Today is feel sorry for me day…

Or better titled, “Choose to lose my joy day.”

Something about today just started out wrong.  We got up and had baths, did laundry, cleaned the apartment, had breakfast, read…the normal morning things.  The one problem?  We miss home.  The sun was out this morning while we were in the apartment.  It looked warm and toasty.  Then when it was time to go to the orphanage for our morning visit, the sun went away and the snow came back.  Ugh…  So on the way to the orphanage, I started feeling my joy leak out.  We got to the orphanage and we were in the little “take off your shoes here” room.  Matthew was really glad to see us, but he was very tired. So he just sat with us…which was sweet, but the walls were closing in.  
So I just let the joy leak out.  Not that I didn’t know what to do to stop it, just chose not to.  We fed Matthew yogurt and about 45 minutes into our visit they came and got him and said it was time to eat.  For some reason, that just really irritated me today.  It was like someone was interfering with our child raising.  Which, of course, is silly, since he’s not our child yet.  
We walked back the 25 minutes to Palermo to check email and post a video.  It was snowing and very cold and very windy.  So by the time we got to Palermo, I really was in a state.  Ready to go home, cold, wet, irritated, lonely… (of course we don’t want to come home without the boys!)
This afternoon DRUG by.  We watched a couple of movies, played Phase 10 (I won…hee hee), had a snack.  Meanwhile, there was a real blizzard working itself up.  I watched as the snow got harder and harder, the wind grew stronger and stronger, as if it was happening so by the time it was time to walk to the orphanage, it would be a regular blinding snow storm.
We stepped outside and that’s pretty much what it was.  Argh.  I could hardly keep my eyes open.  Every time we turned a corner, it seemed like the wind changed directions so the snow was always beating us in the face.  We were about 1/3 of the way there, when these words started floating through my mind (from one of my favorite Scriptures).  “He was pierced for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.”  These words infiltrated my soul.  They flowed over me like a warm blanked.  It changed from “feel sorry for me day” to “give thanks to the Lord day.”  I was tempted to feel ashamed for my feelings, but my Father said that’s not what He wanted.  He wanted me to realize that for redemption and salvation, sacrifice is required.  Obedience is needed.  He reminded me that my Jesus walked an uncomfortable road too.  Way more uncomfortable than the one I walk upon.
Things I began to be thankful for as I walked:
  • There was snow covering all the mud so I had a place to walk without becoming a muddy mess.
  • It wasn’t raining, only snowing.
  • God made today.  I would choose to give thanks and be glad.
  • This is all temporary for me.  I have a different place I live day to day.  I get to go home to the USA. 
  • When we got to the orphanage, I could hear a roar of whining…I was thankful I don’t have to deal with it 24/7.
  • I have a warm coat and warm boots so I wasn’t cold
  • My hair was dry
  • Jesus did far more for me than I could ever do
  • I’m with the most wonderful woman in the world…how could I be lonely?

We got to the orphanage and on the driveway to the orphanage, some kids had etched a big heart in the snow.  God reminded me at that moment that THIS WAS HIS HEART.  What we were doing right now, was HIS HEART!  Wow…

2 Corinthians 4:17
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Here’s Isaiah 53 that God washed my soul with this afternoon:
1 Who believes what we’ve heard and seen? Who would have thought God’s saving power would look like this?
2-6The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling,
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him,
nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over,
a man who suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away.
We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried—
our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself,
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him,
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole.
Through his bruises we get healed.
We’re all like sheep who’ve wandered off and gotten lost.
We’ve all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we’ve done wrong,
on him, on him.

7-9He was beaten, he was tortured,
but he didn’t say a word.
Like a lamb taken to be slaughtered
and like a sheep being sheared,
he took it all in silence.
Justice miscarried, and he was led off—
and did anyone really know what was happening?
He died without a thought for his own welfare,
beaten bloody for the sins of my people.
They buried him with the wicked,
threw him in a grave with a rich man,
Even though he’d never hurt a soul
or said one word that wasn’t true.

10Still, it’s what God had in mind all along,
to crush him with pain.
The plan was that he give himself as an offering for sin
so that he’d see life come from it—life, life, and more life.
And God’s plan will deeply prosper through him.

11-12Out of that terrible travail of soul,
he’ll see that it’s worth it and be glad he did it.
Through what he experienced, my righteous one, my servant,
will make many “righteous ones,”
as he himself carries the burden of their sins.
Therefore I’ll reward him extravagantly—
the best of everything, the highest honors—
Because he looked death in the face and didn’t flinch,
because he embraced the company of the lowest.
He took on his own shoulders the sin of the many,
he took up the cause of all the black sheep.

There was some really good that happened in our visit with Matthew tonight (even though we were in the small outer “porch” area).  BTW…apparently, there is a flu epidemic in the city and they are suddenly afraid that we are going to bring it into the orphanage.  If it’s true, I can understand their caution.
The blessings of our visit tonight:
-Matthew didn’t hit himself in the head today at all.  That’s HUGE.
-He didn’t stare at his hand tonight at all.  He only did it a couple of times this morning.  Also HUGE!
-He was so happy to sit with me and just “be” with me.
-He acted like our child.
Blessings dear ones.
I’ll post today’s pics tomorrow.  I just wanted to share my heart tonight.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord.