My sweet friend, Audrey and I headed out for a nearly 7 mile hike yesterday at a near by canyon. It was exactly what I was longing for before we really kick it in gear to prepare for the wedding and leaving this Saturday. We were so surprised when we happened on this injured falcon. It is so rare to ever see a wild falcon up close. These two pictures Audrey took as I crept closer to see if there was any way we could help it. (Later we reported it to the rangers who went on a search for it).
How sad it was to see this beautiful creature unable to do what the LORD had created it to do... soar. I thought of the beautiful verse in Isaiah 40:31 “...but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint."
We were created, like this beautiful falcon, to bring glory to our creator, by being and doing what He has created us to do. I felt such compassion for this bird’s injury and inability to fly. In Isaiah 40:1 the LORD says “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” Mark 6:34 shows us how Jesus felt when he saw a large crowd of people - “he had compassion on them...”. Psalm 103:13 says “As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear Him.” If you are feeling wounded, like this bird, SEEK the Lord...He loves you and wants to heal you. As I seek to love my family and friends today, I pray that I will comfort them better, and have more compassion for them. As we walk through our days, what ever that may look like, may we each look at those around us with more compassion, and tender comfort. May we soar - FOR HIS GLORY.
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God...” I John 4:7
She’s doing great. Surgery went well. The doctor said that her leg was really bad and that it is good that we did this now. Of course, some day that plate in her leg has to come out, but it should help her leg straighten up. It is getting later in the day, and Caresse is starting to feel the pain more, but she is still doing well. Thank you all for your prayers for her.
I was almost asleep late last night when I heard Caresse say “I’m chickening out” from the chair where she was sleeping. I mumbled something about it being to late. Then I realized she was telling me that we didn’t get the chicken out for the slow cook meal tomorrow. Ha-ha. We are here and waiting for the surgery to start soon.
Now, on some days, believe me, I don’t see that, I’m ashamed to say. I see the mess. However, I have long been committed to letting my children live in all their childish glory, within reasonable limits and respect for the others who also live in this house. I was so proud to get a few windows cleaned this morning. I fleetingly thought of those days when I had just one child, and I would sit after cleaning the WHOLE house...the whole thing...all cleaned at once. I would admire how perfect everything looked. I was young and a little silly, and the LORD taught me over time about letting people “live” in my house. That my house and everything in it is here for us to use, a gift from Him. And that everything in my house is to be used to serve and minister to others. I’ve been in homes that were uncomfortable because they were “so perfect” you were afraid to drop a crumb. And other homes might not be comfortable because of chaos and dirtiness.
I’ve grown now to enjoy that my house is not always “perfectly” clean, and that’s O.K.. I’ve also learned what really does need to be done... keeping the house clean, tidy, and organized is healthier for everyone. And I’ve also learned the things that really “push my buttons”. I can’t stand dirty windows or a messy and dirty kitchen! I feel like the whole house is dirty if my windows or kitchen is not clean. Even then, I don’t get upset with my family and others who visit my home for getting them diry, because my priority is that our home serve us, not the other way around. (However, the children are a little “trigger shy” about touching the windows...hey, training is good too! LOL).
So I’m sitting here on my couch, looking at my perfect house; it is PERFECTLY LIVED IN.
Caresse wanted a special dress to take to Texas when we go, in just TWO short weeks, for Jace and Karlie’s wedding. So I made this one for her.
She had a cute idea to do a fabric pin with beads, so we put this one together. Cute, huh?
