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Archive for August, 2006

Prayer Request

I just got an email from my uncle with an update on my aunt, who was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. Initially things looked like she’d be OK, but further testing has revealed stage 3 cancer. The cancer has penetrated through the interior walls of the colon into the lining. It was also found in one of the fifteen lymph nodes tested. She’ll be going to an oncologist in a few weeks for chemo. Needless to say, the family is in a state of shock. Following is a list of specific things to pray for (from my uncle):

  • Physical and emotional strength
  • Peace in our hearts and minds
  • Grace to honor God in this time of trial
  • Wisdom to make correct decisions regarding treatment
  • Wisdom for the Doctors to choose the right treatment
  • For strength, comfort and Peace in the lives of our Loved Ones
  • Complete Healing of my aunt’s body – God is the same yesterday, today and forever – He still Heals

I put this out there for anyone who would care to pray. Thank you.

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God is Good

OK. One more thing to share before taking that break. I worshipped God today – taking my sinful broken self to the throne – and He spoke to my heart.

First a woman stood up and read Psalm 46:10 and spoke:

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

There is much in the world today to fear and struggle over . . . stop struggling, be still before me, and know that I am God – I am the one who makes things happen.

Then the next two songs gelled in my heart my Saviours love for me. I am covered by His blood. I don’t need to strive and struggle trying to be adequate enough to gain His approval. I cannot strive and struggle enough to gain His approval! That work was done on the cross.

There’s a Pageant of Triumph in Gloryby David Fellingham (1999, Thankyou Music)

There’s a pageant of triumph in glory
As Jesus the King takes His throne
The shame of the cross is exchanged for a crown
And heaven applauds the King
The Son has the Father’s approval,
He perfectly followed the plan
To suffer and die for the sins of the world
He poured out His love for our shame

Let God arise with shouts of joy
With songs of praise and trumpet the sound
Let music play and heart be free
Let God arise

Death could not keep Him in prison
He burst through the shackles of hell
He’s settled the score with the evil one
And heaven applauds the King
The fullness of Christ is my treasure
I’ve cast off the past with its shame
The power of the Father has raised me to life
I’m a son [daughter], I’m forgiven and free.

I don’t need the forgiveness of any human being. Yes, I must seek it, when I hurt another person. But I don’t need it if it is refused. I think God’s commands to forgive are more for the heart of the forgiver, than the forgiven. I am already forgiven by the ultimate forgiver. Realizing/remembering that – I bow my heart before His throne:

We Declare Your Majestyby Malcolm du Plessis (1984, Thankyou Music)

We declare Your majesty
We proclaim that Your Name is exalted
For You reign magnificently
Rule victoriously
And Your power is shown throughout the earth

And we exclaim
Our God is mighty
Lift up Your Name
For You are holy
Sing it again,
All honor and glory,
In adoration we bow before Your throne.

So, I’m still going to take that break. But with a different heart, a different motive. Before I was desiring to be justified, understood, forgiven . . . But, I don’t need those things. I have already been justified, understood, and forgiven by Christ, my Saviour. Instead, I will spend the next week or so basking in His Word and renewing His truth in my heart.

God is good!

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Well, I discovered shortly after writing the last post that I managed another accomplishment this week: severely offending and upsetting two fellow bloggers. I apparently did a miserable job in the communication department and was totally and completely misunderstood. I have attempted to apologize and set things right again, so far to no avail. One of the bloggers went so far as deleting every comment I ever made on said blog, and putting comments on moderation – probably to prevent any further comments on my part.

I suppose I should just tell myself “Se La Vi” (how on earth do you spell that?) and move on. However, for some reason, I’m pretty upset myself over the whole thing.Why? I really couldn’t tell you. After all, I have never met these people in person, probably wouldn’t know them if I bumped into one of them on the street. But, there is a certain relational element to this medium and you get to liking the folks you interact with on a regular basis. The faces of these two blogs appear to be a couple of great folks that, if we did live in the same town, I’d probably enjoy hanging out with.

So, on that level, I guess, I’m feeling a bit of a loss. I’m a bit surprised how deeply this is affecting me. I was literally shaking as I typed out my email responses. I’m feeling a bit emotional even as I write this. That’s got me thinking perhaps I should take a break from blogging for a bit – writing and reading. I don’t know how long. See ya when I see ya.

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. . . If I may say so myself. 🙂

  • Today completed three straight weeks of daily exercise! Whoo hoo! I’m doing an Intermediate Pilates DVD (with Ana Caban) about 3 days a week, and in-home walking the other 2 (Walk the Walk with Leslie Sansone) – or a shorter Pilates workout on the DVD. It feels great!!!
  • Today completed our first full week of Homeschooling! Yay B!!! I’m using Little Hands to Heaven four days a week (just 30 minutes a day), and B is loving it. Today he started calling me “Teacher Mommy” during our “school” time. We had a couple of “battles” over who got to run school time. I have pretty much let B direct his play much of the time, so it’s a new idea for him to get used to. That thirty minutes is mommy’s time, then B gets to choose what to do when we’re all done. Both times we had a great time once we got past that. At the end of our time today, he was drawing the letter A all over his white board. Great job B! Of course there’s lots of learning going on throughout the day as B participates in household activities, free play, errands, etc. I still need to find or form a playgroup with other kids. But he will be going to daycare each Wednesday while I’m taking a Spanish class.
  • Along with the above, I have established a daily and weekly chore schedule to keep myself on track. So far I have managed to stick with it. The house is looking so much better this week and G is very pleased. I even dusted! 🙂
  • Finally, I bought and potted some flowers for around the outside of the house. I already had some inside that we brought with us. B and I had a good time planting and watering them this afternoon before quiet time. Something about having plants & flowers around just says “home” to me. 🙂

Perhaps this weekend we can accomplish getting this study whipped into shape (it’s a mess) and finish up some other putting together still left to do around the house. We’re getting there. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend with family and friends.

