Wednesday, May 25, 2011


It's been three weeks since we heard of our recent adoption opportunity. Three long, silent weeks. Until Monday. When I woke up on Monday morning and noticed the date on the calendar, I knew something was different. "The baby is due in less than a month," I thought hopelessly to myself. "Surely, she has chosen a family by now..." The silence led me to believe that if the birthmother had indeed chosen a home for her unborn baby girl, it must not be our home. It was a reality I didn't want to face.

After I got the kids off to school, I decided to go for a run and clear my head. As the morning breeze caressed my cheek, I humbly presented my requests to God. "Heavenly Father, if this isn't our baby, please end our waiting. We need closure," my heart cried. While I hoped I was wrong, somehow, in my heart, I knew bad news was coming. For the next few hours, I reasoned and prayed as I tried to prepare myself for the looming disappointment that seemed inevitable.

The day passed slowly and still there was no word. I kept myself busy with errands. Housework. Laundry. Even Facebook. Then it happened. Immediately, I felt a lump in my throat as I heard the words..."She has chosen a family." It wasn't ours. My eyes burned as I listened to the few known details. At last, we had closure. That was good, right? Now, we could move on.

Still, I felt as though someone had just kicked me in the stomach. I hung up the phone, sat down on my bed, and began to cry. All of my efforts to lessen the pain of this day had failed. For this was NOT the closure that I wanted. What I wanted, wasn't mine. She belonged to someone else. I didn't understand and nothing could take that away.

When I told the kids about the news, my daughter Lily reacted most like me. Throwing her arms in the air and stomping the floor she yelled, "Why? What's wrong with our family? Why didn't she choose US?!" I understood her heart. For that had been mine only hours before. So, I took Lily by the hand and pulled her to my lap as I asked God to help me with answers to questions I did not understand myself. It was clear that my daughter, too, needed closure.

Gently, I said, "Lily, I know you are angry. It's okay to be mad. You can yell. Cry. Scream if you must. But let's go back to how we have prayed the past three weeks." I continued, "We prayed for God to guide this young woman and lead her to the family He has chosen for this baby. The LORD is faithful. That is exactly what He did. This wasn't our baby. She has always been theirs. God just allowed us to be part of her story for a little while. I don't understand either, but we must trust that God has a plan and that His plans are always good."

Together, my children and I cried and prayed for God to take us out of the pain that seemed to have swallowed us up. Then, we prayed for the baby girl who we had spent so much time dreaming about these past few weeks. We thanked God for her birthmother who had courageously chosen to honor her life. We praised Him that she would grow up with a Mommy and a Daddy who will cherish her and love her and train her up in His truth. And we chose to rejoice that this family, whoever they might be, are busy preparing a place for her in their home.

Most of yesterday, I felt silent. Words just wouldn't come. Instead, I sat alone with my thoughts and I just kept asking the same question. "Why couldn't we have her?" Why?! It seemed to consume me. And yet, I figured there was little chance I would ever know. More than likely, I would never have closure. While that seemed a bitter pill to swallow, I made a decision to let God be God. That would have to be enough, as it was the only closure I was likely to receive. He is God. I am not. Case closed. This was going to have to go into the growing file of "things I won't understand this side of Heaven". I didn't like it. And I told God as much. But I chose to accept it.

Little did I know, God wasn't finished. Late in the day, I indeed got the closure that I needed. Through a friend, the LORD revealed that the family that is welcoming this precious child is unable to have children of their own. As soon as I heard this, my heart rejoiced for this sweet couple and praised God for His goodness. For even though He did not owe me an explanation, God offered one anyway.

Last night, I shared the news with my children. Again, Lily responded much like me. With a big smile, she simply said, "Well then, that was exactly the right choice Mommy." That was all she needed. Now, it all made sense. We had closure. We may never know why God brought us to this place, but He didn't leave us in our pain. Instead God brought us to it. Then, in His great mercy, God brought us through it.

This morning, I woke early and stumbled to my coffee maker. As usual, I flipped our devotional calendar to glimpse at today's scripture. My heart smiled as I read the words...

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and stadfast." (1 Peter 5:10 NIV)

So today, I raise my cup to Heaven and I thank God for His closure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The past few days, I have felt like my family and I are walking around Jericho. This week, we are awaiting to hear from a potential birth mother who is considering us for her unborn child's forever family.

Friday morning, I prayed for our chosen child and told God that I would walk whatever path He placed before us regarding our adoption journey. Of course, I imagined He would lead us to an agency or an adoption ministry that we have already researched. Little did I know, God was already at work, and we were already on a path. Where it leads, I do not not. Still, we continue to step in faith as we pray for victory.

Within hours of my prayer on Friday morning, a door opened in our adoption. In obedience, we have followed God's path. Remarkably, we learned of this unborn precious baby girl on Friday afternoon, put our profile together Friday evening, and it was in the hands of the birth mother shortly after. Truly, it is a miraculous turn of events that only God can accomplish. Honestly, I have no idea how many days we will walk around Jericho.

Now all we can do is trust, obey, and wait for God to declare victory. It isn't easy. In fact, waiting is so much harder than I ever imagined. Still, we must persevere and endure. In faith, we press on. In prayer, we look to God for strength. In hope, we ask for God's will to be done.

