Thursday, February 14, 2013

Faith in the Details

I walked into my classroom this morning to find a gift on my desk.  Since it is Valentine's day I assumed that one of my students had brought it in before I arrived.

 I glanced at the gift quickly, but decided to wait to open it until the giver made their arrival in a few minutes.   It sat amongst other smaller gifts that I had already received this week from my little ones.

"Wow," I thought, "someone really put a lot of thought into this."

I quickly began to get ready for my day because my first graders would be arriving soon.  As the kids arrived I expected someone to proudly tell me that they had brought the beautiful gift on my desk.  No one did.  So a few minutes later I asked them who had given it to me.  They did not know.

At this point, I began to look at the gift a little more carefully.  I noticed the photograph collage with the word "faith," the jar of pink tulips (my favorite), a Sonic drink, and a Snickers (also my favorite). It was all tucked neatly inside a wooden crate.  I tasted the Sonic drink and realized it was cream Dr. Pepper, a new favorite that a friend I work with had introduced to me in the past year.

"Oh!  This is a gift from a friend who works with me! But which friend?"

There were a couple who knew the struggles of our past year... taking the scary step of faith to begin the adoption process, pregnancy, miscarriage, pause in the process...

I am now mentally trying to decide which friend had been so thoughtful to put this together.  Maybe a few of them?

You may be wondering, why I did not automatically assume this was from my husband...

It completely has his name written all over it, but he was out of town on a basketball trip for work and the few days before he left were filled with busyness, so I knew he did not have time to orchestrate this gift.

But then I saw it... tied neatly in the bow around the mouth of the mason jar was a jump drive.

Oh my! I covered my mouth and gasped... the tears began to flow.  Who had done this?!  I'm mentally trying to think who knew that I had carefully put away our adoption jump drive after the miscarriage?  I put it in a very safe place, a place so safe that we still have no recollection of the location!

I left my students with my student teacher and quickly ran (i.e  which translates to quick walking feet in an elementary school) to my friends' classrooms.

"Did you do it?"

Looks of confusion...

"Do what?"

Finally I found Libby.  "Did you do it?! How did you do it?"

She gives me a little grin.

"It wasn't me.  It was your husband."

Now I am so confused, but also thinking, "How ridiculous could I be?!  Of course it was him... but how?!"

She says, "I put it in your room, but you need to call him.  I don't want to give it away.  Let him tell you the details."

At this point, I am so overwhelmed with emotion and excitement.  I run to the phone and call him at his hotel in New Braunfels.  I wake him up... but he is happy to explain.

He tells me he thought of the idea the day before and had called the agency to explain our story.  He calls Margaret at Christian Homes and Family Services (our amazing adoption agency).  He spills the whole story about why we had misplaced the jump drive.  He tells how the Lord has been clearly telling us in the last few weeks that we need to step out in faith and trust Him in this.  Finally he asks if it would be possible to get a new jump drive.

 Margaret says, "Of course! But my assistant is out today and she is the one who loads all of the application files onto the jump drive."

DJ tells her not to worry about it today and says, he can just get it next week.  No problem.

But Margaret insists that she will see what she can do.

15 minutes later, Margaret calls back and tells him that she explained the whole story to her assistant and she said, "I love the Gilillands!  I want to take care of this today!"

Margaret tells him that he can come by after 2:00, so he runs across town to take care of this before he needs to leave with the team at 3:00.  Next he calls Libby's husband and asks for the favor.  He takes the jump drive to Ryan and then calls Libby to ask her to help him get the rest.

He explains he wants to recreate this song that we love called "Wal-Mart Flowers," but he needs a few things.  Libby selflessly goes to pick out the items and texts him pictures of the items she finds to get his final decision.

He decides on the faith collage since the Lord is clearly calling us to step out in faith.

As he speaks, I am in complete awe!  I am so in love with this sweet man the Lord has chosen for me, and also so excited that God is orchestrating our adoption story with each perfect detail.

I cannot wait to share these details one day with the precious one He has already chosen for us!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Stepping out in Faith

Wow... it has been a full year since I have been able to blog.

It has been a challenging year.  After our second miscarriage, I struggled for at least a few months to feel like myself again.  I think my husband was really worried.  I didn't know how much I struggled until now when I can look back upon the whole thing.

If I am honest, I haven't blogged this past year because I haven't known how to answer the questions about the pause in our adoption process.  I kept thinking we would get back to it soon.  We wanted to get back to it.  I think we both believed we would get back in the grove much sooner than this, but we both felt so much fear in the process.

Most of fear came from the fact that we had no idea how to pay the enormous expenses of adoption.  We know that most people fundraise to at least help pay for their adoption, and that has always been our plan... but somehow we have still held onto this almost unspeakable fear of asking people to help.

When I step outside of myself, it sounds silly even to me.  I am person who naturally trusts that God provides (this is not a compliment to me at all, but just part of my natural, God-given personality).  However, somehow stepping out in faith in this has felt really scary and awkward.

Where do we begin?  We still aren't completely sure...

I think we have some good ideas, but we still need to nail everything down.

But I can say that the Lord is doing a huge work in our hearts and it is really incredible to know He is working... and also a lot of fun. I am excited about the anticipation of it all.  I can't wait to see how His plan unfolds.

At this point, there are still a lot of unknowns but I just wanted to share a little bit of how you can pray for us right now.  We are planning to begin the fundraising process in the near future.  Right now we are researching and making some decisions about where to begin.

There are so MANY options!  Pray that God would guide us through these scary and humbling decisions.  Pray that we would be willing to step out in faith wherever He leads.

There are so many reasons to wait... but we desire to be obedient.  So please pray that we would not wait any longer than He wants us to and that fear would not be an issue.

My hope is that we will have some fundraising news soon.

We know that God doesn't call everyone to adopt but he does call us all to care for the orphans.  One way you can do this is by praying for us as we begin this process (again).

This morning my Bible study just happened to be over this verse (don't believe for one second that I thought this was a coincidence):

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.  James 1:27

He is doing BIG things and I can't wait to share more of it with you later.