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Showing posts from July, 2015

Two Adoption Books - Covenants of God

One of the adoption agencies in our state gives potential adoptive parents the option of being listed in one of two notebooks.  The first book is for those who are open to any child, no matter the biological parents' race or the child's expected gender.  The second book is for those who are specific in regard to whether or not they want their child to be a certain gender or if they want the child to possibly look like their potential adoptive parents.  Two books - two options - two routes for adoption.

In preparing for a small group Bible study at my church I came across a question that asked about the difference between God's covenant of grace with the Hebrews and God's covenant of grace in Christ Jesus.  As I read this question, it really struck me that these two covenants are very similar to the two notebooks in this adoption agency's office.  God's covenant with the Hebrew or Jewish people is quite similar to the second notebook, where adoptive parents who…

To mothers of the barren. If you relate to "I feel like I can't say anything to my infertile daughter."

I've had more than one conversation with the mother of a woman who is currently barren.  I have found that mother's just don't know what to say to their daughters and often find that whatever they say is hurtful.  It is hurtful, because one's mother is the symbol of motherhood to the woman who is grieving in barrenness.  You are the symbol of everything she wants to be and everything she doesn't want to be.  You are her reference point for not only motherhood, but womanhood as well.  The idea of motherhood was formed in your daughter's mind as she grew from a childhood playing with dolls to adulthood by watching you. So that is why she hurts so much more deeply by things you say.  She has disappointed the image or expectation of motherhood in her life which you embody.  Of course she wants to go screaming away from you, even more so because she adores you - take it as a complement.  She may want the chance to have the relationship that you had with her with so…

The Responsibility of Infertility

I've completed my work on this infertility journey.  I've:

been open to the various possibilities for becoming a parentworked through my past hurts and pains, as well as my future fearsbelieved fully that God can create life despite the obstaclessought the best medical advice and careadvocated on behalf of other women and menfound ways to minister to othersparticipated in a support group and met with a professional counselorhelped other clergy and people to become aware of the crisis of infertilityrelaxed and taken a break from caringexperienced the various stages of griefaccepted and considered what life could be like childless I am not giving up in making this statement.  I just feel that I am done doing the work on my end of things.  Now it's just the continued waiting game. Doesn't mean my heart won't hurt, tears won't occasionally flow, or that I won't relive stages of grief from time-to-time.  It doesn't mean that I won't take steps forward.  …

Infertility - refinding womanhood or masculinity

I feel like my brain is being re-wired.  Actually, whenever I read God's word I feel the fresh breath of the Spirit's wind cleansing out my mental cobwebs and giving me new clarity of thought.  But, today I have to admit a courage-giving movement of the Word in my life.  I return to what I knew, but with greater buy-in and more depth of understanding.

Infertility can strike the core of one's gender identity.  Doesn't matter if you are a man or a woman - there is a part of your femininity or masculinity that is attacked.  Part of the healing process is a restoration or a new creation of that identity.  What does it mean to be a woman whose womb doesn't seem to work?  What does it mean to be a man whose arrows miss the target? 

Our culture is over sexualized.  I think that is one reason that homosexuality gets so much attention - we care a little to much about our gender as it is related to our sexuality. We overemphasize this character trait to the compromise of o…

Known before Conception

"On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived." (Luke 2:21) "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:16)
Our understanding of personal identity seems quite different from that of the Scripture. When I hold an infant I often wonder what his or her future might look like. Parents who are expecting a child spend time contemplating the name that they will give the child once it is born. And as we watch the baby develop outside of the womb we start to watch a personality emerge.  Are we really tabula rasa as the philosophers suggest or is there more to us before we are even conceived than we can imagine?

Yes, Jesus is the exception as the Son of God has existed since the beginning of time.  But there is something generally profound about the idea of an angel giving a child its name before it …

Fertile Journey Through Genesis: Chapter 2:4-23

"when no shrub of the field was yet on earth and no grasses of the field had yet sprouted, because the LORD God had not sent rain upon the earth and there was no man to till the soil," (Genesis 2:5)

"The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden, to till it and tend it." (Genesis 2:15)

From the very beginning God created humanity to work, to till, to cultivate, to create. Our working was part of God's original plan. Our being a part of God's care of the earth was and still is good.  Our design to be workers was not a result of sin, but the consequence of being formed with love. God worked and rejoiced in the fruit of those labors and we also would work and literally enjoy the nourishment and beauty that resulted from our labors. Our first work as humans was to be farmers.  We played a role in the creation of the earth.

In that original garden most of the food was good for us to eat, but there was one plant of which we were not to partake …

Fertile Journey Through Genesis: Chapter 2:23-25

"'This one at last
Is bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh.
This one shall be called Woman, ['ish],
For from man ['ish] she was taken.'

Hence a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, so that they become one flesh.  The two of them were naked, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame." (Genesis 2:23-25)

As men and women we feel compelled to return to one another.  We are compelled because of our creation.  The first human was likely neither male nor female.  Neither is God male or female.  It is in our coming together that we more fully reflect the image of God.

It is in our nature to cling to one another and in our uniquely shared nakedness to be unashamed.

It is interesting that in the second telling of the creation story in Genesis 2, there is no command from God to reproduce. The first telling in Genesis 1 is more about the mechanics of creating and filling the earth, whereas the second telling in Genesis 2 focuses more upon the r…