Hello, all! I wanted to express how thankful Shane and I are that you want to follow us while we journey to bring our Ruthie home. It may not seem like much, to read our posts now and then, but every time you read and comment or share it’s an encouragement to us. Your interest lets us know we have support- and God uses that support to give us strength in the hard times when we need it most.
Many of you have contacted me to ask how else you can help- whether it be through service or giving or prayer (THANK YOU!). I thought now would be a good time to fill y’all in on how we want to include you in our journey a little more deeply.
Prayer is number one- and I’d like to share why. We belong to a God who is completely vested in us. He created us, didn’t need us for anything, but wants to be intricately involved in our lives. Now, I might say something that irks a few right here, but; I don’t believe God has an exact blueprint for our lives. Wait just a few more sentences before you get mad at me! I don’t think God has planned out every move of our every day; but, that does not mean I don’t believe he knows everything there is to know about our lives: past, present and future. Of course he does!
I believe God uses the decisions we make- good and bad- to shape us into the creation he has always wanted us to be. With that in mind, I also believe he is a God that can, has and does change circumstances for his people. Sometimes, God changing things is a result of prayer from his children. Let me give you an example, and then I’ll explain why we desire your prayer for this adoption more than anything else.
In Genesis 18 we read about a conversation between God and Abraham. God tells Abraham that he hears the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah are pure evil and plans to destroy them if that’s true. Abraham boldly pleads with for God to spare the cities if righteous men (starting at 50 and ending at 10) can be found. When reading, it appears that Abraham’s “reasoning” impacts God’s decision, since he agrees to spare the cities if righteous men can be found.
God is often called “Father.” And when is a loving father not moved by a heartfelt request from one of his children? As a parent, I understand the answer to that question is “never,” even if my answer is no; I was still moved. While God never changes his mind (Numbers 23:19), he can be moved by our pleas to change a situation as long as it still fulfills his will. 1 John 5:14 says this, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”
However, there is also the Paul angle when looking at prayer. In 2 Corinthians 12 Paul writes that he has pleaded for God to remove what we only know as “the thorn in his flesh.” And God said “no.” He did not intervene in Paul’s life as Paul wished. But, God tells Paul why (which doesn’t always happen- just ask Job!). God says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
There are going to be times where we will want God to intervene in this adoption. We will want him to change something. We will pray that he does- and we will likely ask you to join us in asking that of God. But, there will also be times when God will not change his mind. That he will not change the circumstance we want him to. And that is when we will need your prayers the most. It will be those times when God says “no” that our faith will be (and has been!) tested. So, when you pray for us (and with us), just know that this means a great deal. Our hearts’ desire is for God to be glorified through this adoption, and no matter what it takes we want to be faithful. So thank you for caring enough to lift us up to our Father: for this is the most important thing.
Now, for those of you who say, “Yes, but we also want to do more!” I say a heartfelt BLESS YOU.
More, there is!
The first opportunity will be to purchase a t-shirt. My talented “other Haff” (Shane) has created a female and male logo for the shirts, which will be available in children and adult sizes. The exact details are still forthcoming, like cost and time available, but that will be taken care of soon. The proceeds from the shirts will help with Ruthie’s expenses. But, that’s not all!
Every time you wear the shirt for others to see, there will be an opportunity for them to ask who Ruthie is and why you want to help bring her home. Sharing our story- sharing anyone’s adoption story- can only do good for bringing awareness to how we can all help be the hands and feet of Jesus: whether or not you feel called to adopt. There are so many ways to obey God’s command to “care for orphans and widows,” as it says in James.
So, be looking for additional information soon on the shirts. It won’t matter where you live, we will be able to get you a shirt if you want one! That’s one amazing thing about this kingdom of God’s- we have love and support from so many places, near and far!
The last event I’d like to tell you about (for now, at least) is a garage sale. In early May we are planning on holding a garage sale at our home church in Muskogee, OK. Saturday, May 6th to be exact. If you would like to donate items, no matter where you are, we would find a way to collect them in time for the sale. This is a wonderful way to help us financially if you are unable to give money but still want to contribute. I will be advertising the sale about a month in advance to encourage a good turn out in our community. Also, if you are local (or not!) and would like to offer some physical help on the day of the garage sale, I know my future self would be so very appreciative!
Whew- that was a lot of reading to do not to get an update on our precious flower, Ruthie! Wish I had something I could give, but unfortunately I don’t. However- I will be getting a video of her on Tuesday! I am soooooooooo excited about that! Happy danced all the way to my computer when I read that e-mail snippet from our agent. (Insert dancing red dress lady emoji here). I’m relying on my techno-savvy hubby to be able to edit Ruthie’s face enough that I can share the video with you on here!
(This is her online biography picture- the first photo I ever saw<3)
Again, thank you for everything so far. We have a long road ahead, with a lot of decisions to make along the way, but our support system is like an Energizer battery- you keep us going!