Adoption Fundraiser

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Ugly Duckling

We have a pond behind our house. Its sort of an oasis in the city. It usually stays dry. It takes a lot of rain to put water in it. And when that happens I always welcome my duck friends. We like to run out on the back deck and feed them. What is it about feeding ducks that makes us feel good?

I noticed the ducks today and had some old bread that I knew they would enjoy. We have a group of four. Three are mallards and I don't know what the other one is. One of the mallards is small. His feathers are slightly discolored and he usually stays back a bit from the group. It fascinates me. Maybe this is because it reminds me of myself.

So I snuck out to the porch because sometimes I'm selfish and like to feed the ducks by myself. Besides, the girl was sick on the couch and I was in need of a few minutes. I'm so very thankful for that 5 minutes.

I watched that ugly duckling try to get his fair share of bread. The others were downright mean. They would try to chase him away. I felt terrible for him. And I may have called them "freaking mean ducks." I'll never tell.

So I purposely threw bread in this little ugly duck's direction. He was elated. He would run in every direction to snatch up the bread. Maybe he felt special??? I hope so.

The other three snooty ducks got bored and made their way back into the water. My duck friend waited a few moments before he joined them. I noticed he never quite made it within 5 feet or so. One time he actually dared to join them in their circle. He was chased off immediately.

After a few minutes he came back to me alone and tried to eat up more of the bread. All along he would raise his head and make sure his "friends" hadn't left him.

My heart was broken. And I wondered if the Lord looks down on me with a broken heart. I want so badly to be accepted that I'm willing to follow along like a puppy dog. And really, why would I want anything to do with a person who treats me that way? I never thought I 'd be dealing with these emotions on the eve of my 30th birthday.

We want so badly to be accepted by those moms who have it all together. We are so insecure in ourselves that we waddle along behind our "friends" hoping that they will notice us. But in reality, we are lonely. Oh, sometimes we'll waddle back to the One who blesses us. The One who loves us and gives us extra bread and blessing. We'll spend a few minutes collecting our bread. But our heads always come up looking around making sure that we haven't been left or forgotten. Then we waddle back trying to fit in where we don't belong. In the world.

I am so thankful that the Lord gave this story to me. This doesn't happen often, so when it does I want to think it through and make sure I'm learning what I need to learn.

Insecurity has haunted me my entire life. I have vivid memories of being maybe 6 or 7 and asking a little girl to be my friend. She wouldn't. In kindergarten, a girl told me she didn't want to be my friend anymore. In elementary school my boy haircut, that my mom thought was so cute, made me an outcast. In middle school my clothes were so out of fashion. I hated the cheap shoes I had to wear because it seemed like everyone was always standing in a circle talking about how great their shoes were. In high school I was the third wheel plagued by depression and a suicide attempt. I didn't think my mother loved me. I didn't think anyone loved me.

I still have a hard time feeling like I'm loved by those around me. I feel like I'm one of those people you could take or leave. In my head, I know better. But to actually feel this in my heart, like I am loved, is a hard thing.
I could probably go on for a long time about how insecure I feel daily. I won't.

Instead, I am going to think on all the verses of scripture that tells me otherwise.

Got any good ones for me?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Memorial Box Monday

This is a very recent story. I hope you enjoy it and are encouraged by God's perfect timing.
It has been nearly two months since my husband lost his job. Right afterward I suggested that we go up north and spend some time with my husband's family. They really don't get equal time compared to my parents since my parents make trips south to see us often.
I knew that we could take our time traveling and even just go with the flow once we got there. It was sure to be a change from our hectic drive and spend a few days and drive again. My husband thought it would be nice but didn't want to spend the gas money for this 10 hour trip. I knew it was no use trying to convince him. (Have you ever noticed that it has to be their idea? Sometimes I know for sure that we are supposed to do something but he never listens. I've learned to let it go. It will eventually come around again if indeed God is in it. And the next time around, they will be all for it. Uhhh!!)
Fast forward a month. We "splurged" after church a few weeks ago at Micky D's since they had a great deal on their cheese burgers. We were enjoying "eating out" and my husband just casually mentions that he thinks we should go up to see his family. Here we go. I agree and we start to make plans. We seriously would have left the next day if it weren't for a prior engagement. It kept us in town one more week and we set off the next Sunday. One a side note even though it is slightly stressful that my husband is not employed I have truly enjoyed the flexibility with having him home all the time. It will be so sad when he does get a job and has to go back to a schedule.
God's timing couldn't have been more perfect. We left in the early hours of Sunday morning with no real set plan.

We stopped off in the beautiful state of Virginia to visit our property.
It still sits with the very beginnings of a foundation.

We were pleasantly surprised to see that we still had a lot of old snow on our property.

We had a blast playing in it since it had been years since we had seen any at all.

We took our time getting up to West Virginia where my husband's family lives. We got in late Sunday night. Monday morning we got up and walked down the street to visit my husband's very sick grandmother. We call her Mom. Mom and Pops. Mom had just gotten home from the hospital. She was in stage 4 cancer and just needed some blood. She lay very very still on the couch while we visited. It was still a great visit. Before we got to their house my husband walked down first. He truly felt led to speak with Mom about her salvation. Mom had been a hard lady. At one point she was walking with the Lord, but that had been a long time ago. My husband spoke with her and she gently reassured him that she had trusted the Lord with all her heart.
This was especially good because of some questionable practices by their church. I may be naive, but apparently they believe that your name must be on the church roll to get into heaven. Mom had been a member once many many years ago, but took her name off somewhere along the line. The preacher and some of the deacons were concerned for her salvation because she was not a member. My husband was borderline irate that they wanted her to come to church and join. This lady could barely move off the couch. I was borderline irate.
Let me just stop and say this. Jesus says in the Bible that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Him. Period. Nothing else will get you to heaven. Jesus is the only way. And trust me, He's the only thing worth having.
Praise God that we all had such a wonderful visit with Mom. Two days later her wobbly legs gave out on her and she fell very hard against the gas stove, hitting her head. She passed away five minutes after arriving at the ER.

