Bring Me Back to Life

I cannot even begin to explain to you how easily I am distracted.   I could ask you a question and you could answer me, and I would have no idea what your answer means because I forgot my own question.  Somewhere between me asking and you answering, I started thinking about something else.  I like to think I’m a good listener, but I’m not, not at all, and I’m sorry if you’ve experienced this type of conversation with me.  I am really trying to change this because I don’t want people to think that what they have to say is not important to me!

I am pretty much like this in my “relationship” with Christ also.  I have been a bit distracted by our new little one, that I have completely neglected him.  Prior to our baby coming home, I was distracted by the adoption process, therefore, I have taken a seven or so month hiatus.  I am sure he is used to this by now as this is pretty common for me.  The bigger issue is that I was doing so good for a while!!!  I was reading and listening and things were making sense.  You throw a baby in the mix and I quit cold turkey!  

I have noticed some major differences in “Jenny”s good Jesus time” and “Jenny’s lack of Jesus time” .  In the “good”  time I was more patient, I got things done, sermons were really getting to me (they all felt applicable), worship songs would bring me to tears, I was exercising, and eating well.  Now during the “lack of Jesus” time  I feel nothing, literally, I don’t get anything from sermons, worship songs do nothing for me, I quit exercising, my stomach aches right now from all the Halloween candy I’ve eaten today, I have no time for my friends and I have lost all patience for my children.

The strangest thing to me and what I miss the most is that when I read anything from the bible, or when I’m trying to do my bible study, I don’t get it,  and I did before, for that half a year or so that I was “good”.   I would have more questions but everything was a bit clearer.  It’s like I have the wrong prescription now and can’t find the right one.  I want to be the person that makes time for God and my kids AND my friends.  I know it can happen, just getting back into figuring out how to quit being so selfish because I do have the time.

I heard these lyrics tonight, a song I’ve heard over and over by Evanescence, the lyrics hit me differently tonight.

Bring Me Back to Life

Wake me up inside
call my name and save me from the dark
bid my blood to run
before I come undone

now that I know what I’m without
you can’t just leave me
breathe into me and make me real
bring me back to life

Wake me up inside
call my name and save me from the dark
bid my blood to run
save me from the nothing I’ve become

Bring me to life
(I’ve been living a lie, there’s nothing inside)
Bring me to life


It’s a Girl!

Check List (Was that Really God?)  (Adoption part 1)

If Not….???  (Adoption part 2)

There’s My Sign? (Adoption part 3)

             (If you’d like to read up more on what lead to this post, read the posts listed above)

If you don’t know me personally or haven’t been around me in the past couple months, then you don’t know that we are now a family of 6!  Our adoption is not final but when it is, I will let you have a peak at her!  She has turned our world upside down, in a great way.  This really was a short journey to our daughter, but it’s kind of like human years and dog years.   6 months felt like 42 months (is that right in dog months?)   It is such a time consuming/mind consuming/patience consuming process.    She waited 4 weeks for a family. We were so wonderfully blessed to be working with our adoption consultant Tracie Loux.  Our little girls case worker was referred to Tracie because she would have families that would be a good fit for her.   Tracie contacted us, told us all about her, and within days I was on a flight to meet her and bring her home.

Can’t wait to tell you more!  (Next Post I’m getting back into my “Religious Experiment topics”)

If  adoption is something you have felt a tug about or are thinking about at all, Contact Tracie Loux at Christian Adoption Consultants, she is amazing and LOVES these kids, she can walk you through the process.


There’s my sign

 

Update and only other post on Adoption until we have “news”.

If you would like a little background on our adoption journey, you can read here.

The past month has been a bit of a roller coaster that I created myself. I must for some reason need signs, and somehow I can find signs that seem pretty legit to me. So here is a quick rundown of the past 30 days. Nothing monumental and rest assured, I know that the adoption process can be and has proven to be much harder that what I’m explaining, but just an insight into the adoption experience. Here we go…

~baby born, in nicu, need families, we apply to be shown, I see baby’s birthday which consists of my children’s birthdays all combined, there’s my sign.

