If it makes you happy

#74683 way God is using my kiddos to convict and encourage:

My brother came home from college to visit and let me tell you, my kids are OBSESSED with their Uncle Lucas. He headed back last night but this morning, Abram was having a rough start to his day. My sweet Emma, hoping to comfort, says, “Abram, we’re gonna see Uncle Lucas today!!” Before I could say anything, Hallie chimes in: “Emma, we’re not seeing him today. He went back home.” E: “I know, Hallie! I’m just trying to make him happy!” Hallie responds gently, “Well, telling Him a lie isn’t the way to cheer Him up.”

My 1st thought was, “Holy cow. My 6 yr old just spoke straight life to her little sister.” And then, the Lord starting working on that truth in my heart. How often do I chase after happiness at the expense of true freedom?

I see my former ways creep up. If my kids would just go to sleep at bedtime so that I could have a breather, I’d be happier. If they would stop arguing all the time. If they would just obey me. If my husband would serve me more and respond exactly how I want him to. If he’d affirm me more. And then I think about how much I am at the center of my universe. It’s all about ME. Because without Jesus, I am the king of my life. Everybody is here to serve me and make my life happier so I can put my feet up. If everyone would bow down to me, I wouldn’t have to give up my rights to comfort. I wouldn’t have to love God more than I love an easy life.

But THANK GOD my kingdom was overthrown. Thank God I serve a King who though he was in the form of god, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, becoming obedient to the point of death on a cross. A king who became poor so that I could be rich. One who recused me from myself and to Himself. One who laid down every right He had so that I could be brought into His family. One who was tempted in every way, yet without sin. Blameless and spotless and full of mercy.

Because of Jesus, I am no longer a slave to my happiness. I’m able to find everlasting joy, peace and contentment that comes only from loving God and being loved by Him. I’m able to give up the rights I think I deserve, and lay down my life for others.

Thanking God for his comittment to shape me into His image because man, am I a work in progress. But how faithful God is! Because Jesus overcame death and separation from God, I can die to my selfishness and live for Him. Praise God that Jesus is ALIVE. That he forgives, delivers, and sin doesn’t get the final say so. He will restore all the broken ways of this world. Including those selfish desires that try to rob me of true joy and abundant life. Praise God that we will one day be in His presence, enjoying Him forever.

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people. Training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for hinself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.” Titus 2: 11-14

“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery”  Galations 5:1

Advertisements

Sorrowful yet always rejoicing?

Sometimes it’s just plain hard for me to rejoice always and to count suffering as joy. I’m not talking about the type of rejoicing that is flowery and optimistic, but in a genuine way. I need more than glass half full optimism to get me through children dying from cancer, shootings, injustices around the world. Even in my mundane, ordinary day, I need purpose. I need to know that another day of wiping butts and cleaning up blocks matters.

Hallie asked me recently, “do you like taking care of us?” and I lost it. Because sometimes this broken world gets to me, and I don’t operate from a place of celebration for what God has done for me. I don’t always feel his love or presence and I desperately need his truth to speak life into these dry bones. That question she asked me won’t stop ringing in my ears. I find myself asking God the same thing. Do you really care for us, cause sometimes I don’t feel it. This morning, God said so very clearly to my heart, “I love you. Look to me. Fix your eyes on me. Your life is hidden with me.” In Hebrews, it says “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before him endured the cross.” I find so much comfort in knowing God as the ultimate suffering servant. He understood how hard it would be but delighted in showing mercy. Hebrews 12: 3 says “Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or faint hearted.” & v. 12 “Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.”

In Jesus’ name, there is victory. There is healing and hope. We are not consumed by suffering because of God’s great love for us and because His kingdom is coming. So to my sweet Hallie girl, I LOVE taking care of you. It isn’t always easy and I don’t always show it but it is for joy that I will keep going and enduring alongside you, believing that God is faithful. While we share in Christ’s sufferings, my hope is that we would know him and the power of his resurrection and that celebration and victory would be our song.

“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

Back to the Basics: Empathy & Compassion

God has been teaching me so much about how scandalous His grace is. This morning, I was reading one of my favorite bible stories, The Prodigal Son, and I couldn’t help but just stop and worship our Father. This story gives me chills every time. A son who was only looking after himself, wanting his share of the money and to be his own boss, leaves his father to live it up. But after his money runs out and he realizes how much he needs his dad, he starts for home. The son is a long way off and begins worrying if his dad will take him back. The father sees his son from a distance and takes off towards him. It was considered a humiliation for a middle-aged man to run and to lift his robe exposing his legs but he was so excited that his son was finally coming home. Before the son can begin apologizing, the father throws his arms around him and throws him a party.

