Friday, July 31, 2009

Fantastic Friday...

Good grief how is it Friday already?

It's been a crazy busy week.

I have been on track with working out. Doing at least 45 mins a day, last night was 60 mins with a ton of cardio and strength training... oiy! I am feeling that one today! ;o)

The scale has moved 1 more pound I think. We have one of those old dial ones so it's hard to tell if it's moved much. I think I will invest in a digital one soon. I may feel better if it looks like it moves? I was however able to fit into 1 pair of shorts that I could not a month ago, and another pair of pants was more loose. So I will take those triumphs.

I have not been able to get out and try any running to prepare for the 10k, we had too many other things in the way. I am hoping some of my work outs are preparing me for the great out doors

I think the biggest benefit of my working out is that S is doing it with me. We have some great conversations as we are sweating profusely. We also have some great laughs. I think at her age (almost 16) this is invaluable time with her. If I never lose another pound this has been worth it.

The boys have had a good week. Poor N has contracted a summer cold. And this morning it looks at though E may have shared it with him. Poor little guys.

Tomorrow we have an appointment for N with a place called learning Rx. They do work with people that have difficulties focusing... well that's the over simplified version of what they do, but I am really impressed after speaking to the guy about what they do. They focus more on helping the brain work more efficiently... memory work, focus, cognitive functioning. N struggled quite a bit in Preschool with staying on task, so we feel like maybe this will be a way to help him find a way to do that without having to 'label' him with anything else. He's so doggone smart, and I know that high intelligence has a bit to do with the focus... too many other thoughts going on in that beautiful little head of his.

One of the reasons I have been so busy this week is that we are steady getting more and more donations for our mission yard sale. My goodness! We have a 10 x 10 storage unit that is pretty much full to the brim even stacked. I keep getting more calls from people that have items. I am working on trying to figure out what to do with it all. ;o) Praise God for his provision and for this over flowing abundance!! We could pretty much furnish a whole apartment with what we have, including Direct We are just missing a bed. Can't wait to see what He does with this sale!!!

D has been working hard. He is a construction superintendent in retail so his job has been a bit shaky. His company that was once HUGE, is now down to about 4 office employees and 3 superintendents. Scary stuff! He has had 3 offers this week from other companies that want him to come work for them. We are praying for God's guidance there. As the company he is currently with has been really very very good to him. Especially keeping him when so many others have lost their jobs. He's good at what he does and he has integrity, that's a hot commodity. ;o) We would ask for prayers for direction and discernment with these other job opportunities.

On a fun note, 1 year ago today I became a mother officially for the 4th time. I got my email from Erin that said "He is finally yours!!!" E had passed court after much delay and had become our son! There was much rejoicing and a few tears of joy shed that day! Adoption is full of crazy ups and downs.... full of that horrible 4 letter word "WAIT" ... but so much more full of love and joy when you realize the full measure of grace you are given when you know you are a parent in our case....again. What a year it's been!

This weekend is also N's 5th birthday. It's on Sunday along with my niece's birthday and my brother's anniversary... it's a big day!

Saturday we are taking N and E to an Ethiopian's in another city but closer than any others so we are very excited about that!! Afterwards I think we are going to take the boys to see G-Force. They have both loved the commercials for it, and it has alot of little boy humor. Sunday we are having N's party after church then we are going to my niece's party in the evening. Gosh, I am going to need Monday for rest again.

Well, that's about it, thanks for reading long enough to finish this crazy long post. Thank you for your posts and emails of support in my journey to wellness! They mean so much!

Blessings to you all!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

HA! Take that Mr Ugly!

So one the issues we have been having is with my van. It's been trying to die, or so it seemed. We don't qualify as a "clunker" so we could not trade it in.

So yesterday we took it to the dealer, and prayed the rest of the night that God would provide some how.

This morning I got the was a loose bolt. A LOOSE BOLT. geez!

It's tightened and ready to pick up. No charge.

Oh Praise God from whom all blessing flow!

I know this is so minor in the face of so many others dealing with pain and illness and strife. But I am sure grateful to God for taking care of this!!! Car repair is not currently in the budget and this would have left us completely strapped.

So praising His name!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beauty in Chaos

These last couple of days have been filled with attacks from Mr Ugly.

I thought I would post some beauty from our creator. More to remind myself that He is SO much bigger and more majestic than anything Mr Ugly can even fathom creating.

oh, and I had to include one of me and my boys from VBS... not sure what's up with the grainy pic...but nothing diminishes their beauty.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Monday

I always look forward to weekends, then look forward to Monday so I can have some down How do we pack so much into so little time?

Friday night was the boys VBS presentation. They were so cute!!! N LOVED it, he loves songs and music so he had a blast doing all the motions and singing. E not so much. He was NOT about going up to the front. I have some cute video but the sound did not record...bummer

Saturday morning was spent picking up items for the garage sale... phew we have kinds of great stuff. I am very excited about the prospects. I am thinking about getting my dad to build some Adirondack chairs and raffling them off. He does great work... and he's cheap. Oh wait... no he's not, he did tell me his time was priceless. ;o)

Saturday afternoon I went to a baby shower. It was alot of fun. It was for our Sunday school facilitator who had been trying to get pregnant for some time. We had been praying for her for about a year. She is now due with her first baby girl in October. It was really pretty emotional as well, as we were all so pleased that the desires of her heart are being realized.

After the shower I went to get my hair cut. YAY.. you know what it's like when you are just over your hair? That was me. ;o) It's about 2 inches shorter, I am pleased.

Saturday night we had a really cool encounter!

