Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Purposeful Life

I have been having a lot tumble around in my heart recently about the purpose of life, and if I'm living up to what I was made for.
We were created to be in relationship with God. We were also created to bring glory to God. That is the end of which all of our actions, words, and thoughts should be focused on. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says, "Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." I have known since elementary school that the chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever but am continually learning what that actually means. I knew there were moments in my life when I was intentionally sinning, but I have not always been so aware of "harmless" things I do that do not result in God being brought glory. The verse says WHATEVER I do I am to do to the glory of God. There are so many areas of my life that I do not do unto the glory of God. If I was created and exist for this very purpose, which I believe with all of my heart and mind, and I do not act in that way then I am not functioning to my full capacity. All other things I do are useless. They are pointless. They are a huge waste of my time. I can't get the picture out of my head of a circle that my life is supposed to look like- and when I act outside of that how ridiculous it looks trying to be a square instead. A square is not the same thing as a circle! And I can't cram my square life through the circle that God has created me to live through. I know that my words cannot convey the frustration in my heart and mind of all the ways that I DON'T GET IT! I know they don't because I have tried a few times lately and I do not feel like people fully understand what I am trying to say. I think there are a lot of cultural things that we accept because it is all we have known and doesn't seem as blatant of a sin as adultery or murder. I DON'T want to live a life that does not fulfill the reason I was created just because what I know is normal. I have had a fierce hunger recently to pour over the words that God gave me in the Bible to know what my life is to look like- not what Christian America tells me. I am slightly frightened by that because I'm pretty sure it is radically different than what it looks like now. I DO NOT want to stand before the throne of God and say- well that's what all the other Christians around me were doing so I thought it was right. I am not to line my life up with others- I am to line it up with HIS word. The lazy side of me is SO overwhelmed by this. But when I submit that to the Lord the Holy Spirit gives me a restlessness that drives me to change.
Even those that don't believe in Christ were created to bring glory to God. It upsets me greatly to think of those that are living their entire lives missing the point of their existence COMPLETELY! No wonder the world is such a mess and people don't have a hope. When I live out my life purpose- then I believe those that do not know their purpose will have their eyes opened to that. When I live to bring glory to God in all areas of my life then God will glorify Himself and I know that includes others calling on His name. Then their lives will be full of purpose and hope as well.
Two of the main things on my mind recently that I see Christians missing their purpose on is politics and sports. I think about the time we take to express our OPINIONS on RIDICULOUS things. Things that will NOT flow over into eternity. If were only so passionate about the name of Jesus, the things on His heart, and his standards as we are about our candidate of choice, sports team of choice, music of choice etc. we would actually see people around us changing. I don't mean to just stop being expressive about the things that don't matter and to be silent. I mean to open our mouths to speak about the things that will matter for the rest of eternity.
I know a part of politics are some of those issues. I just don't see the God created picture of marriage that is to be a reflection of Jesus Christ and HIS bride the church, and the preciousness and value of unborn lives as most of the things people are opening their mouths about. In Acts the early church begged the Lord for words that were His and a confidence to speak them. Acts 4:29, "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bondservants may speak Your word with all confidence." Please, if you are a follower and submitter of your personal will to Jesus Christ- use your words to further the things HE has put value on. Otherwise you are wasting your time and emotion.
I don't think sports needs to be explained much, but then I see it as a huge problem so maybe it should be explained. People are willing to treat a brother or sister in Christ in a terrible way because of a favorite differing college athlete that would not stand up for you in any way for any amount of time. I don't see how this is not clearly a waste of time and emotion. Enjoying sports is not a problem. I like sports a lot. It's when it comes before our call to treat others with love and to have our words seasoned with salt. It seriously blows my mind. I can't get too much into it, because my natural tendency is to become exactly what I despise. Just a question to think about- how much time do MEN in our churches spend talking about sports with each other and how much time do they spend talking about God's word? I pray for a change in this ratio. Men who lead courageously in this will bring Glory to our Heavenly Father. ZERO doubt in my mind.
I do not mean this to be a finger pointing. I tried to open my post with disgust I have with myself over my own failures and how I miss completely my created purpose. I also want to do what Hebrews 10:23-25 calls me to. "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging on another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near."
My family got another chance to hang out with my Ugandan friends on Friday. I have been so blessed by these past few weeks of knowing these women and their little ones. And of course their wonderful translator Hellen. We got to spend some semi-undistracted (Matthew and Andrew were there so all things considered- it was good- haha) time asking Hellen questions.
She gave use some direction on how to go about pursuing adoption from Uganda through a lawyer. I am learning patience already in this process! There were some helpful answers, and there were also just names and email addresses of other people to contact. I am excited to have a little more direction though.
One of the things that overwhelms me is that even once we make these huge decisions, there is still a huge amount of money lacking to make this whole process happen. I was reminded in a conversation with the Lord yesterday that HE is so much more than I could ever imagine. I can trust that HE will be sufficient in all of my emotional short comings, and in all of the administrative details, all of the money that is needed, all of the love and patience I will fail at showering on this child someday in my own power. He wants HIS power to be made PERFECT in my weakness. His perfect power in my life seems like a pretty unstoppable thing if only I would be weak before Him. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weakness, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weakness, with insults with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak then I am strong." Another promise I am holding to is 1 Thessalonians 5:24, "Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass." Adam and I both believe that God has called believers to care for the orphans, James 1:27, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sign of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." We further believe that a part of how He has called our family to take part in this is through adoption. If He has called, then He will be faithful to bring it to pass. I am so grateful that I have a consistent and reliable God and Father that I can trust. I am having to continually remind myself of all of these truths as fear and doubt creep into my mind in the many moments a day I think about all the aspects of this process.
Last little part of the post. Highlights from my family lately.
ANDREW SITS UP NOW! This kid is growing up SO much faster than Matthew did I feel like. I HATE it! I tell him everyday to slow down. He has two bottom teeth that he got in two days which was not so lovely- but they are awfully cute when he grins! He is enjoying toys and watching his older brother dash around and make him laugh.
Matthew is full of adorable and hysterical sayings these days.  First off, we try hard to teach Matthew about Jesus- but I also am so thankful for those that invest in his little life in his Sunday School class and his school class. He comes home saying the things that he learns there and it fills my heart.
Yesterday He made a paper sword and shield in Sunday school (a little boys DREAM!) and was running around the living room in the afternoon saying that God fights our battles for us. Sometimes I am afraid my heart is going to explode. That was not something I taught him. Thank you to the crew that it takes to make Sunday mornings run- you are pouring truth into my little sinful boys heart that I am praying will not return void.
More sweet Jesus moments from Matthew... Each night that I put Matthew to bed I pray for God's hand of protection to be over our house. I believe that there is lots of evil that can happen in the darkness of night and I pray over my little boys each night. One night Matthew prayed, "Hand protect and all my blessings." It is sweet listening to his little voice pray.
One day recently after many cloudy days, we walked outside and it was sunny. I was excited to see blue skis but didn't say anything. Matthew immediately looked back at me and said, "Mommy! Way pretty outside! Jesus made sun." Jesus got the glory for the sunshine from Matthew and not me. That kid keeps me on my toes.
One night while I was fixing dinner, Andrew was playing on the floor and crying. I needed to finish something quickly before going to get him and the next thing I know I see Matthew laying on the floor next to Andrew rubbing his back and singing Jesus Loves Me to him! Once heart was melted into a puddle on the kitchen floor!
A few funny ones...
Matthew is learning what some of his body parts are called. He asked me what his nipples were in the bath one night so I told him. A few minutes later I asked him what they were and confidently said, "my normals!" I giggled and said, "No. Try to remember what mommy said." With just as much confidence he said, "My pickles!" HAHA.
We had the privilege this past Saturday to go to the FSU game against Duke in Tallahassee. Someone let us use their season tickets. I was SO excited for Matthew to go to his first game. Andrew too- but I'm pretty sure he wouldn't care at all about what was going on. Matthew did LOVE all the ritual and hoopla about the game. I loved hearing him do that chant. F-L-O-R-I-D-A S-T-A-T-E. FLORIDA STATE! FLORIDA STATE! FLORIDA STATE! WHOO! His rendition was F-J-R-T-S K-P-E-B-L-T WHOO! So sweet. Those were two tired boys and a tired Mommy Daddy and Mimi after the day was through!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Empty & Filled

