Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye/hello




Well, it's the last day of 2008. We are ending on a good note. We have spent the last 4 days skiing on the continental divide. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining, and no one got hurt. Most importantly, I definitely earned most improved skier award. Each day that I ski I usually experience what I call a "spectacular fall". Not only did I not fall AT ALL today, I skied on blue runs and held my own with the kids when we all ran together. WOOHOO!!!
If we are ending on a good note, that must mean that we are beginning on a good note. As I look to the new year, I see God's plan laid out before us. On Friday the 2nd, we find out if Biruk and Hana passed court. Even if they haven't passed yet, we know that God has chosen these 2 children to join our family. What a blessing. We begin the second half of our first homeschooling year. I think the kids are learning, we are teaching, and we are becoming a stronger family. We are trying out a new church home and it seems like a nice fit. I feel that I don't have to look hard to see God's blessings raining down upon us. Does this mean that we don't have troubles? No. We have plenty of troubles, but I have chosen to set my eyes on Christ, The author of my life.

I pray that this year, through the good and the bad, you keep your eyes on the Heavenly Father who loves you.

I Thesselonians 5:23
Now may God himself, the God of peace, make you pure, belonging only to him. May your whole self- spirit, soul, and body, be kept safe and without fault when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. You can trust the one who calls you to do that for you.



Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

God's adventure

By request (shout out to my sil Cindy), the movie we made after Mel came home.

Enjoy.


video

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm in the club!

Well, it's happened. I have officially become one of "those" people. You know the ones. Those crazy people who have more than 3 kids. And 3 is pushing it. Not to say that Biruk and Hana are officially ours yet. Just that I have received "the look" and the comments that accompany it. "You can stop now." Really? Did God talk to you about me lately? He told you I was to stop? I've filled my quota?
That's not what I heard. When I read the bible, I realize I am never supposed to stop. What ever God tells me to do, I am supposed to do it. I have never read about a time frame. John chapter 2 tells the story about the first miracle Jesus did- turning water into wine. I love what Mary tells the servants in verse 5. She went ahead anyway, telling the servants, "Whatever he tells you, do it."

WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU, DO IT.


Of course we've heard this from Mary before. She embodies the spirit we are supposed to have. Back when the angel told her she was to be the mother of Jesus. "Let it be to me as you have said." What ever God tells her to do, she will do it. In this case she was talking to servants. Well, if you are a Christian, you are a servant of Jesus, and she's talking to you too.

What does Paul have to say?
Galatians 1:10 Do you think I am trying to make people accept me? No, God is the One I am trying to please. Am I trying to please people? If I still wanted to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.

WHAT EVER HE TELLS YOU, DO IT.

It is so liberating. I don't care how people look at me. I only care how Jesus looks at me. Am I pleasing him? Am I serving him? I am his servant.

I have been given the privilege of serving him by taking care of his orphaned children. I get to be their mom.

Oh dear Jesus, bring it on. My arms are open, my heart is yours. What ever you tell me to do, give me the ability to do it.

I am proud to be in the club!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Excitement

We received great news today and I just have to share.
We now know our court date for Biruk and Hana. It is December 26th. There are many variables that effect if this will be the final court date or not, but we have faith in our Heavenly Father that all will happen in His perfect timing. I hope that the 26th is His time!!!! I pray that I will be faithful in what ever happens.
Hang on kiddos, Mom and Dad are coming for you!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stumbled upon

My brother has a favorite tool on his web browser. I think it's called "stumbled upon" or something like that. Anyway, the idea is that if you stumble upon something on the web that you wish to share with someone else, you can use this button and forward the entire page you are looking at to your friend. (At least that is what I think he told me it does.)
Well, as I like to get to know the people who read my blog, I take a look at what they are writing about on their blogs, as well as look at the blogs they follow. I stumble upon all kinds of funny, interesting and insightful things. I gleaned a doosie from Audrey's blog. (thank you Audrey)From my reading, I surmise that it is okay for me to forward this on to any and all who would read and come away with a purpose.
I believe this is necessary reading for anyone who calls themselves a Christian and seeks to live life according to God's purpose. If you've been waiting for God to send you a "calling", guess what I just stumbled upon? That's right, your calling.
Read this and CONSIDER YOURSELF CALLED!!!
http://doctordavid.wordpress.com/2008/11/30/courage/

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I don't feel so good

I realize I have done a disservice to my dear husband Scott. The few of you who don't know him have only seen him as the fish man. So here he is as of 10 minutes ago. More on him later.


