Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Another Day in the Life of an Ordinary Christian

I am so blessed!-because my blogger friends have so much encouraged me when I got home! I saw you all visited and left me great comments while I was out. I'd write to each of you, but I am afraid that I am weary and will go to bed shortly. Lord willing though, by Friday I would estimate, I can "talk" to ya all. I don't have my handy phone to use since it has been under the weather lately...Got to call in to the computer telephone people who fix stuff. Sometime or another. So, I have to use this big computer instead. But when I'm on it, it works better/faster. I'm even getting used to email. I gave my email address out today like it was a regular thing I do - just like the regular people. "Oh, my email is...." Swift. Like I'm 16 and can drive and have been doing it for years.

I was so blessed that you guys did that work and looked up that verse from Gal 3:9, from my entry yesterday. What a blessing that was to me. If God blesses us, like He blessed Abraham, well, check out Genesis 12:1-3. That's one place that God spells out how He is going to bless Abraham. Which of those blessings do we get? And why? How would those blessings look in our lives?

My husband has been gone, like ten days now and all this running around is starting to get a little old. And I have no time to exercise. You see, their school is about 30-60 minutes away, and after school we have either karate or orchestra, most nights anyway. When we had home schooled, they got pretty involved in those activites, and we still do them.

This was my day today. Up at 5:20. Shower and get ready. My prayer partner called at 6 AM. We prayed until 6:25. Then off to the kids school by 6:45. At work by 8:15. Worked until 11:30 AM. The hospital is WAY slow, due to the holidays. So I don't have many patients. Plus I have cut back due to getting ready for Matt, and because I didn't want to be a work-aholic. I went to Target until 11:50, bought some things for my daughter's birthday this weekend. Went back to the hospital and ate at a pharmacy sponsored lunch until 12:35. The reps were pushing Depakote ER.

Then I called and got an appointment for a massage. Seems they're slow too. I had a 90 minute awesome massage. (The last massage I had was 2 1/2 months ago when I was in Boston. That was also the last time I had a pedicure. Of which, by the way, I will do tomorrow. Don't tell anyone. I want to keep this under-wraps. All this spoiling.) During the massage, I felt every muscle that has been so tense over these weeks and months. "Lily" was awesome. She said several times, "your shoulders are so tense!" After, while I was putting my things back on, I eyed the chocolates she had out. Rich, white and wrapped in a little celoophane ball; they were placed neatly in a dish. I ate two. They were wonderful. I figure, if I am going to eat it, I am going to enjoy it in the Lord. I arranged the other chocolates so it didn't look like two were missing.

Then I went to pick up the kids from school. We ate at Burger King and Quizmos. We watch "Little House on the Prairie" from the DVD in the car. They watch. I listen. I got the Grilled Chicken Ceaser Salad with Lite Italian. We went over homework. We went to the "K Street Mall" in downtown Sacramento and bought black pants for my son, size 10, for his orchestra concert on Sunday. Then we went to cello lesson, violin lesson. Then to orchestra rehersal. Then to Kohl's to find a "Santa hat or reindeer hat that I can wear to school tomorrow, please Mom," and a white shirt for my daughter to wear for the orchestra thing on Sunday - at the concert. Also bought a PJ ("Sponge Bob" style) for her, while my son read 31 pages of a Snoopy book, while he sat on the ground and waited for his sister. We will add that to his school reading log.

While I was at orchestra I sat in my car for awhile - sad that I could not find my Bible Study homework. I re-arranged the contents of the car. Apples, oranges and raisins that I bought eariler in the week, stuff from Target, a large "Priority" flat rate box from the post office that I will use to send stuff to Kentucky, mail from the office, mail from the PO Box, mail from the house. Still no BSF homework. "There it is!" A smile came over my face.

I left the car and I went into the orchestra rehersal room. I eyed for my two cute kids. Brandon's enthusiasm was great tonight. He was able to learn the stuff after all - he was a little young for the group, but his private teacher helped him be able to get through the music.

I read the newspaper for about six minutes. Then, my Bible study stuff. Here's what I meditated on at the end of my time. From John 14:verse? KJV: "Let not your heart be troubled. Neither let it be afraid." I thought about that song I had meditated upon about a month ago, "Be still my soul." And I also thought about how when Jesus was sleeping in the boat during the storm when he told the disciples to go to the other side. He wasn't troubled.

"Let not your heart be troubled." I thought about how "Let not" means I am not to let the heart get stirred up, or troubled, or afraid. I imagined the heart in a protective plastic box that was like in a display case, and I wasn't letting it get troubled or afraid. Okay. I get a little elaborate with imaginations that I use to remember....medical school caused that. But I like to meditate on God's word in this way, not only to remember, but because each word becomes more emphasized, like underlining and bolding in a book, but for the mind, for the soul, for eternity. For good.

The debate I have had with myself is whether or not to bother the social workers about what is happening with Matt. I haven't called anyone since last Wednesday. God is able. He is able to make all grace to abound....If they call me, then it really is God working. If I call them again and again, it is me, trying to work.

Oh, so much more I would like to talk about that happened today, and that I thought about, but only the time available in eternity would be enough. "And MAry pondered up all these things in her heart." It is time to go to sleep. Only seven hours (max) until I have to get up, and that is not enough for me! God bless you - Really. May God bless you. Yes, YOU!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:50 PM | 4 comments

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

One thought. Okay two.

Okay. This one's gonna be short. (What a relief, right?!) I decided that, yes, I do want to be the chosen family to adopt Matt and I want it to happen now and to bring him home by Christmas. However, I am leaving it in the Lord's hands. He knows best. Maybe I am getting scared. What if it did happen by Christmas? Oh, my nerves! Reminds me like when I met all my biological relatives for the first time. So scary! Okay. Time to go, like I said. That's all I will say for now.

Okay. I can not resist. One more thought. (Oh, how I like to write! - no that's not the thought.)

As we say in Bible Study Fellowship, here's a "challenge" question. I can't call on you. You can answer it if you want though, and you can go outside the text of the verse itself. (Only BSFer's will find the true depth of this humor, but for the rest of the world, thank you for your patience.)

I have finally grasped the reality of Galations 3:9. (God's stirred me with that verse a couple of times before that I came across it but I didn't respond to the Lord's promptings initially.) -That it means what is says! Do you realize the tremendous implications of that verse? Talk about a head trip. For anyone who is willing, what are the implications?

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:12 PM | 6 comments

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Relationships! Ugh!

I'm having a little trouble sleeping right now so I thought I would make an entry and then go back to bed. There's something that I've been particularly perplexed a bit about over the last day or so. Why is it that people don't realize and grab ahold of the reality that a relationship with their Creater is greater, richer and more satisfying than any human relationship? Why do men and women who are single think that a human relationship will meet their needs when such a relationship has never been found in their lives before, and they don't know anyone who has had their soul needs met by a human being on a sustained basis, ever before in their lives?

It's like in the olden times when the people of Israel didn't want God to be their King but wanted a human king instead, so God gave them Saul. Why would a person reject God as being their soul-satisfying soul mate and keep searching for a human mate? Do they not realize that the human relationship, when/if they ever find it means a giving up of oneself like Jesus did on the cross?

