Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Friday, March 29, 2013

My Easter Journey - Part 2 (Good Friday)

During prayer time, I had a moment to wonder about Jesus and his act of sacrifice.

We had just explained to our son, what Palm Sunday was all about.  And we were going through the Resurrection Eggs with him, telling the exact events that took place so many years ago.  Being that our son has never heard about what Easter was about, we have been able to tell it just like the first time.  And it got me thinking all anew again.

Palm Sunday, marks the day Jesus came riding in Jerusalem on a donkey (which symbolizes peace).  So many greeted him that day, and were so joyful.  They shouted: "Hosanna to the Son of David!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!  Hosanna in the highest!" (Matthew 21:9).  They claimed him as the coming Messiah.  It was a glorious day, I'm sure.  Peace entered their city.  Hope came that day.  And I'm sure just looking in his eyes...they saw the immeasurable love He had.

Jesus knew the truth in what was coming. 

Thursday came, and he sat and had what he knew was his last supper with his best of friends, and he knew that one of them was going to betray him.  

Judas betrayed Jesus.  He kissed Jesus turning him in.  Even though Jesus knew it was coming, I would think that his heart was broken just the same.  After all, Judas was invited with his closes friends around the supper table. Even though he knew it was coming, did he hold onto a bit of hope that Judas would choose different?  His heart had to have hurt. 

After Jesus was arrested, there was an opportunity to free Jesus.  But Barabbas was freed instead.  Those same people that saw hope, peace and love enter their city all turned against this Man of God.  Jesus' heart had to be greatly broken even more.  The anguish he held in his heart, was so great.  Matthew 26:38 says "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death." 

We think of this Good Friday as a time of when Jesus was beaten and crucified a horrible death.  Now-a-days the worse criminals have rights of humanity, and those who are put to death aren't even put through what Jesus endured.  And I'm not trying to make it light of Jesus' crucifixion.  It was horrible.  It was my Jesus.  And it was my sin that was put on him.  And that alone is great.  But I ponder Jesus' heart and how heartbroken it was. 

I have a daughter who has a tendency to lie from time to time.  When she lies I am in anguish.  My heart is broken as I want to be so close to her, and I want her to trust me.  But she stands behind the fear and sometimes the laziness and will lie.  I'm crushed as she pulls away from the closeness we once shared.  I experience a bit of rejection, humiliation and loneliness.  But most of all I have a longing to be close and a deep sadness because it was broken that day.  Sometimes the heartache is harder to experience than whatever physical pain I am enduring, or that follows.

We pulled away from Jesus as we nailed him to the cross.  We walked away from our relationship that day.  He experienced a heartache of rejection, humiliation and loneliness.  And I can't help but wonder if this was his greatest pain.  He longed for a relationship that would flourish, and instead was rejected.  He wanted us to trust him, and instead we trusted all the doubts and false accusations.

I don't know.  I just think of standing at the base of the cross, and his eyes meeting mine, wanting the desire to be close to me as we once were. 

And I can't help but be sorry and ashamed.  And I can't help but cry.  Today I experience Jesus' broken heart and through it I see  how much more my Jesus loves me.  And how much more he loves you too.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Easter Journey - Part 1

It started when Lindsay was born.  I had only been walking in my faith for what seemed just a few years at that point.  Easter was approaching.  And a desire to know and understand this event burned down deep in my heart.  I wanted to grasp more.  I wanted to know more about Jesus' brutal death on the cross, and his resurrection three days later.  MORE...I wanted MORE!

And the desire remains the same each year, ever since.

I remember one year when I pointed in the mirror, accusing someone of something, and saw that finger pointing back at me, and realizing that all the sin I was consumed in.  And because of Jesus, it is gone and I can have a relationship with my God.  I was overwhelmed.

Some years, I've actually walked the grief some experienced after Good Friday.  And was privileged enough to experience the joy that followed to know my friend was alive.

But this year, I have grasped two new concepts.  I love when God shows me MORE of him!

