don’t wait

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere

just read that sentence and you can hear the song in your head.  Or if you can’t, click on the video.  Enjoy.  I’ll wait.

 

A concept that resonates with just about everyone.  We all get it.

Somewhere in the world, it just turned 5 o’clock, so its okay to let loose, party and perhaps consume an adult beverage or three.

Fun idea,  and not too difficult to understand.

Now I want you to consider applying this concept to a Bible verse.

yes, a Bible verse.

Lamentations 3: 22 & 23 (ESV)  to be exact

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases,
His mercies never come to an end
They are new every morning
Great is your faithfulness

 

How many times have we heard people say “His mercies are new every morning” and mentally applied it like this:

“wow, I really messed up today, but tomorrow I can start fresh”

“ugh it’s only 9:47 a.m. !  Today has started off horrible!  So glad tomorrow will be better”

Why wait?

The earth is round.

You are on the earth.

the sun is coming up SOMEWHERE

so

DON’T WAIT

Claim it right now.  His Mercies are new right now.

You don’t have to wait till tomorrow for the Faithfulness and Mercy of our Living God.

This is one thing it is okay to be impatient for.

 

 

 

plan interrupted

plan interrupted

When I was 15 I had a plan.

  1. Graduate college
  2. Find a man
  3. Get married
  4. Adopt a dog
  5. Be adopted by a cat
  6. Have kids
  7. Live happily ever after

My life soooooo didn’t go according to plan.

I didn’t graduate college till I was almost 30.   I had two failed marriages.  The dogs and cat didn’t come till after I turned 30. And children of my own body will never happen.  Some of the reasons my life didn’t go according to plan are my fault, some were things that were never in my control to begin with.

Like many couples, we struggled for years to have children.  Eventually we made the life altering decision to open our hearts to adoption.  (Let me just say here that this was not a decision we made lightly, nor was it an attempt to replace childbearing.  Adoption is an entirely different emotional adjustment and needs to be approached with prayer and care)

That said, we went through the process and were eventually selected by a young couple to raise their baby that was due in approximately 5 more moths.  We really bonded with them.  They said it was very important to them for their child to be raised in a Christian home.   They let us pray with them.

Just a month later we got a call from another agent.  An Emergency Situation – a baby had been born in a local hospital and the mother had just walked out.  Classic abandonment.  Did we want the baby?  Martin and I looked at each other…we were tempted.  Oh so tempted.  We could honor our agreement with the first couple and wait for their baby, or go right now and come home with a baby today.  Oh we were tempted.  That’s when grief unresolved rears its ugly head.  My arms ached to hold a baby, any baby. But we prayed, and felt a sense of peace about honoring our agreement with the first couple.  We felt good about that decision.

Then it happened again, the very next week. Similar situation.  This time it was twins.  Oh my word!  But again we decided to wait and go with the couple we had already committed to.

We were now just a month or two away from her due date.  It looked like our happily ever after was just around the corner.

But …(why is there always a but?)

A week later this couple, that had been so open and sweet turned out to be dishonest.  They chose to disappear with a large chunk of money and a huge piece of our hearts.

We were devastated.

We were in shock.

Why had God allowed us to connect so well with this couple? Why did He allow them to defraud us? Why had He given us such peace about continuing with a couple that HE knew was going to wrong us?  A couple that he knew was lying to us and their own extended family?

Some good things came out of the situation.

We watched our agent display integrity and compassion.

We were able to be a witness to the couple through our opportunity to show them mercy and not press charges. As well as the various kindnesses along the way.

Maybe God’s purpose was the timing?  For those of you who have met Ginny,  you know the story turns out well.  But did you know that she is a miracle of timing?

The very same weekend that we had been invited out to meet our first couple.  The very same weekend that we were supposed to go to an ultrasound appointment with them

Is the same weekend, even the same HOUR that Ginny’s birth parents  were having an ultrasound that showed them Ginny.  That was when they were making their decision that would lead to us adopting Ginny.

We didn’t know it at the time of course.  All we knew was that we had been hurt by one couple and we didn’t know what to do next.  Weeks later when I eventually saw the ultrasound for Ginny, the time and date stamp just leaped right off the page at me.  I got chills.

