Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Busyness Wins Again

With all the reading and planning I've done over the past few weeks, I should have rearranged our schedule to actually have some full days at home.  But no, that didn't happen.  What did happen is added activities due to some upcoming GOOD events, like a wedding and a baby shower.  Even good activities can produce the kind of schedule that makes me crazy.  Exit peace, tranquility, patience, and lowered voices.  Enter anxiety, stress, and crazy yelling mom.  Yes, you read that right.  I just pray that as this season ends, my kids will remember the good activities (like being in their cousin's wedding), and the crazy mom memories will subside. 

On the bright side, at least we're pretty organized around the house.  The last couple years have seen a progression of things that have led to a pretty smoothly run household on good days, and a household that can catch up quickly to where it should be on bad days.  That's not said out of pride (becuase if it was, you can be sure some things would happen to knock me off my pedestal).  That's said out of gratefulness to God for the women (most of whom I don't know personally) whose blogs and books I have gained advice from over the last few years.  We've tweaked schedules, routines, and chores numerous times.  It's an ongoing process.  But we seem to have found some things that work for our family.  Praise God!  I am so thankful.  I have the kind of personality that needs some order and routine in my life to keep me sane.  Our God is a God of Order.  Surely He understands this trait in me.  Maybe there are some tips and tidbits that can help someone else roaming around in my brain.  I've had some people ask for details about or scheduling and routines (good day routines, mind you, can and do get off track frequently).  I think I'll post some of these in the weeks coming up.  Bear with me.

Today is an example of a day that can throw me off.  Easton woke up this morning throwing up.  So I had to cancel a meeting this afternoon and call around to find someone to drive Jayde to her science class, since I really don't want puke in my suburban.  Now my brain is escalating the fact that some of the rest of us will probably end up with this virus.  Who?  When?  Alan and I are supposed to run in the Epcot Food and Wine Festival half marathon this weekend.  We are actually staying in a hotel.  We rarely do that.  Our vacations usually consist of staying in a family member's house because we stay for free!  So a hotel is a treat.  I won't have to cook or make the bed.  Guess what - we're not bringing the kids either.  So now I wonder - is this weekend when the stomach bug will decide to rear it's ugly head in me?  I hope not.  Praying not. 

We were 2 months DTE this past Thursday.  The waiting continues.  In the meantime we are reading adoption books and looking at seminars to take online to help with attachment issues that will arise once we have our children home.  I've really enjoyed reading posts from moms who came home with their children this past year.  It gives me insight and helps me know what kind of challenges we can expect.  Here's one that made my day today.  Enjoy. http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/09/26/fake-family#.ToHLHzWzTCU.facebook

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wait

Wait
Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried.
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said, "Child, you must wait".


"Wait? You say, wait! " my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By Faith, I have asked, and am claiming your Word.


My future and all to which I can relate
hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a 'yes', a go-ahead sign,

or even a 'no' to which I can resign.

And Lord, You promised that if we believe
we need but to ask, and we shall receive.

And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry:
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait.
"So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut

and grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting.... for what?"


He seemed, then, to kneel, and His eyes wept with mine,
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.


All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you wan t~~ but, you wouldn't know Me.
You'd not know the depth of My love for each saint;
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint;


You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there;
You'd not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.


You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save.... (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of My heart.


The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.


You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
what it means that "My grace is sufficient for Thee."
Yes, your dreams or your loved one overnight would come true,
But, Oh, the Loss! If I lost what I'm doing in you!


So, be silent, My Child, and in time you will see
that the greatest of gifts is to get to know Me.
And though oft' may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, "WAIT."

by Russell Kelfer

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Birthing Kits -BEMM

I just wrote about Becuse Every Mother Matters.  Here's another way to help.  They need birthing kits and supplies.  You can mail some things, or donate money and she will buy them (probably the best use of your money).  She's going to Ethiopia in October to bring the kits.  Email her if you would be able to help in any way.
http://becauseeverymothermatters.com/component/content/article/2-news/31-medical-supplies-desperately-needed 

Because Every Mother Matters

Every Mother Matters is a ministry dedicated to helping moms survive childbirth.  Here's a link to a story that describes what they do: http://becauseeverymothermatters.com/component/content/article/2-news/33-help-fight-human-trafficking-and-save-mommas-by-shopping-with-purpose
Read the "Imagine This..." section.  There's a fundraiser going on right now.  I will share the info that was passed to me. 

"Hello Everyone! I wanted to share with you a fundraiser going on this week to benefit Delicate Fortress and Because Every Mother Matters. Every time you shop at Delicate Fortress you are purchasing items made by survivors of human trafficking. For this week only (Sept 7-14) 30% of your purchase goes toward BEMM helping them buy the 4x4 vehicle they need to serve as an ambulance to 24 villages in Northern Ethiopia.

You can read more about it here: http://becauseeverymothermatters.com/component/content/article/2-news/33-help-fight-human-trafficking-and-save-mommas-by-shopping-with-purpose

And shop here: http://www.delicatefortress.com/

Make sure you use BEMM as your coupon code."

