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Saturday, January 31, 2009
Moody and I are some of the few that have faithfully watched ER since it first aired in 1994. That was the year that Moody and I got married, and one of the recommendations we received in our pre-marriage counseling was to not have a tv that first year as man and wife. We wanted to give it a try!
We went to my parents house every Thursday night at 9:00 to tune into the lives of Dr. Greene, Dr. Carter, Dr. Ross and Nurse Hathaway--oh how we have missed them. Somehow we learned to accept the new characters and have watched (on Tivo now as other shows have become priority) almost every episode. This season is the last and it is probably time, but I will miss the weekly trips to County General.
Dr. Romano was a gruff, surgeon on ER with few friends and a magnet for helicopters. One episode involved a couple in the ER that brought in their very sick child. They were exhausted and at the end of their rope. The mom was telling Dr. Romano all of the things that she had to do for her child and he looked up at her and said something like, "I understand this is a great load to deal with, you all are tired and it isn't what you imagined your life would look like, but sometimes you just need to shut up and do your job!"
We had small kids at that point and it just became a line Moody and I would say to each other. If one of the kids got up multiple times in the night and it was clear neither one of us were jumping out of bed, we might jokingly say "shut up and do your job". You get the drift. :)
Abe has been really sick this past week and has slept very little. We are exhausted, but this line popped into my head. You know how you just do what you have to do. He has wanted to be held 24/7 (he is asleep right now and I'm doing a one handed post-- sure makes the new Apple wheel look great about now) and I have had to let other things go, but I'm thankful for him, his precious desire for his mama and I'm leaning on the Lord to sustain me.
"He said to me,
'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Monday, January 26, 2009
I spent much of Saturday (when I wasn't at the kids basketball games) ignoring all my responsibilities, curled up in my pj's, nursing multiple cups of Gobena coffee and reading the Bottomly's new book From Ashes to Africa. Oh, how I love to get lost in a good book. :)
Josh and Amy paint a very transparent look into their lives as they struggled with infertility and their early years of marriage, but ultimately it is an incredible story of hope and redemption as the Lord leads their hearts to adoption and Ethiopia.
We are blessed to share a common passion for Ethiopia and friendship with this family. Silas is the child that caused Avery to commit to pray for a baby to come to our home. He is so precious and holds a special place in all of my kids hearts. :)
We had a great visit with the Neals, Winters and Bottomly's in OKC a few weekends ago- and it was such a gift for our family to have a change of scenery.....not to mention getting to see so many cuties from Ethiopia in the same room.
I highly recommend this book to anyone! Click here to order your copy. :)
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
The Lord so graciously gives me little nuggets that show me just how much He is using Abe to mold us.
Yesterday Hill's tutor called to tell me something and before we hung up she asked about Abe- then said, "do you know how much Hill loves that baby?". I must have answered quickly with a "yes, he does" or something similar. She said slowly, "no, do you REALLY KNOW how much he loves that baby? His face lights up each and everytime he talks about Abe! He is going to be a wonderful father!"
Tears welled in my eyes as it made me so thankful for the ways Abe is changing each one of us. Do I think Hill will be a better father/brother/friend/husband for having Abe as a brother? Absolutely! Prayerfully I will meditate on these things and rejoice in His good gift to us.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come! Revelation 4:8
Monday, January 12, 2009
"and the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, and the people of Israel said to them, "Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into the wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger."
The Lord said to Moses, "Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall gather a day's portion everyday." Exodus 16:2-4a
It continues on to give the daily requirements, etc of this gift of manna from the Lord to the Israelites. He provided this manna for their remaining time in the wilderness. It sustained them on a daily basis.
The Lord has so graciously provided my bread, my manna, as a means to encourage and sustain us through these difficult days.
Immediately after receiving the news and diagnosis of Abe, it rained heavily for weeks. I would get multiple emails daily full of truth, wisdom, stories of encouragement, simply "I'm thinking of you". Many of these came from people that I have never had the blessing to meet in person. Some I had communicated with via blogs, while others simply felt led to write.
" I have had the privilege of following your blog since you brought your sweet little Abe home. It has been such a JOY! It is so sweet to me how you come to “know” complete strangers through an adoption blog..................(she shares her precious story with me and then closes with)..Each day when I wake up I am so excited for our day together. What new thing will she accomplish? What new connection will we share? It is so amazing. Why did God choose me to share such a wonderful treasure with? How deep His love for us, how vast beyond all measure.
You see, God did not just choose you for Abe, he choose Abe for YOU! You, Emily, were the perfect mama for him, no other would do. You are equipped, because before time began you were chosen. He can handle the questions and He can bring peace to your fears. Trust Him…"
another one: "Was just kind of suddenly overwhelmed and had to write you. I don't know how you're feeling, except that I can understand feelings of deep pain and of wondering what God is up to. To know you're hurting reminds me of my own deep need for God's grace.
Looking for another verse my eyes landed on Eph 1:8 "...the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding..."