That's another thing. Why is it that men and women, in their spousal relationships just seek to control the other? Whenever I have picked up a woman's magazine in the last year, when I read about relationship issues, it is really how to control your husband and get him to comply/get your kids to comply - with the woman's agenda. That is part of the curse in Genesis, I believe, when God says to Eve, "your desire will be for you husband, but he shall rule over you." The word "desire" is the same one used in the next chapter for sin having its "desire" for Cain, but he must rule over it. Wives want to control their husbands, but God has established the relationship such that he will have certain ruling authority over her. That is, if the woman wants to control the agenda, make her husband comply with her way of running the household, she will never actually be able to master him and get him to comply. If he does, then it is that mousy man who is hen-pecked and an abomination of a man, losing his manliness. But still women can not help but desire and insist, by her very nature it seems, to control the husband, or try to - and then get angry and frustrated. She is stuck.

Yet when she is single and looking for Mr. Wonderful, does she see that when she marries she is going to be establishing and placing herself in a role such that "he will rule over" her, as it says in Genesis? Does she seek the fulfilling and very real relationship with God to satisfy her soul-desire needs? If He instructs her to marry fine. But she can not seem to wait and leave it to God. No, she burns in the flesh for a man, and abdocates to the flesh her spirituality and freedom she has in Christ. But then once married, doesn't realize that having obtained that fulfillment in the flesh also obligates oneself to be owned by the spouses fleshly desires all of her natural life. (The Bible speaks of the fact that it is wrong to deny the spouse your body and in fact the body is "owned" by the spouse and you don't own your own body, but the spouse has a right to it.)

What do you think? BTW, I am happily married woman of 22 plus years. People may look at me and think that just happened. No, whether you believe it or not, I was put through the meat grinder and my husband too has surrended his flesh to the meat grinding that I have put him through and together we have become one in the meatloaf of a human relationship. There is oneness, but it came at a very high price, the giving up of oneself beyond individual recognition.

And I suppose this will be my final point, as I am reminded of another peeve. Why do people leave relationships rather than surrendering themselves to the meat grinder, or to the cross? That is the only why oneness is achieved. Or else, they don't leave the relationship physically, but they do emotionally. They don't surrender themsleves to the service of the other person. They want their physical desires met, so want to get married, but then withhold themselves from the other person once married, citing their own (very real) discomfort. Yes, it is uncomfortable! That's why you should seek God instead. But if in a spousal obligation, surrender to the person in Christ, all the way up to , but NOT including sinfulness. (That is, just because married, you still have to obey God and not sin because your spouse wants you to, but other than that, you need to surrender to serving that person.) Then they complain how awful the other person is, get divorced, and think another relationship will meet their needs. All the while Jesus is pleading - "Come unto me, all you who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, for my yoke is easy and my labor is light."

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 12:26 AM | 10 comments

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I told my mom

My mom frequently says things like, "I don't see how you did it!" Once she said with almost tears in her eyes and with an intense stare, "I know that God has worked in your life to cause you to do the things you do. I know that." My spirit was rejoicing with hope, even that maybe she could became saved, to know the Savior. Then a few days later she said, "You're a taurus. I think that is why you have done the things you have." (The bird cames a steals the seed....)

One of the first times I took her to church she said something about, "there is something about this place, and about God that I don't understand, " and she said it in such a way that made me think God was pulling at her heart. Another time I shared the gospel with my mom and prayed with her the sinners prayer. Right after the prayer she said some unrelated thing which showed me that the prayer did not register with her at all.

When I first became a Christian, she was really stuck on wanting to know if I was "reborn." She would ask, "Are you a "re-born Christian? Are you a re-born Christian? Are you a re-born Christian?'" while she followed me all around the little house that she lived in at the time. I was a little intimidated. Then there is the time she called me and said she had the most wonderful conversation with someone she met who was a Christian like I was, and I'd realize God was pulling on her heart strings again.

When I visit my Mom - who lives about 7 hour car drive away - my beautiful plaque is sitting out that reads, "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, that which God will do for those who love Him," and by her nightstand is the "Woman's Bible" that I bought her, but I am afraid that it is only for decoration. The colors match the room type thing.

Oh well. God isn't done working. BTW, she is 72. She needs to let go. One time she called and seemed all guilty and afraid, "I shouldn't have ignored you like I used to when you were little." Then, instead of appologizing and moving on, accepting the forgiveness of God, she adds, "but you know it was because of...." God is calling and calling but she isn't getting it. Men don't like the light because it shows the evil in their deeds, and she doesn't want to say she is sorry. To God, about everything. But she doesn't realize the goodness of God.

That was like my husband. He was so burdened with his guilt, and didn't realize God's love was greater than his guilt and shame and He was able to absorb it. He wasn't ready to beat him up. And, get this, I wasn't ready to control him (oh Lord, is that why you let me stretch out like taffy for 19 years, so when he did become a Christian I wouldn't use it like a method of control and manipulation over him?)

Hebrews 5:2 says that God knows how to deal gently with the ignorant and misguided." God knew how to gently reign in my husband over many, many years, and slowly he is being transformed most remarkably.

So anyway, getting back to what I wanted to speak about, I was talking with my mom the other day, for like two hours. About an hour into the conversation, I thought that it would be a good idea to spring the thought that we are adopting an older child, so she can kind of freak-out less later. So I told her. I mean, how can you ease into something like that. Kind of like jumping off a cliff, just got to do it.

Right away she was anxious and pressure was in her voice and she spoke about the things that could be harmful to my other children. I agreed with her concerns, because I do. After about 3 minutes, as I let her express her concerns, she began to change, and I heard a side of her that had been dormant so many years that I never knew existed. She spoke of when she was little and used to like reading about St. Francis, and tried to be a very good citizen. She shared her mittens with those who had none. She spoke of how her family set the example for her as they used to feed the family without food.

Then my mom spoke of a little boy that her father developed a strong attachment to, who happened to be Irish, and had an alcoholic father and a nice, but sort-of bland and uninvolved, who happenend to be obese, mother. (My mom skippied the words, "happenend to be - she wasn't trying to be insensitive, just descriptive, I guess.) My grandfather had this boy over for the holidays. My mom describes that one Christmas he came over and my grandfather bought him a watch. Not a little present. When he was 18 he went into the army "and became a good military father." He ended up having five children, and after each child was born he would come over to my grandfather's house and show off his pride and joy to the man my grandfather came to be to him - his role model. (When we were in the car the other day (we're in the car a lot) my husband and I were talking about Matt and my husband described himself as that he was going to be Matt's "role model." Isn't that precious?)

So, I started seeing a different side of my mom when I kept letting her talk on the phone. A side of her that has pity. She then elaborated that she wants to help others, and it would be good to help a child like the one we wanted to adopt, "but you never know what's going to happen."

So, what will happen? Let me take a stab at it. The seed will be stolen, so to speak, and Mom will be very anxious about Matt. But after a while, or at some point, she will like him and have pity upon him. Then, after a few years she will say, "Andrea, I don't know how you did it. God was really with you. Or, maybe it is because you are a taurus and Matt is a .." and she will mention whatever sign he is ( - I don't care, and in fact try not to follow astrological sign information (due to ungodly roots) or football for that matter (because I want to remain ignorant about some things that don't matter to me anyway). Pray for my mom, Rose! I'll tell you about my Grandma sometime.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:34 AM | 5 comments

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

1) Here's what I ate today: Galatians 3:9: "So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer." Wow. Think on that! Think of it this way: What do you think made George Bush Sr. prouder - when he became president or when his son became president? What did he want more - to be elected to a second term or his son to be elected to a second term?

One of the great longings of being a parent is that your kid gets blessed. Gets the best. You don't like to see your child suffer. So, when God blessed Abraham with the father of all those children that were as the number of stars in the sky, wasn't part of the promise that God gave Abraham was that He would bless them too, even as He blessed Abraham? And we, fellow-heirs by faith, as Galatians says, are blessed along with Abraham. So, when we stand in glory we will receive with Abraham the blessing given to all those who believe. Think of this: "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him. (I Cor 2:9)"!

