Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The fight to make it known.

If we keep working like we are, then it should be less than 2 months before we are debt free!!! (other than our house of course) Which translates to me that I can start adoption paperwork again soon. I am very excited and have been working like crazy. Aaron went to AR for 2 weeks and made overtime and he is going again for 2 weeks soon. I hate for him to be gone so much, but we have prayed for God to give us money or to give us a way to make money, so we figure we better take it while we can get it. Whenever I think that I need to work less next week, I look at our debt snowball and sign up for more. It is so close I can almost taste it. I have been sending off money to the debt even between when payments are due. Every time I get paid, I take out a little for babysitter and extra, then immediatly mail the rest so it is unavailable.

The more I research on orphans, the more I realize that God's family is not stepping up. There are estimated to be 147,000,000 orphans in this world. God speaks of helping the fatherless so many times in the Bible, yet almost every church I have been involved in never speaks of it.
Confession time... I have really struggled with bitterness about this. Bitterness that to all appearances, of course I may be misunderstanding, but unless I bring it up, only one person we attend church with asks us how the adoption is going. Bitter that we have had two countries close on us. Bitter that we lost over $15,000. Bitter that we tried to do a good thing and not only did it not work, but we have spent the last 1 1/2 trying to pay off something that didn't work. Bitter that when I try to do the right thing, it backfires. Bitter that the church/our church doesnt seem to give a flip about orphans. Bitterness has filled my heart and attitude and has made my smart alec self that lives in me come out to fight. Bitter that when I have tried to teach a little about orphans that I can't even seem to get that done.

About a month ago, my best friend at church pointed out to me my bitterness and rightly said that if I go about teaching people bitterly it will turn them off and perhaps the church's nonaction is not that they don't care, but that they just don't know. So I took my bitterness to God, confessed it and prayed that he would take it away. And the last 3 weeks I have done so much better, actually been excited and optimistic. About a week or two before that, I had asked the Ladies Class teacher if I could have 2-3 classes to talk (I didn't even tell her what about) and she said we'll see. The ladies class hasn't met for a few quarters, but I knew it would be starting up soon. So, I waited to hear her answer and decided that instead of being pessimistic, I would be optimistic and go ahead and prepare a lesson and assume that she might let me teach. Well, I am glad I did because last Sunday she told me that I could have the first 3 Wed nights. I was so glad I prepared. Then here comes my pessimistic self saying that something would happen to keep me from teaching, I was thinking I would get sick, lose my voice, etc. Silliness, but still always looking for the worst.
So, Sunday morning, the preacher comes up to me and tells me that with all the other classes offered on Wed. nights, he just doesn't see that there would be a place for the ladies class this quarter. Wow, and here I thought I would be sick on Wed., this caught me totally by surprise. Good one, whomever you are trying to keep the plight of orphans from being known. Wasn't expecting that. I made the suggestion of perhaps the teen girls meeting in this classroom that half was being used for storage. Plenty of room for less than 10 people, but he didn't seem real keen on it.
I am so close to just saying forget it and may have to since I am not the decision maker. All day Sunday I went back and forth between should I fight for it and try to think of a solution or should I just accept defeat.? What would you do? Am I cocky in thinking that my lessons would affect anyone? But I am not even cocky in myself, I was planning on using 90% Bible for my lessons. Let the Bible preach it, not me. You can't argue with the Bible when it is so clear on God's love for the orphan. Perhaps this whole ordeal has nothing to do with the Church. Perhaps, and I am beginning to think this may be it as it always is. It is between me and God.
Our homeschooling is between me and God.
Me being Aaron's helper is between me and God.
Maybe God knows I won't be successful in that I get to teach at church, but perhaps the success is more in the effort. That alone is what keeps me from giving up.
I thought I had a great solution Sunday night. There are two classrooms downstairs at church hardly ever used. I didn't figure the ladies would want to meet down there since it is pretty steep and a lot of the ladies are older., but no problem for teens. I mentioned that to the preacher and he said we would have to talk to the youth leader when he gets back from a trip with the youth he was on. Perhaps it was my bitterness coming back but it almost seemed like my ideas weren't welcome.
I still have a few more things to do to get ready for the class. I am in a quandry. Do I keep preparing, blindly thinking that I will get to teach. Do I quit preparing because it sounds as if I don't have a chance and then show up Wed, with a class to teach and not be prepared? Or do I just bite the bullet and call and find out. The last one is probably the best solution. I will need to do a lot of prayer before calling, so I don't let the bitterness come.

