April 15, 2011 § 4 Comments
I have been memorizing the book of James. I am slowing down a bit, but I am more than half-way done. WOO HOO! This book is a challenging book. It is full of truths that begged to be lived out. One of those truths I memorized in the first chapter it says:
“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
I prefer to skip to keeping myself from being polluted by the world. It isn’t as messy as taking care of orphans and widows. It doesn’t involve child abusers, emotional issues, or grieving widows. But since I have been memorizing that verse it has been resonating in my heart and mind. What and how can I help take care of orphans and widows?
Then the C.A.L.L. (Children of Arkansas Loved for a Lifetime) came to our church. This organization mobilizes and equips the church to obey that verse in James. Jared Broyles, a C.A.L.L. representative, shared about these children in need. My heart broke for them and yearned for them and well I burst into tears.
Then a few days later I got together with a friend. Her family was trained by the C.A.L.L. and they are finishing up some final paperwork so they can begin to foster children. I am amazed at their heart!
I do not know what role my family and I will play with the C.A.L.L. They need foster homes, financial assistance, prayer warriors, social workers, teachers, CPR/First Aid trainers, fund-raisers, church recruitment facilitators. Their website is full of great information about fostering, adopting, and so much more. http://www.thecallinarkansas.org/
I want to encourage you to visit their website or find an agency like the C.A.L.L. in your area. God has called us to take care of orphans. Let us as the church step up and do our part.
What are you doing to take care of orphans and widows? I can’t wait to hear about what you are doing.
April 13, 2011 § 9 Comments
Have you watched the movie Facing Giants? Here is a short scene I want you to watch:
God has given me a vision. It is a big one. One that I cannot make happen myself. One that I have to trust God to do in His time and in His way. At times this dream seems unreachable and things don’t seem to fall into place like I think they should. Doors are not opening up, rejection notices come, my e-mail box remains empty. When I start to despair I remember this scene. Am I trusting that God will bring the rain? If I am then I must prepare my fields.
My dreams for sharing Him with others through the written and spoken word are huge. I know that God can do it through me and that I cannot do it myself. I am humbled when one person says my writing blessed him or her. I am honored that God would use me to point other to Jesus. Oh that all our hearts would burn for Him.
So while I wait for the rain, I write. I submit. I fail. I succeed. I wait. I write. I speak. I fail. I succeed. All of it is for God’s glory. All of it is to bring praise to Him. All is because He loves me enough to give me breath and words and thoughts. All for Him.
So as I am praying for rain for this ministry, for articles I have submitted, for the book I am writing, for speaking engagements, for women struggling with infertility, for others struggling with dark times, for us all to be more like Him, will you pray with me? Will you pray that I will obey and wait and write and prepare my fields? I can’t wait to see the God’s sized harvest God is going to reap through this ministry. I am so glad that you want to be a part of it.
How can you help me?
1. Pray (I have submitted three articles. I am waiting to know if the editors have accepted them. I am also working on one more and finishing my book)
2. Tell your women’s ministry director about me. (I would love to come and speak at your church)
3. Tell your friends about me and my blog.
Now how can I pray for you? Leave a comment or if you need to click on the contact me and send me an e-mail. I would love to lift you up in prayer.
March 22, 2011 § 2 Comments
This is a journal entry I wrote while at a ladies retreat. I was reflecting on the following verses:
1 As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When can I go and meet with God?
O Lord my soul does thirst for You, for You my bread, my air, my source of life.
That I would daily, moment by moment live with that in mind. Father that I would not be too easily satisfied. That I would stop trying to fill up on the things of this world and only turn to You.
Oh Father, thank You that I don’t have to wait like David did to meet You, but that You make Your home in me. In me the chief of sinners who does not deserve to dwell in Your outhouse. Yet You dwell in me!!
Oh Father that I would meet You there Lord. That I would moment by moment breathe You. Feasting on Your word. Praising Your name. Thanking You for all Your blessings!
Oh my God, forgive me for ignoring our abode, the one You promised to make in me.
May I hunger for You more. Thirst for You always and seek Your face in all that I say and do.
Well friends, what are we thirsting for? Are you thirsting for God? Are you longing for children? Are you hoping for a better job, nicer house, more status, a better car? Is there something you think will satisfy you instead of God?
