Nothing is Wasted

This song was on repeat on my iPod today….

 

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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

“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.

The post I’ve waited to write

Here we are. A year and a few months after we started our adoption journey (and one  year after we officially started fundraising…), and we have a crazy announcement.

We started with a “little” seed of $1,000 (this is relative folks).

And now?

We are 100% funded for our adoption.

Costs are covered.

100%

Just in time for the Shows family to become a Party of Three.

Thank you EVERYONE who gave out of kindness. Who gave sacrificially. Who gave not knowing us personally. Who gave your loose change or $4,000, and everything in-between. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Christ to us. Thank you for caring for an orphan-no-more. As Evan has said, even though we cannot adequately thank you doesn’t mean we won’t try.

When we step out in faith, we don’t always how it’s going to work out. Evan and I felt so strongly to start our family through adoption – despite not having all the money in the bank, despite not having everything “perfect” – and everything has fallen into place, especially the funding. I remember looking at the adoption costs in fear. Honestly, it was the most intimidating part of the process. Yet, God continues to be faithful to our family.

And He was faithful through you.

For anyone who is in a place where they need faith for whatever they feel God is calling them to do, I hope our family is a testimony. Just ask for faith. Take that step. It will be reckless. It will be crazy. You will feel like a fool.

But I assure you, if you ask for faith, God will provide. It might not be as you expect. It might not be easy. The journey may break you in more ways that you can even know. But God will grow you in your faith.

So jump.

And watch your wings grow.

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.

This Guy

(High cheese factor here…you’ve been warned!)

In 2004, this guy unexpectedly stole my heart.

I had just gotten out of a fairly damaging relationship. I wasn’t looking for Evan. In fact, I was fully expecting him to be my “rebound” and that he would see how broken I was and move on to someone better.

But somehow he loved me for me. Broken pieces and all. And that made me realize what love really is.

Love is feeling safe. Even when you’re a walking disaster. When you’re at the top of your game. When you’re not your best. Or in those very rare moments when you are at your best. I know that he loves me like Paul tells husband to love their wives.

Love is complete. It may be a cheesy line in Jerry MacGuire (“You…complete me.”), but that’s exactly how it is. He makes it all brighter, lovelier, amazing.

Love is waking up each day and thanking God for how richly blessed you are. I can’t imagine being with a person who means more to me. In fact, I can’t remember me without him. I know I’m blessed by a good man who loves God and loves me.

I joke with him all the time that “Mrs.” is so much better than “PhD.” He’s everything I want my life to be. I can’t believe it’s been nearly eight years that we’ve been together. It’s gone by so fast, but I can’t remember not being with him. That’s how it works.

As we prepare for Baby Shows to join us, I know there is no better man to be his father. I pray that Baby Shows grows to be a godly man like his daddy. He has so much to learn from such a wonderful man. How did this girl get so blessed?

Evan Shows, thank you for picking me. I love you forever.