Sunday, November 30, 2008

God and Me 22-Other gods

We are still waiting to hear that Kenson's passport has been printed. Not that I'm counting or anything but we were released from MOI 32 days ago. And almost every one of those 32 days has been a struggle for me. My patience for this process has run out. I am quite weary of it. My emotions have been all over the place for 3 out of 4 weeks. I've done a lot better over the last 10 days but like I was telling D today, it seems like every day is a battle to keep my emotions in check.

I do believe the last week or so has been better because God has been convicting me of my actions and thoughts, that God has been telling me how I'm turning Kenson's passport into a god of sorts because I'm spending all my time thinking about it. And I have tried to replace those passport based thoughts with thoughts of God's character. (Which in "churchy" terms is meditating on God.) I do believe that has helped. God has reminded me lots of His faithfulness and His trustworthiness.

I also read a verse this week from Jeremiah 50:6 "My people have gone from mountain to hill; they have forgotten their resting place." God has been convicting me of forgetting my resting place and instead inserting the god of a passport. But even though I've been convicted of this, it is still a battle. It is a battle for my thoughts, for my worries, for my fretting. It is a battle for short tempered responses versus long suffering, a battle for peace versus stress, a battle for trust versus impatience.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Haitian kiddos for a new Haitian mommy!

These girls at FHG now have a home and the easiest way to share the old pictures I had of them was to post them here for their mom to download. So Shelly, here you go. I thought I had one of G and now I'm not sure. I thought she was in the one with the little girls.???

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tagged with the 8's

I've been tagged by Terry. Here are the questions and my answers:

8 favorite tv shows
Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe
Big Bang Theory
Law and Order
Burn Notice
American Idol
I Love Lucy
The Cosby Show

8 things I did yesterday
Roasted a turkey
Made mashed potatoes
Baked a pumpkin dessert
Steam cleaned my carpets
Listed items on Ebay
Taught reading to kindergarteners
Made paper turkeys with kindergartners
Watched tv

8 things I look foward to
Traveling to Haiti to pick up Kenson and visit Conleigh
Receiving Kenson's passport and visa
A long Thanksgiving weekend with no obligations
Trying my hand at ploobing, thanks to my friend Rhiannon
Getting all my laundry done this weekend
Cleaning out some of the junk in my house while reorganizing the basement
Spring (I'm not a real fan of winter.)
Soccer season starting again (why, I'm not sure...)

8 of my favorite restaurants
Olive Garden
Carlos O'Kelleys
Christina's (local Mexican place)
Los Guanacos (local place owned by a family from El Savador, they make great pupusas)
The Tumbleweed (mom and pop cafe from my hometown, my grandma used to be a cook there)
Red Lobster
Hu Hot

8 things on my wish list
A passport and visa for Kenson
God's financial provision for our next trip to Haiti and the rest of Conleigh's adoption
An ever present sense in my childrens' hearts that they are loved by God, by others, and by us
A peaceful, rested heart for my mom as she helps her mom and brother face health concerns
Continued spiritual growth for D and myself, especially in the area of parenting
A mad rush of orders on Etsy which would thin out my purses
For our basement to be easily cleaned up and worked on (if you live in an old house, you know that nothing is ever as easy as it seems)
For kids everywhere to have the security that functioning families offer

Wow! That was actually harder than I thought. It took a lot more time too! Anyway, I tag the following people to reveal their deep dark secrets:


I think a bunch of you were already tagged by Terry but if not and I missed you too, feel free to play along anyway. Just list your answers and then tag some more friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Thankful Heart

This Thanksgiving, I know I have much to be thankful for. You know, the basics like a steady income, a lovely home, a car that runs... Just the month of November has a way of making us think about those blessings. But November also is special to me in another way. It makes me thankful in wide and deep way. We accepted Kenson's referral in November of 2006. And we began making inquiries about Conleigh in November 2007. So November is a month where our hearts are thankful for how God has worked to bring our kids into our lives. From a baby who shared a birthday with me which made him stick out in our minds to a little girl whose foster mom passionately wanted her to have a home, God has been at work.

November 2007 and November 2006 photos of my kiddos.

