interpretations

i am in a new Bible study this fall.  we started up two weeks ago.  as sort of an icebreaker,  we read a short article and discussed it.  i had little to say, mostly because i was in awe of the different interpretations of the content of the article.  some people took it one way, some took it another way.  some people read into things, others took it literally.  some people’s thoughts matched mine, others varied a great deal.

as we studied the Word last thursday night, i was again noticing all of the interpretations.  for some of the questions, i had no answers.  for some of the questions, i changed my answers as i listened to others explain their answers.  for some questions, i totally disagreed with the answers of others.

on my way home from my study, i was thanking the Lord for the opportunity to be a part of a group where different interpretations can be shared and learning and growing can take place.  and then it struck me that what He has done in my life is so clear that there is no room for interpretation.  at least not in my eyes.  and i was overwhelmed with gratitude.  and i thanked Him for making His course for my life so obvious.  i thanked Him for doing something so obvious in my life.  i really can’t blindly pass by unexplained infertility, the calling to adopt, or the three little ones who live in my home. i know He can do subtle things to get our attention, to direct us.  i thanked Him for doing something clear for me.

i don’t understand.  why infertility?  why abuse?  why neglect?  why a broken home?  why a broken family?  why?  oh, why?

i don’t need to understand.

“for My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways,”
declares the Lord.
“as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
isaiah 55:8~9

if you trace any part of this story, it all points to Him.  if you take it back to the beginning, it begins with Him.  if you look at the big picture, you see Him.

during my conversation with Him, this song came to mind.

“oh the Glory of it all is
He came here
for the rescue of us all
that we may live
for the glory of it all

oh the Glory of it all is
He is here
for redemption from the fall
that we may live
for the glory of it all”
glory of it all ~ dcb

He came here.  He rescued us.  He provided redemption from the fall.  ALL so that WE MAY LIVE FOR THE GLORY OF IT ALL.

this story.  my story.  His story in me is all for His glory.

this seems to be a major theme in my life lately, realizing and understanding it’s not about me at all, but that it’s all for His glory.  though i have known this for a long time, it’s an entirely different thing to attempt to grasp it.  i pray i am somehow able to do that.  that i am somehow able to take myself out of the equation.  i pray that when people see our family, they see Him.  i pray that as our children grow and learn, they see Him too.

i surrender all

i am so behind on this thing.  i could blog multiple times a day.  i learn so much from my Lord, my husband, my children, my friends, my church.  i am beyond blessed.  if only there was more time.

i feel like i am in a new season of life.  i have been so down for so long, but as the Lord continues to lift me up and continues to bring people into my life who are Christ centered and wisdom filled, i see a great deal of change taking place inside my heart and my mind.  “from the inside out, Lord my soul cries out.”

in the midst of all of the internal changes, the Lord has given me another opportunity to serve Him.   years ago i let Him know that i had a desire to have a ministry.  i didn’t know what that looked like.  where would it be?  to whom would i minister?  after all, what did i have to offer?  what could i share?  my life had been fairly easy, then turned suddenly difficult, and though i was undoubtedly in the center of His will for my life, it was a very hard place to be.   but He called me to a place where He saw a need for someone like me.

He called me to lead our church’s ministry to mother’s of infants and young children.  yep, you read that right, mother’s of infants and young children.  He…called…me.  not the mom who had the baby two years after she got married and then had another one two years after that.  He…called…me.  ME.  the infertile one.  the barren womb one.  the mother of three adopted bi-racial(i know you know color has nothing to do with it and trust that you get what i am saying) children.

HE…CALLED…ME.

and when He called me, He called me loud and clear.  He called me out of our church’s adoption and foster care ministry.  He called me out of a leadership role in our Sunday school class.  He called me to lead a group of women who get pregnant and give birth to babies.  is He crazy?

for years He knew the secret longing in my heart to be a part of this elite group of women.  for years He knew i so longed to simply walk in the room where the elite group meets.  for years He knew there was nothing i wanted more than to be a mom.

when our kids came home, i earned the right to join the group.  i remember clearly when i first walked through their meeting room doors.  it was hard for me to contain my emotions when i filled out my registration card, from barren womb to mom of three.  it was overwhelming to know i got to be there.

sure, it was hard to sit around a table full of women complaining about breastfeeding, being up in the middle of the night, pain during labor and delivery, etc, etc, etc.  but i was so excited to be there that i was able to block out the complaining.  and at the end of the first year of my attending the group, i volunteered to be a part of the groups committee.

