Monday, November 17, 2014

My Story is His Story

I have spent a good deal of time this past week reflecting over all that has transpired in my life over the last almost four years on this journey to parenthood. Goodness, so much has changed. When I think back to specific times, times full of excitement and others overflowing with sadness, I am amazed to have come through it all. And in that, I know, is the grace and goodness of God. This journey is by no means over. We haven't been matched yet. But I have arrived in this place where I am enjoying looking at the story God is writing in my life, and I am coming to the realization that my story is actually His story.

You see, this is not the life I would have chosen for myself. Thirty is staring me in the face and motherhood is not yet in sight. There is hope on the horizon, yes, but nothing certain. I thought that by now, we would be adopting our first child to add to the two already in our home. But that is not the case. We only have one child. And she has four legs.

So this is not the story I wrote for myself when I was younger. My story was not nearly this dramatic. It's the story God wrote for me before the dawn of time. He knew all of these things would happen. He knew the moments that would fill us with joy and anticipation. He knew the moments that would threaten to drown us in sorrow and hardship. He knew the days that I would rage in anger at the apparent unfairness of it all and even at Him. He knew the moments when I would be so totally and completely overwhelmed with love for my little Ethiopians that I would cry just thinking about them.

He knew all of those things, and He is using them to write this incredible story. A story that I cannot believe is mine. He is revealing to me the depth of His own love for His children and just a tiny glimpse of the hardship and sacrifice He endured to redeem us unto Himself. He is showing me that He can strengthen a woman, this woman, to withstand the most difficult and heart wrenching of tests and that He can carry her through those tests. He is showing me that I cannot be taken away from Him, no matter how hard the enemy tries and no matter how much I want to give up and give in. He is showing me that the love between a man and his bride can be the deepest, most profound example of Christ's love for the church and that that is exactly what it should be. He is showing me that the greatest thing we have on earth to advance the Kingdom of God is love. He is showing me that a mother's love for her children will cause her to willingly endure all kinds of hardships, impossibilities, disappointments, ridicule, loneliness, desperation and heartache and that she will keep coming back for more because her children are WORTH it. And He is showing me that HE feels the same way about US.

God has used this incredible thing called adoption to open my eyes, maybe just a little bit, to the startling reality of His love for us. His children. The children He adopted through the redemptive blood of Jesus Christ. The children He fought for and suffered for.

So when I say that my story is His story, I don't mean that I am like God. I'm not. Trust me. I mean that He is using the story He is writing in my life to reveal His character to me. And He is doing in the most radical of ways. This is not the path I would have chosen, but God has my attention. And I am ready to see what's next.

Maybe God is doing something awesome and redemptive in your life, too. Maybe it is NOT what you thought it would be. Hang in there, dear friend. He is working. He is writing a story in your life that is actually His story. Let him.


Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
Romans 11:33

Love, 
Baylor 


Friday, November 14, 2014

Some Good News!


Well, it seems that things are starting to move again in Ethiopia! Eeeeek! We have been hearing about some referrals going out this week.

I don't know about you, but that just sets my heart a racing and swelling with hope. 

Wil you pray today that our time is soon? Like really soon? Like before Christmas soon? 

I think it can happen. And if it does, I promise to share my whole, great, big, crazy reaction with you.

I have learned so much about God and His goodness and His rock-solid faithfulness. I have learned that He wastes nothing and provides everything. He loves unconditionally and forgives always. He pursues us and waits for us to come home when we insist on going our own way. He never leaves or grows weary of our prayers. He suffers and grieves right alongside us. He comforts us through His Spirit, His Word and His children here on earth. He brings people into our lives to lift us up in our hour of need. He reminds us along the way that He is good. And He never forgets us. He asks big things of our lives, not to torment us to but to strengthen us. He puts the impossible in front of us so that He can be glorified. He allows pain and suffering so that He can heal and restore.

