Sunday, June 28, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Eleven years ago today, something extraordinary happened in my life. That was the day that I became a mother. As long as I live, the details of that day will be vividly etched in my mind. I won’t bore you with all of them, but one of the things that I remember most was an overwhelming sense of being loved. I remember that feeling coming frequently over the course of Abby’s birth day and the days that followed. So many people came and sat through that long day of waiting. The phone rang all day long with folks anxious to know how things were progressing and I distinctly remember thinking how much these people loved us and how very loved this little girl would be. It was an amazing day.
I smile when I look back on that season and how very young and naive we were. I was at the beginning of what I thought would be a long career as a public school teacher. Ryan and I were casually attending a small rural church and our commitment consisted of an every other week gig in children’s church and summers as camp directors. It seems so simple now.
If you would have told me then that 11 years later I’d be a homeschool mom to 5, I would have laughed in your face. That was so not my plan. The Lord has certainly spent the last decade knocking out a variety of idols in my life. In his gentle way, he has stripped them away one at a time. First, we left our beloved KY and two full time incomes so that Ryan could attend school. Then, He blessed us with another child and called me away from the classroom. Next, he called us into service on a local church staff- something we had never intended to do. He called me to homeschool rather than returning to my coveted classroom. Then, child by child he has stripped away my control issues and my perfectionistic tendencies.
Now, I don’t believe that any of these things are evil. Two incomes, living close to family, working full-time, public school, one child families, none of these things are wrong. But for me, they represented things that I was putting before God. I was finding my identity in the accomplishments or orderliness that these things allowed. And, by no means do I claim to have “arrived.” In fact, every time I feel as though I’ve mastered some issue in my life, it seems as though I find myself very much aware of another area that needs work. I truly believe that I will always have to guard my heart against the idols of perfection and order. There are times that I find myself struggling with my own pride about the things I do or don’t do.
Sometimes, it’s so frustrating. I want so badly to be better. I want to grow to the point that I don’t have to struggle with these goofy sins anymore. Or at least could I trade them in for a different set of failures? Then I wouldn’t feel so stupid for always finding myself confessing the same basic sin in a different scenario. But, then I look back at where I’ve been and where I am and I see that God really is working in me. I remember that Paul tells us in Philippians to “press on toward the goal.” So, I keep pressing on, realizing that the good Lord really can use a worthless lump of clay like me.
One way that I can see he really is using me in spite of myself, is when I look at my sweet Abigail. My precious firstborn daughter who is really turning 11 years old today. Now, she’s a typical 11 year old. She is far from perfect, just like her mother. But, she is turning into such a beautiful young lady. I look at her and I am amazed that in spite of her two self-centered, sinful parents, God is raising up this lovely lady who has such a heart for children. She has such a sweet nurturing spirit. Already, the Lord has given her such a love for orphans and for missions. I’m excited to see how it all unfolds over the next decade.
I pray that she will leave our home fully equipped to walk in righteousness. I pray that she loves Jesus with a passion and that that very passion will give her an overwhelming love for those who don’t. I pray that any hard knock that comes her way will drive her closer to the Great Physician and that her life will be a testimony to God’s faithfulness.
Okay, enough rambling from me... the point of this post was simply to say...Happy Birthday Abby! We love you and we’re so proud to call you our daughter! Just like I’ve always told you...I’m so glad that out of all the mommies in the world, God chose me to be your mommy!
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Friday, June 5, 2009
It's been almost exactly 5 months since we left for Ethiopia. Almost 5 months since we met our beautiful boy. I'll never forget that first hour. The way he just sank into my chest and held on for dear life. I am sure he was absolutely terrified- that made 2 of us!