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A Little Update

adoption, Family, God Stories, Parenting, Spiritual By 02/23/2011 2 Comments

Yesterday, I received all of our paperwork from AGCI.  It was very exciting to look through everything and I hope to watch the DVD that came with our packet tonight after church (if I can hold my eyes open long enough!).  I read about how the Ethiopian government has changed their rules in the last year and all adopting families are now required to make not one, but two trips to Ethiopia before taking your child home.  Two trips to Africa within two months of each other.  As I began the paperwork and saw the time frames and dollar signs on paper, I could feel a weight come over me.

There’s no way you can do this.

It’s going to be such a long road.

You won’t raise enough money.

But God spoke to me through someone’s status on Facebook.

Out of the mouth of an eight year old little girl:

God makes things that are impossible, unimpossible.”

So many times I can look back on a situation and think, I guess if that had been easier, then it wouldn’t have been such an amazing God Story. You know what kind of stories I’m talking about.  The stories where nothing is falling into place, everything is falling apart, there’s no hope, there’s no money, there’s no help, whatever the lack may be; and then God steps in, shakes things up, and all of the pieces fall into place in a way that leaves everyone’s jaws on the floor, giving glory to our big, big, God!

In the midst of being overwhelmed, the phone rang.  It was a sweet lady from our church whose husband goes to Tanzania, Africa several times a year to bring tools to the locals and help them build homes and buildings.  She said she’d been reading about our journey for Zoe and wanted to encourage me and let me know how excited she was for us.  She also said that she and her husband will be helping support us financially on our journey.  Instantly, God blew wind back into my puny sails through that sweet lady.  I stood up tall as I hung up the phone and remembered all of the amazing stories I’ve read from other adopting families, knowing that one day we will have a handful of our own.

Of course it doesn’t end there!  I got on the computer and realized I’d received an email from my aunt in Maine.  She was telling me how excited she was that we were adopting.  She went on to say that she would talk to my uncle and see about donating to Zoe’s adoption.  I checked my paypal account a few minutes later and there it was, a large, generous donation from Aunt Kathy and Uncle Terry.  The donation that launched us past the one thousand dollar mark.  Unbelievable.  In that moment it was as if God whispered to me:

one down, twenty-four to go.

God Story #2!

All I need to know for sure is that God has never let me down.  He has never called me to something that He did not equip me to conquer.  Each day I learn something new about trusting the Lord and surrendering everything to him.  Thank you, for those of you who have already begun to pray and encourage us in this journey.  Your words are like water to my soul and the Lord continually brings them to remembrance when I get discouraged.  Will you continue to share our story in hopes that there are many more just like you out there who will allow God to take their $10 to Africa where there will soon be one less orphan?




The Company You Keep

Family, Spiritual By 05/17/2010 1 Comment

Did your momma ever tell you, “Be careful honey. You become like the company you keep.”?

Ashley and I were just talking recently about a friend of hers that she chose to stop hanging out with. Not because she didn’t like her or because they didn’t have anything in common, because that’s wasn’t the case at all. She made the tough decision based on a few things that the other girl esteemed highly in her life and Ashley did not. She knew that if she hung out with her regularly, she would surely be influenced by her. I was so impressed and encouraged by her decision. It is so incredibly true, and unfortunately, most of the time we do not make that hard choice and instead continue to subject ourselves to standards lower than we should. Would you have hung out with your future husband in a strip club while you were dating, just so you could spend time with him? Would you allow your children to play with children who had foul mouths and hit your kids, just so you could spend time with their sweet momma, who happened to be your friend? Then why do we do it to ourselves?

I’ve come to realize recently, just how much people change as we grow into adulthood and choose new circles of influence. My ten year high school reunion is in the fall and I will likely be a completely different person to those who haven’t seen me since graduation. It’s just a fact of life; people change.

This became more evident to me this weekend as I went to my friend’s bridal shower. The shower was in a new, million dollar neighborhood, and most of the close friends in the bride’s life right now have husbands or fiances who are doctors, dentists, lawyers, or are merely a year away from one of these professions. They are very career focused and many of their conversations center around their houses, neighborhoods, job opportunities, or upcoming vacations. Please don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. But everything seemed so shallow. To be honest, I tried to keep to myself without being rude. The last thing I wanted to do was gain attention by someone asking about “all my children” and “how I do it” and “bless your heart, what a good thing you’re doing”. All the while, I’m thinking to myself, in my circle of friends, I’m NORMAL!. I’m a stay-at-home mom. No career. No crystal. No china. No extravagant weekends. But I love my life. I love having three (or six) children. I love homeschooling. I love that my husband does what he loves for a family-friendly company where he can go in late because his son has a recital or a doctor’s appointment.