2) Today, my little boy (age 9) and I were talking in the car. He was asking about college and career type stuff. I was telling him that he could become a scientist and be a bear expert if he wanted, because he knows a lot about bears and has a strong interest in that. Then I told him that he didn't have to do that, he could do whatever he wanted. Then I added, or whatever God would have him to do. Know what he said? "In my prayers I just say, 'use me however You want,' cause then you get what you really want." And I jumped in about how God knows what you really want, what the secrets are in your heart that you don't even know. And then we both jumped in about how when God leads us into what we are supposed to do then it is successful. Brandon said, "Yeah, I don't say, like, 'make me a baseball player,' I just say, 'use me however You want to.' " Wow. Awesome. I told him that I thought God would use use for great things and then I added, "He already is."

3) I called the Kentucky social worker for Matt today, and said that the home study report was being faxed to them today. They said that they would be looking out for it. Then there was a pause on the phone and she said in a way that suggested that she had a smile on her face, "he hasn't been chosen to go to any home yet," (meaning that he was still available). She let me know that what happens next is that if they pick our home, then they "refer" him to us and send his background information and other (more paperwork!) information to our social worker out here in California. Then our social worker contacts us and if we accept Matt, then there is a conference. I said, "There is no way that this could happen by Christmas, right?" She began to repeat, "there is no way that this could happen by Christma.....s - well, I don't want to say there is no way - it depends on so much - how the conference goes...." So, what I saw was

A GLIMMER OF HOPE that it could happen by Christmas.

I'm getting myself too fixated on Christmas. Such has been my life. All the great things God has done for me, and I had always thought it was because I begged and manipulated Him into it. Now, I have matured to realize that, no, God is not manipulated by little 'ol me. He is dancing with me, engaging with me, smiling with me, playing with me.

"Experiencing God" book by Blackaby said that it goes like this sometimes. Like when Mr. Blackaby bought his kid a bike for Christmas and had it hid in the garage. The Dad (Mr. Blackaby) had to get his kid to want the bike for Christmas, so he could give to him the gift that he knew would be great for him. So, the Dad encouraged his son to want a bike for Christmas. "Wouldn't a bike be great?"

Don't you think God does that with us sometimes? "Wouldn't it be great to get Matt by Christmas?" Then I say, "Oh Lord, help Matt to be here by Christmas!" And maybe I will be able to say one day, "Thank You God for hearing our prayer!"

Oh, the presents our Father has waiting in the garage! What else is in there? I don't want to miss out!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:57 PM | 3 comments

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dis-enable Enable

I missed out on all the comments because my comment moderation was on. Who heard of such a choice? Thanks Bonnie. She informed me that my comment moderation was enabled. So all my comments went to email, rather than being posted. (I was digging around looking for how to do links and enabled that.) I opened my email today and found the waiting comments.

Okay. Next item. Bonnie, I did cut down on all that junk food. No, I don't want to gain 30 pounds, or even 5, or 3, or 1. I had gained like 3-4 pounds over 3-4 months, so I dieted and lost about 2-3 of it. Then I had the eating blitz for about 2 days. But, now I am getting back on track again. The scale went up a couple pounds, but I think some of that will come right off and is related to water weight from the crap-pola that I ate. (A bit over a year ago I finished losing 65-70 pounds and I have to watch what I eat carefully. I love to fill my mouth with food. Isn't that gross? But, after about ten years of prayer and attempts, over the period of about a year and a half or so I lost the wieght. The Lord really enabled me to do it. But my life is really continuous dieting. In the natural, the weight would just come back.)

Today I ate:
Breakfast: Yoplait yogurt (blueberry), one stick of one ounce of string cheese, one banana, one apple
Snack: one LA lite protein bar, one small serving bag of diet type dried pasta with BBQ salt, about 100 calories
Lunch: a couple of bites of chicken (about 2 ounces), green beans, small salad with1/2 boiled egg, 3 carrot sticks, drop of thousand island dressing, lite Italain dressing, green beans
snack: 1/4 peanut butter sandwich "Here Mom, do you want a sandwich?"
Dinner: one grilled chicken breast, one medium salad with contents of lettuce and lite Italian dressing and parmesean cheese flakes, pudding snack (about 120 calories)
Water to drink.

Gee, seems like so much when you write it out.

BTW, I really thought that I had cancer. When I spoke with the doctor on the phone yesterday, I was thinking to myself, "I hope that she doesn't feel badly having to tell me that I have cancer." I didn't think I had cancer like the Lord "told me," or anything. I think I was just reving up for the worst. Everything seemed brighter today, not having cancer. Before, when I thought that I had caner, I would look in the mirror and practice saying, "I have cancer." Now, I have said out loud to myself a few times, "I don't have cancer!" and it felt real good. I am so thankful I do not have cancer. I'm glad I never told my mother about the biopsies. She gets so anxious it just blows me out of the water. And all her gasps, and short, fast breaths. Who calms/comforts whom? Well, that is what would have happened. If I had told her. And all the relatives that would be calling. Oh my. Ever see "My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding?" Well that's my family. Except they're Italian. Nothing wrong with being Italian mind you. They're just a lot different that German/Scandinavians, which is most of the blood flowing through my brains. Opps. That was a Freudian slip that I think I'll just keep in there for some analysis. Flowing through my veins. That is what I meant. God has such a sense of humor too. Placing me into my family is like placing a miniture pincher with a sheep dog family, or vise-versa. We're just biologically different. But I figure He placed me into that family at the time of my infantile adoption because He wanted me one day to bring the light of Jesus into that family. My aunt said the other month, "God sent you into this family." Yes Lucy, He did. On purpose even.

Today I really enjoyed listening to the CD I am preparing for my Christmas card book I am sending out to family and close friends. I suppose a better - more accurate term - is booklet, but the thing seems to be growing, at least in my mind, so I think it may end up being a book. Not really. So, Bonnie, if someone wants to email me, can they do that now? What if people want a copy of my Christmas booklet. Can they email me with their information, can they do that now by clicking some "I want to email her" button?

The CD is cool. I want to enclose for the recepients a list of the songs, and performers info, along with a sentence of the favorite, or most memorable words in the song, along with a description of why the song is important to me. However, in some ways, doing so seems so personal. But then I think, they can see Jesus in me that way. So, I want to do it but feel a little foolish. What do you think I should do? Do you want more information about what I am talking about here, like an example? Maybe Bonnie could enable me to link with the Tobymac song "This Christmas." That song is too cool. It is through that song that the Lord inspired me to adopt. Don't bother Bonnie. Sounds like really labor intensive. At least for me. At least for my brains. I haven't even got my links together yet.

It really is so uncanny. I reviewed in an old post of how, after months of a blanket over my eyes, how my eyes were enabled to see that adopting Matt was to be a gift for us, not a burden, not a problem that wasn't going to work out. Then the very next day I look at a book in Borders while walking to a restroom and find out that Matthew means, "Gift from the Lord." God is cool. I guess that was His confirming. He is a gift. Our gift from Him. His own gift to Himself.

Prayer request: Dear Lord, Enable Luke to complete the home study report and send it to Kentucky by Wednesday morning and let it be a really, really good report of our family.(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Bless my husband who is in Kentucky now. Change his life through Your ministry there and what You want to do through Him. Give him Your joy in great measure!

