Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Waiting For The Call {Guest Post}

This is a special post for me. Not only is it a guest blog, but it is written by my amazing sister Beth.
Her and her husband have two adorable little boys and are currently in the process of fostering to adopt. This is their real and raw story of how God put it on their hearts to adopt, and the process of "waiting" for their children. A sweet and powerful reminder that no matter what we are "waiting" for, there is peace and comfort in trusting in the Lord and His perfect timing. 

Prepared the girls room with expectation 

April 2013- I sat at our women’s conference at Rainier Hills Christian Fellowship. My pastor's wife, JoLee prayed for all of us and said, “We have gifts for each of you. Please go to the table. We have prayed over these verses and want you to randomly select one.” 

I grabbed one and went back to my seat and read:
Psalm 68:6, “God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing.” 
I had no idea what this could even mean for me. We had lunch shortly after and my friend Nicole asked me what my verse was. I told her with my perplexed look on my face still not finding any meaning. 

She said, “Maybe you and Kevin will adopt and rescue children.” 

That verse has sat on my windowsill for the next two years. 
I would pray over the verse often and always remember Nicole’s words to me that day.

June 2015- Kevin, my husband, and I were at crossroads and had no real direction as to which path to take. It was obvious to us to get pregnant after my first son Jace so he could have a sibling as we cherished so much growing up. 

After I had my second son Hudson, we both had different ideas about what are family unit would look like. I wanted more children and Kevin was content with our family of four. We knew we needed to bring it to the Lord because ultimately it is not about what we want, but what He has planned for our family. We specifically prayed together for clarity if we were to adopt, have more children biologically, or not have any more children.

We waited for His Call. 
We waited for His answer. 
We waited for His Will.

August 2015- I was sitting in Cowboys Stadium at our annual AdvoCare Success School and He answered our prayer. It is a moment I will never forget. August 8, 2015 in section 243 at 2:42 pm. 

“You will adopt a baby.” 

I was hot, emotional. 
I wrote down what the Lord had just told me. 
It was too big to tell Kevin over the phone. 
I waited.

While I waited I praised the Lord. I wrote our baby a letter. I thanked Him for direction.
I walked into our home and told Kevin the Lord had spoke to me. This was not the first time these words have come out of my mouth. He looked wide eyed and expectedly. I said, “We are supposed to adopt.” Without hesitation he responded, “I always knew we would adopt.” We did not know what we were doing or getting ourselves into but we started the process in obedience terrified, excited, anxious, willing.

September 2015- We went and met with Bethany Christian Services in Shoreline, WA to hear more about the Domestic Infant Adoption program they offered believing this was the path we would take. For almost three hours they talked to us and answered all of our questions about the program. The last five minutes she said this and it changed the direction we thought we would go, “There are more families waiting than babies available. I want to dangle a carrot for you and talk to you about our foster to adopt program. We truly want you to do whatever the Lord is calling you to do.” 

We went out to lunch after and knew Foster Care was the path we were to take even though in our minds it scared us more than anything. We had peace in our hearts even though, emotionally, we were on a roller coaster where we couldn’t see the next turn.

February 20, 2016- We received our Foster Care license after completing mounds of paperwork, 24 total hours of classes, CPR/First Aid certification, FBI clearance, and 4 separate home study visits.

February 21, 2016 - We received 3 placement calls. We were no where near prepared for “the call” already but we acted when we felt strongly we were two take in two littles. 

On that Monday, we were told 99% chance we were going to get these two darlings by Friday 99% chance our mind meant 100%. We got their room ready. We made several trips to our local clothing bank as we prepared to add two more little ones to our family.  
Friday came and went. We got no call. We had no new information. 

We prayed on their bedroom floor over and over again as we waited.

During the wait we experienced every thought and emotion possible. 
We stood in faith that we would get these two blessings. We prayed without ceasing for these children. We wrote letters, drew pictures, cried, prayed, laughed, woke up many nights not being able to sleep, had our family, friends, and church family praying as we got no answers from our agency or the state. It was the longest 6 days of our lives from that Friday when we thought we would be picking them up to that Thursday when we got the call that they were placed with another family.

My heart felt like it had been ripped out of my chest. 
The pain and grief I felt is nothing I have ever experienced before. It in no way can be described but we love those two and still do. Our hearts ache knowing we wouldn’t get to celebrate their 2nd and 1st birthday that we had already marked on the calendar. New pajamas were washed and placed in their cribs for the first night. They still are in the same spot. Their birthdays are still listed on our calendar. We still talk about them daily and pray for them regularly. 

For whatever reason, God allowed us to love these two deeply and we are so grateful even through the pain of not knowing if we will ever to get to have them as a part of our family.