We took the boys up to a park near the house. It's a huge park with track around it that is about 2 miles long. We took the boys in the wagon, just in case they got tired of walking, but daddy ended up pulling it empty most of the time. N and I raced quite a bit. He's one fast little cookie. Even with me in my running shoes and him in flop flips... I was loving running with my little Ethiopian boy. ;o) E was also running quite a bit. He's not so fast, but he's like the little energizer bunny, he just kept on keeping on... he was so cute to watch. On our way back to the car our cool encounter happened:

We passed a lady with 2 children. As we were passing them, D and I looked at each other. Our look said "They are Ethiopian!!!" We don't have very many Ethiopian people in the area... next to none really so we were kind of excited. Well my silly self... I was feeling shy and was afraid to ask her. D on the other hand is my guy who will talk to anyone so he took the boys in their wagon and chased her He asked her if she was from Ethiopia, she looked at him funny then looked at the boys. She exclaimed "He's from Ethiopia!" pointing at N. Then looking at E said "He's not, he's black" We assured her that he was also from Ethiopia. She was very excited that we had stopped her. She's lived here about 8 yrs and still has a very strong accent. She said she stays home with her kids so she doesn't have a chance to speak much English. Her husband is also from Ethiopia and works for the same company I do! How VERY cool is that?! She invited us to her house, got our phone number and wants us to get to be friends. Her oldest son is about a year older than N, but has the same energy output. ;o) She has a daughter that is about 2 yrs old and E's size. The boys talked about them the rest of the night and into the next day. They were very excited to have met them and can't wait to see them again.

I can't tell you how great it is to have found other Ethiopians in the area. God is so good!!! And I was almost too shy to stop and ask her. My hubby said to me that I have to learn to step out of my box. He is right... I am working on it. ;o)

Sunday was church. They did the VBS recap again. This time they sang a different song. N of course was up front and E was not. The song they sang spoke of God's goodness and leaning on Him. I cried through the whole thing watching N up there singing about relying on God and trusting Him. I felt like he may not really understand the meaning, but that he was already so touched by God and His grace. What a blessing it is that N is here in our lives and blessing us. How often in the future may he need to rely on God for his strength? I was just overwhelmed with love for this sweet little dude. The funny thing is that he wasn't taught the motions for that song, yet he kept right up and did them with all the kids. I am telling you... if they still have American Idol when he's old enough... you better be watching for my boy! ;o)

For brunch on Sunday we celebrated with our Sunday school class, the 70th birthday of one of our members. It was great fun.

The rest of the day was spent lazing around. I was just tired the whole rest of the day so I didn't do a heck of Even blew off exercising, which probably would have helped, just had no energy.

Today I feel good and can't wait to work out tonight. S and I are ready to sweat again! ;o)

My van is still giving me fits and the engine light came on this morning on the way to work. Lord you know what we need... Please provide, however you see fit. ;o) Soon would be great! ;o)

Praying blessings for your week!!!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Finally Friday...

I think I need to find a new post title for Friday's ;o)

I am just always to so happy for Friday because I am excited to be home with the family during the weekend.

S and I have been keeping up with working out. We tried a different cardio routine that kicked our butts! We were so sweaty and pooped by the end of it. S immediately said "We should do this one again!"

The evil scale hasn't moved this week. Honestly who invented that item? I am choosing to believe that I have been replacing my fat with muscle and that the scale just hadn't registered that yet. (if you don't agree with me, please keep those thoughts to yourself ;o) )

I was able to put on 2 pair of pants that fit better than they have in yrs. So I know there's some kind of progress!

S and I are going to begin training for a Halloween 10k. We have our Halloween costumes ready. and I have committed to running with a friend of ours so now I have to do it because I can't disappoint him. ;o) oh... Lord I will need your strength! ;o)

Last night's mission meeting went really well. The group was fun. We have some talkers and some planners and some really great personalities. I was telling the guys that we would have some manly men things to do and the ladies all got on me about not ruling them out. funny stuff. I even had 2 ladies having friendly banter about football teams and rivalry's. My co-leader is going to start a blog about our team and it's progress. I will link it here if you want to keep an eye on his take. I will of course keep you updated here as well.

I look forward to working with them. They are all excited about the trip as well. I just continue to pray for God's guidance and grace.

The boys have been loving VBS this week. They come home every day with all kinds of fun stories to tell. They are excited to take in the food item of the day and take their dollars in for offering. They both told me it was for "the people that don't have food, mom!"
I love that the seeds are being planted so early! (look at the theme... there's that shiny thing again)

Tonight is the end of week presentation. Oh I can't wait to watch them. ;o) This will be the first time E has been in front of a crowd. It will be interesting to see how he does. I will take lots of pictures! ;o)

We do have a quick prayer need. My mini-van isn't working properly. It needs quite a bit of work. I put a call in to the dealership because of the new Chrysler/gov't incentive to see if we would benefit from trading the van in. We are in prayer that God will either provide the opportunity to get a vehicle that will have a warrenty and hopefully no repairs. If we can't trade it in, we pray that He provide for the way to be able to pay for the repairs... oh man we know how crazy expensive those can be! I know He will provide for us either way... or some way.

Looking forward to a weekend full of playing, attending a baby shower, a birthday luncheon and hopefully some down time.

Life is better than good!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mission progress

I am so in awe of what God is doing with our mission team...and we haven't had our first official meeting as a team yet.

We meet tonight for the first time as a team of committed people. I am very excited to see how it all goes. Some of the people I haven't even met At least not in person. ;o)

We have our first fund raiser in place and getting great response!

We are having a Yard Sale/Bake Sale on Saturday August 15th. If you are in the area email me I will get you directions. We have had wonderful response with the items that are being donated. I am getting lots of phone calls from people needing stuff picked up or wanting to know where to drop it off. It's going to be BIG.

I know God will honor the event. He's already got such a hand in it!

I received a DVD in the mail the other day that has pics of the kids and ladies we will be helping when we go over. Oh it just gripped my heart and made me want to leave NOW! The kids faces were just killing me.

