"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." ~ Matthew 5:8

Friday, February 17, 2012

All of Me--Video

          CCM artist Matt Hammit wrote this song for his tiny son, born with a heart defect, yet his song has touched me as well. I've been an adoptive sister for 11 years now (okay, really all my life since Anna is adopted, but the roller coaster ride for me started when we began our first Russian adoption in 2001), and this song was so right I started weeping in the car when I heard it.

My siblings have been through a lot. They've been abandoned by those who should have cared for them. Three of them were homeless and spent a winter under a bridge at the ripe old ages of 4, 5, and 6.  One of my sisters has a flat spot on the back of her head because she was left for long hours in a crib with a dirty diaper and an empty stomach. They've been rejected by foster family, torn from friends, taken from grandparents, and separated from each other as biological siblings. Worse yet, they lived in spiritual poverty, utterly unaware of Jesus or His hope-giving, life-giving Rescue.

Things get messy when you spend your first 3 or 7 or 15 years like that. The worlds slaps the word "disorder" on a child with a background like that and calls the situation hopeless. And it is hopeless...without the love of God.

But I've seen the healing power in His love, made real to ex-orphans through the love of believers around them. It doesn't mean everything will be perfect right away. There will be tears. There will be brokenness. There will be ache and hurt and sin for all involved. But the Good News believed, the Gospel lived out and loved in a home, albeit imperfectly, really does heal. And to see former physical orphans becoming ex-orphans spiritually and gaining a perfect Father is unbelievably beautiful.

That's why I, as an adoptive sister, want to live the sacrificial everything-I've-got love modeled by my Savior. "Christian" literally means "little Christ," and that is what I want to be to my siblings 24/7. I can hold back my heart, knowing that their brokenness may break me, or I can love them like Christ loved me when I was broken. I can't bring about their salvation, but I can show them Jesus' passionate unconditional love.

They're going to have all of me!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Matchmaker, Matchmaker, (please don't) Make Me a Match

I really appreciate Erica's post over here: it goes right along with some things I've been thinking about lately. Thanks for being so frank and thoughtful, Erica!

My Valentines' thoughts in general are actually summed up beautifully (better than I could!) by a good friend here. I feel so blessed to watch my friend grow by leaps and bounds in Jesus!

 In my life right now, Valentine's Day is not about "my man" and me -I haven't even met him yet (though I love him dearly and pray for him every day...I know, mush mush)! Right now, Valentine's Day is time for me to be patient and content as I wait on God's timing for my future. Right now, Valentine's Day is time for me to remember and grasp a little better Christ's unbelievable love for me--He loved me when I was His enemy!

 Right now is also the perfect time for me to be thankful for my parents' beautiful marriage. Beautiful because it is based in a passionate love for God. Beautiful because it is forever. Beautiful because they choose to forgive each other. Beautiful because they choose to delight in each other.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for modeling a marriage that reflects Christ and the Church.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'll Never Be the Same

One of my "kids"

Last August, I posted several times about my trip to St. Petersburg. Summer is long gone, and that trip is already five months behind me. Nevertheless, I think I can honestly say I have thought about that trip and been impacted by it every single day.

I knew before going that I would be broken by the spiritual and physical poverty that I saw. I knew I would laugh and cry with and about the little (and not so little) people that I met. I knew that God would show me my own sin and would break my heart over what breaks His heart.

However, I didn't count on coming back with children of my own. Heh, heh, surprised you there, didn't I?  No, I don't have children living in my home that call me "Mom" and who literally fill my physical life with needs and hugs and tears and their own unique personality.

The children I'm talking about are six individuals I met. At most, I only ever spent about twelve hours with them. But their faces, their personalities, their deep need and broken lives walk with me through each day. God keeps bringing their particular story, their specific need, their acute brokenness, and their deep unfulfilled need for human love. I don't know why them when there were so many orphans there. I'm not some sort of spiritual superhero who went planning for such an experience. But even though they may never know it, they'll always have a spiritual "mom" who prays for them each day. I hope, I long, to meet them again in Heaven.

Watch out. God uses little things to change your life forever!  

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Are You Thirsty?

"Let any man turn to God in earnest, let him begin to exercise himself unto godliness, let him seek to develop his powers of spiritual receptivity by trust and obedience and humility, and the results will exceed anything he may have hoped in his leaner and weaker days.

         Any man who by repentance and a sincere return to God will break himself out of the mold in which he has been held, and will go to the bible for his spiritual standards, will be delighted with what he finds there...We will know Him in increasing degree as our receptivity becomes more perfect by faith and love and practice."

                                                                              ~A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God