Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Friday, August 29, 2008

On Your Mark! Get Set! Go!

Lindsay had her first cross-country meet yesterday. I was there rooting her on. Her sisters were in tow as usual, and once again at one of their sister's activities. They weren't too excited - until they saw the race. Then I heard the words "Mommy, wouldn't it be cool if Lindsay came in first?"

My competitive heart wanted to respond "yes!" but then Hebrews 12: 1-2a came over me. "We have around us many people whose lives tell us what faith means. So let us run the race that is before us and never give up. We should remove from our lives anything that would get in the way and the sin that so easily holds us back. Let us look only to Jesus, the One who began our faith and who makes it perfect."

Towards the end of the race Lindsay had that look of pain, and she told me later she was ready to throw-up. Oh, how there are days we feel that way - tired, fighting things that are against us, ready for some air and just wanting to slow down a bit or perhaps even throw in the towel...but as I told the girls it is more important that we finish the race well and never give up.
I am so like Katie and Courtney as I approach my race - not too excited, and thinking of the other fun things I could be doing - but then I see it, hear the cheers of my encouragers, taste the excitement, and it is then I am ready to take my mark at the starting line, to persevere and never give up. And to keep my eyes upon the One who orchestrates it all!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I know I haven't written for a while...1. things have been crazy around here, 2. there have been so many changes my heart has been full and 3. I've been having a bit of a writer's block! You see, I don't want you to hear the day to day stuff, but through my transparency and the day to day stuff it is my heart that you experience God, Himself.

A couple of weeks ago our family had the privilege of attending a Rockies game. Yes privilege in spite that our team lost! See, it was Faith Day. What does that mean? Our church had 800 tickets available, and our family had five of those tickets. Those around us were people we worship with. In the rest of the stands were other worshippers from many other churches. The atmosphere was fun, enjoyable, clean and I could sense the Spirit was about ready to do something. After the game everyone is invited to come closer to the field and hear the testimonies of the Rockies players. Last year we heard from Matt Holiday and some others. This year Dave Dravecky, former San Francisco Giants pitcher (lost his pitching arm due to cancer, which changed his career) spoke, along with one of the Rockies player. The theme that flowed through their sharing was how God is in control of all circumstances from the challenges of staying in the major league with the threat of having to go back to the minor league to the challenge of being faced with cancer, ending a career. I also was reminded that our identity is not what we do but who we are in Christ. God holds each circumstance, but through these stories we heard that when we surrender it all to God, we realize He has a bigger plan and usually a new arena for us to be in that we never would imagine. After hearing these testimonies, the message went even deeper when we heard through song and sharing from Steven Curtis Chapman (a Christian Artist who just recently lost his youngest adopted daughter in a tragic accident). The pain, sorrow and grief he has was apparent, but as he pressed on I heard through his song and still hear today "it's all yours, God, yours Gods. Everything is yours...God we belong to you! We're all yours, God, yours God. Everything is yours". Let those words ring in your ears and absorb to the depth of your soul for they are true and today I remain so thankful. The thunderstorm we encountered that day still didn't douse the worshippers, and definitely not the Spirit of God...we all worshipped the one true and living God that day and we were touched. This was one of my favorite days.

School started one week and one day ago. Some parents rejoice, I have always been on the other side of the pendulum. I enjoy having the girls around, and enjoy not having the clock and calendar control me, and each year school starts with having to "let go". It is been our tradition that Duane stays home, makes his famous corn meal mush (the girls love! and I make homemade cinnamon rolls the day before - which they always remember when they smell greets them as they get out of bed as they approach their first day). Duane and I spend the day together without any interruption from the girls and he comforts me through any tears I experience that day (which I didn't have this this year until the next day!).

The new school year this year is a big deal, and a new mile stone in the Archibald's lives. Courtney is now in 5th grade. Fifth grade at the girls school brings a leadership class. They pray about a ministry to head up during the year, and bring the other grades along side them. What Courtney doesn't realize is that this year God is going to captivate her heart like she has never known before. And I'm praising Him for the work He is about to do not only her life, but the other 5th graders too. Good things are going to happen...and I'll keep you posted as they do. Fifth grade also brings an end to the elementary years. This is a big year for Courtney.

