Growth...of our our walk with all things to worship HIM!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Obstacles in Obedience

Those of you who have been walking with the Lord for any length of time can relate...the best path is usually not the easy path.  It comes with much adversity and obstacles to overcome.  The enemy of our soul wants to rob and destroy.  But our heavenly father encourages us to walk in faith, and be refined in the fire so we can be transformed into His image.  

So, when we walk in obedience, there will be obstacles.  It may come in the form of sickness, defiance of a child, hurtful words, job loss, or just our own selfishness showing it's ugly head.  The list of potential obstacles is endless.  Expect it, then turn to Christ for the strength to walk through it.  

I know we are on the right path.  Daily we are being humbled, refined, waging war in the spiritual realm.  

As I have mentioned in a previous post, the lyrics from Courageous are so very powerful...

The only way that we can stand is on our knees with lifted hands!!

Are you ready for the battle?  Do you truly seek to be useable by God?  It is not an easy road BUT God's grace is sufficient, HIS peace surpasses all understanding!  

I want God's BEST for my life and that of our family.  I have prayed for God to strip me of my selfishness and break my heart for what breaks His.  I have humbly prayed that HE would mess me up and make me like Him.  

Friends...I can tell is a painful process.  We say less of me and more of HIM.  But we need to realize that God does not just wave a little wand over our head and we become selfless, loving, and kind.  God gives us the tools and places opportunities in front of us so we can CHOOSE to live out the fruit of the spirit.  

The awesome thing is that we are not left to our own devices.  When we spend time in God's presence we become more like Him.  The more we seek HIM the more we find HIM.  When we ask for wisdom and knowledge...HE gives it and clears the fog from the path.  

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalm 32:8

When we are walking in God's will there is no need to fear the obstacles.  They will grow us but not crush us.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10

Dear friends...may our knees become callused as we stand for Christ!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Transformation and growing young

My hubby let me know that my last post was far too short and left ya'll hanging.  Who is Bri...where did she come did she become part of our family?

Well will just have to keep checking back to learn more about our family and how we all fit together:)  I will say that God is doing tremendous things in this young lady's life and we are so very humbled and blessed to have been called to be a part of it.

So, over the weekend where I turned 21 (or maybe 30 something)  we transformed this

into this (a work in progress and Miss Bri will have it all fixed up soon)

The rocker found a home here

changing table and toys here

And the crib relocated to our room

I am sure you didn't notice that after 2 1/2 years of living in this house I am still using a small tote as a nightstand!!  Hee Hee...well, it is a good thing because the crib certainly would not have fit if I had one there:)

So, as you can see, we certainly have not abandoned our heart for adoption.  We are continuing to wait on God, trust HIS will, and rely on HIS timing.  And there may be some begging for God to make it all happen a little quicker...SMILE:)

I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 our journey twists and turns I hold tight to this promise!!

Oh...I almost forgot...I promised my hubby that I would post this not so attractive photo of me blowing out my candles:)  See, there are not many candles...I am really not that old!!

Hubby counting out 21 candles:)

Kylee licking chocolate off the plastic that was wrapped around the cake

Bri enjoying the Shrimp Fried Rice my hubby made from scratch!!  IT WAS SOOO YUMMY!

 Mélika had a training weekend for a ministry team that she is part of.  She missed out on the goodies but I may have made her some corn dip to eat over a good ole game of Catan last night!!  Sorry...forgot to take a photo:(

Saturday, January 28, 2012


Adoption comes in many forms.  There is adoption that grows in your heart and comes with legal documents to state that a priceless gift from God will forever more be grafted into your family.  We have and will continue to welcome members to our family by this form of adoption.  

Then there is adoption that grows in your heart that is absent of the legal process.  Individuals that become family simply because God is an awesome God and does things just because HE can.  

We are so pleased to have gained a family member!  Sweet Bri has been "adopted" by our crazy clan.  I don't know all that God has in store for us as we walk this leg of our journey.  But I do know that HIS plans are great!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

With Good Reason

I know my posts have been few and far between over the past few weeks.  It was for a good reason...we had family in town.  I think it is safe to say this is the longest visit I have had with my parents since leaving for college.  My husband and I have always lived in a different state or country so visits with my parents have been limited to a week.  What a blessing it was to have them for a longer stay!!

What have we done?  Well, a little of this and a little of that.  Because we were not sure of the length of 
their visit...we continued with school as best we could.  

Kylee read her bible curriculum to Grammy most mornings and Grampy read Chemistry to Mélika.  Who knew Chemistry could be so silly:)

Grammy got schooled in the use of their ipod touch and became quite proficient in sending emails and looking up things of interest.  

