Thursday, August 21, 2014

Still I will Praise

Photo Cred: Pinterest

This hit me hard tonight. For one reason, in September it will have been three years since my little sister, Addison Ruth, passed away.  Three days before she would hopefully make her appearance in this world, God decided it was time for her to come home, she had already pleased God with her life of 9 months, and her time here was finished.  When we lost Addison we relived the same days for months, we sank into this never ending black whole, and oh the pain was, and some days still is torturous.  We clung to God, knowing that He is the only one that could carry us through such a time, that never seemed to end.

But you see we had a choice to make, and it was not any easy choice, would we choose to praise Him in that time?  Regardless of the fact that most days we didn't have he energy to get out of bed, we didn't want to see people, or deal with the bantering of the exhausted, confused, sad, little ones that still needed to be tended too, eating was out of the question, and well the tears they never stopped, regardless of out tiredness, sadness, anger, and exhaustion, would we choose to praise Him even when He takes away?

Did we want to?  Well I'll speak for myself and say that no, I didn't.  I was angry, furious even, I felt like God had teased me.  He gave me the little sister that I had asked for, for so long, and then had taken her from me, before I was able to truly enjoy her, I felt cheated.  I didn't sign up for this, why me, it wasn't fair.  So, why would I praise Him in that time, it was almost like I was trying to punish God.

As the days got worse, I knew in the back of my mind that turning away from God, and choosing not to worship Him, and not trusting that He is all knowing, all powerful, and all mighty was only going to hurt me, and damage me even further than I was already.  So, I turned to God and I told Him I was angry with Him, that I didn't understand, and I was not okay with what was happening, but that I would praise Him anyways because He is the God who gives, and takes away all for a purpose and bigger picture that I cannot see.   I clung to Him for dear life, because I was sure that I would not make it through loosing Addison, I was sure that my heart would never heal, I was sure that there was "no purpose" for this, I was sure.

But here I am, three years later about to celebrate Addison's 9 months of life, and I can look back and see where praising God even when He takes away had benefited me.  Addion's 9 months of life, and God calling her home, have allowed me to share, and witness to other young women who have had a sibling be still born.  I have now been able to be a crutch, a listening ear, a soft heart, and open hand to families, and young women who have suffered the same loss as I have.  Addison's life, changed my life, and God used her to strengthen my walk, trust, and hope in Him.

Choosing to praise Him even when He takes away is one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do, but it is so worth it in the long run.

So now I have a question for you, will you choose to praise Him even when He takes away?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Really Picture It

Last November while I was with the Unroe family on their "Gotcha-Trip", Mrs.Unroe had shown me a little boy on Reece's Rainbow who was waiting for a family, his name was "Robert".  An 11 year old boy, who was born with Down syndrome, and he happened to be located in a country that is really close to my heart. Well today, close to a year later his little face popped in my head, and I wondered if he was still waiting for his family to find him, and much to my surprise he still is.  When I found him still listed on Reece's Rainbow, my heart broke a little and I longed to reach through the screen and hold him.   He'll be 12 this year, yes 12 years old though he is about the size of a 4 year old, in December he will have been waiting twelve years to feel anything other than rejection, being unwanted, unloved, always lost in the shuffle, he waits for a hope to come along.

I want to be Robert's hope, I feel like the worst advocate for waiting almost a year to realize that no one is shouting for him, he has no one.  But I, I am someone and I have the power to find his family.  I always manage to fall in love with little boys, and they are typically "older", but I feel like those kids are the most over looked.  Most families want a cute baby, or maybe a little girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, not everyone, but most families.  But this darling, Robert? Is a sweet brown eyed, boy who has all the potential in the world, imagine what his smile is like, I bet he lights up a room, and I'm sure he has the most irresistible giggle.  I remember when we picked up the three newest Unroe's from their orphanage, I remember Jonathan's reaction to seeing birds, and being able to walk around his country that he'd lived in for years but was never able to experience.   I remember Jonathan singing, and singing, and singing, oh and he loved to whistle too, and when I think of Robert I picture that he'll be just as excited to finally have a chance, outside of an orphanage, and inside of a family.

