Monday, December 31, 2012

Resolve



Resolve

A new year is upon us, so for many, that means coming up with a resolution; a change to their way of life, a bettering of oneself.

But, when I really start to think about it, I feel that I have gone about it all wrong for much too long, and that the body of Chris also misses an opportunity each year when resolution time rolls around. In the past I have made resolutions, the more recent years I haven’t really bothered with some huge declaration of the change to come, I usually have to make resolutions every day because I fail so miserably!

Thankfully I don’t see many TV commercials so I generally avoid all the ridiculous media propaganda centered on resolutions, but I’ve still seen my fair share.
There is probably a list of the top 10 resolutions made each year, and I can bet that weight loss, getting in ‘shape’, getting healthy, and other ideas about the body are pretty high on the list. Following behind are other personal affairs such as managing money better, getting something else in order, even better oneself as far as making more money, going more places, doing more things. 

Lots of other resolutions are about getting to the next place in life that you would expect to be, married, family, buying house, getting a promotion, etc .But these things are so temporary, so self-motivating, and often times, just not in God’s will for us. 

As I see person after person commenting about weight loss goals made or met, self image priorities set, I can’t help to think this just isn’t what it’s about. I do know people who are very responsible about having an exercise regime, but also have devotions and put a priority on their relationship with Christ as well, it can be done.
The Scriptures talk very little about physical health and aspiring to better or change how we look. I do not intend to dive into all of this too much, but what I’ve found is that Scripture talks much much more about our hearts, striving to be like Christ then how much we weigh, how far and fast we can run, how white our teeth are or wrinkle free our skin is.
Now of course I’m not saying no one should ever worry about their weight or aspire to better their health. I’m not condemning those who have a career in an exercise industry, or those who place a strong emphasis on being strong and physically fit. BUT, really, if that is what you are setting your entire goal for the year as, I would challenge you to read further.
The most relevant verse that speaks to this idea is of course 1 Timothy 4:7-8, “have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness, for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
I’ve never been much of an athlete, but I understand the rigorous training required to run marathons or to be capable of weight lifting, etc. If only as believers, we would apply such effort and self-discipline to reaching godliness. 

There have been some who would comment they just can’t think of any resolutions this year. And I can’t help but wonder again if we are really just not getting it.

Page after page in scripture you find the theme of sacrificing for the sake of the gospel, for the sake of others, for the furthering of God’s kingdom. Sacrificing is what Jesus came for. And only a week after his birth, it seems that we fall right back into our self enhancing, mindset where we really don’t care much about others. In fact, we’re willing to dedicate the next upcoming YEAR to ourselves, to looking better, getting further, getting more. It just seems so sad. 

Sometimes it seems that all resolutions are really good for is self promotion. If you make a goal to lose weight, then every week you get to tell everyone how great you did, or maybe you want to get out of debt so you share with everyone when you can cut up another credit card. These things are great, and it makes people feel good about themselves, but dare I say that Scripture also talks little about self-promotion, but rather giving glory only to Him?

In fact Matthew 6:3 talks about doing good deeds in private, so that only the Heavenly Father will know what you’ve done. The suggestions I list below, might be ones that go unnoticed by everyone but God. If you resolve to give more, then you must do so with a humble heart, not seeking any glory. If you decide to sponsor an adoption, there may be a time and place to share it with others, but if the intent is to glorify God by service to Him, then most of these things will go unsaid, unnoticed, and unrecognized. 

There have been some people lately, who have really blessed my family, and it was done privately, there was no need for a status update about it or a tweet about how great they were for helping my family, but God knows, and we know and I pray God blesses them 10 fold for the way they helped us. 

Who will be with me in making resolutions less about ourselves, and more about training for Godliness?
Who will use each new year to focus on a matter of God’s heart? Who will set aside time each day, not to run or jog or do sit ups, but to get to know God better, and have Him know them better? Who will sacrifice their time they could spend running a few miles, instead to sit with an elderly person who is sick and lonely? Who will join with me in a movement where the body of Christ looks beyond themselves and seeks out ways to help others and dedicates the new year to being a servant?

