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Thursday, February 24, 2011

I don't believe in coincidences...

The other day my mom brought over a tub she found in some storage at her house, and inside were a bunch of different things she felt were important to keep for me when I was little. You know, things like old journals from school, pictures, awards, etc. As I went through, I had a blast reading little tidbits from my imagination as a kid, and Jeremy for sure got a kick out of some of the things I had written.

I can remember being in class in elementary school, and the teacher would always start the day off with a random topic for our journal entry. The other night, as I read through each page, it was easy to assume what topic the teacher wrote on the board according to what my entry consisted of. "Describe your favorite ice cream flavor", "Describe your favorite holiday", "What do you plan to do over the summer"...

Then I came to this one:

My heart melted a little bit when I read it. At ten years old, I wrote about adoption. No, the words aren't earth shattering or anything, and sure, whatever topic Mrs. Bell put on the white board that day prompted this little paragraph to come about, but it just goes to show that adoption has always been a part of who I am. In fourth grade, in the midst of make-believe stories, and revealing to my journal what my favorite animals, colors, and foods were at the time, this little paragraph about adoption came out of me.

Call it a coincidence, but I don't believe in those. I believe this is just a little picture to illustrate the bigger story that God is writing about my life. And I feel like with each turn of the page, this story He is writing makes perfect sense.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Let the sunshine in...

"Rather than sighing as you greet the day, listen for the singing that is announcing a change of season. Just as sure as winter arrived in your life, it will pass.  Like the bulbs that have buried beneath the snow, you too will awaken to sound of singing." - Randall Worley

This was a swift kick in the butt for me this morning.  I didn't want to get out bed, in hopes that by pretending to sleep, it might ward off my busy to-do lists for a bit longer.  So I sighed, rolled off the bed, walked myself over to my coffee maker, and grudgingly began my day.  Then I read his blog post.  Then the conviction set in.

So I started over.  I opened the windows and saw how beautiful of a morning it is.  The sun is shining, and my attitude needs to do the same.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ponder this...

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,

though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,

though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my savior.

The Sovereign LORD is my strength;

He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,

He enables me to tread on the heights."

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV


Sunday, February 13, 2011

No more fig leaves...

This weekend was marriage changing for this woman.  One would think after so many years of relationship, and 2 years of marriage, we'd have this thing down-packed.  But we don't.  Don't think we ever will.  But this past weekend we attended our first marriage conference together.  I think for both of us, our eyes were opened to how much our marriage has been under attack, and what we were and were not doing to protect it.  Truth is, we were not doing enough, and I honestly admit that I am afraid of where it would have ended up had we not 1) attended this conference, and 2) opened ourselves up to change in our hearts, minds, ways of communication, our home, and pretty much every other aspect of our life together.

For way too long, (and I'll just speak for myself here), I have let fear and insecurity take over my role as a wife.  And by using the word "role" I'm not referring to any particular surface-level subject - i.e, cleaning, cooking, etc.  I'm referring to the emotional, mental, and physical levels that I had nearly checked out of completely.  Busy schedules helped us forget to make each other priority.  Negative body image caused me to shut him out physically.  Fear of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable with one another pushed us away from coming together spiritually to pray with one another.  Complacency, insecurity, pessimism, resentment and anger made it difficult for us to admit how past mistakes and hurts deeply affected each of us.  All of which is tough to admit, but it is the reality and truth of the stance of where our marriage was.  And the road it was continuing on was not a good one.  The more we fought with each other, the less we fought for one another...and the more we let the devil take over.

I know reading all this makes it sound like we were dealing with a terrible marriage.  But the truth is, we are two normal people who desperately love each other, but needed to take a deep look inside to find the fight that still exists for our love.  Things were coming to a head before this past weekend, but the conference really sealed the deal.  We all deal with these issues in our marriages, and we are only fooling ourselves if we choose to say otherwise.  

I say all that to say that the fight is on.  I've been married to my love for just over two years, but I am more convinced than ever that the real marriage is just beginning.  The best days are yet to come, because I believe in us.  My husband believes in us.  God believes in us.  It is on.

I'm not a fan of super mushy Valentines Day messages, but today I'm not ashamed..and I know he is going to get an RSS feed update about this blog post, and he will be reading this soon, so...

Just to declare: Jerms, I refuse to let the devil get a foot-hold over my love for you anymore.  I am so excited for new beginnings with you, and thankful for the grace you have for me.  You are a wonderful man, husband, and father already, and I believe in you.  Apart from God, you are the number one most important person in my world, and I will fight as hard as it takes to love you completely.  No more fig leaves, I promise.

To everyone else, Happy Valentines Day.  Embrace your loved one, and love hard.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The mundane...

I have been at a loss lately as to what to blog about. It's difficult for me to put together a coherent post when there is so much going on. Sometimes I get discouraged because I feel like I set goals to frequently blog, but run out of things to say, or I run out of exciting news to write about. But the reality is that although busy lately, things have been pretty mundane. I feel like we've been at a stand still with the adoption process, as we are still working on paperwork, saving money, etc; Our schedules seem pretty routine with work, Jeremy going to school, taking care of the house, and the all too familiar day-to-day stuff...But what I've learned is that I completely underestimate the mundane. I have always viewed it negatively, and I've always let it affect me negatively. But I'm starting to see that God does some of His best work in the mundane. I feel like He uses these times to strengthen, teach, prepare, guide, and heal me. And that is way more important than a certain number or exciting, news-packed blog posts.

He has really been dealing with me in areas of insecurity in my life. I mean really dealing with me. In.My.Face. It's affecting our marriage. Controlling my life. Stealing my joy. Allowing room for Satan to attack. The "dealing with it" part is harsh, but oh so worth it. Ultimately it just comes down to who I am in Christ. I have to focus on that. I have to walk confidently in that, and nurture it, so that when I begin to feel that I am

*not good enough
*not smart enough
*lacking or

I can conquer insecurity and be at my best for God, for my husband, my family, my friends, and soon, my children. Because the truth is, as eloquently as Mercy Me puts it:

"Before you ever took a breath
Long before the world began
Of all the wonders He possessed
There was one more precious
Of all the earth and skies above
You're the one He madly loves
Enough to die!"

"You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are made for so much more than all of this,
You're beautiful, You're beautiful
You are treasured, you are sacred, you are His."

I'll take that!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

He is still working...

I wish I could say that I have many things to update about regarding the adoption process, but honestly, nothing much has changed. We are still in the midst of lots of paperwork, answering a TON of questions, and waiting patiently. I have been keeping up with our adoption specialist, and I am pretty sure she is one of the most helpful people I have ever talked to. I will be sitting down with her next week to go over the first portion of our application, just to make sure we are not missing anything, and so she can help clarify some of the confusing elements. Once we submit that part, we will then go on to complete the formal application, which will be done online and hopefully will not take as long since it will be a lot of repeat stuff from this portion. Then it's home study/profile book/fundraising time! I'm thinking that is when it will really begin to sink in and feel like things are moving along.

Without gender or racial/cultural preferences, we have decided to pursue a domestic infant adoption. With this type of adoption, our profile information will be sent out all over the country for expectant parents to view, and God willing, decide for us to be the adoptive parents for their baby. There are so many details that are involved after that, but our hope and prayer is to have an open adoption. We want to know the beautiful soul who selflessly chooses a better life for their child. We want to have the opportunity to be there for them, and give them the opportunity to still be a part of the child's life. We want to acknowledge them for who they are, and the mother and/or father they will always be. We want to raise our child with the knowledge of how they came into this world, and how God brought them to us, and we want to provide the freedom for them to someday find their birthparent(s) if they don't know them already. I know this can be risky, and we are putting ourselves and our hearts out there, but we wouldn't want it any other way. It is important to us and our hopes for our child, and it is a risk we are willing to take.

That's about it for now. Like I said, I wish I could say that much more has taken place, but I have to remember that even in times of waiting, or when it seems like nothing is happening, God is still moving and working. He is still working.