Tuesday, August 31, 2010

52 Weeks of Creativity!

One of my fellow teacher friends turned stay-at-home-mommy due to layoffs has issued a challenge: once a week, do something creative (whether sewing, photography, baking, scrapbooking, building something, crafts with the kids, etc...), take a picture, and post it. I'm not sure if I'll be able to hang, but it sounds like a fun challenge! Anybody want to come with me?
She's started a Flickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/52weeksofcreative/
Join with us!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Showered with Blessings!

OK, I'm a little slow here, but two weeks ago, some ladies from my church hosted a baby shower for Jadon. He is the answer to so many people's prayers, so it turned out that a ton of people wanted to come and support him...which was a wee bit overwhelming...and humbling! The ladies planned a few games and normal baby shower activities, but after a brief opening ice-breaker, we got started on presents, and that took the entire rest of the time...which was a little awkward, to say the least! But I/we totally felt loved! Thanks to all the women who planned and organized it, to everyone who came and gave so generously, to Jadon's "extended" family whose support means so much, to my teacher buddies who stepped into my "other" world, to friends who drove long ways to get here, and to everyone for enduring so graciously watching me open presents!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Listening Prayer

This past weekend, my church hosted its annual leadership conference, called Oasis. The big theme this year was Listening Prayer--slowing down in the busyness of our fast-paced lives enough to give God the chance to communicate with us...and actually be prepared to listen. I, of course, was preoccupied with a new baby, so I only made it to one session, but it got me to thinking...

I'll admit, I don't think I'm a good listener to God. Jim has frequent experiences where he feels God directing him to something or even actually hears God tell him something. I on the other hand feel like my communication with God is shaped far too much by my own thoughts and opinions. And as a result, I'm usually hesitant to put my ideas in God's mouth.

However, hindsight is 20-20, and quite often I can look back after the fact and realize that God was indeed speaking to me or through me in a moment...And that's always pretty cool. So as I was thinking about all that, I suddenly remembered back to an incident a year ago, when I wasn't sure if God was speaking or I was putting my words in his mouth.

Every summer, Jim's family spends a week up at Donner Lake. We join his parents and his sister and her husband for a fun time of swimming, hiking, running, card-playing, and general great times.

As usual, last year was wonderful, except for one nagging detail. After a year of trying, we still weren't pregnant, but Jim's sister was. And as excited as I was for them, I really struggled with sadness and even a little jealousy. On the outside, I was able to maintain a bright, cheery attitude and ask all about the pregnancy and be excited about their plans, etc...But on the inside, as I lay in bed each night, it was really tough. To top it all off, toward the end of the week, my cycle ended (a few days early), and I was faced head-on with the reality yet again that this was another month of failure. Whew! Talk about bad timing!

That morning, I sat in bed reading my Bible, not really into it and my thoughts totally elsewhere. But I continued on with my journey through the Old Testament, reading about Elisha, who was a total stud. In 2 Kings 4, there is a woman who feeds him and provides a place for him to stay repeatedly, and he wants to repay her, but she says she needs nothing. But Elisha's servant tells him that she has no children, so Elisha calls her and tells her, "At this season, about this time next year, you shall embrace a son" (verse 16). And a year later, she gave birth...

So, I read that and it immediately got my attention. God, I thought, Is this your promise to me? I didn't know. I mean, maybe it was just a coincidence. I even asked Jim what he thought, and he just shrugged nonchalantly. So I figured I was just getting my hopes up and tried to move on. (Secretly, however, I did the math, and figured out that to have a baby by the next July, I'd have to get pregnant by October...)

Well, October came and went, and we definitely didn't get pregnant. We did however start the adoption process with our first class. I put that passage out of mind.

Fast forward to this summer. We made plans to join the family--with our 8-month-old niece--and again I felt a little sad.

And then we got that fateful phone call...

And then we brought Jadon home...

And then, Jim's parents and sister/husband/baby went off to Donner Lake, and we stayed home with...OUR SON!!! This time next year, we actually had a son!!!

I didn't think about all this until this conference. But wow! Jadon means "God has heard"...and He really has!!! And this time, so had I!