I am so thankful for His provision. And I also pray for His provision in life of another little boy, James. James is currently living at Haiti Children's Home and, as far as I know, is still in need of a family. He has been there for a long time, watching other kids leave to go home to their families. He desperately wants a family. His desperation practically oozes out of him. So here's my post for James. Please pray for a family for him. Please pass his info on; you never know who might be considering adoption. Take the time to help a little boy who wants a family of his own to be thankful for. Contact information for James would be Patti Vold at .

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Weekend Recap

This weekend, I did a craft fair and tried to sell some of my purses. My cousin, Alissa, who also has crafty stuff came and brought her stuff too. We didn't do great but we did sell a few things. I sold one purse and picked up orders for two more. I would prefer someone bought the purses I already have made just so I don't have to store them but I suppose I shouldn't complain. I'm really not in it to get rich. I just need something to help occupy my time on the days I'm not subbing. And if I get to sit with someone I enjoy like my cousin for a whole day, that's a great bonus. She actually stayed overnight for two nights so we got to talk and bug my husband. Great fun. Funnily enough, the purse I actually sold is one I thought was kind of ugly, one that didn't turn out the way I wanted. I guess it's all relative when it comes to personal style.

D also has been working on our basement. Right now, our basement is a typical 100 year old house basement. It's a little creepy, really dirty, and home to about a million spiders. It also has several kinds bricks on the foundation, with funny patch jobs done where they installed plumbing. I'd like to get the patch jobs redone so they look a little nicer and paint our walls and ceiling so everything is one color. Our goal is to make the basement more of a useable space. The ceiling is so low and the limestone walls are kind of crumbly so we really can't make it a true finished basement but I would like to make it into a playroom of sorts. So D has been working on that lately. I think that's his diversion from thinking about passports and other adoption stuff. If you live in an old house and have done something wonderful to your basement, let me know what you've done. I'd love some ideas.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Turkey Noodle Soup, lettuce, breadsticks
I made a turkey for our church's Thanksgiving dinner but they wanted you to bring it in deboned, etc.. So I kept the carcass and boiled it for some turkey broth. Now I'll just have to add noodles and veggies.

Honey Baked French Toast, turkey bacon, fresh fruit

Minute Steak Crock Pot Supper, Magic Mousse Jello with strawberries
I'm going to use the recipe I've linked but use minute steak instead. I also use reduced fat soup and sour cream. With the cheese in the recipe, I use half low fat and half regular. Reduced fat cheese is one thing that isn't always as good as regular; it doesn't melt nearly as nice and can do funny things if you use it when cooking. I also don't brown the meat ahead of time; this saves both time and fat calories since you are asked to brown it in oil.

Savory Skillet Noodles, California blend, fresh fruit

Thanksgiving Meal (at my house, I grandma is in the hospital so the plans are a bit up in the air)

Mashed potatoes
Dacia's Scallopped Corn Casserole
Green Beans
Three Fruit Relish (Really yummy, crisp and tart, cold cranberry salad)
Pumpkin Dump Cake (kind of like an upside down pumpkin pie)

Check out this blog for more recipes and ideas.

Friday, November 21, 2008

God and Me 21-Wrestling with my flesh

My brother and I used to wrestle a lot when we were little. I thought it was great fun until my brother got stronger than me and I started losing most of our matches. This week has been a wrestling match of another kind: one where I am continually battling what my flesh wants.

Sharing at church has prompted people to talk with us about our adoptions. Though we've always had people visit with us about it, sharing just means even more people want to talk to you about it. Throughout the course of our adoptions, we have heard things like "You guys are so patient." or "I don't know how you do it." We've also heard things like "You guys are still doing that? I thought maybe you'd given up."

The truth is we wait because we have no choice. I would say that while there are certainly times when we've been able to rest and not fret about our adoptions, there have also been times where fretting and wishing for things to go faster have been all we've felt like doing. We are not saints by any stretch nor do we have the patience of Job as has been suggested by some.