I have learned all of these things and so many more. And I know that I could not have learned these things if not for this incredibly deep valley we have been walking through. So while it has been (and continues to be) the most difficult thing God has ever asked of me, I know that God is here, that He is in it and that it will ultimately be far more than I could ever ask or imagine.

Love,
Baylor 

Stirring

November has been a tough month. No movement. Learning that the way things have been is the new normal. Finding out that our expenses are significantly increasing. Lots to process and most of it is not good.

But in the midst of all of this, I sense God stirring something. I don't know exactly what it will all ultimately lead to, but I do sense that a change is on the horizon. God has been tugging on my heart lately to move forward with something I have been circling around for a long time. It wasn't some huge revelation. More like a series of events and promptings pointing me toward what will hopefully be a whole new, adventurous chapter. I just hope I am brave enough to do it.

It involves sharing a LOT of my story. Like, all of it. Yikes.

Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to speak at a women's event in Eufaula, Alabama. I was able to share not only our adoption story, but how God is using it to restore, redeem and beautify my life in a way that only He can. I think that night was the spark that set this new thing into motion.

So, once again, I am trying to walk and live and breathe in faith, hoping and praying that God will guide me and use me and my life and this story to bring glory to His wonderful Name.

Hoping to share more soon. Stay tuned.

Love,
Baylor


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wait List Update: November 2014

Wow. November of 2014. I can safely say that I never thought I would be writing a waiting list post for November of 2014. It feels like it can't be real.

We got our monthly update yesterday, and there was no movement.

I have to say that I am not surprised. It seems that the more this adoption process progresses, the less progress we actually make. We received an update from our agency the other week telling us that what we are currently experiencing is the new normal and we should not be expecting anything different. Honestly, I am not quite sure what that means. It was one year ago on November 1 that we became number 29 for the very first time. Now, one year later, we have made little forward progress toward our children.

It is confusing. Hurtful. Complicated.

There is no simple solution to our problem. Believe me, I wish there was.

All we know is that God has asked us to adopt from Ethiopia, so here we are. We are waiting. And it is hard and it hurts and I don't like it. I want my children home. What we are experiencing now… I honestly did not even know this was in the realm of possibility. This is so much harder than anything I could have dreamed up on my own.

But I am trying my hardest to trust God and hang on.

Love,
Baylor

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Deep Well Women

Do you have deep well women in your life? Women who fill you up just by being there?

God has blessed me with many deep well women. They are my mentors, my friends. They are women I love, women I respect, women I admire. They are women whose wells are deep and full of love to give. They are women God has given me to help me wade through the waters of this adoption process. And I love each and every one of them so much.

My mom. Oh, my mom. I have never known another woman like her. She is resolved, steadfast and immovable. She is determined and faithful. She knows God. And she knows that she knows Him. She is responsible for so much of who I am today. She has refused to give up on me. She has continued to encourage me and challenge me. She loves me and she dares me to live the life God has laid before me. She points me back to Jesus at every.single.turn. She will not back down. She is a fighter, a warrior. And I am honored, grateful, humbled to have her on my team.

My sister. She is THERE. She is with me. She hurts and grieves and rages right alongside me. She is the single most fiercely loyal person I have EVER known. She will fight, knock down and drag out fight, to protect the people she loves. And I am blessed enough to be one of those. She lets me be who I am with no fear of judgment. She reminds me that it is OK to be angry and hurt. She points me to the goodness God has showered upon me, even in this season of trial. I could not do this without her.

JoAnne. What was the Lord thinking when He gifted me with this woman for a mother-in-law? He out-did Himself. I love her deeply and truly. Not only has she raised the single most incredible man I know, but she has loved me and welcomed me into her family with open arms and an open heart. She is an shining example of God's grace and goodness. She loves unconditionally and trusts in the Lord for all things. She believes in His promises with an unwavering faith and handles trials with unfathomable dignity.

