Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Is Not Here

Today I want to talk to you about the most important thing I know. More than that, I want to tell you about one of the best parts of the most important thing I know. Today is Easter, so let us begin at the beginning of the Easter story. The following passage comes from the first few verses of Matthew 28: 
"After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the point of grace around which all of creation exists. For that reason, it is the most important thing I know. You see, I believe that the Bible is God's Word. I believe, I know, that it is indisputable, infallible. It is the Truth. I believe that the Bible exists so that we can know the heart and will of God. And so that we can, to the best of our human ability, understand the grace and sacrifice of the Cross and the Resurrection. If you jump way back to Genesis, the very beginning, you will see that as soon as mankind chooses his own will instead of God's (sinning and thereby separating himself from God for all eternity), as soon as that happens, God, being gracious and merciful beyond understanding, provides a way for us to be reunited with Him. 
From before the beginning of time, our God has been a God of deep love and grace. The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the clearest evidence of this truth. The Creator of the entire universe sent HIS Son to die in MY place, in YOUR place. Even if you have heard it before, let that sink in. God's Son suffered on your behalf, on mine. He endured unimaginable pain and shaming for you and for me. And He did so knowing that a whole lot of people would choose to reject His love and His grace anyway. 
What a picture of true love. To willingly suffer for those who would reject you. To choose that. 
We cannot imagine that depth of love, of sacrifice. 
But this is the character of our great God. 
Yes, the mercy of the Cross saves us. But it also give great glory to our Heavenly Father. The Cross speaks to His depth of His character and the profoundness of our need for a Savior. 
So back to Easter Sunday. My favorite part of the very best thing I know. The women go to the tomb to perform burial rituals. And instead of the body of Christ, they encounter and Angel of the Lord. 
His message? 
That might just be my very favorite line in the entire Bible. I love that as a follower, a true believer of Jesus Christ, I cannot go visit His grave. I cannot go worship at the place where He was buried. 
Why not? 
He is not there. 
My God was not stopped by death. My God, the One True God, overcame death and hell, triumphed over the grave and resurrected Himself so that His named would be glorified and my eternity would be sealed. 
Oh, how I hope you know this great God. He is real. He is alive. He loves you. He loves you so much. If you don't know Him, I pray that you will allow yourself to know Him. I pray that He will open your eyes to the depths and the riches of His love and mercy and grace. All you have to do is believe, ask and repent. He longs for you to turn to Him. Will you consider it? I hope you will. If you are not sure how to do it or what it actually looks like, ask a Christian in your life, or ask me. You can leave a comment or email me ( I pray that you would hurry. Our lives are quick. Gone in a flash. And we desperately need a Savior. And He has come. 
"For God so loved the world that sent His one and only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life." John 3:16

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Adoption Tees Around the U.S. Post #6 + Some Other Things

Today's adoption t-shirt post takes us to the Windy City!

 Say hello to Amy! You might remember her from some earlier posts. She and her husband reside in Chicago and through the adoption process, we have become good friends. Even though we have never met. Amy has been such a blessing and encouragement to me over the last several months, and it has beem incredible to see how sovereign God truly is, bringing people into our lives when He knows we need them most. Thank you, Amy, for being such a good friend! It is so, so, SO good to know that you are right there when I need a bit of encouragement from someone who understands right where I am. Thank you for being an instrument of God in my life!

On a related note, we are STILL selling these super fancy t-shirts. If you want one, please leave a comment below or email me. They are $20, and ALL of the profits go DIRECTLY toward bring the little one(s) home.

Second thing for today: You guys are some serious prayer warriors! A few days ago, I posted asking for some serious prayer for movement in the way of referrals. And THREE have gone out in the last TWO days! Now that's what I'm talking about!! Thank you all so much for praying with us. Please keep praying that God will continue to move in this way.
Last thing for today: I am going on a blogging hiatus until Easter Sunday. We are going to be out of town with my family, and I will be without access to a computer. I shall miss writing on a regular basis, but I am so very much looking forward to time away with my family. Yay for relaxing! Hopefully, I will have an exciting new number to share with you as soon as we get back.
"Truly, my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from Him. Truly, He is my rock and my salvation; I will never be shaken."
Psalm 62:1-2

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Call for Prayer

OK. So things have slowed down A LOT here in the adoption world lately. And those of us who are stuck in the middle of it are just plain frustrated. I think maybe Adam and I got spoiled by our first few months of the waiting list, moving 7 and then 8 spots. We only moved one last month and at the halfway point in March I do not believe there have been any referrals yet. Needless to say, we are feeling rather weary in the wait.

