sábado, febrero 23, 2019

It is a beautiful, sunny day.  I slept in a bit.  Mr. M and I were woken at 6 in the morning by a phone call from the East Coast regarding an adoption opportunity.  Our profile book will be shown to the birth mother tomorrow.  I fell back to sleep, thanking God for this opportunity.  I woke so thankful for my role as wife.  I started reading this book yesterday, and it talks about how the men and women of the Reformation gave the proper dignity to the calling, the vocation of being a wife.  This is a breath of fresh air in this culture where so much of one's identity is tied to what they do outside the home.  I have wanted a job in the past, but when I am able to sleep in with Mr. M, or enjoy a quiet Saturday morning together, or even enjoy a romantic stroll through Home Depot, I am thankful that I'm able to stay at home and be Mr. M's wife, companion, and helper. 

jueves, febrero 21, 2019

What the Future may Hold

     As anyone who knows me knows, books play a big part in my life, and always have.  Today, I was happy to order a new book on female friendships written by a Christian woman.  I read the intro. before I ordered the book, and I was inspired by the intro.  (That's how you know it's going to be a good book.)  I have read a lot of books on female friendships.  My friends have said-and I didn't pay them to say it-that I am a good friend, and good at investing in friendships; so that is my cue to cultivate that, and to invest more into my relationships.  (That is a principle I learned from another book, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin-to invest in the things that you are good at and that you enjoy.  That is why I have a bright green desk for my computer; I like to write and I spend a good time doing it, so I invested in making it pleasant and enjoyable.)  Back to friendships.  I invest in books on friendship because I value the friends in my life, and I want to always be learning new ways to improve those relationships.  One reason that I love learning about improving friendships is that it is so practical.  We all have so many relationships in our lives-family, neighbors, people at church, the grocery store clerk, and so many others.  We have daily opportunities to practice anything we learn about relationships.  Relationships are also Biblical.  God created us to live in relationship with others.  No matter whether the author acknowledges God or not, anyone who writes about improving our relationships is writing about something that was created by God for our benefit.  We read in the Bible that our words and behavior can be a great benefit to others, a way to encourage them and help them to grow and change and have hope.  (Our words and behavior can also be a great detriment to others.)  All that to say that if you are good at something, or are particularly interested in it, it is worth an investment of time and money to learn all you can about that particular thing.
     I've heard a lot of talk about different seasons of life.  I don't particularly like the phrase, but there is some truth in it.  I am in a different season of life than I was when I was young, and I want my knowledge and my relationships to grow and change with me.  It isn't enough for me to know only what I knew 5 years ago.  I should know more and have more experiences to share.  I can now deepen my friendships, and develop new ones, by sharing my desire to adopt and the steps Mr. M and I are taking to make that happen.  It's been an emotional roller coaster, but it allows me to relate on a deeper level with others who want to adopt or are in the process, or who have adopted.  I have learned that many of my friends were adopted themselves, or have adopted children in their families.  I've talked to people across the country who have been willing to share their stories and give me advice.  Sharing our stories is a powerful bonding agent.  Having the desire to adopt, and taking steps to make that happen has sure been frustrating at times, but it has taught me this:  everyone you see has goals and dreams, disappointments and sorrows that you know nothing about.  All humanity has that one thing in common-we all want something that may or may not be attainable.  No one knows what the future may hold.

miércoles, febrero 13, 2019

This is one of the photos from the photoshoot we did for our adoption profile book.  I don't know if adoption is in God's plan for us or not.  I hope it is, and I pray it is, but I just don't know.  I do know this, though;  adoption is a good thing.  God says that true and pure religion that pleases Him involves caring for orphans.  (James 1:27.)  This could mean domestic adoption or international adoption, or temporary foster care.  I hope and pray that whether or not we are given a baby to love, our journey towards adoption will inspire and encourage others in the church to begin their own journey toward adoption.  Adoption is an amazing opportunity to share God's love with the world, and make a true impact for Christ.  Adoption turns our homes into a mission field.  John Piper says of missions that we are all called to either go or send.  I think the same can be said of adoption-either you adopt, or you support those who do financially and/or by prayer. 
As much as I would like to adopt, I can't know if that is God's will for our family; but I do know that adoption is God's will for some, and I want to do all I can to help make God's plan a reality.

