Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weeping Through The Night...

First, I have a personal request. If you are here and are about to read this post, would you please read it in its entirety?  Please do not skim, but please read the whole thing.
There are some important parts that could easily get lost if you skim, and I would feel better knowing that you honored my request by reading it all, to the very end.

Second, if you just happened onto our Place Called Simplicity, this is not the first post for you to read.   Today I am sharing a very personal matter.  It's kind of a like a family meeting.  Our bloggy friends need to know, but they also know our hearts.  So in all kindness, you are welcome to stop by Monday and join us...
and then someday down the road, come back to this post, okay?  
Thank you so much. 

Lastly, to all who posted comments yesterday, sent emails, posted on my Facebook wall or sent FB messages, thank you.  Your kindness, your prayers, your love and your support mean more than you will ever imagine at this time.  They have brought me to tears over and over. 
Tender hearts sharing tender heartfelt words. Oh how I've needed them.

********

I have struggled all day with how to share.  I have prayed and prayed, "Lord give me wisdom how to write it and what to share and what to leave alone."  

  I ran into a sweet friend at the grocery store today. She could tell from my face that it has been a rough time.  We hugged.  She said, "I don't know what's going on, but I can see it."  I poured it out and then I said, "Now you know why it is so difficult to share
 at our Place Called Simplicity."  
Yes, she understood.

So, with soft worship music playing in the background, I will just dive in, 
cause I really don't know any other way to do it.  

"Weeping may last through the night, 
{but joy comes with the morning.}"
Psalm 30:5

The story begins in Africa.  

Uganda.

The country we hold so dearly.

The people I love with all my heart. 

Before leaving for Africa we were told that, although I would be allowed to serve at E's orphanage, I would have to treat him like all the rest of the children. 

I could not share with E that I was going to be his mama.  

I felt bad.  

It's not like every day one gets to stop over in Uganda. 
But being a woman of submission, I said, "Okay, Lord you must have a good plan in that.  Maybe at least when Dw, Emma and Graham are there in June they will be able to tell him."

I emailed back and forth with the orphanage director about how our team would serve there.  Out of our team money we bought the paint and supplies and set it up so that the first full day in Uganda, the team would work there.  Some would paint and some would play with kids.

We got to the orphanage and I knew that E would be in school.  But the school yard was about 200' feet {and two fences} from the orphanage grounds where we were serving.  

I peered through the fences trying to get a glimpse of him.

Kids were playing in the school yard and finally Emma helped me figure out for sure which little guy was ours.   About that time he came over to the fence and peered across the yard separating us and stared and stared and stared at me/us. 

You can ask the team. 

It was heart wrenching.  
I was so close, but yet, we had two fences and 200' separating us.
He stared and stared.  

The teacher called the kids inside.

He remained.  

Alone.

Hands clasped tightly onto the wire fencing.

It was a very emotional time for me.

I wanted desperately to run to him and tell him that I was his mama and we were hurrying to bring him home.  But, of course, I couldn't. 

The teacher came out again.

He did not want to leave the fence.

Eventually he did.

The team painted {and did a beautiful job!}.  

I played with kids.  

But all the while I kept looking over to see if he was out in the school yard again. 

And somewhere in there I had opportunity to speak 
{in person} to the orphanage director.

Dw had met her on several occasions, but when I had 
been there before she had alway been away on a holiday.
I had only communicated with her through email about the team coming.  

Well as she and I talked she opened up about our E.

And in the midst of talking about him, she shared things 
that completely caught me off guard.

Blindsided.

I didn't even know what to say.

I walked away in shock.

Later that day school finally ended and slowly E came over to the grounds where we were.  I had brought the picture of he and Dw and Graham and Emma.
{We had brought pictures Emma had taken of lots of other kids too, so there was truly no favoritism at all.} 

I bent down and showed him the picture.
His eyes got wide.
He clearly knew them.
I pointed to Graham and said, "Who is that?"
I could tell his wheels were turning rapidly...
without much hesitation he said,
"Graham".  
I started to cry.

He remembered him still.

My mind was racing in light of what the director had just shared with me and I really wanted to just go somewhere, anywhere, to be alone and think and pray.

I didn't know what to do.

So I told no one.

Of course, at home, Dw was struggling with blood clots completely blocking three of his
 six veins in his leg besides taking care of the little guys.

I wanted desperately to tell him, but I knew I could not.  
Not from the opposite side of the world.

I wanted to tell Emma but I didn't want to tell her 
until I had told Dw.

The gravity of the situation was overwhelming.
 I couldn't sleep well. 
I needed to talk about it, but couldn't tell anyone.

The trip ended.

Upon returning home, I still just couldn't talk about it.
I prayed for the right timing to talk about what I had learned.

