Piece of the Puzzle

Piece of the Puzzle

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's a New Season

Last night I was laying in bed thinking about how much I LOVE spring, even though it is one of the most unpredictable and frustrating times of the year. One day it’s sunny, the next day it’s raining and the day after that it’s overcast & windy! Once we get a couple of warm weather days, I excitedly pack away my heavy, bulky winter gear so I can get reacquainted with all my cute skirts and strappy wedges, just to have to frantically tear apart my carefully sealed “winter wear” boxes because the weather dropped 20 degrees overnight! And then there are those days when I’m dressed for 60 degree weather (because that’s what the weatherman predicted) only to have it heat up to a balmy 75 degrees by lunchtime.  Do you know how it feels to be standing on an asphalt playground in 70+ degree weather supervising recess in knee high black boots with sweaty calves?? And let’s not even talk about the days of getting caught in the rain without an umbrella. One of the black woman’s worst nightmares!
Despite all the erratic climate patterns, I still LOVE spring. Even in the midst of all the uncertainty, my step is lighter, my smile is brighter and I have a joyful expectation for what the new season is going to bring. I believe that this is exactly how God wants us to receive every “season” in our life.  
Sometimes we go through unpredictable & frustrating seasons of change. Despite our best planning, sometimes our “forecast” is off and we are left standing a little unprepared and uncomfortable. There are times when we feel completely caught off guard or like we’ve encountered the worst thing that could ever happen. Even in the midst of those seasons, we can still “count it all joy” because even when we don’t know what the future holds, we do know Who holds the future!
The bible says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  I love this verse because it reassures us that everything on earth is seasonal & therefore temporary. No hardship will last forever. We can also be comforted in knowing that there is a purpose for everything that we go through – even the difficult seasons.
The Word of God also tells us that “… ALL things work together for good to those who love God…” (Romans 8:28). And ALL means ALL! Everything that we are going through will work together for our good. Just like the exasperating irregularity of springtime serves as the springboard for new blooms, new growth and new life in nature- our seasons of unfamiliarity, drought, &/or difficulty serve as the springboard for something new & good in our own life.  
So do not grow weary in well doing! Approach each day with a joyful expectation for what God is going to do in, and through, you! Give thanks, even in the hard times, knowing that your new season is on its way! 

What is it that you believe God is birthing in you? What "new season" to you believe is coming your way?

Monday, April 9, 2012

He said "YES!" (12/7/11)

A few days ago, I found some writing that I had done when I went to Jamaica in December to turn in our completed Home Study and to share with Keddar that we were adopting him. Here's part 3

December 7, 2011 -

I'm weepy all through breakfast - can't stop that rebellious left eye from leaking. It's blowing my cover!! How am I going to make it to tonight???

Ha! I didn't need to worry about that. The kindergarten class was exceptionally challenging today, leaving me not a moment to think about anything else. It was the toughest 3 hours I've had in a long time. But I must admin, also the most fulfilling. Being able to use my gifts in serve to these children is a tremendous blessing to me.

After lunch, Portia (one of my co-travelers) and I head down to the construction site to help out the guys. Or at least that's the story we're telling each other! I think she's going to see a special employee and I'm really  going to wait until Keddar get out of school. :0)
No sooner that I see Keddar's teacher leaving for the day, do I hear a pair of size 2 feet running across the walkway. He rounds the corner and stands transfixed - just staring at me with that captivating smile of his. I hold him hostage a few more moments while I take in his too big shoes, ashy legs & knees, "hammy down" shorts and mix-match sleeveless shirt revealing undersized limbs, and those pleading eyes - before I tell him to come over and give me a great big hug!!

Tonight after service, we had planned to Skype Fil so Keddar could say "hello". Little did he know the real purpose of the call was for Fil and I to ask him if he would allow us to adopt him. We'll share the video when the time is right, but I'll just say "He say YES!!"  It was one of the most powerful moments in my life. I can't begin to explain what those few moments were like. It's a feeling like no other. In the midst of our celebration, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was created to be this little boy's momma. Everything in my life has been preparing me to to have the unbelievable privilege of caring for and raising this precious child of God.

Sunday on the mountain (12/4/11)

A few days ago, I found some writing that I had done when I went to Jamaica in December to turn in our completed Home Study and to share with Keddar that we were adopting him. Here's part 2

December 4, 2011 -

I love Sunday mornings on the mountain. I think the higher the elevation makes me feel closer to God - or maybe it's just being surrounded by so much natural beauty - whatever it is, it's definitely God's country up here!  As the children file into the Multi-Purpose room, I can barely contain my excitement. Is it wrong to be more excited about seeing Keddar than service? If so, all I can do is ask for forgiveness because that 's the honest truth.  

The stage has somehow been set prior to service & everyone knows their part. I'm tickled to see all the older boys saving a spot next to me because that's "Keddar's seat." The message travels quickly to the girls and younger boys, as well. No one argues, they just move accordingly. Finally Keddar is in his rightful place next to me & the children are ready for service. Midway through, I notice an added weight on my arm & look down to see that Keddar has traded in his bible to share mine. How sweet is that?? 

Welcome to Jamaica - again! (12/3/11)

A few days ago, I found some writing that I had done when I went to Jamaica in December to turn in our completed Home Study and to share with Keddar that we were adopting him. Here's part 1

December 3, 2011 -

As the captain announces our decent into Jamaica, I feel by body begin to tense. I'm unclear as to what to attribute this to. I should be ecstatic, happy, joyful, but instead I'm anxious about the moments ahead. I feel like so much is riding on this trip . . . I try to calm myself by remembering all the God has done to bring me to this moment. There is comfort in that  - knowing that God is with me. He will never leave me nor forsake me & He has ordained this time.

It's funny that the interior of the Jamaican airport has begun to feel familiar. I guess 3 trips in one year will do that! I gather my luggage & step out into the Jamaican humidity. Even this is now familiar and no longer feels oppressive. The enveloping muggy air enwraps me like a hug from a welcoming friend. I take a deep breath, and look up into the mountains - both anxious and excited to get up the hill so that I can see my son.

With that thought, I realize that I have no idea who's picking us up from the airport. I begin to scan the crowd looking for a pale face (no offense Steve Jr!) in the middle of all the beautiful brown tones. . . . And then I see a familiar little face. My heart skips a beat and then does a little dance in my chest! It's the best "Welcome to Jamaica" greeting ever! Keddar is at the airport! I think in that moment that my smile is as big as his. We just stand there for a full minute grinning at each other before I give him a great big momma bear hug.

Even though we know that God is an amazingly great God, there are times when there is no denying not only His love for us, but His concern about every little detail of our life. Seeing Keddar at the airport was like having God say to me "daughter, I know your spoken & your unspoken desires and I delight in granting them. You have nothing to be concerned about. I have ordained this and it shall be. Just sit back and enjoy the journey."

Speaking of . . . on the way up the mountain, Keddar lays his head on my shoulder and goes to sleep like it's the most natural thing in the world.  And I believe, it is.