Friday, June 25, 2010

To bring about the obedience of faith

      A sweet friend asked me yesterday how my fund-raising was going and the only answer I could give her was it's staled. It's so hard to think of what to do next, it's so hard to keep asking the same people over and over again to support us, it's hard to keep putting myself out there only to get ignored, and it is a HUGE faith walk that I am obviously failing. As I shared a little bit of how I was feeling my dear (always encouraging) friend reminded me of something her and her family were reading. It was in Judges 6 and 7 the life of Gideon. I actually know that story, I know it pretty well, and now I can truly relate to it. I am Gideon. God has called me to do something (adopt) and to trust in Him to provide and like Gideon I ask for a miracle to prove that this is what He is really saying (oh how dumb I sound) And God stoops down to my level and does it! Our home study got paid for. Now (like that wasn't good enough) I am constantly thinking about what I can do to raise money, what great thing I can come up with. So as I was focusing on what I can do, the donations stopped. As my wonderful friend pointed out, God made it horribly difficult for Gideon to beat the Midinites, He took away a lot of Gideons men so that the people could give God all the glory. You would think by now I would get it through my head that I can not do this and that this is not about me!

      Today as hubby and I were having lunch I was having a pity party. I kept telling him that we needed to really come up with something so people would be willing to help us and he said "let's just keep praying. We need to trust in Him and just remain faithful."  It's so not fair that men don't have emotions like us women. (I'm not alone in this right ladies!?!) Anyways just as I was feeling defeated I got an email on my phone. It was a donation from someone I don't even know and I have no idea how they found my blog. Usually I can trace people down. I couldn't trace this one down. God didn't want me to and He was reminding me that He is still in charge. So you think that I would have gotten  the hint that I just needed to trust, I did, for maybe 30 minutes and the pity party came back.(remember Gideon and I are so much alike :D  ) Tonight as I was reading my bible and trying to give my horrible selfishness and distrust and lack of faith to the Lord I got another email. Guess what it was?, another donation with a beautiful note. (again from someone I did not know and couldn't track down) Praise God!

   Since we officially decided to adopt I have been racking my brain to come up with fund- raising ideas and I kept feeling like the Lord didn't want me to do anything. No ideas were coming, I wanted to sell stuff, but He didn't. Maybe He  is not having me sell tons of things (at this time) because my horrible sinfulness will take over and I would act like I did it all. I'm the one that brought the money in. When in fact God has and will do it all. It's not about me or my friends or the people I keep bugging and praying would support us, it's not even about the donations. It's about our Holy God and His calling on our lives and this child's life and how HE will bring this child home and how HE will work in peoples hearts to give or not to give and how even my lack of faith will not stop Him from doing His will in my life. Praise God!

  If you haven't noticed all ready, I am a planner and seeing all the funds that need to be raised and having to make two trips to Ethiopia has left me feeling overwhelmed. But when I sit back and see what all God has done in such a short time I am truly in awe.

  Oh how I  long for the day that I can just sit at Jesus feet. I love being in the presence of Him,. I love worshiping Him. I hate that I constantly turn my back on Him, I hate that I so badly want to be the hands and feet of Jesus while I am on this earth and yet my selfishness comes creeping in every single time. I'm constantly realizing how depraved I am and my need for a Savior every single day.

   I would like to say that I am truly, truly thankful that God has called me to this very humbling place of fund-raising. I have met some incredible people and I also get to fund-raise with some amazing friends, and like I have said many, many times, it's making me rely on Jesus and expierience Him in a way that I never have before.

And one last thought. When Gideon stopped being scared and He Finally  started to trust God, the bible says he worshiped. (Judges7:15) My prayer is that with my rants and sometimes crazy thoughts that God would be glorified through it all. I know that I have blogged about this before so I am aware that this will be my constant struggle. Thankful that I am aware of it and thankful that when I do fall again (and I will) He will be right there helping me back up.

