Adoption update

November 2nd was Orphan Sunday. My church prayed orphans everywhere and locally. I love our corporate prayer. Nothing is off the table. Which is a great image…we can go to God with anything! We are so weak and little, but we can go to the Creator who can change and move all things. So why not take all things to Him.

As we prayed my husband got quiet with emotion. Which is always so. He coordinates his emotion to the appropriate times. Mine is saved for the irrational moments in life, which come all too often.

Orphan Sunday was timed so perfectly by our perfectly timing God. You see, I had forgotten to encourage our family to persevere in what we feel has been laid upon our hearts. I rested in our business and my personal fears n’ doubts.

Even more than admitting I have fears and doubts, I admit I haven’t gone before the Lord with them. I just sit and let them push in me further taking it all as a sign of not now. How ridiculous. I need to confess to my husband and move forward. I mean maybe now is not the time, but I do not believe scripture teaches that I am the one to make those calls. My husband directs our family. He hears my input and considers it greatly, but he is to make that call…not my fears and doubts. Many a godly man was stopped by fear, but still moved to go forward. Let’s give a shout out to Moses, Abraham, and Jonah!

Move girl! Onward Christian!

PS…you don’t hear from me in a few weeks let’s just hope I didn’t end up in the belly of a fish

It’s Shoebox Time!

Every year since I had my daughter and now with my son we pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child through Samaritans Purse.

 

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I absolutely love doing this. It is an amazing opportunity to teach your kids. Here are just a few of the topics we touch on during this time:

Serving, Helping, Loving, Sharing the gospel, Being a light, Salt of the earth, Sacrifice

I don’t know how God does it, but He does. This week in school my daughter is learning about Helping thanks to the letter H. And shoebox collection week is the week after next. How perfectly timed! Thank you Lord!

So we started our shopping today.

I usually need to hit Dollar Tree and Target. I average about $20-30 a box, which is probably on the higher end. I try to include a few nicer things and I know this can be a stretch for some. I figure when I give unto the Lord I should give my first fruits. So with that and stewardship in mind I try to find balance to be a blessing. For the girls boxes I love including a doll and a decent one at that. I find these small baby dolls at Target for about $3 each and that is my shoebox splurge for the girls. This year I get to do a boy box since I have a son now and I am excited! I admit there is a mommy learning curve in what to include in a boy box! Comments appreciated 🙂

Samaritans Purse does this amazing thing where you can buy your ticket online ($7 a box) and find out where your shoebox went. The first year we did it, we were unable to find out. I think this was do to a botched job of wrapping an over stuffed cardboard shoebox. Last year I bought the plastic shoe box size container at Target ($0.94) hoping it would hold up for the child to keep and to withstand the journey. It did! Our box ended up in the hands of a little girl in Mexico.

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They also sent us this magazine with pictures of kids getting the boxes and going through their discipleship program. As we were discussing our shoeboxes we took some time to look through the magazine and learn about the process. Thanks Samaritans Purse!

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As we drive the boxes to the drop off sight we pray for their recipients. Who knows what the Lord will do in the heart of a child through this box. A local church is used to help deliver boxes. That child will never forget that. In the midst of whatever their life may be, the church remembered them. Just as in our life whatever it may be Christ remembers us. So I hope to pave the way with my little shoeboxes a path for the gospel.

This year I hope to have a meal and celebrate wherever our boxes end up.

We are still in filling, praying, and decorating (plan to decorate the plastic tops with stickers and messages) mode…

but here is a picture of what we have so far:

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I’ll do an updated post with contents once we are done!

Here are a few ways I hope to grow this tradition as my children grow:

-Skipping holiday gifts one year to help at a local processing center

-Have them save money throughout the year to purchase some gifts for their box

-Have them plan the dinner to celebrate

-Invite other children to join in praying and packing our boxes

Lastly here is a link to a post which I feel does a great job cheer leading for Operation Shoebox and suggesting items to pack:

http://faithfulprovisions.com/101-operation-christmas-child-shoebox-ideas/

Halloween

I have been married for 6 years. Every year I have taken a different approach to Halloween. Not sure of my convictions and not really sure of my footing in where I can fit. Seriously. I have turned the light off. I have handed out candy and that’s it. I have handed out candy with Christian stickers on them. I have printed off bible verses and taped them to candy. I have worked Harvest Carnivals. Let me tell you…I have triiiiied.

Last year my husband passed along the best article. It has helped shape my view of not only Halloween, but much of my approach to my neighborhood in general. And really what a teaching moment to my kids!

Here is a link to the sweet article and let’s say for the sake of trick or treat…pun intended!

http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2007/10/31/halloween-and-leaving-light-on/

If you don’t have time/can’t/whatever reason follow the link then here are my favorite quotes:

One night does not a neighbor make (and one night does not a pagan make), but Halloween is the one night of the year where the good neighborliness that flows from being in Christ is communicated and reinforced. We are citizens of another Kingdom where The Light is always on.

