Friday, December 28, 2012

Psalm 68:6 God sets the lonely in families...

Right now, in Taiwan, a little girl is asleep for the night and she doesn't know it, but she's not an orphan anymore.

Introducing
Avalyn Xin Nian信念 Edwards
 
Born in Taiwan
 December 14, 2009
 
Court Approval with Final Decree
December, 2012
 
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1
 
Xin Nian信念 (ssheen nee-ANN) n. 1. Faith 2. Belief 3. Conviction
 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

court rulings and EEGs

Well, there's been a court ruling.  We have no idea what it says, but once the papers get to the orphanage we'll have our answer.  I've been anxious today despite the Bible telling me not to be anxious.  I just keep quoting Psalm 68:6  GOD sets the lonely in families.  This is His thing!

Now about the EEG thing.  Several years ago around 6 in the morning my son, Brett, came to me and said that Josh was having one of "those dreams" again. Kyle and I went upstairs and saw Josh having a grand mal seizure (on the top bunk of the bunkbed, no less).  All we could do was watch and pray.  Over the course of what seemed like an eternity, we went through 1 MRI, 3 EEGs, and too many seizures to count. Each of them happening in Josh's sleep early in the morning.  It was horrible.  You sit and watch and pray and pray and pray. The first 2 EEGs didn't show anything and they couldn't trigger a seizure.  Finally, during the 3rd EEG, they hit pay dirt and Josh gave them a seizure.  He had to go a whole night without sleep to finally catch one.  I stayed up with him and Kyle slept so that he could drive him to the appointment and be with him during the test. We were blessed with an awesome Dr. and she prescribed some meds that have kept Josh seizure-free since November 3, 2010.  At his appointment 1 year ago, her goal for him was to gain 20 pounds so that his weight would exceed the dosage and start a sort of natural tapering off of the medication.  She thinks these are the type of seizures that can be outgrown.  Well, he had a visit back in September and had gained 22 pounds.  He had done exactly what she wanted and remained seizure-free in the process.  He has gained 7 more pounds since then and YEP! he's still seizure-free!  So we find ourselves up tonight (all night) because Josh has another EEG tomorrow to see if we can trigger a seizure.  He is still on the meds, so we're not expecting a seizure, but I'm feeling a little stressed as we head into this part of this particular journey. It would be okay with me if I never EVER had to watch him have another seizure.

In this process, Josh has shown me what's it's like to really have childlike faith.  That boy has never once worried.  He just rolls with the punches and trusts us to do what we need to do.  If I could master this skill with my Heavenly Father and really have that childlike faith, I wouldn't be up tonight worried about 2 of my munchkins (both Josh and our Taiwanese treasure).  I'd just walk this out and trust and relax and play Fruit Ninja.  Actually, I think I will play Fruit Ninja.  We've turned tonight into a slumber party. Only Kyle and Savannah will sleep.  Kyle because he gets the job of driver/watchman and Savannah because if anyone needs their sleep, it's her.

If you're checking in and want to pray that Josh's EEG will give us enough information to make some decisions that are ahead of us and also for our complete trust in God's plan as we know we will hear the judge's decision very soon now, we'd appreciate it so very much.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

The shooting in Newtown

I have tried to write this post over and over again and I've come to the conclusion that I just don't have the right words.  Yesterday I cried as I watched the news report and I prayed.  I'm still praying and I'm still sad for the loss.  It really is tragic.  The picture above is the list of victims that was just released.  Each name a reminder of how delicate life is and how quickly things can change.  The oldest child victims are only 7.  I'm praying for each of these families represented here, all of the children and adults that were witnesses to the event, and for everyone that was hurt by such a devastating act. 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Happy Birthday, Avalyn!

Well, she's 3 today.  It's December 14 in Taiwan.  I know what I want her to get this year. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Conviction

A friend sent me this excerpt from a book.  I keep reading it.  The challenge is great, the conviction greater. 

If...

