Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Dwelling with God

I'm not sure how it began...just somewhere along the line I began thinking about my body being God's dwelling place. It's so often referred to in Christian circles as "the temple" and then followed by advice about how we must take good care of our bodies. And I'm all about that.

I'm a Beachbody coach folks.

But this post isn't about our bodies.

So often, I leave it there...or go on and think about how I must persevere in my exercise program, or be sure to drink plenty of water, eat whole grains. But no, this thought was back on the whole "God dwelling in me" thing.

The God of the Universe lives in me??? What? This is certainly cause for pondering. Yet I have not pondered lately. I've kept on spinning plates and wiping noses and just generally trying to keep pace with life. But I go back to it, there it is...

God dwells in me.

What does He find there? Am I short tempered, rushing, focused on what others think of me? Do I only see messes and work? Does the God of the Universe delight in dwelling in me? Oh my. Ummmm, not sure! Better do some sweeping up!

I began to pray that He would indeed delight in what He finds here. In this inner quiet place. In the part of me that is so still that it takes great concentration to even realize that space inside exists. But oh, it does! And it's the perfect shape for God to fill. You've often heard of it referred to as a "God shaped vacuum" and that nothing in the world other than God can fill it.

So...back to this thought about me being a temple. Usually, that's about the outside of me. "I need to take care of my body so I can live well for God." But what about the INSIDE of the temple? What about the holy of holies? Best that not be the most intimate, quiet, deep place? What good is a temple if the innermost holy space is...well, busy focused on wiping noses and getting frustrated that we're late to T ball again?

The answer is: not all it could be. God can do MORE in me. I know it. I have been BUSY. Such a thing of this American culture! We fill our lives with events, programs, to-dos and achievements and we never give thought to the inner "holy of holies." Oh sure, I'm a Jesus follower...did you see what all I have done lately?


Only God and I know how deeply He dwells in the innermost part. And I'll be honest, it's not as deep as I want Him to!

My heroes are Amy Carmichael, Jim Elliot, Betsy Ten Boom and George Mueller. Brother Andrew and a young 22 year old girl alive in this day and age named Katie Davis. They all have that deep inner sanctuary filled with the deep dwelling of God. They do not advertise it. There is no need. It is deep and it is real and it is glowing.

"Lighthouses blow no horns, they only shine."  D.L. Moody

I have often wondered how my dear Amy Carmichael was able to live in the poor realities of India and yet her writings never reflect how she felt. I know now that it was because her life was so utterly focused on dwelling in that innermost place with the Lord. How was Stephen able to have a face full of joy as he was stoned to death in Acts 7 ? He too was busy dwelling with the Lord in that place.

Which leads me to another discovery. It's not just me having an inner place all prepared for my Lord--sin confessed, pure heart, ready to listen...but it's me hanging out there with Him. It's me picking up the toy for the nth time singing praises of joy in that deep place for these children. It's feeling that familiar twang of pain in my hip and rejoicing for the many steps I have been permitted to take thus far. It's me seeing evil in the world and asking my Lord for justice.

Paul talks about this dwelling with the Lord in that innermost place too:

I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.   Philippians 4:11-13

So there is a happiness bubbling in me. Not dependent upon what may happen to me. Not whether the kids are getting along or fighting. Not dependent upon the scale. Not dependent upon the bank account balance. Not dependent upon what my peers think about me. It's a bubbling up that is genuine joy because I am dwelling in the innermost space with the only One who fits there, and finding great, deep lasting fulfillment there!!

How is your temple? Are you keeping it holy for the Lord? Are you losing sight of what it's all about? Are you sitting in that innermost place and having tea parties with God while all the world goes on around you?

I pray you are. 

I urge you to find that inner sanctuary. And not just to clean it, but to go and dwell.  Let it be said of us that we dwelt richly with our Lord!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Going to Uganda!!

We bought tickets to travel to Uganda!! We are incredibly excited!!!!! 
We are going to hold this sweet little one's hand and love all over him!!

Many people are dying to know details...and well, we can't give out too much at this point. (Sorry!) But we can share with you that our trip is NOT to bring him home, as we do not have a court date assigned to us at this point. We are simply going because we are in love and we MUST be with this sweet boy and begin bonding with him and his culture.

As many of you know, we have lived overseas before. We absolutely cannot wait to spend some time in his culture learning what life in Uganda is like. We will be spending time together with Z in his orphanage serving all the children while we are there. (It's a big job to feed that many kids 5x a day!)

We are also excited to be able to help out different ministries with their dairy cows and goats as well! We are so thrilled that a pharmaceutical company is DONATING some special deworming medicine that will greatly help out the Ugandan animals! Brian will use his expertise in many locations and we are so thrilled to have this opportunity!

Now the hard part...waiting to board the plane!! Hmmmm, I sense a theme here! Do you?

Friday, June 24, 2011

DQ is TWO!!!

Our little DQ is now TWO YEARS OLD!! What?!?!?!?! How can that be? Just a wee tiny bit ago she looked like this: (this is back when we suspected she was "he!")