Right now, I am not feeling patient. I am not feeling very gracious. I am not feeling very peaceful. We are now on week 3 of waiting for passports, something that can take as little as 2 weeks. My head recognizes lots of things: that God is ultimately in charge of when Kenson comes home, that one more week or two more weeks in process isn't the end of the world, that lots of things happen in Haiti that are out of people's control. But my heart is bent out of shape. I want the passport to be issued in a timely manner. I want people to recognize how long the last part of our process has taken, that we have had a child who has been legally our child since April. I want people who are working on our paperwork to know how any apathy they might have towards Kenson's dossier is unfair.

God is at work in me during this time, I'm sure. And I know He has given me all I need for godly living. But truthfully, part of me doesn't want to do the godly living thing. Part of me wants to throw a pity party and be mad and crabby and indignant. A big chunk of me would like to yell a bit. And I'd really like to follow that yelling with some crying. Of course, none of that changes the situation nor is any of that what God wants from me. So my flesh and I will continue to wrestle. Adoption Battle 223 has now commenced.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Holiday Baking

We are food people in my family. Every gathering revolves around food. Food translates to love. You prepare food for people because you love them. One of my most favorite memories of my great grandma is knowing that every holiday she would be bringing pies and that at some point during the year, she would ask me a few days before the holiday what kind of pie I wanted her to make just for me. (Gooseberry or chocolate, just for the record.) My grandmas, my mom, me, we all cook. We especially cook if there's a reason but often we cook for no real reason. I don't have to do holiday baking. In fact, I usually bake and then try to figure out who to give it to rather than baking with a specific person in mind. Anyway, I'm going to try to get some of that baking done this weekend so I thought I'd share some of the things I will be making.

Oreo Balls (by far the easiest thing I make and something that always gets rave reviews)
Crush 20 ounces of Oreos; set aside. Beat an 8 ounce package of cream cheese until smooth. Add crushed Oreos. Mix. Roll into 1 inch balls. Refrigerate until set. Dip into melted almond bark and refrigerate until set.

Peppermint Potato Candy (haven't made this before, but we're going to try it)

Chocolate Chex Crunch (also a new recipe, it sounds awesome, hopefully it is)

Have any favorite holiday recipes that you know you'll be making?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Twiddling my thumbs

...and waiting for news. Still nothing on passports. I know there are several families from our orphanage waiting for this as well. And I know one of these families has been waiting a ridiculous amount of time to get their girls' passports. And I know lots of others are stuck at other places in the process so I hate complaining when we're so close to the end. But, that's half the problem. We're so close and I would like things to fit into nice neat time frames. (Those of you currently in the Haitian adoption process, quit laughing at that thought!)

This type of waiting is the worst. There should be some news. Any day now it feels like you should have news. And then you wait. And wait some more. And get discouraged.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


That sums up how my friends have made me feel today...blessed beyond measure.

My day started crazy and chaotic. We were supposed to be presenting for 10 minutes today at church about our adoptions, Haiti and effects the hurricanes have had there. Next week, we're taking a love offering for several organizations in Haiti and this presentation was setting the stage for that offering. I had put together a presentation on my computer and even made a special trip to church yesterday to make sure it worked, which it did. We got to church earlier today to set out our display table and get our presentation up and running. It would not work. I worked on it. Our associate pastor worked on it. No go. D was ushering so he was busy getting the supplies for that plus two ushers cancelled on him Saturday night so he needed to find two more ushers. So we weren't even really able to discuss a plan b before the first service started.

As people started arriving and I knew we would not be able to use our presentation, I was in panic mode. I had no idea what we would say to fill that 10 minute slot. I left the sanctuary in tears, looking for someone who would listen to my frustrations. I walked over to my friend, Ann, who promptly prayed with me. Then, as I started trying to figure out what the new plan would be, my friends Daneda and Jeanette saw me looking frazzled and offered encouraging words. By this time the music was playing for worship in the santuary and I was a bawling wreck. I went in and found D sitting in the back with the bulletins and I quietly started talking to him about what we could say since our presentation was not working. Then he started to get teary. I knew if he was crying, that I wouldn't stand a chance of not crying. I was worried about what we would say since we hadn't really practiced anything. We were both frustrated at our kids not being home. We both were bummed because we hadn't (and still haven't) heard any information about passport processing on Kenson. It was starting to look like our presentation was going to be a tear filled mess.