We are still in the wait but know God’s plan is perfect and His timing is perfect. 
We eagerly wait for “the call”

Our hearts have grown. 
Our faith has grown. 
Our love has grown. 
Our trust has grown. 
Our patience has grown. 
None of this would have been possible if we did not have to wait. 

We are thankful for the wait and will continue to trust Him on this journey to add to our family.

First born Jace Robert Madill 

Younger brother Hudson Wayne Madill 
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Sunday, March 13, 2016

When Comparison Truly Becomes Your Thief of Joy

It is almost midnight and I am scrolling through Facebook
Not looking for anything specific, no purpose whatsoever
Isn't that how it always is 90% of the time?

I read a blog post and I start to think about how much better it is than mine
I continue to read about her ministry and count the followers she has
I start to compare my small ministry and I lose a little piece of joy

Then I switch to Instagram and I see a "selfie" of another "friend" and her husband
I start to compare my single life and I lose a little piece of joy

Then I see I have a notification on Twitter
I scroll through the "140 characters or less" status' about vacations, weddings and new houses
I start to compare my "boring life" and I lose a little piece of joy

In the span of two minutes, I have completely convinced myself my purpose is not big enough, I don't work hard enough, I need to be skinnier, more adventurous, take more risks, buy a nicer car, and I need a husband and 2.5 kids by yesterday

This scenario didn't just happen tonight- it happens daily
Is this just me?

Why do we compare our own lives to the highlight reels of others?

Highlight reels are just that, the highlights of a person's life
In a world full of opinions and judgment, who wants to post about their struggles
Not me

This past week I could feel the comparison trap coming on and my joy being stolen little by little
I decided to fast from social media this past weekend
Not for anything else but to refocus on my own life 

And guess what? It was only two days, but it was one of the best things I have ever done

An amazing day celebrating an amazing couple

Instead of reading other people's status', I read promises of God
Instead of aimlessly scrolling through people's lives, I scrolled through my own
Instead of having the world tell me what I am NOT, I proclaimed what I AM in Christ

Created for a purpose

I am not saying social media is a bad thing or you need to fast from it
But, if we don't have solid boat to ride on, then the world will easily drown us in comparison, jealousy and envy

When we lose our security in Christ, doubt can easily creep in
Why aren't you further along in life?
Why aren't you married?
Why aren't you making more?
Did God really say?
That is the enemy trying to make you believe lies of this world

Who says you need a nicer car or bigger house?
Who says that your job does not matter or not good enough?
Who says you need to be "this far along" at the age of 30?
Who says you are not good enough?
Who says?!

You know what my God says about me?

Jessie, you are exactly where you are supposed to be. You have all you need to accomplish what I have planned for you. I will complete what I started in you. I will fulfill those desires. I have bigger dreams for you then you can ever imagine. I designed YOU for a specific purpose that no one else can fill.  Look to me for purpose, not of this world. Stop striving for your life to look like someone else's. I designed you. Trust me I know exactly where you are and what you need. You are enough. 

Monday I will be going back to social media to connect with the rest of the world
But I will hold tight to promises God has for my life, not the world
The world will not take away my joy

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." 
Romans 15:13

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Currently in March

                 Linking up with Jenna and Anne today for another edition of their "Currently" series.

Currently I’m…

WISHING that I could come home this weekend. My sister sent me the most adorable videos of my nephews. And when I say adorable, I mean probably only adorable to an aunt. My almost two year old nephew Hudson ends up hitting his three year old brother Jace. I have been watching these videos over and over again today wishing I could just come home for the weekend. I love Arizona, but I miss my family and sometimes I long to just to drive home for the weekend. 
CRAVING quiet time and rest. I feel like my life is a little out of control lately- spinning and I can't keep up. I need rest but can not seem to find it. Hoping this Sunday I can truly rest and do some writing that I have been missing. 
GOING HOME! Well, not until April. As you can tell from above I am a little homesick. Thankfully the opportunity presented itself where I can flying home with my friend Jill who can get us on standby. Jill is also on my AdvoCare team and there happens to be an AdvoCare Ladies event up in Washington. So it works out perfectly! 
WEARING too long of pants right now for this Arizona weather. Seriously, Arizona?! It has hit 90 degrees the past couple days and it is the beginning of March! I guess it is 10-15 degrees hotter than average this time of year. Of course. So, it seems I need to get getting my summer closes out sooner than I wanted. (notice I didn't say spring clothes because in Arizona it is either summer or late summer clothing) 
LEARNING to seek more of Him and less of me. Seek more of His strength and less of my own. Learning how weak I really am and how strong He is.  This season of life has been challenging, draining, exhausting, but also in the midst of hardship and stretching, I feel peace. I feel restoration. I see growth. I see God's favor. It has been tough, but the trials have made me lean on Jesus more. When we seek Him out, when we run to Him, we always find Him. And it is in only Him where we find peace. 
Pictures from February when I went home for a weekend

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