We are looking at fees to be about 2100.00 to 2500.00 per person so we have some big funds to come up with for the 11 or 12 of us.

We already have a very generous donation from a dear bloggy friend. I can't tell you what a blessing it was to receive that! God placed her in my life at just the right time, for many reasons... ;o)

We also have a generous amount being given by the mission committee at church but it only gives us about 1/3 of our fees.

Will you pray with us that God provides all that we need to cover the cost for each person? We are going to work hard to move towards our goals. Anything over our goal will go towards the orphanages we visit as donation.

If you have any ideas for fund raisers, or would like to contribute I can give you the proper information. All donations are tax deductable as they are sent to our church.

Thank you for your prayers. I am SO excited to see what God does with us!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Have you ever told someone that you were praying for patience and you received a horrified look?

Then heard "OH! you should not pray for patience God will give you something to be patient about!"

Guess what? I used to be the horrified look person. ;o)

But I have come to realize that God's not some kind of sadist thinking... " hmmm you want patience? oh I will give you patience! Hold on honey...."

Honestly, how does that make sense when you read scripture that says to come to him all who are heavy laden?

Scripture does say that if you ask Him He will grant it.

Recently I have been asking God fervently for patience. In D and my prayer time at night, I ask for patience.

N requires much patience and much redirection. He has boundless energy and is always always on the go. I have often thought he may have a bit of ADHD, but he's only almost 5 yrs old, I am not looking to medicate him at this point.

Do we give him other things to do to help him lose the energy?... YES! We ride bikes, we have the little in home trampoline, we run laps in the house, we take him outside to run. He flips in several directions in a matter of minutes while watching TV, he is talking from the moment his eyes open to the time he falls asleep, shoot he even twitches in his sleep.

The way he lines things up, sets them in order, separates them by color and then does it all again in different patterns colors and items. His little brain is always at work.

To be honest it's often difficult keep patience. I believe that God knows my heart, if I am asking him for the patience to deal with N's actions and allow him opportunities to release those brain waves then I know He will. I do not beleive He finds ways for N to be even more active and impulsive.

I want to be able to show N that he is loved, he is cherished, and it's ok to be "on" all the time. That although I have to speak to him for the 10th time about the same thing... he is still lovable and loved.

We were speaking to a friend the other day that said that we should try giving him Mountain Dew. I know we both laughed at her. Truly?! Are you kidding?! Have you seen him... and you want us to add caffeine to the mix? ;o)

She is a teacher at a local elementary school where children with special needs go. She said that the school psychologists offer the Mountain Dew option to parents that don't want to medicate. If the child truly has ADHD or something like it, the caffeine or stimulant will calm him. hhhmmm... interesting.

We haven't tried it yet. We haven't had a space in time to see if it works to calm him... or if we need to take he and his bike to the park and let him ride off the

D and I were just saying the other night that as crazy as life has become we sure do love these guys. They bring this added dimension to life that we never imagined. The love, the hugs, the kisses...the growth.

We have grown and expanded our lives, our conscience... our FAITH!

So in addition to praying for patience I am thanking God for His abundant grace and the gift of our children.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Call to Action~

This info is taken from an email I received from EACH.

EACH is pleased to announce the introduction of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (S.1359 and H.R. 3110) and the Families for Orphans Act (S.1458 and H.R. 3070), both of which are a result of EACH's collaborative involvement in the Families for Orphans Coalition.**

Both proposed acts represent a potential victory for millions of vulnerable children from around the world who need a permanent family and a major step forward in providing internationally adopted children the same citizenship rights as foreign born biological children of American citizens.

More information about the FACE Act and the FFO Act can be found at:

How can you advocate for these children and passage of these bills?
We are asking all of you to become actively engaged with your U.S. Congressional Representative and Senators by urging them to support the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act and the Families for Orphans Act. Your telephone call, letter or e-mail can make a difference in the life of a child who is desperately in need of a permanent, loving family and help improve the acquisition of citizenship rights for internationally adopted children.

1. Sign the online petitions in support of these two bills. These petitions will be delivered to Congress.
The FACE Act:
The FFO Act:

2. Call your Senators and Representatives! In coordination with the National Council for Adoption and Joint Council on International Children's Services, we are suggesting a 72-hour sustained telephone effort by asking you to call Congress on July 28, 29, or 30 and urge your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives) to become a Co-sponsor of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act and the Families For Orphans Act. Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff and tell them that as a constituent you are requesting their boss' support by becoming a co-sponsor of these bills. Provide them with both the names of the two bills and their corresponding bill numbers (the FACE Act is S.1359 in the Senate and H.R. 3110 in the House and the FFO Act is S. 1458 and H.R. 3070 in the House.) You can direct the staffer to contact the offices of Senators Landrieu and Inhofe or Representatives Watson and Boozman for information on becoming a co-sponsor.

For contact information on your Representative please visit and for information on your Senators please visit

3. In addition to contacting your own members of Congress, please contact members who sit on the four Congressional committees who will be the first to vote on these bills. The FACE Act will be considered by the House and Senate Judiciary Committee and also by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The FFO Act will be considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Following is contact information for these committees

In the House:
House Committee on Foreign Affairs:Phone: 202-225-5021 (Democrats) or 202-226-8467 (Republicans)Email: on the Committee who need to know of your support for these bills:
House Judiciary Committee:Phone: 202-225-3951 (Democrats) or 202-225-6906 (Republicans)Members on the Committee who need to know of your support for the FACE Act:

In the Senate:
Senate Judiciary Committee:Phone: 202-224-7703 (Democrats) or 202-224-5225 (Republicans)Members on the Committee who need to know of your support for the FACE Act:
Senate Foreign Relations Committee:Phone: 202-224-4651 (Democrats) or 202-224-6707 (Republicans)Members on the Committee who need to know of your support for the FFO Act:
4. Get the word out. Send this email to friends and family. Post it to your Facebook, My Space, and Twitter accounts, your blog, and personal Web site.

