Monday, April 19, 2010

Memorial Box Monday: A Precious Baby Girl

Memorial Box Monday is a time to reflect on God's faithfulness in our life. A time when His love, goodness, and grace is remembered and shared with others. To God be the glory! Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity (rt. side of blog) started MBM and you can read all about it at her blog. You can also read or share your stories by linking up with Linny.

I have been praying about what to share today. What keeps coming to mind is the story of how our third child became our daughter. So today I am sharing how God answered our prayers in a unique way.

While in the Air Force Joel was given orders to Clark Air Force Base in The Philippines, so Joel, myself, and our two small children drove across the country to CA where we got on a plane and flew to The Philippine Islands. We had talked about adoption long before heading overseas, but when we knew we were going there we were very excited because right away we believed God was going to add to our family through adoption of a child while we were living in The Philippines.

We had only been there a few months when we began to look into the process of adoption. In this third world country there are few guidelines, and we quickly learned that it would be necessary for us to look for our own child to adopt. There were few orphanages ~ most of the babies for adoption had military fathers and Filipino mothers and they were often left at the clinics where they had been born and placed for adoption into American families when possible. It was a frustrating process and I was impatient to get on with it!

Joel worked with a Sgt. who was planning to adopt a son. One night we saw them at the fair on base, and they had with them a tiny little baby girl they had named Janet. We spoke briefly about how sick Janet had been when they brought her home and how they had nursed her back to health. We also shared how we were hoping to adopt a daughter ourselves, and then we moved on. I went home that night so envious that this family was not only hoping to adopt a son, but already had found a daughter to bring into their family. I remember praying to God for a little girl like Janet to bring home.

Shortly after seeing them at the fair, we ran into them again, but I was so upset about our own "lengthy" journey to adopt that I would not even look at the little girl or visit with the family. Pretty much, I was having a pity party for myself! Joel was also struggling and I remember him saying to me, "Why do they already have a child and we don't!" We were very naive about how long it could really take to go through the adoption process.

The next day Joel came home from work and told me that he had visited with this same Sgt. at work, and that he had told him Janet was not their daughter, but their foster daughter, and he wondered if we would be interesting in adopting her. We were stunned, and so excited. We set up a time for them to come by our home along with the social worker that they were working with. Little "Janet" was so precious and as soon as I held her in my arms I knew she was an answer to our prayers! It was only a week later that our precious N. ( we changed her name) came home to live with us forever. She was just 4 months old.
Her foster mom had made her a few dresses, nighties, and booties that we kept as keepsakes. So I will be adding a pair of pink baby booties to our Memorial Box as a reminder of God's answer to a young Lt's prayers, and one impatient mother's prayers (even in the midst of a pity party) ~ and the joy we have received from our wonderful daughter. God did bless us with a child not only "just like Janet", BUT Janet herself! WOW!
N. is 35 now and has a beautiful family of her own. She has graced our home with her love, kindness, and inner and outer beauty. We have been forever blessed.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Footprints In The Sand

On Friday I received an email from an old friend. She sent me a forward that showed a picture of a robed man from the knees down who was walking in the sand. It was Jesus. How do I know? Because you could see the scar on the bottom of one foot when He was walking and it was lifted off the sand. The words written on the graphic were, "Let Him carry you".... Of course, this is a powerful image reflecting the poem, Footprints In The Sand by Mary Stevenson.

"Let Him Carry you." These four words are so simple but yet so profound. Whether we are struggling at our job, having marriage problems, living with an illness, or dealing with a crisis ~ these four words are a great reminder of who is there to help us. When things are difficult and we don't know how we can go on, we can lift our arms like a small child, and our Lord and Savior will take us up into His loving arms and carry us. There is no better place to be.

"Let Him Carry You"
Joan of "Reflections" shared Deuteronomy 33:27 with me and I just had to add it to my post!
"The eternal God is your refuge,
and underneath
are the everlasting arms."

For more inspirational posts, stop over and visit Ginger and Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Memorial Box Monday: Invisible Hands

Memorial Box Mondays was created by Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity. Stop over and read what it is all about and link up to share your own stories, or read what others have written about God's faithfulness and goodness in their lives.

Today I am sharing a story that came to mind last night.

In 1973 Joel and I and our two young children were living in Duluth Minnesota where Joel was forecasting weather for the Air Force. At that time as a young adult, I was struggling in many areas of my life, including my faith. I just did not "feel" God near and my prayers seemed to go unanswered amidst the turmoils swirling around inside of me. I did not "feel" my faith was enough.

On Sunday mornings we attended our Lutheran church where Joel sometimes was a guest speaker, and on Sunday nights we went with friends to a Pentecostal church. One Sunday night I felt led to go to the altar for prayer. Members of the congregation were praying with people in need, and as I knelt at the altar I folded my hands and closed my eyes. Soon I felt someone take my hands, unfold them, and lift them up in praise. As this was happening, I remember smiling and opening my eyes to see whose hands were holding mine. I was stunned to realize I was all alone. There was no one near me. The warm hands still holding my hands were invisible to my naked eye, but yet I felt their touch.

Was it God himself? Jesus? Maybe the Holy Spirit? Could it have been an angel? I do not know for sure. What I do know is that God blessed me with an invisible touch that changed my life.

This experience grounded my faith at a time of great need. I knew that God was with me, that He loved me, and that my faith was real. I could rely on God and the assurance I had in Jesus as my Savior, no matter what I was feeling inside. I have never experienced anything like that since, although many other experiences have blessed me over the years. For that one night ~at an altar, I will be forever thankful.

