Matt's starting to come down with another cold this week, so to prevent it from actually becoming a bad one again, he's working from home. It's so fortunate that he has this option for times like this! Those first few days coming down with something are the most contagious, so it's best to stop things from spreading sooner rather than later!
Matt being home means that I'm too tempted to talk to him, so I'm hanging out at JP's for a while to catch up on my Bible time and journaling and sorting out my thoughts for the week.
I need to request prayer for a few things: first, I'm feeling a bit drained because I worked about 46 hours in the past three days. I know there are people who work this way all the time, and I can only imagine what it's like to juggle that and a family and any semblance of rest. But ugh. I don't know what they laced the funnel cakes with at Tulip time last May, but evidently it made everyone want to have a baby...at 34-36 weeks. Our Special Care Nursery is nearly filled to capacity, there isn't enough space for the laboring patients who keep coming in, and our manager was still there at 8:30 last night trying to figure out if she needs to close the unit. But Zeeland's full too...so where would they go?? And onward they come, and my phone starts ringing at 6am with distress calls for help.
So anyway, my drained-ish state (or feeling off-kilter because today, instead of frenetic activity, I don't have a lot going on - and I'm screening my phone calls!), is lending to me feeling reflective/contemplative/emotional.
First: I received my big "Congratulations! You're accepted!" packet from MSU this week. I've already made up my mind, and I knew the acceptance package was coming (from my conversation last month with one of the profs), so it wasn't a surprise, and it felt like another piece of mail. It was kind of an odd feeling, though. The deadline is today to accept my seat or not. I worked so hard on my application to receive this letter. And I find myself this morning checking the "decline" box and stating my reason for it. It's not like this was a decision I took lightly or didn't think about for a very long time. But it was still kind of deflating and I'm struggling with a certain measure of disappointment that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it's not disappointment. Maybe it's my pride; maybe I feel kind of embarrassed that I'm not following through with something I thought I really wanted to do (and, might I add, that I felt I needed to do because I am just "too good" to "just" do what I do now - oh, what an inflated reason for basing my decisions!). Maybe I feel like I'm selling myself short. No matter what, I definitely feel God taking me by the shoulders and guiding me away from it, for whatever reason. And I'd far rather follow His direction - He sure knows my heart better than even I do! I just have to trust that He has something so different in store that would not have been very possible had I chosen to follow through with school. And because of that, I have peace.
I was chewing on this as I drove to JP's this morning, and the song "Hold Me Jesus" came on the radio, and man, that song has ministered to me so many times in my life. And the line that ALWAYS gives me pause, with whatever situation I'm finding myself at that time, is:
Surrender don't come natural to me
I'd rather fight You for something I don't really want
Than take what You give that I need
And I've beat my head against so many walls
Now I'm falling down, falling on my knees...
I won't wax too much about it, but simply put: God's plans are better than mine. It has never, ever, EVER been of any benefit in my life to try to kick in doors that He is lovingly trying to shut. Period. And then the door that he opens for me is always, ALWAYS a better one.
Second: I am burdened with concern about a friend and our relationship. It may or may not be a burden that is mine to bear. I'm not sure; my friend has not communicated it to me. It eats at me and I'm not entirely certain what to do.
Third: As you know, Matt and I feel, without a doubt, that our hearts are being prepared to receive the gift of a child through adoption. Whether that will happen before or after we have our "own" children, we do not know. We're still in the information-gathering stage and are choosing which agency we'd like to work with...or better put, which agency God is guiding us to that will bring us and our child together. At first we wanted to explore a domestic adoption, but we've realized there are plenty of waiting FAMILIES in the United States, whereas there are waiting CHILDREN in the rest of the world. We desire a younger child, either a toddler or younger. More and more we are drawn to either China or Ethiopia - but the waiting period for a "referral" from China is becoming several YEARS, whereas referrals from Ethiopia usually come within months. The children from both countries are treated well, are healthy, and come from well-run orphanages. Primarily (in Ethiopia, at least) they are in the orphanages due to death of both parents, or abandonment due to extreme poverty.
Exciting as it is, adoption is expensive. And we know God will provide if that's what He intends for us. But still...it's scary. It's not like $20K is pocket change that we have rattling around. I guess I've never had to trust God with something so seemingly huge. It's such uncharted territory! There are questions that we don't even realize we need to ask. So if you will remember us in prayer as we approach this process over the next year or so, that would be so appreciated.
Anyway, I've contemplated and rambled well enough!! To those who read this blog on a regular basis, I really appreciate it. Life is just better when it's shared.