Monday, January 28, 2008

Somebody's missing...

Yesterday after church service, it happened again. I was standing there in the sanctuary with all four of my kiddos and someone said, "This isn't all of your kids, is it? Isn't somebody missing?" My heart was gripped for a moment and I looked her straight in the eye and replied, "No, this isn't all of them, there is one still in China that I haven't brought home yet." This is happening more and more these days. Even our dear social worker who wrote our homestudy looked at the four kids last week and asked who was missing.

My answer is the same to them all. "Yes, someone is missing, and I am doing everything I can to bring her home." This adoption process has been such a lesson in faith. We know with all certainty that God has already selected our child. She is there, waiting for us just as we are waiting for her. I cannot wait to meet her. I do not yet know where she is or when she was born. I just know that she is there, and she has already been perfectly selected for our family. She is spoken for, even if she doesn't know it yet.

God does not make mistakes. He will bring her home to us in His perfect timing. And, He continues to remind me on a daily basis that He has a wonderful child waiting for us... Praise Him that she won't be missing for long.

My post on Lots of Kids from yesterday...

My Stapler Has a Home...

...and I am all kinds of happy!!! Yeah, I know, that may just permanently define me as totally not normal, but really, normal is over-rated.

I might need to elaborate. Every year I go through this crazy, paperwork-obsessed time. It always happens in January and February. You know, it is tax filing season, so I go through every pile of papers in my home to find all of the stuff I need. Now, don't get me wrong, several years ago I adopted this really great filing system. It is based on a 3 drawer system to keep track of all the important stuff. The system is great. The problem is that I only had one drawer. So, for the past 7 years I have been cramming all that stuff into one drawer, and lots of piles. Now, add to that great filing system my current adoption process. I am learning the hard way that there is more paperwork associated with adoption than taxes. So, now it is tax season, and adoption season, and I am purging and sorting paperwork like a crazy woman.

So, here is where I get excited. Last week, I was discussing the need for a new filing cabinet with my husband. It doesn't have to be glamorous and elaborate, but I wanted something in oak that would look nice and be functional at the same time. See, we don't really have an office, per se. Our computer desk is in this little nook between the laundry room and two bedrooms... I use the term "nook" generously... the hallway is just wide enough to accommodate the desk, and still walk to the rooms comfortably.... and it will be visible from the living room and dining room areas. I was lamenting that I was having a hard time justifying the expense on something like a filing cabinet when I have all these other ways to spend the money. He told me to forget about it for this once, and to go that day to get a filing cabinet. We got online to check basic prices at one of the local furniture mega-warehouse stores, and decided on a budget. I was really only needing a 2 drawer cabinet to better accommodate my 3 drawer system. We discovered that there wasn't much price difference to get a 4 drawer cabinet, and it was still within what I could budget.

So, my "frivolous," spur of the moment, but really, really needed filing cabinet came home with me that very same day, and I have two extra drawers to fill up. What a wonderful hubby I have. (This is where my single and or childless friends have determined that I am nuts) My new filing cabinet is one of my favorite purchases!!! I have spent the last week sorting paperwork, and putting things together where I can find them at a moment's notice. I even splurged on a new set of post-it note pads, paper clips, file folders, and hanging files to complete my little system. One of these days I may get one of those fancy little office supply sorter things to put the little stuff in. For now, I have my pencils and supplies sorted in coffee cups on top of file cabinet. And, to top it off, I found my stapler, and gave it it's very own spot, so I can find it when I need it, instead of searching every child's room.

I have this little fantasy that one day I will be one of those really organized people where everything in the house has a place, and everything gets returned to it's place after each use. For now, I am just happy that I can sort my paperwork and find my stapler and paper clips when I need to. I'll deal with the rest of the stuff later.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Tribute to my Father

This is what I shared as a tribute to my daddy, at his memorial service on Dec 31, 2007:

My Dad taught me a lot of things growing up. But the most important thing he taught me was that this life is not about the here and now. It is not about this earth. It is about eternity.