But what can you do? So when it was time, we got up on stage with tears in our eyes and no real words in our heads. I started to apologize for being teary and said something like "I'm sorry we're both a bit emotional. I think we just miss our kids." Then awkward silence. And my friend Daneda who was standing in the back pipes up, "Tell us about the kids." And so we did. We talked about our kids and Haiti and the 3 ministries we want our congregation to support. Was it perfect? No way. It was discombulated and messy. But it was honest.

Then during the last part of the sermon during the first service, our associate pastor came over and told me he had gotten our presentation up and running. He spent the entire first service working on it. Not because he had to but because he cares for us. Second service went off as we had planned, with less tears.

Then after church I went to Lincoln with my friend, Lisa. We had already made plans to go do some shopping, just us girls. We had a great time of honest talking about life. During lunch, she wanted to know if she and some others could do a baby shower for us. We've already had one other person ask but I kind of beat around the bush because we really don't need anything. But I also recognize that by saying no, you are taking away an opportunity from others to serve and love on you. So I said sure.

We started our shopping and as we drove, she asked if we could go to Target so I could register for gifts for Kenson. We had a wonderful time completing my baby registry. (She's also pregnant with her first so she got some ideas for her own registry as well.)

All in all, I spent the day feeling blessed by friends who have held me up and loved on me, supported by friends who truly care for us. I've just been blessed. So if you're reading this and were one of those friends, thanks. My heart was really touched by your thoughtfulness.

God and Me 20-

This week, I have heard a new song on the radio that I particularly like. It is a lovely letter, written from God to us. It just really seems to sum up the things He's been teaching me and the things I've felt recently. It also has some great messages about loving a child who is lost and confused and trying to figure it out on their own, which makes me think of my kids. The struggles I anticipate having with my kids are so clearly the same struggles I have with my Heavenly Father. The song is called By Your Side and it's by Tenth Avenue North. I added the greeting and closing.

My child,
Why are you striving these days? Why are you trying to earn grace? Why are you crying? Let me lift up your face. Just don't turn away.

Why are you looking for love? Why are you still searching? As if I'm not enough? To where will you go child? Tell me where will you run? To where will you run?

Cause I'll be by your side, wherever you fall. In the dead of night, whenever you call.

Please don't fight these hands that are holding you. My hands are holding you.

Look at these hands, at my side. They swallowed the grave, on that night, when I drank the world's sin, so I could carry you in and give you life.

Here at my side, wherever you fall. In the dead of night, whenever you call. Please don't fight these hands that are holding you. My hands are holding you. And I, I love you And I want you to know That I, I'll love you.


Menu Planning Monday

I have two new recipes I really want to try.

One if for Crock Pot Curried Rice. We both are big fans of the flavor curry gives to dishes so I'm hoping this is a hit. I think I'll grill some chicken breast to go with it. (Although I could probably just throw them in the crock pot with the rice.)

The other one is Fish Stick Po' Boys. I generally do not buy prepared food like chicken strips or fish sticks as they are usually not all that healthy and, while I'm not a total organic girl, if I can, I avoid processed stuff. But this recipe only uses 3-4 fish sticks per sandwiches and has a spicy kick to it. Maybe some California blend on the side wtih some fresh fruit?

Lasagne, lettuce salad

Tuna melts, oven potatoes, peas (tuna melts are so easy, just your usual tuna salad, topped with cheese and then broiled in your oven)

Philly Sandwiches, chocolate pudding with bananas and Cool Whip (I saute green peppers and onion in a bit of butter, then add sliced deli roast beef, a bit of Worchestershire sauce, and top with cheese)

Cheesy Potato Soup, lettuce salad, garlic bread (I usually use low fat Velveeta and omit the bacon. I also mash/puree the potatoes before I add the milk products for a creamy soup.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two Quarter Quotes-November

On Godly living...
Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. -- C. S. Lewis

On relationships...
God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize,but that we may intercede. -- Oswald Chambers

On faith...
A love that requires absolute assurance in order to act is not love...when we can say we will follow God regardless of the uncertainty, then real faith is born - for love acts not whenever a certain set of criteria has been met, but rather because it is in the nature of love to act."~Pete Rollins

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Safe Haven

My first real teaching job was a summer school job teaching at a group home for middle school and high school boys. Oh, was it interesting! And stressful. But also sad. I saw kids with serious mental health issues who would max out of the state system at 18. I wondered what would happen to these kids when medications ran out and counselors could no longer serve them. A week or so ago, I think I saw the answer to that question. One of the boys who used to be in that facility was arrested for stabbing someone. Not just slashing at them, stabbing them. When the police arrived, the woman had a knife in her back. For most of the boys I taught, I am afraid that prison will be their permenant dwelling place.

