Her Dream Come True

Every year my crazy big family gets together for a weekend and then we go to a water park or something. This year was Noah’s ark and it was hot and wet and fun. A big group of cousins were standing in line for our first slide and they are all loud and cracking jokes and full of excited energy just to be together even though it was the fourth day! I was at the back of the group and there was this little girl who slowly got closer and closer to the group. She even passed me to see what all the fun loud people were doing. She had a curious unaware pure spirit that if you judge too fast seems intrusive and a little in your space. I could tell she was a character so I asked her what other rides she had been on so far. She paused and looked confused for a moment and then told me she didn’t know. She turned and walked away so I thought our interaction was over. But a few minutes later she came right up to me and said that her dad didn’t know either. ūüôā I started chatting with her and I felt like Anne Shirley finding a kindred spirit. As the line crept up to the slide stair by stair our conversation lapsed.

“I was adopted.” she stated matter-of-factly. “My mom couldn’t have a baby in her tummy so I was her dream come true.”

I smiled and said that I’m sure she was her mom’s dream come true. I couldn’t believe that she had found me. Such a sweet, bold, innocent child.

“Are you a mom?”

“No, not yet.” I said.

“Well, do you know how to take care of kids?” she asked.

“Yeah, I was a nanny, and I’ve spent a lot of time learning how to take care of kids.” I smilingly assured her.

“Because not everyone knows how to take care of kids.” she replied soberly.

How did she find me?! To just announce the simple things she did, I felt like God had given me this moment with this little girl. She had completely made my day. My heart had been coming alive to adoption in the last few weeks and here is this little girl telling me how she was her mom’s dream come true. It was so sweet and unexpected. The whole rest of the day I was silently hoping and praying that I would run into them again and get to tell the parents that their daughter made my day. At the end of the day I got to do just that. We were heading back to our family’s pavilion and who is coming around the corner, but the little girl and her whole family. She walked right up to me and put her little hand in mine like old friends and asked me if the path we were on lead to the wave pool. God had answered my prayer. As I explained how their daughter had made my day, I told them all she had said and that we are thinking of adopting ourselves. They told me that they adopted all three of their children through the foster system.

It was so sweet the way she trusted me and put her hand right into mine. And it was a small¬†miracle¬†that they walked by us in a park of hundreds of people. I felt like I was given a small yet overwhelming gift. A true moment with someone who said the thing I needed to hear. I don’t have an exact plan in place for what we will do next on our journey to become parents but I have always wanted to adopt. Before I knew I would face infertility. So at this point I’m just listening and learning and reading as much as I can about it. It can take a long time, so I want to get started with a real plan soon. I just know that sweet hand in mine opened something in my heart that I had closed off for a while.

“Don’t Worry You’re Safe!”

I just woke from a dream where I knew that the devil was stealing gifts from people.  
There were two buildings and an alley or street between them. The buildings were lined with doors and my parents lived on the one side and all the new homes , were on the other side of the alley. There was a character in the dream who I knew was the devils dirty work man. And I watched as two others were each devastated and changed and defeated because the gifts that were just given to them in their new homes were put on the street and then stolen.
¬†I was given my black guitar and when I noticed that my guitar was fixed and re-strung I got nervous that they were fixing it just to take it away. I saw that there was a pattern and got upset and called my parents out into the street and to the man who was helping the devil. He was an older thin man with grey short hair on his round head and he wasn’t tall reminded me of Danko from Heroes that detective. I started saying: ‚ÄúHe’s going to steal from me!‚ÄĚ ¬†And then I looked at him and felt pity and wondered how he ended up as the devil’s advocate..I asked Danko,‚ÄúWhat did he steal from you?‚ÄĚ And he looked scared. Fear and hopelessness rolled off of him. I felt like I was comforting a child and as he started to cry I told him, ‚ÄúYou’re safe! You’re safe!‚ÄĚ And I held him and laid my head on his shoulder. My mom and others were standing around him like we were praying for him.
I knew that he was afraid that it was too late for his ‚Äúsalvation‚ÄĚ and when I said “you are safe” I meant you will be in heaven. When I laid my head on his shoulder and¬†closed my eyes I¬†saw light streaming through clouds like heaven. I felt assurance and peace for him. “You are safe from the hopelessness of this age’s idea of the gospel.” is what I meant.
When Jesus said “I am the way the truth and the life and no one enters the kingdom but through me.” I think he was just stating a fact not giving us ways that we can exclude people from that gift and be plagued by the worry, “Will I make it in? What if I’m doing something wrong and the rapture comes?!” ¬†If this is how we think, Jesus no longer becomes radical and the gospel just plain isn’t good news. ¬†We no longer have to live in fear. We are safe in Christ because we already are all in him whether we know it and are transformed by it or not. The two men on the cross next to Jesus are used in the church as a lesson of “this guy just squeaked into heaven and you can too!” If the man who didn’t respond wasn’t there also. It’s just not good news.

