Monday, January 25, 2010

So Now What?

So we lost our zeal for adoption.

Now what?

Just before Christmas, Dan and I found ourselves at our favorite Thai food restaurant on an unexpected date together. As we were enjoying our food we started to discuss where we were in the adoption process. We both agreed that we had lost our zeal for adopting through the state. Neither of us had a heart for overseas adoptions either. His comment was, 'If we're going to spend a bunch of money on an adoption for one kid, why don't we just get a reversal instead.'


(I'm thinking I can't believe he is really saying this!)

We talked about it, and decided to pray about it some more.

Just around New Years the conclusion is...


Okay, now this didn't just come over night.
Like I said before, all along I have felt we are missing someone. Dan has done the same thing a few times too.

I realized that this is spiritual thing too.

(I might step on people's toes here. I don't mean to. I just want to share my own journey on this. It doesn't apply to anyone but me. What ever you might think of it is between you and God. This whole blog is my own experience and my feelings concerning it.)

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way I want to share what has been happening.

Wouldn't it be just like the enemy of our souls to try to discourage us, especially when we are on the brink of obeying God on a major issue in our life?

All these things started happening around us.

Late one night I parked in the wrong spot at my mom's apartment complex. I didn't have the right 'sticker' to park there. My other car had it but not the one I was using. (Dan's) A very frustrating $322 tow fee later that included taking a ride with 'Shawn' the tow truck driver into a very dark and scary tow yard to retrieve Dan's car and made me an hour late picking up my poor mom from the airport, was all very upsetting.
(panting heavily from saying all that in one sentence!)
I was feeling bad that Dan's hard earned money had to go to 'those really friendly business men'. (I could use another word to describe them but don't want to hurt any tow truck drivers feelings. I don't use bad words but I was thinking of a certain kind of bird that begins with a V.)

Never mind.

Moving on!

Then a couple days later Dan is called on the carpet at work for a safety technicality that could cost him his job.

After that I was cleaning up from the holidays and went through some papers and found a jury duty summons for Dan that he was suppose to serve the week BEFORE!

Great! Not only did he almost lose his job, I got his car towed and now I'm going to have the poor guy arrested because I forgot to tell him way back in November that he had jury duty the first week of the New Year!


You know, through all of this we put our trust in God alone.

(Not in employment, or money nor anything else.)

Jury duty...well, he'll just be served a summons again and he'll serve then.

The could have been worse. It could have been stolen or wrecked. That equals paying for a new car plus recovering from possible injuries. Or I could have gotten a nasty ticket which includes increased insurance and a bad mark on your record.
It could have been a worse night.

His job...well, not only did he not get fired but was put on a committee to report examples of the new safety code from working in the field. The code was so vague that they needed people to understand with examples. Also, his forman was sure to say that if people had to be let go on the crew, Dan was to be absolute last to go.
He has work for the next few months plus found favor in the eyes of his superiors!
Our God is GOOD!

What ever might have been meant to discourage us turned out for our good.
It was a chance to rely even more on our Father in Heaven.
(Regardless of the outcome.)
He is in control.

That is how we are looking at this whole thing.

I would love more children in our life. They are a blessing and a heritage from the Lord.
Why would we cut God's blessings off?
Whether God allows anymore children or not,
I trust Him.

I just want to be obeying Him no matter what.

We sinned by not regarding God in our decision to have a vasectomy.
We want to undo the wrong by making it right.

Dan said he is going to get 'Fixed'.
(He was broken before.)

'Jesus does not hang desires in front of us without showing us how he wants us to get there. These words are water to a thirsty soul that wants true righteousness, but how do we get there? It comes by being submitted to God in the power of the resurrection.
You can't do it.
He will do it.'
-Jim Schmitt-

We desire true righteousness through submission and humble obedience to our God and Savior, for His glory!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


So I mentioned in an earlier post that I realized we were missing someone in our family.

I would do my regular head count in public to make sure we had everyone.

One, two, three, four....

Oh ya, we only have four.

I was always looking for someone else.

This feeling was very overwhelming at times.

Then we met some dear friends who were in the process of an international adoption. I started wondering if we might consider adoption. We had talked about it briefly when we only had our first two children. A cousin's children were possibly going to need a permanent home. They ended up with their mother which was fine with us, but I knew that Dan had been open to it back then. Back then, we only had two children, but now we have four.

What would he think now?

I didn't want to influence him about adopting beca
use I didn't want to push for something that wasn't suppose to be.
(Ladies, we have a powerful influence that we have to be careful of.)

So I prayed.

I prayed that if this was something we needed to pursue, then would God please move my husband that way. Otherwise, I asked for contentment and that God would remove any desire for more children.

Little did I know that Dan was thinking the same thing! He wasn't sure how to bring it up to me because I would be home with them the most.

All that to say, we decided we should pursue adoption.

We decided to go through the state to adopt foster children. It is the least expensive and I felt a connection to foster children because my brother and I were both fostered as children.
(He with the state and I with family.)

