Thursday, November 20, 2008

Moving Forward

So this has been a big week for us. We completed our homestudy document/paper chase, drove it to our local homestudy agency and wrote our first check to pay for the homestudy which is the first step for an international adoption. WOW-- it felt so great to hand over our packet and know that we are 1/3 of the way through the paperwork!!! YEA!! We finally chose our international agency this week, also and mailed off that application to start working on the next step. Please continue to pray that God guides our way in this journey!


Monday, November 17, 2008


"Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised." +Psalms 48:1

Today has been a good day. The Lord has blessed me with sweet friendships. Madilyn has been struggling with diving off the block in swim team and has been feeling super defeated and down about her fear and its effect on her swim performance. She's shed many a tear over this one. Yesterday, out of the blue, a dear friend offered to help coach Madilyn this morning in a private lesson. Upon returning from the coaching session, Madilyn burst into the house, raised both hands to the sky, and yelled, "I CAN DIVE OFF THE BLOCK NOW!!!" :) She was so excited and relieved and proud. The Lord knows our every hurt and need and He meets those needs by placing people in our lives to minister to us and help us. I was so blessed and humbled by His provision for Madilyn this morning and for helping her overcome her fear. YEA GOD!!!

We are still praying about our international agency decision and will ask you to join us in praying that God guides us to the agency he wants us to use for our adoption and that He will make the path very clear to us. This decision is a hard one for us for some reason. We are still moving forward with our homestudy but haven't signed contracts with an international agency yet.

Another huge praise today.....

As of tonight, we have completed the paperwork portion of our homestudy (YEA!) and I am going to drive the documents to the homestudy agency tomorrow. (YEA!) We have a class to attend this weekend on International adoption and we'll do our final homestudy visit on December 8. We're 1/3 of the way there with the paperwork processing!!

By the way--- our sermon on Sunday was on Matthew 9:12 "On hearing these things, Jesus said, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous but sinners."

I was so touched and moved that God feeds me small bites and helps me learn and grow in His goodness with baby steps!! For months, I've been really praying that God will give me the strength to make my life a living sacrifice.... and then, in this passage He says "I DESIRE MERCY, NOT SACRIFICE." where does this lead me......If Mercy is a word used to describe compassion shown by one person to another, or a request from one person to another, then serving others with compassion and being selfless for another's benefit will be joyful and not a duty. I do desire to have mercy towards others as Jesus is saying to do, and in this compassion- the giving and loving and doing for others will come from my heart, it will be joyful and most importantly it will glorify God. I do want to be MERCIFUL and through that act of compassion, I want to share God's goodness and love with the oppressed. I am now praying that God will give me a stronger conviction to have mercy and compassion for others and to stop worrying about the "sacrifice" that I am making in this little life of mine. True JOY is about putting Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Living Sacrafice

"I beseech you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." +Romans 12:1-2

For many months now, this verse has continued to speak to my heart and weigh heavily on my daily actions. This is a "life verse" for me right now where I am walking; this is a "rhema" word in my life. The specific words in this verse of scripture that have deep meaning to me are the words "living sacrifice."

To me, the word "living" speaks that this sacrifice is not a sacrifice of something dead, but it is definitely a sacrifice done by those living, breathing, and alive. It means in my LIFE. The word sacrifice, wow--- this one is big-- it is the work, the hard work. True labor for the Lord. Something that hurts when we give of ourselves. A willingness to suffer for Christ's sake. So when I think of these two words together, I am humbled. I am so humbled.

My LIFE, my every breath, action, and deed needs to be a LABOR and WILLINGNESS to suffer for the purpose of Christ. A living sacrifice.

