Monday, February 25, 2008

Time brings perspective

So much has happened in the past few days. But mostly, together we have made a decision to not allow the ups and downs of our adoption process run our lives. Our plan is to do what we can on our end and not get so worked up with the highs and lows. We resolve to trust God through it all and leave the details to him. I think it is a much better place for us emotionally.

We are having an interview with our foster care social worker (who is a very helpful and on-the-ball person) on Wed 3/5. To prepare for that, we need to have the bedroom ready to go, so we decided to shop on craigslist so we could replace our full bed with two twin beds. We asked for the beds to be donated, and we got one of them on Friday from a nice guy who was going to donate it to a local charity, but didn't want to deal with the hassle of getting it down to them. He gave it to us for free, and we picked it up at his home. Wow!

I'm going to LA tomorrow to work as an assistant director on a video for a christian band called RED. You can learn more about them from their myspace page. The video is for the song "Already Gone." They are a hard-core band not dissimilar to Linkin Park and Evanescence. This gig pays nothing, but if I do a good job, it can lead to future work. I've never worked on a video, so this should be a really fun and interesting experience! At the very least, I get to pretend I'm a rock star for two days! You can check out the kind of work that this studio does on their myspace page. I hope this leads to more gigs in the future. The AD in the film world does very similar work to the stage manager in theater. So, even though I'm new to the lingo and the particulars, I think my training will help me get up to speed quickly.

Our church held another Broken Hallelujah night again on Sunday. It was an awesome time of music and prayer. My ears were ringing and my fingers were really sore after nearly 4 hours of playing between the rehearsal and the event itself. Personal highlights was a time of sincere repentance for my not trusting God more, and the outward focus of justice and mercy to those around us. We took an offering of socks and pants for the people down at the Ladle soup kitchen. The pile of stuff was huge! We also had a missionary from Russia who happened to be at our church this weekend, so the time of prayer for him and his ministry was special as well. The whole church came forward to lay hands. I really wish I had a camera with me - I'll never forget that scene. People filled the center aisle laid their hands on those in front of them. This was repeated all the way up to the front where about 10 or so could actually reach the missionary. It was a really beautiful picture of us reaching out physically as well as spiritually.

Something else I'd like to draw to your attention is our cousin's blog: A New Beat. Jim has decided to leave the paper and focus on his music. I admire his courage. Both Jim and Candace are very talented writers. Going along on the journey with them is time well spent. Check it out.

A lot more stuff has happened - great times with friends playing Settlers and Wii, getting the taxes organized, moving forward on the marketing to the elementary school parents, a wedding consultation that looks promising, and more. Through it all, we're trusting God.

I need to sign off - I have to get up at 3:45 to get up to LA tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another disappointment

It's hard to know how candid to be on a blog. Your thoughts are there for anyone and everyone to see. Some people I know handle this by making their blogs only available to invited readers. I think I have dealt with this mostly by self-censorship. There have been details about certain jobs I didn't get as well as interviews and negotiations with local employers that I decided to omit from any online posting due to the possibility that it could be found and read by those same people.

But I think that for the situation I'm writing about today, I'll be more candid than usual.

Most of you know that we are considering adoption through San Diego County. We've decided to go this route for a few reasons. First, there is a huge need for children to get safe and loving homes right here in our area. Second, neither Jenetta nor I are really into the whole infant thing. So international infant adoption just does not appeal to us, and due to a number of reasons we have decided not to conceive ourselves. But I think the reason that is developing into the largest motivator for us is the idea that it is a great picture of the way God reaches out to us - inviting us into His family and giving us a place of love and signficance. We want to reach out in our small way because of the love and blessing God gives us.

What few of you know is that we had two specific girls in mind. It turns out that there is a need closer to us than we ever imagined. Two of our friends are heading out to work with a missionary group in Africa helping with AIDS orphans and teaching a God-centered view of abstinance that focuses on the worth of humanity as God's creation as the reason for respecting the body and others. While they have been preparing to leave, they were asked to take in two little girls as foster children. These girls knew our friends as Grandpa and Grandma (although they weren't blood relatives) so it made so much sense that they take them in. Our friends found it impossible to leave and work with orphans on another continent when there was an immediate need presented to them right here. While they delayed their departure, they still feel that they should be heading to Africa and are planning on leaving later this spring.

So, we have decided to step out in faith and communicate with them and our social worker our interest in these girls. We are terrified by this prospect with the current state of our business, but after a lot of prayer and a lot of discussion, we feel that to pass on this need is really saying "No" to God and to an opportunity for growth and to be a part of the solution for someone else. Our friends have been praying that if not us, someone like us would step up. We would welcome a long term connection between the girls and our friends. You can never have too many loving grandparents!

So you may be wondering, "What about this is disappointing?" Yesterday we found out that due to a technicality in our application and the problem of state bureacracies, our acceptance into the program will certainly be delayed until March and quite possibly could be delayed as much as a year. This would definitely mean that the two girls would go to someone else. Yesterday was a day of several disappointments. We got the call that this year-long delay was almost a certainty. I got another job rejection for something I really wanted to do. A rehearsal space for our band that I was hoping to use next week will not be available for some time. It started to rain. I could go on. I felt like crap most of the afternoon.

A day removed gives perspective. I shared it all with a close friend who sympathized with me with the "that sucks" which is a code phrase that means a lot to those of us in our home group. We had a really nice dinner with Jenetta's mom and grandmother. Jenetta played mexican train dominoes with me. (Those of you who know Jenetta's disdain for games understand this sacrifice of love on her part). We turned on the fireplace and watched an interesting French film about the life of Moliere. We had a nice conversation about trusting God and what our emotional state should be through the ups and downs of all this.

