"to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faithin me." Acts 26:18

Monday, January 30, 2012

We have no idea...

Last night we visited with some dear friends that just brought home two little ones from China.  As I sat at their table, next to me sat their new daughter-- two years old, engrossed in her bowl of food and shoveling, with no desire to think about anything else.  And my mind immediately flashed back to our own dear Matthew--newly adopted and freshly introduced to the experience of sitting down to a full plate of food.  If you've adopted a formally malnourished child, you know what I am talking about-- you know the zone that they slip into at every meal time.  The way they stare at their plate, shovel their food as fast as they can--nervously watching everyone else get scooped up-- constantly watching the serving dishes, asking for seconds, thirds, fourths and getting angry when you cut them off.  You know how they hover in the kitchen, sometimes almost burning themselves on the stove because they are trying to get as close as they can to their comfort.  Some of you know what it is like to see a child throw up because they are eating too much, too fast.  Some of you have found food under their pillows, in their toy boxes, in their drawers.

And you know that it doesn't stop after one year...

or two...

or five...

Today we still had to direct Matthew away from the food table at our church fellowship meal when we noticed him hovering, watching, calculating.

Hunger is like that.  Years after you are no longer hungry, the fear remains.  The fear that a full tummy won't be there tomorrow.  It runs deep--long after they have forgotten their place of birth or any details of those first days home, or any arms besides yours..

..the fear remains...

And we-- who have grown up with packed refrigerators, crammed pantries and left-overs thrown out-- have no idea what that fear is like. 

I choose to diet, I choose to let myself be hungry at times-- and I don't like it.  I often think of Matthew's bio-sisters at those times... but really I still have no idea what it is like to be them.  If I change my mind at three in the morning...cookies are waiting for me in the cupboard.  But I have no idea what it is like to not be able to change my mind.

Eric and I are in emotional turmoil at times.  We have seen first hand what hunger does to a person...namely our son.  But as we prepare for Uganda, we read books like When Helping Hurts which insists, out of a true desire to help the poor, that there are times when it is completely appropriate to withhold food, medical treatment, clothing, basic necessities so that the African people learn to be self-sustaining.  And I read the commandments of Christ in the gospels which say, "give to him who asks" or "if he wants one coat, give him two..." or "give expecting nothing in return..."  And I wonder, where do these things meet?  Is expecting and encouraging Africans to cultivate a self-sustaining economy asking too much of them?  Are we forgetting that they are dust--that their fears of starvation are real even when their bellies are full?

It's only Christ that will help our Matthew become satisfied.  He must find his satisfaction in Christ first.  He must learn that Christ is the bread of life--only then will he rest in Him to provide his daily bread.

Sometimes, I am gentle in my redirection.  I tenderly put my arm around him, pull him away from the stove and remind him that God will give him supper tonight and give him a snitch of food to remind his body of what is coming.  But often I'm in a hurry and I don't take the time necessary for dust and I over-react... I expect too much of him, too soon.  Instead of remembering that he is dust, how many times have I "laid down the law" in this house? I say with a sigh..."Matthew, you know we are about to eat; no I'm not giving you any right now."  I insist that because my standard is ideal (having a child that doesn't hover or become pre-occupied with food), Matthew must meet it now.  I demand speed sanctification in him and in the mean time, I refuse him that third portion that will cause his earthly fears to subside.

We need wisdom dear friends.  We need for God to show us how to love our African brothers and sisters.  We need to know how to remember that, like us, they also are dust and how to encourage them to grow without requiring speed sanctification.  And we need to know how to do this when the financial difference between us and them is profound.

It is hard.  And it is what God has called us to...

...therefore it is good...

Kinda like adopting and raising a certain very precious boy...

Hard and Good...

Please pray for us.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

William

He's so sweet...

... when he wants to be... :)

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why I'm starting to cover my head during worship...

