Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another Zoo Day

The girls have the week off, it's Fall break. Remember, their school starts earlier than most just because of this reason. I think I was more ready for this vacation then them. Anyway we took a trip to the zoo. The weather has been so nice this week (in the 70's) so we just made the most of it.

What we have learned about Elijah

Many of you have asked if we have met Elijah, or if we know anything about him. Nope, we don't. This adventure is total trust and obedience in God for us. But we have just recently had a small window into his character. I am part of a yahoo group, one of the mom's who has her adopted children at home asked about Elijah for us and this is what was said...

He likes to eat TWO bowls of rice!
He likes to play in the sand. And he likes to play with toys.
He likes to tell stories.
He likes to play with you.
He likes to play with Samuel. And Gio Vah.
And he liked to play with me too.
He likes to share!
It sounds like he is going to fit in our family just fine. Like we said we trust God knows what He is doing. Isn't it amazing that he puts the right people together in a family...biological or adopted?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

But the Fruit of the Spirit is....Peace

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be
on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

Peace. Sometimes it is so hard to obtain, especially during these uncertain times - financial instability, politics, war in Iraq, and everything else going on in this world. How about your personal world? Is there peace?

We are reminded throughout scripture of how God is our peace. This week, my study highlighted how we find peace in aloneness, in God's provisions, our storms, as we wait, in our tears, in His plan and even in our death. As solemn as it all sounds there is so much joy and even peace throughout this study.

What I received most this week was how I have peace as we wait on Elijah (which seems forever) and through my tears. I read a familiar story (John 11): Jesus' friend, Lazarus was dying and his sisters sent for Jesus to come and heal him. Jesus was called to come, but instead stayed two more days in another city, teaching. In the meantime, Lazarus died. Mary and Martha were grieving. A crowd came to pay their respects. It was then that Jesus came and then rose Lazarus from his grave. Can you imagine the faces that day? Can you imagine how many souls were saved that day? Yet why? Why did Jesus wait so long? Why put the roller coaster of emotions on his people? Jesus used this opportunity to reveal who he really was, witnessed to many who then believed and did save many lives that day. Because he waited to come and through that perfect moment he was glorified. God revealed his glory through his son by waiting for moment. We also experience peace as we wait on Him to act, when we surrender ourselves to His authority, when we are focused on Him instead of the circumstances. (Isaiah 64:4)

Today we wait some more on the arrival of our son. Through the waiting may God be glorified when he reveals the right moment. Until then, our eyes will be captured on Jesus not on the empty room or hearts that wait for the arrival of a 4 year old boy. We hold onto peace in the waiting.

In that same story Jesus reveals his compassion as he cries with Mary and Martha as they are escorting Jesus to Lazarus' tomb. So many times I have cried as we continue to wait for Elijah. So many times I have been told "I hope you find peace." I was so relieved when I read in my study "peace means the absence of fear and turmoil, not the absence of pain and grief." Yes! I can cry! I can miss him and I can still have peace, because my peace is of God and my God is my place of refuge. (Psalm 62:8)

I don't know what may be shaking your peace - our worldly circumstances, disharmony in a relationship with a family member or friend, heartache over a loved one, waiting for your orphan child to come home; but I leave you with these words Jesus says to you: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." And one last thought: Peace starts with a simple prayer "Come, take over, come."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy 4th Birthday, Elijah!

When we celebrated Elijah's 3rd birthday last year without him, we were planning his next birthday with him. We never thought he'd still be in Liberia and us here celebrating another year apart. Yet we know he'll be home soon and can't wait until we can make up for lost time. Until then, we pray God's blessings on our son, his protection and mercy upon him. Happy 4th Birthday, Elijah!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Every Person Counts

I have always enjoyed learning through my children's lives. You know what I mean? Things like when you go to the post office and they will show you what happens when you drop your letter in the mailbox. Or how the grocery store manages all their goods. Everything we have done we have tried to show them how or why. I love learning this way too...remember, as I posted yesterday - I am a hands on learner.