~a couple weeks later we find out the baby’s mom has been contemplating parenting, so decided to wait it out a bit because I felt I had the sign.

~about a week later we got notified that a baby had been born that morning and they needed families, we said we’d be shown. I was still attached to the previous baby, but talked to Andrew and our adoption consultant and decided to move forward. I then realized the date, it was Adam’s birthday (Andrew’s brother who passed away a little over two years ago). What a great gift to us and the family, and there’s my sign. I begin to prepare for the possibility of leaving to get our child.

~few hours later I am notified that was not our child and also that the previous child was also not our child (mom decided to parent). I am crushed.

~last week notified of a baby due this month, all seemed like a great fit from our side. There were no signs…no signs can be a sign because past signs meant no baby…there’s my sign.

Can you follow my wacky train of
thought???

~today, found out something about the baby that will not work with our family dynamic, therefore we will not be shown.

My plan for the rest of this journey, keep my eyes on God, My eyes have wondered a bit, maybe he’s trying to get my attention.

I know that for every long day that I drop everything to get all our info somewhere, and for every meaningless sign, missed opportunity, extra carb eaten, and Drop Dead Diva episode watched to escape my thoughts…that this is all leading us down and around and back down the perfect path, divinely designed to lead us to our child.

 


If not…???

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I am going to see if I can explain this without giving too much info.

(If you haven’t read my previous post, Checklist, the following may not make sense.)

A week or two ago we received notification of a baby already born (out of state). Andrew and I both just went on with our day because there was a major thing on our list that didn’t match up to this baby, therefore we would not submit our profile to the baby’s mother.

However that evening, I don’t know why, but we decided to open up the information and read more. By the following day we had completely changed our mind on that major thing and and decided to call her social worker to ask a couple questions. While waiting for the social worker to call me back, I laid in bed a prayed, I wanted validation that we were doing the right thing, I was sitting there waiting for the phone and reading through the info again and noticed the birthday of the baby was made up of the birthdays of my 3 kids. (example: If my kids birthdays were on the 4th, 17th, and 12th, the baby’s birthday is on 4/17/12)

When I saw that, I was convinced that this was our child, all hesitations were out the door, after all, we were brought back to this baby’s info after writing it off, we both were comfortable with that major thing that we weren’t comfortable with 24 hours earlier AND I read the birth dates right after praying for validation. I have now fallen head over heals for a baby that may never be placed in my care.

This may seem a little on the insane side, but think about it like this;

When people find out they are expecting, many will say they are in love with that child the minute they find out;

When we got “the call” about being matched with our oldest daughter, and that we should leave because we could come get her, we were instantly in love.

This isn’t so different from those situations, I just got the “signs” that we would be matched…therefore let down all guard…but we aren’t matched…and may never be.

If the baby does not become a part of this family, I know that it’s because the baby will be best in another family and still in God’s care. A different baby/child will be best in ours and we will be head over heals in love with that child…but this will be hard to just get over.

I feel less confident every day that goes by that we don’t hear anything about this baby since submitting our profile. I guess I went into it confident I knew what God was saying, and maybe I need to be continuing with strong faith that I heard right. I feel horrible that i can’t. I do trust Him, I just don’t trust how I hear Him. I feel like I can’t let myself get even more attached…

I am also concerned that if I misinterpreted something huge like this, how can I ever be certain about what I hear?


Checklist (Was that really God?)

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I need a checklist or something so I know if I am hearing God, or if I’m just seeing what I want to see or hearing what I want to hear, or perhaps I am just completely misinterpreting what God is telling me. Does that checklist exist? Any help is appreciated!

We are going through the adoption process right now, no official announcements have been made simply because there is no date. Its hard for others to be excited or feel your excitement when you have no info to give. Don’t get me wrong, WE (as in Andrew, the girls, and I) are extremely excited. We have everything we need in case of “the call”.

