Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"Put your hand here in my side..."

I am going to be quite open and honest with you all tonight. I have this certain "image" you might say, that I like for people to "see" when they think of me. That all might just be a thing of the past after tonight's blog!

I am down. I am sad. I am tired. Make that EXHAUSTED! God is good. I know that. But pretend I am human here for a little while and allow me to vent. We have been trying to get our mortgage final for FOUR months. There is nothing wrong with our house, our credit, our bank, our anything. But for some reason, we are asked on a weekly basis for copies of things that have already been sent, or answers to questions that don't seem to pertain to a mortgage. (Really??? You need to know our blood types and take a sample of our dna??) This has been a source of stress for us for some time now. (And we thought selling the other house was a big stress!) You know that we have been trying to finalize our adoption of Samara and Josiah. It feels the same as the mortgage...constantly re-sending information that doesn't seem to pertain to adoption. (Why do you care what my favorite salad dressing is??? Does that make me a good or bad parent??) Yes...I am exaggerating a little here. And just when we think we are almost there, BOOM! The salad dressing choice was not good enough. I was told today that we will be closing on our house FRIDAY. (This is about our 7th closing date in the past 2 months.) I was also told that our home study was sent to OK county. Those are all great things. But I have become jaded. I can't even get excited about it anymore. I want PROOF that these two issues are finished.

And then there is the baby thing. Like I said, I am going to be honest. I am exhausted. I am tired of the waiting, the not knowing, the what-ifs, and mostly the knowing how many infants are sitting in the DHS shelters because they cannot find a home for them. HELLOOOOOOOO!!!

This week also marked 6 months since Jacob's death. No wonder I was in a crappy mood on Monday. It didn't even occur to me until late afternoon. I miss him. I cry every day for the baby that should still be here. And now that 104th street is closed, we are forced to drive 119th to get anywhere on the south side of okc. I drive past the grave on almost a daily basis. I can feel my chest tighten on the corner of Rockwell and 119th, knowing I will be there soon. You don't think about things like that when choosing your child's grave. You shouldn't have to.

UGH! I am SO ready for some peace and a quiet place to rest. Please, God, show me your nail-scarred hands and let me put my finger in your side!

So, bearing all of "that" in mind, I had a enlightening conversation with God this morning on the way to PE class. It went something like this:

Me: I am so tired. I am done. The baby is not coming. But if she is, God, then I need some proof. You know that "I" believe you, but what about all of these people that are waiting with us?? THEY need proof!

God: Doubting Thomas.

Me: I am not doubting, I just don't want everyone else to think I am crazy for believing You!

(Enter one verse of a song that I could not even tell you the name of or anything else about it.)

"Let me touch the nail scarred hands so I can believe"...or something like that.

God: You are using your friends as your excuse for your's still doubting.

But Thomas, sometimes called the Twin, one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, "We saw the Master." But he said, "Unless I see the nail holes in his hands, put my finger in the nail holes, and stick my hand in his side, I won't believe it." Eight days later, his disciples were again in the room. This time Thomas was with them. Jesus came through the locked doors, stood among them, and said, "Peace to you."
Then he focused his attention on Thomas. "Take your finger and examine my hands. Take your hand and stick it in my side. Don't be unbelieving. Believe."
Thomas said, "My Master! My God!"
Jesus said, "So, you believe because you've seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing." (John 20:24-29)

May I be one who believes without seeing. But I am afraid I am not that person at all, today. I need to examine His hands. My head says "Believe." But, my heart is not so sure.

I am sorry for all the whining...I am not normally a whiner...out loud, anyway! But Praise God! He made me, He knows me, and He still loves me. Amazing.

So then I go for my nightly bubble bath/prayer time. This is the prayer from "The Prayer That Changes Everything/Book of Prayers" by Stormie Omartian.

"Lord, I give all of my anxiety and fear to You. I surrender my hold on them and release them into Your hands. I lift my eyes to You, for You are my help in time of trouble. I will praise You in the midst of all that happens in my life. I know that in Your presence I don't need to be anxious or afraid of anything. I refuse to entertain discouragement and instead choose this day to find my encouragement in You. Your love comforts me and takes away all my fear. your power in my life gives me strength and makes me secure. Thank You for giving me the courage to go forward and fulfill the destiny You have for me."

