Tuesday, November 20, 2012

depraved indifference

i recently attended a Global Impact Conference at my church and came away completely aware of how comfortable we can get. as christians we often make our checklist of things we do for God: go to church, be kind to people, give our 10%, serve one sunday a month in sunday school, make sure our kids are well behaved, and make sure people always see the smile on our face to show how "good" our life is. is it to blunt for me to say we're missing it! i totally think we are missing the depth of which God has called us to as his children. He wants so much more for us.  the deeper plans God has for us are often dangerous, uncomfortable, and seemingly impossible in our own strength. as christians how can we know there is so much need out there and still do nothing. instead of doing the wrong thing we do nothing. which is worse? i'd like you to watch this video and see if it doesn't make you want to go deeper with God and see what he has for you? even in what seems like chaos i can still go deeper. i need to go deeper with the Lord. There is so much more He has for me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

James 1:2-4

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, no lacking anything." James 1:2-4

go back and read that again. i know most of us have read that verse many times. usually when i read it i focus in on "consider if pure joy...". isn't that what we are told to do "count it all joy"? i'll admit that some days it seems impossible to have joy. joy is definitely the quality i would ask God for if i could ask for anything. i so focus on my circumstances way to often instead of the great big God who is in total control of my circumstances.

but this morning i was reading this verse with k (no longer little k because he is 5 and huge) and the part that stuck out to me was "so that you may be complete and mature." i've never thought about the fact that trials, which develops perseverance, which makes me complete and mature. meaning i have to go through those trials and testings of my faith to be made complete. reading it that way, why would i NOT want the trials. my prayer this morning has changed from "God deliver me from these trials" to "God use these trials to mature me and bring me closer to you".  we are going to face many many trials in our life. that is a given. and we should choose joy no matter our circumstances. it's a little easier to choose joy when i think that these trials are making me complete in Christ.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


as a mom with 4 kids adopted from hard places i have set through thousands of hours of doctors and therapy appointments. some days i think i should have a doctorate already in counseling. other days i feel like i need my own therapy for all the therapy i attend and all that i talk about over and over and over and over and over again...get the picture. lately with everything that has been going on with our family i have been asked about 50 times what i do to relieve stress. honestly, i don't really have a good answer. i can answer all the text book answers: deep breathing, go to my happy place, count to 10, a "time out". but let's get real, in the moment none of those things work. lately coffee has been my biggest stress reliever. that and sitting by the warm fire. i didn't start drinking coffee till i became a mom. ha!

over the past several months one of my favorite things to do has become working out, more specifically lifting weights. there is just something very liberating about working your way up to lifting half your body weight, or being able to do 1000 reps in under 30 min. i try to go to the gym at least 3x a week but with everything going on lately it's been more like 1x a week. i so very miss it. never thought i would be that person that "misses" the gym. for me, the gym is my therapist. with every lift of that ridiculous bar that i know will only bring me pain tomorrow feels so great. i feel like i'm currently in the best shape of my life. it's the one thing i feel like i get to do for me that no one can interfere with. i love that my gym has free childcare and k loves to go with me in the mornings. the past week i've been working too hard and oh how a massage sounds so great right about now. i think that could be therapeutic too. 

here are a few other stress relievers i have come to use:

a good haircut
christmas music
watching FRIENDS
crafting (i craft at inappropriate times when my house is chaotic)
washing dishes
playing the piano
coffee date with girlfriends
a good movie date with my incredible hubby

Monday, November 12, 2012

a single moment

a 10 second moment could be all that you need. that one look. that one smile. that one hug. that one "i love you". it catches you by surprise and usually comes after a moment that you thought left you 10 steps behind. but there it is. those expectations i was talking about earlier, not only are they met but superseded. and for a moment you got a piece of your child that you thought was stolen but God is the great Redeemer. to go back in time just for a second and lay a brick that i wished i could have laid from the beginning. God in his infinite goodness gave us that moment this evening and i am so very thankful and blessed. it wasn't big and it could have so easily been missed. thus making me very grateful for experiencing that moment with my child and with my husband. i pray that it is only one of many such moments.

no expectations...are you kidding me?

as a parent you say to yourself "i'm going to love my child no matter what? they could never do anything that would make me look at me different." as an adoptive parent we are told not to have any expectations of our kids. most of them come from hard places and it would be challenging for any of them to reach our expectations. at the beginning b and i had no idea what we were doing. we didn't have any expectations because we wouldn't have even known what expectations to have. we had been working towards adopting for a few years so we were filled with the extra grace and patience it would take to parent these kids from hard places. we felt very prepared at the beginning. we took the PATH classes, read all the books, sought counsel from everyone we knew. we just loved on our kids. it was challenging but God really moved through us. it was His grace that poured out of us.

now we are almost 3 years into being a family and those expectations that we for so long said we didn't have...yeah, we have them now. we are trying so hard not to because we know that 3 years is still only a drop in the bucket. but honestly, the expectations have crept in. we long to be able to plan more than 2 days ahead. we wish we could plan a fun family outing and know that it will be wonderful. i even have expectations of myself. surely i should be more organized by now. shouldn't my house be in much better shape than it is? we should be so much further along than we are. but...are expectations i'm finding are unrealistic. i don't know at what point i assumed that it was time for my kids or my life to meet my expectations but it happened. and with those expectations come a deep disappointment when they aren't me. and now we have these expectations but our grace and patience are on empty to fight the same battles. when preparing for adoption and parenting these kids from hard places we plan for the immediate. we don't plan for the long-term. no one says that 5 or even 10 years later it will still be the same. the further along i get in this journey i am realizing that it is not about my expectations even though i have them. it's about my obedience to what God has asked me to do. and each day is different. God is asking me to walk new roads every day. ones i never though would ever be my life, both for the good and the struggle.

