Thursday, March 31, 2011
Taste and see that I am good. The more intimately you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness. I am the Living One who see you and longs to participate in your life. I am training you to find Me in each moment and to be a channel of My loving Presence. Sometimes My blessings come to you in mysterious ways : through pain and trouble. At such times you can know My goodness only through your trust in Me. Understanding will fail you, but trust will keep you close to Me.
Thank Me for the gift of Peace, a gift of such immense proportions that you cannot fathom its depth or breadth. When I appeared to My disciples after the resurrection, it was Peace that I communicated first of all. I knew this was their deepest need : to calm their fears and clear their minds. I also speak Peace to you, for I know your anxious thoughts. Listen to Me! Tune out other voices, so that you can hear Me more clearly. I designed you to dwell in Peace all day. Draw near to Me ; receive My Peace.
This picture of Andrew was taken over a year ago ( early March) . He had been home only a little over 2 months and was still taking all of his nourishment from bottles. He was comforted by the bottle that had fed him all of his 5 yrs before. We can not even imagine eating like that- table food run thru the blender with added liquids..It even smelled nasty but to Andrew it was food and comfort. We tried for the next months to get him to taste and see that other ways and other consistency were good...but only until he was forced to accept the spoon and his willingness to allow us to give him a food that was much thicker did he let us feed him with a spoon . This happened 10 months later...he still controls the parameters of how and he has to suck his thumb while the spoon is in his mouth...He does not chew or bite yet. Isn't this how we are with the God ? Whatever we are comfortable with we allow Him into...Whatever terms we set up and parameters we box him into .. He is allowed to be in our lives...May I encourage you to Taste and see that He is good.
The pictures of Ava show how a child looks first at her food and is tenative about trying the new food...boy again we are just like that...I guess you can say it is human nature to have trouble trusting in what we can not see or have ever tasted before...We need to just Taste and see that He is good.....
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Before you arise from your bed in the morning, I have already arranged the events of your day. Every day provides many opportunities for you to learn My ways and grow closer to Me. Signs of My Presence brighten even the dullest day when you have eyes that really see. Search for Me as for hidden treasure. I will be found by you.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not into your own understanding.....Proverbs 3:5
I have shared before how much a dove like the one in the pictures above encouraged me. They remind me of the ever presence of the Holy Spirit..that came down even when Jesus was baptised. They are found all around our property...sometimes in the strangest places like this fountain we have on the deck...They often rest on our roof , or trees . They will "welcome" me home when I walk by our Peace Garden to go into our front door....They are one of the signs of His presence and they do brighten my days...I search for them sometimes as well as other signs of the Lord's presence and they do give me a peace.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
A life lived close to Me is not complicated or cluttered. When your focus is on My Presence, many things that once troubled you lose their power over you. Though the world around you is messy and confusing, remember that I have overcome the world. I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have Peace.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
I never would have thought we would not have our children home from Ghana by now. We started with our adoption in April ( when we heard about this little girl with a tumor in her cheek). We shared about her to our medical team at the craniofacial team at Johns Hopkins to be able to first give some advice to people who were trying to help this little girl get some medical care. We were not even looking to adopt so soon after bringing home our very special needs son, Andrew, and Gracie from Bulgaria...but we felt called to her as we have many of the children the Lord has given to us.....Our in country coordinator checked with the authorities to see about adoption and he approached her mom who was very interested in getting care for her daughter even if it meant giving her up...( Many doctors felt she had Burkitts lymphoma , a common cancer in Africa ). It would require on going medical care for her to maybe be given life even. Well after being deep in the process for months and having all of our dossier over in Ghana the mom changed her mind....and we accept that fact painfully knowing the little girl's prognosis is not good. We moved on to other children who needed a loving family...and we were given a total of 15 in reality but more firmly 13 referrals that we made a decision to adopt or not to adopt...only one sibling group did we decide not to adopt and the last 3 we chose are the ones that finally we were able to...Now emotionally when I am shared a child's picture and some information I can't help but to begin the bonding process...I will not lie this experience in Ghana has been the hardest to accept emotionally. It is for several reasons some of which I will share in more detail later....after our children finally make it home. We have struggled with working in a program that is a pioneer program for our agency, as well as getting caught in a very busy person's life. We fianlly traveled in Oct. and honestly that helped to get our process more firmed up in Ghana....We have had an amazing USCIS officer who communicated with us and approved us quickly for both our I600a and our I600...We have always gotten our US documents in record time to Kofi in Ghana ( our in country coordinator). We even were able to get our USCIS docs to Kofi and the embassy in record time ( early Jan.). Since Jan. our process has slowed to a snails pace for many reasons...some because of a supposed passport change that required more money from us ( first time in all of our adoptions this has ever happened- being asked for addtional money) to get the process done...we were told in weeks time and in reality that has not happened. Kofi has not even been able to get our all of our passports submitted so they can even begin to process them...and we need the kid's passport for the embassy to issue the visas . Then we wait for that appointment to be "granted" by the embassy which is known for not being supportive of adoptions in the first place...so the process that in other countries took a week at most, has delayed by mnohts our ability to bring home our children who are legally our kids...crazy place to find myself in and one I can not control...so when I read my devotions this am I smile. I have a peace that has come over me with this adoption. He is in control and eventually we will bring Stella, Stephen and Annabel ( Selah, Isaiah, and Lila Joy ) home.....
Monday, March 28, 2011
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Do not seek Me primarily for what I can give you. Remember that I, the Giver, am infinitely greater than any gift I might impart to you. Though I delight in blessing My children, I am deepley grieved when My blessings become idols in their hearts. Anything can be an idol if it distracts you from Me as your First Love. When I am the ultimate Desire of your heart, you are safe from the danger of idolatry. As you wait in My Presence, enjoy the greatest gift of all : Christ in you, the hope of glory !
