Jun 30

A Joy Road

2011 at 11:42 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Joy | Motherhood

from the archives To paraphrase the first magnificent answer of the Shorter Catechism: A mother’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever. And isn’t it interesting to note, as J. I. Packer points out in his new book, Praying the Lord’s Prayer, that this doctrinal statement uses the word “‘end,’ not ‘ends,’ for the two activities [glorifying and enjoying God] are one.” Dr. Packer continues:

God’s chief end, purposed in all that he does, is his glory, and he has so made us that we find our own deepest fulfillment and highest joy in hallowing his name by praise, submission, and service.

Christians get so hung up with the pagan idea (very dishonoring to God, incidentally) that God¹s will is always unpleasant, so that one is rather a martyr to be doing it, that they hardly at first notice how their experience verifies the truth that in Christian living duty and delight go together. But they do! And this will be even clearer in the life to come. To give oneself to hallowing God’s name as one’s life-task means that living, though never a joyride, will become increasingly a joy road.

In other words, as we continue “lub-dubbing” along (I love that expression!) and learning contentment as mothers for the glory of God, caring for our children will increasingly become a joyful experience. That doesn’t mean it will be easy or a “joyride” as Dr. Packer says. But if our highest fulfillment is found in worshipping and obeying God, then motherhood will undoubtedly be a “joy road.” And if this is what God has called us to, then there is no other road we would rather be on.

Jun 29

Part of the Plan

2011 at 6:08 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Motherhood | Adoption

Waiting on God isn’t about the suspension of meaning and purpose. It’s part of the meaning and purpose that God has brought into my life. Waiting on God isn’t to be viewed as an obstruction in the way of the plan. Waiting is an essential part of the plan. For the child of God, waiting isn’t simply about what I’ll receive at the end of my wait. No, waiting is much more purposeful, efficient, and practical than that. Waiting is fundamentally about what I’ll become as I wait. God is using the wait to do in and through me exactly what He’s promised. Through the wait He’s changing me. By means of the wait He’s altering the fabric of my thoughts and desires. Through the wait He’s causing me to see and experience new things about Him and His kingdom. And all of this sharpens me, enabling me to be a more useful tool in His redemptive hands” (emphasis mine). Paul Tripp

Jun 28

Our Adoption Journey Pt. 2

2011 at 10:52 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Motherhood | Adoption

We’re still waiting for the phone call that we are going to be parents again. In the meantime, I’ll bring you up to the present in our adoption story.

For us, adoption was actually an easy decision. Once we determined that our desire for more children was from the Lord—but that it wasn’t wise for me to give birth to more children—adoption was simply the next step.

Within days of beginning to pray about adopting, several women separately came to us and told us they had been praying for us of late and wondered how they could pray more specifically. Their kindness was yet another reminder of God’s personal care for our little, but expanding, family.

We continued to seek counsel from family and close friends in our church—all of whom were very supportive and excited for us to pursue adoption. But once we had decided to adopt, there were a whole host of other decisions to be made: domestic or international, agency or private, boy or girl, infant or toddler or school age child? So we widened our circle of counselors, contacting friends near and far who had adopted or who had some connection to adoption.

Janelle first threw out the idea of adopting kids close to Jack and Tori’s age and the more we thought about it the more excited we became. Having all our kids close in age would allow us to do things together as a family instead of our attention being divided between older and younger children.

As we asked around, one particular international adoption agency kept coming up. Everyone had wonderful things to say about their love for God, heart for orphans, and commitment to integrity. We concluded this was the right agency for us.

On a getaway for our tenth anniversary we got the first of what we hope will be several more happy phone calls: we had been accepted by the agency and were beginning our adoption journey. We couldn’t have received a better anniversary gift.

When we reviewed the countries available through this adoption agency, we first thought that one Asian country in particular was the best fit, but after a few months it became clear that there were some practical hurdles for us—specifically the uncertainty of being able to adopt two older children at the same time. Our contact at the adoption agency confirmed what we had already begun to think, that we should pray about switching to Ethiopia. “Take the weekend to pray” she encouraged us.

In God’s kind providence, we had already invited dear friends over to lunch, along with their four children whom they had recently adopted from Ethiopia. When we planned the lunch, we didn’t know we would be considering a change in countries. But God knew.

Our friends’ wise counsel, and their beautiful, joyful, children only served to increase our faith and desire. And the strong support from our families provided further encouragement and confirmation. We applied for the Ethiopia program, and began the paper-chase.

So that brings us to the present. Waiting. I sit each morning in my blue chair to meet with God and I see our family picture on the wall across the room. I try to imagine two new faces there. God-willing, soon.

Jun 27

girltalk links

2011 at 7:21 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Biblical Womanhood

Hear Dad preach live at the final session of the Resolved conference tonight at 7pm PST. Or listen to the recorded audio at resolved.org

Read Kevin DeYoung’s advice for Christians on how to talk to one another about secondary issues (say private or public or home school) in his article “All Out of Whack.”

Watch David Powlison’s biblically tender answer to a woman’s question: “As a Christian woman, how do I think rightly about recurrent miscarriages?”

Jun 24

Friday Favorites

2011 at 11:40 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Biblical Womanhood | Book and Music Reviews

Wrestling with an Angel: A Story of Love, Disability, and the Lesson of Grace

by Greg Lucas

wrestling

“I didn’t want to read this book. I knew these tear-stained but hope-filled pages would jostle me out of my comfort zone and shake me up. C.S. Lewis wrote that he paradoxically loved The Lord of the Rings because it ‘broke his heart’—and Greg Lucas’ writing does the same for me. And it’s for that reason that I heartily commend this book—especially for dads. This is just the book many of us need to taste afresh the goodness of God and the grace of the gospel even as we long for the day when this broken world will be made right.” —Justin Taylor