So often I’ve been guilty of being stagnant. Not really moving forward, not actively involved in ministry, not even deliberately getting to know the maker of all things better. Too often people get very caught up in ‘me and mine’. And it can seem like a good thing, yes of course your children need to be cared for, but don’t have that stop you from ministry, instead, include them!

Can’t get out? Then get people IN and be as hospitable as you can, and not just to those you know.
Here are some resolutions that would bring glory to God, further His kingdom and get the Church out of its ‘me and mine’ mentality:

1.Giving- Instead of nitpicking your tithe down to the last cent, round up to the next $10, or even resolve  to give 11% this year (if you are a strict 10% person). Yes, you can find ways to make it work, and you’ll be blessed to see God using your money in your local church. Or if your church has a huge building fund and doesn’t give much to missionaries or local ministries, split your giving and give some to the upkeep of your church (after all the utilities do need to be paid, but no church needs granite countertops!), and give the rest to a ministry that helps people locally, and give all you can!

2.Sponsor-find a family working on an adoption and commit to sending them whatever you can. Maybe it would be a one time gift, maybe you resolve to sending them $25/month till they are fully funded (which could take a year). Many people have accepted God’s call to care for orphans, and are waiting to bring their sweet child home because of the adoption costs. How can the church let this happen? Step up Bride of Christ! Resolve to do something about it!

(a blog I read and a good place thats links to adoption fundraisers is:
http://www.nogreaterjoymom.com/)

3. Know God better, Have Him know you better-Resolve  to know God better, set aside something you normally do for yourself, and spend that time in Scripture. Be known to God by going to him first. Resolve  to go to God first in everything. Before you pick up that phone, or type your status, or text everyone in your contact list, sit, pray and go before the King of Kings. You may be surprised how this can really really change things. You may be surprised how peaceful you’ll feel about something you may have gone off about a month ago. Time spent with the Lord is never wasted. 

4. Serve-Pages could be written about the countless ways this could take shape. I would encourage you to resolve to serve someone in a practical way. Lend someone your car so they can get to their appointments, make a meal for a family who has a busy household, send someone on a budget a giftcard for groceries, offer to clean for an elderly person who can’t do it themselves anymore. The possibilities would be endless! A new way to serve each day, each week even! And it doesn't have to be expensive, instead of joining a gym this year which could easily cost over $200, or becoming a member of another weight loss program, use the money to help someone! Offer to babysit, have a family over for pizza, pray for ways, God will provide them!

5. Be a better friend-Being a friend is a hefty deal. Scripture has a lot to say about what a friend is. There have been many friends in my life who simply didn’t really seem to know what it meant. Even recently, a friend has showed me just how little our friendship means because there is just no time for it. Resolve  to nurture your friendships. Everyone is busy, but a note, a card, a phone call can mean so much. Make sure your friends know how much they mean to you. Send a dear friend a note of encouragement every month, or find their favorite coffee or tea to send them, even if you can’t drink it together. 

6. Outreach-Believer, time is running short. Soon our Lord will return. Resolve to speak the gospel to 2, 5, 10 people this year, that you’ve never shared it with. Pray for opportunities to share the Good News of God’s salvation, and resolve to seize those opportunities. Plead with your unsaved friends and family to hear what the Bible says, and have compassion on them by sharing the hope they too can have. Resolve to be a more outspoken witness for Christ, resolve to let your light shine. Resolve to not be guilty of not speaking up!
 
