Friday, January 28, 2011

shaping arrows

I have all kinds of LOVE for this book that I am almost finished reading.
It wasn't just inspirational and EXACTLY what I needed to hear right now, but it gave practical ways to put what you learn into practice and I really love that.
I always have trouble taking what I read and actually coming up with ways to implement it into my daily life. I have already started a list of things I feel God is calling our family to do right now.
If you are a parent that wants to help shape your children to change the world rather than the world changing your children, then you NEED to read this book. Really, you do.

One Million Arrows by Julie Ferwerda

Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; —Psalm 127:3-5

Our children are arrows for God...we want to partner with Him to shape them into arrows that will fly far and strike the hearts of mankind for His kingdom. This requires daily spiritual training that quite frankly I have dropped the bar on. Well, no more. Jason has committed to reading this book and I am going to do a lot of praying and when we come up with God's plan for our family and how we are going to best spiritually train our children, I want to share it with you. Our game plan, our war strategy...because shaping our children as arrows for God is truly the most important job Jason and I have right now. Time to get down to business. Oh, and did I mention READ THE BOOK? No? Well READ THE BOOK!!! :-)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Friday, January 21, 2011

God is at work

I REALLY want to be better at journaling stories of God at work in our lives, mostly for my children. But also because I think when you start deliberately sharing what God is doing, you will be better able to recognize Him working in the future. He is always at work and is constantly reminding me that He is in charge of the little details as well as the big picture. Honestly, I was (and still am sometimes) starting to get discouraged. We started this adoption process 14 months ago and where are we? Sometimes I don't really even know. Yes, we've been on the wait list for over 6 months but all we have to go on are average wait times, so there is no window of time to predict when we will get THE CALL. Waiting stinks...and in it is a HUGE life lesson that I know God is just dying to reveal to me little by little if I will trust Him and His timing. I have so many friends that are so sweet to ask periodically if we've heard anything or how much longer our wait will be. Some days I am thrilled to say that we've been on the wait list for 6 MONTHS ALREADY....I mean, 6 months is a long time right?!?!? Some days I have "forgotten" that we're on a list somewhere in Ethiopia waiting on a very real child to be placed with our family. Some days it doesn't even feel real and I just say the words, "6 months and no we haven't heard anything" without even thinking about what I'm referring to. Some days I'm just so frustrated that I want to throw up my hands and say, "I have no idea what is going on." Anyways, God has revealed to me in several different ways this week that He's got this whole adoption in His hands and figured out.

Surprise #1: A friend of mine put some of my old toys on ebay for me to make some adoption money. Only one item was too large to be shipped so the person had to come to my house to pick it up. Said person came on Monday night, we started talking. His 3 children are all adopted, one from Uganda and they are doing the paperwork to adopt a girl from Ethiopia RIGHT NOW. He gave me his wife's contact info and there you go. Proof that God is working.

Surprise #2: I think that very young children have a special relationship with God and angels - one in which He reveals things to them. God revealed to Elijah that his baby brother should be named Judah and what day he would be born. Elijah told me the morning Judah was born that I would have him that day and I hadn't even begun having contractions yet. I think that God has revealed some things to Judah this week too. I pray with him every night before bed and always pray for his baby sister. He had yet to even speak the word "sister" to me until this week. We were out eating with friends on Friday night (January 14th), and on the way back to the table from the bathroom Judah said, "I'm going to have a baby sister and she's going to walk like this" (he proceeded to pretend walking like her). A few nights later while we were praying, he prayed for his "baby sister" all on his own with no prompting. My prayer is that she was born this week (maybe on Jan 14th) and that we'll get a referral for her in 2-3 months. Even if this does not turn out to be the case, I am still so thankful that God put her on Judah's heart, and that this is starting to become real for him even just a little bit. Proof that God is working.

Surprise #3: An opportunity to make some more of our travel money was laid in my lap. We made enough for a plane ticket last night. I can't believe it. Proof that God is working.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

new year's & cousins pictures

I just have some pictures other family members took that I wanted to put on my blog. This first set of pictures is from when me and the boys went with my mom, sister and her kids on a fun outing to the park and Putt Putt. Elijah just loves being with his cousins, especially Jonathan and Kristopher.

This next set of pictures are from when Elijah went to Little Rock with Nana & Grangoat for New Year's weekend. He loves to help cook, so here he is helping Grangoat in the kitchen:

I think him and Grangoat are being goofy here.
Or maybe this is their normal expressions. :-)

Elijah with his great-grandparents, Pappa Mac & Jill.
Pappa Mac is Elijah's namesake...his middle name Mabry.

Elijah posing with their kitty cat, Blue.
This picture makes me want to cry because Elijah looks so grown up here.
He loves his hair long and so we are just growing it out until he either starts to look like a girl or we get a note from school about it I guess. I don't even know if they have a hair policy, I haven't looked. It is a pain to spray and brush down every morning but he is saving us hair cutting money for sure. :-)

If you read this today, please join me in praying for Jocelyn Groves. She is a college student at ACU. Her family was close family friends of ours when I was growing up in elementary. We all went to church together and one of her sisters was one of my best friend's when we were younger. She is having surgery today to remove a large tumor from her chest that is pressing on her lung and heart and causing problems. They will test it for cancer after it's removed. So scary...I love this sweet family and have had her in my prayers all day long.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

nine years

today i am celebrating nine years of marriage to my wonderful husband.
looking back, i can't believe how young we were when we married.
in some ways thinking that was nine years ago makes me feel old.
in other ways, it seems like yesterday.
we had no idea what lay ahead for us in our marriage.
of course, what couple ever does.
that's why you pledge for better or worse, because the worse will surely come.
having God in the middle of your relationship is the only way it will survive those times.
that's why i'm so thankful for a husband who seeks God in everything.
he is amazing and He is amazing.
i found one of my favorite pictures of us when we were dating.
i had to take a picture of the picture so the quality isn't great, but here it is.

young, in love, naive and so determined.
we started dating on june 29, 2000.
were engaged on april 21, 2001.
we wanted to get married on january 5, 2002 and no one could stop us.
never mind that we were both still in school and lived in a shack our first year.
we loved every minute of it.
so, nine years and two (almost 3) children later, here we are!
i love this man and am so thankful for him.
happy anniversary j - here's to at least 9 more!!!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

2011 is THE year

Happy New Year to everyone! We enjoyed a very low-key New Year's Eve and were in bed by 10:30...kind of sad I know but I don't care. :-) It was midnight somewhere. Elijah went to Little Rock with my in-laws for the weekend so he was with them that night. My mom watched Judah while Jason and I went shopping with some gift cards we received, picked up some margarita mix & a couple of Redbox movies and went home. Leftovers for dinner and that was pretty much it.

Even though our New Year's was low-key, 2011 promises to be very exciting for a few different reasons...the most exciting by far being that we will, God-willing, meet and bring home our daughter this year!!! Yesterday, New Year's Day, marked 6 months on the wait list. I am bummed that all of the holidays are over - there's always a big let down when they're done. But most of all this year, I'm afraid it's going to make the rest of our wait seem LONG. Again, I know that God is preparing us for our daughter during this time and preparing her for us and that it will all happen in His perfect timing. We are praying 2011 is THE year. We'll just pray and wait and see.