Friday, November 12, 2010
It begins by saying that the WORD happiness brings us visions of various things in our minds such as unwrapping gifts on our birthdays or on Chirstmas morning, vacationing with our loved ones, etc. "EVERYONE wants to be happy; we make chasing this elusive ideal of a lifelong pursuit: SPENDING MONEY, collecting things, and searching for new experiences." (L.A.B.) - all of this in which I am envisioning in myself and thinking...so? Doesn't God want us to be happy and He blesses us with so much, right!?!
Then I read on..."But if happiness depends on our circumstances, what happens when the toys rust, loved ones die, health deteriorates, money is stolen, the newness wears off and the party's over?" - (UH OH...but don't we all see this in our own lives? In our friends' and families' lives?)
"In CONTRAST to happiness is JOY. Running deeper and stronger, joy is the quiet, confident assurance of God's love and work in our lives - that he will be there no matter what! Happiness depends on happenings, but JOY DEPENDS ON CHRIST." (L.A.B.)
Okay, so why am I writing a blog about THIS? Because, as I was reading this I had to stop and ask myself how am I living MY life? Am I "CHASING" happiness or am I focusing on the Joy that Christ brings to my life? Hmmm..
As a believer in my Lord and Savior I can have profound contentment, serenity, and peace...NO MATTER WHAT "happens". So if I am focusing on chasing my own happiness, I am depending on myself and my own strength in life, which isn't much might I add! If I am focusing on chasing the JOY in life, I am depending on HIS strenth instead of mine! *SIGH*
Now, as I am sinking lower on my couch in shame...over our purchase of a silly camera that I "HAD to have" and I was so "HAPPY" when we got it, I chased happiness so fast and so far that it ended up RIGHT on the credit card. WHICH, doesn't God want us to NOT be in debt? UGH, then today I realize that I wouldn't have "needed" that camera had I been focused on the fact that God calls us to find Joy in Him and that in order to have that, I need to not rely on what I have or what happens to me, but on Christ within me!!! In other words, the old camera would have worked just fine if I had stayed focused on finding Joy in Christ...not happiness in a toy from my favorite electronics toy store.
Okay, just a personal confession that I am NOT focused on living my life in all areas on my Lord and Savior, and if I were...then THAT is where my contentment would come from!
As a side note, I do not think it's bad to be excited and happy over purchases and gifts...as long as that is not where your source of happiness in life comes from. The JOY in your life MUST come from God! Through Him ALL things are possible...even the most unimaginable, most ideal life situations are ONLY possible...through Him!
Oh goodness...and I haven't even started with Philippians Chapter 1 yet!!!
Monday, October 25, 2010
Okay, a sermon that our pastor preached a couple of weeks ago inspired me to do some thinking...some really deep thinking! We were concluding a study on the book of Galations and pastor was sharing with us various "Areas of Love."
One of the "Areas of Love" that he mentioned was that we love our COMFORT. This is oh so true...more than what most are willing to admit, I believe. It doesn't matter what it is...we DEMAND comfort. Comfortable clothes, relationships, socially comfortable privateness, furniture, roles in life, hobbies, and the list goes ON and ON. I started thinking about the areas in my life that I demand to be a certain way because it is "COMFORTABLE." Here are some things I realized through my reflection:
- my home
- I want more and more to increase the level of comfortableness in my home
- my car - I had to have the big one so that our family would have plenty of room and we would be comfortable when driving anywhere together (which very rarely happens...even on Sundays to church)
- my job - in a super nice building with an amazing team! Yes, I am comfortable there!
- in our town, we have settled into the routine and we have built some great friendships and we continue to grow more in those and in new ones...this definetely makes life more comfortable
- our schedule - granted not the most "ideal" most weeks, but we have grown used to the routine
- THE LIST GOES ON AND ONE...
So in this sermon, I hear our pastor say, "If you've given your life to Jesus - forget about comfort, you have a calling...." I know he went on to discuss this and to explain the scripture from this. BUT, I stopped there. I thought about our dear dear friends, the Waits, who picked up everything they knew...all of their comforts and threw them out the window. They moved their entire family (all 6 of them) to Puerto Lempira, Honduras to serve Christ as missionaries.
I know I have blogged about, thought about, most importantly :) prayed about...what is my calling? What is God asking of me? I KNOW I am called to mission work, for the time being it seems that is short-term missions. BUT...what are the possibilities? There are a plethora of them!
In terms of comfort...in preparation for my November Mission trip to Puerto Lempira, Honduras we having been communicating frequently with Laura we found out that there is a HUGE need for lice treatments. Is this a pleasant topic? NO. Is this comfortable? NO. But will I serve in this area? Yes. The thought of administering 50 or so treatments of lice on 50 different kids is not the most glamourous thought, but then Jesus washed and cleaned people's feet...so I will wash people's hair!
Later in this same sermon, our pastor asked us something along the lines of ..."Will you serve the outcasts in the world as if you are serving Christ himself?" WOW...that pretty much puts it out there huh?
To conclude in my reflection on that for today, let me first say that I pray that God uses me in whatever way He calls! Second, I pray that God PLEASE give me the opportunity to love on and serve the "outcasts"! Oh but to be given that opportunity...what a blessing it is! Third, can you IMAGINE what the world would be like if every Christian put themselves in an "uncomfortable" position in order to do what God calls them to do? What if when God calls us to do something, we do it? What would this world be like? Hmmm....
Monday, September 6, 2010
Adoption is definetely weighing heavily on the heart. WHY? I know this isn't something we can do realistically right now...it is so expensive, and we do not have the money for something like this...our children are so young and we have so many bills...what about time off, time for bonding, time for travel...BUT...I KNOW this is something that I feel called to, something that is deep in my heart...so what is it that I REALLY KNOW and what am I going to do about it? (If this seems confusing to you...imagine what it's like in MY head!!!) I can tell you ONE thing I KNOW without a DOUBT. GOD AND ONLY GOD KNOWS.
So I ask myself..."Who are YOU to be questioning what God has put on your heart? Who are you to doubt the timing of anything that God calls you to?" I am but a mere human who is trying desperately to do things right. No, I'm nowhere near where I am striving to be - "CHRIST-LIKE", but the effort is there...so what am I going to do about these emotions and this love for adoption on the forefront of my heart, my soul, my mind?
SO now I ask "WHAT" and "WHY?"
These are the questions of the hour! I've been catching up on reading some blogs and I decided to do some research! I learned that in 2009, only 4 adoptions were completed from Honduras to the United States. In 2008, there were 11 and in 2007 there were 22. Can you believe that??
Of course I feel pulled to Honduras, because I have been called there to serve and do missions. I pray that the opportunities to do this never cease! (A whole different topic to be discussed in a future blog, I'm sure!) BUT, as you can see from the numbers...this isn't a common place for international adoptions. So I am left to pray, to listen, and to study...God will show me when He is ready. God will lead me when it is time. I pray that I am strong enough to hear Him and to Follow Him NO MATTER where He leads me.
