Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful for Truth:
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me - put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
Thankful for stretching, growing, weeding. I love the Brandon Heath song, Don't Get Comfortable, currently on my blog:
Comfortable, don't get comfortable.
I am gonna move this mountain,
then I'm gonna move you in.
Yesterday, this is not yesterday.
You were standing on my shoulders,
now you're standing on the edge ...
you are gonna live like you used to dream ...
Thankful that my little man is fully and completely, 100 percent potty trained. Way to go, Buddy!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Memorial Box Monday - Hidden Tract

I miss my dad so much! But I also rejoice as I remember where he is now, even when I have to be reminded in the simple but heartfelt prayers of my five-year-old daughter, “God, I thank you that Granddad is in Heaven with you, and I want you to take good care of him.”
In November 2003, the month we announced we were adopting, my dad was diagnosed with malignant melanoma, metastasized to his lymph system. It was a huge shock, and we learned that with cancer, we must live day by day, always waiting for the next report, the next treatment, the next procedure, the next trial.
It was no secret that since the Lord had miraculously saved me, I had been trying to ‘help’ him bring my dad to Christ. Clayton and I had committed to certain lifestyle changes, new habits and traditions. I had even written my dad a lengthy letter asking him to accept Christ. But most of the time we were afraid to actually talk to him about the goodness of the Lord and how He had changed our lives. We were content to just ‘show’ him the difference.
All that changed in October 2007! Dad had miraculously survived almost four years of various treatments, but eventually the cancer had metastasized to his brain, near his optic nerve and my parents chose to undergo a pretty drastic procedure to retard the growth, without which Dad would have certainly become blind, and even worse, within a very short time.

We had an amazing Christmas that year with my brothers and our parents staying at our home. Though Dad was weak, he loved on all his grandkids, and we had seen a gradual ‘softening’ in him over time. Then on January 2, 2008 my mom called to say they were on the way to the hospital. Dad had become increasingly dizzy and disoriented. He ended up in ICU at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. He had symptoms similar to a stroke. Little did we know he would never again walk or go home, home as we know it anyway.

Seeing him in such a frail state I feared all hope had been lost. This was not my dad. Why had I wasted so much time in fear of talking to him about the most important decision he could ever make? My brothers and I began praying that God would grant him lucid moments and give him breath until he had a chance to profess Jesus as His Lord and Savior.

I made the two hour trip to the hospital several times a week, praying the entire trip and always searching for opportunities to share with Dad. We were blessed with the fact that Dad always knew his kids, even though he might not have known anything else. We had many good moments, some good days, several good conversations and some really bad days. My brothers and I took advantage of every lucid moment the Lord granted us, but Dad’s answer was always, “Not today,” or “I might beat this thing.” We continued to pray. I admit, I became discouraged often and would call friends for godly counsel. In my heart, I just knew my dad would make a decision for the Lord, but it was obvious his time was running out.

Eventually, Dad was moved out of ICU onto the floor, then to a hospital closer to my parents’ home, and then sadly, into a nursing home. My mom practically lived in the home with him, only taking a short reprieve occasionally to go to work or travel home to feed their livestock.

Growing increasingly frustrated but still prayerful, one day as I was making the trip to see my parents, I called my brother, Kirk, and he shared with me that his prayer had become that God would somehow use my mom since she was the one who spent the most time with Dad. So the rest of the trip I prayed for the same thing.

My mom would always give me moments alone with Dad because she knew we were talking to him about the Lord, reading the Word and praying with him. On this day she told me of a tract my brother had left and asked if I might want to ‘try something different’ and use the tract. I searched the room and never did find the tract, so I just resorted to what I knew, sharing what Jesus had done in my life. As my mom was walking me to the car, I told her I never could find the tract, but I had still shared with him, and once again his answer was, “I’m thinking about it, but not today.” Then she said these words, “I’ve been thinking that since I spend more time than anybody with him, maybe I need to start talking to him about making a decision.” I couldn’t believe my ears! God was already answering our prayers! I couldn’t wait to call my brother and tell him to keep prayin’!

Nearly a week later, May 8th to be exact, my mom called and tearfully told me, “He did it, Honey. He made a decision for the Lord!” I asked her to share every detail with me. She had used the ‘hidden’ tract to share the Gospel message with my dad, he read it, and made a decision! It was what we had been praying so long for!
Seven weeks later, on June 26, we celebrated my dad’s 62nd birthday, and one week after that, July 3, 2008, he went to his eternal home! While we miss him terribly, I believe his salvation has had a huge impact on many lives, to God’s glory.

