Monday, March 8, 2010

Talking and Reading

That about sums up my past week. I have been doing lots of talking and lots of reading.

Talking: I have had the joy and the privilege to talk to several families this week about adoption and parenting. And I have to laugh, for I am no expert in either instance! But, God has blessed me with a big mouth - or I should say a talkative mouth (one in which I have tried desperately to silence more this past year!) and then He brought some people into my life with questions. It might be the huge amount of gray hair that has suddenly appeared. Or maybe it is just that Joe and I ARE getting older. Either way, I find myself enjoying talking to people who have questions about adoption and/or parenting.

Something popped up from my recent posts about George saying he was sorry. I had a couple of emails asking the same question and then a few "live" (phone calls) came in. Some people were amazed at how in-tune George is for a 7 year old to be able to recognize his shortcomings and then apologize. Yes - it is amazing! But!!!! Our children get to see apologies every day - and I mean every day! I mess up EVERY DAY! I yell too loud or I jump to conclusions or I have unrealistic expectations....and I mess up. And then, I feel compelled to go to my children and tell them how sorry I am for how I behaved. I ask for their forgiveness because, frankly, I need it.

I have apologized to George many, many, many times. I have let him tell me how I have hurt his heart. I listen as he tells me it made him angry how I didn't listen to him. I listens as he cries about feeling I love the other children more than him. And then, I humble myself and apologize because I am so sorry.

George apologized to me because I have had to apologized to him so many times! There is an abundance of grace and mercy in our house because we are such sinners....each and every one of us.

So, as I have been humbled to share my experiences with various people this week, I have felt God encouraging me to be totally honest. Parenting is hard work! Adoption is hard work! And if you don't have the grace and mercy of God in your home, I don't know how you will make it.

Reading: I felt compelled to pick up The Hole in the Gospel again. I read it about 5 months ago and admittedly didn't pay much attention to it. I was so consumed with the hard things of the adoption that I read it with a bitter heart and a bad attitude. But, now that I have experienced God's immense faithfulness to me and my family, I heard Him say, "Pick it up again. Read it again."

This time, I am pouring over each page, each paragraph, meditating on the words and asking God what He wants to teach me. I think one day this summer, our family will go one day without clean water. I want my children to know there is a greater church out there than the one we attend. I want my children to CARE about those in poverty, in hunger, in thirst. I think God is challenging me in how I raise my children with the knowledge of how the world is hurting. I do not want them to be "happy and carefree" where they have no idea what is beyond their comfortable house.

Internally I fight against my conservative upbringing juxtaposed with the idea of the "social gospel". There MUST be a balance between the two! On the way home from church yesterday (a 45 minute drive), Joe and I talked about what it means to show fruit...to have evidence of your relationship with Christ. The older kids listened intently and asked lots of questions. We MUST have evidence, fruit...the world needs to be able to look at us and see that we follow Christ. And what is that evidence? Is it dressing up on Sunday morning and driving out of the neighborhood for all your neighbors to see? It is putting a sign in your yard or a bumper sticker on your car? Yes.. it IS those things, but church, it is so much more!

As a family, we are now brainstorming ways in which each one of us can have more fruit. I'll let you know what we come up with.

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