Our pastor has been preaching a series titled "ASKING BIG"! It is about how we pray to God, and what we should be praying for. Some questions that we have been asked are:
1. What are you going to spend the rest of your life doing? (your plan?, God's plan?, Are you sure that your plan IS God's plan?)
2. We have been urged to "GET DEEP with GOD!"
3. Are you doing what you were created to do?
4. Are you asking about the BIG things in life?
Luke 11:9-10 say, "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
So....ASK, SEEK, KNOCK, REPEAT!!!!
I know that there is MUCH rambling taking place here, so in conclusion...I am praying and I am going to be ASKING BIG!!!!!
Sunday, September 5, 2010
There are so many things, and since my intention is not to write a novel, I will make a list!
- Yes, school is back in and life has been back to it's crazy old self! We were terrified that Brady would have a touch time adjusting to daycare again, but he had SUCH a smooth transition! We are thankful for that!
- I am coordinating a trip back to Puerto Lempira, Honduras in November and I am thrilled beyond belief to go back! There are 8 of us going in 75 DAYS! 3 of us were on the Spring Break 2010 trip, but that means that there are 5 NEW travelers! I am so excited to get there I can't stand it!
- I miss Puerto Lempira, Honduras so much, which is crazy because I haven't spent that much time there, I haven't spoken to anyone there since we've been back, what is this draw that I feel? What is this obsession bordered pull to want to be there? What is God's call for me in missions? There are so many questions with unknown answers, but something I know for sure is that this is a part of my life that will forever be changed! I am not getting any answers to these questions right now, but I will continue to try and respond and answer when God calls!
- My dear friend Laura, posted an extremely interesting blog that I encourage you to read if you have time, The World is Our Classroom "Perspectives". Laura's blog is about there journeys and experiences as they have just recently picked up their entire family and move to Honduras in response to God's call on them to serve Him!
- My oldest son, Mason has started Kindergarten and is loving school!
- My middle son, Canon refuses to be potty trained...he turned three about a month ago and he isn't potty trained. UGH! So I bought a "Potty Basket" full of goodies that he gets to choose from when he goes potty! No, I am not above bribing my 3 year old.
- I realize how "out of touch" with the world you can get without a computer in the house. How sad is that!?! My computer broke a couple of weeks ago and I have had to do all my email and facebook on my phone...which YES is awesome and YES is doable, but NO is not ideal and it takes so long! Then I think about the family who lives in the third world country (PICK ONE, there are plenty) who is riding a moped (4 people at the same time) through a crowded dirt street, wearing rags and are covered in dirt, and they are smiling. They are happy with the blessing that they have transportation, that they are all together. (My friend Shana just went on a cruise and was telling me this story about how they saw this scene at one of their stops. It is a typical scene from anywhere in the world, and is a very important topic for a future blog). POINT BEING - I need to get over myself and my frustration of not having a new, reliable computer. I need to be thankful for the blessings that I have been given and for a God who loves me! A God who also loves that precious family who probably has nothing, but they are smiling and they are together.
- I am starting my YouVersion plan again, because I didn't complete it the first time...I have decided to read The Gospels in 30 days, I'll keep you updated on that!
Okay, well there are plenty of other things to touch on, but I figure I could do a part 2 soon!!! Plus, I have some blog reading to catch up on!
Love to all!
Friday, July 2, 2010
I've been planning my next trip to Puerto Lempira, Honduras during Thanksgiving break of this year! I mentioned that I wanted to go back to P.L. in November when we were on our way home from our trip this past Spring Break. Brian said that he also wants to go back but that he would have to wait until Spring Break 2011 so I could go in November and March! His only stipulation was that he would rather have a couple of men travel with me.
The difference this next trip is that we are planning to fly the whole way instead of taking a bus from San Pedro Sula to La Ceiba. I started talking about the planning and sharing the idea with people at church. Several families have expressed interest in joining this trip!
I think that the trip should be booked sometime in August to keep the airline prices lower! The farther in advance we book, the lower the prices should be, right!?
Well, my dear friend Holly, who was also a member of TEAM TEXAS to Honduras during Spring Break 2010 called me today and said that she and her two daughters would be joining me for this trip! I heard the message and started crying because it makes me so thankful that God is providing a group to travel in November!
I am so excited and I can't wait to get the plans finalized! Please be praying with me for this trip and for my very special friends, the Waits family as they are packing up to move in 5 more short weeks! They will be moving to La Ceiba on August 6th to attend language school with their 4 children. They will finally arrive in Puerto Lempira in October and then we will bring them some love from "home" in November!
At this time, there are 12 possible travelers! YIPEE!!!!
If you are interested in joining this trip, let me know! To find out more about the efforts being made in Puerto Lempira, please see www.reachouthonduras.org.
Until next time...
Saturday, June 26, 2010
I have had plenty of teeth problems in the past and I should have known better. BUT NO, I still do things like, crunch down on chewy red hots on teeth that have already had fillings put in them. So, I went to the dentist and now I need a crown. I was still feeling comfortable with that concept because you know, I am an insurance paying citizen and I am even a smart insurance paying citizen because I have DENTAL INSURANCE!!! But wait, apparently that doesn't mean much because AFTER insurance, my balance (lucky me!) is $600. WHAT? Are you kidding me? So I left the dentist and came home cringing with the thought of having to tell my hubby, but he of course said that we didn't have a choice. That my teeth are an important investment!
I am proud to announce that I will have a crown on that back stubborn tooth as of next Friday, July 2nd!
THEN...(and please don't think I am complaining, because I AM extremely grateful for so much!!!) THIS MORNING, Brian decides that our dish washer is broken. My response of course was, "Oh, come on! Are you kidding me?" I figured that he must not know what he is doing because he had to of pushed some button that is making it act different than what he is used to. BUT...low and behold after a thorough investigation I have also come to the conclusion that our dish washer is a gonner. SIGH....
Even though these are two great expenses that are staring us straight in the face...today is a great day! In about 10 minutes, my precious nephew, Mekele (see prior posts) who was adopted from Ethiopia, is coming over to play! I get to babysit him for the first time tonight and my boys and I are thrilled beyond belief over this! It'll be a fun...definetely boy-filled evening!
OH! Our special guest just arrived!
Friday, June 25, 2010
Brian took Brady to his 9 month check up - which was actually when he was already 11 months old, ugh! The doctor had mentioned at the 6 month check up that she was concerned about Braydon's head being tilted slightly to the left. At the "9" month check up his head was still slightly titled. In addition to the concern over his head and neck, she felt that one of his organs might have been swollen in his abdomen.