When you long for something, and you feel that hunger and thirst rise up in your soul, let that be a reminder to pray. Lay your thirsts, your desires your cares at the feet of God. He is the only true bread and living water.
Friends it isn’t easy – this laying down my thirst for what I want in exchange for thirst for God. Oh, but God’s way is the only thing that can truly satisfy. No baby, no car, no job, no success, no dream fulfilled, no championship ring can satisfy. Only God can.
What am I doing to maintain my thirst for God? Memorizing His word, praying, reading His word, studying His word. What are you doing to remain thirsty for God? Can’t wait to hear!
I am so glad you stopped by today. Consider joining in by leaving a comment! The don’t miss a post by signing up for e-mail updates or getting my posts through your favorite RSS reader. I can’t wait to get to know you.
March 9, 2011 § 4 Comments
I couldn’t understand what was happening.
None of it made sense.
It doesn’t happen this way.
Yet there I was, in less than six months my ability to conceive was stripped from me.
My tubes ruptured my womb empty, my heart grieving, my babies lost.
I had so many questions that didn’t have answers, at least not on this side of eternity.
I had to choose. I had to decide if I would cling to God despite the fact that He could have intervened, that He could have made my babies implant in the right place, He could have kept my tubes from rupturing. I had to choose to believe that either God was good and faithful all the time or He was bad and unfaithful.
So I chose. I chose to cling to my omnipotent, amazingly loving God. Oh, but I didn’t only cling. I wrestled. I brought to God my questions, my pain, my barren body. I asked why. I wrestled over how unfair it was that children were given to mothers and fathers who didn’t care or wouldn’t care or would abuse them. I wrestled with Him over whether fertility treatments were right for our family or not. I clung to Him as I begged for a miracle in my body.
In the wrestling, in the clinging I discovered something. When I wrestled with Him, I was close enough to hear Him speak. He spoke words of comfort, He spoke words of direction, He spoke words of healing. That healing often involved painful cleansings and death to myself, my desires, my way. Oh, but God is bigger than my doubts, bigger than my questions, bigger than my inability to conceive naturally. In the wrestling I grew closer to Him. In the wrestling God blessed me. In the wrestling I have been forever changed.
Are you facing a difficult time in your life? Have you decided to cling to God? If not what are you waiting for?
Are you wrestling with God? As you wrestle are you listening to Him? What is He telling you?
Consider reading Daniel 3:16-18 (Shadrach Meshach and Abednego had to choose whether to cling to God or not. Read their choice).
Then read Genesis 32:22-32 (Jacob wrestles with God and clings to Him until God blesses Him, but he walks away changed forever).
How do these passages shape your ideas of clinging to God and wrestling with Him?
I can’t wait to hear what you think.
March 1, 2011 § 2 Comments
Am I crazy? The question rattled around in my brain and down to my heart. The silence was deafening. My heart beat quickened as I twisted myself into a pretzel. Stomach on the bed, rear in the air, twisting enough to get that injection in my hip. I knew I didn’t want the soreness putting the needle in my leg would cause.
The pinch of the needle and sting of the medicine didn’t answer my question. In fact I wondered if the hormones were making me mad. Mood swings – anger, happiness, grief – they all blurred together. I wondered what others thought of me. I felt raw, on edge, ready to pounce. My sore rear-end and abdomen full of holes testified to the unnatural way to conception. The hope of new life in my womb did little to ease the fears of what-ifs. My heart told my mind it didn’t know if I could handle it. My mind told my heart to buck up. My heart rebelled. It was a battle inside…
Looking back I still wonder. Was I crazy? Crazy to take hormones that made my ovaries so huge I was in severe pain. Pain that reminded me of my tubal pregnancies – of my losses. Was I losing this baby too? Could the unthinkable happen and one of my embryos float into my tube? Was I going to lose another one?
Crazy to think that frozen babies would never steal my heart the way the ones in my belly did. I read the literature, knew the side effects, I practically became an expert myself. Yet I didn’t know. I couldn’t have seen the way in-vitro fertilization would affect me, my husband, and my children. I never imagined myself discussing my menstrual cycle with one of the pastors at my church, but that’s what IVF did.
Would I tell someone go for it – fertility treatments are so worth it? Well, yes and no. My final answer is that I would never in a million years wish IVF on my worst enemy. Never. EVER! However I look at my two miracles, my IVF babes the ones I got to hold in my arms as well as my womb and heart and I know it was worth it.