I feel very emptied right now. I have been thinking a lot about adoption and speaking to a few different people and still feel like I've gotten nowhere. I know that this process is going to be me continually being emptied of myself, but I didn't think I would feel that SO SOON. I have tears multiple times a day when I either think of how confused I feel, or when I think about our child, wherever he/she is and how badly I want to hold him/her. This baby may not even be born yet! I am so thankful to have Andrew to hold in my arms, but often times I am reminded when I look at him about how helpless he is and how much I want to protect our newest little one. I am continually reminded that the Lord's arms are much more supportive and strong that mine are. His plans are good and no power can overturn them, where as my plans are faulty and powerless. I praying to rest in His sovereignty and love.
I spent all last evening reading the blog of someone that I knew from growing up overseas. Her family spent the past 1 1/2 years in the adoption journey. ( she has tagged adoption posts and those were the ones that I read) The roller-coaster that my heart rode last night was exhausting. I felt sorrow and hope all at the same time. I was feeling low last night as I went to bed. My mind would not forget the story of the Noll family this morning when I woke up.
I have known for a long time that moment by moment surrender is something that I need to be living but in my "easy" "comfortable" life it is far too easy to not live that way. Something in the last couple of weeks that I have realized is that starting down the road of adoption is no longer going to allow me to live in self reliance AT ALL! I need God's words that HE spoke to drowned my heart. I need to be literally ON MY KNEES in prayer for my heart, HIS will, our current family and the little one(s?) who will be added to it.
This morning as I could not shake the heaviness in my heart for things that are on the Lord's heart I knew that I needed to not focus on anything else other than scripture. Matthew is at school and Andrew is napping. Thank you Jesus for time alone to meditate.

Psalm 3:3-6

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory and the One who lifts my head. 

I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain. 

I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. 

I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about.

I continue to breathe only because the Lord sustains me. He sustains me not for my comfort or purposes, but for HIS glory. If HIS will is for our family to expand by adoption HE will give me strength, wisdom, and guidance in that. I am continually left awestruck at how people survive this world without Jesus. I cannot imagine living with out hope. Thank you Lord for saving me.

Please partner with us in prayer:

  • That the Lord would bring into our path the proper people to talk to

  • That Adam and I would both be committed to fervent prayer regarding adoption

  • That the Lord would keep the addition to our family safely in the palm of His hand

  • That anxiety and fear would be far from our hearts (especially mine!)

The two countries that I am looking into are Ethiopia and Uganda. I had the HUGE privilege of spending time with part of a family from Uganda a week ago. This little boy is here for life saving heart surgery. Our church has partnered with Samaritans Purse to host them. The lady in charge asked me if I would be able to spend sometime with these two one day so the host home could get some work done. I was SO excited and SO nervous!

I was told that the mother, Anna, spoke English, but I was not sure how well. I grew up in a foreign country and am used to English spoken differently that in America, but didn't know what to expect. Her son Enimi has not yet had his surgery. 

I went to pick them up in Orange Park. Matthew was in school for the morning and Andrew and I were ready to entertain! As soon as we got there Anna wanted to hold Andrew and love on him. Enimi gave me his sweet smile and a hug and I was hooked! 

We spent all day together and my heart was filled! I am so grateful for the perspective that Anna shared with me, not even on purpose, about so many things I viewed in a non God glorifying way.

I had many feelings about America on the day we hung out. I felt thankful, overwhelmed, disgusted, and embarrassed. 

Anna made mention on our way home as we drove down the construction part of I-295 that she wished they could "take one of those home." I asked, "a tractor?" She said no, "a road." She asked me if we drove everywhere we went. I told her yes. She asked if we ever walked. I said no because things were too spread out. As soon as those words were leaving my mouth I was embarrassed. Things are not too spread out. We are too lazy and busy to be able to walk places!  If there were not so much demand on each day we would be able to take the time to walk to the grocery store, or to church. And besides, its hot here in Florida right?! Well I'm sure this woman from Uganda would give me a pass with that excuse! Ridiculous. 

When we got to our house she immediately complimented me on what a nice home we have. I often and unhappy with the decoration etc. that I am wanting to do more with. I have a mansion compared to her mud hut with no running water or electricity. She looked out our back window and asked what the retention pond was. I told her it was to help with flooding here because it rains so much. Not a problem she has ever encountered. The amount of water that surrounds us is so much more than she has ever seen in her life! I thought to myself- get it together Allison! Crawl out of your self pity hole and be grateful for the abundant blessings God has given you. There was not a twinge of jealousy in anything she said, and yet jealousy often fills my heart. Why do I think I deserve any more than the exact portion God has given me?! Because I am selfish and entitled. Ugh. What an ugly mirror I was looking into.

Anna was amazed that my children each slept in their own room and NOT with me. I knew this was a strange thing for Americans to do, but I was reminded of how much space we have been given, thanks to Adams family, and how much more I could use it for!!

She asked if I was lonely being at home all day without any one else living here with us. I said yes, sometimes I am. I was thankful for her view on community. They live life with one another, not just moments of it.

She shared with me about her family, she has 5 children. She lost one child, 2 days after she was born. They do not know why. I was overwhelmed with sadness for her. She also has Enimi who would surely die without his heart surgery. I said, "I am SO sorry Anna. That is very sad." She said, "It is ok. These things happen. God is in control." WHAT?! There was not a hint of bitterness or anger in her words! I am not sure I would be able to respond with such understanding of God if I were to encounter those situations. I was so thankful to see it through her eyes for that moment. It was great to experience encouragement from a fellow sister in Christ who lives so far away. Even though we did not share many things in common- we did share the most important thing!

