Saturday, March 19, 2016

Waiting Quietly

A year ago, last May, Adam and I were told clearly (and separately) by God that we needed to start the adoption process.

We did.

We found an agency.
We paid for the first application.
We attended the orientation.
We set out to complete the second part of the application process...
                  when our world halted.


She sat across from me at a crowded table of laughing friends,
she had been a NICU nurse for years and had heard of our adoption story.
She rattled on about this baby that had been left behind by a drug-addicted birth mother.

Abandoned at a few hours old.

"Abandoned? She just left?"
"Yes. Took off with the IV still in her arm. Brady, it happens more than you would like to know."

I went home that night to an empty house - my husband miles away at work.
My thoughts following me around,
in the shower - out of the shower
into the kitchen;
crawling into bed.
The words echoed.
This poor child, this innocent child - a victim of selfishness.
How my heart broke like a cursed mirror.
Texting my husband all of my million thoughts in just a few words, he felt what I felt, that feeling like God set up this spontaneous interaction to change our path.

The following evening I attended a birthday dinner. I settled into my seat exposing my heart to a different friend along with the conversation from the previous night. How the depths of my heart had been shattered and our path to adoption changed.

She sat there, taking in every word, searching my soul through my eyes, and said "I have to tell you something..."

She continued to ramble on about how her fiance's mother was given her great-nephew to foster, it was literally her home or the shelter.  His mom willingly took the boy in and when they met them they all thought "This is Adam and Brady's child."

My world was turned upside down.

I ran home to text (because calling wasn't possible due to circumstances) my husband everything! When we saw the picture of the child I wept because I had seen him in a dream two years prior (a post on this blog called A Dream, A Purpose).  

The situation seemed so hopeful. We couldn't resist the wonderful dream that this child would be ours.

Then the lines became messy.

The court date.
It came. It passed.
The second court date.
It came. It passed.
The trial is set for October...
Our due date (yes we became pregnant in this time) is set for October.

My world is in a million pieces.
My life so messy I can't even explain my heart without feeling guilty or judged.

I was so angry at God the past three months.
Angry when we found out we were pregnant - is this adoption a cruel joke?
Angry when I found out that the court did not work in favor of the children - is He not hearing our prayers?
Anger radiated from me... and tonight I am done being angry. I am opening my arms and embracing this journey God has in store for us.

I know He hears the prayers for this child in my belly.
I know He hears the prayers for the child growing in my heart. (Baby J or another... I do not know).

I do not know His plan, but I know He is good.
I do not know if we will still adopt this boy, but I know God is faithful.
I do know that adoption is in our future, but I will wait on His timing.
I will wait for Him to provide, and I will continue to be trust because He is my portion and He is unchanging.

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
jt is good to wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
It is good for a man to bear the yoke
while he is young.

Let him sit alone in silence,
for the Lord has laid it on him.
Let him bury his face in the dust—
there may yet be hope.
Let him offer his cheek to one who would strike him,
and let him be filled with disgrace.

For no one is cast off
by the Lord forever.
Though he brings grief, he will show compassion,
so great is his unfailing love.
For he does not willingly bring affliction
or grief to anyone.
Lamentations 3:22-33

Thursday, December 24, 2015

...on Christmas Eve

Today is Christmas Eve. The day before we celebrate the birth of our Jesus, our Savior, our Redeemer. 

Today is the day before the light shines on the hope and joy as we rejoice the birth of Christ.

Yet, what if the weary world was just weary. A world trying to rejoice, but their hallelujahs turn into muffled cries. 

What do we do then? When we understand the sweat on Mary’s brow, the hurriedness of the shepherd boys to see with their own eyes truth in what the angels told them, the frustration of Joseph succumbing to the fact that his wife would give birth in a barn without any midwife or medical attention. What do we do when God tells us “Do not be afraid,” but fear and doubt seem to be the only rational piece of this whole puzzle?

How do we make Christmas feel like a birthday celebration instead of this longing inside of us to break the word down into two terms - more of Christ? 

More of his peace. 
More of his presence. 
More of his comfort. 

Remind me - what do we do then?
What do you do when Christmas doesn’t feel like Christmas?
When you feel wounded, sick, and sore.
When you feel broken, at a loss, and thirsty.
When you feel like you’re missing out on the happy kind of joy that you’re supposed to feel in this season.

I am not alone. 
I won’t put on a face to hide my hurt.
I’m being real - for a real world in a real season.