Following that check-up we went to get a sonogram to see what was going on in his little tummy. Thank goodness the results showed that everything looked normal. He may have just had poop in there...sorry for being so blunt, but it was an EXPENSIVE poop!!!! But, it is also a blessing that everything checked out!
Next stop was to the pediatric opthamologist. The pediatrician thought that maybe he was tilting his head due to an eye development issue so she wanted us to get check out by the specialist. We learned that Brady's head is not tilting due to his eyes! However, he is VERY farsighted and we have to go back in for a check-up on his eyes in December.
So, we start physical therapy on July 1st! We are praying that after the P.T. evaluation we will be told that after some excersizes that he will be cured and his head won't tilt anymore!
God has a plan, he has a reason, and he already knows how this will turn out. We still pray and we put our faith in Him and we turn our troubles over for Him to hold so that we don't have to. He is our Father in Heaven and he loves us...he does these things for us to help us get through trying and frustrating times. In the end, the only thing that will matter is being with Him, our Lord God almighty! Praise God for all of our blessings, and I pray that He continues to give us the strength and peace to get through this little journey, called life!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Right now, I am planning so many different things, I am struggling to keep everything straight in my head. Not struggling in a bad way really, because like I said, I love the planning process!!! On Tuesday, I lost my calendar...which with my phone it shouldn't be that big of a deal, but you would have thought that I lost my wedding ring because of how freaked out I was! I realize this is a bit over the top for a calendar, especially when I pretty much had everything electronically saved in the trusty phone, but I LOVE having the calendar in front of me so that I can see the week and the month spread out before my eyes!
The most important and highest priority when planning is to be sure to LEAVE GOD IN CONTROL, even though it's not fun when the plans fall through, the plans as a whole mean nothing without God in the driver's seat! I didn't realize that until about 8 months ago now. December 19th to be exact! I've blogged about the significance of that day before, but that is when I realized that it doesn't matter how badly you want something or how hopeful you are, or how expectant, when it comes down to it...the only PLAN that matters is God's!
One of the things that I am planning right now, that I am overcome with excitement about is....THANKSGIVING MISSION 2010! My friends, Alex and Laura, at www.reachouthonduras.org, even posted an announcement of this event on their organization's website! There are 3 words that go along with the ReachOutHonduras logo...PRAY, GO, GIVE! Whether you have been on a mission trip before or maybe you've never been anywhere on missions, this experience is ABSOLUTELY SURE to make an impact in YOUR life.
If you are at all interested to learn more about this opportunity to serve God by reaching out to the people in Puerto Lempira, Honduras...let me know and I will get you more information!
Until then, I am praying for people to come forward to join this effort, I pray that each and every one of us recognizes who is really large and in charge! It sure isn't us!!! I pray for continued focus and awareness of the priorities and the things that are important to our Lord, not the things that I want. I pray that He gives me the continued sense of peace when I hand over the keys and get in on the passenger side for this journey we call life, because no other way that we could get to our destination is as effective or fulfilling.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
My first thoughts that I recorded in my journal after boarding the plane in DFW were these, “The nervousness is gone, I am completely at peace, and the excitement to serve God has completely consumed me. I can say with absolute certainty that this moment, this week is where God has been leading me. I know that THIS is what I am supposed to be doing, I know that THIS is where I am supposed to be.”
We did go through El Salvador, but it was a very short lay over and we were quickly back in the air in route to San Pedro Sula, Honduras.
The feelings I experienced after we got off the plane in San Pedro Sula were ones that I was unfamiliar with. We were trying very hard not to be the typical “American tourists”. We had to stand in line for a short time at the customs desks. It wasn’t fear…AT ALL, but it was a feeling of being careful, vigilant, and aware of my surroundings, more so than I can ever remember doing in the past. This was my first time ever to be in a foreign country, one that has a COMPLETELY different culture from what I have ever been exposed to. It was very eye-opening.
Once we had claimed all of our luggage, Alex found the driver of the shuttle to the hotel we were staying at. Our group gathered in a cluster and followed our driver out the doors, headed to the shuttle which had been parked in the parking lot. As soon at the glass doors opened and we stepped out in the darkness of night, we were swallowed by the thick, humid night air of Honduras! I can still envision the senses I paid such close attention to as I stepped through the threshold and actually took in my first look outside!
The smell was one of the first things I noticed, but as I am searching for the right words to describe it, I am at a loss. I suppose the closest description I can paint is that is was a faint burning smell. Not a bad smell, not a fruity pleasant smell, it was just different. And, I loved it! I loved that I was in a whole new world from anything I had been to, and I loved that God had called us to this country.
Once we were boarded and settled on the shuttle, I was simply along for the ride! I tried to take in as much as I possibly could of everything I could see in the limited light that shone through the darkness of night. The driving of course was completely different from what I am accustomed to!!! I tried not to acknowledge how fast we were going, and I concentrated on the giddiness I felt fluttering like butterflies in my tummy with the building anticipation of being so much closer to our final destination!
After dropping our bags in our rooms, we met in the hotel restaurant and had a great meal and an unwinding and relaxing conversation. Every one of us was completely exhausted from the day!
It was here, at the restaurant, that I looked at my husband with the look and thought of, “WHO ARE YOU!?!?” He revealed that he really does know way more Spanish than he led any of us to believe!!! I was so proud of him, and I admire his modesty! We joked that he was hiding his fluent Spanish speaking ability!!!
After leaving the restaurant, we went to the little convenience store on the hotel grounds to buy bottled water for brushing our teeth and for the next day. I chose 3 huge bottles of water and confidently set them on the counter to pay. I looked straight into the cashier’s eyes and (using my VERY limited Spanish) I asked her, “Quiero dinero?” I actually asked her this same question with these same words a total of THREE times, and the only response I got from her was a look of confusion. I began motioning at the water bottles trying to communicate that I wanted to know how much money I owed her. Brian lightly nudged my arm, stepped beside me and shaking his head, and while trying to hold back his laughter, he explained, “You just told her (the cashier) that you want money!!!” I was mortified! Of course the members of my group, Wendy and Alex who were standing right there got a HUGE kick out of this embarrassment! This became something that was brought up numerous times throughout the week and each time we all cracked up laughing! Hey, what can I say…I was making an effort and I failed miserably!
We finally got back to our hotel room at 11:00 and prepared our things for the travels we would do the next day to La Ceiba. We had to be awake, ready, completely packed, and we were meeting the group at the hotel restaurant at 7:45a.m. Needless to say, we fell asleep before our heads actually hit the pillows!!!!
Monday, June 7, 2010
When life is going, Going, GOing, GOIng, GOINg, GOING...it seems you can't slow down long enough to even catch your breath, but then God gives you some fresh air and all of a sudden you are able to regain your balance and stand up straight once again. That is where I am right now...standing up on two feet, able to breathe in and out and take in life as it comes with a sense of relaxation. FINALLY, but I am reminded once again how God has given me blessing so amazing and fulfilling that I cannot truly grasp how phenomenal he really is.
