Harder Family

Harder Family

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Trust, Surrender, and Treasure

Phillipians 3:7-14 "But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."

Restless. Have you ever felt restless? Have you ever felt like maybe there is more to this life then what you are living? I have definitely experienced this in my life. I think that God allows us to feel restless to realize that this life is empty and void apart from Him. He created each one of us for a reason and He wants us to partake in His plan for our lives. 

We are doing a Bible study at church called "Restless" by Jennie Allen. We are only one week into it, but I can already feel God working in my heart. Wayne and I have been praying for guidance and wisdom so that we don't waste our lives and that we fulfill the purpose that God has for us while we are here on earth (you know, that whole number your days). Between the Bible study and listening to Moody Radio where I heard David Platt preach a sermon on "Don't Waste Your Life", I know that God is trying to teach me something. I'm trying to be open to what He has in store and what He is trying to get through my thick head. Sometimes I feel like one of the disciples who was slow to get what Jesus was trying to teach them. I don't know, maybe I'm the only one who has experienced this. God uses different sermons, books, conversations, etc and it's the same theme. It's like He is telling me, "So Rebecca, do you get it yet?" 

If I can be totally transparent for a few minutes, I have been struggling with totally trusting God 100%. I know that God is calling us to adopt since He has been confirming it in so many amazing ways. I can't wait to share all of the ways God has worked when we are done with the adoption. Deep down, I'm scared that God is going to pull out the carpet at the last second. As much as I want to ask God to take me deeper with Him, I'm terrified what He is going to use to make that happen. Last time I prayed that prayer, God used different circumstances, like Wayne's cancer, to help me go deeper. Deep down I'm afraid to totally surrender and trust God. I KNOW fear isn't from God, so I'm trying to give these fears over to Him. 

God is so gracious to me. When I daily surrender those fears to Him, He finds unique ways to confirm my faith and obedience. So why do I still struggle to trust? Why is it a daily battle to surrender to Him? God used the sermon I heard yesterday from Moody to work in my heart even more. Here were the main points from the sermon:

Four characteristics of men and women whose lives count for the glory of Christ in the landscape of human history.

1. They treasure Christ above EVERYTHING this world has to offer. Wasted treasures are things like: family heritage, social status, biblical knowledge, even religious activity, and a moral lifestyle. The ONLY treasure of life that counts is Christ and He is worth losing everything for!!!
2. They trust God to provide everything they could ever need.
3. They pursue Christ with obsessive passion.
4. They look forward to the prize of His praise.

This people, is what I want in my life. I want these characteristics and I want my life to bring glory to Christ. Please pray for me as I surrender to God and pray that I will trust God 100%. God is good, He is sovereign, and His plans are far superior to my plans. May we all rest in Him and press forward in this race of life...pursuing Christ with all of our hearts, keeping our eyes on Him!!


Catching up on pictures and our lives:

First Day of School!! It took us a few days to get back into the swing of things. None of us, including the teacher, wanted summer to end. Abigail & Grace are doing Challenge A&B with Classical Conversations, Naomi & Sophia are doing My Father's World Exploring Countries & Cultures, Micaela is working on My Father's World 1st grade, and Joella joins us for this crazy ride.

Grace celebrated her 12th birthday a few days after we started school. I cannot believe where the years have gone.

I took Sophia out on her birthday date. We bought her the traditional birthday dress for her date with her dad. When the girls turn 9, we allow them to get their ears pierced for their birthday present. She was so excited to finally reach this milestone.

Working hard on science projects.

Learning how to can peaches for home economics.

Wayne had a client meeting in Goshen, IN, so he invited us along. While Wayne was at his meeting, the girls and I traveled around Shipshewana. I contacted an Amish lady we got to know over the years at the farmer's market. She had invited us to her house 5 years ago and did a baking demonstration for the girls. I decided to contact her and see if we could stop by and see them. Her husband also is a carpenter, so I wanted to talk to him about ordering benches for our kitchen table. With two more kids joining the family, we don't have enough seats. We had a great afternoon with them. She even took us on a buggy ride and took us to the local school where we got to experience school in a one room classroom. The girls loved playing around the farm and in the barn with all the animals.

After spending the afternoon on the farm, we went into town and ate an authentic Amish dinner at The Blue Gate Restaurant.

It was a long day for Joella, who didn't even make it through dinner. She drank her milk and passed out in her chair.

The girls saw this sign and wanted a picture. So far this year we have seen pictures/warnings for: Volcano, Tsunami, Hurricane, bear crossings, elk crossing,  and deer crossing.

After our first two weeks were done, the "final" project was to make a world cake. The girls didn't have any fun doing this project...just kidding. They did great. They made the cake themselves and decorated them all by themselves. Another home economics class.

Please pray for us this next week. Wayne has his next MRI on 9/12. We are also waiting on paperwork from the US government that is the last piece we need to mail off our dossier to China. On 9/24, we are having a fundraiser rummage sale with another local family that is adopting a 15 year old girl from Columbia at St. Paul's Bible Church from 8-3pm. Both of our garages are full of donations from people all over the Chicagoland area. There will be a ton of options!!