Faith and Waiting

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Yesterday I spent some time going back through old posts here and some old emails, piecing together our adoption timeline.  It’s been about 5 years now since we really started thinking about adopting so I’ve lost the details of what has happened.  I’m so thankful that I’ve been documenting the process because otherwise I believe I would have missed some things that God has done along the way.

We’re in an interesting time right now as we are probably in the final days of our wait.  I listened to a podcast last week on the way to work and the guest speaker of the podcast was talking about how she has learned that waiting is right where God wants us.  Looking back, I agree. I have seen these past years have been an opportunity to grow my faith.

It is one thing to get an idea to do something and then have to wait until you can make it happen.  It is an entirely different thing when you feel that God has laid something very specific on your heart and then you must pursue it and wait until he works out all the details.

I have not waited very well at times.  In one of the emails from January 2013, I told someone that oftentimes I have felt like we made up this whole adoption thing—that it was really a desire of our hearts and not of God’s—and therefore it just wasn’t working out.  We must have been mistaken, maybe selfish.  Maybe we just wanted a son so badly that we conjured up this plan.  I was doubtful that it was ever going to happen.

And yet, there would be times where I could see God working along the way and I would be encouraged.

It reminds me of Abraham and Sarah when God told him at 99 years old that Sarah would have a son in her old age. Abraham literally laughed out loud.  I have to think how many times she must have doubted and wondered if God had just gotten it wrong.

But how much more faith it takes to say I know God will bring this to fruition because he said it versus saying it after it has come to fruition.  Actually, it is not much faith at all to believe something after you’ve seen it happen.  In fact, it is only when we do not yet see it that it is faith.

I wish I would have waited with more faith.

A day after listening to that podcast and before we knew of our match, I wrote in my journal, “I’ve been running into theme lately: WAIT.”  After the failed adoption in May and staring down another potential long wait, I pondered whether God saw the desire of my heart to see the adoption through. This wait word continued to lay on my heart.  I began to look up verses about waiting.  The first verse that came to mind was Isaiah 40:31 Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.

Isaiah 64:4 says He acts on behalf of those who wait.

Isaiah 30:18 says  Blessed are all who wait for him.

Romans 8:25 says If we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

I kept going and wrote down all the ways we are supposed to wait:

expectantly

quietly

patiently

with hope

eagerly

It’s almost a contradiction to say you should wait eagerly while also being patient and quiet.

I think it’s the picture of knowing in your heart that he is going to do what he says he’s going to do so your heart is full of hope and eager to see it come to fruition, but as we live that out, we are patient, not anxious, wondering where in the world God is.

I also wrote down that God has an appointed time for what he wants to do. I underlined appointed.  Our timing is just not his timing.  He knows what he’s doing and will not be rushed.

And did you know, the very next day after writing this we found out we were matched?

I believe God needed to give me that very clear lesson on waiting so I could sustain this last month.  Even though it seems a short time to say he will be placed with us within a month, right now every day feels like an eternity.

And yet, every single day, God has been giving me a little sign to say I’m still here, I’m still working, you’re on the right path.  It is a chance to see God moving if I choose to.  Once we know everything and he’s placed, our hopes will be fulfilled and we can say He was faithful, but right now, our faith in him has a chance to grow.

And so, even though we are so anxious to learn more about him and meet him and spend time with him, I am actually enjoying these last days of waiting.

And so, I wonder if there are any of you that are waiting?

I know I have other areas of my life where it seems that the wait is eternal.  It’s easy to want to shake your fist at God and say where are youDon’t you hear my prayers?  Aren’t you going to do something?

Let’s take hope. God does act on behalf of those who wait for him.  Wait patiently.  Wait eagerly.  Wait with hope.  Let your faith grow.  Say now that you know God is working towards his appointed time and you eagerly await the day you’ll see it.  Go ahead and thank him for the ways he’s working that you do not see.  Go ahead and thank him for how he’s going to move on your behalf.

See the wait as a gift of faith.

Love, Anxiety and The Wait

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A slip of paper lies on the table waiting for collection.  One meeting awaits completion.

Nearly five years of papers and meetings and it’s coming down to these two. The final pieces needed for our adoption approval.

I already know the paper says I’m approved and I have no doubts the final home study update will go well.

And yet, I feel the weight of it this morning.

