Five candles for 5 years of life. Her Birthday just happens to be her "Gotcha Day" as well. We would need 3 candles to celebrate that.
Life really is like a vapor. It goes by so fast. Five years ago we weren't even thinking about adopting, yet our baby girl was being birthed out in the African bush.
Lack of food and resources led a young mother to make a very difficult decision. One day she made the long walk to an orphanage and handed over her only child. She knew that the moment she turned her back and walked away it would be goodbye forever. The most she could hope for would be a family who had enough food, treated her baby well and would give her a good education.
But she would never really know.
Sometimes I want her to know that I love her little girl beyond comprehension. She has never missed a meal and she is so stinking smart.
I cannot claim that she is all mine, though my heart cries out that she is. Reality is that she looks just like her birth mom. They share a dimple high on their left cheeks.
The years have healed the physical effects of birthing a child. I wonder if the emotional scars have mended. On the other side of the world, is a beautiful Liberian woman remembering this day? Does she ever regret her decision?
Or, has she moved on - everything a dim shadow of a time long ago?
All I know is, my life has been forever changed for the better by opening my heart up to my African babes! Through them, God in His graciousness has shown me how much He can love me - HIS adopted daughter!
Happy Birthday, my precious baby girl!
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
He pursued me relentlessly. I ran. There was no way I was going to open my heart up again. Pain has a way of making you protect yourself, setting up walls to keep you out of harms way.
He won. His persistance paid off. The walls around my heart crumbled, and I found safety where I expected none. In his arms I felt glimpses of a different kind of love; a love that endures.
Eventually, I shoveled away the debris left from my self-made fortress. Bare soul, I walked down the aisle. His eyes said it all. The love he was offering me was true to his character. It was unrelenting, persistant and enduring; it had not changed over the years.
The graying of my hair, an indication of time passing. The mirror confirms that life has indeed not stood still. Over 20 years have slipped by since he noticed me. I have not regretted letting him have access to my heart. Through the valleys of life, he has lovingly cradled my scarred heart; he has also taken me to mountain tops unimaginable. I am so thankful that I let him in!
The above description tells the story of 2 men in my life. Just a little over 20 years ago, the first man I gave my heart to was Jesus. He had been pursuing me for a long time. For an equally long time, I had been trying to find meaning to life. All of my efforts had resulted in pain and loss.
In rode my Prince, not on a stallion but rather on a humble donkey. He did not offer me riches or all the world has to offer. No, He offered me an enduring, persistent love - one that doesn't give up. He gave me what no one else would give...His life.
The second man is the one you see in the photos. He is my husband, my soulmate, my best friend. Through the years he has done an amazing job of reflecting God's love. People are more important to him than all of the riches of this earth. He really is someone who "loves well". I'm blessed that he is my Mr. Lovewell!
Monday, March 21, 2011
I was reading in Jeremiah today during my time with the Lord. As is typical, I will have read something many times before only to have it fall afresh on me. Today was no different.
The passage is directed to the nation of Israel, but that doesn't mean it is not applicable to us today.
Let these words sink in, "What wrong did your fathers find in me(God) that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?" Jer.2:5 parenthesis mine
What am I chasing after that is worthless? What are you chasing after? Is it fame? Money? Acceptance? A life of ease? What do I spend my time on that really is of no value to me or God?
Did you catch the last part of the verse? If we chase after worthlessness then we become worthless! This is a strong statement. I do not want to become worthless to God's Kingdom. I want to finish the race of life running into the arms of Jesus. As He holds my expired body in His embrace of grace, I want to hear "Well done good and faithful servant!" There will be no sweeter words that my ears could hear.
I want to look into my Savior's eyes and see His pleasure; a statement void of words yet saying so much. I want to know that I sought after His heart and the things dear to Him. I want to know I didn't chase after worthlessness.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
She was our fourth child...a pleasant addition to our family. With her arrival our family became even - 2 boys and 2 girls. Forever and always she has been our happiest child. Joy emminates around her.
Then, reality hit. She wasn't speaking and she was almost 3 years old. Several tests and doctors tried to figure her out. In the end, it was a diagnosis of a learning disability coupled with a language deficit barrier.
Life has been a struggle for her. Everything comes hard and she has to work 3 times harder than the average child. She is starting to realize that her brain doesn't always work like her peers. There is pain for me. What will a few more years bring to her realization?
Sometimes I want to change her and make it so she doesn't struggle. And then, God in His infinite wisdom gives me His eyes for just a moment. In that second, I wouldn't change her for the world!
We had just finished Church, and I went to gather all of the children together. I'm looking around, and see groups of people enjoying fellowship. As we are all guilty of it at one point or another, we gravitate towards those people we like - the ones that are easy to get along with. I scan through the people to see the most beautiful sight ever. My precious daughter had noticed all of the "unlovables"; the people who are in wheelchairs, the ones who drool and cannot care for themselves, the ones with broken bones and the ones who are lonely. One by one she ran up to each person and gave a hug and said, "You are so wonderful!"
She showed me life through a different lens. In fact, I saw my daughter exhibit more wisdom than people 10 times her age. She has been gifted with the ability to love beyond the exterior and to make each person feel valuable.
Lord, let me see people the way my baby girl sees them!