Adoption

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Working on adoption number 2 and looking for adoption party ideas, I came across this article on helping adoptive families. click waitingtoadopt.

What great information. Most families have someone offer to give them a shower when they are having s baby. We got our baby girl at 3 days old. We had three friends respond. One friend, Leilani brought us a whole slew of diapers, wipes, formula, and the cutest baby girl clothes…the next day…which was awesome because she was our girl was a complete surprise. And we were going to have to go and get those items ASAP. Another friend brought us food (prepared meal) which was great because we had been at a conference in Dallas when we got the call. I thank God for these people. Seriously! My family has been super supportive…baby , clothes, bedding, Christmas and birthday gifts. I’m thankful. The blog above made me think of some of the great support we received while fostering twins (newborn, premies). Some friends came over and offered to clean…that was HUGE for our sleep deprived family. My sister and another friend came over and babysat so I could take a nap, upstairs. One of my best friends, Suzy who has adopted twins and still fosters, came and provided respite care for us so we could go away for a weekend. We had some support. Foster families and adoptive families need help. Especially those new to fostercare…we had no idea what we were taking on when we signed up to foster. We were pretty prepared for children when we were asked to take our son but fostering comes with so many rules and restrictions, it can be overwhelming.

When we completed our son’s adoption we wanted to celebrate with
these friends. we were unable to have a celebration because of a crisis with another family member that ended with one of us traveling 600 miles to pick up our infant niece.

So this time around, the Hubs wants (and I agree) to throw a huge celebration for both of our adoptions. We are hoping late May or early June. Looking for ideas….back to Pinterest. just wanted to share.

Momlog 2015: A Moment

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I wish I could have taken a picture or recorded a video.  It was a priceless moment.

Almost all day today, The Boy, for lack of a better term, was listless.  We went to the playground and he moped around.  I’m one of those relentless moms who keeps asking, “What’s wrong with you?”  Sorry, all you great moms who gentle check your kids temperature and say things like, “Show, mamma where it hurts.” I’m just not that mom.  He poked around all day.  He’s a pokey kind of kid (I have a deep belief that God gave me a child who is pokey to slow me down because I typically have one speed and it is full charge ahead).  He told me all these pitiful problems he was having today.  Seriously, I laughed at him a little.  His stomach hurt. Of course I asked him if he had pooped today.  He said “No” but I suspect he couldn’t really remember.  He is 6 and 1/2 now (and don’t forget the half because he sure doesn’t) so I don’t monitor his poops.  Naturally, I gave him a bunch of fruit at dinner.  I know he had yogurt at breakfast and not that yoplay stuff either the good Greek yogurt that has all the probiotics.   I checked to make sure he didn’t have a bruise or something on his stomach.  Yet he continued to mope around.  His next answer, after he moped around at the park and drank 1/2 of a large McDonald’s sweet tea (1/2 sweet, 1/2 unsweet because sweet tea is just too sweet) was that he was needed water.  He was seriously pitiful.  I prayed for him because I’m not at all tolerant of self-pity….in myself or anyone in my family.  No pity parties.  There are kids in Africa who drink dirt water once a day and you just drank my whole tea.  (I was a bit concerned that if he did have some kind of stomach thing going on that we will all get it because we shared that tea.)

He came home and moped his way through some school work.  Then he went and laid down on his bed at 6:15 p.m.  I made him get up to eat dinner.

He did eat dinner which made me think, maybe it wasn’t a stomach thing.

A prayer group from our church meets at our house on Tuesday evenings so after dinner I sent him upstairs.  I told him he could play or get ready for bed since he wasn’t feeling well and he was so tired.  He chose to stay up and play (big surprise).

The Hubs was late getting home from work.  I told the Boy to get ready for bed and come say good night.  That means he stayed up a little later than usual.

He came bounding down the stairs.  He says, “Mama, mama, I know why my stomach has been hurting.”  (He’s pointing at me).  I ask, “Why?”.  He says, “Because I didn’t say I was sorry yesterday.”  His little six year old face was so serious.

