With today’s post, I just wanted to provide a few things before I leave the country for a few weeks on Wednesday…
An update on where we are with things, a few requests, an observation, and a story. :)
First, an update. Where are we with our adoption process??? Well, we have a few pieces of paperwork left to submit. When I return, we have a follow-up meeting with our agency on September 5th. We have interviews next (including one between our agency and our pastor), and then a home visit from our social worker. Once all of this is finished, and we have a completed file, we will submit our profile book and officially become a “waiting family”…
How amazing is that!
Once we are a waiting family, the timeframe is completely unknown for when we will receive The Call. It all completely depends on when a birthmother chooses us and then how far along she is in her pregnancy. But you can bet I’ll be keeping you posted… :)
Speaking of unknown timeframes, we have recently re-listed our condo! You can view the listing here. Yep; it’s a steal. The hope is to be in a house before the baby arrives… the prayer is to trust in God’s timing, no matter what happens. (I’ll keep you posted on this, too!)
And speaking of leaving the country for a few weeks, I did want to request if friends and family could “lift up” a few things… for those of you who know where I’m going and what I’m doing…
- …. that all of my diabetes supplies and equipment will be successfully transported and work properly while on the ground.
- …. for smooth travels, safety, and general health.
- …. for Trey while I’m gone, as he is experiencing an especially busy and stressful time at work.
- …. for the work to be done, changed lives, and to be used in great ways.
(I can’t say much more than that, but thank you in advance!)
Things have been busy around here lately, and I’m not saying that lightly. The last week was easily the most stressful week of my entire year. Between preparing for being gone from work for three weeks, preparing for the trip itself, coordinating a huge event at church three days just before my departure, trying to wrap up loose ends with our home study before I leave, and re-listing the condo, I felt like I was juggling a thousand balls at once — only all of them are staying “up in the air”! It’s given all-new meaning to the concept of holding loosely to the things in our lives. With most of these things, all I can do is surrender control — which is simultaneously frightening and freeing. :)
I hate to admit this, but amid all the craziness lately, getting those “last pieces of paperwork” ready for submission has taken a backseat. I feel horrible saying that… That our adoption process has fallen in the priority list. But it’s true. It has. Sometimes you simply can’t be 100% devoted to it when lots of other things are going on, too. I just have to know that every part of our lives is happening for a reason, and even though it’s our heart to do all we can on our side of things, it’s not going to come with the snap of a finger — and that there is a divinely ordained time for when it will. It’s all part of that “active waiting” we so often must engage in as Christians.
In what was probably perfect timing, a few weeks back I stumbled upon the concept of “breath prayer”… Maybe you’ve heard of it? Richard Foster describes it as “picking a single word or short phrase and repeating it in conjunction with the breath.”
[Very] busy mom and blogger Emily Freeman wrote about it here: “For me, having a prayer that fits the rhythm of my breathing is a life-line during stressful times. … Brennan Manning’s prayer was Abba, I belong to you. The seven syllables fit perfectly with the natural rhythm of breath. Mine is a bit longer … Lord Jesus, Gather me now to be with You. I don’t have to stop, close the door, or even leave the chaos to pray these words. But they give me something to ground me, words to wrap my soul around.”
In her own blog, she says, “I spent time in silence to discover my own breath prayer for that time in my life. … Lord Jesus, Gather me now to be with You. Whatever that means for this moment. Whatever that means for my life. Gather me now to be with You in my anxiety, in my happiness, in my fretfulness, in my vocation.”
And soon after, Ann Voskamp blogged about it as well: here.
Weeks after reading these posts, for some reason, and without thinking about it consciously, the following prayer popped into my mind on my 30th birthday, as I was reflecting on this season of my life: Thank you, Lord, for right where I am. Gratitude swelled up from somewhere deep inside, and it was as if the phrase was planted in my mind from somewhere other than myself.
Thank you, Lord, for right where I am.
