Tuesday, December 1, 2015

O Come Let Us Adore Him!

It's Christmas--one of my favorite times of the year!
We have our tree up and it's sparkling.  We had our annual decorate the tree while we drink egg nog and nibble on finger foods time on Sunday evening.  
It's both fun and tiring until the last thing is put up and then pure JOY!  
Last year our favorite nativity set had one too many pieces to break. Over the years we've glued shepherd's staffs back to their hands, donkey ears back in place, and even the hand of Joseph had been mended.  But we decided to retire our lovelies.  While they were well used and loved, they looked quite worn down.  
In holding with our new resolve to simplify, I'm not ready to purchase a new set.  So I found a bag in our Christmas decorations that housed a nativity set that was used for a Christmas party some time in the past. It's not glamorous or stately, but it lets us remember that the sole purpose of this season is not the glitz, sparkles or shining tinsel.  (Even though I do enjoy those things.)

The real purpose of this season is remember the birth of our Savior Jesus.  

This morning I was looking at our tree all lit up and as I looked past the white lights and the ornaments, my eyes were drawn to the picture on the mantle and my tiny nativity set.  

"O Come Let Us Adore Him!"  

So many times I get caught up in the business of this season that I don't take the time to "Adore" Him. 

1.  love and respect (someone) deeply
2. to worship or honor as a deity or as divine
3. to take great pleasure in (something)

These words made me sit and wonder--How can we show 
Jesus our adoration this season?

1. Obedience-  When God calls us to a task, it is for a 
purpose.  Yes, there are other people that could fulfill the 
task, but if God calls you, then obey.  If you don't, someone 
else will, but you will miss the blessing.
2. Worship with your Whole Heart- Spend time with your 
family and remember the blessings your family has 
experienced this year.  Then spend time praising the Lord 
and thanking Him.

3.  Love Others More than Yourself- This season be intentional about looking for others to bless.  It doesn't have to be financial.  Is there a young couple that has children to shop for? Volunteer to babysit a couple of hours.  Is there an older family that has family coming for the holidays?  Show up with your cleaning supplies and help them clean.  I do know that if you are not intentional--it will not happen.   We decided to do this with our Youth Group this year.  We are not having a traditional party.  We are taking them to do Random Acts of Kindness all around St. Marys and Kingsland.  They have been saving money since August with this plan in mind--to bless others at Christmas.  They are so excited--so beware fellow Camden County residents--we will be out soon to share some love.
4. Get in His Word: One of our Christmas traditions is to sit down and read the Christmas Story from the Bible.  Our kids put the nativity characters in place as we tell the story.  (You can imagine why we have had to glue so many pieces back together.) Over the years we even had them tell it to us from their memory.  I'm pretty sure some of those stories could be used in the next Madea movie because they were a little convoluted.  But after minor, somewhat minor corrections, we got the story back on track.  No, Noah was not around when Jesus was born just in case you were wondering. 

So with the remaining 24 days leading up to Christmas--just how do you plan to Adore Him?


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Made for More Part 2

We were made for MORE!

Wait. STOP.  Let me CLARIFY!

I do not mean more stuff--not at all.  I don't mean the--I'm woman hear me roar kind of more either. Nor the I can be more, do more, have more, go more, think more, learn more--I think you get my point.  We don't need MORE!

We were MADE for MORE!

We were made to love God with our whole heart, body, soul and mind.  These were the verses in my Bible study today. Ephesians 3:14-19 "For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have the strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

If we could truly comprehend the love that God has for us, then we would be able to extend that love to others.  We would live a life that was overflowing of kindness, compassion, thankfulness, and joy. (Not the fake stuff that seeks a reward, but the kind that is real and genuine that wants nothing in return.) 

Now let me be the first to say that I fall far from the standard.  I am still a very big work in progress, but I do want to be that person.  I want my life to overflow with those good things.

On my last blog, I left you where God had left me--hanging out and waiting.  I don't have any monumental announcements, but I can say that our family has our next "step" before us.

We are in the process of decluttering, cleaning, and getting rid of "stuff".  We are currently painting our home and getting it all spruced up to sell.  We are positive we are supposed to simplify.  Live with less.

Here are some of the changes we are making.

1) We are going from 2 refrigerators to 1.  This is a slow process, because we have meat stored in both freezers.  But it is a change we are making.  We are no longer allowing any leftovers to be put in the second refrigerator. Our first fridge is filled, but it is making us aware of the good food that is still available to be eaten before we create more.  We also have quit throwing away so many unused and rotten veggies that we forgot about in our 2nd fridge.  Small changes--but better use of our money.

2) Our closets.  Can I just say that we are clothes hogs at our house.  And this mama is the biggest one.  We decided to go through our clothes and get rid of things that didn't fit, or we just didn't wear anymore.  After this process, we have all been able to get all of our winter and summer clothes in our closets at the same time.  No more tubs in the garage with winter/summer clothes waiting for the next season.  Yay!

3) Extra stuff.  We are going closet by closet, drawer by drawer and decluttering.  If we aren't using it, or have more than we need, out it goes.

