Sunday, October 30, 2011

My Lil is a fiesty little thing. She's bold, fiery and full of love.
When Lily was about 7 or 8, she read a book about Mother Theresa and decided that she would like to be a nun.

Since that time, she's come to the conclusion that she'd rather be a nurse in Inda. But, she is adamant that even though she may not be a nun, she is not going to get married.

At dinner last night, we were talking about Lily's desire to remain single. Her daddy commented that she had the personality to be single for the Lord.

"What do you mean, Dad?"

"'re a go-getter, Lily."

Lily, completely straight-faced, agreed, "Yeah, I don't need a man to slow me down. A man would just get in my way."

(uhhhh...yep, that's my Lil)

In Lily's defense, she later explained that what she really meant was that a husband would distract her from all of the people in India who were in need of nursing help.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lily were called to be single for the Lord, but one thing's for sure...if she does get married, she's gonna need a pretty strong man!
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Friday, October 28, 2011

For the fifth time in ten years, David and I are absolutely flabbergasted. We are overwhelmed by how God is providing for our daughter's adoption...five adoptions in ten years, with each one costing at least half of our yearly income. Impossible by all logical standards, but very simple by the standards of God's Kingdom. He is just so lavishly generous!

This is amazing and I am very grateful, but I've also been wrestling...wrestling with questions about wealth, poverty, giving, saving, hoarding and love, because even though we have more than enough, there are so many who do not. Precious people, whom God has created, are starving, lonely, cold and lost in this world. I know without a doubt that it's not because God doesn't care. So, why is it?

Randy Alcorn, in his book, The Treasure Principle, reminds us that, "Abundance isn't God's provision for me to live in luxury. It's His provision for me to help others live." Alcorn also says, "Suppose God wanted to fulfill His plan of world evangelization and help an unprecedented number of suffering people. What gift would you expect Him to distribute widely? Perhaps the gift of giving? And what might you expect Him to provide for those to whom He's given that gift? Perhaps unprecedented wealth to meet all those needs and further His kingdom? Look around. Isn't that exactly what God has done? The question is, what are we doing with the wealth He's entrusted to us to reach the lost and help the suffering?"

I wrestle with this, because I want to know what it means practically in my life.

For example, a freind of ours recently commented that it is loving to have some money saved, so as not to be a burden on others. This friend is a godly, frugal man. He's not advocating hoarding by any means, but is simply recommending having a modest savings. There is so much wisdom in this.

On the other hand, I was struck a while back by a blog post that mentioned Dave Ramsey's policy of having three months salary set aside for emergencies. The author of the post asked the question...aren't starving childen in the world an emergency? They may not be my children, but they are somebody's children and furthermore, they are children of the Living God. Isn't their lack of food an emergency? Shouldn't I be willing to spend every dollar I have for the sake of this emergency?

Friends, I was pierced. And I truly believe that both of these perspectives can be right and godly, but the question is, what is God asking me to do?

In some ways, however, the question of saving or giving is an easy one, because it deals with what is left over after my needs (and the needs of my family) are already met. An even bigger question that I wrestle with is how to determine what to spend money on.

I have a confession. I love to go out to eat. I like to go by myself to Panera to eat lunch, pray, study God's Word and listen to Him speak. I do this 2-4 times each month and I love it! I also love to take my kids out for breakfast or a young believer out for coffee. I like to go out for dinner with David or Meredith. It is such a pleasure. And I know without a doubt that God loves these relationships!

But, the question is, is going out to eat God's best?

Friends, I don't know.

I also don't know if it makes sense to have life insurance (we do) or to buy new jeans because my old ones are too short (I shrunk them in the wash) or to get a decent haircut. If my children were starving, the length of my jeans (or my hair, for that matter) would be irrelevant to me.

Friends, children are starving. They aren't my children, but they are someone's children. They are certainly God's children.

Our God is so generous. He is lavish. He pours out His blessings (material and spiritual) in great measure. I don't wrestle with these questions because I feel condemned or afraid of His judgment. I wrestle with these questions because I love Him so much and I just want to be like Him. I want to love like He loves. I want to give like He gives. I want to be generous, as He is generous. I also know that there is just so much joy in giving!

