Category Archives: LovingJesus

He is Coming!

Dz, our son-to-be, will be arriving in less than a week! Our family is getting so excited! We’ve been planning out our days that we will spend with him. One month. Our adoption is in process, and not yet complete, but we will have the blessing of being able to host him over Christmas through New Horizons for Children.  A part of me is heartbroken that he will only be here for one month, and we won’t yet be able to tell him anything about adoption. But the other part of me is thanking God that we will have one more month to spend with him, and I trust he will return when the timing is right.

As we prepare for his coming, the Lord has been speaking to me a lot about Advent. Do you celebrate Advent friends? Oh what a blessing the Advent season is for our family! Advent simply means… coming. To celebrate the coming of the Christmas holiday, in parallel with the coming of Christ. So as Christmas approaches, we take time together as a family each day to focus our hearts on the one who came into the world as a small child and will return again as our reigning King.

This year we are reading Bartholomew’s Passage together. (Get this book! Seriously.) In the midst of it all, the Lord has asked me… “What have you done to prepare for the coming of Dz?” And as I thought through each thing we’ve done, The Lord has shown me that I need to make the same preparations for Him. He is coming.

When we first started down this path, we began by praying for each of our hearts. Praying that each of my children would easily accept him, that he would experience comfort in our home, that our hearts would find connection and joy in one another’s presence. Christ has the same prayer for us.

 …”In His presence is fullness of joy…” Psalm 16:11

 

As Dz’s arrival date gets closer we have spent a lot of time trying to learn as much as we can about him. What is his personality like? His character? What does he enjoy doing? What kind of food does he eat? We have had the privilege of having many of these questions answered for us by people who have met him personally in the past. I’ve sent many questions by email to his previous host mom, Stacey, and her replies have been so helpful. Jesus speaks to me again… “I am coming soon. Are you taking time to learn about me? Have you read the letters written by my disciples, my personal friends, as they share what I have revealed to them about my character? Will your recognize me when I come?”

 
“As for God, His way is perfect, the Word of the Lord is proven, He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” Psalm 18:30
We are choosing gifts for Christmas and I want to know enough about who Dz is, to choose the right gifts for him.
What makes these men wise? I wonder about this as I place my wise men figures on the mantle. And I see the gifts they hold. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  “They knew who to expect.” Jesus whispers again. “They had asked questions. They studied and learned all they could about who was coming.”
They brought myrrh, a perfume used to anoint the bodies of those who had died, because they knew this was the one who would die for the sins of the world.
They brought frankincense, which the priest would burn on the alter as an offering to the Lord, because they knew this was the one who would become our high priest, interceding for us at the right hand of the Father.
They brought gold, like the crown and value of royalty, because they knew this was the one who is King of all.
Do you know Him friends? Are you prepared for the coming of The Son?
Come Lord Jesus.

Shared from my heart ~ Stacy

Breathe

Life has been full lately. Really full. And I’m not the kind of person who thrives with busyness. The only thing that keeps me from hyperventilating is prayer. Prayer for the Holy Spirit to permeate my life, to calm my every thought as I breathe Him in deeply. Yes, deeply… expelling fully every last bit of stagnant air from the depths of my soul and replacing it with the clean vital oxygen of the Holy Spirit. 

I find that it’s not a coincidence to read the Hebrew word for breath… “ruwach”, 

“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath (ruwach) of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

and then find the very same Hebrew word, “ruwach”, later translated Spirit

I will pour my Spirit (ruwach) upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring.” Isaiah 44:3

God’s Holy Spirit is our very breath. Like oxygen for our lungs, He is for our soul. Breathe in God, breathe out the stresses, worries, and unclean thoughts of this world that leave our Spiritual walks in a place of stagnancy.

The difference between a stagnant Christianity and a healthy Spiritual life, filled with vitality is the depth of our ruwach. Prayer and worship are how we breathe more deeply. Pray these words with me friends…

(originally posted at encourage365.com.)

Shared from my heart ~ Stacy

The Good Life

 

When the battle before me seems daunting, my feet too heavy to lift, His voice whispers faintly, “press on”. But I live in a land of luxury and sometimes my heart just wants to settle down here and be comfortable and feel at home. To prop my feet up, and sip my wine, and breathe in perfection.
 
But perfection doesn’t come to feet propped up in comfort. 
It comes to feet that are running the race and fighting the battle.
 
