Friday, September 6, 2013

A Time For Healing, Growing and FAITH

In July I posted I would have a follow up post coming to a previous post.  It is finally here.  I can not say since that post everything has been perfect, but I can say I have looked at things differently and things have changed for the better.  Not best, but better.  So what did my friend enlighten me with, what have I been contemplating over the last few months?  Lots, and here is the low-down...

No surprise I have struggled with our adoption.  It is mentioned in the blog post titled, "The Truth?  You Can't Handle The Truth!"

There is a little background information needed here.  The previous post came at a time when I felt God was so silent in my pleading.  I felt a loss of who I was, who our family was and felt God distant from me.  My friend that emailed me had said she believed God gives us the desires of our heart if we pray about them.  I had fasted a whole year from my 3 favorite things for this reason.  Every time I desired one of these things I prayed for Kaitlin and for our family and my relationship with her and for her healing.  That whole year I felt or heard nothing from God.  I was at my lowest point ever in my relationship with our Mighty Creator.

Enter the letter from my friend Lori.  Enter a short quote from the speaker at family camp.  Enter a longer paraphrased quote from another speaker at family camp and the book "Greater" by Steven Furtick.

In my letter, my friend Lori pointed out all the "I's" in my praying.  All MY wants.  She pointed out how I had made our adoption all about me.  When in truth it isn't about me at all!  The little girl with us isn't for "me"!!!  She is for Christ.  She is all for Him.  She is my "talent" that God has given me and he wants me to grow her into many more "talents."  I didn't hear God speak in that time of fasting because I was looking for MY answers, not God's.  Praise the Lord he can use others to tap me on the shoulder or knock me over where I am standing so I can actually HEAR his answer.

I needed to look at the "I" in the situation.  Not Kaitlin, but me.  I needed to realize that I am God's slave (taken from Lori's letter to me), I am here to do what He asks of me with no, why's?.  I need to take control of my emotions by taking control of my thoughts.  If a negative thought arises I need to replace it with a God centered thought about Kaitlin,  (also from Lori's letter).

In the process of "processing" this letter from Lori I went to camp.  I think God was re-enforcing what he was telling me through Lori's letter.  One day while the speaker was doing his thing, he kind of veered off of his topic and brought up his son.  He had a son that he struggled with.  One night he was sitting on this son's bed at bedtime and the Lord said to him, "You are to love this boy!  No other person on this planet will love him like you will!  No other person will accept him like you will."  The speaker then went back to his topic.  Think God was tapping me on the shoulder?  That wasn't the end of it!  The next day a guest speaker was there.  He talked about Joseph, as in Joseph and the coat of many colors Joseph.  For those of you who forget the story;  He was the second youngest son of a large family.  He was a favorite of his dads.  He could interpret dreams which was from God, but he was a little cocky and told his family they would bow down to him some day.  Kind of rubbed it in his brothers faces.  They were already jealous of him, this just topped it of to make them hate him.  They then sold him into slavery.  In Genesis chapter 40 he is in prison and interprets a few dreams.  He thinks he can get himself out of prison if one of the people he interprets a dream for gives a good word for him.  That person forgets and he is stuck there until God is allowed to do the work and Joseph gives up his, "it is all about me attitude."  In chapter 41 Joseph comes out prison on the great side of leadership and is restored to a high position.  Chapter 41 is coming out of the testing and growth and learning.  Before chapter 41 Joseph was a man chosen by God, but by Chapter 41 he was a MAN OF God.  He learned from the trials and tribulation so he could then lead because he was a man of God and not trying to do things on his own and talking the talk without walking the walk.

This spoke to me in so many ways!  I look so good on the outside with my fasting, prayer, adoption, words, examples, but it is all surface.  God knows I need to be stripped to the core and laid bare for all to see.  I need to allow Him to build in me a foundation of Christ centered love, slavery and faith.  I am in Chapter 40 because God sees in me a need to refine me so I may become the woman of God he created me to be, not just the woman chosen by God to raise Kaitlin.

Oh how powerful he is, all knowing, amazing!  Christ lives in me and He wants me to be able to live that whole heartedly, not just on the surface.  Am I perfect yet?  By NO MEANS!  Only when our Saviour comes again will I be perfect in HIS perfectness.  Only He can be completely whole right now.  BUT he can do good works in me and teach me what it means to accept Him as Lord and Savior.  How I am to serve Him even when it is hard on me and do it with His love.  Am I in a great place with Kaitlin?  Not yet, but I have FAITH he will continue to work in me so I may teach her all about Him and the peace he can give.  To teach her all about HIS sacrifice for us that allows us to sacrifice ourselves for Him.  I am a work in progress and Christ is at the center of it.  That is what I am most excited about.  Praise be to God our Father that he loves me that much!  To care about changing me to understand I am HIS and Kaitlin is His! That I can do for Him even when I am not perfect, as long as I am willing.  In Christ, Annie

Thursday, July 4, 2013


I have a follow up post coming to the post I last wrote.  God is pretty amazing in His timing and who he has speak and when.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

"The Truth? You Can't Handle The Truth!"

