Monday, November 30, 2009
Nope-it's National Delurking Week again.
Well, in all honest- I'm not even really sure when National Delurking Week is or if there really is one.
So, I took it upon myself to decided that today would mark the beginning of National Delurking Week- on my blog anyway.
So, here we go.
Come on- you can do it.
Click comment and then tell me a little something about yourself. Introduce yourself. Say hello. Tell me why, or how, out of all of the blogs in this entire world you chose to stop by mine.
Can't wait to 'meet' you! :0)
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Right now many of us are on the hunt for the perfect gift to give. I've got it right here for you- a gift with a purpose.
These Scentsy candles are seriously awesome. Not only are they pretty, but they are safe (no flame needed) and smell great. But the best part is right now 25% of all sales go towards the Pass It Forward Adoption Fund.
I need your help!!
Please, please (I'm begging you, please) consider purchasing one of these candles if you are looking to buy a gift. A child is waiting and to them this is a gift that will make all the difference in their world.
2. Click on "Pay it forward Adoption party" under Jenny and Brian's picture.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I have had people say to me “Oh I always wanted to adopt but we can’t because________ and then they fill in the blank. Typically that blank includes them feeling like they do not have enough time or money. Can I just tell you that I understand? I understand fearing the lack of money and lack of time. As I have said in the past- we are not rich and of course with seven- soon to be eight children- are days are full. However, what I have discovered is that while on paper it doesn’t make sense that we can ‘have’ as much as we have and get as much done as we do- the only thing I can say is- it is God’s will and He can and will provide.
Following God’s will for your life is no simple task. It takes effort. It takes time- time with God and time reading His word. We have to make a conscious effort to align our priorities with God’s priorities and examine them often. It takes a willingness to forgo our plans and follow His. It means staying in constant relationship with God- seeking Him for the answers. It means running to God- instead of google.
In the past, as each child entered our family- whether through birth or adoption, inevitably we would always say ‘this one is the last one'.
We laugh at ourselves now.
Laugh that we tried to limit God.
No more telling God when ‘we’ are done. Now the ball is in His court. Our lives are completely His to do with as He wishes. No more holding back. No more restriction. We threw out the excuses, let go of the fears and the what ifs. We are trying our hardest to live in complete willingness and obedience- always remaining open to what or who He brings our way.
Having said that, I do believe that God wants us to act in a responsible manner. We have to use the good judgment he gave us when it comes to how we spend our time and our resources. We have to continuously examine our lives- again aligning our priorities up with Gods. We have to be responsible- to God. Not responsible to our bank account and our lifestyles that we cling to so tightly.
For us, and I believe for many as well, it comes down to being painfully honest. Most of the time what it really it boils down to is our laziness or unwillingness to make changes. Our unwillingness to let go of a few of life’s luxuries- that we cling to out of selfishness. Not an easy pill to swallow I know, but that is a part of that self examining we need to do. I am not saying this is always the case- but perhaps something that needs to be carefully examined in our lives.
Sometimes, often times, following God’s plans for your life including makes changes, giving up, sacrificing. Perhaps God is asking you to examine your life- how much time are you wasting watching TV or sitting on the computer? I know that each time Todd and I open our homes to a new child we have to sit down and really take a long, hard look at our lives and reevaluate the way we are living. Where are we spending our time and our resources and are those things important to God? Sometimes we have to give things up that we like to do in our spare time- to have more time to spent with our children. Sometimes we have to make sacrifices, like giving up having our nails done, eating out or a game of golf. Because after all, one day we will all stand in front of God and He will ask us what we did with Him- what we did with the cross. God knows that you and I know there are 147 million orphans in this world. And honestly, I’m kind of embarrassed that we often put our comfort before them. We turn our backs and go on with our lives- the lives God gave us- and do nothing. We don’t want to give up our cable TV, the 45+ shirts hanging in our closet (and we still have ‘nothing to wear’) our iphones, our golf game, fishing or hunting equipment, our 2nd automobile, eating out, or anything else really. We want to have it all and then some.We complain we are 'broke' and stressed out. And I wonder if perhaps God is trying to teach us something?
