… the ultimate support

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Can you hear him cheering for you? Did you ever consider that he actually did?

I never did. Why I never thought if it, I really don’t know. I’m guessing it’s all in how we tend to package Christ.

I was reading Live 10 today, a book written by Terry A. Smith & he says that Jesus was our cheerleader. That he cheers us through life. My first thought. That’s cute… I read a bit more and moved on.
I’m not one who accepts everything that’s told to me. I’ll sit on it, think, overthink, debate it, ask questions, whatever. Mull it around a little bit.

Hours later the thought pops into my mind, “Jesus does cheer for us!!!!!” And, I fell in love.

I had to consider who Jesus was. And, why someone would label Him a cheerleader. He’s Jesus. He doesn’t cheer. He sits on the throne and chills. He went through a lot for us and he watches us in agony as we toss him aside, behave ungratefully, and are unkind to each other. Right? Yes, he’s grace and forgiveness and love wrapped up in one but does that really mean he’s our CHEERLEADER?! That he’s encouraging us, shouting in uncontainable excitement as we run our race?? Is he really eager about us?? Is he there, pumping us up tirelessly as the crowd disappears because things are looking a bit…. Sad?

ABSOLUTELY!!!!! \0/
He’s our FRIEND. And, because he loves us with a love that incomprehensible, he is our best friend. I’m not sure if it’s a stretch to say that we can put our friend Jesus in the same place as another in the body of Christ.
But for argument’s sake, let’s say we can. That we have this friend (Jesus) that we’re going through life with. The Bible commands us to speak encouraging words to each other, to uplift each other, pray for each other, to counsel each other, to teach and guide. To be there. To be kind and forgiving, loving and patient.

Isn’t that Jesus?

What does that friend look like?
The loud one. The one who we can call at any time to cry or celebrate with. The one who believes BIG in us. The one who says, “You can do it!!!” and supports us in that endeavor in whatever way they have the capacity to do. They are there for every major and minor event. A phone call/text away. They are love. They are consistent. They are grace, wisdom, tact, a fussing when we need one.

Isn’t that Jesus?

I believe it is.

My mind has changed about who Jesus really can be. I’m willing to remove him from this stoic, super serious box I’ve kept him in.

Jesus doesn’t tell us that he is with us wherever we go (Joshua 1:9), he doesn’t say he won’t leave for forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6) , or that he gives us his peace (John 14:27), and the power to overcome only to sit by quietly watching us fall apart in the last minutes of the fourth quarter…. Or, even blow away the rude and harsh with a love and kindness we know only came from Him.

Certainly he has our back and he is LOUD & PROUD, he comes early & leaves late. He’s talking us up in the locker room and pushes us when we’re down, when we’ve lost yardage, or struck out. He’s the fan that follows the bus no matter how far the away game is. He’s there. He gives us a confident “next game.” when we blow it.

He has given us his power, his peace, his love, hisself…….. Not to sit back and watch us become frustrated.

I can’t believe that someone who wants has died for me, who intercedes for me, who is WITH ME- is a silent onlooker.

…. he’s cheering. he’s my audience. he is with me when I’m alone. he listens to me, supports me, and pushes me to do better. He’s encouraging me to do all the things he’s given me the power to do:
• peaceful • kind • compassionate • loving • forgiving • joyful in tough times • gracious • loving

Can that be our God, too?? Can’t He be passionate about us? When there’s a war between good & evil in heavenly places – certainly he isn’t passive about his soldiers. Right??

He chose & placed us where we are knowing we’d be put through the wringer – certainly he isn’t quiet as we go through.

… here’s to being thankful for widened perspectives and a shift. Thinking BIGGER about Christ.

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… “You waited & waited….”

Social Media is a beautiful thing……. I’ve connected with so many people, women, and adoptive mamas through Instagram and Facebook. I’ve fallen in love with their families and children, with them and their stories so beautifully written on their blogs. It’s a God send and a definite blessing.

I connected with an adoptive mama via another Instagram friend and came across a page from this book that was on her page.
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This book tells the story of how Little Fox asks Mama Fox about how we came home.