The title is from a Tom Cruze movie.  It fit the movie and it fits my heart right now.  Do you ever have a time in your life when your heart is just sad?  It is tired, it is sad and you are waiting for the rainbow at the end of the storm?  I guess I am there.  It is easy to hide behind words and smiles and fake actions.  It is so easy to do this.  There is a song by Natalie Grant and it talks about living in a glass house and when will it break.  It talks about God knowing the "real me."  That may even be the title.  I am so in the movie and the song.

Two years ago we adopted our little girl.  Little did I know she would make my blood pressure rise and my hair fall out.  Literally!  It is hard to explain her without sounding like a horrible person.  She is 6 in a 6 year old body with a mind of a 2 year old, 18 year old and 25 year old.  She has reasoning skills of a 2 year old, control issues of an 18 year old and motherly wants of a 25 year old.  I believe if she could have a baby right now she would!  She is very controlling and to an outsiders eyes they may think it cute.  To live with it day after day is hard.  Cognitively she just doesn't get it.  She will ask if she can wake up in the morning.  She will ask if when she turns 4 again if she can have a certain doll.  She will ask if when she goes to school if she will be in the same class as her brother that is 2 years older than her.  She will ask question after question after question after question even when she knows the answer.  She will say the days of the week today and not have a clue the order tomorrow.  She will read me a book today and not have a clue how to pronounce the same words the next day.  She will ignore a polite request from her brothers and expect them to follow every command made by her.  She will want every toy of her brothers to play with and ruin many of them and not want them to touch one of hers and scream when they do.  She will be lovey dovey in public and never in private.  She is manipulate, sneaky, lies constantly, tries to control everything our family does, will not stop talking even when she is not making any sense or is just doing it so everyone is controlled by what she is doing.

Do I sound horrible enough to you now.  I am supposed to be grateful I could adopt my little girl.  I am supposed to be a wonderful person for doing so.  I am "a saint", I am a "blessing."  I don't feel like these things and I often wonder why I pushed so hard for this.  I was supposed to get my little girl that I could snuggle, love on, shop with, paint nails with.  I was supposed to get my little girl I loved spending time with and adored.

My heart is heavy and every day I wonder what God has in store.  I hurt, I cry, I yell, I get angry, I pray, I read my bible, I pray more.  I wake up praying.  My heart is heavy.  I wish I had not adopted.  I long for the relationship I had with my mom for me and my little girl.  It is not there.

"When will this glass house break?"  I think it may be crumbling...  A friend just wrote in her blog and I know it is to me.  She said she is going to parent the kids God has given her in a way that blesses Him who gave.  (My paraphrase).  I want to do that, I strive to do that, but this one just may test me beyond what I am capable of parenting.

I lay at your feet Jesus, my heart, my hurt, my faith.  It is here, at your feet asking for you to guide me as I do not have the answers, the understanding or the wisdom on my own.  Only in placing it here can I look up to you for your wisdom, help and understanding on how to love this little girl when I feel none.  You know the real me Father.  You know I need you.  I know I need you.  I have prayed endlessly for her healing and our healing as a mom and daughter.  I guess I am now just praying for the tiny seed that starts to grow toward love for her.  Acceptance of or wisdom in how to raise her.  Change my heart from wondering why we adopted to being glad we did.  Help me enjoy who she is rather than wish for what I wanted in a daughter.  Guide me because I am walking blind.  Fill me because I am empty.  Annie

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Good Friend of Mine...

Wow, if I wait just a few more days it will have been a year since I posted last.  I guess it just goes to show if I don't have anything to say, I shouldn't.  :)  I guess today I have something to say, but it starts out with a quote from a very good friend of mine.  We were having dinner and talking about a group of church kids we work with on Wednesday nights.  I was saying how it is so hard because I don't know if what they hear about God goes into their brains for keeps.  She then says, "It seems people know just enough about Jesus to keep them from REALLY KNOWING Jesus."

Today my bible reading was Mark 4.  It is the parable about the sower.  I will just type it out to refresh my memory and yours if you are reading.  :)

Mark 4:3-12
"Listen!  A farmer went out to sow his seed.  As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up.  Some fell on the rocky places, where it did not have much soil.  It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow.  But when the sun came up the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.  Other seeds fell among the thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain.  Still other seeds fell on good soil.  It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."  Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."  When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables.  He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you.  But to those on the outside eveyrthing is said in parables so that, "they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!"

So what does this mean?  It means exactly what my good friend said!  The saving grace and mercy of Jesus is the seed that is sown.  When some hear the word they do not want to hear it so it never even takes root.  Others hear God's word and grab onto it.  They accept it and Him into their lives.  But it is an "in the moment" thing and then they let it go and don't let God's word and love continue to grow.  They don't continue to learn and change their lives so they can show others who God is.  Their relationship with Him dies.  Others hear it and believe it and want to grow, but they allow worldly influences to come and destroy their belief system.  Or they allow unanswered prayers, or prayers that were not answered the way they wanted to change their belief that God is actually loving and merciful.  They allow Satan and the world to draw them away.  Lastly the seed is planted and takes root.  The word is accepted and the person grows in God and their belief, they change their sinful ways and move forward.  Their actions show who Jesus is to others.