I am a sickie this week. Did anyone else get more than a couple of extra pounds this holiday? I did. It started with a stomach bug and blossomed into a fantastic head cold/sinus infection. I don't quite get the progression. I was in bed most of Monday and all of Tuesday. feeling better on Wednesday. Now, once I get moving, I'm okay during the day, but around 7 I really start to tank. (that's more info than anyone really needs, but hey, I'm a giver)

When I am sick, it really becomes evident just how wonderful my sweet Scott is. He is the same person he always is, but when I have to slow down, his gentle character really shines. Even though he got into bed at 2 am, he gets up and makes sure everyone has breakfast and gets Mel on the bus. He got out all of the Christmas decorations and he and the kids decorated. If I had not been sick, I would have directed how everything should look. This way, the children got to use all of the decorations I am too lazy to put out. When there was no more space to decorate, he put all of the bins away. He didn't pressure me to "get better". (I always do that to him) He made sure I had enough blankets, brought me tea, took the kids to the village Christmas party, made sure chores got done, at least some school work got done, and the house does not look like a bomb went off. On top of all of that, there is still anxiety over the "12 pound turkey incident" and he is there to advise and comfort those who need it. While I would be stressed and anxious and pushing him to get over it, he gives me all the time I need.
When I have to slow down, I am shamed by my attitude toward him most of the time. I do not support him the way I should. I poke fun at him and he just smiles, I am bossy and he doesn't get flustered. He constantly shows me love, even when I can't stand my self.
Colossians 3:19
Husbands, love your wives and be gentle with them.
I don't know anyone who embodies this verse more than Scott does. While I have been known to rag on an on about him, Scott has always been gentle with me. He has consistently shown me love and consideration in spite of how I have behaved. Does he have trouble finishing a task? Sure. Is he easily distracted? Most definitely. Do I doubt his love for me? Not in a million years, because he loves me and is gentle with me.
Even though he is a cuddlebug and I am a porcupine, he loves me.
When I am all better, I will have to reread this post. Maybe print it out and use it as a book mark in my Bible so I don't forget.
He LOVES me.



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

picked up a tag


I picked up a tag off from another blog. Because I am new, I have never been tagged. It was more of a "if you've never been tagged, you're it" kind of a thing, but that's ok. So forth file, fourth picture.
This is a picture of flat Stanley going to Ethiopia with my friend Sue and I. He was experiencing a little air sickness. If you aren't familiar with Flat Stanley, it is a story about a boy who had a billboard fall on him while he slept. He was flat after that, so his parents sent him everywhere in an envelope. It has become quite a project to have students mail him to someone and they write a story about what Stanley did while he was with them. Instead of mailing Andy's flat Stanley to anyone, we took him to Ethiopia with us. He helped us deliver donations to AHOPE, watch the babies and just ended up in some really fun pictures.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

12 pound turkey leftovers

How was your holiday? Were you thankful? Did you give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever? Or did all the 12 pound turkeys make it more difficult than you could bear?

I was blindsided by a 12 pound turkey this weekend and I think it was still frozen. I really didn't see it coming. I think we recovered as best we could and made the most of our evening, but I think afterward, everyone was overshadowed with a deep sorrow that is not easily rectified. I know I had a stomach ache that was not entirely the fault of too much pie.
So if this happened to you too, what do you plan to do about it? Maybe you were not directly responsible for the problem and only witness to it, or maybe you were a major contributor. Either way, the solution is the same.

Colossians 3:12-15
God has chosen you and made you his holy people. He loves you. So you should always clothe yourselves with mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Bear with each other, and forgive each other. If someone does wrong to you, forgive that person because the Lord forgave you. Even more than all this, clothe yourself in love. Love is what holds you all together in perfect unity. Let the peace that Christ gives control your thinking, because you were all called together in one body to have peace.
To really experience the power of this passage, read the whole thing. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=58&chapter=3&version=78&context=chapter

(I still haven't been in serviced by someone to learn how to do that more efficiently, but I know you'll forgive me. It's not nearly a 12 pound turkey infraction. More like a Cornish hen.)

Back to the point. It doesn't matter who we are upset with. Some of us are upset with employers, family members, the government, neighbors, ex-friends, fill in the blank. Whatever the problem, we are called to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us. There are no buts about it. Christ has forgiven us. Our sin put Him on the cross and He forgave us. HE FORGAVE US. We have no excuse not to forgive someone else.

