Monday, January 23, 2006

From my head to my heart

There's a popular song that says, "The longest distance I've ever known is from my head to my heart." Although the singers are referring to their lack of love for a woman they know they should love, I see how this lyric applies even to average situations. For me, there are so many things I know to be right and true - in my head. But in practice, in my heart, I have a hard time implementing those changes. For instance, I know that I shouldn't judge or gossip; yet I catch myself time and again casting haughty looks of harsh condemnation. I also know that I should work out and eat better; yet those brownies are SO tempting!

I also know that God is more than just a name or a character in a book. I know that Jesus is more than a man who lived and died more than 2,000 years ago. I know that the Bible is true and that my life should be based on those truths. Yet, how do I get those facts that I know to be true to be more than just head knowledge? If I truly believed God was active today, wouldn't I be more bold in believing for healing and other miracles? If I knew that I knew that Jesus can change lives, wouldn't I tell His story without hesitation? And if I knew that God's central truth was about love and not judgement, wouldn't I be more quick to comfort, love and encourage rather than condemn, judge and reject?

So how do I truly implement and exhibit God's character and love without hypocrisy and without wavering? How do I get my love for Him from my head into my heart, my hands and my feet?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Foster care journey

Mike and I have decided to pursue foster care and eventually adoption. We had our first meeting last night with Tracy, who helps coordinate foster families for our county. She said they have a great need for families like ours and that approximately half of the foster children become eligible for adoption. Right now we are open to taking a girl or boy, ages 0 - 8 years. The ideal situation would be to get an infant or toddler, but we mainly want to have a child that we can love and nurture - even if the child is reunited with his or her parents. Tracy said birth parents have about 4 months to get their act together once a baby is removed from their home before the state pursues a Termination of Parental Rights. This is good for us because I'd hate to grow attached to a child for 8 months or a year only to have him or her taken back to his or her birth parents.

Thankfully both sets of families are supportive of our decision. Classes begin Feb. 6 and by early April we'd be licensed to start caring for children. I'll keep you posted!!

Mountain climber

Someone once said that we can either circle the mountain indefinitely, or we can find a way to climb the mountain and move on. That's not unlike Clayton King, my college pastor's, favorite saying: build a bridge and get over it.

My college roommate joked that I was the perfect person to consult during mopey days because I would show little patience for pity parties. I'm working on gaining more compassion, though! And I believe the first step to accepting other peoples' weaknesses is to admit that I'm not all that strong myself. I rely on coffee each morning in order to rise and shine. I rely on my husband, Mike, for security and assurance. I rely on my mom and dad to encourage me and simply say, "It'll all work out." Mostly, though, I rely on God to change me, to burn away the parts I hate and to create in me the person I desire to be.

So, I can either accept the challenges of change and climb the mountain; or, I can settle into self-loathing and contempt. I'd rather be a mountain climber.