"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He CHOSE US in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be ADOPTED AS HIS SONS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST...." Ephesians 1:3-4

How I love these words from the Bible. They are special to me because adoption holds a special place in my heart. I have many friends who have adopted children and it is precious to see their love for these special children. It truly is a living example of the depth of their love. Many had to travel to different parts of the world to bring their children home. I even had a friend who had to brave tribal wars in remote Africa to bring back her daughter. Many had to choose financial sacrifice to pursue adoption. There is no doubt these beautiful children are wanted and loved.

But, adoption is special to me because I am adopted. Growing up, I always felt so loved, so wanted, so special. My beautiful mother had explained that my biological mother couldn't take care of me because she was too young, but loved me so much she "gave me up" for adoption. She would tell me the story of waiting for me and coming to see me at the hospital and falling in love with me from first sight.

This morning I was praying for my biological mother (I don't know her), praying that she is saved and knows the Lord. I am so thankful to her- thankful that she did not have an abortion. I know it must have been a hard choice and that she probably suffered ridicule and hardship going through with the pregnancy. I wondered if she ever thought about me. And, I again wondered if she knew the Lord.......

A few years ago a wrote a letter to her. Of course, I don't know her and have not sent it to her, but it felt good to write it. I am including here to encourage other women who may be facing this choice to continue a pregnancy or have an abortion. I write it to encourage other women who have "given up" children to adoption. And, I write it to encourage other adopted children.

A Letter to My Mother

As a very young girl, I often romanticized being adopted. I had fairy tales of Cinderella and Anastasia in my mind. I dreamed I was a princess and someday my mother would show up and reveal my royal heritage. Then, later, I often fantasized my mother was a movie star, living a glamorous life. It wasn’t until I was in college, sitting in a mall “people watching” that another possibility occurred to me. I watched a woman, dirty, disheveled, hat over her face and greasy hair, sitting alone and talking to herself. The thought occurred to me that this woman could be my mother. Not a princess, not a movie star, but a fragile, lonely homeless woman. I think that it was then that I decided NOT to ever find my birth mother, afraid of a reality that may not be pleasant or wonderful.

But now, as a mother of four (five now!) children and as a child of God walking in faith, I have realized the need in me to face my past and come to terms with these feelings. I have not felt at peace for the past month, something gnawing at me, making me feel uneasy. As I have prayed and cried out to the Lord to help me through this depression I have been feeling, these words started flowing out of my spirit. Although I wasn’t sure what I was avoiding, I knew I was trying to resist- eating when I wasn’t hungry, sleeping more, and turning on the TV. As I have been obeying the leading of the Spirit, and the will of the Father, words to my birth mother have been spilling out of my heart. I started writing them in my journal. I still didn’t feel at peace, so I sat and formulated a letter on the computer. I know I need to finish God’s will and send this letter to you, in hopes that it will fall on eyes who need to see it and reach hearts who need to feel it.

I think of you sometimes, and wonder if you do the same. I wonder what you are like- what your life is like, what you look like, if I look like you. Now that I am a mother, I have a whole new perspective about you- a whole new adoration for you. I have always loved you, but now I love you even more.

I don’t wish to find you- I want to respect your privacy. You are probably married and have a family- children and possibly grandchildren. I wouldn’t want to cause heartache to you or your family. I have always secretly wished that you would contact me someday. I think I am also afraid of rejection (if I were to be honest with myself!). But, I have also thought that you may have the same fears that I do- not wanting to invade my privacy or disrupt my family, or bring pain into my life, and rejection…….I also would never want to hurt my dear mother. I have lived a happy life and love my mom so much. I have never considered her anything but my “real” mom. She and I are very close. I would never want her to feel like she is not “enough” for me, or that she has let me down in any way, or that I need more in a mother that she has given me. She has been my hero, a wonderful mother who provided me with a joyful life.

But, if I could talk to you, I would have so much to say! I am so glad that I have not had the opportunity to talk to you before now, because as I have grown and matured my feeling for you have changed so much! In adolescence, I felt betrayed by you, abandoned by you. Although my mom always explained you putting me up for adoption was an act of love, I think I naturally felt rejection. My feelings are so different now, as a grown woman, and as a mother myself. God is so wise. He has allowed me time, experience, and growth to figure out my feelings for you before we would ever have the chance to meet. Maybe we will never meet or talk. I trust God’s plan for us.

If I could talk to you, I would thank you. Thank you for choosing life- thank you for giving me the gift of life. Thank you for putting my life in front of yours. I know it was a sacrifice. In a world that tells us, as women, “we don’t NEED to suffer- embarrassment, stress to our bodies, the disruption to our lives, and the mental anguish of having an unwanted baby.” The world tells us, “It’s your body. It’s your choice. It was just a mistake.” I’m sure, Mother, you had people tell you to think of yourself, not to “ruin” your life. I thank you for being brave and choosing life.

