Just checking in

We are anxiously awaiting new photos of our little Jude. Unfortunately just prior to our request, the orphanage found out that they are no longer able to give photos out? We were told from our contact who sent out our package at Red Thread that the CCCWA is now only allowed to release photos? I don’t completely understand it, but just know that it was very bad timing for that decision as the Red Thread was hired to get those photos. Bummer!

Our agency assures us that photos are coming at some point, we just don’t know when. I need prayers for patience!

Some amazing news is that My sister Julie, brother in law Jason, and neice Hannah are in China right now with their son Moses!  There are some very sweet photos of our new little nephew here: www.pierces2china.blogspot.com.

We miss them and are so ready for them to come home! I am so blessed to have a sister that I talk to every day and share life with. It is so strange not having her around! Can’t wait till they are back and we can hear all the details. We have been blessed to Skype with them a few times, so I am thankful for that and for the opportunity to see Moses smiling, zipping around that hotel room, and playing with his big sis.

I was reading in the Message Bible the other day and ran across these amazing verses in Psalms:

And now, God, do it again—
bring rains to our drought-stricken lives
So those who planted their crops in despair
will shout hurrahs at the harvest,
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
Psalms 126:5-6

I am so thankful that our God turns things that were meant for bad into good. ” So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.” Can’t wait for these boys to be home!

We recently had the opportunity to go to the Memorial service for a friend’s sister who recently passed. Although we had only met Ally a handful of times, we got to know her more through reading her blog as she journeyed through leukemia. To say this young woman was inspiring is an understatement. Her memorial service challenged us in our walk with the Lord as we heard stories of her faithfulness to God. Please pray for her husband and 3 girls as they journey this new normal without Ally, and for all who loved her.

I wanted to share one more thing this week that encouraged me. A friend sent me an article recently and it came at just the right time. Michael and I are people-pleasers” and that’s not always a good thing. As we serve God, our people pleasing can sometimes get in the way of doing what He has called us to do. Can any of you relate?I would love to encourage you with this article——————————————————————————————–

The more I know God and what he thinks and says, the less it matters whether others are impressed with me.

It’s almost unexplainable, the sense of satiation and completeness that invade the heart when our eyes are fixed on the cross. At the cross of Christ, God declares not only that we are forgiven, but that we are family. He calls us children, beloved children. There is a tenderness and enduring love that characterizes our Father God.

When I am not fixed on this grace, I am almost obsessed with the praise of others, which makes me assume only condemnation from them.

Ocean Depths to Puddles

I know, in fixing my eyes on the approval of others, I turn away from an ocean of approval and belonging found in Christ and turn towards the puddles of human praise. But sometimes the approval of others drives me, and it drives me right into anxiety, fear, and self-sufficiency.

As I read the Bible, however, in an almost tangible way, God puts his hand to my face and lifts my chin to look at his grace. And then I am at rest again. It is well with my soul.

The more we know God and what he thinks and says, the less human approval and praise will disrupt us. We must get this right, we must look to his grace toward us, because there is a second part of this, another side to the coin, and it’s this:

The more we know what God wants for us, the less it matters what others expect from us.

Too many times, we don’t see grace in God’s heart, and so we don’t go to him for the approval and love he offers freely. We are blind because we don’t know the very heart of his gospel.

Arms Full of Grace

When we grasp grace, or at least attempt to stretch our arms out toward the ocean, we recognize that our focus has often wrongly been on what we think God wants from us. He wants our service. He wants our holiness. Both are true, but when not driven from knowing the heart of God, we just try and try again to please Someone who is already pleased in us because of Christ.

Grace shows us God’s heart, and what we see is that his heart is for us, and that he wants the best for us, and that everything flows from this heart.

And if God is for us, who can be against us? If God is for us, we only want to be for him, we only want to rise to be who he created us to be.

And the more we know what God wants for us, the less it matters what others expect from us.

The Heart of the Cross

Every single day, we must turn to look at the cross and remember what was done there for us. We don’t just remember the agony, but we look at what Christ accomplished for us. He opened the door of the Holy of Holies and introduced us into an intimate relationship with the Father God who loves us perfectly.

And so the only way to freedom is to swim in grace’s ocean and to know the heart from where it flows.

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/the-pleasures-of-god-the-praise-of-others

Love you guys!!oxox

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