Monthly Archives: September 2013

You’ll Never Know Until You Step Out Of The Boat

39224_13957sunriseWhat brought Peter to the place where he stepped out of his boat that day so long ago?

What stirs a person to leave all and go as a missionary to a foreign land?

Hudson Taylor to China.

Amy Carmichael to India.

George Mueller to risk all and open a home for orphans.

And how about you?

Fear  weakens in the face of faith in Someone bigger and stronger.

David experienced it as he looked at Goliath that day so long ago.

George Mueller knew that he was weak and without the resources.

But His God? Why Mueller was convinced that his God was greater than any obstacle.

Faith trumped reason and practicality.

Fear says no

but faith says yes.

Fear says sit back in your boat

or you will perish.

But faith continues to call us out of our comfort zone and into His Purpose.

Ten years ago after that time of walking the beach

I said yes to adopting again.

Yes, to  beginning that lengthy process filled with so many unknowns.

I knew to expect the unexpected. I had adopted once from Russia.

So I made some calls and started working on my homestudy.

Within a few months I had everything ready to travel to Ukraine.

Longing for my second daughter. Carried as it were on wings of a prayer.

Stepping out of the boat more difficult as I knew I’d have to leave my oldest child at home.

We talked

and prayed.

Her faith was strong.

“Go and get her, Mommy,” she said as I placed a special necklace around her neck.

“When you look at this

remember that I am thinking of you, honey and I am coming home.”

Faith strengthened us as we embraced

and then parted.

His Call was to get out of the boat and to follow Him to the unknown.

What if………

Peppering my mind with terrible thoughts, fear tugged and pulled me back.

But there was another Pull that drew me forward.

As I gazed upon His Love and remembered His Faithfulness

I stepped forward. Boarded the plane. Spent three weeks in Ukraine

And almost

Yes almost adopted a little two year old.

Blond hair, sweet……

But like a vapor was gone before I knew what had gone wrong.

God, where are you when everything falls apart? Broken dreams; shattered hopes.

You called

but now my arms are empty.

“Not empty, my daughter” I sensed Him gently saying “filled more with Me.”

Yes, I was focused on adopting another child

but God was teaching me to know and trust Him at an even deeper level.

My broken heart bowed before Him that day in Kiev and placed itself at His Feet.

Whatever your Will, I trust you.

Out of the boat and into His Will.

Out of my pain and into His Peace.

Out of my emptiness and into His Fullness.

But I needed to get out of the boat to discover the vastness of His Blessings.

And there was more up ahead.

 

 

 

 

So You Want To Stay In Your Boat?

2108_1036463148215_6267_a“Oh I want to walk on water but I have a hard time getting out of my boat.”

I understood what she meant.

Change is difficult

and sometimes even though we long to step out in faith

our desire for safety and security keeps us clinging to the sides of what is comfortable.

Faith battles fears as we weigh the options.

Back and forth.

But our God calls us to trust Him.

To depend on His Strength and Wisdom

and focusing upon this

to follow Him.

Years ago I sensed that He wanted me to adopt a second child.

It was just after I was accepted into a PH.D. program in Family Studies

and my oldest was 7.

Life was calm and settled.

Adopt  again? I questioned it.

It was not in my plan

definitely not the way I saw my life unfolding.

Matter of fact, I had given away all the little baby things.

But I sensed that familiar wrestling inside.

Go slow

don’t say no

wait upon the Lord time.

So I took a couple of days off from work

and went to the North Carolina beach.

Just my daughter and I.

I need to have some quiet time

and listen, I told her.

Back and forth I walked the beach

day after day

Barefoot and open before the Lord. Pouring out my heart.

Desperate for His leading. So much depended upon my getting it right.

But He cared more that I ‘get it’ then I realized.

Back and forth on that cool sand with the ocean breezes blowing my hair every which way.

My boat was so comfortable

I knew how to juggle parenting one child and working.

But the idea of adding on another child and the whole process of adopting again

I sank back against the bottom  of my boat and shrank in weakness.

Lord, you know I cried out looking across the vast sea.

And then I sensed it

as softly as the gentlest touch

as loving as the kindest word

and as firm as the most confident directive.

Follow Me. There is another little girl that I want you to mother.

There it was.

Settled.

Yes, a thousand questions but my heart knew.

So I slowly climbed out of that boat and with my eyes held by His amazing Love

I began to walk towards Him.

Fears abounded but His Call was much stronger. It was something I had to do.

Today that daughter is thirteen. Growing rapidly. Opening like a flower.

And again and again I realize that He makes no mistakes.

Easy to follow Him and get out of our secure boats?

No, but I wouldn’t trade this life of trusting Him and needing Him

for anything.

 

 

I Wouldn’t Want To Face Life Without It

heaven on earth 1In the midst of a world shaking with fears on every side

where do we find peace?

Is peace even possible?

I watched the unfolding of events as story of Henry Blackaby,

Author of “Experiencing God” hit the news.

Missing for 29 hours.

At first I wondered and feared for his life.

My heart joined with others in prayers for his life.

His life has influenced mine and thousands of others through the years.

Where could he possibly be?

God knows where he is, my heart remembered.

God knows and He gives peace.

As I went about my daily activities I continued to pray

to ask God for safety and protection for Blackaby

and also to receive His amazing peace.

Praying that in the midst of not knowing

he and his family be held by a strong peace that passes all understanding. That we all would.

That’s the peace the God gives.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. (John 14:27)

Peace that is not dependent upon circumstances

but actually enables one to remain calm in the midst of the most frightful circumstances.

Peace is not an absence of problems but a stronghold in the midst of problems.

So while many prayed

and others searched

the gift of peace was offered again.

Rest in the midst of not knowing.

Calm while the turmoil continues.

Yes, that is the peace that is possible for all.

And it is known only as we receive it from His Hand.

A gift received and treasured.

Well, Henry Blackaby, was not only found but is presently recovering from heart surgery.

Another opportunity to experience God?

Yes and a clear reminder that our God continues to offer His gift of peace to all.

I wouldn’t want to face life without it.

How about you?