I title this entry, MIA, because that is what I have been. BUT, for the next 2 months, I pray that I will once again be able to get my priorities in order. Summer is sure to bring an array of possibilities!!!
And, yes...I have a list of things I need (desire) to accomplish during this resting period of the year that I am grateful to have as an educator! (For those who know me...the list is a product of my personality...I LOVE LISTS!!!)
1. BLOGGING - I hope to come back to the blogging world once again. I have so many blogger friends that I need to catch up with and I have many many things that I need to blog about for myself. First and foremost...I need to finish my blogs over the Spring Break trip to Honduras. Oh how I pray that I have not lost the emotional and heart felt words I have tried to engrave in my memory of one of the most impacting and life changing weeks of my life.
2.Bible Study - I definetely need to catch up on and complete the bible study I participated in over Daniel, by Beth Moore. I LOVED it and even though our women's group has completed our meetings, I want to go back to the daily assignments and finish the individual studies. I am looking forward to our next study, hopefully in the near future!!!
3. Organization - As much as I try to keep it all together and fulfill each of the roles I have in life, I just cannot do it all. One of the areas in my life that I need to get back in order is the organization of my home. I pride myself in being able to keep a house, my kids, soccer, church, work, marriage, and my selfish pleasures of reading and writing, but truth be told I can't keep up with it. The things that never fail to get overlooked are my house, my writing, and quality time with each of my boys, including my hubby.
4. Friends - This summer brings about many joyful memories to be had, new friendships to be made, newish friendships to be strengthed, and special special and cherished friends to say good bye to.
5. Travels - Though I do not want to spend a lot on travels this summer, I want to take the boys away for a weekend at Broken Bow for hiking, swimming, fishing, smores, playing, laughing, learning, and fellowship.
6. Saving - SAVING, SAVING, SAVING - I want to get as much money made and saved as possible! I know that money is struggle for many people, but I need to get some control over this area. I am planning TWO (2), yes TWO trips to Honduras in the next 10 months and one the 2nd one Brian and I are planning to take Mason (our 5 year old - then 6 year old) with us. So we need to be thinking passport and shots!!!!
In conclusion, this is going to be a BUSY summer, and I pray I can slow down and enjoy every second that God has granted us with over this break. I am no longer MIA, and until next time, I've missed you and I can't wait to get back in touch with the blogging world!!!
Sunday, April 4, 2010
Throughout this post and many to follow, one thing will always remain constant...all GLORY is given to GOD and GOD alone!
We had so much to do in preparation of leaving the country to head to a 3rd world country! Of course the week before our trip was even crazier than our usual weekly routine. At work, between grades being due, OPEN HOUSE to prepare for, and planning, awards, organizing after TAKS, etc...this consumed most of my time throughout the week!! Friday night was full of saying goodbye to family and friends! Brian and I were up until 2:30a.m. Friday night packing, organizing, cleaning, and checking our lists multiple times!!! It was worth it, all the preparation and overpacking...right???!!!
Saturday morning, March 23 was ROUGH!!! We were exhausted! I was up at 6:00 a.m. and rushing around to finish last minute chores!!! Our goal was to get out of there at 9:00 so that we could get everyone dropped off and get to the airport by 12:30.
Our entry way, ready to be loaded to the car!!!
At 8:30ish, one of my best friends, Mindi V. called to make sure that we were still home and said that she was on her way over because she wanted to see us before we left. As Brian and I were loading the Expedition with what seemed to be half of our house, she pulled up!
She sat and talked to us for a bit, and after the car was loaded and the kids were all out in the driveway, I asked her to take a family picture of us.
After the family picture was taken, Mindi told us that she wanted to pray with us. We formed a circle in our driveway, held hands (kids included), bowed our heads and she prayed over us for our safety, for the children and the people in Puerto Lempira, and for our children while we were away. I was extremely touched and moved by this, Mindi has been 100% supportive and was a true prayer warrior for us throughout the planning, preparation, and duration of this mission trip. After we prayed, Mindi and I gave each other a huge hug and we were both in tears! This level of support is something that I love about our friendship, and knowing that we had this prayer warrior behind the mission trip was a comfort from God!
We loaded the kids and pulled out of the drive way, our first stop was to take Canon to Aaron and Whitney's. He was thrilled to be able to play at WHITNEY's HOUSE!!! He wasn't interested in saying good-bye because there was just so much that he "needed" to do!!! All of which included "PLAYING!!!!!" Of course, saying good-bye was hard, I knew that all the kids would be fine, but I was still torn up about leaving them!!!
Next stop was my parents' house! They would be keeping Mason and Brady on Saturday night. Mason got to ride me Papa and us to take us to the airport!!! We had to make a quick run to REI to get a few last minute things!! (One of the best items that we took is the BUG BAND!!! I didn't get a single bite!!!)
My dad dropped us off at the gate and of course we were the last ones there! My nerves were going crazy! I think there were a lot of fears about the unknown and the unexpected! After FINALLY getting checked in and through security, we had about 45 minutes to wait at the gate before they started boarding the plane!
Alex and Laura explained that somehow we had gotten 5 seats in the "Business Class" and they were giving those to us (Brian, myself, Holly, KT, and Wendy)!!! We had a very comfortable ride from DFW to San Salvador, El Salvador...our first stop!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Laura and I started talking at a Christmas party for the kiddos at church and I began asking her a ton of questions about their adoptions of their two youngest sons and of their mission in Honduras. I learned a lot but I was thirsting for more. The following Wednesday we met at Starbucks to chat more about these topics. I originally thought that my interest would be focused primarily on the adoptions, because that has become so near and dear to my heart. However, as we were talking, my passion opened up towards the mission work in Honduras. The more we talked, the more I wanted to know, the more I needed to know! I became completely invested in what was going on in P.L., Honduras. I felt like I NEEDED to go there myself. This is when we discussed getting a team together to go during Spring Break. I was still slightly unsure of how this was going to work, but I felt confident that God was calling me to serve Him in Honduras for Spring Break!
While Laura and I were talking at Starbucks that afternoon, Brian walked in...knowing that we would be there. He was feeling a bit "left out" of the meeting so he decided to crash it!!! I loved it, and I'm pretty sure Laura did too! Brian mentioned a number of times that afternoon and the days following, that he would support me 100% in going, but that he didn't see himself going. His reasons were primarily based on the fact that money is not falling from the trees in our backyard, and he was very concerned about leaving the kids while we travel to a 3rd world country. We planned on me going, we didn't know how I was going to get there, who I would travel with (because there was a chance that Alex and Laura would go before I could leave), or how any of the details would work out. We thought this would be a good way to spend part of our income tax return!!! I spent a great deal of time praying and studying God's word in preparation for the trip.
