Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Mixed Tapes and All Night Marches

Do you have some great girlfriends?  Did you know God’s word teaches us about biblical friendship? I’ve been learning that it takes time.  It takes pursuit.  It can be learned.  It can be earned and lost.  But most importantly, when it is Christ centered, it can be really, really good.  Good for the soul.  Good for the head.  Good for the heart.

Last October, I shared with friends and our missional community at church that I felt God was prompting me to write.  As I continued praying about it, I felt it was going to be more like a bible study or devotional.  I’m not going to lie, this scared the crap out of me.  

1.  I’m not a writer
2.  I’m not a bible scholar
3.  I’m much better at math

But, because God is ever faithful and equips those He calls, all the pieces started falling together.  I was in a season of missing some close friends of mine.  Some had moved.  Some had life happen to them and they just didn’t have much time for me, and vice versa.  At the same time, God put a specific idea in Cara’s head: she wanted to start a Girls Club.  We continued talking about what that meant; what she might have wanted out of it.  She really wanted to get together, do ‘arts and crafts’ with her friends, and pray.  I was able to share that I had felt God prompting me to write, and as I prayed about it, I kept having the word friend or friendship come up.  I asked her, “Would you be willing to set aside 5-10 minutes of your Girl’s Club for me to share a short devotion on friendship, and then we’ll do a craft that coincides?”  She jumped at the chance, and I hit my knees in prayer that I wouldn’t screw this up.  That God would use me, teach me, mold me as He molded these young hearts.  

We had our first meeting in November, and decided we would meet twice a month.  With the holidays and travel, we’ve met 6 times and it has been so good for my soul.  We have public school, private school and home schooled friends that Cara wanted to invite, so we do it after school.  We’ve learned about prayer, beauty, Christ’s love for us, our different gifts, and love for each other.  And I say we because I mean it.  God has taught me so much in preparing to teach these hearts.  There have been so many amazingly cool moments watching my daughter and her sweet friends play, learn, laugh and create.  And I will share some of those in a different post.  

Along the way, I have had a handful of great friends praying for this journey.  They know I’ve doubted my abilities and have had to fully rely on God’s grace.  One of those friends who has taught me SO MUCH about biblical friendship for women in the church is Jackie Hooks.  I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing her for almost 2 years.  I’ve enjoyed following her faith journey, hearing her story, and watching her YES to Jesus feed children, clothe teen moms and babies, feed terminally sick adults, and love the unlovely, all while being a real person.  Very real with her own struggles.  And it has been extremely refreshing.

She is in the process of writing her story: another big YES for Jesus.  But this involves pursuing management, having a book pitch, and a host of other things we as consumers never consider.  So I wanted to give her a chance to use my blog to increase her name recognition, through proclaiming Christ’s name.  She asked me to pray about a topic and almost immediately, I knew I wanted her to write about friendship.  So Jackie, let’s hear it!
I am 38 years old.  I am 38 years old with four kiddos and a husband and a fish that came from a rodeo carnival.  My 20 year high school reunion is this September.  I want to lose close to 950 pounds before I go, but that would require me to stop eating 7 meals a day.  I totally dropped my kids off at school today in my cheetah print footie pajamas.  It was cold.  They are so warm.  Yes, my children were embarrassed.  But I stayed in the car for Pete’s Sake.  My house is a mess.  I can’t figure out why I clean it once a week.  These crazy children mess it up daily.  And no one knows where to keep their shoes so, today, while breakfast was happening (cereal…in the big bags that cost less and are all knock off brands) I had to look for two different missing tennis shoes, and plead with everyone to dress warm because Mommy is wearing her footie pajamas in the car not to look good but because it is 27 degrees outside!!!  The recycling seems to move around the kitchen counter, and then to the garage on occasion.  I sometimes find wet towels in random places in my children’s room.  Our “art bin” has moved into like three art bins, and taken over some much needed shelf space in the pantry.  But the art bins randomly make me feel like a better mom because maybe some creative things are going to happen in our house instead of just TV or Minecraft.  All the laundry is clean and in a huge pile in the laundry room/pantry/art closet and I totally see it often, and wait to fold it for no good reason at all.  

This is my life behind closed doors.
Yours might look a ton better.
Maybe worse.
No judgment from the Mom who fed her kids brownies at 9:00pm last night…
And then got completely annoyed that they were super hyper.
My oldest and dearest friend for the past 30 some odd years is Judah.  We met in first grade at Ruby Ray Swift Elementary.  Both of us were living through way too much life for 6 and 7 year olds.  Both of our single moms were trying to keep their heads above water.  Over the next 12 years, we walked home together from school.  We told each other secrets.  We cried together.  Weathered bad hair cuts together.  Went out of town together.  Spent the night together constantly.  Shared clothes so much that it was ridiculous.  We drank coffee together every morning at her house during high school.  We shared a locker.  We hoped for classes together.  We skipped school together.  We got in a lot of trouble together.  We stayed up all night talking on the phone all the time.  We listened to the Indigo Girls, Dave Matthews, The Cure and made mixed tapes constantly.  We sang at the top of our lungs with the windows rolled down and cried over boys together.  Oh My Goodness!  I miss those days…there was never an insecurity if she liked me, or if she wanted to hang out with me, or if she would pick me over everyone else, or if we would go to each other’s birthday parties…nope…we were the very best of friends.  If she pulled up, right now, to my house, I wouldn’t pick up a thing or even feel embarrassed.  She wouldn’t care.  She would not be here to see how clean I keep my house or how well my life is managed.  She would be here to see ME.  That is friendship.

I am 38 years old, and as I am nearing my 20th reunion and walking slowly down memory lane, and looking at my crazy messy life today…I miss those days.  There were some really hard days.  There were some really easy days.  Some days you just sat and talked about what you would do with your life, and all the hopes you had…and I am living out some of those hopes…and some have long since been forgotten.  There were plans made and broken.  There were arguments.  There was tremendous loyalty.  There were parties in fields and parking lots.  There were Friday night football games, and wearing your boyfriend’s jacket.  There was summer, and driving to the lake, and riding around in our friend’s jeep.  I could pop in at any time to Judah’s house, and the door was always open, and it was always the most fun, and I was always wanted, and I was always myself…and that was really really really good.
Today I am 38 years old and Making Friends is Not that Easy.
Making Friends that are Allowed to See My Messy House Seems Even Harder.
Making Friends that Wouldn’t JUDGE My Messy House Seems the Hardest of All.
It’s not supposed to be this hard.  It really isn’t.  I don’t know when it gets this hard…making friends…somewhere along the way between 6 and 38…we are hurt…we are injured…we have so many knife wounds in our backs that it is unbelievable.  And we all walk around like we are just fine.  Like we are ok being alone or scrambling to clean our house if our friends are ever coming over.  Trying to seem ok in front of everyone else.  And some of us are living way too much life for 38 year old moms.  Some of us are just trying to keep our head above the waves, and sweeping our floors is at the bottom of a list that includes a million precious little things that we would give our life for…and floors didn’t make the cut again today.  Some of us would just love a friend.  Just one.  Who would want to just see us…the really real us…with no make- up…no fancy…no fake…And  sit and talk for hours about what we want to do with our life, and things we wish had never happened, and how we still think songs were written just for us.
I am hanging out today in the Book of Joshua.  If you know anything about me, you know how much I love this book.  Today I am in Joshua 10:1-15, and I am thinking about you and I am thinking about me.  Joshua 10:1-15 is the account of Joshua and the Israelites and they have made a peace treaty with the city of Gibeon.  Five Amorite Kings became really angry that the Gibeonites had decided to make that peace treaty, and take up all of their armies combined and attack the city of Gibeon.  The city is surrounded by five armies, and they are scared, and they send word to Joshua asking for help.  And you know what Joshua does?  He gets his entire army, including “all the best fighting men” (10:7) and marches all night.  Joshua and his men march all night to save the Gibeonites.  All night.  That is an unbelievable rescue effort.  They surprise the opposing armies, and defeat them in a great victory.  They don’t just defeat them, though, they continue to pursue them.  Then Joshua asks God to let the sun stand still so he can completely destroy his enemies. What a crazy request!!!  And the sun stands still. As he fights for his friends.  And the enemy is defeated.  And Joshua fought on behalf of the city of Gibeon because they had made a peace treaty with the Israelites.  They were friends of the Israelites.  That is friendship, and loyalty, and no questions asked…that peace treaty meant something.
We all want the march- all- night- to- come- to –my- rescue type of friends. 
And at least try to stop the sun if it will save me.
We all do.
Admit it.