Even as I'm writing this, I'm finding it helpful to vent a bit. I'm listening to Guster on my iPod. (The simple chords on "Happier" are so incredible! I'm going to play that song again.) I'm wearing my favorite sweater. God is in control. He knows what is best for our friends, for the two little girls, and for us. We'll see what happens and trust Him along the way.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Meeting Ms. Morales

We spent some time this afternoon down at Scripps Memorial visiting our friends Nikki and Robbie and meeting their new daughter, Abigail. They got the good news today that all of Nikki's tests came back OK, and her blood pressure and heart rate are back to normal. They are planning on going home tomorrow night.

Abby is spending most of her time in an incubater which makes her nice and warm and bathes her in a strange blue light. Robbie was joking that she is already laying around in her tanning salon!

We are so happy for both of them. They will be awesome parents!

Shelley's Birthday

We celebrated Shelley's 28th birthday last night along with Blake and Rachael and Mike and Megan. Shelley wanted pizza and chinese food and rhubarb pie for her birthday, so that's what Jeremy brought for her! Mike and Megan also brought cupcakes with Elmo rings on it. Jenetta has been modelling her Elmo ring all day today!

We had a really fun time just enjoying each other's company. I hope to post a photo of it later. (I didn't bring a camera, and my cell phone photos suck) Jeremy took a few images, so I'll update this later.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Feeling Small

So our friends Nikki and Robbie are at the delivery room right now and should welcome little Abigail into their lives any minute now. I was thinking of the many changes in store for them. As I was thinking about them, I looked out our arch window and noticed the moon. It made me feel so small.

I went out to our deck to enjoy the evening a bit. We had incredible February weather today - crystal clear and 80 degrees. I even felt like I got a bit too much sun playing football in the park this afternoon. Tonight will be crisp and cool, but it is still very comfortable outside. I thought about the David's questions in Psalm 8:

3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,

4 what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?

Here is downtown Escondido from our deck tonight. There are thousands of people out there going to movies, eating dinner, drinking at the bars, shopping, and doing sociable Saturday night things. I am only one of those thousands. Then I look at the moon. There are billions of people that can see the same moon as I can tonight (or will see it soon). I am only one of those billions.

Sometimes it seems so crazy to think that God is concerned with me just here in my home town (let alone as part of the whole world). I feel so small and insignificant. Yet the same God who hung the stars and moon in the sky so huge and yet intimately involved in each of our lives. He knows everything about Abigail already before her parents have had the pleasure of meeting her! It just blows my mind. I feel small but special at the same time.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Fun in the snow

So some new job options have opened up and I am uncertain about them. I feel like I have some heavy decisions weighing on my mind. So, it was a nice treat to go up to Palomar with Geoff and Jackson and Will to play in the snow yesterday afternoon. We had a lot of fun throwing snow and sledding and just hanging out together. I didn't have to think about work much for about four hours. That peace was really nice. We just had fun outside. My favorite moment was just after we put all the work into the snowman (Geoff even put a Crowder pine goatee on him). We made this really nice snow art only to destroy it and smash it to bits. Boys are great! :)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Another 10K run

So I ran another 10K this morning. It was a perfect morning for running - about 55 degrees, partly cloudy, and no wind. The course runs through the Sea World parking lot and along the bay. It also crosses two bridges in each half of the course; one of which had a significant up and down. So, it was a challenging run. All along, I thought I was not doing very well. For some reason, in my mind, I was thinking my Thanksgiving run was under 55 min. But when I got home, I was reminded that I did that race in 57:18. So I improved my time over two minutes. My unofficial time today was 54:47. My goal is to break 50 minutes by the end of 2008.

But probably the best thing about today was that Jenetta got up at 5:30 to go down to the race with me. She was my cheering section and took a few photos of me. How cool is that?

Friday, February 1, 2008


So I shot this house this morning in Rancho Penasquitos, and I did something kind of dumb. When I got there, my gut told me to shoot the exteriors fast because there were a lot of thick clouds rolling in. But when I opened the door and started working, it was so sunny that I just ignored my intuition. So when I got ready to photograph the outside, it was totally cloudy. I had the room in my schedule. (It's not like I'm doing that much work anyway!) But I ended up standing around outside for almost 40 minutes. It always seemed that the next breeze would move the blue skies over the home I was shooting, but the clouds reformed again and again and kept the backyard looking gloomy. So I waited.

At first I was just waiting patiently. Then I started getting annoyed. Then I tried praying about the clouds for a while and it occured to me that maybe God wanted me to be delayed. Maybe there was some wreck on the freeway that I was missing. Or maybe God just wanted me to wait and think about waiting. After a while, a plane took off from Miramar and flew near where I was. I could hear it for a long time, and then it popped out of the clouds not too far away:

I could see the sunlight reflecting off the side of the plane. I was thinking, why couldn't some of that sunlight be down here where I needed it so I could be on my way?

Eventually, the clouds moved long enough to get a nice clear opening, the photos turned out nicely, and I was on my way. But it made me think about waiting. When I got home, Jenetta was bummed that a seemingly positive lead went with another photographer and cancelled their photo session for tomorrow. She is waiting for business to return and for encouragement. I am waiting to hear about another job opportunity. We are both waiting.

When I thought about other people waiting, I wondered what the bible had to say about waiting, and I was reminded of the story of Simeon in Luke 2:

25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people,
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for glory to your people Israel."

Here was a guy who waited until the end of his life for something that was important to him. I have a hard time with 40 minutes! I can't fathom waiting my whole life!

I don't have any profound conclusion. I just think God wanted me to think about waiting today. I think He wants me to consider my response to Him when circumstances affect my life. I think He wants me to wait some more and just trust Him.

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