Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Give Thanks

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV) "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
This is my favorite time of year! I love Thanksgiving, I love the get togethers the food, the decorations, and most of all the fact that I am called out, even when it is hard, to give thanks. It isn't easy to thank God for everything every day, but amazing things do happen when we say "Thank you" to God for things that we don't necessarily see as a blessing.
I did that just this morning in fact. Our Angel Tree Project has been weighing me down a bit (lets blame the lack of posts in the past week on that!) and honestly I was developing a bad attitude towards it. So, this morning as I sat doing my devotions and I focused on this verse, I realized I do have to thank Him for all of the aspects of Angel Tree. And I started to cry. No matter how stressed I get, or how frustrated I am with circumstances, it is what He wants. It isn't about me. Its a beautiful program and if I can give it over to Him, He will do awesome things with it. He has already blessed families, and prisoners, and me with this opportunity.

Here are some other things I am thankful for this week:

  • Health!! ( a huge one as I had two very sick children to start the week, lots of laundry!)
  • A husband - I had to take care of them myself this one time, and I am so grateful that I am not always doing this alone. My heart goes out to single parents!
  • Snuggles - kids are so snuggly when they are sick, can't get enough of that. Even if there is a bucket between us. :(
  • A shower- yes, it was a huge blessing to be granted time to shower after not being able to leave my baby's side for more than a minute!
  • Food- so much food is being prepared for tomorrow, we are blessed beyond measure
  • Family and Friends- we get to host a large group and I couldn't be happier! You can never have too many people at the holidays! (unless you don't like any of them of course, and well, then I am sorry for you!)
  • Church - I can't wait for tomorrow's service. The Thanksgiving service at Immanuel is always a favorite.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving, and if you have no one to share the day with, come on over! We'll have plenty of food!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What if....

My mind is still reeling from all that I heard this morning.
I am leading Beth Moore's Esther study at our church, and while every week is great, this one has really led me to conviction and I believe has the power to be life altering. Pretty big words for a chicken like me!
The whole lesson was on fear. And courage. Can you imagine a life without fear? I know I can't, its totally incomprehensible to me. And yet, that is the command given to us the most out of any other command in the Bible "Do not be afraid" "fear not" "take courage" are all repeated more than any other command.
Esther 4:16 says "...if I perish, then I perish." In our work books the sentence structure looked like this: "what if ___________ then_______." We were to think of our worst fear. Honestly, I left it blank... only one?! As a parent, the thought of a child dying, as a wife, the fear of losing my husband.What if we are never chosen as a forever family. What if my children end up in prison. and so on and so on. Yes, fear has a grip on me. But the point, what if "it" happens. Will I be devastated? Yes. Will I be angry? Pretty good chance. Then what? Then, God, my Father, will pick me up and He. Will. Still. Be. He will hold me, He will lead me through it. Our faith isn't enough if all we can say is "well, I believe God will take care of me, therefore the worst I can imagine will never come to be" We hear it over and over again, that if He leads us to it, He will lead us through it. Its true. God doesn't promise that we won't hurt, and that all will be easy. He does promise that He will take care of us. To fill in the blank we need to say "What if "it" then GOD."
I could go on and on and on. But I won't (deep sigh of relief from all 3 people reading this) There is more to the lesson. But this is the most important. And as someone who often lets the devil get a hold on me because he thinks I would be devastated and never pick up the pieces if the unimaginable happened, I need to get a grip on reality. And give up Satan's stronghold.
Even if, then God.
God is Good, All the Time!