** The Families for Orphans Coalition
Buckner International
Institute for Orphan Advocacy
Institute for Human Services
Joint Council on International Children's Services
Kidsave National Council For Adoption
Worldwide Orphan Foundation
Weaving Families

Monday, July 20, 2009

Weekend fun!

It was a fun weekend.
Saturday was a lazy lazy morning, we just hung out. We colored pictures and played some Mario Kart on Wii. My friend J called and asked if the boys wanted to come up to the park and ride bikes with she and her daughter. So we did. The boys were much faster riders than we were I now know that I can take the boys up with me to ride while I walk/jog though. It was great fun.
Sunday was kind of over cast.
We went to church then Sunday school.
Then met some friends at the beach. I was a little afraid we would end up getting rained on, but it turned out to be quite nice. The boys had a blast as usual, and we adults had fun hanging out.

The boys decided to show us how very strong they are!... are you impressed?!!!
Is he model material or what?! I am not sure what's up with the shadow.
Yes that's an eight pound weight! And daddy laughing because it wasn't staying up long. ;o)
Who's laughin now?!
Some pool fun...

Daddy bury me.... water's cold!

Goofy boys.... I love this little men so much. We have the best time.

Today was their first day at VBS. They had a great time and bombarded me with their day the minute I walked in the door. I can't wait till the week is done and we have the closing ceremony. There is something so great about seeing all those kids up there just singing their little hearts out and telling all the new stories they learned about Jesus.

God is Good!

Walking together

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

Here is a revelation for you.

I do not like to be around people on one.

I can stand in front of a group of you and speak about all manner of things, but I am not so comfortable with the one on one.

It's funny because as a youth I hated anything that made me stand out. And for heaven's sake do not make me speak in front of people.

Funny how things change.

I truly have to pep talk myself into one on one situations now. Once I am around others I enjoy the time, usually, but I truly have to work at being It's not because I want to be un-friendly, I just have to work past all those old insecurities. Why would any one want to talk to me, why would someone want to be my friend, what if I say something stupid, or wrong... or just have nothing to say? On and on the list goes... it's the other voices I hear in my ears I have Pride and Judgement on one side and Fear and Unworthiness on the other.

Geez, no wonder I have such a hard time listening to He has some pretty stiff competition.

The good thing about God is that He is so much bigger than those voices. Gosh I sound like I need a psych ward huh?

What I have learned through the years is what the above scripture states... when we walk in Christ, we have fellowship. Without that fellowship, we aren't walking in the light. If I am not walking in the light, I am not "shiny". ;o)

When I was discussing this with my friend recently we both concluded that part of our issue is that we weren't walking more closely with God, nor were we walking with other Christians as we would like. We go to church but haven't been to Sunday school in more than a month. I am not in an organized bible study, and my personal study had been lacking.

I need that fellowship!

I have been making a great effort to walk my physical body, trying to get myself in shape. But I haven't put as much effort into my spiritual self.

This weekend I pulled out an old study that I had on hand but never done. I think I will start it and will be asking hubby to work on it with me.

We have started back to Sunday School. I also look forward to the study I will be doing with our Mission Team.

I want to walk together with other Christians... and non-Christians for that matter... ;o) It's the fellowship that counts, no matter what my inner insecurities say.

I have some fun pics from the weekend to share once I get them uploaded.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

An Orphan's Prayer

An Orphan's Prayer
no author noted

I am waiting…somewhere far, far away…on the other side of the world.
I may not know who you are or what you look like.
But somehow, deep in my heart, I know you are out there.
That one day you will come and find me.

It's a long journey, and it takes a lot of time.
I wish it could be easier.
But I know that the ones who come for me will not count the cost.
They will only see the joy of finding me.

For now I abide in the fields of the fatherless.
Day by day wondering, "Why was I born here and not somewhere else?"
Asking, "Why couldn't my life have been different?"
It is so lonely…

Even though I am surrounded by hundreds of other children,
I know that something is missing.
I know in my heart I need a place to call home.

My arms long to be wrapped in a father's embrace…
I long to be saved by a mother's love.
Gazing out the orphanage window, I offer a prayer of hope,
"Oh God, please help them come quickly."

Even as I lay in the darkness each night somehow I feel assured.
That no matter how lost I appear I am not alone.
Holy hands guard my steps; sacred fingers wipe my tears…
Touching my lonely heart.

The one who made me,
The God who knew me before I was born,
Hears me every time I call.
He whispers His promises in my ear.
I listen with hope to His voice.

But what I worry about most is that no one wants to look for me.
The fields are vast, and there are so many scattered all over the earth.
I wonder how one little child, so lost, can be found.
Yet He calms my heart and assures me that He will find you.
That He will make sure you hear His voice clearly.
He has promised me that He will make a way through the fields.
That He will personally cut a path, and lead you right to my orphanage door.

My prayer is…
When He speaks, please don't forget to listen.
When He calls, don't be too afraid to go.
For I am waiting…somewhere far, far away.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Finally Friday!

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Today you will be spared my self discovery and just get to hear what the rest of the clan has been up to. ;o)

D was in Chattanooga TN all week, working. Well sort of Some of the other guys he was working with have dirt bikes and own land out there so he went dirt bike riding. He had a BLAST, but also was reminded that he is no longer 18 yrs He has a few injuries.

S and the boys had a good week. I think they are finally getting into a groove. The boys went to the church program on Tuesday. They all really enjoy that time apart and to do their own thing. Next week is VBS, we are still trying to find them a way there on Monday and Tuesday... but we will work something out.

The boys have been working on letters. They do a new one each day. E seems to have real difficulty with letters C and G, not really sure why. He is still young and learning so I will wait and see what the school says. He gets very upset and doesn't even try though if he thinks he can't do it. It gets frustrating for him. He loved doing H and I I come in the door and the boys rush me with their letter books. CUTE!

S and I have kept up our exercise routine. Cardio and weights on alternating days. It's feeling great!!!

The good news is ..... I have lost 3 lbs!!! YAY!
I still weigh more than I ever have in my life... yuck... but I am feeling good and loving the scale actually moving. I have been doing great with food choices as well. I passed up my favorite pancakes in the cafeteria ....wooohoo!!!

There is a 10k on Halloween this year, it's a new one at the oceanfront... S and I are thinking about signing up for it. It's kind of soon and it's going to be the hottest part of the summer to train... but we may go for it.

It's so fun to work out with her and keep each other accountable. There have been times when I just didn't want to work out or she didn't and we made the other just get up and go. Love it!!

And now for the real reason you come to this

Pics of the boys....

The boys loving on Buddy the dog.
Showing off their church program creations....of course N chose So cute!!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Walking the Plank

So... you know how when you start household projects you end up doing way more than you originally thought?

You start by cleaning the carpets, then realize the walls need paint, then the furniture needs to be replaced, then the curtains aren't right ...... on and on and on...

I kind of feel like that's what's been happening to me.

So what is walking the plank? Just me being goofy... but I have learned that I am not really sure how I have been living my life because there have some pretty large planks in my eyes.

I feel like Paul did when he said "I do the things I do not want to, and do not do the things I should."

I thought of that scripture the other day when I was telling N for like the 10th time to stop doing something. I kid you not this child will look at you and do the thing you have told him not to, and then turn around and pray for God to give him listening ears. Precious little dimpled He is so much like me.

How like that am I? When I look at someone and think unkind thoughts...and as soon as they are in my head, I ask for forgiveness because who the heck am I to judge? I am not the judge... God is.... shush whispering Pride and Judgement!

I look at my husband and think... why can't you be less grumpy? But I am just as much a grumpy butt.

I look at N and ask God why can't he just listen?!!! And God says... I don't know Andrea, why can't you?

I look at S's room and ask why can't you clean up this mess, and then walk into my room and see the clothes that still need to be folded.

God is teaching me that I need to stop walking that plank... get them out of my own eyes. My hubby might just be less grumpy if I turned my lamp on and treated him with more respect and love. N might just listen...if I set the example. And S may clean her room if I clean mine. (or maybe she won't...she's a teenager)

I tend to expect so much from other people yet find that I make excuses for my own behavior. What is that about?

I am learning to stop and pray as soon as I feel that plank blinding me. What is it about the situation that makes me so mad? It's usually something that bugs me about my own sin, and I then am able to ask God right then and there for His forgiveness.

He is healing my heart and in return I am feeling that light begin to flicker to life again. It is a joy to serve Him. It's a joy to know Him. It's a joy to realize that I am loved by Him no matter the size of the planks in my eyes.

I was just speaking to S the other day about how God loves us just the way we are but refuses to leave us that way. Thank you God for wanting to make me better, to make me more in the image of you.

Thanks to those of you that have kept This has been a pretty cool journey to be on with God. "Journaling" it here has helped me to see so many different aspects of what God wants to do in my life. Thank you also for the kind posts and emails. You are amazing!

Tomorrow I have fun news to share... well fun for me anyway. ;o)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


In my recent journey to self discovery I have come across a revelation. I am not shiny.

Now I am not depressed or anything. But I have been praying alot for God to reveal to me the places in me that needed to change.

What I have found is that my joy isn't exactly's just not exactly present. I am talking about the kind of Joy you find while you are living for Christ. Resting in His Glory... in His light.

I am not sure why or when it went away, but I can see how it's been the thing in me that's different.

I had an experience about 10 yrs ago that was life changing. I was laying in bed praying. I felt like I had this God sized hole in my chest and I was earnestly asking him to fill it.... just to over flow in me. While I was praying I felt this warmth, peace and amazing surrounded and filled me. I felt like I was glowing. I just laid there basking in the feeling. Honestly I wondered if perhaps I had prayed myself into ( I had been sleeping in an old camp bunk bed, the kind with a 2 inch thick mattress. I was so comfortable in that moment I thought I couldn't possibly still be in the bunk)

I then felt like Christ was saying to me "Shine for me. Shine for ME."

I didn't know much about scripture at the time so after drifting to a deep and peaceful sleep I woke up the next morning and reached for my bible before my feet hit the ground. I began to search through it.

This is what I found:

Matthew 5:14-16
14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

It became my scripture. I would refer to it whenever I was feeling down or not so shiny.

I have not looked at this scripture for some time.

I am not shining. Not in the way I feel like Christ asked me to that night.

Life has gotten in the way. I have been focusing on so many outwardly issues, that I have placed myself under the spiritual "bowl".

Now the task before me is to honestly ask Christ to remove that bowl...I want to be the light on the stand again. I want to be the light in my house... to my husband and my children. I want people to see the good deeds that I do and Glorify my father in heaven... not me.

Just as the scripture in my title says: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18

I pray to be transformed into His image from glory to glory. What an image...

I want to Shine Shine Shine! I need to plug my lamp in.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dreams coming true

Remember when I spoke about a place for HIV+ women...mothers...girls... a place to go to be able to exsist, live and thrive.

I even said I'll bet there is someone out there with the same vision and is either already on it or would be soon.

And guess what... I was right!! Praise God!

Check this out

I am SO in prayer at this point as to what God has going on here.

I have no idea where they will be in April...or if our team would be able to help here... but what if we can?

