Monday, November 30, 2009

Katie says it best...

I complain about the dumbest things. Forgive me Lord...
Let us all remember our place.

Words from Katie:



"A week ago today, I turned twenty one. I sat in awe as I celebrated with 14 beautiful girls who call me Mommy. (Ok one actually calls me "Maamaaaamammaaa") I wondered why God chose me, little ole twenty one year old me, to be entrusted with so much. There is nothing greater than the responsibility of raising a child to love Jesus. Except maybe raising 14. Words are escaping me. Two years ago today, two we moved into this home. In the last years I have learned more about Jesus, about myself, and about life than I ever could have imagined. I am so thankful. So, so very thankful for the life you have given me Jesus, for entrusting me with so much when I deserve so little...Last Thursday as I was meeting with some women in the village of Masese, one of them got a call from her brother that there was a child dying near the local steel mill and did she know anyone who could help... So it was off to the steel mill where I met the sickest little boy I have ever seen (I know, I know, I say that every time, but I am serious.... God just gears me up for it a little at a time...) David looked merely dead, breathing shallowly as I took his naked, 15 pound, 4 year old body into my lap. His mom was "scrapping", or digging around the steel mill for nickel-sized pieces of scrap metal that she may be able to sell for 2 cents. As we waited for her to come back, I felt sure that this child was going to breathe his last at any moment. When she got back to their closet-sized home, she explained that her husband had left her for another woman last year when she miscarried (often viewed as a curse in rural villages). Since he has been the only one providing an income for her, David and her other 3 children, and since she had never been to school, she began the practice of picking scrap metal. In just 30 minutes in her yard, WITH shoes on, I cut my feet twice... It broke my hear to think of all the physical pain she was having to endure every day as she cut her hands and feet trying to find this metal that may sell for enough to buy them a small sack of corn flour. She cried as she explained that they had not eaten in three days because no one had wanted to buy her metal. I felt certain that David would not make it through the night, and I am guessing I do not have to tell you what happened next. I scooped him up, put him in the car and took him home where my sweet, loving girls welcomed him with open arms, and we gave him all the ORS and Pediasure he wanted :)The next day at the hospital, we found that David had sickle cell anemia, which was worsened severely by his chronic malnourishment. While they gave him his blood transfusion, I was very thankful for a doctor that, though he may not know it all, knew more than me. I watched David like a hawk all weekend, making sure he had lots to eat and drink and all his medicines and vitamins at the right time, but he continued to weaken after the initial improvement following his transfusion. He cried all the time as it hurt his little body to sit, to stand, to lay... just to be. He finally gained the strength to stand, but shook the whole time. This morning, when his feet began to swell, I took him to the hospital where I asked that he be admitted. Though they won't do anything different, I imagine, I want his mom to be able to sleep with him and I will feel better with someone who knows more than me about sickle cell supervising. Please pray for sweet David tonight...At the same time all this was going on, three of my children have had very high fever's and Patricia has had severe pneumonia (they are all doing so much better now, thank you Jesus.) Sleep was infrequent for this Momma and I had a lot of time to just ponder the fragility of life".......................
Read the rest here

Making strangers brothers


He was born in an African village some 60 miles from the nearest town.


His floors were dirt and the sun was for power.



His water, unclean.



Only the strong survived and he was amongst them.



His heart was a mess and his life hung in his mothers arms.



He was destined to live his life somewhere else.



To leave his only sister, to fight the fight of survival.




His life lived out across an ocean some thousands of miles away.



I was destined to be his mom. Our lives intertwined like the branches



of a grape vine.


His little life so fragile and so dependent on me who came



all the way across the world to retrieve him and bring him to a little plot of land


in the middle of the country. A country farm for him to run and play and grow


and be loved.

To live.



Not all the same skin but it matters little now as his branches


mingle with ours.



Just a vine praying to bear fruit.


Allowing the Lord to so tangle our hearts that

you can't tell us apart.


Learning to love one another as brothers and mothers,


sons and fathers.

Choosing love


Choosing to dig a well instead of filling one in.



Choosing to put myself and our family on the front lines



and finding ourselves overcome with love.