I honestly went into the process (in March) with the following thoughts…

1. I’ve adopted before, I know what to expect.
2. We are open to “harder to place” situations, we should be matched right away!
3. We are a busy family, the wait won’t bother me.
4. I like paperwork; bring on the applications.
5. I will not make any decisions without God or my husband.

I am so naive! Nothing has been what was expected, we obviously were not matched right away, the wait (or the unknown date) is driving me close to insanity and I am pretty sure I have in one way or another forced my husband into some decisions, obviously without Gods blessing.

Andrew and I did talk through the last point and I have been much better about including him and praying about all decisions lately.

We chose not to be submitted to some more severe situations, and we have been submitted to expecting moms who did not choose us (what?!? I know!!!) But seriously, it is a little blow to the ego when you’re “rejected”. I do question if we are doing what we are suppose to be doing, or did I misinterpret something along the way.

Of course if I did read into something wrong, God could just use this as a detour and direct me me back where he wants, but if He is trying to direct me somewhere I’m not sure if Im seeing the correct signs…

In fact, This journey (adoption and religious) just got a lot harder…

(continued in next post, If not…??


This is why I write and don’t speak…

Last Month I mentioned that we were going to do a “No Spend” month, and I said I would let you know how it went.  I was interviewed by a Lincoln radio station about the concept, and it aired this morning, so instead of writing about it, you can listen to the interview on the radio stations website (keep in mind, I am not a great speaker :)).

No Spend May Interview


A short quote…

I read this today…

“But then something happens.  You pass a seventeen-year old girl in the hallway of a Bangkok motel, fully knowing that she’s selling herself, and you say, “I can’t keep pretending I live in Disneyland, singing hymns and practicing personal piety while human trafficking steals children’s souls, and thirty thousand people die every day of treatable diseases.  I can’t continue to live ‘faith as usual’ when I learn how many billions of people are making the same amount of money in a year that I make in three days.”  If knowing all this doesn’t shake you to the core, something’s probably wrong with your view of Jesus and the life to which we’re invited.”

Quoted from the book, The Colors of Hope,  by Richard Dahlstrom


What’s Your Pain Tolerance?

In my last post, First World Problem, I said I would do something about my lack of action when it comes to helping others. I definitely have the empathy down, but not “giving til it hurts”.  (For the record, I also think the phrase “giving til it hurts”  is a horrible phrase,  there is so much joy in giving that I don’t believe it ever really “hurts”.  Maybe “give until you notice”, or “give until you see a change in you”.  But I will stick to the “hurts” for this post because it just works.)

I don’t think anyone can tell you what percentage to give, everyone’s pain tolerance is different.
For instance…Oprah Winfrey gave $40 million dollars in 2009 (People Magazine), her annual salary was $275 million (Forbes).

Some would say giving $40 million dollars away is a huge sacrifice.  I’m not convinced it is.   I’m not really sure where she would start to feel the pain, but would seem she is a few million away for that.

Courtesy of
Sarah Poppe Photography

On the other hand, there’s a child whom, to them, giving their favorite toy away to someone who had none would be devastating. So it would seem as if the child giving away a favorite toy is making a bigger sacrifice that Oprah giving $40 million dollars.

So how do you measure the “pain” of giving? Everyone’s pain tolerance is different, every persons circumstance are different.

I am measuring my giving “pain” based on the pain chart often seen in hospitals.  I am at a level 3 (to some in my situation, they could say they were at a 1 and to others, with different pain tolerance would say they were at a 9, even my husband living in the exact same financial situation could be somewhere different on that chart.)

Here is my first step of action.  For the month of May, I am not buying anything outside of basic necessities (disclaimer, I will be buying Mother’s Day gifts and baby shower gifts).    All the money that would have been spent on eating out, clothes, activities, etc., will be given to one of my favorite organization, Obasi.