So why do I leave company like that feeling inadequate? Why do I allow their different choices and different lifestyles make me feel like my choices and my lifestyle is wrong? Most of those girls love the Lord just as I do and one day will have a few, or even several, children of their own. I suppose deep down there is jealousy and a bit of pride. But most of all, I yearned to cross back over the tracks to my middle class neighborhood and my house full of kids, whom my husband so lovingly sat with so I could spend five hours with my mom.

I hope that if the Lord chooses to bless us with abundant finances one day, our conversations will not waver from God’s goodness and what is truly important in life. Our stuff does not define us. I am a child of God. I am royalty! Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves. 🙂



Taking Care of Your House

Spiritual By 04/22/2010 1 Comment

Yesterday was our first meeting for the Battlefield of the Mind study at church.

It was SO good. Here are some really good ‘one-liners’ from the first video:

Your situation may not be good, but GOD is good and He can turn a mess into a miracle and a tragedy into a truimph!

It is your responsibility to guard your heart and your mind. Your thoughts will produce your attitude!

Your body is the “house” you live in. If you destroy it, you have to leave! **that one may have been my favorite** How can you be prepared to fight bad thoughts/thinking and succeed at tests the Lord allows in your life if you are not rested and healthy?

You can’t be pitiful and powerful at the same time.

David encouraged himself in the Lord. You get a harvest by sowing good seeds!

Praise and worship is a weapon! Being thankful is part of praise and worship. We need to think a little less and thank a little more!

Okay, those are your little nuggets to think on for today. 🙂

Be blessed!



A Few Of My Favorite Things

children, Gardening, Homeschooling, Humor, Marriage, Parenting, Spiritual By 04/20/2010 1 Comment

Do you remember when we were kids and there were certain things, items, or events that made us jump out of bed in the morning, excited for the day? I can think of a few examples:

Christmas morning
a field trip to the zoo
the first day of school
the last day of school
my birthday
the day I was going to get my driver’s license

These days, it doesn’t take any Earth-shattering events to get me excited and fill me with joy, but not a whole lot makes me jump out of bed in the morning. I like sleep. I love my bed. I have really great sheets (that I bought at Ross’ for $29!). I feel like I haven’t gotten regular, adequate sleep in about seven years; moms, you know what I’m talking about!

However, something hit me this morning, as I took the first sip of my coffee. I closed my eyes and said, “ooooohhhhhh, that’s good.” It was pure delight and satisfaction. I felt like I could’ve stayed in that chair for an hour and sipped my perfect cup of coffee. Then I realized, oh my goodness, this is probably how a smoker feels when he takes the first drag off of his first cigarette of the day. Gross, I know. But then I began thinking about other things that should make me feel like that cup of coffee made me feel. God’s word, spending time in prayer, and exercising should all give me that fulfilled, satisfied feeling. My pastor, who apparently got the quote from Tim Keller, has given a perfect example of what an idol is:

“An idol is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”

On a tough day, when I want to unwind, I can sit down on my bed with a basket of clean clothes and watch my favorite movie while I fold.

I love Little Women. I’m pretty sure it’s my favorite movie of all time. I have the book as well, but have never gotten around to reading it (maybe the 1000+ pages intimidated me!) I plan to read it this summer.

More than anything, I want to re-prioritize some things in my life. I want to crave getting into God’s word each morning, before I do anything else. I want to exercise, not so I can check it off my ‘list of things to do’, but because I crave how good it makes me feel.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t even know where to start. The thought of waking up any earlier than I already do makes me nauseous. But change usually isn’t comfortable, so I’m going to try hard. We’ll be re-joining the Family Y next month (for the summer) and I plan to start waking up early so I can go workout. I also commit to spending time in the word first thing each morning. As some added accountability, I will add something to each day’s post from my time with the Lord that morning.

Here are a few more of my favorite things; the little things in my life that give me great joy and pleasure:

*spending time with my girlfriends laughing and encouraging one another (even if we’re just grocery shopping together 🙂
*tending to my garden (I love going out to my garden a few times a day while allowing the Lord to speak to me about the power of ‘the seed’, the law of sowing and reaping, and the importance of preparing for harvest)
*sitting down to enjoy a special drink, whether it be Starbucks, Coke (I rarely drink soda, so when I do, it’s yummy!), or just a cup of coffee from my kitchen.
*cleaning my house, getting into bed after changing the sheets, waking up to a clean kitchen
*bubble baths, especially when I have time to shave my legs! 🙂
*watching my husband with our children. There is just nothing quite like a man who loves being a dad.
*hugs and kisses from my babies and seeing that look faces when they tell me they love me; like I can never do wrong in their eyes.
*reading. I love reading, but only when I get to do it uninterrupted for at least 10-15 minutes at a time.
*worship. oh how I love praise and worship.

I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you. This is just what was on my mind this morning as I sipped my coffee and listened to my five-year-old read from his school book at the breakfast table.

Have a Terrific Tuesday.
Time to do school with Joshua.