Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Our God is a God of waiting

"Whether it's getting married, having children, receiving a promotion, accomplishing a dream, being healed of an illness, or anything else that is slow-coming, God delays sometimes simply to teach us the value of waiting upon Him."
Read the full article:  
Why is God Taking His Sweet Time?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Jesus says...

I was getting after Lauren about something the other day (and probably yelling more loudly than I needed to) and she didn't care for the tone of my voice. Lauren responded by standing up tall, looking me right in the eyes and yelled rather loudly back at me:

“Jesus says you have to be nice to kids!”

There you have it. Biblical 'training' on parenting from my two year old. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Asking God to part the Sea

Ryan and I are at a time in our lives when we're asking God for things. 

BIG things.

Things that will determine the future of our family. And his career.

We're praying big. Asking big. Petitioning big...even though I know my biggest prayers and my best asking still fall immeasurably short of what God's able to give.

Some moments I think about all the things I've read about life not being about me and my wants and needs.

But then I also remember the truth of Scripture that tells me that God knows every hair on my head and that He cares deeply for each of his creations....and that includes me.

So I feel like I'm balancing between selfishness in making big requests of God and also praying as Scripture tells me to pray and through examples in His Word.

Moses and the Red Sea keep coming to mind as I pray. I recall a time in 2008 when I was challenged to hold my staff high and ask God to open the Sea in my life.

Last night I boldly found myself praying, "God part the Sea again. I don't have any idea what that looks like, but I know you are capable. You've done it before and you can do it again. Part the Sea God, part the Sea."

I am not necessarily asking God for a specific prayer request....I am asking Him to part the Sea. Because I don't know what would be best. I don't know what He has in store. I don't know what's on the other side of this Sea.

I feel like we're being tossed around in a Sea filled with turmoil and indecision and a lack of clarity and so many unknowns. We think we know where we're headed...but then we encounter roadblocks and we're left shaking our heads and wondering if we took a left at the T in the road when we should have taken a right.

Our options are to go around it or through it and we serve a God who parts the waters and allows His people to cross on dry land.

Sometimes I forget how BIG my God is.

He spoke and the world came into existence.

He made the blind to see and the mute to speak.

He hushed the storm and it stilled.

He parted the Sea and His people walked on dry land.

Can you fathom walking through the Red Sea with walls of water on either side? A light mist on your skin as you slowly, timidly walk step by step on dry land...your eyes focused on the shore in the distance? 

I'm believing if God parted the sea for thousands, I know He can part it for us. I am believing He is able.

I don't even know if I know what that would mean for God to part our Sea. But I'm compelled to pray this prayer and hold my staff of faith high.

He doesn't always choose to answer our prayers, but He is able. And so I am asking Him to make ways where there is no way. And I am asking that whatever happens, His glory would be revealed through the parting of the Sea.

Ryan: strap on those Keens baby, I'm believing we're about to walk on dry land!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Working mom

I've held a lot of titles before, but working mom is a new one for me. Working 20 hours a week outside the home that is.

Working outside of the home, while also trying to care for those inside my home (husband, son, daughter) is proving to be very challenging.

My time is split. My energy is split. My heart is split.

I love my kiddos. I also love writing and am so thankful for a job that allows me to write (about Jesus!) and helps me provide financially for our family until my husband is able to do that again.

I have this amazing job that I love and consider a gift from God.

And yet it's hard.

It's hard to work outside the home all day and then come home and feed hungry mouths and give baths and tuck in little bodies only to do it all over again the next day. And the next.

Thankfully I only work three days a week. I am in AWE of mother's who work outside the home full-time. You have my deepest respect because this working mom thing is tricky.

My sweet Lauren is sick so I sent an email to my team tonight saying I'll be working from home tomorrow. Two weeks ago Samuel had pink eye and I had to leave work to be with him for 1 1/2 days.
The reality is that no one else can be my kids' mom. Not their dad. Not other caregivers. Not teachers. Not even grandma (and they've got two really really good grandmas!).

Samuel has no other mom. Lauren has no other mom. God gave them to me.

That's why heading out the door to the working world and then returning home and being a dedicated and committed mom is tough.

And I realize a little more each week that I truly have no idea what I'm doing or how to make it work. It's not just about meal plans and cleaning schedules and planning ahead and eliminating the unimportant from the schedule and extra hands to get things done. It's just...hard.

But I also know it's just a season. I'm going to blink and my kiddos will be in school and I'll have more time on my hands then I know what to do with. And as evidenced by the fact that today I attended a high school graduation open house of one of my flower girls from my wedding, I'm fairly certain I'm going to blink for a second time and my kids will be off on their next adventure and I'll be standing there wondering what happened to these busy, crazy, exhausting years.

Drying tears and potty training and endless home-cooked meals and frequent snacks and piles of laundry and sweet prayers and tons of books and dirty feet and happy faces...that's what these days are full of.

I love working. I truly do. God created me to write and the fact that I can write and get paid is an absolute blessing from Him.

I also love being a mom. And I recognize these years are fleeting. So I'm trying to soak up every smile and giggle and spontaneous dance around the house. I'm trying to let go of cleanliness and organization (well mostly cleanliness because there isn't an organized bone in this creative body) and choose what who is most important.

It's a learning process. Like so many other things God is teaching me, I'm learning what it means to be a working day at a time. And by His grace, my kids will remember these years as full of fun and laughter and a lot of dependence on a great, big God.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My best asking....

Friends let this spur us on to petition God for prayers beyond our wildest dreams and greatest hopes. Let this encourage us to praise God simply for who He is and what He is capable of!