My head pounds, reminding what a serious thing we are doing.

And yet, my heart says it’s ok. I haven’t seen his face. I know so little about his history.  There’s a growing love that overwhelms the anxiety.

It’s such a risk to love without knowing, without seeing. And yet, I can feel it happening.

Just as I loved my girls as I awaited their arrival and felt the risk of the birth and bringing in someone new, I can feel that love growing here too.

The wait has been long, but it’s also been good.

What I Wore Wednesday 7.9.2014

First, thanks for your input on yesterday’s post.  We’ve decided to pick out a couple paint colors and then let him decide when he comes for his day visit.  We’ll paint in between that and placement so when he comes to stay permanently, it will be ready for him. That way, he feels like it’s his room, but we’re not tearing his room apart first thing when he gets here either.  The tree and mirror are also going! Thanks so much for helping!

Alright, on to WIWW.  This week was more casual Summer.  Nothing ground-breaking here but I at least am getting out of my workout clothes.

 

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This outfit was a sort of casual date, if you call a Saturday morning visit to a furniture store a date.  These days, we definitely call it that.  It’s in a huge old school without air conditioning so I had to go with a tank top and shorts to keep cool.  The good news is we found what we needed and were in and out quickly.

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This was my outfit on Sunday.  Lexi ended up having a fever so the only place I went after church was Urgent Care.  The really good news is the fever and sore throat disappeared by Monday and no other symptoms. Thank you, Lord!

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I wore this on a simple work from home day. I did have to go to Charlotte to get a TB test to finish up the medical paperwork for the adoption. We also did some school supply shopping and a few other errands.  It’s so hard to believe supplies are already out.  And I had this little moment checking out at Staples realizing I could possibly have to do it all over again for another child in a few weeks.  I debated going ahead and shopping off his list, but ended up checking out and moving on.  But still, thinking of doing things like that in 3’s instead of 2’s surprised me.

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Another work from home day.  We did get out to get the car washed because they are finally working on our van tomorrow to get the dents out after the bad hail storm we had here last month.

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I hope your week is going well so far!

 

Let’s connect so we can do this again!  Like AmyJBennett on Facebook.  Follow me on Pinterest (where I post these inspirational pictures), Instagram (where you might sneak an early peek of an outfit) or Twitter.

Around the House, July 2014

For the skimmers, please check out the question mid-post in bold! I need paint color help!

Yesterday I mentioned we’re doing a photo book for the adoption so The Boy (how else do I refer to him since I can’t use his name? A nickname, anyone?) can become familiar with us and our home.  As I was going around the house snapping some photos, I realized there have been a few changes around the house I haven’t shown you yet. I suppose none of it is enough for one post on its own, but this will be a nice compilation of the latest changes around the house.

First, when we were expecting the other adoption to happen in May, we did a switcheroo with Lexi’s room with the tree house bed and the playroom.  We FINALLY got rid of most of the girls’ toys (hallelujah!) and were able to condense the remaining American Girl (etc, etc) stuff to just the closet in the playroom.

My mom found a dollhouse bunk bed on Craigslist that Lexi fell in love with. This convinced her to make the playroom into her room and leave the tree house bed for The Boy.

It’s an extremely small room so it’s hard to photograph, but here’s the playroom now as Lexi’s room:

 

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The room clearly isn’t done as she’s still settling in.

So, her old room is now becoming cleared out for The Boy.  He’ll get the cool tree house bed!  How awesome is it that we have that ready for him?

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I still have a bit of cleaning out to do.  I already removed the pink birds.  You can see them above the window in Lexi’s new room. I think I may just take the whole tree down.

 

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Also, the angels at the top of the bookcase need a new home as well as other paraphernalia that Lexi has in there still.

 

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And finally, that mirror seems a bit feminine. I was thinking a mirror with rope around it would be a good fit.

So, here’s the big debate in our house. Is the blue wall too much of a feminine blue? (And please, that is not an invitation to give me a lecture about reinforcing gender stereotypes, okay?  Okay. I mean, I did have my daughter in a blue room with tree house bed which isn’t traditionally feminine.  Anyway. Okay.) 

Scott and Emma think it’s too girly, but Lexi and I are ok with it.  Should we repaint the walls?  What color would you do? I was thinking some type of khaki/olive-y green color might be nice if we did. Scott was thinking just maybe a different shade of blue.