Can you picture Robert as your son?  I mean really picture it, first trip of visits, getting to know him, nurturing his broken heart, and rebuilding him into the person God created him to be, longing to hold him while you wait for court dates, and final trips, travelling for Gotcha-Day, and finally walking away from his orphanage with him in your arms forever, can you see it?

Robert needs you, he needs me.  He has little hope, and I would really hate to see him wait much longer, I will be your biggest fan, advocate, fundraiser, I'd even travel on gotcha trip if you needed me, I would climb mountains for this child, I really would.  Please, don't let fear stop you, because I can assure you that Robert is worth more than everything that comes with an international adoption, I promise you he is.

Robert's Profile:

Friday, August 8, 2014

What's Wrong With Me

I've come to the realization that insecurity will be the death of every female, regardless of age, insecurity is what will single-handedly destroy them.  Why do I say this with such certainty?  Because my heart aches as I watch the 15 year old share her 'daily make-up routine' with her Youtube followers,  with every product she picks up the ache grows a little more each time.  She's 15, and she feels the need to use several different products to try and hide the blemishes that make her...her.  The freckles that make her unique, the natural hue in her perfectly beautiful skin.  She doesn't see beauty in who she is.

Or maybe I say this so confidently because recently I was told that foundation just helps my skin look...better.  Is this what our world has come to? Finding material things to make us look "better"?  I know it has, but to watch these girls be completely destroyed, without them even realizing what's happened until it's too late, and they can't find beauty or worth in who they are because this world has stripped them of every good thing, and told them that they are not enough...That is hard to watch.  

The subject of self-image, and self-love has been on my mind a lot recently.  I struggle with self-worth, and truly believing that I am indeed beautiful too, I'm only human it's expected.  There are days when I don't feel like leaving my house because I know my self-confidence will be shot down the second I see another girl who happens to fit societies version of beautiful better than I do. With her long hair, perfectly done make-up, and "all the right clothes", that is when I don't feel like enough, because I don't meet societies standards.  On those days I find myself overwhelmed, so overwhelmed to the point where I shut down, I don't want to do anything but sit and sift through this ongoing list in my head of what is wrong with *me*. 

Now, most people don't know about my self-image issues, so please be gracious with the fact that I am being transparent and vulnerable with you.  I'm sharing my brokenness, and flaws with you in hopes that it may be comforting to another hurting girl who feels like she isn't enough... because most days I don't feel like enough.  

I want to let you in on a little secret:  You...are more than enough.  Flaws and all.  

Yes, I am telling you that society is wrong.  Yes, I'm telling you that those products?  The ones that the marketing companies promise will "enhance your beauty"? Are indeed, just hiding the face that is perfect to begin with  Yes, I'm telling you that using those products doesn't enhance your beauty, they just hide it.  

I've never been one to wear foundations, or concealers, because I've promised myself that on those days when I feel that I am not pretty enough, that I will not ruin the canvas that God has already painted perfectly.  I may not see it at the moment, but I will never see it if I am constantly covering it up, trying to hide, or change the things that I a human who has no true vision of beauty, don't like.  We will never have a true vision of beauty unless we see beauty in the things that God sees as beautiful.  Our current vision of beauty is shaped by what?  Yes, society, and what society considers "beautiful".  

I'm not saying make-up is a horrible thing, but I am saying that we use it as a crutch, we depend on it for beauty.  But fake isn't beautiful.  Flaws are beautiful, they make us unique, one of a kind.  We, you, I are all beautifully made, hand crafted by a God who doesn't make ugly, who doesn't make worthless, who doesn't make less than enough.  Though we have no choice but to live in a broken society, we always have the choice to shoot down the opinions and lies of this world, and embrace our beauty, confidence, WORTH, and love who we have been created to be.  

"Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself." -Coco Chanel