Monday, December 31, 2007

A Buck & A Quarter

I was sitting in the living room chair sneaking in a moment of relaxation when the most amazing "God moment" happened. My darling 6 year old boy walked quietly up to me and placed one dollar & one quarter in my hand. "What's this?", I asked. "It's money to bring home my baby sister", he replied.

What a beautiful, beautiful gift. This was a gift given from the heart - the amount didn't matter. He knows somewhere in Haiti there is a beautiful little girl that is meant to be his sister and he wants us to have the money to bring her home.

This unselfish gift reminded me of the story of the widow who gave all she had:
While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people putting their gifts into the collection box. Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two pennies. "I assure you," he said, "this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has." Luke 21:1-4

The widows small gift was a sacrifice, but she gave it willingly and that is what made it so beautiful. Thank you Lord for giving my son a beautiful giving heart.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Wishes

As I sit in the soft glow of the Christmas tree it is so very quiet. The most quiet the house has been since 6 am when soft tiny fingers poked my arm and whispered "mama".

I am content in my peace. I am happy just where I am. And even though my house is not the biggest, my van is not the newest and my wardrobe has no designer tags I do not care.

I've been asked a lot this week if I'm "ready for Christmas". I'm sure the spirit in which the question was asked was as to whether or not I've got my holiday shopping done. I hear the chatter of people scurrying around to find just the right brand to make the best impression on people who do not want for a thing in this world. It's so meaningless - like gerbils running on a wheel to nowhere.

My wants for this Christmas have certainly changed. If I'm honest, when I reflect on Christmas past I do see myself caught up in all the hype. As I've grown in my faith and since we've started our adoption journey I feel like I'm seeing Christmas through new eyes. Not the innocent eyes of a child, but the eyes of someone who chooses to no longer look away from the many injustices for children in this world. The fact that millions of children have no clean drinking water, are sold into slavery & prostitution, have nothing to eat, die from diseases that are easily curable & have no family to love them - now that is something to be frantic about. Whether or not I got the latest "it" gadget really seems pointless.

The answer to the question is yes, I am ready for Christmas. I am ready to quietly celebrate the miracle of God sending His son into our world. A world full of sin and tragedy and despair. A world where a tiny baby brought new hope & light so that all who seek Him could be saved.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

In Honor of My Husband...Sorry I Couldn't Find the Original SNL Version Honey!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Not My Words, But I Think They Were Peeking In My Heart

I just saw a link to this posted on and have to say this post struck a cord with me too. I am forever changed by this adoption journey and I certainly see the world through new eyes.

This Guy Cracks Me Up...

God's Heart for Children

Monday, December 17, 2007

Adoption Update...No News is No News

I mailed off some paperwork and $$$ to our home study provider today. I really wish we could find some time to finish Jeff's autobiography, but he has been SO busy at work with the holidays. People are buying puffcorn & pretzels like crazy (if you live in our area, please support us by buying the Old Dutch brand - Frito Lay is a dirty word in our house).

We've received a couple of donations in the last few days for which we are VERY thankful. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Thank you for the prayers and financial support. We are eternally grateful.

The Christmas Story

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Grant Us This Grant O Lord We Pray

I applied for an adoption grant tonight! Please pray that the people reviewing our application will be moved to award us with a $2,500 grant. Thank you for being in prayer for our family.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Mark 11:24

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tis the Season to be Crazy...Fa La La La La La La La La

The past 5 days have been nutty at best. The schedule of events this past week has left me longing for a day of absolutely nothing. While we have enjoyed the culmination of many practices and activities of the kids, it has just been too much.

Tuesday night was D's orchestra concert. The weather was horrible with snow flying and very slippery roads. Thankfully we did not have far to drive. I feel like this is the last of so many things for her. I know that after this year many things will change. It is her last year in elementary school which is certainly bittersweet. She played her cello wonderfully and we had great seats right up close to her. The other added bonus was that B sat still during the entire concerts. Clearly, this was a miracle!

Wednesday night the kids had Christmas program practice at church and I had to work. I normally don't work nights, but we had our major fundraising event for the Foundation called Festival of Light. All of the auction items were beautiful and it was nice to see some of the decorated trees being donated back to the community.

