The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.
My heart is racing with excitement about everything God is doing, and at the same time God is slowing me down; making sure I wait on Him.

We got home from the beach late Saturday and there was a message on voice mail saying that our Adoption Agency will call this week with our travel date to Ethiopia to bring Aster home! We are so ready to know and go! But that phone call hasn't come, so we wait...

We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20

My literary agent called Monday to tell me Baker/Revell Books wants to offer me a contract on my book. Ya'll remember all that praying we did together about "this" baby? Remember the writing and re-writing, and how you kept encouraging me not to give up! God's answering our prayers the way we hoped! Two other publishers are considering it, too. I'm so thankful! But we don't know exactly how this will all unfold yet, so we wait...

And in the midst of all that is "wonderful" and dreams coming true, we've been processing a very hard decision. I haven't been able to post about it because it was too tender and we needed to know what we were doing since it involves our boys. But we weren't sure of God's direction yet, so we prayed and we waited...

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

For the past few weeks we've sensed God might be leading us to take our boys out of public school and prayerfully walk towards applying for a small Christian school. Andrew is so happy! Joshua is not so happy. This is traumatic and very upsetting to him. He's wants to go back to middle school with all his friends.

His responses have made me cry. My momma-heart-emotions have kept me up at night. I've woken up many mornings feeling very sad about all these changes. I've feared it will make him rebel and pull away even more than he's doing as a normal 14 yr old. His reasons for wanting to stay have given me reason to doubt our decision and question if it's God's leading, so we waited...

"The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Lamentations 3:24

School is starting in a week. We had to make a final decision by Sunday night. There was testing they had to do last week and placement that had to be decided this week by the new school. We were completing applications and needed to take our paperwork to the new school and request records from the old school on Monday. Joshua still had to complete a new student questionnaire, and I wasn't sure how that would go over. the hardest part!

I woke up in such a bad mood Sunday because I don't want to be in this hard place. I want to be in a happy place, focused on my new baby and soon-to-be book. But all the blessings in the world don't matter when a mother's child is hurting. All the celebration and joy a baby and book can bring can't take away the pain of seeing my son so sad.

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

I cried Sunday morning. Driving to church, I begged God for clear direction that these are indeed His plans and not ours. I got there just in time to hear the sermon about our mission in life: to find our joy in Christ and not in anything else. The final point being that we are like John the Baptist, preparing the way for others to know Jesus and find life in Him as well.

God's peace sunk deep into my soul. Our role as parents is to prepare the way for our kids. The message confirmed why we feel called to send our children to this school. The school's goal is to bring learning to life and give kids a Biblical world view while leading them to find life in Christ.

God kept the confirmations coming all day Sunday. JJ and I spent more time praying and writing down what God had done to confirm His direction. We made our decision and took the next steps of faith and obedience. Now we'd watch to see if God would open the door for them to get a spot at the new school. Everything was in place.

Yesterday I got my first EVER official book offer!!! And right after that, I got an email explaining that the director of the new school is out of town and won't be able to review the applications we just turned in until next week. Their first day is Aug 31st. But guess when the first day of public school is? Next Tuesday Aug 25th. Guess we'll just keep waiting...

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

PS.Thank you so much for your prayers and precious notes last week. I am saving them all for Aster!


Oh, Renee....praying for all of you! This mommy's heart can feel your ache. He is faithful. I love the John the Baptist "prepare the way" confirmation. Will be praying and watching for His perfect answer and perfect timing for you. I am reminded of His perfect guidance and timing with the purchase of your new home.

I love His promise to us...those who have young.
"He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young."
Isaiah 40:11

He is gently leading you.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A beautiful post! I love the verses you used. Congratulations on Aster and the book deal! She is precious! I am so excited for you and your family.

By the way, thank you so much for stopping by and commenting on my She Speaks post. I appreciated your kind words so much!

Blogger B His Girl said...

You do have 'big stuff' on your plate! God will be your refuge and strength in all of this. Congrats on the book offer and your bundle of joy in Aster! I pray you have peace in these decisions, knowing the Lord will make your path straight

Blogger Kimberly said...

I always find such warmth and encouragement here...always with such a sweet taste of the Father.

Praying for you with all of these things. I was just praying this morning that God will give us wisdom with school for my girls as there was already an issue for one of them on the very first day. Nothing huge, but enough to make me ask Him to please keep my ears attuned to His voice. Thank you for these verses. I will lay my request at His feet and wait patiently, but also with expectation. :)

Love to you as you wait upon Him! Rejoicing with you over all He is up to in your life!

Blogger Jill said...