I gravitate toward comfort, but God says I will have tribulation. I look for ease, but He says be willing to walk the hard. I seek out material abundance, but God says hold everything with an open hand. I want the good life, and He tells me it’s not really found here.
 
This place is for shaping and stretching. For storms and bumpy roads.  For transformation and building faith. It’s an intentional choice to pick up our swords and embrace the battle, to surrender our hearts to the unfolding will of our Lord, day by day, moment by moment. To trust the strength and sovereignty of the one whose steps engraved a path to righteousness and salvation, with worn and dirty feet that never veered from His Father’s will. Those same feet strong and stable where I find peace and joy unexplainable. The comfort of his Word, his strength carrying me, the abundance of his mercy and his grace.
 
As I let go of this flesh, with it’s pull toward the easy and the tame, and place my next step, pressing on, into the trenches of surrender, I sip the wine of his shed blood and embrace the good life, eternal, in his presence.




Why I Love My Disability

hearing aid heart


The diagnosis was a falling anchor tugging hard upon my heart as I sunk into the sea of self pity asking “why me?” and “how come?”. Genetic hearing loss. I knew it was possible, But at 17 I wasn’t fully prepared to find that my normal childhood hearing was beginning to decline. At 19 I wasn’t ready to accept that I would gradually lose my hearing just as my mom had, and her father before her. 

At 25 I finally recognized my need for hearing aids. Sitting in the stillness of his office he placed the aids in my ears and connected them to his computers. He turned them on and instantly my brain was bombarded with noise I didn’t recognize. He began making adjustments to the sound. 
“How is that?”
I wasn’t sure what to think.  I was amazed by how clear my sons little 2 year old voice sounded as he sat beside me chattering with his daddy. How much I had been missing, but could now hear so clearly. I felt the tears welling up, but there was a crackly sound that kept distracting me and I thought something was wrong. He made more adjustments, but it was still there.
“Hmmm, let me try something” he said as he walked out of the room. And a moment later the crackling ceased. 
“Is it gone?”
“Yes, what was it?” 
He walked in with a giggle. “That was the air conditioning.”

The air conditioning? How long had it been since I had heard that sound? My brain didn’t even recognize it. And the tears suddenly spilled over. I couldn’t stop my emotions as I began relearning unfamiliar sounds.

“Woosh” “What was that?”
 “A car drove by on the road outside.”
 
“Clink clink clink” “What was that?” 
“A pen dropped on the tile floor.”


More tears. Joy. Complete joy to regain what was lost. I smiled at the coos and cries of my baby boy as I set him in the carseat beside his brother. We turned on the music as we drove home and more tears spilled over when I heard the crispness of each note and the clarity of each word. It had been a long time since I was able to enjoy music. 

And God began to teach me…

“Hearing aids bring clarity to what once was just noise.”

Sitting on my sofa at 28, reading God’s Word before the boys awoke. Exodus. The receiving of the law, and the details of the tabernacle. I didn’t understand the details; The significance, the meaning, the clarity. I found it frustrating, a weight pulling me down. I kept reading through the noise until I reached a place I understood more.  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Deut.6:5 

At 33 my full days of homeschooling demanded that I start my day in the Word of God, to keep me from breaking apart in the chaos. “If you love me you will keep my commandments.”John 14:15 How thankful I was to finally understand that I did not have to do so on my own. To those who love God, a helper is given. “I will ask the Father and He will give you another helper, that He may be with you forever.” John 14:16 

 
The Holy Spirit, my helper, my aid.
He would aid me in the hearing and understanding of God’s Word as I read in Exodus again at 35. The details of the tabernacle, the table set at the entrance of God’s very presence. “And you shall set the showbread on the table before me always.” Exodus 25:30 I was reminded by the Holy Spirit of  Psalm 23:“You prepare a table before me…”  Yes, I nod with clarity now… He prepared the table. He provided the bread.  “And He took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them saying, ‘This is my body which was given for you’…” Luke 22:19 The showbread. The bread that must always be presented at the entrance of God’s presence.” 


At 28 those words were noise, but again, God would teach me…
“The Holy Spirit will bring clarity to the voice of God.” 

The Holy Spirit; my aid to help me hear, How He continues to teach me through my hearing lossMy disability; a steady anchor in the storm. This happened so that “the works of God should be made manifest in (her)” John 9:3  (Manifest= to make clear or evident to the understanding.) Because in God’s heart of desire, our spiritual growth outweighs our physical comforts.


Oh how I love my disability!
 “Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.” Matthew 13:9