I’m so glad I couldn’t find that silly tract. It was all part of God’s plan.

Potty Training Update

In case inquiring minds are wondering ... I'm happy to report that little man is doing awesome! No accidents yet today. Of course, I take him like every 15 minutes :) But we're dry!
I know it's Monday and I need to post Memorial Box Monday. I have it ... I just need time to post it!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Doll houses and outhouses

Someone in this picture is potty training ... and it works best outside!
The big kids were working a track meet today so Mom and the little kids played all day
This was Kambry's doing, and it cracked me up! Reminds me of our table - grab anything you can sit on and fill 'er up!

At the end of the day, little man had only one accident!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Photo Opp

I am so blessed! Sweet Sisters!
Shy one? Nope - stubborn!

Three monkeys.
But where are the big brothers?!?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Memorial Box Monday ~ Salt and Light

I remember the amazing weeks before we traveled to China in 2004 to meet our daughter, Kayden, for the first time.
I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, packed and repacked, reviewed the itinerary a million times … but more than anything else, I prayed. We had no idea what God was asking us to do 10 months before, but we knew it was in His hands and we were willing to join Him on this amazing, unexpected, miraculous journey.
We had never traveled internationally and had been sternly reminded by our agency that this was an adoption trip and we could take our personal Bibles but should not take a suitcase full of them. Still, our prayer was that God would allow us to be salt and light while in China. Though we might not be allowed to bring up spiritual issues, we would be prepared to answer questions if asked.
We arrived in Nanning with two other families we will be forever bonded with, and met our guide, A. We knew right away she was an amazing woman. Soon after meeting, she approached Clayton and told him she thought there was something special about him, was he a Christian?!?
He was so excited to tell her yes and share his testimony. She then proceeded to explain that she had become a Christian only three months earlier. She had facilitated the adoption of 14 children, and the parents had a celebration to share their testimonies. God had used this time to call her to repentance and salvation! She was praying for her husband, and he was beginning to ask questions. She had been reading her Bible ever since and had recently come across a passage she didn’t understand and wanted to know if Clayton would help her with it. The passage was none other than Matthew 5: 13-14!
13“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. 14 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.”
We were astonished at God’s divine appointment! Before we tearfully left Nanning, A agreed to share her testimony on video. We were blessed to spend so much time in deep spiritual conversation. I remember visiting a park and we asked what a particular wooden sign said. She told us the meaning was something like “Chinese know the secret to happy living …” Then she smiled and said, but we know the Real Secret!
God had answered so many prayers on that journey, but to realize He cares enough to answer one specific request is beyond our understanding! We should be careful what we pray for because He is able and willing to answer!

Monday Morning

Good Monday morning! I can't wait to write my 2nd Memorial Box Monday post - hopefully later today, but for now we have an important meeting.
I am convinced more than ever this morning that if God is willing to give His only son on the cross to pay for my sin and raise Him on the third day ... that He is able to hear and answer our prayers. Let's pray with expectation today!
And if the family who gave the amazing, unexpected anonymous gift to us yesterday is reading, THANK YOU! We are humbled and grateful!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us... Eph 3:20

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tag - You're It

I love playing tag with my kids ... but blogger tag kicks my tail! I'm afraid it shows just how boring I really am :) My friend Jodi tagged me so here goes:
8 things I look forward to...
- Summer!!! I love sweet corn harvest, sunshine, green grass and tan lines (on the kids, not me)!
- Watching 3 families in our church see their Asian babies for the first time!
- Seeing our daughter's face and traveling to China in August/September!
- No more Huggies (that's a ways off)!
- Welcoming Kenzie into youth this fall!
- Going to Falls Creek in June.
- What God has for me every day.
- Christ's return!!
8 things I did yesterday...
- Got 5 kids ready and out the door by 7:30!
- Took the deposition of a woman with MS. Praise God for good health!
- Printed my E-Meals menu for the week.
- Evesdropped on Kayden and her friend Lexi as they talked like big girls!
- Prayed, prayed, prayed!
- Rejoiced as I tucked Kambry into her 'own' bed for three weeks now!
- Walked 30 minutes on the treadmill!
- Gave horsie rides to the littles.
8 things I wish I could do...
- Have time and energy to be a better friend to my girlfriends!
- Be a better, more patient mom to my kiddos.
- Sing this side of Heaven ;-)
- Encourage people to adopt.
- Raise funds for other adoptive families.
- Have my mom live closer.
- Be sure that all my kids will know Jesus someday.
- Explain to everyone I see how much Jesus loves them and what he did for them by dying on the cross!
8 shows I watch...(I don't watch much TV or many movies. If I slow down that long I will fall asleep ;-)
- American Idol
- Extreme Makover Home Edition
- America's Funniest Videos
- Jon & Kate Plus 8 in season
- Army Wives in season
- Without a Trace
- Dora (whether I want to or not)
- Ni Hao, Kai Lan (whether I want to or not)
8 people I tag...
- April at See China Through My Eyes
- Tina at Hamm Journey
- Kim at Five Chili Peppers + One
- Amy at MiMi's Mumblings
- Tami at Gathering Peeps
- Tammy at Enjoying Our Journey
- Gail at A Journey to His Heart
- Ruth at All in Jesus' Name

