This one post from our friend, Jessica Honegger, sums up the entire heart and soul of our upcoming Hope at Home weekend together. We expect that over these two special days, the Lord will give us a sense of having had a refreshing retreat in His presence, with a bunch of people that He is absolutely crazy about! We are expecting no less than a window of heaven opening up to allow us to see clearly the love of the Father for each of us and for each of our children. Come on and join us this Friday (7 pm) and Saturday (9 am-6 pm)!! ~ Susan Hillis
You may remember Jessica from reading her moving story, Emmanuel- God With Me, here at our Hope at Home blog. In addition to being a mother of three, two biological and one adopted from Rwanda, Jessica is the founder of Noonday Collection, a business that provides a pathway out of poverty for vulnerable groups of people around the world. You can join her! Visit www.noondaycollection.com
It Was Crowded....I realized this week that I have had a house full of company and they have overstayed their welcome. John Piper was always telling me about the holes in my theology. One of my best friends, and in my mind the perfect mom, reminded me that I wasn’t spending enough time with my kids. Ann Voskamp told me I was rushing around too much. And Karyn Purvis was shocked that I put our adopted son Jack in preschool after only 3 months home (she was also shocked we only co-slept for 6 weeks). My two elderly neighbors kept asking me why I had not brought them dinner in a while. And sweet Katie Davis reminded that, while I am doing some things for the sake of the poor, I was definitely not doing enough!
It was crowded, a little sweaty, and nobody was having any fun. So I finally opened my front door, and kindly asked each person to leave. As I turned around, I saw Jesus sitting on my living room couch. “Finally, just you and me,” he said, “I have been waiting for this!” I came and sat down by Him, he took me by the hand, and gazed into my eyes with more compassion and patience I could imagine.
It has been ONE FULL year since we met our miracle (and no matter how hard the day is, the miracle of Jack is fresh to me). Jack has taken giant leaps this past year; screaming fits that involve 30 minutes of recovery time- gone! Waking up in the night- never! Not sharing with the other two- now better than sharing than the other two! Not knowing how to give kisses- he can’t stop giving me kisses! Not using words- now it’s all words! His dreaded fear of dogs- now he is best friends with dogs! But Jack isn’t the only one who has grown. I am also seeing some of the changes that have happened in me this past year!
I Latched on to Other People's AdviceIn Jack’s first few weeks home, I was in such unchartered territory. I loved him with that miracle love, but he still felt like such a little stranger to me. A mystery. So I latched onto other people’s words and advice. But since I had chosen to idolize other people (amazing people with serious wisdom, but not worthy of my idolatry!), I often missed the Spirit’s wisdom. For some reason, I had gotten stuck on the “give me your eyes” recommended in Karen Purvys’ The Connected Child. In the midst of screaming fits that happened several times a day in the first few weeks, I was determined to get Jack’s eyes (because then we would be connected!) Then one day after a fit where we wanted to teach Jack about sharing, I saw my husband cradling Jack like a baby and whispering in his ears. Jack softly said, “Sorry,”—quite a break through at the time.
“How did you do that?” I asked Joe.
“I just noticed he responds better when I whisper and hold him like a baby.”
When we live life like there is an audience of people whose approval is more worthy than God’s, we miss the Spirit! Talk about a joy killer!
Before adopting Jack, I prepared myself for the absolute worst case scenario, only to discover that Jack truly felt like he had been born in my heart since before time! So when Beth asked me to write this blog a few months ago, I told her I was afraid that other moms would compare themselves and feel discouraged when I write about how awesome adoption is. But then I realized that I was the one who was dealing with comparison, who was letting joy slip by because my house was so full of chatter, it was impossible to hear Jesus’ voice saying, “Well done.”
Voices Louder Than Jesus?Who do you have living in your home? While God uses these people in our lives to encourage, inspire, and convict, if their voices are louder than Jesus’, it is time to kindly ask them to leave! One of my favorite life scriptures is when Jesus says he can do only what he sees the Father doing (John 5:19). How can we see what the Father is doing when our eyes are always on how other people are doing it! We live in a time of blogs, facebook posts, and twitter feeds. I swear half my friends in Austin have written books! As I repent for letting all these GOOD words become GOD words, joy is meeting me again! There is so much freedom in living for an audience of One- whose attention, care, and wisdom we have access to 24/7 if only we would turn to listen. We NEVER EVER lose God’s attention, but sometimes, because of our own sin, we quit paying attention to Him. So just turn around- he is sitting in your favorite spot, ready to take you by the hand.
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