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Devotions

Children’s Book Review: Hooway for Wodney Wat

Though I am a stay-at-home-mom now, I am also a Registered Dental Hygienist. February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Often, awareness is brought to the fact that tooth decay is the most common chronic childhood disease or how to protect your children’s teeth from sports injuries. Those things are important, but one thing that is sometimes overlooked are speech issues related to missing teeth, tongue-tie, or other oral health problems.

My nephew, Zachery, is 6 years old. He loves trains and Legos and Minecraft. He has a great sense of humor and is a sweetheart. Zachery also enjoys a good book. If you pull out a book to read, he is an eager audience. When I met him he was 3 years old and very difficult to understand. This was a big problem because he likes to talk a lot! It was very frustrating for him to have so much to say, but not be understood. He has come so far with his speech and is easy to understand these days, but you have to “listen fast”, because he talks a mile a minute! Zachery’s speech challenges are due to developmental delays in the area of speech, rather than oral health problems, but many children may experience a combination of the two and for that reason, speech therapists and dental professionals work closely.

Many children with speech difficulties experience a lack of self-confidence and frustration either from not being understood or from being different from their peers.

We love the book Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester as a way to help children with speech issues learn to feel more confident and their peers to appreciate their differences. I bought this book for Rachael and it has become a favorite of Zachery’s; in fact, I loaned him this book many months ago and it has found a home on his bookshelf rather than ours.

Hooway for Wodney Wat is the story of a wodent who can’t pwonounce his r’s who uses his unique difference to outsmart a bully named Camilla. It’s a sweet, light-hearted, and silly story that your children will be quoting lines from long after you’ve closed the book.

Devotions

Reading Through The Bible Chronologically – Update!

Back in October, I shared my Mom’s story of reading through the Bible chronologically. Since then, she has finished her first journey from Genesis to Revelation. Here’s an update from her and the ministry that God has given her to share with others!


A few months ago, I wrote about my experience reading through my Bible in chronological order. I was nearly done, needing only to finish reading the New Testament, which I was able to finish reading, just before Christmas.

Then, God started to nudge me… I was impressed to do something, to share the idea of reading the Bible, in chronological order, with others.  To help make it interesting, to spark the curiosity in others and try something new.

In early December, after a long time of praying about it, thinking about it and mulling it over, I finally took the step, and set up a Facebook Group to be the “Home” for this reading project, where I can invite others to begin this reading journey.  It is called “From the Beginning to the End.”

There, I have posted some information about reading your Bible chronologically.  I posted a photo album of the bulletin board I made back in October for my church, to introduce the idea of reading chronologically.  I also added information about a very useful and informative website I found, that makes reading the Bible in chronological order a real adventure.  I plan to use it myself this year as I begin reading again!


Mom would like to invite you to join her on this chronological journey! If you would like to check out the Facebook group, and all of the resources she has gathered for this journey, you can find that here.

Mom has also set up an Instagram account, which you can find it here

Please join us on this journey through the Bible, from the beginning to the end!

(The Bible pictured above is my Mom’s antique family Bible. Isn’t it gorgeous?)

Devotions

The Glorious Ordinary by Sarah Frazer

When I read the introduction to The Glorious Ordinary I felt my lungs and heart constrict. I am here–in this waiting. Waiting in the ordinary and it is suffocating me spiritually.  I want what Sarah Frazer describes, peace today. I don’t want to wait until my prayers are answered to have peace and connection with God. I want to live each ordinary day marveling at the God who loves me enough to send His Son to die for me.

What Sarah writes is for me. It is for you. To find the ordinary, normal days and see and experience them as the glory of God.

I love that she has you digging into the word of God. Each day gleanings truth from God’s Word and making us wrestle and sit with it until we are truly abiding in Christ. Not only does Sarah bring us to God’s sacred Word but she guides us to pray. To spend time communing with God. This is a beautiful blend of sacred things. The Word of God and the words we pray back to Him.

I believe this book will be such a blessing to so many. It has already blessed me and called me deeper into hope.

I highly recommend this beautiful book to others!

Devotions

We Three Kings

When I turned 15 I was the only teenager who didn’t want to learn how to drive. My parents repeat a lot that I wanted to live on a bus line so I didn’t have to drive and preferably in a big city. To me it sounded wonderful. But my life did not bring me to this wonderful city living. Instead my parents forced made me take drivers ed, I learned to drive and I got my license at 16. Sometime after that this story happened.

