my train prayer

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

There is a train that runs through our town.
It's difficult not to be bothered by this train, because you have to wait for it.

A couple of weeks ago, however, a friend from our church suggested that the train be seen as symbolic of the Church...the beautiful Bride that Jesus will be coming back for. So, now, when we wait for the train, our perspective has changed. We are excited for the opportunity to wait for the train. When we wait for the train, we pray for the Church...we pray that God's Spirit would move through this land.

Now, I know that Peter, Paul and Mary were not a Christian band, but I keep thinking of this song. I just love the line about love between our brothers and our sisters (all over this land), because, when true love between the brethren is manifest on the earth, His Church will be seen in all its glory.

So, here it train prayer...

And on a slightly different note, I've had some rough days lately, but our God is so very faithful. I shared my struggles with a group of women from my church yesterday, I posted that last post, and I spent a lot of time seeking the face of our precious Lord. I KNOW that people were praying for me, and He has COMPLETELY changed my perspective.

Last night, I was dancing around the kitchen with my kiddos, full of the joy of the Lord. Then, this morning He gave me Psalm 50:12-13:

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
   and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
 13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
   so that sinners will turn back to you.

He is the only One that truly satisfies. His joy is the only thing that will truly draw people unto Him.
Lord, give me more of Your joy!

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From self to God

The Eternal God is thy refuge. Deuteronomy 33:27

A place to flee to, a sanctuary. An escape from misunderstanding, from yourself. You can get away from others into the quiet of your own being, but from yourself, from the sense of your failure, your weakness, your sins and shortcomings, whither can you flee?

To the Eternal God your refuge. Till in His Immensity you forget your smallness, meannes, limitations.

Till the relief of safety merges into Joy of appreciation of your refuge, and you absorb the Divine, and absorbing gain strength to conquer.

God Calling, November 30

Today, I want to escape from the biggest problem in my life.
I want to escape from

My love is weak.
My faith is shaky.
I have so very little to offer.

But, You, oh Lord,
You have everything to offer.

My precious Father,
help me to forget myself in You.
 Let me rest in the refuge of your arms.
Let me experience the tender mercies of your presence.

And Father,
help me to lay all things at Your feet.
For you are the only One
who is able to bridge the gap
between my lack
and other's need.

You are my sanctuary, Oh God.
I flee to You alone.

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Exciting news!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This little princess is going to have a family of her very own!!!!

I don't know many of the details yet, but I am praising God that Lucy will have a family that (I'm sure) is over-the-moon excited and absolutely smitten with her. Thank you so much for praying for precious Lucy. I will let you know more details as soon as I have more to share.

I'm also praising God for some wonderful news that another family received today...can't wait to be able to share about that, as well! Our God is all about doing the seemingly impossible. He is so good!!!

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mountain getaway

Sunday, November 27, 2011

David and I have been blessed over the past few years, to spend the weekend after Thanksgiving in the mountains. Our anniversary is on December 9th, so we celebrate a little early. We go to David's parent's house for Thanksgiving, and then leave the kids with them for the rest of the weekend (thank you so much for taking care of our precious little ones, Oma and Opa).

This time together truly is a blessing. Every one of the years that we've been able to get away, we have discovered some significant things in the Lord, have made some major decisions and have been refreshed and encouraged in significant ways. A few years back, we read George Muller's book on money and found our thinking completely transformed in this area, four years ago we decided to adopt Grace during our weekend retreat, and this year we spent time praying and thinking about how to raise up godly young men and women who embrace their God-given femininity and masculinity. This is such a beautiful subject that I hope to be able to share more about later.

Of course, in addition to all the time to read, relax, pray and be together, David and I also like to take advantage of the fact that we are in the mountains! We love the breathtaking beauty of God's creation.

David, it has been a privilege and honor to spend these past 16 years with you. You are a man of honor,  kindness, love, service and integrity. I love you so very much! 

A little silliness is always in order.

There's an amazing Nepali restaurant that we love to eat at. Oh my! It makes me long for India.

Thank you, Father, for times of refreshing and strengthening. What a blessing they are!

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trauma, fear and emotional healing

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, the kids and I were backing out of the driveway when my youngest son rolled down the car window and shouted, "That's a ten!"

