Saturday, September 17, 2011

Where it all started…

Last year I reconnected with a friend from high school via Facebook. It was through some of her posts that I became aware of Reece’s Rainbow, which is a website that advocates for children with a variety of special needs around the world. I went through the website looking at the various photos. I saw many beautiful faces and many that tugged on my heart strings. Then as I scrolled down, I saw this little face, little “B.” My heart leapt and I began to get teary eyed. Now if you know me, this isn’t my norm. There was just something about him. I felt a connection to him. I couldn’t stop thinking about him; worrying about his safety (as I do with my other children) and thinking about the fact he didn’t have a mom or dad to tuck him in at night. I made his picture the background on my computer and prayed over him every morning and night. I showed his picture to my children and my husband. My kids began to talk about him a lot. My husband and I decided to look into adopting him. We even happened to find a youtube clip of him with another little boy that was on Reece’s website; they looked inseparable. What if we were to adopt him and his little friend? I even went as far to reserve a blog title “Bringing Home Our Boys” in case that would ever happen. Unfortunately, we eventually found out that we did not meet all of the qualifications of his country. It was a hard pill to swallow. It is strange to mourn a child I never met (just as it was strange to find myself loving and worrying for a child I’ve never met).
However, it was through this process that we learned of the dire need of foster homes. It is because of this little boy we were brought to the ministry of foster care and now have the blessing of having little “Z” in our lives. We are forever changed and for that we are forever grateful.
I continued to pray for a family for the little boy “B.” Then a little over a week ago, I happened to see that someone else that I had been linked up to on facebook (through a friend because this woman was looking for a place in Rockford to host a forum on HIV adoptions) put up a picture and I couldn’t believe my eyes: it was little “B’s” best friend, the other boy we had thought of adopting. He had been adopted by this family and there were pictures of this little boy and “B” together at the orphanage dressed alike. I knew it was “B.” I contacted her and asked for verification and she told me that indeed it was and that they had hoped to bring him home as well but due to some things that changed in the country they wouldn’t be able to. I was upset for him. He thought he was being adopted too and now he has lost his best friend, his brother.
Then, AT THE SAME TIME, unbeknownst to any of us another mom that was on Reece’s Rainbow contacted me to let me know they wanted to adopt “B” (as I had been advocating for him on there). Amazing!
I had hoped to be this little boy’s parents but it was not to be. But I believe that God has allowed my heart to be stirred enough about this little boy to help BRING HIM HOME. I encourage you to go to and read his story. Pray for him and if you are able, please make a donation, whatever amount you can, to bring him home to his new family. Children like him are eventually moved to another type of institution where the availability of his life-sustaining medicine becomes no more.
Isn’t he just absolutely adorable? Oh, I will always love this little boy. That may sound absolutely crazy to many of you, but it’s true. He will always hold a special place in my heart. It is my prayer that he will soon know the safety and love that a family can provide. Can you be a part of that too?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Running On Empty

It has been a little quiet on my blog front lately. I've been trying to think about things that I could write about and the truth of it is, there was nothing. I find that God often stirs in me something to say and that is what comes out in my writing. It is very similar to sermon writing. I listen, pray and wait and writing pours out. Lately, that hasn't been the case. I feel like lately my "spiritual tank" has looked a lot like that gas tank above, just barely above empty. Just enough for me to fulfill the next thing I have to do, or eke out a sermon or provide a prayer or word of comfort for a family in crisis...but not much more. 
Have you been there?
Have you felt like your cup was anything but overflowing?
I was reading a devotion today that talked about the "check engine" light coming on in a car and how it is a call to stop, look, pay attention because something may not be quite right.
I think I've been seeing that light on but (not unlike my own car) I've ignored it.
I am going through a season in ministry where it seems like I'm more of an event planner making sure the details are all worked out than engaging in life changing, kingdom difference kind of ministry. I have felt like it drained me of the living water that sustains me. That was my "check engine" light. Those thoughts and feeling should have caused me to stop, look, pay attention and do something. I should have saturated my spirit with prayer, scripture, Sabbath and other spiritual disciplines...but I didn't. I ignored my my warning light.  
We hear Jesus talking about the living water in John 4 and in verse 13 he says, "... the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”   
I love the image of a spring of water. It is more than enough water; there is abundance.
Christ offers us the living water, one that quenches our thirsty spirits when we become parched because of life. Maybe you are in that season of life right now or maybe your cup or tank feels pretty full. Take a lesson from me, watch for those warning signs and stop, look, pay attention...and draw closer to God.