Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
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
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
- Joy is the result of realizing that our names are written in heaven.
- Joy is the result of discovering the person, power, and plan of God in our multitude of circumstances.
- Joy is the result of restoration.
- Joy is the result of "remaining" in Christ.
- 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
- 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
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.