After being home for several days, we were laying in bed one night and I finally told Dw what was going on.  He sobbed.  I sobbed.  We talked.  We prayed.  We sobbed some more.

We couldn't even talk to anyone about it.  
It was just too painful.

We prayed for days.  


We fasted.

We told Emma and Graham so they would pray too.

Finally, we knew we had to seek counsel.

And God in His graciousness has gifted me with a friend who is a professional dealing with this exact issue.  
She is one of my closest friends.  
She knows our family well. 
She loves the Lord dearly.  
She is one of the most Godly woman I have ever known.  
She knows our hearts.  
She shares our love for the orphan. 
Really, God is amazing....I would not have wanted 
to talk to a stranger about the situation or even someone that we casually know. He was so gracious to allow this close friend to have this exact expertise.

So I called my precious friend and, through tears, 
poured out the situation.
Without hesitation she softly said, 
"Linny, you cannot bring E home. 
 You can't.
You really can't....."

I sobbed and sobbed. 

I knew she was right.

But really, it is painful to even just type it.

The reality of the words on the screen are almost unbearable.

We have loved him for almost three years.

We have prayed for him for almost three years.

We have thought that he would be ours.

We have planned for him.

We have a pile of clothes that match Isaiah and Elijah 
waiting upstairs for him.

Even the kids have been saving points in a game 
they play so that when E 
comes home he will have points already earned.

But he can't come home.

We love him.  
We want God's best for E.

We want God's best for our little ones.

And E will not be able to come home to our home. 

I wish I could share more, but I am unable.

And so...

We are grieving the precious long-awaited son that we've lost.
We are grieving circumstances that have caused 
this situation to be what it is.
We are grieving a precious little guy who desperately 
needs a family.
We are grieving because of our deep love for the orphan.
We are grieving because life has not been fair to our E.
We are grieving it all.
And yes, we have even had bouts of anger over the situation.

And so here we are.

Painfully grieving.

Trying to process it all.

And praying.

Praying that our E will have hope.
Trusting that in the midst of all this God still has a good plan {for him and for us}.  
Believing that He will accomplish that good plan.
Thankful that I hadn't been allowed to tell 
E that I was his mama.

Will you pray with me sweet friends?

Pray for a family for this little treasure.
Pray that God will bring that family quickly.
Pray that God will heal him of the circumstances that surround the situation.
Pray that NO ONE who visits at Our Place Called Simplicity will be influenced negatively by this situation of ours.  
We would be broken-hearted if anyone said, 
"See! I told you adoption can be bad!  I knew it! I am too scared to adopt now!"  

Please pray us through this....
that God will take this grievous situation 
and in the midst of it all, He will be honored and glorified.

We are so grateful for your love and prayers for our family,
Dw, Linny, Abigail, Ryan, Finley, Tyler, Sarah, 
Autumn, Emma, Graham, Liberty, Jubilee,
 Isaiah, Elizabeth and Elijah

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Responsibility

Today my heart weighs heavy preoccupied with heaviness of mind.

I eluded a few days ago that there is something that I need to share.  

And seriously, sweet friends, this is one of the extremely difficult things about having a very public blog.  

Pre-blog days things just happened with few folks noticing.

Our private lives were pretty private.

Speaking for myself, I really liked it that way.

My few closest friends can attest to the fact that I really am a very, very, very private person.

{Somehow I think the Lord was smiling at all that,
 once upon a time.}

Because He {and He alone} birthed 
the enormous responsibility of a very public ministry through our
Place Called Simplicity.

Although it has blessed me, personally, tremendously, I feel the weight of it at times.

Times when things on the home front are not easy to share.

Times when life has taken some unexpected turns.

Times when life has completely blindsided us.

Like now.

And the thought of typing my most difficult post {ever} leaves me wanting to throw up instead.

Over and over I have given our Place Called Simplicity 
to the Lord and told Him,

"If you ever see me not honoring you through our Place Called Simplicity, then please close it down.  
It's all yours.  
Do with it, what you will.
I only want it to ever honor You - through the good 
and the not-so-good."  

And no doubt, He has blessed it over and over, and for some crazy reason people I have never met are ministered to through it and they tell their friends and then they come by...honestly, I am completely dumbfounded by it all.

Needless to say, I am heavy with the responsibility of sharing with a few thousand of you what is going on.

And making our very private grieving a very public thing.

A couple of days ago a sweet bloggy friend
{who knows nothing} 
 wrote to me
and left me with this verse, 

"I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me."

And that is my theme song at this moment.

I will share tomorrow.

Please do pray for me as I write.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hardly Empty

I was thinking about our nest.  

I'm just fifty-two years old.

