Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Prayer for Liberia

Once again...I have been lost in feeling of impatience, hopelessness and wondering if our journey will ever come to an end. But no worries, when I'm lost I search, when I'm lost I know my God is with me because I know when He says "I will never leave you or forsake you" it stands true today. So I have taken the last week to seek Him. And as always God spoke...

God is not a human being, and he will not lie. He is not a human, and he does not change his mind. What he says he will do, he does. What he promises, he makes come true.
Numbers 23:19
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
James 1:2-3
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

This week we have heard a lot of news with what is happening in Liberia that could get us down, and I confess that I was starting that way. But sometimes joy is a choice, and even in our circumstances we are to be thankful. So when we are asked if we have any news yet...we don't, just more obstacles, more trials...but we are thankful and our joy remains in the Lord. This adoption remains in God's hands and so do Elijah and Ruthie.

Last weekend we had the privilege to lay hands on a container that has been bought through the orphanage project that I have spoken about. The container left this last week and is heading to Liberia, and tentatively will be there by the middle of March. I encourage you to continue to watch what God is doing in Liberia, in the midst of corruption, in the midst of oppression and in the midst of our trials...God is moving and doing a mighty thing!
The filled container...

We wrote our "well wishes" to those on the other side of the world...And we prayed...

And I you think we could just find some room so we can go too? :)

May God's will be done in Liberia. And may all nations confess Jesus is Lord!

God has Adopted Us

The Spirit we received...makes us children of God. With that Spirit we cry out, "Father."
Romans 8:15

When we come to Christ, God not only forgives us, he also adopts us. Through a dramatic series of events, we go from condemned orphans with no hope to adopted children with no fear. Here is how it happens. You come before the judgment seat of God full of rebellion and mistakes. Because of his justice he cannot dismiss you. So, in an act which stunned the heavens, he punished himself on the cross for your sins. God's justice and love are equally honored. An you, God's creation, are forgiven. But the story doesn't end with God's forgiveness.....

It would be enough if God just cleansed your name, but he does more. He gives you his name. It would be enough if God just set you free, but he does more. He takes you home. He takes you home to the Great House of God.

Adoptive parents understand this more than anyone. I certainly don't mean to offend any biological parents-I'm one myself. We biological parents know well the earnest longing to have a child. But in many cases our cribs were filled easily. We decided to have a child and a child came. In fact, sometimes the child came with no decision. I've heard of unplanned pregnancies, but I've never heard of an unplanned adoption.

that's why adoptive parents understand God's passion to adopt us. They know what it means to feel and empty space inside. They know what it means to hung, to set out on a mission, and take responsibility for a child with a spotted past and a dubious future. If anybody understands God's ardor for his children, it's someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us.

God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers and took you home.
-Max Lucado (from The Great House)
Question: Knowing that God has adopted you, how would that change the way you approach him?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Elijah & Ruthie

Yours, God...Yours, God...Everything is Yours....
including Elijah and Ruthie!
Enjoy this video into the lives of our children - don't forget to turn the music at the bottom of this blog off. You'll want to hear our son! :)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

The Christmas decorations are put away. I didn't let my mind drift to the previous year, or to the next year when we pulled them out to put them on display. But it seemed that God wasn't going to let them be put away without me pondering on Him and what is pulling me away.

Last year, we had so much anticipation for the next year. You see we had a new family member coming and bringing his joy, excitement, and awe into our Christmas. We were going to be a new family...a complete family.

We never anticipated we would still be waiting. But we also never anticipated we would be waiting for two family members.

As for next year, I don't allow myself to dream of all our children opening each window of the advent card telling the story of how Jesus came. I don't allow my mind drift on the wonder of the children's ooo's and aww's as they see lights and the welcoming spirit in our home of a Savior who came. I don't allow myself to experience the joy as we sing 'Happy Birthday' to Jesus with joy and much gusto. I don't allow myself because of the 'what if'...'what if we are still waiting'.

Fear. Perhaps.

Doubt. Perhaps.
A form of protectection. Perhaps.