We got to bake some banana bread together and eat macaroni and cheese and blueberry muffins for lunch. Enimi commented on how sweet the muffins were! I thought to myself- some of the desserts I make would blow your mind if you think this is sweet! Haha.

Enimi feel asleep on my couch and was so sweet to watch! I have always known that Uganda was a place in need. A professor from college took many trips there and I heard a lot from him. Of course recently Kony has been in the news. There are so many orphans from war, or medical issues. Meeting this sweet spirited little boy made my heart ache even more for this country full of little ones like him that do not having loving parents like he does.

So I am continually emptied and filled by the Lord. I am thankful that He has equipped me for what He has called me to. He is gracious to me.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A Few of My Favorite Things

I have been trying to keep track in my mind lately of all the sweet things that Matthew says or does. Same with Andrew. The list is getting too long to keep memorized so I decided it was time to share with the world, or just log for my own memories. Hope you enjoy these moments as much as I did.
Andrew squeals at the top of his little baby lungs with happy squeals all the time. He is also playing in his bouncer these days and loves to discover all the toys on it. I love watching him learn. He is getting so good at grabbing things. He will reach out and grab anything that comes close to him. It is funny watching Matthew as Andrew reaches out and grabs him as he gets close. Matthew has to be more careful these days! He's not used to someone poking him back. It is also so sweet when Andrew reaches for my face when I'm talking to him. The giggles he gets when I bury my face in his belly and tickle him are priceless. Of course I have to be careful though because his new found grabbing skill does not exclude individual pieces of hair!
Another thing that I can't get enough of is when Andrew watches my shadow on the wall while I change his diaper. It is fun seeing him recognize things that I often ignore or are unaware of.
There are so many wonderful things Matthew does these days. The 2's are hard but so much fun as well!
Every once in a while Matthew will talk about being scared when I go in to get him up from his nap. He always talks about a bad guy. I have always assured him that Jesus will keep him safe and that the bad guy is nothing to worry about. He never seems scared and always seems to respond well to what I say. One time when I went into his room after nap he told me, "Mommy. Bad guy. Jesus take care me." It was so sweet to see him make the connection on his own.
When Matthew tells Andrew jokes I can't help but giggle. Andrew somehow gets a kick out of them even though they are nonsense. No one can make Andrew giggle more than Matthew. An example of Matthew's jokes is, "One day George (Curious George) climb tree. SLKJERIOGHAHLEKDIURHKDHGAIOWEJ. (some sort of nonsense sound) And then the pause so that Andrew knows the joke is done and he can laugh. And it works every time!
When it is time for Matthew to go to sleep I am always a little nervous about if he is going to want to walk upstairs without a problem, or if it will be a struggle. Thankfully he loves to play a game on the way up. He will sit on the stairs and look up at me and say, "Mommy. Get my biskys." One of my favorite things to do is chase Matthew around pretending to pinch his little buns (or biskys :)). So as he dashes up the stairs I pinch his little biskys. He usually can't make it all the way up the stairs without collapsing in laughter. Those days make going to nap time a joy!
We enjoy listening to music and dancing around the house. Recently Matthew has been singing the songs himself. So sweet to hear his little voice while he plays in the living room alone. "Come. Go. To my Father's house." I'm grateful for the sponge he is, and always reminded to be mindful of the things I put before him to soak up.
Not all days of the 2's are wonderful. After an episode of discipline Matthew was upset. He had been crying and was calmed down but still had tears in his eyes. He was standing in the kitchen talking to me and all of a sudden he said, "Mommy. Tear fall down." And pointed to a single tear rolling down his cheek. It was such a sweet sad moment for me. Disciplining is the hardest thing I've ever done. It is exhausting, frustrating, difficult, and constant. It is also a part of the job I signed up for and I know that all of the hard work I put in will hopefully result in Matthew's (and someday Andrew's) good.
Matthew is learning how to go to the bathroom on the big potty. Honestly I'm too distracted and busy to really potty train him, but Adam got it in his head that he was going to get Matthew go to on the toilet and it worked! Matthew will pee on the toilet multiple times a day. Not 100% of the time, but awesome non the less! I'm thankful Adam took this on and was successful. (His next job is get him to do the rest of his business on the toilet!!) Sometimes I don't realize the things I say apparently. One day I was going to the bathroom and Matthew walks in (you are not allowed to go by yourself when  you are a Mom I don't think) and cocks his head to the side and says, "Mommy, potty?" And I say, "Yes Matthew. I'm going pee pee." His face lights up and he says, "OH! Mommy go potty! GREAT JOB! MS? (how he says M&M)" I just had to laugh. I said, "Thanks Matthew! I don't need an M&M but thank you." So apparently I use a higher pitch voice and say GREAT JOB when Matthew goes to the bathroom. The encouragement was much appreciated though. Not often you get encouragement for daily happenings, haha.
As of now I believe Matthew will make a wonderful husband. Why would I say that at when he is still at such a young age? Well, because he is very complimentary of me. He takes time at totally random moments to say, "Oh mommy! PRETTY!" They are such sweet little words to my ears. My favorite is when he tells me that when I'm in my pj's and have bed head.
The other day we were up at church eating lunch with Adam. After lunch Adam and Matthew went into the sanctuary area and were "teaching Bible" on stage. Matthew wanted me to come and sit down to hear him teach. I sat front and center of course. This is how the sermon he preached started. I'm gonna be honest. I'm not sure how it ended because I was laughing too hard. "One day Jesus have it poopies." I mean, I guess it's true. Good reminder from the mouth of a child that Jesus was not only fully God but also fully MAN! Haha.
Matthew has started 2 yr. VPK two mornings a week. It is sad for me. I miss him when he is gone, and when he gets home it is a lot of work for me because of how worn out he is. I think he enjoys his time at school though. It has made it clear to me that at least at this time, my little boy is an introvert. He has always loved just playing with his toys by himself, and being at home. I'm now seeing how much all of that interaction away from home with strangers is exhausting to him. I know part of that is his age, but I believe it is also part of his personality. MAN! This job of parenting is hard- always learning new things. Pretty sure it's the best job in the world though, I guess that's why it's so much work; because the rewards are so great.
And my last moment of this post about Matthew. Today at lunch I was talking close to his face so he could hear me in the restaurant we were at. As I was saying whatever it was to him I noticed myself in his BIG CLEAR BROWN eyes. Those eyes melt me and they were so big and clear that I got distracted from what I was saying because I could see my reflection in them. Just as I realized that I realized that Matthew seemed a little distracted from what I was saying too. But his eyes were still fixed on mine. He got this big smile on his face and kind of moved his head around. I asked him if he could see himself in my eyes. He responded with an enthusiastic YES! It was such a sweet moment. He kept trying to talk to me close so that he could see himself again.
I'm so thankful for my two boys and all of the sweet moments they bless me with each day. The hard moments are always so worth it because of abundance of wonderful ones. Thank you Jesus for these gifts.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mommy, luf you.

