Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Embrace the Mystery

Currently, I'm waiting to get news on when a staffing meeting will be held by the state to decide whether or not I'd be a good match for a preteen boy who needs a forever family. There is a lot of hopefulness that I'll get picked and also a ton of waiting right now which can make me inpatient. All the workers are probably busy with helping other grateful families during National Adoption Month and also the Thanksgiving holiday being right around the corner could delay things. So I find myself moving between content in the timing and impatient for answers. And let me just tell you, "impatience for answers" is never a healthy place for me to camp out. So tonight, I'm spending some time with God meditating on the beauty of mystery. I've been in the bible, in some poetry books and searching online on the topic of mystery. This time reflecting on the mysteries of God has been so refreshing. I'm finding that an amazing calmness springs up in my heart as I embrace how mysterious the Lord is in everything He orchestrates. Here's just a taste...enjoy! 
1 Timothy 3:16 "Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory." 

A.W. Tozer, " We cover our deep ignorance with words, but we are ashamed to wonder, we are afraid to whisper mystery.

Ecc. 11:5 TLB, God’s ways are as mysterious as the pathway of the wind and as the manner in which a human spirit is infused into the little body of a baby while it is yet in its mother’s womb. 

Matthew Henry commentary on Ecc. 11 [para] - We don't know the way of the Spirit. We know not when it comes, or when it goes, or when it will turn. The same can be said of the human soul; we know that God made us, and gave us these souls, but how our specific souls entered into these bodies, are united to them, animate them, and operate upon them, we can't understand! The soul is a mystery. For all that we do know, we cannot describe the infusing of the body with a soul; both, we know, are the work of God, and we yield to in his work, but cannot trace the process of the operation. And because of this great mystery and his powerful working, we may well trust God to provide for us... 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Build, with faith, in the wait.

New table - has butterfly leaf that transforms it to seat 8 people!
Lately, I think I've been nesting again. Life with my daughter is going amazing and although God's not opened the door yet for another child for me or a sibling for her, we've been doing what families do...soaking up life together.

We have also been preparing for the upcoming holidays. Our Halloween yard decorations are planned already since she has begged me to "make it legit this year, Mom." *laughing* Done, girl. Recently, I bought a beautiful dining room table and chairs that seats up to 8 people. I was a bit cautious at first but, after visiting 10 stores looking for the perfect table, I'm ecstatic with this buy. Our new table has already gotten so much use now that we have something larger and a bit more comfy. Another holiday I recently made a purchase for was Christmas. I swooped up a dreamy Christmas tree! This artificial tree stands proudly at 7.5 ft. and is heavily flocked with long needles and gentle, white lights.

So what's with all the money spending? Well, I've been praying about that and thinking a lot about my purchases to check my motives. (Do you ever do that?) The only way I can explain it is that when I "nest" I'm building, with faith, in the wait. This is not the first time I've done this either. For example, I just celebrated the five year anniversary of purchasing my home. Five short years ago, I bought a three bedroom home as a single woman. This.was.a.faith.move. I had no one to fill the house. No potential female roommates from church, no children, and I wasn't dating anyone but God drew me to the home. I knew it as soon as I walked through the door that I was suppose to buy this house and I knew He would fill it and make it a home! So in the meantime I nested. Even back then, I built, with faith, in the wait until finally, BAM, I have a daughter! Ha. #adoptionrocks

And I'm waiting again. I'm waiting for God to add to my family because something in my spirit tells me God's not done. I have no clue on his timing. I have zero information on the plans He's drawn up but I'm committed to keep building with faith during this wait. After all, there is only two of us in my home right now but I just bought a table for eight! That's a faith move! But I believe God can fill it...one way or another and if He does, my home will be ready. This morning, I can say with confidence, "My God is up to something!" I can't tell you exactly what, who, or even when but I feel His prompting as He's preparing my heart so I'm preparing too. I want to be ready.

Are you waiting on something to happen that God's placed on your heart? How are you building, with faith, during your wait? I think for many of us, it's hard to make faith moves because we think more about how stupid we'd feel if things don't turn out than about how much it pleases God to take steps of faith! So let me remind you...if you make faith moves, God can come through. Don't you believe that He wants to come through?! Work on stretching your faith and be bolder. Have faith in God.
Faith verses to ponder: 
2 Samuel 22:26 “To the faithful you [God] show yourself faithful; to those with integrity you show integrity.
Psalm 119:30 "I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your [the Lord's] regulations.
Isaiah 7:9 "But this is what the Sovereign Lord says...Unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.” 
Habakkuk 2:4 “...But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.
Matthew 9:29 "Then he [Jesus] touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.”
Matthew 15:28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
Matthew 17:20-21 “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible. Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen.”
Matthew 21:22 "You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” ~Jesus
Galatians 5:22 "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness..."
2 Thessalonians 1:11 "So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of his call. May he give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.
Hebrews 11:1 "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
Hebrews 11:6 "And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
James 1:2-4 "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
New Christmas Tree

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Comfort Embrace

This picture makes me smile because the angle
makes her hair seem super long! But it's the horse's tail. ha
Over the past year it has happened several times, but there are two times I remember being surprised by it. Once when my daughter returned from the most recent church teen camp and then today. Being that my girl will be 17 years old in a few months, I am shocked each time it happens. It's what I call "the comfort embrace."

When Rene' got off the bus after being gone for a week at camp, I guess I expected her to be a bit stand-offish with me while around her peers but instead, she bounced off the bus and straight into my arms in full view of, well everyone. And it wasn't a quick hug...it was a full on, let me stand here and be held embrace. I felt so loved!

Today, she spent time with new friends and had a day full of horseback riding and swimming. [More pics below] I picked her up from a local ranch and when she saw me, she walked up to me, "fell" into my arms and again just stood there in my embrace. 

So as I was driving us home today, the story of the Prodigal Son came to mind. I tend to picture that returning son falling into the arms of a comfort embrace with his Dad [Luke 15]. The embrace is one of those, "I'm so tired and glad to be with you that I just want to be held" type of hugs. And I REALLY want this type of relationship with God! But I found myself wondering when the last time was that I just "fell" into His loving embrace or cuddled snugly into the hope of my salvation or even let myself rest in the comfort of all that Christ's love is in my life? I think it's been too long! Do I even view God as the God of Comfort? Am I forgetting how much he loves to have me in a Comfort Embrace? Yes. I've forgotten that lately. And I don't think I reflect on Him as the Lord who loves to comfort us - but He totally does! 

So, as I'm looking up "comfort" in the bible, I'm seeing how MUCH our God really loves to comfort us and how He continually wants us in His Comfort Embrace! Want proof? Here are some verses I've been reflecting on - may they bring you comfort too. 
  • Isaiah 40:1-3Comfort for God's People -  “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. “Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and her sins are pardoned."
  • Isaiah 57: 18-19, "I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the Lord, who heals them."
  • Isaiah 61:1 Good News for the Oppressed ] The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me [Jesus - ref. Luke 4], for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:3 [ God Offers Comfort to All ] "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort." ...and verses 4-5
  • Also read - Zechariah 1:12-14
  • Psalm 94: 19, "When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer." 
  • Psalm 119: 50, "Your promise revives me; it comforts me in all my troubles."
  • Psalm 86: 17b, "...for you, O Lord, help and comfort me. 
  • Psalm 23:4 HCSB, "Even when I go through the darkest valley, I fear no danger, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff - they comfort me."