It worked out that there was a group of 8 of us who would travel together to Puerto Lempira for Spring Break. Alex, Laura, Aidan, Arlee, Holly, Katie, Wendy, and myself would form the Spring Break Team from Texas! As you can see this team is heavily weighted by the females. Alex (Laura's husband) and Aidan (their son) were the only males going. This was a concern of ours, we wanted more men to join us. There seemed to be a few possibilities, but nothing concrete.
One evening at a church meeting for Sunday school teachers, Laura was not feeling well at all. As soon as the meeting was over, she was ready to leave, but on her way out the door, she approached me and said she had a question for me. She asked me if the main reason that Brian wasn't going to go to Honduras with us was because of financial reasons. I explained that yes, I felt that this was primarily what was causing him from not going, along with his concerns for our 3 young children. She responded by saying that someone from our church (Pin Oaks Christian Fellowship) had contacted her and was donating $1000 for BRIAN to go to Honduras with us. I could NOT believe what I had just heard!!! Laura explained that the people who had donated the money wanted to remain anonymous, and if Brian didn't feel that he would be able to go that they said to at that point give it to another man from the church who might be able to go. Laura included that if I knew who it was, that I would be so touched, and she shook her head and smiled a smile of love and gratitude!
My jaw dropped, my eyes swelled with tears, and I was speechless. There had been so many prayers devoted to this and my desires for Brian to be there with me for this experience...and here it was, layed out in front of me...GOD WAS WORKING IN OUR LIFE AND I COULD LITERALLY SEE IT BEFORE MY VERY EYES.
I told Laura through the tears that were clouding my eyes and clogging my throat that I would talk to Brian and that I couldn't believe how this came from out of nowhere...this was a gift straight from God and there aren't words that are worthy of expressing my gratitude, appreciation, admiration, and love for my Lord, my Savior.
Brian and I talked about it and of course we told Alex and Laura that he would love to accept the opportunity to go to Honduras to serve in any way that God might use him.
Isn't that amazing! As I am reflecting on the entire process I am brought to tears again at the realization that NO MATTER WHAT...if you will just stop and listen, God is talking to you and HE WILL PROVIDE!!
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Once I embraced the fact that God was calling me to serve Him in minstering through missions (even if it is short-term missions, for now...) I knew that I had a lot to do to prepare myself. I decided I needed to study God's word so I could understand more about why he is calling me to Honduras, I had to listen to what He was putting deep into my heart, and I had to be open to the plan that He has for me.
I started by studying 1 Corinthians 12, this is an eye-opening chapter over Spiritual Gifts. Every single child of God has been blessed with a gift from our Lord. 1 Corinthians 12:27-31 spells it out very clearly to the body of Christ: "27 - Now you are the body of Christ, and with each one of you is a part of it. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers,....those able to help others, those with gifts of administration,....31 - But eagerly desire the greater gifts." Verse 31 has taught me that the greater gifts are those that are more beneficial to the body of Christ. Paul previously made it clear that one gift is not superior to another, but he urges the believers to discover how they can serve Christ's body with the gifts God has given them. Our spiritual gifts are not given to us for our own self-advancement; they were given to us to serve God and to enhance the spiritual growth of the body of believers.
This March 13th-20th, I will be traveling to Puerto Lempira, Honduras on a short-term mission trip. A group of 9+ people including my husband, Brian, and I will go with our friends the Waits family who are moving to Honduras for long-term ministry. During the trip we will visit three children's orphanage homes: Familia Alastero, House of Hope, and Mama Tara's Orphanage.
Among the many goals we hope to reach through this mission trip, we aim to devote ourselves to loving on the children there, we commit to sharing Christ's love with the people in Puerto Lempira, to teach the orphans by reading and doing crafts with them, there will be physical labor in the possible construction of bunk beds for the older children whom dwell in these orphanages, we hope to put on a sort of soccer camp for the children in Puerto Lempira (this is an exciting way that Brian will be able to use the amazing talent and passion that God has given him!) and we promise to do all of these things in service to our Lord God Almighty.
For more information about the ministry, check out the website Reach Out Honduras.
Did you know that Honduras is the 2nd poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, only slightly behind Haiti? The region that we are going to is called the La Moskitia region. This region is considered poor and remote even by Honduran standards. Medical care is close to nonexistent from the country's government and it is left primarily up to charity and missions to care for the people who reside in this region. (Missionary Air Group – Honduras and Reach Out Honduras)
Puerto Lempira is the largest town in the La Moskitia region of eastern Honduras. There are not any paved roads throughout the entire town and there is an overwhelming amount of poverty here. (Reach Out Honduras)
I believe that God is calling me to serve Him on this mission because of the gifts He has given me; I have a talent in teaching, speaking, loving, and sharing with others my passion for Christ. I know I can reach out to the people in the La Moskitia region to show them God's grace, love, and compassion. I pray that I am able to make a difference. I hope that God will work through me to make an impact on even one soul.
I need your help. I need your help in supporting us in prayer, praying us along these next few weeks in preparing our hearts and readying our minds.
There are already SO many ways that we have literally seen God’s work on this journey. Please check back very soon to read more about our testimony in how God has worked in marvelous and phenomenal ways, even to enable us to make this mission trip a reality...in a way that we NEVER imagined would be possible!!!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
I yearn to dive deeper into my relationship with my Lord. It humbles me to see the miraculous things He has done in my life and in so many others' lives.
I pray that I may serve Him with the gifts and the talents that He has given me. Through prayer, I've learned that God does listen...and my relationship with Him is continuously growing stronger. By strengthening my relationship with God, all the other areas of my life are more complete.
I ask for you to please pray with me. Please pray for a decision that Brian and I are working through together. It's nothing bad, no one is sick, we would just really appreciate some additional prayer to give us guidance and clarity on some things. In addition to that, I am going on my first mission trip EVER in 7 weeks. I am elated that I will get to participate in this to serve the WIDOWS and the ORPHANS! Your prayer for this mission would mean a lot to me and the group going. That we may serve God and help in whatever ways that we can.
I also want to share some scripture that I have been studying:
"Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow." Isaiah 1:17
"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, loves the alien, giving him food and clothing" Deuteronomy 10:18
"He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God." Proverbs 14:31
"Religion that 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." James 1:27
Isn't our God almightly, powerful, and absolutely positively AMAZING! Lord, lead me to where you want me to serve YOU.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Here is an interesting blog written by missionaries who are living in Haiti. Their account of the experiences they are having are extremely interesting. Prayers are needed and as Christians we need to reach out.
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
1 Corinthian 12:4-6 (NIV) 4) There are different kinds of gifts, but the same spirit. 5) There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6) There are different kinds of working , but the same God works all of them in all men.