Then out came a GIRL!!!! What????? Totally shocking to us all...she acted like a busy boy in there...but she was indeed not--just preparing for a vibrant life of a daredevil!

What? You don't think this looks like a daredevil? hahahaha!!
What a precious bundle of baby she was!! Oh! My heart aches for baby days!

Definitely tons of potential here... hee hee!
Now you recognize her!  At 4 months of happiness!
6 months old!

17+ pounds of LOVE!!

In Grandma Thomas' baby dress! 9 months old
All American Baby!
Happy 1st birthday, DQ!!!

And now, for a more REAL LOOK at life with DQ...
one of many LIPSTICK episodes:

"So sad that I did that!!"
Repentence is so genuine. She'll NEVER do it again!
(If you don't know, she ate ALL of my mail-order lipsticks that are now discontinued.
 Got to Grandma Shaw's last weekend too!)

On to HAPPIER times...
Nothing is greater than when it's your BIRTHDAY!

Now the daredevil in her can be seen! :)

Cherishing the card!

Opening the biggest present! What could it be?

This is the child whose first trip to the beach had her barrel running down to the ocean. Had she ever been to it? No. Did she know what it was? No. But adventure called. She tripped, got a face full of sand and her first ever wave crashed over her head. Did this stop her? No. She got up and began to run AGAIN into the ocean. Wow!! Don't you just want to live life JUST LIKE THAT!?!?!? 

I do.

Thanks, DQ, for teaching me how to have a zest for life, a love for adventure and the non stop curiousity that brings the flavor to life! Happy 2nd birthday!! We treasure you and cannot imagine life without you!!!

And if you are still here...why don't you take in a sweet moment before bedtime with DQ?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Common Objections to Adoption

Take a listen to this short snippet from The Zoe Foundation (website here) on common objections to adoption. I pray for you as you listen...and I pray that one more orphan will gain a home. Bless you.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Adoption includes HIV+ children...

This is a subject that I feel great passion for...

We do not yet know if the Lord will grant our prayer...

We want to adopt an HIV+ child!

But in the meantime, while we wait, please please have a looksee over at this amazing friend's blog. She briefly tells her journey of going from "ew, sanitize my hands and double shower off their germs!" to fully embracing her role as foster mommy to an HIV+ child.

Sweet Mandie Joy loving on her HIV+ foster child! No possible chance of transmission like this!!

I promise, you will be AMAZED. The stigma is outdated, the reality is simple (drug maintenance) and the children are REAL who are being left behind because of it.

Go here and read!!!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Remember when you played?

A tribute to childhood playtime!
by Jensi and Anneli

What's that lil' Native American sayin' anyway?!

She gave her sister a special "drink" and shrunk her good! ;)

Hit play and watch the "Native American Play" who knows...you may get inspired! ;)

Serious "Native American" faces...
(feathers courtesy of the backyard chickens!)

Friday, June 10, 2011

10 Things I love in my kitch

So I gotta say, I love my kitchen! Truly. We've lived in many houses over the years but this house has the BEST kitchen. The space is perfect, the counters are roomy, the island with electric on it is awesome and I love my eye-level fridge. But there are 10 other things that I love in my kitchen too.

And now I'm going to show you.
(in no particular order)

 My Magic Bullet. Best machine in the whole kitchen!!! SERIOUSLY!!!

 Having a plan for weekly summer lunches. Saves all the begging, complaining and keeps things fresh!

 A bottom drawer dedicated to kid dishes. If you don't already do this--DO IT! (put your cereal low too..) This encourages autonomy and allows you to SLEEP IN on occasion as they get their own bfast!

 Thankful hearts. I REALLY love this picture!!!

 The uber cool bench Brian built to fit the island. I fought this idea for a while, pushing for individual stools, but am so glad he won! ;)

 Homemade artwork gracing the fridge. (And magnets from places we've loved!)

 I didn't get many things from my Grandma Thomas, but I did get her recipe box! I loved her haphazard style and framed these and treasure them!

 My favorite animal made by Jensi years ago. (A lion.) Love it!

 God's word hanging around to keep us focused. :)

Recipe box designed and made just for me by that amazing husband! 
(It comes off the tracks so I can sit down and plan my meals!)

Monday, June 6, 2011

PLEASE MEET The Newest Shaw Feet!!!


This is it!!! We are so excited to share with you!!! The Lord has done some totally amazing and very difficult things in our adoption, but it has all been according to His perfect plan and He has led us to our SON!!!

There are many miracles to share about...but for now, I'm just going to say this:

We are totally in LOVE with this child!!!!

As you may know, we have to stay discreet at this stage in the game, but I am thrilled because my sweet friend who is there with him took this picture for me!! Please meet the newest pair of Shaw feet:

These are the feet of our soon-to-be child, Z! He is currently 2 1/2 years old and is waiting in an orphanage. We are so excited to welcome him into our family...in God's perfect timing. Please pray with us for that! If you haven't already seen, we are building a puzzle for our little Z to bring him home. We need 740 more pieces to complete the picture! Click here to learn all about it!

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