One day my parents went to a meeting at church and my younger brother and I were left to get dinner. My parents had graciously provided money for some pizzas, so Patrick and I ordered pizza and I went to pick it up. (For some reason, my brother did not go but I can’t remember why.) On the way back, I felt something weird happening with the car so I pulled into a dirt driveway for a realtor’s business kind of in the middle of nowhere. The area was on a main road that had a sub division located about 2 miles from where I pulled over. The realtors office was closed.  I got out of the car and saw that I had a flat tire.

This was in 1997ish and I got my first cell phone around 2001, so there was no calling anyone without having to walk at least 2 miles, hoping the house I went to was safe. I also had not been taught how to change a tire in drivers ed. I knew, from watching my dad, that you took the lug nuts off the car with the long wrench in the back of the car. (If you know about car parts, sorry I don’t know the correct terminology.) I should also mention that it was dark out. I got the manual and went to the part about changing a tire. If I remember correctly, it was lacking in many of the details on how to do this, but I knew I could do it.

First I learned how to jack the car up so that I could remove the wheel. I put the jack on the edge of the car and it caused an indent into the car. But I did it anyway.  There were 5 lug nuts on my car and I proceeded to take them off.  While putting the wrench on the first lug nut, I realized it was going to be really hard so I came up with a song to sing while taking them off. This was in the spring time, but for some reason, I decided to sing “We Three Kings”. Every time I would go to push the wrench, I would sing “We Three Kings” and then push. One lug nut after another came off and I thought I could do this. “We Three Kings”, third one came off. “We Three Kings”, fourth one came off. “We Three Kings”, stuck. Try again. Stuck again. In fact, it seemed like the wrench wasn’t fitting exactly onto the lug nut. I kept trying, while singing the song. Still stuck. And I was getting frustrated.

I took a break and decided to eat some pizza. At this point I had been gone from home for 1 1/2 hours. (Due to my diabetes, I also needed to eat something.) While I had been praying all along, I began to earnestly pray for help, thinking that if I continued singing that song, it might help. I tried again and that lug nut did not bulge. I was stuck in my car and I knew my options were limited. My brother couldn’t drive and my parents were not going to get back from church for another hour or so. I did not want to walk the two miles to the sub division because I was uncertain of how far it would actually be. While thinking about my options, I tried doing morse code with SOS with the lights. No one stopped… I tried singing other songs to calm myself but I realized I was really stuck. Even though I was worried about my situation a peace came over me that it was going to be ok even though I didn’t have any idea what I was going to do. I mean I was using morse code…

I waited in the car for a good 45 minutes more before I began to really think about walking to the subdivision. About the time I was about to start walking, a car pulled in behind me and my dad got out. (Since becoming a parent, I’ve come to realize that he was probably more relieved than I was.) He quickly assessed the situation and took off the last lug nut. If you are ever in a similar situation, you should know that there is a special lug nut on cars that needs a special part that goes on the wrench to take off this lug nut. Later my dad told me that he spent a lot of time trying to figure out which way he thought I would have gone to the pizza place. Praise God, he chose the correct route the first time.

This Christmas season, I am glad that God provided that situation for me. First, I now know there are special lug nuts. Secondly, I remember that peace that came at a time I should have been worried. Third, like my dad, the wise men were searching for a prized treasure. Unlike my dad, that treasure saved them.

Have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!

“Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” Matthew 2:2

Devotions

Whatever Is Good…

This week our country elected our next president. In my lifetime, I have never seen a more electric election! There were so many strong feelings and opinions going into this election, and even more after the results came in.

As Christians, and even more as Adventists, we know this world is not going to last forever. We are in the last days before Christ returns. The state of our nation and our world should not surprise us, we’ve been told this was coming. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect us.

It hurts to see friends and family spewing such hatred towards each other, towards strangers! It’s scary to see and hear about the violence and destruction in our world. It’s a struggle to know how to explain everything to my kids. I wonder how long I can protect my kids from the evil of this world.

No matter what side of this election you are on, I think we can all agree on one thing:

Jesus Christ is Lord and King!