As much as we enjoy the leftovers from Thursday's feast, eventually we've had enough. If we hold on to it too long, it starts to rot. Don't let your anger, hurt feelings and disappointment fester and rot in your heart.
Please
Please
Please
Extend forgiveness today.
Isn't it time to let the turkey go? There can't be that much left. After all, it was only 12 pounds.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

12 pound turkey

I have a friend who is hosting Thanksgiving at her house this year. She is expecting 25 people. Some from the area and some from out of town. As with most families, everyone is bringing something to share the burden. One relative is coming from states away. She volunteered to provide the turkey. One of those prepared in advance, all you have to do is warm it and it is good to go. What a great way to contribute if you are coming from out of state.
The turkey arrived.
It was 12 pounds.
Everyone gets to have one bite.
In conversation with my friend, (who was more gracious about it than I) she lamented the fact that now she has to make an additional 18 pound turkey, when the idea was that she wouldn't have to make any turkey. While I was devising ways to make her relative feel bad, even though she was put out, my friend was concerned about the fact that undoubtedly, this relative was going to feel bad when she realized that not only did she not provide enough food for everyone, she also did not relieve any of the work. Her contribution was not really a help at all. As our conversation meandered on to other topics, occasionally she would pop out with, "12 pound turkey". Sometimes we call each other, say "12 pound turkey", and hang up. We are silly that way.

"Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever."

I didn't give a bible address for this passage because it appears exactly this way 8 times in the bible. "Give thanks" appears 25 times. "Thanksgiving" appears 25 times. "Giving thanks" shows up 7 times. I think you are picking up a theme.

It is Thanksgiving on Thursday.
Duh.
If you are not a Christian, what does it mean? Why do people bother to go out of their way to give thanks? Who are they thanking?
If you are a Christian, what does it mean? Are you thankful? Are you really thanking God this year? Are you dealing with a "12 pound turkey"?
What if you lost your job? What if a family member is very sick? What if you are very sick? What if your kids are driving you nuts? What if your mother-in-law is driving you nuts? What if your husband is driving you nuts? What if you are not satisfied with your life? What if you are dealing with the consequences of poor choices you've made? Even worse, what if you are dealing with the consequences of the poor choices someone else has made? What if your house burned down? What if a loved one has died? What if you are alone?
I could go on. It is always very easy to find reasons to complain or be dissatisfied, or disappointed.
The Bible tells us to give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.
More specifically:

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16Rejoice evermore.
17Pray without ceasing.
18In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Verse 16 says rejoice evermore. That means never stop rejoicing. Ever. Verse 17 says pray without stopping. Verse 18 is the biggie. Give thanks in everything.
EVERYTHING.
Everything?
EVERYTHING. FOR THIS IS THE WILL OF GOD IN CHRIST JESUS CONCERNING YOU. Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.
No matter what is happening, we are to be thankful because it is His will for us and his love endures forever.
So easy for me to type it. So much more difficult for me to live it.

I pray this year that your biggest problem is only a 12 pound turkey, although I know that's not the case. I know you are dealing with serious illness, tragic circumstance, and financial difficulty. Many of you have children who are still in another country, just like me. You have problem family members, uncertain employment, and problems I can't even imagine, but in Christ there is hope.
1 John 5:4
for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.

Remember that to God, it's all just a 12 pound turkey.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Smiles

I got an email this week that had new pictures of my children. My coordinator was in Ethiopia helping AGCI open a child care center. For the first time ever, I will be able to talk with someone who has met my children. As I type that it seems odd. No one meets their children before they are born, so why would someone be able to meet my children? That's the interesting thing about adoption. My children are alive and living elsewhere.
I have so many questions. What are they like? How's their sense of humor? Are they happy about their future in our family? What do they think about coming to America? Are they scared?
I received 12 pictures. We have poured over them. My favorite has Hana with her arm around Biruk's neck, her cheek pressed tightly against his. It looks like she never wants to let go. In another, both children flash megawat smiles. (I am pretty sure they don't need braces!!) We also think Biruk has a birthmark on his neck. In an other one, the children are standing next to each other. At first glance, Biruk looks like "fine, I'll stand next to her for one more." But if you look closely, you will see that Biruk has the palm of his hand pressed against Hana's. Like he wants to hold it but doesn't want anyone to know. You see, Hana has been at Hannah's Hope for about 6 months without Biruk. It was only after a family (us) was found for the children that Biruk was able to move to Hannah's Hope. She has been alone. While we have known since August that we were going to be thier family, the children only found out about 3 weeks ago. At that time, Biruk came over to Hannah's Hope.
What must it be like to know and understand that someone who has never met you, wants to be your mom and dad? Not only that, but they live in a far off country and speak a different language. I can't wrap my mind around it.
I wish I could post some of these pictures here, but until we have passed court, we can't. If you run into me however, just like any proud mama, I have loads of pictures to show you.
Hold on, they are right here in my purse...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The known and the unknown