Matthew said these words on his own to me for the first time on Saturday as I stood in the kitchen. So sweet. He has said them a few more times since that moment to Adam and Andrew too.
Each morning when he sees me he also says with his little high pitched voice, "Oh! Mommy pretty!" This is usually me in my pajamas and crazy hair. It makes me feel so loved though.
I'm so grateful for a sweet boy with such a tender heart. I pray for him often that this would never change even when he experiences the toughness of the world. I'm thankful for Matthew.

(Story time with daddy before bed the other night)
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Monday, July 23, 2012

Tickle Fights

Tonight Matthew and I got in the biggest tickle fight we have ever had. I was genuinely laughing-not just the fake mom laugh. And earlier I had been tickling Andrew and he was giggling back at me. My heart was so full in these moments.

Now I am sitting upstairs in Andrews dark room holding him in my arms as he sleeps. I don't want to put him in his bed just yet. With Matthew I was so worried about getting the mom thing right that I missed a lot of these moments with him. I am soaking them up with Andrew. There is something so perfect about his completely relaxed sleeping body in my arms. A trust that I never want to betray.

Downstairs I hear Matthew playing with Adam, Nate, and Laura. (our intern-family this summer). I am blessed to have people that spend time with my children and love them well.

Recently I have been overwhelming grateful for the health of my sweet boys. I know this is not something I am promised and it is not something everyone gets to experience. I do not want to take it for granted. Thank you Jesus for these 2 blessings. On days when my job is more than I think I can handle-thank you that their smiles, giggles, and hugs can turn everything around so quickly!!

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

I forgot!

Here are the pictures! Oops! :)

Dedication Time...


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Last full day in CR

The team had a great time at church today. Right after church they helped with the thrift store. Then the team went straight over to the house for the dedication.

Adam said that the family the house was for is an elderly lady with Alzheimer's and her son who cares for her. The lady wore a dress and put in lipstick for the occasion. And the son brushed her hair for her to make sure she looked her best. He said it made him cry. I stole some picture from Jill, a friend from Jacksonville that is down there studying Spanish and spent a few days with the team.

The team used the extra money that was raised for the trip to buy the family new mattresses which was a huge blessing because otherwise they would not have had any at all.

The time of prayer and dedication for the house went great.

The team went into town after that. They prayed outside of a brothel there first. This is a huge "nicer" one in town. I don't remember if I've said this before but prostitution is legal in Costa Rica. So heartbreaking.

After that the team did some shopping in the market and was on there way home when Adam called, around 8 tonight. Another long day for the team.

Tomorrow they come home! :) Pray for safety in travel and a good nights rest tonight before what will be another long day tomorrow.

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Costa Rica Saturday/Sunday

Yesterday the team finished the house! Today they are going to church and then going over to dedicate the house. All the students on the trip decided to give $1 each to give the family some rice and beans to stock their home. I'm so proud of how the students are loving the poor.

Today they are also helping after church with a thrift store the church has of items that teams leave when they are done with their trips. The money goes to help support things the church does for the community.

After all of that is done the team is going to a little market to do some shopping and then heading home for their debrief.

Tomorrow the team will clean up the team house and head out to be at the airport around noon. The team gets back to Orlando around 5:30 I think. I'm guessing they will be back to The Shop around 8:30 or 9. Make sure you're there on time to pick them up for 2 reasons. 1. They will be tired and ready to get home. And most importantly 2. I WANT ADAM HOME! :)

Continue to pray for health, safety, and team unity as the trip is almost over and it would be easy to fall apart now!

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Costa Rica Friday

The team had a good free day. They swam, rode horses, and zip lined. The trip to the ranch didn't get to happen.

Today the team is trying to finish the house so it can be dedicated. They also will do the feeding center and some painting of some local school classrooms. At night they are going to be doing something for the local church youth group.

The thing Adam really wants to happen today is that the house be finished. Pray for strength, energy, and good weather to get this accomplished.

He says that everyone is healthy and doing great. Hope you all enjoy your weekend! :)

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Friday, July 13, 2012

Costa Rica Thursday

I talked to Adam as I was falling asleep last night and planned to write on here when I woke up in the middle of the night to feed Andrew but he slept all the way until this morning! :) So sorry (only a little) that this didn't come sooner. Haha

Adam said yesterday they did the frame and roof for the house. They also did kids clubs which went much better than the day before. While they were sharing the gospel they decided to do a prayer wall behind the kids to sandwich them in between the person presenting. Adam said that was good. The kids got to have a bunch of good conversations with people. They also took the rest of the team that hadn't been yet to the coffee field.

Today is the teams free day. They are waking up early and going to a resort somewhere to swim and ride horses. Hopefully they have a great day of rest before their last few days of work. They have been working really hard! 6:8 is planning on opening a ranch type place for kids that need homes. This land that was recently purchased is right near the resort so they will ride over to that and pray for the land and and the work that will happen there.

Pray today that the team will have fun together and get to relax. Pray that they would be sensitive to the Costa Ricans around them and take opportunities to share the truth with them even though it is their day "off".

Only a few more days until they get back. Crazy!

