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Archive for the ‘God’ Category

For Such A Time As This

It is so awesome to see how God works things out.  His hand is so evident in our lives if we just watch for it….. wait for it…..expect it.  Never in my life have I been so ready to see the Father “work it.”  Yeah, I am still struggling in areas of my life, we are still uncertain in our finances, mothering is still hard, BUT and it is a big BUT….instead of being afraid of all of that I am ready to see HIM bring it down. 

This is what I am talking about…..yesterday I started a new Beth Moore Bible study on the book of Esther.  I have been anticipating this study for a while, ready to get back in to the Word, and ready to have Beth Moore, bring it….. if you have done one of her studies and or have heard her speak you know what I mean.  Although I was looking forward to the study, I had no idea what direction it was going to take and how it was going to apply to my life and  I am doing the study at FBC so there is some trepidation for me in returning each week to a place of such hurt and disappointment (trusting that the Father knows why I am back and what He is going to use me for). 

Anyway, here are a few things that Beth Moore said…

1. in the book of Esther there is a total absence of any reference to God….(didn’t know that)….doesn’t mean that His Hand isn’t on it…after all it is part of God’s Word.

2. Esther provides an important perspective on the providence of God.  Providence being, “God conceived as the power sustaining and guiding human destiny.” God attends to the ordinary, seemingly trivial and mundane not just the momentous events and people. 

3.  There is as much to learn about God when He doesn’t make Himself known.  The character of the unseen God and his covenant is still carried out through the simpleness of life…..It is on purpose…there is no coincidence

4.  The absence of His name puts a God-ordained emphasis on the human responsibility.  Esther dealt with what we dealt with and she had a choice to make.  God is going to fullfill Christ’s destiny with or without me, but He isn’t going to fullfill mine with out me. 

     My words….. I have to jump on board, get committed, follow the Father.  Often it isn’t about seeing with my eyes, but seeing through faith….and believing that even when I can’t see/feel the Father….He is still there…So in those moments like the last year when it seemed as if God had jumped ship, like His name was not written in the story of my life doesn’t mean that His hand wasn’t on the story of my life.  He was there, but I had to trust what I knew about Him, I needed to contribute through my faith in Him and walk toward my destiny in Him holding His often unseen hand.  Last year, I was so afraid that things weren’t going to work out, I was crippled by the feeling that God didn’t care… and I thought I knew that because He wasn’t working everything out like I told Him to. I have based my belief in the Father’s care for me based on the actions I thought He should take. 

So as I sat there listening to Beth, yes we are on a first name basis, I kept reflecting on the last year of my life and how alone I felt, wishing that I had had this study to encourage me and wondering why now…….Well, I still don’t know the answer to that except that in hindsight I see that the Father was already beginning to show me these things.  He has already brought me through that season and maybe now He is going to reveal through this study and His Word the why…..and even if He doesn’t explain the why He is helping me articulate what He has already been ministering to and teaching me.  As Beth said, Esther is a book about tremendous hope.  I have been down that dark and lonely road making choices to keep God away and not choosing to see Him as He is, but no more……As it says in Hebrews 12:1…it is my race to run….and even when His presence isn’t visible it is still there as I step forward in faith walking into the destiny the Father is only going to fullfill with me.  Here I am, For Such A Time As This!!!!

Follow along with me on this journey through Esther….. I hope to update you as I move through.

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ethiopia-trip-079  we brought this little boy home.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.

ethiopia-trip-361  He left the arms of the three people he loved most in the world …..ethiopia-trip-366  and entered the arms of strangers….  It was a rough beginning for him… for all of us.  He was sick and scared.  We were just scared.  None of us knew what we were getting into.  We all had so much to learn.  And learn we have… all of us. 

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So here we are today… many lessons learned, battles fought and won, love learned and earned and a new family formed.  It is fitting that on this first day of December when we count down to the birth of our Savior that our family celebrate the “birth” of our family of five…. bound together by hope and love.

We love you Eyob Mark, Eyoba, Little Bear, son and brother, grandson, nephew and cousin!

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You know how when you are at the beach or on a lake all the houses have names, The Smith Shack or the Wilson’s Hide-a-way, etc….????  You know?  Well, we landed directly into a place like that.