i was assigned the job of “craft helper”.  i would assist the craft person on craft days, showing people how to do the craft, answer questions, etc.  and maybe sometimes she’d need me to run to the store to get extra supplies.  i basically ended up doing nothing most of the year.

towards the end of the year, a new leader was planning her committee and i told i wanted to stay on board.  i requested that i have at least a little more responsibility.  a few weeks later she called and told me that after much prayer and seeking, she would like for me to be her co-leader.  i told her i’d need some time to pray about it and discuss it with josh.

i was honored.  first, this leader is someone that i had admired for years.  i met her in the college ministry at our church and just always thought she was neat.  i would see her and think, “i bet she’d be great to be friends with.”  now she has presented me the opportunity to work by her side for a whole year!

second, i was being asked to help lead the ministry to young moms.  that meant that in a year, i’d be the one leading.  ME.  the infertile one.  the barren womb one.  the mother of three adopted bi-racial children.

i said yes.  i agreed to be the co-leader for one year, and then the leader for the following year.  now, we are in that year.  i am now leading our church’s ministry to mother’s of infants and young children.  ME.

the week before our ministry year started, our women’s ministry director held a communion and commissioning service for us.  we sang some songs together, one being i surrender all.

“all to Jesus i surrender
all to Him i freely give;
i will ever love and trust Him,
in His presence daily live.

i surrender all,
i surrender all;
all to Thee, my blessed Savior,
i surrender all.”

as i sang these words, i was thinking, “what does this look like in my life?  how does this relate to this ministry i am leading?”  with my eyes closed, and my head bowed, i thought, “wow.  i really did have to surrender a lot to get to this point.  my dreams.  my desires.  my fertility.  my womb.  my plans.  my will.  i really did have to surrender all.”  i was again overcome with emotion.

our meetings started two weeks ago.  things have been going really well.  our numbers are up from years past and it seems like people are pretty excited about what is planned for the year.  i love this!  but mostly i love watching the Lord’s plan for my life unfold.  He has done things with me i could have never imagined.  He’s taken me places i would have never been.  He’s opened doors that may have always been closed.

surrender seems like the hardest thing to do.  we want what we want, when we want it, how we want it, etc.  He has things He wants for us too.  He knows when He wants us to have them and how He wants us to have them.  for our good, for His glory.  knowing this has made it easier for me to surrender.  and watching His will for me unfold has made me so glad i let go.

but, i was still struggling with why He’d choose me for this ministry.  enter a Christ centered, wisdom filled lady.  i spend some time sharing my struggle with her, trying to make sense of all that has happened in the past few years and how it relates to my role in ministry.  she shares this with me:

“we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that
suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character;
and character, hope.”
romans 5:3~4

some of these young women may need to see what it looks like to suffer and persevere, and build character, and gain hope.  maybe i can show them.

random

we’re busy.  school activities are in full-swing.  soccer practice has started.  mid-week church starts next week.  profound things are happening in my heart, but i can’t seem to find the time to sit down and write about them.  someday.  for now, there’s a picture update.

orville had his first soccer practice of the season last tuesday.  he was so excited!

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the three kids headed to the practice field.  i love shots of them like this.

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orville made egg soup the other day.

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it consisted of eggs in yogurt containers.  so cute.

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no one knows how this tangled mess happened.  no one.

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i threw it all away without saying a word.

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josh was playing with his food.  with his scrabble crackers he was able to spell ‘yuk dookie’.  so proud.

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josh had last friday off so he and i took orville to chuck e. cheese’s.

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the boys played some racing games together.

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orville enjoyed the roller coaster simulator.

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and the bob the builder ride.

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josh and i played air hockey which i am 100% convinced he thought he’d win.  he lost. which means, I WON!

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after chuck’s we picked the big kids up from school and headed to the apple store.  the kids took the opportunity to put on a show for us on the outdoor stage.  they had so much fun performing and we had fun watching.

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then we had chipotle for dinner, even though josh had it for lunch the day before.  he LOVES it.

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a very goofy picture of me, but josh insisted some be taken because i am always taking pictures of everyone else while they are eating.

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sweson’s for dinner saturday night because i was organizing papers and COULD NOT make dinner.  that happens sometimes, you know.  there was just no possible way for me to cook that night.

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Sunday for lunch josh had our leftover chipotle chips and guac.  and, we found coca~cola from mexico at sam’s club.  it’s made with real sugar, not high fructose corn syrup.  so, we indulged and are througoughly enjoying.

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until next time…