Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Timithi!

Thirteen years ago God blessed us with our second child! Timithi came to us in a miraculous way, just as Jonothon did! When Jonothon turned one year, we decided to open our adoption file once again, knowing that most families wait several months, even years, to adopt a baby in the United States. As Jono turned one, Timithi was actually born that month. His birthmother was a child herself and soon decided that the best, most loving thing she could do for her baby was to place him into a family that could love and care for him as he needed. At her age, Marissa was courageous and loving to make such a huge sacrifice for her baby. And our lives have been changed in marvelous ways, since Timithi arrived! We opened our adoption file during the end of February, 1995 and Timithi came to join our family at the end of March.

I had been in Seattle with Jonothon, caring for my cancer-stricken mother, when the phone in her hospital room rang. It was for me. Our adoption attorney was calling with the news that "a baby boy" was available for adoption, but it needed to take place immediately. Chris was home in CA, so I called him, talked with my mom and step-father and it was decided that we would do it! Jonothon and I flew from Seattle to Ventura, CA while Chris got in the car for the four-hour drive. Chris picked us up at the airport, we went to our attorney's home office, and the three of us went to the home of "the baby' - this was a Saturday.

When the paperwork was complete, we left our attorney's office and drove home with our precious new baby, now named Timithi Owen. The next day was Sunday and we showed up at church with a new baby! It was quite exciting and so joyful as our church body rejoiced with us. Next day, we took Timithi to the doctor for a well-baby visit. The following day, Tuesday, all FOUR of us boarded a plane to return to be with my mother in Seattle. Chris had to return to work, so I stayed in Seattle - my mother home from the hospital, a 13-month old and a 1-month old who was definitely feeling the transition.

God is gracious and has blessed us with such a wonderful son in Timithi! He is creative, inventive, reliable and has a great wit! Today we are celebrating Timithi! He brings joy to our home and we are truly blessed by him!

Happy Birthday, Timi!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Monday, Monday...

I'm so thankful for a wise, Godly husband.
I had a rough weekend, where several 'things' piled up and my emotions took over. You know, living by feelings rather than by faith. Living in this state of transition, waiting to find the next job, the next church family, the next new community to live in... and wondering when it will all come together - it all gets overwhelming at times.
This morning as I faced a Monday of homeschooling I struggled. I was frustrated, the boys were agitated, everything was hard and nothing was very pleasant. I was in tears and the boys were arguing with one another. I found a prayer corner and cried out for God to help me see my way clear to overcome the emotions the whole family seemed to be going through. The answer came within minutes.
Chris came out to the kitchen table and sat with us. He prayed for us and we all joined in prayers of confession for the ways we've been reacting to one another. Then he talked with the family. He spoke with calmness and reason. He looked at the circustances of the morning and explained things truthfully and clearly. He added some great insights on our family's homeschooling experience. And then we closed in prayer.
What a huge relief to have a husband who brings wisdom and order to our family. Sometimes when husbands are out of work and spending lots of time at home, there are jokes about "getting them out of the house". Not from me! I'm so thankful to have Chris here right now to guide our ship through some rough waters. He always points us to Jesus.
And Jesus always speaks peace over the storm.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Jonothon!

Fourteen years ago God rocked our world by surprising us with our first baby boy! We applied for adoption on a Friday and Jonothon was born the following Tuesday! We brought him home - 2 days old - from the hospital. And our world has never been the same! Fourteen years ago, Chris wrote the following for him:

You came in winter when a crust of heavy snow sat on our Childlessness.
Your smiles and wide-eyed baby blues have melted frozen streams.
The rivers run again, and yet, you choose to draw from deeper springs than ever we have dared to tap.
In wintertime, we drink a toast of living water, souls made good upon the promise of God's Infant Son.
You, too, our hearts' desire, pledged by the Lord of Our Delight, have quenched the thirst of miles of Arctic desert wanderings.
And from that north a star shines down.
Its light we follow gladly for its hope brought life.
And we can never disbelieve the Word whose waters, deep and full of mysteries, have carried you into our waiting arms.

So today we are celebrating Jono!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Cold days and Corn bags

It's snowing again today... that beautiful lake effect snow! Coming from the Pacific Northwest where the snow is very 'wet', I still remember the first Michigan 'lake effect' snow I experienced. It was the first time I remember being able to see the details of individual snowflakes as they fell on the windows of the car. Mostly about one sixteenth of an inch, I'd guess. So amazing!

