I originally picked out this picture tonight because I liked the flowers and I thought the buildings were interesting in the background. However, that wouldn't make much of a blog, so I needed to figure out what those buildings actually were!
This photo is of Pskovo-Pechersky, a Russian Orthodox male monastery, located in Pskov, about 9 miles from the Estonian border. Currently 90 monks live in the monastery. The monastery was founded in the mid-15th century, when people looking for seclusion settled in local caves. Many of the current buildings still exist inside the caves.
It's funny how the cave theme seems to be coming up in my life lately. I am reading a book (fictional) about an abused girl that suffers from agoraphobia. She discovers a cave in her backyard and it becomes her refuge from the World, her safe haven.
This morning, the Third Day song, "Your Love oh Lord" came on the radio.
The lyrics are:
"Your love, oh Lord
Reaches to the heavens
Your faithfulness stretches to the sky
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains
Your justice flows like the ocean's tide
I will lift my voice
To worship You, my King
I will find my strength
In the shadow of your wings"
Hmmmm......Sometimes I'm a little slow, maybe it's just a coincidence.
When I got into work my daily devotion calendar read from Psalm 17:8:
"Guard me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings"
Refuge in God? It's so easy for us to think we are strong and tough and we can handle the weight of the World on our shoulders. What God offers us (and we rarely accept) is refuge from a crazy stressful mean world. So many times I only take God up on his promises when I am burned out, stressed out and freaking out. Why? It's like walking out in the middle of traffic and thinking you won't really get hit by a car. Somehow you are too brave, too strong, and too colorfully dressed to really get run over. Why even take that chance? I am currently finding refuge in my father and I am also depending on you to lift us up in your prayers.
1- For God's strength throughout this journey.
2- For the grant application we are turning in this week, if we can get close to $3,000 then our only remaining expenses will be for travel (between the two trips that computes to: Approximately 20 days in Russia, 4 flights, 1 flight home for Baby Deetz ;0) and miscellaneous travel costs- food, lodging, cabs, inter-country flight/train rides, translation fees, medical fees, visas, and host fees.)
3- For Baby Deetz, most likely being cared for right this very minute (not by his mommy and daddy) but hopefully by loving, nurturing providers.
4- For Russia and our specific region, that they remain open and motivated to placing their orphans into American arms.
5- For the paperwork fairy. We've turned in so many different papers at different times in this process (Including round 3 to the Apostille yesterday) that all of our stuff is landing in the right file and at the right time with some wonderfully motivated and organized person.
6- For us all to remember that we are the apple of God's eye and he calls us to find refuge in his perfect strength.
P.S.: This post was published on 9/9/09 at 9:00pm! Cool!