Saturday, January 04, 2014

Our 2013 in Pictures

Putting into words what 2013 looked like for us has been hard.  I thought it would be easier, but it is just not.  2013 was an amazing, yet hard, year for our family.  We had amazing days and no so amazing days.  However, God provided for our every need, physical and emotional.  He made every day beautiful, even the tough ones.  Here are some pictures from this year in no particular order.  Enjoy!

Our 2013 in Pictures by Slidely Slideshow

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Adoption Update

Many of my sweet friends have been asking me where we are in the process of adopting.  Nothing has really changed, other than things God has been revealing to us personally.  I wasn't going to do a post, however, in my time with the Lord last night praying for our child, He made is clear I need to share this.  So I am.  I am not sure why, but I know He has His way of doing things...So here it goes...

Where we are:

We are still waiting.  We know 100% God has called our family to grow through adoption.  When has not been determined.

Things we feel God has made clear:
  • We are called to adopt. 
  • We called to domestic adoption. 
  • We are not called to international adoption. 
  • We are to be open to whatever age/sex/race child God gives us, as long as they are the same age or younger than The Princess (which is currently 7).
  • When it happens it will be fast/unexpected.
  • Right now we are not supposed to go through an agency. (This does not mean we will not eventually, but God has not cleared us to begin paper work.  We are beginning to think this means He may be calling us to be open to a private adoption.)
  • Just because it hasn't happened yet doesn't mean He has shut a door.  Just when we get discouraged He puts someone in our path to encourage us.  We met a family this past week that felt called to adopt for 8 years before God gave them a child.  I also think about Abraham who waited for a long time before the child God promised was given. 
  • Our child is not born yet.  (There are very few times I have heard God speak clearly to me and I know the other night when I could not sleep and was praying for our child He told me this!)
  • We must be open to knowing the birth family and at least meeting them one time.  Maybe even be a part of the birth process with a mom.  (this is a definite calling, just God telling us to be open to this). 

Things you can do for us:
  • PRAY!  Pray for the birth parents God will use and for the child He gives us.  Pray for protection physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  Pray for us that He will continue to guide us and make it clear exactly when and how He desires us to proceed. 
  • Talk about us!  Please share these prayer requests with those you know.  And, if you know someone who is thinking about adoption as an alternative to abortion please tell them about us!  We are open to meeting with birth parents on a case by case situation.  Also, if you have any connects whatsoever to any child who is in need of a home, please make us aware of it. We would prefer that your connection not know our name and where we live until we agree to meet or talk with them. 

Thank you in advance for your prayers!  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Dear Johnathan

Dear Johnathan,

Tomorrow morning when you wake up you will be 10!  I will never forget that morning.  It was extremely early and I had been up all night very excited about finally getting to meet you.  You were born around 5 am and I will never forget that moment!  They put you in my arms and the world faded away.  For eight and half months you grew inside of me.  I had wondered what you would look like.  What color eyes would you have? What color hair? Would you have hair? How much would you weigh? Would you look like me, or your daddy?  But, there was no way I could ever prepare myself for the way I felt when I held you in my arms that first time.  You were perfect!  My heart was so full I felt it might just bust.   Later that day I remember being overwhelmed with the responsibility God had given me when He gave you to me.  See I was young.  I turned 22 a couple days after you were born.  Your daddy and I were still newlyweds figuring things out as a married couple, in seminary, poor as dirt.  I take my responsibility to love you and teach you what God desires for me to teach you very seriously.  Sometimes it still overwhelms me.  But, I want you to know this.  You have taught me so much.  God has used you to grow me up.  He has used you to teach me about how much He loves me.  He has used you to teach me what childlike faith looks like.  You are an amazing gift from God and I never want you to forget that.  God gave you to me and I will be forever thankful to Him. 

As I think about these past 10 years and the fact that you growing up in front of my eyes so fast I can hardly stand it, all I can think about is how blessed I am.  Since day 1 you have been a joyful, peaceful, loving child.  You were the baby that everyone wanted.  You slept through the night quickly, you didn't cry unless you had a reason, and you loved being held by anyone who wanted to hold and love on you.  As you have gotten older these qualities have just grown.  Now, as a ten year old, you are such a joy to be around.  Your sense of humor can make anyone laugh.  Your facial expressions alone are enough to make someone laugh so hard they will cry.  You are so sweet to everyone you meet.  You have been blessed with sweet friends of all ages and I love watching you with them.  You love wrestling, playing football, and anything else rough, but you know when to calm down.  You are usually the first to check on someone when they are hurt and you feel terrible if you are the reason they are hurt.  You love on younger boys that look up to you like I have never seen a boy your age do.  You encourage them and teach them things you know.  When your sister was born you took your responsibility of big brother seriously.  You protect her.  You take care of her.  You enjoy being with her and she looks up to you.  You are extremely smart and athletic.  You are just all around a great kid.   Oh and I can't forget the fact that you love pretty girls! ;) 

The thing I love most about you though is your desire to obey God.  You love learning about Him and His plan for you.  When you learn something new about how He desires you to live, you practice it.  I look forward to watching you continue to grow in your walk with Him.  I look forward to the years ahead as you move from boy to young man to man.  As much as I dread them because that means you will be grown, I am that much more excited about what God has for you. 

