Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas

Been thinking about Christmas lately... not too surprisingly as it is only a few days away.

Arnie and I decided we weren't going to do presents again this year for a couple of reasons...

1. We hate that Christmas has become about shopping, spending, buying, wasting and expectation.

2. After the fiasco with canada revenue and our adoption tax reversal/you need your child in your arms before you can claim adoption expenses ...so give us all the money back NOW... we have been on a savings/budget crack down, therefore leaving no room for spending on each other.

3. We'd rather buy something nice for our child. Every time I want to buy something, I think, "I'd rather buy something for our child instead of myself."

But the other day as I went to pick up a gift (not for Christmas) for a friend from lululemon, I felt myself starting to feel sorry for myself that I would not get a present this year. I wallowed in it for a few hours, asking Arnie if maybe he would want to get me just one present... whining to friends, etc. Then it hit me, I was disgusted with myself, how could I let one little sweater occupy so much of my time, emotions and energy. Sick. And again I am reminded what Christmas really is. I started thinking and praying and listening. I have already received the best gift I could ever need or want... and I received it long ago, before I was born, even before I was conceived. My sweet Jesus, he was born... on Christmas... just for me. He came to earth so I didn't have to suffer eternal separation from my creator, he came to save my life! And just because he loves me. And here I am pouting about a rag of cloth. Sick.

So this year I am asking for nothing and I'll put it out there... I'm not even asking for a phone call. I ask every other day of the year for that... so no asking on Jesus's birthday. It's not about me, it's not about our sweet child waiting, it's not about any of that. It's all about my Saviour. And I want to keep it that way. Of course I want the phone to ring, but honestly Christmas makes no difference to me, I want my child just as badly today as I will on Christmas day as I will come the New Year and so on... My heart's desire does not change because of the season, it is a steady, strong longing. So Christmas will not be about me and my pleading and begging. I resign. It's time to worship my King and surrender everything to the one who made me and saved me. He is my Christmas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Honesty is the best policy

So for some reason after I have a really good day (the last post), it seems to be followed by a week of really bad days.
I'm going to be honest, this has been a really hard week so far. It's not anyone's fault but my own, but for some reason I have felt just at my end for the past couple days.
Today I had decided I didn't want to get out of bed, until my sister texted me to go to the Bay with her... I told her I was trying to be depressed in bed, but I agreed to go. I am thankful she made me get up, I think it would have done way more harm to try and stay in bed.
I don't want to feel this way, I want to have my hope and trust back. I keep praying that all this would just go away, but alas here I sit.
I read once, "The quickest way to the sunrise is to run straight through the darkness." I suppose that is me right now.
I am also sick of calling my husband and telling him I am having a bad day, I know he is sick of hearing it. I want to tell him that today is great and that I am doing well, but for the past few days I could not say that.
I feel bad but I have hard time being around other babies. I refused to hold one the other day because my heart just couldn't take it. I was offered to hold this newborn baby, and I had to say no. I had to protect myself. I just couldn't bare to hold the baby and look at them and think, I will never have this. It is just a torture that I needed to avoid. I hope I didn't come off as rude, but sometimes people just can't understand the pain that this process puts one through. It's not the babies fault and had that baby not had 20 other arms to hold it, I would have said yes. But that child did not need me to hold it, so I think I was better off to just say no.
I hope this passes.... and I hesitate to even post this as I do not want a pity party. I'd rather hide my feelings, but I want to remember the hard time too. In years from now when I read through this blog, I need to remember just how hard it was. I want to be victorious through this process, but I can't be victorious if this time wasn't hard. I would just be normal... and this process is anything but normal.
So, here I go today, hoping and praying for victory... trading this day in for one that is full of hope, joy and trust. Praying for this burden to be ....
The door bell just rang, a friend dropped off a gift certificate to tell us thank-you for the help we gave him. Wow, I guess God is listening. We have been trying to save back the money the government had to take back from us and we decided we couldn't afford to do anything for a while... well I guess God decided we needed a date night!!
Random but so needed....
Anyways, time to restart today.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hope, Trust, Wait

Waiting is hard. Waiting for the weekend, waiting for Christmas, waiting for work to be over, waiting in line, waiting for food, waiting for mail, waiting on the phone.

I feel like I have experienced a whole new definition of waiting. Waiting to be matched with my child, waiting for that one particular phone call, waiting to travel to Ethiopia, waiting to decorate a room, waiting to fill a closet and toy chest, waiting to care for, nurture, love, waiting for God to fill my arms.

I've struggled, oh have I struggled. I've longed, I've cried, I've given up, I've prayed, I've called upon God.

But,
I have also loved, I have worked hard, I have trusted,  I have laughed,  I have found joy, I have had hope.

And these things are what have made it worth it.

At times I loose my focus, I cry out, I shout that this isn't fair, I throw tantrums.

And then other times, I look Jesus in the eyes and know and trust and have faith that he has it all under control.

I wish I could say I've waited in perfect patience, joy, peace, but I haven't. I'll be honest, I've had my share of groaning and complaining. Just like the Israelites, God saw the end but they couldn't see past their hungry stomachs. God saw the promised land, but they couldn't see past the sand at their feet.

