Wednesday, June 23, 2010
So I have yet to get a new battery for my camera. Thus no new and exciting Wordless Wednesday. Honestly, I feel bad about that.
In an effort to be more um, what's the word...active with the kiddos, I've *tried really hard* to not be on the computer so much today. It's one of those things I really enjoy-being able to sit and relax whilst reading something without pictures that doesn't halve anything to do with:
a. Circus animals
b. Rhyming and/or Counting
c. Talking geese
e. Lowly Worm
Although I don't mind that stuff most of the time.
So today, with that goal in mind, and really really trying to stick to it, I was able to enjoy my kids a little more.
Here are some of the things we did:
Played some form of Pirates/"Hide and Seek Attack"/Soldiers all day long
Went to the library
Turned off all the lights and closed the curtains and went on a safari hunt for stuffed animals with flashlights
Played Noah's Ark on the rug with said animals and pillows for floaties and made up silly stories about Noah and Mrs. Noah
Splashed in the puddles barefoot after the rain tonight
Read lots of books
Painted tattoos and clown faces on ourselves
Took a long bubble bath (not me, although that sounds divine)
Played in the giant turtle sandbox my mom brought over, inside (empty)
I love having internet, but sometimes I wish the power would go off so I wouldn't be able to choose who to give my attention to, because as a mom,
I feel really bad sometimes about that.
So after today, I may not be blogging as much, or at least, only doing it at night, because I will be busy (and completely worn out).
Monday, June 21, 2010
My camera is indisposed at the moment- it just needs a new battery I think ( I hope) so here are some pictures from a few weeks ago and a nice little story from today...
Today as the kids and I were playing in the van (well, I was cleaning, Ethan and Charlotte were pretending to be the mommy and daddy-I had to sit in the back seat, and Caden was crawling around trying to find a snack) I noticed the daddy robin come flitting into the nest in our redbud tree, right by our porch.
This nest has been there for awhile- we noticed it a couple of weeks ago, but we've only ever seen the parents. Well today, we saw babies! 3 little baby robins and the mom and dad all having lunch together in that tiny little nest. I don't know anything about birds, but I think the babies must be pretty new because their eyes weren't open and they weren't making any noise.
The mom and dad both brought them food, and left and those babies sat there with their eyes shut and their mouths wide open just waiting, expecting that food to come.
It reminded me of the story about the Israelites and the manna. Each day, after the dew cleared off the ground, there would be their food, and they could eat as much as they wanted-for that day.
"Each morning everyone gathered as much as he needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away."
Like those baby robins, the Israelites just woke up waiting, expecting to be fed by their Father.
I just love it when the Word comes alive.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?"
Why am I (still) amazed when God answers our prayers? Why is it that I let that tiny voice whisper “He won’t do it-why should he care about you? There are much bigger things for Him to concern himself with. You are nothing and your trivial worries are nothing to him, blahblahblahblahblah…”
Is that wrong, do you think, to be surprised (happily so) when God works? Is that a sign of a lack of faith in God? Should I just expect Him to act and then be all like "Eureka!“ when it all comes together?
I just don’t know.
I want to share what the Lord is doing in our lives during this whole process, not because I want to be like- Look at us! See what good things are happening to us! And I hope that isn’t how it's coming off.Because even in the hard times, I want to praise Him and love Him.
I want to share because I want to glorify the Lord- I want everyone to see how He works and how He is faithful. I want people to look at this and know without a doubt that He is in control of it; we are just one family He is using to complete a part of His awesome plan.
* * *
On Tuesday I wrote about how God was showing us how He provides for us in even the seemingly small ways. I wrote a little about my worries over the financial burdens that come along with an international adoption, and about how we needed a van, because 3 carseats in a Cavalier is tight, and 4, well that's just impossible.
Today we are the new owners of a 7 passenger van because 3 people who are very special to us felt called to bless us . They may not all see it, but I see it. I see God working in a mighty way. I see Him taking care of the "little things" we need so that we can get to focusing on the big things that He has called us to do. I think alot of times we (well, I) get tripped up in the details, in the more trivial things, and then we (I) can't see the forest for the trees. And a vehicle was pretty much the last big road block before we could really get started with the adoption.
So, to those 3, from the bottom of our hearts, Thank You! We want you to know we appreciate you and love you very much!
And Praise God!
As an aside, we are going to shoot for the weekend of July 9th and 10th-Friday and Saturday, for the yard sale, in case you were wondering about that. If you've been wanting to get rid of anything around the house, feel free to bring it by!
Monday, June 14, 2010
Do you think Pneumonia can be an answer to prayer?
I've been really praying lately, I mean really asking God to show us how He provides for us, and to help us to trust in Him that He will provide for us during this adoption. I know He will- doubt is not the problem- it's just... this whole thing is going to have to be all Him. Because there are things that we need right now ( like a van), and it's not like we had been saving for this adoption.
