Why I Adore

In between wrapping paper tears, sips of punch, and the clanking of forks on chocolate-smeared plates came forth the stories. Of course, every home hosting a baby shower is filled with them.

At first they were humorous. Ones I could easily laugh alongside and not allow to penetrate the membrane between my mind and heart. Funny, cute, first-days-of-life-in-the-great-wide-open accounts.

But as the gift-opening slowed, it was only natural that the advice for this new mom-to-be filled the empty space.

There were only a dozen of us or so. All whose wombs had been opened, but mine. An observation, it seemed, that no one made.

On one hand, I was glad. Oh please let no one feel sorry for me, I thought at that moment when the membrane between mind and heart disintegrated and I became deeply sorry. This shower was a chance to bless my dear friend, not to look at my loss. On the other hand, I was searching for a way – any way – to put an end to this conversation that translated into grief for my fragile heart.

Please stop.

Someone stop these tales of labor and delivery that have singled me out. Your rite of passage, for me, holds a sign at the front that says “Do Not Enter”.

It carries with it so many questions, so many doubts, fears, and insecurities. Of me and of God. When I open that door, when I go to that place without the time to worship and the safe-print of those worn pages of Psalms written by many others who had their own Do Not Enter signs, I am lost.

As the laughter of shared experience increased, this sorority of sisters formed bonds around their anecdotes.  And I drifted further inward and downward.

Comparison plagued my soul.

I was heartsick again.

****

Everyone has at least one, and most a half dozen or more:

Life-reasons, my reasons, to believe that God is not good. To believe that God is not who He says He is.

They are a hidden handicap. We carry them around negligently, as if we can live life fully alive and still have them. Yet the whole of our perspective and interactions are first filtered through the lens of this unanswered question. Is He good … to me?

Hands MJ4

The cloudy eye-glass is indiscriminate. My calling, my family, my friendships, my view of Jesus are all subject first to how I see Him in light of my “not yet.”

My Dad was never healed of cancer and my body still waits to receive a child. There are others, if you can believe, even more personal than this. The ones most powerful are the ones closest to our chest. Hidden from the world but not to God.

Without God’s encounter, they are toxic for our hearts. And for those of us whose mouths say “God is good” but live with the looming uncertainty of this very thing, the sickness takes even deeper root.

This is why I adore. Why I have to adore.

While the moment at the shower was thick, its aftermath was an easy entry for Jesus. Technicolor experiences like this one, where my nose rubs against the loss in front of my face, I have learned to fight through. I’ve learned to fight, bible-in-hand and carpet worn thin, to believe the goodness of God. Jesus’ hands wrap around my brokenness and they tenderly dress my obvious wound. And I’ve walked away with my question answered. In my “not yet”, He is still good.

But it’s the day-to-day drip, which is the greatest threat to my heart. Subtle negativity, subtle unbelief rests ominous over my kitchen, my interactions with my children, my coming and going.

I reach across the kitchen counter, hurriedly finishing the morning clean-up and knock my glass onto the floor. Water-streaked cabinets, glass scattered across the floor and my first thought received, accepted: it figures.

As I sweep up the last of the shards, seeking clear space for brown-feet to dance, I hear the barreling of his body down the stairs before his yelp breaks the air. The broken glass now the least of my concern. Of course … I think.

I take slow drags on the cigarette of negative expectation when the question of God’s goodness lingers over my daily thoughts. I inhale toxicity. And the exhale over my life, my children, my husband is anything but holy.

This is why I adore God. This is why I have to spend time adoring God.

Minutes of speaking back to God the beauty of God win back hours of the unsettled mess of my heart. Adoration is breathing deeply of who He is and exhaling purity. It’s training my mind and my heart to look up.

Boots MJ

I am in training.

And when you look up enough, even the “not yets” in your life are not threatened by the question of His goodness. Your eye is positioned on His goodness.

Adoration wars against a life lived as a response to our wounds.

I urge you, just try it.

I have a designated spot on this new site where you’ll see my daily lookings-up. All in an effort for you to join me. Early morning minutes, or between laundry loads are opportunities for life-change through adoration.

Pick one verse, start in Psalms (or use this e-book as a guide), that declares a truth of who God is, and stay there. Say it back to Him, once or twice. God, your gentleness makes me great. Linger. Let your heart absorb the words you are speaking. Ask Him to reveal specific areas of your life where you have seen this goodness. Listen. And speak it back. Declare it, to yourself and to Him. If you sing, sing it back. Set it to music.

If you’re like me and writing unlocks your heart, give yourself 200 words to write on just that one phrase. No asks, no pleas, just simply telling God how great He is. And then asking Him to remind you how that greatness in print in front of you has already taken shape in your life before you.

IMG_6555

Long minutes in the morning, or short stints of adoration while children’s fingers are enmeshed in play dough and dinner is on the stove are infectious. A little looking up and I promise you’ll want more.

He is limitless.

Just try it.

+++

For a more practical description of adoration, read Showing Up.

Photos compliments of Mandie Joy.

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32 Responses to “Why I Adore”

  1. Carrie on

    I so appreciate your thoughts and yearnings for the Lord. So many times, we just allow ourselves to wallow and drown in hopeless fatigue. I’m glad you are fighting. Psalm 34 has been an encouragement to me of late as I try to not just survive each day, but rejoice and bless the Lord at all times. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Stacey on

    “Adoration wars against a life lived as a response to our wounds.”

    So very true! I have a wound, that is in direct opposition to my adoration,my worship. And the war is thick! But, I’m seeing it a bit more clearly now.

