Thankfulness is Bittersweet

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This is the day that the Lord has made.

This is the day that the Lord has made.

Have you ever felt like life is just pounding you with blows that rattle your faith or your joy?  It seems like we have been surrounded by immense loss and sadness in the last month.  Death has shadowed dear friends and our own family,  putting a damper on what is normally a festive kickoff to the holiday season.  Do you ever wonder why God allows loss and sorrow in the world?  I do.  Life is sometimes painful.  For many people the holidays hold an emptiness that no amount of music, food or Black Friday deals can fill.

Now I’m no theologian, but I know myself enough to understand that there are things that I’m not going to catch on to without a little help from our Creator.  I guarantee that with my selfish nature if I lived in a world without valleys, I would have  no appreciation for the beautiful view from above.  Losing people I have loved makes me more thankful for those still with me.  Being financially strapped for a time in my life, makes me thankful for every dollar I have.  Seeing persecution half a world away makes me more thankful for my religious freedom.

A friend of mine recently lost both his mother and father in a tragic accident resulting in carbon monoxide poisoning.  (Sidenote – make sure you have a functioning carbon monoxide detector in your home!)  In the waiting room of the ER my friend gathered his children around him in the midst of the trauma and the pain to pray.  They thanked God for the day that HE had made.  He wanted his children to see that God doesn’t always allow us to see the plan in the moment.  Regardless of how we feel, there IS MUCH to be thankful for, even if we have to look carefully.

A few days after the funeral, I received results from yet another (minor) surgery.  It made me wonder if I had asked better questions or taken action earlier, perhaps we would have conceived again.  The answer is maybe.  I thought about what my friend had said, so I pulled my car over and thanked God.  If things in my life had gone differently, I likely would not be on this road to adoption, and I am VERY sure its His will.  He knew what it would take to get me to this point.  So in the midst of circumstances that some would find disappointing or disheartening, I choose to be thankful.

Dear friends, pray for and reach out to those experiencing loss and sadness this season.  If you are in a dark place yourself, please look up and inward to find something to be thankful for, even if it is only the sunrise.

This is the day that the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118: 24 English Standard Version (ESV)

LLI

Your friend,

Meredith

More Blessed to Give than to Receive

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IMG_4685 (800x427)

When we started down this road of adoption it was a very personal decision that we made as a couple.  Some of the challenges we have anticipated and I’m sure there are many more we haven’t. We knew what it would cost.  We agreed that we would bear the responsibilties for this new child and that included financial responsibility.  Will it all be easy?  No. Have there been and will there be many sacrifices along the way? Yes. Yes. Yes.

So when our small group asked to do a special benefit lunch for us, my initial thought was ‘There are so many people that deserve it more than us.’  But then I thought about something my Mom had shared with me a few weeks before. She reminded me that we need to be mindful not to  deny others the blessing of providing love and support.  And the truth is every ounce of support is helpful! We have gained strength and reassurance from those around us as we move farther into this adoption process.  That need will do nothing but grow as we get closer to being matched and bringing Little W home.

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive. ‘

Acts 20:35

 

Has there been someone in the last 30 days who has asked you ‘How can I help?’ or said something like ‘let me know what I can do?’  My guess is that most of us gloss over it while in our minds we are formulating the plan that will move us to a goal all on our own.  ‘I can do it!’ is our internal mantra.  Not a bad thing, but some things in life are better when we let people move a little closer to us.  My question to you is this:  ‘What blessings are you denying to others and yourself?  Is your ‘I can do it’ attitude keeping others at arms length?
 
Denise & Cathy  (true servants / servers !)

Denise & Cathy
(true servants!)

Mike & Dee (Hamming it up)

Mike & Dee
(Hamming it up)

We were recently surrounded by peope who wanted to bless our adoption process. Our small group will be some of the first family members that this new little one will know in the USA.  How fitting that they should play a role in bring Lil’ W here! Of course the principle of ‘More Blessed to Give than Receive’ is one of the primary reasons for us choosing adoption in the first place.  Dear friends of MFCC, please know that we will pay it forward.
LLI!
Your friend,
Meredith

I cannot change the world, but I WILL change the future of one child

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  • There are 17,900,000 orphans in the world (who have lost two parents)
  • Each year, 2.6 million children die as a result of hunger-related causes
  • Americans in the lowest 5% income range still enjoy a greater level of wealth than the richest 5% in the nation of India
  • It is estimated that 600,000 to 800,000 humans are trafficked every year.  1/2 are children. 
     

When I think about all the bad things happening to innocent people in the world, it is disheartening.  In a world where there is so much beauty, joy and good, how could there be so much sorrow and evil?  Then I think its too much for me. I am too small and insignificant to make an impact. Somebody should do something!    In the words of Matthew West:

 
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”
If not us, then who
If not me and you
Right now, it’s time for us to do something
If not now, then when 
Will we see an end
To all this pain
It’s not enough to do nothing
It’s time for us to do something
 
And so I am.  So we are.  I am married to a dear man I will simply call ‘hubby’ who made a commitment early in our marriage to adopt.  As is the case with so many, we found our vision for a family very difficult to fulfill. In 2010 we were blessed with a biological daughter .She is the light of our lives.  Her four short years have taught me more about God’s love for us as a father, than all my other years combined.  But our family is not complete.  We believe firmly that there is a gap to be filled. We have blessings to share and important things left to do in this life.  So here we go! 
 
  
 This blog is the story of our adoption.  We are figuring out life as we go along. (Just as you are.) Join us in the journey
 

Live Life Intentionally!
 
 

(LLI)

Your friend, Meredith 

  

 PS – The photo in my first post and on FB is a licensed image (not the child we are adopting.) We are currently waiting to be matched!)