Friday, April 17, 2009

Blog Button

Do you love our new button?!? Amy has been asking me to do this for a long time ;-) Check out Jenissa's site. If you'd like to add our button to your blog to help our fundraiser, just copy and paste the code below it.
I want to say thank you to those who have emailed me or commented on the Scripture this morning. This verse was in my daily reading, and it spoke volumes to me this morning, as it has apparently to many of you. God has a way of knowing exactly what we need!
Jesus replied, "What is impossible with men is possible with God." Luke 18:27

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Thankful for:
Bed head
Candy (thanks, Abby!)

Big brothers and sister (who avoid the Mom with camera)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mommy's Days

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thes 5:16-18
Man, my heart is full today. It's going to be an awesome day, I just know it. It's 'Mommy's Day.' If my work schedule permits, I try to only send the kids to daycare 3 or 4 days a week, and the other days are 'Mommy's Days.' I live for these days! Not that they're always peachy or filled with excitement, but because they JUST ARE. We get to sing silly songs, watch way too much Dora and Kai Lan, do 15 loads of laundry, make a perpetual mess in every room and play outside. Being the fool I am, I usually challenge myself to complete a never-ending 'to-do' list as well. I love a challenge ;-) When Kuyler was home last weekend he said our home is like American Idol in the zoo. I can see that! Whatever your day holds, may it be a blessing!
Please remember this precious baby Kate in your prayers today. She is recovering from heart surgery, and her mommy is doing an amazing job of updating her progress.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Memorial Box Monday ~ The Game