Now, I know that God has called me into "TEACHING," and this has been something I have consumed myself in. I love to teach, I love to instill a passion for learning in children. I am still very new in this field, as this is my 4th year to teach. However, could I be getting called to "TEACH" more, reach out to more children, share my love and knowledge with children who aren't given this opportunity by their society or their environment, their country? I believe that this is where verses 5 and 6 come in. To share this service with others, to work in a world that is foreign to me, but to children who need to hear about God? Children who will never hear the Lord's word unless Christians (like me) step out into their world, an uncomfortable zone, make sacrifices, and serve God in this way?
Now, I have been asking God to prepare me and to ready me for my journey to Honduras during Spring Break. I am ecstatic to be able to join Alex and Laura on this short-term mission trip. They will be moving there this year to do long-term mission work in the orphanages in Puerto Lempira. I am so extremely blessed that the Lord is guiding me through this time. I am blessed to be able to join this effort even for just a short time. I pray that God can utitilize me to do what I can from here at home. I know that my eyes have been opened, but only to a degree. There is so much that I haven't seen, haven't thought about, haven't realized.
I pray that God uses me, uses my gifts and talents, and that I can make a difference even if just a tiny one to even one person. I commit myself to using what God has given me, in addition to my gifts, I will use my knowledge of education and of children to do what I can in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are so many countries in this world, with people who are lost, who will never hear about JESUS.
Could all of this have to do with my calling? Could all of this be leading me to where God has planned for me to be from before my existence? Through prayer, study, and time, I am confident that God will show me and guide me in the right direction.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Why is it so hard for me to drop work and take a day off? Not just a day off to hang out and lay around the house...I would never do that....a day off for an extremely important reason. When my kids get sick, Brian takes off. LET ME EXPLAIN this, he is an elementary P.E. coach and he also loves his job, but there are THREE full-time coaches in the gym all day long at his school. When he has to take a day off, there are NO sub plans, planning meetings, ARDs, RTI, paperwork, student council meetings, class and staff pictures, etc. that he has to worry about making up. So the reality is that it is much EASIER for Brian to take off when the kids are sick than it is for me. THAT DOESN'T MEAN THAT I AM HAPPY ABOUT THAT.
Last week, Brady was sick and had to miss school for 2 days, Brian was off both days. Yesterday, Canon had some kind of stomach bug and he started getting sick on Monday night. Brian took off and stayed with him yesterday. I was an emotional wreck. If anyone were to ask me about which of these two are of the higher priority, it is obviously my kids. The question I have is WHY? Why is it that I am not quicker to volunteer to take off when my babies get sick. I want to be the one to stay with them, to cuddle with them, make them soup, etc. Don't misunderstand my point...I absolutely love that Brian is as involved and loving towards our children as he is. He is a phenomenal daddy. BUT...I am not feeling like such a phenomenal mommy :(
Today is a new day, I am HOME! Brady was running fever last night and Canon is still trying to recouperate from the stomach bug that got him down. Today was going to be a CRAZY busy day at work, so many responsibilities to take care of, but I fought the battle in my mind and I won! (Well, with God's help, as he provided a great deal of clarity and strength!)
So today I am taking care of babies, catching up on laundry, blogging, praying, reading, studying, cuddling, and playing with 2 of the most precious people to me. It's a beautiful day because the Lord has blessed me today!
Canon to feel better, he is now complaining of his back hurting...I'm not sure what that is about.
Braydon to feel better and sleep...he is crying and crying and he doesn't even know what he wants.
Guidance to follow God's will and commandment.
Among many many other things!
Monday, January 11, 2010
The Internet, when used as a Tool to SPREAD the WORD! How God can use us to reach others through the web!
It is no big surprise now that I have been going through some amazing changes in my life and my heart. Life is so joyous when you can actually see things clearly through Christ! The Lord has shown me so many ways that I can reach out to others. First of all, I consider myself to be a pretty passionate person...whatever it is that I am passionate about, becomes a mild obsession. When I say the word obsession, I mean that I don't stop until I can learn as much as possible about it, as fast as possible. The problem I've had in the past is that I haven't turned that "obsession" towards Christ. NOW that I have...man, crazy things are happening!
Okay, so I titled this blog, The Internet, when used as a Tool to SPREAD the WORD! Here's why: there are millions of people just like me in that I search the internet for EVERYTHING. I use it daily for work, email communications, blogging, and research. Just in the blogging alone, I've been able to read the stories of so many Christian men and women and to see the work that God is doing through them is extremely touching and life changing.
Okay, let's switch gears a bit. (Don't worry, there's a point to all this!) Through prayer and study I have been spending a lot of time focused on the orphans of the world. (See my prior posts to read about the journey that I've taken to get to this point.) I have googled and searched youtube for numerous missions and adoptions links. I know that there are so many different areas for Christians to get plugged into. I pray to have my eyes opened to the needs that are right in front of my face every single day. BUT, my heart has already taken a bit of the international need and there is no letting go of that.
So, as I mentioned earlier, you can learn ANYTHING about EVERYTHING through this neat contraption we call the "world wide web." GUESS WHAT: I've seen things, learned things, read about and fallen in love with topics that I was nothing but blind to 6 weeks ago. Here are some things that I found in this bottomless pit of a treasure box, JUST TODAY!
For women: women to go for prayer support, prayer groups, prayer circles, recommended reading lists, we can visit "PRAYERGATES." The idea is based on ACTS chapter 16 when Timothy and Paul visit Philippi while on a missionary journey.
"Outside the city gate...a place of prayer...where women gathered." (Acts 16:13)
For bloggers: Compassion Blogging - This website uses people who blog about the children in poverty around the world to make a difference. Compassion Bloggers are completely different people who lead different lives with a variety of interests, strengths, desires, backgrounds, etc. However, they do have 1 thing in common. They blog to make a difference, a difference for the innocent, unheard children without a voice whom inhabit millions of villages, towns, cities, and countries in this world. Compassion Blogging chooses 4 bloggers and sends them to various orphanages around the world and the bloggers take their experiences, their talent for words, and their love of Christ and they blog about their missions. This gets the word out. Man, to make THAT kind of an impact...WOW.
This next one is not one that I found today, rather one that a friend of mine posted about on her blog a little bit ago. Laura posted a link to this article and I have it saved under my favorites because of how much weight I have on my heart to reach out and to go on missions to help the precious children, God's children in this world. Is God Calling You to Give Your Life for His sake and the Gospel in Missions? By: John Piper
There is a gold mine of resources out there. For me, through prayer and hours of thought and study, I've found that I am being called. I'm being called to help change...help teach...help share God's word with the children in this world. "Learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow." (Isaiah 1:17, NASB)
I ask for prayers, for me and my family to not only open our eyes to see but to also open our ears to hear the word of God. In a message I heard in church on January 3rd, it was said, "Your vision should be so great that it is doomed for failure unless God is in it." I pray that this is the standard I set myself to, no matter what the final goal is. Everything we commit ourselves to in the works for God should be set this high, this big, the unattainable. We have to remind ourselves that it is only high by our standards, but through God's the boundaries are infinte.