I have had some difficulty in communication with my contact that is to help us while in Ethiopia.... so I have also been in prayer as to what to do about this.

Will you pray for direction and wisdom and discernment?

We have a team of 11 at this point, and a few other's still on the's a fantastic group. I look forward to working with them. I just want us to be going about God's work... His plan.

Either way... pray for Carolyn's plan. What an amazing plan it is!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Monday

Hope you all had a blessed weekend!

Ours was packed but a good one.

Friday daddy came home early and surprised the boys. When they saw him drive up in the drive way S had to hold them back until he was parked before they went barreling out the door. They were glad to have him home.

Saturday morning D had a meeting with the Emmaus committee to prayerfully choose the group of men that he will be leading for the next Men's walk which will be in October. There is alot that goes into planning each meeting so they have to start early. He's very excited. God's been doing some good work in his heart as well. I look forward to seeing all that God does with these guys.

I stayed home with the boys and did some house work, and got my work out in. I was reminded why it is that I usually exercise when the boys are It's difficult to keep up with the steps of the video when "mommy" is repeated so

We spent the afternoon at the beach. I wish I had had my camera with me this time. N tried his hand at boogie boarding. He was great!!! Of E, not so much. He wanted to be on it and try it but then when I placed him on it he would scream to get off. It was a bit frustrating for us both. He wanted desparately to get on and go, but was too scared to. Poor little man.

We also had some interesting interactions. As I was standing at the water's edge a little girl, about 5 yrs old, walked up to me, took my hand and said... "let's go in the water". Some interesting observations about this interaction to me were, that she was only about 5 yrs old, she was AA, she was alone and she didn't know me from Adam. I looked around, wondering if she had family around. I didn't see any. I then asked her where her family was, and she said absently "over there". I told her we needed to find her family. She then let go of my hand, said no, and began to walk away. I was kind of stuck at this point because I had E in the water with me, and D and N were to far out to see what was happening. Right at that point a woman who looked to be her grandmother walked up. I asked if the little girl was with her, and she said that she was. The thing that struck me was her lack of concern. I honestly had to pray hard to keep those whispering voices of Judgement and Pride out of my ears. They were almost yelling. Doggon those little devils. I didn't know these people, I didn't know they situation...perhaps the grandmother was there by herself and overwhelmed. She needed some compassion from me, not judgement.

Ok so why was it interesting that she was AA? Because in the past I have never had a child of another race walk up so comfortably to me and ask to play in such a random setting. Perhaps because I had E with me? Perhaps because it's such an integrated beach, I love that!... perhaps because finally some of those barriers are dropping... or perhaps just because she thought I would go in the water with her and she didn't care what color I was... lol

Interestingly enough after that incident I was playing in the sand with the boys and another little girl, also AA, came over to ask if she could play with us. I sat there smiling for a bit... thinking of what wonderful doors our boys have been able to open for us. We all sat together and built sand castles. It was a fun afternoon.

We went home exhausted and happy. Then went out for ice cream after dinner with a dear friend. (not so good for the diet...oops)

Sunday D had to leave again. This time he had to drive to Chattanooga TN. Ugh that's a long lonely drive.

I took the kids to church and then back to a different beach for a Sunday school get together. It's more of a local's beach, not the touristy one we usually go to.

It was a good time...sort of. ;o) I think the boys were over being at the beach.... or just being with mom... or because we went during nap time... or because we missed daddy...but they were both missing listening ears, and E ended up screaming the whole way off the beach when it was time to leave. Oh, the joys of parenting.

After we got home though we got washed up and had some quiet time just hanging out and doing nothing. That was MUCH better. ;o)

S and I ended the day by adding some strength training to our work out. All I could think of was that turtle from Finding Nemo, I could hear him saying " hey, jelly man" ;o) It did feel good though, and today I feel strong. We are going to alternate strength and cardio every other day.

We added 3 more people to our mission team! We are now up to 11 people confirmed. YAY! God is Good!

Please pray for D and I as we both lead such large faith opportunities at the same time. We want to serve God faithfully and with the right hearts, but not put our families on the back burner. It will be a juggling act, but I know God can and will guide us.

That's about all for now. Have a blessed one.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Finally Friday...

...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

What a great week!
Gettin' Healthy Update:

Monday began the work out commitment. S was sick so she wasn't able to join me. I did the Leslie Sansone 3 mile walk.
Tuesday S and I both did the 3 mile walk.
Wednesday I felt like I needed something more challenging. I love Leslie Sansone, but I didn't feel like it was doing anything for me. So I pulled out one of my Turbo Jam DVDs. It was much better... although S and spent much of the time laughing. My poor sweet girl doesn't have much in the way of coordination. I also discovered it would be be great to have a larger living room. We were running into each other... in some cases avoiding giving each other black eyes by mere
Thursday we tried a different Turbo Jam. This was less challenging coordination wise...but man it makes you sweat! ;o)

I have been eating better. No soda, no sweets other than 1/2 a Three Musketeer's bar. ;o) YUM. I think I am going to work on better portion control.

Added benefit of the work out system is that I am in a much better mood already. I even read an article on Yahoo about how exercise can lift your mood for up to 12 hours afterwards. I had to giggle a bit because we work out at night (I am SO not a morning person) I figure at least I am happy while I sleep.

I did get on the scale yesterday I figured it might be good to see if I see any changes in weight over time. I never have been much of a scale mover, I am more of an 'inches lost' gal. I won't share what it said... eeewww... but I will share if it moves at all. ;o)

I have begun journaling my prayers and thoughts with God. That too has been such a great release.