Wow, my very first Memorial Box Monday post! My friend, Linny, at A Place Called Simplicity, has this amazing thing called a Memorial Box. They have chosen a 'memorial box' to hold trinkets of "God" moments to memorialize His amazing faithfulness, goodness and provision. As a family they choose the items that go in the box. Our family hasn't found the perfect memorial box yet, but I love the idea of capturing God moments (especially since I frequently find myself blaming my kiddos for my increasing memory loss), so I wanted to start the same tradition for our family. I'm a little nervous about doing this for fear I may not be able to organize my thoughts or convey the message, but I'm going to leave that all up to the Lord! I thought for my first Memorial Box Monday post it's only fitting to share the moment Jesus saved me, July 26, 2001! I need to back up four years.
We had been faithfully attending church, having personal quiet times and reading the Bible. Kenzie had been born, had become very sick, and God had chosen to heal her. Soon after her recovery, Clayton and I began to contemplate accepting Christ. It seems strange now that it was such a difficult decision, but God had an awesome plan in the midst of our conversations and questions. We knew it was an individual decision, and we were each ready. The following Sunday, Clayton was so convicted of his need for Jesus that he couldn’t help but respond … and I followed suit. Little did I know that was only a baby step toward my walk with Christ.
I continued to study and serve.
Eventually we sensed that God was calling us to a church within our own community, where Kuyler attended school and we resided. We began to make new friends and really enjoyed the fellowship with our new church family. We preferred serving ‘behind the scenes,’ but when the church requested prayer to fill the youth Sunday school teacher position, we felt we had to come out f the shadows. After much prayer and discussion, we couldn’t ignore the call. Even before that I had been asked to help with youth events, seemingly out of the blue, and had found out how much I loved this sometimes unlovable group of 13 to 18 year olds.
Two weeks before we were to start teaching Sunday school I took my first trip to Falls Creek as a youth sponsor. I was scared to death, but found myself being challenged by the pastor and youth pastor. I even agreed to serve as an adult encourager, meaning that when a student responded to the invitation, I would help answer their questions and share the gospel with them. What an amazing opportunity!
During the last noon Tabernacle service we played “The Game.” We weren’t told how it was going to work; we learned only by observation, and then realized the object was to move as quickly as possible. So, we have 5,000 teens and adults in the Tabernacle, there are a few students on the stage who begin to move among the crowd. Some are holding tickets. Suddenly a ‘breaking’ news bulletin flashes on the overhead televisions. There’s been a wreck on the high road and everybody wearing flip flops has perished. If you have heard the Gospel and accepted Christ you are going to heaven (the stage), and if you have not accepted Christ, you are going to hell (the back of the tabernacle).
So now that everyone knows how the game is played, suddenly we’re all frantically trying to reach the disciples. The rule is they must share their testimony and we must make a decision for Christ before the next tragedy strikes. Some of the disciples are also handing out ‘go to heaven free’ passes.
Finally our youth pastor heard the Gospel, accepted Christ and began sharing his testimony with me … but in the midst of sharing, tragedy struck and I was rendered ‘dead.’ It was only a game, but the climb over benches to get to ‘hell’ was the most daunting event. Then those of us banished to eternal fire had to sit and watch the rest of the game, and it was the most eerie feeling. In the end, the wheat was separated from the chaff (Matthew 3:12); however, those who thought they’d gotten into heaven on a free pass, were soon reminded there is only one way to spend eternity in Heaven, and that is through faith in Jesus, not a ‘get out of hell free’ pass (but I’m such a good person; I go to church; I read my Bible; I’ve never committed a crime…).
The following week I was challenged to memorialize my testimony. As I sat down to write, there simply were no words. I realized even though I had been reading the Word, serving and attending church, I did NOT have a relationship with Jesus. I was doing things but had neglected the main thing: recognizing my sin and need for a Savior, turning my life over to Him. I was miserable. I couldn’t let another day go by without making this right … but Satan tried to get a hold of me by making me feel ashamed and embarrassed because so many people thought I was a Christian. How would I explain this? To what or whom would I credit my ‘growth’ over the past four years? I called my pastor, thinking he could help me sort through this. Truth is, the conviction was so strong there was no getting around it – I needed Christ!
In the middle of the afternoon in our living room with my husband and my pastor present, I wept, asked forgiveness, and trusted Christ as my Lord and Savior! Immediately I knew I had to be baptized, despite the potential embarrassment. I had to stand before my church family and testify what Jesus had done in my life, and thank God for his grace and mercy over the past four years. I realized if I had died, I would have been in total disbelief on judgment day when God would say to me, “I never knew you. Away from me….” (Matthew 7:23)
I was reminded of just how much my life had paralleled ‘the game.’ In the game I was ‘almost’ into heaven, but there are no ‘almosts’ concerning eternity. That was seven years ago, and I haven’t looked back. No games, no passes, just the real deal from here on out!

DTC, Baby!

We just got word that our dossier is on its way to China! It will likely end up on a shelf like this until we are matched. Not planning on any dust accumulating :)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is risen!

I hope you've had an awesome Holy Week! It's been incredible for me. God has spoken so many truths to me, allowed me to rejoice in good memories, and wiped the tears of my painful memories. This is my first Easter without my dad ... but he is celebrating with my risen Savior!
Saturday we hosted a family gathering, and it was such a blessing.
Kambry and Aunt Sheri reading ... and reading ... and reading
Reading some more
Playing hide and seek
Looking at old pictures
Rejoicing in filled eggs

I'll show you how this game is played

Add one, drop one

Ya'll carry your puny buckets; I've got my eggs!

Big Sis
Can't catch me
Noah and his bounty
My big kids getting some air

Future beard plan

Blow-me-away cuteness!


I am reminded of Easter two years ago. We were in China, receiving our precious gift, Kambry Hope. We attended Easter service in the church on the island. The big kids were spending two weeks with the Muellers, and every morning I'd have new pictures in my inbox of their fun times. Treasured memories.
Whatever the past week has held or what the new week has in store, I pray you can rejoice that we serve a risen Savior!
"He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay." Matthew 28:6

Friday, April 10, 2009

Easter eggs

Kayden's spring program was Tuesday night. Isn't she lovely?!?
Not a chance I'd give this little guy an egg and dye :)
This one either :)
Here are the master easter eggers.

Hmmm, which color?

He'll use all the colors!

Very creative!

Now for the cookies ...

You Might Also Like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...