Thursday, April 19, 2012

gentle reminders

Sometimes, I need gentle reminders.

I don't open up easily to people. Sharing my feelings, heart, open and honestly, just doesn't come naturally for me. This is a fault I know I have, and I'm trying to get better, really.

And, opening my heart to love, to love this Little One to be, while it comes so naturally to me, has been difficult. I tried to keep it under control, knowing what the years of waiting behind me were like, and not wanting to get my hopes up only to have them dashed. I don't like to be hurt. I don't like being vulnerable. I don't like others to know I am hurt, or vulnerable.

But, you know what? It's ok. It's ok to love, to hurt, to be vulnerable. I was reminded of this by a sweet message sent to me by a dear friend a few weeks ago, right after the transfer.

I'm reminded of these words from C.S. Lewis:

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your
heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to
make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no
one, not even to an animal ..."

E, it is not wrong for you to be vulnerable and love the babies inside of you. I don't want to see you hurt through this process in any way, but I want to encourage you in the love you are developing for the little ones. You are their mother, whether it is for days or many years to come. You are entitled to and privileged to love them. They are yours; a blessing from God. Do not fear the pain.

Ah, thank you, dear friend. And thank You, Lord, for using her to speak truth to me!

So, I will love. I did and do love you, Little Ones, and someday, I will meet you in Heaven. And I will continue to love. To love those He has waiting for us. Whether they be snow angels, or other little angels, they are waiting to be loved, and I will have love enough for them, too.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


There are just certain things that should stay at Menards. For example: Shingles.

These belong at Menards, or, or, on my roof. Not in, or on my body. Somebody didn't get the memo.

The week we were in Tennessee, Lips got bit. Or, so he thought. Turns out it was Shingles. Poor guy was more stressed than I thought.

This past weekend, I got bit. Yep, Shingles for me too.

Where do I find the Return Department for these things?

Funny thing is, they aren't supposed to be catchy really. Only in certain rare cases, and only if you've never had the Chicken Pox, and then you'd catch Chicken Pox, not Shingles. What are the odds that we both just stress out enough to each bring about Shingles? Seriously, I'd like to know the odds. We have to be freaks of nature or something!

Goodness, I need some new stress relieving techniques.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

ford probe

Sometimes things hit me, and make me laugh. And, I'm thankful for the laughter.

When I was in high school, I so badly wanted a Ford Probe for a car. Really, really bad. A red one. My best friend had one, and I cried when she got hers. I didn't think it was fair that she got one and I didn't. Another friend of mine had one, which more or less irritated me because he got any car he wanted, every other month it seemed. Yes, I wanted one. It was my dream car.

But no, I got the hand-me-down Mercury Sable, which I totalled by falling asleep at the wheel and driving it into a ditch. At 55 MPH. Then, I got the junkyard Chevy Cavalier, which had previously belonged to a drug dealer in town (didn't know that when I bought it!). Oh, and the cops pulled me over because they thought I was him. Hilarious, right? The list of cars that were "mine" throughout the years continues, though none quite as exciting as those two.

And none, I repeat none, included my dream. A Probe.

Or, so I thought.

Turns out, when I think about it, over the past ten years, I got my probe. Or two. Or four hundred. I've lost track. Just not exactly the kind I had hoped for in high school though. Oh, the irony.

For some reason, that car just doesn't seem very appealing to me these days. Hmpf.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

more to it

Sometimes, I hold tightly to a certain verse, without exploring or really thinking much about the context around it.

For example, Jeremiah 29:11. Great verse, quoted often, builds confidence in Christ, and a whole lot of other great things. I even have a ring with the verse engraved on it, I like it so much. But, this verse is often the only one in that chapter that is brought to attention.

Today, I finished another book, Orphanology, and they quoted this verse, along with the few that followed it. And, it's teaching me much.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord ... {Jeremiah 29:11-14a}

Jeremiah is writing to the people of the Lord whom the evil King Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem into exile to Babylon. I don't think they wanted to be there. They were confused, and probably upset. (Oh, and I am in no way a Bible scholar, so please do your own examination!) But, it doesn't seem like such a "good" plan to them.

God has a plan for us. Yes. Does that mean that only the good, happy things we can think of in life is what will happen? No. What I think it means, is that His plan for us is FOR OUR good, not evil. We will have difficult, painful, crazy ick times (like the exiles did), but it is for good, not evil. He is growing us. Teaching us to lean, on Him. Making us run towards that future with Him, and that hope of eternity, celebrating with Him! I love how it says after it talks about His plan, that THEN we will call on Him. We will come to Him. We will pray to Him.

I don't know about you, but I am terribly self-sufficient. Scratch that, I THINK AND ACT like I am terribly self-sufficient. I really am not. I am weak, helpless, powerless. But sometimes I forget that, and then in turn, forget to call out to God, to come to Him, to pray. Shame on me. That's where I've come to see that His path, His plan, may not always be easy, but it causes me, in my forgetful state of mind, to cling to Him even more, to cry out to Him. And that is GOOD, not evil. I'm so thankful for that.