Rewind to yesterday.  Because of our sleep issues (Baby Girl has been waking up around 3 a.m. every other night and she’s sooo loud) I was tired.  The weather was so nice, I sent the kids out to play while I sat down to do some reading before we started school.  I was watching out the window and I had the back door open.   Baby girl is not yet two so she is still in a diaper.  And she one tough cookie.  Seriously, she falls down and gets right back on and goes on with her life.  She was in the yard doing “downward puppy” (think yoga “downward dog”  I have no idea why).  He kicked her on her bottom (Her bottom was right there in the air, I can see the temptation).  Twice.  And he probably would have done it again except I started yelling at him.  She didn’t fall down or even seem phased by the kick.  However, I want to teach him to be protective over her and not a mean brother.   I told him, he would have a consequence for the kicking.

When he was little-little (he’s still kind of little to me) we would make him tell us “I’m sorry” when he behaved badly.  We have been teaching Baby Girl to say “sorry” too (she uses sign language at this point).  In our family we say “sorry” when we mess up…we take responsibility when we do the wrong thing or hurt someone whether is was intentional or accidental.  It’s part of our DNA.  This is also how we start teaching our kids about repentance. I have been giving The Boy a little more leeway in apologizing because I want him to do it by his own choice not because I force him too.  I kind of let the “sorry” slide yesterday.

Fast forward to this evening,  The Boy says, “Mr. Eddie (his teacher at church) said that when we do things wrong it makes our heart heavy.  That’s why my stomach hurt.  I told Jesus that I’m sorry but I forgot to tell you.” (he was talking to me).  My response was (and he was so sincere that The Hubs and I were trying not to laugh and cry at the same time) , “I love you and forgive you.  It’s not okay to kick your sister.  I think the person you need to apologize to is your sister.”  He told her he was sorry and gave her a hug then came and sat with me.

He seemed to be completely healed of his stomach issue.

In a related matter, about 7 minutes later, his sister launched herself over him onto me, ramming his face and she had to tell brother, “sorry”.

It was one of those moments…those moments when 4 years of parenting paid off.  All of the things we have been teaching him came together for a brief moment and we had a glimpse of the godly man we are preparing to change the world.  It made me want to cry.  We know, it’s not all us or what we are doing.  Mr. Eddie has been teaching him some of the same things in Sunday school and everyone knows that sometimes mom’s words go in one ear and out the other but when someone like Mr. Eddie teaches the same thing… it sticks.  Mostly I lecture…Mr. Eddie has all these cool activities.  Seriously, I’m so thankful for our church and children’s department.

And I want to remember my son’s sweet face and big blue eyes as he told me this.  I hope that it was his lack of repentance that was bothering him because I want him to be sensitive to God’s leading.  I hope that when he hurts others it leaves an ache in him.  I hope that will lead him to repentance.

My People

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There is a notion that has become very popular in our culture in the past few years.  It goes beyond the childhood ideas of a “BFF”.  It’s the idea that of having a “person”.

Many years ago I had a conversation with my sister about soulmates  that we have in our lives that may not be our spouse, but rather a friend that we will have for life.  A few generations ago, most people would have considered their “people” to include only family.  But in this generation, with the dysfunction that is so typical in families, people are decided that they are going to chose who is family to them; we are choosing who we allow into our lives.

I love my family and they are without a doubt, “my people”.  My hope is that we raise our children to love and appreciate family too.  However, I still have some “people” who are not biologically related.  These are friends who have been in my life for many years who I love dearly.