As I was thinking about what I wanted to write about, a Bible passage started to swirl through my mind. I think this is one that we all need to write on our hearts, especially in the uncertain days to come. We don’t need to be anxious! I hope that brings you as much comfort as it has brought me.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9 ESV

Devotions

Beautiful Ruins

Recently my friend Tima  and I were exploring some ruins.  We were marveling and awed by the beauty that they were.  Surrounded by the lush green around them and the history they held, it was captivating.

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The ruins weren’t “useful” per say and they weren’t whole, but they held beauty and history all there own.  I think we would have been happy to just stay there the whole time.

I often judge myself by my usefulness.  Can I do such and such well, is this helpful to anyone else.  I evaluate how to spend my time and efforts.  I want to prove my value.  Do you ever find yourself doing this kind of thing?

The world of adoption is messy.  More messy than I ever comprehended in the beginning.  When families look at adoption it really isn’t pretty.  It isn’t a whole child you will adopt.  You will adopt a fragmented and broken child.  But does that make them any less beautiful?

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At this ruins we had to be careful of where we stepped to preserve the building and keep ourselves safe as well.  But we loved every second there.

God has adopted each one of us.  We are broken, fragmented, jagged people.  We resist His love, even though He has given everything to prove His love.  We hurl insults back at Him and ignore His expressions of love and patience.  Yet, when God looks at us do you think He views us as ruins without worth?  No, I think He loves us.  I think He sees us as beautiful ruins.  And He dwells with us.  Then suddenly we aren’t just ruins, we are a historical landmark of what was and what will be.

Do you feel like you are just a pile of ruins?  Useless and broken?  That’s not how God sees you.

Are you forging into a journey that looks like ruins?  Whether the broken heart of a child or something else?  God doesn’t see it as beyond repair.

He sees beautiful ruins and He won’t give up on you or what He has called you.

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Devotions

There Is No Song Louder Than Love

When your fear is currency
And you feel that urgency
You want peace but there’s war in your head
Maybe that’s where life is born
When our façades are torn
Pain gives birth to the promise ahead

Switchfoot, I Won’t Let You Go

There are some moments in life that exceed expectation. Some moments that are so rich in God’s goodness that all you can do is bask in the light of His presence. Last Tuesday, I went to a concert that I have been waiting rather impatiently for: Switchfoot and Relient K’s Looking for America Tour. Two of my favorite bands touring together was a dream come true, and to share that with some of my favorite people made the night even more special. But beyond hearing amazing live music, I felt God’s nearness to my heart in a way that my soul was craving.

I’ve spent so much of this year struggling with reproductive health issues and the news of potential infertility. It’s a lot of painful irony for someone whose job is to support Mothers in giving birth. Maybe it’s the warring hormones, dashed dreams, or a combination of both that has blotted out a lot of hope in my life. Then I heard Matt Thiessen’s fingers run over piano keys, and somehow it was easier to choose for a moment not to let my heart ache despite anemia, doctor’s appointments, ultrasounds, supplements, teas, essential oils, fertility diets, and talks of high-risk pregnancies and potential miscarriages. It was a moment when God sang to me through Jon Foreman that He won’t let me go.

In the mixture of joy, laughter, fun, and tears on that night, my hands went up in worship to my God who carries me through it all.

I don’t know what painful experience you are going through, whether directly or indirectly, that may be unbearably hard to carry. And sometimes we only get a fleeting moment when the clouds break enough to remind us that the sun is still shining before the darkness envelops us again. Yet, I believe those are the moments when God is nearest trying to reveal who He is to us in the dark, and as we cling to faith for light to shine again we can know that when it does it will be brighter.

Devotions

From Great Disappointment to Great Hope

 

Two weeks ago, Beth-Anne wrote a entitled “Preparing a Place”. I had been working on writing a similar post with the same exact title for a few weeks and put it on the back burner to allow it to develop a little more. Maybe it’s that we’ve been friends over a third of our lives that causes us to think alike or that we’re going through similar life experiences right now. Or perhaps, as Beth-Anne said to me when I shared that I was writing a similar post, “Maybe God wants us to share that message with people.” We do have a message that God needs shared with people, so with that in mind, I have reworked what I was previously writing.20160720_123220

Our little boy is due in 4 weeks and 1 day… of course, that’s no guarantee that he will actually be born that day, but at least it gives me something to count down to! We are so excited to see Henry’s little face and see what color hair he has. We can’t wait to meet him and get to know him face to face. We have prepared his room, packed the hospital bag, installed the carseat base, had a baby shower, researched natural childbirth, toured the Family Birth Center, and now we wait. This time of waiting is full of preparation and hope and eager anticipation.20160816_221417

