Wednesday, May 18, 2011


God has taken me on a journey to learn a little about shame in these last few months. The first step was at a youth conference we had at our church at the beginning of April. The speaker asked the students what was the source of their biggest shame. The things that came to my mind were things I had no control over - therefore why should I feel shame? God then spent the next week showing me the things I should actually be ashamed of - sins in my life that had a stronghold and needed dealing with. Isn't that sneaky of the devil to have us being ashamed of things we have no control over while glossing over things we should be ashamed of, like our own sin. I thought that was the end of the journey.

The next step came at a women's conference this past weekend. The speaker again addressed shame. I realized that part of the shame over that things I could not control was not shame over the things themselves, but over that pain they have caused me. I have been ashamed of my pain (pain for the purposes of these next examples may be equated with tears) Why? I came up with a couple of answers: I don't want to draw attention to my self, I am afraid people will misunderstand and judge me, what if they think I'm being selfish, and finally if I am always displaying my pain to everyone will people get tired of me? I'm not saying they are good reasons, but they are my reasons. And the nugget of truth that followed was this: The world ignores pain - tries to deaden and hide it. I do no service to the Gospel, to the power of Jesus as Comforter and Prince of Peace when I hide and ignore my pain. It's a testimony/witness/gospel issue.

Now, for my family and friends who are now trying to book plane tickets so you can fly out and give me a hug, I'm fine. This is not new pain - it has to do with not living where we want to live and our family not being as big as we'd like. Stuff that we've been dealing with for a couple of years now. I guess I'm surprised by the pain sometimes because I think I should be over it? But if the situation still exists, I guess the pain does, too. But it's not always at the front of my mind. I am even happy and in love and learning and growing and ministering. I guess that's part of the testimony, too. Being a Christian doesn't shield me from pain. But I do have a relationship with the One Who gathers all my tears in a jar, Who wrote the story of my life, Who can redeem my pain, Who has already redeemed my life, Who holds me in the palm of His hand. . .

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Life Update

It's been quite a while since I posted anything so, for those of you who are still checking this blog, I decided to just give an update on where we are in life. Michael had interviewed for a job about two months ago and finally, seven weeks after interviewing, got his "thanks for applying" letter in the mail. He was pretty bummed, but the very next day Pastor Paul told him about a position at Peacemakers that was open. Peacemakers is a Christian organization that trains and promotes Christian conflict resolution. They have books and seminars for individual and family conflict resolution and they train mediators to help churches with conflict resolution. The position that Michael is applying for is Coordinator of Global Outreach. This position needs someone with theological training, experience in working with/in other cultures, and speaking another language won't hurt anything. He would also have a fair amount of secretarial type duties and need to be able to train people and mission teams for working cross-culturally. Please pray for him as he applies and waits and for Peacemakers that they will find the best person for this position (we hope it's Michael).

Our house has been on the market since June. We have only had a few people come see the house, but the realtor says he keeps getting inquiries about it. We will be having another open house on November 7th.

Our social worker for our adoption process has told us that they have about 15 adoptive families right now and not many birth families.

So we continue to wait on the Lord in many areas of our lives. We know that He is working in us to prepare us for what He has ahead. He has been gracious to even give us a glimpse of our own growth. He has also blessed us as new small group leaders with a great new group which we hope will continue on after the initial introduction phase. He continues to challenge and grow (and bless) Christina as she has also become the small group leader for the Freshman girls in the youth group. He has blessed us in so many ways and through so many people. . . Our hearts are full and we wait expectantly for what He has in the future and ask for His wisdom as opportunities are presented for service in the present.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


I've been concerned and trying to decide what kind of formula to use once we get a baby. I started doing some research. The only formulas that are milk-based and made with milk from cows that have NOT been given growth formula are organic formulas. Thus began the cost/benefit analysis. I could get 2 cans of generic formula at Costco for about $20 while organic formula costs about $30 per can. "They" say that there is no research to show that the growth hormone given to the cows transfers in the milk or meat or affects humans in any way, but I just don't buy it. And I didn't want to give it to my baby (whenever he or she comes.) So, every time I thought about it, my brow would furrow and my stomach would clench - I didn't know what to do and I was sharing my concerns with lots of people. One friend said she had an friend who sells formula and would sell it to us by the case, which would be a little cheaper, but still. I was worried and I shouldn't have been and I was worrying instead of praying.