In the middle of our current Bible study, we talked about how we react when we are at our "ugliest moments", or in our deepest cries.  Do we withdrawal, or press in with our friends?  I was reminded in Matthew how Jesus had his last dinner with his best friends.  And when he went to the garden to pray, he took his friends.  And when he went to pray to his father, he took his BFFs. He allowed them to see his tears, to see his anguish.  (Oh, to be there and see!  Could you imagine?)  And as his soul was overwhelmed with sorrow, he went a bit further and fell on his face and hashed it out with God.  (Matthew 26:17-45)

This got me thinking.  As a mom of three girls (emotional girls, I might add), we have a tendency to pull away.  If my girls see the sin in their lives, they withdrawal.  When my girls are ridiculed in school, they pull away.  And you know what?  There are so many times I do the same.  But God, never created us to be alone!  Not even once!  Even in our worse moments, the crisis that comes our way or the "life" that consumes us, or even the depth of our sin we weren't created to do any of it alone.  We're to have our friends, and even our best-friends...and we have God.  In our deepest fears, deepest needs, deepest desires, and our deepest sorrows we have a God that will wipe away our tears.  God may not change our coarse, but he will carry us through...even the greatest pain in our lives. 

We are never to be alone...we aren't created to.  What load are you carrying?  What anguish do you have?  What hurt?  What sorrow?  You aren't to carry it alone.  Your Heavenly Father, wants to carry your load.  And I'll be your friend, and will pray for you!
"for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6b

Friday, March 22, 2013


When I look at myself in the mirror, I wouldn't call myself a joyful person.  I don't laugh like I used to.  I take life so seriously.  And to be honest, I don't like the person I have become. 

I long for laugh-lines, and tears that stream down my cheeks because of laughing so hard.  And I long for my belly to just ache as I gasp for air due to true laughter. 

But somewhere along the line, I've become so serious.  I'll smile, and sometimes giggle...but it has been so long since I've let out a good belly laugh.  And it got me thinking...

Joy.  Somewhere along the line, joy has left.

I wondered what God would have to say.  So I looked at every verse that had the word 'joy' in it, and allow His word to soak in. I have fourteen pages of note.  But there were some verses that stood above the rest, and I have to take note to.

Joy is....
  • a response and action, and a blessing.  It is a response for gifts and abundance.  A reaction when before God.
  • belongs to God.  He is the source.
  • It grows when people are united
  • a celebration
  • a choice
  • an anointing
  • gift from the Holy Spirit
  • strength
  • release of fear, causing celebration
  • a holiday
  • something heard
  • a confession off our lips, laughter and happiness
  • an expression of emotion, an emotion
  • everlasting with God
  • a sign of restoration, result of seeing God
  • God's presence
  • God's victories
  • thanksgiving to God
  • God
  • an anointing oil
  • praise, exalting God
  • praise for salvation, salvation
  • a song
  • a plea
  • from God that we give back to Him.
  • wisdom
and my list goes on.

I think back to the times I have joy.  Its when I've been in God's midst.  Its been times when we have celebrated triumphs and celebrations. 

How can I get my joy back?  Spend more time with God.  Make a choice and choose joy.  Receive the anointing God has given me, and sing!  Look at these serious things in our lives and laugh.  Make a declaration, with thanksgiving in my heart, and a testimony on my lips of my salvation. 

So today, and the days that follow I will choose joy.  Laugh lines and belly laughs are coming!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

God's Prayer for our Family

We hear that God's word is alive.  What does that mean?  For me sometimes that means when there is a word, a verse or passage that lifts off the pages and speaks right into my heart and situation I am going through. 

And sometimes, as this morning, it becomes the prayer of my heart.

Ephesians 4:1-5:21

As a child of God's may Duane, Lindsay, Katie and Courtney, our son and me live a life worthy of the calling we have received through you.  May we completely be humble and gentle; patient, bearing with one another in love.  May we all keep every effort to keep unity of the Spirit through your bond of peace.  May we stand in remembrance that we are one, as you are our Lord.  You are our faith and you are God and Father of us all.  You are over us all.

And to each of us you have given grace.

You have called each of us to be leaders, managers, husbands, wives, parents, musicians, doctors, chefs ... and the list goes on.  In our roles, may we serve you so you may be lifted up.  From you, God, may we be joined together, supporting one another, growing together and building each other up in love as we do our jobs, and as we are called.

We are taught under rules and consequences and even condemnation, which are what we've learned through generations before us.  We are made new in you, created to be like you in righteousness and holiness.

Therefore we put off condemnation and lies, and speak truthfully to one another, as we are all one body.  May we remember that in our anger to not go against you and your ways, so we may not give the Father of lies a foothold to our hearts.  If we are taking from each other without asking, may we stop and ask or even work hard for our own and even share that item with someone else in need.