I also want to thank you for choosing adoption. Again, it had to be a brave choice. I can only imagine how hard it was to let go of me, after carrying me for nine months and giving birth to me. As a mother myself, I try to imagine you in the hospital room and the love you had to have felt. As a mother, I am awed by your sacrifice. I know that you loved me so much you wanted me to have the best life possible.

If you would have kept me, I don’t’ know what our life would have been like together. But, I do know I would not be here with my family today. I am thankful for my life- my husband and children. I would not have lived the life I’ve led, not touched the lives I’ve touched, not be the person I am. Again, I am awed by our Father’s divine plan for our lives and how works everything for good. No, it is not a coincidence that I am here doing the things I am doing. It has all been part of God’s plan and purpose- put into motion when you exercised your free will and choose to bring me into this world, to give me life, to give me hope, and to give me to a family ready to love and care for me. Thank you for your love and courage. I thank you for the sacrifice you made for me, putting aside your own desires, needs, comfort, and lifestyle for the sake of your child.

As a mother, I can only imagine that you have harbored doubts, questions, worries, and uncertainty of the years. I am sure there have been times when you wondered if you made the right choice. I’m sure you’ve wondered if I am happy, if I’ve lived a happy life. I want to reassure you- you did make the right choice. I am healthy, happy, and a child of God. Like most people, I have had a life full of ups and downs. I have always felt loved and cherished. I have always felt “special” being adopted- never weird or different. I’ve always felt especially “wanted,” NEVER “unwanted.” I am so thankful you were obedient to God’s will and God’s plan for my life. I know God will honor your choice. Thank you. I love you.

Angels and Miracles and.........Bill O'Reilly???????

I was watching Bill O' Reilly the other night. He was chuckling about Pat Robertson's (700 Club) "predictions" for 2008. Now, I didn't see Pastor Robertson's predictions, so I am taking O'Reilly's word for them. Robertson predicted that in 2008 people would see many more angels and that there would be many miracles. Apparently Bill thought this was funny (absurd from his facial expressions and tone of voice), and he poked fun that Pat Robertson could even hear from God to begin with. It made me sad, especially because Bill claims to be a person of faith.

First of all, hopefully, as Christians WE DO HEAR FROM GOD! Jesus tells us in John 10, "I am the Good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know sheep hear my voice." As Christ's sheep, we should hear his voice! I guess we sometimes are confused with Hollywood's portrayal of this and expect to be visited by Morgan Freeman in a white suit to hear from God. But, when we have a living, breathing relationship with God, we will hear His voice! During our prayer time, we don't want to do all of the "talking", but listen to Him. Don't be disappointed because you don't think you can hear from God. He speaks to us in many different ways- through His Word, through a friend, and through the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. But, the problem is that we NEED TO LISTEN! At times, that is the hard part. In Hosea, God says, "I will lead her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her." Sometimes we are so busy in our lives that we can't hear Him because life around us is so LOUD. So, when we have an intimate relationship with Jesus, He leads us into the "wilderness"- the lonely, quiet places, to speak to us. We have to get quiet to hear Him. "Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper." -1Kings 19:11-12. The LORD spoke in the gentle whisper. This is why God wants a RELATIONSHIP- not just a religion- with us! He wants to be part of our lives! I take that back- He wants to BE OUR LIFE! Being a "person of faith" doesn't just mean that you go to church. It means that you have a relationship with God, and part of that relationship is prayer. And, when we pray, God will lead us, direct us, and speak to us!

Now, judging from O'Reilly's sneers, he must not believe that we will see angels. But, angels are God's messengers and protectors. Psalm 91 says that "He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they ( the angels!) will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone." God uses angels, and they are all around us! Hebrews tells us, "Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation?" And, "Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." God's angels are all around us, and sometimes God allows us to witness them.

The other part of Robertson's prediction that Bill found amusing was that there will be many miracles in 2008. I guess Bill thinks of miracles as only something like the great flood or the parting of the Red Sea. But, we see miracles every day! If you have ever given birth to a baby or witnessed it, you would agree that the birth of a baby is one of God's greatest miracles! I know many people are praying for miracles right now for healing of loved ones, restoration of marriages, and freedom from bondage. I love medical miracles! It wasn't long ago that we were praying for Charles on this blog for his miracle healing.

Why do we doubt that God still performs miracles today? Doesn't God say that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever? Isn't He still the same All-Powerful, Mighty God? Does He somehow love us less than past generations so that He denies us miracles? One thing I see through the Gospels, when people had lost faith, Jesus could not perform miracles. (Mark 6) Faith and miracles are tied together! Jesus said over and over, "Your faith has healed you. Your faith has saved you." When He raised Lazarus, Jesus first asks Martha if she believes. So, let us never become unbelieving! I refuse to be the unbelieving generation of the New Testament. So, as in Micah, I pray God will say, "As in the days when you came out of Egypt, I will show them my wonders." Micah 7:15.