You are my favorite 10 year old and I will always love you!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mr. Edward

It has been a while since I have posted.  There is not a day that passes that I do not think about my sweet grandma.  I am still reminding myself on a daily basis that she is no longer here.  She will not be calling to check on me and we will not be having lunch anytime soon.  As sad and depressing as that sounds as soon as those thought cross my mind they immediately shift to thoughts about her worshiping Jesus and loving on all the sweet babies and young children that friends of mine have lost over the years.  I think about the perfect body she has and all the sadness goes away.  How can I be sad?  Yes, I am sad for me, but not for her!

I also think a lot about the last month I had with her.  I have already written about Mrs. Louise and her impact on my life.  I want to share with about someone else who made a huge difference in my grandma's life by doing something that you and I would probably consider so small. 

Mr. Edward (I can not remember his last name) is sweet man in his 60's or 70's.  He has been working with St. Dominic's for almost his whole working career.  He is not a doctor.  He is not a nurse.  He is not a chaplain.  So what does he do you ask?  He transports people from the main hospital to the cancer center building.  Yep!  That's his job!  He would come in help move my grandma from her bed to wheelchair, wheel her to the van, drive across the street, and wheel her to the waiting room.  He has been doing this so long, that he remembered her from the first time she had cancer and she remembered him.  He was sweet and gentle with her frail little body.  He came in the room just whistling away to himself.  He would make sure the wheelchair had enough cushion and then he would move her over.  Once in the chair he would wrap her up in blanket so she wouldn't get cold.  Then, with a smile on his face he would wheel her to the van and get her situated.  He never really talked much, but you knew he loved what he did and that He loved Jesus! Grandma loved him.  The last day she had treatment while at the hospital she made sure we had a little gift to give him and she hugged and kissed on the cheek as he was leaving. 

So what did I learn from him?  Well, we have put so many levels on jobs these days.  I mean who really wants to have a job driving patients from one building to another all day long?!?!  However, Mr. Edward knew that is what God called him to do, so he did it amazingly!  He put into action exactly what it means to do everything unto to the Lord.  I pray that whatever God calls me to do, even if the world thinks its a little task, I will do it will all that is in me, as unto the Lord.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Ms. Louis

It is has been a little over a month now since my grandma went to be with Jesus.  I miss her a lot and find myself thinking a lot about her and memories I had with her.  There is a tiny part of me that is scared if I don't think about them, and write them down, then I will forget them, and I don't want that to happen.  One of the main things I think about is the last month she was with us.  I recount those days over and over in my head.  They were some challenging, but very special days.  I learned a lot and grew a lot in my walk with the Lord. One of things God keeps bringing to my mind are all the people who truly blessed my family during that time.  Of course our church family was amazing and loved on us like God had called them.  However, the people I think of most are the people I don't see anymore.  The doctors, nurses, and volunteers that prayed with us and invested in my grandma's life.  One lady in particular that I think about a lot is Ms. Louis.  Ms. Louis works at the cancer center as the pastoral care person.  Her whole job is to pray for and with those who are battling cancer.  She hangs out in the waiting room and talks with those who are going through one of the toughest battles in their life.  She wasn't there every day that we were there, but as soon as we would come in on the days she was there, she came right over and sat down and loved on all of us, especially grandma.  I think one of my favorite memories was of her and grandma talking about memories they had of snow (they both grew up around snow and thought southerners were crazy drivers in the snow).  Every opportunity she had, she would pray with us also.  I don't think she realized how much she meant to us.  She was just doing what she loved to do and what God called her to do.  I remember her telling us about how God called her to what she is doing now.  She said no at first, but then God changed her heart.  I wonder what our experience would have been like if Ms. Louis had not been faithful.  I can't imagine those days without her.  I enjoyed the time we got with her, even though it was really only a few days each week for only two weeks.  I pray that I will be as obedient to God as I saw her model.  I pray that God will use me in someone's life like He used her in mine.  I wonder how different the world would be if we all loved with the love of God like Ms. Louis did.  Even, if we all just loved one person like that, WOW!  I believe God could change the world just like that.