God allowed us to be there just the right time. Not only to get to see her one last time alive, but that my husband had the opportunity to speak to her about her salvation.
Had we gone when I wanted to it would have been a month too soon. Had my husband not had a prior commitment that kept us in town another week, it would have been a week too soon. I am so grateful that God cared enough about our family to get us there in perfect timing.

Sometimes it is hard to see His hand at work in our lives. But I am so thankful that He lets us get even just a glimpse to remind us that He is with us.
When we actually get a memorial box something will go in there with the word "mom" on it. It will remind us that God's timing is incredibly perfect.

Won't you head over to A Place called Simplicity and read other story's of God's greatness?

Friday, March 19, 2010


Its been awhile. Sorry about that. We've been out of town and busy trying to get a job, sell our house, build a new house, figure out temporary housing, and even wondering if we've heard the Lord right in moving away from here. That can take a lot of out of a family.
The Lord has been good to us though. I'll be back on here to tell a story of His faithfulness while we were out of town.
In the meantime, my husband has an interview on Tuesday at 9 am. Please pray for God's will concerning this. Its his first interview. Its also outside tractor work. Initially he didn't want anymore outside work since he's been to his dermatologist. But the Lord knows our hearts better than we do. And we trust Him alone. Will you join us in praying? Thank you for being a part of our story.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Memorial Box Monday

Today I'd like to tell you about my battle with infertility. The battle wasn't as long as some women's. We started trying to have a baby right after September 11, 2001. I'm not sure if that had any significant meaning. My cycles had always been a little on the erratic side, but I didn't realize how this might affect my ability to get pregnant right away. I also feel the need to say that I was slightly overweight during this time. I'd like to think that this had something to do with it also, but I am reminded of how God's timing is perfect. It just so happened that the time when I had lost a lot of weight is the same time I became pregnant.
Those years of my marriage don't hold up well in my memory. Thankful I kept a journal. I'd like to just let you read parts of my entries and let that tell you the story.
(Apparently either I didn't journal during this time, or its lost. But in Feb. 2002 I had a very early miscarriage. Early or not, it was still extremely devastating for me.)

The cry of my heart. Lord, I want children. I want to be a mommy. I want a life growing inside me. Please hear my prayers for a baby girl.

Please hear my prayers and cries for motherhood. Lord, I'm really trying to lose weight. I want to be healthy when the pregnancy begins. Please honor that. Your timing is perfect.

I have felt this heavy depression on me. I'm guessing it's not being pregnant yet. Thats really been affecting me lately. And why wouldn't it? It's devastating. Sometimes I'm just like, "So, God, it's not gonna happen is it?"
Sometimes I just picture my insides being gone. That's exactly how empty I feel. I just want someone to hold me and tell me it's going to be ok.

Looking back on the past few years of this journal, I can see that motherhood has been a prayer from the start. Sixteen months. Month after month of lost, useless hope.

There was a time that I stopped journaling about wanting to be pregnant. I lost my insurance and made myself stop thinking about it.

I just really pray I can get pregnant this month. What a joyful celebration. What a happy time that would be. Is this the month? I don't want to get my hopes up, but I am so excited to think this could actually happen.

I just wonder how it would feel to have a baby growing inside me. Will I be in constant praise? Will the problems of everyday life be so minor compared to my miracle? After waiting so long and praying so hard, will my faith be multiplied by 1,000 when it finally happens? Will the entire 9 months be filled with continuous joy? The moment when my baby is born, will I praise God outloud? Will my baby's eyes still be sparkling from the very touch of Jesus's hand in my womb? Will holding my baby close bring me close to the fingerprints of God? Afterall, God was holding and forming and pefecting my baby for 9 months. His fingerprints will be fresh on my baby's soft skin. Oh my Lord, I long for Your hands in my womb forming and wonderfully making my baby.

I'm pregnant! God has been so faithful to hear the cries of my heart for the last couple of years. I'm fully blessed that I can experience this wonderful miracle growing inside of me. Thank you Jesus for Your continued faithfulness in my life. Your joy overwhelms me.

A girl! God's faithfulness is never ending.

In my memorial box (honestly, I don't have one, but this is the first thing we will get when we start to furnish our new house.) I will put a dollar. After many years of wasting money on those expensive pregnancy tests, the one that I used when I found out was from the DOLLAR STORE! Who knew?

I remember that I had felt so irritable in those days. More than usual. Ha! I had a fight with my husband and left to go meet my mom because she was coming in from out of state. I mentioned to her that I was late (nothing new) and that I wanted to get a test while we were out. The very thought alone made her day. We were in the dollar store and she showed me the test. I said whatever. I knew that if was negative that I would have just went out and bought a name brand one. We bought 2 just in case. I was so anxious when we got home that evening that I couldn't not take the test. My mom wasn't any help either. She urged me into the bathroom immediately. It was positive. I took the other test. Positive. I went 20 minutes to the nearest store and bought more. Both positive. I couldn't believe it.
The rest is history.