Tag Archives: adoption

In The Waiting Room

It’s been one of those times lately

when I’m aware that I’m on hold in the waiting room of life.

I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed

and there seems to be no answer.

Day after day. Night after night. No seeming change.

“God is faithful,” I say again. And down deep in my heart I know that it is true.

But this narrow waiting room is tough.

It traps me.

I can’t go forward – can’t make a decision-

until I know.

Alone I remind myself of the truth –

God’s silence is how it feels, it is not how it is.

No, He is here. He is with me and He knows.

But I struggle humanly wanting to cut short the process and fast forward life.

When stuck in the desert I must remember the Truth.

He is here.  He is with me. He is with you. Always.

Years ago I struggled with a decision

One that would change the rest of my life.

I longed for God’s Will.

I hungered for Him to just tell me.

But day after day there was only silence

and night after night the same.

As frequently happens on planet earth

Time was running out.

I needed to make a decision.

Would I adopt a second child

or would I continue on to get my PhD in Family Studies?

It was easier to just go ahead with the academic work.

I had already been accepted into the doctoral program.

But

there was this nagging uncertainty and lack of peace.

A little girl needed me.  I thought I sensed that crazy thought.

I know it was ridiculous.

Why look at my age –  and I had long since given away all my little baby girl things.

But the noise within me and without grew with the passing of time.

God, where are you? I cried.

Quite suddenly I decided to get away for a few days –

to get away from work and daily responsibilities and all the normal routines.

I took my young daughter out of school

and started driving to the beach.

Mile after mile I drove all the way pondering the life changing choice before me.

Day after day I walked the beach in the early morning hours.

Day after day.

One step on the sand at a time.

Listening. Asking but mostly being still. Sea air blowing my hair moments.

I saw no visions,

heard no voices,

no fireworks or writing in the sky.

Simply peace.

And that growing desire to do what He wanted me to do.

Yes, Lord, I cried out into the silence while the tears trickled down my face.

Yes, Lord. I say yes.

With that it was as if everything was set into motion.

Another adoption was begun

that eventually ended in my going back to Russia.

I walked out of the waiting room and into the wild, crazy ride of an international adoption.

I faced challenges and was stretched in many ways

But I knew that He with me.

During those early morning walks on the beach I had sensed His Peace,

and that stayed with me

reminding me that when He calls me to do something much bigger than I

He is with me. I do not need to be afraid.

Silence never means you are alone. That is how it feels.

But that same silence only says He is very present

and at the right time

He will reveal the next step

Are you in the waiting room right now?

Do you feel the pressure of needing to know?

Rest in Him. He satisfies the need of every trusting heart.

May our waiting room experiences be transformed into worship.

And with that we both can receive His peace.

 

 

 

That Missing Piece

Have you ever spent hours and hours working on a jigsaw puzzle

only to discover that one piece is missing?

That is exactly what my daughters and I experienced over the holidays.

We were practically glued for hours and hours

to the table covered with what seemed like

a million little pieces.

1000 to be exact.

Excitement mounted as we first completed the outline

and gradually the puzzle began to take shape.

Cooperation. Togetherness.

And those last few hours that we worked putting each piece in its place were so much fun.

But in the end

one piece was missing. Discouragement flooded in where excitement had been.

Disappointment.

We had had no way of knowing that a piece was missing in the beginning.

A new puzzle.  Never opened before.

But, well, it didn’t matter in the end. That one missing piece was nowhere to be found.

As I meet with people from all walks of life

sometimes I sense a similar emptiness.

Like a jigsaw with one missing piece they are missing peace.

And no amount of education or great job or beautiful home or fantastic relationship

can fill that hole.

A  small verse hidden in Psalm 34:14 says  ‘seek peace and pursue it. ‘

How do we seek peace?

How do we PURSUE it?

When I really am seeking something or someone

I am very intentional about all my efforts.

I run after it with determination just as I worked so hard

to complete an international adoption

years ago.

During that time, all my moments and energy were invested in doing everything I could to adopt my child.

Nothing was too hard.

Nothing distracted me.

Could it be that our quest for peace demands that same investment from us?

We must say no to anything that distracts us from peace

and seize every opportunity to pursue it.

So may you be refreshed by peace this new year

as you seek to know the Prince of Peace personally.

“Let him who means to love life, and see good days, seek peace and pursue it”(1Peter 3:10-11).

Are you missing peace?

Finding that peace will bring you joy, satisfactions and a sense of wholeness

like nothing else you’ve ever known.

 

 

missing-piece missing-piece-2 missing-piece-3

A Christmas Orange

I opened my journal and read this entry from a few years ago.–

 

Early this morning Jenny, my eleven year old, and I went to Walmart. We were set on completing our shopping and trying to beat the crowds. Grabbing a shopping cart we began pushing it up the aisle, when all of a sudden I saw them. Oranges.

“Jenny, let’s get some oranges,” I said nodding in the direction of the display.

She walked over and began putting oranges into a bag. While she did that, my mind wondered back to December, 2002. The place-Kostroma, Russia.

“Come here, Jenny,” I said softly so as not to upset her. She was the tiniest two year old with brown hair and big brown eyes. I had only met her a few hours before.

Shyly she walked over to me tightly holding an orange.

“What a beautiful orange,” I said to her. She looked at me and then at her orange.

Each child in the orphanage had been given just an orange for Christmas. It was a special treat. A delicacy. And each child had their very own.

Jenny let me pick her up and for a while I held her softly stroking her hair.

My mind wandered back to the states where so many children got piles of presents for Christmas. This prized orange meant so much to this little one whom I had come to adopt.

Then I was jarred back to the present by the sound of her soft voice.

“Here they are Mommy,” she said looking up at me with a grin. “Aren’t they beautiful?”

“They sure are,” I said giving her a hug.

Although with the passing of years she doesn’t remember those days in the orphanage she still has faint memories of oranges and Christmas. We have made them a Christmas tradition.

 

Yes, the years have come and gone but oranges continue to have special meaning for us. And this year as she packed a Christmas shoebox for another little girl, she said to me,” And remember when  I only got an orange.”

I squeezed her gently and watched her fill that box with so much Christmas joy. She would tell you that she is blessed and because of that she loves to give back. I am deeply moved remembering that time of having so little and now today when she can bless another child.

In a few days our family will put an orange in everyone’s stocking. Oranges continue to remind us of the great needs that exist in so many places. So many children have nothing this Christmas.

orange-jenny jenny-shoeboxMy friends, let’s continue to do what we can whenever we can. Nothing is too small.

Maybe you will get some oranges too, this year.

One orange.

Millions of smiles.