"The poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him from all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them." (Psalm 34:6-7)

I feel much better.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Clarification of last post

My mother informed me that I sounded a bit ugly in my last post. Let me clarify. When I said I have "prayed people away"...yeah...that sounds ugly. What I meant for those who don't know me, is that I have had circumstances in the past where there has been a problem or ongoing issue that had led me to shut my mouth, pray about it, and let God take care of it. In these instances, in my life anyhow, God has chosen to move the problem/issue. SO...I don't actually PRAY people away...I just pray for a reconcilliation and this is how God has chosen to answer. So, with those people who know me in "real life", they tease me about praying people away. Sorry if I offended anyone...not my intent...hope this helps clarify!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jesus calms the storm...

I have felt led to update my blog tonight. Although I am not sure why, and when I felt the urgency, I really didn't have anything to say. But, I decided to read my Bible for the day (yeah...I'm late, but better late than never!) and now I know!

We went on a field trip today to the Tulsa Children's Museum. The kids had a great time and I got to spend time with adult friends that I really like.

I found out some things about our upcoming adoption that I was pondering when we got home. I was talking to God, just telling Him that I was okay with whatever happened. I also wondered if I should just pack everything up and forget about it all. (This was not a God led was a tired about a LOT of things thought!) Later, as I was taking my nightly bubble bath, I was praying, asking God to speak to my heart. It's just been quiet and I needed to hear from Him. (Don't get me wrong...I am still trusting Him with our Emma Claire...I am not doubting, just needed to hear.)

A couple of hours go by and being me, I had forgotten what I had asked for. So, I get this urge to write, without really having anything to say, read my Bible, and here is what my Bible said to me:

I was reading about Jesus and the disciples on the boat, when the storm came and the disciples all got their undies in a wad.

"Teacher, don't you even care that we are going to drown?"

(My own version..."God, don't you even care that I lost my baby and now you are just making me wait???? I am drowning here!")

"When God woke up, He rebuked the wind and said to the water, "Quiet down!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. And He asked them, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still not have faith in me?"

Here I am, AGAIN, asking Him about this baby and what He had promised and this is what He tells me. OKAY! OKAY! I get it! Yes, I have faith!!!! LOL!

And then, over in my Psalm, "Don't be impatient for the Lord to act! Travel steadily along His path. He will honor you, giving you the land." (Psalm 37:34)

Once again, God has been faithful to me tonight in speaking this "rhema" to me. And for some reason, He wanted me to share this with you all, too. So I will hold on to His word, once again, and keep pressing forward.

Now...I have a request and you should be used to this by now. I found out that Emma's bio mom "T" is in a lot more trouble than we first imagined. She has been placed on the FBI's Most Wanted list. Our Christian Adoption Administrator told me that "T" being put in jail would be the best thing for everyone and that is how we would pray, I had no idea our prayers would land her on the most wanted list! Now...I have had my prayers answered for a LOT of things. I have prayed people away from our church (that sounds tacky, but they were causing problems), I have prayed people away from our homeschool group (don't worry...if you are reading this, then it wasn't you!) but I have never prayed anyone into jail! Will you join me?? (LOL!)

Seriously, "T" does need prayers. A LOT of them. I was able to get a picture of her, so now I have a face to pray for...that helps. Only God can help her now.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Still waiting, but...some news!

I just need to get this out of the way, first. There is a picture of the cutest little black baby boy on his first birthday hanging on the wall in my living room. I miss this little boy desperately. I am told that I seem to have it all together and it surprises people if I am ever "out of sorts". While I am pleased that God has chosen THAT person for you all to see, it just isn't really me. When I am at home, in my bedroom, I don't have ANYTHING altogether. I want my baby back desperately and have an extremely difficult time getting through some days. I know my baby's picture is hanging on the other side of the wall and there will be no more birthday pictures.