Monday, October 26, 2009

My Adoption Sermon

On Friday, one of the Mom's at our Friday Coop has foster children off and on and she had a 10 day old little girl. So sweet. Anyway, it got me thinking about our adoption and how long it has been and how far away we still are. Aaron was with me that day and he got to see her and the rest of the weekend was filled with my thoughts on our adoption.
All day Friday and esp Satur. my mind was flowing with certain Bible verses. First of all James 1:27 "Religion that our God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." But in the midst of that verse, and meditating on what steps God was wanting us to take next, He kept putting to mind the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.
What kept coming to me was that the Master (God) gave the servants (us) talents. But nowhere in the story do you get the impression that the master gave the servants money to spend on themselves, elevating their status. When the master came back, they were still servants. When the master came back, he held the servants accountable with the money he gave them. At no time was it the servant's money. Even while in the hands of the servants it was always the master's money.
I prayed and read about this, thinking on it and how it applies to me and our lack of adoption funds situation and the abundance of cash flowing through many Christians and how sick and sad it makes me that the ONLY thing standing between starting our adoption again is money. Silly, important money. Money that we don't have. Money that will take forever to make. Money that is keeping our child in the orphanage that much longer.
Fast forward to Sunday morning worship and what does Bill talk about, but Matthew 25 and the parable of the talents. Thank you God for preparing me for his lesson. However, Bill put a slightly different spin on it, that enhanced what I was thinking. He talked about a postage stamp and kind of showed how they compare to people. Each postage stamp looks different, each one has a value on it, they serve a purpose, etc. I can't remember all, but what I do remember is when he talked about when the price of mail goes up, and you have old 40c stamps and the price is now 43c, neither can serve the purpose of sending that mail on it's own. It takes both stamps to accomplish the goal. And it was then that I realized that Aaron and I were the 3c stamp and we need a 40c stamp and together we can accomplish the goal of giving a child or two a home.
So of course I thought on this all afternoon Sunday, ready to talk to Bill about his lesson and how it helped me realize that perhaps Aaron and I can't do it alone, that we will need help from the church, and then Duane preached.
He preached on the Year of Jubilee and how a lot of it was about money, captives, the oppressed,etc. Then he skipped to the new testament and spoke of denying ourselves, taking up our crosses and following Jesus, that now that He has come, we are in a forever year of Jubilee, We can all be set free.
So many times when I hear people talk about adoption they say stuff like well, we would, but we are past the baby stage and don't want to start over (deny yourself), we don't have the money (deny yourself),I am happy with just __ children (deny yourself) what if it turns out bad? (deny yourself) Perhaps adoption doesn't have to be about you, you, you. Perhaps it should be about them, them, them. Jesus says to deny ourselves.
If you read Matthew 25: 14-30 about the talents, don't stop there, because Jesus immediatly goes into another parable. I don't think it is coincidence that right after he talks about being responsible with the master's money he talks about helping the helpless. In Matthew 25 31-46 Jesus talks about separating the sheep and the goats. He will give the sheep on his right their inheritance "for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."
To the goats on the left he tells the opposite and they are sent to eternal punishment.
I so wish our church would have an adoption fund and see adoption as a mission and not just for people who can't have kids or as a last resort.
And I know I am being judgemental, but these are some questions in my mind... How can you justifiy buying that 2nd house on the lake that gets visited twice a year, just so you will be cool? How can you see children in need, children without a mommy or daddy to hug them and kiss them goodnight and still think God gave you that ability to earn that money to spend on yourself. Did you ever think that God gave you the ability to make that money so you could use it in His kingdom?
I am all against giving the lazy money. I am so against all these govt. programs for so many people who don't want to get off their rears and work. I also think money to help others should be given freely and not taken from the rich.
On Friday a lady from church joked about her Mom (also a member) driving an expensive "midlife crisis" car. Perhaps it makes her feel better to have a nice, status symbol car, but as a Christian, wouldn't she have felt much better helping a child.?
What is the only thing that can get into heaven? Souls. That is it. You can't take your lake house, your new car, your jewelry, whatever, but the souls you touch can go. Souls of children without hope can have hope with you. You can be a missionary in your own home. I always wanted to be a missionary growing up> I know now that God is not planning that for me. But wait, my home is a mission field. And when you go to another country, or even to this country, you are not going there to preach, but you can bring that child to the mission field of your house. You can live Jesus for them, when they had no hope before.
God knitted the orphans in their birthmother's wombs with as much care as he knitted my biological children in my womb. They are His creation too and He has a plan for them. If only they had parents to show them the Lord.
Lastly, when praying last night, I kept going over with the Lord how I don't want other's money, I don't want to have to depend on others' money for this adoption. How I so don't want to have people just give us money for the adoption. Then I jokingly thought, I want your money Lord, why can't you just give us your money. I would gladly take your money. Then God gently whispered to me "It is my money" And He took me full circle to my meditation/obsession on Saturday with the parable of the talents. And what He kept impressing on me all day Saturday...that the money the master gives to his servants is ALWAYS the masters money. It is His. No matter where the money comes from, no matter if I work extra to earn it, if Aaron works extra to earn it, if our church starts an adoption fund or if some generous person writes us a check...it is God's money...It is His, it is from Him because it never was that other person's in the first place. And if Aaron and I have to swallow our pride and accept help from others to fulfill this adoption, I guess I can live with that now.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

School is on...

I think the public schools around here started today, but we are well into day 9 of Kindergarten, 2nd and 3rd grades. After much whining about how it was too hot to play outside this summer, I decided the week before the girls went to camp that we were starting when they got back. That way, when we are stuck inside because of the heat, we can be productive, then when it is fall and spring, we can take some days off to play in the awesome weather. We are doing the Prairie Primer this year and are liking it so far.
We finished our schooling today around lunchtime. I had been working on a huge grocerly list complete with about 20 coupons. I wanted to go today, but was signed up to work 3-11. I went to Mom's at 1 in order to take a shower and lie down a few minutes before going in, and they called about 1:15 to let me know they didn't need me from 3-7. So instead of napping we all took off to the grocery store 25 min. away. It took 2 carts, lots of threatening and forever to complete this grocery trip. UGH!
Mom came with us to help unload and eat supper. Aaron got home the same time I did, saying they told him to pack his bags for a fire. So he will probably be leaving in the next few days for California? Never 100% sure until he gets there. I hate for him to be gone, but the money is a blessing.
I called work at 5 to see if they still needed me at 7 and if they were going to cancel anyone, please cancel me! She said she would call me within the hour. She called while the next paragraph was going on and cancelled me and I was very grateful.
While we were packing and Mom and the girls were eating we got the bad news that Hannah had thrown up all over the kitchen floor. That was a mess, but she hasn't done it since, so I am hoping it was a fluke thing and NOT the stomach virus. A girl can dream can't she?
Still trying to pay off debt so we can continue our adoption goals. I am sooo ready. We started this March 2007. Anyway, we applied for an adoption grant and an interest free adoption loan. Please pray that we get one or both.
Time to head for bed. Slept terrible last night and then Hannah woke me early.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Fort Morgan

I thought I would add some more pictures tonight while I was working in the kitchen.
A picture of the kitchen in the Fort

This picture was taken from the top of the fort, which was a little nervewracking up there with 3 kids, but looking in the opposite direction, there was a great view of the ocean.

This is Hannah posing with Josh, the tour guide.

This is Hannah posing on top of an old cistern.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


In this picture, you can see Natalie about to be drenched by the upturned bucket of water.

It has been so long since I have blogged. I thought about giving up blogging when I started to go on Facebook. But this last week, I have not been able to figure out how to post pictures onto Facebook anymore. What I used to do doesn't work anymore on my computer or on Mom's. Very frustrating.

Let's see...

We just got back Thursday night from Gulf Shores.


We left Sunday morning and around lunchtime got to the Montgomery Zoo. We had never been and got in half price with our Birmingham passes. We ended up staying for almost 3 hours. It was better than I expected. The funniest part was this monkey. Hopefully, I will be able to post a picture.

Sunday we spent the night in Daphne.


We got up the next morning and thought we'd go for a walk down Gator Alley, which was a big disappointment. We did see 2 gators from the boardwalk, but it was pretty much a boardwalk under the interstate where people did grafitti. Natalie wanted to go to the Bass Pro Shop we saw, so we ended up walking around there for about an hour.

Then we drove on to Gulf Shores. We couldn't check into the hotel until 4pm, so we had some time to kill. We ended up going to the beach and swimming, then went to Pizza Hut, almost dripping wet for a late lunch, walked around a couple of souvinour shops then checked into the hotel. Later, we went back to the beach until almost bedtime.

Tuesday, we got to Waterville USA at opening time. So expensive, but so much fun. It was worth it. We were there about 2 hours and then decided to get some lunch. We drove through the drivethrough, came back and ate in the parking lot. The food would have cost us an arm and a leg in the park. Then we swam and went down water slides until around 4 when we went to the car for a quick snack, then back to play again until closing time at 6pm. I am so glad we went that day, because it cooled off some after that. The girls went right to sleep that night.


It was only supposed to get up into the low 80s this day with clouds. So we went to Fort Morgan this morning and toured the fort. It was interesting and the girls enjoyed going up and down the stairs and the place had a lot of hidden places.

We drove back to Gulf Shores and ate our only seafood lunch at the Original Oyster House, which was delicious. Then we decided to go to the beach in clothes to find shells, wade in the water, and build sand castles. We stayed there until around 7pm and even in the clothes, we all got pretty soaking wet. I was so tired of sand.


Since it still wasn't supposed to be real warm, we decided to just swim in the hotel pool before checkout. Afterward, we packed our things and headed home.

Mom fed the pets and checked on the garden while we were gone. She had already picked 6 yellow squash and I picked 2 more since coming home. I have a spaghetti squash the size of a lemon, tons of skinny green beans, lots of cucumbers on their way to getting ripe and probably 20+ green tomatoes. So exciting. We have weeded off and on yesterday and today. Watered half of it today and will probably water the rest tomorrow, with water Aaron has caught in rain barrels.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Top is a picture of Madelyn, Hannah, and Lexi. Middle is Hannah and bottom is the kids getting ready to go for a ride.

Lonely and Quiet

The girls left Sunday with the granparents to go on a trip. They went to the grandparent's house Sunday and Monday night. Then left Tuesday for Gatlinburg to go to the Aquarium on Wednesday. Last night, they were close to Chattanooga, planning to see their Great Granny today and then going back to the grandparents tonight, then coming home tomorrow afternoon.

I would like to say that I got a ton of stuff done while they were gone, but I didn't. I worked 8 hours Monday. Then 5 horrible hours on Tuesday. It was a bad evening. So bad, that I had planned to call and see if I could work Wednesday, but decided to take the day off instead.

Yesterday, Mom and I went out to lunch. I got some paint at Walmart for the girls' bathroom (haven't started painting yet). Aaron left work after lunch. We ran a few errands, then came home. He sprayed weeds while I planted our puny tomato plants. I am hoping that being in the sun with room to spread will make them grow. I think they have been the same size for 3 weeks. If they die, I will just buy plants to plant and give up growing tomatoes from seeds. I never seem to get them to grow right.

Our garden is about 1/2 way full and we still have green beans, snap peas, and cucumbers, zuccini and more corn to plant. The peaches that were on the trees before it got real cold last week are bigger this week, so I assume that means that the frost didn't kill them.

Today I plan to plant my green beans and some cucumber seeds outside. Clean the living room and kitchen, balance the checkbook, start painting the bathroom and work 3-7. Guess I should get off the computer soon.

One more note... We had Natalie's party on Saturday. I hate planning for a party and then no one calls to say if they are coming or not. Most of the time no one calls, but we have a good crowd. This time, we heard one yes and one no. Out of 10+ invitations. Sadly, only 2 kids showed up. But thankfully, one of them was her best friend, so she was happy. Aaron and I were disappointed that we bought enough food for 30+ (since most parents stay and bring siblings). Oh well, hot dogs will freeze.
We had a great time. We hiked through the forest. Then cooked our hotdogs and marshmallows over an open fire. After that Aaron drove us down the road for a great hayride, right at sunset. it was beautiful. Then we came back, Aaron took them on another hike and everyone went home. Aaron's parents spent the night, so we all stayed around the campfire until about 9:30.