Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Looking through His eyes...

I didn't want to write today. But I felt I wouldn't be honest with each of you if I just wrote on the days I have happy things to write about or just about the things we have been up to. I didn't want to write today because today was a hard day.

I haven't been able to get Elijah out of my mind. I have cried my heart out to God and confessed how some days are just plain harder than others to wait on His timing and with patience. And yet through my tears I have had a glimpse of God's love for us as we journey onward on this road of adoption. After my experience with God this morning I explained to Duane how hard today is and I broke down into sobs.

You might think it was a sob of wanting Elijah home, and some of it was, but more I was humbled as I recognized the love God has for us, and experienced two different ways throught this adoption.

First, I can't tell you the depth of the love I have for Elijah. That alone is amazing because I have never met him yet! Can you see God's love in that? But even greater than that, I have pondered the depth and width of God's love - for He does know us and how great is that!

I have a way of thinking that because I have lessons God is growing me in that I haven't learned yet God has kept Elijah in Liberia. Beyond that, I think I constantly mess up and because of it I won't be "rewarded" with Elijah - until I can get things right. Today (again chapel day) I have held a heart of worship; at school, in the car and cleaning the house and I heard God saying "Oh, Precious Child, look through my eyes." As I was pouring out my heart to Him and then Duane I realized I just can't look through His eyes...I see all the mess ups, I see all the yuckiness and I can't get past it. But He has. And that is His mercy and grace. Yes, He saw those things once and sent Jesus, but now because of Jesus He just doesn't see those things anymore. Do I need to still have a heart of confession? Absolutely! But through all my things God still loves me. And bottom line God is not going to withhold Elijah from me because of these things. God will finish what He has started. He is the beginning and the end, and even the encore!

So where are we with all this? As you can tell we are still waiting. There has been some chaos in Liberia, and things now are moving extremely slow. What we need from you is your prayers. Please join us in praying that our son will come home in His perfect timing, that God will be once again glorified in all this and Duane and I will have the patience and strength to wait. Thank you so much for all your encouragement throughout all this. We anxiously count the days until his homecoming - and then there will be more tears - that of rejoicing!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Our School

It has been almost two years since we moved from California. I can honestly say that it has been one of the hardest transitions in my life.

When we moved to Colorado we chose to move to Longmont because we knew we wanted to have Duane home as much as possible and in order to do that he needed less of a commute. Living in Boulder was not an option (those who live in California, it would be like living in Berkeley). And not to mention the city is expensive to buy into. No thanks! When we came to visit Longmont before our move we visited a school on their last day and because it was affiliated with ACSI like the school in California we decided to enroll. And if the girls were going to go to school in Longmont, and it was close to Duane's work we decided to live in Longmont.
The school didn't work out. And it actually had made our transition to Colorado that much more difficult. The girls questioned why we even had to move, and then I started to resent Duane for moving us and viewed our move all about him. I even went as far as to believe God favored Duane and didn't care that my life belonged in California.

Last year Courtney was chosen to represent the last years school in a math competition which was held at our soon to be new school. I was not ever going to check the school out because of the distance so Courtney's competition ended up to be a blessing in disguise. When we discovered that the school wasn't "in town" and we discovered the excellence and all the availabilities through the school, and after many interviews we enrolled the girls at Resurrection Christian School.

I had to get to a mindset that there was never going to be a school like the one we left in California. I am pleased to finally say - there is. I can honestly look back and recall the many prayers and questions I had for God when we were in California as to where are we going to send the girls for high-school, and how many years do I home-school Katie and soon to be Courtney? Resurrection Christian (Rez for short) was God's answer. The school is like-minded to how we are trying to parent the girls and helps with the reinforcement. The school is alive and accomplishes everything in excellence, as giving to the Lord - and Jesus is recognized above all things. Our family has been so grateful for the school. Lindsay has discovered many quality friendships and is able to focus on her music, Katie has discovered her gift of leadership and has grown socially, and Courtney has discovered to learn how to give her best in all areas and Christ.
I still enjoy confirmations from God that we are on the right track and where we are supposed to be. Wednesdays are chapel days. It is part of the requirements for graduation to attend a missions trip. The twelfth grade experienced many great things in Belize and since have focused on community. During Bible class, the high school was proposed with a challenge - very similar to the Big Give. They weren't to use any money and try and be blessers, focusing on Philippians 2;1-4. The class went around collecting donations from restaurants, grocery stores and such. They gave one teacher a night out with their spouse, a teacher's lunch supplied by a local chain and focused their attention on one elementary student who was struggling with some life issues. They took this student out for lunch, gave the student a special shirt and poured love into this student. Since, then student has improved in their behavior at school, has treated those around them differently and has improved in their grades. The icing on the cake is when one team presented a 5th grade teacher with a car! I have attached a link to the news story and it will give you more of a "taste" of what our girls are experiencing each day. I am blessed and encouraged to be part of this school.

