Saturday, February 13, 2016

Motherhood Month - 21

Progress:  Tomorrow will be 2 years + 9 months since we were approved.

How I'm Feeling:  It's kinda a crazy thought that if we had gotten pregnant the day we got approved, we would now have a 2 year old.  I think I'm patiently, hopefully, waiting.  Physically and emotionally I'm just feeling a little crummy...okay, a lot crummy, right now.

Craving:  I'm not super-hungry right now but I would totally take almost anything loaded with melted cheese...grilled cheese sandwich, pizza, you name it.

Thoughts about our future child:  I've been reading so much from adoptees and birth mothers, and we recently watched Adopted, so it's on my mind, hoping that you and I will have a good relationship and that I will be able to help you feel free to be able to talk to me about what you're feeling.

Thoughts about our child's expectant mom:  I hope you will have support, particularly after the adoption as you go back to life with a baby-shaped hole in your heart.  I hope you will be able and willing to be a part of our baby's life, for your sake, his/her sake, and ours, too.

Most recent baby purchase/gift:  Nothing really.

This month God:  Has been teaching me how good He is!  I wrote about it here.

Friday, February 12, 2016

God is Good!

A couple days ago I was feeling pretty discouraged about our adoption.  I wasn't feeling much hope that we'd get chosen.  I had some time to myself right then so I started looking up verses in my Bible on the topic of God wanting good for me.

See, this is something I often struggle with believing - that God wants good for me.  Even though I have been freed from the laws of being a Mennonite when I became a Christian, the old teachings sometimes still hang around the back of my mind without my barely noticing.  Such as that God gives us what we deserve; what we earn - not gifts and blessings out of His love for us.  I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that God wants to give us good things - I find it hard to ask Him for anything but the very practical needs, and the specifically "spiritual" needs.

But I was so encouraged reading my Bible (where I know that everything is true, and doesn't need to be run through any filter checking if there is error of teaching).  I am not one to decide something, and then look up verses to jive with that.  I would rather know what's true.  Here are the Bible verses that impacted me, followed by the truths that God showed me from them:

"Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to You do I cry all the day.
Gladden the soul of Your servant,
for to You, O Lord,
do I lift up my soul.
For You, O Lord,
are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love
to all who call upon You.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
In the day of my trouble I call upon You,
for You answer me...
...For You are great and do wondrous things;
You alone are God."
Psalm 86:3-7 & 10

He is good!  He does wondrous things!  He answers me!

"For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord,
plans for welfare and not for evil,
to give you a future and a hope."
Jeremiah 29:11

He is the one in charge of plans for me!  And His plans are for good!

"Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all His benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good 
so that your youth in renewed like the eagle's."
Psalm 103:2-5

He satisfies me with good!

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior
are the children of one's youth.
Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them!.."
Psalm 127:3-5

"Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord...
May you see your children's children!..."
Psalm 128:3-4 & 6

"Praise the Lord!
Blessed is the man who fears the Lord,
who greatly delights in His commandments!
His offspring will be mighty in the land;
the generation of the upright will be blessed."
Psalm 112:1-2

Although at first glance these verses didn't feel encouraging to me, they do show me this:
God thinks children are a good thing!

"Is anyone among you suffering?
Let him pray...
The prayer of a righteous person
has great power as it is working.
Elijah was a man with a nature like ours,
and he prayed fervently that it might not rain,
and for three years and six months it did not rain upon the earth.
Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, 
and the earth bore its fruit."
James 5:13 & 16-18

PRAY!  Prayer WORKS!

And the verse that stood out to me the most...

"Ask, and it will be given to you;
seek, and you will find;
knock, and it will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives,
and the one who seeks finds,
and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Or which one of you,
if his sons asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
If you then, who are evil,
know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your Father in heaven give good things
to those who ask him!"
Matthew 7:7-11

God will give good things to me when I ask Him because He is good! 