Enough of that. You know that baby we thought was coming in January??? Guess what?? She isn't due until MARCH!!! Kids...stay off of drugs...they mess with your BRAIN! UGH! Honestly, in my experience with these drug addicts, there is no concept of time. Yet, they can come up with these illegal, elaborate schemes to provide for their habit, but can't remember their kids birthday! Don't get me started.

So...I have at least another month to wait. That will give us time to get Samara and Josiah's adoption finalized. We found out that all DHS needs to do is send a copy of our homestudy to OK county. (DUH!!! This is what I had been telling them!) So, our attorney went on Friday to file our petition to adopt! WOOHOO!! I will let you know what our date is as soon as I find out...will hopefully find out this week.

I know God's timing is perfect, but sometimes my flesh gets in a hurry! Oh...remember that "Thursday" that something exciting was supposed to happen?? Well, the bio mom of my first two foster boys contacted me on THAT Thursday. I have had the opportunity to see the boys several times since then and have no doubt that we will continue to be a part of their lives. How exciting is that??? How many foster parents get that opportunity?? The bio mom is pregnant and due end of March. We are trying to help her get herself set up after leaving an abusive situation a few weeks ago. I am thrilled to see the boys and get to help her. God did NOT go back on His word. He was just blessing me in a much different way than I was expecting.

We will not be going back online with Christian Adoption like we thought. We decided to go ahead and let God do what He is going to do. Big of us, huh??? Patrick told me that God was truly trying to teach me patience. I told him kindly to shut up. Maybe the wait is because HE needs to learn something. Yeah...I's probably me. LOL!

I do have yet another prayer request. Our baby's bio mom is in serious trouble. Not only with the drugs, but like I said, she is on the run and there are people looking for her. I don't even know how to tell you to pray other than for her protection and salvation. Pray for our baby, too, for her health and protection. And for God's will to be accomplished throughout this adoption. I am relieved to hear that we have another month...of course, that means I have to clean the bathrooms about 5-6 more times before this baby comes. UGH! (I have no idea why I do this, but I count down "times to clean the bathroom" when watching the calendar!)

Last week, as I was reading my Bible, 2 days in a row, God said, "So be prepared, because you don't know what day your Lord is coming?" and "So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return." Day 3, I was anxious to see if God was telling me this again...nope. Nothing. UNTIL...I got home and my friend said, "Tracy, God told me to tell you to read 1 Thess. 4-5...I don't know why." So I did...there was lots of good stuff, but nothing dealing with my specific circumstance, until I read this: "Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night."

I believe God is telling me that like the rapture, I will not know when this baby is coming...He has it all under control. All I have to do is sit back and wait. I am claiming this as my "rhemas". The "rhemas" of Scripture are the passages of the Bible that the Holy Spirit gives to us for personal application. I believe that because God's Word is alive, He can speak to us through His Word on a personal basis, through "rhemas".

I think that pretty much catches us up...sorry if this post is a little bit all over the place...I have no excuse!

"I will praise the Lord at all times. I will constantly speak His praises. I will boast only in the Lord; let all who are discouraged take heart." Ps 34:1-2

Saturday, February 7, 2009

While I'm Waiting...

There is a song that I have clung to since watching "Fireproof". It's by John Waller, called "While I'm Waiting". I could not figure out how to post it here, so please click the link and watch the video.

And that's what we are doing. I won't say I wasn't just a little disappointed when we didn't get a baby or a phone call on Thursday, but I wasn't devastated. I still believe that God had something exciting for me on Thursday. Could be that I will never know what it was...or it could be that I found out two of my friends are having girl babies, and my very dear friend, Nheree, found out she is having twins! I promise you, THAT was an exciting phone call!!!

It's funny how all day long I found myself watching and waiting to see what God was going to do. Wouldn't it be cool to watch for God every single day, anxiously awaiting to see what He was going to do for you???