God help us to lift each other up with our words; encouraging and building each other up, not discouraging, nor hurtful or condemnation.  Help us to watch our tongue, let it benefit those around.  I'm sorry for hurt I have caused you, as I'm sure our family is too.  It isn't our hearts desire, but rather to only please you.  If there is bitterness, rage, anger, hurtfulness or meanness in any of us, help us get rid of it and reach out to you.  Help us to be kind and compassionate to one another, and to be quick to forgive as you are quick to forgive us - and may this be rooted in each of us.

Father God, may we be an example of you.  May we live a life of love.  May our actions and our hearts be pleasing to you.  If there is any sexual immorality or impurity in us get rid of it.  If there is obscenity, cruelness or harsh joking amongst each other get rid of it.  May our hearts be filled with thanksgiving and joy instead.  And may our hearts be in a position of readiness to receive your kingdom.  Give us wisdom and discernment so we won't be deceived, so it won't lead us to disobey.

May we remember how you see us: as your light, as your children.  And the goodness, righteousness and truth You are is in us too.  May we expose you in us, not any darkness.  Because of you, darkness can't have any hold on us and must flee.  May we be careful how we live, use the wisdom you gave us, and making the most of every opportunity - even the hard ones, so we may trust and understand the will you have for each of us.  May we not be dependent on alcohol, drugs, sex or anything this world calls "fun" and "ok", but instead allow you to come into our hearts so we may be dependent on you.

May we live in a musical, celebrating in song, dance and joy.  May it be contagious to all near us.  And may we be quick to thank you for EVERYTHING, because you are the God who hears, who listens, who remains faithful and is ALWAYS good!

Monday, March 4, 2013

My Life, My Love, My Joy - My Husband

"God saw all that he had made, and it was very good." 
Genesis 1:31
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him."
Psalm 34:8
I'm reminded how much God created and saw what He made was good.  I'm reminded as we walk this journey of adoption, through the tiredness and struggles that I can, should and will turn and see what God created is ALL good.  In the midst of all this, I have not only seen but have experienced and tasted something extremely good. 
"In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church-" 
Ephesians 5:28-29
I have always loved Duane, no doubt about it.  The love I have for Duane has grown over the last twenty years.  But I have discovered more than love over the last couple of months.  I have discovered a true admiration.  I have remained quiet as I watch. 
I have seen a man who has come alongside his wife and wipe her tears, laugh with me, and hear my anger and let it roll of his back.  I have been frustrated when the same crime has been committed by the same child, and patience was worn too thin - Duane was there, and took over the situation.  I have been hurt when the kids have thought their behaviors don't affect anyone, but have greatly wounded me - Duane has stepped in to protect.

I have seen a man that has committed his time with God.  I see him in his Bible and experience his hand on me as he prays over the family and me. I have watched him set a boundary and get filled as he attends his men's group at church. 

And now we have a new son.  A son that has never had a father.  A son that will listen to directions by his father, and put off the same directions when given by his mother.  A son that has a different way of that I have no experience with.  A son that doesn't make the best choices.  A son that has exhausted us - more mentally than anything else.  But I have watched my husband, as I watch our son.  When I've been in tears, he's wiped them, heard them and stepped in to make things right.  He has remained the leader.

I have seen a husband come in from work, not complaining of the state of the house, nor that dinner is take-out (once again). 

I have seen a husband who has chipped in and helped with the household chores that used to be more manageable for me to handle, but instead of complaining he remains thankful I'm there in the midst of the chaos.

I have watched what I see a pillar of strength.  Yet I know where his strength comes from, or rather who is his source. 

Today I have a new thanksgiving in my heart.  I'm thankful for God giving me such a man.  But most of all, I'm thankful for being able to experience God in such a tangible way.  Duane doesn't realize how much I grow closer to God because of how Duane treats me.  He doesn't realize how much more I can see how much God loves me because of how Duane demonstrates that love.

What can I give such a man?  What can I do to return my appreciation of the man I share life with?  I pray, as I do each and every day.  I pray for him to the One who is the source of his strength, and the source of our love.

