Thursday, January 16, 2014


The emotions have run rampant and have left me raw. And I know there will be many more to come.

The tear ducts in my eyes have been on over-drive since we started this process called "adoption." When I'm sure there are no more tears to cry, my cheeks are moistened again. And I know there will be more tears to come.

And the funny part. We are just barely at the tip of the ice-berg.

We've sat in a handful of classes, and are just past the half-way point.

I've labored over paper-work and sent in forms for this and for that, while there are more forms to chase and fill out.

And when I don't think my mind can handle any more statistics, or my heart can carry the burden of one more horrific story, I keep marching to the steady beat of the drum I've followed for most of my life. The same constant rhythm that has sustained me. Because no matter where I am, no matter how I feel, no matter what the world is throwing at me… I can see it's steady theme in my life. And my prayer is that you can see it in me, too.

It is the all-consuming grace of Jesus. His grace is sufficient for me. His grace alone is enough.

It sustains me through the joys, the sorrows, the heartbreak, the heaviness, and the calamities of this world.

And when I feel like this broken world, and all the horrific stories and scars and battle wounds, has gotten the best of me.. and beaten me up, and I just feel so weak. When the pain is too much to bear, then I know that His power will rest upon me.

It is in understanding that in no way can I do this by my own strength that I wade into the heaviness called adoption. It is for Christ's sake that I can be content in my weakness, because I know that I am strong in Him.

It is for this reason that we can be content pursuing our son's heart, and walking with him through whatever hurt he may have. It is only by the strength of the Holy Spirit that we will be able to walk with him through the healing.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Dangers of Assuming

It's hard for me to leave the warmth of my comfort zone. It's just so nice and cozy here. I know what to expect here. There's minimal chance of getting hurt and maximum opportunity for a steady constant.

I was baffled earlier this year to learn that I've got a little more than a slight case of being introverted. I'm happy to spend time alone, to not have a contacts list a mile long, and to be surrounded by quietness and my own thoughts. Don't get me wrong. I love spending time with my family, being surrounded by little voices and little limbs. I also enjoy spending time with great friends and even getting to know some new ones, too. But thinking all these thoughts over here all on and by my lonesome can sometimes be troublesome and dangerous.

Because of my natural tendency towards isolation, I've probably missed out on some great friendships or not fully invested in others. Being comforted by quietness has. on more than one occasion I'm afraid, also become a crutch for me. I found myself not heeding the call to reach out to others like I should, because it was far more homey for me to be in my "comfort" zone. I found the comfort of my own mind, my own space, and my own time to be of far greater reward than putting forth the effort of investing in people.

Sure, I had my normal little circle of friends that I carefully kept in contact with, encouraged, and lived life with. But outside these few people, I resigned myself to meticulously living within the confines of my so-called "introvertedness". And it wasn't all that bad. But then, it kind of was.

Through the compass of being introverted, I ignored the thoughts of service, encouragement and community towards others. Believing the lie that "they already had a friend', or "I'm sure someone else has already done ___ for them", or "that just doesn't really matter", I missed chance to be a part of someone's life, no matter the role. For me, I bought into the lie that the risk of whatever it was I was being led to do, was far less important than the reward of my personal boundaries.

Being introverted, or having a certain personality type, isn't necessarily bad thing. But when we use these things as a crutch for missing out on opportunities to be intentional, then it certainly can be a bad thing.

I want to be intentional, purposeful and caring for those around me… whether it means a fleeting text, a simple gesture of kindness or even a long conversation over a cup of coffee. I don't want to live in fear of the risk, in the fear of being stretched outside of my comfort zone.

I want to be brave and bold and to live out this Faith that I so boldly live my life upon. I want to courageously follow the Spirit's leading in my life, no matter how trivial it may seem. Maybe the Spirit stirs in my heart to reach out to someone and develop a friendship with in spite of my loner qualities? Maybe the Spirit stirs in my heart to rekindle an old friendship that has grown dusty and overlooked? Maybe the Spirit is calling me to do something I think might be a bit ridiculous, bold and farfetched?

Whatever it is…. no matter the task, I want to bravely lay my intentions to the wayside and be ready to follow His leading.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Coupons, Sales and Gift Cards A-plenty

I'm always itching for a good excuse to steal some time away with my husband. Call me greedy, but I like keeping him all to myself sometimes. I love dating him and investing in our relationship. He encourages me, makes me laugh, and helps keep me rationalized.

Earlier this week I received an email with a coupon in it for a hefty discount on a haircut. The hubs has been in major need of a hair cut, too. So, I scheduled our appointments around the same time for convenience purposes. Then a little thought occurred to me, and it snowballed.. and next thing you know, we're dropping the kids off at KK's to steal some time away together! HOLLA!

Our first stop included shopping for new pants. As of late, my body has taken on a life of its own. All the clothes that used to fit me, now hug my body tighter than sausage casing. I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with all the butter, sugar, bread and all-things-white I have been consuming in recent months. My body just decided it didn't want to fit into a single thing in my closet any longer.

So, our first stop included a quick perusing through Macy's. I only go to the mall once every 2 years maybe. And I rarely shop for myself whilst there. I was shell-shocked to find that the department I normally shop in was no longer in the right place. After wandering a bit, I finally found the right department. Determined to put my coupon to good use, I picked over each Clearance and Sales rack until I found the perfect pair of pants. I found the cutest pair of rusted-orange jeans, found that they fit like a dream, and scored an even bigger discount than the price-tag suggested! What What?!