Celebrating the week the Lord brought Joseph Turner

to America.

Celebrating that He used us.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Can we walk away from the pursuit of happiness


He lived a plain life.
He came from a plain, poor family.
Messed up relationships in those families.
He had people that didn't understand him.
He watched as his mom had to suffer the death of a child.
He taught like I teach, I wonder if like me, He wondered if
His disciples ever "got it". He seemed to repeat himself alot..:)
He welcomed little children in His lap.
He forgave.
He had friends who betrayed Him and He still kept loving.
He didn't go boil some drug to calm His nerves, He kept on
because He knew that what He was doing was hard work, but
it was a work He alone could do.
He couldn't pay someone else to do it.
I wonder if He ever looked heavenward and said
"Could you make all of this better?"
Do I believe He wants me to be happy?
Yes, but do I believe my happiness is His top priority?
I want Him to make my life painless but it hasn't been without pain.
His letters to me tell me to have joy and contentment in all things.
Some of the most incredible people I have met are not the richest or prettiest,
but the ones that have lost much and are still able to serve others on the other side.\
Still able to be happy inspite of
death
loss
fatigue
failures
There's alot of people who spout knowledge and I appreciate that, but the ones that
inspire me are the ones that have lived through it and are on the other side still praising the
Lord. They seem to have a brokenness to them. They seem to know their place.
To know that their desires didn't win out
they suffered and lived to tell about it
To know our place.
That our happiness and our desires
may not be His desires.
He's not going to fix it all for us just because we're His children.
Sometimes walking through it will make us better.
More loving, more caring, more empathic....
Things you can't buy.
I often laugh because I tell people I love finding ways to make my children work more.
It's the truth, when they have to work hard, when they have to work
long, it builds their character.
As parents we need to make sure our children know
their happiness is not what should drive them.
"When I get a new car, I'll be happy" yeah, until it breaks down...
"When I get married, then I'll be happy" yeah, until you realize he's a sinner, just like you...
"If I was 50lbs lighter, then I would be happy " nope. not going to happen..
"When God gives me more children, then I'll be happy"
you and I will not be happy
until our happiness comes from Him
and our desires are not our own
but His desires
How we can help our kids learn this?
make them work
from the youngest to the oldest
let them cook
clean up
take care of little ones
burp babies
change diapers
clean bathrooms
windows

cars

feed animals

cut grass
dust

change sheets
make them work until they don't complain
day after day


teach them that work is a way of life
if they try and get out of it

give them more..

Help them to die to self early.

We have to teach our children
that they will find much happiness in

work if they do it to please God.

If they are constantly trying to get out of work

they will never, ever be happy because their selfishness

will win out and they will become lazy bums who expect the world

to do it for them.
There I said it.
So my pursuit of happiness has not always been happy
but

It makes me realize my place

who I am
a

daughter to a humble King who came to serve, not be served.

who came from a dysfunctional family and turned out great!I'm glad about this one!

A

King who didn't complain about His job
or his circumstances


He just did it and did it well, I might add.












Monday, November 23, 2009

Toilet water

My son, do not forget my teaching
but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
and bring you prosperity.
Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
bind them around your neck,
write them on the tablet of your heart.
Proverbs 3 1-4

Two glasses;

One full of nice clean fresh spring water.

One full of dirty germy toilet water.

Which one is different?

You can't tell until you bump it

and then you see what spills out.


My heart is deceitful and so it can't be trusted.

Out of the mouth is an overflow of the heart.

Mine is dirty, murky water most of the time.

When I get bumped the overflow of my heart is

not a sweet spirit. It is not always a heart full of love

and concern for others. The overflow, I'm afraid, is selfish

and self protecting.

I have used friends and other families to 'gauge' my heart.

I give, I share, I'm a good wife, a good mother, heck, we've

adopted, we love kids and when I put myself up against others I think "I do ok"..
average

My gauge should be Jesus, to be more like Him.
not more like you sweet friends just as you should not strive to be more like me.
I'm wretched.
I should want to be more like Him everyday.

I should strive that when I get bumped I respond as He would.