Monday, November 16, 2009


Today I am gathering papers, filling out paperwork, and cleaning the house. Tomorrow we meet with our licensing worker to renew our foster license and renew our homestudy apps. All I can say is, Really? It brings out my deepest frustration to know that we have been waiting for almost a year already. I think we all assumed that we would have a different family make up by now. Yes, I realize we did have opportunity and that WE chose to end that, but I still know that it wouldn't have been right for us to go any other way. It was and still is the best choice for us, and the girls to have gone the route we did. So, here we are. Last year we were excited and eager (almost) to do our weekly homework and meet every Monday night with a group of people who started as strangers that we now share a deeper bond with. We thought that surely by next Christmas, our picture would be fuller, our letter a little longer. I am struggling with Christmas pictures this year. Not because my family isn't precious enough to me or that I don't appreciate my two beautiful children. Its just frustrating when we had such HOPE of it looking different by now. I have hoped for several years that it would be different. First praying for another baby to be born to us, and when that dream was extinguished 3 years later, that God would place more children in our home to STAY.
This journey of Fostering to Adopt is not an easy one. It is even harder in our area as the demand is not that high. Again, I am sure I have said this before, but it is an emotional roller coaster when you realize that you are actually praying for a family to be broken so that you can grow yours. Of course that isn't what we are praying, but going this route, definitely makes it feel that way some days.
I know that God knows what He is doing. I know that there are many people with far bigger hurts than my own today. But that doesn't change the fact that today, I am frustrated.
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 42:11 NIV
God is Good, All the time!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

You Punched my Tooth out!

Says my daughter in the cereal aisle at the grocery store. Ummm. yeah. I did. I "punched" her tooth out. And before you all go crazy and call CPS on me... let me tell assure you while it was my finger that plucked the tooth out... it didn't go down quite like she said. It had been extremely loose for several weeks and she would. freak. out. anytime anyone even suggested that she should pull it out. The nerve of us to even say it! Really. So yes, my finger got in there, maybe as I tickled (not tackled as she will tell you) to the ground (in our living room) and plucked it out (not punched). This tooth has been loose for over a month and was looking nasty, so yes, I am glad it came out. I just wish she would use different words in the grocery store ...
Here's the girl now who's trying to perfect the song "All I want for Christmas..."

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bringing Thanksgiving to Christmas

"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more!" ( the Grinch)
Okay, I know, its only November and we haven't even had Thanksgiving yet. But I wanted to put a bug in everyone's ear now. Many have already started their Christmas shopping or at least making lists... or mental lists. So, I received a World Vision catalog in the mail this week and it really made me stop and look at everyone's Christmas "Wish" lists. We all have stuff we would like, but really, none of here are in NEED. And if you asked, my list of Thanks is far greater than my Wish list. What if this Christmas, we look deep into our hearts, and do something with that money, that will HELP those really in NEED. Here are some great ways to help, and even get a little something for yourself. But, I have a feeling the cause will be far better for our hearts than another sweater would be.

  • If that isn't for you, fine... here are some other great ideas...
  • Have coffee drinkers on your list? Buy them some coffee from Ethiopia and support an adoption! Here is the story of Jim and Adrienne who after 2, count that 2! disrupted US adoptions, are now adopting from South Korea. They need to raise money for that... she describes how you can help, simply by purchasing company from this awesome place!
  • There is also, Aaron and Nicole Baarts personal organization, One Body, One Hope which is selling calendars, t-shirts and homemade goats milk soap, for a steal I might add!
  • And one more way, I think is a great way to teach your children about helping others is purchasing gifts for organizations such as Angel Tree, Salvation Army, or whatever local charities you may have. If possible, check into delivering these gifts as a family. I know it has made a huge impact in my own children's lives. It helps them to appreciate what they do receive each year, and it reminds them to take time to pray for those who aren't as blessed as they are.
If you are still reading, thanks! I know I put a lot of stuff out there! But, its something close to my heart. And I believe that no matter how rough our year has been, someone else's has been worse. And what better way to improve everyone's year, than by being a blessing to someone else.
God is Good, All the Time!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Kept Woman