When we moved to Katy, we were starting over.  Three years ago we walked into this enormous suburb, and I was forced to make new friends amidst the impeccable landscaping and never ending master planned communities.  And I would have to hope that these friends would become dirty house friends, laundry all over the floor type of friends, my kids don’t always behave type of friends. And I didn’t have twelve years to cultivate this type of friendship.  I just needed it.   And it started to seem like everywhere I turned there were only clean houses and there were only perfectly behaved children and people swept every day and only fed their children healthy breakfasts.  And I began to feel that horrible feeling, like I didn’t belong and there was no one who would get me, and that I would just endure my time here…that I would just pretend that everything was fine.  And there were some false starts, and painful moments in the beginning.  But God is good, and over the past three years He has brought women into my life that I cannot live without.  Women who check on me in all of my insanity, women who watch my kids (even when there are four kids) just so my husband and I can have a night out, women who drop by, women who have morning coffee available, women who text me scripture and women who make me a mixed tape.  Because mixed tapes still rock in case you wondered.
Today I went to a friend’s house; we had plans to eat lunch there.  She was wearing sweats, and had her hair pulled back and laundry was on the dining room table.  As Joshua began to roam around, she said that she was sorry, but she hadn’t swept the floors.  And I said that I didn’t care because you know what?  I didn’t care at all.  It was music to my ears.  She loves me enough to NOT clean.  She knows I love her enough to NOT care.  I am there to eat lunch with my friend.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.  We talked about our kids.  Our struggles.  Parenting.  Being married.  My high school reunion.  Her 40th birthday.  Her house.  Decorating.  The weather.  Jesus.  And an hour went by in the blink of an eye.  And I had to get home, and she had to get going.  And I needed this today.  I needed this friendship in my life.  
God does not want us to be alone.  
He does not want us to be lonely.  
 He did not create us so we could languish in isolation and acquaintances.
When the city of Gibeon cried out for help, Joshua got up and went.  There was no complaining about inconvenience, there was no why can’t you just save yourself, there was no pretending they didn’t notice.  Joshua got his troops and marched all night.  When the enemy was defeated, Joshua asked God to let the sun stand still so that the people who surrounded, and threatened and tried to destroy the friendly city of Gibeon could be eradicated.  There is a place inside each of us that longs to be that type of “worth it” to someone else.  For it really to be ok to make the phone call in the middle of the night.  For it really to be ok to ask for the extra mile or two.  For it really be ok to just stop by whenever.  To not always have to be running for mayor where ever we go…with a fake handshake and some campaign slogans and a few clean jokes…For it to be ok to be boring, or silly, or overly inappropriately hungry in a buffet line…To just be ok just like you are.  I believe inside each of us is a 12 year old girl going to a junior high dance.  And it gets tiring trying to figure out what everyone else is wearing.  And everyone else is trying to figure out the same thing.  We need each other plain and simple.  We need people to see us in our everyday ordinary life and still believe that we are extraordinary.  We need to be loved like Jesus would love us.  
So, here is the really hard part:  you have to be the one to start loving people like Jesus.  You have to be the one to uncross your arms, and quit waiting for your friends to miraculously walk through your door on any given Wednesday, and you have to love big.  You have to trust that Jesus is putting the right people in your life, and open your door wide and just be yourself when people walk in…let your guard down…take your mask off…And then when they need you, be there.  Be there big.  March all night for someone, because that is how you want to be loved.  We are loving our neighbor as ourselves y’all, and it is dang hard.  And then just live life with them.  And invite them to live life with you.  And talk all night if you can…or at least for an hour.  And sing at the top of your lungs, share clothes, cry together, and stop sweeping your floors for your friends…
Or maybe just make them a mixed tape.
Because mixed tapes still rock y’all.
And an all night march might change someone’s life.
“After an all-night march from Gilgal, Joshua took them by surprise.” Joshua 10:9