It’s a beautiful illustration of an adoptive mother’s feelings and experiences as she waits for her baby.

The little fox asks how everything happened, why he couldn’t stay with his birth mother, and how long he will be with his forever family is perfect. Perfect because they are real life questions and real life fears.

His mama answers his questions perfectly. As if she’d never answered these same questions a thousand bedtimes before. Comforting him and filling his fearful heart with security by her gentle and patient responses.

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I imagine she understands how unsure and scared he could be while simultaneously enjoying hearing about how special he was and how much he was wanted.

His questions eluded to him having a place in the world….. If he was someone worth keeping…. And, if she was committed to him forever.

…. If his mama ever wanted to give up.
…. who his birth mother was.
…. How much she loved him.

Each and every page of this storybook is my favorite but the fact that the mama fox knew, understood, and found comfort in God knowing when the right time was for her family to fit perfectly together gives me a bit more energy.

A bit more endurance.

A bit more confidence that our time will come when God finds us our little one.

He knows who s/he is…. Where they are or will be…. And, each and every detail imbedded into our adoption story.

And, the timing will be perfect.
One day I will be comforting and encouraging a little person who asks me if I will love them forever.

One day, I will tell our story every night… Every gotcha day… Every birthday day…. Every chance I get.

I love how our adoption story is a testament to the love God has for his people and the so parallel to our salvation stories…. How in teaching our child about their adoption, we will be teaching the Gospel…. How it will give us so many opportunities to teach equality and a love for people…. How it will give us another opportunity to teach how God expects us to do for others what He has done and does for us.

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I love our story.

I love how far it has brought my husband and I.

How it’s challenged our beliefs and tried our faith and patience.

I’m grateful for every step.

Thankful that we’re moving on along. That very soon will be ready to “go live” on our agency’s site. Ready to be chosen. Ready to bring our baby home.

God is good and knows exactly what He’s doing…. He dots His eyes and crosses His t’s.

God is working on finding us the perfect little fox. To bring into our home.

Someone who doesn’t look like us but will eventually look like Him if we stay bound to our Father. Which is the ultimate goal.

I’m excited…. Getting antsy…. Ready to know the who, what, when, where, and why.

But, until then.
We wait. And, wait, and wait.
With confidence and hope.
A smile and a peace knowing that soon all of this will be but a sweet memory.

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… here’s to praying and waiting. 🙂

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… crazy little rebel

7 by jen hatmaker

(the photo above is not mine…. Google is my source!)

This post will probably be one of my more candid, transparent posts that will leave me so vunerable but I am so excited and gripped (oh, how I love that word!) by where I feel the Holy Spirit is leading me and how He is challenging me.

(Sidebar: My church, Good Hope, has taken on a year long series “I Am…” and we have learned about distinct characteristics of the Father & Son… we’re learning about the Holy Spirit now, so I’m excited to be able to identify which part of the Trinity is doing exactly what. Nerd, Jesus freak, Freak out- call it what you may… I’m all of the above! lol!)

So, being the soon-to-be adoptive mama that I am, I am incredibly obssessed wtih other AMs, (IDk if that’s a real acronym, I may have made it up), their adoption stories, and how their lives change during and after the process. I tell you adoption is not easy and it changes you, there is a beauty and redeeming power that comes from adopting and joining with adoptive families that leave you changed forever for the better.

Thankfully, I have connected & fell in love with many mamas; I feel as if we’re our own little brigade! We so eagerly support each other through fundraisers and efforts to bring awareness and attention to our cause. I’ve also noticed that we are quite the creative bunch who thinks up these crazy ideas to grow our families spiritually and in number. We are avid seekers of our God. I know some other amazing mama’s who haven’t adopted, but who are also crazy over God with their own mad ideas that benefit the Body, their communities, & families. But, as you’ll see, I’m a bit biased.

One of these mamas who is a nut about Christ and adopting is Jen Hatmaker. I don’t know her, she doesn’t know me (YET!!!), but when I tell you she has a heart for Christ and an ability to draw you in with her openness and humor – I speak nothing but the truth.