But,
I can say that by God's grace, I have overcame and will continue to overcome these moments of pain, grumbling and complaining. They become less when I surrender. I have traded them in for joy, for trust, for hope. And I will continue to trade them in. My children deserve a Mother and a Father who are filled with joy, who are filled with hope for their future, who are filled with nothing but love.

My children are waiting, we are waiting, God is waiting to fulfil his promises. Waiting is hard. But it doesn't have to be.

As surely as the rain will fall, my children will come home.
How do I know this? Cause God told me so. There are no if, ands or buts about it. They are coming.


but those who HOPE in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
but those who TRUST in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.


but they who WAIT for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Releasing the Reigns

Monday, October 24, 2011

Things I loved about today...

-walking to Starbucks in the morning with my sister and mother-in-law, my two nephews and one foster niece (beautiful day for a chilly fall walk!)

-taking my two puppies to play in the school field with my husband, we ran in all the leaves...wish I had my camera!!

-going to a rich ladies house to buy her son's old clothes (I found her on kijiji, and yes I have started to buy up some older boy clothes!!) I scored some beautiful Hilfiger winter coats, Dr. Suess converse that her sons just didn't have the chance to wear and some other really cute items! I may be jumping the gun, but a boy is pretty much guaranteed as I was informed on my phone call with MoT last week!!!! LOVE IT!!!!

-Getting my butt whooped at boot camp with my sister... actually the feeling after the workout I should say...I can't say I love the feeling of working out, but I do love the good feeling after the fact!

-Lounging in a hot bath after said butt whooping, eating popcorn and drinking a blood orange San Pellegrino. Yup that's right, I love to eat after I work out!!

-and now I look forward to an evening with my husband and my furbabies!

-Oh and I also LOVE this:

Psalm 113
Hallelujah! You who serve God, praise God!
Just to speak his name is praise! Just to remember God is a blessing-now and tomorrow and always.
From east to west, from dawn to dusk,
keep lifting all your praises to God!

God is higher than anything and anyone,
outshining everything you can see in the skies.
Who can compare with God, our God,
so majestically enthroned,
Surveying his magnificent heavens and earth?
He picks up the poor from the dirt,
rescues the wretched who've been thrown out with the trash,
Seats them among the honored guests,
a place honor among the brightest and best.
He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children!!!!!!
HALLELUJAH!!!!!

One last thing I love about today:

-that the creator of the universe loves my child more than I do

And just in case you missed that last part:

He gives childless couples a family,
gives JOY as the parents of children!!!

That is the best!

And just for fun some photos I uploaded today that I love:

Grandparents


Kids
Nephews, nieces and friends at Arnie's 30th birthday, lined up watching Veggie Tales...looking so innocent...only moments before the basement was destroyed and 5 fights had broken out!


Dogs (who act like babies!!)


Oh man he is funny!!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Our single bucket list

Yesterday I was thinking of ways to distract myself as we wait for the call. I decided that we should make a  "bucket" list of things we want to do before we have kids. When I told Arnie he said, "I've already done everything I want before having kids." This is true, we have done many, many big things in life already but I was thinking more of a "last chance" type of list. So I need some help, from all you moms out there, what should I add to my list??

A few of my thoughts:
-a weekend away to the mountains
-sleep in on the weekends
-go on a couple dates to our favorite restaurants
-finish all renos on the house

I know nothing can ever be better then having a family, but I'd like to focus on what I do have and can do now. I am so thankful for my husband (who turned 30 yesterday!!!!!) and I'd like to make the most of the single time we have now before it is gone (hopefully soon:)).

I know we have not wasted our time while we have been waiting and I am so happy for the things we have done together just as a married couple without kids. So I think it is important that I celebrate the accomplishments we have made together and the fun things God has allowed us to do together!

Our finished single bucket list:
-became a nurse, finished 2 years of school
-were youth leaders
-moved into our own home
-had 13 different renters in our home
-raised 4 puppies together (2 who passed away)
-held each other's hands through a family member's death
-celebrated one sister and two brother's weddings
-renovated 3 bathrooms, 2 bedrooms, one deck, one living room and dining room, and one backyard
-visited Arnie's family in Hungary
-travelled to Costa Rica, Mexico, Cuba, all over Canada and Hungary
-lead a mission's trip to Costa Rica to build a playground
-worked in an orphanage together
-loved on 3 nephews and 4 nieces
-celebrated 5 anniversaries, 5 birthdays and 5 christmases
-paid off our debts
-saved money to stay in Ethiopia for as long as it takes to bring our child home
-Co-managed a winter warming centre for homeless in Edmonton
-Arnie keeping his job for 11 years
-finished our family "banking plan"

As I write this list, I am again so thankful for all the things God has allowed us to do and has given us the resources to do.

OK, one last list:

Our bucket list:
-adopt from Ethiopia

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The table my husband built

This is the table my husband built! I love it! It can seat up to 12 people (a little squishy). He finished the other day, just in time for Thanksgiving. This is the first wood item he has built, and I was so impressed at how well it turned out! We saw one like it at Restoration Hardware and he just copied it from a picture. We did order the chairs from there as we thought that they might be a little too much work!