Final thoughts from the "Come all ye Faithful Christmas song": "Come all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant..." We are faithful, joyful and triumphant. Isn't that great? Come, let us adore Him. Merry Christmas, Pia.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 4:49 PM | 10 comments

Monday, November 21, 2005

I don't have cancer!

I was worried. But, after the biopsies were taken and read, the results are that I do not have cancer and nothing further needs to be done except to have three month follow-ups for a year. Praise the Lord!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:45 PM | 4 comments

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Would any of you like a copy? Let me know.

Today I burned CD's. I never did that before. I am preparing a CD to send out with my Christmas booklet to family and friends. Last year my family and I created a booklet on the "12 Pains of Christmas." It got really good feedback. So this year I am doing a similar thing, but different. Last year was a family project with cartoons that the kids and I made. This year it will be family pictures we had done through Glamour Shots with handwritten summaries on the bottom of the various pictures. The first page will be a family portrait with the Scripture from Ephesians about that we have all been adopted into Christ. Then will be the individual pictures of each member with a summary of who they are in two sentences or less. Then there is another group picture with a statement about why we want to adopt a kid. Next are two small letters to Matt that I wrote. One I wrote a couple of days after I saw his picture and read his story on the internet from October. The next little letter is one I copied onto this site, about how Christ redeemed him, but we can be his family. I'm going to put somewhere in there about how Matthew is a Hebrew name that means, "Gift from the Lord." Next, there is going to be the adorable picture of Matt I printed from the internet with his story. Would any of you like a copy? Let me know. Are you able to email me?

The CD starts with a song by Tobymac entitled, "This Christmas," which is the song that I was listening to in July of this year when I felt the Lord moved me to the understanding that we would be helping an orphan child go to Oneida Baptist Institute in Kentucky. It's a great song.

Okay. I'm moving ahead of myself. We have not even been approved to adopt Matt yet. Christmas is a month away. I figure I could always mail the card out late, if necessary. Like Pia (fellow blog member) I am putting up my Christmas tree. She wrote in September that there was something that she was hoping that the Lord would do for her at Christmas, and she just went ahead and proceeded to put up the tree as a sign of her faith, without knowing for sure what would come to pass. However, I'm sure whe knew some things that lead her to take that step of faith. She wasn't trying to manipulate God, but walk with Him. Likewise, I can't, nor do I want to, manipulate God. I want to walk with Him.

Tonight I was reading in Abraham's life - from the book of Hebrews: 11:8: "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going."

This morning at church the Pastor gave an introduction into our study of the book of Acts. It was beautiful. Tears built up as I worshiped the greatness of God and His continuing to do the works that Jesus began to do and to teach 2000 years ago. He said that our ministry here should look like Jesus' ministry did. Full of compassion and doing those things that Jesus Himself would do. Showing grace and mercy. Having patience with people. Taking in people we normally wouldn't.

So, yeah. That was part of my day figuring out how to make CD's. That was kind of exciting. Speaking of technology, my cell phone thingy broke. After 90 minutes on the phone with the nice technician, I figured out it is called a Treo. Meanwhile, I've gained more confidence with this big computer. The big one works a lot faster, flipping between the pages quickly is nice.

Oh, I faxed off what I PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY WILL BE THE FINAL PAPERS TO THE ADOPTION PLACE OR I AM AFRAID I WILL LOSE IT (my patience). No biopsy results yet. I'm less anxious today than yesterday. I'm sustained. God bless!

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:40 PM | 4 comments

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I guess I am anxious

I guess I really am anxious. I ate junk food the last 24 hours and my body really isn't used to it. When I awoke I continued where I left off last night after eating chocolate eclairs. This morning I ate cookies and a cinnamon roll. I felt sedated. You know, that kind of food really is a drug. (Okay, I'm exteme, but it affects me that way.) I felt like napping but didn't. Either that or eating more junk. I prayed for God to help me. I am dependent upon Him, and He saves me from myself in matters like this.

Anyway, lunch was better (salad and apple). I did a few things at work and came home and for the first time in, I don't know, a year, I layed in my bed in the middle of the day. The darkness is coming upon us, because of the winter season and so my room felt dark and warm and I slept for about 50 minutes.

When I awoke, I laid there for about 85 minutes, realizing how paralyzed I felt. I wasn't overwhelmed, because I was like quietly praying the whole time. I recited the verses I meditated upon this morning when I exercised at the club for an hour. (I didn't want to do it, but the Lord enabled me, to give me the strength, because I really do depend upon Him to help me in these matters of health). As I laid in bed, I thought about and kind of numbered my anxieties. I won't bore you with the details.

The experience reminded me of in 1988 when I had to take part I of the National Board Exams during medical school and was totally so freaked out and anxious that I didn't study the entire summer that I was actually supposed to study for the test. Instead, I kept reciting Bible verses about how God was going to enable me to stand, and that He would help me. It was during that time I began the long road of realizing that God was really with me in regards to my being a doctor. "I know whom I have believed, and I am assured that He is able to guard what I have entrusted Him unto that day," from Timothy I think, was one of the verses I meditated upon that summer. I still felt anxious, but God did what He wanted to do in me anyway. I passed the boards. By the grace of God.

So, as I laid in my bed this afternoon, reflecting upon somewhat paralyzing anxiety, and prayed, well, the time went by and after awhile I got out of bed. My husband was cooking dinner (so nice!) and I came here to the computer.

Dear Great High Priest - the Lord Jesus Christ:

Thank You for being my God and Savior. Nobody has a better God and Savior than You! You are the God that saves me from myself, from my enemies, from my past and from the future. You are the God who holds me by Your righteous right hand and will not let me go. You are the God who is pleased to reveal Himself to the humble and contrite. You are my God, my Redeemer, my Hope, my Salvation. Lord, take my anxieties and give me peace in exchange. Let the time between now and Christmas be like a wave that sweeps me into shore, a walking upon the sea, a revealation in Your faithfulness, grace and perfect will. Help me to Be still and practice the fact that You are God. Help me endure longsuffering. Give me mercies new every morning to be sustained. And make a great name for Yourself. Lift Your name on high for Your eternal glory and crown, forever and ever. Amen.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 6:36 PM | 4 comments

Friday, November 18, 2005

"Hebrew (meaning) 'Gift of God' "

I looked up the meaning of "Matthew" while I was walking through Borders Books today to use the restroom. "Hebrew: Gift of the Lord." I looked in another book. "Hebrew: Gift of God." I called my friend Marilyn. She said to me, "Oh my! Doesn't that just thrill you? You must have been overwhelmed when you read that!" Well, for a micro-second I was thrilled and overwhelmed - until my mind (of unbelief) kicked in and minimized that initial thrill - kind of like on a computer. Just a little note-tab remained in my brain with the heading something like "could just a coincidence that I was just reflecting that Matt was a gift to us and that his name actually means what it means."

So, I asked my friend Marilyn why she thought it was thrilling, to see if I could change "minimize" to re-enlarged onto the forefront of my brain and change the name of the data label. She said, "Well, he didn't pick His name, right?" and we spoke a bit and for the remainder of the day the minimization tab in my brain read, "Matt is our gift from God," and its content would periodically enlarge. But sometimes the old, "Coincidence" replaced the tab's label. Then my brain would send a new message to the computer desktop: "Be still and know He is God." Then I would momentarily worry about paperwork (ugh!) requirements. Then, anxiety. "I think I am getting anxious." Calming myself and changing my thinking to "Be still and know He is God." And so it went.

