I have so many little thoughts bouncing around in my head...undoubtedly the result of many, many days spent inside. I've cleaned my house so thoroughly I'm practically chasing the dog now with a vacuum cleaner and microcloth! Anyway, rather than try to remember all of these so I can write several posts, I'll just summarize them all at once.
On getting what I want...
I started last Tuesday with a fever and that cement-slowly-being-poured-into-my-neck feeling. It was kind of downhill from there. My fever resolved three days later, and ushered in a persistent cough and an AWOL voice. So over the weekend I was silenced (I'm sure Matt enjoyed the reprieve), and went from that to honking, to squeaking, to croaking, and now I prefer to think of it as...."sultry."
But I don't like it. I don't think I've ever had an illness linger like this before, and frankly, I'm quite over it. My back hurts from sitting on the couch, I'm tired of the radio, I miss my friends, I can't talk to my mom on the phone as much as I want to, I'm just a big baby.
Yet when I ask Matt to pray for my voice to come back, he asks God to help me be content no matter what my circumstance is. Oh. That's probably a more appropriate request. Kind of takes the wind out of my complaining sails.
More on getting what I want...
I heard a series of messages recently on dealing with unanswered prayer. I know God answers our prayers all the time; it's just a matter of if we dig the answer or not. That could be a whole separate topic, but that's not my point. The point of one particular message was, perhaps instead of praying for what I want all the time, maybe it would behoove me to ask in what way will God be glorified the most?
Not gonna lie: we'd love to have a child in the next year. We haven't exactly been working very long on this, um, undertaking, but still...in my cocky mind I thought the first try would be easy cheese. Not so much. Second? Uh, no. Okay...rats.
I'm not saying I have a fertility specialist on speed dial - hardly! It's been a couple of months, that would be laughable! But what if two months turns into four? And then six or eight? A year or two? Would I then have a fertility specialist on speed dial? I don't know. I'd prefer not to. My mind tends to take the commuter lane straight to the worst case scenario, something I'm working at trying to curtail.
So I'm trying to exercise the discipline of praying, Lord, how would You most be glorified in this area of our life? Would you be most glorified by gifting us with a child biologically? Would you be most glorified by gifting us with a child through adoption? Or would you be most glorified by having us go through a period of having to wait for either one? It's not so much about me having what I want when I think I should have it. I'd LOVE for it to work out that way. But God's not a celestial vending machine. He's more concerned with shaping my heart into one that brings Him the most glory.
You know how when a bride is coming down the aisle at a wedding, everyone is craning their necks to see her dress, her face, her flowers, HER? Not me, man. I'm looking at the groom. The look on that groom's face is always just priceless. Similarly, I love going to deliveries, because I love to watch the dad (provided there IS one, but that's a different post altogether). Seeing a baby be delivered is just awesome.
But you know what's more awesome? Adoptions. That is hands-down one of my favorite parts of my job. (Not the paperwork, especially for the moms who hid their pregnancy and called the adoption agency the hour prior to delivery, but I still like the result.) Imagine waiting and praying for a child, your heart's been broken a million times over after finding out you couldn't conceive, or whatever, and then you go through all this red tape, hoping, hoping, hoping that someone would pick you. And then, one day, you're writing down your grocery list, living your ordinary life...and the phone rings. You're a parent!! That's just amazing to me!!! These people show up, and they love this child as soon as they set eyes on it. It's all they've ever dreamed about. Amazing.
I can't wait to adopt someday. Domestically, internationally, intergalactically, I don't care. It's a scary thought, though. How on earth will we pay for such a thing? There are so many weird variables. It's not as easy as one would think. It's a long and arduous process for most. You have to flesh out some huge decisions...how old of a child would we be willing to take? What about special needs? What if the mom received no prenatal care and we have no clue if she did drugs? There are so many kids who need homes. If you go on an agency website and read the stories of kids who are awaiting homes I guarantee you won't make it through the first paragraph without a bucket full of tears.
Adoption is God's idea. Truly, I think more Christians need to consider the thought of growing their families through adoption. After all, weren't we first adopted into God's family through the saving work of Christ's death on the cross?
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction...
One of the pastors who came to our church last month posed this question:
Are we vaccinated with a mild case of Christianity so as to protect us from the real disease?
Think about it. We go to church. We might even be in a Bible study. We pray regularly...at least when we remember to or when it's necessary. We have a little "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" plaque hanging on the wall. Just Christian enough to let people know, yep, you've got your Jesus. Now keep Him to yourself. Don't get too weird. Don't pray out loud. Turn down the praise music. Don't be too Jesus-y. You don't want to be one of "them."
So you've got enough Jesus to slip you through the pearly gates, but you don't want so much of Him that you appear fully infested, right? Because that wouldn't be cool. It wouldn't make you politically correct, "tolerant," or popular. Don't go too overboard with that religion of yours. You don't want to stick out too much...
Think about it. Are you sold-out, signing your name on the dotted line, ready to stake your life on Him? Because you can't just have a little Jesus. You gotta take him all, blood, wounds, the whole package. He's not an accessory or a paltry shot in your arm to ensure that you're "okay." He intends to fill up, overtake, overhaul, and clean up your heart and ooze out of your pores. Overwhelm your system. Shut you down and bring you back to life. Real life!
I for one have been acting like I've only gotten a little Christ vaccine. I need to step it up, too.
Think about it.