Was that the purpose of the whole mess with the first couple?  Was God just trying to keep us on hold with them so that we wouldn’t jump at those two abandonment situations?  Was he trying to make sure we would be ready and waiting when Ginny’s birth parents were ready to make their decision?

Maybe.  It is certainly one pattern that I can see. But was that God’s purpose?

I don’t know.

I may never know.

But here is the key to the whole thing

I don’t need to know.

It is enough for me to know that God is good.  I can trust that God did have a purpose in everything that lead us to Ginny.  NOT because I finally have my fairy tale, but because all things are in God’s control and he works all things together for HIS GLORY

HE interrupted my plans (multiple times, but who’s counting?) so that He could give me something far greater than anything that was on my pristine plan.

Yes Ginny is nearly eight now, but I still marvel at how beautifully God orchestrated events so that Ginny would be part of our family and we would be forever part of hers.

 

 

one track mind

One track mind

I don’t know about you, but I like to concentrate on one thing at a time.

Most of us feel pulled in 275 different directions everyday.

Carpool, school, breakfast, exercise?, errands, cleaning, more carpool, meetings, afterschool stuff, dinner?  And sleep?  Maybe?

But did you know that you were put on this earth with ONE PURPOSE?

ONE goal.

ONE item to take precedence over all others on your to-do list.

BRING GLORY to GOD.

That’s it.

It’s that simple.

Nothing else is as important as that one task.

So while you are rushing around each day, remember that through it all should run the constant theme

Glorify God. 

Make that carpool line a chance to be kind to other parents.  Give them the gift of a smile as you all sit in line.

Help your child view school as a place to represent God well each an everyday.   

Breakfast.  I know, most of us aren’t conscious at breakfast time, but try to cobble together a few brain cells and pray a blessing at breakfast.  It helps to start the day in the proper frame of mind.

Exercise.  You don’t need to go to a “Christian aerobics” class to make God a part of your exercise plan.  I’m going to say something potentially controversial here.  DO NOT exercise if you are only doing it because you hate your current body shape.  Self-hate is only a temporary motivator.  Exercise because the Creator put you here to bring Himself glory.  And you can do that best when you are HEALTHY.

Errands.  You are a missionary in that check out line.  You have a gift to bring to the people all around you.  The gift of God’s joy!  Show it.

Cleaning.  Yes I know.  Boring topic.  But honestly, look at it this way, if your best friend loaned you a special vase or item of furniture, you would make sure you took care of it so that you could give it back to her with your thanks and in good condition, right?  If you think about it, everything here on this earth belongs to God.  He has simply loaned it to you (the earth is the LORDS and everything in it).  Yes even your carpet.  So take care of all that loaner stuff you are wearing, sitting on, viewing, and driving around in.  Not for the sake of the stuff, but for the sake of the one who loaned it to you.

The same goes for the people in your life.  God put them in your life for a reason.  Take care of them too.

i am worth it

Today has been a great day.

 Does it have anything to do with a lunch date I have planned with a friend that I haven’t had a real chat with in a little over a year?  Well, yes, it will be fun.  But that’s not why I’m happy.

 Could it be because I got a good night’s sleep?  Um…no.  I didn’t get a good nights sleep.

 Could it be because today is Wednesday which means that I’m just a little bit closer to Thursday and the ice rink?  Perhaps.  I do seem to be living my life these days pointed like a hunting dog at the rink schedule.  But, no, that’s not why I’m almost euphoric today.

 Maybe it’s because someone complimented my writing yesterday?  I love knowing that someone likes what I write.  It is very affirming, but no, that is not what is making me grin from ear to ear.

 Is it because I’m enjoying a strengthening relationship with our neighbors?  As our girls get older together and enjoy each other’s company more and more I’m finding that Ginny is not the only one with a girlfriend next door.  Liza is creative and energetic and quirky.  She loves the Lord and is a real joy to be around.  But, that is not why I bounced in the door at work today.

 Beth Moore.  Could it be that getting back to studying God’s word in a format that I really enjoy is what is making me so giddy?  No.  I enjoy Beth’s style of teaching, but that’s not it.

 Free tickets?  A dear friend just offered us free tickets to a show Ginny really wants to see.  But that’s not why I’m thrilled to be alive today.

No, the reason I bounced out of bed this morning, even short on sleep, just happy to be alive and ready to smile at the world…is Jesus.

