Friday, April 24, 2009

Taking The PLUNGE!

"As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, 'It is the Lord,' he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and JUMPED into the water." John 21:7

Late last week as Mike and I wrestled with the decision before us regarding whether or not we would say "yes" to three (yes, 3!!) precious children from Ethiopia...Mike used this analogy: "I feel like I'm standing on the edge of the pool on a really hot day. I want to jump in but I know the water will be shocking and uncomfortable at first...but I also know that once I'm in the water a short time it will be the most refreshing thing ever! I'm so close to the edge...I'm just afraid to jump." His words described my heart EXACTLY. So, there we were...standing on the edge together...our hearts afraid to jump but also afraid not to.

We awoke the next morning...the day we had to give our agency our answer...and our devotional verse for the day (Oswald Chambers) was the verse above..."and (Peter) JUMPED into the water!" Can you believe that? Crazy? YES! But why should that surprise us on this our craziest of journeys? We continued to wrestle and pray throughout the day as our hearts shifted back and forth from fear to peace (quite the spiritual battle!) until 4pm when I received the following text from my courageous husband, "Call at your convenience. Tell them (the agency) that we're in. Hold my hand and let's jump!"

So, after almost 3 weeks of intense prayer and counsel, we are thrilled to announce that we HAVE accepted a referral from our adoption agency for THREE precious children! They are a sibling group ages 7, 4 and almost 5 months. Yes, a baby, too! We are awaiting our court date (which will finalize the adoptions) and hope to travel to Ethiopia in mid to late summer to bring these children home.

We are excited and scared but most of all in awe of what an amazing, loving and BIG God we serve! We are humbled that He would trust us with such precious cargo (FIVE children!) yet we know that 'apart from Him, we can do NOTHING" John 15:5 He will be our sufficiency!

Thank you for your prayers...please continue to pray that God will prepare our home and hearts to receive these children! We can't wait for all of you to meet the soon-to-be newest Hamiltons.
(By the way, this photo is of Madison and her cousin, Kimberly, jumping in the pool last summer in Sedona, Arizona! Awesome, huh?)

Friday, April 3, 2009

"You're messy...but I love you."

"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this:
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
  • To be honest, these words..."You're messy, but I love you." were actually spoken by me--NOT to Matthew and his cousin Harper when they went mud-sliding in our yard, pictured above--but to our dog, Rubie, who is truly the ultimate mud-magnet on rainy days. :) (You have NO idea!) Yet, as the words came out of my mouth, I could so hear my sweet Jesus whispering the same words to me..."you're messy, Beth...but I love you!" I then actually repeated this interchange out loud to my children...because I think we cannot hear it enough. God KNOWS we are messy and sinful and selfish and afraid and rebellious...He knows it all...yet, He loves us so. INCREDIBLE.
  • In this Easter season we are asked to be more aware of our sin and more aware of what Jesus did on the cross to pay the penalty for all our sin...past, current and future. It is a good and right thing to be aware of our sin...but ONLY in the embrace of His amazing love can we honestly deal with our sin. Looking at our 'mess' without knowing and believing in His love brings only futile attempts to hide or earn his love...which only leads to hopelessness. We must believe the truth: It is finished. He has done the work. Hallelujah!
  • As for our adoptions...all I can say right now is that God IS at work. Please pray for us all as God prompts. May he grant us ears to hear, eyes to see and most importantly, hearts to trust Him as His plan unfolds.
Love and Peace,
  • P.S. I, like others, cannot seem to figure out spacing on Blogger...crazy!