Katie is now in 6th grade. Those of you who may be out of touch with what that means...Katie has now started junior high (aka: middle school)! Duane and I both confess we have been a bit leery of the new arena this puts Katie in, only for the fact organization hasn't been who Katie is, and laziness does creep in and take control over her life. Not only have Duane and I been praying for her in this area, but Katie and I have too. Katie wants to start of with a bang...and end the same way. She has been determined to give her best and welcome the change. Oh, if we could all be like that! Katie has not only started off with a step in the right direction, she has started with that bang and it has continued each day. She has become the organized person she wanted to be, and is trying to achieve all that she wants to go after. Duane and I have been surprised to see the person she has become, and once again stand in awe of how God redeems us all and transforms our messes into His beauty. What I have learned through this 11 (soon to be 12) year old, is how she not only wanted the change, not only wanted to prove to her parents how she can handle this responsibility, or even prove to herself but she allowed, welcomed and expected God's change to complete her and make her whole in Him. I continue to praise God for the work He is doing in her, and how she is showing us that even the littlest things glorify and magnify how great our God is.

Lindsay is now in 9th grade - that puts her in High School. I question where the time has gone, I remember not only when Lindsay started kindergarten but when she was in 5th grade as Courtney is. It seems like yesterday, and I have wanted to hold onto those days, but find I have to face the present time. I know she is ready and I know she is more than capable. I have been concerned with the new arena of activities and demands that will try and rule our schedule but Duane, Lindsay and I are full aware of God's gifts in her and Lindsay has the passion and desire to enhance those things so she can glorify God even more with them. And this is going to be our filter and tell us when to say 'no' to things. She has always been an overachiever and once again has her goals set and is already going after them. High-school has brought cross-country into her life (she can accomplish a semester of her PE requirement so she can focus on her band classes for her full four years of high-school). I glanced over and saw Lindsay in chapel yesterday (I know I'm not suppose to) but I was captivated by a maturity in her that I never saw in her before. I saw a confidence she holds for her God, as well as a humbled spirit when she is before her Maker. This was her time with God and was she was able to push all that was around her away. She was honored to be in His presence. I want to be more like that!

I see how God is moving in the girls, and I know too that God creates mothers to help teach, nurture and mold the children that are His. But as every mother experiences, letting go is painful - but I rest in the joy that God is the center of all of our lives and the comfort He has provided for this mother's heart.

Our period of waiting for Elijah continue to weigh on us. However, we rest in the peace that surrounds us too. My heart is heavy with the continued burden of a man who continues to throw himself around to try and make himself bigger and better than everyone, a man who hasn't discovered his true identity - that he too is a child of a great King. So I continue to pray for him. The pastor in Liberia that has been in charge of the orphanage has stepped down, thus has caused some of the children to relocate. Tears were shed earlier this week as our son along with his friends, had to leave not only the familiar place they have known but some of the other children that have been their "sisters and brothers" through the years. But when they saw their new home (picture of it on the right) there were sounds of rejoicing for they have a yard to play in, running water, a washer and dryer...the best Liberia has to offer. We are thankful that we have the privilege to be part of this ministry and this boys life - even on the other side of the world. Praise God how He is even transforming lives in an orphanage in Liberia, how He is control and it is all His.

I am reminded of the song that continues to ring in my ears and the depth of my soul....It is all Yours, God, It is all Yours. Duane, Karen, Lindsay, Katie, Courtney and Elijah are Yours...We are all Yours!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Battle of my Heart...

I have three children and a husband living with me now, and I have a son clear across the other side of the world. I have three children and a husband living with me that have needs of me being part of their life - nurturing, caring and helping them and I have a son clear across the other side of the world that has a need of a mother to nurture, care and help him. I have three children and a husband living with me that are capable and able to do so much, and I have a son clear across the other side of the world that isn't. I have three children and a husband that has needs for me to be part of their life, and I have a son clear across the other side of the world that has a need for me too.

I live in a country that has so much - my son lives in a country that has so little. I have the comfort of warmth or coolness (which ever the need is at the time) - my son has protection from the elements. I live in a country that has education available wherever I choose to live - my son lives in an orphanage where it is there he can only receive any education. I live in a country for the people - my son lives in a country for it's government. I live in a country that when I am sick I always have somewhere to go - my son lives in a country that 15% of children under the age of one die because of lack of medical care. I live in a country that I have more than enough to eat - my son lives in a country that 40% of children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition. I live in a country where the need for gas prices to come down in order for us to survive and my sons lives in a country where the food, medical attention, water is needed so they can survive.

