Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Adoption

“For He foreordained us (destined us, planned in love for us) to be adopted (revealed) as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the purpose of His will [because it pleased Him and was His kind intent] – [So that we might be] to the praise and the commendation of His glorious grace (favor and mercy), which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” ~ Ephesians 1:13 (Amplified)

As you know, we just adopted an adult dog from some folks who were moving and couldn't take him with them. Now and again, he has a hard time and starts wondering where his previous masters are. He's probably wondering what he did wrong and how long we intend to keep him. He seeks me out constantly and is still a bit nervous when I leave the room, still not sure of the new situation. I wish I could speak dog right about now, I would explain to him that adoption means we selected him to become one of our own – for keeps. I've always been a sucker for the cast away. The person or animal that has unfortunately believed the lie that they're of no value – because I've been there myself. This has made me ponder my own spiritual adoption.

I don't remember the exact day when I received the Lord Jesus Christ to reign in my heart, as I was very young; but I have had many unfortunate escapades away from my walk with the Lord. It is so sad how after a hardship, hurt or sin I easily hid myself from God, believing that I was worthless, unwanted. God has a beautiful way (if one opens their eyes) of showing His people His great love is for them, no matter what the failures, fears or sins are. The important thing is to rest in the confidence of my holy adoption instead of falsehoods and fears.

I'm not sure how long it will take Tyson, our Rottweiler to settle in with us and be at peace, but we will be here, patiently waiting with him to do so. He's learning our cues, rules and expectations, just as we are learning his. I can't wait for the day when he finally sees us as his masters, Mama, Daddy and kiddos. When he sees us as safety, security and the origin of his being loved. “For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a Spirit of slavery to put you once more into bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry Abba (Father)! Father!” ~ Romans 8:15 If you don't get up and dance at that thought, something's wrong with you, honey! Yet, do we see our selves as kings and priests? As royalty? Think of who you are now, child! This took a long time for me to grasp myself, but you are a child of the most High GOD!! What does that make you? As a child of such standing, where do you belong? Consider this, because it is extremely important. Where do you belong? How do you see yourself? Now compare it to what the scripture says about you. "But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God's] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." Think of your Holy Adoption this week, honey. Contemplate the difference between who you think you are (and what the world may tell you you are) and who God Almighty says you are.

Let me end with this personal story of mine: Quite some time ago, I was literally wrestling with God over... none of your business, that's what. :) I finally asked Him "I don't know what you want this old heart for; its dirty, ugly, probably rotten, and there's cobwebs that would scare goblins!" God spoke to me in a way that really shook me. He said "Because I PAID for it." His tone was loving but extremely firm (nearly knocked me off me over), and I can only bow down in the dust and thank my Heavenly Father for desiring this old heart. I am no longer fighting. I am humbled, but extremely thankful. You see, He personally reminded me of the great price He paid for me; little me. Despite what I thought of my self, God thought much much more. He did pay for it, therefore how could I not freely give it?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

“...You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; When He hears it, He will answer you.” ~ Isaiah 30:19


During an overwhelming flood of hormones last night at about 7:30, I declared to my household “I need chocolate NOW!!” Tom, being the ever perfect husband replied “I need 2 quarts of oil, if you're going to the store.” That was all I needed. (God bless you, Tommy. You are blessed and favored among men and dearly loved by your wife.)

I got to the store, and realized that I was also low on “feminine hygiene products”, so I had to pick up that stuff, too. Now, believe it or not, I'm a wee bit shy about buying the previous stated needs, plus the fact that I was buying it with chocolate would make the statement loud and clear that I was on my cycle. How embarrassing! So the obvious thing to do is quickly think of anything else I need from the store to try to hide the obvious. Shampoo! We needed shampoo. Lots of shampoo and conditioner to build a tower around the 2 packages of pads. Suddenly, one of my children needed a pair of sweat pants (to cover the packages, of course). Unfortunately, I didn't actually need much, but I had my parcels hidden, my precious chocolate and Tom's oil. I selected a checkout stand that had a female attendant, and females checking out. I carefully unloaded my items building a castle around the unnamed packages. Towers of shampoo, motor oil, chocolate, plain yogurt and deodorant protected the packages and the pants made a nice roof. The young gal at the checkout nicely greeted me with a “Hi! How are you this evening?” I was thinking “I'm buying pads and chocolate, how do you think I'm doing?” But instead replied with a chipper “Doing fine! How 'bout you?” Then she asks me if I want the small chocolate bars in my purse. I hesitated, but then lied “Oh, no thanks, just put them in the bag.” What was she accusing me of? Did she know I was on my time? Does she think I need chocolate? How dare she!! I was quite capable of rummaging through the grocery bags in the dark parking lot to find the chocolate, thank you very much.