And that my friends is why I love Jackie Hooks!  If you would be so kind in helping her reach one of her goals, go like her official "Author" page on Facebook right here, and if you were blessed by her writing, share, share and share!  Thank you!


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Friday, February 28, 2014

Bigger than ourselves, Giving of ourselves

Friends,

My friend needs your help.  Love, prayers, money.  See the below email regarding my friend Shannon and her family.  I love this family.  They have dealt with many trying times throughout their journey, but through each step of the way, the find joy and gratitude, and give glory to our awesome God.  I would love for you to join us in helping them!

Below are words from our homeschool Coop's care leader.  It has all the pertinent details:

I wanted to send out an update about one of our families that you may know.

Shannon and Dexter Stone's son, Ben, has been in and out of the hospital for the past two weeks with an unknown health complication. He just turned one and started vomiting with what everyone assumed at first was the stomach bug that has been going around. The bug continued past the normal 24 hours though and as the vomiting continued they had to take him to the hospital because he was so dehydrated and hadn't eaten in a few days. When they got to the hospital the doctor who examined him treated him so he could eat something. While examining him the doctor found that both Ben's anterior and posterior fontanelles (soft spots) had not closed. In and of themselves this is a cause for concern but not alarm except Ben is also not crawling or sitting up by himself yet. This led him to think there could possibly be a neurological issue. The doctor suggested that Shannon take him to his regular pediatrician as soon as possible which she did. The pediatrician also was alarmed and ordered several tests on Ben (blood work, CT scan, etc.). They found that Ben was not sick with a virus or bacteria (so this is not what was causing the continued vomiting) and that he also had a fluid build up in his skull. The doctor wanted to do an MRI but the hospital they were at didn't want to schedule one without being assured of payment. They are now at a new hospital that some friends told them about that will preform all the necessary tests and treat Ben as a priority instead of receiving payment as a priority. That is where they are now. Ben was admitted last night and last I heard the doctors were considering putting a feeding tube in him just so that he could get some nourishment.

So, I want to ask all of you to please pray for Ben and his family. Shannon and Dexter as you can imagine are very worried about their son. They also have 6 other children that they are caring for and trying to provide a sense of normalcy to during this time.

Another way you can help if you feel led is to make a donation to the link below to help off set the medical costs they are incurring. Dexter was laid off from his job in early December and just recently started working for another company in February on a contract basis. Since it is a contract position there is no health insurance for their family and now that Ben has been diagnosed as having some issue they will not be able to get private insurance for him. They will be paying for all costs that the hospital doesn't offset out of pocket.

http://fundraisenetwork.com/?p=1122 

My (friend's) husband, who is a professional photographer (you can see his work at www.towerphotography.net), has offered to give a 30 minute mini session and digital images on a set day as a gift to anyone who donates $100 or more to this cause.

Thank you all for your prayers! I will keep you updated about Ben's condition when they know more about what is going on.


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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cuties

Does any other homeschool family have this happen?  Cara wants to finish her school work so that she can play school with Micah and Anna!  

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

One Word

Happy 2014 my friends and family!  Is there anyone else that can't believe that number?  I'm praying blessings over each one of you as you come to mind.  I love fresh new starts.  Clean slates.  Change.  Do-overs.  I feel like sometimes we all need a do-over, don't you?

I'm not a big resolution namer.  I'm sure I think of some in my head, but rarely do I write them down or share them. And that's what a goal includes, quantitative measure.  Resolutions are easy to claim and then dismiss.  Everyone likes the freshness of a new year to get healthy.  I'm thankful I didn't gain but 1 pound in December, but I still have quite a ways to go to hit healthy for my age and height.  Eric and I are definitely committing to that and each other this year to continue our family down the road of health.