The other day I laughed a little when I realized that we just put in a huge table and ten chairs...when only two of us live in our house. We didn't even think twice about the fact that we needed a huge table, it only occurred to me after the fact that some may come in our house and think that it was odd or maybe unnecessary. You see our house has become a little bit of a community house. Once a week we have a family dinner where our whole family comes as well as whoever else would like to join. We often have neighbours over or friends as well as the family. At least once a week our house is bursting at the seams. And I love it!


Family dinners aside, our house often collects a few people here or there for games, dinners or bible studies. Arnie and I have created an open door policy. Since day one of living in our house (over five years ago) we decided that we wanted our house to be made for family. Anyone who comes in is welcome to use whatever they want, drink and eat whatever they want and stay however long they want. You may think this is strange, but we love it. You may think we would never have time alone, but we still have plenty. You may think we would get sick of people (and yes we have had our moments) but we still enjoy their company. Maybe because this was never our house, it was always God's house and will continue to be. One day I came home to Arnie and one of our old roommates, painting something above the top of our main entrance door. It says, "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations." Our desire is that our house would be a home and anyone who steps in the door would feel a part of our family, no matter who you are or where you come from. 
And that is why I love this table. It is so much more than a table to me, it represents our hearts and our desires... and let's just say there is enough room for an Ethiopian baby or two!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Joy

I went to a women's retreat this weekend. During the weekend my friend wrote me a quick note, and this verse was on it!!

"May he give you the desire of your heart, and make all your plans succeed.

We will SHOUT FOR JOY when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.

May the Lord grant ALL YOUR REQUESTS!!"

Psalm 20: 4-5


I love this!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Ethiopian New Years

On Sunday Arnie and I went out to celebrate Ethiopian New Years.


Technically the holiday is on the monday, but we were told that the Canadian Ethiopian's were celebrating on Sunday because everyone has to work on Monday. We decided to go to the same restaurant we went to for Christmas. We love this place! It looks like it is built in a trailor with a mobile home type addition.


It is mostly Ethiopian's who go to this restaurant as it is located close to the Ethiopian community. Our sweet waitress barely spoke english. We had a chance to get to know the family who own the restaurant a little bit and got to talking about our adoption. We found out the couple is Christian and has family living in Addis. The lady told us that when we get our referral that she would be honored to do a coffee ceremony for us. She also said that when we do go to Ethiopia that she will call her family and arrange for them to meet up with us and show us around!


We are going to keep going to this restaurant often as we would love to keep building a relationship with this family. I thought about our child all night and how I wished they were with us... We knew we needed to celebrate this holiday and continue to find out more about Ethiopian culture even though our child is not with us yet. I look forward to the day we can bring our child to this restaurant, I hope they will feel at home there and that they will be able to meet some friends.... Now if only that phone would just ring!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

HOME

We made it home from Hungary. 24 hours of travelling and I was starting to see double. I don't think I have mentioned this before, but can I just tell you how thankful I am for my bed... I got in my bed curled up and thought, I have never been so comfortable in all of my life!

I am happy to be home. Although I loved Hungary and meeting my family, there is just something about being home. I can speak and others understand me. I can go to the grocery store and know exactly what everything is. I can cook. I can clean. The air is cool and my bed is warm. I can see my family and friends again. I can order coffee. I can pick my garden. I can walk down the street and not get lost (and even if I do I can ask for directions).

I am so thankful for all God has given me. Coming home I have been wondering why it is that I get to have what I do. Why was I born in Canada? Why was I not born into poverty? I dont have answers for this... but I know that I do not deserve what I do have. I thank God, but also wonder if maybe someone else should have what I have. I do plan on giving what I have to my Ethiopian children, but somehow I still feel undeserving of all the blessing I have.

And again... I am just so happy to be home!


My husband on the other hand, could live this life forever!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bringing the black into Csanad!


This is Noami with the black doll I brought her from Canada. Since I have seen only 2 black people in Hungary (and that was in Budapest) I thought I needed to start introducing black people into Csanad. It may seem small but honestly I have noticed a lot of comments about this doll. Surprisingly they have been good comments! They think she is cute or pretty and are shocked to see a black doll. I think this is a good way to start before actually bringing our child here. People can have time to see that this is a doll just the same as all the white ones, just a different color. I was excited to bring the doll and I am glad I did! Next time I hope it will be our child!



Thursday, August 11, 2011

From Hungary

Well we arrived in Hungary over a week ago and the time has flown by. We are living with close cousins while we are here for the month in Csanad, Hungary. So far, I am really enjoying my time. It is a lot different then home, but I expected that!

Csanad is a small town about 2 hours out of Budapest. Mom and Pops both are from this town. They are the only ones in the family who have ever moved away from Csanad. This means that I am related to about half of the town! We have never ending lunch and dinner invites, it has been really great to meet everyone.

