"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

From the heart

I'd like to share a story with you. This is a real story. A story about love, life, faith and hope.

A couple of years ago just prior to our seeing Kai's face for the first time, I had a woman write to me. She had read our story about our failed adoption and how we were left with nothing but the hope that God would somehow lead us to the child he meant for us to have.

This woman is probably one of the most Spirit-filled women I have ever met. Her support and prayers for our family have been a constant. I've never met her face-to-face, but I feel like I've known her all of my life.

I am writing this today because I have been very moved by a situation that is occurring in her family's life now, and there is no tool more powerful than prayer.

This woman has a grown, married daughter, Jennifer, who lost a child a few years ago early in her pregnancy. That loss, as you could imagine, devastated her. After a few years, and not being able to get pregnant, she and her husband, Jerry, decided to adopt a child from China. Their dreams were soaring on the fact that they would finally have a child. Her name would be Serafina (meaning angel).

We often question why God allows bad things to happen to good people, and I don't know the answer to that. But, I do know that all good things come from him and in the midst of the storm, He is there.

As it would have it, Jerry was stricken with Mutliple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, consisting of the brain, spinal cord, and the optic nerves. I don't think I need to tell you how CCAA feels about a situation like this. Their dreams of adopting Serafina were shattered. Jerry had gone from walking and dancing at his wedding seven years ago, to a walker and now a wheelchair.

Since that time, this young couple has had many difficulties. But with amazing faith in our merciful and loving God their life began to change. A few months ago, Jennifer and Jerry invested every cent they had into an attempt to have a child through invitro fertilization. After an unsuccessful attempt, they were elated to find out that the second time around they had been blessed! Jennifer is 28 weeks pregnant and awaiting a beautiful daughter, who will be named Serafina Therese , after the saint who sends roses.

In addition to this indescribable joy in their lives, they came across an amazing piece of technology that would possibly allow Jerry to walk again. (http://www.walkaide.com/) This week, he went for an evaluation and was able to walk on his own using this device, which is FDA approved. His neurologist wrote the prescription for them. It seemed that finally, things were falling into place and the Lord was smiling down upon them. That is, until their insurance company rejected the claim. The cost of the device is $10,000. They will continue to battle with Cigna* on this issue, but in the meantime, he remains in a wheelchair and was told not to put his hopes on the insurance company approving the claim.

I cannot even fathom what it must be like, especially for him, to know that there is something out there that allows him mobility again, and that due to the decision of a few members on an insurance company's payroll, that dream will never come to fruition. It makes me sick to my stomach.

So, once again, I am coming to the faithful prayer warriors that read my blog to please lift this situation up to our Lord. Nothing is impossible with Him. Let this be a testimony that glorifies our God who blesses us with miracles, faith and compassion. I know that whatever the outcome, He will still be glorified.

I read somewhere that God never wastes a hurt, and that He will always use a painful experience to bless others going through similar experiences. You may know someone with MS, or may have been affected by it yourself. Whatever the case, I know God answers prayers.

I have been trying hard to see how the funds could be raised for this man to be able to stand by his wife's bedside as she delivers their beautiful daughter in June. I don't know how to do this. But the sovereign God we serve definitely does. He's told us "Ask and you shall receive."

Again, no coincidence that the little pamphlet that I was handed a couple of days ago with the words John 15:16 boldy across the top, clearly stated.... "Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."

So, as I close, I thank God for putting this family in my path and for allowing me to advocate for them. This may just be the "something big" He was asking of me.

If you have any suggestions on how this money could possibly be raised, please let me know. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support and prayers. I know this wonderful family is counting on them.

In His Blessed Name....


For those of you that are Catholic (and even those that are not), today is the day suggested by the church to begin a novena to St. Joseph, Jesus' adoptive father. If you are interested in beginning this novena for Jerry, please email me and I will gladly send it you.
In addition, anyone who would like to post this on their own blogs requesting prayers and/or suggestions for fund raising or even to pass on the prayer requests to prayer warriors in your own community, please feel free to do so. I have received the family's permission.
* Cigna is the same insurance company who denied a liver transplant claim to a 14 year old girl. She died just minutes after a state wide appeal against the company caused Cigna to approve the claim. You can click HERE to see how this company decides to play God by choosing who lives and who dies.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." Psalm 33:12

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

No clear answer yet....

but I know, even more today, that God is up to something.

