Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day My Dearheart

Our message to our girls this past year has been they don't have to spend money for a nice gift. It's a hard message to teach and learn when sales for the coolest thing are all around you, or when you hear of what so and so has bought their father, or even when you have a heart that it would just be nice to provide for Dad once, the way he has provided for you countless of times. It's just plain hard. But we went beyond the storebought gift, and created something that spoke to Duane's heart this Father's Day.

The gift that made Duane's heart overfill (please turn music off at the bottom of the blog) ...

And with a heart filled with love we all took him to the mountains for his favorite things to do...hiking with his family.

And with that Duane had the best Father's Day yet! And the girls so understand, it's giving from the heart that makes a difference. And to my Dearheart, you are such a great Daddy - because you look to the Greatest Father of them All. We love you so very much!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thank You!!!

Our family would like to thank each one of you that has supported our endeavors to go to Liberia. As you can see by the thermometer we have been "still" for quite some time. We still have hopes going. However, the amount raised is the exact number we added into our funding for food for the orphans. We have heard the past few months how the children at Addy's Hope is out of food. Food that came in gave them a meal a day. Now there have been days they have gone without all together. It breaks our heart. So our family has decided to send this amount that was given to feed these kids, and fill their bellies even before we eventually arrive.

For those of you who still want to get involved. Please contact me. Those of you who would love a t-shirt - we still have plenty! Each penny raised will go towards this project.

Thanks again for all those who have contributed by either donations, purchasing locker shelves or t-shirts. Your contribution has helped so much! Thank you!

Monday, June 14, 2010

God Always Shows Up Because He is Always There!

So be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.
For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.
He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (New Living Translation)
This verse was waiting for me in my email today. A verse I know, and a verse that is always on my heart. A verse that reminds me everyday God will never leave me or forsake me. He is there - always! But it wasn't until this evening, I understood why my spirit was "nudged" this morning as I read it.
I have confessed in previous posts how I have battled with our adoption. How I have had to let Elijah go more and more, and not even knowing how I have picked up this battle. I know he is in better hands than I can even offer, but I would lie to you if I say things are hunky doory. In spite of the heartache it brings to not have Elijah home we do have peace. And as we pray each day, may God's will be done!
I am a black and white thinker. If I can't have Elijah home, then let us move on...let us let him go. And I try. I believe it is my weakness and my heartache that tries to let it go so I can move on and try and get over the pain of this wait. I remember a day full of emotions over our Liberian children and I knew I just had to let them go once again. This time instead of just letting them go I wanted to walk away. That particular day we went to a Kari Jobe concert...their outreach ... orphan care, and behind the worship song lyrics up on the screen were Elijah's eyes looking right at me. Coincidence? No! God? Oh, yes!!!
Another time, I was in a state of despair and anguish. I surrendered all this adoption stuff once again to my Heavenly Father, and confessed I just couldn't do this anymore. "I can't...please don't make me" were the words off my lips. My heart was done. I shouldered the weight of disappointment from Duane and the girls, which only made all the emotions of this journey that much more painful. The next day our congressman phoned and emailed to help us out in our plight. Coincidence? No way!!! God? Absolutely!!!
It is these times of surrender God has shown Himself over and over again. And shown us His will and desire to carry this load of ours.
So today our adoption continues to be held by His hands. No others.
Unfortunately, I can't stop the emails. Emails that draw us to stay on top of things. I prayerfully answer them now for I want to remain in obedience to the One who has it all under control. However, I see them and emotions still arise. Some bring hope and excitement, others bring anguish. Today was one of those days.
Our recent fight is with the US government. So I pray. I act on what He tells me. And I remain still until He tells me what to do. Today we received an email from the US embassy stating a document that is needed. A document that was sent in four months ago, still waiting for a response. Without it there is no proof...just one word against another. I found myself overwhelmed - to say the very least. I was discouraged. I was angry. And so, so tired thinking of the road ahead.
I wondered again if God really wanted this adoption to perceed.
So I sat still today as I was knocked off my feet. I remained overwhelmed as to where I even start with this leg of our journey ...what do we do? Which office do we contact? What phone number do we use? Will our congresswoman help us? And may I just add the immigration part of this adoption is as clear as mud for me, only making me that much more confussed and overwhelmed. Once again, I couldn't do it.
I was on the phone with our agency this evening - preparing the first steps to tackle this. At the end of the phone call, Duane came home from work and waved something at me. We received the EXACT paperwork that was needed. This particular battle we were set up to fight, had already been won! God did all the work and I did nothing!
God continues to show Himself to us. He has everything all under control. We truly don't have to lift one finger.
So I look back at Deuteronomy 31:6 and remember. God is always with us...He didn't show up tonight, He's always been. He showed His glory and His poweronce again tonight! His presence is always with us and our circumstances. He remains. And He is so so good!
But I think of you, as I had the need to share with you. I think of you, because I know there is someone who is struggling, overwhelmed, in anguish and full of despair. I want you to know that isn't what God wants for you. I ask you to surrender it all to Him, the One who is able and willing to carry your load for you. His love wipes each tear from your eyes, and wants so desperately for you to crawl up into His lap. Will you? Please don't miss out! He is so so good and has already won the battle for you!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Connection...what are you connected with?