We have loved staying with our cousins Gabi and his wife Eronca. Arnie and Gabi have been inseparable since we got here. It is so funny to see them together, they are so similar it is hard to believe they don't live in the same country. My husband is pretty much 100% Hungarian here, he speaks just like them and they keep saying he almost speaks better Hungarian then Pops. I don't think I realized just how Hungarian my husband is, he is right in the middle of everything. He goes with Gabi everyday to pick weeds and feed the animals and acts as if he has lived here his whole life. He even sometimes tells me to stop being so Canadian...not sure how to do that!! Today he started talking about building a house here that we could come to every year...I'm not so sure I will agree to this. However, it makes me so happy to see him in his element. He loves being here and has had so many meaningful conversations with all of his family, I've enjoyed just watching him be Hungarian!

The one thing about our family here is that they are all Nazarine. Their church is very strict and has a ton of rules. Arnie has had so many talks with the cousins our age about their traditions and rules. He has provoked a lot of thought and some of the guys are taking seriously the things he is speaking about. I did go to church on Sunday, but I did not wear a head covering and I snuck into the balcony and sat beside Arnie for half of the service. I haven't decided if I will go back or not. The only good thing that came of it was when Arnie started to speak up a few of his cousins when we were out in the courtyard. Mostly, they are not sure what to make of anything that comes from Arnie's mouth...but I think he has encouraged some beginning of thought.

Besides church, we have had a great time meeting everyone. Life here is great. Slow. Laid back. I can breath. oh and my phone is not here...

A wagon ride pulled by Gabi's horse


Soccer, some how we are related to all these guys!

I will post more pictures later, it just takes a long time. We have about two and half weeks left. I thought the time would go so slow. I honestly did not know what we would do for an entire month, but I can see now that this month will be gone before I even know it!! But I know we will be back, my husband is pretty much full Hungarian now so he will need to come home more often haha!!




Saturday, July 30, 2011

Away We Go

We are off to Hungary on monday! Arnie's family is from Hungary, in fact only his parents live in Canada, the rest of the extended family all live in Hungary. Arnie's grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, all live in a small village in the middle of Hungary. Seeing as we have been married over five years already, we realized that it was finally time to go and visit the rest of his family. We had been putting this trip off because we thought that the adoption would have gone through a lot sooner. I had originally wanted to go either on the way to Ethiopia or on the way back. I thought I could save some money flying to Europe then straight over to Africa and do two trips in one...but the time is here and we are doing the trip without Ethiopia. I am a little sad about that, but maybe this will be better in the end.

Arnie's family all go to a Nazarene church, which has a very strict doctrine. To give you an idea: the women sit on one side and the men on the other, also the women still have to wear head coverings! I am not too fond of this idea as I do not believe in this theology, but never the less... I will have agreed to don the lacy head covering! ( No, I will not take pictures!!) Because of this "serious" theology, his family is very strict and has a lot of "funny" ideas, like if you are infertile, you must be sinning. Arnie has been preparing me for this, but I am just praying that no one actually says it to my face...I think  I would not react well to that! He said that they mean well, but have been taught some things that don't really stash up. I was a little hurt to know that I am being judged before they have even met me, but I also have had time to forgive them and prepare for this before I get there. I am just praying that they can see through the lies and see who I really am.

Despite these things, I am looking forward to finally going to Hungary. My husband spent many childhood summers in this small village and he loves it. I feel like I will get to discover a little more about him and a little more about my family. I look forward to the simple country life, harvesting concord grapes, swimming in the river, riding bikes to get ice cream and playing with all the children!

So, this means if for some miraculous reason, we get the call, our sister will be answering the phone for us. The plan is that the agency will call her first, then she will get a hold of us in Hungary. I'm going to try and not think about the adoption while I am in Hungary because I want to be fully present and enjoy every minute of this trip. I am planning to take a little vacation from the adoption while I am away. I think it will be good to try and forget about it all...even for a little while.

Oh and I don't have to work for a month!!! YEY!!

I will try to post a few pics from Hungary, but I am not sure how the internet and all that will work yet...so we will see!!!

Have a good month and if I can't post, I'll be back in September!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Missing him

My husband went fishing in BC this last weekend. He left thursday and will finally be home tomorrow. I didn't realize how needy I actually am until he left. Man it sure sucks to be the one left at home! I had to work all weekend and have been painting a friend's house, but the nights....so lonely in my bed. If anything though, I appreciate Arnie a little more today, he really is the love of my life! I just couldn't imagine anyone better, he is the best husband I could ever ask for! ( well he was until he left me to go fishing!!)


Part of what makes this adoption process so hard, is seeing my husband wait for his children. As much as I want this, he is right beside me waiting, longing and hoping for his children too. He will be the best dad one day....kids love him and are always drawn to him. When we were running the winter warming at mosaic, he had a bunch of kids who would come in everyday looking for him. I would watch him with the kids, he would get into their world and treat them like they were truly precious to him. I would show up sometimes and the kids would come through the front door screaming, "Where's Arnie??!!". It is so beautiful, but so hard, cause I want our children for him. If it could just be one of us waiting...I would wait, watching him being a dad would be enough for me. But here we are, together, hand in hand, waiting... and it's ok. It's the best to have him beside me, we are closer then most people will get a chance to be because of this. We will be stronger then most people will get to be, and when the time arrives, we will be overflowing with joy...together.