I imagine that our excitement waiting for Henry’s birth is similar, yet only a shadow of what early Advent Christians must have felt as they awaited Jesus’ return just a little over 172 years ago. This past Sabbath, October 22, we celebrated 172 years since the Great Disappointment. I choose the word “celebrate” carefully, for it is through that disappointment and further study of the word of God that we have learned a truth that gives cause for great hope! One hundred and seventy-two years ago Jesus began the work of judgment, which is great news, because that means He is doing what is necessary to prepare for His return!20160817_101246

John 14:2-3 says, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”dscn1148

While I may have my own day of “great disappointment” if Henry does not arrive by his due date, I know that he is coming when he is ready. Early Advent Christians had their day of Great Disappointment, but God’s word gives us hope and assures us that though we may not know the day or hour, Jesus is coming! He is preparing a place for us and longs to take us home to be with him.

Devotions

Good Medicine

This week has been a doozy for my family. My uncle was visiting my parents and had a heart attack in their living room. My sister is fresh out of CPR training for summer camp, and was able to do CPR on my uncle for 10+ minutes until paramedics arrived and relieved her. My uncle had no pulse for about 12 minutes.

Tuesday evening he was moved out of the ICU and into a regular patient room, he’s been up walking the halls, and it’s likely he will be going home in a day or two. His recovery has been amazing! He still has a long way to go, but we are very thankful that he is alive and getting well!

The day it happened, my Dad texted my brother and I. At the time, Dad didn’t know anything, except that his brother had just collapsed on his living room floor and was on his way to the hospital. Dad was a wreck. As soon as he was able to, he FaceTime-d with us to give us as much of an update as he had. Jordan and our girls and I were in the car about to get breakfast, so my oldest daughter heard the conversation.

As any 4-year-old does, she had questions. We explained that Mommy’s uncle had a sick heart, and he was going to the hospital, and that we needed to pray for him. She accepted this, and we were able to go in for our breakfast.

While we were eating, this wise-beyond-her-years child said something that caught both Jordan and I off guard.

Did you catch that?

“A joyful heart is good medicine! Did you know that?”

This isn’t the first time this girl has surprised me with her wisdom. And what she said was just what my husband and I needed to hear. We were feeling very concerned for my uncle and family, we were distracted from the here-and-now. And then she popped out with that!

Kids tend to bounce all over the place, they never seem to listen when we want them to, and they can make us feel crazy much of the time. But they do listen. They are aware. And they are smart!

Both my girls are very compassionate, and get very concerned whenever someone gets hurt. I hope they never lose that quality.

And I hope they always keep their joyful hearts!


The cover photo for this post was taken by my Dad the day after my uncle’s heart attack. Dad had gone for a hike to help clear his mind, and this was the view he found! Talk about some good medicine! 

Devotions

Stones for Bread by Christa Parrish

Confession.  (Some of you will be pretty upset about this.)  Sometimes I read the ending pages of a book before I finish it.  I like to know if I should invest in the story and certain characters. I have often attached myself to wrong characters and then don’t like how the book ends.  So if I know how it will end then I guide my emotions properly.  Also.  I like happy endings.  I’m a sucker for stories that are happy.

But sometimes I want a story that is harder to read.  A story that gets under my skin and makes me read slowly and pause as I read.  This is one of those stories to me.  The writing draws me in.  I love how Christa Parrish chose to write this story.  There are a lot of hard things dealt with in this story: mental illness, grief, trauma, forgiveness…  But it also shows how God is with us in those moments.

The publisher shares this about the book,

“Liesl McNamara’s life can be described in one word: bread. From her earliest memory, her mother and grandmother passed down the mystery of baking and the importance of this deceptively simple food. And now, as the owner of Wild Rise bake house, Liesl spends every day up to her elbows in dough, nourishing and perfecting her craft.

But the simple life she has cultivated is becoming quite complicated. Her head baker brings his troubled grandson into the bakeshop as an apprentice. Her waitress submits Liesl’s recipes to a popular cable cooking show. And the man who delivers her flour—a single father with strange culinary habits—seems determined to win Liesl’s affection.