We just celebrated his last Christmas on this earth and I am thankful that my family was able to be here for it. My husband and I planned our trip 5 days before we left to drive out here. We knew that his condition was serious, and we decided at the last minute that I would take Family Medical leave to spend as much time as I could with him. Little did I know how close the timing actually was. We arrived on Saturday the 22nd. He was at home, and he hugged my children and smiled as he told them that he loved them and that he was glad they came to see him. God blessed my family that day with that one little visit. It was early the next morning when my sister and I rushed from her house to the hospital. Dad was in the ER.

This past week has been a flurry of activity, worry, and grief. But this past week has also been a week of God raining his blessings on our entire family. My grandma, mom, brother, sister, and I have been supported and loved by friends, family, and the wonderful hospital staff. We have laughed and cried as we have been reminded about all that dad accomplished in his 58 years.

We had our Christmas with Dad in a hospital room, and we celebrated the true meaning of the season.

Growing up, we never had a Santa decoration in the house. We had nativity sets. Every year we talked about the birth of our Savior, and the gifts the wise men brought. That is why we exchange gifts today.

I am thankful that my Dad taught me the true meaning of Christmas. But I am more thankful that he taught me about Easter. You see, Jesus was born in order to die for our transgressions.

I am thankful that he taught me that this life is not all we have. We have a heavenly father who loved us so much, He sent his only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life. We have a heavenly Father who is the awesome God of the universe. He is holy and majestic and he cares about us. He sees our hurt, our pain, our joy and our weakness. He accepts us as we are, broken and sinful. And when we have no strength left to give, he carries us so that in our weakness He can prove Himself strong.

My Dad used to do children’s messages with little “magic tricks” to show how simple God’s love is. It is so simple even a little child can understand. The Bible says if you believe with your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, you will be saved. The result of accepting God’s free gift of salvation is eternal fellowship with the One, True, and Awesome God of the universe.

We are all sinners, not one of us is holy. It is amazing to me that a holy God actually chooses to have fellowship with sinful people. He desires us so much that He provided the sacrifice once and for all for our sin. In Romans, we are told that while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us.

I am grateful that my parents taught me that scripture, prayer, and faith are important in this life. Scripture is God’s holy word to us and prayer is our two way communication with God. Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we cannot see. I cannot see my heavenly Father, but I know with all assurance, by His own word that He sent His son to be born in a stable and die on a cross to be the sacrifice for my sin; so that I can have eternal fellowship with the awesome creator of the universe.

My father taught me the importance of sharing my faith through the way that I live. By the fruit of our lives we are known. My father chose to serve God in his life and his career. Now, he is forever celebrating in the presence of the Great “I Am”.

It is humbling to think that we have the privilege to serve God. He can accomplish His plan without us. I am honored that my father’s service to God has led many others to fellowship with Christ. I am humbled to speak with so many wonderful Christian leaders who were touched by my father’s life.

I am comforted to know that I will see my father in heaven and we will worship and praise our Savoir for all eternity.

For my dad, I’ll be missing you here on this earth, but I will see you again on the streets of gold.


This is what I said on the Lots of Kids Blog today:

A Christmas Like No Other:

This Christmas was like none other I can think of. Two weeks before Christmas, we were told that my father was very ill, and there was a possibility that he would not survive until Easter. My husband and I decided to spend my father's last Christmas with my family, so we packed at the last minute, and drove half way across the country to be here in time. We arrived on Sat Dec 22nd, and he was at home, tired but smiling. The next morning he went into the hospital and he passed on to be with the LORD on Dec 28th.

This year, I sobbed on Christmas day as my father was taken into the ICU. I grieved for my children when they came to the hospital to tell him "Merry Christmas" and "We love you, Grandpa" even though he could not respond.

My New Year's Eve was a memorial service for my father. We celebrated his life and his service to God as a life long career minister. It was humbling to see the collection of amazing Christian leaders gather to celebrate how my father's ministry touched their lives and helped to develop their own ministries.

This year, I begin a New Year grieving my loss, but rejoicing for his gain. This year, my mother will learn how to be a widow in stead of a wife. This year, we will learn a new kind of "normal."
This year, I am cherishing the gift of my family.

Here's to a year of no regrets.