I heard this recently:
God isn’t the god OF Love like a greek god is the god of many things..
God IS Love
If God IS Love what Jesus came to “do” must be representative of the truest love we can Imagine. (because he created us for… that’s right. Love. )
Not a “I love you but.., if you don’t do x y z you are out!” Project Runway style values.. that is so exclusive.
We know better! The holy spirit says it to us. And we want to believe it! We just stop listening because the preacher told me so.
We have to have faith that Jesus really Lived and died for All not Some.¬†And that is where the Beauty and transformation happens in our lives. When we begin to understand God’s Love for us. Plain and Simple. I refuse to¬†believe¬†that he asked us to forgive each other 70×7, ¬†but God is a sin record keeper. NO! That is the thing about this dream. I think it speaks to the grand lie we in today’s church have become the devils workers for: that if you do xyz you get into heaven. But you will never really know, so¬†don’t¬†think about it too much. And go get¬†those¬†lost sinners out there with our prepackaged “sinners prayer” because that is the only way into eternal life. Because God put the fate of the world in our hands and he is just way up in heaven and can’t do anything about it. ¬†Sound like good news? ¬†It is not our job to save anyone. How arrogant to think so!¬†
Also I am convinced that The #1 thing the Devil wants to convince us of is our lack of worth. Our individual spark or gifts are the thumbprint of God on us. And we release healing and freedom when we are simply truly who we are. Personalities and Gifts and all of that Identity stuff is so celebrated by God. But if we are convinced that we really don’t have anything of worth inside of us to contribute and that God made us as a joke and we are alone, ¬†we have lost something so precious! I believed for a long time that if I was truly free in being who I am I would just hurt people all around me because I was told that I am too loud or too much for others to handle in the past. That fear kept me changing faster than a chameleon in every situation. And I had myself convinced that this was the most loving thing to do for other people. I was just¬†accommodating¬†what I thought they wanted me to be. ¬†And it was anxiety ridden and¬†exhausting¬†trying to remember who I thought the person I was with- needed me to be.
 When we start to live out of the acceptance and peace that this Love is giving we can just truly be authentic and take a deep breath and not worry so much! I am so loved! And so are you- so just live and breathe and be.
And love will make you new. 
Joelle-

A Poem, A Prayer

I have a list of what I think I need

And another of what I want

You invite me into your house and cover me with Grace

You ask me to give it all and put it in your hands

And while I wait you break down walls I thought would never fall

Between who I am and your Love

Between what I see and your Truth

Between what I know and your Grace

Between my disappointment and your Hope

I’m tired of this homeless wandering and

I’m ready to come homeland take my place in your Family

And when the road leads through a dark forest of anger and pain

You never shy away

You walk with me all the way

And when I start to see the sun again

I realize that it was your Love

That lifted me out of the depths.

And now I know your love is deeper than my lowest despair

And I had to understand such sorrow to be baffled by this Peace.

I’m so grateful for your tangible Grace

Trust takes experience and a leap of Faith

You can only Trust as much as you know you are Loved

So I put all my hope and dreams firmly in your hands.

You are a Good Father who understands.

And as I look a little closer

I know this now more than ever

Your love carries my pain

And I came from your hands.