We have had to recently change churches, and now attend the church that is affiliated with the school. And now because the girls are older and are participating with more activities through the school and church we are considering making a move to Loveland. Have I told you how much I dislike moving? But can you tell we are blessed to be part of the school?

God, thank you for providing a place for us to make connections, experience you and answering all my questions with such detail!

To God be the glory for the great things He has done!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy 10th Birthday Courtney!

I can't believe now all my girls are in the double digits! When I have been told to enjoy each minute because time goes by too fast, I have headed the advise, enjoyed each moment and agree that time goes by too fast.

I think of all the hurdles Courtney endured for her first four years of life. I remember the countless hours of no sleep because of her illness, the countless drives to all her doctor appointments and the many times she would just curl up on the couch or in my arms instead of play. I also remember Courtney's first time going under anesthesia and wondering if she would come out, the longest five hours of my life waiting the news that she is out of surgery and the week we spent together in the hospital. I remember all the prayers that were answered six years ago.

I praise God once again for being our Great Healer, giving us the wisdom and the right doctors to help cure Courtney's illness. I praise God that He has remained with her, never forgotten her. I am confident He is going to do great things in her.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Oh Katie!!!

It was Monday and I was home doing my normal Monday routine - laundry and ironing. And then I received a call from the PE teacher at the girl's school. Katie was playing basketball when I ball was thrown to her and there was a loud "pop" and a lot of pain, as well as swelling. The teacher attended to Katie's injury, and gave her a lot of care and TLC. I went to pick her up from school and headed her over to Urgent Care. (I feel right at home with the hospital these days!) When we left Urgent Care we still weren't sure if her thumb was broken, strained or what, so we made an appointment with the orthopedist. Wednesday she left that appointment with a bright blue cast! Today (two weeks later) she is in a splint and doing much better.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Day to Celebrate

A typical Wednesday in the Archibald home is that I drive the girls to school, attend the elementry chapel with Katie and Courtney, then attend the junior high chapel with Lindsay and stay for the remaining of the day to volunteer for teachers. These days I love and cherish for I know the girls will one day grow, will one day not want their mother around and there will be a day I will miss my Wednesdays. Wednesdays are also days I get to have lunch with the girls and their friends. I love these days!

Today was a bit different but in the end it has turned out to be one of my favorite days.

I have been praying for Courtney and her salvation since she was born, but it wasn't until the past few months when I have seen her struggle, make wrong choices and having to discipline her more than the usual that I could see where she was at. As many of us she wanted to "do life" on her own two feet, and being that she has always been so close to me, perhaps depend on me to get her through. And with her two feet and her mother helping her when she falls...she thought she could handle life without God.

Today in chapel, Courtney experienced the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The chapel topic was on complaining and the sword of the Spirit. Courtney squirmed next to me, cried and became angry with anything I said. You see, she was fighting God. After poking and proding to see what the tears were about, she finally admitted "I don't know God, and want to know more about Him". The principal and vice-principal of our school prayed over Courtney and the Spirit remained heavy on her during the day.

Courtney went to the vice-principal after lunch time. After talking and understanding more of God and how He loves us so much that He engraved (carved) her name on the palm of His hand and with the blood of Jesus she received Jesus into her heart. I was priviledged to be pulled into her prayer and pray over her and hear her confess her sins and the need she has for her Lord and Savior. I had to ask her "are you doing this to please Mommy and Daddy?", the answer was no, but I still wondered.

After praying, I watched her. When we were done she got up from her chair took two steps and flung her arms around me and cried with rejoicing tears (something Courtney does not do). God confimed her prayer was real, from her heart.