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Costa Rica Wednesday

Adam called tonight. He said it was another long day. Today they taught English, did Kids Clubs, and cleaned up in what he described as "the worst place he's ever been."
The English Camps went great he said. It was the first time 6:8 had tried to do a mobile English Camp. That made for some challenges and flexibility but Adam said Amy did a great job leading it. There was a mixture of kids and adults that came.
The Kids Clubs were harder today. They went to one club that seemed to show some opposition. The team was great through the whole thing though. It is comforting to know that we are promised that things will not be easy for the sake of Jesus' name. Adam says the kids are doing SO amazing and he is very proud of them. Working hard to get whatever task that is laid before them accomplished.
A group of students went to an abandoned coffee field that is the worst place Adam has ever been. He visited this place when he went down a few months ago and said the same thing about it then. This coffee field is the most evil place he has ever experienced. His exact words were that he "hates Satan." This was with tears in his eyes and disgust in his voice. Satan has such a hold on the people that live and interact in this field. It is a breeding ground for prostitution, drug use, and brokeness. It is filthy in all uses of the word.
The team went in to clean up trash and pray for the people and redemption of the land for Jesus' name. Adam said that the students were broken and weeping over it. I have to add a little of my heart here. I cry as I type this because I want the students that we work with, more than anything, to be all about the name of Jesus. I want them to see the true brokeness of the world. I want them stretched so far out of their comfort zones that their lives will be completely disrupted for the causes of the Kingdom! I'm sure as a parent this is a scary thing to read. I have two very little boys of my own, but pray every single day that these two boys that God has entrusted to me would be released at the right time to turn the world upside down for HIS glory. Once again- this is not said without tears. I realize that a life lived for ourselves is wasted. A life lived for Jesus (even if it is uncomfortable) will be eternally rewarded. Each day of the trip, and many leading up to it I have prayed for the team that they would never be the same because of what they encounter.
When Adam told me of the trip to the coffee field I felt that this was exactly the thing I was praying in advance for them about. All through out the Bible, from beginning to end, God is about ONE thing. HIS GLORY spreading through out the earth. From the description Adam gives me of this abandoned field- this place needs a radical heavenly disruption. God's presence is not void in this field, but it is suppressed. In the end of Romans 1 we see that God is evident in the hearts of men and the creation around them. They are without excuse. We need to pray urgently for the people living in sin in this abandoned field. We need to beg God to shine HIS light into this dark dark place. May the students on this trip be that light during this week there, but also for us to think past just the time we have children invested in the setting. This place will still be dark and in desperate need of Jesus long after the students return home, settle back into school, and Christmas comes. We must never forget those in places unreached that need Jesus. Please don't be involved in such things only because your kids are there, or you supported someone that went. Be involved because these are things that God's heart breaks for, no matter what time of day, month or year. This is always on the heart of God.
I feel like somehow I got off track from just the things that Adam told me about but I am not sorry for that. :) The unreached people that have never heard the name or love of Jesus are at the center of my heart and the thing that gets my blood boiling, my heart racing, tears flowing and my adrenaline pumping. When I see prayers being answered, or needs being revealed I just can't help myself! I don't know what it is that God has laid on your heart that HE can't stand and wants you to not be able to stand either- but I urge you to search your heart for that and put action to the holy discontents that God has given you. We are just empty vessels to be used by Him. A life lived for any other purpose is a waste.
I think that prayer is needed for the team tonight. Be fervent and urgent in the things you request of the Lord. Make HIS glory the center of your pleas.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Costa Rica Tuesday

Adam called tonight with a quick update.

He said this is the busiest he has ever been on any trip he's ever taken! The team works hard all day long with only a short lunch break.

The team is building a house for a family that was in need. Adam said this house was the nastiest house he'd ever seen. They did demolition all of Monday and there were animals, roaches, and trash all over the place. Today they laid the foundation of the new house. They had to mix the cement themselves-every part of it is hard work. Pray for the family that will live in this house. Pray that as the foundation was laid today that this household would be one that would honor and bring glory to God's name.

The other part of the team that was not doing construction was in charge of kids clubs (PUC). They went to three different little villages/neighborhoods today. They got to share the gospel in each of these clubs.

Everyone is staying super busy. Adam says that everyone is healthy and getting along great. The team is really working well together.

The theme verse of their trip is Acts 20:24. The team is working on making the focus of all they do JESUS! That their lives would be of no value to themselves. It only holds value when it is all about Jesus Jesus Jesus.

Pray for stamina as the days they are working are long and difficult. Pray for continued health and team unity! Also continue to pray for the hearts of those the team encounters. Pray for seeds to be planted, and also for harvest to be had. Pray for God's glory to overwhelm the people of Costa Rica. Pray that HIS name would be made famous. That is what it is ALL about.

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Sunday, July 8, 2012


2 weekends ago I got to go on the College Retreat with Adam and the boys. As always- it was exhausting trying to do life as normal outside the house with 2 little ones, but all the students were SO great helping with the boys. I had a GREAT time. 

I got to hear Adam teach for the first time in a LONG time and it was really exciting. He taught on having a "Much More" life. Living for all that we've been saved for. He did a case study on John the Baptist. One part of what he was talking about was that John knew exactly who he was, and knew his purpose. It reminded me of my poor forsaken blog. :) I want this to be a place where others can see my life as I try to live as a jar of clay, a dixie cup. Something that has no worth other than what fills it. I want Jesus to be what is displayed in my life. My whole purpose is to bring glory to God. 

Life has been crazy with 2 little boys. They are the sweetest things though! Matthew is talking up a storm and learning manners, how to obey, and he is SO sweet to his little brother. He is so proud of him. Andrew is the easiest, happiest baby! He only cries when it is time to eat, and even then it is a little tiny whimper. He adores his big brother and smiles SO big when Matthew talks to him. He also follows his voice wherever he is. I am so very blessed. I pray often that this sweet friendship they have now will continue as they grow up.

Adam is busier than ever with trips to India, and Costa Rica with all sorts of things filling the times in between. I'm very much looking forward to some sort of calm in the Fall (maybe- somehow things always seem to be crazy.)

One of the biggest highlights of the summer for us is that we now have 2 new members of our family. Nate and Laura are Adam's two interns this summer and we have added them to the family. It is so fun to have them around. They are both SO sweet and SO good with the boys. The highlight of my week is our family dinner and game night. Each Monday night we have them over for dinner and we are playing a running game of Spades through out the summer. Girls vs. Boys. Laura and I are winning!  Hopefully this lasts all summer. I'm not sure I've ever beat Adam in anything so this would be a huge wonderful victory for me! Haha.

Glad to be back in the blogosphere. We'll see how often I can keep up with this with the craziness of life...Matthew is awake. Gotta go.

Costa Rica Morning #2

Adam just gave me a call to give me a quick update on their morning.

They went to church this morning and had a great time of worship with the Costa Rican believers. He said the time of singing was GREAT! He also told me that they took communion and it was such a cool experience. The elements were kool-aid and goldfish crackers! :) The pastor did a great job of explaining the reason for taking communion.

This afternoon the team is doing some community building in neighborhoods by talking with people and praying as they walk around. Pray that they will develop good relationships as they meet people, that will continue to deepen as the week goes on.

Tonight the team is playing a soccer game against some of the people from the church they went to this morning. Then they will have a chapel time with the 6:8 team and another debrief time as a CFC team.

Adam told me that the team has been vulnerable and real with each other. The debrief time last night was really great and they are all trying to focus themselves on Jesus! Jesus! Jesus! and to step outside of their desires and selfishness. Pray that the things they experience change them for eternity, not just for their time in Costa Rica.

Hopefully I'll get another update tonight. Til then...

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Costa Rica Day #1

The team arrived safely in Costa Rica. They got to do a few things today. They took a prayer walk around to a bunch of different locations in town. Adam said it was a GREAT time! Be in prayer for all the areas that their time of ministry will reach.

The team had a chapel time with the 6:8 team and then a great time of debrief as a group.

Adam said everyone was in bed early after a long day of travel and an early rise for church tomorrow.