So let gratitude pave the way

I’ll sing a song of thanks

Because even now I know you will take care of me

Like you always have.

Thank you God for showing me how deeply you love me

For settling the questions of my worth

For never giving up on me

For the Peace I feel

For the Grace on me

For the Future you’ve planned

And hold in your hand

Help me to Live in the five minutes I have

And keep speaking my name

Make my home in you and yours in me

What I’m Learning

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Only you can know how long you should keep going on your fertility journey. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel and take time to take care of yourself. It’s ok to not be ok with this tragedy. It truly is a life crisis and even though you can have faith in God you learn how to trust him little by little with experience. I believe He is relational and gives grace for the moment we are in right now. And not an appeasing tolerating grace a warm understanding embracing grace that loves and permissions us to just be and breathe.

I am learning so much about God through this infertility process.

Here are some things that I’ve found ring true to me in this:

You can only trust God to the extent that you know his Love for you. And trust takes a leap of faith at the start. It also isn’t a given thing we should just have automatically. God is relational. Always. On this earth with each other trust takes time and experience. It takes testing and history. The same is true with trusting God. And that doesn’t freak him out at all. He created relationships, He is relational. He isn’t freaked just because we are. His love isn’t insecure either. He doesn’t need anything from me or you, He loves us. It’s not possessive like our relationships and our ideas of love can be. He doesn’t want to control me He loves me. How many times have I tried to change my husband “because I love him”? Ha! When I let go of that and trust and just love him he changes the most anyway. I realize I have been living out a possessive love not an open free true kind of love.

I’m also learning that there isn’t any fear about the future when you are so secure that you are loved. Grounded in Gods love. God help me to understand your love for me. Help me receive it.

You learn so much about love and family through this. By having to face the question
“Do I want a biological child or do I want to parent?”
And for me it wasn’t so clear-cut.
Adoption has been in my heart for a long long time. I just thought I’d experience pregnancy as well. Not being able to become pregnant without Gods help used to seem hopeless, but now that I’m not as focused on what I can’t do for myself. I see it as a huge opportunity for Him to be the one who grows love in my heart for the children he blesses me with. I’m excited to live out the family kingdom come on earth. Love expand and challenge my heart. I’m not afraid of being devastated by love lost anymore. The “what ifs” have calmed and I am exited to love like I was made to love. This is my gift this is my blessing. This is my heritage and will be my legacy: to love, ¬†and invite people into my family. Being that family is how I will live out heaven on earth.
Thy Kingdom Come.

Ready, Steady…

Art.
Not for itself, but for you.
Creator and observer,
its breath hits us all.
It whispers new vision,
so we write our revisions.
Longing to reach some tale of glory,
we risk it all.
But reality likes to replace hope with fear.
Even if your aim is clear
you have to be ready, steady, my dear.
Don’t let it destroy us.
Make way before us!
Never forget that Love is here.

Anniversary Thoughts

photo taken by patricia espidal:  http://rejoyphotography.com

       my husband and i have our 5 year anniversary coming up and it feels like a big milestone for me. we have both grown up a lot as individuals since we got married in 2006. a lot has changed and a lot has not. i am not as lost and unsure of myself as i used to be, and i feel like our love has its own life. its own heart and it beats separate from our bodies in between us bonding us together no matter where we are. like a tree with roots connected to another tree. alive both separately and together. the more time and work you give them the deeper the roots, the more you want to bear fruit and make little lives happen in your shade. our roots are deep, our love is strong, but there is a funny thing about feeling love so intensely, there is an awkward thing about growing.. that pubescent in-balance that makes your ability to show how you feel seem uneven and clumsy. feelings are weird that way. i think it was Maya Angelou who said that words are things, and they should be treated with respect. well, i think feelings are much the same. they have their own life. and expressing, respecting, understanding them, heck even feeling them can be hard sometimes. i find myself pushing down deeper and deeper roots of love for this man everyday. and that makes the ache to share that love seem more and more important everyday. its time to make a plan to have kids. for real this time.