This is Scott. (In case you didn't recognize him)
What we know is that he is having an allergic reaction. Cause- unknown.
My poor sweet Scott. I just really wanted to share this photo. It's so horrible and funny. So I started thinking about his situation. In addition to the facial swelling, he also breaks out in hives so large you can see the bumps through his clothes from head to toe. Clearly he has a problem. CLEARLY.
We have a solution. He carries an eppi-pen and he takes Zyrtec every night. He hasn't needed the eppi-pen, but if he misses even one pill at night, he has hives the next day.
What is unclear is what is causing this reaction. The specialist has no idea. NO IDEA. Interestingly enough, she feels that this condition will last up to 6 years and then go away. I find it odd that she can know, that something she doesn't know, will last for an exact amount of time.
This world is like that. It has a problem. The difference is, the cause is known.
We also know the remedy
Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God has already prepared in advance for us to DO SOMETHING!
As the economy crumbles and pundits exclaim, "We can't go on living like this!" I wonder, can't we? I have heat, purified water, a paycheck, food in the refrigerator for 3 meals a day, clothes to spare, don't get me started on shoes, cell phones, cable, pizza delivery, 2 cars, comfortable beds, blankets, pillows, books, the list never ends. We can't go on like this? I think we can go on like this for quite some time.
Quite
Some
Time
There are many in this world who do not have this luxury. Who am I kidding. Most in this world do not have this luxury. Who REALLY "CAN'T GO ON LIVING LIKE THIS"
I'm new to blogging so I don't know how to do those great links with the pictures. Click on this:
Make a difference for the ones who really really can't go on living like this. We are the BODY OF CHRIST. Our arms are to be reaching to help those in need. We are to adopt the children with no parents. Aid the widow. Feed the hungry. Shelter the homeless. Seek and save those who are lost. Give until there is nothing left but Christ.
I know I wanted to poke a little fun at my wonderful husband, but I won't make his spectacle be in vain. We must do something. As much as we can. Lets reach out our hands and let Jesus use them.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Re-Grief

My precious Mel is grieving again.
He's been home for 15 months. It took me a little while to figure it out. This strong, confidant, vibrant kid was dissolving into tears over the most minor of things. Is he sick? Is he tired? Growth spurt? And then it hit me. He is crying the way he did when he first came home. The difference is, he seeks out our comfort instead of fights it. So my little guy invents things to be sad about in order to seek out comfort. He can't spend enough time with me. If I cannot hold him because I am cooking, he will hold onto my leg so I can carry him around that way. If I am stuffing envelopes, he will help me by sitting on my lap. He will not however, lick the envelopes. "That's yuck!" He will cry for 40 minutes while I cook because he doesn't know what he wants, but he doesn't want what I've made. He will tell me that he's not eating it and if he's hungry later it's my fault. I gently but firmly let him know that what I've made is what's for dinner, and if he's hungry later it is his fault because he didn't eat it. I kiss him and hug him and make a plate for him. He cries a little longer, sees that I am not angry and I haven't gone anywhere, and that I have not made him something different, and he is comforted. And he eats.
I think that the control struggle about what to eat is an example of where he is seeking reassurance. He tests me to make sure that I am in control. If I am not in control, he is lost.
I think there will be more days like this and I am grateful. I am grateful that he is comfortable enough to test the boundaries.
Oh, my baby.
There are boundaries.
Trust me.

And he does.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The reflection we cast

I just got off the phone with a new friend. She received distressing news. Her husband, who has been dibilitated by illness for some time now was told that his cancer has spread. He needs a miracle. As we talked and cried on the phone, praying for a miracle, she was comforted by the fact that she is a child of the miracle maker. What is miraculous to us is ordinary to God. She knows that God can heal him. God has miraculously extended his life already.
What is difficult for us to understand as Christians, and impossible for those who are not, is that in all things, God will be glorified. I hope and pray that God will be glorified in her husband's healing. I know though, that God may need to be glorified through her husband's death. It would be so much easier to celebrate the miracle. Our struggle is to submit to his will and be refined through it.
I see what God is doing in her life and I feel ashamed that I feel that I am burdened by my blessings. That they are a refining process for me. Blessed by the wonder of my 3 children. Blessed with the ability to choose to teach them at home. Blessed with a healthy husband who loves me. Blessed that I am a stay-at-home mom. Blessed that my only health issues are minor irritations. Blessed that I have been chosen to mother 2 more of God's children. All of these blessings have had me screaming that my head is going to explode. I struggle to be faithful with these blessings. How much more difficult to be faithful with tragedy.