   "The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness." Exodus 34:6

                                 To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


    For all my local readers:

         Want to help not one, not two, but THREE families raise money to bring home their babies. Well you can!!!

THIS Monday June 28th, come into the Chick Fil A in Clearwater between the hours of 5pm and 8pm and 15% of the sales will go towards their adoption. Their will also be face painting for the kids (adults too) and their will be a wheel that you can spend for $1 to win free food and prizes!! If you are unable to stop in you can also go through the drive thru.

Please mention that this is for ADOPTION or they will not count your sales towards the fundraiser.

Please come, invite your friends and have a fun night helping three families bring home their babies. Hope to see you all there!!

This is really exciting. By coming in to eat and mentioning that it is for Adoption. You will be helping our family, The Shubin family, and The Walser family bring home our babies. We would love for you to come. Please invite your friends.


       Another great thing going on right now is a friend of mine bought one of my necklaces so she could have a giveaway. You can go to her blog called No time like the present. So easy to enter all you have to do is become a follower of my blog and hers, then leave her a message. That's it!!Truly a thoughtful thing to do I am really grateful.


                                          To God be the Glory!!! 

Friday, June 18, 2010


           This past Monday I went to the Southern baptist Conference in Orlando. Jon had to work and I decided the night before at around 11pm that I was going to drag my kiddos there and go by myself. I really felt like the Lord wanted me to go. I am so glad that I did. It was truly amazing. The kids were awesome. During the breaks I had them run up and down a hallway (hey, they needed to burn off all that energy somehow) I am so glad the Lord told me to go and that I listened. I loved that my kids also got something out of it too. They realized that it was important to mommy, they got to see a room full of people talking about Jesus and praying for children that have no home, and they loved the Watoto Children's Choir. During the singing one of the girls was telling everyone how they are all orphans due to war or AIDS and my sweet Brianna came over to me and with a serious tone and says "Mommy, can we take them all home to live with us? I will be their sister and we can all be a family." I started crying right then. Out of all my kids it was her who said something. It just melted my heart. She really has such a sweet heart, we constantly joke that she thinks she is an only child because she wants so much attention, so for her to say that was truly the Lord working in her heart. Just beautiful. Jon was unable to go, but he got to watch it live from home, so we were constantly texting each other.  There are so many times you get to experience something incredible and you want your significant other to be able to experience it too and he was able to. Another blessing from the Lord. Leaving the conference made me want our son even more.

      Which brings me to something I guess I should clear up. If you are friends with me on Facebook you saw a status I had a couple of days ago saying that I was praying for clarity. Some people assumed that I was referring to adoption. Well one, didn't your mother ever teach you not to assume things? :D and two, that statement had absolutely NOTHING to do about us adopting or anything in regards to that. Jon and I have been praying about something else and I was referring to that. I have since deleted that post, because I guess I can see how people would assume that. I have no doubts at all that we are in line with God's will. I have blogged about that many times. My feelings have not changed except for maybe they are stronger. We were approved on (my son's 7th birthday ) April 8 2010 to be able to adopt. It is now June 18th and by the end of next week our homestudy will be done and we are half way finished with our dossier. That's HUGE and that's all God's work. What better confirmation would you want? He has provided so much, so quickly, so I know that I know that I know that we are in line with God's will. That our son is out there and that he will be in our arms. There is no doubting and their is no clarity that I am seeking from God about our son.

      Back to the conference. They shared with everyone how they are starting a fund to be able to give $2000 to help families with adoption (you have to apply) what a beautiful thing. In our church we have just officially had our first adoption meeting. We have started an adoption ministry at our church. We are actually going to be having our first fundraiser on June 28th. I will blog about that very soon :) We have a missions board and now an adoption board.  Truly incredible to see God moving. Makes me wonder what it would look like if all the churches did that. Start a fund to help their members who are adopting ease the financial burden. Like I said before every little bit helps and coming from my point of view (who is in the middle of adopting) it's so comforting to know that people want to help and be a part of bringing your child home.