I LOVE Facebook. I love being connected to the world I left almost four years ago, in California. I love getting connected with childhood friends. I love feeling I know what is going on in the world. I love hearing about events at our church. I love knowing when friends had their babies, and even learning about deaths. I love hearing others speak their praise and recognition to God. I just love the connection I have in my Facebook world.

I have left a church because of lack of connection. I almost left our current church for the same reason, until God showed me to pursue what I am looking for in connection.

I live in a corner of the world where our neighbors don't talk to one another. One neighbor thinks we are just plain weird because we don't have cable and have a vegetable garden. Other neighbors are feuding, thus won't talk to anyone on our block. One neighbor doesn't have their kids play with ours because ... well, I don't really quite know why.

I consider myself a friendly person, and feel I am eager to help ... but yet, I just can't find that deep connection with another person, who I can laugh, talk or walk with. I have mentioned in previous posts how I have been lonely...and I think bottom line it is because of the world I live in. However, it was just yesterday I have realized I won't approach others because they have connection...and don't need someone like me in their world. So I know God has shown me something He is about to change in me.

Thus because of the world I live in ... Facebook is my connection, my friend, and what I have called a need in my life.

Through some of my "Facebook friends" I have learned about a 40 day fast our pastor challenged the youth with. What I have gathered through "Facebook status'" is our society is so attached to technology, and we aren't necessarily hearing the clear voice of God, because we are letting that technology distract us. For 40 days they were to give up something, so they may hear the voice of God get louder in their lives. I applauded our youth pastor behind the computer screen. And convinced myself I had nothing to give up. Have I mentioned how much I love Facebook?

My biggest complaint in my spiritual life lately is not clearly hearing the voice of God. Yes, there are times I am prompted and "sense" God's leading...but His voice has been quite muffled these days. I have been missing it so much! Put the emptiness of His voice with my isolated is frankly, lonely.

I looked at my life and it's technology. Not only do I have Facebook, but a new phone that lets me see what is going on on Facebook and see all my emails. I am always connected! I have surrendered to defeat by not pursuing relationships or God's voice and have replaced it all with technology and have called it good.

So I took the challenge and stepped it up. I have been off of Facebook for about a week now. I turn on the computer after noon and make sure it is off when Duane comes home from work. I don't check emails (and of course Facebook) from my phone anymore. I have never been a big texter, but I have taken guard against that too. We don't turn the TV on much anymore, if we do it is for one movie or family show, and then off it goes.

I never knew how addicted I was to my technology world until I have lived without. I remember one day wanting so much to be "connected" and found God's voice telling me "I want to be connected to you!". WOW! Here I thought I was sound in my Lord, and still found things I have chosen over Him.

I am thankful God hasn't chosen the newest gadget, the newest flower or even the newest baby over me. He simply chose me. He has never left me or forsaken me, and has remained forever faithful with me - even though I have been a bit distracted with our technology. I am thankful I have never had to see his back as I approach him, or thought I was weird as we gather in the garden to see what a sunflower seed can produce. I am thankful He came to this earth so we may have connection with Him and He with us. And find when I seek Him the loneliness is gone!

I am thankful I stepped up to this fast. I have seen our marriage flourish because we are communicating face to face instead of Duane talking to me as I talk to the computer. I have seen a deeper connection with my girls because they aren't turning the TV on out of boredom and we are playing games instead. It has only been one I'm still expecting to share in a later post how I have connected to our corner of the world, how our family has even grown closer, and what God has said to me.

I confess it is still hard to be "without". But I'm starting to go to a deeper place and finding being "without" isn't so bad for I am "with" my God where I have longed to be. Yes sometimes it still is hard, but it is so worth it!