Last week Steve began to experience problems in one of his eyes...he could not see out of it suddenly. The eye doctor told him yesterday that he has a severe and unexplainable cataract and would have to have immediate surgery. The dr. was puzzled because this kind of cataract is usually caused by an accident or injury of some sort, but nothing has happened. The surgery will have to wait till after we come back from Jace’s wedding. As I was thinking and praying about these two medical issues this morning, the children and I were reading from 2 Chronicles 16... “...Asa was diseased in his feet, and his disease became severe. Yet even in his disease he did not seek the LORD, but sought help from physicians.” (verse 12). Just last week we read how King Asa and all of Judah sought the LORD’s help when the Ethiopians came against them to destroy them. And then later in chapter 15, King Asa “took courage” and put away the idols in the land and led the people of God “into a covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul”. Now, we see King Asa in trouble because he relied on another to win a war for him, instead of relying on the LORD. (Ch. 16:7). Then instead of repenting and humbling himself when Hanani (the prophet) came and confronted him with his sin, he gets angry and throws the messenger in prison. The last chapter of his life ends with his self inflicted destruction...diseased feet and I suspect a prideful heart. As I thought on this I felt that we have many opportunities in our daily lives to “seek the LORD” and to rely on Him. I’m not saying to not go to doctors and others for help. I’m talking about the heart attitude of dependance and reliance upon the LORD...to seek Him first, to pray to Him about the things that would come against us, and to realize that our enemy is defeated. Victory is ours not by anything else or anyone else that we would seek help from; it’s our because we REPLY ON, SEEK AND BELIEVE that our LORD will give us victory and heal our diseases. Again, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t seek help from doctors, or others if needed. I believe that doctors are a gift from the LORD. I’m saying that we should be careful that we do SEEK the LORD in all things BEFORE we run to another for help, deliverance, or advise. I pray that when we face sicknesses or problems, we would be families who have made covenants to seek that LORD and to rely on Him. When our hearts are right, then we know where our help and our healing and our victory comes from. When we are sick, or our children or loved ones are sick, do we pray and believe that the LORD can bring healing and help if needed? Or have we put ALL of our faith in doctors and do not even pray to the LORD? As we were thankful for the help of doctors when mother struggled through almost 4 years with her injured leg and no bone growth, we prayed daily to the LORD, and when we saw healing, my mom said one thing to me...”Tell the children that the LORD hears our prayers and answers them.” We are forever grateful to the doctors that the LORD sent, but it is HIM that we praise, not man. I encourage us to make decisions each day, whether for medical reasons, financial problems, or anything else that we feel defeated by to seek the LORD and to rely on Him. He will always lead His children.
"Your daddy is standing in a swimming pool out a little bit from the edge. You are, let’s say, three years old and standing on the edge of the pool. Daddy holds out his arms to you and says, “Jump, I’ll catch you. I promise.” Now, how do you make your daddy look good at that moment? Answer: trust him and jump. Have faith in him and jump. That makes him look strong and wise and loving. But if you won’t jump, if you shake your head and run away from the edge, you make your daddy look bad. It looks like you are saying, “he can’t catch me” or “he won’t catch me” or “it’s not a good idea to do what he tells me to do.” And all three of those make your dad look bad. But you don’t want to make God look bad. So you trust him. Then you make him look good–which he really is. And that is what we mean when we say, “Faith glorifies God” or “Faith gives God glory.” It makes him look as good as he really is. So trusting God is really important. And the harder it seems for him to fulfill his promise, the better he looks when you trust him. Suppose that you are at the deep end of a pool by the diving board. You are four years old and can’t swim, and your daddy is at the other end of the pool. Suddenly a big, mean dog crawls under the fence and shows his teeth and growls at you and starts coming toward you to bite you. You crawl up on the diving board and walk toward the end to get away from him. The dog puts his front paws up on the diving board. Just then, your daddy sees what’s happening and calls out, “Johnny, jump in the water. I’ll get you.” Now, you have never jumped from one meter high and you can’t swim and your daddy is not underneath you and this water is way over your head. How do you make your daddy look good in that moment? You jump. And almost as soon as you hit the water, you feel his hands under your arms and he treads water holding you safely while someone chases the dog away. Then he takes you to the side of the pool. We give glory to God when we trust him to do what he has promised to do–especially when all human possibilities are exhausted. Faith glorifies God. That is why God planned for faith to be the way we are justified." —John Piper
Thank you daddy for showing me that I could first trust you to catch me. Know I am learning that my Heavenly Father will do that and more. Happy Fathers Day.
...we stared at each other for a minute trying to figure out what to do.
It’s so crazy quiet here, except for the hum-rattle of the washing machine, that it’s almost hard to figure out the direction of our thoughts.
The possibilities are really endless...
So what do we do?
The reason for this quandary or sorts is that all of my children, except the little two year old cutie in the picture, are at VBS every SINGLE morning this week. I know it’s just two hours, but STILL...
I’m not sure of the last time that I just had one child to look after.
"The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto."-- A.W. Tozer
In myself nothing; in God, everything!
Why do I try to find the answer to my burdens, my problems, my concerns, my questions ...
in anything that “I” can do? I never do have the answers and I never will.
That verse that the LORD showed me a few days ago is from 2 Chronicles 14...Kins Asa cried out to the LORD when he was confronted with a situation. I love that Asa knew that “in himself” - not a chance. The situation “looked” impossible. Here’s his prayer;
“And Asa cried to the LORD his God, “O LORD, there is none like You to help, between the mighty and the weak. Help us, O LORD our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this multitude. O LORD, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.”
What an awesome prayer...a prayer of humility and faith. Asa isn’t looking for victory or answers in what “he” has or can do.
It’s pretty simple ... not the problem;
but the “what to do part”...
-meet the problem - “draw up your lines of battle with your “enemies" (you see Asa doing this in the previous verses 2 Chron. 14:10) ;
-Then CRY TO THE LORD YOUR GOD (verse 11);
-tell the LORD that you know there is none like Him (He knows this...this is to remind You and your enemies of the truth);
-acknowledge that you are weak ... and that something mighty stands in front of you and that HE IS YOUR HELP;
-ask for His help and reaffirm that you rely on Him, not on yourself or your own abilities;
-THIS IS IMPORTANT (also in verse 11) - in HIS NAME come against the problem;
-remember again that He is your God and ask that nothing would prevail against Him.
Here is a biblical principle, a spiritual truth not to be missed....
as we really believe, really live, really stand up in faith and confess our reliance on Him and Him alone - verse 12 is pretty exciting
“So the LORD defeated...”
Here is an example of how I might pray this as a mother with a hearts desire to live His will in our family;
As I look at each day of mothering, homemaking, home educating, teaching, training and raising these precious ones...I cry to the LORD my God;
“O LORD, there is none like You to help,
the problems and work is mighty and I am weak.
Help me, O LORD my God
for I rely on You,
and in Your Name I come against what would defeat my family.
O LORD, you are my God; let not anything prevail against You.”
And then I rest my heart and watch the LORD defeat what would try to defeat me or my family.
A little Hebrew to remember ... the word “rely" in this verse is “sha-an" - which is "an attitude of trust and ultimate dependance” on the LORD.
Today I remember and recommit to sha-an only in the LORD My God. Join me in the battle will you...let’s draw some lines in the sand and say a PRAYER!
Several times this week I sat down for a few seconds to write about this week, but we continue to have slow and “no” internet working here from about 4:00 p.m. and through out the evening. Of course, this is the time that I usually have a few minutes to sit down and write since Steve is home.
Sooo, here’s the quick of it all before I must run down stairs and then I hope to follow up better later this afternoon; -Hear once from Kalyn and they are all doing great. -It’s been a hard week for a few of my little ones...I really need the LORD’s guidance for Aiden’s sensory things, and a few of the others have been very argumentative and “tender”. By Wednesday, I was really wore down and tired...you know - the emotional stuff that makes you feel fuzzy minded and just “heavy”. I love Aiden so much!!! And I know the LORD has given me a special job to mother this little guy, and that He (God) will provide what I need to do that job. Having said that - well, after working with the yelling, fighting, crying, screaming, throwing, and heart wrenching “I’m sorry, Mommy”, only to start it all over again - EVERY day and almost EVERY minute, and then - well, the other things... I don’t mean to complain - Yesterday I actually looked up “tired” and “burdened” and “weary” in the Bible - ha-ha... I know, that is pathetic isn’t it. And the LORD did give me a wonderful verse that encouraged me and a wonderful post from another mother that I will share later. I can’t share this verse right now because my Bible is down stairs, and I am upstairs sitting with above mentioned child who is sitting here with me (for probably obvious reasons-his world has HAD to become a small circle around me). So God knew how much His WORD would encourage me! Which is good, because, -We had a dr.s appointment for Caresse. I have been concerned about the leg that she has had two surgeries on. It seems to be growing crooked. Her AWESOME dr. confirmed that it is and that she needs a surgery right now to insert a plate into her knee to see if that will stop it from becoming worse and potentially “crippled”. Poor Caresse, who has had 5 surgeries, skin biopsies, and so much pain in her leg sat there and cried and cried! I couldn’t figure out why she was THAT UPSET. When the dr. left I found out the problem. She got upset when she heard that she needed a plate inserted into her leg and she heard that the dr. was going to numb it...my poor darling daughter thought that she was going to have to be AWAKE for the surgery and that they were only going to numb the spot. Good Grief...I WOULD be crying in terror too! After she found out what was going to happen, she was only “a little” upset. On the drive home though it began to sink in that she had to have another surgery, be on crutches again, and hopefully be up and walking well by Jace’s wedding. So her surgery is June 24th if you all