Monday, October 31, 2011

Life and 90 days of waiting

October 10th, to Jan 10th is 90 days. 90 days is the required waiting period before my attorney (which I'll attain in December) will file the paperwork for me to adopt Precious.
I've been told these 90 days are very difficult, anxious ones.

I'm almost 30 days into it and I haven't even noticed really.

Meanwhile, "Buddy" a 5 mo old boy has arrived at the house and sometime this week a 22 month old boy should be arriving. I've scrambled to find 2 cribs (both acquired now), still looking for a chest of drawers and high chair at the very least.

It seems like from the moment I get home from work, to the moment I go to bed I'm changing diapers, taking out trash, doing laundry, trying to find room around the toys for my house to not just be one big toy section, and making bottles, and then washing bottles (8 to be exact) for the next days use.

I am tired.

I am still adjusting.

I am more excited than ever about the future of my foster home. When little soon-to-be arrives he will become my 10th placement. In 5 years time I will have hit the double digits (and that's with taking time off for a move and a few times just to recoup from losing a child or such).

I see so much of Gods love in how I feel for Precious - and yet, I'm forever told that our love is not even an spec compared to the greatness of His love for us. I can't even imagine someone feeling for me what I feel for her, much less God who seems so big and unmovable being the one to feel it.

God has a lot of children though, that need a home. They need loving, Christian homes that will teach these kids about the love of God and what He wants for them. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." James 1:27

Unspotted is hard, we excuse ourselves from shame concerning some spots because we seem to have decided that "some" is all that's possible, and that 'unspotted' is just a fanatical thing to worry about. After all, God loves and forgives right? He knows we're human.
We're wrong. We're not just human anymore. We're a new creature. A holy creature made righteous by the blood of the Lamb of God Himself. Unspotted is what He says. You can say "some" but "some" will get to you into Hell. You'll lose salvation for eternity for a few foolish pleasures on earth. Again, you can say it won't cost you - but God says it will.
You don't want to find out you lost the argument when it's time to reap the rewards of what we've chosen for ourselves over His rule.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27

When is the last time you visited the fatherless or the widow? Yeah, I know. Me either. Except, I happen to have 2 fatherless children living in my house right now. It makes visiting them really easy. It makes serving God become a clear thing. As I do it to the least, I've done it to Him. In this way I've held Him while He cried. I've fed, clothed, comforted, spent my days loving Him through these little bits of stuff I call Precious, Buddy.

Please consider doing something radical. Something radical like well, refusing to allow sin in your life and immediately rooting it out and repenting when you see it. All of it.
Then when you've got yourself on the right path, open up your home.  Your life isn't your own any more. People need help. Widows need help. Visit, help around their house, and if you don't know any widows then just volunteer for meals on wheels or a nursing home and I bet you might find some. And if widows aren't your thing take a child into your home. You've got an eternity to enjoy the Heaven God has created for you - 100 years on earth to serve... it's not enough. 10 kids in 5 years... it's too little. There's too many needing help. My house is too small. My car is too small. I have to still navigate around 50 hours of work week.

I need more of me to give.

Not to earn my way to Heaven with works - because that doesn't work. But because the more He does, the more I love Him. The more I love Him the more I can hardly stand the idea that a child is hurt, neglected; that a widow old and feeble - so beautiful and lovely, and with stories vibrant and a history that I would love to hear - is sitting hurt, neglected, with no one showing her that her value only increased as she became old and feeble.
It also hurts more to see spots. Sinful spots. Ignored by the church in general because teaching a Christ that says NO spots is not popular anymore. It's not "Relevant" to todays culture.
Meanwhile, we tell the spotted that they too can enjoy Heaven and holy and righteous benefits. The church lies. (Some of it - not all teach that way)
It hurts.
It aches.
It makes me wonder what I can do.
And then I see the diaper bin needs to be emptied, the babies bottles need to be washed so they'll be ready for tomorrow, the folded laundry needs to be put quietly into their drawers without waking them, those precious faces need to be prayed over.

And then.
I'm done.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I believe.

It's late so I'm not going to put all the links in... if you want to look up the scriptures I highly recommend this website I had an issue come up today where someone told me they believe the Bible, but don't believe in sin, Jesus dying for our sins, Heaven, or Hell. She assured me that age had wisened her to the fact that the Bible is not a book to be taken literally. I'm thankful I have not gotten that "wise" yet.
Since many do not know their beliefs, I just thought I would pour some out quickly. This a copy/paste of my Facebook status update.