The kids have had a good week. I always hesitate typing that here, because something always happens to make me want to eat those words. Weird blog Karma (if you believed in that kind of thing)

The boys have been working on letters, they write a new one each day. N knows the letters he's writing, and is doing a great job. E is doing well tracing them, but seems not to be able to recognize them after he writes them. I am not overly worried about it yet, as he can recognize pictures and recall other words. He does know the letter 'E'. ;o) And knows his name starts with it.

They go to the church on Thursday's for a day program. They have a blast. Yesterday N made a crown and staff out of paper. E painted a shirt. Last night when we called daddy to say good night (he's working out of town) E must of told him about his whole day. It's so funny because he's still very much learning language, he mostly says 1 and 2 word phrases followed by "yeah" ... He's very animated and you usually can get what he's saying. So cute!!! He did say a whole sentence last night "My cow fe-down" translated "My cow fell down" ( we had gotten kids meals from Chik-fil-a)

S is still learning to drive... yikes! Honestly it's so not fun to be at the mercy of your child behind the wheel. Any one want to come help her learn?

We are in high gear getting ready for the yard sale at our church for the mission team. We have had several donations of items to sell, lots of people interested in attending. Z helped me pick up some chairs last night. They are so ugly... BUT! They would be beautiful if upholstered. ;o) I think I will make a sign for them suggesting We have 7 confirmed people for our trip, and 3 or 4 others still praying about their involvement. I think it's going to be a great group! I was looking at pictures this morning of Ethiopia and just had such a longing to be there. Thank you God for making this happen.

Z has been working at his church this summer in the youth day program. Mostly middle schoolers. He is getting a taste of what it means to He's really doing an excellent job. I am so proud of him.

Thank you to all of you that have said you would pray with me while I work on getting healthier! I can feel it. It's working.

This coming week I plan to continue working out at least 6 days, 45 mins each day. It's been my schedule this week and I love it. I will continue eating healthier, and journaling my prayers.

Please keep the prayers coming!
Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Self Discovery

Woo wee God has been talkin' to me this week! ;o)

Most of it good. Some of it painful... and that's mostly because it's been one of those weeks when I am reminded of some things that need to change with in me.

I have realized that there are changes that need to be made. Mostly interior.

I was reading Amy Jo's post here. (I recommend her site highly, she's got some really great insight!!) This particular post was about Pride and Judgement. One of the things she said was that she had "Pride and Judgement whispering in each ear"... oh how often does that happen to me? I immediately recognized that when they are whispering in each ear I am certainly not listening to God. I have always thought that I tried to see the best in people, to give them the benefit of the doubt, because you just never know another's circumstances, but I was struck by what God was telling me when I read the post. I found that at home I am not nearly as forgiving as I am of others. Ouch!

Recently I was lamenting over my hubby's short comings and issues. I know...not so nice. ;o( But as I was thinking about them and getting all self righteous, I realized I was in no position to have Pride and Judgement whispering in my ears. You know.. get the plank out of my own eye before I try to remove his speck?

My friend Cindy shared this with me earlier this week. It's an exerpt from a radio show done on Series: Love and Respect: An Interview with Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Hmmm... more ouch.

I have been learning that there is more than physical exercising that I need to commit to. I also need to commit to spiritual exercising.

Isaiah 40:31 says But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength....

Strengthening my physical core will make me stand up straighter, provide waist management, and help my clothes to fit better.

Strengthening my spiritual core will also make me stand up straighter, provide waste management and put my spiritual armor back into place.

When I am focused on God and His word, on His love and grace, I don't give room for Pride and Judgement.

lol... I am getting more oxygen to my brain while exercising... could be why I am thinking more?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who is holding you up?

Exodus 17: 10-13
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.

This was our scripture from Sunday's sermon at church. I love this scripture because I see how God orchestrates a visual and I am a visual thinker.

God told Joshua to fight...Moses was to hold up his arms at the top of the hill as a gesture of support to Joshua...Moses' arms got tired...Aaron and Hur brought Moses a rock to rest on and held up Moses' arms because he was tired. When Moses was not being supported, Joshua's army wasn't successful...when he was being supported Joshua was victorious!

How very true is this in life?!

I love how scripture is still so relevant.

I had a conversation with a loved one this weekend that tore at my heart. He told me that he wasn't sure he had ever fully given his heart to Christ. He has been going through the motions, but felt he had been talking the talk...not walking the walk. He wasn't being a leader in his home, or in his life outside of the church.

I am not sure he's very far from being alone. How often do we just go through the motions? But this person truly felt convicted that he was not acting the way he was supposed to and truly wanted prayer for His whole heart to be given to Christ.

After hearing this scripture on Sunday morning I knew God was asking me to hold up my loved one's arms. To lift him in prayer as he asks Christ to fully take over his life.

The other thing I noticed in the scripture was that Aaron and Hur brought a large rock for Moses to sit on. Christ is my rock. He is our rock. We can rest on him while our brothers and sisters in Christ lift our arms and support our mission for God.

I am now asking you bloggy friends to help me keep my arms lifted. I have decided to work on my health. I keep trying to start something and then come up with excuses as to why I can't go on. Usually it's just lack of motivation.

I want to be motivated...and I figure if I post it here in blog land...perhaps 1 or 2 of you that admit to following me would be willing to help keep me accountable? ;o)

I want to get strong again. I want to get off my duff and begin strengthing it. I am no good to my children when I am tired. The more I keep putting myself on the back burner I feel myself get discouraged. When I am discouraged I am crabby and tired.

What kind of mom does that make me? What kind of wife? I want to be the kind of wife, mom and friend that is able to hold up the arms of those around me that need it.

If I am healthy both physically and spiritually then I can do both. What a concept.

Geez, besides...this whole mission team thing takes alot of energy, can't be all crabby and tired while I am trying to do God's work now can I?

So what I am asking you for is support...prayer support. I will try to post on Friday's how my week has gone. Where I have triumphed and where I have fallen short.

