Monday, July 18, 2011

Motherhood is a Calling

This article ROCKED MY WORLD!

It is an incredible article for mothers today from Rachel Jankovic (mother of 5!).  I found it to be convicting and somehow empowering at the same time.

I pray that by God's grace and with the help of his Holy Spirit I am able to live out what I believe about the Gospel in the way I mother my kids.  I pray that I imitate God in my interactions with them and that I am able to delight in them.  Amen.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

You Are With Me

A prayer from Psalm 23

Father, you are my provider and protector;
besides you there is nothing I need.

Your creation and your Word remind me –you are with me.
You will daily restore my soul.

You will lead me in paths of righteousness for your own glory.
You will slow my pace to be in step with you.
Even though the journey seems long and overwhelming I will fear nothing.
Not evil, not failure, not disappointment, nor pains -for you are with me.
You prepare a table before me although I come to you with nothing but unrest.
In the presence of those who disbelieve, you are generous with me.
My cup overflows - for you are with me.
Surely your steadfast love will follow me
and your patient hand will guide me all the days of my life;
I will joyfully dwell with you forever.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An update

Well… the list of places where are daughter is not located is beginning to grow.  Niles and I were recently growing increasing excited about the possibility of finding our daughter in Puerto Rico.  The list of reasons why Puerto Rico was a perfect fit grew the more we talked about it.  As we began to research, however, we found this requirement:

Statute: Tit. 31, §§ 531; 532
The adopter must:
·         Be a resident for at least 6 months

We thought there was a chance we could satisfy this statue since I lived in Puerto Rico from birth until almost 3 years old, but upon further investigation we were told that the 6 months must be the consecutive months prior to submitting the adoption petition.  So there it is. It seems as though our sweet girl is not in Puerto Rico. 

Niles and I have both had moments of disappointment as this reality has sunk in.  But we press on- by faith.  We know that the Lord our God  is faithful  Today the faithful people listed in Hebrews 11 have been real encouragement to me!  I pray they are to you as well.

We will now begin to pray about and research pursuing an adoption in: Costa Rica, Peru or Mexico.  Please pray that Lord continues to make his will clear to us and that we are obedient and faithful.

Our soul waits for the LORD;
he is our help and our shield.
 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
 Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us,
even as we hope in you. -Psalm 33:20-22

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hermana, Sister

The day after I clearly heard the Lord calling us to adopt I had a BIG problem.  You see my sister, my very first best friend, was out of the country and I couldn’t tell her our news!  One week prior to that insane Father’s Day my sister had married her best friend, Paul Sutton, and she was still honeymooning. 

Diana and I have always had such a beautiful and real friendship.  We have shared secrets, fears, joys and struggles our entire lives.  So naturally the first person I wanted to share our news with was her!
I wanted so badly to share what was happening with our friends but a part of me felt like my sister should be the first to know.  As I prayed for wisdom, knowing that Diana would not be home for another 2 days I gave myself permission to call a dear friend to ask for her prayers.  The Lord used her to give me such peace in that conversation!  She blessed me with encouragement and a promise to pray for our family during this process.  In fact she said, “As soon as I hang up I am going to go pray for you!” The next day I allowed myself to share our news at the end of a devotional time with the Eternal Staff.  The response I received was overwhelming- encouragement, love, prayers…

In that moment a passage of scripture came to mind:
26for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave[ nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise. - Galatians 3:26-29

In this passage Paul  is referring to the status that all Christians share-  having been adopted into God’s family enjoying all the privileges  and inheritance rights of God’s children.  Once we as believers have in faith  “put on Christ” we become new creations- new creations in which the distinction between “Jew and Greek” disappears. 
I realized then that my adopted brothers and sisters in Christ, specifically my Eternal family, are just as eager to hear what the Lord is doing in my life as my natural brother and sister!  What a blessed woman I am to be adopted into such a caring, and supportive family in addition to the loving and devoted family the Lord gave me at birth.
The understanding that we are all one in Christ, loved equally by our Heavenly Father, no matter where we come from, also helped me put to words the way I already feel about my daughter.  When we find her and bring her home, She will be no less my child, no less loved, no less thought of than my boys.  When she “puts on the Ferguson last name”  she will share in the same inheritance as Turner and Calvin found in Genesis 17:7.  There our Father promises that He will be my God and the God of all 3 of my children!

Side note #1: Diana was really excited when I told her J
Side note #2: It was also a joy to tell my brother William our news as well!


