I have more sweet friends than I deserve! After a trying week, these beautiful peonies! Several others sent encouraging music via email, others remembered me in prayer. I am grateful in ways I cannot express!
I couldn't stop taking pictures of these beauties today!
I woke up this morning more tired than usual but so, so thankful for Friday! I slept in just a bit; everyone did because we had a little rain during the early morning hours and everything was so cozy and still. Friday at last! Later tonight we will load up and drive to the airport and welcome our guys home! It has felt like ages since Jon and Andrew left!
I've started my days with some Psalms this week. This one here (Ps. 105) was a good reminder of my job description. It is what must take priority, and my obedience in it will work its way into all the other jobs I undertake. Whatever happens, whatever comes, may I do and pray these things relentlessly~
Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him; sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
And things do happen and trials do come our way! We should expect it. Things had been going along smoothly for the first several days of Jon's absence, then, well, not so much. As I type here this evening I can see little cuts and scabs on my hands which came from caring for a child that has given in to every sinful behavior they could come up with. My muscles ache. I've had to physically subdue this child's anger and hatred before, but this episode was quite a bit more extreme. It's an ugly thing-- because the manifestation of sin is always ugly-- but this subduing was the most loving thing I could do at that time. Still, in many ways, it feels like a battle lost.
I know it is a test: "Will you love me if I act like this? Really? Prove it!" And so the unleashing of threats, hatred, defiance, violence, etc. begins.
So yes, in a sense I feel like we are not making good headway with one individual because things are getting harder. But in another sense, these are valuable lessons for the rest. The blessings of obedience are evident in the life of those who obey, the consequences of sin are tremendously ugly. Late at night, the older kids and I have sat up and discussed how we should be prepared for the morning; we armed ourselves with this verse:
"…but God shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Rom. 5:8
When we were unlovable, undeserving, and actively opposed to God, He loved us in the most sacrificial way. We can strive to be Christ-like in the way we actively choose to love those who act against us. We talked about the fact that loving these kids is really a display of our love for the Lord, and our expression of love is an expression of God's love to them. So really, IT IS ALL ABOUT GOD!
This afternoon while I had the youngest two take naps, the rest of us enjoyed a little treat. We hid in Michael's bedroom lest one of them wander out before nap time ended! In my defense, I'm just trying to avert long, drawn out problems! The rest of us need to enjoy our relationships which are still very much together and intact! I was encouraged by their words: they told me how surprised they were at my calm and composure during the "episode." To me, it is a wonder anyone could see any sort of calm or composure!
This little tea and scone break was well timed because just half an hour later our little ticking time bomb exploded again! (Pray for me, will you?)
Not many people speak out truth about adoption. In our time and culture, it has become romanticized and trendy. Many people go into the process with unrealistic ideas, only to be unprepared for the difficulty and trauma of it all. Many placements/adoptions fail.
For some people, adoption is a way to build a family, and under many circumstances this is a lovely way to do so. But for those who want to open their home to the needy, adoption can be a very difficult road. These "needy" children are typically not the ones that make good additions to happy homes if happiness is the ultimate goal. It is not the building of a family, but simply an answer to the call to care for the needy. It may simply be a way to fulfill biblical hospitality to children.
I have more to say. Maybe we will be the ones to say the things most won't want to admit. Maybe we will be the ones to help others view adoption and the care of needy children in a less romantic way, in a realistic way that still is beautiful to God. Maybe we will scare anyone contemplating the idea, or maybe we will be the ones surprised by the beauty of it. I don't know.
For now I pray for our salvation... That all six children would be saved, that God's mercy and grace would shine into the darkness, and that in it all, God would be glorified...
"Save us, O God our salvation…
that we may give thanks to your holy name;
and glory in your praise."
…Because salvation is for God's glory!
But for right now, I'm off to the airport! Happy Friday!