Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Praying for our Kids

This post is a part of Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers

I am captivated by His boundless love for me.
Once captive and bound to sin, but in Him I'm free.

Do you ever hear something said & have your mind take you off on a tangent on that one thing?  Well yesterday I was listening to the radio & I heard a verse of a song use the word captivated.  My mind suddenly started to think about how captivated and captive are so close & yet have such different meanings.  The same with bound and boundless.  I came up with the above verse & I like my little play on words that brings out some profound truth.  :)

Earlier this week we caught one of our kids in something that was a pretty big deal.  Mike & I had to discuss what we were going to do, how we were going to address it, consequences, follow up, etc.  I was mulling this over in my mind, and thinking about what a bear it can be to parent sometimes.  Sometimes it just is not fun!  But then my mind (prompted by God) went back to my prayers earlier that day.  I have a prayer that I constantly pray for my kids.  I ask God that if they are going in the wrong direction they would get caught & repent.  I pray this not only for the kids in my home, but also "my kids" who are in the group homes in Rwanda.  I realized that even though we were dealing with something "not fun", in actuality it was God answering my prayer!

This prayer was not original with me, it came from Stormie O'Martian in her book "The Power of a Praying Parent".  Isn't it true that "the power of sin is in it's secrecy"?  I am reminded of the verse in Galatians 5

Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said:

"Wake up, O sleeper,

rise from the dead,

and Christ will shine on you."
Much of the control that sin has over us happens because it is something kept in secret.  Once a sin is exposed & visible then we see how ugly it really is. I can think back over my life & there have been many times when by God's mercy I was caught doing something I shouldn't have.  You know my mom must have been praying because I never got away with anything!  ;)
So I am thankful for these answers to prayers, even if it is messy sometimes.  I am also thankful for new supporters that have pledged in the last few weeks- God is bringing us step by step closer to our hearts' desire.  We are about half way there, but we believe God is faithful & able to bring us all the way.
We are also getting closer in our paperwork for the adoption of Christine.  We are hoping that when Mike makes a visit to Rwanda in May that we will have everything ready & he will be able to get approval while he is there & bring her home!
Thank you for agreeing in prayer with us!
God Bless You,

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ups & Downs

I think everyone of us has weeks that are like a roller coaster ride- you're up & then you're down, and then maybe back up again! Early this week we had an awesome blessing of finding out our personal support had increased by $200 per month. Very encouraging after praying & waiting to see God's provision! We still have a ways to go, but this was a big step in the right direction- praise God!

Of course, then there's the parts of life that can bring you down- like power struggles with tweenagers (I endured a 2 hour battle with my 11 year old & only lost my cool a couple of times- I think I should get an award for that!) Or days where you feel like you get a big fat F for the day (the day I was working on the computer & Mike came home telling me he had found Nate talking to the landscapers 3 houses up the street- yup, stellar mommy moment for me).

What I am so grateful for is the grace of God. Through the ups, the downs, the victories and failures, God always holds us in the palm of his hand. John 10:27-30 Jesus said:
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

Isn't that GREAT news?! Thank God that he never lets go of us. I love the verse from Psalm 37:
"If the LORD delights in a man's way,
he makes his steps firm;

though he stumble, he will not fall,
for the LORD upholds him with his hand."

I hope that is encouraging for you today too!

I've started another blog- I have 3 now! You may think I just have too much time on my hands (ha ha!) Actually everyday I feel overwhelmed with too much to do. Somethings (like an updated TTI newsletter) just get pushed to the side- I've got to get to work on that this month! Plus I need to work on our paperwork for Christine's adoption & getting the kids enrolled in school in Rwanda for the fall. My newest blog is www.walkNT.blogspot.com is because with all the new things I am learning & experimenting with in nourishing foods I wanted to be able to share it with someone. I have been reading lots of "real food" blogs & just decided I would start one too- I think it's a necessary outlet for me since I don't know anyone else (personally) as radical about what they feed their family as I am!

I wanted to add one other thing. I have talked about how it is a struggle for me in our current home- how I wish it were someplace my own, someplace "cute". I have to say though, living with my dad is a huge help. We never pay for a babysitter- my dad is always willing & almost always available. My dad also buys a few groceries now & then (hard for us becuase I'm picky- but I just let those non-organic apples come in, wash them good & don't complain) :) He also does a lot of laundry, complete with folding and putting it away (sometimes I find my socks in Nate's drawer, or KaLia's shirt in my closet, but it is still a huge help). He really does keep us afloat in many ways. So, I am thankful to be here with my dad to help us. I choose thankfulness!

picture of Nate & my dad (the guy in the middle, not the back) at the Rhodie Garden over in Portland, last June- isn't it funny how distance/perspective makes Nate bigger?  Someday I know it will be true!  :)


Monday, March 1, 2010

Here I am

Let's play good news/bad news. I always want the bad news first (I like happy endings) :) So, a sad thing is I don't think I'm going to be able to go with the team to Mexico this summer. Not only do we not have the extra funds for it, but even if we did it doesn't seem wise to spend $ on that- which would be taking away funds that we need to go to Rwanda. I would love to go to Mexico (have been there on short term mission trips, uh, I don't know probably 5 or 6 times, but it's been since before our daughter was born- 11+ years ago- that I was last there.) But I don't think it's going to happen.

On to some good news- TTI in Rwanda moved a widow & her children into a new safe home today- one that will be much better than the falling down one she was in previously. yeah God & yeah for people who stepped up & gave! :) See TTI blog...

Our journey into "real food" has been going pretty good. My latest thing has been creating my own sourdough starter & trying to make sourdough bread (that did not turn out so good). But I did use my starter to make some tasty homemade crackers, pita bread, and my tortillas have been good too! I am going to keep working on it & I have noticed some unexpected health benefits in myself that is good news too! (hormonal stuff)

Last week at Bible study God dropped a really cool picture in my mind. We were reading Romans 8:14-16 "because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.
I was thinking about God as our Father, and I thought of my son (age 6). In the morning he likes to give me a hug, but not just a little hug, I pick him up & he hugs me with his whole body- legs wrapped around me, arms holding tight, and I walk around holding him. The thought that came to me was that *this* is what being led by the Spirit means. We are lost in the embrace of God & he carries us along. I love that picture. I need to get lost in God's embrace.

Please keep us in your prayers. The "mountain" of finances seems insurmountable, and yet we know that God can do it. I realize that our target date of being in Rwanda is a little over 6 months away & I know we are not very much closer to where we need to be! It can be overwhelming, but we know that our God can make a way. We believe this is what he wants us to do & we know that our God is a God of miracles! Pray for our faith to be strengthened & for us to begin to see the provision of God in our finances.

Thank You!