This year though, God has given me a word.  A banner for the year, maybe?  A little back story:  I'm on the prayer team for our church plant, Bethel Bible Fellowship.  We meet at 8:15 on Sundays before the service and bible study time.  It allows us to pray over congregation needs, Bethel needs as laid out by our pastor and elders, hearts of attenders and members, etc.  It's also a quiet time for me to reflect and listen to my physical elders in their prayers, they ALWAYS bless me to hear them approach God's throne so openly. Now, I'm the weak link.  The one who doesn't get to attend as often as I'd like.  We take turns so that Eric isn't trying to get kids ready alone all the time.  He did it for me when he was in the orchestra.  And things come up, or kids get sick, or we're out of town.  But I absolutely love going as well as praying for our congregation throughout the week.

But this past Sunday I was there, listening, sharing, praying.  And as we were having our prayer time, I was quietly snuggling into my Father.  Listening to the prayers of other saints and reveling in His grace.  And in that quiet moment, as I begged Him for guidance for this new year, for my words, my actions, our family path, He gave me my word for 2014: PRAYER.  I was so excited!  Because though I feel like prayer is powerful, I also feel like I don't utilize my direct connection to the Lord as often as I should.  I've had on my 'to do list' for 8 months: make a prayer wall. I want to put notes or pictures up of those I've said I'd pray for, not to be forgotten.  Not to get too busy to pray.  Because if I'm too busy to pray, then I'm entirely too busy.

And in that quiet leaning into the Lord, I also felt Him say, this is it!  This is the year! You won't close out 2014 wondering when or if you'll ever get your son home from Uganda.  I believe I heard this straight from our Father God, and with every fiber of my being, I'm believing His words to me.  This is it!  Which may be why He guided me to be engrossed in prayer.  I know we will need it as we travel this road that has always looked like a destination with no end in sight.

So will you join me in prayer?  I want to record requests, but also answers.  Things I've seen God do, like only He can.  If you have any prayer needs, please comment here or email me.  I'd consider it a privilege to pray for you!



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Monday, December 30, 2013

Here With Us

In this season of Advent, I've become quite weepy!  When we sing the songs, listen to them on the radio, sing at church, my mind goes to God, God as a baby.  Mary, rocking a baby to sleep.  Yet, this baby was there at the formation of the world.  This baby, who is fully God and fully man, chose to came to earth to love us.  Here with us.  To save us.  Die for us.  "Heaven's love reaching down to save the world."

What a thought.  Each year this thought just wrenches my heart.  God speaking to me through manger scenes, swaddled babes, quiet reflection of my time with newborns.  With these thoughts and watching my friends and family cooing over their new babes or growing bellies, I try to picture Mary. Mary, whose song is reflective of mine.  Or what I want mine to be.  I frequently have a harsher tone than I expected the mother of Jesus to have.  Or less patience.  I wonder how her human qualities reflected those of her Godly son.  She said her soul magnifies, or reflects/makes bigger, the Lord.  On the one hand, I can easily see this.  When you're physically holding God, how glorious He must be, how thankful to be chosen.  I often go back to Mary's own words after hearing from the angel she will bear a son, in Luke 1:38, "And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her."  

She is an inspiration.  This young thing, approached by an angel, life changed, marriage relationship changed, trusting, wholly serving the Lord.  My thoughts race to this young mom, holding her newborn son, a son that was there at the dawn of time.

My friend Ely sang a song at church called Here With Us, and I LOVE the lyrics.  I've been hearing it on KSBJ this season and each time it takes my breath away.  I love verse 2.  But still Mary had to rock her Savior to sleep.  I wish I could post Ely's rendition, but I can't find it on the church's site.  Google Joy Williams and you can hear it performed.  Forgive me for this being after Christmas, but it still rings true.  Hallelujah, son of God, servant King, Here with us, You're here with us.  Praise Jesus!