Renee, I'm praying for you, JJ and the boys. As a mom preparing for a new baby with a book in the works and an oldest son struggling with starting school today, I can so relate! But I agree and am so thankful for the confirmation you received. Keep waiting and He will be faithfull - His word says when we obey He will bless!! Not always an easy lesson for us or our boys, but God does work and strengthen thru the trials!! Prayers, Jill

Blogger Dana said...

From a mom who made the same hard decision to pull our kids out of public school and move them into a private Christian school -- it has been rewarding beyond measure. God is working in my Childrens' Hearts! That is PRICELESS! While it was an adjustment, now they even say that they'd NEVER go back!
I'll remain in prayer that God will do the same for your family, and work miracles for that little Girl to come!

Blogger Wendy said...


How hard the waiting is when the world keeps turning and making noise, huh? But how great that you and JJ are listening and giving Him room to move and speak!

We'll keep praying for you all.

It seems to me that once you SERIOUSLY started to consider private school for your boys, God began to line up some other things that you have been praying about. Not only line them up, but bring them to a place of closure and positive completion. It seems like He is encouraging you to continue making bold choices and He is rewarding your courage to step out. (That is merely a third-party opinion...take it for what it's worth!)
And let me say CONGRATS!!! Not only on little miss Aster, but the book as well! I can confidently say that God is preparing you for something bigger than you expected. Sounds like He is wanting to prepare your boys as well. I know you are leaning into Him for this, and I just want to encourage you to enjoy this time of utter dependence on Him. I love the times when we are undecided, because that is when He comes in and flexes the muscles of His mighty right arm! How lucky you are to witness that first hand!

Blogger Melanie said...

School issues can be sooooo hard. We've certainly had our share. This school year has turned topsy-turvy from last year. But I trust God even if I make mistakes.
Yay for your 2 "babies."

Blogger Julie Gillies said...

Oh Renee, change is ALWAYS hard!

I'm never thrilled about waiting, either, but the steps of a righteous man (or middle-schooler) are ordered of God, and HIS plan is being established for your family.

My youngest just started high school this week. She's been home schooled for her whole life, and is going to a part-time school, so she'll still be home schooled 1/2 the time, but it's a HUGE change for BOTH of us.

*Grace*Grace*Grace to you, Renee, and your family, as you strive to remain in His peace regardless of your circumstances.

Praying for you, my friend!

Blogger Jekka said...

God Bless You---I don't know why but that is what I feel compelled to say. Nothing more, nothing less just "may God bless you". Rest in His arms.....

Blogger Proverbs 27:19 said...

Congrats on your book offer and your soon to come travel date to bring Aster home!


Blogger ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

My momma heart breaks for your Josh, too! How difficult change can be. When I want to resist big changes and keep things as they are, God always finds a way to remind me that if I am not moving forward I am sliding back. And that LIVE faith isn't content to sit where it's comfortable. Sigh. Praying for your family.

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Thank you so much for your sweet words of empathy and encouragement. It does my momma heart good!!

I so appreciate your prayers,too. We got an email today from the school saying that the director (who is out of town) is going to conference call the admissions director tomorrow to review our boys application!!! We may not get our final answer til next week but isnt that amazing that she would do that?

Please keep praying cause God hears you girls!! We are asking for His wisdom, favor and direction in their decision making process.


PS.Praying His blessings over each of you as you wait on His timing and plans in your families, in your jobs, in your ministries and in your hearts desires. Be sure to come back tomorrow as I'll be posting about surrendering our hearts and dreams to Him.

Blogger Renee Swope said...

Charlie, you have got my number! God has been showing me some of the precise things you shared.I am going to talk more about them tomorrow. He used you to confirm His Words to me. Preach it girl!

Blogger Lynn Cowell said...

Thank you so much for letting us in on your world and for modeling for us the balance of excitement, pain and waiting! What a blessing you are,

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Renee.. why is it that sometimes we just don't surrender.. I myself have been homeschooling my two boys for 6 years.. they'll be in 6th and 7th grade this year.. I too have decided to send them to a small school.. one, as you, loves the idea.. and my youngest cried and begged not to go..WOW mom strings are SO strong.. but I have continued and with your words.. it has helped me to see what God wants.. WOW.. can't He just sometimes email us to let us know? LOL...

Blogger Joyful said...

Oh Renee, I wish I had been keeping up with your blog - I could have been praying more specifically for you and your family. Please forgive me.

That schooling decision is one of the toughest ones we make. I don't mean to be sharing a blog link every time I comment here, but God had to work His way in our family years ago to bring us to His decision re: schooling too. ( Just like He confirmed His plan for us, I KNOW He will make His way clear for you.

SOOOOO excited about Aster and your book!!!! Can't wait to hear more on both of these "babies". Praising the Lord for all He is doing.

Love ya,

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