My heart has remained heavy these past few days. It isn't because of doubt or disbelief that God is able to move mountains and bring our son home - I believe with all my heart that He will, and not a moment too soon or a moment too late. But my heart is here with my family and in Liberia with my son. Oh, what I would do to have my arms wrapped around him! Last night, I went into Elijah's room and wept with God. Yes, with Him! I know our Heavenly Father created me and my heart, these children in Liberia are His as well, you don't you think He hasn't shed a few tears for the treatment of his people in Liberia too? He has. And we did together last night.

I confess on this blog that I have a hearts desire to make a difference. I want to use the gifts that God has given me and use it for the welfare of these orphans. Yes the mother in me questions the selfishness in this desire, after all I have three children and a husband here living with me.

I haven't shared too much with the details of what exactly is holding up our adoption because I have been asked to keep some things quiet for the sake of privacy. I can share that the government where our son is is very corrupt. They do NOT believe in adoption. They do NOT want my son with some others (who are from another tribe) to have a home before other orphans from their tribe are taken care of, and they don't want my son with the others from this other tribe to go to a rich country like the US and become educated and one day come back and rule over them. These government officials have lied and have threatened. There is one particular man that legally (by law) has nothing to do with the process of adoptions, but has made it his business just to try and stop the process. There is so much more, but for the delicate situation this is this is enough to share so you (as the reader) know where we are at.

I have been praying over this man in the Liberian government all week. I have prayed that his heart would change, that he too would have a conversion like Saul to Paul. I have prayed that even if it took something drastic like loosing his eyesight as Paul did - so be it. But then Saturday, I don't know if it was the "mother bear" in me or just plain anger when I hear not only about the orphans but the cries of the Liberian people or perhaps it was a bit of both I confess that I prayed that God would remove this man totally from power - even if death was the answer. Yes, the nice person I usually am prayed a very "unnice" prayer and worse, had a very "unnice" heart. Part of my crying with God last night wasn't just over this situation but the confession that once again I have messed up and displeased my Father. Will you pray for me that I will remember to continue to pray for this man daily, and that his name will change to Minister of God.

What can I do? In spite of all the evil that is in Liberia, in spite of the spiritual battle - I am ready to go and help in any way I can. But yet I am reminded even as I write those words...the battle is the Lords. He is already victorious and doesn't need any one's help! However, I believe too that He creates us all with our own unique gifts and can use them for His glory. God, if you want my unique gifts to be used in Liberia, send me, I am ready. I will remain in prayer regarding His people in Liberia, and the orphans. I will sacrifice something for the sake of someone else.

What can you do? Please pray for not only our son, but so many other orphans who are ready to go home but are being held up because of this "bully" in the government office. Pray and believe that our God will move mountains! And please consider donating to the orphan project - the link is on the left. This isn't just about building a bigger facility. We are building a school not just for the orphans but for all in the community to come to. (You see, Liberia just passed a law that states all children must go to school...however, they have never created any school for the children to go to.) Also the facility has a medical facility that is available to all the community. The money you donate doesn't just make a difference in a life of an orphan, but to the lives of Liberians - that are crying out for help. Know too that an organization such as UNICEF will use 90% for administration costs where this organization will use every penny donated to the funding of this project. Thank you too for so many of you who have cried out with me to a God that listens, cares and answers our prayers!

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." James 1:27

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Thank You KLove

In spite of the record heat we all packed up into the car and headed down to Denver and went to a free concert hosted by KLove radio of Third Day. No one thought they knew many of their songs, but then come to find out we all knew all the songs sung. KLove hosted this concert recognizing that Denver has the biggest network of listeners (those of you who don't know about KLove they have stations all across the country, and are on the internet so they are listened to worldwide). We all enjoyed the concert. We were standing in line to take a picture with the group but because of the packed line and the heat we couldn't take it any longer and went to get a nice cold soda instead.

So instead of a personal picture of us with them, I have posted a link to a song they sung last night.

To learn more about KLove radio or listen to them online -