Whatever it is, resolve to do it, and do it often. If you normally make resolutions around weight loss, think about how involved and time consuming it is. Don’t skip out on the full commitment of any of these suggestions. It’s not a one and done thing. Resolve to do it right. Resolve to do it well. And resolve to do it in the power of God so that all glory is to Him.
It’s true that there may not be much to share about these resolutions on FB or twitter, I doubt many people would say; “Hey FB! Someone cut me off in traffic today, but my resolution was to talk to God more about stuff, so I did and then I didn’t feel mad anymore!”, but wow, can you just imagine if  social media was flooded by people sharing their resolutions, and it went like this:

“I resolve to work on mending broken relations, for the glory of God.”
“I resolve to get my eating under control so I can be healthy to do the work God has set before me.”
“I resolve to putting my extra money towards helping orphans instead of shopping for clothes for myself and my family, when we already have too many.”
“I resolve to intentionally get to know God better, by talking with Him and not gossiping, by taking my troubles and concerns to him, rather than posting them online.”
“I resolve to stop doing things that destroy my testimony, hinder my relationship with God and compromise my integrity.” (This could mean not watching rated R movies, they’re rated R for a reason! They are filth and do not promote God. It could mean to turning off the radio, not knowing about the most recent events or newest hip hop songs, not mindlessly following along with your cultures past times, but intentionally seeking to be set apart. Different from the world).

Resolutions each new year can be a wonderful time to start new things, but what if we as the Church used this time to promote God’s agenda? What if the Church used the new year to intentionally resolve to do something about issues that bother God?
Make a resolution, make a resolution that counts! Happy New Year!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Non-political


Political elections. It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not.

Politics saturate commercial time, telephone calls from local candidate offices interrupt dinners, the mail box is chalked full of political mail (including the fake US birth certificate of Obama’s we got recently), and social media is in a frenzy about who is right and who is wrong.

I’ve never been interested in politics. The first time I could vote though, I did and I actually had fun doing it, I felt a real responsibility to vote and kinda like America was depending on me to do my part.

Now many elections later, I consider myself non-political.

I’m not sure that’s a real thing, I kinda just made it up one day because I’m just not doing it. I’m not going to spread my party’s propaganda. I’m not going to retaliate against those whose political stand is different than mine. I’m not going to be consumed by who runs America for the next 4 years. Just not gonna do it.

Yes, I still have an opinion on certain political matters. I am adamantly opposed to taking the life of an unborn child, any child, no matter how many fingers, toes or chromosomes they have, and
regardless of who did what to whom or what concocted story people want to make up to justify it (because the majority of abortions are not happening because of rape. They’re happening because people made a mistake and therefore are willing to take the life of a child to cover their mistake up. Yep, it’s that straightforward. Sorry for the side track.).

I also believe in just wars, not ‘just because we want to’ ones. I believe that America fought for certain liberties, but has now confined itself and restricted many of its own freedoms for its own gain. 

And don't get me started on income tax. 

Several weeks ago my pastor gave a message on John 18 and in that message he explained that our culture overestimates the power of politics, while underestimating the power of Truth in the long term. (http://faithchurchpa.org/sermons     Sermon Titled: A Kingdom of Truth). Too often Christians get caught up and begin deceiving even themselves that our politicians hold the answers, that they will straighten the atrocities of America out, they will solve our problems, all the while forgetting that we have the answer, we have the truth.

He also mentioned a few comments made by Pastor John Piper in an article titled “Vote as though not voting”, such this one, “We should do it [voting]. But only as if we were not doing it. Its outcomes do not give us the greatest joy when they go our way, and they do not demoralize us when they don’t. Political life is for making much of Christ whether the world falls apart or holds together.” (http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/vote-as-though-not-voting)

Let me explain what I’m getting at and why I’m non-political (and yes, even after saying all of the above, I’m still non-political).
For me, it matters little who wins and who has what title in politics. Sure, of course each party has agendas and if taxes get raised, we’ll pay them and it will stink, and if they change the wording on a bill that affects my life, I’ll need to alter that particular detail of my life, but in the big picture, I have a King. And He sits much much higher than Obama, or Bush or Clinton, or Romney (now if Ron Paul was on the ticket….just kidding!).

My hope is not in a man or woman. My hope is in Christ and Christ alone.

It worries me that so many Christian get so caught up in the political tit for tat. People lose relationships over it, they say hurtful things and can become very blinded to what Jesus has to say about it all.