Obasi is a ministry in Lincoln, NE where Miss Brenda works with inner-city kids to prepare them for adulthood.  I have followed her for years, and she and the Obasi staff and volunteers do amazing work with these kids.  They are hard-working and really devote their lives to them.  There are wonderful stories that come from these children and they love Miss Brenda.  She pours her heart and soul into them.  So I am sacrificing for them this month and will be getting my girls involved in this also.   Looking forward to see what the month brings, I’ll keep you posted!


First World Problem

I am sitting in my living room, eating my chocolate covered bananas, sitting in my leather couch, in my perfectly temperature controlled house, and I am feeling incredibly UN-comfortable.

About 90% of the blog posts I write, are due to the fact that I feel guilty (some might use the term “convicted”) of something. I don’t like that feeling, hence the lack of posts recently.

Tonight, I’m letting the guilt set in, and I feel heavy! I have had a migraine for 24 hours now, the longest I’ve had and all I wanted was a hot shower in a dark room. I got the kids to bed and went to get in the nice hot shower and my water was LUKE WARM!! This was incredibly disappointing and I was really quite angry, and that is where the guilt set in. I remembered a story that a friend was telling me. She had listened to a man tell about the adoption of a his son. He explained that until his son came to America, he had NEVER felt anything besides cold water. He told how they had to start with warmish water and very carefully place his hand in it, then warm it up a bit more, and continue with that process. He then stated how it was the best thing he’d ever felt. Now, I‘m sure I don’t have that story perfect, I didn’t hear him speak, and don’t even know who it was (if someone does, let me know!). I do know that he has far more appreciation for warm water than I have for probably anything in my life! I am a spoiled, spoiled person, who doesn’t give enough thought and doesn’t take enough action for those who don’t have anything.

One of the hard questions that people have about God, is how can he let people go hungry, and suffer in horrible living environments. We ask these questions while we live in homes that are too big, drive cars way beyond necessity, and eat way too much food. We want God to fix everything while we sacrifice nothing.

My husband has been using the phrase “First World Problem” whenever he hears a complaint, or finds himself complaining about anything. So my luke warm water that I was “tortured” with this evening was my “first world problem”!

I prayed that every person reading this post, the next time you complain about something incredibly petty, that you hear the phrase “First World Problem” in your head. (You will hear it ;))

I have an idea of how to take action myself, I will explain more in my next post! Stay tuned…


Can you spot the difference?

There are good moral atheists…There are good moral Christians…There are bad atheists…and bad Christians…Atheists truly believe there is no god…Christians truly believe there is a God…Atheists are offended by you telling them they are going to Hell…Christians are offended by you telling them they believe because they are lacking intelligence…


Offensive………………and Offensive.

Christians are jerks when they celebrate the death of someone they don’t agree with…as are atheists…We all at some point in our lives doubt our belief or lack of belief.

We are not so different, so what sets us apart? There has to be something, after all, we are told to be set apart.

How do I show someone that what I believe is real?

LOVE the unlovable, or whoever is unlovable to you. It definitely takes the existence of a God to love some people, so prove that you have that power within you. If you disagree with something someone does or is, show them God, that’s your job. God convicts, let Him do his job.

LEARN!! You believe in a ALL Powerful, ALL knowing, Loving God who created this earth, performs miracles, and is going to someday take us all to live in His presence. That’s fascinating! Research it, read the bible, read all about this amazing being. You are going to be spending eternity with Him, you should have a little knowledge about what that means and should want that knowledge. The whole purpose of this life is choosing Jesus and showing Jesus, so we should know something about it.

SACRAFICE! Sell something; help someone, don’t hang on to that money so tight! After all, “this is not your home” So LIVE LIKE IT! Next time you have bad service at a restaurant, tip a little more, maybe they are having a really bad day, prove that cheap Christian stereotype wrong, make their day a little better, not worse. Next time you buy a car, buy a cheaper one than you budgeted for and give that money to someone that can really make a difference in their life. Forgive someone a debt owed to you. Show people there’s a God even when there is money involved.

I understand that we are all human and we all make mistakes, but you are trying to convince people you have a supernatural God, so show some supernatural restraint, forgiveness and generosity.


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