So we have a favor to ask of you.

We know that so many of you pray for us and for our little one(s) on a regular basis, and we are so grateful for that. Seriously. We cannot tell you how much it helps us to know that there are people out there standing in the proverbial gap for us, praying for us when we just run out of steam.

So I want to ask you to pray specifically for movement on the waiting list. I am praying that we move 10 spots this month. I know that is a lot. I know it seems impossible, but I also know that God can absolutely do it.

With all that being said, would you please pray for serious movement on the waiting list for us? We are (OK maybe more I than we) are feeling a bit desperate. We want so much to have our little one(s) home before the end of the year, and with each day that passes with no movement, that dream seems farther and farther away.

So we are reaching out to you, our faith family. And we are asking you to join us in this, as we pray and wait to see what God does.

"Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, everyone who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened."
Matthew 7:7-8


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Testimony Tuesday

I am excited that it is already time for Testimony Tuesday again! Today's testimony comes from the guy I love best in this world. My dear husband, Adam.

My name is Adam Knott.  I had the privilege of being born into a Christian home, and raised in the church.  I have fond memories of attending Vacation Bible Schools, church camps, children’s choir and other church related events.  Thankfully there is not a point in time when I can remember not being involved with church. 
When I was eight, I attended a christian concert and sermon preached by an older cousin of mine.  The message of that sermon was on God’s will.  His will for our lives, his will for the church, and His will for the death of His son.  During that message I felt God stirring within my soul.  The closing song had a verse that stuck into my head, “The Will of God will never lead you, where the Grace of God can’t keep you.” 
On the ride home the verse played over and over in my head, until I finally told my parents that I think the Lord was calling me to be His, to be saved.  As tears feel down my moms face she asked if I knew what I was saying.  I told her that it meant God was my Lord, and His Son died to forgive me for my sins.  Shortly after returning home I was in my pastor’s office preparing to be baptized.  In October of 1993 I made my public profession of faith and was baptized before the church.
Since that day my life has been changed.  I can honestly say it has not been perfect (I alone am responsible for that fact), but it has been good.  The plans I have made have been molded by God to look nothing like what the originally were.  The desires that I hold dear have changed as well.  There are still daily struggles but thankfully God’s love is greater than my sinfulness.  

I am so grateful for God's grace in the life of my husband. He such a blessing! 

Are you interested in sharing your testimony here on A Heritage from the Lord? If you are, please email me at with the following information: 

-Your name (you can choose to remain anonymous if you desire).
-A brief introduction about yourself.
-You actual testimony (just copy and paste it into the body of your email). 

I hope you will join us as we seek to share the saving power of Jesus Christ with the world! 


Monday, March 11, 2013

You Are Seen

You know the expression, "Drinking from the fire hose"? That is what I did this weekend. My mom joined me for a weekend away up in Georgia at the Created for Care conference. Created for Care is a ministry that focuses on serving adoptive and foster moms, and each year there are two retreats that moms can attend to be educated, refreshed and served. We signed up to go back in August, and I have been looking forward to it ever since. So much of what happens in the adoption world is fluid and unpredictable, so having something adoption-related on my calendar (that would definitely happen on that day) was huge for me. And the wait was very much worth it. We were up in the northern part of Georgia at a lodge on a lake. It was beautiful, serene, relaxing. A perfect environment for being refreshed.

Back to the fire hose. Over the weekend there were main sessions for all attendees and break out sessions on a variety of topics you could elect to attend. The overall theme for the entire weekend was LOVE BIG. The focal chapter was I Corinthians 13, especially verse 13: "And now these three remain, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." This weekend called us to step out in FAITH, wait in HOPE and LOVE big. Over the three days of Created for Care, I was provided with so much information, given such encouragement and confronted with the reality of the enormous obstacles that adoption inherently brings. It was three days of having my eyes opened and my mind filled. Three days of reassurance and realization. We talked about some beautiful things and some really heavy things. There were times when my heart was lifted and times when my heart felt burdened. But I loved it. Even when it was really hard, I still loved it. Honestly, though, I am still very much working on sorting through everything I learned. I think it will take me a while. So I will probably be coming back to writing about Created for Care over the next few weeks.

