Do you remember that childhood nursery rhyme? 1, 2 - Buckle my shoe; 3, 4 - close the door; 5, 6 - pick up stick; 7, 8 - lay them straight; 9, 10 - do it again. Or something like that...at least that is the way I felt today as I spent the day picking up sticks in our yard. This was the annual winter cleanup, and there were a lot of sticks to pick up. While I was picking up the sticks and cleaning up the yard, I spent a lot of time praying for many of you. Over the past few weeks, I have made a number of visits to the hospital and a lot of time on the phone talking about different problems. I was praying for so many that need help, healing, wisdom, strength and peace. I prayed for the people of Japan, and yet in so many ways I do not know what to pray for. I am reminded of the promise in Scripture, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)
Last night, Alicia and I worked through some adoption training material specific to the country of Honduras. There was startling information about the "Street Children" of Honduras, which only encouraged us all the more in our efforts to adopt. We read about the effects of Hurricane Mitch in the late 1990's and how this affected the nation of Honduras and how the effects still remain today. When I considered the devastation in these other nations, I was thankful again for God's grace and provision in my life, and kept picking up sticks.
Adoption Update: We received the initial draft of our Home Study for our review and took some time to review it over the weekend. It was a lot longer and more detailed than I thought it would be. As we read through everything, it was really odd to read about yourself in the third person. We found it interesting that Aimee described the decorating of our home as "minimalist". We used to call it "Old American", which simply meant that this piece was used by and given to us by this American, and that piece was used and given to us by that American...therefore, our decor was "Old American". Through the years, we have purchased different furniture and changed the wall decor, so as we look around the house, we guess the "minimalist" tag works. Alicia talked with Aimee today and they are notarizing copies of the home study for us, so we should be able to send everything off to US Immigration Services by the end of the week. We can also send off applications for some grants. Then, we wait. Thank you for your prayers and support as we continue on this journey.