Archive for November, 2014
We have so much to be thankful for this year.
Blessed with hearts that are healing.
Both physically, from surgery,
and emotionally, from trusting that forever really means forever…
Thankful for new additions to the family.
Thankful for hockey teams that aren’t afraid to be silly to make sick little girls smile.
Thankful for older siblings that are always willing to go the extra mile for their little siblings.
Thankful for fun new adventures.
Thankful for the things the whole family can do together.
Thankful for the ability to order anything on Amazon. (chicken feet)
Thankful for new friends from all over the U.S.
Thankful for the strong arms of a big brother.
And traditions passed on from grandfather to father.
Thankful for siblings who love each other and find comfort in each other’s company.
Thankful for God doing big things in the lives of little girl’s who touch our hearts.
Thankful for God’s comfort when those big things aren’t what you planned for.
Thankful for a soft place to fall.
Thankful for little girl’s who are making BIG progress.
Thankful for pink little toes.
Thankful for food in bulk.
Thankful for being able to travel soon (12/13) to meet our newest blessings.
Thankful for wonderful places to stay while going through surgeries.
And the blessing of being able to proclaim your faith in Christ by baptism after being saved by God’s grace.
Thankful for daughter’s who feel safe enough to blog on their own.
Here are Jasmine’s words from today on her blog. (Happy Thanksgiving)
We have so much to be thankful for this year, including our friends and family.
Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours!
On this date, thirty years ago, I stood in the candlelight at dusk and said “I do” to my best friend.
I often wonder what I would have said if the minister would have proceeded to list what we would go through in our first thirty years.
Do you, Lisa, take Dan to be your wedded husband?
To have and to hold, from this day forward,
for better, for worse,
through adding eight children in three years after your 46th birthday,
to constantly being busy and pulled in all directions at all times,
through stacks and stacks and stacks of paperwork,
through three trips to China,
through Dan’s 17 years of training to become a physician,
and having to move away from friends and family for years,
for richer, for poorer,
$125,000 in student loans,
through the years of not having enough money to pay the bills,
to giving up retirement until well past 70,
to giving up vacations and fancy cars, and using bonuses to pay for adoptions,
in sickness or in health,
having twins 3 months early,
through the death of a child,
through Codey’s spending the first 14 months of his life in the hospital,
through caring for a child who came home with a tracheotomy, g-tube, and on a ventilator,
through the many years spent in the hospital caring for your children,
through late nights of no sleep,
to caring for sick children forever,
to the possibility of losing five children way before it should be their time to go,
to helping little souls heal after they have had to go through more than any child should,
through too many surgeries to count,
through losing your mom, aunt Kay, Dan’s dad, Dan’s grandpa, your grandpa, Dan’s grandma, and your step-dad all in a six year span.
to never having an empty nest,
to love and to cherish ’till death do you part?
I often wonder what my twenty-year-old self would say. The twenty-year-old me set out to marry an art teacher, to live in her small town, and raise a couple of children. Obviously, we don’t want the hard in our lives. We want the comfortable, the controlled, the fun, the happy, and none of the above says fun or happy to a 20 year old. We learn that it is all about the American dream from a very early age. Work hard, make a lot of money, and live the most comfortable life that you can.
But the fifty-year-old me knows better. The fifty-year-old me knows just how blessed I am. The fifty-year-old me would run down the aisle for a chance to spend another thirty years beside her very best friend, the man who holds me up when I think I can’t go on, the man who knows God is in control and trusts God’s plan, the man who tells me every day how blessed he is to have all of us in his life.
Because the fifty-year-old me knows something the twenty and thirty-year-old me didn’t. The fifty-year-old me learned I shouldn’t live with my eyes on the world, but that my eyes should be firmly planted on eternity. I learned that I should have been listening harder to God’s call. I learned that this life isn’t all about ME. The fifty-year-old me knows what it feels like to have a front row seat to God’s miracles. The fifty-year-old me knows that those hard times have given me the gift of a closer relationship with Christ.
It has given me great joy as I’ve watched Jesus in my children’s hearts as they opened their hearts to adopt others. They didn’t fret that their new brothers and sisters might not be on this earth long, they trusted in the fact that God promises forever. They trusted in God’s plan. My children learned the precious gift, that this life isn’t about them, way before I did. They know how to give of themselves. They know that sharing their room, or their toys, or their parents time and love isn’t a bad thing. They understand being adopted into God’s family better than most people ever will. They have a firm understanding of God’s grace in ways I never did as a child.
Watching God work in our family has been an amazing gift that goes so far beyond the pain of the hard. When you are so far past what you could even consider doing on your own, you know it’s all from God. The gift of a closer walk with God is priceless.
Yep, the fifty-year-old me would happily take this journey again because it has been one amazing, wonderful, unbelievable, seriously blessed ride!
For you are all sons of God through faith in Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:26 NIV
We are children of God through faith.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5 NLT
God has adopted us into his family.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God… Ephesians 2:8 NIV
We joyously accept being called into God’s family simply by believing in Him.
And, “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:18 NIV
We rely on the fact that we are sons and daughters of Christ.
In fact, our future in eternity depends on it.
We live our lives quoting scripture about God’s grace.
We talk about God and refer to Him as our Father.
We talk about our brothers and sisters in Christ.
We know what adoption means.
November is National Adoption Month.
November 2nd was Orphan Sunday.
The one day of the year that most churches talk about caring for the orphan.
This month is meant to bring awareness to the need to adopt.
But as Christians shouldn’t we already be aware?
Do we really need a day in November to talk about orphan care?
Does there really need to be a month to raise awareness about adoption?
James 1:27 is pretty clear.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:
to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
To look after orphans…
It isn’t a suggestion.
God has COMMANDED us to care FOR the orphan, not just ABOUT the orphan.
We should all be doing our part.
We should support families so they stay intact.
We should come along side those that are adopting.
We should sponsor children.
We should foster.
We should do respite care.
We should help pay for needed surgeries.
We should provide medicine, food, and clean water.
We should educate others and talk about it in our daily lives.
It shouldn’t be one day or one month out of the year.
We are called to help the needy and the poor.
We are called to help the orphan and the widow.
Adoption has been called the visible gospel.
What better testimony is there?
When we care for others, we are the hands and feet of Christ.
“My friends, adoption is redemption.
It’s costly, exhausting, expensive, and outrageous.
Buying back lives costs so much.
When God set out to redeem us, it killed Him.” – Derek Loux
Christ paid the ultimate price for us.
But we claim no time, no money, not being called.
We close our eyes, but the truth is…
We have no excuse.
We know what adoption means.
The need is great.
What will you do?
What will you say when you one day stand before Christ?
How will you answer “What did you do FOR the least of these?”
- Chinese Children Adoption International
- Hats for Gracie
- Love Without Boundaries
- New Hope Foundation China
- Show Hope
- China 2013
- China 2014
- China 2016
- Congenital Heart Defect
- Evangeline Faith
- Family Life
- Food for Thought Friday
- Jasmine (Shuang Shuang)
- Jasmine's Dream
- Lainey Rae
- Love Without Boundaries
- Making a difference
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Orphan Care
- Thoughts to ponder