This is a big RHEMA word for me from the Holy Spirit. I've been struggling with my sinful nature. My life's purpose is not fulfilled in my comfort and enjoyment and living inside my nice little family bubble. I'm not here on this earth at this particular time to just enjoy being alive and being entertained. While God does bless us and give us joy and rest every day, His greater purpose for me is not to watch movies, shop until I drop, play games, and eat dessert for my entire lifetime until I join Him in eternity. He wants more from me. God calls me to be a LIVING SACRIFICE in this verse. To be willing to work for His higher purpose. To be willing to uncomfortable, to reach out above and beyond what I think I can do each day to survive and instead EXTEND myself so that I can SERVE His calling. He requires me to live so that in my actions, deeds and focus- I sacrifice for Jesus. To share His love with others. To live outside my little bubble world and share the Gospel message with the world.

This verse has specific adoption meaning for me today especially as I doubt myself, my abilities. This speaks to me as I feel weak and small, unsure of this adoption road and my families future. I'm going to share how this "Rhema" word that God spoke to me lies here in this dilemma in my worldly brain vs. God's word.

I am so happy with our family. I have 4 beautiful and healthy children. I have a wonderful husband. I have a beautiful home in a great community. I have a great extended family. I love to homeschool and we are in a good school rhythm right now so I'm feeling super blessed. I have financial peace and security--- we are not rich by monetary standards, but we do just fine with what we have and we don't WANT for much of anything. So, this is my "bubble" world. It's perfect in my mind, but in my heart, I feel like God is calling for us to do more, be more, give more, love more, serve more. God has more good things planned for us, more good things, he just wants us to be a "living sacrifice" so he can bless us more richly and deeply.

The Lord has spoken to my heart that those good things He has planned for us will be found in the addition of adopted children into our family and the blessings they will bring to our family. In my selfishness, I am not proud to say that adopting will be too hard. It's too much paperwork, time and money to spend. It will require more emotional time, patience and mommy-duty for me. It will require me to homeschool MORE kiddos. It will be tougher financially to make those ends meet every month. It will change the dynamics with our 4 great kids. It will just make my life harder. Period. I'll have to sacrifice.

Thus, my LIVING SACRIFICE today is in my willingness to change and be obedient in God's calling and to give unselfishly of my heart, my daily schedule, my money, my time, my energy, my family, and my home. It's being WILLING to work harder in my home to provide and share God's love to these precious children that God has chosen to grow in our family. He has chosen the children and He has chosen us. I am choosing and willing be a LIVING SACRIFICE in the face of this adoption.....I am struggling with my worldliness and sinful nature- but my hope is in God and I believe His promise to me in Jeremiah 29:11. I feel His love and I want to share His love. I want to be a living sacrifice for Jesus! :)

-- Amy

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fall is here!!

Well, the weather has really cooled off here in Kansas and it is also windy!! Welcome Fall!! It's so wonderful to watch the glory of our God's creation unfold with the changing of the seasons. So refreshing to know that to every thing there is a season.

"To everything there is a season,a time for every purpose under the sun.A time to be born and a time to die;a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;a time to kill and a time to heal ...a time to weep and a time to laugh;a time to mourn and a time to dance ...a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;a time to lose and a time to seek;a time to tear and a time to sew;a time to be silent and a time to speak;a time to love and a time to hate;a time for war and a time for peace."
+Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

For our family, this fall is a time that we are loving, laughing, dancing, embracing, and SEEKING. We are seeking the Lord's will for our family. We are working on our adoption paperwork and daily face challenges and struggles that cause us to need to SEEK Him and His guidance on our lives. We don't know what our future holds......with the military lifestyle and an impending move this coming summer-- we have lots of questions about the effects this will have on our adoption process and the timing of things. We don't know where we will be moving yet, how long the waiting will be after our dossier is completed, and also if a deployment will face us within the next year or two and these are matters that only God knows. These are huge adoption issues. So I am trusting that the Lord has led us to this place in the adoption journey and that HE KNOWS and HE has a plan better than anything I can orchestrate!!! "Ask and it shall be given unto you, Seek and you shall find." +Matthew 7:7-8. My prayer today is that as I submit to Christ in all I do, He will cleanse my heart and mind - He will reveal to me His will and His way, And His unchanging love.