This past Sunday we were snowed in by blowing snow and white-out conditions. We were scheduled for special music at Forest Park Covenant, but received a couple phone calls telling us to stay safe and not try to make the 30-mile drive. We stayed in Holland and visited a church to see our friend dance with her ballet troupe during the worship service. Came home to the smell of dinner in the oven and Chris went and picked up two elderly friends of ours and they shared a meal with us.

When it's so cold like this, we like our corn bags! Usually it's the day we drive to cut down our Christmas tree... We stop at a hardware store in Rockford and buy a 50 lb. bag of feed corn for about $3.00. Then I sew bags and fill them with about 4 cups of the corn. Throw them in the microwave for about 4 minutes and they come out soooo warm! My boys love them at bedtime... warms up the toes nicely!

We are still seeking God's guidance regarding a new ministry position for Chris. He is putting our faith to the test. One of my Bible studies noted that when God tests our faith, it's not for His benefit. He KNOWS how much faith we have. He wants us to take our faith for a 'test drive', so to speak; so that we will see our faith in action. I'm thankful for the chance to live by faith. Not that it's easy or even fun... Just that it's the better way to live.

So live by faith today. Faith in God's strength to handle your circumstances. Faith that His Word always has something to say to you. Faith in His unfailing love for you. Faith in His wisdom which is so far beyond ours. Faith that He has plans for you. Faith in His ability to accomplish His purposes in your life. Faith that He will provide for your needs. Faith that He will give you wisdom and strength to meet each day. Faith that He can use you to bless someone else today.

Have a great day! (My toes are cold. I'm going to go get the corn bag!)

Sunday, February 3, 2008

His Grace is Enough

It was playing on the radio as we drove to church... "All of You is more than enough for all of me; for every thirst and every need. You satisfy me with Your love and all I have in You is more than enough." And then we sang today in church... "Your grace is enough. Your grace is enough for me."

And that is the prayer of my heart today. Asking the Spirit to quiet my heart and focus my thoughts as LIFE stares me down. Chris is still looking for his next ministry position, his income will end in about one month, the house we are renting is on the market, I'm trying to find employment outside the home, and today we think the transmission went out on our van (so it's probably "goodbye" to the van).

I'm frustrated at my tears which flow so easily today. I guess I hoped my faith would overcome my feelings and I could 'rise above' it all. But God made me with emotions and when I bury my head on His Almighty shoulder He can handle it.

I will declare my trust in Him again! I know He is good. I know He is able. I know He has a plan for me (and my family). I know He wants to focus my heart on Him. I know He will provide. I know He wants to be glorified in my circumstances.

Are you trusting in Him? Remember... His grace is enough!

- Lori

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Waiting on God

First, let me say I'm still new to this blogging stuff... I just found a bunch of 'comments' that some of you have sent. They weren't 'published' because I didn't know I where to find them and that I have to agree to 'publish' them. Sorry! And THANK YOU for your feedback. I love hearing from you!

We received a phone call from Visalia saying that they felt led to offer a contract to the other applicant. While it's a disappointment to be told 'no', we realize that it's still God's leading. And we don't want to be anywhere other than right where HE wants us. There are still some great churches out there that we are in contact with and we continue to talk with several of them.

My temptation to worry comes from living in this lousy Michigan economy, knowing that Chris's income will cease in about a month. Scary? Yes. Impossible for God? No! Both Chris and I appreciate all your prayers and emails of support. In the meantime, if you know of any work or temporary jobs... we are open.

So we continue to trust God and wait on his timing. In the middle of this, I'm thinking of Hannah's story found in I Samuel. My Bible study points out that God engaged Hannah and, by seeming to withhold her heart's desire, was really making her heart the reservoir of His own desire. God wanted a prophet. Hannah wanted a son. God, as always, is working according to a plan. He is not at a loss. When Hannah found herself in this apparently hopeless situation the truth was that God had a plan. Before Hannah began to pray, God was at work laying the groundwork for His prophet. While Hannah was praying, God was at work preparing her for the answer He had in mind. After Hannah was through pryaing, God was at work through His servant Samuel, the answer to Hannah's prayer. When we're finished, God is just beginning.

We choose to trust Him and follow His leading. (Thank you for continuing to pray with us!)

God bless your day!