May 19, 2019 was our last Sunday at Grace Community Church (Pensacola, FL), our church home and family for the last thirteen years. It was an extremely difficult decision to make and was not one that we made lightly or spontaneously. The convictions of our immediate family and our church family have been growing steadily further apart over the past year or two. Our differences were not such that they would compromise the Gospel or any primary doctrines of the church, but they were differences that had a significant impact on worship. Having served in music leadership for the past twelve years, this was no small matter to me or my family. However, it should not be supposed that we left merely because of a difference of the type of music. The purpose of this post is not to dig into those differences, but to say a few things about the journey.
I consider myself to be an avid reader and I like to have a reading plan. This past year (2018) I had a few books planned, but I mostly just rambled through a bunch of books at random. This year I want to be more thoughtful and plan out what I will be reading. I generally read more than 10 books per year, but this will be a good basis to start from. This list is heavy on the Family & Parenting side (you know, since it’s a family blog and all).
Happy New Year! This is the first day of 2019, which means there is only one year remaining before we find ourselves in the year 2020 (twenty-twenty). Wow! That sounds like science fiction for those of us who grew up in the previous millennium. 2018 was quite an extreme year for our family, and may be one of the toughest we’ve encountered. It was full of many, many blessings but also many trials and opportunities for God to stretch us and turn us into the people that He wants us to be. I may write about some of the things that happened this past year in the coming weeks… but then I may not. You’ll just have to wait and see.
For this year’s resolutions I wanted to change it up a bit. My resolutions this year are all verbs. Actually, present participles if you want to get technical. These are really just areas that I want to improve upon. To be sure, there are specific steps and goals within each that may or may not be listed below, but the idea is that I just want to get better. They are in no particular order, except for the opening resolution which is really the foundation of them all, and the closing resolution which buttons things up quite nicely. Without further ado, here are my resolutions for the year of our Lord two thousand and nineteen.
Aubrey and I are in the middle of our second adoption. We began the journey back in June of 2017 when our youngest turned one year old. We built a new profile, went to meetings, had our thumb prints scanned, and our backgrounds checked. As of the first of this year (2018) our home study has been complete and we now find ourselves in the “big wait”. In domestic, infant adoption this wait could be over today or it could last for another year. We really have no idea. We must be prepared to receive a baby at any minute, while being open to the possibility of waiting for months (or more) with no news. I have been asked if this go ’round is easier than the first time. Surprisingly, it has not been. As the song says, “the waiting is the hardest part.”
The real question is, how do we pass the time during this period?
I sat down this weekend to work on my New Year’s Resolutions for this coming 2018 year. The brief list below is roughly what I came up with.
I usually try to pick a plan to read the Bible through during each year. I’ve used several different plans over the years, my favorite being the Tabletalk Bible Reading plan from Ligonier Ministries. However, this year I had some special requirements that I wanted to try out. I could not find a plan that matched what I wanted, so I created my own.
As you all know, we are raising money so that we may adopt another baby. We are continuing our efforts with a raffle for this beautiful, homemade, Christmas themed quilt. To date, we have raised just under $4,000, which means we still need to raise around $19,000. We thank you all for your prayers and support as we pursue our God given passion for adoption. I hope that these fund raisers are a fun way for you to participate in our journey.
UPDATE: WINNER ANNOUNCED at the end of the post!
God Adopted Us
I am thankful for adoption, first and foremost, because it was really God’s idea. God first adopted us and showed us the blessing of adoption.
“But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
– John 1:12-13 (ESV)
We are only able to love because God first loved us. I am thankful that God showed me His mercy, opened my eyes, and saved me. I am thankful that “in love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.” (Ephesians 1:5)
Just over two years ago, Aubrey and I embarked upon a journey to adopt. In March of this year, our first adoption was finalized, and we have had the privilege of being Mommy and Daddy to a beautiful little girl from her birth. Now, we are beginning the process all over again. That’s right. We’re adopting another child.
I’ve received a number of responses when I tell people this. Some encouraging, some comical, but thankfully, none too rude. I would like to address the reasons why we are adopting again and the things that are NOT reasons why we are adopting again.
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