Because one thing I can promise you is that one day when we stand in front of God and He asks us what we did with the cross- He will not be impressed with our iphone or that our nails looked good.
Perhaps it boils down to us needing to let go of our constantly trying to impress or prove ourselves to everyone else. Maybe we need to quit worrying what others will think and just live the life that God created us for. After all, it’s our life-and we get to choose what we are going to do with the cross. The decision is ours and we are the ones who will be held accountable for it. Who are we trying to please? God or man?
Or maybe it’s about fears? Fear that it might cost you something? Fears that the child God gives you won’t be perfect? Can I ask you something? Are you perfect?
Or maybe it’s fear that it might be hard? Honestly though, do any of us have so much control over our lives that nothing but good will ever happen to us? Has life ever been completely easy?
So whatever it is you decide to do with the cross- whether it be go on a mission trip, foster children, volunteer at a homeless shelter, adopt, teach Sunday school or whatever- go ahead and do it for Him. Stop limiting God. Drop your plans. Loose yourself for Him. Because you may just find that when you finally loose yourself -you may truly discover who you really are.
My prayer for each of us this Thanksgiving is that we clearly see each and every one of our blessings. Then as we reflect on those blessings, we thank God for them- and then hand them right back to Him. All of them- especially the ones you are most thankful for. Then, sit back and watch. Sit back and be amazed at how when you are fully and completely offer your life to Him- you will have more to be thankful for than ever before.
Friday, November 20, 2009
When we first decided to adopt Kaden-I started doing a lot of research on adopting a child of a different race. (Yes I realize Mya and Aleigha are from a different race as well, but for some reason people kept telling us it would be 'different' with a black child).
So, I went to my favorite and best resource- THE BIBLE.
No further research was needed.
God tells us to love one another. To love our neighbors as ourselves. He doesn’t say to love only the ones that look the way we do.
It is funny how we humans have made ‘race’ into such a big issue- and funny how God does not.
Now I am not denying that there is a ‘difference’ between particular races and or groups of people. Because in reality- we are ALL different and we are all unique.
And that my friends is to be celebrated.
We are special because of the way that God made us. Period. We are always reminding our children how creative God was when he made us all. We celebrate His creativity- we see the beauty in dark skin and in white skin. We see the beauty in blond hair, red hair and brown hair. We see the beauty in blue eyes, brown eyes and green eyes.
We see the beauty in His creation.
Sure there is racism in this world. There probably always will be. Just like there is prejudice and discrimination against people who are short, fat, poor, of different religions, and different sex. I do not understand why people, since the beginning of time, have always felt the need to prove they are better than someone else instead of embracing and celebrating their differences.
And Satan loves that.
But the good thing is- you and I can choose for ourselves not to partake in that. We can choose to love everyone and demonstrate that love through the way we live our lives. We can choose to not follow what the world views as ‘less than’ or 'better than'- and instead look to Jesus who loves us all- red and yellow, black and white- just the same. We are all precious in his sight.
Get it? He see's our differences- He made us different on purpose. Not so we could fight over them but so that we could celebrate Him. Celebrate His creativeness and see those differences as beautiful- the way He does.
Why do we always get it so wrong?
Have we faced racism in our family? Sure we have. But it has given us and our children a better picture of what many people live with their entire lives. And we faced it together, as a family-pulling together and standing up for what we know is right. It has made us stronger and it has made us better. And we have become more understanding because of it.
It is my belief that when we know something is wrong it is not okay to just sit back, remain comfortable- and allow it to continue around us. As a HUMAN RACE we need to do what is right- even when it’s not popular, even when it makes us uncomfortable, and even if it causes us some pain.
Our family is no longer a ‘white’ family. We are a just a family who happens to not look alike- and we celebrate those differences. We do not try to make Kaden ‘white’ and we do not try to pretend we are black. We embrace our differences, celebrate them, and thank God for them daily.
