Sovereign : a supreme ruler
I say that I serve a sovereign God. I've said that for as long as I can remember. I've always said that God is faithful and good. I've always said that I trust God. Of course I've always wanted God's will for my life....and of course...my whole life is His.
I've said these things for as long as I can remember...and I thought that I really believed them. However, when my life would hit a bump in the road, I had a hard time recovering or getting over it. I questioned God, doubted Him, and I took steps away from Him. I'm learning that it's so easy for me to say these things....it's another thing to live them. I'm so thankful for God's grace! I've had so much unbelief, pride and so many other things in my heart. Yet, He still loves me and is teaching me.
Over the past year, our family has hit some major bumps in the road. When I look at what other people are going through it feels lame to say that, but, to us they have been some hard things to get through. But I think I'm finally learning what James 1 really means when it says to "count it all joy when you face trials of many kinds....". I don't ask for trials and I would never have asked for the ones we're going through, but I wouldn't go back and change anything if I could.
We are in the middle of adopting two beautiful children. We are so in love with them. I cannot wait to finally be with them. The waiting has been so hard at times. I've wanted to and at times have tried to make things happen on my own. I had a plan. I've since learned....God has THE plan....and it's perfect. I've recognized that I really have NO idea what lies ahead. I can plan all I want...but, ultimately...God is SOVEREIGN...and I'm so glad.
We were told a few months ago that someone was trying to stop adoptions where our children are. I was crushed and devastated. But, God has been so gracious and has met me where I am and has been growing my faith and trust in Him. I don't think I've ever had real, deep faith. I still don't, but, I know it's a lot deeper than it's ever been. I've had to learn to rest in Him. I've had to cling to His promises. I used to say, "all I can do is pray....". Now I'm seeing that all I NEED to do is pray!
We got some news a week and a half ago that was wonderful, but totally overwhelming. My immediate response was "God...NO!....You've got to be kidding me!". I guess I have some growing left to do. :) However, we have grown so excited about it! I realized instantly that I had written in my journal..."Lord, I want to live in a way that I'm absolutely desperate for you every single day". He answers prayers!
This weekend we were on our way to Georgia and got about 3 hours form home and 2 hours from our destination when our car broke down. We were on the side of the road for several hours and then sat at a McD's for several more hours. Usually I would have been mad and frustrated....and even though it was no one's fault...I would have found someone to direct it at! But I didn't realize until later that we had such a good time! It was hot and boring, but we were all joyful and good family time together. On our ride home Ethan said , "Mama...when do you think we'll find out why our car broke down?" I said we'd have to wait until the shop called us to tell us. He said, "No....I mean....like if God has a reason for it?". I was so thankful for the reminder. God is sovereign over everything.
A few days ago, we were hit with some bad news....the overwhelming yet wonderful news we'd received a week earlier....well, we were told that may not come to fruition. Again...I was devastated. I have been grieving these past few days....yet things are still up in the air so I've struggled with how to feel, think, and pray. I finally started praying for God to work a miracle. I know He is able. However, if he chooses to take this away, I trust Him. I trust that He is sovereign and He has a perfect will. This past few days I have felt God like never before. I have come to know things about God that I used to only know in my head. In my grieving, I have felt His presence comforting me in such a sweet way. It's unexplainable. I've really had a peace that surpasses all understanding. He has been so good to me! I feel my faith growing deeper. I don't understand His ways. Sometimes His will is not easy or what we would have chosen! Sometimes it's hard to pray for His will to be done....because I know it might really hurt! Will I say, like Job, "...the Lord gives and the Lord has taken away. BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD"? I hope that...by His grace I can say that. Trusting that He really, truly is sovereign. That He loves me deeply and His will is best. I'm learning that the best place to be in these times is in His presence, at His feet, as close to Him as I can get. He is Good!
It's been such a roller coaster of emotions. Today we got some exciting news about our adoption. Our case should be signed off on next week! So, it seems like forever, but, it really may only be a few more months til they are home! We cannot wait!
I just want to have childlike faith. I want to walk this road under the arm of my father. Knowing that He is protecting, leading, and loving me. I need only to lean on Him...to keep in step with Him...to love Him with everything I have. He will carry me through deep waters and raging fires. So thankful for His grace!
Holy, you are still holy
even when the darkness surrounds my life.
Sovereign, you are still sovereign
even when confusion has blinded my eyes.
Lord I don't deserve your kind affection
When my unbelief has kept me from your touch.
I want my life to be a pure reflection of you love.
And so I come into your chambers and I dance at your feet Lord.
You are my savior and I'm at your mercy.
All that has been in my life until now....belongs to you.
For you are still holy.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Chad has been taking the boys out for one on one time periodically. They absolutely LOVE it! I love it too. Chad is such a great daddy. He really enjoys the time with them and tries to make the most of it. They've been going fishing, but, tonight Ethan wanted to hike up to Look Rock. So, they took a picnic and headed up there. Ethan was beaming when they came back. I think that time really means a lot to him. I like it because it also gives me one on one time with them. Tonight Luke and I played "Bonopoly" for about an hour and a half! He's so sweet and just loves to have you all to himself. Here are some pics from Chad and Ethan's trip (Ethan was very proud of the fact that he took many of these pictures). :)
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Our Both Hands Project was yesterday, August 6th. It was so amazing! A whole group of people, some of whom we had never met, came out and spent the whole day working VERY hard! This was very hard work! We tore down and built a new deck, cut down a huge tree that was rotting, pressure washed, landscaped flower beds, etc. Two volunteers took an unexpected trip to Home Depot and came back with beautiful flowers, shrubs, and mulch that we would not have been able to afford. They got a lot of it donated, but, used their money on the rest. Our friends who are working so hard to get ready to go on the mission field came and spent the day working too....their whole family! Our family was awesome! My uncle was in charge of the deck. He put in a lot of money so that we could build her a nice deck. He also put in a lot of sweat and hard work. Our moms and my sister in law worked hard too.
It was so neat! All of these people working hard...JOYFULLY...for our kids! It was such a wonderful picture of how the church should be. I'm so touched and challenged!
This really was a day of living out James 1:27...pure religion is caring for the widow and the orphan. Thank you so much to everyone who helped and to everyone who is sponsoring our volunteers! We pray that you are blessed abundantly!
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
I'm going to be holding mini-sessions all day long to raise money for our adoption! There is no fee...I'm just asking for a donation. The amount is up to you! You can choose from downtown Maryville or the greenbelt near the courthouse. Sessions will be 30 minutes and a maximum of 5 people (I am flexible on that if a family has more than 5). The number of sessions will be limited, so sign up soon!
Includes cd of at least 10 images with permission to print.