I savor those moments when I can linger in restful thought. As of a few years ago, I typically find myself waking up in prayer. Sometimes it's in petition, occasionally in desperate pleas, but most times it's just simple praise. It's like an easy talk with God, honest and hopeful before the troubles of the day are in full view and I am sidetracked by responsibility. I've been waking up with a sense of thankfulness recently, just feeling so care for by my God. Following the events and heartache of recent months, I've experienced such comfort and joy in the presence of God. He has granted a sense of well-being in Him, comfort and contentment in understanding who God is and who I am in Him.
More than relaxed mornings, I am thankful for relationship with God. I have prayed for that, too! He promises that He will draw near to those who seek Him, so I've repeatedly come to Him with that request.
Some of my favorite things: white bedsheets, soft pillows, open windows and a gentle breeze...
...and little boys who like to hang out with me in the morning. He is sitting on the deck in the hammock chair I received for Mother's Day this year.
I entertained 6 boys today. They swam, biked, and played sports at the school nearby. Mostly, they just ATE ALL DAY! I also noticed that when a group of boys get together, they begin to lose their sense of manners and always leave the toilet seat up. There are foot prints across the floors and piles of clothes and towels everywhere. And smiles all around. I love it.
Olivia came home from church high school camp this afternoon, and I'm happy to have my little feminine sidekick back. It will take her a day or two to catch up on lost sleep, so I'll have to be patient.
It's a day later now and late in the evening. Church tomorrow, kids in bed, Sunday preparations made... and the thoughts return: The questions, the confusion, the disappointment... I am gripped by it all once more.
I have a need to understand. I want to know the reasons for things, to see the sense in it all. I am constantly reminded that God's ways are unlike mine, and I am truly thankful that He directs my paths even when I don't understand. I rest in Him, trusting that He has always had a purpose in the circumstances and events of my life. He heard my prayers, my desire to extend my life and family and home to two children, to become a mother to them, and to point them to Jesus Christ. For so long that's what I waited for, it's what I wanted to do for the Lord. I believe this was a desire that He gave to me; I believe also that the subsequent events and outcomes were not outside of His control and will. So the sovereignty of God anchors me.
There are some things I understand more clearly now, though it felt safer when I did not. My eyes have been open to a deeper darkness, to the reality of the utter entanglement of sin and the despair of the human condition. It was my condition once too, and were it not for the Lord, there I would still be in complete blindness. There are two precious souls that are inextricable part of my heart, and I will boldly bring their names to the throne of God in prayer for as long as I live. He is mighty to save and to redeem for His own. The Lord is a compassionate, for He came to seek and save the lost.
So my work is not as I had imagined-- not in the nurturing and bringing up of children adopted into my family-- but rather in a labor of prayer.
*****This has been a concept worth understanding:
Just because I have a dream or believe with all my heart that I've been called to something, doesn't mean I'll get what I hope and pray for.
I may earnestly desire and pray for something, even something God says is beautiful in His sight and fully believe He is leading me and preparing the way, only to discover it is not His desire for my life.
The Bible says God fulfills our desires (Ps. 37:4). Sometimes He gives us the actual desire, placing something in our heart that clearly wasn't of our own; other times He simply grants the wishes of His children as a gracious act from a loving Father.
I am learning that my desires, even the godly ones that are for Him, must be held in my hand wide open. If my life is His, then so are my hopes and dreams. I cannot clutch onto anything or anyone with a sense of entitlement.
Maybe the journey in preparing my heart for a desire He gave me was the very purpose God intended. Maybe the outcome was a transformed heart, and a new willingness to obey. Maybe sanctification was the goal, and not the fruition of a dream or desire.
This would still be precious in His sight.
God answered in an unexpected way. Even in the midst of disappointment, confusion, and sadness, I am OK with it.
"Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen."