Many, Many Blessings,
Saturday, March 31, 2012
Many, Many Blessings,
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Don’t forget to check out the previous post for a GIVEAWAY!
Grandma’s house has lots of outdoor space to run and play. Since it is also far away from the road, an idea crossed my mind…”Jon, what do you think about getting the girls kittens?”. I was thinking along the lines of providing the girls warm, fuzzy moments that I experienced as a child. Since I haven’t seen many cats in Ethiopia, I thought this summer would be perfect and maybe the only chance for the girls to have kitties for a long while. Jon was completely on board for this idea (of course…in case you haven’t noticed, he is almost up for everything).
I felt a familiar pang in my heart. The same one I get while watching the girls play with cousins and friends, seeing their delight over visiting a grandparent or hearing their sweet little voices announce, “my church!” when the lovely body of Christ where we fellowship comes into view. I am thankful but there is also this deep, bittersweet ache. Living close to my family has brought many joys and also deepens relationships with The Littles and the “normal” I thought my children would have.
“Hmm, Babe, I changed my mind about the kitties. I don’t want The Littles to have more thing that breaks their hearts when they have to leave it.”
Jon reminded me of the fact that this year living here was an unexpected and highly unplanned blessing. He mentioned a few things like, “Do you think that stopping all experiences for a year and just being on hold is the right thing?” Humpf. I am so thankful that God has given us this year to deepen relationships. I know that Jon and I, we’ll be okay. We are older and know that God has called us to make this decision, for our family too. It is going to hurt when we leave and The Littles can’t grasp why we are leaving everything and going to a land where they don’t understand the language and don’t even like the food (completely Americanized food choices…working on it).
But it’s okay. God is good. Here, there, everywhere.
Yesterday, to the delight of The Littles, we got our first kittens.
Meet Purr and Meow.
I think our year 2012 will be full of sweet memories.
And it’s gonna be okay.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The lovely Amazon box waited for me, I ripped it open with great excitement and pulled out my own copy of 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. (Cheaper at www.cbd.com) What I didn’t expect was how much this book would push me to think…and…change…
Very enthusiastically I explained the premise of the book to Jon. I was ready to read it, not jump into the craziness. Jon’s first response, “Let’s do it”, annoyed me.
”Food. Clothes. Spending. Media. Possessions. Waste. Stress. They would spend thirty days on each topic, boiling it down to the number seven. Only eat seven foods, wear seven articles of clothing, and spend money in seven places. Eliminate use of seven media types, give away seven things each day for one month, adopt seven green habits, and observe "seven sacred pauses." So, what’s the payoff from living a deeply reduced life? It’s the discovery of a greatly increased God—a call toward Christ-like simplicity and generosity that transcends social experiment to become a radically better existence.” –excerpt from CBD
Read along as Jen journals this journey, from how God has brought her family from pastoring a “successful” mega-church, living the American dream and enjoying everything this life has to offer to literally giving her shoes off her feet (multiple times, I might add). As I read Jen’s accounts of living one month on seven foods (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?) to the next month eating what she pleased but limiting herself to wearing 7 items of clothing, including shoes (ARE YOU KIDDING ME?), it became desirable. Not the part about self-denial, but…it was the part about self-denial and how God can work mightily through it, when we slow down, simplify and just take the time to hear Him. How often do I fast or practice some form of self-denial? Very little. Is it something the Lord has been convicting me for some time about? YES.
What I am taking forever to say is, by the grace of God, we are embarking on this journey. I know this is sticky because broadcasting a fast seems proud. Be assured, I don’t tell you so you can admire my self-discipline (seriously a very weak area in my life) but to see if you want to join.
One of the strongest things that stood out to me in the book was Jen’s “Council”, basically a group of friends all doing this together (to varying degrees and in a myriad of ways, not everyone’s journey was the same) who supported each other, talked about the hard things and just kept each other sane and laughing along the way . Are you intrigued in doing this together? This will not be a time commitment as we will keep up over e-mail.
We are starting Month #1 on May 1st. If you are interested, that gives you a bit over a month to find the book (hilarious, quick read), read through it and prayerfully decide if it is an experiment on which you want to embark.
If you are interested in possibly participating, leave a comment on this post. One winner will be announced March 30th and will receive their own copy of “7” with no obligation or pressure to participate.
May God use this for His glory and praise.
Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Sorry if you are my FB friend and this overlaps! Three instagram snapshots:
I made the mistake of telling The Littles, “If you need me, just ring the doorbell.”
2. Inside Jokes
3. Potty Training
As the girls have been on the potty multiple times this morning for “trying treats” but not actually using it, I tried to curb it. "Girls, I am afraid if I keep giving you trying treats I am going to spend the whole morning here.” To which Little A responded, "don't be afraid mama, trust in God." http://instagr.am/p/IrTagEONdZ/
Official Wedding Pictures:
Jenna from Patch 36 Photography just posted wedding pictures from the wonderful weekend.
Frills and Flowers:
Our dear friend, (whom I have actually never met) Tricia, came through for us big time when it came to our hair “pretties” for the wedding.
Tricia has a heart for the oppressed and uses the proceeds generated by her business to benefit International Justice Mission (IJM).
She loves to do custom orders and made the bridesmaid flowers as well as those for J&A.
Check out the Frills and Flowers Facebook Page and think about her ability to match anything!
Monday, March 26, 2012
My whimsy post was this morning, this one gut-level reality. Trayvon Martin.
These few articles are worth the time, all three come from different angles but a Christian perspective.
Dear Trayvon’s Mom by Jen Hatmaker
Why I Fear “Good” People: Trayvon Martin and Kony 2012 by Sharifa Stevens
Trayvon Martin, Race and The Gospel by John Piper
Let this effect us.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
(And Happy Birthday Jeff!)
It's time we get involved (and sidenote also getting a little "greener" with my water consumption). I haven't researched enough to give a list of organizations I stand behind.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Aren’t they so beautiful? They are amazing and we were so honored to be a part of their weekend.
The Littles love Uncle Nick!
All the sibs…
(photo credit: Jenna from Patch 36)
Aunt Kris still smiling at the end of an amazing but LONG day.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Don’t miss the post from this morning!
I am currently sorting through wedding pictures and “aah”, long contented sigh. It was lovely and joy-filled. The weather was perfect, Kristen was gorgeous and Nick was a dashing groom.
Our weekend started with an evening out with Kristen and the bridesmaids with pictures the following morning. I went early to help Kris and Jon was going to bring The Littles. After hearing that he had completely lost track of time, I
may have been was impatient with him and said, “just get here and get The Littles dressed in the parking garage!". A short while later after realizing the pictures were running behind and feeling very convicted that I lashed out at Jon, I called him back, apologized and said to bring the girls downtown and I would help get them dressed.
They parked in a parking garage about five blocks away and I was waiting for them to come. I saw something odd in the crosswalk, two toddlers in only diapers crossing the street, holding their daddy’s hand. GASP…oh wait, those were my toddlers and hubby, in a large city.
Me: Hi babe, umm…what happened?
Jon: You told me to take off their clothes and bring them to the courthouse!
A very funny miscommunication. We dressed them immediately as I prayed no one had seen the odd sight and called DCS.
I must sign off because I have a load of papers to go through as I pushed everything possible until “after the wedding”.
Jessica and I, though we haven’t meant, are forever bonded. We were both bringing our first kids home from Ethiopia at the same time, lots of e-mails back and forth, following each other’s blogs, etc.
I just love this family and their hearts. After adding two kids to their family from Ethiopia, they felt God’s nudge to bring another girl home off a waiting child list and a short while later, they were a family of 8. Now, God has made it clear that they have room for one more.
Because of unexpected expenses that have popped up in their life, their adoption fund for baby #7 has dwindled but they know that God always provides, but not always in expected, well-planned ways.
They are asking for people to contribute, $7 for their 7th child to offset the cost.
Follow this link to read their story and to be a part of changing the world for one orphaned child and one family.
or visit their blog at http://steadfastminds-ethiopia.blogspot.com/
Friday, March 16, 2012
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Because we are moving to Ethiopia, it is high time that I teach the girls some (maybe all) the survival skills I know. Like…hmm…making cereal necklaces in case we get too hungry on the way to the mailbox.
The Littles thought Mama was genius.
Whew! The lane is long (ish) and The Littles dawdled, so I continued walking , leaving them to eat their necklaces in peace.
I came around the curve to find them both sitting in the only puddle in the driveway, at least no one was hungry. Too bad “Froot Loops” won’t be easy to find in Ethiopia. :)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
The Littles started on their trikes.
They worked together to fix the flag…
But because their feet don’t reach the pedals and they only know how to go backwards, it doesn’t take long to get distracted.
Little A found the figurine on the porch and instantly declared her “sad”. “She needs a daddi-o!”.
Little J, a complete care bear with a very sensitive heart quickly joined in bringing comfort to the girl of stone while Little A, my action child, called daddy to let him know that someone was in need of his “lovin’s”.
Much to the sadness of The Littles (all three of them), Daddy couldn’t come home yet. The Littles reassured the statue in sweet, quiet voices, “It’s okay, daddi-o is coming home.”.
As my lover, Little J, stayed close to the statue, my “life is a party” child was bored and decided to shake things up a bit.
Something I often pray for The Littles is that they would see others as Christ does, treating everyone with love and kindness. I rejoice in the ways I see them have a heart for “sad people” around them, even if that person happens to have a heart of stone. :)