Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Letting Go

Letting Go.  Action words.  And two words that can be so hard to do.  Two words that can take on different meanings to so many people.  And two words God has been asking me to do latly.

Sometimes we don't see the gloom or the heaviness we are under until we are able to get out from under it and see behind us.  And I believe that is where we are at.

Many of you have been following our adoption journey.  You have lifted us faithfully in prayer and have rooted us on.  You have literally kept us on our feet when we couldn't stand anymore.  For all you have done ... thank you!

We saw some dates quickly approaching ( renewing of immigration fingerprints, home study renewal and immigration paperwork renewal) - all coming due, and with a hefty cost for each of them.  The cry of our hearts is to be faithful to our Faithful One.  Seeing these dates, and having the desire of our heart brought conflict and fear within me.  It has drained me and has brought a differenet kind of tiredness I have never experienced before.

I questioned God:  why me?, what must I do to received a break through?, and what have I done to receive this punishment?.  I am thankful God is big enough for these tough questions.  With these questions I was left with pain and hurt.  And a pain I knew too only God could heal.

Images of the vision I had that started this journey came to mind.  Reminders of clear answers to prayers came to mind.  And with all these reminders and with all my emotions I confess I don't understand it all.  And I guess that is where this has started.  I have recognized my mind can't even fathom Gods'.  His ways aren't always mine, no matter how much I try.  He is much greater!

Bottom line is God was literallly going to provide us the finances or we were going to have to "let go" (as He has been telling me).  Finances didn't come in.  My fingers started loosening from this grip I have had on this journey...but still didn't want to let go...not yet.

I explained to God I have so many people watching us.  I have so many people praying and supporting us and that many more doubting and even cursing our journey.  I wanted to show them He triumphed over all this.  Pride was getting in my way.  I didn't want to let any of you down.  My focus was filtered along the way.  I must live for God ... no anyone else!  Recongnizing this pride loosened more of my already loosened fingers. 

Even though my mind was hearing and recognizing this hard place I was in with God, I couldn't allow my heart to experience the pain with it all.  My heart already hurt, and I didn't want to feel anymore of what I already have.  I was afraid of the pain - for I knew it was going to be so great that I might not even be able to ever breathe again.

I believe nothing is left to chance.  God knows who or what will cross our paths, and allows those things to come our way.  And makes everything good.

I am facebook friends with someone in Liberia.  Someone who is pretty close to the adoption situation there.  Someone who calls me "Sister Karen".   Someone who stands in Christ and yet is so very much a part of his country.  I was talking to him about ideas of how to better his country, and it was through this conversation adoption came up.  It was then crystal clear - adoption wasn't going to be moving anytime soon - if at all.  Corruption is ruling this country.  Also the minds of every Liberian person was going to have to change.  Simply, I can't do it.  Only God can.

With all the strength I had left I lifted my opened hands and let go of Elijah and Ruth into Gods'.  We weren't going to renew any paperwork, unless God clearly said to.  When Elijah and Ruth are able to come home it is then we'll reinstate our paperwork.  But now we let them go.

With feet still dragging I emailed our agency and told them our situation.  Surprisingly, they supported us 100% and offered us so much kindness, support and understanding.  There was peace.

My heart still remained broken.  The pain has been overwhelming.  I still questioned and longed for understanding.  Today with the strength and humiliation I had left, I sought counsel from our pastor.  My heart was grieving and I was lost.  Words that were said confirmed convictions I have experienced in the past and stirred something in my soul.  It isn't until later I will see the fruit of that stirring.  Questions I was asking God were dealt with and healing began in that office.

But today that is where we stand - fully surrendered to the Only One we rest in.  I have let go of something I have passionatly held onto with a very firm grip and given it to the One who is able.  I can't say I understand this journey we have been on.  But I also rest that I don't have to.  I also can't say that my heart has stopped hurting - but it's still beating.  But I do seek comfort by my Healer and I'll continue to walk this journey with Him. 

This adoption is all His.  Elijah and Ruth are His.  And so am I.

Monday, November 29, 2010

An Unsuspecting Gift!

It was just about two weeks ago we found out Duane has been asked to travel to Puerto Rico for business.  This is actually a huge honor for him. He, along with about a dozen others (worldwide), have been asked to come and take this calss.  He was the only one asked from Colorado.  He is honored and excited to take the class, but he never enjoys the time away from his family.

I wasn't excited about the timing of this trip, as he left today.  However, I am excited for him.

My cup seems so dry these days.  There seems to be a huge burden on me, one I can't seem to escape from.  I feel all used up with nothing left to give.  It seems I have someone constantly next to me, all the time.  I even experience guilt (which is not of God) as I long for just one moment of peace and quiet.  My quiet times have been removed from my schedule and replaced with more things to do.  My plate is full ... and I feel so empty.

Duane saw the place I have been in.  He wanted to give to me, nurture me and replenish everything that has been taken from me. 

He booked me a ticket and I leave on Friday to join him in Puerto Rico!  I get to have a full weekend with my husband, of uninterupted time with just him!  And then five full week days of solitude with only my Father to reconnect and draw close.

Duane and I are very excited!

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Christmas Season is Here!

The season is officially amoung us.  This is the day for turkey sandwiches as we hunt for the perfect trees.  Final touches are in place outside our home as Duane makes sure each lightbulb is in its place and the Christmas cut outs (I have had since a little girl) are perfectly placed.  This weekend the trees will be strung with lights, then decorated with ornaments that remind us of times past.  The house will be filled with decorations to remind us of the season we are in.  Yes!  The season has officially arrived!

