Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Plight of an Orphan

Shivering and cold and no place to call home... That literally is a two way statement because whether they are on the streets abandoned or find themselves in orphanages and foster homes, they are shivering and cold inside and still don't truly have a place to call home. 
Right now, our son we have been working diligently to adopt, seemingly has a home, but he really doesn't. He's another name, another number in the swarm of an international system. 
Every time someone or something grows dear to him, the stark reality is that it's not really his treasure to keep. 

He stands alone, defenseless in a world that doesn't care for him. Sadly he can't even turn to the Church in his tears. He's turned away coldly. 
Imagine a boy, I know him personally, he is begging inwardly to just be heard. For someone to care. 
He and his little sister still have each other but even then they aren't each other's treasures to keep, because this little boy ages out of the system in less than 11 months and he will be torn from his sister. Yes, she will still most likely be adoptable. 

Why cannot God's  people reach out and rescue these children? The millions of sweet ones just like them? Why cannot God's people reach out in support of a rescue mission? Or are we perhaps not Gods people anyway? 
God never lives contrary to His own nature. He rescues, He restores. He mends, heals. He loves, holds, cares. He cares deeply. He cares so much that He willingly died and gave everything to support rescue missions of abandoned children.

Satan had his own wicked plan for the Church. I will quietly slip in and start petty divisions. I will start quarrels among them. I will keep them so busy and deplete them of their energy so that they are too weak to rescue. 
I will subtly bind them in lust until it's all consuming sickness overtakes them. I will support a zeal within them to lay up their own prosperity. As satan deliberately continues his plot he whispers, "I will allow the once in awhile humanitarian within the corridors of Church to reach out in a pompous display and feel good about himself for doing it" but, and with his wicked laugh as he quotes Scripture, "he will have his reward" and he rubs his filthy hands together in glee that it won't be a heavenly one.

Sad...sad...sad...heart wrenching sad..
If we are the Body why aren't our hands reaching? Why aren't we breaking the jaws of the wolf pack and rescuing these sweet and precious lambs from their clutch? Why aren't we gathering these sweet young lambs and holding them in the security and protection of our care? Why aren't our tears falling for them?

 Tears are precious to Jesus. What if we could actually see the hidden power in tears. As they splash unbidden to the ground at our feet and there become a pathway for us to walk, that hidden trail toward rescue? Wow, it's amazing. It takes tears to wash away the scales from our eyes. Yet through the blurred vision of our tears, we actually distinctly see the children to rescue. We see their value and worth to a great big awesome God, their very own Creator. Our tears fall as that magnificent waterfall and there behind it's beautiful cascade, is true treasure~it's where the hidden heart of God is revealed. 

I choose the tears. I choose to turn these precious children's crying into glorious song. Thank you sweet Jesus. 
Many an alter call whether in my own back porch or in an indoor sanctuary, found my heart kneeling before a really big God and giving Him my little "insignificant". His eyes glistening with that unshed father tear gaze and He gave me the gift of Himself. I looked up through my tears to find His precious ones splashing on me, to find that my tears were really His own. Washing me, growing me into more of His image. 

You see, Jesus wants us to have that teary gaze that miraculously pushes out all selfishness, all what people call reality, all the wrong voices, till we see clearly only Jesus. Jesus in the widow, Jesus in the orphan, Jesus in our brother and sister, Jesus in our neighbor, Jesus in the homeless, the alcoholic, the abused, the broken. It never ceases to amaze me that it's always been the overlooked ones who catches that heavenly gaze of Jesus. They don't make it to our in-home bulletin boards and newspapers, but they are splashed all over heaven's headlines. 
Lord, I want to everyday see on the other side of the waterfall. And I need that teary   vision wherein the true nature of Your heart is revealed. 

With all this, I will hasten to say that I am honored to personally see the true bride of Christ~the Church at work, rescuing, being the hands and feet of Christ. And it gives me hope, strength, and courage as it deepens my resolve that truly Christ heartbeat is still here on this earth.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

Lattes or Lullabies

am surrounded by several of my littles. A few are playing with their Lego sets, building.. That's what I do day in and day out. I am a mommy builder. The next generation builder. :) 
One little, our only princess little, is perched up in the overstuffed chair with mommy. :) She has her fuzzy blanket and she's taking in the morning around her. 
My oldest, not so little, has for the past several hours been reading and diving into his Bible and journal. 