It's pretty neat that tomorrow we worship the same God in two different countries! I'm so grateful that God is the God of all and that He has a jealous, powerful, unrelenting love for the Costa Rican people just as much as he does for me. Remember His greatness as you worship!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012


My family is back together! Adam is home and we are all together again! It is so nice to have "normal" back for a little while. I think normal is actually not-so-normal but I'm just going to enjoy it!
We got home Friday night and had dinner with Adams family to catch up on the 2 weeks we've all been apart. In that time we had all been out of town to some capacity and had a lot to talk about!
I am very blessed by the family I married into. My dad always told me that you marry a family,not just a person. I am so thankful for the family I have acquired with Adam! My father and mother in-law are so great. Truly. They have been above-and-behind helpful from the very first day of our relationship! They love me and the boys so fiercely. My sister-in-law is better than I could've ever created on my own. I never had a sister-and neither did she- but we've got one now and it's pretty fabulous! :) "Mimi" is great. We have similar love languages, personality types, and communication styles which has come in handy multiple times when learning how to deal with my new family. :) Adam always says that he is thankful that we get along-but wishes sometimes that it wasn't SO well because sometimes we gang up on him! :) Today is her 25th birthday! I'm excited to celebrate her later today (much later considering its 3:30 am as I write this)!
Saturday consisted of all sorts of fun for us! We had the Potters over to swim and eat lunch. The kids were so fun at the pool. Matthew now can swim and jump in all on his own all over the pool with the help of his floaties! I'm still not sure how he is getting so big so fast. Part of me wishes I had documented it all but I decided to enjoy the moment and have mental pictures of it all. This was the last day we were gonna have with Potters pre-Naples so I just wanted to soak it up!
That night Adam and I were able to attend the USA Men's National Team VS. Scotland soccer game! It was so fun. That was the first time for Adam and I to be out without the boys. USA dominated the game and we had a WONDERFUL time with friends. So thank you so much to the friends who made the night possible-and for the many laughs-especially in the terrible traffic on the way home!! :) It was good for my heart (and sanity)!

Sunday was so strange only having church in the morning and no other commitments. It was VERY enjoyable though. We spends the afternoon at a graduation party and then just hanging out. We got to go to a friends house for dinner that night. We has good food, and stayed up way past our bedtime playing monopoly deal (which would've been a blast if someone other than Adam would've won every single time)! :)
Monday was Memorial Day. Adam didn't have work, and the most surprising thing was-HE DIDN'T HAVE AN EVENT! We got to spend the day as a family AGAIN! All of this was so good after being apart for 2 weeks!
I'm so thankful and grateful for the men and women who have served our country to give me the freedoms I enjoy. They have come at a high price for so many. My grandpa is a veteran and I know his daily life is very much effected still by his time from being in the service. I'm thankful for his sacrifice. I am saddened to think of all the values I hold that seem to be fading from our country and I pray that as these soldiers continue to fight for freedom that we would use that for the greatest good...
For Memorial Day weekend in Florida we had a hurricane. It was not bad at all (at least as far as we experienced) but it did rain A LOT. So in the morning on Saturday we needed some indoor entertainment. Off to the mall for fountain-penny throwing we went! It was a good couple hours of entertainment that involved staying out of the weather. We got home just as another bucket of rain fell out of the sky!
The Harby's came for lunch. It is hard to believe the last hurricane days we had were 4 years ago! We spend them at the Harby's house playing Settler's of Catan. We each had new puppies running around. Annie will be 4 next Monday! Crazy how time flies!
I spent the afternoon cooking in preparation for having Adam's summer interns for dinner (and one of their families). We had a great time visiting with them. I'm NOT looking forward to how much Adam will be gone and busy this summer-but I AM excited about spending time with Laura & Nate!

I also sneaked in some snuggle time with Andrew! :)

Later on today Peyton will be coming by to play for the last time as a Jacksonvillian. I know Matthew probably doesn't understand what her moving means but it makes me SO VERY SAD!
Kristen's friendship to me has many times kept me sane in the journey through motherhood. I appreciate her encouragement, her failures (it's good to know others mess up once in a while too), her perspective, her ability to get Matthew to eat whatever she has (no matter what it is he will try it for Kristen!), and the way she pursues me as a friend.
Matthew and Peyton really do love each other. The way their faces light up when they see each other, and the hugs they share are so sweet. Matthew talks about Peyton and her mommy and daddy everyday. There is going to be a huge hole in our lives with them gone. I am already jealous of the people that will get to be their friends and see them on a daily basis in their new home! I WILL be taking lots of pictures of their last play date! So you can expect to see those later...

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Home Sweet Home

We are out at the airport watching more planes take off and land. The sound of a helio makes my heart feel at ease. Growing up across the street from the airport in Indonesia and hearing Helios take off and land all day long make it a sound that is wonderful to my ears! I'm so glad Matthew loves it too.

This morning Andrew was full of heart-melting smiles. And just when I thought it couldn't get any sweeter-Matthew came in and snuggled with his brother!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Surviving the Weekend

I made it! I survived the Potters going away party. I survived packing Sunday afternoon, going to the beach baptism, leaving straight from the beach and going to SC and now arriving in NC.
The Potters going away party was fabulous and sad all at the same time! Our theme was to welcome them to Naples. Home of the old, rich, retiree. I think we did a pretty good job! Haha. We had a time of sharing stories about the Potters and prayer. There were tears but many more laughs!! I'm sure you can see why!

Just a few shots of the party.

We are some good looking old people!
The rest of these pictures are courtesy of Christi Galy.

The old lady hosts of the party

Livin' the dream


Did I mention that they didn't know there was a theme?!

We are blessed with great friends!

Adam took care of Matthew in the morning while we set up. When they arrived at the party Matthew was dressed up too!! I couldn't stop laughing. He looked like he was straight out of Gilligan's Island!

Best Friends...

Story time...

Prayer time...

Adam got to go with Matthew on the boat :)

Sweet friends-you are going to be missed!
On Sunday after church we cleaned up the house and packed then headed out to the beach baptism.
Every single time I've been to a beach baptism our church has had-the waves have been outrageous! This time was no different! I'm happy to still have Adam with us! (slightly joking)
Our wonderful "daughter" Lauren got baptized. Lauren was in my small group when she was in high school. Adam and I both became very close with her and consider her family. She attends college in town and we couldn't be more thrilled about it because we get to see her all the time!!
I am so proud of Lauren. She has grown up a lot over the past few years. Lauren loves Jesus with all of her heart. She aims to please HIM in everything she does and she shines HIM everywhere she goes. I have seen her be such a blessing in her friends lives, to her junior high small group of girls, to her co-workers, and to my family. Matthew LOVES "Ra-Ra" and gets excited whenever he sees her! I am so privileged to have had Lauren placed in my small group and then to have that relationship develop into such a beautiful friendship.
Getting to listen to Lauren give her sweet, vulnerable, and honest testimony in front of so many others was so exciting! Adam had the privilege of baptizing her.
I'm so excited to see how God uses Ra-Ra to change the world for the glory of HIS name! We love you Lauren...
After the baptism we piled in the car and drove to SC. We arrived at midnight and my mom met us and stayed the night with us in the alumni center at CIU. I felt very old as I realized I've been out of college for 4 years and I now have 2 kids. I don't so much fit in on campus anymore! Where does time go?!
Monday morning we left Adam at CIU and drive with my mom to their house in NC. I'm so excited to spend the week here with my family.
Yesterday we went up to see then"pwanes" fly-as Matthew says. He is obsessed with planes in the sky but I thought it would be fun to have him see them take off and land. He describes the landings as "crash ka-booms" so I'm not sure that's good :) but he really enjoyed it!