This past year, my family set out (with a team) to plant a church in south Austin.  It has been in my heart that my family would attend church together.  I’m traditional like that.  Over 10 years ago my parents and one of my sisters and her husband helped to plant a church in San Marcos, Texas.  They are rooted there.  Since they did not feel called to join our City Chapel launch team, I had to resolve myself that I wasn’t going to get to attend church with my family (anytime soon).   One really great thing is some of our dear friends are on the launch team…these are friends who helped us through the fostering and adoption process, we have served in ministries with them, they are some of “our people”.  Since my family isn’t going to attend our church I set it my heart that I really wanted some of our other “people” to join us.  My husband’s brother and his girl started attending church with us a few years ago.  They are some of “our people” and they are on my list.  I have a friend that I have known for as long as I can remember, her and her honey are on my list.  I invite people to church who I want to go to church with.  I met a lady at Kohls one day and invited her…I instantly liked this women, she’s from Alabama and reminds me of my friend Angela (one of “my people”).

I’ve been praying for “my people”.  I talked to God about it and I told Him everything that is in my heart.

We have had some hard years, spiritually speaking.  The Hubs and I have gone to few churches that liked one of us but didn’t like the other.  We may have been kicked out of a church after we said we were leaving. It’s not complicated, it has been difficult to find a place were we are both celebrated.  Most churches want the Hubs because he plays and sings and he is a worshipper.  Not every church focuses on prayer…seriously, I’m surprised at how prayer is an afterthought sometimes.  In any case, over the years, we have had our ups and downs when it comes to church.  We love Jesus but His bride is a little “iffy” sometimes.  Over the past four years as we have gone down paths of freedom and healing we realize that you cannot really love Jesus without loving what He loves…His bride, the church.  It’s not possible.  So we are falling back in love with church.

As I have been praying over the past few months for City Chapel and “my people” who I want to attend my church, I have felt God begin to chip away a little more at some of those stony places in my heart.  I admit there are areas that have been in self-preservation.  I can attend a church and even serve but be stand-offish.  Anyone can do it.  It’s not always easy.  At times God has given me a prophetic word to share or a payer to pray and I want to run away.  There has been some negotiating (If they are open to a word, then let them ask if anyone has a word then I’ll share the word)  Our church team has some lovely people and some difficult people and some people who like me and some people who don’t.  And I don’t have to care because they aren’t really “my people” unless I say they are.

As I pray for “my people”, I hear God say, “They are ‘My people’.  Before they were every ‘your people’ they are ‘My people’.  In fact, look around, they are ALL ‘My people’. I want them all.”

As much as I love “my people”, God loves them more; them and everyone else.

We have to begin to see the world as God sees the world.  Throughout scripture He uses the phrase, “My people”.  When we see each other as He sees us, it’s a game changer.  He wants the best for us just like I want the best for “my people”.   If I’m one of His “people”  then it my responsibility to find His other people and help them be the person they are called to be.  Let’s find God’s people and let’s get them to the place where they can hear God say, “You’re my person. You will always be mine.”

2014 in Review

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Legacy

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A few days ago I was re-reading this post about prayer watches. This came from a prayer conference the Hubs and I attended pre-children (so probably about 6 years ago).   This information was shared by Pastor ChiChi Bismark (you can view the Bismark’s page here) .  I was reading through the prayer watches and something caught my attention.  Number 8 on this list.  It reads:

3 a.m. to 6 a.m. – Time to pray for freedom of the Bride.  Angelic activity or intervention; the time when God releases the dew of heaven; time for blessings from heaven above; blessings of the deep that lies beneath; blessings of the womb; blessings of our fathers and ancestors.  God has to bless His people.

It occurred to me that we often break generational curses but we (at least here in America) very rarely consider generational blessings; the blessing of our fathers and ancestors.

In the Jewish culture, the father blesses his children on a regular basis and without a doubt they memorize the blessings of Abraham and speak them over their children.

What about those of us who have children?  Do we speak the blessings of our father’s over our children?  I haven’t done it enough.

There is a bit of a trick to it, I think.  The trick is allowing God to  establish praying and blessing fathers in a family.  In some families, it is so obvious.  It makes me think of some of the men and women of God with powerful ministries.  Many of them had parents in ministry.  Many had or have praying parents.