It was time for us to hustle on down to the salon for our hair-cuts. I nearly fell asleep while the girl with perfect hair and make-up washed my sorry tresses clean. A certain toddler had toddled into our room before the crack of dawn this morning and smothered me with hugs and kisses each time I tried to doze off. So, naturally, I was a tad tired. I asked her if she thought the hairdresser would mind cutting my hair if I was just laying down and snoring? She gave a polite chuckle. But judging by her polite response, I knew she had no idea what it's like to be woken several times throughout the night by needy kids. I urged my lazy limbs to follow the sweet gal to my hairdresser's station, plopped down, and got ready to be pampered! I love my hair dresser. First, he's male. He keeps the conversations short, sweet and slightly sporadic. He also cuts my hair EXACTLY how I ask him to! HALLELUJER, y'all! After I overtipped, the Amazing Mister and I ventured out into the mall again.

Our next stop was a deeply discounted store that overwhelms me with all the choices every time I go in there. I mean. I can barely shop because ALL OF THE CHOICES. The colors, the vastness, the enormity, the styles… they leave me shaking in my boots. I quickly got over my Expanse-Shopaphobia. I had a mission to find at least one pair of pants that didn't make my stomach look like a gooey cake batter spilling over the pan.. and a loose blousey-type of top that would be more flattering to my gooey mid-section. I knew I had perfectly described the material, style and color of the top I wanted to purchase when my husband remarked "You are making absolutely no sense. I'm totally confused." I only circled the store, all 2 levels and 8 mini-rooms of it, twice before I found exactly what I wanted to find. BLACK! Lots of black tops. Black, who hides that soft pudgy-ness so well, I love you. I quickly threw the items on in the dressing rooms, and held back my urges to squeal with delight over the way they fit!

By this point in the day, I was in a near euphoric state of mind. I had spent the morning relaxing with a brood of blonde people. I dropped said people off with their KK, and made off like a bandit with my handsome hubs. We found several REALLY great deals on a few essentials I needed. I got a SPLENDIFEROUS hair cut at a REALLY great price. But we had one last stop. FREE LUNCH!!!!

We sat outside at one of my favorite eateries that some sweet friends had blessed us with a gift card to. It was so great to relax, actually have time to chew our food (instead of inhaling it), and fill in all the gaps with relaxed conversations.

Now, if you'll excuse me.. I've got to go finish out this awesome date day! All the blonde people below 5ft tall are tucked away in their beds for the night. And there's this particularly awesome blonde guy waiting for me for an At-Home-Movie-Popcorn-Candy-Date!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

It's a new year! Hip hip hooray!

I'm not usually one to make New Year's resolutions. But this year, I have a few. There's been some dreams going on up in my thinker, and some things stirring in my heart that I'm choosing to no longer ignore. Some are fun, some are serious, some are off-the-wall weirdness, and some I'm sure will draw me closer to Jesus.

In no particular order, here are mine!

1. I will read the Bible in its entirety, from Genesis all the way to Revelation.
Not only will I read the Bible, but it will be my first priority before any other reading. I love me some reading! All kinds of reading, all kinds of fiction, biographies have become a new favorite, and I love to gleam wisdom and insight from others who walk with Jesus. But I've long been convicted at my lack of  reading the actual Word of God, not just what others have to say about it. So, this year.. I'm reading the Bible, cover to cover, before my eyes pass over any other literary work.

2.  I will clean out every closet, drawer and cabinet in my house. 
Welp. Easy peasy. This one's already accomplished! I cheated just a tad and started on this one in the midst of packing away our Christmas decorations, and making room for our little brood of Blonde-people's new things. It is so refreshing to have all the not-so-hidden nooks and crannies of this humble home cleared, organized and cleaned! Spring cleaning is for chumps! Mid-winter cleaning is where it's at, peeps!!

3. I will be more diligent in my writing. 
I love to write about as much as I love to read. Some super sweet people have encouraged me to write more often. And I'd love to grow as a writer. I've also got this little dream floating around in the empty spaces of my mind to someday write a book. I'm not quite sure how this will get accomplished just yet, or when it will come to fruition.

4. I will be more intentional with my diet and how I care for my body. 
I've got this condition.. its almost-diabetes. I'm not quite diabetic.. but I'm just under the threshold. The Dr suggested I follow a healthier diet and moderate exercise. And I did.. until I didn't and life got crazy, and all the sugar in the world was like a big, welcoming hug. Then, I started getting real tired all the time and had no energy. So, I'm taking baby steps to feeling better, and hope to continue a healthier lifestyle.

5. My little side-business will be used to benefit those in the process of adoption!
We still believe that our family will grow through international adoption some day. But that some day isn't in our foreseeable future. Try as we might, we have not been able to come up with the cash needed to get the ball rolling. Through the encouragement of loved ones, friends and families in our church body, we are starting the process to become a foster-to-adopt family. When we originally were trying to start the process of international adoption, I signed on as a Compassion Entrepreneur with a really great organization to act as an advocate for so many voiceless women around the globe. Through the selling of their hand-made goods, we offer them sustainable income and hope for their futures. Any income I made from being a partner with the company was meant to go into our adoption fund. Now, I'll be using my earnings to bless an adoptive family each month! I would love to be able to bless the Artisans who hand-craft the items with the opportunity to provide for their families, while also blessing multiple families in the process of bringing home their adopted children!

So there you have it… my hopes and dreams for 2014, all laid out in resolution style!

What are some of your resolutions?!