Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The thing about hope and confidence

Rejoice in our confident hope. 
Be patient in trouble and keep on praying. Romans 12:12

Reading this verse for the month of August transported me back to February.   I was struggling with the definition of hope, and how exactly its defined in a Christian's life.

As I was learning through the darkness of that winter, it all matters what you place your hope in.


Where is your confident hope?

Your home?  Your job?  Your family?  Your bank account?

If you are answering even just a little 'yes' to one of those, your hope should not be all that confident.

Sorry.

There is only one place where we can place true confident hope.

Confidence: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust
 
Hope: to desire with expectation of obtainment

Only One place where we can place our belief that we can rely on them with firm trust and the expectation that they WILL deliver what they promise.

You know where I am going with this?

At times, when there are crazy things going on and disturbing events that just don't make sense, it can be hard to think that God's going to pull this one off. 

But, the verse above does not say, "Rejoice in our confident hope, there is no need to be patient because everything is going to work out perfectly for you the first time and there is no need to pray because everything is going so well all the time."

In His word, Jesus tells us that we will have trials.  Bummer.  But He follows it up with something that should give us all confident hope:  He has overcome the world.

All this stuff?  It's not going to matter.

All this getting ahead?  It's not going to get you anywhere.

But placing your hope in Jesus?  The Author and Finisher of our Faith?  It is there that you can find confidence.

And just so we don't get discouraged, His Word reminds us to keep praying.  Be patient with the trials that you are facing.  Knowing that they are only for a season.  And even if that season is lifelong, you've got something better waiting for you if you have placed your hope in Jesus.

And you can be CONFIDENT about that.

To read more posts in the Romans 12 series, click here.
 

 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

12

Twelve years ago we were two 20 year olds, unsure of a lot of things.  Moving out of my parents house, our bank account just about as low as our age, but we were confident (in God!) that we were  taking the right step, joining in this union they call marriage.

11 jobs (oy), 9 cars (eesh), 6 houses (sigh), and 3 children (yea!) later....

we are still unsure of some things, our bank account continues to be smaller rather than bigger (meh), and we continue to place our confident hope in Christ.

It's been sort of a roller coaster of a ride, but I'm so glad that he chose me to spend the rest of his life with!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Lifesong Mission Moment - August

This post is part of the Adoption Journey Series. See previous posts, “Adoption: 3 Ways to Prepare for the Journey” & "Adoption: 5 Funding Ideas that Work!". 

artz16

You made it. After all the paperwork, emails, phone calls, times of waiting and waiting and waiting, your child is finally forever home. Now what??

Being home together as a family may be all that you envisioned and expected, but most likely, there may be some challenges and adjustments to work through. Whether that be with your child you just brought into your home or your bio kids. Change can be tough, especially when your new forever child has come from a hard place and may have many emotional walls and culture barriers to break down. The good news? You're not in this alone.

Here are a few resources and ideas for families post-adoption...

4 Ways to Thrive Once They're Home

  1. Find a Support Group. During the transition, you will need godly friends and family surrounding and encouraging you, telling you, "I get what you're going through...We are praying." If your church does not have an adoption support group, talk to other adoptive families and start your own. Also, check with your adoption agency to see if they can connect you with someone in your area.
  2. Attend an Empowered to Connect ConferenceYep, it's that good that we're mentioning it twice. If you can't make a conference before your adoption, find the time to attend after your child is in your home. The insight and wisdom you will receive will encourage you as you parent a child from a hard places.
  3. Read Handbook on Thriving as an Adoptive FamilyPacked with practical advice and ideas for families with an adopted child, this parenting handbook is unique in that it provides real-life solutions to common challenges. Bible-based and comprehensive, this Focus on the Family resource addresses the special challenges of adopted children and their parents from birth through adulthood.
  4. Call iCareAboutOrphans.org's Post Adoption Phone line. This ministry of Focus on the Family offers this service FREE for adoptive families! The phone number is 800-A-FAMILY (232-6459) and is staffed Mon – Fri from 8am – 10pm EST by counselors who have been trained by Dr. Karyn Purvis.

What are some other ways that helped your family THRIVE once your child(ren) were forever home? Please join the conversation by commenting below.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

July Lookback

Well, we didn't quite get all the projects done that we wanted to get completed in July.  There are quite a few things outstanding.  Our poor neighbors will be forced to look at our sad yard and landscaping for another year.  Meh.

But I can say that we got a few things accomplished.  Things like:

 Gardening: and all the rocks that the kids dug out

 Carrying on the Gateway tradition:  Friday night Pizza Night!

 The LEGO movie is in full-force around here now that it made it to DVD.  We have our own set of Master Builders...or at least ones that can quote the whole movie.

 Spent the weekend with Sam and Kat in Toledo
before the Poisonous Water hit.

 We checked out the Toledo Zoo...

 and took a picnic lunch.

 Walked downtown Perrysburg 

 And enjoyed some ice cream

 Photo Ops by the Maumee River


 Our newly planted peach tree gave us one peach this year.  We divided it 5 ways and each got a taste.

 Spent a day with our dear friends.  
Working to build memories and relationships before they head off into the jungle.

 And what's a summer without a little tent "camping?"


Hard to believe how fast this summer flew.  

I don't think I've used those words since 1999.  But here it is August, with school starting next week.  It's coming fast.  We're eager, we're nervous.  For all sorts of reasons.

But we've got one more week to live up this summer.  We'll see what we can squeeze into those seven days...