It would make sense for the father to stand with his arms crossed in disappointment with a “That’ll teach you!” look yet he embraces him. I love how God uses story after story to show us how he can’t stop loving us, even when we’re unappreciative, when we’re undeserving, when we doubt his goodness. He doesn’t shame us. He rejoices that we are back, even though we’ve wandered. He runs towards us, pursues us, longs for us to come back home, and throws his arms around us. This grace is so scandalous because it doesn’t say, “I’ll do for you what you do for me” or “If you show appreciation, I’ll be glad to help out.” or “Why do you deserve my help when you haven’t earned it?” or “That’s what you get!” This grace is a scandalous, unconventional grace that says, “You didn’t deserve it but I gave it anyways. I’m going to give you everything even though I owe you nothing and you can do nothing for me. I am going to help you, even if you don’t deserve it.” This is the abundant grace of God that reaches into our hearts and moves us to worship Him.

So this morning, I’m asking the Lord, “How does this story fit in today? What are ways I am giving this grace and where are areas I’m withholding?” With the recent Colin Kaepenick story and the many emotions and opinions surrounding “Black Lives Matter” “Blue Lives Matter” “All Lives Matter”, I don’t want to be another unhelpful opinion slinger. I want to know, “How does grace fit in here? How does love and truth fit?” That question brought me back to the basics as I thought about how I respond to my children. This morning, my 2 year old fell and hurt her knee. It was a light fall, but with the fall came so much drama. But my first inclination was to comfort. I went to her, and kissed her boo boo. I asked what I could do to help. Even though I could have immediately responded with, “That’s what you get for playing on the chair when I told you not to.” or “That didn’t even hurt. Quit being a whiny baby.” Comforting my child came like second nature, but I thought about the areas where I may not be so quick to comfort others, but rather, name call, diagnose others and stand in judgement. I’ve heard people who claim to follow Jesus label someone who may speak out against oppression as a “whiny baby” or “entitled, ungrateful punk”. While there could be elements of ungratefulness or disrespect in how people are communicating, it’s clear there are some very real hurts. I can’t help but wonder when we respond with name calling, are we helping or hurting? Even when sometimes, I may not understand the pain. Or maybe the person is responding dramatically but that doesn’t mean the pain underneath the behavior doesn’t exist.  I may not feel their pain but could I shut up for a sec, enter into their pain and just listen? I thought about how my 2 year old may have responded if I said, “I have done so much for you by baby-proofing this house. I’ve made it nearly impossible for you to get hurt yet you get hurt anyways. Besides, there are people that have been through much worse. They’ve fallen and broken bones, and you don’t even have a mark. You are the one that caused this pain by being on the chair I told you not to get on.” With so many oppurtunities to connect and to empathize, I have just lost so much trust and created so much frustration in her heart because I won’t even attempt to empathize.  I’ve created distance and instead of building relationship by saying, “I hear you. I see you. I’m sorry you’re hurting. I’m here for you”, I’ve pushed her away because she feels like mommy doesn’t try to understand her pain or even offer a lick of comfort. Yet, we do this. When people say, “This hurts”, we say, “Suck it up. People have been through worse.” Is that the way of Jesus? What does God mean when he commands us to weep with those who weep? (Romans 12:15) He doesn’t say “weep with those who weep if you think what they are weeping about is reasonable.” He says to meet them in their weeping, to come alongside them, and to empathize. Period. He says to become all things to all people, that by all means we might save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22) He says that he comforts us in our troubles so we may be able to give others the same comfort in their troubles. (1 Corinthians 1:4) When it’s easy to be harsh and want to “tell everyone like it is”, he says that a gentle word turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1) Does all of this mean we can never speak truth? Absolutely not. God is a god of grace and truth (Ephesians 1:4-6)  I pray that the Holy Spirit would give us wisdom and discernment on when to comfort and weep and when to offer truth in love. When we do meet our brothers and sisters in their hurting and we empathize with them, then maybe we can come alongside them and help them wrestle through these heavy emotions. And how should that love look when we speak it? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 says “ Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful,  it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” May we lay aside name calling and being experts at diagnosing everyone and ask if we’ve done our part to offer compassion and grace .May we get back to the basics of comforting people when they say, “This hurts.”  May we resist the urge to give facts at the expense of comforting. May we seek to help when we speak words of truth instead of cut down and may we not forget the grace that God has so generously given us before we climb onto our soapboxes. May love mark us instead of our strong opinions. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35 

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3

 

WADE, PARTY OF 6!