I received this in an email and thought it was a great reminder, so I wanted to share it with you, lest you think I all dropped off the face of the earth!!
You see, there were a few times when I thought I would lose my mind, But GOD kept me sane. (Isa. 26:3)
There were times when I thought I could go no longer, But the LORD kept me moving. (Gen 28:15)
At times, I've wanted to lash out at those whom I felt had done me wrong, But the LORD kept my mouth shut.. (Psa. 13)
Sometimes, I think the money just isn't enough, But GOD has helped me to keep the lights on, the water on, the car paid, the house paid, etc.., (Matt. 6:25 -34)
When I thought I would fall, HE kept me up. When I thought I was weak, HE kept me strong! (I Pet. 5:7, Matt. 11:28-30)
I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure you hear me! I'm blessed to be 'kept ' Do you know a 'kept ' woman? If so pass it on to her to let her know she is 'Kept ' I'm "Kept" by the Love and Grace of God. Have a Blessed Week! Let's keep encouraging one another! "Commit your works to Me and your thoughts will be established." (PROVERBS 16:3)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm sure it was a typo...

...but it doesn't seem that way. I don't know if you know this, but I have been given an award. For what you may ask? Good question! Okay seriously now. I have had been granted this honor by Bina over at Bina's Pad. She won this award and had to pass it on to 3 more people, guess her choices were limited! ;) Okay, I know, I am horrible at receiving any sort of gift or praise with Grace. I am certain that when God lets me into those pearly gates I will say " oh, me? really? I don't deserve that! I yell at my kids, I called someone a name once in 2nd grade, I have spent too much time at church checking out hairstyles instead of focusing on the preacher! Surely someone else deserves it more than me. " Moving on. Here's my beautiful award: So, feeling of course undeserving, I decided to look up the actual definition of the word Humane. It is: Humane: (adj)marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals. Well, I guess its true then. I do feel I am those things. (just not deserving an award for it! ;)) So, Bina, I accept your heartfelt award with many thanks.
  • The rules: 1) To accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his/her blog link. 2) Pass the award to other bloggers that you have recently discovered and think are great! Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
  • I am giving this to Mom with Many names Because if anyone fits that description, it is her!
  • And over at Full Circle, Melissa is also very deserving of this award.

Go ahead and check out those amazing women, and thanks for letting me air my insecurities to you all! ;)

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Family

Sunday showed me something again about our church family. We really are just that. A family. When one of our members is hurting, the whole family hurts, when one is sad, the whole family mourns also. When one needs to be lifted, the family joins hands together to lift that one up. Saturday evening another member of our beloved family went to be with her Heavenly Father. Again, too soon if you would ask those left behind. But that isn't up to us, or them, its up to Him. My sympathies to the friends and families of Karla. And while we hurt, mourn, and wonder why, God never failed to make Himself known. Passages, sermons, and worship songs were selected long before we would know what was about to happen the night before the family gathering at Immanuel. But God knew. And human minds could not have prepared a more fitting service with hope, encouragement and love, so perfectly displayed. God planned both services, there is no doubt. My many thanks to those who heard His call when they planned. For obeying and listening to His heed, and for allowing the Almighty to work through them. 1 Timothy 1: (the Message) 15-19Here's a word you can take to heart and depend on: Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. I'm proof—Public Sinner Number One—of someone who could never have made it apart from sheer mercy. And now he shows me off—evidence of his endless patience—to those who are right on the edge of trusting him forever. Deep honor and bright glory to the King of All Time— One God, Immortal, Invisible, ever and always. Oh, yes!I'm passing this work on to you, my son Timothy. The prophetic word that was directed to you prepared us for this. All those prayers are coming together now so you will do this well, fearless in your struggle, keeping a firm grip on your faith and on yourself. After all, this is a fight we're in.

Happy Halloween... a bit late

It's hard to believe that we have gone from this, just a couple years ago...
Sulley and Boo from Monster's Inc....and the fireman and the princess, even before the monsters came out... these giants! A skateboarder and a snow princess. (we blame her for Friday's surprise snow shower!)
The local college had trick or treating in the dorms on Friday night, so we did that instead, hmmm. walk door to door in 35 degree weather with wind or go inside to the dorms and get more candy every 2 feet. Yup. Good choice!
So, Saturday night we were able to stay home and answer the door for trick or treaters. Maicy takes this job very seriously! Here she waits "patiently" for new goblins to come to the door.
And then she needs a break! That's right...we just keep adding to our dentist bill.