Thursday, August 22, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now?

A friend asked me to post on a difficult time in our family's life.  I had written on this subject before, but am choosing to create it again, at this stage of my life, having walked that much further with my Heavenly Father and that much further with our precious, amazing daughters.  Sometimes, the Lord answers audibly, quickly and with great compassion.  I am so thankful He granted mercy and grace to this disheveled mama who desperately needed His touch.


"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. " Jeremiah 33:3

Early in Emily's life, she was introduced to the proposal of adoption.  She had no choice in the matter, but just because she didn't get to choose, there was no reason why we couldn't involve her in the process.  She attended meetings, answered questions at our homestudy and even had her little scrawly signature notarized when we visited the prothonotary.  Often, as she bounced around as only four year olds can, she would proclaim, "Our baby is the one in blue."  She said this sentence again and again and again.

So, you can imagine when Rob was united with our sweet bundle of Hannah that first day in the crowded community room in China, I wondered something aloud,
"Is she the one in blue?" 
Dressed in several layers, Hannah wore a darling little coral coat with a teddy bear on it, her open, gaping pants were heavy sweater material and allowed a peek into her chubby little legs, but those pants were also shaded a lovely peach sherbet hue.  Hannah's nanny had tied a gold scarf about her tiny neck and she had the sweetest shoes on her feet.  But, there was not a stitch of blue adorning this precious baby.

I tried not to think about the lack of blue on our sweetheart.  Days would become weeks and time disintegrated as Hannah flew home to be with us forever.  We unpacked her luggage and helped her settle in, but there was no quickly unpacking the trauma that served as a conduit to fear, uncertainty and dislike for me, her mama.  And as much as I desired to SHOW her how deeply I loved her, the fact remained, time and prayer and love would be the only grease to unstick the zipper of Hannah's heart.  She carried her little suitcase everywhere filled with doubt and perhaps a slight bit of hope, even if she didn't know how to show it.

We sought excellent professionals to walk alongside us during those first few months.  Many of them said she didn't need anything and yet, our hearts implored us to continue the attachment exercises and therapy.  All the while, when I sensed her displeasure with me, I sunk further and further into my own form of despair, praying desperately that the fears I had would not become our new normal.  I'd beg the Lord to expedite her responses and fast forward her to full blown love and trust immediately.  And I knew that was a recipe for disaster, so as much as it hurt, I had to allow this beautiful, wide eyed child to reject me over and over.

We did make progress every single day, even when it was intangible and hard to grasp. Shyness and fear slipped into a  tenacious, smiley little person who grew both in stature and in spirit.  But, the changes were slow and I was impatient.  One particular summer day, sun streamed in our kitchen window.  The clean hardwood sparkled in the late afternoon light.  I was busying myself preparing dinner and had Emily playing at the kitchen table and Hannah playing delicately at my feet.  I reached to put a pot pie in the oven, when I lost my grip and the pot pie tumbled to the floor.  Almost simultaneously, Emily wandered over and bent to help Hannah gather up Tupperware she had spread across the kitchen.  Emily's advancement brought about the typical responses we had been seeing in Hannah and she smacked her sister hard, scratching her face and shouted, "NO!"  Emily cried, silent tears and her whole body shook as she retreated back to the table, nursing her wound.  Hannah shrieked in an attempt to get my attention and hopefully warrant a discipline for her elder counterpart, whom Hannah rejoiced in rejecting.  When I did not grant her request, she began to cry, loudly.
 I quietly prayed..."Lord, I simply do not understand.  I am not proud of it, but I doubt what You have done here in our family.  It wasn't supposed to be like this.  This is so HARD!  You need to speak to me so I can hear you.  I need to know that Hannah IS our plan."  My doubt prompted guilt and sadness and on a sunny, summer day, I felt darkness in my heart.

Rob came through the door in the moments that followed to find us all sobbing on the kitchen floor.  While I am certain he wished he could transport back to his truck and back to the job site, he instead  laid down a pile of mail and tried to assess how he could help.  Through the fog of my tears, I noticed a large manila envelope that he had brought in.  As he quietly and lovingly dealt with the children, I cleaned up the mess and then slipped out the front door to find respite on the porch.  My fingers glided quickly under the flap of the envelope, exposing documents from China; documents we had forgotten we were even expecting.  I scanned through the smudgey copies, finding information that I already knew. 





Xiaowei (Hannah) was wearing double layer BLUE clothing upon being discovered.


She was the one in blue. 

As though the Lord reached down and held my very hand, I felt Him whisper, "Can you hear me now?" 

Yes, Lord. 

Loud and clear.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


"And you will be brought before governors and kings, for My sake, as a witness to bear testimony before them and to the nations.  Do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given to you in that very hour and moment.  Take no thought of how you will speak, the Spirit of your Father speaketh through you."  Matthew 10:18-20 AMP

I do not fare well with change.
I know it needs to happen and I know my heart REQUIRES change for me to grow closer to Jesus and live more in His likeness and less in my flesh.

But, simply put, I don't like it.

And I like it even less when there is silence in the midst of change. Ugh!

Last year, I was blessed when the Lord reached down and offered me an opportunity to attend the She Speaks conference.  Eager, anxious and filled with trepidation, I embarked on a completely new, completely vulnerable experience; one that required my heart to be pliable, and my ears to be completely open to what He would speak to me.  Assuming I would come home with notebooks filled with practical writing strategies and much needed motivation, I was surprised when my "take-away" had very little to do with writing and everything to do with relationship. I did come home with practical strategies, but I also arrived home with a revised heart and a new perspective on accepting His will in every circumstance.

So, I prayed fervently, quietly, passionately about my relationship with the Lord and what he expected of me.  I also prayed about what He wanted me to write. And THAT is when it happened.

The silence.

That deafening sound you hear in your spirit when the Lord is quiet.

Reminiscent of  a starry night of summer, fireflies darting about, the sweet smell of cut grass and chlorine, you stand in the yard breathing in the hot air while crickets chirp about.  Aside from the critters that lurk, the world is silent.

Transitions.  I knew my original blog Our Little Ladybugs was ready to be retired.  After all, the ladybugs are not so little anymore.  (sniffle)  And I felt God calling me to a different type of written expression.  While I am still highly passionate about adoption and issues related to adoption, my wings are being stretched and the broader topics of motherhood, marriage, friendship and education jumped to the forefront of my thoughts. Additionally, our littlest ladybug is growing quite nicely and there are pieces to her story that are hers, not mine to share, so I respect that and accept that the Lord convicted my heart to move forward.

Thus, Beals on Wheels was born.  The first time I decided to post, I sat for almost two hours blankly staring at the computer screen with only one word floating aimlessly before me, dull.  D-U-L-L
A harsh reality became evident, I have nothing to share.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zero. Noth-ing!

Lord, tell me...give me SOMETHING! And strangely, he remained silent. My lonely little blog sat, unattended and certainly unwritten upon.

Until now.  I have read the book of Matthew before, several times.  But lo and behold, during my quiet time, the words leapt off the page and assured me I would never have anything to write about, but the Lord would allow His words to flow through me.

So, as I ready for my second She Speaks Conference, I rejoice in this special word He gave me reminding me, ever so gently, as He always does, that He will guide my typing hands or speaking mouth to speak through me, if I allow Him to.

Is there a special word He has for YOU today?  Have you spent some time with Him to find out?  I encourage you to open His Word and enjoy that sweet time of fellowship.

Be encouraged,