We are super excited to announce that we are adopting!!! The Lord has been working in us for many years and we are so thankful for the things he has used to bring us to this point. We are absolutely blown away by how good and sovereign He is. Realizing that God has graciously given us three insanely wonderful children blows our minds. Sometimes, I just look into their eyes and there is so much grace, I feel like I’m going to melt into a puddle on the floor. And then to think how much more God feels about me; I can’t even comprehend the magnitude. Being loved by our Creator and perfect Father has been the absolute center of our calling to adopt. The fact that God has regarded me as his child, that he would choose me even when I am so unworthy, has been the most extravagant love I’ve ever experienced. The Lord has shown me so much in the last year about his covenant love and how unshakable and constant it is. It is our hope that we can say to just ONE fatherless child, “We love you. Not because you were born into a good family. Not because you are my flesh and blood. Not because you don’t bring any challenges to the table or because it’s super low risk. Not because this won’t require sacrifice. But because Jesus loves you, you are SO worth it and we chose to love you unconditionally.” Taking this leap, with all of the unknowns, knowing that God’s grace is sufficient and He will provide EVERY need is so overwhelmingly peaceful. I pray that we can live out the gospel that says, “Even in your mess, I love you and I want you, no matter the cost.” So thankful that we serve a God who is a father to the fatherless, defender of the weak and oppressed. May we live that out and get just a glimpse of the love that God feels towards us!

Ways you can be praying for us:

-For wisdom, discernment, and peace on the child God has for us

-That God would prepare our hearts and our children’s hearts for the challenges and adjustments

-That He would protect our child through this process until we can bring them home safely and prepare their heart for this change

-That we would trust his timing and be open to his leading

Thank you guys for following us on this journey! Much love to you all!!

 

in the details

Hey folks, Kalee hasn’t posted in a while, so i, the “hubs”, dusted off this old gem and decided to give everyone some insight into TheWadeClan™ in recent weeks.

Okay, so as most of you know, our second bundle o’ joy Emma Grace entered the world this past Sunday at about 3 in the a.m. Emma and Hallie hold joint ownership in the title of the most beautiful little girls their mama and dada have ever seen. We love our little girls more than anything and thank Jesus every day for ’em.

Emma’s had a rough couple of days. We know more details than I’ll share, in the interest of time and privacy, but she’s a bit sick. We know she has some type of infection and a few other things but we won’t get into all that (mainly because daddy is tired of crying, on the real). These different issues cause her to stay in the NICU, hooked up to IVs and monitors and having to sleep in a warming light most of the time. I’m a hands-on dad. I enjoy kissing ’em, holding ’em, cuddling ’em… you know, mostly things they don’t particularly care for 🙂 It’s hard to do that stuff with all these things attached to her.

With our baby girl having to go through this tough time before we ever leave the hospital, get her home, before we really even get to meet her, this is definitely the toughest time Kalee and I have ever experienced. We’ve never dealt with a sick baby. It’s tough! However, it’s awesome to see how God uses such difficult circumstances on such a personal level to draw us near to Himself. He’s using all these little things to  renew in us an appreciation for having one another in marriage to lean into and pray with. Besides getting Emma healthier, God is also using this time to bring Kalee and I together on a level that’s deeper than we’ve been before. We see things from a different light. I can’t count how many times in the last couple of days I’ve stopped mid-sentence and thought “Am I really living what I say that I believe?”  (definitely something us Christians should put more thought into). He’s also allowing us to have a renewed sense of care and gentility towards Hal-bug. She is going through the biggest change of her life right now and we’ve got to be more patient than ever with her. This entire situation is really tough… but God’s using it. I can’t help but think of the lyrics from the Hillsong song “Oceans” —

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

I really don’t know why this is happening with our little girl, but I do know that God works in the intricate details. I know He knows what he’s doing. That’s the hope we have. I can’t say when or even if she’ll get better, I can’t make that call. But I can rest assured knowing the one who does make the call has our best interest at heart. He never never ceases to amaze us and will always hold true to his promises.

Lamentations 3:20-24
My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.  But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:   The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.

(here’s a bit of that Piper quote in the middle, it’s got some huge implications)

“not only is all of your affliction momentary, not only is all of your affliction light, in comparison to eternity and the glory there, but all of it is totally meaningful. every millisecond of your pain from the fallen nature of our fallen man, every millisecond of your misery in your path to obedience is producing a peculiar glory you will get because of that. I don’t care if it was cancer or criticism, I don’t care if it was slander or sickness, it wasn’t meaningless! It’s doing something! It’s not meaningless. Of course you can’t see what it’s doing! Don’t look to what is seen. {…} it’s working for you an eternal weight of glory. Therefore, do no lose heart but take these truths and day by day focus on them. Preach them to yourselves every morning, get alone with God and preach his word into your mind until your heart sings with confidence that you are new and cared for.”

I pray you can be encouraged in this through Christ. thanks for reading.

Parenting our children the way God parents his

Opinions. Everybody’s got em’. And if you don’t think people do, have a kid. The lady at the grocery store, the doctor’s office, your neighbor. How we dress our kid, what we feed her, how we discipline. And don’t get me wrong, wisdom is great and If I thought I was doing everything right, there’s no room for correction there, but sometimes, you just wish people would keep their opinions to themselves. We struggled when Hallie was born with how we were to parent. “Let them cry it out; they need to learn independence.” (A 2 month old infant needs to learn to be independent?) “Add rice cereal to her bottle to help her sleep through the night.” “Ignore her temper tantrums and she’ll stop.” And the list goes on. It was quite overwhelming, I must say. However, over the past year or so, God has taught us so much about parenting. And what better example to look at for parenting than our perfect Father.

Sometimes, I think parents think they have to have it all figured out. They can’t let their children see their struggles, and they can’t admit any wrong. We hope we can be transparent and authentic with our children. Based on our learning experience thus far, these three characteristics are the foundations in which we hope to parent: Humility, Forgiveness, and Grace. When we mess up, we want to be able to humble ourselves, admit to Hallie that we were wrong, and ask for her forgiveness as God continues to redeem that part of our lives. Last week, I was having a rough day, and I was not being very patient with Hallie. She was, like every good toddler, getting into everything she could when she grabbed my cup off the counter and dumped the water out. This issue seems to be reoccurring, so I instantly lost self control, and got onto her, as if she was being a defiant, disobedient child. As soon as I got onto her, I could tell that she really didn’t understand why I was so upset and I realized that I had completely lost patience. As she began to cry, I picked her up and comforted her, and told her I was sorry for getting upset with her. After I comforted her, and she could see I was not angry at her, it’s as if she completely forgot about it and didn’t hold it over my head. It was such a beautiful picture of the way God forgives us when we humble ourselves and admit wrong.

Grace is another foundation that I use more than any as I am with Hallie all day long, working to be gentle with her. Temper tantrums have been a fun journey. They don’t call it terrible two’s for nothin’, people! It doesn’t matter what we do, she is going to act like a toddler, especially when we are in public. And while some would say putting the fear of God in them by acting in aggression or anger, Corey and I work really hard to offer grace. Someone once told me by ignoring a tantrum, they’d eventually go away. It seems even in my 20’s, I still get my own temper tantrums. If I’m overwhelmed or having a rough day, something as simple as a pen breaking could throw me off the edge. Now if in that frustration, I communicated to Corey the hard day or struggle I was having with something, he completely ignored me, it would make me feel even more frustrated. God always offers grace for those moments when I’m flustered and I act out of frustration, so we work hard to be patient and as gentle as possible, while still correcting any disobedience she may display.

We are still figuring this parenting thing out. We’ll never conquer it or have it all together, but we hope to live out the gospel in every situation and show her God’s love. We’ve made plenty of mistakes, and will make lots more, but we know God’s grace is sufficient for us and is greater than all of our mistakes, and when we are confronted with a tricky situation, we hope to use humility, forgiveness, and grace instead of Dr. Phil or the neighbor next door.

IMG_4803

Time flies

I finally did it. I created a blog for our thoughts, adventures, struggles, hardships, and just our crazy life in general. This will definitely be an answered prayer for Mr. Wade. Instead of me rambling on and on in bed until 1 AM, I can occasionally get my scatter-brained thoughts on paper. As we are planning our sweet girl’s 2nd birthday party in less than a month, and the arrival of our Emma Grace in less than 2 months, I’m realizing how fast time really does fly. Sometimes I get so caught up in life, I don’t even take a minute to soak up the goodness of the little moments. Pictures are the greatest. They take me back to the seasons of life I was in. Usually in those moments, I’m overwhelmed or flustered by something so silly, but when I look back, I don’t even remember the struggles. I’m just thankful for that particular season. And as always, whatever may come of this crazy life of ours, I’m reminded of God’s unfailing love and grace each new day. I’m reminded that he has an awesome plan for our life. Thanks for tuning in to our journey and following our life. Plenty more to come!Image