I will tell you that the only difference between Kaden and our other children is that Kaden happens to have the most beautiful dark skin I have ever seen. Just like our other children- he has talents, he has dreams, and he has needs. He is full of life and full of personality. He makes me smile every day and he has brought more joy into our lives than I ever thought possible.Just another thing to celebrate. :0)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I'm sorry I have been ignoring you lately. I don't mean to, it's just that...
I've got it bad.
I can't think,
I can't function,
I can't get anything done.
I can't even begin to concentrate on this...
I'm a goner.
He now officially owns my heart.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Yeah I know that is the name of the new movie that is coming out and I cannot wait to see it because I can so relate. First of all because it’s about adoption and anything about adoption I am so ‘there’. But also because it’s a story of how God blesses you when you least expect it. It’s a story of how God reveals his plans right in front of your eyes and the plans are something you never could have dreamed up yourself- because if you had- they would have never been THAT AMAZING. God is that good- all of the plans you could have come up with yourself could never be as good as what HE has for you.
And that my friends is where we are right now. Blindsided and blessed beyond anything we could have ever imagined.
For the past year and a half there has been a little guy in our lives who also made his way into our hearts- the first time I met him. Which, happened to be the first time I met our son Kaden as well. This little guy lived in the same amazing foster home as Kaden did and they grew up together for over a year there. You know, they shared the same toys, loved the same foster mommy, daddy and foster siblings, shared holidays together, cried together and laughed together. Kaden and this little boy were both in this home because it was a safe haven for them. A place where for the first time in their lives they were taken care of and cherished the way they deserved to be. A place where they could heal and grow and be fully loved. And I will be forever grateful for this home and for this family. I hope they know that the sacrifices they have made for children over the years has made such a difference. Not only in these children, but in their children one day as well. The legacy they are leaving is amazing and I want them to know that we will never, ever take that for granted.
Because of our obvious love for this family we have become close over the past year and a half since we had the privilege of adopting Kaden. Actually, we consider them family now and our relationship with them means the world to us. How awesome is God to give Kaden two families who love him unconditionally and more than life itself? How awesome is God to bless us with this amazing friendship with this family and how awesome is God to now give us another son out of this safe haven in their home?
I’d like to officially introduce the newest member of our family- our incredible, perfect, beautiful, amazing, out of this world, blesses our socks off son Carson. :0) Because we are adopting
Dear Heavenly Father, the words thank you seem so small. We know Lord that this child is a gift from you- that he belongs to you and only you. We stand in awe that you saw us fit to be his family and we are once again blown away at your goodness. Thank you for this privilege and thank you for the miracle of adoption- for through it we have never felt closer to you. We love you Lord with everything we have and everything we are.
I have a favor to ask of you guys… really, it’s a simple request on your part but means the world to someone else. A friend of mine’s husband is serving in
So my favor from you is would you please be willing to make a birthday card for him? Don’t spend your money on some expensive card- just make one or if you have children have them draw one. If you are a teacher- have your whole class do it. Let’s just show this guy our appreciation and Christ’s love. If you are interested you can email his wife Holly at firstname.lastname@example.org. She can give you his address and you can send the card with a simple stamp just as if you were sending it within the US...it still takes TIME to get there...so the cards need to be send by Nov. 21st to be safe! If the cards show up early or late it will still be an ongoing blessing so please do not let that stop you. If you are reading this and you are not able to participate would you please just stop and say a prayer for this family? Pray for protection, pray for their children and pray that they will be able to raise the money they need to adopt again.
Thank you so much for making a difference in someone else’s life. It’s the little things that count in the long run I promise. Can’t wait to see how God moves through you!
Monday, November 9, 2009
The other morning Todd was lying in our bed reading his bible- something that makes me fall in love with that amazing man that I married over and over again. But what touched my heart even more was when Kaden saw him too. And not only did he notice what his daddy was reading- he ran into his room, grabbed his bible off the shelf, then ran back into our room to read next to his daddy. Seriously does it get any better than that?