Friday, July 8, 2011

We're not doing a good thing

Sometimes the Christian gospel, or the central good news of who Jesus is and what he did, is often misunderstood by our culture, and even sometimes by the Christian Church, protestant or otherwise. I don't want to sound pretentious, as if I have it all down, but as you'll read, that's not what the gospel is about either.

The gospel is this: We are all born into, and live out of a heart (motive) that is sinful and spiritually dead. Our desires are for anything but God. (See Ezekiel 36 and Ephesians 2) We were, as humans, created for God, children of God. But sin has made us orphans. We're born spiritual orphans. The gospel is this, that even though we are born into and live in our sinful state, the God of the universe sent his son, Jesus, to live the life we could never live (read sinless) and die the death that we all deserve, and raised him to the new life that he has for all who trust in him.

There it is.

There's no "live the best you can and hope that it pleases the Lord." There's no "I've got to do more good things." There's no "I feel better about my standing with God because of all my charity."

There is only, "I trust what Jesus's did for me on my behalf for my standing with God." There is only, "I am crushed under the love that Christ showed in giving his life to take on my sin and death that I deserve." There is only, "because of Jesus I choose to love or give in this way."

So, what's the point? How do we think this applies to our adoption?

The point is that our adoption has two motives: gospel and missions.

Our adoption is a nice thing to do. But that's not why we're doing it. Maria and I are so taken with the love that Jesus has for us in adopting us into the family of God, we're going to do the same with our daughter. She will be either born, or made an orphan, but we will, God-willing, take her into our family with all the rights and standing as my sons.

Now, if we left it at that, we would be stuck with a beautiful metaphor for the gospel. But as there is in another beautiful metaphor for the gospel, marriage, there's a missonal aspect. We are adopting out of a love for Jesus and to add to his Kingdom by raising our daughter up (as we have our boys) in the teaching of the Lord. By God's sovereign plan for this girl, he will use her adoption to redeem her, grant her repentance and faith, and in turn teach her children about the love of Christ.

By God's grace, our adoption is motivated out of what God has done for us and what he has asked us to do. Namely, advocate for the helpless orphans and raising up our children in the instruction of the Lord.

Sorry for the long post. I've been doing a lot of reflecting and reading.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Father's Day Message

June 19, 2011 was the day God clearly spoke to me his desire for our family to adopt a little girl.  

It was Father's Day.  Our pastor, Skip MacMillan, was preaching a sermon on Deuteronomy 1 where Moses was recounting to the Israelites the last time they stood at the precipice of the land of Canaan (the Promise Land).  Moses spoke of the fear and disbelief that prevented the Israelites from obediently entering ad taking possession of the land.  This disobedience condemned the Israelites to wander the desert for forty years. 

Skip cautioned us against similar disobedience citing specific examples in Deuteronomy 1:26-28.  In those verses Skip discussed 3 things the Israelites did that lead them into a dark, disobedience.

1. Unwillingness "Yet you would not go up, but rebelled against the command of the LORD your God" ( v. 26)
2. Believe Lies about the Lord to excuse disobedience you murmured in your tents and said, 'Because the LORD hated us he has brought us out of the land of Egypt, to give us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us” (v. 27)

3.  Blame Other People for their own disobedience “Our brothers have made our hearts melt...” (v. 28)

As I considered these things, specifically the Unwillingness to follow and obey God, to trust God  promises, power, love for them, I found myself asking the Lord to show me areas of unwillingness in my heart. 

The answer was so loud, so clear, that I felt like my head and heart might explode!  God made it clear to me that for some time he had been calling our family to adopt a child and I until that moment had been unwilling to obey.  The thought that ran over and over and over in my mind was "You have a daughter in another country- go get her."  There was such a sense  of finality in that moment- the direction was clear and I was to walk in it.  As the Israelites were called to walk in God's promise into the Land of Canaan our family was called to walk down the path of adoption.

During that service (and the following one which I stayed in to make sure I was hearing clearly!) the Lord blessed me with encouragement.  He brought to mind several recent and positive adoption conversations I had had with friends and family... there were moments while singing that I was so overcome with love for my daughter that I couldn't even sing or stop the tears from flowing...  At one point a little girl who was adopted from China literally fell at my feet... A friend that will be traveling to Guatemala to work  at an orphanage just "happened" to approach me after worship... so many encouraging "coincidences" from a Father that knows I need them!

And so our journey begins!  As our family walks down this road to bring our daughter home we ask for your prayers.  We are aware that the Giants on this road are many and yet we are certain if  the LORD delights in us, he will fulfill this desire he has given us and he will work the details out to bring our daughter home.