I am not for a second saying Christians shouldn’t vote, and vote responsibly. Sometimes I think there are more responsible ways to vote than just pulling the Republican lever (or push button as our super technological world offers now).  There are more than 2 parties (what!? There are??) and there are issues way bigger  than what the surface will show. And if that is classified as ‘throwing away your vote’, so be it. Our responsibility is not to the candidates, it’s to God. It’s to upholding His standards regardless of what the world does.

And to be honest, there are many important seats up for grabs at each election that many people ignore, such as delegates during primaries. There are men and women out there really fighting for what is right. But sadly, often Christians would rather just go with the status quo and blindly put their faith in someone that says an awful lot of stuff to just get popular.

Luckily for me, my husband is much more political savvy than I am, and gives me a little cheat sheet of who he’s researched to be legit and responsible.
(If you know me at all, I’m not really one of those ever deferring wives, but sometimes he really does know a bit more than me and in these instances.)

Christian, don’t get too caught up. Jesus wins in the end no matter what. That should be so encouraging! Before you ‘share’ that next political FB postcard, think about what that really does. It ostracizes those who differ from you, and gets people made. It puts wedges in friendships. Instead, pray. Instead, call a friend and tell them why the political issues important to you are important to you.

Vote for the issues that break the heart of God. It’s no use having petty political debates with everyone around you for the sake of sounding smart or knowledgeable or whatever the reason. Very rarely will that change someone’s mind or vote. But instead be in prayer that Christians will have their eyes open, that believers will allow God to guide their ears, and not simply follow the most popular party’s endorsements.

As for me, yep, I’ll be voting. Being non-political doesn’t mean I’m completely removed from the right and responsibility I have. But good luck trapping me in a political debate. Sure I’ll shake my head when I see friends posting little jabs at how dumb everyone in any other party is, and I’ll want to reply, but ultimately, God is in control and my two cents just isn’t worth getting involved. He upholds the world and being consumed by politics is simply not what I find in scripture to be of much importance.
Claiming the title of ‘non-political’, whatever that really means, gives me such a sense of freedom. It’s a relief to not have to get involved with the debates. To not have to give even 2 minutes of my time to watching nonsense debates where each party is only interested in sounding smart, saavy and making the other person look dumb. Nah, no thanks. There are much better things to occupy my time.



Saturday, June 30, 2012

We're Expecting!


Yep! We’re expecting…again! Isn’t the unknown so exciting in times like these?

Will it be a boy, or a girl? What color eyes will they have, what color hair? Will they be sporty or artsy or like nature? What will our 3 kids think of them? Will it be an easy wait or feel like eternity? What color should we paint their room?

Will it be one, two or three? Wait, huh? Two?? Three? Twins? Triplets??? Well, not exactly.

Soon the sound of laughter will be louder, there will be more little feet scampering around and more laundry for sure!

After a long 6 month process, John and I are approved adoptive parents through Bethany Christian Services. We are going through the Older Child Adoption Program, which means our kids are already potty trained! Yey! How awesome is that?

We are so excited and nervous about what is in store for us. The wait may be quick or may take longer, but since we are open to many different ages and a wide range of specifics, so it’s likely our kids will be home soon.

We are approved for a sibling group of up to 3. Some might wonder what in the name of all things good and holy would possess a couple with 3 children to adopt a sibling group?

 A few years ago John and I became unable to ignore James 1:27 any longer (“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world” ESV), and became foster parents. After 21 months our beautiful girls left, leaving a huge hole in our hearts and lives.

We decided it was time to add again to our family permanently. We chose to redo our home study with another agency and took it slow as we worked through the grieving process of losing the girls. This is about God’s kingdom and glory. It’s about Him equipping people for what He has planned. It’s about Him providing a big, beautiful house that we know was given to us to fill with beautiful children who need a home.

Unlike being pregnant, my kids are already born and I wonder even now what they’re doing today. I hope they have popsicles and get tucked into bed. I hope they know we’re praying for them and can’t wait for them to come home.