And then, He gives us more beautiful promises. He will listen. He will be found. We just need to seek him with all our heart. And, if you continue to read on in Jeremiah 29, He promises restoration as well. He promises to bring the exiles back, they just need to trust ... remember, His plan is FOR GOOD, not evil!

Lord, thank You for Your plans. May I cry out to You, not only in the difficult, but in the good. May I trust You and hold tight to Your promises. You have my heart.

Friday, April 6, 2012


A sweet friend reminded me of this promise today. Thank you, friend, for sharing His love.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
{Romans 8:26-28}

Thursday, April 5, 2012

truly courageous

Today, I finished reading a book I had been eagerly anticipating reading since it came out last fall.

Kisses from Katie

It's written by a 22 year old girl who moved to Uganda right after her high school graduation, and has lived a life sacrificed totally to God. She started a blog when she went, and I started following it two years ago. This girl, let me tell you. God has worked so many amazing things through her, tho she'd never, ever say it was because of her or her courage. It's because of her faith in God. And I've been so challenged by it.

At 22, Katie has started a ministry; feeds over one thousand children in the slums of Uganda every week; has over 400 needy children in the sponsorship program of her ministry, providing schooling, medical treatment and food for them; has people, injured, sick or dying, in her home weekly; AND has adopted FOURTEEN becautiful girls who all call her Mamma.

Did I mention, Katie is 22?

I feel there are so many parts of this book I would love to share with you, that if I did, I would in fact retype the whole book right here. So, I will encourage you to read it yourself. Please, please do! (you may borrow my copy even!) I will, however, share one of the many things I love that she wrote in her very last chapter.

"I believe there is only one truly courageous thing we can do with our lives: to love unconditionally. Absolutely, with all of ourselves, so much that it hurts and then more."

Katie gave up life as she knew it, her comfort, family, friends, love of her life, to follow God. Not her plan. Not her desires. Though, now that she's totally given up herself, the Lord has made His desires for her, hers. Listen to that, does it make sense? When we let go of OUR selfishness, OUR desires, and give God full reign in our lives, His desires for us become ours. We then long for the things He has created us for. We long to love those He loves. Unconditionally.

Lord, may I give up myself to You, completely. Make Your desires, my desires. May I see with Your eyes. May I love so much it hurts, as You love all of us. And, thank You for loving me, in spite of myself.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

blessed be Your Name

I have always loved this song. It's kind of one of those overplayed songs in church, or on the radio, that some might roll their eyes to or change the station, but still, one that I will NEVER get tired of. Play it more, please. I simply love it. And it's one that has even more real life meaning to me now.

It holds a great message. No matter what, good or difficult, happy or sad, I WILL CHOOSE TO SAY, LORD, BLESSED BE YOUR NAME!

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

Monday, April 2, 2012

dance for Jesus

Well, Little One, now is not your time. So, we will continue to hold on to the Lord for your grand debut.

Sometimes, I let my doubts get the best of me. I know, silly, right? I am a child of THE God of the universe, THE God of all of us, and I doubt. How foolish of me. I came across this chapter in the Word a few weeks ago, and it really hit home for me then. I was able to share it with a dear friend struggling with hurts (not her fault) earlier last week. And now, I find myself running to it again today.

As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him ..." {John 9:1-3}

In this passage, this man was blind. Not because his parents had done anything wrong, not because he had done anything wrong, but so that one day, when Jesus walked by him, he could be healed, revealing the Son of God, the Healer, the Redeemer, to all around. And he WAS healed.

I bet that guy felt pretty amazing. Pretty incredible. Sure, he had struggled with being blind since birth (not easy!), but he was just touched, JUST HEALED, by the Maker of the world! He was used to bring God glory, by revealing His Son. That is a pretty special thing, if you ask me.

I can play the blame game, (blaming myself), really good. But maybe, there isn't anything, anyone to blame. Maybe, this hurt, pain, struggle, or whatever may be the case, has happened, or is allowed, so that God can be glorified through it. Possible? I think so. I know so.

Now, I can't, and won't say that I'm blameless in life, for I am far from perfect and make daily mistakes. Oh, I make mistakes! But, I will say, I won't play the blame game with myself, and HE WILL be glorified in this circumstance! He alone will. I just need to back out of His way! :)

Thank You, Lord, that You are above all. Your plan is far greater than mine. Thank You for growing this heart in love, and taking care of it when it's feeling slightly cracked. Thank You for the dear people You've put on this path with us, for their kindness, love, and deep generosity. Thank You that You are our Strength, Shield, and Mighty Deliverer. I will hold to that!

And for you, little snow angels lost; you were brought to life by a crazy loving couple, who gave us the privilege of adopting you, so we could shower you with love like crazy. You are worth{lots}! And now, you get to dance for Jesus! So dance, little snow angels, dance for Him!