My Heavenly Father,
First, thank you for the husband you have given me, the one that makes me one with you.  Thank you for the good that you made in him, and thank you for making him very good.  Thank you for the love that sparked so many years ago, and that burns with passion today.  And thank you for allowing me to experience you and see you in the man that is made after your own heart.
Father God, I know that Duane is only strong because you are his strength.  I know you are the source of his patience, his kindness and giving heart.  I'm thankful that you have given him that desire to seek you for those attributes, and how he has learned to lean on you each and every day.  I'm thankful you continue to grow him, and that the good that you created him in is flourishing today.  I see you are good, because I see Duane is good.   
Father God, I also see the trials he is in.  I see the heartache at work.  I see the pressures of fathering a growing family.  I see the heartache of letting his precious girls go.  I see how the world is using him, and abusing him.  I see his tiredness and despair.  But more importantly you see it.  You see how each element tugs at his heart.  And today I see a tree, bending over with all the demands hanging from the branches.  And I shake it.  And I ask that you shake it completely, allowing his branches to raise up to you once again.  I ask that all the demands that weigh him down, let loose and bring my husband the freedom and passion he has in you once again. 
Today Lord, I give you my husband.  Your word remains true.  You remain faithful.  You remain good.  You know the plans you have declared for Duane, plans to prosper him and not to harm him, plans to give him hope and a future.  And Duane will call upon you and come and pray to you.  He will listen to you, as he has done so many times.  And when he seeks you with all his heart, you will be found.  Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your promises.  And thank you for making everything good. 

Today I rest in you, as I give you my husband, and thank you for making him the man you called him to be and allowing him to be part of my life.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I have wanted to write so much.  There are so many things to share, yet when it finally comes to do I put these words down?  What exactly do I want to share?  My thoughts don't seem to flow as much as they used to.  So I don't write.   But today I choose to write, no matter how scattered it sounds. 

Our lives have been dumped upside down two months ago.  While we have had the joy and celebration of bringing another life into our family and home, we have also had the trauma, emotional scaring, and drama that also has come in.  Our lives have been filled with therapy appointments (individual, family and siblings), sibling visits, social worker, GAL and CASA appointments, court appointments, IEP testings, school appointments and advocating and the list just goes on.  A boy that has had ten years of negative or no attention is now demanding ALL our attention...leaving marriage, and the previous family relationships strained and drained.  We have felt so empty.  So discouraged.  So broken.  And we have been in tears. 

It has been a lonely road.  Stories of other adoptive parents have come our way with more suggestions of how to parent our new child.  Yet our story is different from theirs, and why their way works for them, it doesn't work for us.  Many of those we come into contact with, don't grasp at all what we are going through.  They give us their blank stares, and tell us "wow", and they change the subject.  No prayers.  No encouragement.  Nothing.  And then there are the select few who do grasp it; not only the change of numbers in our family, but the trauma that has come with it, and the fact we have a boy and not a girl
(which we are used to).  They have been encouraging and given us a listening ear.  But most of all prayer.

I won't lie.  We have questioned "have we done the right thing"?  But we look into his sweet brown eyes, and see the good that is there.  We confess to God, that this road isn't easy, and we're trying to muddle through but need Him to take the reigns.  And during that plea, that silent cry, I hear my heart's song on the radio....
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left..
Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that's frail and torn
I want to know that a song can rise from the ashes of broken life
and all that's dead inside can be reborn.
I'm worn.
My prayers are wearing thin.
I'm worn.
Even before the day begins...
And some where in that cry...God heard my heart. 
My Psalm 40: 1-3
I waited patiently for the Lord; I waited and waited, hoping for him to come, watching, knowing that He was the only one that could understood, He was the only one I could turn to.  Then He did turn to me and he heard my cry and plea, the desperation in my heart.
He lifted me out of that slimy pit, where discouragement seemed to be all around me, where loneliness was sitting in.  He lifted me out of the mud and mire of exhaustion and desperation.  He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand...that of Him.  He brushed off the ugliness that covered me, and helped me stand once again.  He put a new song in my mouth, an attitude of thankfulness and surrender.  He gave me a hymn of praise to our God, because He heard me and rescued me and showed me once again He is God.  I put my trust in Him, and know He is my source, my guide and my sustainer.
I can's say that the days have gotten easier...the trials remain the same, the demands are even more so, but my attitude has as I have given it to the One that can carry it way better than me.  I don't have to have the answers, because He does.  And I don't have to worry about doing things wrong, because I will ... but He will make it all right once again.  I have come to rely on Him more than I ever have before.  And I have come to rely on Him for something I never have relied on Him for before:  Rest.  It's there each day, waiting.  Because my God sustains me and gives me what I need.