Jesus, help me to see the world as you see it. Help me to love as You love. Help me to be generous as You are generous. Give me Your heart, dear Jesus. Give me Your heart.

Precious friends, I would love to hear your thoughts. So many of you have wisdom that is beyond me. You are living out Jesus' teachings in radical ways. Have you wrestled with these questions? What is God saying to you? Thank you, so much! I appreciate your sharing more than you could ever know.

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on its way...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our apostilled homestudy is on its way to Ind*a!!!

Would you join us in praying that we get good news very soon?!

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

you just have to laugh

(yes, that is a tree branch that went through our ceiling!)

and be grateful that your husband is a carpenter!

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walking all the way

You must believe utterly. My Love can bear nothing less. I am so often 'wounded in the house of My friends.' Do you think the spitting and scorn of My enemies, the mocking and reviling hurt me? No!
'They all forsook Him and fled.' 'I know not the man.' These left their scars.
So now, it is not the unbelief of My enemies that hurts, but that My friends, who love and know Me, cannot walk all the way with Me, and doubt My Power to do all that I have said.
God Calling, October 26

Dear Jesus, give me the faith, the strength and the joy of walking all the way with You. You are so completely worthy!

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Monday, October 24, 2011

I saw this on another blog today....praying that these girls discover God's name for them, which is beloved, wanted, precious and treasured.

Hundreds of Indian Girls Named 'Unwanted' Choose New Names

October 22, 2011: Girls hold certificates stating their new official names during a renaming ceremony in Satara, India.
More than 200 Indian girls whose names mean "unwanted" in Hindi have chosen new names for a fresh start in life.

A central Indian district held a renaming ceremony Saturday that it hopes will give the girls new dignity and help fight widespread gender discrimination that gives India a skewed gender ratio, with far more boys than girls.
The 285 girls -- wearing their best outfits with barrettes, braids and bows in their hair -- lined up to receive certificates with their new names along with small flower bouquets from Satara district officials in Maharashtra state.
In shedding names like "Nakusa" or "Nakushi," which mean "unwanted" in Hindi, some girls chose to name themselves after Bollywood stars such as "Aishwarya" or Hindu goddesses like "Savitri." Some just wanted traditional names with happier meanings, such as "Vaishali," or "prosperous, beautiful and good."
"Now in school, my classmates and friends will be calling me this new name, and that makes me very happy," said a 15-year-old girl who had been named Nakusa by a grandfather disappointed by her birth. She chose the new name "Ashmita," which means "very tough" or "rock hard" in Hindi.
The plight of girls in India came to a focus after this year's census showed the nation's sex ratio had dropped over the past decade from 927 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of 6 to 914.
Maharashtra state's ratio is well below that, with just 883 girls for every 1,000 boys -- down from 913 a decade ago. In the district of Satara, it is even lower, at 881.
Such ratios are the result of abortions of female fetuses, or just sheer neglect leading to a higher death rate among girls. The problem is so serious in India that hospitals are legally banned from revealing the gender of an unborn fetus in order to prevent sex-selective abortions, though evidence suggests the information gets out.
Part of the reason Indians favor sons is the enormous expense of marrying off girls. Families often go into debt arranging marriages and paying for elaborate dowries. A boy, on the other hand, will one day bring home a bride and dowry. Hindu custom also dictates that only sons can light their parents' funeral pyres.
Over the years, and again now, efforts have been made to fight the discrimination.
"Nakusa is a very negative name as far as female discrimination is concerned," said Satara district health officer Dr. Bhagwan Pawar, who came up with the idea for the renaming ceremony.
Other incentives, announced by federal or state governments every few years, include free meals and free education to encourage people to take care of their girls, and even cash bonuses for families with girls who graduate from high school.
Activists say the name "unwanted," which is widely given to girls across India, gives them the feeling they are worthless and a burden.
"When the child thinks about it, you know, 'My mom, my dad, and all my relatives and society call me unwanted,' she will feel very bad and depressed," said Sudha Kankaria of the organization Save the Girl Child. But giving these girls new names is only the beginning, she said.
"We have to take care of the girls, their education and even financial and social security, or again the cycle is going to repeat," she said.