Well, for over a month now Duane and I have been getting so many questions...all on that topic I try to get away from - POLITICS! I didn't like that subject in school, and I don't like arguing what I believe in. But my girls are asking and seeking. So we seek together. I explain to them the way I see it, how others see it, and encourage them to ask questions when they hear others speak on the subject.

Well we had a treat! A once in a life time experience! We had the privilege to go and see Sarah Palin speak at a rally that was just down the street from the girls school. I told them to write down the things they saw, make sure you listen to all around you, experience the excitement in the air. Remember, I'm not into politics, but how can you not be after going to a rally? The girls saw all the signs voting for different measures or people, badges and badges being sold, people trying to spoil the event by campaigning for the opponent. It was exciting. After standing three hours in the freezing cold we missed getting into the main building, and saw her on a big screen in the overflow building. But after her speech was over, she and her family came over and visited us there. The girls were excited.

So Duane and I sat down the night before last and cast our votes. The girls were intrigued by the whole thing. Checked out our ballets, and continued to ask what each measure meant. We reminded them it is our duty to vote, to make our voice heard how we want our nation to be run. And then I am reminded that the next time we vote for our president, Lindsay will be voting too.

As I have mentioned I am not really into politics. It doesn't mean that I am not concerned with this years elections, believe me I am. But Colorado has an exciting measure on the ballot. That being measure 48, stating that a person is a person at conception. We, of course encourage those Colorado voters out there to Vote yes.
The 21 year old that is responsible for getting this measure on the ballet was at the girl's school today as a guest speaker during chapel. I was encouraged. And I want to encourage all the young that they aren't too young to have a voice and to stir things up, and I remind you God can and will use them for the passions He stirs in you. I have posted a video that was shown during chapel, I hope this stirs encouragement in each of you. I also hope that our state will impact others in the years to come!

(Don't forget to turn off the music at the bottom of the blog as you view this video.)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rejoice! I say it again, Rejoice!

You know how I know when I'm in the right Bible Study? When I live what I learning just as I am going through each lesson. You see God knows me more than anyone (even myself) - I am a hands on learner! I told you all about how I experienced the first fruit of the Spirit that of love. Well this week we completed the second fruit - that of joy.

I confess this lesson didn't move me as the others and I was a bit disappointed as I didn't have a life lesson...well, at least I thought - until I was leaving our study. First, before I explain I have to remind us of why we have joy and the source of our joy.
  1. Joy is the result of realizing that our names are written in heaven.

  2. Joy is the result of discovering the person, power, and plan of God in our multitude of circumstances.

  3. Joy is the result of restoration.

  4. Joy is the result of "remaining" in Christ.

  5. Joy is the result of relating God's way to God's people.

I have to confess when I did my homework for point #5, I was so thankful and full of confirmation. I LOVE talking with God's people, worshipping together and serving together. I LOVE it, and find it is a source of my joy. Even updating each of you through this blog, I experience joy. I am thankful for each one of you and how we can share our lives together.

But God let the Archibald experience how joy is the result of discovering the person, power, and plan of God in our multitude of circumstances today! I am reminded through my struggles of how victorious and mighty our God is, and it is through that discovery how I find joy. It's not that the crisis is over, but how God revealed himself. I can remember a time when we were in mediation over a situation we were totally unaware of in our "buyer beware house", and during that time Courtney was recovering from major surgery and because of our house stuff and the length of the mediation, it caused Courtney to remain in need of medical attention. It was her physical suffering God used to win our case, but in the end we saw how God opened the door right in front of us as HE won the case. That was two years of suffering - not only physically for Courtney, but financial, mentally, emotionally and even spiritually. We felt we went through the ringer and we rejoiced when it was over!

If you take the time to read through all our many posts you'll see the trial we have been through with the adoption of our son. You'll read about so many spiritual battles we were in - how it was so hard to have patience, and at time I doubted if God was even listening to our pleas. I even wondered at a couple points, even recently (though I didn't post it) how I questioned if I heard God right...because frankly it all didn't make sense. However, as I sit and am reminded of this journey, I see how my faith in God is stronger than ever before...and for me that is worth being joyful! But today we discovered we have our court decree! WE ARE OFFICIALLY PARENTS OF A 3 YEAR (SOON TO BE 4) LITTLE BOY IN LIBERIA!