These are wonderful years! These years of child raising has been pressing me into Jesus probably more than any years I will ever live! 

Lattes or lullabies...I hope it has sparked your interest, because immediately when the title came to me last week, I was quite eager for the joy to explore it and share it with you!!

I guess you could say that in reality, I have been an explorer of richly cultivated motherhood for the past 16 years. I remember the day I raced outside in delighted joy to share the exciting news with Mike that we are going to have a baby!! I was 22 at the time. Wow, I was young!! ;) ( Now, you do not need to stress over the Math. ;) )

I set out to learn something that I didn't know how to do when I started and that was counter cross stitch! I wanted to make something for my baby. I guess looking back I needed something, you could say, to pour my bursting love into!! 

I would spend my days keeping our home fires burning, daydreaming mommy and baby-hood dreams, taking lunch to where Miked worked. I would come home to our charming little cottage and settle into our recliner with the little bib I was counter-cross stitching. Perfect picture, huh?! ;)

Well, the cottage was charming because we filled it with love and created our atmosphere of coziness. :) And those are sweet years as I look back...

In the hustle and bustle and sometimes overwhelming years of mommy-hood, I could tend to forget how when our eldest was little and couldn't make messes, I would especially scatter his little toys around in the living room. ;) I wanted to experience every aspect of this great calling!!! I wanted to see child-clutter! 
Believe me, that aspect of mommy-hood has become an every single day living reality now!! ;) 
I no longer have to actually try to find a mess, or make a dreamy mess~I have all the messes I will ever need right at my fingertips every day! ;) Now instead, I pour over my DIY charts and try to work on a keeper one for actually living a day in and day out clutter free life! And when I am tempted to believe that will never happen, I keep the vision of beauty and coziness always in front of me. We do experience smooth and clutter free days till along comes something to tip our well balanced scales off kilter. :) ) And then as I am able, I work at setting the scales right again. 

Now over 15 years into my parenting, I am not so threatened at the seemingly "swimming against the tide syndrome" and that is because I have tasted our many years of effort and hard work coming back to bless and strengthen me for the years ahead as we raise every single little one to adulthood and maturity. Our eldest son, has gained a love for beauty. If he is wanting to chill out in a particular room, he will put that room into beauty and order if it needs it before he settles into it. And sometimes he will even tackle the whole living area! And needless to say, but I want to say it anyway, I love it that he's caught what his daddy and I have been trying to instill in him all these years!! A love for neatness and the beauty that surrounds it. Warmth comes from beautiful and neat surroundings. The luscious glow of candles to soft music also adds to the richness of beauty.  

In our normal everyday I seek to establish a love and an eye for beauty in our kiddos... We have our cleanup time, where every one is putting away our clutter i.e. toys, books, a coffee cup, a pair or usually one lonely shoe! ;) After running the vacuum over the carpet and taking a cloth and Meyers over some surfaces and as we finish and settle into our own pursuits and hobbies, I will ask the kiddos which way they like it the most. ;) Can you guess which way they will always choose?!
The "before" with all its chaotic clutter? Or the "after" with its glow of warmth as everything is beautiful and orderly again? They even love taking their own before and after pictures for fun and to enjoy their accomplishment of the room where they are whipping out some cleanup! They've made fast motion pictures of tiding up times and laugh as it looks like we are zooming through the room, grabbing this and that on a very quick run~haha!  ;)

Mike and I have tasted many different seasons together in our parenthood and many times through the years we share our smiles of amusement and remind each other again how we work well together as a team. :) There's been times of loneliness and confusion for us in life. Times of doubt if we're doing life right. Many voices pulling us one way, but it's been born deep within our hearts a pressing pursuit to move the opposite way. Trusting in the assurance that God was indeed pointing us to something beautiful. Something filled with His strength and passion born out of His own heart. Something that actually works.
We learned to turn more to each other and together turning to Jesus, amidst the loneliness, Church confusion, and frustrations.
I would see discouraging moms on fb say they need a "Target fix" and they would leave their "hard" days and browse the stores. 
Sometimes during the stresses of life, I wished I could flee to a Target for awhile but I lived a distance from any department store and really didn't have the money to go anyway. Now as I look back I realize that was one of my greatest blessings in disguise! I stayed home and God would point me to His ability to give me joy filled mommy-hood, even in difficult seasons. The difficulty didn't necessarily stem from my kiddos, but also from other circumstances that if I didn't surrender those moments to Jesus it threatened to steal my joy and it would trickle over into my mommy-hood day. 
So instead of window shopping at Target, I had the honor of gazing upon the little people who depended on me. They depended on me for their food and wellbeing, but also for making playtime dreams come true. We would pack a little basket lunch, brew some iced tea and head off into the wilderness (our own 5 acres of prairie land! ;) But we had so much fun!). ;)
When I tucked them in at night, my mommy heart flooded with joy, pride, and peace and I had no regrets that I couldn't put life on hold for a few hours. I instead was granted the gift of spending those hours with my kiddos!!! 

"Strength and honor are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come." Proverbs 31:25

Fast forward now....;) 
Much has changed in our life in this last year and a half. We've moved clear across the United States on faith, our schedule had been turned upside down, but God has been showing us how to live in His fullness in even that! Even living on the edge of town, and having more activities we're investing in is a big change. Now on the the brink of our life changing yet again, we look ahead to bringing the two children we're adopting home. While we're preparing for and anticipating M and M's arrival, Mike has blessed me with my own little coffee shop quiet time of refreshment. It is so sweet of him. This time to sit in a charming quiet coffee shop; to sip a delicious and comforting drink while writing in my journal or reading my Bible. This time set apart for blogging, all with the backdrop of soft music is a gift I receive. I know he desires me to enjoy it and to look forward to it and I do. 
But the beauty is that this isn't time off that I take while I'm here. It's a gift I'm treasuring from my Mike for this season. And I don't dread when it's time to go home and start my mommy day. I anticipate it and look forward to it! 

"She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all." Proverbs 31:26-29

I never knew that someday right in the middle of my child raising I would get to sit in a coffee shop once every single week and sip whichever flavor of frozen or hot coffee that I want, savoring just me and Jesus. But one thing I do know is I am completely "all in" in my mommy-hood. And even as I relish coming to this quiet getaway, neither my happiness nor my joy depends on it. 

It's quite ironic, but there were seasons where I would have grabbed this opportunity as a lifeline, but instead I grabbed Jesus! 

"Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." Proverbs 31:30

And I have no regrets. I am so delighted that Jesus taught me so lovingly through the years to go to Him to be filled (a time in;)) and not some earthly enjoyment for a time out. 

"Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates." Proverbs 31:31

 And since then, my life has been full. 
Full of joy, full of sweet memories, full of learning to know Him more, full of rich joy-filled mommy-hood, full of love and adoration for my Mike. My Papa God taught me a long time ago that it is neither the things I have nor the things I don't have that will make my joy complete. 
And I'm yearning...for even more of Him. For more rich memorable times with my Mike and our kiddos. And these are yearnings He will continue to fill and yet continue to replace with more of these same yearnings!! He is definitely faithful! :) I love it!! Pastor recently added in his sermon that if we are wanting more of Jesus than that means He's pursuing us~yes!!!

Lattes or lullabies? My latte is delicious this morning. (btw, I am at the coffee shop now!) 😉 But I would always choose the lullabies if I had to choose between them! ;) 

For this season my Mike has whisked me out the door and has given me not a time out,  just a different cozy nook to remain full. :) It's only a different place to continue what I've been doing all these years at our own house~getting up very early to let God fill and nurture my soul in the quietness of His truth. I just get the delight of doing it here at my favorite little coffee shop.
Changing seasons are filled with their own variable beauties. I want to enjoy each one to the fullest. 

Lattes or lullabies.... one blossoms something beautiful, rich and eternal in it's value in a child's life, and the other is just a delicious and simple earthly delight
....and sometimes I share a latte with all my lullabies. 

Happy birthday to our South American son M!! 
Would you consider giving a gift of any amount in celebration of his birthday today?! 
You will see the donate button near the top of this page on the right side.
 Your gift will be used to bring him home!! We also invite you to leave a comment below and we will share it with him on his Skype birthday party this Friday!! 
Oh thank you so much!!!