Read more:

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precious day

Saturday, October 22, 2011

What a blessing!

We didn't have school on Friday, so we were able to get everything done that needed doing, and spend today as a relaxed family day.
I sure needed it!

When I woke up this morning, Jadon was already awake. He spent about an hour very gently running his fingers through my hair.
 At one point he said, "Mom, your hair is like a fidget (for those of you who have kids with sensory issues, you know the value of a good fidget!)."
Oh my! We laughed at that one!

We had a leisurely breakfast, did some crafts, had a family quiet time (the kids love when we do this), walked the dogs and had a wonderful leaf fight!

Later in the afternoon, we surprised the kids with a trip to get snacks and see the movie, Dolphin Tale. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie. I cried and cried at the end (for reasons that I'll be able to share one day).

Dolphin Tale Poster

We came home to dinner in the crock pot, family prayer time and then it was off to bed.
What a precious day.
Father, you're so good to us!

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the scoop

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So, I know that I have been pretty silent in regards to news with R.'s adoption over the past couple of weeks.
Didn't I say that we'd definitely know something at the beginning of October...?
mmmm...yep, I did.

And, the question is, do we know anything?

Well, yesterday I had a really helpful and informative converstation with our agency representative. I'm understanding what's happening in Ind*a a little bit better, and honestly, just knowing something is encouraging! So, here it is...all that I know!

-Ind*a is not accepting dossiers or matching paperwork for non-special needs adoptions until January 1st.
-It's possible that they will accept paperwork for special needs adoptions.
-R.'s adoption is a special needs adoption!
-We filled out a Parent Registration Form that will be sent directly to CARA (rather than to the state where R. lives), hopefully by next week.
-We might hear something about this within a couple of weeks of it being sent (okay, I know that I've said this before, but I'm sayin' it again, and clinging to faith that it will happen). 
-Our agency representative is traveling to India (and R.'s home state) in January.
-This adoption will affect more than just one little girl. There's a lot going on in Ind*a, and especially R.'s state, right now. Please pray.
-God is so very, very good. I like Him a lot!!!

So, that's the scoop.
It's pretty much all I know,
and that's enough
for now.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

My beloved youngest son loves to wear socks many, many days in a row.
I have to be on top of my game if I want to make sure that he changes socks every day.
Yes...sometimes he even puts on dirty socks after taking a shower.

So, the other day, I asked him why he didn't like to change socks, and he told me that he just didn't have very many pairs of socks.

Now, I knew that this wasn't true because I seem to be constantly buying socks. So, I questioned him about this answer.
Jadon clarified that he didn't have many pairs of socks that he liked.

Okay, I can understand that...who likes wearing saggy socks or tight socks? So, I asked Jadon to make a pile of the socks that were uncomfortable.

And here it is...I think that there were about 25 pairs of socks in that pile.
That left 6 pairs of socks that he liked.

I'm not gonna even get into the underwear issues we have around here.

Oh how I love this silly, dirty sock-wearin', Saturday Night fever kind of boy!

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Heaven made you

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Tiny fingers
little nose
all the way down to your delicate toes,
you were formed in the heart of a very big God.
Inside out
all of your ways
known by your Maker
before you lived one of your days.

Heaven made you
held out the plan to save you
set you apart
gave you a heart like your Maker.
The Father sang your song
the angels danced along
when Heaven made you.

Eyes of wonder
ears to hear
hands to praise your Father so near,
you were formed in the heart of a very kind God.
A bright mind to learn
a heart that is true
gifts deep inside
all from the Father to you.

Heaven made you
held out the plan to save you
set you apart
gave you a heart like your Maker.
The Father sang your song
the angels danced along
when Heaven made you.

The Father sang your song
the angels danced along
when heaven made you.

(Heaven Made you, by Kimberly Hazlett)

We're so glad that Heaven made you, our precious girl.
We love you beyond words.
Have a blessed seventh birthday, sweet Grace.

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finding the balance...?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Sometimes I get tired of that phrase...
finding the balance

Sometimes I want to give my life away so completely
that I burn out for Him.

Sometimes I get weary of wondering
whether this ministry
or that sort of giving
will tax our family too much.

Sometimes I want to give it all...every single breath.
And I want my family to give every single breath.