Later in the evening my youngest daughter asked about if there were other kids in addition to Matt to adopt. I told her a little about Brent. Then she wanted to go to the website and I took her there. After a while, I heard, "Oh, he's so cute! Can we adopt him too?" Jeremiah is an 18 months old African American boy who has a cute smile for the camera. She read about his story. "What does developmentally delayed mean?" After a couple sentence exchanges, not knowing how to move off of the emotion that Jeremiah was having upon Kayleigh, I said, "I'm going to pray for Jeremiah." I looked up after the prayer and she had tears whelling up in her eyes. I thought to myself that this may be a life altering/shaping event in my soon-to-be 12 year-old. Then she read about "Appreal" who has a whole heck of a lot of problems and will need 24 hour care the rest of her life. I shared with Kayleigh that these people have God's image in them that He gave them when He created them. "It's not like they're animals or something, just because they need a lot of help and don't seem to understand." She nodded in agreement and clicked to some other stories.

BTW, no biopsy results yet. Wouldn't it be great if the entire home study report is fully completed before any bad news, if present, comes out regarding my health? The reason why I say that, rather than checking out what the health news is before proceeding with the adoption is because God has shown me in a couple of clear and specific ways that I won't be dying anytime soon. That is, to me anyway, the bottom line when anyone says the "C" word, which I probably don't have, but could have, after all. Also, He is showing us in specific ways that the adoption is the way we are to go. So I am going and He will be working it all out. And if there gets to be more drama. How exciting. More ways to see Him work it all out for our good and His eternal glory. Life is fun in Christ.

Remember when Jesus said to the disciples to go to the other side of the lake? He was sleeping while the storm was seemingly out of control. But it wasn't out of control. Jesus knew the purpose why He came to earth and where He was going. God the Father told Him to go to the other side of the lake. (Jesus said that He does nothing except that with the Father shows Him to do.) The others were frantic. They forgot or didn't know who Jesus was. No need to fret. Just stay in the same boat as the Savior. (That last paragraph I wrote? It doesn't mean that I will not necessarily be frantic any time soon, once again. But thank goodness, He has mercy upon me and knows that I am but dust.)

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:40 PM | 1 comments

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The meeting happened

From 5:00 until 7:00 we had our family meeting with the social worker. (If you don't know what I am taling about, see yesterday's post.)The kids were so excited. Brandon suggested that we bake cookies and offer Mr. L cookies "because maybe that will help us be able to adopt Matt."

The house was unbelieveably uncharacteristically clean. With Mr. L needing to cancel repeatedly, the house kept getting cleaner and cleaner, with, in the end all the closets and garage, as well as laundry room and our library room getting clean.

The spirit and energy in the air was exciting, warm and loving. Mr. L had decaffeinated coffee with half and half, but skipped the cookies. (I hear real estate kings and queens bake cookies to give the house just the right smell.)

None of the questions that Mr. L seemed very hard although several were pointed. BTW, my husband has not always been a Christian. I became a Christian six months after I was married (Christ's "perfect" timing of my birth) but my husband never started going to church until three years ago. I think, in part, because of his pride in having finally "succumbed" to my view (reality) of the world, he doesn't talk much at all about being a Christian. However, the fruit hangs from the tree, and tonight it was so wonderful to see Christ in my husband and his acknowledging of Christ. This adoption idea of the Lord's, is really the ministry that God has enabled my husband and I to do together, and it is a bit of a thrill ride.

Since Monday night at my Bible Study I realized something that I faintly recognized months ago when this adoption process began. Months ago I was feeling down one day until I was moved by a verse and wrote it down on a little piece of paper. Something about "your joy will be complete." I was strengthened about the verse and figured the verse had to do with heaven, etc. Then a few days later the whole notion about the adoption sprang into place when the Lord revealed to me that we would be helping an orphan child to go to my older children's boarding school in Oneida, Kentucky. And I was filled with a joy and a thrill. And I thought of the verse about the joy and I read the verse again and again and my spirit seemed to soar with Christ's and it was great.

When the social worker came over in July for our first meeting, I felt such a let-down, because he went on and on about everything that could go wrong. Then he handed me a bunch of paperwork that seemed overwhelming that involved all sorts of things that we needed to do. And my heart sank. Since then, anticipation has been building but has been tempered by the so called reality of all the things that can go wrong and the many things that probably will go wrong. Meanwhile, everyone else seemed excited and sustained.

So Monday three days ago at BSF Bible Study during our "fellowship" hour, a simple, straight-forward woman who wears sports jerseys - (Monday it was North Carolina - what sport I couldn't tell you, but it was a blue and white outfit) asked a series of questions and I told her our adoptions plan and including information about the problems we would likely face. I think that God used her to encourage me in the Lord and in this process.

She said, "You may be surprised that it won't take that long for him to bond with you because kids can tell if you really care and I can tell that you do, and he'll see and know that also." Yes, I think you are right, I said to myself. I thought about the fact that God is giving us this child as a gift. Not a lifetime homework assignment chore. He is a gift to us from God that will bring me joy because God is wanting to bless our family with him. Then she said, "wouldn't it be great if it could happen by Christmas?" Isn't it great how God speaks though people? Do you think God was speaking through her?

The grim of rain clouds that darkened my horizon in July lifted. So, I'm going to be more expectant of good things. I don't think God is trying to burden us. He is trying to bless us - in large part because we have given our children to Him, including having the two oldest go to Oneida and we embraced that plan when it became clear that it was God's will. Having given my oldest son was a turinging point because he really didn't have to go to Oneida but both he and I knew the Lord called him and we all responded in obedience. Then the adoption "revelation" happened. And I proceeded forward in obedience and expectant faith, finding my entire family, extended family and community enthusiastic. Not one person, other than the social worker has given us anything but positive feedback. (I haven't told my mother(!) and few others yet though!)

So, Matt, if we are able to adopt Matt, and if we end up being able to adopt Brent, they are gifts to us, not burdens or problems or duties or headaches. God wants to bless us because, in part, we have shown ourselves faithful (not perfect) to His calling. So, I will look up, and I think I will have a full measure of joy, as much as it is possible on earth, through the inclusion of this (these) boys into our home.

Still with me? Long post. (I'm on a real computer and I can write a lot longer than on that little phone that limits how much I can write.) Prayer requests please: 1) My husband has to do two paperwork items (yieks!) that has to get done before Mr. L can fax the homestudy report of Kentucky. My husband says he will have them done by Saturday night. He is going out of town Monday. One of the paperwork items involves a signature from a CPA (yieks!). The other item is a one page autobiography. Pray these get done (and get on my desk ASAP! - I won't tell him those words.) This stuff freaks me out when I'm "in the flesh" (what the heck is that?) 2) Everything falls in line after that, including the non-outdated prayer requests submitted about a week or ten days ago.

Thanks. I write more but I better let you go. As the meeting was coming to a close tonight my youngest boy asked, "So, do we get to adopt Matt?" (Mom is smiling.) God is fun. Check out L, L, L's blog for today. Like I told her, I'll be wallpapering my house with the print -out from that. That reminds me, I can probably get this thing to print that out for me for real! I'll try. (You can connect to L, L, L through my comments section from yesterday - who the heck knows how to do a link? Not me!) It will be a delight to keep you posted.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:17 PM | 6 comments

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

All eyes on Thursday

Once again I am hyper-focused on the upcoming family meeting with the social worker scheduled for Thursday, 5:00 PM California time. The SW is aiding us in adopting one older child (likely Matt, age 13) from Kentucky. The SW cancelled our last two scheduled meetings due to his illness. It had already been delayed due to his prescheduled vacation. So now, once again, it is sceduled for tomorrow, two weeks after it was supposed to take place. This is to be our last meeting. He is supposed to issue his report by Thanksgiving. I sure wish my husband could meet Matt when he and two of my kids will be together in Kentucky for a week - staying until several days after Thanksgiving. I have this crazy dream to have Matt at our house by Christmas.