Lyrics from http://www.songlyrics.com/joy-williams/here-with-us-lyrics/


It's still a mystery to me
That the hands of God could be so small
How tiny fingers reaching in the night
Were the very hands that measured the sky

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah, son of God, servant King
Here with us, You're here with us

It's still a mystery to me
How His infant eyes have seen the dawn of time
How His ears have heard an angel's symphony
But still Mary had to rock her Savior to sleep

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah, son of God, servant King
Here with us, You're here with us
You're here with us

Jesus, the Christ, born in Bethlehem
A baby born to save, to save the souls of man

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah, son of God, servant King
Here with us

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Heaven's love reaching down to save the world
Hallelujah, hallelujah, son of God, servant King
Here with us, You're here with us
You're here with us



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Monday, December 23, 2013

Transformation Contest

Friends,

I don't do this often, and I have many other posts brewing, one just for this beautiful Christmas season, but I did want to let you know that Eric and I are hosting a HUGE transformation contest with our Advocare team and customers starting 1/6/14!  The first email went out and we are helping with big CASH prizes!!  If you are interested, please subscribe to our customer list below and we will send out an email with all details later this week.  You can unsubscribe at any time!




Subscribe to our Advocare Customer mailing list

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And if you are interested in participating, we are having a kick-off mixer on January 4th.  We'd love to have you! :)

 
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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Two Years

If you know me, you know I easily memorize dates.  So it wouldn't surprise you that this day has been tugging at me all day.  It's my friend's daughter's birthday.  Tomorrow is the day we found out we were pregnant with Anna 4 years ago (as well as my college roommate's birthday).  But the 17th stuck out in my head for something else.  It's the day we got our immigration approval for our son 2 years ago, and 2 days later, got placed on the referral wait list with our agency.  Just 6 months they said....

Where has 2 years gone.....

So often I get the question, "So whatever happened with that adoption thing?"  Or, "Oh, are you still doing that?"  I'm not going to lie, sometimes it hurts.  It is on my mind every day, this adoption 'thing.'  I don't fault people, I know it's not as important or prevalent to them as it is to us.  I know you can't see the growing heart like you can a growing belly.  If you are a part of my every day life, you know we are still doing this 'thing.'  If you've asked the question, it's ok.  It seems like forever, I get it.  Really, I GET IT.
Source

Many times, the days are long, we are doing our thing.  Preschool, homeschool, prayer, coop, bible study, church, friends, family, love, quiet, phone, crafts, reading, time, joy, connecting, music, laughter.  It's hard to describe, this waiting.  It's not all-consuming like I thought it would be.  It is definitely God-breathed and for our good.  It is a practice in patience and prayer.  It is anticipation and love.  It is definitely faithful and big.  But it can seem so small at the same time.  When we glorify busy, we get lost in the shuffle.  God has been trying to re-focus me lately on Him.  He's always in the scope, always, just sometimes He's a little blurrier than I'd like Him to be.

Lately he's been using our future son to re-focus me on His son.  How He loved us....oh He loved us.  Before we were even born, before our ancestors were born.  So much that He came to earth as an offering for us. The best gift.  Humility.  Servanthood.  Even to death on a cross.  Ephesians 1:3-6 says it so much better, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved."

Source

God has taught (is teaching) us so much in this wait.  How worth it he is.  This son that we don't know anything about besides the color of his skin.  This child that we don't even know if he's been born yet. This baby who will go through trauma before we can get to him to make him forever.  This country that has grown in all of our hearts.  This God that is big enough to provide and comfort and call us to cross oceans to follow His will.  This child that was birthed through prayer and feels like the closest we've ever been to the Lord in following Him.

Source

In our journey, we've witnessed miracles.  In our hearts, our children's hearts, in friends.  We've grieved with friends over failed placements, still grieving.  We've rejoiced over births and finally forevers.  I can't wait to share the story of my friend, the current miracle that brings me back to God each day I consider her womb.  These days my God still proves miraculous.

