Tuesday, June 25, 2013

God At Work-Part Two

It was never my intent to have a "Part Two" to my previous post titled God At Work.  However, in light of what has transpired in the past few days, I am compelled to share more of God's goodness.  I have been at a loss for words.  It has taken 2 days for me to sit down and share what has happened.   I have been so overwhelmed...and speechless!

If you've been following here for any length of time, you know that the most difficult part of adoption, for us, is the lack of support...in every aspect.  I have been trying to focus on what God is teaching us.  Trying not to get frustrated.  Trying not to worry. Trying to be positive....and praying, praying, praying.

In my last post I mentioned an 11 year old girl who was incredibly generous in giving us her babysitting money to put towards our adoption.  This past weekend she once again gave us some money.  This girl has been working for $3/hour, saving for an Ipod.  Instead of  buying an Ipod, she has chosen to give us the money to bring Jackson home...all $150!!!!  I am completely blown away...and humbled!  The phrase, "A little child shall lead them" keeps running through my mind.  I really do need to become more like this wonderful young lady!

We recently began attending a new church.  Remember the church that was willing to accept the grant on our behalf?  This is that same church.  Anyhow, this past Sunday this body of believers literally had us speechless and in tears. Those of you who know me well, know that is rare.  I am not easily given to tears and am rarely speechless.  These wonderful people had heard about our story and decided they wanted to help out. ( I can hardly type this as I am overcome with emotion...)  They got together and came up with the HUGE, EXTRAVAGANT amount of $3,500 to put towards bringing Jackson home!!!!!!  We are in awe!  Our little human brains cannot even process this generosity! This gift is so much more than a gift of money.  It is a gift of affirmation, support, and love. 

I am amazed at what this gift is doing to us.  Our steps are lighter, our smiles are brighter, and most importantly we are energized to do more.  To love more.  To actively show others the love of God!

Do you see what I mean when I say God is at work?  Obviously He is at work in this girls life, in this body of believers.  But that's not what I mean...He is at work in our lives.  He is using this to produce more fruit in us...something we can not do out of our own determination.

Martin and I are still trying to wrap our heads around all of this.  We are completely overwhelmed and humbled.  It feels so incredibly invigorating to be loved like this!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Intentionally Thankful

If I had known where God would take me when we first said "yes" to adoption, I'm not sure I would have wanted to adopted at all.   The past several years have been incredibly difficult.  Many times I honestly felt we were literally losing our minds...(so when questioning my behaviour...keep this in mind ;)  However, this post is not about the real, hard, ugly side of adoption.  It is about what has come from all of that.  I am so thankful that at times His "word is a lamp unto my feet" (remember that song?), and not a glaring light illuminating His entire plan for me....cause I would have crapped my pants and headed to the hills!! lol!

I want to share just a glimpse of what God is doing in my life.  I must admit, it is often easier to grumble, complain and see all the bad in my life.  I have slowly been working on this.  Trying to be intentionally thankful. 

Several years ago I heard about Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.  I immediately knew this was a "buy it, keep it forever" kinda book.  It took me a few years to say "scrap the budget" and buy the book.  I have not regretted it one bit!  It really is one of those books. 

I won't go into too much detail about the book...Ann Voskamp has an incredible way with words, and for me to say too much would ruin it for you, but basically it's about being thankful and how that simple act of worship can change our world.


I have taken the challenge to intentionally record at least 1000 things I am thankful for in this next year.  I've had a slow start, but the more I take the time to write things down, to stop and enjoy the moment, the more I have to write.  I've even begun taking pictures of some of these things/events.  Here are a few things on my list....
1) Freckles sprinkled across little boys' noses.
7) Watching work worn hands style little girls hair...too funny and sweet and sexy all at the same time!
29) Spring puddles.
32)  Family walks.
41)  The calm in homeschooling
52) Time alone...all 20 minutes of it! :)
60) Glow on dancers face.
71) Insect repellent.
82)  Water fountain.
94)  Son sharing about the latest Youth event.
107)  Smell of fresh cut grass.
112) Admiring butterfly on day lilies.

113)  Smell of lilacs blooming.