As I read all of chapter 1, the tears wouldn't stop as the picture of God's grace was clearer than ever through Abe. The earthly comparison of God blessing Abe, choosing him, having him adopted by you, redeeming him from the orphanage (as loving as they must be), lavishing on him the riches of His grace in your home with all wisdom and understanding (only God knew Abe's physical needs as he only really knows our spiritual needs)...the mystery of His will...working out everything in conformity with his will...for the praise of his glory.
Thinking of Abe and his physical needs and having that be a reminder of the even deeper needs we all have before God. God rescues us in our helplessness and blesses us with every spiritual blessing. God is so good. You all are a constant reminder to me of how good God is. Thanks for being an instrument of God's grace to me. I guess a bit of irony was Moody calling me at the end of my workout in my vain quest to not be so skinny and he became a reminder to me to worry more about the inside of the cup than the outside of it."
Multiple emails sent the wonderful Trip to Holland story! Thank you for that.
"You do not know me but I stumbled upon your blog. I wanted to say by accident but nothing happens by accident. Anyway, I also have a child with a disability. Actually, I have two children with a disability.
I am very familiar with the road that you are on because I have been there. I want to share with you some things that God has taught me on this journey.
1. Abe was fearfully and wonderfully made. He is no accident or mistake.
2. God has a purpose for Abe's life, it doesn't matter the disability
3. God began the work in Abe and He will finish that work. That means that you may see that completed work in Abe here on earth otherwise you will see it completed in heaven.
4. There is a reason that God chose you over all the other people in the world to be blessed with Abe. There is something that God has gifted you with that Abe needs. You are the perfect parents for him. It was no accident. Always remember that when the doubts come.
There will be days that you just want to crawl back in bed and cry. But I think that is true for any journey God puts you on. Some days you just realize your weakness more than others. If there is anything I can do you. Or, you need to talk, voice your pain with or pray with, please do not hesitate to give me a call"
This is just a small sample of the grace that has poured down like rain (or bread) for our benefit! They always come at the perfect time too. Just a few days ago, Mood said "that was such a sweet email from ML." I hadn't read an email from her that day. I looked and it came in around 11:30. I went back and looked, I replied to the email before and after hers but did not see the one from ML. At 11:30, I was feeling really strong that particular day. When I actually sat to read the email at 7:30, not so much. Tears ran down my face as I was overcome with the knowledge that...he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
I have had visits from dear friends- thank you Amy. What a gift that was to me. Amy and I met as kampers at Kanakuk and lived together all 4 years at Baylor. She lives in Austin, but drove to spend a good 24 hours with me! :) What a treat. Jenn, thanks for coming over too, Pat we missed you!
Thank you to all of you that have been used by Him to encourage our family!
Monday, January 5, 2009
Have you ever sat in a church service and felt like the sermon was directed right at you? This has happened to me several times and yesterday was one of those times. ( I think this is better than the times of self-righteousness when I sit there thinking "oh, if only so and so were here to hear this!" ) Just keeping it real! :)
Pastor Fair was talking about giving of yourself- your time, talents, resources, etc. He was saying that we must be content in our circumstances to really give sacrificially of all these things and he used Paul as an example from Philippians 4:10-13.
Have you ever heard Phil 4:13 used by a great athlete to explain a new feat? He said that the verse in context is actually the apostle Paul saying that he can endure prison and all the other hardships that have come into his life because of Christ- that it is Christ indwelling in Him, Christ ordaining his circumstances, the knowledge that Christ works all things for our good and His glory- that he can say "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
This so resonated with me. In my moments of looking to the world and feeling sorry for myself that my life is now a "new normal"- I am not content, operating out of my flesh, and thereby incapable of giving anything.
I know that He has called our family to this new normal, not to punish us, not to stretch us too thin, and not to break us. He has called us to this glorious new journey because He loves us, because He is strengthening us and because He does indeed works all things for good to those who love Him. He sees the big picture and all I see is this very moment!
Prayerfully we will be more like Paul, and offer our bodies as living sacrifices to the One that knew I was to be Abey's mom before the foundation of the world. He loves me that much! He set me apart, my family apart, my friends apart and is graciously allowing us to witness the miracle in Abe.
May you experience the gift of knowing that you can do ALL things through Christ.
Friday, January 2, 2009
Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His Presence continually!! Psalm 105:4
.....for the joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10b
The Lord is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults and with my song I give thanks to Him. Psalm 28:7
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:30-31
These verses (and many more) are like cool water to my very sleepy self today. This break has been incredibly relaxing, but it hasn't been full of sleep. Abe did so much better last night, but has had many days and nights where he isn't sleeping much. I think the months of sleep deprivation finally hit as we slowed our pace these 2 weeks.
I unfortunately tried to operate in my own strength and let me tell you, IT ISN'T WORKING. It got me swimming in a sea of self-pity pretty quickly. How I pray that this new year is filled with the truth of His word and promises it holds. I'm encouraged this morning as I know that He alone can carry us through our days of questioning and our sleepless nights. He is good!!
May you be filled with His strength as you begin 2009!