No. He wasn't  giving a score for a neighborhood gymnastics event. Rather, he was giving his daddy a rating (1 to 10) of his fear level. You see, David was in the garage, cutting a piece of wood with the circular saw. And even though David, as a carpenter, uses the saw pretty much every day, when Jadon observes his daddy doing something that seems dangerous, it brings up all sorts of fears.


It's a common emotion for many people, but for a child who has experienced trauma, the level of fear can be dibilitating.

Jadon and Grace both had surgeries before we adopted them. I don't know exactly what their hospital experience was like, but I can guess. I can guess because they are both absolutely terrified of doctors and dentists. But, their fear comes out in different ways.

For example, Jadon has been an angel for his surgeries here, but his fear frequently comes out as anger leading up to a doctor's appointment. To be honest, I haven't always handled that anger well, because I didn't know that it was due to fear. Now I know. Now I approach my precious boy a little differently. I give him a lot of space to talk about his feelings, give him special treats (my son definitely experiences love through food), and give him extra grace for his behavior (without, of course, letting him be unkind to other people).

Grace's fear, on the other hand, comes out in ways that are more obvious. A couple of months ago Grace needed some shots. My sweet girl sobbed for an hour in the doctor's office and as I held her still on the table, she stared blankly up at the ceiling and screamed in an absolutely other-wordly sort of way. I've never seen or heard anything like it and I vowed that she would never have an experience like that again.

So when I spoke with her dentist yesterday about ways to help her feel safe in the dentist's office, and he informed me that she just needed to go back on her own or she would never be emotionally secure, I decided that it was time for a new dentist. Don't get me wrong, this dentist is not a uncaring man...not at all. He just doesn't understand the effects of trauma on my little girl.

Our precious Father is the only One who can completely heal our children from their fears, but He has also entrusted David and I to be their protectors and advocates on this earth. In the past, I have not understood that calling as fully as I do now. I entrusted my children's emotional health to the medical experts, rather than to my mama's heart.

Yes, children need shots and fillings and even surgeries. But, more importantly, they need to feel secure and safe in their parent's love and protection. As much as I am able, I want to give my children that security by being there for them and advocating for them for as long as they need me. And one day (when she is ready), I expect that my little Grace will walk into a dentist's office and ask me to stay in the waiting area so that she can get her teeth cleaned all by herself.

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a time to worship

Sunday, November 20, 2011

We've been so blessed over the past few years that Lily and Grace have been able to be a part of the worship dance group in our town. It is a joy to see them learn to worship the Lord through music and dance.

This year, we were tripley blessed, as Yana decided that she would like to take classes, as well. All of the girls who danced were absolutely beautiful, and, of course, we were particularly partial to our three girls!

Thanks to the cousins (and Aunt Susie and Grammy) for coming to the recital. It was wonderful to have you there!

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made for relationship

Friday, November 18, 2011

To understand why God puts such an emphasis on protection and care for the widow and the orphan we need to understand that his original plan was for his creation to be in loving, healthy relationships. When he says it is not good for Adam to be alone, he is showing his heart for family, friendship, and partnership. When he sees a widow or an orphan he is still saying it is not good for you to be alone, I will send someone to love and care for you.
The Strength of the King, p. 53

This little girl was made for relationship.

Her heart is absolutely bursting with love.

On Wednesday, I was having a difficult day.
I was sitting on the floor, praying quietly, while the rest of the family was having a time of praise.
My sweet, sensitive Grace noticed my pain and brought me a blanket to lay across my lap.
Then she brought me a pillow to lean on.
After that, she handed me a box of kleenex and a little trash can.
Precious Grace stood with her hand on my shoulder for the next 15 minutes, whispering prayers, and then she asked her daddy if the whole family could pray for me.

Grace was able to minister to my heart because she is all about relationships...she knows how to love. To think of Grace alone in an orphange is enough to absolutely tear my heart in two. She was never meant to be alone.

Thank you, Father, for allowing this precious girl to be our daughter. Thank you for allowing us to love and care for Grace.

And thank you for allowing Grace to show such love to me,
because this little one was made for relationship...
and so was I.

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wordless wednesday

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

(oh my goodness gracious, I just LOVE this cutie-boy)

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I know the end of the story...

Monday, November 14, 2011

I'll come out from the wilderness,
and I'll be leaning on my Beloved...

Last week was tough.
For days in a row, I lost sight of my Beloved.
My faith was weak, and I didn't know how much more waiting I could take.
I told my dear, patient Father that He had to do something...I didn't want to wait anymore...I didn't want to travel this hard road...I didn't want to wonder...I wanted to know that R. would be home soon...I needed to know.