If you tell me you believe the Bible, I assume that while we might not agree 100% on every detail, ultimately, if we discuss our beliefs I assume it will at least sound like we read the same book. Today, I found out otherwise. So let me just say - I believe the Bible, exactly as the Bible says it. I believe in Heaven (Revelation 21:10-26). I believe in Hell (Luke 16:19-31). I believe in Sin (1 John 3:4-8). I believe sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2). I believe our sins were put upon Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:24 and 2 Corinthians 5:19-21) and His death paid the necessary cost of our sins (Romans 5:8-10). I believe 3 days later He rose from the dead (Matthew 16:21, Matthew 27:64, Matthew 28:1-6), ascended into Heaven (Acts 1:6-11), and will return to us again one day to separate His people from those that deny Him (Revelation 21:27). I believe, that by believing in these things (Acts 16:30 & 31), and giving my life to Him for His purposes rather than my own foolish ones *something I'm still working on* (Romans 12:1), that I will one day live with God (John 14:1-3), eternally (John 3:16, John 3:36), just as He promised (Titus 1:2, 1st John 2:25). I believe these things because the Bible says these things and the Bible is trustworthy (2 Timothy 3:14-17), and anything else I will not follow (Joshua 24:15)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Spirit to Spirit

I haven't researched it. Didn't go digging through the scriptures to find verses to back up what I'm about to describe, or google phrases to see if others have talked about what I'm about to talk about. If anyone has that kind of information, you're welcome to get it to me. I'll certainly read/listen to it.

But I've experienced something that...just took time before I found the right words to describe it. Spirit to Spirit. I can't imagine forgetting this feeling, but I'm sure as life goes on I might. I might forget the intensity, the strangeness, the completeness of it. I hope this post will remind me one day.

Every night I say the same words to Precious:
"The LORD bless you, and keep you, the LORD make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace. May He uphold you with the right hand of His righteousness and lead you in His everlasting love."
I also pray over her, but that small blessing is a staple. It was about 2 months ago though that the blessing was changed to add "and be gracious to you". It seemed important, and I constantly felt as though I were missing something by not saying it. I know it's a spin off from the blessing in the Bible but not quite accurate - I wasn't worried about quoting those verses so much as I was interested in just pulling out what I wanted her to hear each night, and what I wanted to speak over her each and every day.

Two Sundays ago I was in church and something was happening between God and I. The strangest part is that I can hardly tell you exactly "what" was happening, I can only describe it.
The pastor said something... he got up and in between songs in the song service he said something along the lines of "I feel God wants me to tell you that He longs to be gracious to you."
And it just broke me. I wouldn't have been able to tell you why, but instantly, tears were pouring and my body was clenched as though in pain. I broke.
The worship service began again and during it Precious and I made our way to the front to worship there and pray/praise but I could hardly do either one. Intense emotions that I can't even describe had me crying and groaning with an awful guttural sound. I've done it before and try to make sure I'm alone... public places are not the.... most wonderful place for that to happen.
Finally worship was over so I returned to my seat trying to regain my balance when a woman I've seen but don't really know showed up in front of me and handed me a slip of paper that I mentioned previously - 2 Chronicles 20:14-21, 22-30.
Again, just as before with the pastors words I broke. It took forever to read the scriptures as tears poured down my face, sobs shook my shoulders as I tried to be quiet (the rest of the church was watching a video from the mens' recent trip to Haiti).
Yet none of it, not a single tear, or groan, or emotion was hardly anything that I could explain.

I wouldn't have been able to tell you that day why those verses were so important. I wasn't even trying to figure it out at the time. I simply read, and it spoke to Something deep within me and that Something understood what my mind did not.

The only way I've been able to understand it is as this:
The Spirit, spoke to my Spirit.
My body, my tears, my groans were simply the vessel holding the Spirit that was at work and stirring that day.

It was a very intense experience.

I'm not...some great spiritual person. I wish I were, but I know me. I'm just a Christian. (A real one, not one of the fakes or Sunday church-goer - I believe there's more fakes out there than the real thing.) I do stupid things. Say stupid things. Don't do enough things. Do the wrong things. Don't live as though I love my Bible as much as I should. Don't pray as much as I wish I did. I say I love God and often don't live it out because I'm putting myself first.
I'm as regularly stupid and foolish as any other true Christian shouldn't be.
I'm not trying to drag myself down - I'm just being honest.

But God did something in me that day.
He didn't change me - I was impacted yes, but I didn't walk away profoundly different.
He just used me.