While we were there he saw a memorial plaque that looked like a podium so he insisted on "teach Bible." We all had a good giggle from that!

Andrew has been his amazing little baby-self this whole time. :) Just a little picture of him...He's soooo long!

This morning everyone got to sleep which was lovely! I prepared dinner early so that my mom and I can scrapbook during the boys nap time today. Now Matthew and I are enjoying outside while Andrew snoozes away.

I'm very much looking forward to this week. I just wish Adam could be here with us!
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Saturday, May 19, 2012


As I have been on my own this week-Matthew has decided to make it difficult. I was feeling very worn down from the constant discipline that was having to happen. On Thursday I read in Proverbs 22:15 "Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child;
The rod of discipline will remove it far from him." This verse went through my head all day! I was telling my mom that I was looking for surrounding verses or footnotes that would tell me how long it was going to take to drive it far from him! :) It was a hard day-but the truth of that verse kept me consistent in my discipline of Matthew. There was a sweet moment of the day that I did capture a picture of. We were all snuggled together watching Veggie Tales-Matthew loves to hold hands when he's watching tv. I love it!

Friday I prayed for energy. Adam was coming home-but not until dinner time and I needed a little something extra to get me through. The verse that I prayed all Thursday night was, Lamentations 3:21-23, "This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness." And God was faithful-Matthew was the most obedient he had been all week on Friday! It was a LONG day waiting for Adam to get home but it was a good one. I am SO thankful.

We played outside with the water table-well more in the puddle than anything! :)

He also enjoyed chillin' in his lawn chair for a while. :)

Matthew woke up from his nap and was in hysterics because he wanted to see daddy-but daddy wasn't home yet. All he wanted me to do was hold him. We ended up waiting outside for about 15-20 minutes after his nap for daddy. He did not want to wait inside-he was much too excited for that. Only he kept crying because he wanted to see Adam so bad! It was very sweet- and stressful at the same time. I was having to get really creative to fill those LONG 20 minutes of waiting!

Finally Adam got home and Matthew was squealing with joy! :) I'm glad his daddy is back home. It's not the same or good without him here!
We spent the evening having friends over for dinner-and making preparations for a party we have tomorrow. A sad party. The Potter's going away party. :(

Peyton is Matthew's best friend and she is moving away at the end of the month.

Peyton's parents happen to also be our good friends too. :/ I am SO sad that they are leaving! I'm sure today (it is the wee hours of it) is going to be filled with laughter and tears. I'm so very grateful for what the Potter's have meant in our lives and am going to miss their presence here in Jacksonville. Hopefully there will be lots of visits made and our friendship will continue to develop across the distance. Wow-my heart is filled with sadness... Hopefully I'm not a hot mess all day!
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Wednesday, May 16, 2012


First I wanted to post a picture of my little boy napping yesterday. I realized yesterday that I hadn't let Andrew nap on me recently and those days will soon be gone so I took the afternoon nap time to snuggle! It was fabulous!

Ok- as for today... I felt like a failure of a mom this morning as Matthew seemed to be wildly out of control. In spite of that I had to go to the store so off we went-hoping there would be good behavior. And...there was! In 2 hours I got to Costco AND Publix. IN THE RAIN!! And Andrew didn't have to eat until we got home. Then I felt like super mom. :) I think Matthew was a little overwhelmed with how many times I praised him for being so good at the store! Hopefully he gets the point that good behavior makes me happy.

Tonight I got more goodness poured into my heart. Over the past year I have been in a small group with 4 wonderful women and 2 mentors. It is the first small group I have ever been a part of and I couldn't have asked for a better one! Each of us are at different stages of life. It ranges from little ones to grandma-and someone at each stage in between. We had our final meeting tonight. It was a comfortable and safe place as usual-but it was also a little sad tonight. We are going to continue on as a discipleship group-but our 3 mentors will not be with us anymore.

I have learned so much from each of these women over the last year. I have learned how to be a part of a real group of women that struggle, celebrate, and are learning right along with me. These women are willing to carry each others burdens in prayer. They continually remind me of what God's word has to say about what is happening in my life. They also are living proof that toddlerhood is survivable! :) I have been so blessed by these unlikely yet wonderful friendships I have formed! I am going to miss them so much over the summer while we aren't meeting. Ladies-if you ever see this-I am thankful beyond words for you and I love you. God has been gracious to me in the provision of you in my life.

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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Moon Shine Down

When Matthew was born someone gave us the book The Moon Shines Down. It is by the same person that wrote Goodnight Moon. The pictures in it are beautiful!
Recently that has been his favorite book-we read it at least 4 times a day. I have it memorized and so does he. I love to stop reading and hear him finish the sentence for me. :)
Of course that was his choice before bed tonight, "Moon Shine Down"- so we all piled in the chair to read. All on his own Matthew held Andrews hand-the WHOLE time. It was so sweet to me! He loves his brother so much-I love watching it. I hope that it continues throughout their lives!

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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Snapshots of my day

A few pictures from my Mother's Day...

Adam and I promising to raise Andrew according to God's word. Doug prayed for him. What a blessing.

I got a FABULOUS gift from the boys in my life- a bracelet! I love it! So far I have a heart charm that says MOM and two little boys that say BROTHERS on the bottom of it. My wonderful husband brought me flowers. I always enjoy flowers but these are going to be extra appreciated because he left today for 5 days! And finally...I got to take a wonderful nap. Matthew and Andrew did too. It was so refreshing!

Since I am a single mom this week I am going to have to be wise and efficient with my time! So-my first way of doing that was to have the boys take a bath together for the first time instead of trying to find time for 2 separate baths. It was a success! I'm excited for the day that the boys will have fun playing together in the bath! Matthew had fun splashing and Andrew survived. I think I've bought myself a few extra minutes in a day...

As you can see-I had a great day!

