Blind Faith 

Just a little over a year ago, this was my favorite terrier Franklin.

Now, he walks with blind faith. 

Diagnosed with diabetes a few months ago, he is blind now. This morning, my husband called his name. He cocked his little head up in the air trying to discern where the sound was coming from. He took a step and crashed into the wall. My husband took a hold of his leash and called his name again. Franklin followed the lead of the leash and was able to walk outside without running into another wall. He followed with blind faith. 

With our guidance, he trusts us to lead him in his blindness.

Trusting God and walking in faith is like that. When we were in the midst of the adoption process for our son, I clung to Hebrews 11:1. 

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see. Hebrews 11:1

I walked day by day trusting with blind faith that God would carry us through the journey to our son. I was able to trust Him without knowing the end result even as we experienced crazy delays and missed our son’s fifth birthday.

Walking in blind faith does not mean walking blindly. Walking in blind faith means taking a step forward and then another. They can be small steps, but it means being able to move forward without seeing the end of the road. It means listening to the voice of truth and silencing all the other voices that scream out…the doubts and fears. It means staying in the Word and believing the truth of God. 

Just as my dog walks in blind faith following the guidance of the leash as we lead him, we can walk in blind faith trusting God and following His lead without knowing where the journey will take us. 

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

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Lessons from Children 

Thirteen. My youngest officially crossed the threshold into his teenage years yesterday. Wow. Where has time gone? It seems like just yesterday we were in the Filipino heat at his orphanage eagerly waiting to meet him for the first time.

The other day, one of my co-workers was talking about her children and wishing they were little again. Not me. It’s not that I don’t have moments that I don’t miss the excitement over zoo trips, a sweaty little hand in mine as we cross the street, or cuddling while watching Disney movies because believe me, I do. Yet, I find it so exciting and humbling witnessing my children growing into their own individual person.

Our son was a quiet child, unsure of himself and his place in the world just a few years ago. Now, he is thriving academically and socially. He loves his family. He made the decision to be baptized last summer.

At school conferences this past week, one of his teachers said that our son is teaching him to be a better teacher. It was humbling to hear about our son in the classroom – his interaction with others, his sharing about his adoption, his teachers’ beliefs in his potential. 

Children are such a gift. Whether they are biological or adopted, students, neighborhood children…they are a gift. They need adults who love them and believe in them. I am grateful for the teachers and close adult friends who are positively shaping the lives of my children.

 I am so grateful to a God who did not say no to my prayerful pleas for a baby years ago but rather Wait, I have something far better planned for your family.

My children keep me grounded and focused on what truly matters in this life. 

While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.  Angela Schwindt

Sometimes, life is messy, but if we keep our eyes focused on God, He helps us keep our focus on what matters most. Even on the messy days.

31 Days of Gratitude: Adoption 

Often times, a simple step out in faith will open doors and windows you never imagined.

For our family, it was the step out in faith to adopt a little boy halfway around the world. 

This willingness to say yes to God without knowing what the yes looked like has blessed us and continues to bless us beyond measure.

Our family has hosted an exchange student. We have a greater understanding of cultural diversity. We have learned to trust God to provide in so many ways. Our daughter discovered a heart for mission work. 

The greatest blessing to pour out from our son’s adoption has been the friendship with another family three states away. 

Back in 2009, a few months after we came home with our son, we received a message from a family whose son had been in the same orphanage. The following summer on our way home from a vacation out West, we stopped in their home town.

Our boys reached out to touch each other at first deciding if this moment was real. Then, they picked up where they had left off, the years of separation dissipating into renewed friendship. The main difference being they were now interacting in English. Our families meshed perfectly. Every year, we plan a trip to spend together, reunite our sons, enjoy each other’s company, and make memories.

If you read my blog a few days ago, you know we were fighting Chicago traffic on a Friday night. It was worth it. Hours later that night, we were in the company of great friends. I missed my daily blog post yesterday due to poor internet connections, but I was busy making memories. Good ones. All because I stepped out in faith. With my family. Without knowing the end of the story.

This weekend, I am grateful for adoption. I am grateful for the blessings that have poured out from the joys of adoption.

1 Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted what I have asked of him.

And so, so much more.

Stepping into the unknown in response to God’s call on your life is a journey of faith. He is writing your story. 

Can you trust Him with the details?

31 Days of Gratitude: Unexpected Blessings 

Life does not always go as we plan and definitely not as we wish.

Sometimes, our prayers are answered seemingly right away with a definite yes. Sometimes, it appears as though God is saying NO. Sometimes, though, the answer is actually a wait… 

Not a no, but a wait and Trust Me I have something far better in store for you.