My man is fifty-six years old.

Nesting now together for almost 33 years.

If we had listened to society,  2.2 children per family, 
{not really sure what .2 looks like, maybe that's a kid that you sorta raise
 till you can get 'em into a boarding school or something}...

but anyway, if we'd listened we'd have had an empty nest approximately 7 years ago.

Seven years of being empty?

Seriously?

Seven years of just the two of us at the kitchen table,
night after night after night.
{That would totally be my worst nightmare come true!}

Seven years of silence.

The thought gives me the shudders.
{not.even.kidding.}

Seven years of a sparkling clean house?

Even that would be the best way to torment me!

What the heck would we have done these last seven years?

I can't even begin to imagine!

What the heck would we be doing now?

 I'm convinced that I would be the most 
bored woman in the universe.
{And please forgive me if you are empty nesting, no judgment on my part - promise!! 
I'm just sharing my thoughts about me and me only.}

I remember being a little girl and the teacher would have the class go around the room and each person would tell the rest of the class what they wanted to be when they grew up.

In those days women were just entering the working 
world on a new level.

Every girls would say:  a teacher, a nurse and every now and then a brave girl would say, "a doctor"....
and the class would say, "ooooooh."  

And then it would be my turn and I would be the only one in the entire classroom who would say it, 
"I just want to be a mom." 

Frankly, 

NO ONE "ooohhed or aaaahhhhed".

They didn't get it.

My love affair with little ones...

and my dreams of a bazillion 

from all over the world.
  
But really, it didn't matter what anyone thought.

My dreams never wavered.

  Not even for a moment.  

I never wanted to be anything but.

And here I am living my dream, way past the time 

anyone would deem 'normal'...

and I am loving every single minute of it.
{Even the disciplining, breaking up fights, 
and chaotic mess everywhere!}

I am so thankful that His promises are always true:
"He makes the barren woman to be at home, 
the joyful mother of children."  
Psalm 113:9

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Unexpected


Recently something occurred that left us reeling.  

It was completely not on our radar.

At all.

The kind of thing that we have grappled at trying to comprehend and understand 'why?'.

In the next few days I am going to share about it.

Please pray for me as I prepare to write what happened.

Anyway, in the midst of our grieving the situation 
some flowers arrived for me.

I was dumbfounded.

It is not my birthday 
{thank goodness - don't feel like being a year older yet}.  

It was not our anniversary.

When I opened the card I could have fallen over.

They were from a blog friend in Australia.

Someone I have never met, only through the blog world.

And little did she know that we were going 
through such a very difficult and rough time. 

They were from Susan A, a sweet treasure of a woman who has a heart for the orphan and pleasing the Lord.

I don't think she would mind me saying this, but, 
I wrote the "How to Hear God Speak" series last year - really, just for her. 

I had mentioned in a post that I had taught a class on How To Hear God Speak and Susan A had written to me saying that she would love an audio of that BUT she was hearing impaired.   Susan asked if I would consider writing it and posting it on the blog.   I was brought to tears.  Of course I would write it for her!

Anyway, so the flowers arrived two weeks ago.

Totally unexpected.

Just like our situation.

And ya' know what was amazing?

What she wrote on the card was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment regarding our difficult circumstances.  Unbeknownst to her, Susan A had written what the Lord wanted us to hear.  
She had heard Him whispering what to write.  

And I just knew you bloggy friends would love that.

The Lord sending flowers from the opposite side of the world, 
just for me, 
with exactly what I needed to hear.  

If you have not read the series and would love to hear God speak personally, just to you, consider sliding over to the sidebar and look under "Important Posts".  

In the meantime, thank you Susan A.  Thank you for caring and thank you for listening to the Lord.  You are such a blessing and I pray that one day I can hug your neck in person!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

GOD Moves the Mountains

Rejoicing around the world!  

Little Kirill that we fasted and prayed for?



He's coming home!!

The Supreme Court in the country he is in, has overturned the judge's decision!!

Guys, you were part of it!!

Every single person who prayed and/or fasted?

Each and every one was part of history in the making!!

His name officially is:

Gregory Kirill

Remember:

Bureaucracies

Government Officials

Judges

Financial Mountains

Foreign Rulers

Agency Directors

and

Immigration Employees

ALL

and I mean 

ALL

Bow to the Matchless Name of Jesus Christ!!

He trumps 'em all.

He has the final say.

And the victory is HIS
{and only HIS}!!

Celebrate with us!!

Little Gregory Kirill is coming home

FOREVER!!

Yippee Jesus!!

PS I would have asked for prayer for the Supreme Court hearing, but Kirill's mommy and daddy had requested all bloggers to not post regarding it, in fear of negative attention.