home life.

Back to my cataloging of the random thoughts that have been speaking to me lately. Our church subscribes to “Home Life” magazine, so each month I pick up a copy to read while taking a bubble bath. {I am a woman of routine, after all.} The last one that I picked up just kept hitting me in the face, over and over again, with words that spoke straight to my head & heart. By the end of the magazine I was just like “Okay God, I get it, I get it.” Ha! Here are some of the thoughts from the January issue…

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From “Margaret Feinberg: Fight Back with Joy” by Emily Ellis

*Joy emanates out of the abiding sense of God’s fierce love for us. The two are intertwined. It’s interesting that in the listing of the facets of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5, joy follows love. When we know how much we are loved by God, joy percolates in our hearts. We walk lighter, laugh harder, smile wider – even in the spooky face of adversity.

*”But if not.” Followers of Jesus live in a tension. On one hand, we are the people who ask, ‘What if God?’ as we seek His will, His power, and His redemption for our lives. We know nothing is impossible for God. He can cure any disease, meet any financial need, mend any relationship. But we also know sometimes people still die, declare bankruptcy, and divorce. Yet we are encouraged to keep seeking God and His miraculous power – to heal, restore, and redeem – in our lives as well as in the lives of those we love. That’s why we must also declare “But if not,” much like Shadrach, Meschack, and Abednego did in Daniel 3. Even if God doesn’t respond in the way we hope or ask for, we will still be a people who walk boldly in faith.

From “Feeling Behind?” by Leeana Tankersley

*…. For any number of reasons within or beyond our control, we feel behind. I wonder how many of us are living out of that internal pressure to catch up and keep up more than we realize. What happens, unfortunately, when we ask our desires to arrive in certain ways, is that we end up squeezing the neck of life. We end up grasping for control.

*All I do by trying to force the fantasy is make myself, and my husband, crazy, and I miss what’s happening right under my nose in the glorious impermanence of our life today.

*Everything I throw into the void….is consumed. The only way out is to take Christ’s hand, the one He is always extending to me, offering me the way into the wide-open field. …A sense of breathing room. Spaciousness instead of the squeeze.

*The problem is, Christ so very rarely offers us the solution we believed would make everything feel better. Usually the breathing room arrives because we finally, in our fleshy exposed humanity, let go of the striving and allow Him to love us – fully, deeply, inexplicably – right where we are.

*You want something, too. Something isn’t arriving in the timing you’d assumed it would. And it’s okay. These are the desires of our hearts. They are soul-longings. They are good things. The problem isn’t desire. The problem is what we do with our desire when we feel like we’re behind in satisfying it. Christ reaches down, as we are drowning in our various and individual voids, offering us breathing room. If we will stop our striving and writhing, and take His hand, we will be saved.

From “Changing for Good: One adoptive mother writes an open letter to the father-to-be” by Tammy Darling

*My husband loves this little boy we have yet to meet every bit as much as I do, but because he’s wired differently, he handles it differently. He loves receiving our adoption updates, prays for our little guy every day, then goes about his daily routine. I, on the other hand, am a Mama. And that, I believe, is at the heart of the “change” my husband sees in me. While he can go on day by day as usual, I can’t. Instead of carrying this child in my womb, I am carrying him in my heart. And my heart is becoming heavy. I can’t feel him kicking. I can’t see his growth via sonogram. I can’t hear his heart beating. But from the moment we started the process, he became a part of me.

*Living in the present makes me face some hard realities that I don’t want to deal with. …. “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it,” says Psalm 118:24. I want to enjoy and appreciate the gift of today, but I need you to remind me of the blessings and beauty right before my eyes. …. Subtle reminders will help me to fully live in the present and not just for the day.

*The truth is that sometimes I get so caught up in the whole adoption process that I don’t really know what I need until I stop and think about it.

*”Delayed hope makes the heart sick.” Proverbs 13:12 is a verse that has become very real to me. I need to know that there’s light at the end of the adoption tunnel and that one day it will happen. On my good days, I know without a doubt that this adoption process will all be worth it. Other days, I wonder. I doubt. I lose hope. It is those days, especially, that I need your encouragement.

*Adoption was never meant to separate us, as we are currently separated from our son. Instead, my heart’s desire is that this process will bring us closer together, day by day. And just think, with each passing day, we are one day closer to bringing him home!

*I know our son is in God’s hands and that He has a marvelous plan that I just can’t fully see through the fog of waiting.

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There was even more good stuff, but that’s the bulk of what I read that is related to what I typically blog about here. I just love a word from God!

Blessed am I.

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