Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
“Fire tests the purity of silver and gold,
but the Lord tests the heart.” Proverbs 17:3
The fire of the crucible is never meant to destroy the silver. The intense heat of the furnace will not destroy the gold. Fire improves upon precious metals, refining and purifying them. Likewise, the Lord tests our heart.
He allows the heat of our trials to refine our character and purify our heart. Will You test our hearts, Lord?
A wrong has been done against our child and we are in the midst of a battle for justice. We are his protectors. We are the voice for our special needs child when he is unable to speak for himself.
The world fights injustice by productive means, but its justice also has the tendency to act out with vengeance or silly lawsuits. We cannot get caught up in the actions of the world. On the contrary, we are vessels of Christ and He desires to shine His light into this darkness.
I am very certain He has a larger purpose in mind for the situation we find our family in. We are just along for the wild ride. In the pain and discouragement of events exposed, we are willing to do what He wants us to do.
The problem is we don’t know exactly what He wants to do with all of the details of the event. But we do know the Lord will direct our steps. And when He does make clear to us what actions to take then we act with bold faith. No matter how personally uncomfortable it is to tread upon unfamiliar territory, the discomfort cannot be our guide.
So please Lord, keep our hearts in check. We acknowledge our hearts can deceive us. When injustice is carried out against our flesh and blood mankind has the potential to go overboard in response. We have no desire to push people to their breaking point in the name of justice. And we absolutely have no desire to shrink back, sweeping the injustice under the carpet.
Help us act in just and purposeful ways which reflect Your heart and honor You without our flesh messing it up! Test our hearts O Lord, and refine them for good.
Woman Gone Wise
Woman Gone Wise
Friday, May 18, 2012
There was weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.
I told my husband to suck it up and be a man.
Poor Glen. This is our third microwave. Not the sitting-in-the-middle-of-the-counter, edges-encrusted-in-crumbs, easy-to-replace version. Oh no, not us; we have the fancy schmancy over-the-stove-top-built-in-hood-fan model. Which requires a tricky installation, risking the sanity and daily bliss of anyone who is not married to Bob the Builder.
Glen the Good-at-Everything-Else had trouble facing ANOTHER installation debacle, and who can blame him? In fact, this microwave had been installed amidst many not-suitable-for-young-children outbursts only 7 months ago. Which is when we realized that it fell into that glorious category: Not Our Problem Due To Warranty!
Except it still was our problem, since we had to track down receipts, visit Home Depot, fax the documents to the manufacturer, connect with a local repair company, book a visit, and then wait 3-weeks-to-forever for the necessary parts.
In the meantime, we found ourselves in the dark ages of food preparation. Not a good place for our family. How to defrost? How to reheat leftovers? How to make popcorn in under 2 minutes?
Never have I been more cognizant of the fact that my culinary life revolves around fast and easy. The most glaring difficulty was my almost daily lunch option – the nuked potato. Throw it in the mic, add some veggies and a bit of meat – et voila, my favourite meal. There is no fast or easy way to cook a whole potato without a microwave.
In the meantime, we were wading hip deep in adoption angst. We’ve found a child we very much want to adopt. The social worker is on board. His foster mom is on board. The guy at the checkout in Safeway seemed to think it was a good idea.
We had asked the questions, heard the stories, explored the issues… We poured over every e-mail and revisited phone conversations late at night in bed. We have prayed about it. We have discussed it as a family. We have painted the pink room green. We’ve figured out a timetable for the transition. We’ve adjusted our plans for the summer.
But, there is no fast and easy way to adopt a child. Social services is not a microwave-esque industry. Nor should it be. The paperwork has been held up a number of times. Glen had a business trip. Meetings are hard to schedule. There are more questions to be asked and even more stories to be heard. And we can’t even see a picture of him, until everything is official.
So, his other family is tucking him into bed at night and singing him songs and teaching him all the important little lessons a toddler learns each day: how to hold his fork, how to pet a dog gently, and a thousand other things I can jealously imagine. And it feels like we are missing out. I’ve never met him.
But I miss him.
In the meantime, I discovered something amazing. Potatoes baked in the oven for a long time are the BEST! I suppose I always knew that. I imagined my Mom was just a better cook and Wendy’s had a magical potato machine. Despite the wait, the crispy outer skin and the soft, even, potato-y goodness of a truly baked potato is SO much better than one nuked in the microwave.
How often are the most important things in life easy and convenient? Things like love, and learning, and parenting… They require something of us. Some patience. Some commitment. Some risk.
And maybe it won’t turn out just right. When I throw something in the microwave and it bombs, it’s easy to scrap it and start again. But where I have invested myself in a wait… there is no easy out.
In the meantime, I am learning that waiting is not such a bad place to be. I had braced myself for a great deal of frustration during the uncertainty. And I’ll admit, it’s not easy, but it’s not the waste of time that I had imagined.
Our pastor gave a sermon about “Waiting” just last week. It’s a powerful spiritual concept. Because this time between what is and what is promised is important. It is a time to learn, to trust, to prepare and to dream. And I’m better for it.
But those who WAIT/HOPE/TRUST in the Lord will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (from Msg/NIV/NLT)
Waiting is a Baked Potato. No shortcuts. No quick and easy. No fast forwarding the process. But worth it in the end.
So here’s me, in the meantime. Turns out, that’s not a bad place to be.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
I don’t read fiction very often. It is not that I hate it – in fact, it is just the opposite. I absolutely adore fiction. Nancy Drew lit the fire for me, but I quickly moved on to whatever I could devour. Spy books held a particular place of affection for me. I remember reading the Robert Ludlum series of novels when I was 13 years old, convinced that I would grow up to be a CIA agent.
Monday, May 7, 2012
when i ask her to get dressed, she comes down stairs in a monochromatic outfit. teal flip flops, teal pants, teal shirt, teal headband and teal jacket. ”it matches” she tells me. yes. it certainly does. i smile and go ahead and take her in public because…well…there is never too much teal.
when she combs her hair, she parts in directly down the center and tucks it back behind her ears. or asks for one pony tail. that is how she likes it. and even though she feels “so pretty” when I braid it or do something fancy to it, she wants her hair the way she wants it. she doesn’t care what others think. it’s easy, it’s comfortable and she can do it on her own.
she sings. at the top of her lungs, she sings. in front of anyone. it’s always jesus music and it rarely in tune but she belts it. i love it. she doesn’t care who hears or what they think…she likes that song and she likes to sing. so she will.
just recently i have noticed a few changes in my little oldest child. my baby girl. there are a few boys that she likes to look pretty for. there are a little less “matching” outfits. there are many more glances in the mirror. she seems like she is starting to care. just a little, but still…noticeable. every now and then, when i see her in a moment were she forgets to care, i want to stop whatever i am doing and just soak her up. to find a jar big enough to just swallow up the moment and store it away forever. or to snap a shot and stare at it for hours on end, remembering. remembering what it is like to “not care”. and then, do whatever i can to keep her from losing that along the way.
for now, i will just go hug her. tell her she looks beautiful in her all pink outfit with the matching pink tu-tu. and turn on some jesus music.
yeah. that sounds like a good way to start our day…