Saturday, November 23, 2013

Resting in the Arms of My Father

This past weekend I found myself sitting in a plastic chair in the midst of 104 adoptive and foster mommas, some I knew and most I didn't, having a talk with God that has been overdue for years.  I have been telling myself for a long time that the anger I was holding onto in my heart was not directed at the God I love and trust but at the sin that causes the hurts I don't understand.  I had been lying to myself. 

During one of the worship sessions at the retreat I was attending there was a time of "getting right with God".  I can't remember what song was playing during this time but what I do remember is what God spoke into my heart. 

God:  Are we going to talk about this?  It's time to let it go, Amy.  You've been angry with me long enough.

Me:  I know.  I was hoping you hadn't noticed.  It's been in the way of us, hasn't it?  I just don't understand.  You could have protected them.  They didn't have to lose all they could have been.  You could have saved them from the hurt.

God:  I am protecting them.

Me:  But why did you let the sin in this world hurt them?  It's not right.  They didn't have any part in it and they suffered because of it. 

God:  "I know the plans I have for them.  Plans to prosper them and not to harm them, plans to give them hope and a future."

Me:  I believe that, Lord.  I really do.  I just hate the sin so much.

God:  Did you forget?  You are angry with me for letting sin hurt the innocent, yet YOUR SIN IS PART OF THAT TOO.

Me:  Oh Lord, I did forget.  I'm so sorry.  Please forgive me.  It's just so much easier to blame others than to look at myself.

God:  I know you want to see justice.  I will vindicate the orphan and the oppressed.  I promise. 

Me:  I'm hanging onto that, Lord.  Thank you.

God:  There's one more thing I want you to remember.

Me:  (deep breath)

God:  When I went to the cross and died for your sin, I died for them too.  Even the ones who hurt the innocent.  I love them all.

I sat in that chair and cried so many tears that had been waiting for years to be shed.  I felt like I had just climbed up into the lap of God and was being rocked like a baby.  There was a huge weight on me I didn't even know was there until it was gone.  It was SO HEAVY.  I've been all about comforting and healing my girls and I forgot to let God do that for me.  I had let my anger get in the way. 

I don't know that I will ever understand why God allows bad thing to happen.  Not fully.  There are moments when I doubt and wonder "why Lord?" when I think about the loss of Savannah.  Why did You give her birth mother the courage to give her away for a better life and then allow her to die?  Toby & I, our kids, none of us understand totally why we didn't get to bring her home to us.  The truth is that she is living a fuller life than any of us in heaven and when we get there we will too.

I learned a new song that spoke to the hurt I had been carrying.  This part of it especially:

          And You are good, God
          For You are good to me
And when I don't understand
I will choose You
And when I don't understand
I will choose to love You, God
For me it's as simple and as hard as that.  To choose Him.  To choose love.  Especially when I don't understand.

(Here is the full version of  I Breathe You In by Katie and Bryan Torwalt if you'd like to hear the whole song.)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Really? You sure, God?

I am by nature, a private person.  I don't want to share my heart with strangers.  I'm not even sure the majority of the time if I want to share it with people I know.  I love to laugh.  I'm sarcastic.  I'm sensitive.  My idea of a heavenly day is a day ALONE.  I'm learning to be more friendly and I'm capable of carrying on a pleasant conversation with a friend and even a stranger.  I would just prefer not to.  IT WEARS ME OUT!  Not because the person I'm interacting with is in any way draining or unpleasant, I am just wired to get recharged by being alone. (Here is a link to a fun cartoon that describes introverts pretty well: )

One thing I am learning is that God continually grows me by asking me to SHARE and be social.  Oh how I would love it if He would be content to grow me where I'm comfortable.  Never once have I grown in Christ without being taken somewhere unexpected, uncomfortable, and requiring steps of trust.  Faith is funny that way.  It's defined as "complete trust or confidence in someone or something".  I CRAVE closeness with my God.  I can't get it without complete trust & confidence in Him.  I trust Him the MOST when He takes me where I don't want to go, mainly because I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO TRUST.

