions for their favorite rose?
Some that are disease resistant maybe?
What is the best place to buy them?
Mail order or local nursery?
I would love to hear from you!
I have several knock-out rose bushes already
that have done really well, but I'd kind of like some
that are bigger and fuller for cutting. to figure out where to plant them...

~Roses from 2013~

Friday, January 10, 2014

Life is like a game of chess

(Please imagine there's a nice picture of a chess game right here-
for some reason I could not get my pictures to load, sorry.)

This year at church I have been blessed to be a part of a ladies Bible study, and we are using Jennifer Rothschild's book Missing Pieces as a guide. It's been such an applicable study for me this year, and this week was no exception.

In my life I usually want things to happen more quickly, except the kids growing up, but that's another topic. So anyways, when things don't happen the way I think they should, or at the speed I think they should, it is so easy for me to get frustrated and depressed about it. God has been showing me over and over that this is not what my reaction needs to be. Isaiah 64:4 says-

Since ancient times no one has heard,
no ear has perceived,
no eye has seen any God besides you,
who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.

In her book Missing Pieces, Jennifer Rothschild compares our lives to a chess game. God is the one playing, and he sees the big picture.  He has his moves all planned out from eternity past to eternity future.  We are like a little pawn on the chess board, thinking we know just where and when God should move us, or move our neighbor, when really all we see is a little bit around us.  That's why I like the verse above, it reminds me to wait for God and not try to accomplish things on my own, or get frustrated when my plans don't happen!

If you would like to do Jennifer's study, here is a link to where you can find a copy.  She has many more good illustrations and I would highly recommend it to you!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Four Seasons of 2013

In this cold winter season, I decided to share one favorite photo
from each of the four seasons last year- spring will come again!



Listen to God's encouraging promise to Noah,
so many years ago.  Spring will come again!
As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.
Genesis 8:22

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Barbie Wedding Dress

Back when my mom was a little girl, her mom crocheted her this
beautiful Barbie wedding dress for Christmas one year.  I remember
her showing it to me when I was little, and letting me play with it
if I was really careful!  It has little pearl beads sewn
around the hem, neckline, and sleeves. 
This fall when we thought we were going to adopt Mimi,
one of the things we knew about her was that she liked
playing with Barbies.  So I decided to try and copy my
mom's dress and make one for her.  I finally finished it this week!
It turned out pretty well, although I couldn't find the little
pearl beads so I used smaller glass beads instead.
Although I won't be able to give it to Mimi,
hopefully someday I will be able to give it to
another special little girl.

Speaking of adoption, we are going to be considered as a family
for another little girl, (I'm just going to call her A for now on the blog)
in the next couple months.  They haven't set the date for the match
meeting yet.  They are considering 3 other families as well,
so we won't necessarily be chosen as her family.  She is under a
year old and really cute!  We are hopeful and trusting God
will send A to the family that is best for her.
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year's!

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