As I prepare for our family traditions and the coming of my Savior's birth, I also prepare my heart to fully welcome His coming.  I never want the coming of Christmas to be the same as the years past, or even miss it; but rather I want to experience His coming in a whole new way.  And that is my prayer for you.  May this Christmas season bring you a whole new experience of the birth of our Savior, the birth of the Greatest King ever known.  And as your prepare for your own traditions, may God stir something new in you too so you'll be ready for the MOST incredibile gift.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

We Give Thanks

Thanks be to God for HIs indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:15

I am thankful for Thanksgiving!  I am thankful for the days leading up to Thanksgiving that we spend just getting ready to be thankful.  I am thankful for the time set aside to be thankful.  I am thankful for family and friends who surround the Thanksgiving table as we all give thanks.

I couldn't imagine giving thanks without knowing the One to give thanks to,.

I also couldn't imagine starting our Advent without Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving sets our hearts, reminds our minds of all the things God has given us and humbles our spirit.  It sets the stage as we anticipate the coming of our KIng.

This Thanksgiving our famiy shared each of their favorite scriptures and gave thanks to the One who has touched us according to the words read.  We are thankful for His word.

This year I am thankful.  I am thankful for His outpouring of blessings, for family and friends, and for His continued provisions.  I am thankful for the One I have to be thankful to, for the best Book ever written and the day itself to set aside and give Him thanks.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Tomorrow is my dad's birthday.  I wish we were closer so we can spend some time together - laughing and being silly - the things we do best.  I spent some time reminiscing yesterday.

I was brought up as an only child (except in the summers).  Most children have their siblings to get into trouble with.  To wrestle with.  To watch scary movies with.  To laugh with.  And just simply see what lies around the corner with.  Most people have their siblings.  I had my Dad. 

I remember getting in trouble WITH my Dad because we were so loud wrestling on the family room floor.  I remember being at a nice dinner at friends houses, and us having to NOT look at each other knowing we would bust out laughing and get in trouble for it.

I remember my Dad having a routine when he came home of putting his lunch box away in the kitchen closet.  I hid myself in there, and scared him to DEATH when he came home. 

My Mom often thought she had two children.  She reminds me that I grew up and moved out.  He still remains.  What she doesn't say, but is known ... the laughter and joy my Dad brings is treasured.

But out of all my fond memories, at this time of year I remember one above the rest.

The rule at our home was whoever got
tp'd, had to clean it up.  I often had to clean up our yard ...  very often.  My Dad stood and laughed.

Dad's birthday lied around the corner.  Plans were made.  My friends and I took a hundred or so rolls of toilet paper and tp'd my own house.  It wasn't just any ordinary job for any ordinary man ... we had to make it memorable for the man he is.  We wrapped the toilet paper around each rod iron post.  We wrapped the trees.  I shredded the toilet paper to say "Happy Birthday Dad" in the lawn ... and sprinkled it down with water.  (Yes, knowing it would make clean-up even that much harder).  I stayed up way late that night.  You see, my Dad is worth it!

My Dad was extremely surprised.  And even more surprised when I reminded him of the house rule ... and Mom backed me up. 

It was a great birthday present!

So Dad, consider yourself lucky to be living so far away.  I still remember how to tp and I have three girls who would LOVE to learn!  Have a Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow ...

"This is the day the Lord has made and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!" 

Our family is sad today.  We have to put our beloved rabbit down.  We just had to do the same thing with our dog four months ago, so the wounds aren't healed quite yet.  Today my heart is full - sorrow for my own loss, sorrow as I watch my children walk through this, and sorrow as I remember.

Daisy was brought into our home to be part of the kindergarten class when Katie's teacher's rabbit died.  Katie missed the classroom pet and had it on her heart to replace hers.  Mrs. Nass was "generous" to ask that we keep him.  This led to carrying Daisy back and forth to kindergarten for two years.

Daisy loved kids.  Loved attention.  Loved vegetables over his "real" food.  Loved banana chips best of all!   He loved to chase Lindsay's cat, which brought much entertainment.

Daisy moved with us from California to Colorado.  We took him out at every rest area to hop around.  He drew a crowd everywhere we went.  Daisy was a great rabbit. 

Today I not only remember everything about this rabbit, but I can't help but remember the last ten years when my girls were younger than they are now.

You see I remember my middle child, 5 years old, with a heart of wonder.  She approached everything wide-eyed and full of excitement.  I remember the excitement of three little girls who were so excited of a rabbit for a pet.  I remember them discovering new things.  I remember our girls learning what responsibilities were.  I remember them learning how to share, yet how to protect at the same time.  I look back when Daisy came into our lives and see girls full of innocence, tenderness and wonder. 

I look to the day that is ahead - a time of sorrow today and adventure for tomorrow, and still see the children they were.  Today I see older children that aren't little anymore, and even taller than me.  I see their hearts that have been wounded by trials and hurts that have come their way.  I see tears running down their faces.  I see memories getting farther away from me ... and yet I stand and can see new beginnings.

So perhaps this day is full of sadness because of the loss we are enduring, as we loved that bunny so.  I look through my own tears, and not only remember a bunny.  But I remember the babies we once had.  I long to just go back and embrace those moments.  I long for time to stand still for just a moment.  

But time doesn't stand still.  It moves on.  Today we will bury our friend, our family member.  They will learn to stand with Jesus more and experience how He will overcome their sadness and whatever other trials that lie ahead.  Today as I kiss their tears away, I will remember the innocence, tenderness and wonder they once held of years ago, and I will kiss the same little girls I held onto ten years ago - just bigger in size, and I will be kissing the memories that are yet to come.