When Wild Rise is featured on television, her quiet existence appears a thing of the past. And then a phone call from a woman claiming to be her half-sister forces Liesl to confront long-hidden secrets in her family’s past. With her precious heritage crumbling around her, the baker must make a choice: allow herself to be buried in detachment and remorse, or take a leap of faith into a new life.”

I encourage you to check it out.  And be warned, it will also make you want to take a trip to the nearest bakery or get your own hands dirty in some flour.

Devotions

Out of Reach?

I’ve mentioned before about when I felt spiritually dehydrated, and how my Mom helped me get back on track. Well, she has her own incredible experience with the Bible! She wrote this a couple of weeks ago, and I knew as soon as I read it that I needed to share it here.

This is my Mom’s journey in reading the Bible, or rather experiencing the Bible. Her journey turned into so much more than just reading! 

But rather than tell you her story, I’ll let you read it for yourself. This is Sandy’s journey!


In March of this year (2016) I was invited by my daughter, Ashley, to read along with an online group, Good Morning Girls, hosted by the website ministry, Women Living Well, who were going to read the New Testament book of Mark. I said yes, and gathered my Bible and coloring pencils, because they color-code their Bibles and I wanted to try it.

They read one chapter a day, keeping it light and easy for busy mothers. I enjoyed the reading and the discussions and insights shared freely by other women who were reading along. It was nice, but what I didn’t know was that God had another plan for me.

When the book of Mark was complete, they announced what the next book would be, Deuteronomy. I thought, wow, I have never read that book before, and it’s the last book of the first five books of Moses, so…I probably should read the book that comes before it, so I understand where Deuteronomy is beginning. So I did, I read through Numbers.

I found that Numbers isn’t all about Numbers! The word Numbers means “in the dessert” in Hebrew! It tells about the Israelites journey from Mount Sinai to the plains of Moab, on the border of the Promised Land. It is the “rest of the story” of the 40 years they wandered in the wilderness!  I had never read this before!

Back to reading Deuteronomy. By now, the group was ready to begin. I read the first chapter and found that I wanted to also read the second chapter and the third. I was finding it hard to be patient and read one a day. By the end of the first week, I had read the whole book!

Wow, what a book! It tells about the last opportunity for Moses to preach to the new generation of Israelites, before they entered the Promised Land. He had a lot of reminding to do.

I had come to the end of Deuteronomy, and got to thinking. I had never read (most of) my Bible before, including Leviticus, which came right before Numbers. If Numbers was about the wilderness years, there must be some interesting things happening in Leviticus. So I decided to read that next.  I was right!

So now, I had read three of the first five books of my Bible. I looked at Genesis and said to myself, “I know I have read this before, many times. It’s my favorite book. I don’t need to read it again.” Then I looked at Exodus. This was the story of Moses finally leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt, and into their future. I knew this story, everyone knows this story. I don’t need to read this….

So I read Genesis and Exodus! I had to laugh at myself, I read through all five books of Moses, in reverse order! Who is crazy enough to do that…? me.

This all happened in a matter of a couple of weeks, I was hooked, and excited to read most of it for the first time! I asked myself so many times, WHY didn’t I read all this before? The answer I gave myself was stubbornness and pride. ” I already know it, so I don’t need to read it.” What a fool I was.

Then my foolishness continued. On the Women Living Well website, they have materials you can print to aid in your studies. I found one that was a check list of all the books of the Bible, and each book had individual little boxes for each chapter! My motivation became a challenge to read all the books of the Bible in order to check off all the boxes.

It is said that Gods ways are not our ways, but He will use our silly challenges and selfish motivations to reach us, teach us and change us. Little did I know His plan was for me to finally READ MY Bible!

So there I was, ready to read the next book, Joshua. I had all the Israelite history, up to this point, fresh in my mind. I was ready to move forward and learn what I had been missing.

You see, I had come to realize I had missed an awful lot of the history in the first five books, between my negligence to read it, and depending on what I had been taught all my life in church.  They teach much of it, but over time, they become stories we take for granted, and in some cases, they get confusing. My own daughters told me recently that they never knew that Jacob who married Rachel and Leah was the same Jacob from the Jacob and Esau story. The two stories were never told together and seemed unrelated. 

There were many stories that, after reading these five books, I knew were connected, but I wanted to know it in order, so I could see the relationships and understand the history correctly. I knew what I needed to do.