John and I could have easily chosen to increase our number the regular way. But several years ago we made a conscious and deliberate decision to forgo having any more children biologically. It was our very own spay and save program (please don’t be offended by that, I’m not being crass, just a little silly. We truly felt that we were not to have more children but to open our home to children who needed one. Not that people who have more biological children than we do have aren’t doing it right). We felt a strong calling to care for the orphans and making it so they are no longer orphans. What a beautiful thing to give a child  family—we can’t wait!

Why an older child adoption program?
There can be many motivations for adoption. Many people are not able to have biological children but have so much love to give and want to create a family. Many people long for infants to care for and bring up from birth. That’s a good and valid inspiration for adoption, but it’s not ours.

We  do not necessarily have the sole desire of adding to our family or have a itching for more kids per say. Rather, we recognize a huge orphan crisis and have said YES! to the calling of God for us to care for some of these. We are excited about God’s plan for our life, and are excited that He’s directed us to adoption of older children.

Often, older children (any child over 3 basically) get looked over simply because of their age. How sad! Many people fear these kids and assign all sorts of flaws to them simply because they are older. They need families as much as anyone else.

Throughout the Bible there are numerous references to caring for  ‘the least of these’. In many ways, older children, foster kids in general and especially ones with some sort of diagnosis, are the least of these. They are the last ones on the list. There are few people fighting for them.

For every infant available for adopt, there are numerous waiting, hopeful parents. Meanwhile there are over 123,000 waiting children, available for adoption, right now. Yet, they are overlooked because of their age, the way they’ve spent a lot of their life (in foster care) and the stigma that accompanies the hardships they’ve faced.

By God’s grace and gentle leading, we’ve been put on a journey to be blessed by these kids. We know firsthand the frustrations and difficulties that children from foster care can carry, but we also experienced the love they have to give, and joy they oozed from being in a family. It was a blessing to be the parents to our foster daughters and even with the hard times, we look back on it with happiness.

I’m praying that our kids are well cared for and loved in their foster home, as that is where they are most likely right now. It saddens me to know how many foster homes don’t cherish the kids they are entrusted to care for, and I hope our kids are loved where they are.

We are now in the matching process. This will be a time in our lives we have never gone through before. Looking through hundreds and hundreds of pictures of kids that need homes and match what our homestudy approves us for, we’ll have to say ‘no, that’s not them’ and that is heartbreaking. It’s hard knowing we can’t save them all, we can’t bring them all home and give them the love God intended in a family. But as my eyes meet each one, I’ll pray that they will have parents that step up and say “YES” to God’s calling. 

I hope you’re as excited as we are about us adopting and will pray our kids home quickly.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

How to Love God More


A week ago in Sunday School, we discussed the command in Deuteronomy 6:5 "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might." This verse rightly convicts every single person on the earth because none of us loves God the way he ought to be loved. This is a stark contrast to our Lord Jesus who lived on earth for 33 years and for every second loved His Father with all his heart, soul, mind and might.

So as a Christian, I want to love God more and I know I fail miserably. So how do I do it? How do I love God more? This was more or less the question we discussed in Sunday School and some solid biblically accurate ideas were brought up. The one that was most convincing to me was through coming to a greater realization of my sin.

"Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.”
Luke 7:47

This verse shows that being forgiven much leads to loving much while being forgiven little leads to loving little. So to love God much we simply need to be forgiven much. GOOD NEWS!!! I HAVE been forgiven much. In fact, every day I am forgiven much. These steps play out in my life all the time.

  1. God shows me a way that I have been selfish and/or prideful. 
  2. I am saddened
  3. I  cling to Jesus(sometimes not as quickly as I should)
  4. I am reassured that this sin won't be counted against me because Jesus already suffered God's wrath for it. 
  5. I love God More. How could I not?

So a key to loving God more is having a greater realization of how sinful I am. How often I sin. How disgusting and unjust my sin is.