on the complete flip side of my expectations being unmet God is surpassing so many expectations that i never even knew existed. he has given me a peace to walk through doors i don't understand. he has met us each step of the way. and on somedays the moments with my kids are so sweet i can hardly stand it. k has started giving me the biggest bear hugs before he walks into school. my 7th grader has started to sit close to me and let me put my arm around him while we listen to the preacher at church on sundays. my oldest is talking to me about girls (that's an entirely different post). and my husband gets to be home a week for thanksgiving and 2 weeks for christmas. wow! it is all about perspective. so yes i have expectations of my kids and my life. and yes most of those expectations are not met. but God is good and he supersedes my expectations even when i fail to live up to all he desires from me. grace can only come from the one who gives it, Almighty God. i'm working on changing my expectations to have kingdom purpose. for it is all about Him anyways!

Monday, November 5, 2012

it's been so long

yes, i recognize that it has been months. most of you thought i was gone for good...but i'm here today. and is it really november? where has the year gone? seems like just yesterday we were getting ready to head back to school. now we are full fledge into the school year. B is teaching 8th grade science at the local middle school and he is AMAZING!!!! God totally created B to do teach. as his wife it is so awesome to see your husband have a job that he can put his heart into. and B is an incredible teacher who is more than just a teacher but investing in his student's lives. years ago i sat around with 2 friends and we said that it would be awesome if B was able to teach one day. God opened doors and B walked through. i'm so proud of him for working so hard to provide for our family.

one of the big changes we made during the summer was to move churches (again). it was actually a total God thing. we chose to move to a church closer to our house and after the first visit our boys got in the car saying "this is our community! how awesome! we see these people all the time!" that was exactly what we were hoping for. we believe God has a purpose for us here in our community and we have already been fully embraced by our new church family. they have been very supportive over the past few months. our boys are doing well with that change. b and i have actually been able to join a small group something we haven't been able to do since the boys came home. this church also has a really awesome orphan ministry. but what we are most excited about at our new home church is the mission opportunities. this week is actually mission week at our church. our pastor has been doing a series over the past few weeks about missions. last sunday we celebrated orphan sunday and it was amazing to be a part of a church that has such a heart for orphans. and they aren't just talking about it but putting it into action. it was a great reminder for us that our story is not over. God still has plans for us in the orphan ministry. i'm excited to see what His next step is for us. and all this weekend we have over 40 missionaries coming to speak at the church. our family is excited about learning how our church serves God around the world and what opportunities we can join in on. God is working through the crazy!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

a little update

i really do miss writing on the blog. it has brought so much healing for me to look back at what all God has been doing on our journey. and it really is a journey. each day is just another step and we are thankful for each step we take. it may be 3 steps forward and 2 steps back but a step is a step. we continue to grow as a family and work through challenges. it's hard to believe that we are winding down another school year. it's been a crazy year with school having 2 middle schoolers, one still in elementary, and little k starting preschool. we started the school year with a big move and we are so thankful for the house God provided for us. every day we see that God has a plan and a purpose for us right here in our neighborhood. i enjoyed reading an update on my friends blog yesterday and thought i would do the same since it has been so long.

i is finishing up 7th grade and growing about an inch a week. he has worked extremely hard in school and even ran spring track. we've enjoyed cheering him on in the high jump, relays and the 800 meter run. that boy is so fast and so determined. his hope is to play football in the fall. he's also really gotten involved in the youth group at our church and enjoys hanging out with the boys around the neighborhood. i am blessed to see God working so deeply in his heart. he blows my mind sometimes with his deep thoughts and desires for his life to serve God.

j has enjoyed being in middle school this year. he continues to put forth more effort every day and we are so thankful for what God is doing in his life. he's actually had Brian as a math tutor this year and it's worked out really well for them to spend their days together at school. he has also enjoyed being in youth group and has taken to skateboarding just about every where. he has perfected the jumps and the ramp. he also participated in a 5k with me early this spring.

z is finishing up 4th grade strong. he is trying out for the school talent show, been to his first school dance (with me) and has worked really hard to learn his math facts. he has been doing lots of running, playing basketball in the neighborhood, and getting to know everyone on our street. he is our very outgoing child who can turn anything into a fun adventure.

k is growing like a weed. he and i have been in a huge growth spurt the past few months, sleeping lots and eating me out of house and home. he started preschool this year going one day a week and has loved every minute of it. he is looking forward to going 2 days a week next year. he enjoys riding his bike around the neighborhood and playing with all the big boys. he has really been a big help with our garden. we go on lots of adventures together while the others are in school to the park, farmers market, strawberry picking, kite flying, bug catching, animal watching, and so much more. he is a ham and is coming into his own personality. he is very strong willed but too smart for his own good.

b finished up his teaching degree and graduates this weekend. this spring he has been tutoring at the local middle school. we're really hoping he gets a full time teaching job in the fall. he has really enjoyed working in the schools and it is amazing to see him doing something that he can put his heart into. he also participated on our churches softball and basketball teams. the future is wide open for him.

as for me...well most days i don't feel like much gets accomplished but i'm striving to serve God and love my family as best as i can. i've been involved in a bible study at my church, been doing some writing of my own, planting my garden, and doing my best to get in good shape to take on the world if needed. i've never really enjoyed fitness until now because it is such a great stress reliever and i have one hour every few days that doesn't allow me to think on anything but exactly what i'm doing in that moment. God continues to teach me daily that as long as i working on my relationship with Him and becoming a better woman of God he will take care of everything else.

here is the most recent family pic from our mission trip (minus k). crazy how much everyone has grown this school year.