So where am I going with this?  Remember my last post about going private?  Well, guess what God is asking me to do?  Yep, He wants me to establish a relationship with the ENTIRE world wide web.  Oh joy....really?  He wants me to not just go back to being public but to be more REAL and VULNERABLE. ACK!!!  (I'm pretty sure that's not even a word but it sums up my feelings on God's latest requirement of me.)  I closed down the blog because our hearts were HURT.  People who say they love us, hurt us.  They took their "baggage" and whacked one of my precious children over the head with it.  This momma bear can be fierce and shut down the blog out of hurt, anger, and a desire to protect her baby.

I don't know why God is asking me to share with you.  I do know this, He wants me to trust Him with how others use it.  I can only TRUST that He will use it to bless others and for every unpleasant reaction there will be at least one whose heart will be drawn to HIM in some way.  My prayer life is going to grow, of that I am absolutely sure. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Going Private.....

I know I have been a HORRIBLE blogger for at least a year now.  Sorry to anyone who reads this....

That being said, I have decided to go private.  In a world where most of my memories are shared online via facebook--I both love and hate that BTW--I have decided that going private on the blog may be a good idea.  I have been hesitant to post some of my more personal feelings and life events and I think knowing that ANYONE out there can read it may be part of why. 

If you read this and want to continue keeping up with our family....send me your email and I'll add you to the approved reading list.  That is JUST IN CASE I actually find the time to post anything.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Wow! It's been a while......

I don't know if we have any faithful followers to our blog, but if we do I'm sorry that it has been so long since I posted anything. Life is busy. I'm sure that doesn't shock anyone. Not only do we live in a culture that encourages going and doing more than is humanly possible, but we have a large family with kids from age 2 all the way up to age 16. With so much going on, it leaves little time for writing blog posts. Toby and I are in one of the busiest seasons of our lives. Someday, too soon for my liking, the kids will leave home and we will find our schedule less full. Then I'll have very little to write about.

All of this to say that I am hoping to get back to posting family updates more regularly. I have thought about giving up the blog and just settling into life without sharing so much of it online.  I do hope that even one person might someday happen upon our blog and see that our family is not any different than theirs. We don't all look alike and we were not all born in America but God has brought us together, made us a family, and shown us how He loves us in extraordinary ways. Maybe, just maybe, someone will see this blog and it will prompt them to follow God wherever He leads them.  I promise it will be worth it if they do!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Time to Play Catch Up

It has been WAY too long since my last post and we have been busy with so many things that I am just going to update you with pictures. Besides, that's what most of you want to see anyway :).

Eliza graduated from 4 year old preschool. This means she is off the Kindergarten in the Fall. She is so ready and I am so NOT ready!

Eliza turned 5! This year her birthday included a fun party at the park with friends.

Toby's brother Dale deployed to Afghanistan for a year. Please pray for his sweet wife, Amie, and their boys. It is so hard for them all to be apart. Such a sacrifice for his whole family. We are so thankful for men and women like him and so proud of Toby's little brother!

We celebrated 4th of July at the annual town parade.

We went on a family road trip to Denver and enjoyed seeing new things and meeting new friends including families with children from Yangxi, China (where Eliza is from).

We went to the county fair and Sophia fell in love with a horse--I can so relate!

We have a few more adventures to have before school starts. This Summer seems like it is flying by way too fast!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Year..........

Since we drove away from the care center in Addis with our precious girl.

One year of seeing this sweet girl grow and become more adventurous every day.

We are absolutely blessed by this precious gift from God.

Friday, June 1, 2012

What We've Been Up To

We've been busy making memories. Since it has been so long since I've shared new pictures and stories about our family, I'll just share some of my favorite pictures from all we've been up to.


Eliza has become quite the swimmer thanks to her swim teacher, Tabor.

I got another year older.

The girls performed in a dance recital.

Emma and Faith attended their first Middle School Banquet.

We were able to visit my Mom's hometown for her birthday.