Virtue

Patience is a Virtue

Let me start by saying I am a movie buff.  Some of you may know that about me.  I used to have this skill when I was younger (seasoned individuals may now laugh at my expense) of being able to watch about 5 seconds of a movie and tell you what the movie was regardless of whether or not I had actually ever seen the movie all the way through.  So when I am about to make this movie reference, some of you guys may remember it and it goes along with my theme.  Trust me.  Remember the movie, “The Mummy”?  It’s the first one with Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser.  Setting the scene, they have awakened the mummy, and they are hole up in the local museum with the mummy-mind-controlled local population breathing down their necks trying to break-in to get them.  Under duress, they are trying to translate a key bit of information for the purpose of taking down the mummy.  At the moment the mummy-crazed peeps break in to museum, Fraser’s character says “hurry up”.  Weisz’s response, “Patience is a virtue.”  As the crazed nutjobs are flowing in, Fraser’s response, “NOT right now, it’s not!”

I say all that to say this.  Lately, patience is in short, short supply at the Moody household due to the wait.  Some might say, “Hey you’ve been waiting so long, what’s another potential two months.”  To you I say, “Phhhhrrrrrrtttttttt!” Anyway, the wait … what wait, you say?  Right now we are waiting for the “call” or rather the e-mail from the Chinese Children Welfare Agency through our adoption agency.  This e-mail/call will tell us, “Moody family, come get your boys.  We are ready for you and so are they.”  Once we finally have the notice, it will be about 2-4 weeks until the travel time, and then it will be Beijing here we come!  As the generic wait time is 1-2 months from the Letter of Acceptance date, we are praying that the call will happen faster than that.  To recap, E’s paperwork is ready to go, and Z’s is being processed.  Momma’s ready, D’s ready, and I’m ready.

As for the “patience is a virtue” thing, think about when you were young waiting on Christmas or waiting on the new bike you were promised.  When we were a little older it was about “I can’t wait ‘til I graduate and get into college” or “I can’t wait ‘til I get married.”  When you’re out in the real world, it becomes the promotion, the next big deal, or the first house.  We all anticipate so many different things in life and having to wait for them all can make us crazy.  Sometimes we feel like our heart is about jump out of our chest, or we feel like we could just pop out of our skin.  “ARRRRRRGGHHH!  Calgon, take me away.” Uh, … I mean, Stop the insanity. J  Sometimes it becomes anger, other times it become sadness. For us, needless to say, it has been a mixture of both.  The repeated questions of “So, when are you leaving?” while done out of love and excitement begins hurt.  The question becomes a constant reminder of we don’t have them yet.  For those of you out there, think of a situation in the past or right now that maybe has or is hitting you like that.  Anxious, anger, sadness …  How do we deal with it?  How do we get our needed patience in our desperate situations, when our hearts tell us to scream in frustration?

For the rage and anger:

Psalm 37:7-9
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act…. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm….those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. (NLT)

For the sadness:

Psalm 40:1
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. (NIV)

 

For the peace that comes:

Proverbs 15:18
A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. (NIV)

 

And the good stuff:

Romans 8:24-25
We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) (NLT)

Hebrews 6:12
We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. (NIV)

These verses spell out God’s plan on how having patience can see us through.  But also, praying for the calming effects of the patience is key to surviving through it all.  Here’s to us all having enough.

Bill

Also, I want you all to see what else the Moody’s have added to the boys’ room.  Everything is not in its proper place yet, but the wall in the room is gorgeous.  This is all thanks to a lovely young lady who can paint like nobody’s business.  I supplied the idea, and she made it happen.  Check out the progress from beginning to end.  If anyone is interested having her paint a mural for your room, let me know and I’ll introduce.

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Redemption

The other day, I fussed at my husband. Afterwards, I prayed that God would provide an opportunity for me to redeem that interaction. It got me to thinking about other times when I have hurt someone or said something stupid, and how later God opened the door to make it right.

Have you ever sat and thought about what it means to be redeemed? I have been thinking about it a lot lately, and I never realized that “redeem” is such a deep word. Here are some definitions for redeem:

1 a : to buy back : repurchase b : to get or win back

2: to free from what distresses or harms: as a : to free from captivity by payment of ransom b : to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental c : to release from blame or debt : clear d : to free from the consequences of sin

3: to change for the better : reform

4: repair, restore

5 a : to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby b (1) : to remove the obligation of by payment (2) : to exchange for something of value c : to make good : fulfill

6 a : to atone for : expiate b (1) : to offset the bad effect of (2) : to make worthwhile : retrieve

Jesus redeemed us by His death on the cross. He bought us back, released us from blame and consequences of sin, changes us, repair and restores us, and removed our obligation to pay for what we have done and do every day.

Do you believe this? I do, but it is so hard sometimes to wrap my mind around it. How every situation, big or small in our eyes, can be redeemed. He is just that strong. He is just that powerful. He is just that loving, merciful, kind, and patient.

Genesis 50:20 ESV  As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.

And in honor of my sweet friends who were married last night, allowing God to redeem their situations and relationships:

1 Corinthians 13:4-13 ESV  Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

God is love!

