Psalm 68

Monday, June 23, 2008

In Psalm 68, it says that God puts the solitary in families (or God gives the lonely a home). As I was meditating on this verse last week, I realized that God does not want Grace to be without a family for a moment longer. I also realized that I had stopped praying fervently for her quick homecoming. Instead, I had relaxed about the timing and thought that I was being spiritually mature. I had an attitude of "well...whenever she comes, that will be God's best timing." But, that is not true. God's best timing is now. In heaven there are no orphans, and Jesus told us to pray "Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven." I am asking God to bring our LOA quickly, for I know that He desires for Grace to have a home, a family, and people who love her. I have faith that He is already working to bring her home soon. To God be the glory!

The Library

Friday, June 13, 2008

I am so extremely grateful for the public library. We have lived in the same city for eight years and have gone to the library almost every week for all of those eight years. Typically, we check out about 50 books per week. Now, the kids don't always read all of the books, but most of the books are read by at least one of my children. When it was just Adam, then Adam and Lily, we did not check out quite that many books at a time. So, as a very conservative figure, I estimate that we have checked out about 5,000 books from the library in the eight years that we have lived in this town.

The library has an online hold system. Often, I put the maximum number of books on hold (20). Then, I don't even have to find the books. The librarian does it for me. I love it! We can also check out books from many neighboring libraries. They are delivered right to our library.

We have lost two books. There is quite a high fee if you lose a book. So, for those two books we probably spent $50. Also, I frequently have a fine on my card. I wait to pay it until it gets close to $5 because I usually use the self checkout. I have probably paid about $30 in fines in the eight years that I have used this library. So, basically I have paid about one penny in rental fees for each book that I have checked out (of course, there are taxes, but we'd pay these whether or not we'd used the library).

On the other hand, my kids have always done the summer reading program and received great prizes. I'm sure that over the years the prizes have equaled at least $80. So, I guess that our book rental has cost us nothing. What a deal!


Monday, June 9, 2008

Here is a glimpse into my two 7 year old's personalities.

Jadon: "Lily, you have a hole in your mouth."

Lily: "I know. I lost a tooth. It's a window to my soul." (said with absolute seriousness)

Jadon: (who still has a hole in the front part of his hard palate, that leads up to his nasal cavity) "I have a hole in my mouth too. It's a window to my nose."

The thing that made this conversation even more hilarious was that neither of them could figure out why I was laughing.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

When David (and the kids) and I talked about names for our new little sweetie, I had the sense that her name should be Grace. David liked the name, but thought that she should have a two syllable name since everyone else in the family has a two syllable name (David, Sarah, Adam, Yana, Lily and Jadon). As I thought and prayed about it, however, I was just sure that "Grace" was her name. When I shared this with David, he agree that if it was really her name, then she ought to be named Grace regardless of the number of syllables.

Recently, our pastor handed out a booklet with verses about the Lavish Love of God. He includes a few comments. This is what he had to say about grace.

"Aspects of God's love for us is reflected in the word "grace." The Greek meanings behind this word express many thoughts. The word has abundant use in secular Greek in the sense of unmerited favor, and Paul seized on this meaning of the word to express a fundamental characteristic of Christianity...[it] has almost exactly the same sense as "mercy." Indeed, "grace" here differs from "mercy" chiefly in connoting eager love as the source of the act...So charis, "grace," becomes almost an equivalent for "Christianity," viewed as the religion of dependence on God through Christ....

"Charis denoted both the favor and the favors, it was the natural word for the power that connected them. This use is very clear in I Corinthians 15:10, where Paul says, "not I, but the grace of God which was with me" labored more abundantly than they all: grace is something that labors. So in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness"; compare 2 Timothy 2:1, "strengthened in the grace," and I Peter 4:10, "stewards of the manifold grace." Evidently in this sense "grace" is almost a synonym for the Spirit...and there is little real difference between "full of the Holy Spirit" and "full of grace and power" in Acts 6:5,8, while there is a very striking parallel between Ephesians 4:7-13 and I Corinthians 12:4-11, with "gifts of grace" in the one passage, and "gifts of the Spirit" in the other. And this connection between grace and the Spirit is found definitely in the formula "Spirit of grace" in Hebrews 10:29."

This was a great encouragement to me. God has surely given our daughter a beautiful name. May her life be a reflection of the abundant grace of God!

LID (log in date)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Our paperwork is now officially logged in at the CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs). It was only 6 days between DTC and LID, so we're very grateful that things are moving along quickly. We're praying that we could travel as soon as possible. We're getting closer little Grace...

Summer thinking

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Our last day of school was a week ago, Thursday. Summer is here and I have been drinking in the time to relax, pray, think, swim with the kids, do just ONE subject with each of them for school, etc... I feel like I have an abundance of mental space and space in my schedule. I have still been thinking quite a bit about little Maria Chapman. Her death has convinced me even more deeply that death is not God's plan or will. When I had my last miscarriage, a number of well-meaning people told me that it was God's will. This is not true. God does not cause death and it is not His will. I continue to be so encouraged by Bill Johnson's books and teachings on this. He reminds us that our goal as Christians is to bring heaven down to earth. We aren't just sitting around, waiting for heaven. We are to participate in the kingdom now. Glory be to God! He wants us to experience life with Him now AND in eternity. I know that I will continually be learning all of what this means. But God is with me, desiring to show me His way, and I am so grateful.

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