I started last night with exercise, and today I made better choices in my food. S wants to work out with me so I have a partner. ;o) Not that she needs it to lose any weight, but exercise is always good for you. And bless her little tushy she was blessed with my back end...we have a bit of junk in our trunks. ;o)

If I can be of prayer support for you in any way. Please leave me a post, or email me. God clearly does not want us to live our lives alone, but with the support of others. Christ will be the rock we can rest on, but we can all hold each other's arms up and together, like Joshua, triumph!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The July 4th weekend

We had so much fun out and about this past weekend. Fun had with friends and family. We are truly blessed by both the friends and family God has given us.
Friday we spent with the 2 other couples we meet with regularly for an accountability group. One of them lives out in the country so we played in the pool, the kids drove around on the go-kart. Well the kids and He's just a big kid anyway. They are surrounded by pasture land so the boys got to feed the horse as well. N even tried his had at skate boarding. He's so my fearless do it all little man.

LOL... look at that face!
E was chasing the big kids on the golf cart. Funny little man.
The next pics are from the 4th. We went to my parents house to eat lunch and do a sort of cook out. My mom ever the resourceful one has these little tubs out for the kids to play in. How fun is that?! They chose their own tubs.

Then it was on to our other friends house to play in the pool some more. And eat too much food. I also found that I stink rather badly at Ladder Ball. ;o) That's ok, I have never been very good at I will just be happy with my cheerleader position.
These 2 are such peas in a pod! SO much alike, no fear, so sweet, yet very little self control. ;o) They are a force to be reckoned with when they get together!
E loves the water. He would just float around in his floats and splash around. I think he would have stayed there for the whole time if we had let him.
Who is the big 4-0?
Silly girl
Look mom... I am swimming!

We did get out to watch fireworks, and then we all crashed. Sunday was church and then it rained all afternoon. We all chose various spots in the living room and took naps together. What a wonderful way to end the weekend.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Children and boundaries. Oiy! What a combo.

N's 4th year has been one of many struggles for us all. Take terrible 2's and double them, maybe triple them at times.

As he gets ready to turn 5 in a month we have all kind of smoothed out. He still has struggles and I still think he's a 16 yr old... stuck in a tiny body. I tell you what...that kid can cop some attitude! He is maturing some, and I pray that is going to continue as he begins Kindergarten this fall. He's ready academically. On a funny academic note, we have been working on his letter writing. He's not got such great hand writing. Of course he's only just turning 5, I am not expecting perfection... but I see shades of his big brother and uncle. Both are extremely intelligent and both have 4 yr old handwriting. ;o) I see signs of genius!

E on the other hand is just starting his 4th year of life. And oh honey hold on to your hats!!! If there is a boundary he is trying to cross it, and he's one tough little cookie. Correction is difficult because even that he defies. We have started some holding techniques, and that has been helping some. But there are times that we just can't stop what we are doing to go into a hold. I am trying to be consistent, but it's so hard sometimes. Last night he was up from 130am until 3am just being obnoxious and not wanting to sleep. Luckily D is out of town and I just brought him into bed with me. I tried to sleep while he tried to keep me up. He was then up with me at 6am, right back at it. Oh how I love that boy... I just had to keep reminding myself at that last night.

As I was laying there listening to him jabber, I was in prayer, and then kind of chuckled to myself as I thought of Romans 8:28. I was trying so hard to see God working the good in my lack of sleep. LOL

S, my actual teen has been testing the boundaries so much less than the little guys. Thank God for small favors. She and I have decided that we are going to begin an exercise program together, once the boys are in bed. Since she is watching the boys during the day and things in life for me have ramped up to crazy level, we are going to stress relieve together. I am really looking forward to that! ;o)

I pray you all enjoy your long holiday weekend! We will be busy as usual. ;o)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, whohave been called according to his purpose.

This is one of my favorite verses. It comes back to me time and time again.

I know there are some that don't like this verse because it can be interpreted in different ways I guess.

But the way I read it is that no matter what happens, good or bad God can and does work it out for good. I don't read here that God causes bad things to happen so that he can do good things. I believe we live in a fallen, sinful world...ugly things happen. And I believe it grieves God when they do, and He then will work things out for good for those who believe in Him.

I am not trying to get into theological debate, although I guess since I am writing this perhaps I am opening myself up for it. ;o)

I guess because this is on my mind so heavily right now...I don't believe God gives children cancer, but I do believe that He changes people's hearts and minds and souls that are effected by that child's cancer. People are strengthened, they are lifted, they are made to see things differently and in a different light. Perhaps they begin to see that He does love, both the child that is hurting as well as the family caring for them. What I see is that God hurts too.

Why does He not heal the child?

I have no clue. I honestly have no clue as to why some people are healed, helped, rescued, or spared and others aren't. Believe me, it will be one of those things I will ask Him about when I get to heaven.

What I do know is that over and over in my life I have had things happen that, when looking back, I can see where God used the situation for my good. Some of the situations were extremely painful, some were ugly, some were my own doing... and God has used them to change me. At the very least I have grown from each one.

Some things have happened and I have yet to see why they happened, or the good that is coming from it. But then again, I am not God (phew!!!) nor do I see all aspects of other's lives.

Some people talk about going back to a certain time and doing life over with what they know now. I wouldn't do that if you paid me!

There are many times that I forget to rely on God. I forget to trust in Him. I forget that He has things in control, and He's not surprised by what is happening. If I would only trust Him, He will work it all out. It may not be the way I want it, or the way I plan it, but it's always good for me.

Who knew that He would lead us to adoption? To adoption from Ethiopia? To adoption from Ethiopia of an HIV+ child? To planning a mission team?

I can't wait to see what else He has planned!!!!

His ways are SO SO much bigger than mine. His thoughts are so much better.