2 Now I praise you, brethren, that you remember me in all things and keep the traditions just as I delivered them to you. 3 But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. 6 For if a woman is not covered, let her also be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn or shaved, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man is not from woman, but woman from man. 9 Nor was man created for the woman, but woman for the man. 10 For this reason the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord. 12 For as woman came from man, even so man also comes through woman; but all things are from God.
13 Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.  I Corinthian 11:2-15


Growing up, I never took notice of this passage.  I'm not sure why I never did, but I don't think I'm alone in that.  Then, when I did read it seriously for the first time, I assumed that it was cultural.  I don't think I'm alone in that either.  Then I realized that since this passage refers to both creation and angels-- both of which transcend culture, it cannot be considered simply an indication of the culture in the Corinthian church,so I assumed that long hair (because of vs 15) was enough.  I know I'm not alone in that line of reasoning either.  Nor am I alone in trying to weasel my way out of this passage in every possible way.

The fist idea that piqued my interest and led me to start thinking that perhaps I was wrong, was the fact that for ALL of church history until the last 100 years, women have covered their heads.  (see this article: "The Christian Woman's Head Covering Through the Centuries" )  That shocked me!  You see, when I think "100 years ago--fashion," I think, "beginning of immodesty and foundational roots of what eventually became known as the sexual revolution."  I don't think "a bunch of godly men and women deciding after much prayer that cloth head coverings are unnecessary."  In fact, there is no evidence at all (that I could find) that there was any thinking what-so-ever put into that shift.  From what I can tell, head coverings turned into fashion (remember all of your Grandma's fancy hats tucked away in the attic in hat boxes that you loved to dress up in?) and then, because there was no longer any substantial thought behind the fashion--they disappeared.

But rather than re-writing everything I've been reading concerning the issue...here are two links:

The first is the most convincing article I happened upon (strangely enough when I typed "why women should not cover their head during worship" into my swagbucks search engine...haha!--have I mentioned that I've tried to weasel out of this? :).  It mentions the fact that R.C. Sproul Sr. believes women should cover their heads during worship. (What?!  I grew up in the PCA with Sproul as a household hero!  Why have I never heard this before??)  This article is from monergism.com website and also gives a good explanation as to why long hair isn't what is meant by a 'covering':

Why Christian Women Should Wear Head Coverings Today

And this article is from Andree Seu of World Magazine.  I LOVE her approach.  It resonates with me.

A Symbol of Glory

Anyone else ever thought through this issue?  I'm interested to hear your thoughts... :)

And, if you are considering wearing a head covering and you want stylish ones--not just a lacy doily-- check out this website:

Garlands Of Grace

Friday, January 20, 2012

About 4:30 this afternoon...

...somewhere in the middle of preparing for supper time, chore time, and convince-William-he-actually-does-have-to-help-clean-up time

there is this time...

an all-wrapped-up-snug-next-to-Mommy-sleepy time...
 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Tiny Bit of Snow...

And a bunch of crazy kids...
Like this one, who wanted to take a moment to be Lucy finding the lamp post.  (not convinced that Lucy had just taken a shower and was only wearing a t-shirt and her maryjane church shoes...but we can work with it...)

Tuesday brought a few more flakes and at least a coat...

Benaiah was content to watch the flurries from inside with me and run James and James' "train coal" along the window sill.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Work Day

Lately, most of my days start with that stomach deep feeling that I am totally in over my head.  8 kids, homeschooling and moving to Uganda?! --Oh, and let's just throw in a few weeks in Colorado doing missionary training just for fun...  Am I crazy to think that this can actually be accomplished?  Then after a time of prayer, God reminds me...

In my own strength...absolutely...

By God's power... "I can do all things"...even make it to Uganda without loosing my sanity...

Today, was a great day of seeing God work.  Our house needs quite a bit of work to make it ready to put on the market.  Today, God brought together a combined effort of 70 working hours through our very special friends being willing to spend a day with us.  In addition, other friends took our kids for the day.  (And survived...despite a trip to the store to stock up on diapers and formula because I forgot to leave the diaper bag with them...oops!)  Way more got done than I ever thought possible in one day.  I am so thankful to be the humble recipient of all this grace.

