Thursday, February 24, 2011

The worship of everyday

Sunday afternoon it started. Any mother knows that dreaded sound. I had just curled up in bed to take a nap. The kids were in their rooms and Todd was downstairs. And I had just asked him to listen so I could shut our door and shut out the world for a little while.

But I heard it still. I heard Todd taking Claire into the bathroom and telling Elizabeth "Your sister threw up stay in your room." I was kind of hoping it was a bad dream and it was not real. But as I got out of bed I realized it was true. My wonderful husband had already cleaned up the mess and given Claire a bath. And as we sat on the couch wondering if it was the flu or maybe just something she ate that disagreed with her we got our answer. Claire puked again and continued to throw up every hour for many hours. She threw up into the night and as the morning rolled around I hoped it would be over soon. As afternoon came she continued to puke and I called the pediatrician to ask what could be done. After realizing she had not had any wet diapers that day, (Why did I not think of that until they asked?) the nurse recommended we take her to the ER immediately. We spent several hours at the hospital and they gave her IV fluids. We took her home and she continued to throw up a few more times.

Now it is day 5 of our mess. Claire woke up this morning feeling much better. She wanted to eat and play and do all of her normal things. But just as she was getting better Elizabeth began to puke. And she is now in the thick of vomiting.

I am certainly going crazy at times. But God has spoken some great truths to my heart during all of this. Cleaning up puke can be worship. I can worship God by gently taking care of my sick baby. I can worship God by responding for the 1,000th time to a cry for help. It is not easy. And my heart is not always worshipful. But it can be. And I can be serving God by doing just that. Sometimes I think of serving God as the missionary in Africa or the pastor of our church. But the reality you and I can serve Him right where we are. We can serve Him by simply responding in everyday life the way He wants us. And today I am trying. And when I am tempted to throw in the towel I am trying to instead be thankful.

So today I am thankful that I have a working washer and dryer to wash another load of vomitty clothes and blankets. I am thankful for daddy who just came home with dinner in hand and "took" over so I could have a half hour of rest. I am thankful for Jeff and Heather who came to play with Elizabeth while sissy was sick. I am thankful for my parents who watched Elizabeth while we took Claire to the ER. And who brought us dinner last night! I am thankful that we live in a place where I have clean drinking water so I can give my kids healthy drinks to get them better.

I am learning more and more that so often God does not want me to do more but simply to do the things that are before with His power and grace.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Plans of the heart

We received word on Friday, of last week, from our agency. It turns out that when I read the original email I misunderstood it just a bit. The agency was not really saying they may not work with us. More or less they were afraid the Ethiopian government may turn us down. (That does not really sound much better, does it?) Well, either way. We received word that with a few changes in our home study wording we have a better chance of being approved. So our wonderful social worker is again changing our home study. For like the 20th time. She is a trooper though!

But I am reminded of how faithful God is to orchestrate every detail. We had reason to believe we would probably hear from our agency on Friday. And since the moment I woke up on Friday morning I was checking my email about every five minutes. And at 8:00 am ish my sister in law called and asked if I could watch my one year old nephew for the day. I agreed and shortly after my best friend called and said she had to go the the ER and asked if I could watch her four year old daughter. So on Friday I had four kids under the age of four and no time to check my email. But I really do believe it was God's sovereignty. I needed busy hands and a busy heart so I could not stress and worry about the outcome. And we did receive the email on Friday and it was good news. We now have no reason to believe that the Ethiopian government would turn us down.

So through all of this God is constantly reminding me that this is in His hands. And as crazy as it seems I still doubt that on some moments. I caught myself the other day in a furry of thoughts that lead to me thinking that we were gonna end up with some kid that God never intended us to have. I quickly took that thought captive and gave my fears to the Lord. And today the Lord so faithfully spoke to me in His word and reminded me that He does indeed have this all under control.

Proverbs 16:1
" To man belongs the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the reply of the tongue."

Proverbs 16:33
" The lot is cast into the lap but its every decision is from the Lord."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Created for Care Retreat and adoption update

Friday through Sunday I spent time at the Created for Care Retreat. It was the most amazing weekend. The Lord spoke to me so clearly and met every need that my heart had been longing for. I heard from Him, I spent time worshiping and sharing my heart with other women, I was prayed for and prophesied over. My heart was so filled. I saw the Lord.

I would love to share with you some of the things God spoke to me about this weekend. The first night, my new hero, Susan Hillis, spoke. She talked about Hagar and how we have the choice to be known as women who wail or a woman of the well. Women who wail see their problems as huge and they see God's provision as very tiny. Women of the well know God is their provision and they choose to see Him even when their problems would love to be bigger. Another way the Lord clearly spoke to me was on the last day, Susan Hillis spoke again about the miracle Jesus did when he fed the 5,000 with 5 loaves and two fish. God spoke so clearly that I need to offer Him my little. The little time I spend praying for my kids, the little patience I have with them, the little resources we have for our adoption. I need to offer my 20% to Him and obey and allow Him to multiply it. I walked away with such confidence that despite what little it seemed I had God will provide.

And as satan would love to directly contradict everything the Lord spoke to me this weekend, I came home and Monday received an email that basically said our agency may not approve us any further for the adoption because of our finances. Even though we successfully raised the $5,000.00 needed for the beginning of the adoption process and even though we assured them that we were applying for grants and doing fundraisers they may choose to not approve us because of our monthly income and our lack of savings. This has nothing to do with whether or not they think we can adequately support another child. It seemed from the phrasing that it was all about whether or not they thought we could pay for the adoption. I am so thankful that I had just so fully heard from the Lord.

I immediately took that email and turned around and emailed a few people to tell them what is going on and to ask for prayer. I immediately knew this was not from the Lord. It is by His hand and His hand alone that this adoption will happen. I trust His hand. My life is not in the hands of an agency or a government.

At this point we have emailed the agency and asked, "What amount of money do we need in the bank to be approved?" Here is why I am telling you now. We still have not heard back from the agency. But my confidence is in the Lord. If the agency says "$15,000.00" I am confident that God will bring us that, if it is His will. If the agency says "no amount find another agency" I am confident that God will lead us to where He wants.

He is our hope. I am reminded of the verse God gave me to be encouraged while Todd and I were waiting to be together.

Psalm 33:20-22

"We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

He Giveth More Grace

I found this today on another blog and it so perfectly encouraged my heart. I had to share.

He Giveth More Grace
By: Annie J. Flint
He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater,
He sendeth more strength as our labors increase;
To added afflictions He addeth His mercy,
To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.

When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources
Our Father’s full giving is only begun.

Fear not that thy need shall exceed His provision,
Our God ever yearns His resources to share;
Lean hard on the arm everlasting, availing;
The Father both thee and thy load will upbear.

His love has no limits, His grace has no measure,
His power no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.