Monday, August 23, 2010

Undeserved Privilege

"Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand..." Romans 5:2

This isn't the whole passage, but I love the term undeserved privilege. Our culture is a world of undeserved privilege. We like to think that we have what we have because we worked hard, we tried hard, we saved and pushed our way to get where we are. That's really not true.

Because we work so hard, it's easy for us to think we deserve the things we have. These are privileges that we work and sweat for. It's ours. We love that about ourselves. And although there's nothing wrong with hard work(in fact it's a biblical principle), the message of the gospel is that we earn nothing. We get to participate in the privileges of God even though we don't deserve it.

I've only shared this with a few people, but there's a part of me that wants to brag about this adoption thing. The process has been long and difficult. People have been overwhelmingly helpful, but Anna and I have both worked hard to get where we are. Now it feels like we are in the home stretch, and there's a part of me that wants to say "I've earned this." However, the reality is that God has been at work at this before it even popped into our heads. When I read "undeserved privilege", I hear that God does all the work of redemption. God does all the work of adoption.

It's humbling. It's wonderful to be a part of. More than anything, it's comforting to know that my hard work gets me very little. It's just a response to the God who has already done all the work. I just get a lot of undeserved privilege. It's a pretty nice perk.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Psalm 139

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
 1 O LORD, you have searched me 
       and you know me.
 2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
       you perceive my thoughts from afar.
 3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
       you are familiar with all my ways.
 4 Before a word is on my tongue
       you know it completely, O LORD.
 5 You hem me in—behind and before;
       you have laid your hand upon me.
 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
       too lofty for me to attain.
 7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
       Where can I flee from your presence?
 8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
       if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
 9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
       if I settle on the far side of the sea,
 10 even there your hand will guide me,
       your right hand will hold me fast.
 11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
       and the light become night around me,"
 12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
       the night will shine like the day,
       for darkness is as light to you.
 13 For you created my inmost being;
       you knit me together in my mother's womb.
 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
       your works are wonderful,
       I know that full well.
 15 My frame was not hidden from you
       when I was made in the secret place.
       When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
 16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
       All the days ordained for me
       were written in your book
       before one of them came to be.
 17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
       How vast is the sum of them!
 18 Were I to count them,
       they would outnumber the grains of sand.
       When I awake,
       I am still with you.
 19 If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
       Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
 20 They speak of you with evil intent;
       your adversaries misuse your name.
 21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD,
       and abhor those who rise up against you?
 22 I have nothing but hatred for them;
       I count them my enemies.
 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
       test me and know my anxious thoughts.
 24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
       and lead me in the way everlasting.

Needed this today....said it out loud and proclaimed it :) Hope it speaks to you today too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1 year ago

I cannot believe that it has been ONE year since we decided to adopt from Ethiopia.  Last year on this day, I was a wreck!!!  I cried all day because I just knew God had opened my heart to adoption AND opened my heart to ANY child and plan that He had for us....not just the plan that I THOUGHT I wanted.  On this day, Russ picked me up to drive to Okolona for a Ghana mission meeting.  It was on that ride that I start crying and telling him that I am ready and OPEN for the child God has for us.  We decided that we did want a multi-racial family and that was part of the plan.  We debated between a domestic (US) adoption or an Ethiopian adoption.

It was at this point that I think we could have gone either way and I think either way would have been great!!!  But, I had been reading many Ethiopian blogs and even read the book "There is no me without you." (which I highly recommend!!!!).  It was like the blur of the past year finally made sense.  The fact that I had thrown away an Ethiopian adoption packet the year before...because we were "not doing that"  made this decision even better.  My heart had been closed off because of fear.  Fear of the process, what being a multi-racial family would look like, how our family and friends would react, etc.  But, on this day, all of those things didn't seem to matter.  I finally knew what my heart wanted...and it wanted WHATEVER child GOd had for us to parent.  AH, the freedom I felt on that day!!!

We chose Ethiopia and in Russ' words "there was no turning back."  Many questioned why not the United States and truthfully, I feel like we will probably adopt from the US at some point.  All I can say is that I believe this little girl from Ethiopia was planned long before time to be OUR little girl.  God does not just see the US when He views the world and He calls for us to care for others in our neighborhoods, cities, states, country, and even the world.

We went that night and prayed with some close friends of ours.  Having knew that we wanted a girl and that we would name her was that night that I found Lucy Lane's coming home video.  What perfect timing.  I had never seen her blog and how "convenient" for me to see it right after we had made the decision when I was freaking out a little.

We have been on the waitlist for almost 7 months.  She was so real to us last August but even more so today.


During this period of waiting, know that you are loved.  Your daddy and I cannot wait until the day that we get to see your little face.  While on paper, the decision was only made one year have been in our hearts for many years.  While waiting is hard...I trust in God's timing and plan.  I hope you feel so loved us but ultimately by our great Father.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I recently just finished reading Radical by David Platt.  I've heard of this book for some time but didn't have a strong desire to read it.  On a whim I picked up the book at Barnes and Noble and decided to purchase it.  Now, while there are some extreme statements in this book and it is no substitute for The Word, it has challenged me and unnerved me.  You know, one of those books that I almost wish I hadn't read because now I am forced to wrestle with some issues I would rather push away.

 I am comfortable.  I have a pretty nice house in the exact neighborhood I wanted...a wonderful husband....a dog and soon to be daughter.  I live a comfortable life.  But, I almost think when our life is comfortable...we are not truly living the life God created us to live.  When we are comfortable we are not dependent on Him.  God has been challenging us on this....especially when we decided to adopt from Ethiopia.  I was not comfortable with adopting a child that didn't look like us.  Now, don't start throwing stones....I am just being honest.  It took me by surprise when I realized that was in my heart.  God worked on my heart for a year and now I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  But, I would not call the process "comfortable." I would call it amazing, crazy, and completely reliant on Him, but not comfortable.

God is breaking us in some other areas of this as please pray that Russ and I would be willing to truly serve Him and to quit chasing the American dream and be radical in our pursuit of "making disciples" which to me means  bringing others to Him through relationships for His glory.

I have heard people say that after reading this book...they felt like they must just sell everything and move across the world.  While I am sure that is exactly what God intends for some and perhaps I will do at some point... I also feel like the book challenged me to be radical in Tupelo, MS where I am called right now.

A few quotes I underlined:

"How many of us are embracing the comforts of suburban America while we turn a deaf ear to inner cities in need of the gospel?"

"This is how God works.  He puts His people in positions where they are desperate for his power, and then he shows his provision in ways that display his greatness."

"Fundamentally, the gospel is the revelation of who God is, who we are, and how we can be reconciled to him.  Yet in the America dream, where self reigns as king (or queen), we have a dangerous tendency to misunderstand, minimize, and even manipulate the gospel in order to accommodate our assumptions and desires.  As a result, we desperately need to explore how much of our understanding of the gospel is American and how much is biblical.  And in the process we need to examine whether we have misconstrued a proper response to the gospel and maybe even missed the primary reward of the gospel, which is God himself."

"It's a foundational truth: God creates, blesses, and saves each of us for a radically global purpose.  But if we are not careful, we will be tempted to make exceptions.  We will be tempted to adopt spiritual smoke screens and embrace national comforts that excuse us from the global plan of Christ.  And in the process we will find ourselves settling for lesser plans that the culture around us - and even the church around us - deems more admirable, more manageable, and more comfortable."

This post is heavy....just wanted to let you all know what is going on in Anna's life :)

Have a great Saturday night!!


ps--still no referral :(  we are at 6 1/2 months now.  Hopefully, it won't be long!!!