The joy we are experiencing is so over whelming. (I wish you could have seen Katie run through the halls at school!) But why are we so joyful? Perhaps some because we actually have a document we have been waiting for since the beginning of the year, but mostly because how God has revealed Himself to us. You see for the Archibalds - God is the source of our joy! And in order to experience God and learn more of Him, I would do this all over again and even if it takes as long as it has.

So today we Rejoice!!!!! I say it again, Rejoice!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Another Gift...

Many ask if we have met Elijah, and if he has met us. No, we have never met, we have never held him in our arms, and he has never physically received our love. However over the last 14 months we have sent him gifts from time to time as another family heads over to get their children. We have sent a gift once again (a car, ball, more photos). And today we wonder and pray, when sending the gifts can stop and we can receive the gift of our son. Until then, we wait but I confess I have to remind myself on some days that I have the privilege to do so.

Just Another Concert?

Those of you who know our daughter, Lindsay knows her love for music. I think we have the only teenager in the world who cranks the volume to her big band cds. She appreciates classical and loves to focus on it on the piano. Fiddling is more of a challenge for her in violin. She is the only one I know that when we take her to a movie she tunes into the background music, then leans over and says "oh, this would be a great piece to learn in band". My daughter LOVES music.

Last week we went to her first college fair. Yes, as much as I'm trying to deny this...we have to start looking and planning for this major event. Over 60 private colleges were represented. She went around to each one seeing which college offers majoring in Music Education, and minoring in music.

We went to another concert of hers this week....and this is what I thought of.
  • Choir concerts - 24 times we have sat and watched for our child's minute of fame, and over an hour of watching all the other kids.

  • Piano lessons - 428 times driving to and from, and adjusting our schedules to accommodate

  • Piano recitals - 10 times we have sat and watched as our buttons popped

  • Violin lessons - 225 times driving to and from, and adjusting our schedules to accommodate

  • Violin recitals - 5 times we have sat and watched again as our buttons popped once again.

  • Band concerts - 22 concerts, all with her hidden behind the other instruments

  • Financial investment - I just calculated it - 10 years of lessons, books, instruments, reeds ... oh, my! Thus the reason we don't go on vacation much.

  • Just another concert this last Monday? - Never! And we can't wait until the next.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Love Conquers All

Do you ever wonder, why is God bringing me through this? After's every one else that needs to change, not me, I'm seeking and I'm on the right path. WRONG! What a challenging couple of weeks!

A week ago I was offended by my dear husband. He hurt me so bad, and for me it was unforgivable. I had every right to not forgive him and to remind him of his mistake for the rest of his days. That was my plan of action.

Since that incident our oldest did the unthinkable...turned to be "one of those teens". I mean I actually believed that my children was never going to act like that...

My youngest has gone back to her habit of lying.

My middle had me on ignore and used me for her transportation to and from, and also took the groceries for granted.

I reached my breaking point! Everyone is against me, and everyone else needs to change!

Isn't it ironic or rather isn't it timely that God's lessons in my Bible Study is that on love. The heart of the Fruit of the Spirit. Beth Moore's message yesterday was stating "being called to love we risk rejection". We were reminded of how rejection can wound deeper and last longer than hosts of other injuries (Prov 30:21-23 & PS 27:10). Rejection tempts us to invite things into our lives we might never have welcomed and can empower us to act in ways we never dreamed of behaving. And I was also reminded why Jesus' rejection was so deep, was because he was rejected by his OWN. So what is my point?

I was hurt by my family's behavior because each displayed a form of rejection. The old phrase is true, it hurts to love.

