Archives for October 2007

Sent to me by a friend

Here’s a devotion from Beth Moore that a friend sent me and that really spoke to me this evening, after a very difficult day:

My Scripture in my quiet time was Hebrews 10:35-36 out of the New English Translation and I’ve been saying it all week over myself, my loved ones and anybody who would listen. Maybe you could use it, too. Here goes:

“So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised.”

Don’t pass over it quickly or lightly…even if you heard it years ago. Absorb what it’s saying. God has made us certain promises that we will only see fulfilled on the other side of a demanding climb. We’re going to have to sweat this one out and feel the burn in our limbs but the reward is going to be “great.” There is something God wants to give you, Beloved, but He’s purposely requiring tremendous perseverance from you in order for you to have what it takes to receive it rightly. Humbly. You will need ENDURANCE to do His will in this particular situation. It will not come easy because it’s too good to come cheap.

In order to try to stop you, Satan is attacking your confidence. Making you feel stupid. Ill-equipped. Or just plain ill. DO NOT THROW AWAY YOUR CONFIDENCE. Without Christ you can do nothing but, with Him, you are capable of things you’ve never dreamed. All surpassing power abides in your jar of clay. Do not shrink back. The God of the Universe looked the world over and found you.

Royal

The first ten minutes of my morning. Pray for me today, OK? I am feeling battle-worn.

Before you take the kids to see Golden Compass…

… you might want to do a little investigating. Here’s a good place to start.

Sunday

The poor and needy search for water,
but there is none;
their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the LORD will answer them;
I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
Isaiah 41:17

Soddo, Ethiopia (the birthplace of two of my daughters)

Heard on movie night

While watching a fight scene with a female villain in the movie ‘Around the World in 80 Days’, our two year old was heard to say with a tsk-tsk: “She is such a bad dirl!”

I am still confident in this

My father died at the age of 49, when I was only 21. At the time, my mom had all 7 of my younger siblings still at home and my ‘baby’ sister was only 6. Dad’s death was a complete shock. He was working on a car. The car fell on him, and he died.

Though memories of those early days of grieving are hazy, I know there was plenty of anger mixed in with the sadness. How could God have allowed that jack to slip? It made me look at some of the hymns we sang in church with a jaundiced eye. Words that used to seem comforting felt almost mocking to me for awhile.

To get back to a point of peace, I eventually had accept that God is sovereign, that He is God and I am not. I chose to trust that He had allowed the death of my father for a reason beyond my understanding. For my own peace and happiness, the best thing for me to do was to let go of that anger, and just trust.

Maybe someday I will know why my dad died. Maybe I won’t. Certainly my family was greatly blessed at many points since my dad died. Are those blessing great enough to ‘cancel out’ the sadness we felt at the loss of our father? I don’t know about that. But I know that we all have seen the loving works of God in our lives since then. We were wounded. But we were not deserted.

I have found that as I parent these precious new girls of mine, who had the great sadness of watching their Ethiopian mother die, I am again reading the hymns in church with little twinges of pain. I can imagine how they must be questioning the goodness of God. This morning I pointed to a verse in John 15 promising that God will answer our prayers, and reminded the girls that we need to keep praying that their friend Tsion will find a family.

“OK,” said my 12 year old, “we pray my mom will come back too.” Her smile was rueful. She knew that prayer would not be answered in the way that she wished. And so I am sure it gave her less confidence to pray for her friend. And yet we still prayed.

I want so much for my children (all of them!) to have faith in the goodness of God, to believe that He really does have a plan for their lives, to have a hope that their future will be bright. And yet that past sadness casts a long shadow.

I will do my best to help them have hope for the future. I will point to God’s work in our lives every chance I have. But in the end I guess it comes back to faith again. I need to have faith that God will work to heal their hearts. To have faith that He will give them peace and joy and hope for the future.

I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:13-14

Bursting

Lately when I look at my two year old my heart hurts. She’s turning 3 next month, and I am just wanting to cherish every last slipping-away second of her babyhood. I know it is a stretch to call a two year old a baby. But I’ve always done it with my little ones. It’s not til the third birthday that I force myself to realize they’re not babies anymore. I always have a terrible time with third birthdays. Why on earth does the time have to roar by like a freight train?

Yesterday afternoon I took most of the kids for a walk. I asked my two year old if she wanted to walk or ride in the stroller. She wanted to walk, but then 2/3 of the way through the walk she was getting tired and started to whine. I knelt down to give her a hug, and in a petulant mood, she turned away. But after a second she softened in my arms and wrapped her arms around my neck. We just sat there like that, hugging for the longest moment. I was motionless, soaking in the sunshine and the feel of her sweet baby arms around my neck and her body molded into mine. When she finally released me, I asked her if she wanted a piggy back ride. She surprised me by saying, “No, I hold your hand.” And so we walked on, hand in hand for a moment until she regained her energy and ran ahead, making me trot to stay close enough to keep her safe.

How could she be three when it seems just a few months ago that I brought her home from Ethiopia– 15 pounds and 6 months old, noodle-legged and unable to sit up? For that matter, how can it be 13 years since I last gave birth to a child, to my son who is now a handsome teenager taller than me? And my firstborn, my precious Eldest, off in the world doing her own thing? Yes, she comes home on the weekends, but much of her life these days is separate from my own. Wasn’t it just a couple years ago that I called my mom, frantically, ridiculously postpartum with her, begging mom to come watch the baby so I could get a shower? How can her whole childhood be gone already?

I am so proud of the wonderful people my children are, so eager to see what they’ll do in this world. And yet each step onward and upward also rips away at my heart, like barnacles torn off a boat. Why does it have to hurt so much to see them grow?

Nature Valley Nut Crunch bars

Nature Valley Nut CrunchRecently my family got to try out the Nature Valley Nut Crunch bars, both the almond and the peanut variety. I was surprised when I got a look at these bars. I expected them to be made like other granola-type bars, with oats or rice or other lower cost filler ingredients in them. But these truly are NUT bars, (plus enough sweetener to hold the nuts together, of course). The ingredients for the almond variety are almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. I prefer chewy granola bars more than crunchy ones– I actually handed mine off to a kid who I knew would enjoy it more. But for people who like their snack bars crunchy, I think these are great. We don’t buy snack bars very often– mostly just to eat in the car on trips — but I might snag a box or two of these for my ‘crunch’ lovers next time we go on a trip, because I think these are probably better for you than the average granola bar.

Lookin’ like Fall

Satisfaction

A week ago all I had on this wall was one small cabinet over the washer, plus the short (lower) clothes rod that you see in the picture. Now I’ve got three long shelves spanning the whole room– a perfect place for my sewing supplies, scrapbooking supplies, and school stuff. Even better, the counter on the other side of the room–the one that used to be heaped with school and craft supplies– is now clear.

Note: in this picture you can also see a longer clothes rod. It goes the whole length of the room and I love it. It does a great job drying quilts and jeans and other bulky items, especially in the winter when I can’t use my clothes line.