The Path

So here I am contemplating this whole blog thing.  I have never done this before, except for the micro-blogging that comes from using Facebook.  I decided “Hey, it is the themoodyblogger.com, why not give a go?”  I probably won’t be as eloquent as my lovely bride, but I will try.  I have been thinking about this for the last several days as to what to say.  Many of you who know us, know about our incredible journey of adoption and our boys E and Z.  It started out as a God ordained quest to get a cute little girl.  The path to it seemed very clear.  God gave us signs along the way.  Some of the ball peen hammer variety, others of the 15 lb sledge type.  In most cases our response was, “Ok, ok, we read you. We are moving on it.” Throughout this long arduous process, I have been the paperwork hog.  Whether intentionally or not, that’s how it ended up.  I think Lori said to herself, “Hey, he handles federal paperwork all the time, so this shouldn’t be too difficult for him.”   All right here we go.

As Lori may have mentioned, we recently both had our 20 year class reunion at our perspective schools.  20 years ….where did the time go? Oh my, what happened? At Lori’s reunion, which was very good, they had a nice program at the banquet.  One part of the program spoke of “The Path” we take.  If I remember it correctly, it was about that over our life we make many decisions that take us down different roads that eventually takes us to where we end up today.  Upon further reflection and a brief conversation I had with the lovely Lori, I believe we should think about it a different way.  We all think that we are in control of our destiny, that we make our decision to send us down the “Our” path.  In reality, we make a decision for a particular path and God takes the control.  There are no coincidences or accidents.  He is in control.  Yes, our decisions do have consequences, but God uses those situations to shape us into what he wants us to be, either through our good decisions or in spite of our bad decisions.  It is now God’s Path.  Dumb decisions are turned into part of the God path for lives.  Smart ones too.  So the path is set before us.  Coming to terms with the fact that it is God’s path for us can be difficult for many who feel that they cannot let go of the control.  It’s a daily struggle.  Can we let go? That’s the challenge.

For us, the path started out for the search for a little girl. God said, “Consider this.” Then, it transitioned into getting a little boy (E).  God then said, “Hey I have something else for you to consider if you are up for it (Z)”.  Now, 2 is the magic number.  If we had decided no on Z, would God be upset with us? Of course not.  Our decision still has God in it and his ultimate plan will still happen no matter what.  I do find it amusing that when a while back we said “We are going for two – boys.”  Many said, “That’s so awesome!”  Now some of those same people are saying “Are you insane?” Nah, … well maybe a little bit.  😉

I’ll leave you with a couple of verses that I think illustrate my point from above.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

On the “What’s the status? When are you leaving?” front, cause I know you are asking.  My best answer is that we aren’t sure.  The Chinese Children Welfare Institute that handles the adoptions has all our paperwork.  According to our adoption agency, it may take 1-2 months to process Z’s papers to get them to where E’s are now.  However, our agency also said that it probably won’t take that long.  Let’s us hope and pray as such.  This last week has been somewhat stressful after hearing that.  You would think after knowing that we found them, the next phase would be quick and painless.  Arggggg!  However, a little “angel” did provide us calming peace, and we have found ways to divert the “wait pain” for each of us.  Lori and D have been studying Mandarin Chinese via Rosetta Stone.  Lori has found it be challenging and D, …well,…he is a human sponge.  Young minds, nuff said.  I, on the other hand, have been painting E and Z’s room (formally, D’s room).  Needless to say, I went with an Asian color theme and scheme.  I hope it’s not too cliché and low key.  I found some images of bamboo decals and projected them on the walls, traced them, and then painted.  I even found the Chinese characters of the boys names and projected, traced, and painted them too.  I think it looks pretty good.  Check it out for yourself.  Until next time.  -Bill

Perfection

After purchasing 2 buggy’s worth of groceries/items at Sam’s Club yesterday, a thought hit me. So many of us have empty pantries, because we desire perfection in our cooking habits. The media is pounding us with diet and exercise routines. We are afraid we are exposing our kids and families to way too much trans fat and sugar. Perfection is what we desire. So what do we do? Spend money eating out. Hamburger Helper and Shake ‘n Bake Chicken is more than what the typical third-world family eats in a week.  

The American Dream is a beautiful meal, on a beautiful table, with a beautiful spouse, with beautiful clean children, in an organized house, and smiles all around. It is about time and not about perfection. I am a recovering perfectionist. I know.  You would think a perfectionist would have the beautiful house, the perfect word, all her ducks in a row, etc. Nope. A perfectionist has a cluttered house, a stack of unread books, a pile of unwashed laundry. Why start if the end result is not perfection?

Why exercise if I can’t look like Angelina Jolie in one week?

Why clean house when tomorrow it will look like a pig pen?

Why spend time with my spouse, when all they want to do is watch the ballgame?

Why spend time with my kids, when I do not have all the “right” activities lined up?

Why pray, when it will not come out all beautiful and poetic?

Why read my bible, because the commands in there are so overwhelming?

One reason I go on mission trips is to be able to unplug from the American Dream. No one expects me to be perfect. My job is to love people. My team. The Honduran people. That is it. Not saying I necessarily do that well. I don’t. But that is OK. All the trappings of the world are removed for a week. We work hard. We get dirty. We stink. We eat what we are given. We love each other unconditionally.

I am borrowing this verse from one of our missionary’s Facebook post this morning (Mike):

Romans 10:14-15 ESV How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”