Pouring out nice clean fresh spring water that all can drink

and want more of.

When we act selfishly or talk bad about someone or respond to our husbands

as cold prudish women or talk meanly to our kids or anyone we are pouring out

nasty toilet water that they can't drink without getting sick.


I can justify my behavior on just about anything. I responded to you coldly because I'm tired.

Our hearts are deceitful

I'm sarcastic, it's just how I am.

Our Hearts are deceitful

I didn't spend time with you because I had to have alittle time for myself

My heart is deceitful

I'm not kind because I have pms, you'll just have to understand if I'm moody and

mean to you.

My heart is deceitful

My three-year-old cries when she doesn't get her way.

Her heart is crying out....
Selfish, dirty, murky toilet water is inside.

It needs to be dumped and refilled with clean fresh water.

I'm no different

If I don't get treated fairly, someone is short with me, my hubby is late

my kids are noisy

I pitch my own little tantrum and

my heart is brimming with the nasty water.

Undrinkable



We cannot justify our behavior.

We need to ask forgiveness for it and start holding our hearts accountable

by God's heart not others who are just like us.

We are sinners

Our only hope is Him

to be

more

like

Him

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Thanksgiving to remember


  • Last year I was pregnant with William.
    This year I have two beautiful daughters.
    The year has been difficult. I have faced many trials emotionally
    and spiritually, but He drew me in.
    He kept me from being overwhelmed
    in the midst of the largest storm of my life.
    He breathed for me on the night
    we lost William and He whispered "I'm here" all along the way.
    He knew that two little girls would
    need my love and our home.
    I didn't
    He knew all along.
    As I talked with a dear friend who has a broken heart
    I told her that He knows.
    Trust Him
    Believe in Him more when your faith is less.
    Whisper His promises
    Sing His songs
    Write a Thankful list
    and
    Be Thankful
    I know that sounds easy enough
    but in the storm it's hard to be
    thankful for rain when you feel like your drowning in it.
    Trials will come to all of God's children
    It's not because you didn't "pray enough" or "trust enough".
    So many people have the attitude that God loves
    them more because He blesses them with more children or more money
    and that is simply not the truth.
    I remember not long after William died
    I heard someone say to someone else "God must really love you because
    it's so easy for you to get pregnant, He blesses you with children so you must be blessed."
    I cried because I thought " God loves me! How can they say that?"
    Does He love you more and me less because William died or because I can't get pregnant?
    of course not
    There are Christians that pray so hard for a baby
    and yet God says no because He can be glorified more by not giving them a baby.
    We have to be so careful in our speech because just because God gives you children or money or
    great health it's because of His providence for you right now.
    Give Him glory not yourself.
    William died not because God was trying to teach me a lesson
    or because He loved someone more and didn't want to put them through the pain.it was because He could be Glorified More
    through William's death.
    In His Providence he allowed the girls to
    be apart of our family, not because He loved us more but
    because He would be Glorified more with them here.
    Some of us may have
    prodigals ,cancer
    a husband who just doesn't get it, no money no friends a broken heart. A hard life

but
We need to make sure that we give God glory during
all times good and bad.
Are all of our days not numbered and laid out by our Father?
He could change it all if He wanted to.
We should rest in His will for our life.
This Thanksgiving season I can say
I'm thankful that the Lord took William
on to heaven.
He is not just a part of my past
but now he is a part of my
future as well.
So if something good happens in your life say
To God be the glory
When something bad happens say
To God be the glory
Give all praise and glory to our Father
in heaven.....and Glorify His name








Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I watched as he gently guided her with his hands




I went to her dad's funeral yesterday, a friend. She was poised and smiling as the crowd filtered in. I saw him come in from the side room and he stopped and looked for her. His eyes not stopping until he found her. He made his way to her side and gently put his hand on her back.


She didn't look up for she knew whom this was. When she went to say her final good-byes he was there holding her.


When the service started she sat on the front row with her mom and he sat behind her.


She sang a song, he wiped tears from his eyes.


I wonder if she realized years and years ago that he would stand next to her for everything and when years have passed his hand will still be there.


