When Things aren’t Really What they Seem

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We have lived in our home just over two years now and at least the third bird has now flown into our back door.  I had heard something hit the glass this morning and when I walked out to the living room there was a dead bird laying right there on the patio.  Two of the birds have died right a way.  One woke up after about 10 minutes and staggered off, possibly died later of a brain hemorrhage.  Why on earth am I writing about these poor birds?  Of course if I could have saved them I would have.  My heart breaks each time this happens.

This morning has me thinking of how our sin and the sin of others can look so appealing and safe on the surface.  The devil is always working to deceive just like he did with Eve in the garden of Eden.  “Oh this is the way to go, this is safe, one time won’t hurt, it isn’t your fault, it isn’t really hurting anyone, you only live once, you won’t have any friends if you don’t…”   So many lies that lead to death and destruction.

If I could just warn the birds before they fly into the glass…  My conviction this morning… If I could just warn the person before they try drugs…  If I could tell the person that is so down how much God loves them and I do too…  If I could tell the young girl that you are so pretty and loved by God… you don’t need a man’s attention for your worth…  For the used and traumatized by the sins of others… you are worth so much more than that… that is not what defines you…  If I could just tell everyone about the love of Jesus before they fly to whatever is deceiving them that may be a death trap…

It is by God’s grace I am alive and by God’s grace I have been forgiven of my own sin!  Every day God is teaching me more of myself and warning me of what looks good on the surface may be a sinful death trap!

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

My prayer is for God’s truth to continue to be revealed in lives of individuals all across the world, our great country, my family, and within my own life!  Jesus is my hope and I have never known a greater love and worth than my identity as a Child of God!!

Freedom in Adoption

 

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One or two days out of the week when I am off work I get to walk our son to the bus stop.  Walks and car rides seem to always be the best opportunities to have meaningful conversations with my kiddos.   Our son essentially talks non-stop.  Sometimes he says a lot of words and I  still have no clue what he is actually talking about.  We have a lot of work to do on the who, what, where, and why content in his verbal communication.  There are times though he says things that are so very profound.  He continues to teach me how to have good listening skills as I work to teach him how to communicate well.

He likes to talk about when he first came to our home for respite care as a child stuck in the foster system.   Many times he has said he knew this would be where he would stay, his forever home.  I don’t remember what led up to the statement that struck me so deeply, but it was probably some of his reminiscing that he loves to do.  The statement that has caused me to ponder so deeply was “Now that I am adopted I am free!”

In the last six months our guy has made greater strides than he had in the fourteen months prior.  His reading has really improved, he keeps his room clean, self control, and maturity have also tremendously improved.  Of course with ten years to catch up we still have a way to go, but the leaps and bounds have been amazing.

Even with deep empathy sometimes it is hard to imagine what a child in Foster care truly goes through.  As a family licensed in Foster Care there are times we feel “bound by the system”  so I can only imagine how the children feel.   Not knowing where and who you will live with. To have so many emotions that you can’t even begin to understand.  Fear, anxieties, lack of trust.  People and a government that should have your best interest in mind continuously letting you down.

For our son adoption has meant freedom.  Freedom to let oneself love. Freedom to trust. Freedom from the worry of where you will lay your head each night. Freedom from rules that “regular” kids don’t have. Freedom to let go of fear. Freedom to get to hang out with friends.  Freedom to have your picture taken. Freedom to say “this is my home”.  Freedom to say I belong. Freedom to say I am loved.  Freedom to have structure.  Freedom to have loving discipline because someone really wants you to succeed.  Freedom to say I am wanted…  I could go on and on.  Until he said those words I really hadn’t realized what a release of chains of bondage adoption can bring.

It is such a reflection of what being adopted into God’s family through faith in Jesus Christ brings.  When we give our heart and life to Jesus He gives us freedom.  Freedom from our own sins that bind and consume us.  Freedom from worry when we trust in Him.  Freedom knowing that no matter what happens in life we have an eternal home.  Freedom to love and know that we are SO VERY LOVED.  Freedom knowing that He will provide. Freedom to embrace His loving discipline because He wants us to succeed.  Freedom in knowing that God indeed wants us even when all else has failed and forsaken us.

Ephesians 1:5, NLT: “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.”

John 8:36

36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

Galatians 5:1

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Ephesians 3:12

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.