Father, we love you! Please forgive our doubt and skepticism. Forgive Bill O'Reilly and all of us who have doubted your Word and who you are. Forgive us, Lord for making you smaller than who you are. You are the God of the Universe! Have we forgotten that? Have we gotten to full of ourselves? Too haughty? Father, we humble ourselves and pray. We cry out for you! We want to hear you! We want to hear your voice! Forgive our doubt and increase our faith, O Lord! Thank you for angels and thank you for miracles and thank you for ministers like Pat Robertson who boldly proclaim your Truth. May we never be ashamed by you. Give us, give me a boldness for you. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

"Bah hum bug" and middle fingers.........


Well, it is "officially" the end of the "Christmas season"- the gift-giving, commercial part of our holiday. (Hopefully, you are excited that the the CHRIST part of Christmas lasts all through the year!) As we finished our last visit with out of town family last weekend, I talked with my sister and her husband about a new trend we found this shopping season. No, it wasn't the sales. No, it wasn't the hottest gift of the season. We talked about a surprising "Christmas spirit" we both experienced this year- for the first time. Now, my sister and I live in different states, so I am wondering if it is a national trend. Are you wondering by now this new Christmas "tradition"?We both either experienced or witnessed SEVERAL times people sticking up their middle finger to other people!

Now the first time it happened, I could hardly believe my eyes! A young driver, apparently unhappy with my driving skills, looked right at me through her windshield and "flipped me off" (that's what we called it in high school!). That was the first time of this shopping season, but my husband, Brian, soon experienced being "flipped off" himself. And, we counted at least 4 times we witnessed shoppers doing the same to one another in the Target parking lot. We even saw one young man roll down his window and scream "F--- you, lady!" Walking through Sears, tire shopping after Christmas, Brian and I were shocked by two teenage boys walking not a foot behind us, using every swear word imaginable, including the "F" word. I never dreamed shopping would be an "R" rated experience!

So, imagine my surprise when my sister and her husband experienced the same thing! And, we all agreed that times have changed. We NEVER would have considered using such foul language in public, and certainly NEVER to a person older than us. I don't remember sticking my middle finger up at someone. I can't even fathom looking someone in the eye and doing it!

So, what is going on?????? Is it a lack of respect? Is it that kids see it on TV and think it is normal? Hasn't anyone told them it is wrong? Am I getting old? Is there just a wearing away of human decency and treating others, including strangers with courtesy?

I would love to get some conversations going on about this! Please comment your ideas and email to friends to comment. Also, have you had similar experiences (or hopefully NOT)???

Father, I can't leave the blog without leaving it with you. Please forgive us, Lord. How it must hurt you when we treat others so badly. I hate when someone is mean to my children. How your heart must break that we are treating your children, made in your image, with such disrespect. Help us to love one another. And, help us, as Christ followers, your representatives here on earth to love others. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

A Prayer for the New Year

Psalm 119:169-176

"May my cry come before you, O LORD,
give me understanding according to your Word.

(Lord, yes! Please pour out your Wisdom on me. Give me deep understanding into your Word. "Give me a Spirit of Wisdom and Revelation so that I may know you better." Make me sensitive to your Holy Spirit.)

"May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise."

(Lord, you have made so many promises to me as your child, as a Christ follower. I am a new creation- the old has gone, the new has come. I have the Holy Spirit as my councellor. I have an abundant life in store for me. So many things you have promised for me- rest for my soul, peace, freedom........ May I receive these promises and believe them.)

"May my lips overflow with praise (yes, Lord! Forgive the complaining, whining......), for you teach me your decrees.

May my tongue sing of your Word, for all your commands are righteous."

(Lord, thank you for your Word. It is beautiful. Thank you that it never returns void. Thank you that it teaches me. Thank you that it is my "roadmap" to life!)

"May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts."

(Lord, I can't do it in my strength! I need you, oh, how I need you!)

"I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.

Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me."

(Amen! Let me live the abundant life that you have prepared for me! Let me be a light reflecting your glory! Let me shine for Christ! May I always look only to you!)

"I have strayed like a lost sheep."

(Forgive me, Father, in the Name of Jesus Christ. Why do I seem to always stray? Thank you for your forgiveness. I repent from my rebellious attitude and heart. I want to be submissive to you, obeying you, trusting you, not doubting...)

"Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands."

(Father, no matter what, no matter how much I stray, disobey, go my own way, I come back to you! Thank you for your Word that says, "Return to me. Seek me and I will be found by you." I love you so much, Lord. I thank you that my life will never be the same. I thank you that have resucued me, chosen me, changed me.......that I will be the same. Praise you, God!)