I also saw an adoptive family who was essentially disrupting their adoption without the legalities of disruption. They adopted their son, V, as a toddler who had been horribly abused. As he became a teenager, it was clear that he was a threat as a sexual perpetrator. This family had daughters who were younger than him. They felt that as hard as it was, they could not have him in their home. They often drove 2 hours to visit him but knew he would never be coming home.

Interestingly enough, these kids have been in my mind a lot lately. This fall, the state of Nebraska passed a safe haven law. Many other states have laws like this that make it legal for women to leave their infants at hospitals, police stations, and fire departments. These laws were designed to prevent woman who feel hopeless from discarding their children in dumpsters or otherwise abandoning their newborn children.

When Nebraska passed their law, they did not include any age requirements. The law as currently written makes it legal for any age of child to be dropped off at safe haven locations. In the few months that have gone by since the legislation passed, not one infant has been dropped off. 36 older children have. Most of these children were teenagers. At least 3 were from other states including Georgia and Michigan. Families in crisis, families who are desperate, families who feel like they have no other options, these families have now taken center stage. Many Nebraskans have been forced to accept the reality that there are many parents and children who are hanging on for dear life, who are in some giant tug of war where winning doesn't really feel like winning. This law has pointed out that for kiddos like my former students, unless you have committed a crime, help can be hard to come by. For kids who are not in the juvenille courts system or the health and human services system due to abuse or neglect, help often is far away. Help is expensive. Help cannot be forced. Help often comes only after a horrible tragedy has occurred.

Are all of the parents who have left their children purely motivated by a desire for their children to get help? Of course not. But to think that the majority of these people are adults who simply want their lives to be easier, that these parents think that it's not their responsibility to care for and nurture their children, well I just don't buy it. These are desperate people doing drastic things.

Tomorrow, our legislature will be meeting in a special session to work on ammending the safe haven law so that it will have a more narrow age limit. The law will be rewritten and the "abandoned" children quickly forgotten. But there will still be families who don't know where to turn or what to do next. I hope and pray our leaders invest their energies into providing real solutions for families who really do need a safe haven as they deal with attachment issues, pychological disorders, and a lack of affordable resources.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Weekend Recap

Friday, D and I finished a project we started last weekend: adding insulation to our attic. Actually, the words "D and I" are misleading. We started last weekend and then decided it was not a two person job. So D asked a couple of his soccer boys to come help. A third boy overheard and asked if he could come. His words were "You don't have to pay me; I'll just come watch." Anyway, they came and helped and the project got finished in like 1 1/2 hours. We had supper and got to visit with the boys too. In some ways, we'd love to live in Crete because we'd like our home to be a gathering place for the soccer boys. But that's not where God has us right now.

On Saturday, we celebrated Thanksgiving early with D's grandparents. Now that his mom is gone, they only have us and D's brother as family. So holidays are a little odd as if we don't spend it with them, they are often alone. But we will offer them the choice of coming to be with us as we visit my family, even though we know they probably won't accept that offer.

Sunday was church and groceries and finishing another project in our basement. A portion of a wall in our basement needs to be rebuilt so a company is coming next week to do that. But all of the stuff in our basement needed to be moved or covered to keep out the dust from the project. The boys who came on Friday helped move some things but we needed to cover the rest of the stuff with plastic. That's all finished and ready for the demo crew.

Now my poor hubby is working on the last few assignments he has for the class he is taking. I'm so proud of him because this class really is hard. It requires so much reading and note taking, both of which he hates. I know he's got a lot on his plate but he has really tried hard to help me at home and help get ready for Kenson. He's stinking awesome!

