May 31, 2010

Thank You.

This weekend I have been burdened to truly stop and thank God for the sacrifice that was made by so many men and women who served country in the armed forces.  Today, I am especially burdened when I think of the families who have lost their father, mother, brother, sister, husband or wife as well as all who knew a particular soldier who died. In years past I had taken Memorial Day lightly. I don't personally know anyone who died in service of our country, so sadly my attention was on the day off from work or school, the picnics, the sales, etc.  I'm not sure why this year it has caught my attention again, but it has.  

I'm sad to think that I never knew just how many men and women were killed in the line of duty. So this morning I did a little internet research and finally found a list. As a disclaimer, I'm not sure where this person found this information, so don't sue me if it's wrong.  I was absolutely blown away to see this number: 766,411  men and women have lost their lives serving this country.

Today, I am thanking God for the sacrifice of 766,411 men and women. I am honoring their memory by praying for the families and friends left behind. I am praying for resolution to the current wars and for protection over the soldiers who are in the line of duty. I am not taking today lightly, and I hope that you will consider doing the same.

From the blog "" 
The following is a list of past wars and the numbers of soldiers that perished:

American Revolution (1775 - 1783)
4,400 American Soldiers died

War of 1812 (1812 - 1815)
2,300 American soldiers died

Civil War (1861 - 1865)
134,000 American soldiers died

Spanish-American War (April 25, 1898 - April 12, 1898)
2,500 American soldiers died

WWI (1914 - 1918)
117,000 American soldiers died

WWII (1939 - 1945)
407,000 American soldiers died

Korean War (1950 - 1953)
36,500 American soldiers died

Vietnam War (1965 - 1974)
58,000 American soldiers died

Persian Gulf War (August 1990 - April 1991)
148 American soldiers died

Afghani War (October 2001 - Present)
Approximately 493 American soldiers have died and the number continues to rise as the conflict still continues...

Iraq War (March 2003 - Present)
Approximately 4,070 American soldiers have died and the number continues to rise as the conflict continues...

May 19, 2010

Not much to say today

Last week Jeremy and I had a wonderful time down in Corolla, NC. We spent the week just relaxing and enjoying the company of some really great friends.  It was awesome to spend my quiet times listening to the crashing of the waves and the call of the various sea birds. Even though I had wonderful times of reading God's Word and praying, I really didn't have anything "journal worthy." I still feel the same.  I'm not sure what is going on in this heart of mine, but I just haven't felt connected. There are some biological excuses (PMS) that I could make, but I don't think that is the whole story here.  I'm praying about it a lot, but don't have any answers yet. I'm only making a journal entry now because I really don't want to get out of the habit. Also, I said I'd be open and honest with what's going on in my life. I guess that includes times like these, when I don't feel like there is a lot going on. 

In light of our vacation last week, I've been meditating on a few verses from Psalm 42 that were brought to my attention again through my Bible Study book this week. I'll end with them:

Chaos calls to chaos, 
to the tune of whitewater rapids. 

Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers 
crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day, 

sing songs all through the night! 
My life is God’s prayer.
(Psalm 42: 7-8)

May 7, 2010

Why didn't I think of this before?

I really wanted to title this entry "All Paths Lead to God - With a Twist." But I was scared to actually put it in big letters at the top. I don't really believe that all paths lead to God. Actually, I firmly believe that there is only one way to God and that is through Jesus Christ.  

For the past week or so I've been thinking about a conversation I had with a friend (after reading this she'll know who she is, and will probably be sick of me saying the same thing again, but it really affected a good way). My friend and I have had completely different circumstances and life stories. I'm not going to share any of her life story details, but I will share some about mine.  As I've mentioned along the way here, I am a waiting adoptive mother. What that means is my husband and I have been approved as an adoptive family and we are waiting to be selected by a birth-family to parent their child.  Last week we passed our one year anniversary of being approved. In the beginning we told a lot of people about each new "situation" that came up for us to be considered. Each time we then had to tell a lot of people that we were not chosen.  I think we did this about 4 or 5 times before we came to realize that it was just too painful to continue telling everyone every time. So, we've been keeping each new situation quiet and will tell everyone when we are selected.

So, here's the thing, this journey has been hard. We've sort of made it seem like we're just waiting around and that there's "no news," as we like to say. But that's not the case.  There have been multiple children that have found their forever home and it was not ours.  Being "not chosen" feels like being rejected - even though in reality that's not what is happening. When this occurred time after time after time I started to question God's goodness, I questioned whether he really knows what he's doing, I questioned whether he had my best at heart.  I would read the Psalms and when it talked about "enemies taunting" I understood it to be the thoughts in my head saying, "Where is this God of yours?" I would wonder what purpose God had for this experience in my life. 

It is at this point that our two stories converge. You see my friend was asking the same questions and she had not experienced the same journey that I had, not at all.  And yet, here we were with an almost word-for-word identical struggle.  My heart ached for her when she was talking because I knew the pain that comes with those questions. And all of a sudden I realized a shocking (to me) truth: what I've learned on my completely different journey would be helpful to her. NOT because I'm so clever, but because what I learned, what I have clung to and leaned on and depend on is God's truth in his Word, the Bible. God has spoken to my heart through various passages that I was able to share with my friend.  

In kind of a mash of thoughts it became clear to me that this is how we are supposed to minister to each other. I'm not supposed to just sit and wait until someone with my exact life experience happens to appear in my life and ask me for help. Rather, I'm called to speak and minister to those in my life because God's truth applies to every situation, every journey, every struggle and God can use any path to bring us to himself. 

Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. 
Hebrews 10:24-25