I hope you have found this encouraging!  Perhaps you don't struggle with believing that God does good things for His people out of the goodness of His heart the way I do, but regardless, I hope these verses have encouraged your faith in Him as they have me!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Psalm 103

I've spent the last few months memorizing Psalm 103 and I can hardly believe I'm saying this, but I did it!  I recited the whole chapter to my husband 2 night ago.  I am not good at memorization.  Like, really bad, actually.  My sister would memorize sheets and sheets of Scripture to subsidize the cost of attending Bible camp.  When I went to camp, I tried memorizing as well, and it didn't work.  Thankfully I never loved camp as much as her!  I love acting, but hugely struggled with script memorization, so never pursued it beyond church drama team as a teen.  Once, in high school, we were required to memorize 20 verses of Scripture for Bible class.  It was hard!  So why attempt to memorize a whole chapter again?  Because I wanted the words to stick in my head (and heart) long-term.  I was reading through Psalms in my one-on-one time with God, and when I came across Psalm 103:10, it really hit me (you can read it below).  I love that verse.  So I decided to memorize the whole chapter.  I love the idea of being able to bring God's words to mind, and to share them with anybody who needs, even if I or the other person doesn't have a Bible on hand.  Now I guess we'll just see how long it sticks!  Hopefully if I brush up on it occasionally, it will.  However, I found there are 2 cons to memorizing this much, at least for me.  It may be different for you.  For me, it took me months to memorize it.  During this time, I felt I couldn't move on with reading my Bible, because I felt it would "write over" the words I had memorized.  This had the effect of pausing my spiritual growth a little.  Don't worry, I still did spend one-on-one time with God, it just wasn't as frequent or always as in-depth as it was before.  Also, when I was continually repeating the verses to memorize the words, they became just that - words.  That was a little disappointing, and something I didn't expect.  I'm hoping that now that it's memorized, these words can be brought to mind and dwelt on, so that I can treasure them more again - and I think that will be the case!  I'm excited to have more of God's Word hidden in my heart, ready to be brought to mind when I or others need it!

I have highlighted my favourite verse, the one that inspired me to memorize this chapter, below.  Once you're done reading, could you please share your favourite part of this chapter in the comments?  Thanks!  I'd love to hear what was the most meaningful to you!

 "Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy,
who satisfies you with good
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
The Lord works righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed.
He made known His ways to Moses,
His acts to the people of Israel.
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.
He will not always chide,
nor will He keep His anger forever.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does He remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting
on those who fear Him, 
and His righteousness to children's children,
to those who keep His covenant and remember to do His commandments.
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
and His kingdom rules over all.
Bless the Lord, O you His angels,
you mighty ones who do His word,
obeying the voice of His word!
Bless the Lord, all His hosts,
His ministers, who do His will!
Bless the Lord, all His works,
in all places of His dominion.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Life Goes On

As we continue waiting to adopt, life moves on.

Yes, there are still moments when the phone rings and my stomach lurches, but they are few and far between.  I won't deny that, the longer the wait, the harder hope is to hang on to.

But I have not given up!  Recently I have been thinking about tweaking our Dear Birthmother letter and making it more reflective of my heart, and less of a history write-up of ourselves.  Also, a few times a week I work on our baby room.  We are renovating our house ourselves, and what I've been doing is tearing wallpaper off the walls of the baby room.  It's a chore to say the least, but every strip torn off makes me feel like I'm that much closer to bringing Baby home :)  Also, this week we are going to be attending, for our first time, a support group at our agency for waiting adoptive parents.

Hubby taking a pause during renos.  This is looking from the living room to the wall of the baby room.  We are widening one closet into a nook for our computer desk; this will make the baby room closet slightly smaller.
Besides renos, what else has 'everyday life' looked like for me lately?  Well, I have been reading a very good book about friendships.  I am learning a lot about myself and how to do friendships better in the future.  Also, I've been working on a system to prioritize how I spend my days.  I don't want the little time that God has given me go to waste doing unimportant things.  Important things to me, that I want to do every day, are one-on-one time with God, one-on-one time with my husband, doing housework, scrapbooking, going outside for fresh air/exercise, and the list goes on.  Checklists work for me to get into good habits, so I'm leaning towards doing something like that.   

Perhaps one day I will write a series of blog posts on friendships. 
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