If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
What I didn't anticipate was that Ruthie would love the costume so much, she wore it for 2 days straight.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Well then one of three things are true:
1. God isn't really who He says He is
2. Sin or humanness entered the situation
3. We got it wrong and it really wasn't God's will
So let me tackle these in order. I think #1 is where most of us go immediately. We question who God is. Is He really involved in our lives? Does He really care what happens to us? If we are Christians, this can be a time of searching and better defining our faith and we can actually walk out of this situation stronger than we were to begin with. If we aren't believers or don't have a good understanding of God's truth to go back to, this can end poorly. Hear me on something else related to this: if we as believers boast in our perception of God's will for our circumstances and then they don't turn out, this gives the watching world something to deny our faith with. Take Mr. Harold Camping, the guy who has predicted, unpredicted, and repredicted the end of the world multiple times and been wrong each time. What does that look like to a watching world? We can actually hinder someone else's understanding of the existence of God by our mis-assignment of His will. Does that make sense?
I believe #2 - that sin entered the situation - is more common than we realize. I think we are scared to admit this possibility for two reasons. It suggests that we may be at fault and we don't like to admit our mistakes AND it suggests somehow that our choices can thwart God's will and we aren't comfortable with that. Let's remember though that one of the first stories in the Bible demonstrates this. It was God's will for man to live in the garden forever but Adam and Eve sinned and we are no longer in the garden. This is where one of my favorite verses comes in. Rom 8:28: And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purposes. God is not going to magically set things back to the way He initially willed them to be but He is going to redeem it for his purposes. That is a the core of who He is. He is a redemptive God.
Another example was when Moses was leading the Jews into the promised land. He desired for Moses to lead them all the way, but the Jews rebelled against God, refusing to enter into what God has promised. God still led the people of Israel into the promised land but not for 40 more years and not through Moses.
I think we also have to be careful to assigning God's will when a desired end comes out of our sin. Friends God does not need us to sin in order to accomplish His purposes and just because it is the desire of our heart does not mean that it is His will.
*For all who are worried that I think God's not in ultimate control, don't worry. I know God's ultimate purposes cannot be thwarted. But I'm talking about the part of God's will that we can understand and relate to.
Okay so now onto #3. There are lots of books on the topic of discovering God's will and they have some great recommendations like know His word, pray, and seek wise counsel. But let's face it sometimes we can do all of those things and still get it wrong. One reason I think we get it wrong is because we have become to casual with the use of the phrase "God's will". It feels to me like we use this label like a stamp of approval that we give to our own situation in the name of God. I had a friend once who had it in her mind that she was going to have 3 children of the same gender and then went on to give the credit to God for that vision. Well she had 2 kids of the same gender but # 3 was not. Is God still who He says He is? Yes. Did sin change the gender of her 3rd child? No. Did she have a desire that she wrongly applied the stamp of God's will too? Yep. Every seemingly good and comfortable idea is not necessarily God's will.
So as I wrap this thought up I can give you a recent example of how I walked this out in my life. There is a house in my neighborhood that I have been watching for 4 years. I love this house. I love the yard, the layout, the front elevation, and the location. I love this house. It came on the market 2 weeks ago. After standing in the backyard twice in the same day, I figured out that with the added money I am making through photography that I could make the difference in this house payment. So then it must be God's will right? That house feels right. I technically have the money to pay for it. It makes me happy, the timing is great, blah blah blah! I could whip out my God's will stamp in a heartbeat and justify myself right into a great new house. But let's get back to reality and ask an easier question to sort out. IS IT GOD'S BEST? Well if I used my photography money for the house then I wouldn't be giving it to all the mission opportunities that I love supporting. If we moved we would be leaving the community that God has given us where we live now. Oh and if I used that extra money to make the house payment I also would never have the option to step away to spend more time with my primary calling of my family. So is it God's best? Nope not at all.
So I think I am going to give God His will back and let Him place his stamp on the big things and I am going to start asking the daily and less theological question of, "What is God's best?"
Thursday, October 20, 2011
It is basically a farm that is set up during this time of year to be an adventure park.
Take away the heat, and it was a great time enjoying the attractions, seeing the animals. and just exploring the farm.
And my kids were kind enough to let me snap a few pictures along the way.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
I was talking to a friend yesterday about how I have to allow my kids to experience life outside my protection and be exposed to electronics, the internet, "those other kids", and all the things that I wish weren't a part of their life but must be if they are going to function some day as successful adults. A few hours later I was working with Jack on a pumpkin project that he was dreading. The boy hates homework and even if it is decorating a pumpkin, he is going to fight it. What should have been an enjoyable time together turned into me (God forbid) making him decorate a pumpkin while I lectured him about his attitude.
An hour or so later I was venting to a friend and mentor about my frustrations from the pumpkin project and she said something that made me think. She suggested that maybe I should have just let him do it and if he didn't that I should let him fail. Can I just go ahead and confess that my first thought was, "but then what would his teacher think of ME?" Yes I am that bad.
But she has a great point. In the same way that my instinct is to protect my child from all of the outside influences that might hurt him, do I also protect him from some very important lessons like failure? She made another good point that it is better for him to fail now then to learn that lesson in high school when it goes on a transcript.
So as I think of this more, I actually think I am going to look now for opportunities to let my kids fail. I know that is SO NOT MY NORMAL THOUGHT PATTERN, but I think it is good. You see I am not just going to let them fail, but I am also going to be armed and ready to use that time to teach them about things like humility and how to recover well so when they fail again and I am not around, they will (Lord willing) have what it takes to survive and be stronger on the other side. Okay friends are you with me? Let's go help our kids fail and fail well! :)
Saturday, October 15, 2011
You might remember from performances past that Sam has a tendency to go nose diving in the middle of the show. Well nothing has changed.
There was one new thing this time and it was the "this is painful" hand over his face. He clarified afterwards that he thought the kids were singing too loud. I love that kid.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Would you pray that when I see her Dr. that I would get all of my questions answered and get a real peace about what our next step should be? I want to do the right thing for her and there are not a lot of people in the Arthrogryposis community who have had this procedure done. Please pray for direction and peace.
Friday, October 7, 2011
The adoptive community is amazing. They challenge me weekly to think outside of my desire to be comfortable and view the world from God's perspective.
My church community is one of the most supportive I have ever been a part of. They love and embrace my husbands leadership and support our family in numerous ways.
My neighborhood is filled with families at the same stage of life as us and they are a super safe and fun place to just hang out and enjoy family.
Finally my kids are part of an awesome school and I appreciate that more with Sam there this year as a Kindergartener.
This week they invited the Kindergarten parents to join P.E. . It was loads of fun balancing bean bags on our various body parts.
Sam takes in every ounce of life and I know so much more about his school now that I have been allowed to view it through his eyes and stories.
We are blessed to have our kids in such a great educational community and for all of the other communities we get to be a part of as well.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I have been thinking a lot lately about what it looks like to pursue healthy relationships. Like what if every relationship I was in could...
We are in the cardiac ICU with Maggie. We were admitted on Monday after a 2nd trip to the ER with fever, vomiting, and left side joint pain...
(this was taken by the mom who has a baby in the bed next to us. It pretty much sums up our day) It's been a night. I think I jin...