Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Let it be so...

Lots of unknowns in our life right now. Lots of waiting on the Lord with some hurt, pain, confusion, seeking, longing along the way. It's been a difficult couple of days for me emotionally. God led me to Steven Curtis Chapman's latest album this morning...played it really loud in my car as I was running errands.I had to keep my sunglasses on so people couldn't see my tears and struggle (and then I question why we work so hard to keep people from seeing those things...but that's for another blog entry). I know He has a plan, I know that He is at work. I know that He is made perfect in our weakness. I know it's ok to feel weak sometimes. I know He can be trusted. This is my anthem for today:

"I Will Trust You" Steven Curtis Chapman

I don't even wanna breathe right now
All I wanna do is close my eyes
But I don't wanna open them again
Until I'm standing on the other side

I don't even wanna be right now
I don't wanna think another thought
And I don't wanna feel this pain I feel
And right now, pain is all I've got

It feels like it's all I've got, but I know it's not
No, I know You're all I've got
And I will trust You, I'll trust You
Trust You, God, I will
Even when I don't understand, even then I will say again
You are my God, and I will trust You

God, I'm longing for the day to come
When this cloudy glass I'm looking through
Is shattered in a million pieces
And finally I can just see You

God, You know I believe it's true
I know I will see You
But until the day I do

I will trust You, trust You
Trust You, God, I will
Even when I don't understand
Even then I will say again

You are my God, and I'll trust You
And with every breath I take
And for every day that breaks

I will trust You
I will trust You
And when nothing is making sense
Even then I will say again

God, I trust You
I will trust You
I know Your heart is good
I know Your love is strong
And I know Your plans for me
Are much better than my own

So I will trust You, trust You
I trust You, God, I do
Even when I can't see the end
And I will trust You
I will trust You, I will
Even when I don't understand
Even then I will say again

I will trust You, I will trust You, I will
I know Your heart is good,
Your love is strong,
Your plans for me are better than my own
Yeah, Your heart is good
Your love is strong
Your plans for me are better than my own
And I trust You
You are my God
And I will trust You

- Abby

Monday, September 20, 2010

This is becoming very REAL.

The reality of this process really hit home last week. We got an email from our Home Study caseworker with a BIG list of things that we need to make sure are done before she arrives on Wednesday. Basically, she has to do an environmental and fire inspection along with the interview. This list included having outlet covers on all of our unused outlets that a child could get to. This may seem like a small thing to most, but it was a big thing to us. I told Ben about it and he said, "Wow. That makes this seem really real."

I spent all day Saturday cleaning, organizing, (obsessing), and childproofing the house (well, not completely childproofing...but at least a start). I was literally sore on Sunday morning - pathetic, I know. I felt really good after accomplishing so much on Saturday, and just have a few odds and ends I need to take care this week before our interview.

Today has been kind of strange though. I woke up knowing I had some things to complete and got started. I was really motivated for the first couple of hours and then just hit a wall. Not a physical wall, but an emotional wall. I think I'm more stressed than I've realized. I've got a lot going on in my life aside from all of this, and I think I've just been moving forward, accomplishing tasks, and not always taking the time to think or process my emotions along the way.

I've realized over the last few days that I need to take some time every now and then to just sit...and to even do something fun or relaxing for myself here and there. A couple of years ago at Youth Camp, the Adult Bible Study leader told everyone that we need to have our own personal "Sabbath" each week. It doesn't always have to be on Sunday, or even the same day every week...but we need a time to rest, relax, and recharge. I don't think I've been allowing for that lately. It really is important, and I'm learning it's not selfish. If I'm overwhelmed and overspent, I'm not any good to those around me. So, just a life lesson I'm learning (relearning even?).

Yesterday a friend prayed for us and our interview this week and he asked the Lord to help me be motivated by excitement this week and not worry. That's life lesson #2 for the week. So, if you want to pray for us this week, we'd ask you pray for these things specifically:

1. That we'll allow time to rest, and that we'll make time for each other in the midst of school, ministry, work, and adoption stuff.
2. That we'll be motivated by joy and excitement and leave the rest at the Lord's feet.
3. For protection for our little one, wherever he or she may be.
4. For patience as we wait on the Lord. We realize we are not waiting on decisions, finances, etc., but on HIM.
5. For our interview on Wednesday. Peace and joy, and that we would find favor with our caseworker.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our little updates and wandering thoughts. So many of you ask about us and the process, and we know you are praying. We love you and appreciate you, and we're excited to be going down this road with so much love, prayer, encouragement, and support. I'm sure I'll be writing again soon since this is a big week for us! Love to each of you!

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Online Training

We have to complete 8 hours of online Training this month, and we have to complete it separately. I started mine today and I'm already learning a lot. Just hoping I retain it all!

We'll complete our last 2 hours of
Training together at the Home Study agency either later this month or in early October at our 2nd and final
Home Study interview.

We've so appreciated all of the prayers and encouragement through this process thus far! Keep 'em coming! :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Home Study Interview

We've scheduled our first of two Home Study interviews! It will be Wednesday, September 22nd from 11am - 1pm at our house. I spoke with our case worker this morning, and she seems really sweet and has already been very helpful. We're looking forward to getting this going!

We'll have a 2nd interview at her office in Waco about a week or so after this first interview. By then we'll have to have 8 hours of online parenting training completed. Yikes! We better get started! Please be praying for this as Ben has a heavy load this semester at DTS. He's already way ahead in a couple of his classes, so I'm hoping that will help him to not feel stressed as he has to squeeze these extra hours in.

Once we've completed both of the interviews and the Home Study Agency has approved our final Home Study, they will send everything off to Love Basket. We'll have the first really big step of this process behind us! In the meantime, we still have that big stack of paperwork and assignments looming. I tried to get started on it a little this week, but it has been a little overwhelming. I think I just need to get a system down - chart everything, schedule everything etc., then it will seem much more manageable to me. :)

Please continue to pray for us during this process. Here are some specific things to be praying for right now:
* Peace and patience as we continue to go through all of the steps involved
* A clear head and organization as we tackle this next set of paperwork and assignments
* Smooth Home Study interviews - surprisingly I'm (Abby) not nervous yet, but I'm sure I/we will be!
* That the Lord would continue to plant in us a love for our child(ren), and that we would be faithful to pray for our child(ren)
* Preparation for parenthood (spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, and financial)
* For our fundraising and support - God always shows Himself faithful
* Good stewardship with our time and finances as we prepare
* We found out we will be making 2 trips to Ethiopia instead of 1, so please continue to pray for Abby's anxiety about flying/travelling
* That we would give all the glory to God for everything that happens (good, bad, stressful, exciting) throughout this process
* Protection for our child(ren) until we are united

Thank you for walking alongside us! We love and appreciate each of you! We'll continue to keep you updated as we move forward.