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Baseball, hot dogs . . . all we needed was some apple pie! It was military appreciation night at our local Minor League baseball park and we’d been given free tickets (you can’t beat that!). So, once I finished my panic attack from the previous post, we headed out to the ballgame.

This was B’s first game and he was so excited. He talked about it all day, and from the time he got up from his nap (3 p.m.) he kept asking, “Is it time to go yet, Mommy?” The game started at seven. 🙂 As we were preparing to leave, I heard him rummaging around in his closet and muttering to himself. Upon inquiry, he stated, “I can’t find my baseball gwuv!” So, I helped him locate it. Then we headed for the car, with our baseball hats on and B’s glove and binoculars.

Some neighbors of ours also went, and we were able to sit with them. What fun! The night began with a military band playing The Star Spangled Banner along with a Color Guard and, you’re not gonna believe this, two B-2 Stealth Bombers flew over towards the end of the song!!! You should’ve seen B’s face. He was already delighted just to be there. I was pretty wowed, myself. Sorry, I didn’t get a picture.

Of course, we weren’t able to stay to the end. We left towards the end of the fifth inning. All in all it was a super night. B’s only dissappointment was not catching a foul ball. I dare say we have a baseball fan on our hands.

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Unbelievably Horrifying

All parents need to be aware of the growing community discussed in this NY Times article. Unfortunately, you have to register (free) in order to read the article. I wasn’t sure if it was OK to post the contents here.

I am absolutely horrified by what I read. I have already experienced anxiety over the thought of leaving B with ANYONE in our new community. We don’t know anyone well enough, yet. Now I’ll probably have near panic attacks when the need for a sitter comes up, as it likely will, over the next year. OK, deep breaths. Somebody give me some Scripture and pray for this mommy’s heart!

I’ll also take any advice on teaching a precocious 3 1/2 year old about strangers, and still be polite. Oh, and then there’s that issue of people that aren’t strangers attempting to be inappropriate – how do you teach such little guys to handle such big situations. Heaven help us that we even have to think of such things.

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Well, since I introduced this subject while talking about our worship decisions, I’ll go ahead and discuss it further. Let me first point out that this is not something we sought out for our family. We wrestled with ourselves and each other, and our counselors over how to answer the questions on the forms that related to this issue. Ultimately it did not seem right to lay out any parameters of what we were willing to accept in adopting a child. It felt as if we were saying, “This is what we’re looking for in a baby” as if we were shopping for a new car or something. So, we decided to leave it open and see what happened, knowing we could call on the strength of our Creator in all things (Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:28)

What happened was we were chosen by J, a black woman. She had other choices, we were told, but chose us mainly due to our military status and the openness expressed above. Apparently, keeping him in the military community was more important to her than issues of race. Actually, we did ask questions about race and any concerns she had about her child being raised by white parents. It seemed a non issue to her. I have mentioned many times our affection for J. We accepted her answers and moved on. However, we still feel it our responsibility to make ourselves aware of racial issues and to push ourselves beyond our white worlds for the sake of our son.

From reading articles and blogs on this subject, it seems you can swing between two extremes on this issue. The one extreme is to say that race doesn’t matter. If someone is considering adopting trans-racially, it is vitally important you are willing to face the tough issues. Read, research, ask questions – go into it with your eyes (and mind) wide open. If you find yourself leaning in that direction, you should probably do some soul searching and possibly reconsider adopting trans-racially.

The other extreme, I think, generally happens after becoming a mixed race family. You don’t realize how ignorant and unaware you are before this. Suddenly you find yourself wondering things like, “Are we being ignored here because of our child’s race or is their service that bad?” when trying to grab some dinner in a restaurant. Unfortunately, that is a legitimate concern. We live in a racially divided world. But you can swing to the extreme of finding racism under every rock, so to speak. I think this is a natural reaction to such new heightened awareness. But generally, extremes in any area are not very healthy long term. It’s something you have to work through and come to terms with. Again, read, research, ask questions, and pray (if you’re so inclined).

I find myself somewhere in the middle, I think. On the one hand, I am an unapologetic Christian, finding my identity first and foremost in my Creator. I believe the Bible and strive to live my life accordingly. Ultimately, as B grows older, where he stands with God will be between him and God. But we, as his parents, have a responsibility to lay the foundation and ensure he has the knowledge he’ll need to make that ultimate decision. It is our hope that he will find his identity in his Creator rather than in the world.

But, on the other hand, we do have to live in this world. Regardless of what he ultimately chooses regarding God, he’ll have to grow up in this hypersensitive, racially divided world. We haven’t experienced much negative so far with B. He’s still in the cute and adorable stage (cutest 3yo on the planet, if you ask me). But he will grow into that awkward preteen stage, and then become an adolescent, and then a young man. How will people see him then? What will their expectations be based on the color of his skin? Right, wrong, or indifferent, we are his parents. We carry the responsibility of preparing and equipping him for the things he will face as he grows into a man. This means educating ourselves, stretching ourselves, pushing ourselves out and beyond our comfort zones.

If you are considering adoption for your family, are you willing to do this? Take a hard look at your neighborhood. Is it predominantly white? How about your circle of friends? Your place of worship (I know, I know)? Are you willing to move to a new, more diverse area? And more than that, forge friendships with those diverse neighbors? How about going places where you are the minority, maybe the only? I saw somewhere this question: if that makes you uncomfortable, how do you think your child feels when he/she is the only? This is tough stuff – not for the faint of heart.

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