If I'm truthful here--we still have more than we need.  But slowly, we are getting through this process. We will be better for it.  We will be more prepared for the next step in this great adventure that God is calling us to.

Waiting patiently,
Trying to wait patiently,
Waiting . . .


Wednesday, September 9, 2015


4 little letters that have impacted my life so greatly.

More . . .  

The first time God whispered that word into my heart He changed our lives by adding a precious little bundle that weighed a whopping 14lbs at 9 months old.  I actually was ecstatic with those 4 letters- 
M O R E!

The 2nd time I heard the word was about 9 months after Leighanne arrived in our home.  Ben was working with ICARE in addition to his paying job as a computer engineer.  He received a phone call about a group in Texas that needed help raising funds to bring 6 orphans to the states on a hosting trip.  By the time that fundraisers were held and lots of hard work was put in, 20 something orphans were going to be coming and we were going to be hosting a 13 year old.  After 3 years and 5 completed dossiers and many, many hours spent praying and crying our child, "Madina" aged out and we were not able to bring her home.  But through that experience God birthed a transition home in Central Asia that ministered to many orphans who were also aged out.  God did a mighty work and lives were changed.  Along with the ones who gave their heart to Jesus were those who chose drugs and money over a changed life.  And honestly--I thought that we had given MORE.

The 3rd time I heard the word MORE we became foster parents to a hurting child here in the states. Oh the pain this child was in--and she didn't know how to receive our love.  She challenged us, and rejected our love while she was crumbling inside.  After her mother's rights were terminated, we began the process to adopt her.  Instead, we found out that her birth father who never knew that she existed wanted her.  While our hearts were hurting, we did rejoice with her because she was being accepted by her daddy.  Note--I just talked with her aunt a week ago and she tells me T is doing well!

The 4th time I heard the word MORE was during an Orphan Sunday Event.  It began with a simple prayer to find this little girl in China a forever family.  Little did we know that our family would be that family.  One year later and TWO girls later--our family grew from 6 to 8.

This time--the word MORE has not come quietly or in a whisper.  I am waiting to see exactly what God has in His plans, but He is telling me that life for me is going to change.  I am hearing it in sermons, songs, his Word, and in books that I am reading.  (At this time--I don't feel this more is another adoption)  I know that God is moving in the background, in the unseen, in the places that requires faith on our part.  I'm excited and wary at the same time.  I know that He has a big plan ahead--and right now we are in a holding pattern.

I have learned over the years that these little letters M O R E are rarely easy.  In fact, most of the time they have challenged my thoughts, plans, lifestyle, and comfort.  The more I say "Yes" to God's MORE for my life, the more it costs me. 

So I am going to leave you hanging--right where God has me--waiting for the next MORE in my life.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

So Life After a Year of Work

It happened.  I am back on the blog AND

I am finally an official "Full Time Mom" again!!!

I can say that I will not look to the working world with envy and jealousy anytime soon.  I am playing catch-up from a year of chaos and extreme living.  My typical day began a 5:30 am, at work by 6:45, leave work between 4ish to 5ish, run errands, cook supper, briefly check up on kid's homework, spend a little bit of family/hubby time, crash on the couch and grade papers/lesson plans/prepare and then repeat.  AND I HAVE TOTAL RESPECT AND MUCH LOVE for all my teacher friends--I just am not that woman any more.

It just took me a year to realize that God has given me the blessed opportunity to be home with the family.  What can I say--I really am where I'm supposed to be and that is just where I want to be.

(Sidenote--Yall know I don't have any judgement going on for my working friends! This is my personal choice)

Oh yes--I also need to throw out some serious love on my sweet husband.  He has been so supportive--both ways if I wanted to work outside the house or work at home.  He truly just lets me decide.  LOVE THAT!

These past few weeks since the kids have gone back to work have been extremely busy.  I've been working to get the Youth Room at church fixed up--it turned out great.  Taylor, Sara, and Leighanne helped paint 5 big chalk boards around the room for announcements, birthdays, prayer requests, good news and snack stuff.  Taylor and I also painted a mural on the wall.  We kicked off our new theme--Legacy--Live It Out!

Last week I spent the ENTIRE--ok most of the week--mending clothes.  Sounds glamorous doesn't it? I mean who doesn't want to spend their week mending clothes right?  I  hemmed pants for the girls and Taylor, put buttons back on shorts and pants, took up a couple of skirts for Hannah that were too big, sewed lace on a couple of shorts for the girls, re-purposed a long sleeve shirt into a little coverup and dyed a shirt black again.  

AND--I loved it!

So entry back into full time mom hood complete.

Here we go!



Friday, February 13, 2015

Our Annual Father/Daughter Dance

Ok--Life has been overwhelming, chaotic, insane, --maybe All of those things.

I have NO excuses for having dropped off the face of Blogger Land for almost a year, but something had to give with all of the fun, insanity,  I mean JOY of the past months.  

But I did want to make time for our annual Father/Daughter Dance Pictures.

So here they go . . .


SO until I reenter Blog World--Enjoy this post!