Dear Mom, (Six Letters Everyone Should Read)

Dear Mom,

Thank you. I cannot begin to express what you mean to me and how you have so completely impacted my life. I remember when you lovingly and carefully put band-aids on my scraped knees. I remember when you showed me grace and kindness even when I said hurtful things. You have clothed yourself with strength and dignity and have set an example to follow. You are not perfect, and that is okay. I am sorry for unfairly expecting you to be. Even in your imperfection, you have allowed God’s perfection to shine through in your life. I remember how you used to read the Bible to me as a kid. Thank you. You did that because you knew that His Word does not return void. Thank you for telling me about Jesus, and how He loves me even more than you do. Thank you for your love. Thank you for being my mom.

Dear Single Mom,

You are a hero. That word may get thrown around too much in our society now, but it is completely true in describing you. You have had to fulfill multiple roles and carry burdens that no one should carry alone. Thank you for doing your best. You have sacrificed and lived out the true definition of selfless love. Your care and attention have always been enough. You are both strong and precious, independent and wonderful. Just please remember that you are not alone. You might have been alone before, you might have been forsaken before. But our God promises to never leave and never forsake. Trust in Him, lean on Him. He will not fail you. Your love is not in vain. You sacrifice is not in vain. Thank you for everything you are and everything you have done. Thank you for being a mom.

Dear Forgotten Mom,

You feel abandoned. You feel forgotten. You feel unloved and unwanted. It is hard to think of many other greater injustices. Your hurt and pain are real, but they do not have to be what defines you. You did not fail. You are not a failure. You did what you could. You may have made mistakes and have regrets, but that is not your identity. You are Mom. You are still Mom, just as you always have been and always will be. You are beautiful. You are worth it. You are loving and lovely. Thank you for your unchanging and unconditional love. Find your comfort in the God who gave you your child. Find your peace in the God who made you and who made you a mom. Trust that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed to those that are in Christ Jesus. Thank you for being a mom.

Dear Childless Mom,

Words fall astonishingly short. Your heart has hurt for so long now. You wish that you could have exchanged your life for that of your child. You would have if you could have. But here you are forced to continue to move forward. You are brave. You are wonderful. You are to be honored. Don’t lose heart. There is hope. There is hope that is found in Jesus that you will, one day, see your baby again. Let that be your joy. Let that be your peace. Lift your eyes and know that your help comes from the one who knew your babe while they were still only in your womb. Know that that same God has a wonderful plan even when, especially when, you cannot see it. Thank you for being a mom.

Dear Not Yet Mom,

You have clothed yourself with strength and dignity each time you walk, with your head held high, into yet another baby shower that is not your own. Your heart aches with frustration and anticipation. Please continue to trust God. His timing is perfect. He made you exactly the way that you should be, in exactly the time you should be. Trust Him to give you a little one in exactly the way, and in exactly the timing He designed. You have demonstrated time and time again that you are worthy, kind, gentle, caring, compassionate, devoted, graceful, generous, patient, and overflowing with love. Do not lose heart. You have already blessed so many, and one day you will be the best and biggest blessing to a baby. To your baby. Thank you for wanting to be a mom.

Dear Spiritual Mom,

You don’t have kids, but you have a lot of kids. This life that you live, whether by your choice or not, has still been designed. God has used you to impact so many. You have been the shoulder to cry on, the smile to encourage, and the ear to listen. You have used your life to point others to the God who has carried and sustained you. You have sheltered your spiritual kids and filled the gaps left by others. You have shown selfless and unconditional love even when it wasn’t your responsibility. You have been an example to follow, and a woman to be celebrated. Your commitment to, and trust in, your savior has encouraged and inspired. We need more like you. Thank you for being a mom.

 

Share this with a deserving mom.

Adoption: Doctrine & Practice

“Adoption, the practice of including someone into a family who originally did not belong, has always been God’s way of doing things. “

It’s the day after Christmas, did you get that special gift on your list? I did. I got to spend time with friends and family and eat loads of cookies…that’s Christmas done right! I remember as a kid December 26th was the time that I stockpiled all my gifts and took inventory of all the cool new gadgets I had been given. Nowadays, I use the time to reflect and be grateful for all the blessings that I have. Today I reflect, once again, on the greatest gift I have ever received, a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Thinking through my relationship with Jesus is always a mind-boggling experience. According to Ephesians 2, I was, along with the rest of mankind, “dead in trespasses and sins in which I once walked.” I was dead, lost, and hopeless without Jesus. However, the chapter thankfully does not stop there.

Verse 4 says, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved.”

There isn’t any news better than that! But this always makes me pause and ask the question, why? Why did God love me so much? Why did He choose to make me alive? Why am I so valuable to Him?

John 1:12-13 clears it up a bit. “But to all who did receive him[Jesus], who believed in his [Jesus’] name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” God loves me so much because I am His kid.

The doctrine of adoption can be found flowing throughout the Bible. Romans 8 says that those who in Christ are adopted as sons and daughters and are, in fact, co-heirs with Jesus Himself. God took the dead and made them alive, He took strangers and aliens and made them sons and daughters.

If you believe in Jesus Christ you have been adopted into the family of God. God’s family brings light and life, hope and peace, joy and rest, purpose and a place to belong. God loves His children and nothing has, can, or will be able to separate God kids from His love for them.

Throughout the Bible God’s children have been encouraged and instructed to care for those who can’t care for themselves. Taking care of strangers, widows, and orphans has always been a priority to God. Thankfully, history helps to prove that God’s children have taken God’s priority seriously. The first orphanages were started by believers, and despite a few missteps, Christians have always been known for taking care of others.

Adoption, the practice of including someone into a family who originally did not belong, has always been God’s way of doing things. Every day I thank God that, although I once was a spiritual orphan, He made me His own.

Alright, that was the “doctrine” part, so now here is the personal “practice” part.

Ever since our love story began in 2010, Ashley and I have shared the same mutual love for, and desire to adopt. We both always saw adoption as such a clear and wonderful picture of the Gospel by which we both were saved. In addition to that, Ashley’s own incredible story of her adoption (filled with God’s sovereignty and grace) set us on a path to “one day adopt a kid of our own.”

We are both convinced that this is God’s right time for us to go through the adoption process. For the last year we have been quietly researching the adoption, finding the right agency, applying to adopt, going to training session after training session, completing our home study, getting our “profile” together, and now here we are…waiting.

This entire process has been wrapped in prayer. It has been the farthest thing from easy. The process of adopting a child is very involved, and emotional, and expensive, and tiring, and frustrating, and…and…worth it.

Unfortunately, I am not writing this blog post to announce that we are bringing home a baby tomorrow. Rather, I am writing to ask you to pray. Pray for Baby Nelson. We have not met him or her yet, but we already are in love.

Pray that Ashley and I will be able to be the very best parents possible to him or her. We haven’t even been matched yet, but I still ask that you pray for the birth parents, whoever they may be, that God would protect them and direct their paths.

And most of all, pray that Baby Nelson will one day understand that God loves them so incredibly much that He sent Jesus to save them from their sins so that they could be adopted by Him.

In addition to prayer, you can also help us out by saving any shoes that you would normally either throw out or donate. We found an adoption grant program that actually will take collected shoes and give them to people in developing nations in order for them to sell and thus stimulate the economy. In return, we would receive grant money to help fund our adoption. If you have any further questions please feel free to shoot us an email at joshandashley2124@gmail.com.

Thank you so much for your prayers. We know that God is a great and big God who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we think and ask. (Ephesians 3:20-21) We continue to trust Him and thank Him for all that He has done for us.

 

Signed,

An adopted Child of the King