Saturday, December 03, 2016

Why Not Consider the Children? By Guest Author Dianne Barker


“How are the children?” I said to a friend who had just told me she’s single again.

“They’re fine with it. They’re glad we’re not together.”

Really? I seriously doubt that. (No, I didn’t say it.) The faces of her teenage sons told a different story. I could only imagine their heartbreak.
Twenty years of marriage down the drain. Another Christian couple couldn’t make it work. I’m never shy about asking what happened.

“I got tired of the arguing,” she said. “I didn’t want our children to grow up thinking this is what marriage is supposed to be like.” She didn’t mention any alarming issues such as physical abuse,  addictions, or unfaithfulness.

I’m thinking…how many people does it take to have an argument? Can’t one person who chooses to be self-controlled keep a discussion from escalating?

My husband and I are as opposite as two people can be, meaning we have a different perspective on almost everything. That has led to some spirited discussions, but we’ve managed to work through our difference of opinion. Accepting my role of submission has proven crucial—I express my opinion, but he makes the decision.

We’ve been happily married for fifty-one years—happier some days than others. Two children blessed our home, added their own distinct personalities. Finding a way for four people to live in harmony could be challenging, but we survived.

I can tell you this: feeling disgruntled toward my husband affected my relationship with the children. I was preoccupied, annoyed, and short-tempered. And that’s my problem with the Lord. No matter what my husband says or does, my responsibility is to please the Lord. Good news! Choosing to please him affects the children as well.

A young woman who had set her heart to divorce said friends advised her, “Don’t stay together just for the sake of the children.”

For heaven’s sake, why not? If that’s the only reason for giving everything you’ve got to make the marriage work, it’s reason enough.

Every day families are ripped in half by lies. “Divorce is the only option. Children are flexible…they’ll adjust.”

How it must tear a child’s heart to learn that Daddy and Mommy won’t live together any more. Adult children who had already left home when their parents divorced have told me it was the most heart-wrenching thing they ever experienced, and they never got over it. Children who’ve witnessed or experienced violence in the home may accept the reality of separation. But many children of divorce say, “In a perfect world, my parents would still be together.”

Daily relationship stuff can be difficult and messy. Life drains. People change. The enemy never lets up. He suggests divorce—an easy way out to avoid dealing with a contrary spouse. The reality is—if you have children—you’ll still have to deal with each other. You’ll have some kind of relationship (possibly more complicated than the present) until the children reach adulthood and independence—and thereafter as well.

One verse can transform a troubled marriage, if both husband and wife apply it. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).  I’ve seen relationships improve when only one person decided to live out this basic principle of kindness.

Why not try putting that into practice? Consider the children.

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. This post is adapted from her forthcoming book Help! I’m Stuck and I Can’t Get Out! The Maximum Marriage Maintenance and Repair Kit. She’s a member of Christian Authors Network, Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Adoption Was an Answer to Prayer by Guest Author N. J. Lindquist