So the answer to one question leads me to another. How do I get a greater realization of my sin?

Ask God.

Search me, O God, and know my heart!
     Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139:23-24

It all comes back to Jesus.

  • He loves me and commands me to love him. 
  • He ordains the way that increases love(realization of the depth of forgiveness). 
  • He suffers His own wrath and forgives me. 
  • He shows me the sin in my life that he has already suffered for. 
  • He leads me to cling to Him to more and more. 
Its all about Jesus. Praise Him and love him MORE!

-John

Friday, May 4, 2012

Dragging my feet

Our girls left 6 and a half months ago, but some days it still feel like yesterday. After they left we figured we’d give ourselves some time and redo our homestudy for adoption with another, hopefully compassionate agency. After the holidays we were pretty motivated to get everything in and whizzed through the informal interview, the information session and even getting most of the homestudy paperwork together.

February was a much harder month than I could have imagined. It would have marked 2 years of the girls being ‘home’, meaning, with us. I remembered the rainy day 2 years earlier that we embarked on a journey that we might not have taken if we’d known what it would hold. When I think about the girls now, it’s hard for me to even remember the things that were hard. In my mind I replay two smiling faces, running to hug Daddy when he’d be done work or playing sweetly with their siblings.

March was a whirlwind of activity, between crazy work schedules, painting the exterior of the house we were hopeful to own for 5 full days, making settlement and moving, adoption stuff got put on the back burner.

Although adoption from foster care is relatively ‘cheap’ (compared to international or even domestic infant), finances have has still been a hurdle for us. Settlements costs took a large chunk of our savings (although God provided every penny we needed for our new home), and just when we thought we had enough, we were informed the mortgage company made a mistake and there was an oversight and our homeowners insurance for the year had not been paid at settlement, so we needed to pay that. I found it ironic that the cost for the insurance was exactly what we needed to submit our homestudy paperwork, and I felt like the devil was winning in achieving our adoption setbacks. So now we’re just trying to cut back and save up so we can submit our paperwork within a few weeks.

All of these things can be seen as excusable setbacks. But in my heart I know I’m being stubborn. My life is pretty easy, my kids are ‘normal’, we have hardly anyone in our home without inviting them, no social workers, no therapists, and no diagnosis to interfere with our cozy life.

We remember all too well what RAD, PTSD and ODD bring to a house, and now that it’s been a while, we remember how much easier it is without these things. Sometimes the thought of starting over with new kids, kids who will be forever, is daunting. I know the first few years will be difficult, and possibly beyond that. In many ways we had just broken the ice with the girls before they left. I know it won’t be easy and it’s hard to get motivated to jump in.

In the corners of my heart I know that bringing new children in means that the girls will never come back. Part of me had hoped things wouldn’t work out and somehow they’d be back and we’d live happily ever after. Using up our space means that if there ever was a chance, we’d have to say no. Even though the possibility is basically 1:1,000,000 or more, my heart still held out hope.

I remember the girls every day. And as the mean cruel world would have it, if one day does go by, it seems like a sneaky little jab is waiting to poke at me to remind me of my grief in the form of a phone call from a dr. office wondering why the little one has missed yet another appointment. I miss them every day, I can’t shake the feeling that they got ripped off and the system really screwed them out of the life they could have had.

But then God speaks to me in the gentle, soft voice I’ve come to know. He tells me it’s ok, He has a plan. He is good-always.

I’ve been dragging my feet, but I need a good kick in the pants (as my grandpa would say). There are kids waiting for a family and I’m sitting around twiddling my fingers making up reasons we can’t be one for them. God does know what He’s doing, just as He made our 3 biological children just for us, I believe He has an adoption plan for us and to enable us to be a family to children who desperately need one. It may be tough, it may feel like a crazy decision sometimes, but it’s the stuff that counts.

Taking time isn’t wrong, and it may be that God provided each set back so that everything is done in His perfect timing. Perhaps we rushed ourselves too much to move on in the first few months and didn’t realize how much time we really needed. But it’s truly time to move forward.

