Not Waiting Around

I have never been so excited to read the Bible. You see…I dread reading it because I usually am just filled with questions or just really confused. Until my precious husband was talking about his Bible reading plan. There is a great app for your phone called YouVerson. He was reading the plan called the chronological Bible. So, I tried it….. Where has that been all of my life!! It makes it like a story! I LOVE  IT! I can’t put it down.

So, right now I am reading about the Israelites. I couldn’t help to think that chapter after chapter God is telling these people what to do. They just have to obey him. For example in Exodus 14 :

 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 16 Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. 17 I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen. 18 The Egyptians will know that I am the Lord when I gain glory through Pharaoh, his chariots and his horsemen.”

I am understanding more and more that being a Christian is being more like on God’s team. For so long I have been believing and waiting for God’s perfect plan for my life to unfold. But now…(sadly years later) I am realizing that God needs us to say yes and take a step. Moses was told what to do but God needed him to act in Faith as a team. Like it says in verse 18…He wants everyone to know that I am the Lord! If you are  displaying that He is Lord….you are helping out the team for sure! Moses could have had so many excuses but He lifted the staff and believed that His God was Lord of all!

So, when I was getting on Facebook the other morning I saw something that connected these verses to real life. As we know, there is a huge need for taking care of orphans…..but nothing will happen unless we say yes to God and make the step. God NEEDS us to work with him on His team! Lee Jong-rak is a Korean pastor in South Korea that has said yes to God….He isn’t waiting around for God’s perfect plan.

The story of this man is reaching the world. If you want to read more about his story click here.

Tearing Down the Wall

Well, just recently I have realized that I have a wall that needs to be torn down. Ouch….hate when that happens….it requires a lot of work and VERY uncomfortable situations. Just like everyone else, there are parts of me that have varying levels of strengths and weaknesses. In some situations I don’t care what people think of me. I can be confident  and bold. I can lead and try new things without any hesitation. However, sadly this is not so true throughout all areas in my life. This has really been bothering me lately. I want my life to be the same all around. So, I have been noticing that the PRIDE is what God is working on in me right now. I know…this is going to be a very uncomfortable ride. But in the end, I know it will be so worth it! Basically God is putting me in situations that will require the Pride wall to be torn down. If you are someone who cares what others think about you, you will understand that this is painful! Like I said before, I only have this problem in a few areas so, thankfully I can use those stronger areas to help with the weaker ones. For example, I am a teacher that doesn’t really mind if I am doing something different in my classroom. I know why am doing it and am confident that it works. So, I feel strong about being different. So, I am using that strength to help me in my weaker areas. I see that the reason I feel this way in teaching is because of my knowledge and confidence. When I think about my weaker areas I see that I want to blend in to the crowd so that my lack of knowledge on a subject won’t be exposed. For example, my religious beliefs. I have grown up in church my whole life. However, I really just listened to the teachings and expected everyone to feed me what I needed to know. I didn’t dig deep to understand why I believed these things. So, my knowledge and confidence in the Bible is limited. I find myself not wanting to stick out or be looked at as the “crazy” Christian who may not be able to explain what they believe because they don’t have the knowledge of the scriptures to reinforce their beliefs. I know you should look different if you are living in accordance with the Bible. I know this …I know this …I know this. But something inside of me still is holding me back from living boldly for Christ. Fear has definitely been holding me back. Since I have realized this, I have been reading more to make myself take those steps to becoming more confident in my beliefs.

I have also been reading a book called The Believer’s Authority by Kenneth E. Hagin. This has really help me dig deeper into the Bible and see the authority I have. This is some of the knowledge I need to be confident in sharing the Word with others. I have taped two scriptures on my mirror so that I am constantly praying scripture into my life.

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If I pray the scripture I know it is what God promises! This helps me be confident in my belief! The devil can’t put thoughts into my brain if I am praying scripture..it’s God’s word..not mine! I have heard about being a Christian my whole life but now I am seeing how to really put it into action…Only took me 32 years to figure that out…I hope you get it much faster!! I am so excited to get our children here and show them how to live a life  full of confidence in what their God has done for them and what He promises them!

On an entirely different note:

This week I ran into April, a friend from High School. We were talking about this blog and she had a suggestion that was great! It’s kinda of one of those duh…moments. Thank you April for reminding me that other people are wanting to join us in prayer for our family! I appreciate your great advice! She suggested having specific prayer requests on our blog. That way people can be specific when praying for us. I love it….sorry I didn’t think of this earlier! Ok, so here it goes….How you can pray for us this week!!

1. We are praying that God provides the expenses that come with adoption. He has provided already in very creative ways and we know that He will continue to do this!

2. We will be traveling this week to receive training for our adoption. Pray for safe travel and for us to get the most out of the class.

3. We are waiting for an appointment to get our psychological testing done. This has to be done before we are approved through our agency. Pray for a quick appointment and quick report sent to our agency!

-God has already connected us with a people who have helped us with the psychological evaluation. So, we have already seen blessings in this situation! Praise the Lord!

