Monday, May 21, 2012

Like a Child

Another lesson I learned came to me when I was exercising one day. (I know - such a random time!)

Right in the middle of my work out, this verse popped into my head:

"I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven."
(Spoken by Jesus & can be found in Matthew 18:3)

In the past, I've heard this verse many times, mostly in talking about approaching God as a child - pure and innocent. This time, however, I got to thinking about children - how they behave, things they do & say. (Now, I don't have kids, so I'm not going to say I'm the expert on this, but I have been around small kids in one situation or another all of my life, so I've picked up on a few things.)

The first thing I thought about is that kids, especially really young kids, are very inquisitive & are always asking "why". I don't think they are constantly asking "why" just to annoy whoever it is they are with at the moment. They're asking "why" because they want to know something new; they want to learn, and asking "why" is how they learn & how they grow.

So, how does this apply to approaching God as a child? We, like children, should be constantly asking "why", seeking to know more & to learn more. As a child goes to their parent, we should go to God, our Father, to learn more by spending time in His word and by just spending time with Him.

Following this thought of the constant "why", I thought, sometimes after the 500th "why" of the day, the only answer left is "because." ("Because" is sometimes followed by "I'm the mom/dad & I said so.") From a child's perspective (because I'm not a parent), "because" can be frustrating! You just want to know an answer. 

Why is "because" from a parent acceptable? Because that parent loves you unconditionally & only ever wants what is best for you. They aren't saying "because" just because they can or to hurt or frustrate you. They are saying it because they don't want you to get hurt & only want good things for you. (This lesson may have taken me so long to learn because I'm still a child & not yet a parent!)

So, what happens when, as children sometimes do, we hear "because" from Father God? We need to know that "because" is good enough. Why? Because, even more than our parents do, God loves us unconditionally. He only wants good for us. He's not out to get us or to see how much we can put up with. He has a plan for each one of us & knows what is to come. That is why "because" is good enough.

When you're only hearing "because", know that it's all you need to hear at that moment because God loves you & is always with you. It's enough.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


In coming to Thailand, I knew & was anticipating that God would teach me many lessons - lessons on myself, lessons on Him, lessons on others. I didn't know that I would learn so many lessons so quickly in the short time that I have been here. It makes me excited to see how much He will continue to teach me and the ways I will continue to stretch & grow in the rest of my time here.

I've been writing these lessons down for myself mostly because I have a horrible memory, but also because I wanted to be able to look back someday on my time here & remember how far God has brought me - not just physically in the distance from home to here, but in my relationship with Him and in becoming the woman He's created me to be.

A few weeks ago as I was thinking of all of these lessons I've already learned, God spoke to me & basically said to me (my paraphrase), "These lessons aren't just for you to learn. Yes, I'm giving them to you to learn & to grow from, but I want you to pass these on so that others can learn from them & grow."

Here's how the conversation followed (again, my paraphrase):

Me: (per usual when God wants me to do something out of my comfort zone) "Really?!? I can't do that."

God: "No, you can't; but I can & I'll help you. (per His usual :) )

Me: "Well, how am I supposed to share these lessons? I can't talk to everyone! And besides, You know how much I love talking (sarcasm)."

God: "Remember that thing called your blog? Write them there."

Me: "Well, no one will want to read them."
God: "Let them decide that. You just put it out there."

So, here's me putting it out there. From now on, when I've learned something that I think God wants me to share with others, it will show up here. (A lot of what I'm learning has been really personal, so it may or may not show up on here.)

I'm not very good with putting big, fancy words together & making it into some eloquent statement that makes sense like a lot of blogs I read. I'm not going to start trying that now. I'm just going to be real, to be me, & to try to make what I'm learning make sense to others as I put it out there. (I was going to write "put it down on paper", but this clearly isn't paper & I don't know what this is called. :) )
I think one of the reasons God brought me here was time - to give me more time & to learn how to better spend the time I'm given. Because of having more time, I've spent more time in His word, more time to talking to Him, & more time studying and reading some other helpful books. So, I've learned these lessons in different ways - books I've read, Bible studies & devotionals I've done, & from God in time spent with Him.

Here are a couple lessons I've already learned & re-learned (I'm not perfect, I tend to need to learn something a few times for it to stick):

* Shortly after I got here, I finished a book that I'd started at home called "Captivating" by John & Stasi Eldredge. (It was REALLY good!) When I picked it up to finish reading it, the first thing I read jumped out at me. It said "He (God) often takes us aside from every other source of comfort so that He alone can have our heart's attention." He had definitely taken me aside from every comfort source & now definitely had my attention! This is when I really knew that I would be learning A LOT of lessons.

* God is big & mighty & everywhere! This is what you learn in Sunday School & hear repeatedly growing up in the church, but in coming here, I now know it. This truth, God being everywhere, is His omnipresence. (This may be the only big word you ever read on my blog, it just means "present in all places at all times", and yes, I did have to google it to find the definition to describe it to you. :) ) Knowing that God is omnipresent has given me a lot of peace & comfort. There are so many ways I've learned this truth here. I know that when tough things are going on at home that I wish I could be there for, God is there. He can do so much more in that situation than I would ever be able to if I were there. And just because He's there, or here, doesn't mean He's in the other place less. As much as I've needed Him here, He's been there that much for everyone back home. This is probably turning into rambling because it's such a hard thing for me to wrap my mind around, but I know it is true & amazing!

So, there's just a couple lessons to start with. I already have two more lessons learned that God has put on my heart to write here, but you'll have to wait for those. :)
I'm looking forward to what God will teach us & where He will lead us if we let Him!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What do you do?

What do you do...

...when God puts something on your heart?

What do you do...

...when that something is so strong it literally makes your heart hurt & takes your breath away just thinking about it?

What do you do...

...when you feel so strongly about this something, but you don't know why exactly God has put it on your heart or even what you're supposed to do with it?

For me, this something is orphans.

God first gave me this heart for oprhans when I worked in the NICU. When we had a baby come in that had been placed for adoption, if it had been a possibility, I would have taken each one home.

Lately, God has specifically placed on my heart orphans with Down syndrome. I came across this site, Reese's Rainbow (, a short while ago & haven't stopped thinking about it since. They are a ministry that helps raise funds for families to adopt children with Down syndrome & other special needs.

The other night I was looking through the website & my heart was breaking for these kids. I was sobbing. This is the part where all of my questions started - what do I do now?

Though I don't know yet why God has placed this on my heart - and in such a way that it literally hurts - I do know that I'm not supposed to just let it be.

So, what can I do in the waiting time?

I can pray. I can pray every day for these kids that God would provide for them what they need each day, that He would provide each one with a forever family, and that each child will know His love every day.

And, I can tell you about it. Tell you so that you, too, can join me in praying for these kids who are waiting for a family. Pray for these families wanting to adopt them. If you have a few minutes, visit the website.