Many others don’t have my storybook ending. Many end up broke and childless. So is IVF the answer? I would argue it may be an answer. I urge you to pray for wisdom and direction. I urge you to go into these treatments with open eyes, open hearts, open hands. I believed God was in control, I knew He would not give us more than we could handle and I prayed we would know when it was time to say we are done.
I’ll be honest, my heart says we are not done, but my mind knows for the sake of our finances, for the sake of our children, for the sake of my body we can’t do it again. My husband agrees.
The question remains…Am I crazy since I still want more?
Please pray for infertile couples. It is a difficult road. If you are infertile please let me pray for you by leaving a prayer request in the comments. The comment button is located under the title of each post.
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February 1, 2011 § 4 Comments
My blessings have been prodding and poking the painful places in my soul lately. As God is apt to do He uses their naivety to shed light on things I would prefer to leave in the dark. He shakes me awake through them as they open their hearts to me…
“Mommy, I want another baby in this house.”
“So do I my child, so do I,” I whisper to myself and then I pray again for a miracle. Either in my body, on my doorstep, or in my and my family’s hearts.
For all would be true miracles of God…a baby in a womb as good as dead;
a child who needs adopted with no strings attached, no painful search, no doubt he or she is ours;
or God’s work in our hearts changing the longing to contentment, not contentment to wait or the hard fought peace that comes while we wait for God’s miracle, no the heart change that knows and rests knowing the miracle is in the changed heart.
“Three empty chairs mommy. Who can we invite to fill them?”
Who to invite to our three empty chairs? Three…yes three empty chairs. Three babies who were only held in my womb not in my arms, but there is more in that number…Yes who to invite to fill our chairs? God our Father, God the Son Jesus, and God the Holy Spirit. Three separate, yet all one. The perfect trio to fill our chairs, calm our longing hearts, and to sit with us while we await our miracle.
While you wait for a miracle from God, who are you inviting to wait with you? I would love to pray with you. What miracle are you waiting for? Click the comment link at the top of this post.
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You all are blessings to me!!! Thank you for stopping by!
January 25, 2011 § 3 Comments
We finally did it. My sweet little man now has a big boy bed.
I know that he was well past the age of needing a big boy bed.
Signs he needed a big boy bed included:
he has to bend his legs to fit into the pack-n-play when we go traveling and
he climbed out of his crib opened his bedroom door and went to play with his sisters after nap the other day.
I resisted because…the thought of not having a crib in my house broke my heart. Not because my little man, my youngest was getting big. No I was rejoicing in his every milestone and thankful for each moment.
No I was sad because I wanted another little one in the house who needed a crib. I realize that may sound crazy – I already have three kids – but it is true. My womb for all scientific, medical purposes is dead. Each month my cycle mocks me, reminding me unless God makes a miracle, my womb will bear no more fruit.
Saturday as we tore apart his crib and put together his new big boy bed, my body literally ached. My heart was heavy knowing, knowing, knowing…Knowing that if I were to get pregnant, I would have to have test after test to make sure my baby was in my womb not somewhere else. Knowing that the very thing I long for could very well cost me my life. Yet I still long for another bundle…
Friday E asked me what I would name two boys and a girl if we got to have them. The question stung. I answered in small sentences remembering times when dreaming for more was easy. Before I knew that God’s way was not the way I was planning. I talked of names we had thought about in the past while holding back the tears of longing and waiting.
L asked last night…Words that tear at my heart. She doesn’t know that it hurts. All she did was take note of the three empty chairs at our table. Yes three chairs…I dreamed God would bless my womb with three. My last IVF cycle we transferred three precious babes. Yet none of them survived…
Tears have been flowing. Yet there is a sweetness in them. I know my God in a way I never would have if He didn’t bring me to this place. This place of longing, waiting, and trusting Him for a miracle. The miracle of life within, or a babe that we are asked to adopt, or a change in my heart. He knows the form this miracle will take. He knows if those three chairs will one day be filled.
And I thank Him that He holds my tears in a bottle, He takes note of them, He is the God of all comfort. I thank Him for His plans for my family and for His peace (the kind earned after a war) that passes understanding. So I thank Him for big boy beds, tears, and His grace that holds them all together.
What has God taught you through tough times He has led you through? Is there anything I can pray for you? Feel free to leave a comment.