Betty. She is the refresher of my soul on this earth. She fills my cup when it is empty. She lets me let down my armor and hurt in front her. She reminds me that God is here, right here with me. That He loves me. She encourages me and reminds me that it is OK to be human and to FEEL. She prays for me and loves me. She mentors me. And I admire her more than I can explain to you.

I have so many more deep well women in my life, and I will write about them soon. But I want to hear about your deep well women. Who are the women who love you and inspire you? Who are the women who carry you when you can't bear to walk another step? Tell me about them. A woman's heart is such a unique and special thing, and I want to honor it. So send me an email (bay.knott@gmail.com) about your deep well woman, and I will share it to thank her for who she is in your life. Let's link arms and honor these precious women and the love they have poured into us.

Love,
Baylor

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Weekend Escape

The Knotts LOVE to camp. And this past weekend, we got to do just that. Adam and I packed up the car and the pup and headed out to Cheaha State park to spend the weekend in the wild with each other and our precious Daisy girl. It was so wonderful to get out and away and just enjoy being out in the woods with each other.

We started out by hiking out to Pulpit Lookout to catch the sunset. 
Snapped this one of my best fella just soaking up God's creation. 
The view is absolutely breathtaking. 
My two favorites in the whole, wide world. 
And some love from my best gal. 
 She loves being out in the woods as much as we do. 
And she brings so much joy to my heart. 
Family photo! 
The sunset was quite worth the hike. 
Wow. 
 Back at the campsite... 
With the Knott family camping staples: root beer and fire. 
 Early morning fire and some breakfast with these two. 
Staying toasty warm! 
 And a morning hike to finish out the trip! 
Exploring. 
Taking it all in. 
Good for the soul. 

I am so thankful for time away with my two greatest loves and the chance to enjoy God's beautiful creation, deep conversation and quiet peace. 

Love, 
Baylor 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Trusting God with Your Impossible

Sometimes God asks big things of us. He asks us to let go of what we want, what we have always envisioned, what we think we deserve. He asks us if we really trust Him, if we really believe that He is sovereign AND good.

And when God does this, when He asks something big, it can feel like He is asking us to do the impossible. Asking us to do something that feels so completely beyond our capabilities that there is NO WAY it can be done. But that is where God shows up. For Him, our impossible is easy.

This is where I find myself. Day after day. Minute after minute.

For me, the impossible in this life is bringing our children home from Ethiopia. As the days pass, it feels like they get farther and farther away, it feels like we will always be waiting and never be parents. Month after month goes by with no news, and we are asked to wait. We are asked to trust. We are asked to believe.

We, like Peter, are asked to get out of the boat and walk across the sea. We are asked to do this impossible thing. To walk on water.

And we can only do it if we keep our eyes on Jesus. Much like Peter, I find myself often focusing on the storm raging around me. Focusing on everything else. On the ever-lengthening process, on the lack of information, on the timeline, on people telling us to try something else. On my sadness, on my fear, on my doubt, on my anger.  I see all of these distractions, and they threaten to overtake me, to swallow me up.

And I know I have to look at Jesus.

But everything else is screaming for my attention. And Jesus is asking for it.

Everything else is raging around me, and He is quietly asking me to trust Him.

So I'm trying. I'm trying to look at Him. I'm trying ignore the crashing waves and the howling wind and the deafening thunder. And I am trying to look at the One who told me that I could walk on water, the One who told me that, through Him, I could do the impossible.

If I would just trust Him with it.

So I don't know what your impossible is. Waiting for a spouse? Struggling with a wayward child? Or, like me, are you waiting to become a parent and it just doesn't seem to be happening for you? Whatever it is, you can trust Him with it. There will be dark days, maybe lots of them Today was one for me. One that left me feeling alone and scared and angry and hurt. But even in that, He is there. He is our Jehovah Shammah, and He can be trusted with our impossible.

“Come,” he (Jesus) said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, 
walked on the water and came toward Jesus."
Matthew 14:29
Love, 
Baylor 
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