Thursday night was the "Winter" concert at school. It was a LONG night. Since the concert started at 6:45 we arrived around 6:15 to get seats. Thankfully we arrived early (which is not typical for us) because shortly thereafter it was standing room only. The concert concluded around 8:45 which means we were there for 2 1/2 hours. B did not sit still for this one. In fact he was down right miserable, which made us miserable as well. K & D did a great job. I love that K is so enthusiastic during his singing. His facial expressions and dance moves are great! D is so grown up and did a beautiful job as well.

Friday night we unfortunately had to attend a visitation at the funeral home. It is difficult to see someone so young pass away. We are praying for peace for her family during this time. I pray she is in the arms of the Lord who has taken away all of her pain & suffering. It was K's first time seeing a person who had died. He was very nervous at first to go in but after lots of reassurance and answering any questions he did fine. I want my kids to know that death is a part of life and it's nothing to be scared of provided you have the assurance of being saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord for your gift of salvation!

Saturday morning K had basketball and D had church program practice. K was supposed to be at church practice too, but since his part was a song (which he knew) and basically standing around in the "stable" I thought it would be more productive to send him to basketball. D had a lead role as one of God's Angels (based on the old TV show Charlie's angels) so she definitely needed to be at church. K also had a birthday party to go to in the afternoon. Later in the day nana came over to watch the kids so my darling husband and I could go to a Christmas bingo party for my work. It was nice to actually go out alone and do an adult activity. We didn't win anything, but we got to eat without having to cut up anyone elses food which was a huge bonus. Afterwards we went out to Target to do a little Christmas shopping.

This morning we had the Christmas program at church. It was really well done and all of the kids and coordinators of the program did a GREAT job. D was one of God's Angels and had to go on a mission to see Joseph. K was a chicken in the stable. Everyone said it was the first time they saw a chicken at the manger. I guess there's a first time for everything. After the program we had potluck so I got out of cooking lunch...yeah! When we finally got home we did nothing. I even got to take a little nap.

Our family is moving into a season of quiet reflection. We look forward to enjoying the true meaning of Christmas in these last weeks before the celebration of Christ's birth. This season is not about gifts or events or finding the right name brand to give. It is about our Lord and saviour coming into the world as a child to ultimately deliver us. What a miracle!

I'm praying that you are all enjoying the season and finding the time for quiet reflection. Blessings to you all...

Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’
Matthew 1:23

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Change Me, O Lord

Dear Lord change not Thy will in my life,
Or trial and sorrows to be;
Renew my faith and make me strong,
Change not Thy will, change me.

Though teardrops fall when trouble comes,
Like storms on a rolling sea;
Let Thy beacon guide my ship to port,
Change not the storm, change me.

When Thy Holy Word I don't understand
And Thy glory I cannot see;
Teach my eyes, give me sight and wisdom,
Change not Thy Word, change me.

If the fruit Thou hast given me to eat,
Taste bitter and sour, I plea;
Let not my will but Thine be done,
Change not the fruit, change me.

If sometime I murmur and grumble, dear Lord,
About the cross I carry for Thee;
Keep it firm on my shoulders, but hold my hand,
Change not the cross, change me.

If You change Thy ways to please me, dear Lord,
I would soon grow cold and turn from Thee;
That You may hear my prayers, dear Lord,
Change not Thy ways, change me.

There's a valley that I must cross,
Someday Thy face to see;
Lest I forget what power is Thine,
Change not the valley, change me.

~ Author Unknown ~

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Walking by Faith

The words to this song by Jeremy Camp were really on my heart today. I am praying & reflecting on them...

Would I believe you when you would say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see
Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

Help me to win my endless fears
You've been so faithful for all my years
With the one breath You make me new
Your grace covers all I do

Well I'm broken- but I still see Your face
Well You've spoken- pouring Your words of grace

Well hallelujah, hallelu
(I will walk by faith)
Well hallelujah, hallelu
(I will walk by faith)

I will walk, I will walk, I will walk by faith
I will, I will, I will walk by faith

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Just in the Nick of Time...

I noticed on the Children of the Promise (our orphanage in Haiti) website yesterday that effective 11/15/07 they are no longer accepting new applications until sometime in 2008. Because of the long wait times being experienced in Haiti, they have a lot of children who are moving through the system slowly and can't go home yet. Please join me in praying that these adoptions move through the system quickly so the children that have been matched with a family can go home. Another bonus would be that new babies can then come into the center where they will receive love & nourishment and have a safe place to live.

Thankfully our application was approved on November 1st, so we made it in just under the wire. Praise God!

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;
I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.
I will be filled with joy because of you.
I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.
Psalm 9:1-2