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Saturday, May 29, 2010

"Coincidence #2"

As promised in my previous post, I'll share "coincidence" #2 in this post. First, let me mention as background, my husband and I have been vigorously following Dave Ramsey's "baby steps" as laid out in the book "The Total Money Makeover" for about 4 months now. We are on "baby step three" and trying to stay very disciplined with our spending so we can reach our goals. (My goal? Another Philippine adoption - shhhh).
Yesterday I told my husband I needed to run some errands and exactly how much money these errands might cost. He gave a set amount to spend based on our budget and off I went. I am not much of a numbers gal (he's the "nerd", I'm the "free spirit") so I went to several stores, getting the items I needed while mentally rounding and estimating what I was spending. When I arrived home, I added up the receipts and they totaled EXACTLY TO THE PENNY the amount my husband had set aside for these errands!!!!!!! I re added to make sure it wasn't an error on my part and, sure enough, the amount was EXACT to the cent! I don't know if this "coincidence" was more of a blessing to me or to Anthony but we just looked at each other with a "God is in control" nod, understanding that when we try to be good stewards of what we've been given, we get a LOT of help from the Lord. We already know that when we're careless and wasteful, the opposite is true. I know this is really a small "event" and I pondered whether or not I was making too much of it. Is it even worth blogging?
I could not get past the thought that if God deemed it worth doing, I should find it worth sharing. Maybe someone will stumble on this blog who needs some encouragement about just how much God cares about the "little stuff" . . .

Coincidence? I think NOT!

In the past two days I have had two events take place in my life that, although seemingly small, have shone a spotlight on just how much God cares for me. First, I went to pick up my twelve year old son from tennis practice. On the way, our little car started to feel "funny". I pulled into the nearest gas station in order to get a diet coke and give the car a rest. There was nowhere to park when I pulled in. I had to pull directly in front of the pump. When I came out of the gas station. My little car simply would not start. I laid my head on the steering wheel and thought "not today, Lord". Just then a tap on my window startled me. It was a kind older gentleman carrying a gas can he was preparing to fill. He said "it sounds to me like you're out of gas young lady." I looked down at my gas gauge and, sure enough - the big "E"!!!
Red faced, I thanked the gentleman, filled the car and drove away. And then it hit me:
had I parked in an actual parking space, I could not have gassed up without someone helping me push the car to the pump. I would have been late in picking up my son and certainly would have incurred the "wrath" of a husband who has asked me repeatedly not to let the needle fall below a quarter of a tank! But no, my Heavenly Father saw fit to let me run out of gas while literally parked at the pump! The overwhelming sense of humility that followed that "coincidence" is indescribable. I have NOT been consistent with my quiet times lately. I have not even been as faithful in the "little things" as I usually am and yet, God still chose to "bail me out" of what could have been a sticky situation that was clearly of my own making. Yes, I've done the same for my own kids: removed the consequences due them just because I love them. No, not always but, as a parent, you know when mercy is due and when justice must be swift.
I'll save the second "coincidence" for another post as this one has gotten quite lengthy.
"Cast all your cares on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Dazed and Confused

After much prayer regarding "The Ariel Situation" all I can say is, it appears there is no legal way for him to immigrate to the US. On one hand, this is sad for him, the only one of three brothers unable to make the journey, but on the other hand, I trust my Heavenly Father implicitly. He knows what each of us needs, where we should live and who should come to our table. It appears that, without a miracle, Ariel is not to be ours. I can not thank my AMAZING Sentor's office enough! Richard Burr (R-NC), you are an unbelievably helpful man with an equally wonderful staff! I sent out pleas for help to many elected officials and the first to reply and act was Richard Burr. I don't want to get too political here but, he was the only Republican I contacted so, surmise for yourself what that might imply (ha ha).
On a happier note, my family was blessed to attend our adoption agency's family picnic at a gorgeous park. We spent time with many other families who had adopted children from The Philippines. Once again, I found my heart feeling that tug to go back for "just one more". I don't know if Anthony felt any "tug" except the "tug" on the wallet in his back pocket (ha ha). The new blog photos were taken at the picnic.
Well, I'm off to head to a neighboring town to bring home a treadmill we found on craigslist yesterday! If we are ever to adopt from The Philippines again, I must keep in mind their "body mass index" requirement and get my body to have a little less "mass" - ha ha!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Digging Deeper

Just when I thought I was living as "big" as I could for my Savior, God asks more of me. Just when I was starting to get a little prideful about how "pro life" and "over the top" I've gone in my life, He raises the bar and I fall pitifully short of complete surrender. Notice that photo to the right of this post. It's our adopted son, Lemuel, and his biological brother, Ariel? God has clearly, although not audibly, let me know that THIS young man needs us to serve him in a radical way. He is in a shelter for street kids in The Philippines. He is cognitively delayed. He can neither read nor write. He is nineteen years old and his future is uncertain at best. I don't know to what God is calling me but I have been given little rest from the thoughts plaguing me regarding Ariel. For several years, we have prayed for him, sent packages and occasional donations to the agency caring for him and we even helped him apply for a tourist visa to visit us here in the US. The visa was denied based on the fact that he has no ties to The Philippines and is not likely to return after the visit. Now, God has lain on my heart that all-too-familiar feeling that He is calling us to dig deeper for Ariel's sake. For Jesus' sake, for His fame. I am scared. I have a beautiful daughter, young children. Our house is small and our budget is tight. What does my Savior want from me in this situation? Are we to bring Ariel HERE? Is it even possible? Are we to pay his way through life in the Philippines so we know he always has a roof over his head? As I pray through these weighty questions, Proverbs 3:27 stays at the forefront of my thoughts . . ."do not withhold any good thing from those who deserve it when it is in your power to help them."