  I'm specifically praying that the Lord will calm my anxious heart. We are just so close to getting the money needed to get our dossier in. Will you please help us? Once we get this in we will be waiting on a referral for our son. That will takes months, but here's the good news. Once we get our dossier in we can start applying for grants (money for the fees) Once we get our referral we will owe over $7000 and that does not include travel, so we really need to start applying for grants and we can't until our dossier is turned in and we can't do that til we get the money. See why I am so anxious to get this done??  I know the Lord will provide, but I wanted to let you know what steps we have to take next. So please pray about giving. Please email me and I can give you my address if you don't want to use paypal.

One more thing......I don't normally recommend books, but I really want to recommend these.

 I was so blessed to be able to hear David Platt speak. Truly a man who is on fire for Jesus. I have read this book and I think everyone should.  So read it :)

I read this book about 8 months ago and then read it again when we were called to adopt. Such a great book. I also got to hear Russell Moore speak at the conference. I think I cried the whole time. Please read this book even if you are not adopting, it will truly break your heart for orphans.



Wednesday, June 9, 2010


              As I am wrapping up my third year of homeschooling I am again praising the Lord for getting me through it. I can't believe this year is all ready over. (we still do some work over the summer) I remember when the Lord told me He was calling me to homeschool I argued with Him for a long time (okay, I still do sometimes) but I am so incredibly thankful that He did! I have gotten to see my kids grow in a way that I would normally miss out on. I also get to work on my lovely heart issues. You can not imagine the not so great things you will learn about yourself when you spend a lot of time teaching your children, might I also add that teaching is NOT my gift. I am NOT one of those homeschooling moms that have all these fun creative activities to do everyday, or who taught their kids how to read by the age of three, or who had the whole year planned out. Instead everyday I pray that the Lord will guide me and help me to control my temper and lack of patience and show me how to really guide and love on my children. You see if teaching my kids was something that I was naturally good at then there is no room for the Lord. I HAVE to depend on Jesus to get me through the school year, to show me when I am being to relaxed (lazy) or when I need to just push them a little harder. I have had so many people ask me how I do it. Simple truthful answer is I don't. I honestly don't. I have no idea what I am doing, but He does!

     My first year was horrible. I can't tell you how many times I cried at night saying I just want to put the kids in school. My son was having a hard time reading and in turn I was having a hard time teaching, but we both got through it together. And now I am so proud to say that he is a strong reader. I am so grateful that even though I complained (a lot) I got to help him get through something that he felt was out of his reach.This year my daughter started to read and she caught on super easy, I think it was Jesus way of giving me a little break :)  I am so grateful for this bond that I get to have with my children. I will need to remind myself of this when next school year roles around. :D

    On to the adoption front. Our homestudy is literally almost done. I mean we are right there. So exciting!! I also have our dossier half way complete. As you can see to the side I added a little thermometer of what we have raised and what we still need. As you can also see their is not much else we can do til we get that money in. I know that I am asking you to sacrifice for our son. I just want to let you know that we are also sacrificing. I pray that you don't think that we are expecting all of you to give us money without it costing us anything. We are sacrificing what we can and more then that, we will continue to do whatever we can to bring our son home. We need you and want you to all be apart of bringing him home to us. I am constantly praying  that you will want to be. That you will want to forgo one cup of coffee (or whatever) to help us bring him home. Do you realize that if 300 people gave a one time donation of $80. We would have all we need. Seems so easy, especially since I have over 400 "friends" on Facebook., but unfortunately it's not that easy. And I do know that people can only help out so many organizations, I would not want you to stop giving to someone else to give to us. ......  We have some fun things coming up. We have yard sales, car washes, and a cool thing we are going to do at Chick Fil A.(to be announced shortly) Every little bit helps. We are also selling beautiful jewelry. You can see it to the right. If you do not want to use PayPal that is absolutely fine (even if you are not local) please just send me an EMAIL and we can work it out. Please keep praying for us to remain patient and faithful to our God and His perfect timing, Also please keep our son in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sweet Surrender

