Friday, January 9, 2009

My recent addiction to interest in Facebook has caused me to reflect quite a bit on high school and the years immediately following. I graduated in 1983. I'll save you from doing the math. I'm 43.

I've found several classmates on facebook it's been fun to reconnect with my past.

Tonight I pulled out my yearbook to assist me in my stroll down memory lane. I showed it to Zak who is one of the yearbook editors for his school. I told him this was the way they did yearbooks back in the "day". He wasn't impressed.

Sadly, as I flipped through the pages of my past, I was reminded anew that I hated high school.

For those of you who know me now as the outgoing women who can carry on a conversation with a tree and has never met a stranger, you might be surprised to know that I had very few friends in high school. And by very few...I mean none.

There were a few people who signed my yearbook with generic sentiments such as "stay sweet" and "best of luck" but nothing more. Most of my lunch hours during high school were spent walking between the library and my locker "looking" like I had places to go and people to see. I didn't attend a single party. Only a handful of football games. I wanted friends. I guess I was too insecure to reach out.

I couldn't wait to graduate and have never looked back.

I think this is why I try to encourage Caroline to get involved at school. I'm trying to help her realize that to have friends you have to be a friend. It's taken a long time to learn these lessons.

On a positive note, I read my goals that were listed by my senior picture. "Go to college, graduate, and be happy"

Simply stated: I did and I am.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Journey

In 1999 Don and I attended a one day FamilyLife marriage conference called I Still Do. As much as the conference impacted us that day, only God knew how it would begin a chain of events that would impact one little life for eternity.

From attending the event we moved on to leading HomeBuilders Bible studies and volunteering at the conference the following year. This led to us hearing and, in an uncharacteristic moment of obedience, following God's call on our lives to leave Maryland, raise our own financial support and move to Little Rock, Arkansas and work with the ministry of FamilyLife for 5 years.

During our time with FamilyLife I felt led to participated in a FamilyLife sponsored mission trip to Guatemala where I visited orphanages and my heart was quite literally broken for the 100 million orphans in our world.

This led to the beginning of our adoption journey. A journey that would stretch our faith and finances and take us to the very limits of ourselves. As we waited the 3 1/2 years to bring our precious Maria home, watching her grow up in pictures without her family, we often questioned God's purposes. I don't think we will ever know the why for our wait.

During one of the lowest points of our wait, plagued by concerns of whether or not her adoption could be completed, someone asked what would be the worst outcome from this experience. Without hesitation I answered that Maria would never come home. I pondered and prayed over my answer and realized the worst that could happen would be if Maria never met her Savior and spent eternity separated from him. From then on my attitude changed and I began praying first for Maria's salvation and secondly that we would be blessed to be the family that would lead her to Him.

It's been 17 months since Maria joined our family and today our prayers were answered with Maria's baptism. Not only will we have the blessing of sharing this life with her, but eternity as well.

9 years of putting plans into motion, a move halfway across the United States, thousands of dollars, 4 trips to Guatemala, a family changed forever. The list goes.

I'm in awe of a God who loves so deeply that He would go to such great lengths for one life. That before Maria's life even began God knew that this would be her story. That we would be her family. That she would be His child.

I'm blessed that He would use someone as flawed as me as His tool.

I'm sobered by the thought that we could have disobeyed.

Simply Stated: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9