Thanks in ALL Circumstances

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is so much to be thankful or rather grateful for…My cup simply overflows…
BUT, stop there. This does not mean that I do not have a (growing) list of health problems, a marriage that has some chapters I would just rather skip over, a house and car that our family is busting out of and never enough hours in the day to get it ‘all’ done. This means that my cup absolutely runneth over because despite all that I lack, Jesus Christ’s grace covers it and THEN even USES my need-my shortcomings and my mess for my own growth. Seriously, He is perfect…He REALLY is!

My prayers have changed dramatically over the years. They use to consist of asking for a lot of help (‘PULEASE fix this, please take care of that, please help with this…’) and Lord knows I needed it (or really wanted it anyway) and yes we SHOULD come to God with our needs (and of course I still do). BUT God has shown me that whether or not I received the answer I wanted, that He has heard and has in fact answered each and every single prayer uttered (cried, blubbered, whatever). AND, (this is the best part) most often the seemingly unanswered prayers were actually the greatest opportunities for growth in knowing (REALLY knowing) our Creator. By walking through ‘the fire’, trusting Christ in the lead, I learned that I can face my greatest fears, cry out in utter desperation and even ask God ‘why?!’ and then in one final act of faith (or perhaps the realization that I have no control over the situation anyway), hand them fully over to Him and rest (yes, actually REST) in knowing “He’s got this” and then survive to tell of it, stronger than ever before.

I don’t know about you but for me it is hard to (truly) seek God when life is going smoothly and I’ve got this on my own. When things are running like a well-oiled machine, I cannot pray with the same passion (fervor) that I do when life is crushing in on me. It’s an amazing perspective (rock bottom looking up) and somewhere along the narrow path I realized that this should always be my posture (in both plenty and in want) and my prayers to follow changed. I still ask for help (yes blubber and what not…I’m not super human) but I no longer fear the trial when faced with it. What a gift!!! Seriously? Priceless.
Had God not gifted me with reasons to fall at His feet each day-to cry out and give them COMPLETELY to Him (to see through the fallacy that a trial is a punishment), I never would have known how beautifully He can bring it all together…in His time…in His perfect way. A blessing not many can understand or are willing to accept as such.
Had I not been given the opportunity to see the depths of God’s beautiful work over my shallow pleas, I would still be losing sleep over an endless list of needs and fears, rather than thanking God for the for the beauty I now KNOW that He is making them into.

Oh so thankful, grateful, undeserving, yet blessed beyond measure.

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Finally Family

Words cannot describe the emotional release I felt this morning as I poured my first cup of coffee saying to myself, “We are family” (no worry of losing her any more).  Ahh…Seriously? Release.
Since words can do no justice to the magnitude of my gratefulness or the fullness of my heart, I will simply have to share in pictures my heart on our adoption hearing day ❤

For 907 days I've shared their Love and their Home...As of today, I also share their last name! Jeremiah 29:11

For 907 days I’ve shared their Love and their Home…As of today, I also share their last name!
Jeremiah 29:11

Daddy gettin' some love at the hearing!

Daddy gettin’ some love at the hearing!

And...We're family!

And…We’re family!

Officially Family!

Officially Family!  (Olivia was crying because Ron and I cried…soft-hearted girl)!

Our Family

Our Family

Sisters modeling their new

Sisters modeling their new “Sisters” necklaces

Adoption Day!

907 Days end today!

God is good!

Getting ready for the BIG day

Getting ready for the BIG day

In just a little over 5 hours, our 2 and a half year (907 day) wait will be over and we will officially be a family!  And yes for those who have lived in Alaska, the # of days actually does add up to our area code!  Pretty awesome I say 😉

Lulu has been telling EVERYONE about her ‘adoption day’, although she does not understand what that entails, she just knows that she will be celebrating with friends and CAKE!
We  spent the day yesterday, preparing for the BIG event.  Each of the girls had their nails painted, I ironed our kuspuks and wrote out her ‘adoption sign’…trying to keep busy as I could not focus on much else.  It is hard to believe that today marks the end of our wait-The receiving of God’s promise and the beginning of our life together as a family (just us, no OCS).  It has yet to fully set it.

My prayer this morning is that God would be greatly glorified today.  His mercies are great and His will (and timing, yes even His timing) is perfect.
Part of me feels like I should build a pillar of rocks to commemorate this day (you know, as in Biblical times when they would build a pillar of stones at a place where God did a great thing, so as to not forget and to remind their children of God’s greatness?).  Truly, I do not want to forget the goodness of this day-The day that all my tears and frustrations over the past 2 and a half years look pitiful next to God’s promise being fulfilled.
I pray that as life continues to throw stumbling blocks in our path, that we can look back on THIS day and be faithful, knowing that God delivers!

Thank you ALL who have interceded on our behalf.  May you see the fruits of your faithfulness and be encouraged in knowing that God hears and He delivers!!!

Counting down the days…

My Blessings!

My Blessings!

I have delayed this post for a couple of reasons…First, the news felt completely surreal- leaving me absolutely unable to write, with no way of articulating my feelings in a manner that would give due justice to the magnitude of what I was trying to say.
Second, I have been told that anything can still happen…nothing is ‘final’ until the Judge records it.
However, all of the people who have been a part of this journey…those I know, and those I’ve never met (but prayerfully will one day) who have been in prayer, petitioning over our little one; YOU have been on my mind and you need to know the good works that God has been doing in response to your prayers!