So, I'm in Wal-Mart yesterday and I glance toward the baby section as I walk by and what do you think God draws my attention to? Generic Organic Formula! $15 a can. I couldn't believe it and I was literally choked-up and misty-eyed in the middle of Wal-Mart! It's also a generic that our IGA in Columbus sells, so they may be able to order it for me and get me an even better deal by the case. My first thoughts were that God really is going to send us a baby and that He really is going to take care of us. Then scripture started popping into my head: "my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory", "so don't worry about those things for God knows that you need them", etc. I've been pretty happy ever since. How gracious of God to remind me to come to Him with all my worries, and to remind me (not for the first time) that He has a good plan for us and will take care of us. Hope you are encouraged and reminded of His faithfulness, also.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My New Subi

Warning: I'm about to make a short story long. Since I spun out on the interstate in our X-terra last winter, Michael has been wanting to get me a new vehicle. Subaru's are very popular up here because of their All Wheel Drive, good gas mileage and suitability for outdoor activities, so that's what we've been looking at. By looking I mean sort of dreaming of them as we drive by car lots. On Saturday we saw one at the Chevy dealership in Columbus as we were on our way out of town. Michael said he would check it out on the Internet while we were in town.

He spent some time talking and praying with a friend in Billings on Saturday and as Troy was headed home he left us with a tid-bit from a missionary he new. The missionary had said that we pray for things that are too small; we give God the credit when it's something that we could work to make happen on our own. He encouraged his audience to make a prayer list of things ONLY God could do. Troy shared that they had tried this one year and were amazed at what God did.

Michael had looked the Subi up on the Internet - it was great deal for a Subi, but still out of our range. While we drove home he asked if I wanted to go check it out and just see what happens. I said sure. Then we talked about praying for things only God could do and decided that a straight-up trade for our X-terra was a God sized task. The dealer made us an offer of the X-terra plus $1000 and we told him we'd pray about it over the weekend (we really can't afford even that, even though that would still be a great deal). He said that he doesn't see many X-terras so he would do a little more research and see what he could find out.

On Monday he left us a message saying he had good news. Michael called me at work and I said he could tell the dealer whatever he was comfortable with (yes, no, I have to talk to my wife) but that a straight-up trade was really the only way. He offered us a straight-up trade! The vehicles are the same year. Ours has less miles, theirs has better gas mileage. Ours needs new tires and a new windshield, their has seat warmers! Everything else is equal - 6 disk CD changer, power windows and doors, etc.

We make the trade tomorrow. Yeah, God!!

I was encouraged and reminded of God's faithfulness. Michael was too, but he was wishing that if God were going to answer a big prayer, He'd answer the one about a job. We discussed that a little bit, too, and decided maybe we weren't praying a big enough prayer concerning his job! Scary stuff, but I'm brave and I can't wait to see what God does this year.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


We are officially approved to be adoptive parents!!!!! Our photo albums have been shipped and hopefully we will finish our "Letter to Expectant Parents" tomorrow night. I'm excited to have all this done but I'm a little apprehensive about the waiting - I think it might be harder than I'm expecting.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Job Update

Working on Sundays was more than Michael was comfortable with - even once every third Sunday. God just didn't give him a peace about it, so he turned down the job. He struggled with it for a couple of days, being really bummed. But God kept working on him and he is determined to trust God and follow Him and make his attitude follow, even if it's hard.

The lady he's been driving bus for is going to be driving her route in the afternoons starting the middle of March. This means less hours at the job that pays more per hour. We're waiting to see how God will provide, because we know He will. We're hoping it's a new job for Michael, but we'll take whatever the Lord gives.

One of the things He's giving is gas money from the church. That will be a big help.

I am currently trying not to become anxious as I try to finish our adoption photo album and as we write our "letter to expectant parents" and try to finish up the nursery. I'm just ready for our part to be done. I want to be done.

Thanks for your prayers in these areas. We love you guys.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Plugging Along

I haven't posted in a while because it feels like we're just plugging along. We're working on our photo album and the social worker is working on her paperwork; we both have a little way to go before we're finished and they can start "showing" us.

Michael has received a job offer (yea!) that would require him to work every 3rd Sunday (boo!) He is praying about it with all the church leadership to figure out how it would affect the church. This job would have benefits and vacation, opportunity for advancement and it would be more interesting. It doesn't start off paying much more than he's making now, but it's one job instead of two, plus the above mentioned benefits. He told the lady that he'd call her by Monday.

Church is good. Our small group is getting to know each other and they have already been a big encouragement to us.

We're pretty much good. Thanks for all your prayers and I will give you a job update soon.