Been up since 2:45ish. This post-menopause thing has its perks (if you look for them). Can't sleep? Almost kind of fun. Bear with me here - Everyone else is fast asleep and I get to wander around some sweet blogs to leave a few comments......Rach and Mr. Daddy (who live just feet from a river that was cresting and flooding dangerously yesterday), Grace (lives in Uganda and adopted Ella from Sanyu - where Elizabeth and Elijah are from), Carol (adoptive mom whose gifting from the Lord is quilting for others - amazing!!!), Leslie (traveled with us when we got Isaiah and they got Lily), Ellie (waiting for her Lily), Carolin (heading to Ch*na to get her sweet baby girl Rebecca), Jean (just home from Ch*na with her new precious 8 yr old), Suzette (who is a military mom), AnnMarie (who has the cutest little brood that keeps her Joyfully Busy), Lori (former blog stalker turned friend), Jaime (adoptive mom and military wife), Tina (another military mom) and Marianthe (just home - finally! - with her precious Creighton Gideon and a military wife) and of course Sally (my virtual twin - who is also a military mom): just to mention a few today!!!! Good gracious - ya' sure can hop on alot of blogs when you "have all night"!!
Well at least everyone was asleep, until Elijah woke and started to cry and cry at about 4ish. I waited awhile thinking that he would just settle back in. Nada. Finally I went and comforted him, gave him a drink of water and laid him down. But probably somewhere in there he wondered if he was missing out on some fun alone time with Mommy checkin' friends blogs and here he sits eating Cheer*os snuggled up beside me. Sweet little baby boy!
Anyway, on to some other things....
Since I have my email address in the sidebar I have been getting tons and tons of email! I love it!! Keep it coming and I am trying very hard to answer them all personally. Y'all have said some very, very sweet things (awww, makes my heart happy and brings me to tears) and many have asked some great questions and from time to time I will attempt to address them in a post, because if a few of you are thinking it - then that probably represents a whole bunch more.
Really, this whole internet/blogging thing is absolutely delightful. Uniting people from around the world with common hearts, dreams and hopes. So very, very super cool.
One of the things that seems to be a prevailing question/concern is about our economy and how that affects adoption. Yesterday as I was praying about this I felt like the Lord wanted me to speak some truth about all this. His truth. So hang on: here we go....
Yes, the economic system in our world is in serious, major, humongous trouble. BUT God's economy is plentiful. Yes, people are losing their jobs (our sweet son-in-love, Ryan, lost his job last Wednesday) BUT Almighty God is the ultimate Job Placement Agency. Jehovah Jirah is still on the throne and He is the meeter of all needs.
If we were to do a study of God's principles an over-riding theme is that God deeply loves three specific groups of people and we are commanded to care for them. The poor, the orphan and the widow.
So call me crazy: BUT I do not think that when the economy is struggling that the King of Kings changes His plans and says, "oh I didn't realize that the dollar would be worth far less and you guys would lose your jobs and so yeah, don't worry about the poor, the orphan and the widow. I didn't realize that this economy would go 'bust' and yeah, ummm so, you guys really better button up your giving and hang on to every penny you get."
Absolutely not!!! He has called us to care for the poor, the orphan and the widow - period! Dw and I firmly believe that no matter what - His commands are not optional!! In fact, we are of the notion when times get tough - give more away!! When you are wondering how you are going to pay for something - give even more away to the poor, the orphan or the widow.
There is something about God watching our hearts and seeing that we are trusting HIM not the savings account, our home value, or our IRA. He says, "Give and it will be given to you - pressed down, running over..." Does that make sense? Only in GOD'S economy.
Recently I was talking to a group of friends. There is a popular notion out there that "when I get alot of money (the lottery/strike it rich in business) then I will finally be able to really do something big for God." But I think that is a very wrong game plan. God is watching our stewardship NOW. He says, "When I gave you little, what did you do?" Have you hoarded it? Have you kept it for your own pleasure - because after all, you 'earned' it and you 'deserve' it? Are your 'needs' really needs? Have you been generous with the small amount you have?? I think the word "generous" is key.