You can come home now!!!!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Pain and Healing

The other night my brother went to a healing service. Now before I get too far I want you to know that I believe God heals, I believe that when He says we can heal in Jesus name that we can... that said this healing service was more of the "Health and Wealth" type. They claim that if we proclaim it with our mouths that it will either curse or heal us. So you are supposed to speak health and wealth type statements over yourself and then it will happen. They say that God desires for us all the be in perfect health and that we would not struggle with money. I have a hard time with this for a number of reasons.

First:
John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

Second:
Matthew 5:11

"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me."

Third:
God did not promise this world would be perfect, in fact he told us it would be full of trouble and hardships! Not that He wants us to be sick and poor....and not that the state of the world does not break his heart. The point is that heaven is perfect...

Bit of a side rant: I can't answer why children die or starve to death or why hideous, awful, things happen to innocent people, but I do believe that God has given us the tools to make a difference. If North America did not consume 80% of the world's goods, starvation would not exist. Sometimes I think we go ahead destroying this world, then when it falls apart we blame God, instead of ourselves.

When I think of my situation, I think of the pain I have been through with infertility and this never ending adoption process....I wouldn't take it back. Sometimes I think God allows us to through these troubles so that we find Him. Not that He is cruel but that He knows in the end it will all be perfect. Healing is for His glory, miracles are for His glory, not ours. I have cried out so many times that God would heal me or bring my children. He has not. And that is ok. Because I have felt Him, He has been beside me, He has not abandoned me. There are days when the pain of waiting is so deep that the only thing that will help me is God's peace. There is absolutely nothing in this world that will help, believe me I have tried! This world will only let me down...but Jesus, oh my Jesus, He just knows. It's not that I want to keep waiting, but when I look back over the past years, my relationship would not be what it is; therefore my pain has brought glory to God. So it is ok. It's ok to be hurt, and it's ok to feel pain.

Cause one day we will rise out of these ashes, we will be with our Jesus and then and only then it will be perfect.

John 14:18 "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
He will not leave us in pain and suffering, He will come to us! He may not heal us or make us rich...but we are healed in His presence and rich in His love.

And if we think Jesus does not know what it means to suffer in this world...


Isaiah 53

 1 Who has believed our message
   and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
   and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
   nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. 
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
   a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
   he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.

 4 Surely he took up our pain
   and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
   stricken by him, and afflicted. 
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed. 
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
   each of us has turned to our own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
   the iniquity of us all.

 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
   and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth. 
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away.
   Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
   for the transgression of my people he was punished.

9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
   and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
   nor was any deceit in his mouth.

 10 Yet it was the LORD’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer,
   and though the LORD makes 
his life an offering for sin,
he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
   and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. 
11 After he has suffered,
   he will see the light of life 
and be satisfied;
by his knowledge
 my righteous servant will justify many,
   and he will bear their iniquities. 
12 Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,
   and he will divide the spoils with the strong,

because he poured out his life unto death,
   and was numbered with the transgressors.
For he bore the sin of many,
   and made intercession for the transgressors.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wait

A word that has been on my heart for at least two years. About two years ago our agency went bankrupt, during this time I was given a song, the word WAIT was heavy on me. I felt God saying, "Wait for me". I had a choice facing me, either I would listen and wait or I would try and fight for my own way.

Two years later that same word is in my mind. WAIT. Only it holds more meaning now. I have waited and therefore know what it means to wait, but I still have far to go to really learn what it fully means. To me it means: listen, watch and hope. Listen to what God is saying, follow where He leads and wait for his voice. Watch for God, watch and see what He will do and watch how He will turn all things to His glory. Wait with hope, never give up, do not try to take over, but always hope for what is to come.

Although this word is a hard one for me and it is one I often am sick of hearing,  I think when you truly dig into it, there is so much to be learned.

I mirror my situation with that of waiting for heaven. I am not responsible for the date I will arrive in heaven, I am not even responsible for what I will do after I am in heaven, but I am responsible on how I will wait for heaven. Will I waste my time or will I make the most of it? Will I keep my focus on earth or will I focus on eternity? You see I will never be done waiting while I am on this planet. I will continue to wait for God until the day He calls me home.

So when I think about this, I know I still have so much to learn.

It doesn't mean I don't desire my children, it means that I focus on Jesus while He desires them with me. It means I wait for His timing, and His plan. It means I wait with hope and faith as He slowly reveals His plan in this whole story.

Taken from our hike this weekend

Monday, July 4, 2011

Camping in the middle of nowhere

This weekend our family decided to pack up and go camping. We grabbed our tents, sleeping bags and some food and headed to Rock Lake, north of Hinton. We knew it would be more of a roughing it camp out but we did not realize how far out it actually was! We had to drive down a windy gravel road for about an hour to finally get to our camp ground. When we got there the water pump was not working, we realized we only had water for a day and that we forgot our propane tank for the stove. We cooked over the fire that night and rationed our water until saturday. Although I don't think we will go back to that campground, we had a great time. The only thing better would have been a couple of black babies along with us :)




We are learning patience every day. Every day when I wake up I have to go to God to ask for endurance for the day. Just enough until tomorrow. Just enough to make it through the day in front of me. And He is faithful. I don't always have joy in the waiting, but there are times when I am reminded that there is no better day then today. I think of the blessings in my life and muster up enough strength to carry on.





