Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Friday, March 18, 2011

Are You on the Game Board?

I had a vision at church a couple of weeks ago.  I love when God speaks to me through pictures, because I "get it" that much more and it impacts me so.  I don't believe this vision was for just me and I want to share it with each of you.  May it be an encouragement to each of you.

What I saw was a game board.  As I pressed in to see exactly why, I was extremely amazed.  It was Chutes and Ladders.   Anyway, I saw we were His players.  The moment we accept Christ we are on that board.  I also saw Satan having a tantrum, because he knows once we are on that board, he can't have us.  The game was beautifully loud - as I heard testimonies and praising as each player moved a square and up those ladders.  It was that very act of praising and speaking our testimonies that moved us forward to be closer to God.

But what else I saw were those "chutes" (slides).  I saw people slide down them. 

If you are a lot like me you may beat yourself up when you fall into an old habit that you broke off.  Or you may beat yourself up when you think a way Christ wouldn't.  Perhaps you may loose your temper, be tempted to turn your eyes on something you shouldn't.  Whatever it is, how do you react?  I have been ashamed so much of myself, that I just can't look at God because I believe He is looking at me with that very same shame.  I have even believed the lie that if I can't overcome my mistakes then how can God even love me?  My heart is for Him, and I hate disappointing Him.

But I saw something as those people slid down those slides on that game board.  THEY WERE NEVER OFF THE BOARD!  We may have our set backs and failures.  We may feel we"ll never get close to God but the truth of the matter is...You are still in the Game.  God loves us that much!  It is His love that keeps you and me on that game board.  And whether we have the same issue that keeps us falling down the very same slide, we are still in His presence!

So where are you?  Are you going to stand with me with praise and shout our testimonies to move forward in the game?  And even overcome those slides?  I'm in!  Are you?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

This Crazy Journey called Life - Part Two

"She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said." 
Luke 10:39 NIV

Martha vs. Mary.

I always thought I was both.  God has shown me otherwise.

I thought I could be caught sitting at the feet of Jesus, soaking in His words.  God has shown me otherwise.

I look now at this familiar story and see that it was Martha that opened up their home, not Lazarus (the head of the household) or Mary who is so consumed by Jesus...but Martha.  Martha opened up the opportunity for her siblings to soak in Jesus!  That is the gift of hospitality!

But the problem is:  Martha is distracted by the responsibilities.  (I can relate.)  She is probably making sure the kitchen is cleared and ready for the next task at hand, just in case her guest wants some coffee, or perhaps some chocolate chip cookies.  She wants her bathroom candles lit, and the home environment welcoming.  She doesn't want Jesus to have to worry about a thing, or feel He is imposing.  She is fretting over His encounter at their home, that she forgets to encounter Jesus, herself.  (I can so relate!)  She exhausts herself as she does the cleaning, cooking and planning, and is so absorbed on how Jesus is going to see her through these tasks at hand, instead of allowing Him to just see her.  She grumbles as the tiredness that takes hold of her emotions, and her spirit cries out "I would like to be sitting before Jesus!", but just doesn't know how when she sees more to be done. 

And that is where I am at! 

I am a Martha!

God has been calling me to encounter Him.  To sit at his feet, drink from His cup and just allow His love to shower upon me. 

I have been fretting.

I don't feel comfortable "sitting" or allowing Him to take care of me, when I see there are other people to take care of, or when I see what kind of person I am. 

Yet God still wants me to come and experience His fullness.

I have confessed to Him that this is so hard for me.  I pleaded with Him as I told Him how much I love to experience Him through serving.  Yet He wants more for me and calls me to Him.  He is answering the cry of my heart to go deeper with Him (I just didn't know it meant this way). 

A couple of weeks ago, I couldn't get moved as I tried to worship God at our women's Bible study. I struggled coming into His presence because I hadn't been serving or doing, I was just simply coming.  I know He wanted me to come, but I remained uncomfortable.

