Saturday, February 26, 2011

Adoption Confusion

Photo taken from Holston Home.

Research for adoption is overwhelming!!! OVERWHELMING! Phew glad I got that out now. Seriously my husband and I have been praying through so many different things as we consider adoption. There are decisions to make about what agency you will work with? How about special needs? Are we willing to take those into our home? What about ages of children? So many children out there need loving families.

And that is just a few things. This is a serious fasting, prayer covered type of thing. We know our child is out there somewhere. God just has to lead us to him or them. He knows who is supposed to be here. Acts 17:26 gives me comfort. It states, "From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries." God knows. He knows the boundaries of this child. He knows where he is. He knows him even if he is not born yet.

So far He keeps bringing us back to the Philippines. But the problem here is there is a long wait. Maybe up to four years. This is driving us crazy. Yet everytime we do our research we are drawn back to the Philippines. So, this is what seems to be the path to take. That narrows down agencies because not everyone works with the Philippines. 

We have a meeting with a social worker this week. We are hoping this will narrow some things down for us. Please keep us in your prayers. I think we have also narrowed it down to two potential agencies as well.  That may make things easier. We just need God's wisdom. This is a huge decision.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

DVD Review and Give Away - Chuck Swindoll's Paws and Tales Biblical Wisdom for Kids

We received a free copy of this DVD for the purpose of review from Tyndale publishers.

They have given me a free copy to give away to you! So if you are interested in this product just leave a comment to be entered into the drawing. I will pick a winner a week from today at noon. 3/3/11 at noon.

This was a sweet dvd with two great messages. My children liked the characters and the songs that went along. They liked the story lines as well. My 9 year old said it was a little young for her but my 7 year old loved it.

They learned that Jesus is the good Shepard and He will do anything for us. Also, that it is important to build on a solid ground not shifting sand. Their favorite characters were the bears. My youngest wants to watch it again so that is good. Also, I do think they would be interested in the rest of the series.

Check out a video of this product here.

And you can get games for this product online here.

For any other information please go to

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Dealing With Special Needs and Masks

Honestly those two words "special needs" really are quite comical to me. I think it would be a lie if someone claimed to have no "special needs" all together. I would always apologize to people for mine because I wanted them to know up front that I could be a bit high maintenance. It just cuts to the core of me for them. Then no problems if I was just a bit much for them. No worries. It gives them a chance to run.

Now I am realizing that I am wanting to do the same thing for my children. I worry that others will run when they discover their "special needs." Whether it is being high maintenance, overly excited, or whatever happens that day in public, I just want people to love them for them. I do not want them to feel the need to change in order to fit in. I want then to feel free to be who they were created to be, quirks and all.

I feel so tired of seeing so many people wearing masks. They tend to want to be something they are not in order to fit in. That must be very weary. I must remind myself of this because when I start becoming weary it is probably because I am trying to put some sort of mask on myself. I think most of us do it. However, I am saying now let's start a trend. No more masks. Let's just be who God created us to be so we can freely love people in that way. The only way we can because He created us unique. A simple truth but it is only now that I am truly beginning to understand it and fully embrace it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Book Review - Defiant Joy by Kevin Belmonte

I received a copy of this book free of charge from the publisher for the purpose of review.

I really do not like writing negative reviews. This one is painful like the others. I am a lover of history and enjoy reading up on people from our past. This book however was written in a very dry way. It was a discipline for me to even pick it up to read. It was one I just could not get into.

The information is good. It is full of all you need to know about G.K. Chesterton's life. There seemed to be nothing lacking in this way. It was just the format and the dryness of the read that was difficult.

To get a copy of this book from Amazon go here.

Bible Memory Work - I Will Survive

I am so far behind in this memory work I am doing from the book of Philippians. However, I am not giving up. Life just happens sometimes and throws these things off course. However, my mind and heart will recall those verses again I have down and then start storing the rest of them as I take time to just meditate on the passages. That may be the bigger part of my Bible study this week.

What are you working on memorizing? I would love to hear.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Feeling Like a Failure

Oh boy has it been a hard month. I am feeling like a failure all around. I am failing at being a good wife, a good mom, a good daughter, a good friend, a good teacher, and a good ministry leader. Failing all around.

That is atleast what my feelings are telling me. That is how I "feel." I hate that because the truth tells me that I am not a failure. Feelings are good. They are God-given. They are needed or He would not have given them to us. I am realizing too that some of us feel things more deeply than others. This would be the case for me. This is a blessing and a curse. God made me perfect this way for His glory and perfect plan. I rejoice in this yet these pesky feelings continually trip me up and get in the way.

Sometimes I just wish I was numb. I plead for God to take them away. I completely understand how someone can be addicted to substances for numbing purposes. This would be the easy way out for sure. Yet God has given us a way to rise above without a numbing agent. He has given Himself to us. He has given His word to us. His truth, His life, His death, His victory--all ours in Him. I cannot imagine life without Him.

