Adoption Update

As soon as the door to the agency closed behind us, we stopped and prayed. With tears in my eyes, peace and excitement spread over me. We had completed all of our requirements in order to be placed on the waiting families list. What a relief! Part I of our adoption story is now complete. It was filled with ups and downs…including emotions I did not anticipate and had never experienced before. My worries and fears were more pronounced because they were no longer just about two adults. Life may soon include a baby. Whoa…

I am hesitant. The nursery sits empty without furniture or decorations. We aren’t guaranteed that an adoption will take place. And all of that is okay. With sweaty palms, we wait and trust God’s will and timing. Yet, we must prepare to some extent because we know that this timing could mean a placement happens soon. I can’t define “soon” except to say that on any given day, a woman could give birth, decide to place the baby for adoption, call our agency, see our profile book, and select us. In the state of Virginia, the birth mother has 10 days to change her mind after terminating parental rights, so the agency typically does placement on day 11. Of course, the birth mother who selects us may do so with several weeks or months to go in her pregnancy, but we have no way of knowing or anticipating what Part II of our story will look like. And, still, we have to be ready.

James 1:27 says this: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: To look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

Yes, we are all called to take care of those children in need. It could be through foster care, adoption, or sponsorship. (We sponsor three adorable children: a little girl in Honduras and brothers in Indonesia.) Perhaps the way you can get involved is by supporting a family who in the process of adopting. I know a great one. ;)

Friends, it is such an honor to have so many of you walking this journey with us through prayer and financial contributions. If you have not partnered with us in one or both of these ways, would you consider doing so?

Requests:

~Pray for the birth parents (primarily mothers) who are choosing life for their children. Pray that God will lead them to the right parents for their child. Pray for these birth parents and their families as they grieve the loss they will experience.

~Pray for the staff and volunteers of Family Life Services as they work with both birth parents and adoptive parents. We all want what is best for everyone.

~Pray that if a child is placed with us, it will be in accordance with God’s timing and will. Please also pray that the relationship with the birth family will be as smooth as possible.

~Pray for emotional peace during this season of waiting and uncertainty.

~Pray that our finances will come together for the placement. God has always provided for us and we have strived to be faithful with tithes, offerings, and support of other ministries, charities, and those in need. We know that God blesses faithfulness and fully trust and believe that He will provide these funds in His way and in His timing. If you are willing to help support us during this special time in our lives, there are two ways to give (see below). You will be blessed in return!

1)    We have set up an account through Pure Charity. This allows your gift to be tax deductible. All funds will be sent directly from Pure Charity to Family Life Services at the time of placement. Please follow this link to donate online: https://www.purecharity.com/shaler-adoption

2)    We know that some prefer to write a check directly to us, so we have set up a savings account specifically for our adoption fundraiser. If you would prefer to donate in this manner and do not have our mailing address, please send private communication and I will get that to you.

It is humbling to make this financial request, but then I think of an analogy that makes it a little more comfortable. If we are willing to request and make donations for mission trips so that lives can be changed in the name of Jesus, why not request and make donations for an adoption so that the life of a single child can be changed in the name of Jesus? After all, God loved us enough to adopt us through Jesus (Ephesians 1:5), and we are each changed as a result. So, you see, adoption impacts us all. It’s just going to impact our family a little more. And we pray that as a result, it impacts you a little more as well.

Thank-you for your consideration and May God bless you!

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Today Is A Day Of Grace

There will be a day of judgment, but today is not that day. Today is a day of grace.

That is the message I took home from church this morning. The man who shared this is not a pastor, but he sure knows God’s word and shares it powerfully. Like Paul, he eagerly preaches, and I, for one, was convicted.

Why do I not share about God’s mercy and grace with more people? After all, it is the power to save everyone. That means anyone. And that includes you. Today, no one is outside the reach of God’s grace. I know that we sometimes view others as if they are. We proceed to become judge and jury. But, that is not our role. Our role is to share how Jesus Christ changes lives. To preach about what His life, death, and resurrection really mean.

Don’t get me wrong…there will be a day of judgment for each of us. I don’t want anyone I love getting to that day without knowing for sure that they will spend an eternity in paradise. How can any of us be sure of this? It really is simple. We have to believe that God raised Jesus from the dead and confess that Jesus is Lord of our lives. We have to repent of our sins…turn away from what we do wrong and turn to God for forgiveness and salvation. We can’t force anyone to follow Christ, but we should feel compelled to tell others about His great love.

Yes, today is a day of grace. We don’t deserve it, but God will save us anyway. Any one of us. But, we aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. We must make today the day of salvation. It might be the only chance we have to accept Jesus Christ as Savior or to share this free gift with others. Don’t waste it.

Prayer:

“Lord, instill in me a deeper, more compelling desire to tell others about You. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel. Amen.”

If you are ready to accept God’s free gift of salvation, you can use a prayer such as the one below (from Billy Graham Library). 

“Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Your Name. Amen.”

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Why Anger Is A Problem

In speaking and writing about anger, I often quote James 1:19, which states, “Everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.” Such wise words. But, I recently realized that I never go on to James 1:20, which is also so important. It says, “For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.” I love this because it gives us the rationale and the motivation to focus more on listening and less on speaking and getting angry. You see, the Bible tells us that others will know we are Christians by our love (John 13:35), and when we are so quick to get angry, we certainly aren’t showing our love. Yes, it’s true that there is righteous anger (and examples of both God and Jesus getting angry can be found throughout the Bible), but keep in mind James 1:19 doesn’t tell us to never get angry. It simply says to be slow to anger. So that we can be right with God and so that we can be more like God. Anger that comes from within us does not help us or others. In order to successfully follow the words of James 1:19, we need to remember the words of James 1:20. So, the next time you are tempted to get angry quickly, remind yourself that it won’t do you any good…and it certainly won’t draw you or others close to God.

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