Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Catching my Breath

Hello friends!  We just got back from the land of the Mouse and I may never get caught up on laundry!  I will post as soon as possible...there is SO much fun to tell you about!  Until then, may your days be merry and bright and may your Christmas overflow with JESUS!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Light in the Darkness

It is obviously the Christmas season. 
My tree is up, lights are gracing the front porch and staircase, and it all looks oh, so pretty. 
Peaceful.
Perfect.
I love Christmas time.  It is my favorite time of year, and I have always loved getting caught up in the spirit of giving, the look of joy and wonder on my childrens' faces when they see the tree, and the fun of hunting each morning for our Elf on the Shelf.  It is sweet memories just waiting to be made.  It is warm flannel pj's and hot chocolate, A Charlie Brown Christmas, our Fontanini Nativity, and the scent of cinnamon in the air.

But tonight, I saw things a bit differently.  Tonight I sat at the feet of a precious brother and sister in Christ who pour themselves out daily in service to the Lord.  They rescue and care for over 900 orphans and poverty-stricken children in Uganda.  They worship God with hearts that are desperate for Him, and they pray with bold, beautiful voices rich with the African accent. 
They pray unashamed. 
And when they pray, you feel the presence of the Holy Spirit.  It is moving, life changing, and humbling.  It will nearly knock you to your knees.
They told of children who have seen and experienced things that no child should ever know.  Stories that broke my heart and turned my stomach.  Stories of desperation and stories of those who overcame. 

And then I came home to our beautiful house, our tree, the "secret closet" full of gifts waiting to be wrapped and thought about the children who sleep in a bush and go for days without a bite to eat.  Children who are exploited and used, and who have never felt the love of a parent.  Children who grieve.  Children who receive counseling by Momma Pheobe straight from the Word of God...
"You are special."
"God loves you."
"There is a reason you are alive."
"God has a plan for you."


And I look at all the "things" that I love to surround myself with at Christmas time and realize that there is nothing brighter, nothing more beautiful, nothing that sparkles more than the realization that God does, indeed love us.  He loved us so much, in fact, that He sent His son in the form of a helpless newborn baby in order to die as a man...a perfect, flawless, sinless, beautiful man...for the ugliness, the sin, that had me in bondage.

He set me free from the enemy of my soul.

We must own that amazing and hard truth.  Jesus must be more than a cute baby in our Nativity Scene.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  He is the lover of my soul.   
What is more beautiful than that?  What is more fulfilling than watching the Lord take a damaged, used, and scarred human being and transform them into the image of Christ?
I want my kids to seek that experience, to allow God to use them to the fullest.  I pray for guidance as I juggle the daily duties of 4 children, our home, the preparations for the children He will bring, and the need to set the example for the precious hearts in my care as I strive to obey the call God has placed on our family.  I hope with all of my heart that we will all catch afire with the passion to serve and bless in the name of Jesus.

Christmas.  May we rise up together, as one body...the Bride of Christ, to shine His light in the darkest corners of our world. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Dossier

It came by email.  I don't know why, but I expected a packet in the mail...but there it was.  14 attachments staring at me...14 attachments that represent our next child (or children). 
14 attachments.

I thought the printer was going to explode!

Today we signed the dossier agreement and the family service plan.  I carefully folded them, put them in the envelope, and stuck the stamp in the corner. 
It was my last stamp. 
That envelope is kinda fat.  I'm thinking I may go to the Post Office tomorrow and put one more on there...just in case! 
Then I ordered new copies of our birth certificates and began the to-do list...order Marriage Certificate, apply for passports, etc. 

As if 4 kids, 2 dogs, and 11 fish weren't keeping me busy enough!  Then there is Christmas, and OH YEAH our trip to Disney World next week...I haven't even unpacked from our Thanksgiving vacation...and somewhere in there I just want to spend a day in my pj's drinking hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies with my children...

And I will, while squeezing in hours online fulfilling Ethiopia and US requirements so we can bring home our child. 
Thus begins the task of parenting five. 
I will be so happy when he/she is safely home and sitting on the couch with us in pj's, drinking hot chocolate and watching Christmas movies. 
It will happen
Until then, Mama is going to have to be on my knees, in constant communication with our Savior, and focused on what is most important-this amazing call that God has placed on our family to reach out, take the risk, and wrap our hearts around "the least of these"...the precious orphaned children who wait. 
For they ARE waiting...for us. 
For you.

We are coming, sweet one.  We are coming.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Welcome!

I am not a new blogger.  In fact, if you know me (and some of you do!) you know that I have been at this for almost three years.  I have decided to start this new little endeavor because the Lord is working overtime in me, my family, and our neck of the woods and the things He is doing in and through me are worth sharing with as broad of an audience as I can find!
So...here I go!  Feel free to comment any time, share my link with anyone, and hopefully through all of this God will encourage your heart.  After all, if He can use a small town girl like me, He can truly use anyone!

Blessings from a full heart!

Friday, October 30, 2009