Beautiful, inside and out

Parenting has by far been the most rewarding, most insanity inducing experience I could have ever hoped for.  I question my ability daily.  And with the world pulling in one direction and me pulling in the other, I imagine being a child is rather difficult too.  I often forget to think about Emma’s side of things, to take her personality and short life experience into consideration.  I just want to do “it” “right.”  Whatever that means.  I’ve been reminded recently that I need to spend less time reading parenting books and fretting (although I do find many parenting books quite helpful) and more time on my knees praying.  As much control as I think I have or want to have it just isn’t so.  And the only way to impart wisdom and truth to my child is to be soaked in it myself.  Oh, my dear sweet girls.  I hope that they are able to become “healthy” adults despite my shortcomings.

IMG_1039

Cold dark stone

Last year my dear friend Mary made me a CD and this song has really resonated with me.  It articulates my hearts desire, while recognizing where I fall short.  And yet there is hope- my faults don’t matter if I choose to look toward the SON.

You are the sun shining down on everyone

Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can’t be a light unless I turn my face to you

You are the sun shining down on everyone
Light of the world giving light to everything I see
Beauty so brilliant I can hardly take it in
And everywhere you are is warmth and light

And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can’t be a light unless I turn my face to you

Shine on me with your light
Without you I’m a cold dark stone
Shine on me I have no light of my own
You are the sun, you are the sun, you are the sun
And I am the moon

Heart and Seoul

I never understood the people in the old testament. I couldn’t comprehend how God’s chosen people, whom He spoke to, and gave signs and wonders to would blatantly disobey. From high in my tower I thought, “surely, if God would speak to me or even show me clearly what I should do, well of course I would do it.” Gladly, in fact. But recently, I’ve seen that I am just as stiff-necked as the Jews wandering the desert for 40 years.

For the last 4 years, that’s right FOUR years (almost like 40, without the 0) I have been wandering the desert of disobedience. David and I had been desiring to have another child and started “trying” 4 years ago. Early on thoughts of adoption took seed in my brain, but I did not allow them to grow roots. That wasn’t for us, not right now.

I had plans. Of course, I should know by now, my plans rarely match God’s. I had also planned to get pregnant the first time… about a year or two AFTER Emma was born. That’s right, Emma was a gracious surprise. This time, I wanted to get pregnant on my terms. I wanted to WANT the pregnancy. I wanted to experience pregnancy, childbirth and infancy with joy.

There were many instances where adoption would creep into conversations with David, but neither of us really wanted to walk that road. That road was full of unknowns and it was costly and we could find so many excuses why it wouldn’t work for us. Yet, all signs seemed to be pointing in that direction. I wanted to walk by the burning bush and pretend it wasn’t there. I was just as stiff necked as those wandering the desert- I wanted things MY WAY.

The more I prayed, the more I cried out in pain over my hearts desire gone unanswered the more thoughts of adoption would crop up. It seemed that this was the road we needed to walk. I wasn’t happy about it and there are times when I am still unhappy about not getting my way. What can I say, I’m an only child.

And so began our path toward adoption.

I600A

I did it.  I sent it today.  Now it really is all about waiting.  Nothing to do but wait, and wait and wait, and pray and pray and pray.

A few months ago I typed up a post about the beginning of our trip down the adoption road, now may be a good time to post it.

half check

So, for whatever dumb reason, I have been putting off filling out our I-600a form. I asked AZ to keep reminding me to do it. She was on it this week and so I got it out and just plugged away. (Thanks AZ!) I got out all the documents I needed, I made photocopies, I even wrote an e-mail to our social worker with a couple questions so that once I receive her answers I can send it off. Really it’s more than half checked off my list, it’s more like three quarters checked.  I’m hoping that before Emma turns 6 (and that’s soon) I will have this puppy completely checked off my list.

Hooray!

Run Lola Run

Today I went running. I haven’t been in a few weeks. For me running has been a great teacher. Here’s what I learned today.

Running in so many ways parallels my spiritual life.

I have been running for a while now. I have been walking in the grace of God for a while now as well.

When I run I have clarity. I have discipline and I increase my stamina and strength. My mental, emotional and physical well being prosper when I run. I sleep better. I handle daily situations better

Similarly, when I spend time reading the Bible, praying, worshiping and serving I receive many benefits. In fact they are very much alike. I have clarity, my spiritual stamina and strength increase. My mental, emotional and spiritual well being prosper. I sleep better. I handle daily situations better.

Unfortunately there are similar downfalls. No matter how long I have been running, no matter how good of shape I am in, it is still a forced act of the will to get out and do it most of the time. Which baffles me. How can I be so thick? I clearly know the benefits and yet I’d much rather sit on my butt. There are times when it is easier than others, but it’s always a disciplined act. The same is true for me with reading my Bible, praying, worshiping and serving.

Then it struck me. I have a hard time getting out to run, but once I do, I enjoy it (mostly). But I still have moments where I want to quit. Until, I get to the “home stretch.” Then I have a hard time not sprinting. I see the end is near and I want to be there. Even though I know the end is coming the entire time I am running, it’s veiled until I get about 1/2 mile away. And being in the presence of the end makes me want to go faster. In fact I am able to run faster than I thought I could.

So it is with God. Right now His complete presence is veiled to me and so I must press on and endure. And when I spend time in God’s presence, the more I “see” Him, the more I can endure and I am able to accomplish more than I thought possible.

Evesdropping

A little while back I was getting my hair cut. It seems that most of the hair dressers I have are chatty, but not my current one. I am SO thankful for that. I can just sit and enjoy having my hair “played” with and think. On this occasion my heart was heavy. I had been considering some of the obstacles we may face as our children grow, especially our child that we are adopting. I worry about how he/she will face the thoughts of adoption, whether or not he/she will feel rejected or a sense of loss. I worry about how the children will compare themselves. Obviously I will do the best I can on my end to alliviate these issues, but it seems that they may still come up.

SO, back to the hair dresser. As I am sitting, stewing and drowning in my worry I hear the hair dresser next to me talking to his client. His client was asking him if he had some sort of medical test done because his mother was having some sort of health problems. He replied that he hadn’t since he is adopted and genetic problems wouldn’t pertain to him. AHHHHH! Another thing to worry about. Our child isn’t going to know his/her genetic history… what if…..BLAH BLAH BLAH. My mind went on and on in just milliseconds. BUT, on further listening this man seemed to dismiss the lady’s concerns. He said, we all have genetic predispositions, but it isn’t a guarantee we’ll get (fill in the blank with disease) or not. He was so logical and calm and… well, right.

They discussed his adoption further; he talked about how he met his biological mother and that was that for him. To him she wasn’t his mother, she was his womb and he was grateful for that, but his adoptive mother was “mom.” He wouldn’t change anything. I wanted to ask him for his mother’s phone number.

Overhearing that conversation was a great gift. God saw my small faith diminishing in my downcast heart. He had pity and allowed me to hear that conversation, that glimpse into something better. He turned my thoughts upward and outward instead of inward.  He reminded me that David and I are not raising our children alone, nor should we be depending on our own abilities to do so.  God is so good.

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