On Saturday night I had a dream.
In the dream there were wolves and there was fear.
But there was One who stood before the wolves,
and with a gentle touch,
pushed them away.

Just a gentle touch
and they were gone.

Then there were sentries...
angels standing guard.

The wolves would not return.

I woke up and knew that the Lord was near.

Then, at church, our pastor spoke about peace...
giving all of our anxiety to our Lord.
He spoke about Jesus, who slept in the boat, while there was a fierce storm outside.
When the disciples woke Him, He spoke such simple, gentle words...
Peace. Be still.

There was no striving.
There was no anxiety.

He was near
and all anxiety,
all fear,
all tumult

So, now I remember...

I know the end of the story.
And at the end of the story, Jesus is right beside me,
and that is enough.
Peace. Be still.
Be still.

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love from Lily to Lucy

Hi! This is Lily. As you probably know, I'm adopted from China. I'm in my mom's class, and we made bracelets for Lucy, because we really want Lucy to have a loving family, so maybe you could consider buying one of these bracelets, or donating money for her on our sidebar. I know what it's like to have loving people and family around me, and I think my family is really good. If you lived in an orphanage and had a loving nanny, it still wouldn't be like family, because that nanny won't always be with you, but family is forever. Also, Jesus said that every child is important and he cares about Lucy a ton. Lucy is a beautiful little girl and we love her lots.

We'd love to send you a bracelet! If you'd like one, just hop over to my sidebar and donate $10 or more towards Lucy's grant fund. Then, leave me a comment, letting me know which bracelet you'd like to have. Also, if I don't have your address, make sure you leave your email address in the comments.

Thanks so much for helping sweet Lucy to find her family.
bracelet #2 (lovingly created by Tatianna)
clear and blue

 bracelet #3 (lovingly created by Lily)
an asian theme
No longer available.
Thank you, Holly!

bracelet #4 (lovingly created by Bethany)
red and blue
No longer available.
Thank you, Heidi.
bracelet #6 (lovingly created by Mary)
clear with pink ribbons

bracelet #8 (lovingly created by Lily)
asian inspired 2

bracelet #9 (lovingly created by Teresa)
turquoise and clear
this bracelet is sized a little bit larger than average
No longer available.
Thank you, Tina.

bracelet #12 (lovingly created by Sarah)
turquoise and clear 2
No longer available.
Thank you, Tina!

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Happy birthday, dear friend.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A friend should be one in whose understanding and virtue we can equally confide, and whose opinion we can value at once for its justness and its sincerity.
Robert Hall

I really don't know how to express the gratitude I feel to the Lord for giving me such a friend as Meredith. Honestly, if you knew her, you'd be so jealous that I get to see her almost every day. Meredith is amazing, generous, enthusiastic, funny, caring and she loves the Lord with all that she is. She is simply the best friend that I could have ever imagined.

Happy Birthday, dear friend. I love you with all my heart!

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I know what it feels like...

Friday, November 11, 2011

If you missed my last post, click here before reading this post.
Hi. I'm Yana. I used to live in an orphanage in Ukraine, and I know what it feels like to not have a family. We're making these bracelets so that Lucy can get a family soon. Making bracelets is only a small step for Lucy's adoption. We just need to pray for her because God wants someone to be her family. I really hope that you can be part of her fundraising. We would also appreciate prayers too. It would be a great blessing for her.
(Yana is the pig-tailed cutie in the middle right of this photo. This was her class in Ukraine.)

I'm re-posting the bracelets that are still available.
Thank you so much for your encouragement and support for Lucy and also for my classroom of girls!

bracelet #2 (lovingly created by Tatianna)
clear and blue (the clear beads look pink, due to the red background)

 bracelet #3 (lovingly created by Lily)
an asian theme

bracelet #4 (lovingly created by Bethany)
red and blue

bracelet #6 (lovingly created by Mary)
clear with pink ribbons

bracelet #8 (lovingly created by Lily)
asian inspired 2

bracelet #9 (lovingly created by Teresa)
turquoise and clear
this picture doesn't do this bracelet justice...the beads are really gorgeous
this bracelet is sized a little bit larger than the average adult size

bracelet #12 (lovingly created by Sarah)
turquoise and clear 2


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