I have shared how I have heard everyone's opinions as to how to bring our children home. The loudest being - "I'm not praying enough". I have allowed this guilt and shame into my life. I have allowed this opinion to come and claim me. I have allowed this judgement to condemn me into silence. You see I have prayed and continued to do so. Because I have reached peace and have even experienced joy. I have cried in the hands of my gentle Savior and received comfort. I have been able to continue down the path because of the strength He has given me and with patience. Only God has heard my prayers and been with me each step of the way. But I have still received judgement and condemnation that I haven't prayed - and enough. And because of it, I stopped praying. I claimed that "God knows my heart, he knows my desire - He is even the one that started this whole's all in His hands". I mean He is the God of the Universe, what He says goes. Does my prayer really affect His will? I still don't know the answer, but what I do know is this...

We have to be careful how we "encourage" others. I have been judged by a world that doesn't see me worship each time I drive my car, or how I pray over my family as I do the household chores, or how I receive a closeness and joy as I serve God in the school and the elderly in the communtiy, or even as I write in my journal or on this blog and let each word go out to my Friend first and receive His affirmation and comfort.

Once condemnation is received, Satan has a field day. I stopped praying because of condemnation. Satan celebrated. I have felt so far away from the one who comforts me and encourages me and lifts me up when I struggle. Satan celebrated. I have allowed this to interfere with my celebration of Christmas. Satan celebrated. I believed the lie that praying doesn't do a bit of good. Satan celebrated. And then I remembered why I prayed...I receive peace everytime I share my thoughts and desires with Him. I recieve patience when I'm struggling to wait. And the best of it all...I receive the presense of my God, my Friend, my Comforter and my Savior. Satan is pouting!

One lie leads to another. Once I believed that my prayers weren't going to make a difference, I received condemnation, and once I received condemnation I believed 'I'm just not good enough'. Perhaps I don't discipline enough, I don't love my children enough, or I don't give them a four-course meal everynight, the house isn't clean enough, I don't pray with them enough, I don't teach them to serve or receive God enough...perhaps is is because of all this is why my other children aren't here yet...I'm just not a good enough parent. But it even goes beyond that. I have a heart for missions, specifically Africa. Our family has a heart for it. We have a natural heart for Liberia, and we have a huge heart for the orphanage project and the bigger project that is incorporating over there. But when I look through the world's eyes...I'm not good enough. I am uneducated, unexperienced, uncapable, un-Spirtual, and don't have enough Bible verses memorized. Loving the people of Liberia, wanting to develop a relationship with them, sharing what little we just not enough.

Or is it?

I started praying again last night. I sat in church and wrote my letter to God. God spoke. I heard in the message how God is creator, God created and wills growth and how it will flourish at the time He speaks it. He plants the dreams and desires in our hearts, because He wants them there. The dreams that come and go are our human desires that aren't of him, but the ones that grow, the ones that become passions and the ones that we just can't drop are from Him. He created it. He willed it. He will do something with it in His timing. He is able, and everything is possible through Him...even using someone like me.

Today I wait. I wait for my children. I wait for my God to use me the way He sees fit. I wait for His to will to use me. Today I need patience. So today I will pray.
And as for the lie of the enemy that says "I'm just not good enough". I took some pictures of my favorite decorations as I put them away. Katie's manger scene - her handmade doll, wrapped in a cloth, with Jesus' face drawn on. Courtney's wreath that says 'Happy Birthday', and Lindsay's manger scene she made with popsicle sticks and hay. And then I see the gifts my girls gave on Christmas morning. A manger scene made from clay from Courtney as well as a prayer rock, cross book mark and an angel ornament. Katie gave a sign that speaks of how our heart is the home because she says she sees my heart hear all the time, and Lindsay made a sign of how she sees my heart for Africa grow each day, and from my husband - a love-note, books about Liberia, and a camera to capture it all when we go. Sometimes the world is very loud with it's opinions. But today I choose to ignore the world, be encouraged by God through my family and I will pray. I will hold onto His promises, and draw close to Him again. And I do receive the pat on the back, that I'm OK, and rest assured that when I'm not good God is!