martes, febrero 05, 2019

Four Quarters are Better Than 101 Pennies

I wrote a while ago about the benefits of reading books written by people with beliefs that are completely at odds with ours.  I picked up another book about a man hiking the Appalachian Trail.  I find these hiking memoirs fascinating.  While I was out walking Renee, I traded pleasantries with a neighbor out walking his dog.  This led me to a realization:  saying "hi" to this man was similar to the hikers, who hike alone most of the time, but occasionally hike with someone they happen to meet on the trail.  Most often, they will introduce themselves and share a detailed story about who they are and why they are hiking, and then they will just as suddenly part ways.  There is no bitterness, that's just how it goes.  I want that to happen more in my life:  I want to really notice and appreciate the things and people in my life, even if they will be there just a short time.  I think this principle is a very Biblical one.  The first half of Luke 15 is all about paying attention to one thing, even if it means neglecting 99 other things for a moment.  As Christians who believe God is sovereign and nothing happens by chance, we need to slow down in our lives and take the time to love and appreciate the things in our lives each moment . . . even the things that will be gone the next moment.

viernes, enero 25, 2019

A Ray of Hope

     We are working with a lawyer who specializes in adoption.  This adoption process is a roller coaster, with very high highs and very low lows.  One of the lows was when the lawyer told us that my neurological disorder could really be a hindrance.  That really took the wind out of my sails.  But today, I spoke with someone who has a neurological disorder plus a couple of other health issues, and she found a birth mother in a matter of months. 
     I am more hopeful now, but I'm still trying to guard my heart and not get carried away; it's a very fine line, and it's hard, but I'm glad we're still in the process and still working toward our goal of adoption.  This journey is a long one, and I fight to find joy and balance in it.

jueves, enero 24, 2019

Fighting for Joy

Today, I met with a couple of friends to discuss the merits of reading literature written by people who may not have a Christian worldview.  We remembered that Paul, in Acts 17, showed himself to be familiar with the poets of his day.  I left our time together determined to read something beneficial, written by a well-known and contemporary author whose advice may or may not be Biblical.  When I left our meeting, I ran into the store to get some milk before meeting another friend for lunch.  This lunch friend and I have talked years ago about the benefits of reading literature written by someone who doesn't claim to be a Christian.  It was at this lunch friend's suggestion that I read The Art of Happiness by Gretchen Rubin several years ago.  So it seemed like more than mere coincidence when this book caught my eye.  It seems like it will be about engaging with others, which was yet another reason I felt completely justified, and even very happy, about making the purchase; I had just made plans to go to the movies with my neighbor.  (We're going to see Free Solo, a documentary about a man who free climbs El Capitan.)
     I'm really looking forward to the book, and to learning from what the author says.  She does mention community on the front, and I look forward to gaining insights into how to better invest in the lives of the people God has put in my life.

viernes, enero 04, 2019

A Big Dream for 2019

Mr. M and I have a big dream for 2019.  It is our goal, our consuming desire for the year.  It will be our main focus.  This focus doesn't mean God is in the back seat; our goal, we believe, is an extension of Himself . . . of who He is and what He wants for us.  We are so blessed to have family and friends and neighbors who are supportive of us in our efforts to make this dream our reality.  We are doubly blessed because many of these supportive friends and family also share our faith in God, and acknowledge His sovereignty over all things . . . including our dreams, which may or may not turn into reality despite whatever efforts we may make.  We can only rely on faith, which is, according to Heb. 11:1, "the assurance and certainty of things unseen."  This is an extremely delicate balancing act, as I have to keep in mind that God's will will prevail, and that may mean that this dream may never be our reality.  However, I must hope.  Yet I need to guard my heart, and remind myself that others have pursued this same dream and have had only heartbreak.  Then again, I must think on that which is true, and that is that this same dream has come true for many people-some of whom I know.  And so it goes . . . a cycle of truth and faith and hope.  My head has no idea where to land, and my heart is just along for the ride.  I can only smile at the future, and trust in the God I know.