My life has been a whirlwind the last few days, but after 5 years of adoption "process," the work of 3 US senators/congressmen, prayers and support from too many friends and family to count, and a string of truly miraculous events, one faithful and powerful God brought our family of 6 together for the very first time Thursday night.
Each time I walk in to check on sweet Ruth, I can't believe she is finally sleeping in the bed that has been waiting for her. There are no adequate words to express what this is like. Ruth asked me if America was in heaven, and it most certainly is not, but an orphan coming home is most certainly a really good picture of it (excuse me while I wipe away some tears).
It's Sharathon time!
It's that critical season where we are asking God to provide the funds needed for KLRC, a community-supported radio station, to stay on-the-air and sharing hope in Christ for another year.
That couch you can’t figure out what to do with, those clothes in the back of your closet, the toys your kids don’t play with anymore? Things that seem useless to one person could change someone else’s life.
It is helping change Michelle's life. Michelle recently found herself at the Fayetteville Salvation Army Shelter after having to leave a stressful situation. Because of donations to the Salvation Army Store Michelle received vouchers to be able to shop and purchase the clothing items she needed.
It’s easy near the beginning of the year to start making resolutions and commitments to things we want to do, or people we want to be. Well intentioned, we have every desire to follow through. But the reality is, we often don’t – in fact, we often fail.
We fail in many areas of our lives, not simply resolutions. We don’t deliver results on jobs we’ve committed to. We miss deadlines. We forget critical events. We refuse to see a situation from another perspective. And sometimes, we simply just forget to follow through on what we said we would do- and when we said we would do it.
God is with you. The phone rings, the email comes, the conversation happens, and suddenly your world is sent spinning. How could this happen?
It’s a surprise to you, but not to the One who holds all of time in his hands. In the moments that feel uncertain, you can cling to the only One who is unchanging.
He is with you.
Three years ago I found myself sitting in my car in a parking lot on a Friday night. I knew I needed to get out of the car and go in but I was afraid. I was also desperate, and that night I let desperation win.
I got out, walked across the parking lot and pulled the doors open. I was greeted by the distant sound of people singing. I made my way across the lobby, and into the sanctuary where I quietly slid into the back row. Before the first song ended I was fishing tissues out of my purse to try to stop the flow of tears. For the first time in a long time I felt safe.
The words were harsh. They assumed things about me that weren't true.
For a few moments my fingers poised over the keyboard. And then I shut the laptop.
For some, this season is filled with unmitigated joy. For others this is the hardest time of the year. Reminding them of the greatest losses, and most heartfelt pain of their lives.
Lost spouses and children. Divorces and children with an ex instead of with you. Broken finances which can’t provide all the presents desired.
Jesus came to earth for you! And Jesus experienced many of these things.
Christmas is speeding toward us. Suddenly the focus is on the long list of things that we need to do. It’s on baking and wrapping and trying to find a bargain.
It’s trying to be in five places at once.
This year I had an idea. Every day, as Christmas approaches, I’m going to start my day by giving a gift.
The women walk in from the cold to swap hugs and share hellos. We place Christmas treats on the counters and presents under the tree. Before we officially begin the evening, we pause to pray. And my beautiful friend Kelli includes these words, "God, please receive the joyful praises of our laughter."
Those words ring in my ears like sweet bells all night as I listen to giggles, chuckles and outright fits of giddiness. These women, the Apples group at my church, know how to have a good time. And as I reflect on it later I realize that, yes, their laughter sure sounded a lot like praise.