To catch you up, two weeks ago, I wrote about the wild celebration turned huge disappointment in our lives – wanting to have kids for over ten years, being licensed foster parents for over two years and receiving no calls, then the call came, and we thought we were bringing home the son (7-day-old Benjamin) we had dreamed of for so long. Then came another call, and we had to return him, and our hearts were crushed.
In last week’s post, while still healing from the disappointment, I wrote this in my prayer at the very end:
Lord, Thank You for showing me that even in the midst of that first Good Friday, the story was no way near over, and the best was yet to come. Amen.
I hit “publish” on that post, grabbed a snack and headed off to Walmart. Like I have done for the past 23 years of marriage, I filled the cart with goodies that we like, with no need to think about what anyone else likes.
I put our cart-full of stuff on the belt in the checkout line.
It’s Good Friday for us. But it had to have been Horrible Friday for them.
This year, my heart goes out more than ever to Jesus’ original followers on that “not-so-Good Friday.” If you read last week’s post you know that my husband and I had been waiting to become parents for what feels like a really long time—about 10 years. Finally, last week our hopes and dreams were fulfilled when little foster son Benjamin was placed into our care. And then, just 23 hours later, our parenting hopes were gone, and our dreams were crushed as the judge said we had to give him to his great grandparents.
Last Sunday was Palm Sunday. On that first Palm Sunday, the people of Israel (God’s chosen) had been waiting for a Messiah for a very long time. I mean, a really really long time.
Well, today’s post was supposed to be part 2 of a series on perfectionism, but because of the events of the last 48 hours, I’d like to put that on hold until next week.
Today I want to tell you how grateful I am for God’s Word, and specifically for two ladies in it. Yes, once again, it’s Mary and Martha.
As many of you know, my husband and I have been married for almost 24 years, and for no reason that doctors have been able to pinpoint, we have not been able to conceive.
Two years ago, we became licensed foster parents with the intent to adopt. In the past two years, we only received two calls to take in kids “just for the weekend” while their parents were away.
Then, out of the blue, came the call on Wednesday afternoon of this week. “Would you be interested in a seven-day old, healthy baby boy?”
“OF COURSE!!! I know I shouldn’t ask you this, but what do you think the chances are of us being able to eventually adopt him?”
“Of course you know that the goal is always to reunite the child with the biological parent, but this situation really looks like it’s not going to end up that way, but still, try not to get your hopes up.”
In the past, I’ve called Facebook the “Envy Ignitor.” This week I’d like to give it yet another name. (Drumroll, please…) Facebook, the “Perfectionist Pointer-Outer!”
Yeah, thanks a lot, FB.
I thought I had completely overcome my life-squashing addiction to perfectionism. That’s right. I had “perfectly” overcome perfectionism, which is right up there with Moses claiming to be the most humble man on the earth. (Numbers 12:3)
Just how did Facebook do it?
It all started on Tuesday. They announced the birthday of one of my besties early that morning. I sincerely wanted to write her a birthday poem that would clearly communicate that I love her to pieces and think she’s amazing. A simple “Happy Birthday!” just wouldn’t do. But Tuesday was crazy, and it never got done.
“Okay,” I thought as I went to bed that night. “Tomorrow I’ll write her an even BETTER belated birthday poem.”
On Wednesday morning, Facebook announced that it was the birthday of yet another one of my besties. This friend is near and dear to my heart as well, so now the goal was an even better belated birthday poem, PLUS today’s friend’s birthday poem. The poems never got written.
Then Thursday’s announcements brought ANOTHER sweet and dear friend’s birthday to my attention. Well, SHE deserves a poem too!!! So now the pressure was on to write one really good poem and two even better (to make up for them being belated) poems.
I still “owe” 3 birthday poems, and the longer I wait, well of course, the better they’re gonna need to be. 😉
Lately, I’ve been desperately asking God to speak to me. I just never imagined He’d do it through Facebook.
So what exactly is perfectionism? A guy named David Seamands describes it like this:
I made it home from my two-month trip to Chile just 5 days ago. It was a family “missions trip” of sorts, and I find myself filtering through the same feelings I see first-time missions trippers coming back with – you know, those strong feelings that they want to convince you to share:
#1 A renewed appreciation for all we have here.
Yes, my bed has been cozier than ever this week, and the espresso machine is back to delivering caffeine masterpieces.
#2 A heightened awareness for those who are suffering.
This time for me, it’s not just awareness of those who are suffering in poverty. More so, it’s for those suffering with things like anxiety, illnesses, loss of loved ones, or relationship heartaches.
The guy who suffered for 38 years
I was reminded of a story in the Bible this week of a guy who had suffered far longer and far more intensely than I hope I ever have to. In John chapter 5, Jesus was at a festival in Jerusalem, and while there, he went to the famous Pool of Bethesda where a great number of disabled people (the blind, lame, and paralyzed) used to lie. At this particular pool, when the water stirred, the first one in the water was the one to get healed.
He did it again. He got me way outside my comfort zone. “He” is my husband. “He” and Jesus both seem to love to ask me to do things that are scary and uncomfortable at first. Do they enjoy watching me freak out a bit? Probably. But I’m convinced they prod me because they know better than I do what’s best for me.
This past week’s DIScomfort zone for me? Bodyboarding. You know, that sport for thrill seekers who want to be lying down on the ocean waves instead of standing up on them like the surfers do.
As if rock climbing wasn’t enough. (Insert sigh and pitiful grin.)
I invite you to consider my story, along with the apostle Peter’s story found in Luke chapter 5, and to ask Jesus what fears are holding you back from the adventures He has in store for you.
There’s a poor side to Santiago, Chile, and there’s a rich side. We’re here to visit my in-laws on the poor side where my husband grew up. This week I got a little taste of what it’s like to go to the emergency room when you live on the poor side of the tracks.
My 78 year-old father-in-law became confused and disoriented, and his skin was cold and clammy. We took him to the doctor, whose only diagnosis was to get to the emergency room right away, suspecting he might be having a stroke.
A twenty-minute made-for-the-movies race car ride across town landed us at the poor side’s “new” hospital’s emergency room. Thankfully, since my mother-in-law volunteers at the hospital, her connections were able to get my father-in-law right in.
And for the next five hours, while his body received intravenous therapy, my soul received it’s own “therapy” in the crowded waiting room.
Today is day #20 of the long-awaited trip to visit family and friends in Santiago, Chile. I’ve probably put on my waist at least two inches of the world’s best bread and butter so far. Not bad—one inch per ten days!
But that’s not the “transformation” I want to talk about today.
“Let’s name her Karen, but spell it, C-a-r-y-n! That sounds like a good idea!”
It must be the curse of the “C” and the “Y” in my name that gives me this uncontrollable urge to “see why” about everything.
Silly things like:
Why do people still say, “Bless you,” when you sneeze?
Why are there silent letters in the English language?
Why do drivers back IN to tight parking spots when it’s easier to back OUT of them?
To deeper things like:
Why do we humans do, say, and feel the things we do?
Why am I here?
Really, I think we all long to “see why,” no matter how our name is spelled. Why AM I here? What is my purpose? Why did God create me and put certain talents within me? What does He want me to do for Him on this earth? What does He want me to do for Him TODAY? Why am I here?
There’s nothing like an honest kid to make you feel old. I have a few honest kids in my life. They’re my piano students. We’ve been pulling out the Christmas tunes the past few weeks. This week I asked several of them, “Hey, how about this one? Have you heard the song, “Joy to the World?”
“Ok, well, Jingle Bell Rock it is then.”