Sunday, June 30, 2013


Sometimes, I want to be normal. 

I don't want to be the weird one with eight children. I don't want to have therapists and specialists on speed dial. I don't want to be questioned about adoption. I don't want to turn heads when I go somewhere with my family. I don't want to defend my life to the casual observer. 

I want to fly under the be anonymous, just another person in a sea of many. 

Sometimes, I want to sleep all night. I want to come home to quiet. I want to escape into fluff and forget about orphans and sex slaves and homeless. I want to post things on social networking about bacon and shoes like a normal person. I want the sense of justice that's buried somewhere inside to just. be. quiet. 

I want to shush this brain that it always thinking, wondering, planning, reacting. 

I want to just be without attracting attention.

It's in these moments that I realize I am far away from the One who called me to all of this. Somewhere along the way, I left Him behind. I continued talking about Him without actually talking to Him. 

The attention bothers me which tells me that it is all on me and not on Him. How can I reflect Him when I am nowhere near Him? How can I pour out His love when I haven't allowed Him to fill me with it?

Without Him, I am the crazy lady with eight kids! Without Him, I can't handle the decisions and the harried schedule that comes with special needs. Without Him, my sense of justice and loud voice simply sound grating to those who hear. 
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. I Corinthians 13:1
Without Him, there is no beauty or order in the tapestry that is my life. It is left in tatters with me hanging by a thread. 

But, with Him...oh, with Him there is grace! Somehow, it makes sense. The looks and the comments, they bounce off, deflected by His image. The attention feels different because He is getting noticed instead of me.
Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. Colossians 4:6
I know how to answer questions and feel no need to defend myself when I am living in His presence. In Him, there is no room for doubt. In Him, 
....his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! 2 Peter 1:3
I have everything I need for life and godliness in Him. He is all I need. 

And I wonder how I wandered off in the first place.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


It's raising its head again, that ugly emotion of jealousy. I look to the right and to the left and I see women, other women, godly women living out their calling. And their calling looks so much cooler than mine. It looks more fulfilling, more exciting, more visible than mine. 

So my mind wanders and I ponder. What would it be like to sit in coffee shops and write until I had no words left inside? What would it be like to escape to my computer because I had a deadline and our livelihood depended on me writing, instead of staying up too late to get down just one more thought in the quiet of the night? What would it be like to play dress up and speak at conferences and encourage other women in their walk with God?

It sounds exciting and invigorating to me. It sounds more important than changing three poopy diapers on three different bottoms in a span of ten minutes. It sounds more interesting than playing yet another game of "what if" with a pesky six-year-old. (What if trees were made out of nickles and it got really windy and the nickles fell on your head when you were walking? What if everything in the grocery store was free everyday?) It sounds more glamorous than making old people exercise for a living.

Looking around. For me, that's how discontentment starts. Seeing only the surface of someone else's life. Choosing to view only what's attractive about it. 

The truth is I would love to be a writer and a speaker. I would love to exchange my scrubs for pretty shoes. The Bible says, "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." (Proverbs 25:11) Which means saying the right thing at the right time is pretty darn cool and feels really good to deliver. That feeling is a little bit of a high. It can be addictive. I love it when my words resonate in someone's heart. But I also like to be lauded. I like to be told that I've touched someone with my words. I like to be praised. 

That doesn't happen much in raising kids or teaching people how to use a sock aid after a hip replacement. And when I dwell on that fact, seeds of discontent start to sprout. 

It's time to keep my eyes on my own plate, to remember that being in the center of His will is always the right place to be, regardless of how invisible I may feel there. I only want to do that which is His idea. 
God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. James 4:6b
I need grace. Lord knows I need grace. I do not need the pride that comes with praise. I do not want to be resisted by my God. 

Oh, Lord, help me to walk in humility. Break down the barrier of foolish pride that I so often place between us. Please do not resist me. I need your grace. I cannot do this life without You. Help me find joy in the journey that You have given me. I'm Yours. My life is Yours. Forgive me for wishing it were different. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sacrifice, Redemption, Amazing Grace

I've been thinking about redemption. It's hard not to with a physical, living, breathing, walking example of it living under my roof. In writing about Bogdan's adoption on my other blog, I am overwhelmed by the sense of deja vue. His story is similar to....something. But what?

The nagging feeling follows me as I go about my life. Why does his story seem so familiar? Why does it invoke such a depth of emotion in me? It's more than just being his mom, although there is a lot of emotion associated with that alone. 

In grappling with the idea of finding that which was lost, it finally hits me square between the eyes. 

His story is my story, too.

His was one of abandonment, rejection, neglect.
Mine was one of darkness, separation, death.

The ending of his story was rewritten. Mine was, too.

He was chosen. We searched for him and once we found him, moved heaven and earth to get to him, at great cost to ourselves and our family. 

I was chosen. Like the lone sheep separated from the flock, I was searched for and found. God moved heaven and earth and sacrificed His Son to get to me. 

And here's the thing: Being a three-year-old with a cognitive disability, Bogdan shows no gratitude for his new life. We wouldn't expect him to. In fact, I'm sure being ripped away from everything he knows and tossed into this family hardly feels like a gift, at this point. But we love him. Oh, how we love him! He is not, nor will he ever be, a perfect son...and we don't care. With all his self-stimming, hitting, throwing food, etc, we accept him as he is. He is ours and always will be.

Being a human with a sin nature, I show little gratitude for this life I have been given. In fact, I often complain about my circumstances and rail against the One who rescued me from death. I am not, nor will I ever be the perfect daughter, but I am accepted anyway. He loves me. Oh, how He loves me! I am His and always will be. 

I have an adoption certificate with an official seal from Serbia certifying that Bogdan will always be mine. Likewise, Scripture tells me that I am sealed in the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) and that my name is written in the book of life because of my adoption by my Father God (Ephesians 1:5). 

Like Bogdan, I don't have to perform or have the right attitude or strive to be loved. I am just loved. 

My life is not pretty. I am not all the things I think I should be as a follower of Christ. I am prone to laziness, driven by distraction, scattered, and chronically impatient. I'm a mess.

But God thinks I am a beautiful mess. And He loves me. He knows me, all of me, and He loves me. 

When I am still and really ponder that idea, it takes my breath away. 

Sacrifice, redemption, amazing grace - the story of my life through the eyes of the One who knows me best...and loves me most.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Moment - an update

For those of you that read my last post, Hanging by a Thread, here's an update of sorts on my relationship with Bogdan. I think we've turned a corner and I'm grateful for your prayers! 

The Moment

(I's ridiculous and confusing to have two blogs.)