 And the great-extra-bonus-thing about a day like this?  We had so.much.fun together!  What a great memory this will be...

Even the little one had fun hanging out on her mamma's back...chewing on the straps...

And our piano went to its new home where it will be enjoyed by some friends of ours until we need it again.  We replaced it with a Uganda-friendly electric piano, which the kids absolutely love because it makes so many fun noises... 

...and I absolutely love because it has earphones...just sayin'...




And the piano guys only got, a-hem, a *little* bit of paint on them...oops, again...sorry guys!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Growing Pains

Benaiah LOVES his pacifier.

He calls it, his "soo soo" (Short for the Canadian term for pacifier: a soother)

But it is waaay past time to be done with it.  But every time that has been mentioned, Benaiah would cry and say, "noooo!" as if we were asking the worst, most hurtful thing of him.

So, attempting to reap any benefit possible out of his Thomas-train addiction, I bought him a package of train cars.  This morning at breakfast we showed him the box and gave him his zip-lock bag of "soo-soos" and told him that if he threw them away he could have these trains.

He literally ran to the garbage can.

I give him until tonight to realize what he has done...

Gotta love the impulsive two year old stage.  Usually it works against you...sometimes though...

it can be a mother's greatest blessing... :)




Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chillin' in the saucer

Talitha these days:

happy and drooly; big blue eyes and sweet baby cheeks...


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Making Plans

There is so much to do to get ready to move!  My list is a mile and a half long these days. 

In addition I am trying to still squeeze in school--four more weeks before we leave for training and hopefully 10 weeks after training.  Here's to hoping that's enough time to get our book work done. :)

We have decided to pack up our house and take a shipping container.  So we are in the process of picking through our house:  trying to decide what to do with things we know we don't want to take. We are throwing away a lot of junk and trying to decide what to do with the other things.  We are selling some things and preparing some things for storage.  We are also looking at what we need to buy to take with us.  All of this takes so much time!  Especially when, I generally just have an hour every day to devote to it! 

We are also preparing our house to sell it.  There is so much painting to do--everything 4 feet and down needs a new coat plus a few other places.  There is a lot of small fixing to do-- you know--all those things that you think "one day I'll get around to it" and you just never do until it's time to sell.  Again...lots of time needed...not much time to be had...  We feel like we are trying to move a mountain with a plastic spoon.  We hope to have our house on the market by the end of January: a true act of God is needed on this .24 acre piece of earth we call home... 

In February we are planning, Lord willing, to go to Colorado for missionary training.  We will be gone for five weeks.  The training institute has classes for Eric and I in culture adaptation and language acquisition.  They also have classes for the kids in these same areas, in order to prepare them.  We are looking forward to this time of preparation. 

And speaking of time lines, we are looking at packing our container mid-June, making a whirl-wind final tour across the country, and then leaving for Uganda mid-July.

We are also still working on getting a missionary associate-- a young woman to live with us in Uganda and help us out.  We have a few people interested and are praying for wisdom for them and us and for God to provide us the perfect fit in this area.

Despite all this we are still trying to live where God has placed us.  I am trying to not get so swallowed up in details that I neglect the children.  We are also working at finishing well at IRC-- our current church--continuing to work hard and love fully, until the very end.  This is where transitions can be hard, right?  So easy to focus on things and leave the people behind.  And that is so not worth it.  Daily note to self--souls first, things second...God will provide for things when we continue to fish for people (our kids included).

And I am so excited to see how God will provide.  I'm so excited to see how this story will turn out...the great stories we will be able to tell--stories only able to be written by the marvelous hand of God.  That to me, is the best part of living beyond myself: the opportunity it provides to proclaim the greatness of God.  Don't worry--you'll hear it...that's why we started this new blog. :)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Welcome!!

So glad you are here!!  Feel free to leave a comment and introduce yourself!  If you had our other blog previously bookmarked, be sure to change your settings (sorry for the inconvenience! :) and plan on staying awhile!

May this blog serve as a constant reminder and encouragement to us and others of how faithful God is to our family!

To God be the glory great things HE has done!