Sometimes I want to stop considering whether or not we can
handle more children.

I want to adopt twenty-five children.
beautiful, precious, messy, loud children
I want to move to India
or Africa
or Haiti
give everything we own away.

And the thing is...
God does ask me to give it all.
He asks me to give every single bit.
He doesn't ask me to find the balance.
He tells me to give my life away.

But, He also tells me that I am human.
I am not God.
I cannot do everything.
And to think that I can is
quite frankly

So, instead of asking how I can find the balance in my life,
I am asking how I can give my life away
as a human being
who is finite
and who lives in this place
right here
right now.

(Anyone care to join me in losing our balance?)

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updated (please pray)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Okay, one more update: Test looks good! Hooray! She's still recovering from spinal menengitis, but everything else is normal. Thank you Jesus!

Another update: I mentioned that one of the tests for our friend's granddaughter came back abnormal. It actually could be very serious. Please, please pray for this family and this precious girl.

Update: Our friend's granddaughter does have menengitis, but it is the viral type (which is much less serious). She is still in the hospital because one test came back abnormal, so they are keeping her there to absolutely rule out the possiblity of bacterial menengitis.

Their daughter is doing a bit better, but is still very sick (she has severe asthma aggravated by fires).

Please keep praying for both of them and their families! Thanks so much!

Dear ones, would you please pray for our precious friends? A. is in Texas with their (adult) daughter who just got out of the hospital yesterday. She has been very sick, so A. has been helping to care for their five children. Then today, A. and K.'s granddaughter (who lives here) went to the E.R. with possible menengitis. Both their daughter and their granddaughter's conditions are quite serious. Pray that our beautiful Jesus would heal His precious ones and that He would give them supernatural strength and peace.

And please keep praying for Hailey...such a precious little girl.

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the big switch

Yana and Lily wanted to "switch" hair today.
(Lily went curly and Yana went straight.)
So, of course, I had to get a photo.
But, I didn't realize how difficult that would be!
We couldn't stop laughing!

I may be biased, but I think that these two are just too cute!

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Sweet Hailey

Monday, October 10, 2011

Please pray for this special little girl. Hailey's family just found out that she has leukemia and they are in the midst of some pretty intense treatment. Hailey's sister, Taylor, is from the same province as our little Grace, and our families used the same adoption agency.

Precious Jesus, give this family strength and encouragement today. May beautiful little Hailey experience complete healing in Your name. May You be glorified in their lives.


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three mamas

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It was the year 2000.
In three very different places in the world, there were three very different women.
But these women had one thing in common.
They were all pregnant.
In fact, their due dates were within days of one another.

The first woman lived in a small village in China.
She was poor.
This was her first child.
She hoped for a son to carry on the family name.

The second woman lived in Ind*a.
She was also very poor.
She may have had other children.
She, too, probably hoped that this child would be a boy.

The third woman lived in the United States.
She was not wealthy by her country's standards,
but she was certainly rich by the world's standards.
She had access to medical care and healthy food and all of the comforts of a first world country.
This woman didn't know it yet,
but she was carrying twins.

It was October 8.
The three women were almost half-way through their pregnancies.
But the third woman would suffer today.
She would lose the babies.
She would feel as if she would die from the grief.

A few months later (on the day before the third woman's original due date),
the second woman would give birth to a little girl.
Because of poverty,
or because of gender,
this mama could not keep her new baby.
She would feel as if she would die from the grief.

One week later,
the first woman would give birth to her baby.
It was a son!
But, because he had a medical condition that she and her husband could not afford,
they could not keep their baby boy.
She would feel as if she would die from the grief.

It is eleven years from the day that the third woman suffered so greatly.
She lost two babies on that day.
She felt as if she would die from the grief.

But, God.

On this day, eleven years later, she hugged the first woman's son
(who was now her beloved son).
On this day, she prayed for the second woman's daughter
(who would soon become her long-treasured daughter).

And though no one could ever replace the two babies that she lost,
there has been redemption in the third woman's life.

Oh dear God,
may there be redemption for all three mamas today.
May these women no longer feel as if they would die from the grief,
but may they know that their son and their daughter are
dearly loved

May we all experience it

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