For today, though, I am going to start at the end and share with you what I think God really had for me this weekend. It happened at the very last session on Sunday morning.

The speaker that morning, an adoptive mother named Tona, talked to us about Hagar. In case you are not familiar, Hagar was the servant of Sarai (later renamed Sara), wife of Abram (later renamed Abraham). Abram and Sarai were old, well beyond childbearing years, but God had promised them that He would use them to make a great nation. Still, nothing was happening. Sarai got impatient with God and decided to help Him along by giving her servant, Hagar, to bear children and provide an heir. Her plan worked. But as soon as Hagar became pregnant, Sarai began to hate her, so Hagar ran away. She ran away to the wilderness and found herself completely alone.

Not where she thought she would be. Not where she wanted to be. Lost. Hurting.

But when she was out there in the wilderness all alone, the angel of the Lord appeared to her and said, "Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?"

He called her by name. He saw her hurting. He saw her alone and in the wilderness, far from home. He saw her.

That was her message for us. That wherever you are, whatever your circumstances, He sees you. You might feel alone. You might feel lost. You might not be where you thought you would be, where think you should be.

But He sees you.

He knows where you are.

Where you have come from.

Where you are going.

He sees you.

That is the message I think the Lord had for me this past weekend. I will be the first to tell you that I am not where I thought I would be. I am not doing what I thought I would be doing. There are so many days when I feel lost and confused by what He is doing in my life. But I am not alone. He sees me.

To close her message to us, Tona read Psalm 139, and I want to share it with you. It speaks of how God knows us, sees us. How no matter where we go or what we do, we cannot get away from Him. He is everywhere.

You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. 
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 
You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 
Before a word is on my tongue
 you, Lord, know it completely. 
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 
even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,” 
even the darkness will not be dark to you; 
the night will shine like the day,
 for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,
 I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you 
when I was made in the secret place,

when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;

all the days ordained for me were written in your book 
before one of them came to be. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand—
 when I awake, I am still with you.
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!
 Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
I have nothing but hatred for them;
 I count them my enemies.
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Testimony Tuesday

Our church is currently working through a series called Threads. Here in the western world, we see a whole lot of cultural Christianity (the idea that we are Christians because go to church on Sunday or because we believe in God). Our pastor is trying teach the importance of living the life that truth of the Gospel demands of us, so the idea behind the series is that we should always be weaving the threads of the Gospel into our daily lives. The actual Threads are:

1. The character of God
2. The sinfulness of man
3. The sufficiency of Christ
4. The necessity of faith
5. The urgency of eternity

The purpose of these teachings is to identify these Gospel truths and weave them into our daily interactions with the people around us so that when people look us, they see Jesus. This past week we were talking about the fourth thread: the necessity of faith. Our pastor pointed out that every single Christ follower has a story of coming to faith and that as followers of Jesus, we need to know our stories and be ready to share them. So he challenged us to write out our testimonies. Not our life stories, but our actual testimonies of how we came to faith in Jesus Christ. After we write them out, we are supposed to email them in and either a pastor or an elder is going to pray over each testimony that comes in, that God would use the power of His grace and sovereignty in that person's testimony to open the eyes of those who don't know Christ and to bring glory to His name.

As he was preaching, an idea came to me. What if we did something similar here? What if people from all over the place could send in their testimonies about the saving grace of Jesus in their lives? And what if we shared them with the world? How incredible would that be? A place where people could come and read about how Jesus Christ revealed Himself to people. Each of us has a different story, and it is a story that needs to be told. This is how the Gospel is spread and how people come to salvation through Christ Jesus.

So if you are reading this and you do know Jesus, would you consider sending in your testimony? You would be reaching the nations, following the Great Commission in Matthew 28. The only requirement is that you are a follower of Jesus Christ.

Oh, I hope and pray that you will consider sharing the story of God's grace in your life. It is the best story we have to tell.

