Provision

I heard the most wonderful sermon yesterday by Jim Beam-Ingram at Wesley United Methodist Church. He revisited Genesis 22, when God told Abraham to take Isaac up the mountain and sacrifice him. Jim’s big point was that this is NOT a story about Abraham’s faithfulness. It IS a story of God’s provision. How, quite possibly, the lamb was there the whole time, and Abraham did not see it until the angel stopped him from sacrificing his son.

Whoa. Are we not looking for God’s provision? Sometimes to accept God’s provision, we have to be willing to put to death the ideas and the plans we have for ourselves. Switch our focus if you will. That can be extremely hard. Abraham was not perfect. He made several mistakes in his life while trying to provide for himself. He finally learned to trust God and had to make the hardest decision of his life.

God’s grace. God’s forgiveness. God’s provision.

I also heard a sermon by Steven Furtick this morning. It was one in a series called “Mr. and Mrs. Betterhalf”. In trying to find a mate, some overly worry about “choosing wrongly”. He reiterated that God is so much bigger than that. I worry about making the wrong choice in so many aspects of my life, even if I feel led by God. He is so much bigger than that. He has a plan for you and a plan for me. If my plan is not of God, it will fail. It may be painful, but His will WILL be done.

Genesis 22:13-14 NLT Then Abraham looked up and saw a ram caught by its horns in a thicket. So he took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering in place of his son. Abraham named the place Yahweh-Yireh (which means “the LORD will provide”). To this day, people still use that name as a proverb: “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.”

Proverbs 19:21 NLT You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.

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Reunion

This weekend is my 20-year high school class reunion. As I listened to former classmates talk last night about back problems and teenage kids, I thought “man, I am getting old”. One of my translators in Honduras last week asked me how old I was. When I told her I was 38, she said that her mom is 38. Ouch.

And here we are with a 6-year-old and 2 almost toddlers in China. Some days I feel old. Most days I feel like my life is just starting. A new life. A new chapter. Honestly, God hold of me again once I started reading the bible every day (at the urging of my sweet friend Patty). 1/1/10. Unbeknownst to us at the time, it is our Chinese son E’s birthday. I guess you could say it is my rebirth day.

I am now a more devout Christ-follower, an athlete (sort of), wife, and mom of 3. Sometimes I laugh. Like Sarah in Genesis 18. Verse 12 says that Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I have become old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?” Then in vs 14, “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?…”

We had a birthday party our friend’s adopted daughter today. She turned two this week. I look into EG’s beautiful face and know that God has a plan. For EG. For our friends (one of whom graduated high school with me). It has very little to do with our age and more to do with God’s will. It is best.

Psalm 84:10 (ESV) For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Tease

Here is me trying to blog more often (especially because I need to explain the “tease” I mentioned yesterday).

Yesterday, we received an email from our adoption agency. It did not say “you are ready to travel”. It said, “China has received your dossier copy on Z (our second Chinese son), and it is logged in”. A dossier is the mountain of paperwork that tells China everything they need to know about us. Ugh. I thought they had already logged it in. Bill emailed our adoption agency today and asked what we are looking at in terms of wait time. Everyone is asking. EVERYONE is ASKING!They said, “Oh, the next step is to receive the acceptance letter on Z from China. Then your travel will be approved 2-4 weeks after that.” Not encouraged. Sigh.

I love when God takes ahold of my iTunes. Today, instead of listening to the radio at work, I played my iTunes on shuffle. As I was reading these emails and getting discouraged, the songs playing on my iTunes shifted. Rather than jamming music (which is most of what I have), the mood changed over several songs to more contemplative, soothing tunes. Most of which had a “God will help you through” theme. When I finally realized what had happened, the song playing was Steven Curtis Chapman’s ” I Will Trust You”. Here is just a part of it:

God I trust You

I will trust You

I know Your heart is good

I know Your love is strong

And I know Your plans for me

Are much better than my own

Then peace.

Shortly thereafter, we received an email from our adoption agency reassuring us that their representative on the ground in China has spoken with the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) about our case. The CCCWA is aware of our situation, and hopefully will “speed” up the process.

God is so good. May these empty cribs be filled soon.

  

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Heart and Soul

I just returned from a mission trip to Honduras. God’s perfect timing. He knew my spirit needed to be with fellow believers for a whole week. Truly being the Acts 2 church. We loved the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. We are back spirit-filled and physically/mentally exhausted.

Acts 2:44-47  And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.

Next step for us, China. We received a teaser email today. We are desperately waiting for our travel approval. Sometimes (many times) it is overwhelming (like today). Our hopes up, up, up. Then crash! Think of the best gift you have ever received. Go ahead, close your eyes and think about it. Now imagine that instead of receiving the gift, you received a picture. The gift was actually halfway around the world, and you could not get it until certain people did certain things. You could not go get it early. You had no control over when you get it. That’s us.

People ask if we are excited. Yes, but it is not like the excited of having a baby. Our babies are born, and we are separated from them by many many miles. ALL I want to do is get to them, wrap my arms around them, tell them how much I love them and how much God loves them. There are lots of preparations that probably need to be done, but I cannot focus enough to take care of them. I feel I am in the middle of a whirlwind. Life, questions, tasks, work, etc. Right now, it is taking all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength to stay focused on the One who is in control.

It is where I am.

Waiting. Again…

Well, our Dossier Copy has been sent to China for Z. We have our travel visas in hand. Now, we wait. Again…

I have talked about waiting before. Waiting is good. This is a time to get prepared. Emotionally. Physically. Spiritually. Financially.

The next step is getting our travel approval from China. Travel approval means that China has all the paperwork for both boys, and they are ready for us to travel there and pick them up. Right now, Z’s paperwork and E’s paperwork is not together. All the paperwork must come together. Then, China has to coordinate getting the boys together (as they do not live in the same city) and to us once we arrive in the Henan province capital city of Zhengzhou.

As part of preparing, we had a garage sale yesterday. Money to go to China. De-cluttering our home. A cluttered home yields a cluttered mind and spirit. How did we accumulate so much stuff? Would Jesus want it this way? I don’t think so. If I have a lot of “stuff”, I am not free to move when God says move. If my money is tied up in possessions, I cannot give when God says give.

OK, this is me practicing inserting pictures:  The picture is D’s rendition of a Chinese lion. E is inside the lion suit controlling it. D is on the left. Z is on the right. Also, he drew the Chinese symbol for family himself.

Acts 2:45 And they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.

What is tying you down do you cannot move for God?