             So many emotions are running through me. You name it and I'm feeling it, all at once. I have not been able to clearly articulate what I have been feeling, because I didn't know myself. Today changed all that. I got up early today to meet some women from our church to pray. I couldn't pray. Not that I didn't want to, but that Jesus didn't want me to. Why? Well at first I thought it was because I had a "to do list" running through my head and my whole heart was not in it like it should have been, so I sat there asking the Lord to forgive me and waiting to feel Him and I didn't. He felt far away, I felt as if I was on one corner of the room and He was on the other, we were both staring at each other and I desperately needed Him to come to me and He wouldn't. I left the prayer time confused, hurt, guilty, stressed about my to do list, and just more emotional. When I got home I read my bible some, but ran out of time to truly be alone with Jesus because we had our last home study appointment. After she left hubby felt encouraged and even more excited to get our son home, I lost it, I couldn't stop crying. Not because of anything that happened at our home study, but because I broke. I couldn't take it anymore, I literally cried out to God and asked Him why I felt He was ignoring me. Hubby prayed with me and helped me to talk it all out. (as much as I could make sense of it) Now I know that the Lord never ever leaves us, but we leave Him.  I felt this wedge between me and my Savior, a wedge that I put there and didn't even know why. My hubby said something that gave me clearity, he said "Jesus is talking to you, what are you scared that He is going to say to  you that is making you not want to listen." And then it hit me. I am scared He is going to take away our son in Ethiopia just like He did with our other three babies. I am well aware that the Lord gives and the Lord takes away. I felt that pain first hand. I say I want the Lord's will in my life even if i get hurt, but was this the last straw? If He was to take this child away from us was I going to say "That's it Lord, I'm done, can't do it anymore?" Absolutly not! Says my mouth, but obviously my heart was thinking it.

             I guess with all this adoption and me longing for a child I have really tried hard to guard myself and not make this an idol. Not allowing the fact that I really want another child to consume me in such a way that I feel like once we have him I feel complete. I didn't want my pain from losing three babies and putting my hope in the Lord, to turn to putting my hope in this child.I wanted to make sure that I was doing this for the right reasons.(which we are) I know we are meant to adopt, I know God all ready knows who our son is, and I know that right now our lives are on path with His will. I also know that me going through all these emotions (good and bad) and me crying out for my Savior is building my relationship with Him. Isn't that all I really want anyway. To truly know Him!?!

        Believe it our not I am very thankful to have gone through those three miscarriage. I got to rely on the Lord in a way that I never did before, I also got to experience Him in a way I never had before. He comforted me, gave me peace, and even joy in the midst of all that pain. I felt like a little girl curled up her daddy's arms. Today I longed for that and when I allowed myself to stop focusing on myself, He was right there waiting to holding me.

       Here is a verse that we all know, but read it, really read it. Allow it to sink in and tell me if this is how you really feel, because it should be.
Paul says in Philippians 3:7-11 "What I have gain I had, I counted as a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I main gain Christ and be found in Him."... In verse 10-11.. "that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, that BY ANY MEANS POSSIBLE I may attain the resurrection from the dead." 

        To trust Jesus is to know Him, in a personal relationship. Do we really want to suffer so we can know Him, do we really want to say "take whatever you wish, as long as I have you it's enough." I don't just mean material things, I also mean people dear to us. Is Jesus really enough? Is He really all we need? YES, YES, OH YES!!! 

"Teach me your way , O Lord 
That I may walk in truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever."
Psalm 86:11-12

I said that I wanted you all to share in our journey wether good, bad, or just not making sense. (you can put this under whatever category you wish :)...) In a way I am pregnant waiting for our son to come home, Those same emotions, fears, excitement, and longing are all very present with adopting as well.

I can never praise God enough for His faithfulness. How easy we turn away and how quick He is there to show His grace. I am so unworthy to have any of His love, but I am His daughter and Oh How He loves me!!!