Delicate Fortress has some cute jewelry and pajamas so check it out!  Christmas is coming up.  You can get a head start on your shopping and help a mom at the same time.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

No Ordinary Love

There's a link to No Ordinary Love Ministries under the "Other Blogs I Read" section in the sidebar of this blog.  You can click on it to read about Jimmy, Rachel, and their family.  Here's a link to "Finding Fekadu".  Read Part One and Part Two.  Would you consider giving a small gift to help Fekadu, his mother, and his sister begin a new life?  Please pray for them - for forgiveness and healing to reign and that God would restore this family.
http://www.noordinarylove.org/weekly-reflections

35 Dollars

$35. Thirty five dollars.  35 bucks.  35 smackers. 

What is that to you? 

A dinner out?
A drive through meal with all your kids including cokes?
A movie with popcorn and soda?
Your monthly gym membership?
Wasted electricity from running your air so much or leaving your lights on?
Buying named brand instead of generic?
Two bottles of wine?
A book at a curriculum fair you buy and never use?
A shirt you bought that still has the tags hanging on it?
The amount of wasted food you threw out of your fridge this month?
What you spend on Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts/Panera Bread for lattes in a month?

Do you realize I could keep going for a looonnnngggg time?

Think of all the ways you waste money in a month.  Don't believe it?  Take the Dave Ramsey test.  Write down every dollar you spend (yes, that 50-cent coke counts, too) for an entire month.  Then take that list before the Lord and say, "Lord, what could we have done without?"  Then you'll probably want to follow that conversation with a prayer asking for forgiveness.  I know I have and still do.  Frequently.

You don't have to adopt to change a child's life.  Did you know that?  You can sponsor a child through World Vision and completely change an entire family's life.  If you don't believe me, google the stories of people who have met their sponsored child and seen what a difference that money makes.  Literally the difference between life and death. 

Don't make enough money, you think?  Guess what.  It's only $35 a month.  A measly $35.  Maybe you have perfect will power when you go to Walmart.  Maybe you never walk out with more items than what you have on your list.  But I bet I'm right.  I bet you squander $35 bucks easily, every single month.  I bet if you thought about it, you'd eventually admit that's true.  What's your excuse?  What exactly is your excuse for NOT giving a child food, water, clothing, shelter, schooling, and medicine?  It's too hard to stay at home and cook a homemade dinner instead of eating out?  Am I being too harsh?

Think about it.  Please, think about it.  Pray about it.  Then go to your computer and type in www.worldvision.org and take a look at those thousands of sweet faces and see if you can keep your excuses in your head.  I bet they will melt away right before your eyes.  Try it.  I just gave you the link.  No excuses.

* Disclaimer * I am not advocating Tony Evans ministry or in any way saying you should give him money or take him as a spiritual authority.  But in this particular sermon, he has some good points and a good story about his son's visit to Africa and the parable of the Good Samaritan.  Listen if you want http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/the-alternative/listen/blessed-are-the-merciful-part-2-218933.html


Labor of Love

As of yesterday we have officially changed our request to two children.  They could be siblings or unrelated.  We would like for at least one to be a boy.  After reading so many posts from people who are going back to ET for a second or third time to bring more precious ones home, we felt like we would like to go ahead, take the plunge, and bring home at least 2 at a time.  Who knows what God has in store? 

This morning I read the sweetest prayer request from an AWAA friend, asking for our group to pray this Labor Day weekend for a "Labor of Love".  The idea is to spend moments this weekend praying for our future children's birth parents, the moms in particular.  They labored for these, they love these children.  Either they are dying, or are giving them up because they know they cannot give their children what they need, and do not want to see them suffer.  Will you join us in prayer this weekend and remember these mothers?  Here's part of her request:

"So I have been thinking that as we all wait for referrals for the children God has for us, there are mothers on the other side of the world who, for whatever reason, will lose the children God gave to them. I wait hopefully, expectantly,and impatiently for my little girl, but I know that without her birthmom going through a painful loss, she could never be my daughter.
So I want to encourage everyone of you, whether you are DTE or not, to pray for your child's/ children's birthmother this weekend. We often say that, although not an actual labor and delivery, adoption is a labor of love. And since its Labor Day weekend, why not?
Would you join me in praying for the women who carried and loved our children first? For their health and safety, for provision and peace. And most of all that they would know our Lord Jesus so that one day we may all be together again in God's glorious kingdom, as one beautiful family
."


Wow.  That last line needs to be echoed from all of us.

Saying "No"

Remember how I talked about "busyness"?  Here's a great article by Focus on the Family about saying "no".  In case anyone besides me ever has difficulty with that task.

http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/parenting_roles/stay-at-home-moms-taking-care-of-yourself/learning-to-say-no.aspx

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Luau

Ginger, my frister (friend + sister = frister), had a fundraiser luau in Jacksonville this summer.  Her husband, Ryan, is participating in the Ironman triathalon on Washington D.C. on September 11 and raising money for the Luekemia and Lymphoma Society.  The luau was a great idea and they raised a lot of money.  Here are some pictures:

The food table:

Ginger and me:

One of the silent auction tables:

There was a raffle drawing:

Lots of good food and good company:

Entertainment:

Men grilling burgers:)

Ryan in front of his triathalon cakes:

My mom made these cakes.  They were so stinkin' cute!  Here's the biking one (Ginger is on all the cakes, too, as well as Haans, their dog):

The swimming one (note Ginger and Haans on towels - haha):

The running cake!


It was a lot of fun and a huge success.  Alan and I are thinking of following their layout for the fundraiser and holding one for our adoption.  We'll keep you posted.