Thursday, January 20, 2011

Finding Peace in the Storm

Mark 4:35-41 (New International Version, ©2010)

Jesus Calms the Storm
 35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Lately, most days feel as if we are in the middle of a storm, a long, strong, steady storm and we don't know when it will end. Finding peace in this storm has been a daily challenge for me. There are days I just let the waves wipe me out and days when I see Jesus sleeping in the storm, full of peace, full of rest. It is hard to believe sometimes that the same Jesus who commands the wind and the waves, is on my side. He fights for me, He goes to bat for me. He will never let the storm get so big that I drown in it. The best part is, He is on my boat, experiencing the same storm I am and ...He is not afraid! In fact, He is sleeping!! He is so at peace with His plan for me that he has fallen asleep. You could interpret this that he is asleep when I need him most, but I see it that He is showing me to rest. He is showing me that I have nothing to fear, no matter how big the waves, how out of handle I feel the storm is getting, I can still find peace. When I cuddle up beside him, focus on him, somehow the storm doesn't seem to matter. He has it under control, I will not fall off the boat, I will not drown. He will see to it that I am safe. In the same way Jesus rebuked the waves saying, "Quiet, be still!" I feel He lovingly rebukes me. Then He says to his disciples,"Why are you so afraid, Do you still have no faith?" It wasn't about Jesus calming the storm, it was about His disciples trusting Him. He did not need to stop the waves, but He did it to show that He is in control. Maybe I should learn from the disciples mistake and trust God through the storm instead on insisting that He does not care or insisting He make the storm stop. I think of the eye of a hurricane, standing right in the middle with Jesus, peace in the middle of the storm.

Monday, January 17, 2011

and just when I thought we were done

So you know how we updated all our papers? Well apparently Ethiopia just sent a letter asking to include updated birth certificates and marriage certificates...notarized. Just when we thought we were in the clear, seriously, I am just waiting for the next email with the next set of updated documents...this is getting tiring!
We found out on thursday about the new documents. We started to look for our certificates right away but lo and behold we could not find them anywhere!! We tore the house apart that night, then we tore it apart again in the morning. We both had to go to work on friday but agreed we would not go to bed that night until we had found them! We also had booked an appointment at the lawyers to notarize the papers, but we had to cancel it as we could not find the papers we needed to notarize! At this point I was just about to lose it, when my wonderful husband comes into the room with the missing papers! The were in an envelope stuffed to the side of a book shelf. We did lose the appointment though, but we are rescheduled for tomorrow morning. I really hope this is the last of the papers, I can't bare any more!!! The wait has been hard lately, mostly I am just tired of not being able to plan anything, I can't plan my life beyond tomorrow. It is hard because we are planning on a six month travel to Ethiopia but can't plan when this will happen until we get a referral and then a court date. So, once again, I am working on my patience and my trust in God's timing, wisdom and plans. Please pray for us in this direction as our hearts are going crazy.

An outward expression of how we feel inside!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Documents arrived, but we still have more waiting

This is just a quick update. Our updated documents arrived on friday (I paid $30 to have them arrive wednesday, so a little choked, but I guess I need to let that go). I thought they would just send the papers to Ethiopia, but this was my response I received in my emails this morning. "Jo Ann will now prepare your statutory declaration and it will be sent to Ottawa and Toronto for legalization and authentication.  Once we have it back, your updated dossier will be on its way to Ethiopia." And how long do you think this will take, well your guess is as good as mine, besides the fact that I don't even really understand what they are talking about! So I think I can lay to rest the expectations of a phone call any time soon. If anyone knows the time line of this process, could you let me know? Again I am trying not to be frustrated with the fact that all of this could've been done a long time ago and just trust that God knows how long all of this will take, His timing will be perfect.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Waiting on The Call

This morning in our house:

Arnie: Ok I'm going out to shovel the snow, watch my phone

Rebekah: Why?

Arnie: In case we get "the call"

Rebekah: Oh right, on it! We better program the number in so we know if they call too! We are kinda pathetic aren't we?