One of my favorite quotes that I have on the right hand side of my blog reads: “Preach the Gospel always and when necessary, use words.” I love this quote because it reminds me that it’s not about being able to quote every line of scripture- but being able to live them is what matters most. More than anything I want my life’s example to scream Jesus. More than anything I want people to see something different in the way I have chosen to live. I have not chosen the most popular path, the most exciting career or been given the highest salary. It’s okay if they see my flaws, see my weaknesses- but I want them to know that because of Jesus- and only because of Jesus- there is good.
So as you live this day you have been given- remember you are being watched even when you don’t know it. Remember you can be a living example of Him- you can be what this world needs to see most. People don’t need another super hero, they don’t need another magazine model, sports star or rich and famous millionaire. What they need is Jesus- and you can lead them there.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Thank you so much to all of you who left me comments about how you keep Jesus at the center of your Christmas. You have no idea what a blessing all of your idea’s and thoughts were to me. You gave me so much to pray about and so many new ideas to incorporate into our families Christmas. Someone asked me what we do at our house. Well, I’m going to admit that many times in the past I have gotten it all wrong- which is probably why I have felt like something wasn’t quite ‘right’. We did only give 3 gifts each to our children- but we put a lot of emphasis on those presents and let the excitement build around them. We did leave them under the tree for several weeks and waited to open them with great anticipation- which I didn’t even realize was keeping our focus on the presents.(I know- duh- but sometimes things just become habit and we don't even realize it). We do volunteer and we do give to the needy- however, I’ll admit it was a ‘comfortable give’- meaning we probably didn’t even notice we went without anything when we gave.
This year at my parents house we all decided there would be no gifts. Instead we are going to really listen to the Lord and try to see where He makes a need known during the month of December. Then we are to meet that need- whether it be sitting down with a longely,elderly neighbor and singing Christmas carols, or hearing about a family in need and helping them out. On Christmas, when we all get together, we are going to share that experience and what God taught us. I’m excited to hear how God has been at work and where He has led each one of us. Good stuff.
At home, we are giving each one of our kids one nice gift and that is it. Other than that- we are just trying to focus on the ‘reason for the season’ and our time together as a family.
And since you guys are so incredibly awesome at helping me in the Christmas area I was wondering if I could ask for your help again. This one has to do with church. Lately I have felt such a huge burden to do more. I have been praying and I am just not sure where to even start though. I know in time that the Lord will show me what that ‘more’ is, but at the same time I know I too am responsible to start preparing myself. Do any of you go to a church that has any amazing outreach/missions/adoption ministries and if so- what are some of the kinds of things they do? I go to a nice size church and I know there are a lot of people who want to do more but I just do not know where to start. More than anything I know that it is such a waste of time to plop into our comfy seats on Sunday morning, hear some great worship music, nod our heads during a good sermon- and then walk out of the service and do nothing. Yet sometimes I think the reason we do nothing is because we don’t know what to do- we don't know where to start. We feel so small in comparison to the need. So, we sit back and hope it will go away. Satan loves that.
So if you have any good advice for me I’d love to hear how the Lord has been working through the Christians in your church. Thank you again- I really mean it when I say I have THE BEST blogger friends in the world!
Monday, November 2, 2009
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life" (John 12:24-26).
God is all about your death so that HIS success can be realized through you! This is why the Church is having such little impact - there are too many believers who have not yet died to their old nature so that Christ can live fully through them. When believers come to the end of themselves they will lose their lives to Him and live through the power of the Holy Spirit and begin to see the reality of a living gospel that impacts lives, workplaces, cities and nations.
"Much of modern Christian enterprise is 'Ishmael.' Born not of God, but of an inordinate desire to do God's will in our own way - the one thing our Lord never did," said Oswald Chambers. The psalmist describes what it means to live in our own strength:
"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat - for he grants sleep to those he loves" (Ps 127:1-2).
How does one die so that Christ can be our all and all? It usually takes a crisis of significant proportions for most people to relinquish the control of their lives. It means we come to the end of ourselves and our striving to control the events in our lives and we finally come to the place where we can say, "Lord, I surrender. Please take full control of my life."
Have you come to this place with God in your life? Let go and let God make you a success His way.