And today's my mama's birthday. She has spent the last few days away from home, taking care of her mama, as my grandma had sugery over the weekend. So I hope she has taken some time for herself and not been too busy with everything and everyone else. Happy Birthday, Mom! (Ignore the naughty dog who looks like she's licking my poor mother's neck. The only other picture I had downloaded had her making a weird face.)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Follow this link for more recipes...

Smothered chicken breasts, orange glazed beets, California blend
Smothered chicken breasts
Grill or pan cook chicken breasts; season with salt and pepper. In a separate pan, saute sliced onions in butter until tender. Top chicken breasts with onions, shredded cheese, and bacon pieces.

Orange glazed beets (this is new, I'm not normally a beet fan and D's not a fan of vegetables in general so we'll see...)
In a large skillet combine 3/4 c. orange marmalade, 6 T. orange juice, and 1/3 c. butter. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until thickened. Add 3 cans of sliced beets that have been drained. Cook and stir 6-8 minutes longer or until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Turkey and noodles over mashed potatoes, mixed vegetables

Lasagne (No real recipe here, just follow the basic layers and bake it.)
Lettuce Salad

Refried bean and cheese tostados, homemade guacamole
Bean and cheese tostados
Heat cooking oil in pan; add 6 inch corn tortilla. Flip when browned on one side. Remove from oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread with warmed refried beans. Top with cheese and salsa. Nuke for 30 seconds. Add shredded lettuce, guacamole, and sour cream. Repeat.

Homemade guacamole
Avocados, canned salsa, lime juice, salt, cilantro
Peel avocados, slice and mash with a fork. Add canned salsa, lime juice, salt, and cilantro to taste

Chicken Bruschetta Casserole, lettuce salad
Chicken Bruschetta Casserole (also new to us)
1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6 oz. package of chicken stuffing (Stove Top)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, shredded or diced
1 t. basil leaves
1 c. shredded mozerella

Combine stuffing mix, 1/2 c. hot water, garlic, and the undrained tomatoes. Stir until the stuffing mix is moistened. Place chicken in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Spring with basil and cheese. Top with the stuffing mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

God and Me 19-Apart from the vine, I am nothing

D and I both want to parent from a Biblical standpoint but we weren't exactly sure how to do that. D was raised in a family that were occasional church goers with little emphasis placed on spiritual growth. My family was active in church my whole life with much of my childhood centered around church. Both of our families were very good at teaching right vs. wrong. My family also focused on God as a force in your life. And up until now, I probably would have said that was what Biblical parenting was all about.

Recently, I've read The Mission of Motherhood and The Ministry of Motherhood, by Sally Clarkson, both of which have given me a new perspective on Biblical parenting. These two books, along with a blog two adoptive parents have written on attachment issues, have really helped me to see real life examples of Biblical parenting. (Thanks, Cate and Dawn!) Some big ideas that I've walked away with are using Scripture as a parenting tool and letting the Holy Spirit be at work in your parenting.

In the last month or so, I've seen multiple examples on using Scripture as a talking point when dealing with both good and bad behavior. So once Kenson arrives, we're going to really work on using the Galatians 5 Fruits of the Spirit as our key Scripture as we parent, with our discipline and interactions with our kids and each other flowing out of those 2 verses. I know the concepts of love, joy, peace, patience, etc. are abstract but I truly believe that young children learn abstract concepts by exposure to them and then examples of those concepts. Plus I know D and I will benefit from focusing our relationship on these fruits as well.

God has also been really working on me in the area of letting the Holy Spirit work in my life, to let my independent spirit rest and to let the Spirit of God be at work. For me personally it means not being a know it all. Those of you who have seen me at my worst know that I can come off that way, often unintentionally. I am afraid that I have spent much of my lifetime thus far being a know it all with God. Many things come easy for me and it's so easy to just chalk that up to my own ability to do certain tasks. In fact, admitting that I'm at a loss as to what to do or that I need someone to help me are not things I like to do. I usually walk away from situations like that feeling like a complete failure and replaying the situation to try to fix what went wrong. I know I will approach parenting the same way. I know that I ask God for advice and guidance as a last resort not as a first step. And I know that I have a tendancy to want to be perfect and not make any mistakes, especially when parenting. God wants to relieve me of the pressure of perfection and the burden of discouragement by giving me His Spirit.