Randomly Saturday, I got an email from babycenter.com about me being 4 weeks pregnant.  It was so random, and jarring.  I was in New York and forwarded to Eric with a joke attached.  Who knew?  I have been a little sad lately about wanting another baby.  I did when we started this adoption process.  I took a full month to pray every day.  I wanted another one first.  I asked, God, do we have a baby first, see what the gender is, adopt different, adopt first??  He was very gentle, but clear, and said, you don't have to know the next 10 steps, just the first one.  Adopt first.  We prayed about it and started our process.  I thought God might have been using that time to get me out of the always wanting another baby.  I felt like that emotion would never go away.  And for a time it did.  A year ago, if you would have asked me, I would have said we were definitely done having babies biologically.  But these past 6 months, I don't know, something has changed.  I enjoy this time, the no more diapers, more independence, playing more than fighting phase.  But as family and friends have little ones, some years after their last, it brings that desire back.  All things pass through the lens of what is God's will for my life, not what I want for me, so I am praying.  So if you think of me, pray for my mommy heart, that God will prove crystal clear.  But, with this email, I can't help but wondering....is it true?   Are we getting closer?  36 weeks left?  It seems so long but oh so short comparatively!  I have friends who have traveled an adoption journey that have journaled when God placed something on their heart, and it turned out to be a significant date in their child's life.  I have kept a (not very consistent) journal and this was a small portion of my post on 11/5/13:

Recently I have a strong desire to have another baby. It takes my breath away sometimes and makes me question why this adoption process is taking so long.  I know you told us to adopt next, Lord, so we will.  But this yearning for another bio baby is strong.  Are you solely preparing our hearts and minds to bring home our new son?  Or do you have other plans for us?   

I thought our child might have been born in September.  I had this feeling, one Wednesday night, the 4th, at church.  I was overcome with anxiety and burden and honesty with my Father.  I wrote some things down that night, here is just a snippet:


Lord, I’m scared.  I don’t know what this adoption will look like.  It seems very real, but with no real end in sight.  Lord, protect our boy.  Be with him, whispering in his ear that his mom and dad are coming.  Praise you father for the love you give us for him. Help knit all 6 of our hearts together Lord.  I pray over his heart Lord Jesus, that you will begin the healing.  Lead us to what he will need most.  Provide, as you have constantly done throughout our journey.  


So to answer any questions, yes, we are still adopting.  No, we did not think it would take this long.  Yes, it is hard having NO end in sight, no dates, no timeline.  No, we are not giving up. Yes, we still believe with all of our heart that this was God's plan and that He knows exactly who we are waiting on.  No, we are not losing hope, because our hope is not in the US Embassy, the Ugandan courts, or international adoption ethics; our hope is in the one that we consider faithful because he promised (Heb 11:11b).  Yes, we choose yes!  We will follow and obey, no matter what the cost!

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Monday, December 02, 2013

Have a coffee lover in your life?

If you are in need of something for that person who just LOVES coffee, we still have our Just Love Coffee store open.  All of their coffees are either fair trade, direct-trade, organic and shade-grown coffee beans that are high quality from all over the world.  This company has been extremely easy to work with and we love their mission. 

I received an email today (for Cyber Monday) with great sales and a free christmas CD with $50 purchase.  If you are in need of some fantastic coffee, you can shop here:  

https://justlovecoffee.com/newsomefamily/




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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Great discount on a great book!

Until midnight tonight (Sunday, December 1), "Say Goodbye to Survival Mode" is 30% off on Amazon!

When you order just use the coupon code BOOKDEAL.

http://www.amazon.com/Say-Goodbye-Survival-Mode-Strategies/dp/1400206464/

And be sure to hang onto your pre-order receipt and visit MoneySavingMom.com on Tuesday because they have put together a really cool freebie package — and we're giving it away to everyone who pre-orders a copy!





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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Micah's thanksgiving


I'm glad Mom and Aunt Gail cooked our thanksgiving meal. If Micah was in charge we would have had "chicken legs - cook in the oven and pickles - just open the jar you bought them in."  Love these treasures from preschool. 
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