Who He Is

“Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth! The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!”

Psalm 46:10-11, Amplified

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“We died before we came here”

I read this story the other day:

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the ship captain tried to turn him back, saying, “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages.” To that, Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”

And now I’m asking myself, How do I live that way? How do I live with such abandon that the cost doesn’t matter? How can I make that translate to my every day life? I don’t think God has called us to live in another country, but I want that sort of perspective where God has planted me here.

But I do not consider my life of any account as dear to myself, so that I may finish my course and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify solemnly of the gospel of the grace of God.

The Apostle Paul
(Acts 20:24)

My Wish

Being a mom has been all-consuming in a way that I didn’t anticipate. It overtakes my thoughts, plans, hopes, dreams, prayers, ministry, my understanding of time…beyond my expectations. First, I’m always incredibly early or incredibly late to things now. Still, it’s been beautiful to simplify and slow down to toddler time, which ironically stands still at 2:30am, but speeds by as I see him grow each day. Now that I’m working full-time, I find myself cherishing every moment with him, even those at 2:30am. (Though, I continue to pray that this boy learns to sleep all night at some point!)

It’s funny how our priorities change when God interrupts our plans. As I’ve been considering what our future holds, everything is colored by this little person.

What I’ve learned is that we can plan all we want, but life is a series of paths. And living life means choosing which path we’re going to take from the choices available to us at a particular moment. It’s scary to choose a path like leaving grad school. Or adoption as “Plan A.” But I honestly cannot imagine my life being different from what it is right now. I can’t imagine me without Evan, and now Ephrem. Because sometimes you pick a path that’s exactly where you’re supposed to be.

My heart’s wish is for Ephrem to grow into the man that God created him to be. And I hope that I do everything I possibly can to nurture and empower him to get there. And I pray that he follows his heart in whatever paths life sets before him.

Ephrem, when Mom and Pop danced at my wedding, this is the song that we danced to. We weren’t the “Butterfly Kisses” sort of father-daughter, so we needed a good song for us. To get married to your dad, I made a choice to leave grad school. It’s not a choice that everyone understood, especially Pop, but he supported me no matter what. So Nana suggested this song for us. I hope you know that this is My Wish for you too. I love you, Little Man.

Sweetly Broken

One of the things this season has taught me is to find beauty in brokenness. In our culture we like to present ourselves as together, whole, complete. We don’t need a Savior because we can go buy whatever we “need.” We strive to do it ourselves. We can figure it out, make it happen, have it our way.

Until we get a point where we can’t “buy” it or “fix” it on our own.

In these times recently, I’ve had to find myself on my knees, pleading at the cross. I am learning that I am sweetly broken, broken for the cross, broken for our Savior.

And this is what I’ve found to be the beauty of brokenness: I don’t have a Savior who only accepts me in my brokenness. I have a Savior who longs for me to be restored, to be whole again. He draws me to Him through the power of the cross. My weakness is what causes me to call on my Savior. I long for this place of brokenness because I find myself needing my God more and more. I find myself reaching to touch the hem of His garment for His mercy and grace. My Savior, He invites me. He calls me to come confidently.

I am realizing (yet again) that it’s about Him, not about me, that “I am weak, but He is strong.” I find myself being healed by the love of a Savior and His beautiful cross.

Homecoming Video!

For those of you who weren’t able to join us at the airport, here’s a slideshow of Ephrem’s homecoming. (My brother-in-law is working on the video video – which will be much better than my amatuer slideshow, I’m sure! – but I wanted my family to be able to see his homecoming story, even in just photos.) It’s been an amazing journey and I’m so grateful to have Little Man home. (If you’re new, you can read about our adoption story here.)

Seeing these photos reminded me about God’s redemption. Ephrem never smiled in his update photos. I was concerned. Then I held him for the very first time, and he smile at me. God takes the lonely and sets them in families. This is the God that we serve.

We are so blessed.

Thanks to Lauren, Robin, and John for the photos.

 

I Won’t Give Up

I know this is a love song, but listening to the lyrics made me think of moms. They often love their children through the worst. Most times, they don’t walk away. They don’t give up.

For all the mothers who exhibit the love in this song, thank you.

For my own mom, who loved me through a very rough time in college, thank you.

For Baby Shows, I promise to love you like this – through the best and the worst times.