Pray for us, pray for me, pray for my kids present, past and future. Pray that the finances will come in to submit our paperwork. Pray we will open our hearts without hesitation to the children God has for us.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Perfect Gentleman

We are not usually very cultured people. It’s not that we don’t appreciate culture, art, etc. and the beauty it shows, we just aren’t generally drawn to those types of activities. We like parks and crafts and finding bugs!

Once in a while though, the occasion calls for something different. St. Patrick’s day is one of those instances where it seems appropriate to seek out Irish heritage actives.

Our town used to have a St.Patricks Day parade, but it wasn’t being held this year. We did find a place that was having Irish dancers and some sort of scavenger hunt to find the pot of gold. Sounded fun!

We picked up Aunt Erin (of course!) and found our way to an indoor mart type place. We wandered around some trying to figure out where the festivities were being held. One vender was handing out free green hats which the kids gladly accepted.

After asking at one of the booths the details of the scavenger hunt, we took off to find the pot of gold. I actually spotted in in a store within minutes and we were awarded a piece of gold (chocolate coin), $5, a coupon to the store and a key (which went to nothing but had shamrocks on it!).

We then found the area where the dancing would take place, but when we asked what time it was supposed to start, we found out sadly that we had missed it.

Not being ones to miss a moment, we told the kids to dance around themselves to the music playing from the overhead speakers. They were a bit hesitant but with a little help from Aunt Erin they were twirling and dancing. A man sitting in the area said he could play some better music and went over to the stage and put on some oldies music. It took a minute to realize that he was the one singing, he sounded so good!

It turns out he runs a karaoke night on Friday nights and his daughter sings with him. It was crazy how good they were! The daughter came from the booth she was running and amazed us all with her singing of “At last” by Etta James.

The kids were having fun dancing, and a crowd was forming because they thought something was going on, which there was kinda, a private concert! A group of about 15 men filtered in and filled in the chairs, along with their aides. The men all had some sort of handicap in the form of Down syndrome or something similar, which can sadly make people feel awkward sometimes.

One of the men asked if he could dance, his aide said “Yes!”. He got up, walked across the dance floor and bowed with his hand out to an older woman, asking for ‘this dance’. She obliged and he held her tight as they swayed and stepped. I couldn’t help it when my eyes filled up with tears and fell down my face. Another man stood up and picked a woman from the crowd that had formed, and they danced sweetly in the corner.

The past year or so I’ve been following a few blogs of mom’s with children who have disabilities. They however, prefer to focus on the ABILITY these children have. I’ve been deeply saddened lately at the thought of children literally wasting away in overseas orphanages simply because they are inflicted by a handicap, and that families turn away from these kids when looking to adopt. I’ve been burdened to think that so many babies are aborted because they have an extra chromosome, or are dropped off at orphanages because they aren’t what the parents expected.

After the song played the man politely gave the woman back to her seat, and as the duet began another serenade, he headed toward me.

Bowing before me with is hand out, how could I say no? I joyously accepted his offer to dance. He wrapped his arm around my back and intertwined his fingers in mine. There was no awkwardness at the immediate intimacy between us, and I laughed out loud and he softly kissed the back of my hand. We stepped together to the music and he twirled me around and around.


He kept prompting other men to get up as well, and another man took him up on his suggestion and tried to cut in on us! My dance partner however would not allow it and the man retreated back to his seat.



For a few minutes, this man was not handicapped, he was not a syndrome, he was not something to stare at with intrigue. No, for those few minutes while we danced he was nothing short of a perfect gentleman. A man of courage, who danced with ease as if it were the millionth dance of his life, so attentive the woman he holds in his arms. Such men are hard to find!

Oh how I hope others will see people for who they are, not for what they may have in terms of diagnoses and limitations. I pray God sparks a revival in the church to care for children with handicaps and adults who have long lived with little or no one loving them for who they are.

I’m thankful for my dance with this perfect gentleman.