Rev. 2 : 4, Romans 12: 2
Boy sometimes for me this is hard to do...Be Still....I can think of a million things I need to be doing from the moment my feet hit the ground in the am to the time I lay my head down at nite :) I have made it a sort of "habit"- done routinely without even thinking about having to do it- My devotions . I do 2 devotions in the am and then return at nite to another one. I also journal usually before bed. Sometimes I am even blessed with some time in the middle of the afternoon to return to my time with the Lord and I feel so much better when I have spent the time with Him...but to be honest it does not happen alot and I want to make it more. I, along time ago started to incorporate my very busy,and intense life into a life lived by worshiping the Lord almost continually thru my day....I can find so many things the Lord is teaching me thru my children's emotions and struggles...even though the children often are the very ones adding the negative issues to my day ( if I let them) . I have made it a priority to choose to live in such a way that no one can take the joy of my salvation away even if I don't get to spend the precious time away from the hectic life I often live ... I can now find peace in the midst of the chaos...I can return to my times in my devotions or longer studies and prayer times in the middle of a crisis... it has become second nature and I am so thankful to the Lord for teaching me how important it is to spend time " sitting in His lap " and feeling His love and peace thru my life.
I am not very patient...especially when it comes to children. He continually works on my character in this area...One suggestion I would share that helps me get "thru" the moments when I wanted something else to happen or for it to have happened yesterday is to seek His joy...I will look in the face of the child before me, I can smell the sweet puppy breath of our puppies, I love the color He created in nature...the flowers, even the diff. shades of green, or the rough browns of the bark on the trees- all these appeal to my sense of who God is....I find joy in little things, things that don't cost money necessarily and I have learned to rejoice in the small areas of my life so when I am not feeling patient about another area my joy which has then become His Joy- abounds in me and my heart soars. I can then pray not for what He can give me or do for me but for His Presence to come more fully into my life...For His Glory to be revealed in the life I am living for Him. To be able to connect with my Savior and Lord in a way that is more pure and Holy...to love...Love the things He loves.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
I have promised many blessings to those who wait on Me: renewed strength, living above one's circumstances, resurgence of hope, awareness of My continual Presence. Waiting on Me enables you to glorify Me by living in deep dependence on Me, ready to do My will. It helps you to enjoy Me ; in My presence is fullness of Joy.
Isaiah 40:31 ...but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles: they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Friday, March 25, 2011
I have to admit I am struggling with a thankful heart this am.. We got some not very positive news from AAC our adoption agency about the inability of our in country coordinator, Kofi to be able to get the remaining 2 kids passports submitted. We have to have the Ghana passport for our embassy exit visit. We were asked for an extra amount of money in Feb. to be able to process the kids passports and in reality it has not happened as we were told. Now it looks like it will be 2 months from the time Kofi is able to submit our kids passports ( however the one he got done from the Feb. time was done in weeks - so what has happened since then ????) Then because the embassy in Ghana does not do things like the previous embassies we have done adoptions it could be many more months until we get the appt. for the exit interview and another few weeks or months until they grant it.....So last nite and this am I woke up grumbling....and then I came to this in my devotions :) Please pray for my heart and for this process in Ghana. I have about reached the end of my rope with this adoption. I have waited way longer to bring my kids home before for our last adoption from Ukraine...it is just the little surprises I am not to happy about with this adoption. I pray for my joy to return and for my trust in the process to come back. It is a lonely and not a place I like to be.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the Lord , your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
I have experienced many times in my life when I needed this reasurrance from the Lord. I have believed in him since I was a child...trusting came easier then. As I moved into adult trials it came harder at times and sometimes not...always when I was not spending enough time basking in His word and with Him in prayer my security slipped but never left. Funny how you can think you have walked so far away from Him ...but when you return back.... He was there all along right beside you.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I am a God of both intricate detail and overflowing abundance. When you entrust the details of your life to Me,you are surprised by how thouroughly I answer your petitions. I take pleasure in hearing your prayers, so feel free to bring Me all your requests. The more you pray, the more answers you can receive. Best of all, your faith is strengthened as you see how precisely I respond to your specific prayers.
Because I am infinite in all My ways, you need not fear that I will run out of resources. Abundance is at the very heart of who I am. Come to Me in joyful expectation of receiving all you need-- and sometimes much more! I delight in showering blessings on my beloved children. Come to me with open hands and heart, ready to receive all I have for you.
This today does not mean we always " get" just what we want but we always have with the Lord all we need. If you have not first received His life giving salvation than I pray you will choose and be showered with the blessing of salvation and then the assurance that He is always with you and actually delights in your prayers and details of your life...
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Psalm 9 : 10 Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you.
Rejoice and be thankful ! As you walk with Me through this day, practice trusting and thanking Me all along the way. Trust is the channel through which My Peace flows into you. Thankfulness lifts you up above your circumstances.
I do My greatest works through people with grateful, trusting hearts. Rather than planning and evaluating, practice trusting and thanking Me continually. This is a pardigm shift that will revolutionize your life.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Trust Me and don't be afraid, for I am your Strength and Song. Think what it means to have Me as your Strength. I spoke the universe into existence ; My Power is absolutely unlimited ! Human weakness, consecrated to Me, is like a magnet, drawing My Power into your neediness, However, fear can block the flow of My Strength into you. Instead of trying to fight your fears, concentrate on trusting Me. When you relate to Me in confindent trust, there is no limit to how much I can strengthen you.
Remember that I am also your Song. I want to share My Joy, living in conscious awareness of My Presence. Rejoice as we journey together toward heaven ; join Me in singing My song.
Isaiah 12 : 2 -3
------------------------This is from my devotion, Jesus Calling. What song are you able to sing today ?