A week later, I went into the same worship setting, knowing I could come and worship the King of Kings because I was given a heart to serve once again and had another task in my hand.  And then it hit me!  My worship was according to me...not God!  OUCH!!!!

So the selfishness I felt before Him, as I wasn't serving but "just" sitting turned into just that...a worship of selfishness!  NOT what I want!

So each day I seek His voice.  I am learning to sit still (which is still a challenge) and truly enjoy the love our God has for me.  I see His hand on my shoulder, and His smile upon me.  He is helping me as He teaches.  He wants to do "simple" things for me.  I am experiencing doors closing and a quietness behind them that I have never experienced.  And I am beginning to hear the heartbeat of God!

And I am learning it is OK.

And you know what?  It feels good to be so loved!

Monday, March 7, 2011

This Crazy Journey called Life - Part One

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much these days.  If I had to post a couple of weeks ago, I know it would have been a pretty depressing post.  I didn't know what God had for us, and felt so lost, as I have hidden the secret that the three children we thought were coming to our home are not.  I wondered if I am hearing God correctly as it was, and was afraid to hear comments from my readers as to "another adoption journey to an end" or even sense your judgement.  I felt forgotten and bruised from hitting another brick wall. 

I am also at that age where my girls are older, more self-confident (which is what we want for them), and wondering ... what is my purpose now?

I didn't want to hear every one's two cents.  I wanted to hear God and only God.

I have an addiction.  I look at children who need to be adopted constantly.  It seems that there was this panic inside of me, that I need to find the right child God has for our home.  The stress of "is this the one" constantly weighed on me. 

And then God showed up ...

First, I was shown sin in my life that I had to make right with God.  I had allowed the enemies lies in, and started to believe them.  I was constantly saying "I'm not hearing God", when the truth was; I was.  But I kept denying God, and believing what I was saying.  My life with God was quiet because I had chose it, not Him.  Repentance and forgiveness was in order.

And then I was able to hear God clearly...

God showed me a woman, who I have envied and became jealous of.  I couldn't even have conversations with this woman because of my jealousy.  You see, this woman started the adoption process at the same time we had.  Hers came together lickity split.  Ours is ... well, you know that story.  She had her family.  She went after what was on her heart, and had completion.  Her journey was hard, as she dealt with RAD and other issues that came into their home with the child.  She even gave me words of advice, that were negative and not encouraging because of the hardships she was dealing with.  She has had this child for over a year.  But now ... this woman has had to let this child go.  This child didn't work out in their home, and she is feeling really depressed over her loss.  I'm sure she has questioned everything.

God asked me "are you jealous of her now"?    And the truth is - "no, no I'm not".  I hurt for her.  I don't want to experience the pain she is in now, have all the questions that are running through her head or hurting as a mom of the disappointment it has left her other children.  No, I am far from jealous now. 

God gives us our stories.  God gives us our victories in the right time for them.  God gives us our break through, when we are ready to see Him as the One who is able.  God knows what we can handle, and knows what exactly we need to learn to equip us on the journey He has us on.  God loves us.  God protects us.  God knows us better than we know ourselves.  And God knows the bigger picture!

The rush I am on to get a child into our home in the way of adoption, has been tilted off.  I have discovered that God's ways are best.  He knows what child should be in our home.  He knows what family each orphan needs.  He is the perfect matchmaker.

I was also reminded from God, that He did not put "adoption" on my heart, but rather a little boy named Elijah on my heart.  Ruth became the added bonus.   I'm not to pursue adoption.  I'm not to pursue even Elijah and Ruth, as He has made it clear to let them go in His hands.  What I have learned is that I am to pursue Him.  So these past few weeks, as our posting has been non-existent, that is exactly what I've been doing.  Pursuing Him.  Finding Him.  Finding Peace.  Finding Love.  Finding Protection.  Finding a new passion in Him.  If He puts another child on our hearts He'll show us.  I can remain in confidence of that, as I am pursuing Him.

I have so much more to share of this journey I am on.  But for now, I'll let you ponder these words.  And give you your own chance to pursue Him.