Yet, I have to face each feeling with a plan. I want Christmas, I want it bad. I want the feelings that I've been preparing my heart for this December. I want the feelings of advent to rush in and fill my soul. 

So -
I will keep worshipping. 
I will keep rereading Luke 1-2.
I will keep seeking out my Jesus - his peace, his presence, and his comfort. 
I will keep facing my fears with God’s perfect love that casts out fear.

I will sing my broken hallelujah for my Jesus and God to hear. 

And if no emotions change, if the joy doesn't come flowing in like a south Texas flash flood, if my heart still is longing - my God is still good. 

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Broken Shepherd Boy

Something in you breaks when the Shepherd boy falls to the floor and cracks in half. Something about the symbol of humility separated into two pieces pulls on your heart strings as you pick him up in your hands.
Then as if it fell with a purpose, the little damaged boy reminds you of the True Shepherd's mission when he stepped into this world. It reminds you that his body was broken, cracked, and pierced to save his Father's sheep.

Tears swell up in my eyes as I see the beauty in this brokenness held in the palm of my hand. Yet, another whisper from Jesus saying, "This is why I came."

As I set him down my eyes examine the shepherd boy protectively holding his sheep, a tear slips from my eye, and there right behind him the word JOY speaks loudly catching my attention, as if to be crying out "FIND JOY! FIND JOY!"
And so I do.
I begin to search for the beauty.
I find it and quickly snap pictures.
I engulf myself in this process of seeking because the King came to this earth as a baby, grew up as shepherd, and allowed his body to be broken for our sins.
Then three days later he was alive.
So in his birth and in his resurrection I will find JOY.
My sweet Mister putting up the lights <3!!

The paper ornaments waiting expectantly to be placed
on the Jesse Tree during advent.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

When Peace Passes All Understanding and Joy is Immeasurable

Have you ever been to the point in your life where you step into a season that beckons anxiety, frustration, and anger? A season that expects sadness, uncontrollable tears, and constant fear?

Adam and I are there, in the midst of it. We dove into a season that says, "Let me drown you with worry! Let my anxiety bring destruction to your soul!" Yet, we stopped the moment we noticed the battle. Two days in to this season we called it for what it was, a blessing! A blessing to say, "Jesus we give this to you. Jesus we trust you. Jesus we love you."

He told us in the spoken word - Cast all your cares upon me. [from 1 Peter 5:7]

Cast the cares of adoption.
Cast the cares of money.
Cast the cares of support.
Cast the cares of timing.
Cast the cares of paperwork.

Cast ALL your cares upon me.
Because I care for you. 

I care about your adoption.
I care about the funding.
I care about the support.
I care about the timing.
I care about the paperwork.

Commit to me. Trust me. I will do this. [from Psalm 37:5]

Commit to my plan and I will establish yours. [Proverbs 16:3]
Trust me and you will not be shaken. [Psalm 55:22]

Is he not good? Is he not faithful?

Once we acknowledged the truth of what Jesus had whispered to us, once we willingly laid it in his hands, a peace that surpasses all understanding during a time in which we should be broken and afraid shined a light and exclaimed "DO NOT FEAR!" So here we kneel humbly, full of joy because our Jesus will fulfill His promise with His timing in His way. He will move mountains, flow the river of life through the valleys, and move us closer to Him during the waiting.

My Jesus is Good!
My Father is Faithful!
If you are in a time such as this - have faith that He has spoken to someone in your shoes.
Hand it over, for the less you try to control the more He will show He has it under control!

Monday, September 28, 2015


Something about last night stirred my heart.

As many of you already know, there was the Super Moon Lunar Eclipse.

I joined the millions of onlookers and stood out on my back porch with eyes pinned on the ever fading moon. The shadow pressing in minute after minute, suddenly my heart began to break. I wanted to scream, "STOP!" at the creeping dark, yet I knew that it was impossible to prevent the shadow from overtaking the light.

The minutes ticked by, my breath keeping a steady rhythm, my eyes lifted in apprehension, and then the sun finally caste the earth's shadow fully upon the moon. The nighttime satellite that reflects the light from the sun was momentarily separated from its power source - the earth its barrier.

As my gaze fell in dismay back to the land my feet stood upon, ashamed that where I was caused this darkness, a joy, an unspeakable joy quickly poured into my soul as my eyes drew back up and caught a glimpse of a rim of light pressing out of the darkness.

For the light shines in darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

As that verse spiraled through my mind, down to my heart, reaching my soul a chuckle burst up to my lips and a tear streamed down my cheek.  My heart perfectly romanced by the King. He whispered softly in the breeze as my soul sensed his presence, "you are never alone".