Change

My family is very blessed to have found a church that fits us so well! We are part of a church that just loves people! Isn’t that what church is about! Well, I just wanted to share some of the notes that I took awhile back that were very motivating! I hope they are for you too!

The message was:  How You Accept Change

It really made me stop and think about the changes that we are going through and will go through in the future. He took us to Daniel 12:4 when there was a prophetic word for the future. ( I apologize now…these are some of my notes from church…sometimes it might not be real clear about how the scripture relates…if confused by what I say…report back to the Bible…that will be much more accurate)

So, we know 2 things from this scripture in Daniel….1) knowledge will grow           2) there will be change

I don’t know about you but sometimes I just LOVE change and then there are times when I would do anything to keep the change from happening. I usually enjoy change because it keeps me informed….not stuck in a hole. It increases my knowledge about something, which makes me more qualified or interested!  But this message also made a good point about how change brings uncertainty and then we are reminded that we don’t have control. Control….who needs that?? Well, I’m sure I’m the only one with this problem but I’m a planner….so control is sometimes my best friend. I have had to learn the hard way and release that to God. Imagine giving the creator of the Universe control of your life…ha….what are we thinking ! Shouldn’t that be easy!!! Well, it sure would be easy if we would relax and  trust in His promises…promises that will never change. Matthew 24:35 – Heaven and Earth will pass away but my words will never pass away. People of the earth …(me) are always searching for a path to follow…a plan to carry out in their life and here are promises that will never change. Why is it so hard to live daily claiming these promises in our life? I have found focusing on the positive(even if they are little) things instead of the negative helps you keep your eye on the promises for your life.

My friends and I  are starting a blessing journal….this was an attempt to not dwell on the negative. Because believe me…sometimes there is plenty of that! This has truly helped me see that blessings are all around me.

The last thing that really stood out to me in my notes was:

– The more you understand change ….the more opportunities come

Don’t we all want opportunities?! This is powerful! I want to stand in His promises and gain opportunities everyday! I know the walk with Christ is hard and sometimes we just don’t get where we are walking to, however; I have to remember that He LOVES us  and gave His LIFE for us. The  unwanted changes that happen in my life and the control I release are only stepping-stones towards the amazing blessings that He has waiting for me.  He is a God of Grace….something that we get but don’t deserve! SO…..bring on the change.

change

I can’t help but think about how quiet it is right now in our house…..what a change it will be when we have siblings running around everywhere….what a CHANGE!!!

What can you do today to change a child’s life!

Due Date vs. No Due Date

One of the exciting moments women wait for when they are pregnant is their due date and finding out if it’s a boy or a girl. We recently experienced both of these moments just not as we expected them. We found out we were going  to have a February baby! Of course as a women the planning starts immediately, except if you have had many disappointments before. Then instead of planning your just praying for  a baby to be born! Well, we almost got to the “safe point” (whatever that is) , it was our last appointment with the specialist. We were going to be released that day to go to a “regular doctor”. Instead of leaving that appointment excited….we left heartbroken again. Another one of our babies went to be with Christ.

I don’t usually feel the need to share this type of thing. But I was reminded this week of something and I just felt like maybe other people have felt the same way. I was reminded that my due date was just a couple of weeks ago. And remember that I have already mentioned that one of the exciting moments you have when your pregnant is finding out …boy…or …girl. Well, we did find out that we did have a very healthy boy. They aren’t sure what happened. So, when I was reminded about my due date recently….I just had to stop and thank the Lord for that little healthy boy. I didn’t get to meet him but he is one lucky boy to be sitting with Christ right now! I want people to remember that this is not our home. No matter how bad the hurt or disappointment is…this is not our home. I focus on God’s promises and that is what gets me out of the heartache…every time! I’m not saying the emotions just go away(ask my husband…I’m a crying mess sometimes), but I do have hope and joy that I will have the desires of my heart and I will see all of my children one day!

While we are waiting for that, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it…adopting children that just want to be loved. So, to all of the moms out there that are adopting and don’t have a due date and don’t know the gender right now. I just want to encourage you to use God’s strength and stay strong! Stay in His word and speak to him daily! The relationship you have with your Heavenly Father will make this wait so much easier. This process is filled with ups and downs…..but totally worth saving any child from not having a family! I came across this song and thought it was perfect! Blessings are sometimes in disguise. Not fair…I know….But didn’t your mom always tell you life isn’t fair..(love ya mom). God loves us….He is always there to hold us when we just don’t know what to do.