One day our day will come, it will be perfect, better then expected and more than we could imagine.



Then I'll go camping again.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Home again

Dad and I at the beach
I am home from Ontario, it was a good and exhausting trip. I enjoyed time with family and some old friends too. These trips are always bitter-sweet. I love seeing my family but after only 5 short days I had to say goodbye for another year. And of course it is never easy to attend a funeral of a friend.

Aunt Lois and I



But I am home now. I missed my husband way too much, so when I saw him at the airport I had to stop myself from crying in front of everyone.

My cute nephew Adan with a giant marshmellow!

As far as adoption news, we have seen some referrals being given which is always good news...but as far as us, I'm afraid we just wait...and when we are done doing that, we wait a little longer. Some days can get extremely discouraging, thoughts of not being good enough to be chosen or we are only getting older, can take over. I am trying though, trying to see the good, trying to find God...but sometimes I just feel beat up.

It's embarrassing to go back home and have nothing to tell my anxious family and friends, it's heartbreaking to make another trip to the cottage alone. I always say, "next year will be the year" and then next year comes and it is not it.

I don't want to have a pity party so I will stop, please remember us in your prayers and continue to pray for our children. Please pray for all their documents to come in quickly as it is possible that we are matched but don't know it because our children's documents are not all together.

My sweet niece Brooky (5)

My beautiful sister Emily and Adan

My step niece, Layla (7)

The three little ladies, Layla, Jenna (5), and Brooky



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My Beautiful Ladies


These are some of the best women that I know. These women and a few not in the picture, a couple who are my die hard work out buddies and a few that live a province away. They are beautiful inside and out. These are the women that I am blessed to share my life with. I am truly a better person because I know them. I often thank God that he has blessed me with such a wonderful community. I have an amazing family and I have some great friends to go through life with. I am so richly blessed because of this. I may have to wait for children and feel a lot of sorrow and pain, but my life is not without blessings. I could fill a book with the good things that God has given to me.
But today I am thankful for this picture.
I am thankful that these women pray for me and I am thankful that they trust me enough to allow me to do the same for them. 
I am grateful that I do not need to hide from them. There is nothing that is too ugly for them to help me through.
And I am so thankful to have friends who make me laugh and bring joy to my life.
Right before this picture was taken all our kids and dogs tried to be in the picture. We shooed them all away, they were standing to the side waiting for us. I am glad that they allow me to love their children and that they love my measly little dogs.
Don't ever take for granted those who God puts in your life!!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Training

Tomorrow I start training on my new job. I will be working at the Grey Nuns hospital on Unit 52, medicine/stroke unit. I am very happy and I feel so blessed to be chosen for this job...but honestly, I am completely stressed out. I always do this when I start new jobs, I did it all through school with every practicum....the night before I start I have a melt down. I am holding it together pretty decently but inside I just have so much anxiety. I try to talk myself out of it, but for some reason I am still scared. I haven't worked in the hospital for a year now so I feel like I have forgotten a lot. I know it'll all come back quickly but who wants to be that nurse, standing there looking like an idiot.

Anyways I will not vent too much... hopefully I won't be there too long :) and when I finally get to take my parental leave, I will have a good part-time job to go back to.

That and no more being chased down to my car... or pizza being thrown at me... or knives being pulled... or being sworn at because I can't prescribe narcotics... but those things still make me laugh a little. I will have lots of stories for the rest of my life.... oh and probably no more dressing changes on kitties :(

Sunday, June 5, 2011

God is more than

God is more than the pain of losing Julia.

God is more than the loss of an unborn baby's life.

God is more than quitting my job.

God is more than the stress of starting a new one.

God is more than waiting.

God is more than my never ending cold.

God is more.

He was before the beginning and he is after the end.  He is first and he is last.

He is greater, bigger, larger, more than.

Thank goodness for this 'cause I was just about a mess.

Friday, June 3, 2011

missing you

I lost my grade school and high school best friend this week. She was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was 8 months old. If you don't know anything about CF, it affects the lungs...filling them with mucus till you pretty much drown. Julia had a double lung transplant while we were in Gr.8. I remember visiting her in the hospital and making funny videos for her to watch. Her first set of lungs lasted 5 years before she had her second transplant. While in high school she went for her second set of lungs, these lungs lasted about 7 years. She was hopeful for a third set of lungs but the doctors said she was not well enough.

Last year in Feb, I got a phone call that Julia was in the hospital again, she almost didn't make it.  I flew out to be with her for four days then had to come home to finish the practicum I was in.

She lived another year, it was not a wonderful year...more of a painful year for her. She was not well, but she fought for her life everyday. She was suffering in a way we will never know. But she was strong, she loved her friends and family, this was everything to her.

On June 1st her battle with CF finished. She will be so missed. She was one of the greatest friends anyone could've had. She was so loyal and compassionate. She would be lying in the hospital fighting to breath and be more concerned about the friends around her.

I really loved her. She was the first friend I had when I moved to Stratford in grade 7. Her house was my second home. I could go on and on about all the things we experienced together...but today I am so greatful that I knew her. My teen years would have been lost without her in them.