Help!

 

So, moving on to the rest of the house, I finally replaced our 15 year old ficus trees in the living room. 

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I replaced them with some IKEA shelving.  I shopped the house for some vases, plants and books and voila.

 

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Hi, Bella!

Also, I finally splurged and bought a huge map from IKEA for our bedroom. 

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I’ve wanted one since seeing Tsh’s in her house last October.  It really is a perfect fit.  I love it so much.  Sometimes I just like staring at it and really soaking it in. That’s nerdy, right?  Yeah.

And finally, I moved the pictures that were previously there…

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…and put them over by the fireplace.

 

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Scott just loved me when he had to hang those.

So, that’s our house for now.  It seems like it’s always fluid, always changing.  I think Lexi has now lived in each of the 3 original bedrooms.  But I love that we make the space we have work instead of paying for more real estate.  We could easily fill up a few more hundred more square feet in another house, but we love our location and who wants the hassle of moving? Not me!

And just for fun, here’s a picture from Palm Beach last year I’m thinking of including in the album.

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I think we could fit The Boy on there too, don’t you?

 

Don’t forget to chime in with what color we should paint his room!

Joy and Doubt

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Happy Monday morning to you!  I hope you had a wonderful July 4th weekend if you are in The States.  I had a nice, restful weekend, but not too glamorous. We had a cookout and swimming party at our house with our family Friday for lunch.  Friday night the kids stayed with my in-laws and went to watch fireworks.  Scott had to work an extra shift Friday to manage the fireworks traffic in town. 

I stayed home Friday night and watched Ender’s Game.  It’s not really my type of movie, but I read the book last year and couldn’t not watch the movie. Scott hates sci-fi so it was actually a good chance to watch it. The book was much better, but Asa Butterfield is pretty much amazing.  They really couldn’t have cast that much better. I actually tried to go see The Fault in Our Stars but our theaters seemed to stop all their times after 4pm Friday so I couldn’t.  I guess my cry-fest will have to wait for another weekend.

So, if you haven’t seen Friday’s post, I need you to read our latest adoption update.  For those that have been praying, I so appreciate it.  I do feel God moving in my heart.  I was telling someone yesterday at church that I’ve been trying to strike this weird balance.  If this is really happening, then I want to be joyous and excited.  I don’t want to tamper that joy with any doubts. And yet, in the next 4 days, this round of the rollercoaster could end. I could be getting excited for nothing.  And so, doubts do come up.  I don’t want to look silly with too-high hopes.

I remember feeling these feelings in the early days of getting pregnant with Emma and Lexi.  I’m super duper excited, buuuttt what if something goes wrong?  I don’t know if it’s smart to try to protect my heart from disappointment or simply Satan’s way of stealing any sort of joy he can.

I do believe, though, that God has been confirming over and over that this could really be it.  Both Emma and Lexi are in a really good place with the idea.  I can see a thread of God preparing this for generations, even—I can’t wait until I can tell you all the details.  I’ve run into significant verses a few times just this weekend.  For example, I was journaling about the adoption and how God might be using this for redemption. I wrote:

What was meant for evil is being used for good.

Minutes later, I hopped over to my friend Cyndi’s blog because she posted some lyrics from Danny Gokey’s new song Hope in Front of Me which, if you know my history with Danny Gokey’s music, caught my eye. She says:

This past year, our family has been through a difficult year. But through it all I kept clinging to hope. I know that in the difficult times, God is our hope.

The verse that keeps coming to my mind is Genesis 50:20, You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. 

Some might call it superstition, but I know God is so attentive and in the details that I’m convinced moments like these are little God-winks.  Even if this doesn’t turn out to be a permanent situation, I do believe we’re walking through the right door.

And so, I ask again for prayer that God continues to reveal himself and that we have clarity and wisdom as we move forward.  I especially want to pray for this little boy.  We’re putting together a photo album of pictures of our house and family so he can start learning about us.  I can’t imagine what he’s going through as a system tells him who his new family is going to be.  He has so very little control over his own life that already has been hard. I know in his own way he must be trying to balance his own joy and doubts. I hope it’s all joy, though.  And, as our heavenly Father, I have a feeling God is hoping the same thing for all of us:

All joy, no doubts.

 

For those that need caught up with our adoption story, you can check out all my adoption posts here.

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