I was four years old when my mother told me I was adopted. I had very little idea what she was telling me, but she read a book to me about how parents sometimes can’t keep their babies, and how God has to find other homes for the babies. She ended by saying that God had chosen her and my dad to be my parents. I’m also pretty sure my paternal grandmother gave her the book.
I nodded and that was that. Seriously, I was content that God was looking after me and everything was okay.
Oh, as I grew older, I had a vague awareness that, unless I’d been given up for adoption because they had died, I must have another mother and father somewhere out there.  But I never worried about it and I didn’t feel a desire to track them down or ask for explanations.
When I was in my teens, I occasionally wondered if I might know my mother. Perhaps she was a relative who had been a teenager when I was born.  A few times I wondered if I might be related to someone famous, like Elvis. And he’d find out and come to see me. That would be cool. But I knew that was just a silly daydream.
When I became an adult, I thought about looking for my birth parents, but I never did. For one thing, I had four active sons who kept me busy. But also, as an only child, I was the one who had to look after my parents as they aged. I shuddered when I thought of being responsible for another set of parents.
But more important, the older I became, the more convinced I was that God
really had put me where he wanted me to be.  While my parents believed there was a God and kind of left it there, I’ve known since I was a young child that you can have a relationship with him. My paternal grandmother and several other members of my father’s extended family were devout Christians who shared their faith with me, and since I was three or four, I’ve never once doubted that God loves me and put me exactly where he wanted me.
But then came the day when my first grandchild was born and her dad, my oldest son, asked if I knew my family’s medical history.
I came to earth with a thud as I realized, for the first time, that the story of my birth wasn't my story. It was also my sons' story, and my grandchildren's, and their children's.
I contacted Parent Finders, and they told me how to contact the Post Adoption Agency in Regina. Within a short time, my birth mother and I were in contact. She lived across the country from me, so we didn’t meet right away, but we talked by phone and email.  She told me who my birth dad was, too, and I was able to meet him.
Their story was one that’s been repeated many times. Two young people, not ready to start a life together, never mind a family. A Salvation Army hostel for unwed mothers.  A married couple in their late thirties who were unable to have a child. An agency that served as the go-between.
The sad part is that my birth mother was given no choice, and she was devastated when she had to say good-bye to me. But in the end, my birth was the catalyst that caused her to turn to God, and that led to her meeting the man she eventually married and having six children with him.
My birth father also married the right woman for him, and they had three children.
Author NJ. Lindquist on the right, her birth-mother on the left.
My father passed on before I met my birth family, and my mother was alive but unaware. However, both of my parents came to know God personally before their deaths from lung cancer and dementia.
Looking back, I’m so glad my son asked me that question, and that we now have relationships with members of my birth family. But, mostly, I’m glad that God took what could have been a bad situation for all concerned and turned it into a very happy one.
You might be wondering at my title; how was my adoption an answer to prayer? Just this:   
·        My paternal grandmother and several of my father’s siblings and spouses prayed for my parents and me as long as they were alive.
·        My birth mother prayed for me every day of my life from when I was only a few months old.  
·        My mother-in-law prayed for the woman her son would marry from the day he was born.
·        My husband also prayed for his future wife-to be.
I first heard the words of Psalm 139:13 when I was young: “You formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother's womb.” I’ve always felt those words were written for me. And because of them, I’ve always believed that my parents needed me as much as I needed them. I was an answer to prayer.
Copyright N. J. Lindquist, 2016.

N. J. Lindquist is an award-winning author, empowering speaker, and experienced writing teacher.  Originally from the Canadian prairies, she and her husband Les have lived in Ontario for more than 30 years.
If you’re interested in learning more details of N. J.’s story, check out her website where she’ll be blogging about her adoption and other stories. You can also get a free ebook. http://www.njlindquist.com

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November is Adoption Awareness Month and brand new release Finding Sarah Finding Me is a non-fiction memoir that addresses the deep emotional and psychological healing that is often required for people touched by adoption, infertility, or pregnant, unmarried, and afraid. 

FINDING SARAH FINDING ME: (Back of the book description) 

Sometimes it is only through giving up our hearts that we learn to trust the Lord.

Adoption. It’s something that touches one in three people today, a word that will conjure different emotions in those people touched by it. A word that might represent the greatest hope…the greatest question…the greatest sacrifice. But most of all, it’s a word that represents God’s immense love for his people.

Join birth mother Christine Lindsay as she shares the heartaches, hopes, and epiphanies of her journey to reunion with the daughter she gave up...and to understanding her true identity in Christ along the way.

Through a birth-mother's story and glimpses into the lives of other adoption triads, readers will see the beauty of our broken families, broken hearts, and broken dreams when we entrust them to our loving God.
  • Main author, multi-award-winning Christine Lindsay, as a birth-mother could not possibly accept any payment, and has arranged for 100% of royalties from this book to be donated to Global Aid Network Women's and Children's Initiative.  This is for the life-time of the book.
By purchasing this book you are helping to: 
  • Encourage others who are touched by adoption, the happy and the sad.
  • Give hope to those with an unplanned pregnancy to consider the choice of adoption as an alternative to abortion.
Go here to read Chapter 1. http://www.christinelindsay.org/p/finding-sarah-finding-me-birth-mothers.html  and more about this non-fiction book.

Someone you know may need this honest but drenched in hope book.