I am happy though, that she no longer has to suffer. No one should have to endure the pain she had to. I believe our God has special mercy on those who endure long suffering. I am sure her mansion has a few extra rooms!


But our hearts still grieve, she left behind many who loved her. She left a void...never to be forgotten.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Africa Night

My recent facebook status said: "There is only one other place I'd rather be ... can you guess?"   Obviously it is Ethiopia! I have been so longing to go to Ethiopia, not only to pick up our one day child but to go and be with the children. I feel that my heart is strangely and somehow connected to a place I have never been to.... but I can't get this longing to go away...

Every Sunday night we open the Mosaic Centre from 4-8pm, because of the amount of children that were coming in while the Winter Warming was running, we started a kid's craft on Sunday night. We had balloons, face painting, and crafts all ready to go...but no children. Arnie and Joe decided they would go to the apartments nearby to find and invite some children. They knew where some of the children lived from the month previous when they would walk them home, so they thought they would try there. I stayed back at the centre while they were gone ( I actually did not even realize they had left to find children). After a while I saw the front door open and a couple Sudanese children stepped in. Then a few more, and a few more and some more after that! They had gathered about 15 Sudanese children to come for the craft. Some we had met before, but this time they brought all their siblings and cousins.

We had a riot! An evening in Africa with balloons, face paint, ice cream and crafts. The children were very hyper, but I didn't mind, I could tell they were having the time of their lives! I designated myself as the face painter, hands down best job of the night. I painted some of the most sweet faces I have ever seen. All the little girls wanted to be princesses and angels and the boys batmans and spidermans. 

One sassy little 6 year old started to put on a little sass act with me. I listened to her for a while, then instead of responding in a way she was probably used to, I  gently touched her chin, smiled right at her and said, "You have got to be the cutest little girl I have seen!" She smiled and ran away, the rest of the night her sass became a sweet sass not a mean sass. 

What a fun night. I am so grateful for tonight, I felt my heart got to fully come alive.

There was one little boy who had been climbing on Arnie all night. He had gone with Arnie to get ice cream for all the children. While they were out he tugged on Arnie's sleeve as if to ask him a question. When Arnie looked down at him he smiled back and said, "Can I go home with you?" Arnie gently told him that he couldn't and that he would need to go back to his home, but seriously could you break our hearts a little more??

We are hoping they all return next sunday for another fun Africa night!

This was my night in Africa, a small piece of hopefully is what to come. I feel blessed because God allowed me to live out my dreams for a night... I am full of anticipation for the future!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Do Not Worry

I've been doing a lot of worrying lately. 

And we all know that worry gives way to stress, so that is me lately, a giant ball of stress. 

However, it is interesting to see what my Jesus has to say about all this worrying I have been partaking in:

Matthew 6:25-34 (New International Version)



Do Not Worry
    25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?   28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


When I think of our adoption, I have a lot of anxiety and worry. I start getting upset, wondering if it will ever happen. I worry about the long trip to Ethiopia, when it will come and what we will be doing in our lives at that point. I worry about our child, are they being taken care of properly, are they loved, are their needs being met? I worry about my family and friends giving up on us. They have waited as long as us and I feel that soon everyone will throw their hands up and tell us to move on. I have big worries and little ones...I even sometimes worry that we will have to go in winter and there won't be any shorts for sale for our child and I won't have summer clothes for them to wear for our time in Ethiopia. Sounds ridiculous, but one worry just leads to another.






I am trying instead now, to take these worries captive. When they come, to send them to Jesus. Cause after all, when I do that, Jesus just tells me, "You may be worried Daughter, but I am not." How can I respond to that? The one who is orchestrating the whole plan is not worried. He knows the future and the past and is still not worried. He is in control. When the time is right, we will have our child, not one minute too soon and not one minute too late. They will arrive on time. And I am sure as the plan unfolds it will somehow work itself out. Everything will fall into place. 



Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gone Crazy

Yesterday the phone rang. Now don't get too excited... it was a prank. Not an intentional prank, but a prank none the less. The number had a Toronto area code, our agency is in Toronto. Although I am expecting the call from our agency in Calgary, for some reason I thought maybe, somehow, this could be it. I grabbed my cell phone, looked at the number and had a mild panic attack. As adrenaline shot through my veins, I picked up the call.

Nope not Steve at Mission of Tears,

Nope not a referral call.

It was westjet, telling me I won something.

I immediately hung up the phone while screaming, "AHHHHHH, WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME!!!!!"
I was mostly directing my anger to the the voice machine on the other line, because somehow they should know better! But honestly how does one get telemarket calls on their cellphone?? Worst.

So, yes, it is true I have lost my mind. It seems that everyday the wait gets harder and harder. Somehow I feel so close, but then I have to keep telling myself I am only dreaming. This has to be some form of torture.

I have hope, but it seems that it is the hope that kills you. I just can't help it. I can't help waking up every morning with the thought, "Will today be the day?" or going to bed every night wondering how to stop wondering if tomorrow will be the day. I keep crying to God asking him for some type of answer but, it always comes back...just wait. I do believe the timing will be perfect, but I am just struggling these days.

Not today. Maybe tomorrow?