So, about my multiple biopsies taken two weeks ago today. The MD said the results would take about a week to come back. The pamphlet said, "a few days." I for one am glad the results aren't back because I don't want the results to mess up the adoption.

So, these last two weeks my mind has been a bit fried at times. But, it is so glad to be about God's business - that is, "trials of various kinds." (It IS a promise in the Bible, you know.) Seriously, (some sarcasm, mixed with faint hope is to follow), I consider it pure joy when I face trials because I know the testing of my faith...produces hope that does not disappoint (James). (Seriously now) there is a part of me that has joy and excitment in being called a Christian and being called worthy/chosen to suffer. But in a way all of this action is like the Kings in the play-offs with the Lakers. (But) this is important (hehe). The kingdom of God. His will on earth. New life to our home. Hope in Christ and a thrill in accompanying Him in His work.


posted by An Ordinary Christian | 5:33 PM | 7 comments

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A new day

Today I had a really nice dinner with my sweet friend, Marilyn. We reflected upon the faithfulness of God to my family over these years. It was so encouraging. One of the things she said was: the great thing about when God answers our prayers is not so much in getting our needs/desires met, but realizing He hears us. He communes with us. Isn't that the truth?

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:43 PM | 3 comments

Monday, November 14, 2005

Come, let us reason together

I made it through another day on the sphere of limbo-land. Another day where God spoke to me. I heard His voice in the impressions He says so loudly and clearly. Or, is it so faint and subtle? When I focus on Him, then His purposes come alive. As it says in Romans, His Spirit combines and touches and interfaces with my spirit and I know we connected.

But much of the day, I'm afraid, was me tossing like a boat at sea without an anchor, all the while the enemy of my soul laughing and smiling. But the Savior's smile overshadowed it all. For His purposes will never be thwarted. And He sees from above, not on this plane. So, I want to see from God's perspective. And to walk. Step one step and lean on Him with the other foot. Repeat. Repeat. Keep it simple.

This is my memory verse from this morning I think I memorized:

Isaiah 43:18-19: "Remember ye not the former things, neither the things of long ago. Behold, I am doing a new thing. Now it shall spring forth. I will make a way through the wilderness and rivers to the desert." And verse 20 goes on to elaborate it is because/for his chosen people. And then verse 21 goes on about a warning who would not allow themselves to participate in what God was doing.

I want Your n¬

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:48 PM | 0 comments

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I'm trying to decide whether or not to write anything today. I feel more like a fish out of water today than usual. I just don't feel well. But I'm not physically sick. There is uncertainty in the short term and it grates on my nerves. But, my life is hid with Christ. I feel like a salmon swimming up river. Push, push, push for a little glimpse of reassurance. That's the way trials are. "It is through many trials that you shall enter the kingdom of heaven." A bunch of kids are over the house and they are like running all around. My husband had his softball team over and well, I'm not in the mood for any of it. I was on call last night and also tonight so I can't sleep well. It just feels like there is spiritual warfare. And that's good. It is good to be where the action is. Have you ever felt that you were in a spiritual battle?

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:27 PM | 5 comments

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Grace to make it

I Thes 4:4: "That every one of should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour." (King James version)

This verse speaks of the mind having control over the body. The mind is to have control over what I let it worry about too. That is trusting God. "Do not be afraid. Do not let your heart be troubled."

That is what I am accountable to God for. Do I not believe that He knows the plans that He has for me, to give me a future and a hope? Rest, know the Lord is good. The rest of the world is damning Him and blaming Him. After all I know and have believed in Him, can I not wait patiently for Him? In quietness and trust is my strength. So, I'm looking away from what worries me and choosing to look into His image.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 4:10 PM | 2 comments

Friday, November 11, 2005

Be still my soul

A couple weeks ago I wrote about how the body and mind are actually separate but often the body dictates, inappropriately, what we do. I wrote, "Who's in control here anyway?" Not that it is easy, but our mind is to have control of our body and its lusts. For a maturing Christian, often a spiritual process has to take place for the mind to take over and be able to control the tempral body and its passions.

Well, I noticed in the song I've referenced the last couple of days that the words, "Be still my soul," explains a similar process but it speaks of the mind controlling the thoughts and preoccupations of the mind. Like in the Bible when Jesus says, "Do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid, you trust in God, trust also in me." Or time and time and time and time again when the Bible speaks of not letting yourself be afraid.

It's like there is this expectation that we ourselves have some measure of control over the matter. Like there is a spiritual process that we can mature in and come to the point that we can choose not to be afraid, but to trust in God. Or there is simply a decision that we can make to not be fretful about something, but to place our cares into God's hands.

Trusting God and letting go of, not taking stock in,our fears seems like something important to God that we are to do while we are on earth.

So, when the social worker cancelled the latest meeting with our family and scheduled it for a week away, I just gave up. Gave up my fret and anxiety. It's too much to keep worrying about, and ordering and trying to provide for and it is wearing me out.

"Be still my soul" is something I was able to do yesterday, and it was a peace filled day for the most pX

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 7:21 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, November 10, 2005

"Leave to thy God, to order and provide"

Okay, so last night on my home phone message machine I get a message that Luke, our social worker for the family meeting has to cancel again because he is still sick.

Yesterday I counted back how long it took for the medical group to determine my original pap smear results: 3 weeks.

This morning as my mind was waking up, I hear the words from the song yesterday from somewhere in my mind: "Leave to thy God, to order and provide."

This morning I felt as though I had to pray and do my little journal entry thing that I developed from the "Experiencing God" book. By the end of my quiet time, I realized that God is keeping everything on His plate. By the time I number my prayer requests from 1-9 they are outdated. I don't have a sense of ground beneath my feet because He wants to be in control. If Jesus, while He was on earth did nothing except according to the leading of the Father, what am I to do? Nothing. I need to LEAVE to my God to ORDER and PROVIDE.

This morning during quiet time I looked out my window and saw two ducks swimming past on the lake. Aflack and Bilbo we named them last Spring. In 1985, I earnestly desired to one day live on a lake with ducks. Did God put that desire in my heart, to hope and dream for it and to see how He enabled us to have this house and then did He have those two ducks swim by at just that moment this morning to remind me of His faithfulness, not only from the Spring when I saw them last but from 20 years ago when He put that silly, but very real dream in my heart? Who is our God? Is He the Creator and Restorer of dreams? Yet, what are earthly dreams? Are they not passing away? Are not our treasures in heaven? Oh, the great mystery and wonder of our God. Great is Thy faithfulness, mercy and provision. Oh God, order and provide in Your wisdom and faithfulness. I leave my cares inThy hands.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:28 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Prayer Requests

1) That if the biopsy results brings "bad news," that I wouldn't find out until after the social worker family meeting with us scheduled for Thursday, 5:00 U.S. Pacific time.
2) That the family meeting would take place and be successful.
3) That, against his own time table estimate, the home study report would be completed and get to KY agency in time so that my husband and kids can meet Matt (assuming our family is chosen to adopt Matt!) the week of Thanksgiving or Nov 28 or 29 when they will be out there.
4) That Matt could be in our home by Christmas.
5) That the plans that God has for me and my work at the hospital would unfold naturally.
6) That God would deliver a sweet fragrance into our family through Matt.
7) That the extended relatives would be really excited and welcoming.
8) That Matt would become a Christian soon, if he isn't already.