That little hand in the picture belongs to my son. As my husband and I had prayed for a baby and month after month, no answer, no pregnancy, just an empty womb…

God wasn’t saying no, but wait.

At the same time of our prayers, our son was born halfway around the world. Five years later, I was blessed when a beautiful, loving orphanage worker placed my son in my arms for the first time.

So many blessings have poured from this one. Our daughter discovered the beginning of a growing love for mission work and since our trip to the Philippines, she has been on three mission trips. Another amazing blessing…a family reached out to us.. their son from the same orphanage. Every year for the past seven years, we have spent precious time together. Not only have our sons enjoyed their yearly reunion, but our families have become closely connected.

Some of the greatest gifts in my life have been completely unexpected.

Another great example of God’s work in my life…I attended a writing conference two years ago and met a writing partner. She is now my treasured best friend to walk with me not only on my writing journey but the journey of life as well.

Sometimes, the answer to prayer may be yes. Sometimes, no… perhaps God is protecting us from something or maybe He is really saying wait, My child, something better is in store. And, sometimes, He pours blessings out when we least expect it.

Today, I am grateful for unexpected blessings.

Made Perfect in His Time…

God’s timing truly is best…

As we wait, as we wonder if He hears, if He cares,

Sometimes what we think are “no” answers

are simply lessons in trusting,

trusting that He knows best.

Five years I prayed,

Five years   I waited,

What I thought was a “no”

was really a wait, My child, I have something better in store

Halfway around the world

big brown eyes searching, longing

for someone to call mom…

Thank You, God for Your perfect

timing as I celebrate yet one more year,

his adoption day, my blessed son,

Your precious gift in Your perfect time.

PicMonkey  J

31 Days of Surrender: Unbelief

Lord, help my unbelief.

The prayers we pray…the things we need, the things we long for…do we really believe You listen, that You will answer?

All is possible with God…do we really believe?

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we can not see. Hebrews 11:1

In 2007, our family began the journey of international adoption…a long process…a process that teaches patience and trust. We submitted our paperwork known as the dossier, and we waited. We learned in September 2007 that our dossier had been accepted. We waited some more. Months went by without hearing anything. And then…September 2008, the day after Labor Day, I received the phone call. We had a son in the Philippines. The paperwork was overnighted. His picture, the eyes…the eyes that said so much. And then, we waited some more. Everything that could go wrong in the process to hold it up seemed to be happening. A co-worker came up to me in the hallway at work and asked if things like this ever fell apart. I spoke in confidence that no, everything would work out. Then, I remember going back to my desk in the solitude of my office and clinging to the promise of Hebrews 11:1 which I had penned on an index card… “now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we can not see.”

Fast forward a few years…our son will be celebrating his 12th birthday in a few weeks. He is well-adjusted. He loves his family. He was baptized this year in August. God fulfilled the promise of my desire for my son.

God has been faithful in so many things. As I face the challenges now of work issues, health issues, and other life stuff….I pray, but I wonder, do I truly cling onto the promise that He is faithful. As I reflect on His faithfulness through our adoption waiting, I know there were times of questioning, but He was faithful.

Lord, help my unbelief. I surrender my unbelief when life seems too hard and circumstances all-consuming. Lord, help my unbelief. Help me to focus on Your promises, on the hope of things unseen yet to come. And thank you for your reminder of Your faithfulness through the words of my son Jay-R and his childlike faith:

possible

Mother’s Day Musings and Weekend Reflections

Weekends are hard for me. My daily Monday-Friday routine is thrown off with soccer games, family events, and other fun things, things I enjoy, but things that throw off my eating routines. Saturday I didn’t really have time to eat a real breakfast or lunch so I survived off protein shakes and protein bars…not good on the blood sugar! By the time I went to dinner with my cousin and her family at 7:30, I felt close to passing out. I couldn’t get to the salad bar fast enough! I love Ruby Tuesday’s salad bar.

Today, Mother’s Day…I enjoyed a Mexican casserole…totally gluten free but the cheese resulted in bloating that has lasted all day long. I have become a good detective at deciphering what is ailing me, and this time, it was cheese, too much of it.

After a family game of Scrabble,  I needed a walk to calm the awful bloated feeling I had. My son is adopted so as a tribute to his birth mom, we bought a balloon and he wrote her a message on the balloon. He does not remember her, but he understands she loved him but could not care for him. In a symbolic gesture, we launched the balloon towards the Philippines. (Disclaimer…yes, I know that this is not the best thing for the environment but one balloon as a tribute….please forgive me).

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Back to the daily routine tomorrow and a taming of the tummy. The bone broth is in the crockpot. The sweet potatoes are cooked, and lunch is packed. Life with food intolerances is just life, slighty more complicated.