"The ability of God is beyond our prayers, beyond our largest prayers! I have been thinking of some of the petitions that have entered into my supplication innumerable times. What have I asked for? I have asked for a cupful, and the ocean remains! I have asked for a sunbeam, and the sun abides! My best asking falls immeasurably short of my Father's giving: it is beyond what we can ask."--J. H. Jowett

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Not without my son

"It was compassion that opened our hearts to adoption, it was love that made us stay, but it was God who brought us home."

Powerful story....listen here:

Friday, May 11, 2012

The year I skipped Mother's Day

As Mother's Day approaches, heavy on my heart are those who are waiting and longing to be a mom. If that is you, please leave a comment below and know I will be covering you in prayer all weekend long.

From the archives (May 2009):

One year ago today I could not face the reality that another Mother’s Day was upon us. My dreams of motherhood were unfulfilled, and I did everything possible to avoid facing the day that so many families celebrated. My husband and I enjoyed a lazy and relaxing Sunday morning. We didn’t go to church and we didn’t see our families.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “A hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Last year my heart was desperately sick. For nearly three years my husband and I had walked the road of infertility and miscarriages.

We lost our first little one at 10 weeks in July 2006. For the next two years we struggled to conceive again. We pleaded with God. We begged God. We petitioned God. But His answer was no. His answer was, “Wait on me.”

Waiting is hard. It’s full of questions, doubts, and fears.

And for me, the pain of waiting was magnified one year ago today when everywhere I looked I was reminded that others were celebrating a gift that God had not yet given to me. Mother’s Day 2008 represented the tender reality that my womb was still empty. I was 32. It had been 22 months since our miscarriage and my heart was bitter, broken and hardened.

Last summer led me on a journey of dealing with the resentment, anger and bitterness that had taken root in my heart. This was difficult, yet necessary, as I longed to walk in the freedom of God’s grace and forgiveness.

And finally, in August of last year, I discovered I was pregnant. Surely this was God’s blessing as a result of the healing that had taken place in my heart. At 7 weeks we heard a beautiful heartbeat. But at 9 weeks we were told, for the second time, our baby had died in my womb.

My dreams of motherhood vanished as quickly as they had come. And another bitter root threatened to grow.

But in God’s great mercy he didn’t allow that to happen. Just 24 days later God took my waiting and showed me it was not in vain.

On October 4, 2008, we got a call about a baby boy born in Waconia the day before. He was just 24 hours old. Were we interested? We had not started the adoption process, but we jumped in the car and went to the hospital to meet the birth mom. Within an hour she told us she would like us to adopt our son, whom we promptly named Samuel. We took him home two days later.

For seven months we have not stopped praising God for Samuel’s miraculous arrival into our lives. We are in awe of God’s timing and God’s plans for our family. And we continue to live in awe of the author and creator of life: in January we discovered that I was pregnant. Samuel will become a big brother this fall. Our story continues to be a beautiful reminder that despite all of our planning, God alone determines our future.

Today, Mother’s Day 2009, I could celebrate that my future will hold children just 11 months apart. I could celebrate that my battle with infertility has come to an end.

But instead, today I choose to celebrate that God restored my soul…before he restored my circumstances. I celebrate that he healed my heart. I celebrate freedom from the bondage of bitterness. I celebrate the blessing of waiting on the Lord.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Growing your family through...Facebook?

The other night the local news featured a story about a couple from Spicer, Minnesota, who have a 5-year-old son and have had four miscarriages in the process of trying to give him a sibling. They have chosen to pursue an open adoption to grow their family and are using Facebook to do so. Ryan and I thought it was the coolest story. 

The article mentions that 50 percent of adoptions occur by word of mouth...which is exactly how our adoption with Samuel occurred. As well as my friend Jeri Anne. And my friend Meredith.

If you desire to grow your family through adoption...tell people. Tell EVERYONE! I love the idea of using social media to spread the word about your heart for adopting.

Definitely check out the news story below as well as their Facebook page. God's blessings on your adoption journey Thompson family!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Be who God created you to be


My husband Ryan is authentic. To a level that I'm not sure I can really explain. 

He is an O P E N book.

And that is why most people love him, and why a few are terrified of him :)

From time to time people tell me that they appreciate my authenticity both on this blog and in real life.

That's always an interesting comment to hear from people. Because, if I'm honest, it's not a trait that I feel I've really worked to posses. 

It's not like: you're such a patient person.

Or, you're a good writer.

If I am patient or a good writer it's simply because I've worked to build those qualities and because the Lord has seen fit to bless me with those gifts (those were examples by the way. I am not patient).

I think Ryan and I are just naturally authentic people. That's how we live life. We share it with others. We tell our story. We ask people questions about their life and we talk about our life.

It's who God created us to be. 

For my birthday last month, my friends wrote me letters/notes that were precious beyond words. They filled my heart to overflowing. Authenticity was a repeated theme that my friends appreciate in me.

When I really ponder this, my natural response is: "Isn't everyone authentic? And if not, why not?"

In my mind, it's the only way to live. If we were all living truly authentic lives with one another...sharing burdens, sharing joys, asking for help when we're in need...I think we would find life a lot less lonely. Not so hard. And with a greater awareness of what's going on with others. 

But I've learned that authenticity is just really hard for some people.

So instead of asking myself, "Why isn't everyone authentic?" I think the better question to ask is, "Who did God create each of us to be?"

A truth-teller?
Attentive to others' needs?
A good listener?
A servant?

Ask yourself that question. Find the answer. Ask others if you need some help.

And then be who God created you to be. Don't try to be someone else. Be you. Fully, intentionally, completely and without hesitation. Enter into who God made you, live out who He created you to be....and rest in that truth.

Amen? Amen!