No wonder I'm teanse! Wondering and worrying about all this. Who knows the timing? Why am I rushing? Well, the waiting is hard and Christmas - ! a dreadful time to have no family. We could really get bonded then - and that song (another blog I'll explain "the song").
9) If I need to have a hysterectomy, that the time would coordinate with husband's time in KY and I'd be able to get them to school, etc.
10) That, what if I did have cancer? That I wouldn't worry about all the details that God has to do. I suppose He's big enough to handle it! Oh yeah, He made the world, and holds all things together by the power of His word!
Jesus, I am so glad You make my life exciting! But I am like Martha, worried about so many things, and only one thing is needful. Help me to choose the good part - resting at Your feet and listening, inclining my ear to your words.

Here's a great hymn I'm listening to in my car right now:
"Be still my soul,
The Lord is on thy side,
Bear patiently the cross
of grief or pain
Leave to thy God
to order and provide,
In every change
He faithful will remain,
Be still my soul,
Thy God doth undertake
to guide the future
as He has the past....

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 1:53 PM | 3 comments

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

His alone

Dear Matt,
In July, you became available for adoption,
and in July the Lord let my heart plead for you.
And since that time,
He has been establishing your way to us, to Him.
He is your Redeemer,
We are His earthly hands
His Spirit is upon us,
and we love you with His love,
for He has chosen you,
to redeem you
to claim you for His own son
We can never own you
You are His alone
But we can be your family.
He is yours
and you are His alone.
He has chosen you for His purposes
and He will perfect His plan for your life
So go to Him and rest.
Set your head back in peace,
Your Lord has you in His hand
and He will never let you go
and He will never lose you
You are His for all time
He has redeemed you.
He is yours
and you are His alone
and we can be your family.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 2:37 PM | 4 comments

Monday, November 07, 2005

So yesterday I was making the final finishing touches to a post and my thumb bumped into a botton next to the space bar and poof - there went the blog post into eternal land - gone from this world.

So, I think next I sat in my car and cried. Just for a moment. I already had a little cry spell earlier with my lunch, again in my car.

Later in the evening I heard a song about when the end of the world when God will bring us to river of life - crystal bright. And there is no need of light there for the Lord is our light, and we shall reign with Him age after age after age.

I also thought about the great verse of Psalm 138:8. "The Lord will fulfill His purpose for my life." I was also encouraged from a song that had a verse, "Who can stop a thing He started?"

Now it is 5:25 AM and I am in my bike class. " Of whom do I have to be afraid? The Lord will fulfill His purposes for me. James says to be thankful for many trials of various kinds.

The bike spin class instructor just said, "your legs are going to burn with this one, that's a good thing." Respectfully, she kind of reminds me of Nellie from the Olson family from Little House on the Prairie. (We're watching that in our car these days.)

"If you don't feel the burn, add on on some tension! This is your work-out! Try not to die inbetween. You guys ready for some more?" The blond hair and everything. Oh, but the instructor is nice. Really.

From James "...for the proving of your faith which is more valuable than pure gold."

"Don't die on me guys! You've got another ten minutes if solid work!"

The music in the background says,"I don't think I can make it on my own...Is it pain that makes you real? Take another piece of me."

It is so good not to try to make it in my own. The Lord is good and He is able to do immeasurably more than I can ask or imagine. He is teaching me to receive His love. Things are happening that I can not see that are best for me. As John the Baptist says, "He must increase. I must decrease." Okay Lord, abide with me.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 5:20 AM | 3 comments

Saturday, November 05, 2005

God has written His story

Doesn't it seem like sometimes God is writing His own story about the planet earth and its people? The Great Author is building the great epic for all times. But the ending is written, because God knows the end from the beginning.

I feel strong in a lot of ways. But I developed His strength in me, or rather have developed an assess to his strength because He ripped out my heart and I feel like I've lost everything, or nearly everything again and again. Well, I suppose that I am being dramatic and exagerating. But that's the way it felt to me.

But what was most important to me, before Christ was most important to me, was taken from me in a way that felt like a repeating nightmare again and again, and no one could see it but me. And it hurt real bad. So Christ became my crutch. Then He became my everything. Now He is worth everything to me and all that my heart was broken about - well, it is...still a work in progress, to which God knows the ending. Cause He wrote the book that He is writing.

"Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given unto you." To me, it seems that things the He ripped my heart about before He has mostly returned back to me improved or changed my desires.

A lot of times I feel weak. And He is there for me. He goes with me, because I somehow have aquired expectations to do beyond my capasity. So I trust in Him and He sets my path straight. (Prov 3).

Lord Jesus,
You are mine and I am Yours. let me hide myself in You. I am dependent upon Your way in me. Let me rest in You. You are my salvation, my comfort and my Friend. How many times have I called You my only Friend? Because no one is a friend to me like You, who hides my cares and my tears in your heart, who pleads on my behalf and who is good through and through. You are the ultimate for me and You give me your peace-not as the world gives. In this world I have anxieties. Jesus, show Yourself strong on my behalf and defend me to the end for Your reputation and glory. Amen.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 10:13 PM | 3 comments

Friday, November 04, 2005


Have you ever heard of that Christian song that has a phrase in it, "I"m sustained." In Christ, I'm sustained.

Earlier this week and in fact for the past few weeks I have been a bit worried about doing the walk-through the house with the social worker, because our house was, like, messy. (Too green - let's change that) So, I prayed that our house would be in order when the social worker did the walk-through the house. I was relieved when the social worker informed me that he was only going to be looking for anything that may present a danger.

When I grew up, my mother liked to share with me the horror she would feel over the fact that at "any moment" the social worker from the Catholic Charities Adoption Agency would drop in on her, and she was always on the look-out for that, for a number of years while we were babies, since my brother and I were both adopted as infants.

I found myself becoming worried as well about the social worker scanning our home, like a CPS investigator that we called to our house on purpose. While my mom was concerned about a hair out of place, I was concerned with a laundry room over-flowing with months of various debris - stuff tossed from the remenants of our day-to-day life, and other similar rooms with similar tales to tell. Movie ticket stubs, sunscreen, coaching player information from the last basketball season. Maybe you know.

So, as I prayed about these concerns, I laid them before the Lord. And it kept continually dawning on me that I need a whole lot more than my house to be clean enough to bring in a child into our home - a child with real "issues." I need the power of God Himself. So would I pick the power of God Himself in the life of Matt and the life of the six other members of this family or would I pick me making sure in my own strength that the laundry counter is picked up pretty?

Well, obviously, I want the former. So, I prayed for that and I appealed to God's sense of reasonableness. My prayer went something like this, "but even though I need Your working power in our family to make this whole adoption successful and to bring wholeness into Matt's life, and bring a greater dimention of Your reality to the lives of the other members of this family, Lord, can you please enable that it is not embarrassing when we are walking around the place..."

To me, it was amazing how this house has come together especially over this past week. Skipping the boring details, to me it was a bit astounding to see this house transformed. No movie studs, sunscreen or coaching paperwork on the dusty laundry room counter. No scary tales the rooms could tell all on their own. The light fixtures are even cleaned out.

So last night as I was winding down the last of the "to do's," my husband said, "What's that guy's name, Hank? You know the guy we are meeting with tomorrow?"

"You mean Luke?" I responded.