Yet, here is what really knocks my socks off, as I ponder the happenings of the past few days. One way or the other, God has declared victory for this child. Some lucky family will receive the blessing of this little girl, as she will make her way into this big world in mid-June. Her courageous birth mother, who has chosen to honor her baby's life, will decide with whom this precious child shall live and grow into womanhood. I hope and pray we are that family. But, even if we are not, I celebrate God's goodness. I acknowledge His great power. And, I pledge to keep walking around Jericho until He brings our baby home.

We are all waiting for victory in some area of life. While we anticipate the homecoming of our chosen child, others await employment, financial security, emotional or physical healing. Some, like us, may be waiting on the arrival of a child. I challenge you today to remember that God is the same today as He was yesterday. We are told "the LORD said to Joshua, 'See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands'." (Joshua 6:2) Never doubt that our awesome God has already declared victory over the obstacles in your midst. It may not be in your timing. It may not look the way you imagine. And it probably won't come the way you expect. Regardless,one day, He shall blow the trumpet and declare victory in the Jericho of your life and mine.

What a day that shall be! So keep walking. Keep praying. Keep hoping...and listen for the trumpet. And watch the walls of Jericho crumble at your feet.

Reading: Joshua 6

Reflection: How are you waiting on God today?

Dear Heavenly Father,
We trust in your mighty power and we await your victory as we walk around Jericho today. We thank you that you are the same mighty God that brought down the walls of Jericho for the Israelites. We recognize that You, Father, are the same mighty God today. And we wait to rejoice as you bring the walls of Jericho down in our midst. Thank you, LORD, that victory has already been declared by your power.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ever After

"Let your wife be a fountain of blessing for you. Rejoice in the wife of your youth." (Proverbs 5:18 NLT)

Last night, Lily and I were reading People Magazine "Collector's Issue" of the Royal Wedding. Here are some "Royal Wedding" facts:

Number of spectators in the streets of London...1,000,000(approx)
Number of people who watched on television around the world...2,000,000,000(approx)
Number of horse drawn carriages...5
Number of planes in the ceremonial flyby...7
Total cost of wedding expenses including security costs...$65,000,000 (GULP!)

I have Cinderella-itis as much as the next girl. Though I did not opt to get up at 4:00 a.m. to watch the ceremony, I did feel pretty warm and fuzzy the day of the royal nuptials. How can you not? Truly, this was a fairy tale come to life. As my sweet Lily so eloquently stated, "This isn't just a wedding, Mommy. This is a ROYAL wedding." How true. is something to ponder, ladies, as we get carried away in Nevereverland. It's easy to tell your bride, "You are beautiful" as she stands before you in a dreamy white dress impeccably groomed and looking back at you with eyes of utter adoration. But the hard thing is to say "Hi beautiful" to your wife when she is up to her eyeballs in house cleaners, dirty laundry, and sweat. It's tough to say those words when her attention is shared by squabbling children and multiple tasks that require her immediate attention. It's difficult to say when she feels discouraged by images on the media that remind her of her many flaws and motivate her to run straight to the chocolate stash she hides from the children.

Only a real prince has the mad skills to take on the challenges of living "happily ever after" in the rountines of everyday life. My hubby did that just last night and made me feel like a princess. As dinner boiled over and clean, but unfolded, laundry mocked me from our living room couch, Marty smiled and said, "Hi beautiful." All at once, I remembered that though I am not royal by this world's definitions, I have a Prince Charming. And for him, and his unwavering affection, I am grateful. For he see the best in me when I am at my least radiant. He accepts me unconditionally, even at my worst. And he remembers why he chose me all those years ago, even when I am less than breathtaking. That, my friends, is true love.

Various distractions and heavy responsibilities pull husbands and wives in directions that sometimes cause us to forget what we know to be true in our spouse. Every once in a while, it is good to step back and remember how God brought two people together in love. Not just for a day...but for life.

Marty and I met when we were in our late teens, married in our early twenties, and we are still going strong three children and nineteen years later. I am pretty sure I could not even begin to fit into the dress I wore on that gorgeous August day. But when he looks at me, with that smile that stole my heart so long ago, I know I am blessed. That is the kind of love I want for my princesses, Lily and Sofie. That is the type of man I am praying that they seek and find. That is the marriage I hope they are blessed to build.

I was "queen for a day"...August 1, 1992. It was one of the happiest days of my life. But, it was only the beginning. Through the years, Marty and I have had to cling to our beautiful past as we step together into the promises of tomorrow. Life as man and wife is like that. The marriage that followed the wedding is one that exhilerates and challeges both my husband and me. It has not always been easy, but we cling to the promises we made before God and we choose to grant one another grace on our toughest days.

Like everyone else, I celebrate the joys of the royal wedding. Kate and Will are absolutely adorable. Their special day was truly a sight to behold and I wish the royal couple every happiness. Still, I thank God for a husband who chooses to "love the wife of his youth." (Proverbs 5:18 NLT) I am grateful for my very own Prince Charming. Just a thought from an ordinary woman living the reality version of "ever after."

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dayspring post on InCourage Today...

Here is a bit of my new article that is being featured today on Dayspring's InCourage blog...

I am a do it myself kind of gal.

In many parts of my life, I simply decide that God needs a little help and I opt to “give him a hand”. Inevitably, that is precisely when life really starts to get messy.

Read the rest at InCourage
Go ahead. You know you wanna! :)