Someday

Waiting is just part of the journey when you say yes to adoption….or…..really when you say yes to God. His plan is never done. I was reminded at church this week that God always keeps His promises! Even when we have waited and waited and yes still waiting for them…. even to the point of forgetting about them. Rhees and I have really sought after God’s path regarding what we are supposed to be doing with adoption. We feel strongly that we are following the right path. Yes, we have already had Satan try to bring doubt into our head…but the way we have found to defeat that is by recognizing the enemy! God doesn’t plant negative thoughts into your mind about yourself or others. So, it’s just a daily decision to dwell in the positive things (blessings) that God provides everyday. And yes, some days it may be something easy to recognize like a huge successful garage sale….and sometimes days are hard and we are just thankful for small things like our car started and my husband helped do the dishes. Yes, those are wonderful things!! So, we are committed to adoption…..whatever God provides through that….we are open! The more I think about the children all over the world that need families, it just breaks my heart! So, when I saw this picture on a blog called The Inspiration Files I just had to share!

This is how I feel! Not only for my children that I haven’t met in another country but also all of my children that have beat me to heaven. I will one day hold all of them in my arms! I can’t really express how I feel and what I have been through to get to this point, but I can tell you that God gives you desires and He will fulfill them! When He makes a promise…He keeps it!

Garage Sale Part 2

Early Saturday morning, after only a couple hours of sleep, I went to get change from Walmart.  This went well at 5:00 in the morning, unlike my effort the previous evening. Let’s just say that the “people of Walmart” prevented it from happening. After the obligatory QuikTrip stop, I was off to meet Rebekah and rest of the family, and some die hard friends who helped all day long at the church. People were already waiting outside to start shopping! At 6:00am the sale started and a steady stream of people coming out of the darkness began browsing through all we had. Before we could move all of the big items outside to draw traffic in, we had already started selling things left and right.

An hour into the sale the sun was up and people were still coming. Some of them we knew from church, from work as well as friends and family coming to show their support. Rarely did anyone leave empty handed and some that did made sure to put some money in our donation jar. One of our friend’s children gave us all her Christmas money. The generosity of a child, the steady, unyielding line of people, and the slow but sure disappearance of the massive amounts of donations brought us to tears. Not only were those donations part of the flood of provision that God had promised, but so were the people who came to buy and work at our sale. We know that God will return those blessings to these people as he said he would in Luke 6:38. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Home decorations vanished, toys were ransacked and clothing was picked through for hours. Electronics were snapped up, couches and chairs were loaded into trucks. Necia’s Colombian flag cake balls were nearly bought out. Exercise equipment, books, Christmas decorations, luggage, coolers all flew out the door! Still people kept coming. The sale was nearing the end and people just kept coming in the door. There was NEVER a moment when things were slow. For over nine hours God blessed us with eager shoppers. Even as we were bagging up the left-overs to donate to the local children’s home, people were still picking through the clothing. We had to pull the sign at the entrance so that we could have enough time to clean up for the Sunday services.

The sale was a HUGE success. We came into this hoping to make enough to cover the second half program fee or $3750. That’s a pretty tall order for a garage sale. But this was no ordinary garage sale. This was a supernatural move of God in our lives. He was so faithful to provide what we needed to take the next step. After all the money was counted, we made $4000! The remainder of the clothing was donated to the Baptist children’s home. Some other items that didn’t sell were taken to the local John 3:16 mission and a few things that neither charity could use were taken to Goodwill. We wanted to sew into other’s ministries the way others had sewn into our mission. No words could express the gratitude we have for all those who donated items, helped set up and organize, helped clean up and of course, for Silver Creek Church of the Nazarene who donated their building. Thank you all.

New Year Full of Blessings

It’s the first day of 2013! I do have to say that 2012 was wonderful even in the midst of the very hard times we went through. Those heartaches just brought us closer to each other and our Savior! But I have to confess I’m pretty excited to see what God is going to do this year! We have just started the adoption process so we have awhile until we get details about our children, but we are always praying for the process to go smoothly and quickly. I’m sure that is what every adoptive couple prays!! We are aware of the long process and have talked about how we should just enjoy the time we have before it gets very crazy around our house.

As I have said before, once you start this process Satan shows up in full force. So, here are some things that I want to remember this new year. Remembering these things will help keep Satan’s lies away from me!

#1. Don’t make excuses. (ex: we don’t have enough money to adopt)

#2. Guard your heart and have peace.

#3. Focus on what  God has promised.

#4. Don’t let the negative thoughts build up and block what God has for you.

#5. Jesus is on your side!

#6. The most powerful weapon we have is the WORD!

#7. When having troubles or doubt…call upon the Lord first…not my friends.

#8. Remember that, as Christians, we have been called to live differently.

#9. Stepping out in faith is exactly what God wants you to do!

#10. Give the glory to HIM! (ex: when we pay for this adoption we should give him all of the glory…it isn’t us that will make this happen…it’s our Lord)

So, this year we want to live by this verse…I know we aren’t perfect…but this is what we want to strive for.

Matthew 16:24-25

Jesus says, ” If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it.”

I want to remember this year that we must chose to not be as comfortable and go to God with our troubles instead of the world.

I also want to just enjoy this year. Have fun with friends and not worry about timing of what I want! Hard…I know…but hey it’s a goal!

I can’t wait to see all of the blessings my friends are going to encounter this year!!!

Happy New Year,

Rebekah