 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

wishing


If I were to ever wish away a day, today would be that day….but if I would have wished away today,  I may have missed a day worth wishing for.
 I may have missed my nephew sing and dance.
 I may have missed my foster nephews run and play.
 I may have missed my beautiful Mother-in-law smile with joy as she watched her family playing together.
 I may have missed the heart felt card from my husband, who knew exactly what to say.
 I may have missed the joy and simplicity of just being with my family.
 I may have missed the deep longing in my heart, that is sometimes necessary to feel to truly know your hearts desires.
 I may have missed God’s love for me on a day that didn’t feel too loveable.
And I may have missed the dream, the dream of one day holding my own on today, squeezing them tight, with tears in my eyes as I remember all those past days that I ached for today.


Friday, April 29, 2011

This Week...

This week we are going to Mexico!! We decided a few months ago that we needed to go on a vacation. I am so glad we decided that as I feel this is one of the most needed vacations I have ever been on. We are spent, burnt out, tired and in need of some alone time.
Riu Jalisco, our destination of choice!!! In one day we will be a speck on the beach!
This week on Apr. 30, Winter Emergency Response will come to an end. Arnie and I have spent the last six months co-managing WER at the Mosaic Centre. I must admit that Arnie was there most of the time since I have been working so much lately. I'm not sure how to wrap up the last six months quickly, it was amazing, exhausting, worth every minute and draining. We made so many friends, built numerous relationships and now, tomorrow, it is all over. I am sad, but I knew it was time. We rarely had days off so we are tired, exhausted, but somehow there is a feeling of satisfaction. We spent ourselves on the outcast of society, the  marginalized people who need love. Arnie will be continuing at Mosaic, but he will be working part time in the day program...and we will be opening on Sunday nights cause we just couldn't bare to let it go!!




This week on May 5, we will celebrate our five year anniversary. Five years ago Arnie and I eloped. We gathered the family, headed down to the park and got married! Best decision I have ever made, other than to follow Jesus. Our entire dating period was spent with me living in Costa Rica working in an orphanage. We dated for 10 months before Arnie proposed. He came to pick me up in BC, after I got home from Costa Rica and proposed at the Harrison Hot Springs. We moved back to Edmonton where we were to live at his parents until we got married. On the monday after I moved in, I asked if we could just get married. Arnie was in complete agreement so arrangements were made and we got married on the Friday. Some may say we are crazy and a lot did say we were crazy...but when you know, you know. I've never regretted marrying Arnie, he is perfect for me and I am perfect for him!!

 
A picture from our reception in Sept.
This week two years ago on May 7, our dossier (file) landed in Ethiopia. It had taken us a year to find an agency, get our homestudy done and prepare all our docments. May 7 2009, our official wait began. We are praying that the wait will soon be over.



This coming week on May 8, Mother's Day will be celebrated. This has always been the hardest day for me. Since my Mother passed away when I was 6, I have not celebrated this day. I would sometimes turn it into Happy Aunt's Day, but it was never Mother's Day for me. I enjoyed making cards and gifts for my Aunt Lois but in my little head it truly was Aunt's Day. It has gotten harder recently as every year goes by and my longing to be a Mother gets stronger and stronger. Sometimes it feels like the world is mocking me on this day. My husband tries every year to make sure this day is not a heart wrenching experience, but try as he may, it just is. This year we will be flying home from Mexico on May 8...maybe things will be different.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Curse vs. Blessing

I have been listening to this song a lot lately (the one playing on my blog). The artist, Jason Upton, was adopted; this song is about his adoption. I was really listening to the lyrics today, I am so amazed at his view of his life and his adoption. I began hoping and praying for our child, praying that one day they will view their life in a similar way. I could only imagine that there will be times that my child could view their life in a negative way. Asking, "Why did this happen to me?"or "Why didn't my birth parents want me?" I can only pray that eventually one day, they can see their life as a blessing, that they will see God's plan in it all, and that they will marvel at God's grace and love. 

I have written briefly on this before, but I feel that I can relate to the idea of this situation with our infertility. I have, at times, viewed it as a curse from God, wondering why he did this to us. But as I grow and begin to unfold and see the plan that he had and has for us, I begin to view this as a blessing. I was telling a lady a little of our situation the other day and actually began to well up with tears when I started to talk about how lucky we are that we get to adopt. I spoke of how happy I am that God chose and allowed us to go down this route and how much I already love our little black son or daughter with all my heart. It has occurred to me that I need to start opening my eyes in every situation to try and find the blessing in the "curse". 

We continue to pray for our child and will till the day we die. I am praying today, that one day they will see their adoption as a blessing rather than a curse. That they will see God's love and compassion in their story and find healing in that.

Great River Road

I was born where the rivers run
Native blood runs through my veins
I was born where the eagles come
Waiting till the winter fades 

I was born an endangered son
I was spared by a mother?s dream
I was saved by the power of love
I was snatched from the fire of greed 

Great river road where justice rolled
Let it roll, let it roll down
Great river road where healing flowed
Let it flow, let it flow now 

I was born to an orphaned son
I was seed from a broken life
I was just like the other ones
Waiting on the other side 

I was born because freedom won
Mother sent me down the stream
I was saved by the power of love
I was snatched from the fire of greed