I ran into an old acquaintance who just started fostering her infant granddaughter. She told me the child would be going up for adoption eventually. I mentioned we were working on our home study to adopt.

That started a long relationship.

She was a single women in her early 60's, so she asked me if we would do respite care for the baby. (Basically babysit for free that included a weekly overnight stay.) Dan and I discussed it and said yes

So our family was introduced to baby Cheyanne.

We got to spend a lot of time with Cheyanne. We all fell in love with her. We got to see many of her 'firsts' because we started being involved with her when she was only three months old.

During this time or home study was finished and we started sending it in for many different children to be considered for adoption. We hoped we would be able to adopt Cheyanne but the way the state works, it's not a guarantee. We just put our faith in God, that he would bring just the right child into our home. We wanted Cheyanne in our family but only if God wanted it.

After being closely involved with Cheyanne for 11 months, our family was considered with two other families before a committee of state workers. The other families didn't know her but had been chosen for consideration by her case worker.

Regardless of our history with her, we weren't chosen to be the adoptive family.


It's still a little painful to talk about it.

We were never chosen to go to a committee for any other children either.

This all occurred over the last two years. Our home study expired a few months ago and we have let it sit there. We could renew it anytime but we just aren't sure if that is what we are suppose to do.

Ultimately, I don't feel that our time was wasted.
I was sad to say goodbye to Cheyanne but a little relieved too. I felt a peace about the whole thing. I knew we hadn't been chosen to raise her because that wasn't God's plan for her or us. We were allowed those 11 months with her and that was very important.

I have to say, though, that this little girl took a piece of our hearts with her.

This time was a faith building, family bonding time for all of us.
I was amazed to see my oldest, who was 10 at the time, grow in her faith so much. Don't be nervous when your children pray for something that you aren't sure of the outcome. Regardless of the answer, God will grow that child's faith. I use to be scared when my little girl asked for more babies in our house, because at the time, we weren't going to have anymore. I didn't want her to be 'disappointed' because God hadn't answered her the way she wanted. He did answer her prayer in Cheyanne.

Faith like a child is so much different then ours.
It is innocent.
Trusting the Father to answer and allowing Him to heal when it isn't what we thought it should be. It doesn't shake a fist at Him.

We are all called to such a faith.

New Dan

Then the new Dan showed up.

Things changed drastically.

First, everything was put to the side. The computer, his hobbies, his guitar and even us for a time. It was like he had some catch up time to do with God. He would come home from work and sit down in his chair and READ HIS BIBLE!

He would read for hours!
I kept thinking...'Who are you and what have you done with my husband?'

He started memorizing chapters of scripture, listening to sermons from the web and teaching himself Greek. (He wanted to make sure for himself, that the Bible he was reading was an accurate interpretation of the original scriptures.)

All these things, like scales, started falling off around him. The internet (covetousness for materialism) lost it's hold. He softened toward myself and the children. He saw us as a joy more than an annoyance. Hobbies no longer held any appeal. He started seeing things a whole new way.

He started talking. TALKING! He had something to say! He had so much to tell me about what God was doing, how he was feeling and what he was learning.

He saw how he wanted to be a better father and be purposeful in raising our children. He wanted to lead our family and not just let me take the main responsibility for their character and spiritual training.



He had heard a sermon from Paul Washer on courtship. He and I talked about how we didn't want our kids to date when they were older because of all the traps that one can easily fall into while dating. Our church of 6000 families didn't have a general teaching or thinking about biblical courtship so we didn't know any like-minded families.

So we prayed.

(Did you hear that? We prayed TOGETHER!)

We prayed for God to bring other families into our life that would be on the same track on raising children. Raising children to become adults who are on fire for Christ! Other families who were serious about spiritual growth and spreading the gospel.

Shortly after that, we left the church we had attended together for 15 years and started going to a little church of homeschool families. These families not only were like-minded in raising children, they also really encouraged the men to be leaders and disciplers in their own homes. This was a place that the church is very focused on seeking God in all things and equiping people to obey and follow Him.

Believe it or not, my dear, sweet, quiet husband, who normally didn't have much to say to anyone got to a point that he was actually PREACHING some of the sermons!


Talking in front of about 100 people!

Not just talking, but teaching and preaching from God's word!



Full of joy!

And I am head over heals for this MAN!

Old Dan


A little history about my man.

Dan is a steady guy. He only takes command when he needs to but his personality likes others to be in charge. He is really sharp and loves working with his hands. He is very efficient but doesn't try to reinvent the wheel. He's also very funny. He always looks on the bright side and rarely complains. Everybody likes him because he has a mellow, laid-back personality and gets along with everyone.

Dan and I met at age 18, just after high school. He was shy, introverted but very funny. He liked to make people laugh. He had grown up in a Christian home but had made some poor choices during high school. He had just started going back to church when we met.

We got married a couple years later and attended church together. We were involved in the small groups and faithfully attended every week. We tithed regularly and eventually got involved in some of the different ministries. He is an excellent guitar player and so he played on the worship team. We also helped in the Sunday School classes as well. On the outside, we looked like a normal, Christian Evangelical, middle class family. We were generally happy but not blissfully so.