The truth is that I have several convictions regarding Halloween. I despise the pagan aspects of it. I am convicted that my children should not dress as little devils or ghosts or monsters. But I am also convicted that there could be no worse witness to the neighbours than having a dark house, especially in a neighbourhood like ours which is small and where every person and every home is highly-visible. We know that, if we choose not to participate, the neighbors will notice and will smile knowingly, supposing that we feel too good to participate.

. . . Our door will be open and the light will be on. And we trust that the Light will shine brightly.

All said and done we choose to leave our light on.

This year we threw a party. I was stoked. I wanted to live out this article, but more I wanted to live out Christ. So ,when neighbors came to our door we introduced ourselves and invited them in. When we took our kids to a few doors we introduced ourselves to them. And may I say, I was mighty surprised by the response. Our neighbors seemed just as excited to meet us! They smiled, shook our hands, introduced their kids, and made small talk. You see without keeping our light on and being available we never would have met them!

Who knows when I will see them again, perhaps when I trek around with my holiday cookies! or perhaps on a Saturday morning walk <–very popular in our hood!

But either way we achieved our goal…to meet the neighbors, love on their kids, and be a bright light shining in a dark world.

I pray this be a tradition and teaching moment for my children in the coming years. I pray we continue to be a light to our neighbors, that we don’t become absorbed by the worldliness of the holiday, that the opportunities we have to meet neighbors turns into relationships for the glory of God alone.

We are a peculiar people aren’t we 🙂

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Credit where credit is due…

The inspiration for these wings began at Buggy and Buddy 🙂

http://buggyandbuddy.com/monarch-butterfly-wings-tutorial/

Adoption

Last time I posted I mentioned (in a dramatic way) that I gained “perspective”. God opened my eyes to the view of the birth parent. Not the pickles and ice cream stuff…but the little kicks inside and hearing the first cry stuff.

You see as of right now I believe my family is called to a healthy baby. I want to keep my children in their natural birth order and do not feel equipped to take on any other challenges aside from adoption alone. With that said I do know my God and I do not doubt the Lord to change my heart!!!

As I was looking through adoption agencies and contemplating open vs closed I began to wonder why more women wouldn’t want closed…don’t they want closuuure? You can hear the lack of grace in my typing right :-/

So I thought more about what it takes to participate in making a baby “healthy”. Abstaining from alcohol and drugs for instance. Abstaining from those things alone shows a care for the baby within your womb. It shows an understanding and respect for the life within you. Then to make the brave decision that the best for your baby is to be with another family. There are women who have to be that brave. No wonder there are open adoptions. These women care for the baby and want to know the baby is doing well, that is their method of closure.

I used to only think that the children up for adoption were completely unloved and unwanted. That is not always the case.

God opened my eyes and heart to respect the birth parent.

My desire is for a baby who is unloved and unwanted, so every. single. day. of their life I can tell them…You are Loved…You are Wanted…You have a Family. And only because those very words have been spoken to me by God my creator every. single. day. of my life.

My husband and I plan to meet in November to have a sit down discussion, make a time line, and plan. I feel my heart is getting ready, but it still has work to do. Demolition really. My husband may tell me lets wait two years or he may tell me set up the home inspection. I pray I am ready to hear either.

You have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

Adoption

Last night I spent most the evening filtering through a list of agencies. I walked crawled away feeling like I was going to throw up. I felt like I was at the bottom of a mountain staring up. Never in all my adoption dreams did I ever, ever understand the work that goes into “the process”.

A hearty dose of perspective is what I got. I didn’t narrow down to a particular country or even which agencies may fit us. Nope. Just perspective baby. I just got perspective.

Never saw that coming.

I am overwhelmed already! Will I ever be equipped? Nope. But He is.

Lord I believe! Help my unbelief!

Adoption…very first post!

I am one of those people who feels so called to adopt I have a hard time understanding why anyone wouldn’t. I really honestly do!

Because nobody reads my blog, I feel safe sharing here. So between you and me…my husband and I are in the preliminary stages of adopting. And by preliminary I mean talking about it. 

If I were to catalog the timeline to adopting a child I would mark today October 8th in their book. Today I met with a friend to pick her brain about her experiences adopting 3 children.

Our next steps are simple…have a serious discussion and call the social worker.

I am full excitement and looking forward to officially announcing it hopefully by the end of the year. Until then my little blog and I will have moments like these of quiet excitement 🙂

If you are reading this, please keep us in prayer and I will keep you updated!

Encouraging verse for a heavy heart…

Have you ever prayed for so long and with such a heavy heart you had a dream about what you were praying for. Yet your dream didn’t encompass anything holy, but actually the sinful worries you were dwelling on. I did. When I confessed to a dear friend all my sinful worry she simply responded with the following verse…

When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, Your consolations cheer my soul.

Psalms 94:18-19 ESV

If I say, “My foot is slipping,” Your faithful love will support me, Lord. When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy. 

Psalms 84:18-19 HCSB

Is that not the bread of life!