Shine in 2012… {illuminate}

 

I am so grateful for the end of another amazing year and all the many people God has placed in my path. In seeking to better understand how I can be used in the world, I feel that I have found a true passion in serving the vulnerable child.  I agree with author David Platt… now that I know orphans by name, they are not easy to ignore.  I remember several years ago during my career days in pharmaceutical sales wondering when and how I might know what it felt like to be working within an arena that mattered to the welfare and safety of others. I get it now and following my heart and God’s nudges has been a huge answer to prayer as I’ve asked God to take my life and help me to give it away to others. The past three to four years I have been riding a wave of learning and I am praying for that to continue in 2012. I desire to learn more and spread the word in order to be an encouragement to others.  As 2012 unfolds what is your focus or your prayer?  I will ask God daily to continue to shine in my life, illuminating the ways I am to pour into others such as my family, friends and the opportunity that I’ve been given to be a voice to the voiceless.

To Hayden, our oldest with whom we are traveling this parenting path for the very first time. May I have energy and perhaps even some answers to the things that matter most in his pre teen world. May we continue to be close and have fun connecting and growing. May we seek together the needs of a hurting world. For Carter the middle man, may I give him the gift of time and help him to continue to learn ways to cope with his frustrations. May I show him through example that hard work is needed most days and we must dig in of we intend to succeed with anything from multiplication tables to riding a longboard. For Owen, may I have patience to embrace your energy. I never knew we would be living with Tigger but you and I finding a balance is key. May I stay in the game of teaching you to listen and respect others as we attempt to listen and respect you. Then there is Miss Ava. May I continue to grow in the area of raising a daughter.  You have brought a light to our family and I hope I can continue to shape you in ways of calm and quiet strength (not easy with three noisy brothers cruising the house). May I also continue my exploration of understanding the role of an adoptive parent and how to best promote the gift and need of adoption in any form.

To my husband who is the glue most days… I hope to show you each day how valued and loved you are. I want you to know that the respect I have for you is endless and you amaze me with your strength and loyalty. May we continue to encourage and lift one another up and may we both challenge one another to act on the very things that have changed us and our family over the past few years. We are blessed to be a blessing and giving of ourselves is what we have both been called to do.

In 2012 I will also ask for the grace to know how to best embrace our sponsored children and the children we have grown to love in Ethiopia. Our sponsored son has grown very close to our hearts and we wonder what is next in the relationship.  Remarkably, he will graduate this year and we are striving to know what the next step will be in his life.  Then there are the children of Chapa in Awassa, Ethiopia who we are working to advocate for. Each of their precious lives needs protection, love and education so that they might grow up to thrive in their own community. There are still nearly 100 children waiting for sponsors and the process is easy. For $34 a month you can radically change a little life and fulfill their BIG dreams! I will be meeting the children of Chapa in person next month and I will seeking wisdom and courage as I love them BIG and bring home with me an understanding of ways we can best help.

These are just a few of my prayers as the new year unfolds. What do you do to honor and bring on the new year? What are you asking God to show you in your life? I would love to hear it. For several years I have heard others share a word or two that they will focus on as they begin their January days. The word for me that keeps coming to mind for 2012 is ILLUMINATE. I want to shine like the noonday so that others might know love. friendship, compassion and mercy and I hope God will shine through me to help me illuminate the life of another.

Peace and Grace in the new days ahead,

Melanie