Dan wasn't a spiritual leader at home. We prayed at meal times and bed times with the kids but never together as a couple. We had no family devotions or spiritual talks on what God was doing in our lives. He wouldn't engage that way with us. Typically he would come home, play his guitar, do some hobby and serf the web for more guitar parts or hobby stuff. We rarely talked about what was taught at church and I don't remember ever seeing him read his Bible.

Don't get me wrong. Dan was and is a wonderful father and husband. He loves his kids and likes me a lot too. ;) We were just kids growing up together and learning a lot along the way.

Both of us had a lot of maturing to do.

I like to say that the old Dan only read two books. His guitar book (with lots of pictures) and his electrical codes book. (He's an electrician.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


About a year before Dan's miraculous heart change, I started having some new thoughts about stuff. I'm an analyzer so I really thought about what was happening but it probably took several months to fully wash out.

First, I felt that we might not be in the right church.
Up to that point, I had never had any thought of leaving. (We'd been there since before we were married.) Our church was getting so huge, though, that I felt very disconnected with our children. We would walk in the doors and say 'good bye' for three hours. (We often stayed for two services.) I started seeing attitudes I didn't like. Not from the church itself but from the children my kids were hanging with. I also realized that they really only got maybe a total of 30 minutes of 'real' teaching in those three hours. I tried to point some of these things out to Dan but he couldn't see it. He was playing on the worship team at least once a month and was loving it. I once suggested we go visit another church. His response was, 'We're never leaving (this church) so we aren't going to go looking at other churches.'



I didn't want to be spiritually wise in my own eyes. That was Eve's sin and curse. I was going to submit to his decision without grumbling.

So I prayed.

First I prayed for contentment.
That God would help me do my best with our children's attitudes and hearts. (Dan had not had his heart change at this point, so was not leading our family spiritually at home.) I had them all week at home so we would work on it then.

Next I prayed for godly spiritual men to be brought into my man's life.
Dan got involved with a mentorship program through the church for the older men to encourage and disciple the younger men. (He being the younger.) On the outside it looked great. Problem was, the few truly godly men were so spread thin that they barely had time for anyone! These men were awesome but to be a part of someone's life, it takes more than a 30-60 minute appointment once a month.

I could see that wasn't working as well as I thought.

Finally I just prayed a simple prayer.

'God, please just give Dan a vision for our family. I don't have a clue what it looks like, only you do. Help me to obey whatever you bring into our lives and be content with however things turn out. I love Dan so much, and even though I know he could be capable of so much more, help me to be content with who he is NOW and not compare him with anyone else. Help me to be the wife you call me to be and give him the respect you ask of me.'

Talk about peace!


It was like I got permission to sit back and watch what God would do.

Something else was moving on my heart at the same time.
I thought we needed a puppy.
Dan... 'Absolutely not.'
Lots of work, messy, stinky, shedding, not to mention we have a kid allergic.
He had a point.

I realized that I was missing a little baby.
My youngest was almost four and my arms felt empty. I knew we couldn't have anymore so I started thinking of alternatives.
First I suggested that I do day care. Extra money, can send them home at night. Sounded good to me.
Dan... 'I'm thinking no. How are you going to home school with a little one crawling around?'


Lord, help me be content and take this desire away or move my husbands heart in some direction.

I really started feeling like we were missing someone in our family but I didn't know why.

Then came Dan's major heart change with the Lord.
(Obviously this is a pivotal point in our life.)

Here we go!

I've been encouraged to begin this blog to keep account of what God has been doing in my life.

So here I am.

The journey began some time ago.

Actually, Dan and I got married almost 15 years ago.
When we talked about having children I said I wanted three or four.
I had one sibling growing up and only part of the time.
Dan, coming from a family of four children, said, 'What? Three or four kids? There won't be any food in the house!'

I wasn't too worried about food.
I was thinking eternal beings. Children that are a gift from the Lord.

Fast forward.

We were married 3 years when our first treasure came.
Within five years, all four of our little lambs had been born.
Three girls and a boy. We were done!

So we thought.

He went just after the fourth one was born and had a vasectomy.
Everyone said that was a great idea because we have so many children already. We thought our family was big and we didn't want any more.

We are so blessed! I love these guys so much.
They are such a joy. I never imagined that I would be a stay-home mom
of four wonderful people that I get to home school too!
I love it!

Fast forward again.

Two years ago, my husband had a huge heart change.

With the Lord.

He was no longer a 'Sunday Christian' that faithfully attended church but looked no different from the world during the week.
Suddenly he had a hunger and thirst for God and His word that I had never seen before!
His whole attitude changed in every aspect of his life.
He has always been a likable guy but now...

Now he is so on FIRE it is amazing to see!
He has become more of a man.
My respect and admiration for him only continues to grow.
Just when I think I can't be any more attracted to him, I suddenly realize...
I am!
What makes him so much more attractive?
It's the Light of Jesus reflecting from his life!

It's amazing!

Can you tell I'm excited about all of this?