    Thanks for shining light Sara!

  3. Mandi on

    Wow…you are an amazing writer. You’ve communicated thoughts and experiences in our relationship with Christ, in a way like no one I’ve EVER read. And I’ve lived it too. I will be rereading this post again and again. Thank you.

  4. Jennifer on

    I love your rawness. Most may not be able to relate, but many of us can. Bless you as you strive to pull us women along into the right direction, to the foot of the cross. I’m looking forward to the journey.

  5. Lindsey van Niekerk on

    Oh, Sara! I know the cost that you had to go through to write this words….truly I do {TTC-3 years}. With that said, thank you for writing this. Your title captured my attention and our mutual Dad knew TODAY that I needed this reminder. I know…because well I do….that this isn’t always an easy response to this journey…but maybe it will encourage you just a little to know that your words have touched me…and touched deep….and in that there is “some” beauty in the ashes.

    This part took my breath away…and challenged me intensely….
    “I take slow drags on the cigarette of negative expectation when the question of God¹s goodness lingers over my daily thoughts. I inhale toxicity. And the exhale over my life, my children, my husband is anything but holy.

    This is why I adore God. This is why I have to spend time adoring God.”

    Again….thank you….

    HUGE {hugs} across the miles….

  6. Rachel on

    Hello
    I have been enjoying your blog for quite some time. What a beautiful family you have! I was wondering if you can e-mail me privately, so that I can ask some questions regarding your Ugandan adoptions. I would really appreciate it.
    Thanks
    Rachel

  7. Sara on

    Lindsey,

    I can feel your warmth of spirit (His Spirit) in your words. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. And for your hugs across the miles …cause I am a hugger 🙂

    Sara

  8. Lindsey van Niekerk on

    Thank you! 😉

    And sorry…HATE saying infertile…so like to use the little acronym TTC – Trying To Conceive. We “officially” stopped using any form of birth control and have been actively trying for 3 years this month. DEFINITELY a roller coaster of emotions and trust.

  9. Sara on

    TTC — I like it. MUCH better than the “i” word. 🙂

    I am sorry for your road …but I can tell it has been rich with Him. Worth it.

  10. Meg on

    Ah! I love that my two favorite bloggers ( u and amy) know each other! Truly, y’alls words are such gifts and the only blogs i read. LOVE this, Sara. xoxo

  11. toknowyoumore on

    Sara,
    You really are an encouragement and your honesty is a breath of fresh air. It is a comfort to read your blog entries because you are basically saying what I try to say, but you are so much better at it than me! Sometimes I feel like I just can’t put into words what I want to say. God has really gifted you with a talent of words 🙂

    “This shower was a chance to bless my dear friend, not to look at my loss. On the other hand, I was searching for a way – any way – to put an end to this conversation that translated into grief for my fragile heart.”

    I get it.
    I’m excited to follow your journey to Hope – thanks for sharing!
    A sister in Christ,
    Amanda

  12. Sara on

    I am breathless as I read your words. They make me weep as I feel His presence in your paragraphs! I have struggled for years to have another child. I have been blessed with the experience of birthing one but not raising him and that is my struggle of “Is He good….to me?” He reminds me daily that He is not only good for me but within me!

    Thank you for saying what most of us cannot say and sharing your beautiful relationship with Him. I will enjoy HIs constant reminders through your posts.

  13. Sara on

    Sara,

    I know this pain 🙁 and your question so well. Thank you for leaving this comment — so glad He is touching you.

    Sara

  14. tinuviel on

    One of the Holy Experience gratitude lists linked to here, and I’m glad I followed on over. This is a beautiful post and one I needed to hear. Mother’s Day can feel like a big, red, “You’re not enough” on the calendar for me. I am in my late 30s, married, and childless. God’s theme in all I’ve read today has been His goodness and love as the correction to that lie, and your post is just one more reinforcement. (Guess I’m a slow learner.)

    Thank you for sharing so beautifully and vulnerably both your pain and God’s beauty in its midst. The Lord bless you today.

  15. Sara on

    I, too, need lots of reinforcement of this truth. You are so right — His love is a correction to that lie. It is a lie. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a note!

  16. Ashley Wells on

    So, I just recently found your blog, and I am devouring it. I cannot stop reading.

    My husband and I have been trying to have a family for over five years. Three years biologically. And now two years, three attempts, and counting through adoption. Still no children. And currently, no progress in our journey. Stuck…

    Your posts are so raw and mirror the way that I am feeling and how I am struggling. It is so refreshing, for me, to find someone in the midst of the same type of struggle.

    Thank you more than you can imagine!

  17. Sara on

    Ashley,

    Thank you for this encouragement. And, wow, you have quite a story. My heart hurts for the pain you have experienced. Adoption delays, following struggles with fertility, are especially difficult (to say the least). As I type I pray for the beauty He is going to bring forth from your testimony and from your steadfastness (even on your weak days!).

    Sara

  18. Erin on

    Oh my goodness…
    I’ve been hopping from blog to blog….told myself just one more and then it’s bed time. -I’m so thankful that God lead me to yours and to this post. I totally needed to hear this. After 10 yrs of hitting brick walls my heart & mind often go where they shouldn’t. Thank you for your encouragement.

  19. Cherie on

    Sara,
    I found you today through the 12 causes of Christmas. This post is beautifully written and expresses perfectly where I, too, have been and currently am. My dh and I are unable to conceive. We tried to adopt this year – and that failed. Stopping now and will only try again if God leads.

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