So I just wanted to remember this. I want to remember a time in my life when I was foolish and not good enough, but I loved God - and God used me. God spoke into something in me that I wouldn't have realized was a true entity before. But God, in the Holy Spirit, is living inside of me.

All the books in the world wouldn't have convinced me of that as well as that experience did. I never want to forget.
Spirit to Spirit.

Monday, October 10, 2011

On the day...

Court should have been fast.. maybe 30 minutes, plus some waiting time for our case to get called. I skipped breakfast and was planning on grabbing some strawberry french toast at IHOP on the way home.

Instead, we went before the judge and argued until it was decided that it would take too long for our judge to try. So he sent us to "Presiding court" which means we go downstairs, wait for our case to be called and we'll get whatever judge happens to be available from the large pool of judges.

So we waited.
And waited.
At about 11:30 they told us to come back at 1:30 to get a set judge/location.
Everyone else went back to work but since I'm further away I walked the streets of San Antonio. Saw the riverwalk, wandered into San Fernando cathedral - a beautiful building with historical meaning, but still (once the tour group left) a peaceful place to pray and sit quietly before God.
Went back at 1:30 and we were assigned a room and a judge (I was told that if I couldn't have the judge we originally had, he was the next best thing).
2:00pm we finally got going. They'd scheduled 1.5 to 2 hours for us.
We finished at 6:30pm.

We won. God won. I just sat there. Singing praise songs in my mind. Sometimes shaking my head at stupid witness statements, and trying not to get too frustrated with one really obnoxious attorney.
There were 4 attorneys there. Each representing different clients. Each arguing with very different styles. I've got a lot of respect for 3 of them (Especially the attorney for the baby - Thank you Ms Christine!). That 4th obnoxious one will never win me over I think.

I came home, held Precious and told her how important this day was to her. She blew spit bubbles and kicked her feet. She is 7 months old today. She is one step closer to safe.

God did the impossible today.
If I weren't me, I wouldn't even have ruled in our favor.
I'm still amazed that the judge did. (Thank you Judge Sakai)
God is worth trusting.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

On the eve.

Tomorrow is the day we go to court for Precious. 9am Monday central time.

I was up during the night with her, because she's been sick, fever and stuffy nose primarily.
I laid down for a nap this afternoon and I remember waking up several times to people in my living room still singing along to worship songs.
And while they sang praises... - 2 Chronicles 20:22

I had purposed to sing praises this afternoon and others came over and joined (most unsuspectingly when they walked in the door and discovered they'd walked into an impromptu worship time) but at some point, just a few songs in I ran out of words and praise. I just want this child delivered. Delivered safely away from an enemy that lies at her door seeking to hurt her.

I remember looking outside, it was a cool rainy day here, and wondering what God was doing. Was today really the day that God did a mighty work for her so that tomorrow when we go up we'll simply reap the spoils of Gods deliverance of Precious?

He's done a lot for me this past week. He's promised a lot, spoken a lot, and been more than enough sufficiency.
I trust Him.
I am overwhelemed.
I trust Him.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Doing funny things update -

Life is intense. I wish I knew how to write down what's happened in the last weeks but I don't.
The highlights are this:

I still have my job. I am 50% happy about this, and 50% curious where God would have put me if I had chosen to go ahead and leave.
I knew beyond a doubt God wanted me to quit - at some point during the quitting, when I was no longer attached to my job, or afraid of becoming unemployed, I knew I didn't have to quit. I could. I almost did. But I un-resigned. I don't know how long I'll be here though. Everything in life feels... like it should be held loosely.

Every day I wish I had  bigger home to take in more kids. There isn't enough of me and my house to meet the need. Hours that I spend with free time in my house are pleasant, and relaxing, but also leave me burdened - I should be busy with a house full of children.
It must not be Gods time yet, because if it were, surely it would be so.
I scroll through the faces and names on the TARE website.
I go to court and talk to the birthmom of Precious.
So much hurt, so much pain. I want to reach them.

I went to church, and during the worship service, inbetween words of the songs, I found myself groaning again. It's a very embarrassing thing I try to never do in public because, much like the barking like a dog phenomenon I'm sure no one will understand. I don't even understand. But I groan. I don't know why. But it's intense and I wish I knew more about it.

When I returned to my seat a stranger at church walked up and handed me a paper with a scripture reference. 2 Chronicles 20:14-21 then separately written and underlined was 22-30.

It's hard to imagine I'm fighting, when I don't even know what or why.