Friday, May 27, 2011

talk to yourself much...

do you talk to yourself? you laugh, but i am serious. let me explain.

i internalize a lot. i often dwell on situations and over think them. i can let the situation or the emotions stirred up by the situation really affect me. sometimes it is worry that consumes me as i think through every possible option for what could happen.  sometimes i am ridden with anxiety if i cannot think of a solution or if i begin to deduce that thing i feared most in the situation is happening.  sometimes it is despair. i become pessimistic like eeyore - thinking that if i hope for the worst, than anything better than the worst is a positive and if the worst happens, it would come as no surprise. whatever the emotion may be, sometimes it becomes all consuming. i can't shake it. i look for distractions most often found in people and things. these often work for a bit, but they are just distractions, not solutions.

recently i read through the book of lamentations. sounds depressing doesn't it? a book about lamenting and sadness. it is believed to be written by the prophet jeremiah at the time of the fall of jerusalem.  nwo god had told israel through jeremiah and ezekiel that this day would come and that it would be disastrous.  and that it was.  if you read through lamentations, you will see that the fall of this city was horrific.  awful things were happening.  then chapter three comes.  jeremiah is mourning over the destruction and recalling israel's sin that caused it when his tone changes. he starts talking about hope. at the point where i think i would just fall into despair, jeremiah starts talking to himself. he makes himself remember something:

    Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
        the wormwood and the gall!
    My soul continually remembers it
        and is bowed down within me.
    But this I call to mind,
        and therefore I have hope:
    The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
        his mercies never come to an end;
    they are new every morning;
        great is your faithfulness.
    “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
        “therefore I will hope in him.”
    The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
        to the soul who seeks him.
    It is good that one should wait quietly
        for the salvation of the LORD.
    It is good for a man that he bear
        the yoke in his youth.
    Let him sit alone in silence
        when it is laid on him;
    let him put his mouth in the dust—
        there may yet be hope;
    let him give his cheek to the one who strikes,
        and let him be filled with insults.
    For the Lord will not
        cast off forever,
    but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
        according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
    for he does not willingly afflict
        or grieve the children of men.
    To crush underfoot
        all the prisoners of the earth,
    to deny a man justice
        in the presence of the Most High,
    to subvert a man in his lawsuit,
        the Lord does not approve.
    Who has spoken and it came to pass,
        unless the Lord has commanded it?
    Is it not from the mouth of the Most High
        that good and bad come?
    Why should a living man complain,
        a man, about the punishment of his sins?
(Lamentations 3:19-39)

he begins to speak of the lord's great loving kindness, how his mercies never cease!  now we love this verse, but we rarely think of it in the context of the horror that his going on at the fall or jerusalem.  i don't know this for sure, but i am guessing that jeremiah, like you and me, was struggling and wrestling with all that he was seeing and experiencing, and rather than letting his emotions get the best of him, he started to remind himself of who god was. he started speaking truth to himself to fight off the lies and despair his emotions were leading him to believe. 

emotions are a good thing created by god. but just like us, they are broken and sinful at times.  we need them corrected, they need to be called out, and sometimes our hearts just need to be reminded.  so next time you feel overwhelmed with your emotions and you can't get out of your funk, talk to yourself. pull out the word and remind yourself of who god is, of his faithfulness, his love, his plan.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

dinner for 4...

tonight 3 of my good friends from pine cove, who all happen to live in austin, came over for dinner. i love these ladies! we all worked at pine cove towers together for a few summers and all four of us managed to stick around pine cove full time in some capacity (the forge, IWS, etc). we spent most of our night reminiscing. it was great! you know the kind of dinner where the time flies! i hope that there are many more of these nights this summer.
me, kimberly, rebecca, lauren

Friday, May 6, 2011

my buddies...

just because i moved out of the engstrom's house doesn't mean i don't still see them all the time. i mean how can you resist these faces?

today reece and gavin got to come over too while i was there and needless to say there was lots of fighting! gavin didn't want his picture taken, but here are micah and reece.

Monday, May 2, 2011

preparing a place...

many of you have been asking about an adoption update, wondering where i am in the process. as i wrote before, i am out of debt and moved into my own rental house.  last week, i completed another huge step,  i turned in my homestudy paperwork and my homestudy interview will be in june hopefully (CRAZY!).  i hope to spend this month getting everything at the house ready and getting my inspections done.

as i was thinking about all of the work that i needed to do (buy furniture for the kid's room, buy fire extinguishers, lock up the medicine, cover the outlets, schedule inspections, get finger prints, etc) a scripture came to mind.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

(John 14:1-3)
jesus is talking to his disciples here.  he has just told them that he is going to die and that this is the end of his time here on earth. he quickly goes into this encouragement. he tells them not to worry, to not let their hearts be troubled. that things are going to be hard and scary when he leaves. they would feel abandoned, they would be misunderstood, there would be  many unknowns, and they would even endure harsh and horrible circumstances.  but he encourages them that things will one day be better.  he is leaving, but he is going to prepare a place for them. a place in his father's house where all things will be right and where they will get to be with jesus forever and always.  he will not leave them again. but until then he has to go away and do some work, but he will return to get them and take them home.

i could not help but think about whatever child or children i end up helping with foster care and adoption.  they are out there right now, enduring some harsh and horrible circumstances, feeling abandoned and neglected, feeling unloved, fearing what will happen in the future, wondering when they are going to catch a break.  all the while i am over here working furiously to prepare a place, making sure that they have a warm bed, food to eat, a clean toothbrush, clean clothes, and cool pajamas. a place  that they can't even imagine or understand with a mama that is never going to leave them.  perhaps they have given up hope that a place like this even exists for them.  but it does, and one day when the time is right and the work is done, they will be home. i wish i could i hug them and whisper in their ear, "don't worry, i'm coming back for you! soon you will be in a better place. a much better place."

now my house is no heaven and i am no jesus, but what a beautiful picture of hope. what a reminder that my savior is working and getting things ready. he is coming back to get me to take me to a place of rest and worship which he has been preparing for me. i cannot wait to give this child a clean, safe, warm place to sleep. to give them a place where they feel loved and cared for rather than abandoned and alone.  and something tells me that my heavenly father has the same desire for me.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

tossed to and fro...

since i have not followed through with blogging all of my thoughts from the children desiring god conference, i will just post links to some of my favorite content. this talk by dr. russell moore was rocked and inspired me. i highly recommend watching it or going to the children desiring god site and scrolling down to find the audio.

Russell Moore: No Longer Tossed To and Fro from Children Desiring God on Vimeo.