I feel such compassion for those who do not know Him. How in the world would it even be possible to get up in times like this? I have the hope of Christ. My joy is in His promises to us. Specifically this one:

"Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~2 Corinthians 12:7b-10

In verse 10, the word for delight in the original language means, "think it good, choose, determine." So the verse is saying that I will choose to or determine myself to think it good in my weakness, in insults, in hardships, persecutions, and difficulties. When we are weak God is strong.

So really our weakness is a strength because it is only then God can be His strongest. In these times I know I am desperate for Him. It is an honor and blessing to be in this place. So if you are here too, hold tight to Him. He will never let you go. He will be strong in every area you feel weak. So with that said, I declare that
I am a good wife in HIM
I am a good mother in HIM
I am a good daughter in HIM
I am a good friend in HIM
I am a good ministry leader in HIM
I am not a failure, I am a victor in HIM. I am strong in HIM. I delight in my weakness because it is only then that Christ's power rests on me. Amen?!

In what areas are you feeling weary this week? I would love to pray for you. Please let me know.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Adoption Journey - Phase One

Going through the process of international adoption can be lengthy. It also can be more costly than domestic adoption. Taking it another step further, adopting from the Philippines is even more restricting.

We have our challenges set before us. One of those is seriously losing some weight. There are BMI restrictions here. Another is taking physiological testing. There are just some restrictions here that are not set in other places. However, at this time we are feeling called to pursue this country. So we will continue walking through the process until God closes some doors.

We have several meetings lined up to finalize where we will put our application into. We feel an urgency in this because 30 months can be the wait time for the Philippines. This will be agonizing knowing our baby boy is out there somewhere while we just wait for him. It will be a humble realization that this child is God's as well and God is watching over him no matter where he is. Depending on God will take on a new meaning for us.

I cannot imagine not knowing exactly where one of my girls were. This child is the same for us. He is God chosen to be part of our family but we just do not know where he is yet. We have a love growing in our hearts that is amazing for this child that we do not even have a picture of. It is an amazing thing to go through.

I feel pregnant right now....knowing it could take 30 months. I hold that secret smile inside that you get when you are newly pregnant yet no one knows but you. You just realize this child is growing within you and will grace you with its presence at due time. This is feeling the same. It is a crazy feeling. Please pray for us as we have these meetings and ask God for His wisdom in moving forward. Also pray for us as we raise support up to around $20,000. Pray for us as we seriously seek out health in our bodies.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Soul Print by Mark Batterson - Book Review

I received a copy of this book at no charge for the purpose of review.

I chose this book because I really enjoyed reading Mark Batterson's title Primal. This book was a good read but I liked the other one better.

This book is one that will "help you experience the joy of discovering who you and the freedom of discovering who you are not" as stated on the books back cover.

This book explores many scenes from David's life and takes a look at where God is in those scenes with him. It explores his great successes and great failures. Mark also uses his own life stories to help illustrate these things.

Though it was not a bad book at all I just found it hard to really get into it. There were parts that I was really moved by but as a whole it was just hard to get into. It may be the stage of life I am in though. There are just times that a book speaks to you right where you are at. Unfortunately this did not happen with this one.

If you would like to purchase a copy of this book click on the link above.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Remission? Health Update

I am fearful really to even type the word remission. I have been doing really well for a little while now. I have given my body much grace because I need it so much. Grace to rest. Grace to heal.

Again there was absolutely nothing done specifically for this period of healing to come about. I am just free again. So I sit here and wonder how long will this period last? Is this one forever? I have been gentle with myself getting little exercise at a time. Gentleness only I can understand because I know how this body feels and works.

It is strange living with an invisible illness that can bring you down at any unexpected moment. It presents difficultly, especially since the illness does not have an official name. No matter what, for now I am thankful.

Some things I have noticed that just help my body in general are eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, getting adequate protein and supplements. These things have helped greatly. They sustain me in this period of grace.

The experiment of limiting my diet has had random results. I do see that limited dairy does help me. So I focus on that. It has not been that hard seeing how beneficial it usually is. Limiting gluten has not made a huge difference so I am still eating breads and pasta from time to time. I have limited (not eliminated) sugars too which does help.

So for now slowly with eating right and exercise I am building my body back up again with all grace and gentleness. That I am thankful for.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Homeschool Helps that are a Must for Us

I have not done a home school post for a while so I though this was a good time. I was encouraged today by an article posted on working with kids with sensory issues. You can see it here.

With the sensory issues we have to work with these items are a must in our school.

