on getting straight: some benefits of repentance


When I had a 2 year old boy and a 4 month old boy and found out I was pregnant, I never had a shinier sink. I was all files and binders and schedules and granola bars. I fit my baby in a sling up over my growing belly, and I organized my little house because I felt it coming. I could hear the thunder in the distance,

but I kept thinking, “This is not the hard part of life.” Get these little things straight, and as I straightened, I trusted God with what was to come, and I tried to be obedient with what was in front of my face. It was all I could handle. I look back with such gratitude at how He helped me handle fear.

So the feeling has come again. Seeing this stack of adoption paperwork is like seeing two lines on a pregnancy test. Suddenly I see my mess, one hundred emails to which I’ve never responded, the blank chalkboard where my boys haven’t been learning their letters.

Seth, too, has been revealing so much mess in me because he’s beaming and brimming with God thoughts. He’s had a deep stirring inside him, and I’m watching transformation, a tendering. I feel mostly tired and overwhelmed. Actually, that’s not true. I also feel loved and I feel in love.

All this leads to the crock pot I mentioned the other day, still on low for a while longer, marrying some flavors, grace and good desire. In it is a book Seth and I will begin writing together this week.

We’re learning the power of forgiveness and of finding roots of bitterness, and as we ponder these things and feel God straightening us out, our response to Him has changed; we’re flooded with creativity and songs.

We feel released. We have healthy desires: for enjoying life, color, and right foods, for clean hearts, for an order of things that reflects God, for that sweet baby girl to be born far away, and for grace – that we would grow in grace, released from the bondage of un-forgiveness.

We’re not even sure yet what it all means practically, hence the crock pot. I finally feel free to start the adoption paperwork. We’re praying for the meantime of that, too – whether or not to care for local children in our home on a regular basis. I feel free to begin making a little money with my blog to help in the process.

These are the things right in front of our faces, and it’s all we can handle – that and writing a book. It’s a lot. For the next few days, I will share a part of the practical side of all this because I need your accountability and your help.

Thanks for being a part of this space with me. A front porch makes no sense without a friend on it and some carrying on about what it means to live.

holy experience

amberhaines
About me

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19 Comments

To Think Is To Create
Reply February 17, 2010

"...and some carrying on about what it means to live."

Love.

And I can't believe you wrote about this today. But I also can. Must email you.

Brit Chambers
Reply February 17, 2010

I'm a new reader and love this post... My life is in a cleaning phase as well. If I step back and look I think I'm trying to use the cleaning to regain control of something (anything) as we quietly contemplate adding to our brood of boys as well. Can't wait to hear how your adoption story unfolds. I love hearing them - and love telling mine!

Jenn
Reply February 17, 2010

Should have read this before I emailed you ;) Such similar lives we are living with a vast middle of America between us.

Sarah
Reply February 17, 2010

Can "local children" include Hudson? ;)
Anything you and Seth write will be beautiful.

Ann Voskamp@Holy Experience
Reply February 17, 2010

May words and babies and dreams gestate --- and grace and love and books birth full-blooded, all in His time.

I sit quiet on your front porch here and I murmur the prayers. I smile, sure.

All's grace,
Ann

Kiki
Reply February 17, 2010

Mm, unforgiveness and roots of bitterness, sounds familiar. Both things that I'm dealing with right now.

keLi
Reply February 17, 2010

Oh, yes. I know that sound -- the "thunder in the distance." I'm at work letting Him calm that fear right now...

Lora Lynn
Reply February 17, 2010

Yes! Sending you an understanding "Mmm-hmmm" from my place on the porch.

Vonda Murdock
Reply February 17, 2010

I have 2 born across the sea...I can't wait to wade through this with you...

Ashleigh (Heart and Home)
Reply February 17, 2010

Love to you in the midst of such transition...

Libby
Reply February 17, 2010

I am pretty new to reading your blog and am loving reading about your journey. I particularly have a heart for where your adoption path takes you...I have three small boys as well and have spent vast chunks of time these last few years sorting out whether we are meant to parent four children, and especially a daughter. Adoption weaves in and out of my thought process as I continue to search for the right path. Prayers and love as you take on all that is before you!

Sharlyn
Reply February 17, 2010

I enjoyed your post, and look forward to catching up on some older posts to learn of your journey. It sounds like you and your family are in the midst of a thrilling adventure.

Monica
Reply February 17, 2010

My heart is full of prayers for you as you wade through all of this. The Lord is doing an amazing work in and through you and it is just so exciting to watch.

Joy
Reply February 17, 2010

slowly simmering in His good time. I will be praying as you adventure into this new place of being, doing, dancing.

Bridget
Reply February 17, 2010

Thank *you* for sharing this space with *us*.

Jane Anne
Reply February 18, 2010

I appreciate your swing and front porch. You encourage me. Am I a broken record every time I comment? I am learning the power of forgiveness and finding roots of bitterness as well. It is a painful process but it is also liberating.

Megan@SortaCrunchy
Reply February 18, 2010

I'm honored to be invited and thrilled to sit with what happens next.

Budgets are the New Black
Reply February 18, 2010

What I love about your blog is how I carry away from the reading what is really important about the living. The kids will learn their ABCs. The sink will get cleaned. The papers will get filled. In the meantime, little lives are waiting to be loved and thought about and cherished in the now.

So excuse me while I take a moment away from your porch to listen to my little guy talk about his legos, and email my husband on his deployment, and talk to my daughter's teacher about the homework she "forgot". It's enough, but it's not all. My dirty sink can wait.

Sara Sophia
Reply February 19, 2010

Those papers are so complicated and scary.
They ARE the two lines on a pregnancy test.
They are hope and redemption and a saving from my sin.

They are a starting over that only He could give.

The mess, the chaotic floor, and the dancing.
That is where I see Him most.

In the lives He has connected to mine with so many golden threads.

(and I whisper, "mychildisouttherewaiting")

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