I want my parenting to be Spirit driven because I believe that who I am as a parent teaches my children about who God is as a Father. And I want to embrace the times of frustration and discouragement in parenting rather than get frustrated or angry over those times. I want to not be hyper critical of myself and enjoy the experience, warts and all. I believe that those not fun, Mama's a little cranky and worn out times are the times where God can lead me the most, if I'll let Him. Those weak areas are opportunities for me to recognize how it is always God at work in me that enables me to be successful. I need to see that my successes are only successes because of God, that apart from the vine, I am nothing. I need to see that I am not a failure when I don't know what to do next but that I am a human who is woefully misguided most of the time.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

MOI release

To answer questions and other comments posted in regards to this...

We accepted our referral for Kenson in November of '06. Our dossier arrived in Haiti in January of '07. So that means we've been in process 22 months. We actually sped through the first part and were out of the first steps, including Parquet by like October of '07. But the last few steps of Judgement/2nd legal, getting into MOI, and then being in MOI took a long time.

To my cousin...tell your mom to save those tears. He's not home yet. She can cry then.

Election Thoughts from Kindergarten

I subbed for our speech and language teacher today. I had a small group of two students this morning who were working on drawing some sounds. As they were drawing, the conversation shifted towards the election. One little boy said he wasn't going to tell me who he was voting for. To which I replied, "I don't share who I vote for either."

Little boy number two says, "Well I don't trust Obama."

Little boy one, "Are you poor? Obama will make you pay less taxes if you are poor."

Little boy two "I don't think I'm poor, 'cuz I have a Wii."

Too funny to hear...they're both in kindergarten. Wonder who their parents are voting for?

I'm Back...

Although I'm sure most of you didn't even know I was gone. Especially since I had several posts I had scheduled that automatically posted last week. We didn't really go a whole week without the Internet as I think today is day 5 but those days off were valuable and restful. It is so easy to just spend your extra time sitting at your computer, surfing. It just seemed like we were spending our time poorly. I would be online while D worked in the living room on school stuff or watched tv and then when I got off the computer, D would hop on it and I'd go to the living room and do my thing. We were spending all this time on line, not enjoying each other or getting things accomplished. So it appears that it is just as I thought...the world will not disintegrate because I'm not constantly checking in on it. On Sunday, our minister's message was on delighting in God's word and what keeps us from doing that so that message was also timely as it is easy to skip your quiet time but then find lots of time to check websites and blogs. Anyway, we're back...

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Gospel Truth-November

I recently read a blog where someone was describing their nine year old's reaction to the idea of Jesus living in her heart. The question the child posed was "When Jesus comes into your heart, does your heart explode?" The literal answer is "no." But one can see how a child could easily think that Jesus in your heart is a confusing topic that means Jesus is a man trying to fit into that small organ in your chest.

I don't think its just kids who are confused by that idea. I think adults get confused as well. For me, the idea of having Jesus in my heart has been an odd idea, an idea that kind of combines a warm fuzzy and that creepy hair standing up on my neck feeling. I just think the wording is a bit wierd.

But I do believe that once you ask God to take over your life, once you surrender your heart to Him, your heart of stone is softened and in some ways, just like the little girl's idea, your heart is exploded. God smashes our old hearts; we start seeing things through His perspective and choosing to listen to His words.

And the real truth should be that our lives are never the same again. Having Jesus in our lives should completely destroy our lives. Gloriously ruined are the words Rick Warren's wife uses. Unfortunately, for too many Christians, nothing really changes. Their words might change; they might sound really holy. Or actions might change; they might attend church a bit more. But the reality is their hearts have not been blown to smitherens by God's love. They live instead carefully planning out their next moves, crafting a life that involves small bits of convenient obedience rather than foolish amounts of love based faith.

So the truth about what it means for Jesus to live in your heart? It's complete and utter destruction where your heart is changed into something that is totally unrecognizable. It's a heart that rests in God's presence, listens to His voice, and is then compelled into action. May your heart wrestle with such change.

Election Thoughts

Other than wishing for the stupid commercials to be over, please remember that

What is morally wrong can never be politically right. -- Lord Shaftesbury

Elections are about so much more than voting based on what is best for me.