"Yeah. He called. He's sick and won't be able to come tomorrow. He'll be calling us next week."


Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh.

So I did some more cleaning today. I kind of wanted to get on with other things and now I'm like stuck in mid-air.

Trying to relax in mid-air is like trying to read a magazine underwater, or something equally ridiculous.

I thought about this cancer scare some more. Know more next week. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. Oh. I just hope, and now I will pray, that Luke's meeting with us is either after the scare is over and dissipated (like my spelling? How far off am I?) or is before any "bad" news has arrived, because then it really didn't happen, or hasn't happened yet.

Kind of reminds me of trying to interview for residency programs four months pregnant, as was the case for me. You know, like how do you tell the program that if they accept you as their new intern doctor, that you will arrive nine months pregnant? So, for "fun" let's pretend I do have so-called cancer. The Home Study report will sound something like, "An otherwise ideal family, is currently facing the issue that the mother-to-be has cancer."

Oh. I think it sounds very exciting. Almost as exciting as showing up for internship nine months pregnant. When I did show up, nobody told the new Attending Doctor about my "condition," which was as unmistakable as my belly-botton protruding from my protruding belly draped by the silky navy blue and white polka-dotted maternity dress, complete with ankles swelling in their state of pregnancy delight. Dr. M could only let out, "and so, when will you be needing to be excused from your duties?"

"The baby is due July 19th. I have an OB appointment today at 4:00. It's the latest I could get it." Life goes on. Life went one. In that four-year residency program, I delievered three, yes three healthy babies. (Priorities are priorities, after all.)

To me, my current life and state-of-affairs is all very God-inspiring. GOD IS MOVING AND WORKING ON MY BEHALF. NOT ONLY FOR ME BUT FOR EVERYONE THAT I KNOW AND LOVE. This is my hope. If I did have cancer, I feel sorry for everyone that is going to be concerned for me. But it will give them an opportunity to know how Christ-in-me handles this. Regarding the adoption, now we have a real fight on our hands. Now perhaps we are in a battlefield for the heart and mind and soul of two boys and a family that would gain from serving their needs. This health thing makes for some kind of excitment.

Then again. The health thing may be all about nothing. In which case, excuse me - I take it all back. Onward.

Onward Christian Soldiers marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. And now unto Him who is able to do abundantly above beyond what we can hope or imagine, to Christ who is the head of the church, unto Him be the glory forever and forever. Amen.

Re: getting one or both boys. Brent's case is on hold. So we are going towards Matt. God has to keep the door open and deliever us Matt. But I have not forgotten about Brent. I have a Bible with his name on it hidden in my nightstand drawer with a letter written to him on the inside cover, about the man I see he is to be when he grows up. Will he ever get that Bible? Right now, God knows. Currently, my husband is not yet sold on the idea of the two boys, only one. However, if it were not for my prayers and patience, we would only have two children and not four. So, my husband wanting only one boy, but then later accepting my request for two, would be completely consistant with our past history, so pray for God's will and delieverence. I want God's will. If it is God's will, then I want my husband to desire what God wants. I hope it is the both boys, and that God would deliver them into our hands, and He would heal and transform their lives, and bless all the family so much as we care for them. Also, I desire for God to bring the many, many loved ones I have into a relationship with Him, even by the upcoming experiences our family will march through in His name.

It's great to be a believer. "If you want God to use you, don't be picky how He does it" (Joyce Meyer).

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 9:57 PM | 3 comments

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Part 2: (Got to read part 1 yesterday to understand this.) We laughed about it...

...but there was awkwardness and the laugh was a little too much, sort of like the pressure of steam when a lid is lifted off boiling water on the stove.

My husband asked me, "Did I forget that paperwork in the house? Can you check for me?"

I told him, "Yesterday I was doing that sort of forgetting and I realized at that time that my concentration wasn't all there."

Then the laugh exchange came. It wasn't funny. It was a mutual understanding, a meeting of the minds and of the overlapping experience that yeah, I could really have, like cancer.

Last night I pulled out my 1980's pathology medical school textbook that I retrieve from a high shelf from time to time. I checked out a couple things on the internet also.

I could just blow the whole thing off. After all, the doctor did say, "less than ten percent chance" of having cancer. But then there are those other nagging symptoms that I hadn't thought anything about, but as I read about symptoms and risk factors, the picture seems like it is filling in.

The good news is that there is no reason to believe that IF there was a cancer that it wasn't in the early stages and if that is the case, it is 90 percent curable with a hysterectomy alone. Life will go on. And it will be good. God will use this. He already is.

I tend to get ahead of myself. Can you tell? Tomorrow is our family meeting with the social worker regarding the adoption.. I will remember that God's timing really IS perfect and best.


posted by An Ordinary Christian | 1:36 PM | 2 comments

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I guess I'm not concentrating after all.

Yesterday I got a call from my Gyn MD's medical assistant. My regular doctor actually is on maternity leave so another doctor is filling in, and asked that I be called.

"The pap smear had atypical glanular and endothelial cells. Can you come in tomorrow for a biopsy?"

"Well, what's the longest I can put it off?"

I decided to go in today and meet the replacement doctor. Not that I really knew the other doctor. I only met her twice and in fact at the second appointment I didn't recognize her from the time before.

At today's appointment, I immediately realized that the replacement doctor resembled me physically. Tall, blond, normal weight in her mid 40's. And a little anxious. She was nice.

I let her know I became a psychiatrist because I like more information and not less (and to let her know to tell me the medical facts without a lot of explanation).

I didn't waste any time."So what is the risk that I have cancer?"

"Less than ten percent."

I thought to myself, "what is less than ten percent?" In business that is 9.99. So later, I told my husband there was a ten percent risk. But is it ten or seven or three? What the hell is "less than ten percent?" Later, concerned that I exagerated I told my husband in the context of a sentence about the "less than ten percent" chance anything more is coming out of this. This was my clarification that Dr. G actually said "less than ten percent" and not "ten percent."

I figure it is more than ten percent risk that I have cancer because what doctor isn't going to error on side of down-playing risk?

So, having a procedure done in the infamous pap smear position is a little like having a dental procedure. Which I hate. Held captive. You get to stare at the ceiling.

But the anticipation is so much worse than the actual pain involved.

"A big pinch here"

How does that contrast with when a doctor says "a little pinch here?"see part two to come.

posted by An Ordinary Christian | 5:57 PM | 1 comments

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Lord of hosts is the King of glory!

How much would you put down on a bet that was fixed - that you were certain of the results? Would you root for a football team that was destined to lose?

Faith, in some ways is unseen but really, the results are already in. That is, there is a team that will definately win, and another that will definately lose, but faith opens the eyes to see it.

The Bible says that the condemnation is that light came into the world but that light was rejected. Darkness was chosen because our deeds are evil and we don't want our evil exposed. That's why people (like me) love the darkness instead.

You can know God and know He exists, just as certain as you know wind and light, but do you want to know God?

People who come to God must believe that He exists and that He is good - that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.

Sometimes we don't seek Him, per say, but He gets us. That's what happened to me. He showed me He was real, and what else could I do? So, I followed Him. Timidly at first and boldly as time parades on.

The Lord of Hosts means the Reigner of the Army and all warfare. King means king and glory means everything that is absolutely awesome and wonderful and fantastic - like the best thing you can see, feel, taste, hear, enjoy and imagine. Did you know the Lord of Hosts is the King of Glory? And we can know and enjoy Him. And it is fun. And satisfies. He is enough for me.


posted by An Ordinary Christian | 8:28 AM | 4 comments