I wonder sometimes what Noah's gut reaction was when he first heard about the ark. Like that very first thought when you hear something just a little crazy.
"Uh...Hmm. So... right here? And like, right now?"
If he was anything like me, I can see him glancing out of the corner of his eye- Sand.
And out the other corner- More Sand.
From what I've been told, and how I understand that particular chapter, there had never been rain. Ever. Like since the beginning of time, ever.
That's a lot of faith to go on right there.
That's a lot of faith to go on right there.
Did he doubt just a little?
If he did, maybe alone in his tent that night,did God whisper to him,
"Don't worry, I love you. You might look silly to all of them, but not to me. I know the plans I have for you. You build this for me, and I will show you- I will bring the rains to you."?
I was looking through a box of food the Henrys' brought over tonight. And then I thought about the dinner the Davis' brought, and the one from Nana and Papa, and my mom. And even the brownies from Drew(don't think we haven't eaten half of them already) and it dawned on me:
When I was sick and could barely stand without being in pain,
God was there, orchestrating this great web of provision to show me that He is in control. Jeremiah was off work this week, helping to build the new church in town, he was able to come home and take care of the kids so I could sleep. The workers were fed at another church one night, and Jeremiah ate there and at his parents' house another night, and with everyone bringing meals, he and the kids never missed dinner while I was sick, and Liz and Abigail watched the kids for me during the day, and my mom did at night.
Maybe you think these are coincidences or that I am just still feeling the effects of my Codeine- laced cough syrup, but really, when I look at it, we were taken care of.
The Lord will guide you always, he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
I think maybe God used this last week, which, at first, I thought was just a waste, to show me that He is the Lord of Lords, the One who holds the world in His hands, and cares about little old me just as much. He is in control- whether it be global catastrophes, viral infections, or adoptions. He is the Great Provider of it all.
So, I guess I shouldn't worry about the van, or the money. Maybe I still will a little, I don't know. But I think that it is just money. And what is money to the One who breathed the stars? He can do whatever it takes to bring that little girl home, because this was His plan since before he made the ocean that separates us. I'm excited to see what He will do.
Yuck, what a week.
Becky I know I've been promising you some pictures of the kids using the sprinkler you sent us, so here they are.
Stacy- as far as the Yard Sale dates, I am going back and forth between 4th of July weekend
(Fri and Sat) or sometime in September. Both have their pros and cons. What do you think?
(Or I guess we could have 2)
Friday, June 11, 2010
Thursday, June 10, 2010
(Since I am sick, I'm just going to post this as is, because I wrote it a couple of days ago, and because I don't remember where I put my camera, and I don't feel like looking for it. So, sorry for the lack of photos.)
Why are we adopting?
We have 3 beautiful, wonderful children, and we could most likely just have another one. And its usually around the 1 year birthday that we start to think about when we will have another one. But we know that we have not been giving control of this area of our lives to God, we have been trucking along at our own pace, by our own desires, saying that we are surrendered to the will of God, but not actually letting Him be in charge ( as if we can let Him do anything.) So in the conviction that we were, in essence, stealing from God what was rightfully His, we prayed and asked Him to show us what His idea for our family is. And He is doing that. We believe that this is His will for us, that this will bring Him honor and glory, because it will have to be all His working to accomplish this.
(In order of importance)
1. We feel this is where God is leading us-this is where our daughter is.
2. There are lots of children in the U.S that need stable, loving homes and families, and it is great to adopt children here. But there is foster care here. Children who have nothing are taken care of better here than anywhere else in the world. There are more opportunities here for growth and success. Children who age out of orphanages at 15 ( the maximum age in Ethiopia which is also the median age of the population) are left to take care of themselves on the street- most girls end up in prostitution.
3. Ethiopia is the country with the greatest need in the world. There are 5 million children without parents. That is more than the population of Alabama.Can you imagine if Missouri, or your own state were nothing but orphans?
4.Ethiopia is the cheapest place to adopt from internationally, and has the fewest restrictions.
What does it cost?
Alot- I'm not going to lie. We know the financial aspect seems insurmountable. It doesn't seem fair that bringing a child into a loving, stable home should cost so much when so many babies are killed every day because they get in the way of someone's American dream. But our God is bigger than any amount of money. He is greater than a deadline. He is more powerful than our greatest ambitions. We are going to work hard at this, save our money, cut out what we don't need, and pray like crazy. We don't think we are just going to sit back with our feet up and wait for a check in the mail. But we believe that the Lord will bless us throughout this whole thing-through our hard work and our reliance on Him. We are not going to be asking anyone for financial help, so don't worry about that! Sometime soon, we will be having a yard sale, and my hope is that it will be a big one. I'm going to be opening a shop on Etsy, and we will be applying for grants from ShowHope among others. I believe that the Lord will astound us and all will see just how faithful He is. We trust in Him alone to see this through to completion, debt free.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Boy, this weekend was a doozy.