Years ago, I bought the Tyndale One Year, New Living Translation Chronological Bible. It is awesome, in that the whole Bible is arranged in chronological order. I knew this would be a great Bible version to read, until I missed my NIV Archaeology Study Bible too much. I found at the back of the One Year Bible, the daily readings were listed on a few pages, so I photocopied them out and made myself a booklet. Now I had the organized daily readings, in chronological order. I found my book and chapter boxes check list, and checked it off. I had my chronological order booklet and checked it off too!  Now I was ready to read Joshua.

Judges and Ruth were next.  It didn’t take long before the chronological reading guide had me turning between two or three books to read the whole story. It was fun, and fascinating. I was happy when I made it through the book of Job, and enjoyed it! I had always figured it was beyond me, I have tried to read it before. Now I know better, it is no longer beyond my reach!

I decided to read the Bible in chronological order and realized it was ME that made it beyond my reach. It was always there, I just didn’t reach for it.

I proceeded to read through the Old and was finished by mid-July. I couldn’t believe I had read so much in so short a time.  I had always figured reading the Bible through, let alone in less than a year, was something I could never do. I was thrilled!

Next I wanted to read the New Testament. I was so looking forward to reading all four gospels IN ORDER, and I was not disappointed! What I did differently this time, was to also read through the Messiah by Jerry D. Thomas, an adaptation of Ellen G. White’s the Desire of Ages.  I did my best to read it in chronological order too, which was a little tricky, but it worked!

I finished reading the four Gospels, and am now reading the rest of the New Testament while following along in Mrs. White’s Acts of the Apostles.

The most important part of all my reading has been this: Always stop and pray before reading anything. I have tried to read so many times, without prayer, and it never meant anything to me. I didn’t remember what I read, I didn’t see how it was important, I couldn’t ‘apply it to my life.’ 

So many things now make sense to me. I don’t feel like I have to miss out on what the Bible says, I don’t have to rely on what others tell me it says, and I CAN understand it for myself.  God showed me that it is…

No Longer Beyond My Reach!


Have you ever felt that understanding the Bible was just something beyond your reach? Have you had trouble reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the Jesus of the New Testament?  

Mom has been impressed to share her experience reading through the Bible with others and is putting together a ministry of sorts. What she has so far is exciting! I’ll share more about what she’s putting together and how she’s wanting to share it with others in a future post. 

Would you be interested in a free reading plan to read through the Bible chronologically? 

Would you like more information about what Sandy is working on before I feature her next? 

Devotions

Preparing A Place

Jesus said to His disciples, “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” (John 14:2-3)

Today as I read those words I understand it anew.  The preparation and how it is proof of the return.  Proof of His coming to bring us to where He is.

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You see, a year ago we had our home study for our adoption.  A home study is a study that is done through multiple interviews about the people and their pasts as well as a physical inspection of the house they live in.  This is to see if they are a safe place for a child as well as have the means available to provide for the new child.

Last year we had just moved into our house and it was a wreck as we had to gut the whole basement and tear out parts of the upstairs.  It was a mess.  And yet we were determined to have it ready for the home study.  Matthew and I worked after he got home until late in the nights working on projects. Family and friends came over and helped us.  We were preparing for our daughter.

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One of the requirements was that we have a room for our daughter.  And while it is currently serving as our guestroom it is her room.  I have all her things in there.  Little gifts from loved ones.  Clothes I can’t help buying.  A pink stuffed rabbit I purchased many, many years ago for my unknown daughter. A picture from an orphanage in China– the hand-prints, footprints, and wheelchair marks of children waiting for their homes.  Little yellow baby shoes.  It is her room.

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The preparation of the house, and of preparing her a room is proof of our love for her.  Proof that when the time is right we will go and bring her into our arms and family–that where she is, we will also be.  She won’t be alone again.

My preparation for our daughter makes me hear Jesus’ words in my heart.  Do you hear them in yours?

He says, “I have worked with love and tenderness on your own special place.  Each flower I planted, and wall I crafted was done with you in mind.  Each labor of love was done so that when you come home with Me, you will be able to see that all along I was loving you and waiting for the perfect time to bring you home with me.  You will never be alone again.”

Jesus’ love amazes me.  It makes my heart stutter with unbelief. Yet, as surely as I am preparing a room for our daughter so Jesus is preparing a room for me.  And for you.