Saturday, January 21, 2012

Banner Word

A few weeks back when I had spent some time reflecting on 2011, I also spent time thinking about 2012. I have this deep desire that this year can not be wasted. I have set a few "goals" in my heart, some thoughts that I truly believe in and want to live out. As I thought over the past year, I felt that I had a banner word for the year (and the previous few years as well). The word that came to mind was WAIT. I have written on this before as it was the word that kept coming back to me. As I would spend time with Jesus over the past few years, this word was always in the conversation. Well, I feel like my word has changed for this year. I feel like our word is now FOCUS. It has come up consistently since the New Year. In regards to spending, travelling, working, vacationing, etc. the word whenever questions on these topics arise, has been FOCUS. Arnie and I have been trying hard to crack down on spending. We were tempted by this dirt cheap trip to Mexico and God said nice and clearly to us, Focus my children. So we are trying. We are focusing our hearts first on Jesus, then on where he will lead us. We are saving, working hard, praying and preparing.

Yesterday I went to help a friend out, while I was at her house she prayed for us and for our future child. I felt God say something I had heard a while back from a preacher I listened to, "If you take care of my business, I will take care of yours." To me this means serving God without reservation, caring for those he puts in front of me at work and in life and obeying what He asks me to do in my everyday life. It means if I see a need, I need to take care of it because that is what God asks of me. Now on the other side it also means, that as I care for and obey the work that Jesus asks of me, in return Jesus will take care of all my needs. I don't need to worry about a thing. I don't need to worry about my children because he is taking care of it! I don't need to worry about what I will eat or wear or what I will do because he will take care of it! I love that. I want to live life this way. I may not, actually I know I won't live this out perfectly but God is so good and so gracious to me to allow me to try. He has asked me to take care of a few people he has put in my life, so that is just what I am trying to do. And by God's grace and against all that I deserve, He has and will continue to take care of Arnie, our children and I.

1 John 3: 16-18

 16 This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Father's Prayer

I started to make a Life Story scrapbook for our future child. I designated two pages, one for a Mother's Prayer and one for a Father's. These are prayers for our children as we wait.  Arnie finished his the other day and handed it to me, I wanted to share it because I felt he put into words what our hearts are saying.

A Father's Prayer

My gracious Savior. You are the giver of all good gifts; past, present and future. I thank you for the longing you’ve placed in me for divine justice, Holy and undefiled. To love orphans, care for the needy, and advocate for the marginalized. I thank you for creating us to love and be loved. Today my heart cries out for our children. I am in a state of longing … longing to hold them, longing to teach them your ways, longing to fight for them even as I fight now. I ask that your grace, mercy, favor and presence be felt by them. Your love pierces distance and time. As a Father you are perfect in all your ways. Teach me your truth, that I may resemble you. Prepare me to love unconditionally. Equip me with patience, grace and forgiveness. I ask that you would also be teaching my children your truths. Write them on their hearts I pray. As You refine gold in the fire, so you have already begun the cleansing in my children; Poverty , hunger, loss, hardships. You have humbled my children beyond any humility I’ve  learned. I pray that You would raise up leaders out of the ashes of despair and warriors out of injustice. You call the lowly , especially those the world writes off. I declare my children yours to shape and break and mould. Today my Jesus, I release them fully into your care. Until you hand them over to us, I ask again for your hand of wisdom to be on my wife and I. We long to be parents who go above and beyond what this world has deemed ‘good’.

I Love You Jesus,  Your son

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Taking account for 2011

The new year has come and gone and I was asleep. I could've stayed up but I had to work and felt the need to be responsible and not go to work sleep deprived. Not sure if this was a good decision or not but alas I slept through the changing of 2011 to 2012.

I wanted to spent some time and go through 2011, take account for the last year of life that I had the privilege to live through.
When I first sat down the only thing that came to mind was how hard and awful 2011 had been. How I was so thankful it was over and how I didn't even want to remember all the events that had taken place. I thought over all the difficulties of 2011 and came up with a large list. Among the top ten were: potential adoptions becoming non-potential adoptions, the death of my high school best friend, our volunteer job (although it was a positive experience in the end, it took every ounce of anything in me to make it through), quitting my job, applying, interviewing and training for my new one, and of course the age old adoption/infertility battle.

Then I started my blessings list... it started off small, short, stale and stingy. Maybe after reviewing the enormous difficulties list I had nothing left in me... but slowly as I began to unfold my year through prayer, God started showing me the blessing that I did have in 2011. And truthfully, the blessing list kicked the difficulties list's butt.

This year was among the hardest years of my life to date: stress and pain wise, but I have never experienced God's presence and grace in my life quite like I did last year. I was never alone. Never. Ever. I walked through some dark times but I was still never alone. And I am so grateful for all those times. God reminded me of the character he built inside me as He allowed me to go through the storms and I feel like I am slowly emerging a strong, victorious and courageous person. I have far to go still but I am so glad I can look back and know that 2011 was not a wasted year. At first I wanted to forget it even happened, but now I can honestly say I am so much more because of it.

As far as 2012 goes... I have many hopes, no set plans, but hope for plans. I won't say that this is my year or that this year my dreams will come true, because I don't know that for sure, but I can say STAY TUNED..... this year will not be wasted!!! Arnie and I have a few little schemes in the back of our heads that we are praying about, so if you think of us please say a little prayer that we follow all of what God has and wants for us in 2012.

A few highlights from 2011:

Baptism in our hot tub

Foster kids who got adopted this past spring

The two crazies... always brighten a day!
This one crazy huge tattoo!
My two sweet nephews

My niece came to visit in March for her birthday

Mosaic (winter warming) ran until April

Forts in the snow
Girls night out!!!

5th year anniversary in Mexico

The beach

Sundays in the summer at Mosaic
Boot camp with my sisters!

A few days spent at the cottage in Ontario this summer

My three beautiful nieces in Ontario

In a park in Hungary with the family
Hiking trip in Jasper with the church

As of the past few months Arnie and I have been doing some serious crafting and throughly enjoying it!! I have been working on a special room for a future special someone!

And last week Christmas in Vancouver to finish the year off!