Two years ago this month we obeyed God's call on our family to adopt and began the process. I remember standing at this pumpkin patch with Stand-Up Dad so full of excitement at what the next year might bring. We even wondered if our little ones would be with us for the fall of 2009.
They did join us in November, but were not present for the annual pumpkin patch visit. Last year we were waiting in anticipation to pass court. That was the day that these little kiddos would officially be ours. Our court date was October 29, 2009. We passed!!! And the rest is history.=)
So this year the trip to the pumpkin patch is quite special for me. For the last two years we have had these two precious ones on our heart as we visited this fun place, anticipating the day that we would share our tradition with our newest members.
This week we finally got the chance. We have had a lot of rain here and I don't enjoy mud and rain all in the same day. So we waited for the perfect day and that is what God gave us yesterday.
Brothers in boots. What could be better?
They loved tromping through the corn maze, although I got the feeling that they didn't understand the point. Come to think of it, what is the point?
One of the favorite attractions at our pumpkin patch is a huge pile of wood chips. There are little cars and sleds to ride down the side. Or you can jump or slide down on your backside. This sweet shot was taken just before each of them did a face plant into the wood chips. They both thought it was funny. I was glad.
I have a picture of my children in front of this sign for the last twelve years. When the little ones saw the sign, they both said "Hey, there it is, I know about that." So funny!
I asked Sunshine if the Pumpkin Patch was what she thought it would be. She said, "No, I didn't think it would be so much fun." They each chose their own pumpkin and cannot wait to carve it this weekend.
The tradition is complete. They are here for good. It has almost been a year and I still can't believe it sometimes. God is so good!
You know that feeling. You have given every last bit of yourself and it is not enough.
I am so thankful that I serve a God who shines brighter when I, through my emptiness, get out of the way and allow Him to be the center of my life.
I am always amazed at what God uses to take me to this place. I definitely don't like being in this place. But I know that as I struggle to work through this time, God is continually showing Himself to be faithful and good and loving and purposeful.
Last Friday, during care group I received prayer. Last Monday, at Co-op I received prayer. I am very uncomfortable being the "one who needs prayer", but God is also working on my humility.
I took a few minutes the other night and pulled out a book by Stormie Omartian called The Power of Praying Through the Bible. It was exactly what I needed to read at the moment I needed it. God is so amazing that way.
The scripture was out of Numbers where it is talking about how God led the Israelites in the desert by forming a cloud for them to follow. When the cloud moved, they would follow. God was physically in their presence in the form of a cloud, yet they still struggled with following and obeying.
Learning to walk with God is a process. Just when we think we have it all figured out, God leads us into a new place where our old tricks won't work. In fact we may feel as if we are learning to walk all over again. And in a way we are. We enter unfamiliar territory and are soon reminded that, on our own, we stumble. Yet when we take His hand, we walk with confidence. God wants us to soar above our limitations of our circumstances and ourselves. He wants to take us to a place we have never been before and can't get there without His help.
If you are at a place where you feel as if you can't take one step without the Lord's help, be glad. He has you where He wants you. If you're wondering, 'Have I done something wrong?' the answer is most likely that you've done something right. God has you on this path, regardless of how difficult and impossible it may seem right now, because you are willing to follow Him. He wants to accomplish great things through you that can only come out of a life of faith. He wants your undivided attention because you can't do things on your own. The path is not a punishment; it's a privilege. It's not a restriction; it's a reward.
I know that I have not shared the specifics of my struggles. But I don't think that is really what matters. God is doing a work in me and my family, and I am so thankful.
So if God has you walking through a valley, remember to hold tight to His hand because He has you right where He wants you.