As usually happens when it is the absolute least convenient time, I got sick. I don't believe I've been quite that sick in a loooong time. Of course all the kids have had it in varying degrees too, and as usual, Jeremiah escaped unscathed (so far), which is a good thing since he will be working with our church family to build another church in town this week.
On Saturday he took the kids (all of them- swoon!) to his parents' to play in the pool, then to church for Drive-In Movie Night ( Mary Poppins) which I really wanted to go to, but instead I stayed home and slept which I also really wanted to do.
I may also have eaten more than an appropriate number of ice cream sandwiches. But that's neither here nor there.
Friday Ethan and I went on a date. He wanted to go play tennis and go to the mall (?) But we just went to the grocery store and Walmart; and he wanted to go to the park, but I was beginning my downward spiral so I didn't feel like being out in the 90+ degree heat. We got him a water gun, and he picked one out for Charlotte too.
He said at one point, "Mom isn't it so nice of me to go on a date with you?"
Next time he wants to get ice cream and chocolate milk and go to the park.
Even though I didn't feel good, it was one of the best dates I've ever been on.
I feel the need to preface this with something-
like, " I know this is going to sound crazy..." or " I never thought in a million years I would be saying this..."
But the truth is:
God answers prayers.
He is :
And He has had a plan from before the beginning of time for us and we are humbled and in awe that He has chosen this for us.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the Lord,"and will bring you back from captivity."
Awhile back, I posted this, telling you of something big that God was doing in our lives...
We had prayed that God would take over control of our family and be the leader, the One who decided how many children we would have, etc. And He is painting a picture that is surprising and different than we probably would have thought up on our own.
So are you ready?
Are you just dying to know?
Are you on the edge of you seat?
Well then, drum roll please...
The big news is....
We are adopting!
I know, crazy huh?
I'm sure you will have lots of questions. I know what some of them will be, and I will try to compile a little Q&A list here in the next few days. But feel free to ask us anyway, if there is something you want to know, like
What in the world are you thinking?!
This is going to be a long and trying adventure. These things can take up to two years or more. While we wait, we will seek to glorify God in the process.
I'm so happy to have this blog to be able to communicate with you all on a level that is sometimes hard to do face-to-face. We will need all the spiritual and emotional support you can offer. And we covet your prayers.
This is the video that God used to stir our hearts. And especially this verse at the end:
"Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know, and holds us responsible to act."
Be sure to turn on the volume.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Last week we went to SavannahLand with the M.O.M.S group at church, and I just realized I forgot to post about it!So here it is...
When you first start the tour, they bring in some really cute babies and you can touch them or hold them.
I made the mistake of calling this thing a baby Kangaroo.
"Its not a kangaroo! Its a WALLABY!"
It's a good thing that girl was cute.
I want a blanket made of these. Alive would be ok. Like a really snuggly Snuggie.
You would think that holding a monkey would be fun. It looks cute and soft...
from a distance.
I mean, it even had a diaper on. That should be adorable.
So I asked if I could hold it.
That was a mistake.
That first picture is me both in disbelief that I am actually holding a baby monkey,
and trying not to look like I want to throw up.
You know, for the kids.
To be completely honest, just in case you ever want to do this sort of thing...
I was really, really grossed out.
Let me see if I can explain how it felt.
It was like holding a baby-
A really skinny,
With a tail.
And the diaper didn't help at all.
So I tried to give it back.
"Ok, maybe someone else wants a turn??
"Aw it's ok. She just needs to warm up to ya! Let her wrap her tail around your arm there."
I did not want to let her warm up to me.
I did not want her tail to wrap around me.
I wanted to throw her off me and go take a shower.
But I didn't.
I held her a little bit longer.
He finally took her back when she started eating my shirt.
On to the tour...
Bigger than I thought they would be. Of course, I've only ever seen them in the Lion King.
"Wow Mom! Look at that deer! Dad would shoot that deer!"
Yes, son, yes he would.
Charlotte was really brave about getting in there and feeding the animals, until they opened their mouths.
Monkeys. Or Apes. Or something. I never can tell.
I just love this little boy. He and Ethan are really good friends. He's so sweet and cuddly. And I love the way he says my name.
I have big plans for this boy in about 20 years.
Crazy big porcupines.
I asked Ethan if he liked these, since they were my favorite part, and he said,
"Yeah, but I didn't want them to spike me with their thorns!"
A face only a mother one of these could love. I think it was a Tapir.
Sandbox. Big hit.
Better than a baby monkey.
Other than being a little hot, it was a really fun time. I can't believe I'd never been there before.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Jeremiah took Ethan fishing yesterday.
"Worm Fishing" Ethan called it, because they used real worms.
Ethan caught 5 fish all by himself.
Including this big guy.
Which was 3 more than Jeremiah.
(But he is very proud of his little grasshopper.)