Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Counting Mercies: #1 - #2


1. An email with a picture of a little girl wearing crazy striped stockings...she needed a momma and daddy...I cannot believe that the Lord chose us to choose her! As Oswsld Chambers said, "The bravery of God in trusting us..."

2. A small town in eastern Bulgaria...its name is Shumen, the birthplace of our newest little daughter. It has a really unbelievable monument made out if concrete that sits on top of a mountain overlooking the city. From the center of town there is an amazing 3 km pathway consisting of 1300 steps that winds its way up to the top of the mountain! On our first trip, Will and I walked about halfway up it, but we ran out of time (not to mention snow and freezing temperature). Well, this time when we arrived in Shumen late in the afternoon, we checked into our hotel and off we went! Will and I made it about three fourths of the way up, and the view was so beautiful! By this point we were sweating, our calf muscles were getting a tad tight (think having to run stadium stairs in gym class!!!), and we knew we were going to be late for meeting our interpreter for dinner (not to mention that we were running out of daylight)! Well, with a bit of arm-twisting, I convinced Will to go the rest of the way!!! Oh, I am so glad we did! The view on top of that mountain overlooking Sophi's hometown was breathtaking, but the journey up was equally special! With each step we climbed, the Lord reminded me of the many mercies He had given us during our adoption journey. It was as if the Lord was using this hike up the mountain, 1300 steps and all, to give me an assignment, one He knew I would need for the rest of the journey...a journey that would include the steps back down the mountain, away from that town, on to a different one, and then finally back home with our new little girl who is going to need a lot of love and patience as she learns what it means to be part of a family. Just as going up the mountain steps was challenging, this adventure in making Sophi our little daughter has also been full of challenges, hurdles, opposition, and delays! But I know that's just the beginning of Sophi's story - our story. While I can't wait to have all of us back home together finally and for the first time, I know that we are in for some hard days of transition and adjustments! So on this late afternoon hike up the 1300 steps, the Lord made it crystal clear what He wanted me to do ... count His mercies as many as the steps up and down Shumen's mountain (or Sophi's mountain as I'm going to rename it!)

The best part of the monument at the top was hidden away. It wasn't the biggest outdoor mosaic-triptych in all of Europe that we saw. It wasn't the sculptures of ancient Bulgarian khans that rose 18 meters tall. It wasn't even the granite lion weighing over 1000 tons on the very top of the mountain! All of these things were amazing, not to mention the spectacular view of the town and surrounding countryside below. But I almost missed the very best part! It was there all along...right before my very eyes...{Thank You, Lord for giving us eyes to see!}...It was a cross made out of concrete and when we walked over to look at it and take a picture. The way the sunlight was falling...oh, my goodness...it casts the perfect lighting...the shadowing...the concrete wall behind us, the cross before us...and there we were! My fellow adventurer and I...on our knees in the shadow of the cross...MERCY! All of this, every part of our lives, our marriage, our family, this crazy story...it is only by His mercy, and everything that is ahead, every step not yet taken, will only be through His mercy. Each step taken, each step yet to be climbed will be done in the shadow of His cross!

So, today, I'm starting the count! I'm counting His mercies! I'm naming them one by one, recording them as a marker, a remembrance, a testimony, a story of the Lord's mercy, His faithfulness. As many steps as we climbed on that late afternoon up to the top of Shumen, I will count that many mercies...and then more! They are new every morning! Great is His faithfulness! All for His glory, I will keep counting!

The really neat thing is what happens when you take time to count His mercies! Do you know what it is? You can find out! Try it yourself! Count His mercies! Start today and be blessed...

XOXO,
Melanie

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