First, I want to thank you all that have written to me sharing your personal experiences about how you have felt that "nudging". Every single email/comment and posting I received was filled with insightful wisdom for me. It's good to know that I am not crazy and that I am not alone. Some of you have made me laugh with your metaphors of God's will for you. Too funny! Others have given me much food for thought, and yet others have just about spoken my very own thoughts. God is good! Through many of you, I have been reminded of His love, what He calls us to do, and even how God encompasses "all kinds of sufferings along with good things" (referring to the lives of the prophets). You have given me that thirst to throw myself back into His word and to step out of the way and let Him do His work.

The reason I am writing this now, besides thanking you all for your prayers and support, is because I wanted to share how God is continually giving me affirmations. I just need to shut up and listen, and do it often!

This morning, I heard a knock on the door, which is very unusual in the mornings unless it is the mailman, UPS, or FedEx. I haven't been expecting any packages.

Before I continue, let me back up a bit and share what I was doing before that knock came to the door. I had put Anna Grace and AJ down for their nap. Anna Grace for the past two days has been very challenging to say the least. If I say sit, she stands. If I say go play, she lays down. She just about knows where every button is located that she could push that will bring me to a point that I would love to drag the sun out of the sky and make it bedtime. I digress.

I lay her down in the office in the daybed so I could keep an eye on her (i.e. to make sure she's not pulling the blinds up and down, taking sheets of the bed, rearranging drawers etc.) and make sure she gets her much needed nap. During this time of sitting, I usually catch up on the blogs that I read, pay bills or find something productive to do that is quiet.

Going back a little futher, last night I picked up my bible, which I hadn't done in a while and started reading the first book of Samuel. Not sure why I chose that book, but God in His wisdom brought me to one of my favorite scriptures, Hannah's dedication of Samuel to the Lord. Again, no coincidence. I read a few chapters, and as always when reading the old testament, was reminded of the consequences we pay (thanks for the reminder that the fear is normal, Kim) when we disobey. That was enough for me for one night and I put it down.

Well today, as Anna Grace lay their eyes tightly shut and body fidgeting, I picked up the bible and continued reading Samuel. Somewhere after reading about Eli's son's being killed and the ark being captured, I had this strong urge to pick up Anna Grace from her wiggle-worm state.

I began by rocking her while singing few hymns, and then moved on to doing a rosary while holding her. She remain eyes closed and still while I did this. At least she had calmed down and I was feeling very much at peace. After about a 45 minutes, I layed her back down, still awake but no longer fidgety.

About 3 minutes after I layed her down, is when I heard the knock on the door. I look out the big windows in my dining room and see no cars, but instead 2 women standing at the door. I open the door and lo and behold it was two Jehovah's witnesses. I think this is the first time since we've lived here (4.5 years) that I have had any Jehovah's wittnesses knock on my door.

I have nothing against them, but I admit that a few times, if I notice ahead of time that they are there, I do not open the door. Usually because I am in the midst of something and just am not in the mood. I am embarrassed and apologetic for this. I know it's not it right.

Anyways, this time was different. I opened the door and a kind woman hands me a pamphlet and says, "Have you ever wondered what God's will is for you?" I almost fell over. She continued speaking but all that my brain heard was "you did not choose Him, He chose You." Then she invited me to an event of some sort during Easter vigil. I thanked her, took the pamphet and closed the door.

I quickly glanced at the pamphlet in my shaky hands and read the large print across the top, it said : John 15:16. Of course, I then run to look up this scripture (I'm horrible about remembering scripture) and this is what it says:

"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name."

I sat there holding the bible, and let the words sink into my brain. I read it over and over. That is exactly what I have been feeling. I do want to say that I've read this passage hundreds of times before and my interpretation has always been that we should "bear fruit", as in having offspring. But it was different. I really believe that He is planting a seed. I just need to stop stomping on the soil and let it grow. I also feel in my heart that by saying "the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name." He is telling me to continue praying and that He will reveal exactly what He he wants from me. I need to continue to be still.