would please be praying. -It’s funny - the above made me think something...special needs is talked about (rightly) a lot in considering to adopt a child with a special needs. By adoption definition, Caresse is a “special needs” child. There is a difference though. Caresse was born into a family and a culture where she could receive the medical help that she needs. So many parents and children do no have that option. Special Needs doesn’t have to be a “life sentence” for a child. I love Caresse of course, and will do what I can for my child, and when we adopt a child into our family, if that child has a SN, our thoughts are not focused on that, but on the fact that he or she is our child and we will do what we need to do to help them. I am so grateful to so many of you who have adopted SN children...you shine a light in a scary place. May the LORD lay more of those precious children who wait on the hearts of others who can help them with the challenges that they face just because they are poor and live in a country where they cannot receive the medical help that they need. “Special Needs” is not “who” they are, but just a beautiful situation for the LOVE of Jesus to shine into the lives of precious ones who are looking for help and waiting. AND that is the “quick” update - LOL. Aren’t you glad I didn’t write out the long version. AND also, here is that site that I mentioned above that has encouraged me so much this week. I will be spending time reading and meditating on the verses that she mentioned... AND by the way, I love you guys! Thank you for visiting our blog, for praying for us, for listening to me when I just need to chat. Thank you for sharing our lives with us. I am SO GRATEFUL for you all.
So they say “Confession is good for the soul”... well, let’s see if this is true...
Here is a confessional from a mother of 11... (soon to be 13).
I LOVE the smell of clean children (what mother doesn’t).
(EXHIBIT A - These are clean children who smell great!)
(EXHIBIT B - These, children...well not so sweet smelling).
I do not like the smell of children that stink!
Random picture of our great home school week outside because it has finally been “open window - ice tea warm” kind of weather!
This picture - just because... he’s cute.
I, like any mother, love the smell of clean children with their lotioned little bodies in clean jammies! But my confession is that I don’t seem to make/find time to bathe my children more than 2 or 3 times a week (if it’s a good week). Some weeks they may only get a bath ONCE - GASP!!! I know... not so good. So, I hope that this confession is good for me and you, because, I would rather let them play with water, mud, sand, bugs, butterflies and flowers, than to keep them perfectly clean and in a little sterile cage.
Steve and I were in full swing - getting the children in their beds for the night. I love to go roll around on them and tease them that they are very “bumpy and uncomfortable pillows”, which always gets a laugh. Or I just tickle and love on them for a second. Steve comes behind me with the blessing and the prayer.
This night one of my little men was upset and not responding to my teasing. I was busy and didn’t really pursue what was wrong...I “assumed” that he was upset about something from earlier. Finally, I stopped and really leaned down into his world and asked him what was wrong. It took quite some time before he answered me through his tears... Know what he said? He said, “You don’t LIKE me”. Oh my ... what had I done?
But as that thought entered my mind, I shoved it back out of the way. This wasn’t about me and what I might have done, BUT about him and what he was feeling. And right now he didn’t feel like I liked him. You know what I love about this? He KNEW that I loved him. That was never in question. He just didn’t feel “special” and “liked” at that moment. If only he knew...
just how much I LIKE him...his sweet spirit, his teasing ways, his adorable “pillow” lips and huge hugs. If only he knew how I loved him before I ever met him...this new son of mine...not of my body....not even of my “race”...this precious African son that I was ready to die for from the start. If only he knew how much I “feel” as if he was always suppose to be mine...my heart knew long before we met. As I hold his black hand in my white hand....it seems as if it was always suppose to be ... our hearts intertwined - our lives belonging together. If he only knew... how he has changed my life for ever. I’m not even sure that I always understand, but deep inside of me I know, I KNOW, that God has given us something special; something that outside of God’s miraculous plan, he and I would never have known. Me, a white mother, him an African child...our worlds came together one day...and I have never been the same. And when it is all said and done...I’m grateful for our journey, which is different then some, but at the end of the day, he is “just” my son and I am “just” his mother, and we don’t notice the color of our skin, we just know that we love each other; and more than that, I REALLY LIKE MY SON....he is so talented, gift, precious, smart and every other thing that any mother says about her children.
Yea...I LIKE him.
And I am so thankful for this son that I love. And my prayer is that my children always know that I love them, and more than that...that I LIKE them.