Never alone.

Humbled, I stood in reverence.
In awe of a King who called me victorious.
In awe of a King  who finds me courageous.
In awe of a King who handles this universe, and still doesn't miss a moment with his children.

The darkness of this world tries avidly to overwhelm my sensitive soul - even yours. With the shadow it casts upon us, upon our hearts, and our lives. Many of us want to run and scream, "I surrender," but then our valiant King charges in and proclaims that he shines brightest in the darkest places.

Oh! I believe that He stands out stronger when the darkness tries to hide him from us.
He illuminates our pathways,
he sanctifies our dying fire and kindles it into a burning flame,
he ignites what's written on our souls and sends us into this shadow of a world to radiate His truth for His glory!

That's why I love this verse so much, it says "What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs." Matthew 10:27

God does use darkness for his glory, to speak to us, to show his power, magnify his strength, and fuel a light in us so that we might go forth and proclaim his truths from the rooftops!

Let's learn from nature and heed God's word. "For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." 2 Cor. 4:6

Let our light's shine <3

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Jesus Loves Me

Soft suds from face wash dripped past the edge of my chin, and the cotton creases in the towel rubbed lightly in the palm of my hand. The green-blue soul searchers stared back at me as my lips parted to sing,

"Jesus loves me this I know
for the bible tells me so
little ones to him belong
they are weak but he is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me - yes... he does.
Yes, Jesus loves me.

Yes, Jesus loves me, 
the bible tells me so."

The grin wrinkled my rosey cheeks,
I continued to stare back at this joyful reflection.

"Again," I told myself.

"Jesus loves me..." 
Freckles jumped for joy.
"This I know"
and I really did know.

I knew that no matter what pain, sorrow, tragedy, or hate I've lived in, trudged through, or hid from in my life that He - the creator of these freckles, these green-blue eyes, these falling curls, and this only for my ears voice- loved me then and still LOVES ME NOW!

How did I forget this song that I belted out recklessly growing up, that my hands knew how to sing more gracefully than the words stringing out of my lungs, oh this song that I've taught to many young children. How did I separate myself from such a simple reminder that I AM A DAUGHTER OF THE KING AND I AM DEARLY LOVED?

"The bible tells me so - it tells me so, so many times!"

The bible promises that we are more than conquerors through our Jesus and our God! That nothing can separate us - not life, not death, neither angels or demons, what's happening now nor what will come, no height or depth - no! None of that can separate us from the love God has for his children through his son Jesus (Romans 8:37-38)

The bible declares that even when we were still sinners, still running from God, hurting him, he loved us so much he sent his son, his baby boy, his only child to die for our sins and create a path for us to run to him - the same path that his love runs down to cover all of our trespasses. (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, 1 John 4:9-11).

The bible testifies that he pursues us, he reaches out to us, he is in our midst and among us, he fights for us all because he loves us with a steadfast and unfailing love (Psalms 86:14, Zephaniah 3:17, Exodus 14:14)

The book is filled from beginning to end with a vast array of his love for us. What I needed so desperately to remember was that as I continue to learn how to see Him I will continue to proclaim verbally his love for me... and my love, yes my childish love for the King.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Turn Learning to Learned

*Three Gifts Learned*

Learning is active, ongoing.
It is inhaling and refreshing and filling.
Learning can be immaculate and beautiful or atrocious and perilous.
Yet, changing learning to learned may terrify the feeble, for some days it terrifies me.
Changing learning to learned announces to the world that I now know, therefore I must now show a sense of growth, or in few cases a brilliant epiphany.

Thus composing three things learned does just that... in essence it reveals to you that I now know and am no longer ignorant in that area of life, mastered - who knows- but mindless I am not.

Now, on to three things learned!

{1} I am becoming myself as I begin to engulf my life in the presence of my Jesus.

{2} Having courage is a choice. An every moment of every day kind of choice.

{3} I am old enough to start reading fairy tales again.

Three things that I will shout out to the world, I have learned this!
I know these truths.
I am vulnerable to you calling me out on any of these...

I am no master to any of these, but I am on my way to growing more knowledgeable in these truths. This journey of living in "learned" allows you to continue learning.

By the way! I was vague for many reasons... but mostly I want you to ask me then I will explain each change listed above and how I moved it from learning to well... learned. With a cup of coffee in hand and a heart full of joy, I will explain to you the story, my story, the one written for me by Him. <3