So we left Utah last Wednesday (see post below) fully expecting to move directly into this older farmhouse that our friends were able to get us into for a month.  We new we were going to have to move at the beginning of August and while I was thankful that we had a place for at least that long, I was dreading yet another move, that and unpacking for 4 weeks was not really something I was looking forward to.  So we reached Oregon on Thursday and on Friday my mom called with a great offer from their friends.. our families friends… friends who own the above house and view.  They offered us rooms in their house for as long as we need.  This is an fabulous house and an amazing gift to us.  The older boys have beds in a huge playroom (I didn’t need to bring in their toys) with a bathroom, we have our own room and bath and Eyob has his own bed and bath (not sure what he is going to use it for), and those are only half the rooms.  We have more than we need to be totally comfortable.  It is such a blessing to us.  Did I mention that it is right on a lake?  We have spent a couple of mornings/afternoons playing in the water and on the beach… what a great opportunity for the boys, especially after not having a yard in Utah. 

In what felt like the eleventh hour, God came through and gave me what I needed.  It isn’t my own house, but maybe for this time it is even better. It is a divine placement.  God moved us out of our own plans (pretty obviously) and into his… I have no idea what he is doing, what he has planned, why we are here (in Washington that is) other than the job, but I have no doubt that if I can cling to the Father, relax and let go of the need to know, the need to plan, and to have it all under control, then He my Father will lead us.

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So we are outta here.  Brandon is driving the Budget truck loaded with out boxes and pulling his Honda, packed to the gills.  I am driving the Mazda full of the boys and toys and snacks.  Yesterday was an exhausting day, but with the help of Susan and Cassie, who watched the boys all day, the Trostruds and a couple of wonderful high-school boys who helped us load the truck, and Aggie and Suku who made us a wonderful dinner we were able to go to bed by 10:30 and have little enough to do this AM that I can post. 

Funny thing… we put our house on the market at the beginning of July and left for Oklahoma.  While we were there we had a showing every other day (about 8 or so).  When we got home I prayed a quick prayer that God would give us one weekend without showing the house so that we could pack without interruption… I guess he wanted to give us two weeks… So since we have been home, not one call.  Well my wonderful friend and Realtor, Kelly, called last night and said we have a showing today at 4:30.  Can you believe how perfect God’s timing is.  Pray with us that our house would sell.  Remember we only have a place to stay for a month….

Pray for us as we drive… peace and safety would be nice.

I will be off line for a few days.. maybe a week.  Love to you all!  See you in Washington.

Bye UTAH!!! and FRIENDS!

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I can still remember, like it was yesterday, the day I loaded up our suburban (with the help of my parents) said goodbye to a house we had just built, my best friends, and a town I had lived in for 17 years, the place I had spent the first 10 years of my marriage and had my first two babies… a place I never really thought I would leave.. and set off down the road on a “great adventure” to Utah, a place I had only driven through, where my husband had been for the last three months, and what would be my new home.  I never expected to like it here, but I knew that I was going to give it a good shot.  I had a chance to “reinvent” myself, a new start and I wanted to make the most of it, even though my heart felt like it was going to break and I couldn’t imagine ever feeling better.

We new that we were supossed to come here.  We needed to get away and to make it on our own as a family.  Utah has been a refuge for us. After an intense time of struggle with our church back home, it was been a safe haven for us. A place to rest, refresh, and transform.  I have learned so much being out here on “my own” away from family and all I had known for 17 years.  God has changed me, molded me and refined me into a person that is much more what I should have been and want to be.  I am so thankful for the people who have come along side me here.  Who have been my family for the last two years and who have allowed me to be who God wants me to be… so it is with much sadness (two years ago I never would have believed I would say this) I say good-bye.

Looking back on my time here, I can see how God has strategically placed people and events in my life that have radically changed who I am today.  I remember my friend Jenn told me when I left Shelton that in the first two weeks of being in Utah, I had to find a MOPs group and join.  So I did and there I met a wonderful girl named Heather (as well as lots of other great friends) who invited me to the Draper MOMS club and there I made some wonderful friends who invited me over, introduced me to fun places around the valley, had a wonderful baby shower for Eyob, brought us dinners when we got home from Ethiopia, and who continue to be a source of encouragement to me.