Her mom, sitting alone now. The stories being told about how "they loved" to travel and how "they loved" to have company. Her life defined by him, for him, for over 55 years and now it will be defined by just her and not him anymore, not us, but me.

No more bowls of vanilla ice cream to share at night. Just her with her memories and his things.

His shirts no longer to wash. His shoes not in the way anymore. No more complaining about who left the top to the tooth paste off. Just her alone with the 55 years of memories banging around begging to be talked about. Wishing to be relived again. As I sat and watched her mom follow the casket out I wondered how she kept herself so composed and together.

I think to myself that she was just like me sometime ago. Busy with the business of raising his children, cleaning his house and making his lunch. Trying to carve out time to spend together.

Looking for moments to be intimate and finding they were hard to come by.

Thinking to herself that time was on their side.


As her dad died they say her mom cried
"I'm not ready for him to go."


Not ready.

More time.

More memories.

More washing his clothes

More reminding him to do something.

More times to hold his hand.

More kisses.

More lovin.

More talk.

More cleaning up his messes.

More getting his coffee.

More patience as he's late again.

More understanding.


We complain, we carry on about our beloveds as if our time with

them is unlimited.


Just like her, our hair will turn gray, our backs will bend, and our walk

behind our beloveds casket will have us shouting:
I'm not ready.
.
.
.
.
.

Friday, November 13, 2009

My Little boys shoes


Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.Psalm 1
Being the mom to four boys has been so rewarding.
But....
It's alot of work!
Don't ever fool yourself into thinking boys are easier.
As a mom I spend my time teaching our boys to be gentle yet strong.
Loving but brave
Dependable but Dependent.
It all confuses me sometimes.
I forget that I'm trying to work myself out of a job.
I'm trying to cram as much knowledge of the Lord and of the world
into them in a short amount of time.
Trying to push them to be strong guys
but not push them away.
The hardest part is knowing one day they will
leave my roof and start their own family.
They will cleave to their wife and my time
as their mother will be changed forever.
Rightfully so and I try to prepare them and myself for that road.
It's hard for me to go there but go there I must.
Knowing one day my job as mother will be done if I've done a good job!
So today I will continue to teach and mold these little men.
I will continue to work myself out of a job even though it's the best job in the whold wide world.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Don't miss the journey




Going through this life with my 8 children is an adventure. Adoption has only added to this crazy ride I call my life. Jo is my African miracle. This guy has brought so much to our table and without his incredible story of endurance and toughness our family would not be as rich.










The girls journey

into our life has brought back the sweetness of new love and new beginnings.


Adoption is a road of faith. It's a road of up's and down's (of course,we always have to have up's and down's!).
You pour your soul into
the journey and when as last the reward is placed in your arms
you take a glance heaven ward and with tears you whisper "it's so worth it, Lord, You have done a mighty thing"...


Don't be afraid of the work involved in adoption. You, we, serve a mighty God who cares deeply about orphans and he will walk beside you and send friends to keep you going.

Adoption has forever changed our family. These little miracles crossed our path and to think


I could have said "No, Lord I don't want to be bothered."


Please allow the Lord to change your world.


Take a leap of Faith!


Be Still and know that He is faithful


Consider all that He has done and stand in awe and be amazed.


As a family we're standing in awe and so amazed at his Love for us


we have come as close to heaven as you can get.
We only have one shot of this life so make it count!
Live it to the fullest!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What a table holds

The sun shining through my curtains
cereal bowls lined up and down my wooden table.
Will they remember my table. The table of laughter and devotion.
The table that is either being set or cleaned.
The table that carries our conversations
that are by far some of the most important in our home.
The brown eyes that look at me from every available chair from my small table
is such a beautiful sight.
It could be bigger and as the boys grow and the girls come to share our table I'm sure this one will be replaced with a larger one
but right now, the fullness of this small wooden table, pulls me in and invites me to sit
and talk with my children.
Their elbows touching and their feet dangling above the floor. I look under
to see many toes and as they swing back and forth under my table
I know this is a great season.

No hurry to move on to the next thing.