I recall visiting the Suber family one Thanksgiving.   Bishop Pastor Suber’s (I’m not sure what his title is these days) mom was visiting.  She told us a story about her son traveling on a ministry trip as the young age of 18 and how she would cover him in prayer.  His plane was grounded in Italy.  He said he helped two older ladies get off the plane and they turned out to be nuns.  He had dinner with them.  He said because of his mom’s prayers he never had a chance to get into trouble.  Now that’s a praying Mama.

 

In Numbers 20 when Aaron died, his garment was taken and put on his son, Eleazar; the anointing (or the blessing) of the father placed on his son. When Eleazar was anointed as the high priest, wearing his father’s previously anointed garment, it was anointing on top of anointing.  Our kids need that.  They need exposure to our anointing plus the anointing God has for them; our blessing plus their blessing.

Expecting parents love to have a prophetic word spoken over their baby.  I wonder how many of us take those words and battle with them and declare them over our kids?  WE SHOULD.

Bless your kids.  Bless them with the words spoken over them in the womb.  Bless them with the words spoken over your family.  Bless them with blessings your family walks in.  My dad is a worshipper, my husband is a worshipper…my children will be worshippers…it’s in their spiritual DNA.  Let’s start passing on the blessings rather than the curses.  Just because my granddad was an alcoholic doesn’t mean I have to be or my kids have to be.  Just because your mom was an angry rage-full person doesn’t mean you or your children have to be.  Yes, break the curses and then speak the blessing!  That is a legacy I want to leave.

Bowling for Jesus

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The title sounds funny doesn’t it?  I thought so.  We sort of are going to bowl for Jesus.  Just to be clear…I’m NOT a bowler.  In fact, I’ve warned our team captain that I pretty much suck at bowling.  But it is for a great cause so I’m in.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts we are helping to launch a new church in our area.  “Day one” quickly approaches.  It has been a fun-filled year with lots of fundraising, outreach activities and getting to know our new church family.  We have made some new friends and we are looking forward to making even more friends.  As we prepare for this new venture our church needs a few things…some big things like a truck and a stage and a sound system and lots of cool things for our kids ministry.  Starting a church ain’t cheap.  We have a “plan A” a “plan B” and a “Shoestring plan” (which makes me a little sad).  We actually have some phenomenal “givers” in our church and we have raised a substantial amount of money.  In ARC (Association of Related Churches) they recommend that you have $100,000 on hand when you start.  They also offer no interest loans to churches starting out but you must have a sponsor church (an established church that agrees to pay back the money if your new church plant is unable to do so).  We haven’t quiet made it to $100,000 yet…we are ways off  and we haven’t gotten a loan so we are making one last big push to raise the money we need for all those big ticket items.  We are going to have a lot of fun doing it.  Of course, if you have a truck or a stage or a sound system and would like to donate one of those items…we would certainly accept them.

We are going bowling.  Each team member has been asked to raise $100.  I am going to try to raise a lot more than that.

Here’s the thing about it.  This isn’t just about raising money or bowling.  It’s about sowing into good ground.  While I do believe that I am “good ground”, NONE of this money goes to me.  It all goes directly to City Chapel at Slaughter Creek which is launching in South Austin (Texas).  We will be meeting at the Cinamark Theater in South Park Meadows beginning January 25, 2015.  If you are in the area we would LOVE for you to join with us.  We (the Hubs and I) believe so much in this church plant that we are giving our money, our prayers, our time, our effort…pretty much anything they ask we are giving to them.   As I said, it is good ground…why?  Because City Chapel is changing people’s lives.  It has already begun to change my life.  This is one of those times and one of those places where you are going to see a harvest now and in heaven.  Remember, when you sow into what God is doing, what He has His hand on, one day in heaven you will meet the people whose lives were changed. This is a chance to change someone’s eternity; their forever.

How can you donate?

Click here and donate on on our “Fund Me” account.

Thank you to all my faithful readers for hanging in here for this one.  I have never asked anyone to donate or buy anything.  This is such a great opportunity to help our a brand new church.  God Bless you all! (I promise, I will post more…I am working on my real estate classes right now and I’m earning a little extra money selling Pampered Chef along with home schooling…it’s been a little crazy around here).