If you don't do anything....NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN. What are you going to do? I know that I am going to continue to listen and follow and study my Lord Jesus Christ. He is all powerful, He is loving, kind, generous, and full of grace.
Wednesday, January 6, 2010
I'm going to back up a little bit to explain WHY all of us teachers started acting so crazy!!!
It was such a loooong week, the kids were going NUTS, the teachers were loosing their minds, and the weather was all over the place! We were cooped up from cold weather a majority of the week, grades were due and kids were antsy to get a break (kids meaning students and teachers!!!).
Rundown of the week:
The week that grades are due is always crazy in my classroom. I'll be honest, grading is a weakness for me...why? because I HATE it!!! I would much rather do the hands on class assignments, read read read, and conduct class discussions! BUT...part of the assessment process is to see if my students can take what they've learned and apply it the way they will be asked to do on TAKS!!!
We were also doing an in-class assignment called a "VOCABULARY PARADE," and THAT was fun, so it became an additional distraction from grading. However, I was going to be counting this project for 2 test grades for 2 different subjects - English and Reading. The kids worked extremely hard and it really paid off!! We actually had our fourth graders march around the school chanting a cool verse that we wrote about reading and learning new words, etc. They each chose a word and got to dress up as that word! Their presentation of the word needed to represent the word's meaning in some form or fashion!!!
Okay, so I've gotten a little side tracked...
Back to WHEN ALL the Teachers Loose their Minds on Thursday afternoon, December 17....
Well, if you checked out Mindi's Mind, then you know that the second grade teachers did!
NOW...teaching second grade and fourth grade have some similarities, but then there is A LOT that is different!!! Here's the thing about teaching fourth grade...it seems that the higher the grade level you teach the more "boring" you are supposed to be...at least that is the assumption that people have! Well, maybe not boring, but definetely not the fun, creative, bubbly, bouncy type of teacher that students are used to having in the primary grades! Which, people are right, not a lot of the upper grade level teachers are, but COME ON...FOURTH GRADE teachers at my school KNOW HOW to have fun!!! Plus, on this particular afternoon, Mr. Keith was lucky enough to join our team!! (He is Mason's Pre-K teacher!! He is married with 4 daughters, so he is used to being around the girls!)
The staff was invited to a Christmas lunch, catered by Uncle Julio's, YUMMY! The fourth grade team spotted the "Christmas Carol Challenge" and we were frantically determined to WIN THIS COMPETITION! My team asked me what the prize was for the grade level who figured out the most answers, and I exclaimed, "I don't know and I don't care...I just wanna win!!!" So we pulled out our IPHONES and googled Christmas Carols. We figured out that the "scramble" wasn't a scramble after all...it was the first letter of each word from the first line of the song!! Hehehe...so maybe using our cell phone internet might have been considered "cheating" by some, but it was not cheating by my books, it was being RESOURCEFUL!!!
As soon as we finished eating, my principal announced that there was going to be a picture scavenger hunt and that we would have 30 minutes to conduct various activities on the "list" from the handout that was being passed out and take a picture of ourselves doing these things. The most thorough and the most creative team would win the challenge!! Well...in the fourth grade team minds' we automatically assumed that there was also a requirement to see who could be the fastest to complete the "list." Obviously we caused ourselves a lot of un-necessary excersize by racing around the school and playground to "win" because it wasn't a race!
The first things we did was....write out "Holiday" words with objects, and needless to say, ours wasn't as creative as we thought! BUT...we thought it was a RACE!!
We spelled out the words with peppermints...which by the way we later realized wouldn't count because WE were supposed to be IN the picture! Just like a bunch of teachers not to READ THE DIRECTIONS!!
Me, Mary, Cristy, and Kim
Our human pyramid...which I just knew was "my thing" with the cheerleading background and all, but we didn't have time to get technical because we trying to go AS FAST AS WE COULD!
umm...ya, it was fun!!!
So on our way back into the building from the pyramid, we reread some of the directions. THis is when we realized that we had done the first activity WRONG, so we did what we tell our students to do...REDO!!!
After that we had to have a Santa...me...and sit on "Santa's" lap...it was funny, because we were going as fast we were running as fast as we could, when we went into the library I somehow became voted as the team "Santa" and ugh...so hot, tired, and ready to be DONE!
Finally, we were supposed to paint our faces, which NONE of us were thrilled about so we laughed at the thought of being smarter than the average bear. We decided to do rudolph noses, which we didn't get any credit for because it wasn't one of the options we were given to choose from to paint our faces as!!! Oh well...we had a blast being a team of rudolphs!!
Sooo...that was our crazy "RACE" that wasn't a race of a scavenger hunt! When we sprinted into the cafeteria and we were the first group back, we started cheering!!! That's when we were so kindly informed by Mel, the school secretary that it wasn't a race and that we could have been more creative because we had more time!!! Well, of course I jump at the opportunity to at least finish the "Christmas Carol Challenge." We got all but 1 of the songs!!! I was so proud of my brilliant team...well when it comes to Christmas carols!!
BUT...apparently that was just for fun...no winners, no prizes, not even any ackowledgement, so once again we were so anxious to WIN, we didn't even think that it would be "just for fun!!!'
It was a great way to loosen up, enjoy some "play" time...and yes, teachers need that too!! It made Friday so much easier and more enjoyable to have been able to release so much energy the day before!
I am so lucky to get to work with such amazing teachers, women, and administration. I love my job, I love what I do, and I love my Lord for blessing me with my gift....
the gift of teaching, teaching reading, teaching writing, and more importantly teaching children about love. That each and every child is special, they are precious, they are unique individuals who are just needing to know that they are worth it...they are worth everything!
Saturday, January 2, 2010
Friday, January 1, 2010
*During this time, Brian and I are attending church and going about our church routine on Sundays, and then busy as ever during the week. I was pregnant with Braydon and we were running wild through Brian and Mason's soccer schedules.
May 20, 2009 - My adorable nephew (Mekele) was born, however, none of us knew what was to come in just a few short months. We were all completely unaware of who he was, where he was, or how he would come to play such an important role in so many lives.
June 2009 - Mason had his 3rd surgery for his cleft. (For those of you who do not know, Mason was born with a unilateral cleft lip and bilateral cleft pallate.) This was such a trying time because for this surgery Mason was semi-aware of what was going on. The mistake I made was that I didn't turn to my Lord Jesus Christ like I should have. I tried to take this one on by myself and I actually wondered to myself why it was so hard...silly to think back about this. (I WAS raised in the church, I had already committed by life to Christ, I had accepted him as my savior, I even knew what God was capable of...yet ignorantly it didn't occur to me that He can pull me through ANY and EVERYTHING, including this.) The reason for this surgery was because his nasal cavity was collapsing and he couldn't breathe correctly. 5 days after Mason's surgery (they had to do a nasal and lip reconstruction) he fell and busted his face, which did mess up a portion of the correction part of the surgery...which means that there will be another surgery sooner than if he had't decided to flip over the side of the chair and bust his nose on the floor.