I stumbled across her blog one night a couple of months ago and read about her rebellion against what I will call consumerism and American-ism. She revolted against excess in 7 areas monthly.

*Food           *Clothes               *Possessions                *Media
*Waste            *Spending                         *Stress

When I read about this experiment, the Holy Spirit whispered “Oh, yes.. do it!” and I was thinking, “Ugh…. I love my stuff. Can’t give it away.” then hurridly clicked over to the next post. I don’t like being convicted. But, this cleanse of sorts stayed on my mind… tucked away in a dark corner.

*******

Yesterday, I cured my boredom by creating this….
i am

(it’s only as big as it is, so that you the words can be seen. I PROMISE!)
Isn’t it the perfect description of a sweet, little Christian girl? Right?

ha.

Last night,  I found that a few of my AM friends took the 7 challenge and again, the Holy Spirit said, “Let’s go!” and I conceeded, then immediately became pumped. Another idea of mine that the Holy Spirit gave me a few days ago has grown a little face through my submitting. I’m looking forward to more distingushing features becoming more noticeable as this new little project of mine becomes more and more tangible.

I come into class today and turn on my Hillsong United or similar Pandora station as I do every morning, and watched my kids play Hangman on the board. I corrected their grammar and enjoyed them coming to my desk to check their homework, give hugs, and tell stories of whatever it is they want to talk about.
I thought about how I impact little people everyday and how I directly change their little thoughts about themselves and help them. I regularly pray that I would be impactful.

*** Still thinking of the rebellion ***

I start to write about how I desire to become even more of everything I mentioned above in the picture. How I am all of those things plus some but I wanted to do and be MORE like Jesus to be more impactful.

Well.

Holy Spirit REVEALED to me, as He does, that if I got rid  of my JUNK, that there would be more room for the good to be perfected with the right motives. There would be a lot less JUNK to compete with and battle for importance. Fewer distractions to pull me away from my God work. Fewer character issues would contradict my God.  So, I created this.
i am this too

*** Don’t I even look different? ****
Oh, God. I just realized that. Look at how our JUNK colors us.

Now, allow me defend myself (is this pride?)…. I am not all good at all times, nor am I all bad all day. I am a mixture of both. I know I can be a lot less of the yellow when my mind is focused on Christ…. And, a lot less pink when I’m living in a whirlwind. Oh, I know.. it’s everyone. But, it doesn’t have to be. Was it even meant to be?

Conviction.

Is this rebellion extreme? Maybe. Unncessary? Possibly. Depends on your perspective. But, oh how I need it. Plus, this type of extreme behavior is right up my alley. I am so black or white. All the way in, or all the way out.

I am expecting to be broken, shattered, embarassed, and moved to change. I don’t believe this reduction, as Jen calls it, was necessarily meant to become a lifestyle. I believe it’s meant to shock your system into understanding how dependant we are on stuff, how truly consumed we are with things of the world. It’s going to show us where are heart is truly teethered to.

I contrast my current Christian lifestyle to efforts to living a healthy lifestyle.

I eat decently, I enjoy working out and do so reguarly (reguarly is dependent upon the craziness of the week! Which is my case in point). But, how much healhier and fit could I be if I was a bit more structured with my meals or pushed my workouts a bit harder? Instead of being satisfied with good enough. Likewise, how much more could I become more like Christ if I, for even just a little bit, shocked my system? What if I removed all of my distractions so that I could become more focused on Him? How different could my post-revolt life be?
the admirer4I am excited. I’m ready to be challenged. To become even more of a follower and less of a sideline admirer.

I’m also terrified. I love my stuff. All of it.

My life goal is at the bottom of the “good Alaina” picture.
Do good. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Serve gladly.
I should probably add Love all. somewhere in there, too.

…. here’s to radical change. to depleting your person of all the junk that prohibits the shift from admirer to full fledged, unashamed follower of our Savior, our Redeemer, our Christ.

 

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