  • If I belittle those whom I am called to serve, talk of their weak points in contrast perhaps with what I think of as my strong points; if I adopt a superior attitude, forgetting "Who made thee to differ? And what hast thou that thou hast not received?" then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  •  
  • If I find myself taking lapses for granted, "Oh, that's what they always do," "Oh, of course she talks like that, he acts like that," then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I can enjoy a joke at the expense of another; if I can in any way slight another in conversation, or even in thought, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I can write an unkind letter, speak an unkind word, think an unkind thought without grief and shame, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I do not feel far more for the grieved Savior than for my worried self when troublesome things occur, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I can rebuke without a pang, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If my attitude be one of fear, not faith, about one who has disappointed me; if I say, "Just what I expected" if a fall occurs, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I am afraid to speak the truth, lest I lose affection, or lest the one concerned should say, "You do not understand," or because I fear to lose my reputation for kindness; if I put my own good name before the other's highest good, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I am content to heal a hurt slightly, saying "Peace, peace," where there is no peace; if I forget the poignant word "Let love be without dissimulation" and blunt the edge of truth, speaking not right things but smooth things, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I hold on to choices of any kind, just because they are my choice, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I am soft to myself and slide comfortably into self-pity and self-sympathy; If I do not by the grace of God practice fortitude, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve round myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have "a heart at leisure from itself," then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If, the moment I am conscious of the shadow of self crossing my threshold, I do not shut the door, and keep that door shut, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I cannot in honest happiness take the second place (or the twentieth); if I cannot take the first without making a fuss about my unworthiness, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I take offense easily, if I am content to continue in a cool unfriendliness, though friendship be possible, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I feel injured when another lays to my charge things that I know not, forgetting that my sinless Savior trod this path to the end, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I feel bitter toward those who condemn me, as it seems to me, unjustly, forgetting that if they knew me as I know myself they would condemn me much more, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If souls can suffer alongside, and I hardly know it, because the spirit of discernment is not in me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If the praise of others elates me and their blame depresses me; if I cannot rest under misunderstanding without defending myself; if I love to be loved more than to love, to be served more than to serve, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I crave hungrily to be used to show the way of liberty to a soul in bondage, instead of caring only that it be delivered; if I nurse my disappointment when I fail, instead of asking that to another the word of release may be given, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I do not forget about such a trifle as personal success, so that it never crosses my mind, or if it does, is never given room there; if the cup of flattery tastes sweet to me, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If in the fellowship of service I seek to attach a friend to myself, so that others are caused to feel unwanted; if my friendships do not draw others deeper in, but are ungenerous (to myself, for myself), then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I refuse to allow one who is dear to me to suffer for the sake of Christ, if I do not see such suffering as the greatest honor that can be offered to any follower of the Crucified, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I slip into the place that can be filled by Christ alone, making myself the first necessity to a soul instead of leading it to fasten upon Him, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If my interest in the work of others is cool; if I think in terms of my own special work; if the burdens of others are not my burdens too, and their joys mine, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I wonder why something trying is allowed, and press for prayer that it may be removed; if I cannot be trusted with any disappointment, and cannot go on in peace under any mystery, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If the ultimate, the hardest, cannot be asked of me; if my fellows hesitate to ask it and turn to someone else, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
  • If I covet any place on earth but the dust at the foot of the Cross, then I know nothing of Calvary love.
That which I know not, teach Thou me, O Lord, my God.
Amy Carmichael, "Calvary Love," from If, by Dohnavur Fellowship

Monday, December 10, 2012

Basketball Season---year 17 (or is it 18?)

My husband is a coach.  He coaches many sports, but his love is basketball.  For years I've told him that the players "live" here.  You may not see them, but they are here.  Their abilities and growth permeate conversations.  The scores and accomplishments are huge topics around here.  They are prayed for and loved. This year, well, this year is special.  My husband stepped down from high school public school coaching to do 8th grade girls (which he's really enjoying!) so that he could coach our boys' homeschool team.  So, three of the players really do live here. :)  It's an interesting mix to watch the switch from dad/son to coach/player and then back again.  They've done it as if it's always been this way.  Given, the basketball talk has almost taken over around here (Anyone wanna swing by and talk about NOT basketball for a few months?) but it's been so neat to watch them all have this experience. 

I've learned a little something this season.  This team is new to really being coached.  You can see them improve with each game.  They are starting to understand Coach E and run the plays and use solid defense and...  It's a process.  It made me think of our walk with God. I know sometimes I want instant everything.  I don't want a process and I don't want to have to learn new things.  I want instant streaming and immediate gratification.  Well, it just doesn't work that way.  My oldest son, Ryan, got into foul trouble this last game.  He had 4 fouls in the 1st quarter.  Seriously.  So Coach had to bench him until after halftime.  It gave Ryan a chance to just watch.  He gained some perspective and came out even better.  He had his highest scoring game yet.  Instead of trying to make the system work, he learned to just trust. 

It's been a struggle to just trust during this adoption process.  So often I find myself  trying to get to the basket without running the play the way God wants me to.  I get blocked, tripped up, and frustrated. I can't force my way through for anything.  So, I'm learning.

Oh, yeah, we Skyped with Avalyn in Taiwan last night!  It was so much fun!  She leaned in close to the screen when Savannah got on.  It was precious.  We learned a bit more about her and our case.  We are without a timeline because our case was appealed.  Sadly, many cases have been delayed.  It's not just ours.  Pray for the judges in Taiwan.  Pray for all of these precious children who have families, but are waiting for the judges to make decisions, and pray for all the children who don't have families, yet. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Twenty for Taiwan

Well, we're in the final stretch and we're only lacking about $4000 in funds to complete our process.  Not bad, right?  I am still amazed at God's provision!

There are currently 3 ways you can help us.  The first and most important is through prayer.  Prayer for us, the judge and Avalyn.  One of my favorite quotes is by Oswald Chambers.  He says, "Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work."  It really is.


The second way is by donating directly to us using our paypal link on the right. We need about 200 families to donate $20 and then we are completely covered financially. 

200 families x $20 = adoption process completely paid for!
 

The third way is for anyone wanting to donate, but is wanting it to be tax deductable.  You can go to our Reece's Rainbow page.  We're at http://reecesrainbow.org/38259/sponsoredwards-3.  We don't get to see who donates this way and I'd like to be able to say thank you.  Would you shoot me an email if you us our RR link?

Oh, and by the way, we got an update email on Friday and we're Skypin' on Sunday!  We're making progress.