It has been too long since I’ve written. I often have leanings toward writing, just little time to sit down and get it down before it’s gone. I am trying to embrace this season, and there are a lot of good things happening. But honestly, I miss the quieter times, and hope to return to a more regular rhythm of writing….someday.
For today, just wanted to check in to say, “Hi” and update you on a few things around here. First, Art for Adoption is in full swing. We finished out the gallery show for the Schaadt family, making about $700 more to add to their total of over $1700, matching grant grand total: $3400! The Schaadt family leaves tomorrow for China! It is so gratifying to be part of something real-time and tangible. Nyah, your Mommy and Daddy are on the way! There is a lovely, supportive community forming in Art for Adoption. People are buying my art, but they are doing so much more! Truly, this God-inspired initiative is eternally significant, and I am honored to be part of it.
We’ve identified our next feature family, the Whitacre’s:
Actually, Jon and Jessi are friends of ours. We go to the same church and homeschool co-op. They are the couple who spoke to our church about adoption on Orphan Sunday. They adopted a little boy from China last year, and God has called them to adopt again. This time, a little girl from China named, Elsie:
We’ve held one round of auctions for them, which raised $271. I am busy making art to continue with another round or two of auctions in April. Here are some tulips, from my table at Easter, I painted the other day in watercolor. They will be in the next round of auctions:
I love the flowers of spring, and hearing the birds chirping outside my door. This is also the time of year when we are straining to the finish line of our homeschooling year. The birds and flowers spur me on in my morning prayer times. We are in the last quarter now (Hallelujah!) and in full swing of planning for next year. This week is the annual homeschool convention that I and many of my mom-teacher-friends attend in Cincinnati. I have so been looking forward to hearing the keynote speaker, Ann Voskamp , this year. I love her writing and her story, and, frankly, I am in need of some encouragement in the mother-schooling-life department. Ann is great at that. Her writing always lifts my vision and my spirit. And then, God did something really cool this week regarding that. I am going on Saturday with Jessi (Whitacre – above, Art for Adoption). Jessi had planned to wait outside and have a little time to herself while I listen to Ann, but then she saw a blog post from Ann this week with an announcement. Ann is also adopting a child from China, also a little girl, and she is traveling to China next week!! I thought it was so sweet for God to connect Jessi and I in this work of Art for Adoption and then bring this connection with Ann Voskamp. So, now Jessi is going with me to hear/meet Ann, and I am beyond excited for how God might encourage us all through it!!!
And, finally, one more thing I wanted to share…
Easter Sunday I had a tiny breakthrough. I started to realize how the enemy of our souls tries to victimize us with our past (and present) struggles. I caught a glimpse of Jesus – our Victorious Risen Savior – and decided it is time to put a stop to Satan’s torment. Stop allowing him to haunt my mind with the grief and pain of yesterday. I decided to refocus on today, and rise with Christ to a bolder, more confident faith. This is the power of His resurrection in real, daily living.
My life circumstances did not change on Sunday. In fact, I had a deja vu of sorts during worship. We sang the song, “Death in His Grave”. Here is the chorus:
On Friday, a thief, on Sunday a King
Laid down in grief, but woke with the keys
Of hell on that day, the firstborn of the slain
The man, Jesus Christ, laid death in His grave.
I remember singing that very song a few years back on Easter Sunday. I remember this specifically because I had to leave in the middle of the service. I had a visit with my son that morning, who was in the county jail at the time. This was the last song I heard before I headed out the door for the visit. That memory came back along with the stinging realization that my son is still in prison. Not a lot has changed. But yet, it is changing. I am changing. My son is changing, as we both grow in grace and knowledge of Jesus.
I thought about how God used the lyrics of the song that day to embolden me to go and share the Gospel with my very troubled boy. And then, how He was using those same words right then, in that moment, to cause me to rise in victorious faith. I thought of how many of us live in prisons of our own making, when Jesus holds the keys.
Believer, the door is open. You can walk out of the cell of painful circumstances. You can choose to lock up Satan’s continual accusations and torment. Jesus has the keys. He can lay your pain right in His grave. Make this the year to put it to death, and rise to a more glorious and victorious life in Him. Amen?
Hallelujah! What a Savior!