Thursday, September 23, 2010

Still Kickin'!

I've had a busy week!

I'm in Kansas right now, about to blow away or melt!  Actually, the wind has blown in some clouds today and it's not even 80 degrees yet.  I'm now in Heaven, but the 90's up until now have been killer.  It's not exactly a low-humidity area, so I've broken a sweat more times this week than I have in the last 5 years combined.  Probably.

Despite the weather, I have had a lovely time reuniting with my family!  I've seen everyone except my dad who will be here on Friday.  I've had some re-bonding time with these 3 N&N's, but haven't had many chances to spread myself out.  I think that will come at Christmas!  This trip was primarily for supporting my sister for this final adoption trip.  I often wish I could stay longer.  I miss my hubby dreadfully, however, so I'll be O.K. to head to back.  Especially knowing I'll be back for the holidays!

I've heard from my sis or her husband several times, and my little nephew Isaiah is doing great!  He is playful, affectionate, and ticklish!  He is also beginning to grieve for all that he has lost and is losing.  It seems strange that even a 16-month-old can grieve, but it is clear that he is aware that things keep changing and he is sad at times for those losses.  I know God will heal his little heart through his new parents and family, but it will take a little time.

Just a quick update on where I've been!  I'll have to update better when I get home and have more time/energy to put forth!  This makes me wonder how moms blog on a regular basis.  Once again, I am in awe of SuperHero Moms!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Our boys!

I'd like to introduce you to our boys!

I always told my mom that I only wanted boys.  She told me that I didn't have the option to choose, so I told her I wouldn't have any.  Somehow I have both!  The only thing is that I had always said I wanted four, so perhaps these guys are our first two!

This is Ojambo!  My husband is pretty sure that this is his last name, but I don't think so.  I'll let you know when we get our email questions answered!  Isn't he just the most adorable?!  He lives in Uganda and we were introduced through Amazima Ministries.  We can't wait to meet this smiley boy of ours!  I can't wait to send him a picture of us so he can know that he has a "mommy" and a "daddy" who truly love him and can't wait to meet him.  We are praying for him to grow up and become the man God has planned.

This big guy is Remedan!  He is our tough guy.  We can't wait to meet him and get him giggling!  You can just see it behind those serious lips that they just want to break out and grin!  We were introduced through Children's HopeChest.  He is our Ethiopian boy that is in school and we are excited to be able to email him as soon as possible!  He has lots of interests that we can talk about and we will pray with him to discover God's purpose for his life!

I plan on sharing brief updates, so I thought you'd like to see their pictures!  We plan on taking these guys very seriously in our lives.  I had said before that sponsorship isn't just a check, but a relationship.  These will definitely be distance relationships, but I don't think any of us will mind, though we will be looking forward to the day we can meet in person.  I'm really excited about this new journey of ours.  I'm hoping it's a lifelong one!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


What do you wish for?

What is your greatest desire?

What fills your prayers?

My husband and I spent this morning talking together about just this topic.  We have been extremely frustrated by well-meaning Christians who "claim" promises of health, happiness, or hoards of other things and then don't receive that which they knew God would provide.  We have both had Godly people tell us that we should be very specific when in prayer and expect Him to answer favorably, because after all, God gives us the desires of our hearts.  Especially when we are earnestly praying and we are living what we believe to be God's will for our lives.  Surely then, He will give us what we want. (slight sarcasm here!)

What do we want?

When it comes down to it, for us, we only want one thing: we want God to be glorified in the life He has provided.  Period.

Our human nature occasionally makes us think we want things like new carpet, a fancy gun (that's my husbands), or a Smoothie King smoothie!  Sometimes we are cleverly told we should want things like our house to sell, good health, safety, etc.  Even our more recent desires to relinquish more of our financial blessings has tempted us to wish for more: so we can give more!  These thoughts float around us until we get back to the real center and reason for it all: Jesus.

I recently read (Yancy, Reaching for the Invisible God), "Christians in affluent countries tend to pray, 'Lord, take this trial away from us!'  I have heard prisoners, persecuted Christians, and some who live in very poor countries pray instead, 'Lord, give us the strength to bear this trial.'"

I'm pretty convinced God did not create us, provide His Son for us, give us His Spirit, strictly to make our lives comfortable.  Comfort does not generally facilitate close bonds and dependency.  I believe the Old Testament is filled with examples of this idea fleshed out.  I also believe that we are today just like the Israelites so long ago.  God created us, provided for us, lives in us to bring glory to Himself through relating with us.  When we are dependent on Him, do everything for Him, let go of our lives to be used for Him, He loves it, loves us, and is glorified through our obedience.  But He doesn't become our cosmic genie.  His goal is to make us more like Jesus, like Himself, because it really is the best option.  I really doubt this can happen comfortably at all times.  Fortunately, He does in turn provide us strength, joy, and abilities to progress until He determines we've gone as far as we can on this planet. This is a pretty huge idea that could have volumes extrapolated out, but I'll move on.