July 6, 2009 - Braydon Jacob was born to us...I realized that it is a WHOLE NEW BALLGAME WITH 3 BOYS!!! Throughout my pregnancy, I thought that I was so disappointed that I wasn't having a girl...and then realized that all boys can be a blast! But...then months later I now have a outlook on this too!! Who knows, MAYBE God didn't give me a biological little girl because he knew that I would be answering his call to pull me into the missions and adoption worlds. MAYBE I have a little girl out there somewhere!!! Who knows!!
July 2009 - I think Braydon was 2 weeks old - Pin Oaks Christian Fellowship hosted their first Vacation Bible School - CHANGED OUR LIVES
In the Fall of 2008 - Brian and I chose to explore various church options with the hopes of finding a stable and engaging youth program for the boys. We had been attending church all along, but had not yet found a church home that we felt fit the entire family. Then Aunt Whitney told us about how POCF was having their VBS. Brian and I decided we should take Mason to this, it would help get him out of the house and it would be a great experience for him! It was his FIRST VBS ever...and BOY are we glad we did that! The experience for Mase was phenomenal. Mason was excited about church, he was making friends, he actually opened up a little bit, and he asked us if we could always go to this "new church". The "light" that we saw in our young 4 year old's eyes instantaneously made the decision for Brian and I - from that point on we would attend Pin Oaks Christian Fellowship.
--------Brian and I have stayed true to this decision even though we were thrown through the wringer here at home throughout the entire Fall of 2009.
September 2009 - My eyes began to open for what seemed like the first time in a REALLY long time! My sister-in-law, Whitney, called me one afternoon extremely pumped up and in tears of joy exclaiming that after the long process throughout the year 2009, they had finally had a referral and they had been matched with the boy who would hopefully soon be their son. I don't remember exactly what I was doing at that moment, but I do know that I became extremely emotional and aware of various aspects of the adoption process that I had not been aware of prior to this day. I didn't get the whole story over the phone but Aaron and Whitney came over that evening. (This is when the seed was planted and I began to have thoughts that I considered to be ludicrous and unrealistic for myself, which now I know that I was insane for not trusting these thoughts as God working in my, softening me up to new possibilities!) As was to be expected, Whitney and I were extremely emotional over the fantastic news of the placement of baby A into the Pratt family! Brian and I were extremely blessed to have them share their baby's story with us and to be able to begin praying for this specific little angel whom we couldn't wait to meet!
Sept. - November 23, 2009 - The fall semester was challenging for Brian and I. I had strep throat every other weekend for 10 weeks. If you look for a blessing inside these months...aside from the many many daily blessings that the Lord gives us...I ended up only being sick from Friday - Mondays...I didn't have to take a single sick day due to the strep crisis! With 3 babies under 5, I always feel like I can't afford to take a sick day for myself.
After missing a ton of church, but watching Brian gain more and more of a comfort level within our church...he got to where he would take all 3 boys to church by himself. And, not only on Sunday mornings...he attended a chili cook off with our 3 rugrats in tow...and me in bed once again trying to beat the infection.
November 21 - My little sister got married to her amazing husband!
November 23 - I had my tonsils taken out...WHOA!! That is the most painful experience I have ever had! Can you believe this though: I still tried to do most of this on my own!
Intermission: Now, when I say that I tried to do these things on my own, without God...I still said my daily prayers, but I never thought to ask for help! Seems so idiotic to me now!! Now, I still thought about how amazing things were for Aaron and Whitney and their new baby! They passed court and they waited for their travels dates.
December 2009 - Aaron and Whitney began their travels on the 8th - met their angel on the 13th, got delayed and missed their expected arrival time on the 18th and finally made it home on the 19th. Now...here is where things go BIG...for me (this is so bizarre because of how this was so NOT about me or my family...but it impacted me so deeply...just a great example of how God works in our lives). During the time that they were gone, I thought about it constantly...I was so worried about them when they were delayed on the 18th. That might have something to do with my need to know what is going on all the time!! (J/K...I just get so irritated when things are communicated to Brian and then he can't remember exactly what was said!!! We laugh about it now!) So on Friday night at 9:45, I was on the computer looking up flight information that we were HOPING that A & W with M would be coming in on, I was on the phone with Brian who was at his dad's house and they were talking. I got a beep and I told Brian to hang on...I thought it might have been someone in Whitney's family or from church, curious about the arrival times for the following morning. I clicked over and it was Whitney and she was letting me know that they had arrived in New York City!!!!!!!! Of course I started bawling my eyes out...like a child!!! She was trying to give me as much information as she could about their arrival the next morning, about their beautiful new baby boy, Mekele, and about their trip. Of course there wasn't enough time...but what I did have time for was to actually STOP and recognize the work of God that was taking place. This is when I acknowledged what was transpiring within myself.
The next morning, this is when it ALL wrapped itself up and became the "slap" in the face that I needed to get my priorities in order. I wrote about the morning of the arrival of my nephew Mekele in a previous post.
God does not do things "by chance." He has it all planned out, things don't happen on accident. I met with an amazing woman this past Wednesday and let me tell you...I firmly believe that God brings people together FOR A REASON. Something that I acknowledged and was reminded of at this get together with Laura is that God doesn't waste anything. People have certain knowledge, training, experience, and passions...they are given to us for a reason. Everyone is given a gift, (1 Corinthians 12) - in my last post I discussed how I plan on changing my life to make a difference...and I am proud to say that I am ALREADY seeing changes in my life, my family, my relationship with God, etc.
I have stayed true to my goals so far...and now that 2010 is upon us...there's no telling what will happen, not that I have acknowledged God's love and the amazing things that can happen when I open myself up to actually HEAR what he is saying to me.
I am thankful for my parents for raising me with God in our home, with the stability of church, and for modeling Christian choices and behavior. I am blessed with my family (Brian, Mason, Canon, and Braydon), they are truly a phenomenol team to have behind me. I value my friendships, including the old ones that continue to get stronger, and the new ones that are to special to my heart and I pray they continue to grow and strengthen and continue on for years and years to come!
Now, as I am heading into this new year...I have a mission, a mission for my life and a mission to impact others' lives. As my friend, Laura says, ONE CHILD AT A TIME. I am going to Honduras in March during Spring Break this year...I am praying that God utilizes my gifts and talents, my love for people...especially children; my love of education, and my desire to make a difference. Please pray for my journey as I know that this will not be a 1 TIME mission...I pray that the missions becomes a significant part of my life...something that NEVER ends.