The truth is, I don't know what in the world is going on with my hormones, but they are about to drive me out of my mind. I've found myself fighting worse than high school acne and wrinkles at the same time. Trust me, there is no face wash for that. I get furious with the children, then five minutes later, start crying while reading to them because all of Mother Duck's little ducklings came wandering back. If they were my ducklings, it wouldn't be a wonder that they wandered off in the first place! Its at hopeless times like these that I am forced to just look at awe at my children and remember that they come from crazy female hormones (yeah, yeah, and a few from Daddy, too... I know). Somehow I guess it all really does work out for good.

Mother's Day Off

Lord Jesus, I am weary in Thy work, but not of it.” ~ George Whitefield

I just had a “Mother's Day Off” yesterday and let me tell you what: I am a NEW WOMAN!! My cousin came down and we went to lunch, shopping and had coffee. The conversation was rarely about life and the trials there of. It was just plain fun. I had no idea how much I needed to get out. I can't tell you when I was out last that wasn't a quick meeting, Bible study, church, or groceries. I reiterate: it was jut plain FUN.

I had been feeling a bit melancholy as of late, but couldn't put my finger on the problem. I would go and seek the Lord and He did indeed lift me up to the high places, but I also know that He ordered this day off for me, and I am so grateful. It is a relief to me, too, because I always feel guilty when I feel like I need to get out. I always think of the mothers not too long ago that were rarely away from their children, and never got a “break” from life as we know it. “Tough it out” I always told myself, you don't actually need a break. Well, let me tell you something right now: I did; I got one; and I am ready and excited to get back to my housework, my lessons, and loving life. Perhaps we have to take a step back from life to realize how much we love it, even the mundane stuff. Like the wash that I get to start after my children wake up; the mopping that needs done yet again, and the school lessons the children and I get to do together. After having a deep breath of fresh air, I am excited and walking forth with joy into my new day.

Do you want to know something else? Too bad, I'm going to tell you anyway. TOM COOKED SUPPER!! I know! I was amazed, thrilled and on a high (partly because I found some really cute shoes... and a dress... and a shirt... and the cutest little jean jacket you have EVER seen!!). Psalm 55:6 says: “And I say, Oh that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.” I did fly away (for nearly a day) and I am truly rested. God knew what I needed and, as always, He provided for me.

Labor of Love

“For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” ~ Hebrews 6:10

Katy, like my older sister, Shelly, is your typical left handed/right brained, brainiac child. She is just three and a half years old, and is reading small books. Being so far advanced for herself, she decided she no longer had any use what so ever for the church nursery and needed to go to Sunday school classes with her older sister Cora and the “big kids” . I told her that she needed to learn how to write her name so when she got to Sunday school, she could keep track of which papers were hers. With her being left handed, and me being right handed, this proved to be a tricky task, but after a few weeks of diligent practice, she had it.

One Wednesday night, I saw a friend at church who happened to be teaching Cora's class that night. She saw that Katy was sad and asked why. I told her that Katy thought she needed to be in the class instead of the nursery. My friend welcomed Katy to the class, and Katy thought she was 10 feet tall. However, then next Wednesday night, someone else was teaching the class. Katy walked right in, after all, she could write her name, you know. The gentleman caught Katy at the door and said “Wait, hon'. How old are you?” “Thwee an' a half.” Katy informed him. “You belong in the nursery; this class is for 4-6 year olds.” The gentleman was looking at me, so that I would know where to place my child. He obviously had no recollection of what “three and a half meant”. It clearly means you're at least four, probably going on six or seven; one is just simply stuck in a three year old body. Duh!

Crushed, heartbroken and refusing to return to the nursery with all of the “babies”, Katy sat with Tom and I. In silent, but very determined tears, she wrote over and over on a piece of paper: K A T Y. I felt horrible. What I meant was after she was four and writing her name she would be able to go to Sunday school and be in the bigger kid's classes, but she heard “When you can write your name, you can be in the big kid's classes.” She had done the work she thought was required to go to the next level, only to be turned away because of a few lousy months.

I feel like Katy sometimes, do you? I look around at mothers like me who have young children, and we're exhausted. Then I turn my head and look at women who have older children, or their children are gone to college, and they look refreshed, wise, they're teaching a Bible study, or doing something creative that requires the time and energy that I lack. They've passed through the tough stages of child rearing, and can see their offspring walking in the way of instruction, or at least understanding the consequences of their actions and taking responsibility.

Let me finish up with a couple more verses from Hebrews 6. “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” ~ Hebrews 6:11-12 I've read this many times, but God brought it to my attention again, at a time when I really needed it. I need to press through toward the goal, and not get lazy with my children. Like Katy, when I've mastered something but don't get the result I want, I need to keep honing that skill, loving that child, seeking the Way, and seeking council from motherly saints who have “inherited the promise” of raising their children in the ways of the Lord. Motherhood is a draining task, but I need to remember to ask God for extra grace so I can minister to my little saints, and in the mean time, remember that God's word never returns void.