Psalm 118:1
Thank the Lord because he is good. His love endures forever.

Please pray for my friend Christina and her husband Brian. Petition the Lord on their behalf. I pray that the peace that passes all understanding will guard their hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Please Lord, bring healing and acceptance and submission. Amen.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Helmoo again

It's not just the adoption process and all of its variables that help refine me of impurities, it's this parenting thing that also works me over.(MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO)
I have a son who is just like me, so you can guess who is always under my skin. In honor of the doppleganger, a story to remind me of just how much I love him.

When Andy was learning to read, he really didn't want to do it. It was like pulling teeth to get him to read. (pretty much like getting him to do any school work)
I went to Heart's at Home- a conference to encourage mothers. There I found a darling book for sons and mothers to read together. It was called I'd Be Your Hero. In it, a boy tells his mother all the different ways he would be her hero, and the mother comments on it and a bible verse is at the bottom of each page. I thought it would be perfect. I envisioned him sitting on my lap and we would read aloud to each other.
When I came home, I gave him the book. It was just like I imagined it. He sat on my lap and we read together. I can't believe Scott didn't take a picture of this Norman Rockwell moment. Later, Andy asked to read the book with me again. He read very diligently. I was so happy. Near the end of the book, Andy stalled on a word. I peeked around his head to see what he was stuck on. "Andy buddy, you know that word." "Yeah Mom, I know. That word is "after". But ya know, if you move the letters around, you can spell FART."

That's my boy.
Norman Rockwell, eat your heart out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moo

We do a lot of laughing at our house. Even so, there is not so much joke telling. My kids are still fairly young and haven't quite grasped the nuance of jokes, so mostly we tell knock-knock jokes.
My favorite one goes like this:
Q:Knock-knock?
A: Who's there?
Q:Impatient cow.
A:Impat... Before the question can be finished, the asker yells MOO!

When you are in process to adopt a child, many character traits (flaws) come to light. I never realized I was a control freak until I compiled my first dossier. So very many forms, such very specific wording, such exact procedures. Who knew I was Type-A? Not hard core Type-A. More like a lazy... no, selective Type-A. Only when it really matters. When I have to be. Then, watch out!
I become even more impatient (MOO). With imperfection, I lose perspective (MOO) and compassion (MOO). I forget about the infinite grace that God has extended to me and I have none (MOO) for anyone else.
Guess what God is refining out of me?
That's right.
MOO
I am the impatient cow.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What's it to you?

I've mentioned working toward the attitude of Mary. "Let it be to me as you have said."
That's a big one.
I need to let it be that I'm going to be the mother of two more children from Ethiopia. I need to to teach them all here in the comfort of my own home. I need to jackhammer away at the selfish, angry-person outer shell that coats the Light shining within me. I need to support my husband wholeheartedly and remember to love him unconditionally. Even when he is spread so thin that he can't do everything I want him to do in a timely manner. Even when he can't achieve that when he is not spread too thin. I need to change the fact that the bad example that my children are exposed to is most often me. I need to love the children that I have been blessed with so much and so often that they never ever doubt my love. I need to be an encouragement to you when you need it. The GO-FOR-IT cheerleader that encourages you to figure out...
So what's "it" to you?

Jumping in

So I'm jumping in. I'm not certain why I want to put my thoughts "out there" but here goes:
This is my blog. It was easier and harder to begin than I thought it would be. What's my title? What will my address be? I wanted them to mean something. There are all of these verses that mean so much to me and I wanted to use one of these meaningful pieces of God's word to infuse my blog the way they have infused my life.
So my blog can be found at letitbetome.blogspot.com
That comes from what Mary says to the angel after he reveals to her what God has planed for her. She was to be the mother of God's son. "Let it be to me as you have said."
Oh that I would always have that attitude.

My title is: Like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden
Matthew 5:14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
May our Lord's light shine so brightly in our life that our family cannot be hidden. There can be no doubt who we live for.