I believe God gave me my breath prayer on that day, on my 30th birthday, for this season of life. There is much I can look back on and never be able to have again… and even so much MORE to look forward to and wish we could just get to already… yet I can rejoice in the here and now. Turns out it fits that 7- to 8-syllable structure (7 if you take out the word “right”). It might not be as poetic or lovely as Freeman’s or Voskamp’s or Manning’s… but I think it’s exactly what’s needed.
Thank you, Lord, for right where I am.
Repeating these words does several things:
- First, I am declaring that I am not trying to escape my current reality… but rather accepting what is given to me in any given moment.
- Second, expressing thanks for where I am means I am turning my focus to the good and the blessings within my situation… instead of only seeing what’s wrong, or lacking, or what “could be.”
- Lastly, expressing gratitude also means recognizing a giver. For me it’s a reminder that God has a purpose in where I am… because He is the one who put me there! And I can trust Him.
So I’ve decided that when things are stressful, or not where I want them to be, or way too busy, or not moving nearly fast enough… no matter where I am, by the simple process of breathing and saying those words in my head, that is my prayer. I hope you might also take time to discover your own breath prayer for this season in your life… words to “ground” you and “wrap your soul around.” Words that are just between you and your Heavenly Father.
And finally, speaking of our amazing heavenly Father… story time!!
I just wanted to give this little testimony because God always speaks to me so strongly, every time, with what I’m about to share. As I mentioned above, I’ll soon be traveling with my insulin pump. It goes with me everywhere, of course — other countries included. My carry-on is already full of supplies, back-up supplies, and plenty of food… the life of a traveling diabetic. ;) I wear my pump all the time (except for showers and maybe on runs), because I am dependent on the insulin it delivers. Despite living my life every day without too much worry, just like anyone else (only with a little more to think about in certain respects), my dependency on my equipment and insulin and eating routine comes into acute focus any time I travel. It’s always what I worry about most. While I’m away from my comfortable life in my comfortable condo (which is practically in walking distance from the hospital), I am much more aware that my life literally depends on these things in order to survive. It’s not an option to go without or have anything break. The few “close calls” I’ve had in my life (all of which were right here in America, by the way), are still too close for comfort for me not to have a healthy over-precaution when preparing for travel.
Just the other night, the alarm on my pump went off, letting me know my battery was dead. Not really a big deal; I have to change it for a new AA battery each time the current one dies down. (I mean, you do have to hate when it happens in the middle of the night, but… what can you do! The life of being part bionic. ;) )
When I went to remove the old battery, the battery cap would not come off. Instead of lifting up, it would just spin. I tried again and again. Nothing. Dead battery, broken pump. I do have back-up supplies, yes — but the dosages on those are pretty different, and even with my doctor’s estimate, it would take a little trial and error. Halfway around the world would NOT be my favorite place for trial and error, especially considering that leaves a lot of room for either bottoming out or my blood sugar going too high (like it did back in January: read the story here).
Long story short, I now have a brand-new replacement pump that was overnighted to me. Less than a week before I leave. And the moral of the story? It might sound weird, but God uses my pump every single day to remind me of my dependence on Him… and this happening just one week before I leave (instead of while I was there!) is a reminder to me of His faithfulness. He’s got this. Why do I ever doubt that?? He is always in control… and no matter how uncomfortable, vulnerable, or scary that may feel, it’s always the best place to be. The reality of how fragile life can be hit me at an already tender point in time, as I’ve been trying so anxiously to get everything done and hold everything together. And yet He reminds me: You can do nothing apart from me… Take my yoke upon you… You are a branch, but I am the vine… How much more will I provide for you? I think He’s preparing me for this trip already. It doesn’t always feel good… but it’s good for me.
Really, when you think about it, bravery is just a little bit of crazy with a whole lot of faith. ;)
Well, I’ve written well over enough for one post… Thank you, so much, for your interest and your support in our lives. We are grateful!!
‘Til next time…