Gosh, I feel good! I still don't have any more to the answer than I did a few days ago, and it may be a very long time (if ever!) before I get it, but I'm feelin' like I'm on the right path.

P.S. Sunday at mass we were informed that this week is our Lenten mission retreat. Unfortunately, it is in the evenings and quite long. There is no way that both Scott and I could both attend with all these little guys and actually get something out of it. So, we decided Scott would be the one to attend. He came home last night talking about the topic. You want to know what the topic is? God's will.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Haver you ever....?

This is going to be one of those thought provoking posts (provoking for me) that I usually ramble on about and end up with no real answers at the end. It's one of those moments when I'm really just talking to myself on paper.

I came across this quote today.

"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it.....but I'm afraid He might ask me the same thing." ~unknown author

You've heard me say this before. Nothing is a coincidence and I know this is something I definitely have to pray about, but am afraid to. Coming across that quote was just another affirmation.

I know you must be totally confused. For the past few days, I've been really pondering the thought about how disappointed God must be in me. This Lenten season has been horrible. Yes, we're requesting prayers of strangers and we're praying a little more than usual, but something is still bothering me. It's not enough. I feel God wanting more from me. I know it. What I don't know is what exactly it is that He wants. I hope it's not another child! heh! Actually, I'm kidding. I've been extremely melancholy about China lately and would love to go back, but not only could we not afford it, but we no longer qualify. I digress.

Yesterday at mass, I felt God asking me to be still. To listen to Him and that He will lead me to where He wants me to be. I really want to be obedient of this, but for some reason, it's scary to me this time. I always pray that the Lord use me to do His will, but I when I pray this lately, I come up with the feeling that He wants something BIG, something that I wouldn't get myself into if I were asked to do it. I really have a full plate with the little ones, Scott and Amanda. Not to mention, finances, housekeeping, extended family and just plain life. Yet, part of me knows that I am to be doing something more. I know we serve a loving and merciful God, but I also know how God always gets what He wants. So, by saying that I am too busy, will He remove some of those things from life? That terrifies me. I love my life and all of the craziness in it and I don't want anything to change. It's almost like if I ask Him to reveal to me His will, I better be careful what I'm asking for. Do you understand now how my crazy mind thinks?

Maybe by now, you must be thinking that I am probably making no sense, and if I do, I'm being pretty far-fetched. I agree. But in plain terms, this is it. I feel God asking me to open up my heart and allow him to reveal His will for me, but I'm scared to hear what His will is.

Has anyone ever gone through this or am I just losing it? Please keep my fears in your prayers. I know that fear is not of our Lord and I don't know why I'm feeling this way.

As always, thank you for your support and prayers.

Lord Jesus,

I ask that you give me the wisdom and courage to follow through with whatever your will for me is. You know my heart and my undenying love for you. You are my Savior, my redeemer and my Heavenly Father. I know that everything that you ask of me is for my good and ultimately, for Your glory. I pray that everything I do brings that glory and honor to you and I thank you for the multitude of blessings that you bestow upon me daily. Mold my heart so that I do not disappoint you, but instead always let your light shine through me to others.

Lord, guide me to always do your will.

In your name I pray. Amen.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

How do they do it?

I read all the time about people going to Goodwill stores or consignment shops and find amazing things for their kids. I've been into our Goodwill store here twice and both times, between the smell of the place and the clothes being dingy and dirty, I just can't stand it. Yet, I see pictures or even see what some of my friends' kids are wearing and when they tell me they got it at Goodwill I am flabbergasted. I donate to Goodwill all the time, but anything that looks like what they have on their racks, I usually toss.

Trust me, I'm not picky about what my kids wear. Obviously, I like them to look nice, but I am always ready to take in hand me downs. Unfortunately, with Kai and AJ wearing the same size, I don't get the opportunity to pass down anything to either of them.

I've gotten a few things on Ebay for them, but after you pay the exhorbitant shipping costs that some people place, I might as well go to the outlet store, buy it brand new and have it the same day, for the same price.

So, if anyone has any hidden secrets about how to find some good stuff at any of these places, please let me in on it!

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