So...for those of you who have been wondering...yes...God spoke clearly to me that Thursday was a day something exciting would happen. And yes, I still believe that was true. And yes, I still believe that God speaks to us through His word on a very personal level. is what happened yesterday. I was weary. Sometimes Fridays hit me hard. It's the day before the day of the week that Jacob died. It's almost like Friday is the day I subconsciencely (SP?) prepare for Saturday. So, I was weary. I emailed our adoption ministry and told her that I think we would like to go back online. You as not to close any doors God might work through. (Like He couldn't open a door supernaturally, anyway...but I am a control freak.) I send the email. I get my keys and my grocery list and head out. I call my friend and tell her what I did. Told her that I am not pursuing this any longer...if it happens, fine, if not, fine. TWO minutes after I finish that sentence, she says, "Oh my gosh...Tabitha was trying to call Amy!" (Amy is our contact in Texas.) She called 5 times at 20 minute intervals. Amy wasn't home! UGH!! But we know it was her. I think God was just reminding me that He is still on the throne and is still in control.

Our adoption ministry is giving us 10 days. If we do not hear anything or have a baby, we will go back online. I feel very comfortable with this decision. There are also, as I have said before, so many prayers that God has answered specifically to this situation that I haven't shared. I am just so anxious to share the "rest of the story" with you all!!

Today's verse was this:

Isaiah 65:24 NLT

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers!

"While I'm Waiting"

I'm waiting

I'm waiting on You, Lord

And I am hopeful

I'm waiting on You, Lord

Though it is painful

But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident

Takeing every step in obedience

While I'm waiting I will serve You

While I'm waiting I will worship

While I'm waiting I will not faint

I'll be running the race

Even while I wait

I'm waiting I'm waiting on You, Lord

And I am peaceful I'm waiting on You, Lord

Though it's not easy

But faithfully, I will wait

Yes, I will wait

I will serve You while I'm waiting

I will worship while I'm waiting

I will serve You while I'm waiting

I will worship while I'm waiting

I will serve you while I'm waiting

I will worship while I'm waiting on You, Lord

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I'm just sayin....

God promised me a baby girl about 3 years ago. I have all the scripture to prove it for the last 3 years, too.

Fast forward to about September. "I will honor and praise your name, for you are my God. You do such wonderful things! You planned them long ago, and now you have accomplished them." (Isaiah 25:1)

"You are a God of justice, and you smooth out the road ahead of them." (Isaiah 26:7b)

"For I am ready to set things right, not in the distant future, but right now!!" (Isaiah 46:13)

And there are MANY more, but I cannot type the entire Bible for you! The first 3 years, all I heard from God was "Wait on the Lord". Then in September, it started to sound more like, "Soon, I will accomplish these things".

Okay...we are lead to and sign on with them on 10/31/08. The day before Thanksgiving, we are told about this baby who will be born addicted to meth. The Sunday after Thanksgiving, I tell God, "If this is our baby, you have to sell this house today." God sold the house.

There are lots of little encouragements and promises that were given to me in between what I am writing that I am leaving out...LOTS!

So, feeling a little discouraged, in January, I told God to tell me this was our baby through a friend. About 3 days later, I get an email from one of you guys telling me the Holy Spirit told you this was my baby.

Fast forward to this past Sunday. Bio mom's due date is actually 2/6 (well, from what she says as there has been no medical exam). I told God on Sunday that I really needed to know what day this was going to happen. Now, I don't know about you, but so far, my Bible has never said, "Tracy Phillips, this _____ is going to happen on February ______, 2009. Anyone else?? I mean, exact words were, "God, if there is ANY WAY possible that you could tell me what day this baby is coming, would you PLEASE show me in my Bible??? PLEASE????? I NEED to know! I believe that you are going to do this...that's not the question, but I really want to know the day."

So today, I am reading in my Bible. You know that my Bible gives me Old Testament, New Testament, Psalm and Proverb. I am reading about Moses and the ungrateful, whining Israelites, not even thinking about the prayer I prayed 2 days ago. Really, I was just trying to get to the next page that had underlining so I could see what I had underlined! Real spiritual, huh? I know this was Moses talking to the Israelites, but today, this was God speaking to me. This is the last verse from the Old Testament today. (Oh...and by the way...I went to Bible Gateway and it is not written like this in any other version...including the actual one I am using!)

"Get ready for an important event two days from now." (Exodus 19:15)

I'm just sayin....