All that said…we have an adoption hearing date set!  September 25th, 2015 will forever mark the day that our family, officially became a family!
That day will mark the end of our daughter’s 907 days in ‘foster care’ and the beginning of our new life together (just us-no OCS, no checking in, no asking for permissions to travel, no higher authority outside of God’s).  (BIG breath out), oh I cannot wait!!!

I reread Psalm 10 last night as a reminder of the fight that God has fought for our little one (and for us).  This is the same chapter that I held open in my hand throughout the entire termination of parental rights hearing.  That day, this chapter spoke to me (almost audibly), with comfort and reassurance as the text leapt from the pages while Lulu’s fate was being determined.
It ends with this promise…

“…Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble;
You will prepare their heart;
You will cause Your ear to hear,
To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
That the man of the earth may oppress no more.”

And God delivered (greatly)!

Right now we are thoroughly enjoying the planning of Lulu’s adoption celebration and in doing so, I find myself humbled as the numbers of those able to celebrate with us are quickly nearing 50!
So many hearts have cried out, carrying us when we could no longer utter a word and God heard each prayer and in each utterance on her behalf you became a part of her story.  I pray that one day I will be able to thank you in person for interceding on our behalf.  God bless you!!!

So for now we are counting down the days, anxiously awaiting the 25th and paying no mind to the ‘what if’s’.  God has brought us all this far.  HIS will, will be done.

I am SO looking forward to posting photos (that include Lulu’s full face and actual name) of the adoption hearing…closing out this chapter and welcoming in the new one!!!

Life is a Journey

God's Timing

God’s Timing

Two months have (quietly, peacefully) passed since I first learned of the new laws that threatened our little one’s adoption-Two months of absolute peace, following my panic, anger, discouragement…My lack of faith, when the enemy taunted me with (empty) threats.  You can read about it here…

Sigh…I know the truth, the peace found in living in that truth and yet I still fall (so shamefully fast) trembling at the fear in front of me…forgetting God’s unseen army surrounding us (2 Kings 6:15-17).

Our story is still not over.  The adoption should have been finalized by now (and I have thoroughly enjoyed entertaining beautiful visions of a summer spent with all this behind us) but the Judge (who I’ve been told is normally quite fast) took the maximum time to file the necessary paperwork and the one woman (yes one, no subs, no assistants, just one) in charge of tribal adoptions is on vacation for a month (left the day before the paperwork hit her desk)!  It’s comical really but the beautiful thing is that I can laugh with it.  After months (years in fact) of battling fears and sleepless nights, the peace I’ve felt in the silence as we wait has been a gift.  The tribe is suddenly no longer making threats to take over jurisdiction of our case and as far as OCS is concerned, it’s just waiting for paperwork to be processed to make our family ‘official’.  So after all the drama in the courtroom, the new ICWA laws and threats from the tribe to take her from our family…we suddenly find ourselves surrounded by peace…silence on all sides.
Isn’t that just how God works?  Quietly, without any works from us, all the threats that had once consumed us have just faded away.  It could almost have gone unnoticed, like when you pray for healing and one day wake and realize you no longer hurt?  (Thinking ‘When did that happen?’)  THAT is our creator in action.  Most often with no pomp and circumstance, just tending to us as He sees fit WHEN he sees fit to do so.
Don’t misunderstand, YES, I wait in anticipation to be on the other side…to share the same last name, to no longer feel the looming presence of OCS in our happy, little home, to quiet the voice that taunts me with ‘she’s not really YOURS yet’, but I know that it will come (in God’s time).
Waiting is never without purpose and I feel led to change my prayer focus during this time of wait to putting on the FULL armor of Christ (Ephesians 6:10-19) in order to gain wisdom and be better prepared for what lie ahead.  My focus has been so great on justice for our little one and the adoption itself that I’ve not focused on much else- specifically asking for God to teach me where I lack wisdom, to fill me where I am empty and to prepare me for what lie ahead as we wait. Now is the time to do so…Lord thank you for your patience with me!

So as summer solstice approaches with no court date to count down to and nothing new to report, I am learning to thrive in the journey as we look forward to the destination.

Thank you for your prayers.  It thrills me to know that one day I will meet all who have interceded on behalf of our little one!

Mama never said there’d be days like THIS

I love my Husband.

It’s been a ‘rough’ day to say the least. 4 hours of sleep and trying to bake and prepare for Madison’s 10th Birthday while holding back tears, or running to the bathroom for a quick cry (so the kids don’t see) while reminding myself that God’s will is perfect (even if I don’t ‘get it’).
Then the phone rings and it’s my Husband asking how I’m doing (knowing me all too well). He continues on to say that the stage is set for God to do great things…reminding me that miracles stem from the seemingly insurmountable but also reminding me that even if we don’t understand the result that we can trust that she is in His care…I know that is truth but I really needed to hear it from my ‘other half’.

Every Miracle in the Bible first

Thanking God for blessing me with such an amazing soul partner.

So if we are the Body, Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His feet going?

There are100,000 orphans right here in the U.S. waiting for forever families, and nearly 350,000 Churches... So if we are the Body, Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His feet going?

So if we are the Body, Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His feet going?

There are 100,000 orphans right here in the U.S. waiting for forever families, and nearly 350,000 Churches… So if we are the Body, Why aren’t His arms reaching, why aren’t His feet going?
Here is a list of how many children are waiting for families vs. how many churches are in each state.
Contact the Alaska Center for Resource Families at (907) 479-7307 or visit their website at http://www.ACRF.org, to learn more and see how you can attend an informative orientation.