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My job

I have had a rough last couple weeks at my job. I have felt completely inadequate for it. Matthew has been a handful and unfortunately it's usually when my hands are full with Andrew.
The other day I had run out of ways that seemed to get through to him before lunch time. It was very frustrating. I was angry and not loving like I should've been. I was so happy when nap time came! Normally on a hard day-by the time nap time is over I'm ready to have him up again. This day I still wasn't ready. I decided that we needed to just sit on the couch together as he woke up so that we could snuggle and have some good moments together. It was good for me! I realized in that time he had already forgotten-or at least forgiven the earlier part of the day. I was amazed at the lovingness of little ones. There was no grudge carried over after his nap time. He has not learned to harbor things yet. He loves me like crazy no matter what right now! I learned a lesson from Matthew that day.
As mothers day is here I am more aware than ever of the fact that this is a high calling I have-and a more difficult one than anyone prepares you for! All that I thought motherhood would be about is just the tip of the iceberg. I need God's grace and wisdom each moment as I try to raise boys that will grow up to bring glory go God in everything they do. This task seems impossible to me at the moment because all I feel like I can see right now is the huge obstacle of their lack of salvation! I pray hard for them to know Jesus-even at such young ages. I do not want there to be a time in their life that they look back on and realize they wasted it for causes other than those of Jesus. Consistency is key-but it is so hard to do when there seem to be no results at the moment. Boy-I realize how impatient I am! Being a model of Jesus to these boys is a BIG task!
I am thankful-even though it is hard-that these two little boys are tools for my sanctification. They are a handful but they are also such a joy. Matthews sweet little voice melts my heart. Yesterday at the pool he ran over to me and said "Mommy! Tiss! (kiss)" His giggle makes me laugh! How proud he is of block towers he makes,or how he lines up his cars, and just wants to show them off to me makes me feel so prized. The way he holds my neck when I hold him, and how he holds my hand whenever we sit together literally make my heart feel like it is going to explode! And Andrew. He is still so tiny and sweet. When his big eyes look at me it gets me every single time! I love when he falls asleep on me-or when I'm the only one who can calm him down. Having to feed him every few hours is tiring but it is also such an honor to be such a vital and important part of his life. Getting to watch his sleepy little face at night after I put him in bed is a favorite of mine!
Today we dedicated Andrew back to the Lord at church. It is the only place I want him and I know I am less than capable on my own to make anything worthy of him without the Lord's help! I am so thankful to have a husband that loves our boys so well-and is on the same page as me on how we are to raise them and what we want our family priorities to be.
Today I recognized that I am beyond blessed and beyond overwhelmed with this beautiful responsibility I've been given. I am also so thankful for my own mother who is such an example of selfless love and sacrifice. Happy mothers day to all those moms out there that feel tired, overwhelmed, and extra blessed!
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Tuesday, May 8, 2012


Poor little Andrew has problems with gas build up in his tummy. It is always worst at night before bed and after the earliest morning feeding. It is the saddest thing to watch because he is obviously in so much discomfort and there's nothing to do about it.
We have heard miracle stories from friends about taking babies to the chiropractor-so we figured we'd give it a try to see if it would help him feel better.
Today Dr. Shaw adjusted Andrew. It was the most delicate little adjustment ever. :) She was just a chiropractor I found online and was kind of nervous to not have a personal referral to her but she was SO WONDERFUL! And so was all of the staff there.
Andrew slept all day after getting his adjustment-and I had to change lots of diapers! :) I think things are working a lot more smoothly now and he seems to rest so much more peacefully. I'm so grateful. Hopefully he continues to improve. This morning feeding that he is doing as I write is going SO much better than usual! Praise the Lord. Our bodies are such intricate things. I'm so thankful for babies with good health-and for a way to help them that is not just medicine. Yesterday I tried to feed Andrew for 40 minutes and he was so uncomfortable he only could get about 8 minutes of eating total because of his gas. I'm so grateful that this seems to be working. Happy baby=happy mommy. Now if we could get obedient toddler it would equal a much happier mommy! :) One thing at a time I supposed...

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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Zombie Mode

There would've been more posts since the last one if I knew how to use the app on my phone. I have typed up many entries only to have them deleted because I didn't know how to save them. My anger/frustration would lead to not retyping my post-and you not having anything to read. I think I have figured it out now so hopefully that won't happen anymore!! Hopefully...
Our computer has also been broken for a few months. We now have a new computer and it is wonderful! I am enjoying getting to know its new features. Yesterday I face-timed my parents from the computer! :)
Since the last time I successfully posted was in January-you can imagine that a lot has happened. Matthew sleeps in a big boy bed.

He is also talking up a storm! I think his little voice is so sweet (most of the time). Haha. The way he pronounces words with a little lisp is precious to me. The boy loves to tell stories! When he, is he does this thing in between words that sounds like "uh uh"and a laugh-because he is so into and excited about what he's saying.
He is learning how to have first time obedience. When his little voice says "sorry" it melts my heart. We are also trying to teach him manners. He's pretty good at saying please. He will say thank you when you remind him, which sounds like "wah wook." Not sure where that comes from but to me it's sweet.
Matthew is also now a big brother... And an excellent one at that!
Andrew Caleb joined us on March 30th at 5:05 AM. He was 8 lb. 6 oz. and 21 3/4 inches long. The delivery went great.

I am so blessed to have been given two sweet little boys to care for.

Meeting Andrew for the first time.

My three boys

On our way home!
Since we have been home things have been much easier than I expected. Matthew had/has some obedience issues but he has always been sweet to Andrew which I am so thankful for! I'm sure his disobedience has something to do with being 2 now! And of course because he is a sinner. At least he gives me many reminders a day to pray that he will know Jesus at a young age!

Andrew is a great baby! He fell into a schedule so easily. I never knew how you could love one child as much as another-but I'm thankful that I do now! I crave the snuggly moments with Matthew as I read him books or lay with him in bed as he wakes up. I also love the snuggle times with Andrew when Matthew is napping and it's just our time.
I get so excited thinking about Matthew and Andrew becoming friends as they grow up. Matthew is such a sweet big brother. I look forward to seeing what this looks like as they get older.
I have heard many stories from friends and people I don't know recently of children lost. Whether it was before they have been born or after. I feel so sick to my stomach when I hear about these things. I know how precious my boys are to me and am deeply sad for those that have lost those children that they have loved with the same intensity. It reminds me to be verbally thankful to the Lord for his gifts to me. I cannot imagine going through the loss of a child. I know that he provides grace and strengthen for those moments but I cannot imagine experiencing that. I am blessed by many of these people's testimonies to God's faithfulness to them-and their confidence in his plan and care for their little ones. Should I ever be put through that trial I pray I respond like them. Jesus is lifted higher and that is obvious. I did not mean for any of that to be depressing but it is something that has been in my heart lately-thankfulness for my boys and my heartbreak for those who have lost children.
I did experience my own temporary loss 2 weeks ago with the death of my grandpa. He had been battling Parkinson's. I am so thankful that even though his battle was suffering-he did not suffer very long compared to what it could be. The confused state that he lived in because of the fogginess of his mind and the pain and inability because of his failing body makes it impossible to not rejoice in his being taken out of that suffering. And when I know that this Jesus-loving, Jesus-focused man is now living with Jesus I can be at peace! We traveled to NC for his memorial service. It was a very precious time celebrating who my grandpa was with all the family and friends that got to attend.

Since being home from NC we have been keeping busy! Lots of time playing outside and spending time with friends. It is starting to feel like summer so water events are fun but not too miserable yet! :)

This weekend it is just me and the boys. We have 2 birthday parties so we should stay pretty busy!

This post was pretty random and covered a large period of time but it feels good to have written. I am now nursing in the middle of the night and apparently my Facebook friends are not awake to post things all night to keep me entertained so it is a great time to blog! Also-if things don't make complete sense-please was written in the middle of the night! :)

Until next time...

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