God, once again in his merciful grace, brought me out of the pits. Last week, I fell to my face, and told God that He would have to change my heart, He had a lot of work ahead of Him...because I couldn't change it. Through that prayer, I repented of my selfishness and so much pride and saw once again the work He had to change in ME. In order for Him to work in me, in order for Him to change my callused hard heart, I had to surrender me and give it to him. And you know what? God moved what seemed to be mountains...He accomplished His work and changed my heart. Not only did he soften my heart, I sought Duane's forgiveness and not only do I have a love for my husband but a stirring passion that grows each day. I have peace.

My oldest. That was hard. After all, she was rebelling, unappreciative and expecting everything to be around her. I had every reason to react to her with the top of my lungs. (Remember, rejection can empower us to act in ways we never dreamed of behaving.) I was also claiming Duane on my side...and together we were going out to get her. I fell on bended knee seeking wisdom and asking for help, afterward my dear husband asked me this morning..."I'm not judging, only asking," (uh-oh), "is this retaliation or love?". I had every right to send her to school in a taxi, not do anything for her, and make things so difficult until she came to ME and apologized. But Duane's question sunk in deeper and deeper. (I am so thankful He is the head of the house, our spiritual leader!) I talked to Lindsay on the way to school, agreed with her, heard her, and shared my heart. I finally told her, I am totally at peace with letting her go. I know she has Christ in her heart, and if she hits rock bottom I know God loves her so much he would see her through and help her out. Our God is that loving. I blessed her and her day, and hugged her. I told her she can reject my love, but I will still love her.

We had to discipline Courtney this morning and again this afternoon. She and I prayed over her asking Jesus to redeem her, casting out the master of lies and the one who is holding her captive in her fears, and have asked that every time she wants to lie that it will turn to a want of praise to God. We already celebrate His victory in this area. Courtney experienced a freedom this afternoon she never experienced before.

Katie repented last night with her actions. She claimed her responsibilities, was empathetic to the others in the household, and was definitely more social than she had been. I told her I was going to celebrate with her by taking her to lunch today.

Instead of taking Katie to lunch, I brought her her favorite lunch to her. As I was pulling out her lunch I was greeted by Lindsay. Lindsay's lunch was bad for whatever reason (God's doing?). I told her that she could sit with me and I would be happy to share my lunch with her. She sat down and cried. "It is hard to accept this meal, when I have treated you so horrible." My heart pained with her..."yes, I'm sure it is hard. It may be hard for her to receive it, but for me it isn't hard to give."

So who had to change? ME! I have to continue surrender myself, allow God to move and flow through me. Thank you God that even though sometimes it is so hard to receive Your love because of my mess-ups and failures, for You it is never hard to give.

Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud.
Love is not rude, is not selfish and does not get upset with others.
Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.
Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth.
Love patiently accepts all things.
It always trusts, always hopes, and always remains strong.
Love never fails.
1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Duane, Lindsay, Katie and Courtney - I am so thankful you have stuck through my "yuckiness" and together with God in the center we can achieve all things - because God is our love and will never fail! I am reminded of a book that we have read through the years -

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
my baby you'll be.

I am so privileged to be your wife and your mommy. And I'm proud to say that you are my family - no matter what, I'll love you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Prayer Please

So many of you ask. As you know we have the privilege to carry the burden to wait for our son to come home. We know so many of you continue to pray for us during this journey and we are so grateful. We knew that God orchestrated this whole ordeal, we just never thought it would be so heart wrenching. We also know God finishes what He starts...He is victorious and we praise Him for that.

It sounds like the court decree has been signed but not recorded. We are NOT sure of that yet. So we are asking for prayer once again. I wish you could hear the girls pray...they still hold onto hope that their brother will be home for his birthday, or that we could go and get him at that time. I am most humbled lately with Courtney's prayers. She doesn't only ask, but she is seeking to find God in all this. She holds onto the love of God and knows that that love is needed in Liberia, especially in their government. She keeps waiting to hear from an email from God, not our agency. What she is looking for, I don't know. But I love walking behind my children at times and learning from them. So as you pray, please don't just pray for Elijah to come home, but that these girls will see a glimpse of God and that this journey will radically change their spiritual lives forever, and of course for peace that passes all understanding.

Thank you so much! We of course will keep you posted.