Tonight our family is rejoicing with the angels over one who has repented and found her Savior. She also enjoyed celebrating by cooking...her favorite thing to do!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Back home...

Ever since I have been back from Uganda I have been praying to go back. Duane and I have even joked about moving there, and the laughter has become quieter. Duane is always up for adventure and I am in love with a place I call home. So ever since I have been home I have been pleading with God to send me again...this time with my family.

We have been contemplating different ways of how to go. For all six of us to go on a global mission trip like I participated on - or is there anyway we can raise the funds to build a home in addition to our travel expense and go that way. We remain in prayer first, seeking God's will in all this.

I was talking to one of our school's teachers the other day. I mentioned to him that it is our desire to go back to Uganda in 2009. He mentioned to me, that it was his and his son's desire to go to Uganda in 2009 and would be willing to go with the same group we are working with. I told Katie's teacher how I felt God is allowing me another trip and putting it together, and she said "count me in, don't leave without me". So it looks like God could be orchestrating a trip once again. We are praying to be able to help build in Gulu, where people have been most affected from the war and are in dire need of help.

We need your prayers - that God will open the doors for all of us to go, for clear direction for what He wants us to do and for the finances needed for this project.

Today we wait...

We have finished Elijah's room. The paint is dry, wallpaper hung, decorations up, furniture moved, toys put away, hand-me-down clothes washed and filling the dresser. Yes, it is exciting. However, now it is a reminder that we are ready and he isn't here. I knew waiting was going to be hard, I just didn't expect it to be this hard.

Anyone who knows us also knows what we are in the process of doing. So the first question is "when is he going to come home?" "We don't know" is our response, but it just doesn't make sense to those who are watching. And we remain waiting - and it is getting hard.

You see every holiday, family event or vacation we spend Duane and I have this sense for a long time that our family wasn't complete - someone was missing. Now we know who it is and it just seems wrong to celebrate without him with us. It is so amazing to us to miss someone so much, someone that we have never met.

We went to church last night, after a day I was a bit down because of wanting Elijah with us. I worshipped, but pleaded with God that He would bring Elijah to us soon...I mean lickity split. I even pleaded that God would reveal himself and tell us when Elijah is to come home. My mind was focused souly on Elijah and his homecoming. My heart is already with him, my love grows daily for him, and I yearn to have him in our presence.

And then it hit me. Just as much as I want to love and see Elijah, I'm supposed to want to love and see God that much more.

Perhaps someday I will share with you all how Elijah came to be. But today I will just say that it was definitely God ordained. Yesterday I was running out of hope that Elijah was going to come, there are many hurdles to overcome in Liberia (and we are talking about a country that isn't run like ours, sometimes just makes no sense, and on their own timetable), and days to wait, pray and be patient. I am so thankful God doesn't run out of hope with me as I am so quickly to do in so many areas of my life. After I pondered the story of how Elijah came to be, I was reminded to trust and hope in Christ, not the adoption process and watch and see what great things He is going to do, in His timing. I let Elijah go in God's hands last night - once again, and I ran to my Savior, my God and today am waiting with Him and watching what great things He is going to do.

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith...
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for he who promised is faithful."
Hebrews 10:22a & 23

Play Ball

One of the biggest secrets of the Archibalds is that we love baseball. I mean love it! During summer we like to go out to the green belt and play it with the girls, and we love going to the games. It was only a couple of years ago when the girls went to their first game that they tried to understand what was going on. Duane loves the Dodgers...the girls and I love the A's, but now in our new home we all unite and are Rockie's fans.

This year Duane was going to take me to opening day since I have never experienced the first game of the season. However since the Rockies became National Champions last year not only was the game sold out but it was mandatory to buy not only the Opening Day game but game two too - something totally out of our budget. We have a camp up on the Rocky Mountains that we have been part of. We do family camp there, Duane has gone to the men's retreat there and the 5th graders have a leadership retreat there. Part of there fund raiser is to work a couple of Rockies game by passing out the promotional items. Duane and I were able to help on Opening Day..thus we got to get into the game!
It was a sad game...the Rockies didn't do well at all. But we had a great day sitting in the warm sun welcoming in our favorite sport.