It has been a long year. Back in May I shared that we began the process of embryo adoption with the National Embryo Donation Center in Knoxville, TN. On November 15, we travelled to Knoxville and I received an amazing birthday present, one I thought for so long impossible – I became a mom. Just these last few weeks have been nerve-wracking with many emotional highs and lows, joys and fears. And a long path still lies before us, full of unknowns. But the Lord knows, He hears us and He cares for us. And as we pray, we pray that above all else God would be glorified through this journey.
Below is Ben’s summary of the process to date. We appreciate all your prayers. Continue reading
I turned thirty this week. Friends and family have been teasing me about getting older, sprouting gray hairs, and how “it’s all down hill from here.” But I have been rather looking forward to it. The twenties is such a fluctuating period – beginning under the shelter and idealism of college and your parents’ roof, then striking out on your own with weighty responsibilities and commitments, while trying to figure out your life purpose and goals. For me this transition looked like getting married, my first full-time job, moving cross country from the only place I’d ever lived, and back again. It was also a period where I had to deal with the fact that my life would look nothing like I desired – I had hoped to have a couple kids by the time I was thirty because the internet and everyone says I’m running out of time – and figure out what it would look like instead. All year I have been eagerly anticipating the start of a new decade, when I will finally be an adult. People will finally stop treating twenty-nine-year old me like the child I was at twenty. Life will finally be stable as I am settled in my identity, marriage, and life. I could’t wait to transition from the volatile, find-yourself phase of a twenty-something to the finally-an-adult decade. I was ready to be finished growing up. Continue reading
The other day my husband and I were exchanging stories about some of the blatantly foolish and mean misdeeds from our childhood. Though embarrassing, the years in between have made us able to laugh at our silly selves. There was, though, still a sense of shame in remembering being disobedient, bullying, and conniving – I was appalled at some of the things the younger me did. My actions could be excused because I was an immature child. But truthfully, looking back on my younger self with a bit more knowledge, I see those actions were just the logical outward manifestations of a heart that didn’t love Jesus. Now that I do love Jesus, it saddens me to see what I used to be. Continue reading
I struggle to pray. The Bible tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17), and yet I realize every now and then that I don’t remember the last time I prayed. Then I will try to fix it by making reminders to pray or organizing my prayers in a journal. But inevitably I drift back to the same inactive prayer life because I don’t struggle to pray due to disorganization or poor time-management. I struggle to pray because I don’t think I need anything from God; I think I am self-sufficient. Why would I pray if I think I can take care of all my physical and spiritual needs on my own? Especially when I don’t see immediate answers to prayers. Continue reading
The Valley of Vision
“Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox
that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter thy stars shine;
Let me find thy light in my darkness,
thy life in my death,
thy joy in my sorrow,
thy grace in my sin,
thy riches in my poverty
thy glory in my valley.”
Valley of Vision, Banner of Truth
The valley – the depths where we feel our need of Jesus – has been on my mind a lot lately. Feeling my inadequacy is not a comfortable place to be for someone who loves independence and self-sufficiency.
But the valley is where we find our richest joy because it is there that we see clearly our great need and our great Savior. It is the kindness of the Lord to remind us of our need so that we come to Him, acknowledging He alone can meet it. Do not hide from your sin. The guilt and shame of it has already been dealt with by Jesus. Take every opportunity to confess sin to God and remember the righteousness of Christ in which you now stand.
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret
2 Corinthians 7:10
Tonight my husband will go again for examination for ordination – what we hope and pray will be the end of a two and a half year ordeal. For weeks my mind has flitted between the impending joy of this trial ending, and the possible disappointment if it continues. Particularly, I have wondered how I will handle either of these outcomes. As the day has drawn closer, one quote has repeatedly come to my mind from an article by Sinclair Ferguson entitled “Our New Affection.”
Reflecting on the passage in Philippians 4 where Paul says he has learned to be content in any situation, Ferguson says, “Only when our Christ is big enough to satisfy us can we be content no matter our particular circumstances; more than that, satisfied with the circumstances and not merely despite the circumstances.” Continue reading
As I sit at the cusp of this new year, I must admit, I look at 2016 with a sense of dread. The year past has been difficult, and I fear nothing will change in the year ahead. I feel defeated before the clock has even struck midnight.
I feel this hopelessness because I forget God’s faithfulness in my past, and so I doubt it in the future. I grow discontent and angry with Him over what I do not have and what He is not doing in my life, all the while forgetting what He has already done and what He has already given me. Continue reading
Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. I love exchanging gifts, decorating our tree and home, and partying with family and friends. While these traditions in themselves are wonderful, I so easily let them become the highlight of the holiday. In the midst of enjoying all of the wonderful celebrations, I forget what I’m celebrating. Continue reading
It’s very easy for me to lose sight of the many things I have to be thankful for. This prayer from Valley of Vision is a great reminder. Continue reading
This past Sunday I was feeling the familiar weight of sadness and anger heavy on my heart. I put things in front of me to distract myself from the feelings, but this anger towards God over my difficulty to have children sat there still, stewing under the surface.
During our Sunday evening service, we have a time of prayer and praise where people can share their needs and thanks. A dear friend that was recently diagnosed with cancer was there that night. She has been undergoing chemotherapy and has often had to miss church. But that evening she raised her hand and said “I’m thankful that I got to go to church twice today.” In the midst of her pain and struggle, she was intentional about recognizing the goodness God has shown towards her. And I realized what an ungrateful wretch I am. Continue reading