Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Home Visit Today!!!

If you think about it, would you remember to pray for us today?

This afternoon is the dreaded home visit for our adoption.  The one piece of the whole process that I have been the most anxious for.  In one sense, I am nervous, however, I am also somewhat relieved that it is finally here and (almost!) over. 

Already, it has been an interesting day.  I can sense a mixture of panic and weariness setting in.  I went to bed late (my fault!!), was awoken a couple times throughout the night, woke in the morning to a child who is not feeling well and there is a list of last-minute things that need to get done.  On top of all that, I have a big three-day practicum for homeschooling on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week that I need to prepare a little for.  I've already had to resign to the fact that a couple of my home projects that I wanted to get done before today just will not get done.  And it will have to be ok.

Some verses that are particularly helping me today:

"For God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power, and love and a sound mind."
2 Timothy 1:7

"Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  DO NOT BE ANXIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, but in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally brothers, whatever is true.....think about such things."
Philippians 4:4-8

"I can do everything through Him who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:13

"If God is for us, who can be against us?"
Romans 8:31

I have said it before, the most important thing you can do for us in support of this whole adoption process, is to pray for us.  Nothing of value can be done apart from prayer.  We know that.  Yet it is always so tempting to fall back on the flesh and to think that we are actually in control.  Pray that we would sense God's hand on us today as we prepare our home and our hearts.  Pray that His perfect love would drive out all fear (1 John 4:18).  Thank you all so much!!


Monday, May 23, 2011

Parenting is not for the Faint-of-Heart

So, I've spent the last hour, roughly, sitting at my dining room table, just thinking.  My house is relatively quiet (well, as quiet as a house with four young kids gets!!) and the kids are busily playing downstairs.  And, yet,

Here.  I.  Sit. 

Not because there is nothing to do.  Upstairs, there is a musty stench that hits you when you reach the hallway.  I'm not sure if it is the three loads of dirty laundry that await me or the bathroom that desperately needs to be scrubbed.  There is a sink of dirty dishes in the kitchen and toys strewn around the house.  I haven't even peeked in the basement for fear that the kids will see me and then quiet time will be over.  We only got through about half of our schoolwork for the day before we (I) needed a break.  I have a mountain of projects to get done around the house before our home visit next week and some more paperwork to complete.  And yet, the silence beckons me.  To come.  To sit.  To do nothing.

Being a parent is hard.  Even when our day is through and the kids are all tucked into their beds, there is still much to be done.  A checklist to complete.  In some ways though, the checklist feels like the easy part.

Clean the toilets.  Check.
Make dinner.  Check. 
Give the kids baths.  Check.

What complicates my checklist though, is trying to balance it in the midst of relationships.  Making dinner looks a lot different with one kid hanging on me, another trying to show me the project she just made and two others fighting it out over a toy (can you guess who's who??!).  Yes, the checklist itself is the easy part...trying to complete it with diligence and grace, all the while loving on my four littles is what complicates things a bit. How often though, do I allow my "checklist" to come in the way of these relationships that I so value?

Isn't it the same way with God?  I have MY agenda.  I have MY plans.  I have MY checklist.  And in some ways, it would be a lot simpler.  This relationship thingy is what complicates matters!  Trying to do all that I need to do, while I am extending the love of Jesus to those around me and maintaining a relationship with God.  Yet, that is where the problem lies.

Too many I's and MY's and not enough of Him. 

David Platt, in the book, Radical, states:

"Instead of imagining all the things we can accomplish, we ask God to do what only He can accomplish.  Yes, we work, we plan, we organize, and we create, but we do it all while we fast, while we pray, and while we constantly confess our need for the provision of God.  Instead of dependence on ourselves, we express radical desperation for the power of His Spirit."

Learning to surrrender my plans is hard, however, settling for a life apart from His resources and His Spirit is even harder.  Because, in the end, when I don't depend on God and try to do things in my own strength, I am nothing more than a Pharisee, trying to do good by my works.  I am holding onto the law, holding onto what is comfortable, and forgetting about the relationship.

In Luke 10 we find the all too familiar story of the two sisters, Mary and Martha, as they anxiously await the arrival of Jesus to their home.  Martha, is busy in the kitchen....cleaning, cooking, baking....she's got her checklist!  Mary, on the other hand, is sitting at the feet of Jesus.  She has put aside her "to-do list" and is invested in the relationship.  And what does Jesus say of her?

"Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen the better part." 
 ~Luke 10:42

So I'm gonna give it another try today.  I'm gonna give myself permission to enjoy my kids amidst the clutter and chaos.  I may not have the luxury of abandoning my checklist altogether, but I will press into Him and attempt my chores in His strength, all the while investing in the relationships around me. 
The laundry can wait. :) 


Monday, May 16, 2011

Where We're At

It has certainly been awhile since I've posted last!  We've had a busy couple weeks of allergies, E.R. visits, picnics, playdates, school and work.  And in the midst of it all....we finished our home study and all our adoption courses.  We will be starting our interviews this week!

On one hand, we are REALLY excited to be at this place in our adoption.  From what I've heard from those who have gone through this process before, the hardest part (in terms of paperwork) is over!!  The dossier, compared to the home study, is really not as labor-intensive.  All of that being said, I am a little nervous for this part to begin.  Leaving yourself open to having a stranger come into your home and "evaluate" you and your children is a little intimidating to say the least.  Especially in this crazy, nutty home!!  So, we would certainly covet your prayers this week as we begin to prepare for that!!!

In other news, once again, God has completely provided the fees needed for our home study.  When Charles and I first began to pursue adoption, our biggest obstacle was the cost (and rightfully so!!!).  Everyone who had gone before us said that the money would just be there.  God provides for the things that He favors and He favors the adoption and care of orphans. 

Now, it is one thing to believe this.  It is another to LIVE it.  However, I can honestly say, that our experience so far has been just that.  Every single dollar (and it has been ALOT!) has been provided at EXACTLY the right time.  We have never been without.  We have never missed a payment.  We are exactly where we should be in this crazy process.  And I am continually AMAZED!!  We are still not there yet...about a third of the way to our goal.  Yet, we are confident that God will provide.

Now, being confident and having faith that God will provide DOES NOT mean we know the end of the story.  It does not mean that we know HOW God will do it or what that will look like. We simply trust that He WILL.

ONE LAST THING!!!!  Many of you have asked if we were planning any fundraisers (other than the t-shirts!)....and....mark your calendars, because here it is. :)


Saturday, June 11th 2011
7:00 pm 
Harleysville, PA

Email ckgregoire2@yahoo.com for details.

Join us for an evening of FUN, FRIENDSHIP and FOOD as we celebrate adoption.  Featuring a Premiere Jewelry demonstration and mini-facials by a professional esthetician.  Guaranteed to be a good time!  Invite your friends!!  

Hope you can make it!  We're also still selling t-shirts for anyone interested.  We're hoping to sell 25 more to reach our goal!!!  Have a wonderful rest of the day....working on a new series to unveil next week.  See you then. :)