I know it wouldn't be right for me to ask something of you that I am not willing to do myself, so I want to share my testimony with you. Again, this isn't my life story, and I am not going to talk about everything that God has done in my life since saving me. That is what all of my other posts are for! I am going to tell you about the best thing He has ever done for me. This is the story of how God looked down on me, and instead of judging me --though I was guilty in my sin-- He covered me with the blood of Jesus.

Like many people, the Lord richly blessed me by allowing me to grow up in a Christian home with Godly parents. I cannot remember a time in my life when I did not know Christ. I do know that when I was 14 years old, the Lord opened my eyes to the truth that just because I thought I was a good person did not mean that I needed His grace any less. You see, I was a really well-behaved girl. I listened to my parents, followed the rules. And I let that get to my head. Satan used my good behavior to lead me into the lie that I could do it on my own. I believed that I was good enough for God and that He "liked" me because I made good choices. The sin of pride took a deep root in my heart. When I was 14 years old I was on a church retreat with my youth group when God spoke to me. He used one of the speakers at the retreat, a gang-banger and drug-runner, to open my eyes to the truth. God spoke to my heart and told me that the same grace that was required to save this man’s soul was required to save mine. I did not need less grace simply because I followed the rules. It was at that moment that I realized the depth of my depravity before a holy and righteous God. I prayed and asked the Lord to forgive my arrogance and pride. And He did. He changed my heart, and I now know that any good that might come from my life is a result of His grace alone. I have to die to myself daily in this department, but I am trying. I want to live for Him and Him alone. For as long as I can remember, my favorite Bible verse has been Philippians 3:8. It reads, “What is more, I consider everything a loss when compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ.” I try to live this out each day and always remember that I am a new creation in Christ. He has washed me clean.  Before realizing the depth of my sin and great need for the grace of Christ, I had a whole lot of plans and dreams for my life. But God has met none of those expectations. He has surpassed them. He has turned my life upside-down. He has helped me trade my weak, human dreams for grand, heavenly dreams. It doesn’t always make sense to me, and it is not always easy, but I know that my God is good. 

If you are interested in sharing your testimony, please email me at with the following information: 

-Your name (You can let me know if you would like to remain anonymous online.)
-A few sentences of background information about you for me to post with your testimony
-Your actual testimony (just paste it in the body of your email)

I am going to try to post a testimony every Tuesday for as long as they come in. So hopefully I will have something for you next week! 

Thank you so much for joining me in this! I think this is something that God will use to reach people all over the world. Let's boast about His lavish love and grace! 

"Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And, behold, I am with you always, to end of the age.'" 
Matthew 28:18-20


Monday, March 4, 2013

Psalm 130

My mom sent me an article over the weekend that focused on waiting on the Lord. The main passage used in the article was Psalm 130. It is a beautiful chapter, so I thought I would share it.
Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; 
Lord, hear my voice. 
Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. 
If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, 
Lord, who could stand? 
But with you there is forgiveness,
so what we can, 
with reverence, 
serve you. 

I wait for the Lord, 
my whole being waits, 
and in His word I put my hope. 
I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, 
more than watchmen wait for the morning. 

Israel, put your hope in the Lord, 
for with the Lord is unfailing love, 
and with Him is full redemption. 
He himself with redeem Israel from all their sins. 

Psalm 130

Sometimes God's Word is all you need. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Needs and Wants

A wrote a little while ago about Adam and me finishing our first half marathon. Well, now I am training for another one in Nashville in April with my baby sis (and possibly my daddy-o). Adam has graciously agreed to keep running with me for training even though he is not running in this next race. So anyway, we were doing a long run together today in the freezing cold. When we do our longer runs on the weekends, I typically try to spend two consecutive miles in prayer. It is a good way for me to take my mind off of what I am forcing my body to do and also a pretty distraction-free environment, so it is easy for me to stay focused. While I was praying today, I found myself continually coming back to the truth that God is enough. He is enough for me. He is infinitely capable and unimaginably powerful. He holds my life in His hands. I kept asking God to always remind me that He is enough for me, that even when it feels like everything else is crumbling and absolutely nothing is going the way I want it to, He is still enough.

A few years ago I was doing a Bible study with some lovely ladies here in Birmingham, and one week the main focus was the idea of God being enough for us. I believe the study was one of Priscilla Shirer's (I highly recommend anything she puts out. Talk about a woman who can teach!). She posed the following question to the group:

If all God ever did for you was send His Son, Jesus, to earth to die for your sins so that you could spend eternity with Him, would that be enough? If He never did anything else for you, would that one thing be enough?