So with such a big picture, why is it so easy to focus on the little things?  I won't say I never ask God to help me with the little things, because I do, I just want the real motive to be to bring Him glory; not to have my wish fulfilled.  Who's glory is it if I get new carpet?  If I find my contact?  Why do I want my house to sell or my friend's child to be healed or my other friend's work to be calm?  Is it to bring comfort?  Is it to give God the credit and glorify Him?  Am I praying that in the horrible times my sister in Christ is trudging through, she will become so focused on Him that it will change her life, or am I just praying for ease?

Are we missing the blessing of being uncomfortable?  How can we know how fulfilling our Lord is if we never need Him?  Now, before I get an onslaught of messages telling of the blessings of God answering big and little prayers, I am not insinuating that He doesn't, won't, or shouldn't.  God does want us to ask Him for things, big and little, but secondary to living fully to glorify Him.  I have had some moments of God letting me know how interested He is in me by giving me some of those "genie wishes."  I just know that God wants way more for our relationship than that.  God wants me to grow and mature in my relationship with Him (which will serve to glorify Him, not me) and that may only come through the bond of a shared trial or other heart check to deny self.

Honestly, I don't intend to pray for trials to come.  I imagine they will all on their own.  I may just take pause, however, before I pray for them to pass or be removed.  Instead I hope I will look for my God's perspective and pray to grow through it.  I hope I do the same thing through positive experiences as well!

So, what do you wish for again?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I just had to share a little bit of my trip to Valdez.  Yes, you can see the evidence of the oil field all around, but God's creation far outweighs a few (enormous) tanks and pipelines.  It was truly a vacation for me to go and serve my husband.

You see, my whole purpose in going here was to help my husband ... well ... live out here in a tent while he worked 12 hour shifts for 7 days in a row for 3 weeks straight.  Yep, he was gone for 12 hours of every day.  When one is reduced to living in a tent, there is little housework to be done and fewer bills to pay, etc.  The one meal I prepared was by necessity simple and quick to make every evening!  I had the luxury of gallivanting all around the area and exploring on my own.

Occasionally, I would wait and explore with my hubby when he got home, but most of these sights were mine alone.  It gave me some real time to rest in Jesus.  I wish I had some really profound revelation that He gave me, but really I felt like I was just enjoying dessert!
One thing this time did do for me, however, was prompted by reading Brother Lawrence's "Practicing the Presence of God."  I was in the middle of a rather lewd novel based in 17th century England when I realized that I would be really embarrassed if Jesus caught me with that book.  Oh yeah.  He already knows.  He's been right with me the whole time.  I, in my humanness, skipped right over the to the last half of the last chapter.  I just couldn't throw it out without knowing the ending (by the way, justice was done at the end)!  I did know, though, that I didn't need to read it anymore.  That is actually a really huge thing for me.  I love to read and I am such a "check the box" type of person, that to not actually read the entire book was difficult.  Sort-of.  This one was actually easier than I would have thought to give up.  It was a small, but profound moment for me.

I also had some confirmation of some major decisions while I was gone.  Until those all come out in their own time, though many already know, I am just really excited about where my life is going.  I have sensed a real growing in my and my husbands relationship with Jesus this last year and I feel that things are going to be different.  I don't know anything other than that, but in another month or so, I'll be in a much better place to find out!

I feel like I could write an entire post on this next subject, and likely I will, but before it escapes my brain I wanted to share!

My husband and I have received the name of our first child!  (pause for effect!)

No, I'm not pregnant and if I were, I'd have some serious explaining to do!!  We have not adopted, and I am certainly not referring to an animal.

Just today we received the name of the child we are going to "sponsor" through Childrens HopeChest.  I got the email and read down through some of the apologies from the gal saying it had taken so long because of their ongoing move and then she shared the name of the person who is the sponsor coordinator for Ethiopia.  I'll share more about all that later, but at the very end of the email, was the name.  I am still choking up.

You see, this is not just a "sponsorship" to us.  If it were, we could simply set up an automatic withdrawal and likely never even notice.  An easy check in the box.  Instead, this is a child who desperately needs someone to love on them and care about them.  It is so much more about choosing a relationship than writing a check.  Yes, we will provide money to provide schooling and meals, etc., but we are truly hoping to develop a lifelong relationship and someday even meet and love on in person!  If we are really blessed, we will visit many times.  That's what you do for family.

This is not our only child.  We are anxiously awaiting information on our other child from Uganda.  We also hope to meet this special one and share our love in person.

Again, it's just at the beginning, so I will wait until I have more information before I share it all!  Actually, I'd also like to show my husband first - he gets home on Friday!

I just love Dessert!