 You see a thought occurred to me.  For too long I have let the price Jesus paid for my soul be a burden to me.  I’ve felt a crushing weight of obligation, remorse for every lash of that whip and prick of thorn that my sins have personally added to His pain on the cross.  But for some reason, that image has fallen away for me recently and more and more I am seeing the price Jesus paid for me as a testament to how much I am worth to Him. 

 The infinite creator of the universe knew that I was worth saving. Me.  Deirdre.  He looked at me, and then checked his agenda and said, “yup…I need her to do ______fill in the blank___________ for me.  She has just the right weaknesses to show the world My divine strength.  How much is it going to cost to ransom her?  …….alright.  That price is right.  We. Will. Pay. It.”

 Why am I happy?  Because I am finally absorbing the idea that God declared me worth it. 

 He looked at you and had the exact same conversation with the rest of the Trinity.  God felt that you were worth it. 

The price was right. 

Now what are you gonna do about it?

 

 

blessings rain down

After talking in my last post about the job loss, I figured it was about time to tell you how blessed I am in my new position.

I am working again.

Have been since the first week of February.

The hours right now are a bit hard on my family (7 a.m. to 7 p.m. most weekdays plus Saturdays) but it is deadline season in academia and we knew it would be like this. 

but I’m happy.

Am I happy because I’m back at Emory?  Well, yes I am thrilled to be back at  Emory University.  It feels like coming home.  I have been here for over 10 years after all.  I even got my old parking space back.

Am I happy because I enjoy my actual job?  Well, yes I do like my job.  I work in Student Financial Aid and it is inspiring to get to be part of the process that allows kids who couldn’t otherwise afford it to get to come to this great school and be a part of Emory.  Some of them are the first people in their whole family to even go to college. 

But the real reason I am happy is very simple, though it is hard to explain without sounding hackneyed and corny.

I am happy because I am convinced to the depths of my soul that I am sitting right where God wants me to be.  

and that, even on this rainy, yucky Monday morning makes it easy for me to say

 “Thank you Lord for this pretty day.  Bless me to be a blessing to someone day”

ginny’s second birthday party

Hey folks.  Long time, no blog.  I know I know.

I’m gonna try to get back in the groove of posting more soon.

But until then, here is a slide show of SOME of the 1000 photos that Doug Mulford took at Ginny’s Second Birthday Party.

the party was at The Little Gym in Snellville.  I had always sworn I was NEVER going to pay to have a party at some venue outside my home for a childrens party.  yeh, I know never say never….

At the beginning of the summer we enrolled Ginny in a weekly class at the Little Gym and she loved it so much that we decided “oh what the heck, let’s have her party here too” and boy are we ever glad we did!

First of all two year olds have WAY too much energy to have a party at our house.  Our home can barely contain Ginny in an energetic mood, never mind 10 or 15 guest kids.  oi!  The Little Gym staff was amazing.  They did everything we paid for and then some.  When we arrived they made a point of asking what Ginny’s favorite games are.  Hide-n-seek? Peek-a-boo? Tag? So that they could tailor the group activities to HER tastes!  Maybe other places do this too, but I am naive enough that I was impressed.

Anyway, her favorite thing in the whole world to do these days is (in her own words) Bouncy! Bouncy! Bouncy!  so they extended the time the kids get to play on the bounce…thingy.

I will post an update on her words and current doings soon, but for now I’ll just say that Ginny is 34 inches tall, weighs 26 pounds and has the sweetest personality in the world.  I am daily amazed at this wonderful, complicated, cheerful, creative, energetic little girl that God has blessed us with.  “Thank you” doesn’t even begin to convey the feelings I have for Ginny’s birthparents, Mel & Steve.

The adventure that officially started in a hospital room in Kansas on the night of August 29th, 2008 continues.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Happy 2nd Birthday to my lovely

Virginia Altie Aspen Gerard Russell

overheard at the russell’s

at our house nap time on a Saturday still means that even mama and papa are gonna try to get a nap.

So there we were, both being very still and quiet, listening to Ginny on the monitor.

She bounced for a while, and then started just laughing and laughing. Deep belly laughs.

then, from over the monitor we heard two darling words

“I’m Funny!”

more giggles. and eventually she went off to sleep.