Monday, May 07, 2012

With a heart full of JOY...

We are bursting with joy to announce that we are expecting our fourth child! We are absolutely thrilled! We have been waiting to announce it! Waiting to proclaim it! Waiting to shout it!! We are overfilled with JOY! 
This past November David sat the boys and I down before dinner. He told us it was time to just say “yes” and obey. It was time for us to take the next steps in faith and start the ADOPTION process!! As I write my eyes are full of tears. We have longed for this child with great joy! 
Over the last several years we have been praying and seeking the Lord specifically in regards to a son or a daughter through the means of adoption.  In a spirit of prayer we have sought the Lord through His Word, and now with a heart full of joy we are trusting His leading. He is a prayer-answering God who delights our hearts with the sweetest touches of who He truly is.  We trust Him to meet every need and to provide all the wisdom, strength, and patience that will be so important to us as we go forward. We trust that from Him we truly will receive all that we need. 
After much prayer and asking for specific discernment for our family the Lord has drawn our hearts to the country of Colombia in South America. We want to be completely open to the Holy Spirits moving throughout this process. It could be a long process where God may change our direction. We wholeheartedly trust Him and are desperately dependent on Him. Several months ago the Lord, through a series of events, began to draw our hearts to this beautiful country of Colombia.  As the months and weeks go by, the Lord continues to solidify that we are indeed following Him and this is the path, thus far, that He has for us. Our hearts truly are filled with joy! My sister sent me this sweet picture of a heart around Colombia. We are so blessed with family that I think are about as excited as us! 
At the center of our desire and motivation to adopt is the preciousness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Nothing more. Nothing less. It’s about Him. Not us. Ultimately, not even about him or her. It’s about our God’s heart. It’s about my Father’s kingdom. At the very center, it’s not about children, it’s not about orphans, it’s not about the poor.  It’s about my God. It’s about the Gospel. It’s about God’s Glory,  God’s LOVE, God’s gracious rescuing, His redemption, His grace, His never-ending patience, His ever-increasing preciousness in our hearts.  It's about our deepest desire to be completely "spent" for the Gospel. I just want to be able to look in my Savior's face and know that my life echoes His. That I can truly say, "My life for the Gospel." Aren't those precious words, "My life for the Gospel"? My life for the Gospel.  How I long for it. Deeper. Deeper.  

With our entire being we desire to keep our eyes on Him- not the child, not the process, not the paperwork, not everything that we need to do...we want our eyes simply to be forever set on Him. Several weeks ago I could tell that I was beginning to forsake Him. I was busy doing the things “needed”- good things, things to get our child here with us quicker. But I found myself doing everything except sitting at His feet, my favorite place to be. I was so pre-occupied with what needed to be done that I was simply forgetting Him. Just call me Martha.  As I sought His forgiveness, it was and is such a sweet reminder to me that I must not want anything else or anyone else more than I desire Him. I must not. It also reminded me that my deepest longing is to simply, continually, and habitually be aware of Him- delighting in Him, in His presence, in each moment that I have breath. And when I fail, I must turn my eyes straight back to His face and without hesitation confess to Him my fault. I must acknowledge to Him that I can never do anything differently unless His grace permits me. And then I must fully receive His sweet presence again. Sweet, sweet confession. 

God’s Word is like breath to me. May it be. May it fill me. May it soak me. May it lead me. May it wreck me with the perfect blend of pure joy and sorrow. May it so penetrate my heart that no matter what today brings or tomorrow holds, I will say of the mercies of my God “My heart leaps for JOY!” and because of the richness of my salvation "LET GOD BE EXALTED!"
May we truly see our own filth, our own wretchedness, our own neediness and may we look to the Father and be amazed. His grace. His love. And may we together with Him open up our arms and say, “YES!!”. 
“YES”, Lord Jesus. 
His grace is the sweetest love and the faith He has given, my solid rock. 
2 Corinthians 1:11 “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
Romans 4:19-21 “He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead...or when he considered the bareness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waiver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what He had promised.”
Psalm 68  “...Sing to God, sing praises to His name; lift up a song to Him who rides through the deserts; His name is the Lord; exult before Him! Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in His holy habitation. God settles the solitary in a home; he leads out the prisoners to prosperity...The Lord gives the Word; the women who announce the news are a great host....Blessed be the Lord who daily bears us up; God is our salvation...Summon your power, O God, the power, O God, by which you have worked for us....behold, He sends out His voice, His mighty voice.”

The boys mailing in the application paperwork. And then last month we went to the post office to mail in the first set of paperwork for the homstudy process!
We have been accepted to work with Lifeline Children's Services out of Birmingham, AL. We are thrilled with this agency. It is gospel centered and soaked in prayer. They have already been such a blessing. We plan to be in the home study process until late summer. Then we will be able to move forward to the next step of bringing our little one HOME.                                                                                

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy."
Psalm 126: 5