118) Watching fireflies.
122)  Bananas on sale for 50% off.
126)  Raina enjoying freshly picked flowers.
127)  Young girl giving sacrificially of her hard earned baby sitting money. (Aili...your generous act is an inspiration to us, causes us to smile, and most importantly perhaps...it makes us more determined than ever to give as Jesus gave.)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

God At Work

I am sitting on my back  deck taking a mini "sabbatical" that will last about as long as my cup of hot chocolate.  It is an absolutely gorgeous day!  Gone are the rain clouds from this week end.  The sun is shining and it is calm. The geese are making a ruckus and the birds are singing.  I'm watching a robin as it searches for food for it's young that are nested directly below me in the deck floor.  I see this all for what it is...a gift from God!  My papa knew what I needed today and it makes my heart cry with gratitude.  I wish you could hear and feel what I'm experiencing.  It is meant to be shared.  So for now the best I can do is show you a few pictures.

I feel as though we  have been put through the wringer and are still trying to iron out all the wrinkles.  I do not feel comfortable sharing all the details of what has been happening.  I do not want to hurt the people I love.

 What I will say is that Satan is once again trying to bring us down, but little does he know God uses it as a refining fire...love that!  (oh!  By the way, mama bird found a worm for her little ones and is less than 15 feet from me!)  One thing I can mention is that last week I met up with a wonderful elderly lady who I visit with regularly.  She is a true gem!  She is always gentle and encouraging.  However, this time she looked at my face and asked what it was that I had on my face.  As you may know I tend to have a lot of acne, but on this day my face was mostly clear.  I stumbled over my words to explain.  I almost instantly knew the words were not from this godly woman at all.  I am convinced that she does not even know they came out of her mouth.  I believe Satan intended to use it to bring me down.

 A few days later Martin decided to sleep in the spare room as both of us had been sleeping rather restlessly.  The next morning he told me about a night mare he had.  In his dream we were  being attacked by several people.  Martin managed to get away from his attacker and jumped on a snowmobile to help me, only to find that my throat had been cut out.  You know the feeling you have when a dream or nightmare feels very real, and you just can't shake that feeling the next day even though you know it was only a dream?  Well, that was Martin.  I could see the remnants of terror  and sadness in his eyes.  I asked what time he had this dream.  He then proceeded to tell me the time, which was the exact time that I awoke and had this sense of the presence of the evil one.  I immediately commanded the evil one to leave and all his demons and peace descended.  Little did I know what Martin had been experiencing a that exact moment.  Isn't God the greatest?!
Upon hearing about the nightmare, I instantly knew how to interpret it.  I honestly believe it is about Satan trying to silence me...trying to quiet my voice as I advocate and speak up for the less fortunate.    I had seriously been considering switching back to a private blog or quitting altogether and also quitting face book.  Needless to say, I am not about to be silenced for I know without a shadow of a doubt that advocating and speaking up for the less fortunate is right.  It is what God calls all of us to do.  What I never, ever would have guessed... is how difficult it is. 

The story does not end here though...

Saturday night I climbed into bed exhausted in every aspect.  Angry.  Hurt.  Disillusioned.  I cried out to God to please, please send us more people to stand by our side.  Wouldn't you know it...the next day we met a couple who recently adopted the sweetest boy from China.  We connected in ways that are hard to describe.  We went out for lunch together and by the time we left, Martin and I were so encouraged that we felt ready to tackle the world! lol!  Honestly, it was refreshing, unbelievable and we're still questioning whether this can actually be true.  Knowing God as we do...I'm guessing it is!

To top it all off...Late Sunday night I got a call from this couple asking if we still needed a Registered Charity to accept the grant from ABBA Canada http://www.abbacanada.com/default.aspx.  I explained that we expected A Home For Every Child to be able to do this for us and would get the final "yes" on Tuesday.  Their response..."if you still need someone...we've talked to the leadership in our church and they would be more than willing to accept the grant on your behalf...no strings attached!"  Unbelievable!  What an incredible blessing!  Thank you so much!  You know who you are!!!  May God bless you richly for your compassion and generosity!!

Finally... A Home For Every Child is able to accept the grant on our behalf!!!  Thank you Lord!!  And thank you Amanda Preston!! You can check out this wonderful organization here http://www.ahomeforeverychildbc.ca/

We are still processing all of this.  There is still so much to be learned from it all.  I pray that when all is said and done we will be refined.  That we will be all God wants for us to be.