Archive for January, 2011
I read a lot. At least, compared to 5 years ago, I read a lot. But lately, the kind of reading I’m doing is something that I haven’t done in quite some time. You see, I recently enrolled in college courses for the first time in a dozen years. That means that I now have to read in a completely different way than I typically read.
Most of the time, I read in one of two ways: 1.) I read a book to get the overall idea or concepts presented in the book. Most of the books I read really have one central theme that is then expounded on over the course of a few hundred pages. If I get the big picture and grasp some of the logic along the way, that’s good enough. 2.) My other form of reading is bible study, which is much more interpretive in nature. Some of the most profound moments when studying biblical passages come not from the words themselves, but from reading the reference materials that help put that passage into context historically and linguistically. (Mind you, it’s not that the passages themselves aren’t profound, but that my own ignorance of the culture and language keep me from fully grasping the profundity without some professional help.)
The point is this: I read for big picture ideas or I go a treasure hunt. Rarely, however, am I called upon to read in the way that most educational curriculum requires. You see, along with formal education comes exams and along with exams, typically, comes at least some memorization. You have to memorize terminology, dates, names of important figures, etc.
The trouble is, I’m not very good at memorizing things. It’s just not in my gift mix. I don’t remember details very well. And so, I find myself flipping back and forth in the book as I read, just trying to keep everything straight in my brain by reminding myself what it was that I read just moments ago. It slows me down, makes reading much more tedious and, in all likelihood, is why I took a hiatus from serious reading for several years after college.
Indeed, it has been a while since I had to read like this. The difference, I guess, is that now I can appreciate the benefits of this kind of reading and I have developed at least some capacity to “suck it up” and do what needs to be done. And honestly, even though it’s tiring, I’m actually enjoying it!
Ever have one of those nights when your brain refuses to shut down? (Now that I’ve got that old Soul Asylum song, “Runaway Train” stuck in my head, my night may have just gotten even longer.) I have them often. My runaway brain nights are typically A.) when I am thinking about the past, B.) when I am dreaming about the future, or C.) when a creative writing or songwriting bug hits and I can’t shake it. Tonight, it’s kind of all three.
As I sit here about to embark on some new adventures in my life, I can’t help but think through all of the details and all of the possibilities that come with each new thing. What will come of this initial trip to Kenya? How is the first course of my new college career going to go? How in the world are we ever going to pay for this new adoption? What about Lucy’s adoption? (I must admit, there is still a lot of anxiety in that one and there will be until the day it’s finalized.)
And yet, even as I look forward, I’m also looking back. At the encouragement of a friend, I am writing out the complete story of how Melody and I got to where we are now. I will be posting it in a series of blog posts on our new adoption blog. And, what reflection I’ve done up to this point (I’m up to 2001) has brought back a flood of incredible memories and set my mind to wondering about some of the people we encountered along the way.
All of this, the looking forward and looking back (and now I have a Paul Abdul song in my head…great) has spawned a little creative monster in me. He creeps up now and again and REALLY doesn’t want me to sleep! But sleep I must, because I have a 14 month old who will wake up early tomorrow whether I want to sleep or not. So, I’m hoping that a little bit of writing here will calm that little monster down. Here goes:
Journeys longed for; adventures sought
Joy experienced, but pain brought forth
Forged by skilled hands, I stand alone
Unique among creation, just like everyone else
My story, not so unusual as to be remembered
Not so drab as to be left untold
Seemingly enjoyed by my Father
As he reminds me of its arc
Yet, once again, my particulars,
Not singularly spectacular,
Amass in strange ways
Which seem, somehow, to matter
Matter, at the very least
At most, perhaps, to shape
The course of another’s destiny
A story not my own
Would that one day a great he or she
Would put pen to paper and write
Not of my life or deed
But of that which by some divine plan
I have imparted
That’s right, you read the title correctly. We’re pregnant, but not in a biological sense. The “paper pregnancy” is term used by those going through the adoption process to describe the mountain of paperwork that has to be compiled over a number of months before you finally get to hold that child in your arms. And we are, indeed, paper pregnant.
Melody and I are excited to announce that we have officially entered into the adoption process for child #2! After much prayer and discussion, we have decided to adopt a child from The Marshall Islands, a small island nation in the Pacific Ocean. The story of how we got here and why we made the decision we did is too long and complex to write in this post. The short story, however, is that Melody and I both feel strongly compelled that God has brought us to this decision and that the time to do this thing is right now.
Of course, anyone who knows us and has been following our adoption journey knows that we have already been through one unsuccessful international adoption process and that we are currently in the midst of a less-than-smooth adoption process for our little girl, Lucy. And so, the timing of this particular announcement and the fact that we’re diving in, once again, to the strange waters of international adoption may seem strange to some. It certainly seems strange to us, and yet we know that now is the time, that our next child will be Marshallese and that God has already chosen that child for us.
In addition to letting our friends and family know about this exciting new adventure, we want to give you an opportunity to learn more about the process, to track our progress and, for those who feel compelled to do so, to help bring our little Marshallese baby home by offering financial support. So, we have created a website with a ton of information about our adoption called “You’re Doing What? From Where?”
We hope you’ll check the site out often, including our new blog that will be all about our adoption journey. As our friends, family and church community, more than anything else, we ask for your prayers as we anxiously take the next steps in this adventure. This is a big leap of faith for us and we are blessed to have so many of you supporting us along the way. Stay tuned for more!
It’s been about a million years since my last post, but it’s 2:30am and I should be sleeping…so here we go!
You know that feeling when you’re on the verge of something really exciting and you can barely stand the anticipation? That moment at the top of the roller coaster, just before that last car breaks free? The last breath you take before leaping off the cliff into the lake below? You know that feeling? Yeah, that’s kind of my entire life right now.
As we continue to inch ever closer to the finish line on our adoption of our daughter Lucy, everything else in life seems to be in warp mode. Just to catch you up, here are a few things going on right now:
1. My missions involvement has really picked up in the last 6-8 months, with my primary focus being in two areas – Kenya and Central Asia. I leave for Kenya in just over a week for a series of meetings to discuss how we can best partner with local Kenyan churches to reach not only their country, but also the predominantly Muslim countries to the north as well. It will be an exhausting trip, but I know that God has incredible things in store!
2. Also on the missions front, I’ve been having a series of conversations with some incredible individuals about how we can support and play a role in the work that God is doing in Central Asia. There are incredible things happening in that part of the world that you just don’t hear about in the news. I can’t wait to see what happens there.
3. I’m going back to school! Only one other time in my life have I been excited about going to school – my freshman year of college – and I think that had as much to do with being several hundred miles away from home as it did anything else. This time around, I’m pumped to know that at 32 years old, I have some idea what I want to do (and more importantly, what God wants to do) with the rest of my life. I don’t have all the details, but I know the general direction. That’s a lot more than I could say at 18!
4. I’m really excited about where our church is headed. Over the past 18 months, we’ve seen a ton of new faces come through our doors and many of them are plugging into our community in exciting ways. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is working in the lives of the people in our church community and I also know there is so much more yet to come. I love being able to share life with these people and am so thankful that God orchestrated our arrival at Trinity two years ago.
5. Lastly…well…I can’t tell you. There will be a big announcement coming from the Mosley household very soon. Melody and I have been hard at work putting the finishing touches on our efforts to communicate about this new adventure to our friends and family, so you probably won’t have to wait very long. However, I will simply say that once again, God has called us to embrace what He has for us, regardless of what we think is possible, and to trust in Him for the strength and provision to see His work through.
I think 2011 is going to be a whole lot of fun…if it doesn’t kill me first!