Monday, July 23, 2012

Joy...

One thing that the past few years that God is teaching me is about finding Joy in the midst of trials. Tears started as I watched the Beth Moore James video. What hit me the most was her clear statement about our anguish morphing into Joy. "The thing that was your heart-ache or horror, becomes the very thing that is so precious we can't imagine Life without it.... Only a redeemer can do that!" Man, that gets me so excited to press on and see what the LORD will do to turn our heart ache and anguish into JOY.
So adoption update- we cleared USCIS! This is the document that states that we are allowed to bring an orphan into our home, and to become a US citizen since they will be our legal kids! no, we still don't have a child matched with us yet, and no, we still don't know when we will travel, or when we can bring them home, but we will take whatever victories the Lord wants to give us! We are just jumping for joy that this cleared. In hind sight, we had nothing to fear, but we were worried that they might not clear us since we have Katie living in our home with us. She grew up in a orphanage in the foothills of the Himalayas, and a folded up paper written in Nepali was the only proof she had of her birth... Getting her the official documents and school registration cards has been a task, but it was all finished just before we went to turn in our paperwork. We had been warned there was a possibility that without more documents on Katie we might not pass. There just really nothing more that we could do but to trust the Lord. I had been lifting up the request that if they were going to need more info on her that we could not get, (it could mean that she would have to get a new place to live) that the Father would take His hand and cover her name so that it would not become a problem for any of us. I feel strongly that He did just that because I really am shocked that we passed so fast! It was less than a month, and they estimated that it would take 2 -3 months, (and this is South Asia!) But the Lord was good and let us not have to worry about it ANYMORE!!!!! All Glory to HIM!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seekers...

It started with feeling sorry for myself. Ryan and I miss some things about America and baseball has to be our "favorite pass time". We spent the first few years of our marriage going to game after game, keeping up on the radio with the ones that we couldn't attend, and knowing all the stats! So this morning was the All Star game on our TV! We were SO EXCITED! It was at 5am, but we brewed our coffee, turned on our living room AC and snuggled up for a fun game. We caught the pregame, teared up at the national anthem, and saw the first pitch. On the second pitch, the cable cut out. Are you kidding me? We waited for a while, and nothing. By 6, I started calling the cable company but no one answered (yeah, I know, if it was me, I would not answer the phone 6am either!) We had some other stuff to do, so we started working on it with a bad attitude about how horrible our life is over here. Then we called my family, complaining about how hard life is- regarding little things- like the cable. Mom told me to go in the other room and talk just us. No husbands. She asked the deep questions that you know in your heart of hearts you LONG for someone to ask, but also greatly fear. You know that dreaded feeling that someone is about to see the gritty and dirty places in your heart. But I was so desperate for someone to care. I am always so afraid they will see the worst and leave and not notice how the Lord is redeeming this selfish heart into one that beats only for Him. So Mom listened and pulled out of me what was really the heart of the issue. Life is hard. There is no way around it. But God is Good. All the time. There is no escaping that either! WOW! That's comforting. But how to find peace in the middle of life's little struggles? As humans we want to be heard and understood, and being in a different culture surrounded by a language my mother never spoke to me is really a challenge some days.

So about the feeling sorry for myself. I moped for a bit and then realized I NEEDED some time with my maker. I went to the piano keyboard and started playing and singing the first thing that popped in my head. "Lord we want to know you, Live our lives to show you, All the love we owe you, we're seekers of your heart. Until we give you first place, until we let you begin- to fill us with your spirit, renew us from within. Nothing matters, nothing's gained. Without your holy presence our lives are lived in vain." Wow. I searched it out in the new Bapt'st hymnal and played it through in that key, and looked at the song on the next page. "We are an offering" Seems so easy right? "We lift our voices, we lift our hands, We lift our lives up to you, we are an offering." Really? I can lift my voice all day. I can raise my hands with the best of them! But this lifting our lives, that's where the challenge lies. And it has to be that HE is in first place. Until then, nothing matters. The last thing on earth I want to do is live in vain. Man, if this gos'pel were not true, I would be living in my perfect house with a picket fence and I would speak only in English, have Tivo, chocolate chip cookies for every meal, and spend my days crafting new things off pinterest. But it IS REAL, and we are called to share that reality with others. To sacrifice our lives for the cause of the gosp'el. That's where we find the true purpose for our lives. Today, still feeling a bit sorry for myself, I felt like I understand a bit of what Paul meant when he said that we are allowed to share in his sufferings. Then I went to Philippians and realized how FAR I have to go to really understand suffering. "I want to know Chri'st and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death." (phil. 3:10) I stopped in my tracks. Like him in his death. wow. And I am mad about a game and a few things that make life hard? My friends, what a blessed savior we serve who understands those deep places in our hearts. Who knows all our faults and our mistakes, and yet, he STILL LOVES US?! That seems like a crazy kind of love to me. And yeah, I am so, SO thankful that this crazy love God, loves me. And that he does consider me worthy to share in the fellowship of his suffering, even in small ways, all for the sake of the gosp'el. So for today, even when I spent a good share of it moping around, I found what I can do to live my life as a offering. To Seek His HEART. Search out what it means to be called HIS OWN. To be intimate with the only one who really understands me. I can't wait to see what that kind of fellowship with him that it holds, and how that can spill out of me so others can see the goodness of the Lord.