These grips are great! My youngest cannot tell how hard she is pressing on the page so pencil leads would break all the time causing extreme frustration. Once we got a grip like this we have had no more broken pencil leads. It has been wonderful.
This exercise ball comes in very handy as well. I let my child who has fidget issues sit on it while doing her book work. This works great because she can keep her attention on the book instead of focusing on sitting still on a solid surface. It works wonders and helps us get lots done.
This mini trampoline is another must! It helps with numbers and spelling words. Something about the bounce and movement in conjunction with the numbers or words just helps. It makes her mind move faster and better. Love it. Plus it helps burn off that extra energy.
This book has been a great purchase. When we realized that there were social issues and skills that were becoming more of an issue than desired we purchased this. We have been using it and practicing the social skills. It has great pictures and instructions. My child loves to just flip through it when we are not using it and study the pictures. It has been a great help.

This book has been great as well. It teaches with pictures how to properly write each letter. It is fun and easy. Since we have small motor skill issues this book has been very helpful!
This math book is also wonderful because it uses pictures to demonstrate math concepts. Such a good one for us as well.

This phonics book I just found this past month. I really like it so far because it teaches phonic concepts with pictures and has been helping me and my daughter see the areas we need to work harder on. Since my daughter thinks in pictures this one is a perfect match.

Home schooling can be successful if you have the right tools. It has taken some time to get this all sorted out but these all appear to work very well for our situation.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I Will Praise Him Still - Love Habakkuk

Be encourage by this today.

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
   and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
   and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
   and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
   I will be joyful in God my Savior.
 19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
   he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
   he enables me to tread on the heights.
~Habakkuk 3:17-19

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Adoption and Where We Fit - How You Can Help

Shortly after we had our second biological child, we made a decision that we will forever regret. It was a hasty decision that made perfect sense to us. We did not spend much time in prayer over this decision. It just made sense so we did it. Our condition was as follows:

I was sick and had Lyme disease and it had taken a toll on my body. It acts a lot like MS. After a few months after childbirth your body is hit hard. I was so sick and followed this same pattern after our first child so we thought I would never get better. We did not even have a clear diagnosis at this time.

Then there was a entire group of men in our peer group who were all going to have vasectomies. Talk about crazy-weird peer pressure which I do not think was the kind that was pleasing to God. So because everyone was doing this AND I was so very sick it seemed like the right thing to do. This is how we ended our child birthing years. (Don't worry I have my husbands permission to type this.)

Over the next 7 years this regret set deeply in. Initiated by my husband. He said he did not think it was wise and that God was not finished with our family yet. Over those 7 years I was healed quite miraculously. It was something we did not expect. Though the last few years I have struggled a bit again it has never been what it was. I am much better and in a very healthy place right now considering what I went through before. So this started us thinking and praying about adopting. Something we probably would not have opened our hearts to unless this happened. So it is truly a Romans 8:28-29 situation.

The fact is that there are so many children who need a family. We have space in our home and our hearts to meet that need. It was this year that God started working in our hearts to get this process started. So this is what we are working toward.

My children are so excited at the idea of receiving a new baby boy into the family. They are collecting change and giving their allowance toward the large cost of adoption. My husband is working a second job teaching at the university to put that toward this process. I do not have any services to offer except the one of this ministry. If you need a speaker for a woman's event please let me know. This is the part I can contribute to the process of adopting our child. Please spread the word. Check out the speaking tab on the top of this blog.

I will continue to blog about this process from the beginning - now until it is completed. Would love for you to be a part in this with us. Please do pray for us. It will be an adventure I know! It brings joy to my heart to know my baby may be out there somewhere. Praying for him. Please join me.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Our Adoption Story - The Beginning God's Plan - Our Hearts

Adoption starts for each of us in Christ early on. Before the foundation of the world ever came to be God had already planned to adopt us into His family as His children. He was the perfect Father. Though we were not born of the of the Jewish blood line we were saved by the blood of Jesus which included us into the family line. Thus the beauty of adoption. God had this amazing thing planned out all along. Praise His name!

"He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." ~John 1:11-13

"The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” ~Romans 8:15b

"For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves." ~Ephesians 1:4-6  

In the past few years God has been slowly working on us about the issue of adoption. We are safely adopted into the Father's arms. He will never leave us or forsake us. He reached down and loved us and wooed us making us His own. He cleaned us up where we were and brought us into His family. We are His fully. His completely. This is our new blood line. Amazing concept isn't it?

We are called to help the orphans (James 1:27). This is obedience to Christ. There are many ways we can do this. Some of us are called to open up our homes and bring children into our own families. Some of us are called to help by contributing to these ministries. Some of us are called to pray for these orphans faithfully. All of us are called to do something. What is your place? Where is God calling you in this?
Our family has ideas where we fit into this. I will share more in other posts. I want to hear from you though where is God calling you on this journey to help the orphans?  

Memory Work Monday - LATE on Wednesday

So I totally missed Monday's memory work post. Anyway, this week I am memorizing for our family work and SSMT this verse.

The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. ~Proverbs 15:28

Also I am working on the rest of Philippians Chapter 1. I will be pondering this one for a while.
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