That is a tough question to answer. And as I was running today, I was asking God to let my answer always be "Yes." I want that to be my answer, not because I think God will never do anything else for me--on the contrary, He has done and will continue to do miraculous things in my life--but I want "Yes" to be my answer because it means I recognize my one true need. I am a sinful person. And for that reason, my one true need is a Savior.

A lot of times I think we confuse things we want with things we need. I know I do. I tend to think I need certain things in order to be happy or whole. God has used the last few years to teach me that a lot of what I thought I needed I really just wanted. To be clear right off the bat, I don't think it is bad to want things. I don't think that at all. God created us as we are, and He gave us hearts that long, hearts that desire. He, Himself, has desires. He desires to be gracious to us, to show us compassion and to have us love Him in return. So, no, desires (wants) are not bad.

I think the fallout comes when confuse our wants with our needs. I want a lot of things. I want my husband to always know how much I love him. I want us to go on a trip to Italy together. I want to be an exceptional teacher. Most obviously, I want children. And I think that is a God-given desire. Absolutely. But I need Jesus. Really, really need Him. I want Him, too. But I need Him. God has been using my life lately to make that truth abundantly clear to me. There have been things that have happened to me/us over the last two years that should have resulted in me spending long periods of time in a room with padded walls. And I know, beyond all doubt, that Jesus Christ has been right by side sustaining me, helping me, all out carrying me through.

Two years ago I would have told you that I needed children. And don't get me wrong, being a mother is still one of the strongest desires of my heart. There are days when I want it so badly that I am in actual, physical pain. Days when I think I might lose it and burst into heaving sobs at any given moment (you can imagine how awkward that would be for me at work in a room full of 14 year olds). I am not saying that I have had such an epiphany that I am over my desire to be a mother. Far from it. I long for it every single day. But I have realized that as much as I WANT to be a mother, I NEED God more. I need Jesus more. And that is a powerful realization. Because if God did decide that what was best for me and for His kingdom was for me to not be a mother, then He would still be enough. It would be so hard, unimaginably hard (and, oh, how I hope that is not what He decides), but I know that He could get me through it.

But here is part of the beauty. He is already getting me through it. Today. Right now. Last week during our sibling interview, I told our social worker that our life looked absolutely nothing like what we thought it would when we got married almost 6 years ago. We do not live where we thought we would live. Adam is not in the branch of physical therapy he originally thought he wanted to go into. We don't have kids. If you had told us on our wedding day that in 2013 we would be where we are now, I would have told you that you were crazy. And I will be honest, I am not thrilled that we are still waiting to be parents (I feel like that is clear now : ) ), but I am amazed by what God has done, what He is doing. God has shown me time and again that His power is most clearly displayed when we are weak. And let me tell you, I am one weak vessel. There are a whole lot of days when I tell God that I have nothing left, that from here on out it will have to be Him, because I am empty. And I think that, just maybe, that is a good thing. I think that might be right where He wants me. Because now, I have to trust Him wholeheartedly. And that is what He WANTS. I NEED Him, and He WANTS me to recognize that.

He wants all of us to recognize that. We need Him. I need Him. You need Him.

We can't do this life on our own.

And God knows that. He knows that we are weak. And so He sent His Son, Jesus, down here to us. To live with us, to experience human life with us. Most importantly, to die a sacrificial death in our place. Jesus died the death that you and I deserve so that we could be able to spend an eternity with God instead of without Him. All we have to do is believe. Trust that what He did was enough. We cannot do enough good in this world to earn God's favor. We need the perfect sacrifice of Christ. And when we turn from our sin and trust in His sacrifice, we are washed clean. And now, when God looks at me, He sees Jesus. He doesn't see my sin; He sees His daughter whom He loves. And I did nothing to deserve that. He did it all.

And that is enough.

His power is made evident through our weakness. If we could save ourselves, we would not require God's grace. But we cannot do it. And He has done it for us. He has met our one true need.

And it is enough.

Even if nothing else in this life goes the way we want it to, His mercy, grace and sacrifice are enough.

"Then He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ's power may rest on me."
2 Corinthians 12:9

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