Who knew that that first visit would lead to me becoming one of the coordinators for our churches two MOPS groups and meeting some of my truly favorite people here in Utah.  Women who have walked beside me these last 6 months encouraging me and praying for me all while we served together. Thank you MOPS friends.  I am truly going to miss you this coming year and you will be in my prayers.

Through South Mountain Community Church, I have gone on a wonderful women’s “wild” weekend, participated in 4 life changing Bible studies and made some wonderful life long friends.  Friends who have challenged me.  Cassie and Susan I am so thankful that God brought us together that first study.  I am going to miss you sisters.

Driving away from Shelton two years ago, I never would have imagined that I would connect to a place and to the people so much in such a short amount of time, but I have and I will always be greatful for this stop in Utah along the path the Father has laid out before us.

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yeah that’s right you know how it goes….

Anyway….. I think that God is teaching Brandon and me that the best laid plans are really out of our hands…. Where we are sitting right now with a house full of boxes, getting ready to move back to the Shelton, WA area is not where we had planned to be 4 weeks ago, let alone 6 months ago.  We are realizing now how little we actually have figured out.  We know that we have a job, Praise the Lord.  We know we have a place to stay for free for a month, after that who knows, especially if our house doesn’t sell.  We know that we are leaving next Wednesday and heading west.  We know that the Father loves us, and other than that we really don’t know anything.  As hard as that is, I am far more accepting of it than I would have been 2 years ago.  I am learning to trust in the Father’s love for me even when it feels like what I am experiencing is not good.  As Brandon keeps reminding me, “Don’t you think your Daddy wants to give you every good thing.” So to this I cling as we continue to put the fiishing touches on our packing, say good-bye to some great friends, whom we will really miss, and head out.

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Sometimes I really hate making decisions…… it seems like that is all I do.  I make decisions for myself, for each of the boys, often times for Brandon and many times a day for the family.  By the end of the day I am pretty much done in, so when Brandon asks me what I want to watch on TV, I think I must just look at him with a blank look on my face.  I imagine myself… eyes glazed over, mouth open, and staring at who knows what…..so this past week and a half as we have made some huge decisions about our future, I find myself at the end of this week needing a bib and a vacation.  A bib to collect the droll that must be coming out of my mouth as I sit almost comatose before the computer and a vacation to recuperate from these last 6 months.

As you may know we have spent the last six months, not only getting to know a new son and trying to figure out how to be a parents to three little boys and how to run a family of five, but also taking a new direction with Brandon’s job.  There have been many ups and downs along the way.  We take a few steps forward with our boys and then seem to find ourselves many feet back. With the job situation it seems like we have walked through many open doors only to find a wall at the end of the hallway.  At this point our plans were to be settled into Brandon’s new “job,” to feel stable as a family of five and well into working our way through the adoption of an older child we met while in Ethiopia (we were just waiting for our six month transition period to end).  But it seems like God has other plans.  One week before our 6 month mark, another family stepped in to adopt this child that we so felt like God was calling to be our child.  We had been praying for her the whole time and imagining her as part of our family.  At the same time many of the opportunities Brandon was “running,” down over the last six months are being met with closed doors, which leads us to a week of huge decisions needing to be made. 

In the last week, we have bought a cheaper car (ever heard of a micro-van?), done numerous around the house fix-it projects, put our house up for sale, interviewed many moving companies and made the decision to pursue a job back in Washington. So there it is….in a strange twist of events…we are headed back to the Northwest. 

I am not sure how I feel about all of this except to say I am in a daze.  Things have happened so fast and so unexpectedly and not at all like we had planned that I don’t quite know what end is up.  I do know that we have risked a lot following the path that we feel God has led us down these last few months and I am tired. Risk is scary and learning to trust in the Lord is hard work… maybe I have made it hard work because I want to hold on to so much of the control.  I do know that so much in the last few months has been uncertain and so to have some certainty before us will be a refreshing change.  Yet leaving is always hard. 

 

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