The last part of the passage I wrote was disturbing to me.  The part that talks about the kingdom of God being given to insiders but those on the outside everything is in parables so they never hear or understand.  This isn't what it sounds like.  It almost sounds like Jesus is saying He won't let them understand, those who have not accepted Him.  What it is really saying is there are people who hear but don't choose to listen, people who hear and listen but then are like the seeds in all the situations above except the last one.  He is saying they are choosing not to go deeper, choosing to follow the world instead of him.  They are choosing to not turn and be forgiven.

My heart is so sad, I see it every day.  Those who accept God but then don't follow him.  Their words they choose to use, their parties they choose to go to, sex without marriage, not having fellowship with other Christians.  Deciding church is not necessary, they are already saved.  Going to church without actually listening to the teaching because we think we know it all already.  Living with another without marriage.  Tearing others down to destroy them.  Talking about God and their belief on the outside with words but not living it on the inside with action.  Those who don't believe they need a relationship with our Creator!  If we say we believe in words only, and then live how ever we want without consideration of what He is asking of us it is not a relationship.  Those who do works to get to heaven and don't really believe in "faith in Him and not by works."  Those who sadly say, "I am a good person, I give to those in need, I don't talk bad about others, I do nice things to other nice people so I will go to heaven."  You won't!  I want to shake them and say, "don't you see he wants to know YOU, wants you to KNOW Him!  Don't you see you can no longer live your life the way you choose to if you want to follow Him.  You have to give up the sin.  You have to go deeper.  You just have to give up selfish.  Doesn't mean mistakes won't be made and sins won't ever happen again.  It does mean we are trying our hardest to put Him first and ourselves last.  It means not making excuses for our behavior or our children's behavior.  It means pointing out to them when they are wrong and not as much about how we or our children are wronged.  No more justifying our actions.  It even means maybe not being the most popular.....  hmmmmm..........

Lord God, help me be the light, use me to show other who You really are and that changing to follow you and not the world is fun and doesn't take away from fun!  Build in them your love, mercy, strength, peace and understanding.  In Christ's name I pray this, Amen.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Fan or Follower

Our church is kicking off a new Bible study.  It is written by Kyle Idleman.  The acutal title is, "not a fan."  In the movie we saw on Sunday night Kyle brought up a really good point about us and our "relationship" with Jesus.  This is the story he told in my words as I didn't memorize Kyle's words.

Pretend you are going on a trip.  You need someone to house sit for you.  You ask a couple to do so and you write a book about the trash, cleaning the house, yard maitnace, everything you can think of even down to the pets in the back yard.  The couple comes and they are so excited to read the book and look after your house!  They talk about how they will do everything the book says and will do an excellent job!

You leave reassured the house and animals will be well tended.  This couple sounds great!  Now, while you are gone this couple reads the book, re-reads it.  They bring in families to do studies on this book.  They bring it with them where ever they go to look at it and study it.  They can't get enough of the book!  The even make copies of the book and hand them out telling others about it.  But...... when you get home the trash is piled up in the garage, the yard is not mowed, the pool is black, the animals are all dead.  The house is a wreck.  They tell you they loved the book, studied it, told people about it and passed it out.  What happened?  They didn't follow what it said, but they knew it inside and out.

Fan or Follower?  Are we fans of Jesus Christ?  Do we know all about him, teach others what we know about him, pass out his words, bring people in to look at the words written by Him?  And what do we do with this in the rest of our time?  Do we know His words and forget to live them out?

Fan or Follower?  In his book he talks about what a fan is and uses an example of a person who says they are a follower of a sports team.  They know every player, they know every statistic, they go to every game, they have every program, but they are a fan.  A follower gets in the game, they sweat, they work hard, they follow the rules of the coach every time they are on the field.  The fan only watches...  Fan or follower?  I am excited to dive deeper into this bible study.  I consider myself a follower, but do I do it down to the last thing in my life.  Have I given up myself for Him? Completely?

Luke 9:23
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross DAILY and follow me.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Do I do this???  Fan or Follower?  What is God asking of me?  Of you?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It is Official!

Adoption that is!  Kaitlin Marie Cox is our daughter officially as of December 19, 2011.  It was a fun morning.  We had my dad, Brad's mom and dad, Brad's sister Jen and her husband Keith as well as their three kids all there.  Our lawyer was Karen Griffiths, the Judge was Bonnie Leidig and Chelle our home worker was there too.  Thanks to all who came and made the day special for our family.  Thanks for welcoming Kaitlin into the family!  Here are some pictures from yesterday.  I am so not photogenic so my eyes are closed in about all the pictures, or half closed that is.  That is okay, the day was about Kaitlin anyway!  :)