Dw and I are totally convinced that He is watching our stewardship and if we are faithful and generous in little - THEN He will pour out His financial blessings BECAUSE He knows that you are trustworthy - you are doing what He wanted you to do in the first place - faithfully and sacrificially giving to the needs of the poor, the orphan and the widow - even when you had little.
Then there is the whole issue of tithing. Yes, I am a pastor's wife, but long before we were in ministry, infact even as a little girl: I tithed. While Dw was in law school (many, many years ago) we not only tithed but we generously gave away. If we knew of a need, we gave away - anonymously. We had a blast doing it. We would pray for creative ways to give to those in need, so that no one, and I mean no one, knew. It was so stinkin' fun.
I know there will always be a few debaters....: Does God really want us to tithe? Is tithing for today?
Over the years we have heard the arguments against it, and all I can say is: Are you kidding me? Generous God has generously blessed you and you think you have found the loophole for tithing? Oooookay.
Yes I realize it is between you and God and I will leave it there BUT listen to the heart of what I am saying.
When Dw was in law school I was the only one working. I made a whopping $150.00/week (yes it was 30+ years ago but no, we didn't ride dinosaurs to work). Never once did we take a school loan and never once did we use a credit card. We prayed and watched God provide. After being married a year we even were able to fly to TX to visit one of my brothers with money we had saved. I am convinced this was only because we had been faithful to tithe and faithful in giving away generously to those in need throughout that first year.
When Dw set up his law practice it was abundantly blessed from day one. (Think about it: How often can you say "Godly" and "lawyer" in the same sentence?? The Christian Community loved him!) While practicing law we had a friend, who was also a CPA who did our accounting for us. He would come and sit at our dining room table and go over our personal finances and then Dw's work books. Everytime he would shake his head and say: "I don't how you guys make ends meet. You give so much away!"
Now you have to know my heart - I am by no means patting us on the back. We were merely being obedient!! We gave generously and God poured in generously. We lived simple lives and were frugal and gave away generously - but God had been watching us doing it from the get-go; when we had very little ourselves we tithed and gave away generously.
Years later we continue to give away and are absolutely amazed at how God has blessed us!!
The first day that the stock market did its big 'drop' is the day that the man called about our camper. We did not have it advertised at all (advertising is such a waste of money that we didn't necessarily have). The "cottage" as we referred to it was sitting tucked away on our acres. Only in God's scope of planning could this have been orchestrated like it was....cause we had nothing to do with it selling other than that we were begging the Lord to sell it.
So out of the blue, on the very worst day possible day economically (in many, many years) we get a phone call from a man who had heard from a friend that we might want to sell it and could he come see it? I stood mouth gaping. Come on? Who buys a camper in snow country as it is just about to turn very cold on the worst day in economic history? Come on people - who does that? Only a man prompted by Almighty God. He was gettin' the "God-nudge" that that very day was the PERFECT day to buy a camper!! Go figure!
But would that camper have sold if we weren't tithing and giving away and in the process of adopting Elijah and Elizabeth and Jubilee? I just don't think so.
Infact Dw and I are convinced that tithers are Recession/Depression Proof. Remember David in the Psalms said: "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or His seed begging bread." It does not mean that times won't get "crunchier", but He is the provider!!
When it comes to adoption what does this all mean? I think that God's plans for the orphan are still the same - He longs to set them in families. He is their advocate and He WILL provide all that is needed supernaturally to bring them home. We have fasted alot in all of this (and that is a subject for another day)....
BUT we must be wise stewards: tithing and giving away to the orphan, the widow and the poor.
So the game plan?? Get out of debt! Give to the orphan, the widow and the poor. Stop needless spending. Give to the orphan, the widow and the poor. Downsize your home to have less mortgage (or no mortgage). Give to the orphan, the widow and the poor. Cut up your credit cards and pay them off. Give to the orphan, the widow and the poor.
And THEN watch and see our Miracle-Working, Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God provide supernaturally for you to bring your next one home!! It's gonna' be so stinkin' amazing!!