The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Whining Like Moses

(Warning: LONG post ahead!)

This summer I started a book club for women at my church (although any woman is welcome!). The book we're reading is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers. I highly recommend it. It is a fictional retelling of the biblical story of Hosea (found in the Old Testament, in the book by the same name). In short, God tells a God-fearing, God-loving man to marry a prostitute. Both books are about the man's struggle to continue loving his unfaithful wife as she struggles against his love. It's an allegory for all of our struggles to receive God's love.

Anyway, I had the idea for this book club for a long time (I actually stole the idea from a church we attended in Idaho) and everything came together for it to launch the day after I returned from Chicago. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had barely recruited and I am not yet well known in my church (there are two services and we've only been here a year). Aaron had emailed me the final sign up roster while I was still at my parents' house and there were three names I knew on the list--one of which belonged to a woman whom I knew by name only and the other two I wasn't yet close to. But, the first meeting arrived, bathed in prayer, and I was surprised to see the "chemistry" among the women. The whole thing was God-birthed and I had really let Him choose the participants. So, I shouldn't have been surprised that He chose a group that coalesced on contact.

Our first meeting was very casual, just to get our faces before one another and lay down a few "ground rules." The second meeting was the first opportunity to discuss the book. As I prepared, the theme of the first few chapters seemed to be pain--what we do with it and where God is when we're in it. That's a great place to start a relationship with brand new friends, isn't it?! But, I couldn't shake the idea that that was where God wanted us to go. Right off the bat. Straight into pain. And, one of the most difficult questions in the Universe. Sweet.

But, it was. Sweet, that is. The women really opened up (much more than you'd expect on a second meeting) and real ministry happened. It was jaw-dropping amazing. I came away exulting that God is God and that He is good and working in these women. I was so humbled to be a part of it!

The third meeting, however, was different. Because it's summer, about half the group was traveling and it was just...different. I was struck by the issue of identity for that meeting, but it just didn't go over. Fell flat. There was some more real sharing of lives, but little ministry opportunity and I just didn't have that same awe-inspired feeling I had for the first two meetings. So, what did I do? I started doubting myself.

What do I have to say to these women? Who am I to try to lead them closer to God? Why would God choose me? Surely, SURELY, there is someone more qualified to lead this group (I even had someone picked out!). I don't fit in. My life is too perfect (how's that for a lie, huh?!) for me to be able to relate to these women--they have real pain, real struggles, real needs. I'm not enough. I can't do this.

Then I called my best friend back in Boise. We laughed because she is going through some pretty weighty stuff of her own and it made my "stuff" seem so little. She told me to stop whining like Moses. :) Oh yeah, guess I'm not the first one to have a fit of insecurity!

The next day I went to read the story of Moses whining about how he was not the right person for the job (Exodus 2:23-4:17). And, it's a surprisingly funny story! God lays out the whole mission, how He's heard and seen His people. "So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."

Moses goes on arguing with God for awhile, throwing up all kinds of excuses. Finally, at the beginning of ch 4, we get to the funny part. Moses asks, "What if they don't believe me?" And God answers the question with another question: "What's that in your hand?" Can you imagine? There you are, sans shoes, talking to a burning bush who just told you His name is "I am." You've asked and asked this question already, but, despite God's best answers, you still think no one will believe that you are God's chosen one to lead His people. Suddenly, out of nowhere, God wants to know about the implements of your trade! "What's that in your hand?" Really, you can't tell? It's a staff, God.... Where are we going with this?

You know what comes next, God tells him to throw it on the ground; he does; it turns into a snake. But, did you ever realize that Moses actually ran away from it?! I can see it so clearly in my head. The "little girl" scream and the running! Funny stuff! Then God comes around to the answer to Moses' question ("What if they don't believe me?") and says that this is so that they will believe him.

Next, God tells Mo to put his hand in his cloak and it comes out leprous. Again and it comes out clean. Then God says, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second." (Ex. 4:8, emphasis mine) They MAY believe the second?! Oh, this is great God! Really confidence inspiring stuff right here!

Then, God gives Mo one more "trick"--the turning of water into blood. No rehearsal for this one, though. As soon as God has described this, Moses interjects some more self-deprecation: "I can't do this." Finally, God gets angry and says He'll let Aaron do the talking. Relieved, Moses starts on his way, but the Father gets in one last remark, "Don't forget the staff! You'll need it if you're going to prove I sent you!" Funny, funny, funny. I just love it.

Anyway, after giggling about all that for awhile, I hit the reset button. God started this. He picked the women AND their leader. He's doing all of this. I'm just there to do His will. To speak His words. Just like Moses (and Aaron). I'm even willing to bet that the third meeting was what He wanted it to be, even if I didn't see it. So, if you hear me whining like Moses again, remind me to take my staff!


My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued