"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

He Heard My Cry

This month has been difficult.  My heart has been heavy all month long.  There have been many highs and many lows.  Surrendering EVERYTHING has had to be a moment by moment choice.  Joy has been a moment by moment choice.  At some moments, I handled things exceptionally well and at others, I did not.  But, one thing that did not happen...God never left my side.  He put people in my life to encourage me and push me along when I didn't want to go any further.  My husband...I just can't even begin to describe how amazing this man is.  He is always encouraging.  He always sees God's blessings.  He never gives up.  He makes me better.  He loves me when I am not lovable.

We have fasted and prayed. Our children have prayed. Family has prayed.  Friends have prayed.  Our church has prayed.  We have prayed in groups.  Friends of friends have prayed.  A friend of mine had her teacher friends pray.  A bible study group that doesn't know us prayed.  My BSF class has prayed.  People have encouraged us along the way.  God has moved so many people to pray for a little girl.  A little girl that we do not even know.  A little girl that lives all the way across the world. A little girl that God put on our hearts 4 years ago.  And God answered our prayers.

Psalms 40:1 "I waited patiently for the LORD; and he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, an hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD."

He heard our cries!!!!   He softened hearts, he moved mountains.  My God can do ANYTHING.  NOTHING is too hard for him.  They will not be closing down adoptions.  All glory to God.

I cried all day yesterday.  I am so thankful.  Sadly, I think part of me thought he couldn't make it happen.  Or maybe that he wouldn't make it happen.  It reminds me of the disciples when they saw Jesus do miracle after miracle.  He fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish.  And then when it comes to feeding 4,000 people not long after, the disciples say "Where could we get enough bread in this remote place to feed such a crowd?"  Ummmm....seriously people!!!  Didn't he just feed 5,000 right in front of you??  Oh, wait...this is me.  He has moved mightily on our behalf over and over again.  I just need to believe and not forget.  I just need to continue to step out of the boat.

A friend of mine has adopted internationally and has been in the domestic process for over two years now.  They had a failed adoption several months ago and were ready to pull their application and just quit.  Their 9 year old boy said "You just don't give up when things get difficult!"  And now she has a picture of her 9-year old son holding their newborn baby boy.  The words have played over and over in my head this month.  Adoption is hard.  But, I will not give up.  I will not give up on our little girl no matter what slimy pit God has to pull us out of and with each fall, I will trust God even deeper.  We don't know what lies ahead, but God does.  He has gone before us.

Pray for a referral for us soon.  Pray for a referral this week, this month.  Thank you for all of your prayers.

Psalms 126:3 "He has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."

Thursday, January 16, 2014

New Year's Resolutions

The start of the year has been hard.  I have had to do a lot of surrendering to God.  The only thing I know how to do right now.  I have found peace in doing just that.  I have learned over the past three years that God is sovereign and who am I to tell him how to run things.  So, I decided that I am going to have a word for this year and a verse.  This year's word is SURRENDER.  And my verse for this year is:

Matthew 16:24.  I like The Message translation. "Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead.  You're not in the driver's seat; I am.  Don't run from suffering; embrace it.  Follow me and I'll show you how.  Self-help is no help at all.  Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.  What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself?  What could you ever trade your soul for?"

"Deny yourself, pick up your cross and follow me" NIV

Good Quote: "Relax, and let God be God" -Joyce Meyer

I have a list of resolutions.  Some for spiritual growth, some for personal growth and some family goals.

1. Read the bible in one year.  I found this awesome app that will guide me in doing this.  It has a little devotional with it to.  So far, I have kept up and I love it!

2.  Run 4 half marathons.  This is kind of scary for me since my first REAL one will be in February.

3.  Increase my running pace.

4. Organize my pantry and laundry room.  I am not an organized person naturally.  I wish I had this in me, but it is just not in my genes.  I come by it honestly.  Oh, and if you know my husband, he did not inherit this gene either, so we just are flying by the seat of our pants at all times.  So, truthfully, getting these two rooms organized might be my hardest resolution to conquer.  It might just take me all 12 months.  Actually, we are almost down to only 11 months.

5.  Take a fun family vacay.  In the planning stages now.

6.  Lose 10 pounds. Always a goal.  Never happens.  Still trying to embrace being in my late 30s and accepting a different me.

7.  Make our bedroom a sanctuary for us.  It is always the room that stuff that doesn't have a place goes.  It is the only room that has not been painted or cared for at all.  So, I want to do this for me.  I don't do things for me often.

8.  Once a month, take one of my boys out for a one-on-one date.  I have always intended to do this, but never have followed through.

9.  Read the Chronicles of Narnia with Oliver.  He loves for me to read to him and he needs this separate time for just him.  It is just something that fills his cup.

10. Make beds and unload dishwasher every morning.  So far, I have kept up with this!!  HUGE ACCOMPLISHMENT.  It is amazing made beds will do for your day.

Looking forward to a great year!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Boys Day Out

Saturday, January 4, 2014

2013 in review

We got to go on a 7 day cruise.  Just us. No kids.  We had a blast.
This boy turned 7!  Unbelievable.
Clayton turned 10 and got to go zip lining in Austin.
We planted our first garden.  
I ran my first 5k
Oliver lost his first teeth and Elliot turned 4

We have cucumbers growing like crazy.  I made ten jars of pickles.
We took a mini vacay to fossil rim and to the drive-in theather.
Clayton started 5th grade and Oliver started 2nd grade.
Elliot started soccer, the boys started football and Oliver was baptized.
The state Fair
My first 1/2 marathon!  
Our family.  The best part of the year was living it with these AMAZING guys!

Looking forward to what 2014 has for us!


Happy New Year and 33 months of waiting for our daughter (a few days late).  A few days ago, we received some news of discussions going on in Ethiopia on closing international adoption.  I was crushed by the news and was immediately overcome by a spirit of fear. I began started asking A LOT of "What ifs?".  I could not get past it.  I shed many of tears.  But, I have been taught so much over the past four years when we started this adoption process.  The biggest thing I have learned is trusting in God's sovereignty.  I have learned that He is BIG and I cannot fit Him into a box.  I have learned that my future is not determined by me and that God is ultimately in control.  "In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps" (Proverbs 16:9).  I have learned that my joy is not determined by my circumstances.  "Rejoice in the Lord always!  I will say again: REJOICE! Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phillipians 4:4).  We did a study on Habakkuk this past year and it is a very small book in the bible.  Only 3 chapters, but I got so much out of this sermon series.  One of my new favorite passages is from Habakkuk 3:17-19. 

" Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD , I will be joyful in God my Savior.  The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights."

No matter what happens, my hope and my trust and my joy comes from the LORD.  I will rejoice in Him no matter what.  He has a plan for me.  He has a plan for a little girl to come into our home and we will not stop praying for that!  Please be praying for this.  Decisions will be made over the next week as to what will happen.  Our God is BIG and MIGHTY and he can do GREAT things.