Arnie: I'll just bring the phone with me

Yes, I realize how pathetic this is, but every time the phone rings I get this serge of adrenaline. I realize that it will probably be months from now that we get the call, but somehow I can't stop the thought, "what if it's the call", every time I hear a ring. I thought I was the only desperate one until this morning, when Arnie told me to watch the phone haha, now I know we are both in the same place of desperation. 75% of our conversations are about our child, going to Ethiopia, parenting, decorating a child's room, naming our child...etc etc. It is pretty much non-stop between us. I love knowing how excited my husband is, I love doing this together! I was watching my nephew, laughing and playing with him and Arnie asked if I secretly just wanted to get pregnant. My response: "No way, I want my chocolate babies more than anything!" To which he said, "Good, me too." Although this journey has been a hard one, full of pain and heartache, God had brought Arnie and I together. He has called us to something different, to something awesome and I am so happy He chose this path for us. At times I thought I had been cursed with infertility, but I know that I have truly been blessed with infertility. I would not have needed God in the same way, I would not have needed my husband, family and friends in the same way...and I would never get to have a chocolate baby!! Sometimes our "curses" are actually our blessings, we just have to learn to see it that way

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Documents are in the mail!!

The day after we came home, our fingerprint results were in the mail!! Lucky for us we were not criminals so our checks are clear! I express post mailed all our updated documents (the 12 papers of Christmas) yesturday, I paid $30 to have them arrive in one day, but I think they won't arrive until tomorrow. So now what?? We wait...a little longer... Once these papers arrive in Ethiopia, we are ready for referral. We hope this will only take a few weeks for the papers to arrive in Ethiopia, but it is not up to us. Everything is out of our hands now!

                               And just for fun, a picture of my woodland creature husband!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

God Found Us You

I received this book as a Christmas gift from my sister, Amie. I also received it a few months ago from my sister, Suzie. I am keeping both copies because I love it so much. I can't believe how perfectly it describes what is in my heart. I bawled like a baby the first time I read I want to share it with you!

Little Fox cuddled up to Mama Fox one night and said sleepily, "Mama, tell me again about the day I came home."

"Oh, yes," Mama said with a smile. "That is my favorite story of all. When God found us you, it made me the happiest mother in the world." "Just by comin' home?" Little Fox asked with a yawn. "Especially by coming home," Mama said.

"For so long, I dreamed of you," she said, snuggling closer. "Bout me?" "About you. I dreamed of how you would look, smell, even what you would sound like. And every day I thought of how wonderful it would be to hold you in my arms."

"I started seeing you everywhere, in the leaves of the giant oak and in the bark of the pine. Even in the stars! Oh, how I longed for the day that you would arrive, when God would find us you."

"And then I came?" "Oh, no. No matter how much I prayed it would happen, I still had to wait." "You waited and waited and waited?" "And waited. But I knew that someday you'd arrive, when God would find us you."

"it made it hard to see other mamas with their children," she said like she was telling a secret. "You were lonely for me?" "Very. I could not wait until the day you'd come, the day when God would find us you."

"I'd go up to the cliffs and watch for you. I stood there day...
After day...
After day."

"Did you ever want to give up?" Little Fox asked. "Sometimes," Mama said, rubbing Little Fox's cheek with hers. "But I trusted that God knew you, and knew me, and knew when we'd fit perfectly together."

Little Fox paused, "How come I couldn't stay with the mother who had me?" "She must have had very big reasons to give you up. SHe must have thought it was best for you." "Did she have fur like mine?" "Most likely." Mama smiled softly. "She must have been as beautiful as you are handsome."

"I think she prayed like crazy that you would be safe, Little Fox, I think she prayed for me as much as I prayed for her." Mama's voice got all whispery. "And god answered both our prayers." "I came then? to you?" Mama nodded, happy tears in her eyes. "You came then. When God found us you, you made me the happiest mama in the world."

Little Fox smiled and then thought for a moment, "Mama, will you be my forever mama?"

"Always and forever. No matter what," she promised. "This is where you belong. Here, with me, my sweet cild. You are mine. The best gift in the whole wide world. I will always love you and treasure you and celebrate the day you came, the day that God found us you."

Mama Fox tucked Little Fox into bed and he giggled through her lsat kisses. They said their prayers and whispered, "Nighty night," just like they always did. Little Fox was glad that he had a cozy home and good food and a mama who loved him very, very much. And he went to sleep dreaming about the day he came to the big woods...
and smelled his mama...
and knew he was loved...
and finally was home.

"When God found us you," Mama Fox whispered in his dreams, "you made me the happiest mama in the world."

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Visit to BC

We are in Vancouver for  a week visiting my sister, brother in law and niece. It has been good to have a break from our way too busy lives, no worries, no stress, no responsibilities! Unfortunately it is going by way too fast. On the adoption front, we are still waiting for our fingerprint results, then we can send all our papers in. After they will send them to Ethiopia, and when they arrive we will officially be ready for referral!
A visit to the Lighthouse Park 
My beautiful niece Dakary
My sister, Amie and husband, Jared

The Lighthouse