"What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!'"
May 8, 2019
Happy Mother's Day!
A common link between all mankind is that fact that each and every one of us have had a mother. Even Jesus had a mama when He came to earth in human form.
The only two whom were not born from a woman's womb and didn't have a mother were Adam and Eve, who were shaped and formed out of the dirt by God, Himself; then He breathed the breath of life into them.
Throughout all of history, up to the current time, there have been both fantastic as well as not so wonderful mothers. Just because a woman gives birth doesn't make her a mother. On the other hand, there have been numerous women throughout time who have never given birth, but have made amazing mothers. Then there are those women who have birthed children and have whole-heartedly cherished the role of motherhood.
A mother is someone who loves her children unconditionally, takes care of them and nurtures them, teaches them, and is present in their life.
Our family has been greatly affected by adoption, fostering, and guardianship. There are times when adoption may come through the death of a parent, then the surviving spouse remarries. Many times a child is placed in foster care because the birth mother (and father) are in an unhealthy place in their own lives and are incapable of being a parent.
My sister married a widower with three small boys over thirty years ago, and became their mother through adoption. Although she had two biological children of her own, she loves all five children equally and is mother to them all.
Another sister and her husband was granted guardianship of a little boy around 10-11 years ago. He is now a tall young man who has his drivers license. To their family, he is "son", "brother", and "uncle", and is greatly loved.
A few years ago, my niece and her husband brought two foster girls into their home, and as soon as they legally could, they adopted them. One of their first acts after the adoption was to update their will so that if something were to happen to them, the girls and their two biological children would all receive equal inheritance.
Now, a nephew and his wife have three foster children in their home, as well as their two biological children. The adoptions for the two little ones should be upcoming soon. They have chosen to love and care for all of these kids equally.
As aunt, I cannot imagine our family without all of the children that I've written about. They are all greatly cherished and important to the makeup of our family. They fill our heart with so much love! It's the same with all of the biological children who have been born into our family; they are all greatly loved and cherished as well. Each child is a special treasure to our family; whether biological, adopted, guardianship, or foster. Our family would not be the same without them in it.
Ephesians 1:4-5 (NLT) says, "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure."
Can your mind even comprehend the above scripture? Even before God spoke the world into existence and created the heavens and the earth, He loved us and chose us in Christ. God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family! He wanted to do this, and it gave Him great pleasure!
Yet God sees us as His very own sons and daughters, not as being adopted; just as I've seen my family do with those whom they've adopted. There is absolutely no difference, whether the children are biological or adopted. God thinks of us and loves us as His very own children!
1 John 3:1-2A (TPT) says, "Look with wonder at the depth of the Father's marvelous love that He has lavished on us! He has called us and made us His very own beloved children."
This weekend, our thoughts will be turned mothers and many will be honored and shown appreciation for the role that they've played in the lives of their children. Although my mama has been gone for thirty-eight years, I still think of her every year on Mothers Day; as I'm sure many others do who have mothers who have passed away. Although I'm not a mother, I often have a niece who remembers me and the role that I've played in the lives of her children. Jon and I will spend time with his mom and try and make her feel special and appreciated. My sisters will share about their weekend and how their children honored them. Thousands of women will be celebrated for their role of being a mother this coming weekend. That's awesome!
But how much more should we celebrate our adoption as God's children. Really, each day should be a celebration of being His sons and daughters. We should live in a way that honors Him always. We are highly favored and cherished treasures to our Father. His love is unfailing and endless and His mercies are new every morning. We are continually in His care and under His protection. God loves us so much that He never takes His eyes off us!
When a couple decide to have a child, they don't know who the child will be. They don't even know their child's gender for a long time. It could be years before they know if their baby will grow up to like sports or history or science. But the couple (hopefully) chose to have a child anyway.
Some adoptions are similar, but many times, the adoptive parents get a chance to meet their child before the adoption. Most of the ones we know made a personal commitment to pursue adoption before their first meeting, but the legal commitment comes later.
God, on the other hand, knows just who each of us will be before He forms us in the womb. He knows if we will struggle with temptation, or turn away from it easily. He knows if we will be a boy or a girl. He knows if we will grow up to have any musical skills, or can catch a ball. And He commits to love us anyway. He commits to adopt us, if we will simply accept.
1 bag mixed lettuce
1 can dark red beans
1 red onion, chopped (optional)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 pound ground beef
2 avocado, chopped
1 package burrito seasoning
Brown ground beef; drain. (You could cook the onion in with the meat, if you want; or leave it out all together; or use the raw onion.) Mix meat with burrito seasoning and red beans; stir. In a large bowl layer lettuce, onion, meat mixture, tomatoes, avocado, and Fritos. Mix together Ranch and Italian dressings. Pour the dressing mixture over the top of the salad. Toss the salad and serve.
I am so incredibly blessed to have had so many wonderful women who have been a part of my life; both past and present. My mama, sisters, nieces, aunts, cousins, friends, in-laws, pastor wives, co-workers, sisters in Christ....... I cherish the memories of my mama and aunts who are now in heaven. Women who were godly; who loved me and spoiled me and taught me so much about love and family. I adore my sisters, who are special treasures from God. I cannot imagine life without my four sisters, who are my best friends. Then I got to become an aunt myself to some pretty spectacular nieces; then a great-aunt to even more special little girls. I have more cousins than you can shake a stick at; and love them so dearly and have so many wonderful memories of time we've spent together.
Then God blessed me even more by placing even more precious ladies into my life through marriage; mine and Jon's marriage, as well as my nephews' wives.
I could go on and on about all the various women who have been a part of my life these fifty-three (edging close to fifty-four!) years. My cup overflows!!
I'm focusing on the "girls" today due to Mother's Day coming up; but have been amazingly blessed by some pretty spectacular males, too!
I'd like to wish all of the mothers a very blessed Mother's Day, and pray that you are show great love and given much honor from your family. To those who are a part of my life, know that you are appreciated and loved by me!
If God puts a Goliath in front of you,
He must believe there's a David inside of you. - Kris Vallotton
We love you!
Loretta & Jon