I think I will need to add a pair of praying hands to my Memorial Box as a reminder of God's love and affection for one of His struggling children.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Earthquakes And Aftershocks

Recently our world has experienced several powerful earthquakes. We have seen the devastation that occurs ~ the earth cracks open, buildings are turned to rubble, and the survivors often walk around in a shocked daze as they try to put their lives back together. The aftershocks can be just as destructive, not only on a physical level, but emotionally too. Fear often overwhelms, as the earth continues to rumble and shake. A kind of "before and after" thinking takes over. It often takes years before things feel "normal" again.

We experience personal earthquakes in our lives too. An earthquake may come in the form of a divorce, a job loss, financial ruin, an illness, the death of a loved one, or broken relationships. Our world shakes, seems to crack open, and everything around us turns to rubble. Often we walk around in a shocked daze as we wonder what exactly has happened. And the aftershocks from a divorce, job loss, death, etc. can be just as devastating. Fear grabs hold of us, and we wonder if things will ever feel "normal" again.

Where do we find the calm assurance we long for during these times of turmoil? The Bible tells us our help comes from the Lord, the MAKER of Heaven and earth. Jesus speaks to us throughout the scriptures.

Be still and know that I am God...
Psalm 46:10

Come unto me all ye who are heavy laden
and I will give you rest....

Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and of good courage
Be ye not terrified
Nor dismayed.....
For the Lord your God
is with you
wherever you go!
Joshua 1:9


No matter what earthquakes and aftershocks come our way, we have God's promise to be with us. He is our solid foundation that will never crumble. "On Christ the solid rock I stand......all other ground is sinking sand."

Please join Charlotte and Ginger at Spiritual Sundays.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

It's A New Day

I am writing about Thankful Thursday a little early this week!!

Recently I heard a quote I really like ~ "It is a great day because today I am a candidate for a miracle!" Everyday is a day filled with opportunities for miracles and I feel like I have been given one.

Monday the test results of my surgery biopsies came back and all were benign! The cancer was confined to the uterus lining and 20% of the tissue so I will not need radiation or chemo although I will see an oncologist to discuss the possibility of "preventive" radiation. We are so relieved and happy!

It has felt like we were camping out at the foot of a mountain unsure of what direction to take, but now we have all the information we need to move forward on the right path of my "recovery mountain". And we do not walk alone. God is with us, the health care providers, and all those we love and care about.

The prayers of so many have carried us through this last month. The doctor is surprised at how swiftly I am recovering, how little pain medication I needed, and how little reactions I had. There is only one answer ~ The POWER OF PRAYER and GOD"S GOODNESS! He has been in the details of every part of this journey.

I am giving thanks today for every single person who lifted me and Joel up in prayer. Giving thanks for every single detail of my journey with cancer that God has worked out to His perfection and timing. I am giving thanks for all I have learned and will continue to learn on this journey. I am giving thanks for the opportunity to heal and continue to share the love of Christ with others.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Memorial Box Monday: Sinking Fast!

It is time for another Memorial Box Monday! Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity started the wonderful Monday posts where people share the stories of God's faithfulness and intervention in their lives. Go visit or link up and share your own stories! They will strengthen your faith!

God brought to mind today an experience Joel and I went through many years ago. In fact, it was 1975 and we were living in The Philippine Islands, where Joel was a meteorologist for the Air Force. A group from the base chapel decided to go on a tour of the island of Corregidor in the Manila Bay, where you can still see the aftermath of the war with Japan. To get to this island we had to cross the ocean in a banca boat. As you can see by the photo below, they are narrow boats with outriggers that keep the boat balanced in the water. A small motor propels the boat across the water.

I grabbed a small life jacket as we all climbed into the 3 person bancas and headed across the sea. Our trip over was uneventful, and the tour was very interesting, but on the way back to the main island, our boat's motor stopped running right in the middle of the Philippine Sea. As the other boats got farther and farther away, Joel and I waited for our young non-English speaking boat guide to fix the motor. Soon the boat started taking on water, and the young man handed us rusty cans while gesturing to us to bail water out of the boat! As we bailed he continued to work on the motor, scooping out a can or two of water once in awhile himself.

Joel and I started praying as we scooped water from the bottom of the boat as fast as we could. We tried not to think about the choppy waves, possibility of sharks, or the 1 life jacket for 3 people. We just kept praying and bailing....It seemed to go on forever when suddenly we saw another banca boat coming back across the bay towards us! An older man came up to us, tied our boats together, and as we continued to bail, he pulled us across the water and back to shore. We had a lot to give thanks for when our feet touched that sandy shore.

I think I will need to find a small banca boat to put in my new Memorial Box as a reminder of how God saved us from a sinking boat in the ocean that day. This story is a great reminder of how God works in every detail of our lives. Whether we find ourselves on the ocean in a sinking boat, or just dealing with life's circumstances that have us pleading for help...God is there for us. He will rescue us! We are never alone.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He Is Not Here

Luke 24~ The Message: "At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside they could not find the body of the Master Jesus. They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck, and bowed down to worship. The men said, 'Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery?' He is not here, but raised up.'"

There can be no Easter without Good Friday. No resurrection without a crucifixion. No empty tomb without the body of Christ placed in the tomb. All was fulfilled when the angels said, "He is not here."

HE IS RISEN! Thanks be to God!

May each of you have a blessed Easter filled with the joy that knowing Christ our Savior brings! He is not here. He is Risen!

To read more inspirational posts stop over to Spiritual Sundays hosted by Ginger and Charlotte.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday: The Crucifixion

Good Friday is a time to remember with great humility and appreciation what Jesus did for all of us. He suffered and died on a cross, carrying the weight of our sins upon His broken body.

"It is finished......."