Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The Labor of Endurance

June 28, 2006
We received a phone call yesterday from Renee at the Seattle office. Our caseworker, Roxanne, from the Oregon office is on vacation this week, so Renee has been handling her cases for her. Renee called us to tell us about a birthmom who is looking for a family in Oregon. She told us a few details, and asked if we would be willing for our profile to be shown to her. We talked about it, called her back, and asked her lots of questions! She sweetly answered everything with her lovely English accent. We agreed to be shown, so our profile will be included when they meet with the birthmom next week.

This afternoon, I was reading during my lunch break, and came across this inspiring quote:
"In fact, sometimes it's the process itself- not the finished product- that becomes the actual harvest. Often in the labor of endurance we discover what we're made of and what we're in need of. To not grow weary in creative well-doing is to know that true fruitfulness is found not in success but in struggle. Faithfulness is what cultivates the creative soil needed to produce the crop- a harvest that smells strangely like the glorious, ripe grain of glory." - The Art of the Soul: Meditations for the Creative Spirit, by Joy Sawyer

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hannah- Clinging To A Dream

June 13, 2006
I received an amazing devotional in my e-mail this week. It was about Hannah (1 Samuel 1:10-17). Here are some quotes from it:
"Sometimes we must experience the hurts of life without benefit of sympathetic
counselors or understanding friends. Like Hannah, we must sometimes fight our
struggle alone. Yet not really alone, for God is always a prayer away.

Never dream without prayer. When we talk to others about the dreams in our lives, we often get blind stares of disinterested discouragement - roadblocks, rejection. But when we take our dreams to God, we begin an adventurous journey of faith. It may mean being broken along the way, but only to let our dream escape. It may mean going through seasons of searching, but only to determine how much of our dream is selfish - and to prove how badly we really want God's way. Prayer keeps holy dreams alive.

Hannah was tested... in the midst of families going to offer their worship and their sacrifices, she felt all alone without a child.

We are tested so our character will match our dreams. Christian character is a work in progress for us as believers. When God gives us a dream, we may need a lot of work on and in our lives to enable us to handle the dream. Our sufficiency and strength should always be in God - and God alone. As with Hannah, it usually is a pretty good clue that the test or the dream is from God when things don't work out easily. The greater the dream, the greater the testing.

Do you have a dream that feels like it's dying in your life? Don't give up. Take it to God in prayer today. And trust Him to do more with your dream than you could ever do yourself."
- Jim Henry (From "1 Minute Bible for Women of Character" by LifeWay)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Yard Sale

June 10, 2006
We spent every spare moment this past week knee deep in "junk" at home, and discovering price tags all over ourselves as we walked around in public. Then, the big day arrived: Yard Sale Day! Our day began at 6:00 am, as we set up tables, and set up our items for sale. There was so much stuff! Friends made some really incredible donations.

It was pretty cloudy all day, but we had a slow stream of people walking through our yard. It was obvious that high gas prices have really curtailed people's "garage sale-ing" habits, but we were still able to make almost $200! None of the large items (refrigerator, computer, etc.) sold, so we may try to put them in the classified ads later.

One of the funniest moments was when a man was so excited to "test-drive" his new bike, that he accidently crashed it into his SUV parked alongside it. He decided to ride the bike home, and left his wife to drive the car!

We loaded up my car with the leftover clothing items to donate to a local Christian mission organization this week. We praise God for the blessing of these additional funds! (Although we're still sore from sitting on the concrete porch steps all day!)