Five Minute Friday:: Gift

Hi, thanks for joining me, the Series “Five Things Your Adopted Children Would Like to Tell You” will be back on Monday. If you missed the introduction, you can find it here. Last month, our focus was PLAY and ways to play or use home therapy for free. We’ll have more posts on that in the future, but the theme for the month of June is “Adoption.” Just hitting the pause button here for  Five Minute Friday15881341055_31e56506c3_oMY mother- in -law ins having a lengthy surgery today, correcting a  complication from a previous surgery. My sister is struggling. I am feeling a bit out of sorts and when I feel like this, I just want to give up. this weeks prompt made me stop and think. I have been recording gifts, my thankful list, a habit I started the first time I read Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and read it again. And I keep listing gifts. As I pray for those I love, I think on those gifts.

  • Watching my son battle it out with  Nerf swords in the front yard with a friend and a brother
  • Sitting by the campfire alone, all leaned back watching the trees sway in the breeze
  • Talking on the back deck with a family fostering to adopt and laughing ( even though the wait is long and they are jumping through fiery hoops)
  • talking to my brother states away and knowing he is concerned and wants to help

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Knowing ultimately that God has my best interest at heart and he is in control. he is waiting for me to open the gifts he has already given. He is longing for me to come into His presence.

18 And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship] Isaiah 30: 16

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The Thanks Giving Tree

The Thanks 
             giving Tree
At the end of October I printed the leaves for the thanks giving tree on Ann Voskamp’s site. (You can find it here.)  I planned to slowly fill it with leaves every morning during Bible study, but God willed other things.  Man plans his way, but the Lord directs his paths.  Instead, the kids and I started on November 19.  Thankfulness shouldn’t be confined to the month of November, but an autumn tree all ablaze is such a beautiful way to express it.  Maybe I will do a Christmas one for December because I want to keep counting blessings.  I don’t ever want to stop.  I feel myself changing.  Like the green leaf changing to brilliant copper or ruby red.  I am changing.  
I haven’t turned into a spiritual giant.  I do not have theology on my mind all the time.  I don’t have C.S. Lewis-ish revelations. 
Maybe this new heart that God placed in me all these years ago is beating for joy instead of tripping through  the day anxious with evil forebodings. 
My white-knuckled days are being outnumber by hands relaxed,  reaching upward for my Father-God.  Sometimes, I slip back into old habits, my heart racing, my mind chomping at the bit and I tense heart and hands.  Then I count. Blessings.  A warm bed.  A garnet sunset.  Laughter from my child.  A smile on his face.  A joke that leaves me weak kneed, collapsing on the floor while my children laugh at me. Relief.  Refreshment.  Ease.  This yoke is easy to bear.  It is not heavy with fear.  It is light with thanksgiving.  I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart…. I will enter His courts with praise.  (Psalm 100)
Thanksgiving is the portal to praise. 

Psalm 100

A Psalm of thanksgiving and for the thank offering.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness! Come before His presence with singing!
Know (perceive, recognize, and understand with approval) that the Lord is God! It is He Who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]! We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.<span class="crossreference" style="font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;" value="(A)”>(A)
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!
For the Lord is good; His mercy and loving-kindness are everlasting, His faithfulness and truth endure to all generations.

The Beginning

Hi friends,

I had intended to blog on thankfulness as it pertains to adoption for the month of November.  Instead God brought a blessing into our family on November 1,Cecilia Jane, daughter Amerey’s first bornAmerey Campbell. I’ve spent the last few weeks driving back and forth to Amerey’s and my blog has sat silent. However, my thankful list in my journal is growing.  I am rereading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts and taking pen to paper once again and counting the blessings.  My pen does not produce the blessings, it gives them voice.  They were there to begin with.  


Adoption is an exciting journey.  Those who choose to accept the challenges of parenthood through adoption know is it a raging rapid ride.  The waves of paperwork and home studies smack us in the face, but oh the thrill!  The excitement when we think of that child coming home!  


Go to the beginning.  The beginning of your adoption journey when the possibility was a tiny seed, not yet met with the sperm of the process.  Before the paperwork.  Before the fingerprints.  Before the home study.  Are you there?  There is a glimpse of joy.  A hope of a future with a child or children.  You don’t know them yet, but your heart is full of them, brimming over with expectancy, with faith.  

Fast-forward to today.  What are your todays like?  Busy, filled to the brim with the doings of life with this child you so expectantly loved and longed for.  Filled with the getting up, the putting on of clothing, brushing teeth, schooling, dentist appointments, prayers, scoldings.  At the end of the day, do you fall on the couch, weary of the work?  Wondering, how can I do all this?  How can I carry the burden of family, my back bent over with the weight?  


Raising a child is a hard work.  Raising a child from a hard place is intimidating work.  There are ups and downs, victories, defeats, sorrow and a heavy load.  I have carried that heavy load to the point of codependency, trying to carry the child.  His burdens are dense with ancient afflictions that hang on him like sticky cobwebs.  I like the fly, get caught in the web, bound up, stupified by the poison of the past.  


What is the answer?  How do I raise the child without being entangled in web?  How do I pray for healing and step back and let God do the work?  How do I leave my pseudo control behind and let God do the work?  


Go back to the beginning.  The beginning of the adoption journey when the possibility was a tiny seed. God watered the seed.  He brought the seed to fruition.  He brought the child to me.  He made a way when there seemed to be no way.  He began the work.  He will finish it.  His Word will not return void.  I must not be as the silly, foolish Galatians who accepted the grace, the free gift of salvation and then picked up the hammer and tried to do the work.  I pick up the hammer and pound away at sin and sorrow.  It bruises.  My muscles ache from the work that doesn’t change body or soul.  So, I go back to the beginning when the grace was fresh, new, glorious and exult in the glory of the plan of adoption.  My adoption.  The adoption of my children. The adoption of children.  Miraculous.  Predestined before the foundation of the world.  Before the sphere of blue-green earth hung pendulous in the star spangled sky.  Before the Word spoke.  Before God puffed breath into clay-dirt Adam, He had already beforehand,  planned for our adoption because it was His kind intent.  He knew.  He planned. It was the purpose of His will. (Ephesians 1)  I go back to the origins and I am thankful, bathed in the grace once again.


I return to thanksgiving.   Thanks for the miracle of adoption.
Thank you for the child I loved before I knew him.  Thank you for the prayers I prayed for children half a world away.  Thank you for the blurry photos of my children I carried next to my heart and shed happy tears over.  Thank you for planes the speed over the Atlantic to far away countries that are home.  Thank you that you wrote the stories of my children, you were with them when I could not be. You watched over them.  You are a Father to the fatherless.