Just breathing it in and hoping I'm not the first to leave.

Laughter and tears have spilled out over this table in the past few months.

Stains I can't and won't try to get up as I think about the tears that fell like fat

rain-drops as we shared our daily bread when we lost William
although none of us felt much like eating.

We talked about William
and heaven alot then. We poured our whys out over the table as Scott

tried to explain to us God's plan and how His ways are
always better.
Bitter morsels but food we had to eat and be thankful for.

The joy I remember the first night the girls sat in our arms around our table.

No-one wanting to eat much then either. Everyone gazing at the gifts that were unexpectedly layed out before us.Hands held around our table as we gave our Thanks.
It's as if the Lord layed manna on our starving hearts when He
so graciously gave us the girls.
Sweet Morsels easy to swallow and so Thankful
Remembering Scott's words that His plans are always better.
Learning to be content in all things
but right now this morning
I'm
Full
my table
my heart
my cup
Thank you Lord for the fullness of this day

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Her Shoes


Her shoes are just a reflection of who she is.

Carefree yet comfortable.

She works hard.

When she gets tired she gets silly, almost to the point of being hilarious.

She loves to window shop and dream about her future house.

Her forgiving spirit inspires me to forgive.

Her helpful attitude makes me want to help.

Her love for her daddy

makes me love her daddy more.

My Sweet Taylor

Daughter

Friend

I'm thankful for you!

Thanks to Taylor for posing in her new shoes...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My season


The days are a blur with the tasks at hand.
Knowing I only have a few months of getting up at night.

The early morning bottles will soon pass also.

Constantly growing

and changing, needing me less and less

to comfort

and feed.

A season is all I have..

Scott and I pass each other

knowing that, yes, we're tired but

this season is quickly changing.
Their eyes opening wider everyday.

Their smiles are more and more.

Their cries, familiar to me.

A deep satisfaction watching

bothers and sisters

take care of the least of these.

Knowing that this is a privilege,

an honor

to be a mom.

No complaints on my end will you hear.

I'm right in the middle

of a grand adventure of the Lord's kind

and

I will enjoy every moment.

The Lord has given me

and granted me the privilege

of being

busy at home

and

I'm thankful.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My side of the bed


The darkness and me once again. Early, I'm not sure what time it is. As I have time to sit and think, my side of the bed beckons me. My side, next to my beloved. I long to be next to him and smell the familiar smell of his skin. I make my way in the dark and know exactly where I'm going. I've made this trip, to my side of the bed, for almost 18 years. I reach in and pull the covers back and he instantly takes me in. No questions, no need, we are as familiar as the sun to the morning, to each other but with newness everyday.

He wraps his arm around me and holds me with such stongness. I forget I'm his sometimes. I so often feel like everyone else's but I was made for him. His hands touch my skin and I remember. Do I get so busy that I forget? I must have. I love being his. I love my name on his lips.

I love the way I know that he will always welcome me.

I love my side of the bed.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Our prayer for our new daughters






Our prayer for Ellie Cate and Josie Claire
...........
Grant them the favour of being led by thee Lord,
under the directions of thy providence
and thy word.
Grant them, like Gideon of old,way-tokens,
by removing things that discourage them;
Cast them not under the feet of
pride, injustice, riches, worldly greatness,
selfish oppression of men;
Help them to wait patiently, silently upon thee.
not to be enraged or speak unadvisedly.
Let thy mercy follow them while they live,
and give them aid to resign themselves to thy will.
Take their hearts and hold it in thy hand;
write upon it reverence to thyself with an
inscription that time and eternity cannot erase.
..
...The Valley of Vision puritan prayers............
.....
We love you and are so very proud of you both.
Dad and Mom
November 1st, 2009

I was well protected






I spent part of my weekend with these crazy characters. We spent time laughing with neighbors and at a local church playing games and walking cake walks. We then came home and poured out our loot on the bed and watched a movie and ate candy until our tummies begged us to stop.



I felt very safe that evening as I had the bat and spider-man and a four wheeler guy escorting me. Thanks guys!








A happy heart makes the face cheerful.





Proverbs 15:13



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