We took Grampy on a rowdy bus of youth to do inner city ministry.  He was a great sport and I think he really enjoyed himself.  

We spent time horsing around.

And had a brief invasion of masked visitors.

I was able to be with my mother for her birthday for the first time in YEARS!  We enjoyed a nice meal together at Olive Garden and a mini cake at home.  My parents also took me out to the Sweet Tomato for my birthday coming up at the end of the month.  

We discovered a new shopping destination.  The kids exchange!!!!!  I have never been to this event and was overwhelmed with where to start!!  

My hubby has been in and out over the past few weeks.  He had a conference in CA, a men's retreat with our church, and had to maintain his busy work schedule.  Nonetheless, the girls got their snuggle time in.  There may have been some treat runs involving my father.  I guess we will never know?!   

You really can't spend any length of time at our house without the trusty Catan board coming out!!  I have learned that my parents are QUITE competitive and were eager to add their names to our running list of winners on the inside of the box.  

My heart hurt as my parents left this morning.  I had very much hoped to have our babies home during this visit.  I longed to place grandsons in their arms.  But, it looks like it was not to be this trip.  I am thankful for the time we had.  The ability to share our journey with those we love.  

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Refuse

We had the opportunity to do something extraordinary this morning.  Something that touched our hearts and reminded us that we have a job to do...impact lives for Christ!  

Our youth group went to an inner-city church for their monthly Community Day.  We were blessed to be able to pass out clothes, serve a hot meal, and pass out boxes of food to be taken home.  

Mélika and I sorting clothes to be distributed.  
(I would just like to add my dislike for wearing winter gear today!!)

Mélika with two of her close friends.  We had 38 youth and leaders come out to make a difference!

I have to tell you...the very best part of the day!  We walked the streets praying that gang wars and drugs would be replaced by unity and peace.  We stopped and prayed with each person we saw on the streets, sitting on porches, and standing on street corners.  We witnessed the impact the local pastor has had on the community by the reaction of each individual we came in contact with.  Each one knew his name...each accepted prayer...each was reminded of their need for a holy, just God!  

A teenager walked up to us asking that we pray a blessing over him!  We prayed with a homeless man sitting on the ground leaning against a telephone pole.  We prayed with a man in a wheel chair with an amputated leg.  An older woman on a porch.  A young man in need of a job.  A young lady thankful to begin a new job that this local pastor helped her get.  We prayed with countless people.  All, like us, in need of hope, and the love of a savior.  

Today I was reminded that any of us could find ourselves in their position at any time.  Often we become comfortable, complacent, and desensitized about lost and hurting people around us.  The more we become wrapped up in our own desires and interests,  the busier we become in self seeking ambitions.   We soon forget about others, their needs, and our call to help.  BUT...when we step out to love others...our heart starts to change.  We want to do more for others instead of ourselves.  Once you taste the feeling of giving, sharing, desire more of cannot return to life as it was.  

Friends, I don't want to live like I don't care.  We are called to make a difference in this world.  listen to this song and be encouraged:)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

School Days

I thought I would share some highlights of of our school day.  
Kylee has been learning about molecules.  She did an experiment to see which molecules are stronger and take longer to react with yeast.  

She needed to start with the proper temperature for her water bath.

She added corn syrup, sugar, and corn starch to three different glasses of active yeast.  

Every good science experiment involves some stirring.  

It worked and she learned the point of the experiment. you can see she had much more fun playing with the yeast at clean up time:)  

While Kylee and I were in science land...Mélika was hard at work at her desk.

But...she would much rather sleep with her favorite little sign her Grampy made for her....
DO NOT DISTURB...Receiving Dreams and Revelations From the LORD.  

Our pampered pooch, Buddy, feel the need to be completely in the center of all activity in our home.

I am thinking he must be getting rather smart with all the school he has been attending.  

As not to be partial to just one of his girls, he began batting Mélika's arm with his paw to let her know it was time to try out her lap.

And to no surprise...his efforts were well rewarded.  

I left the classroom for a few seconds....when I first glance...everything looked to be as it should.  Two sweet girls working on history, one on math.  But when I took a closer look I found clouds of pink between their desks.  

You guessed it.  Our girls made Sir Buddy his very own special throne in the classroom so he would have a comfortable learning environment:)

School days...they are priceless to me:)

The Path

I promised myself to be real in my posts...not just share the rosy picture of our mountaintop experiences.  God has been so very good to us and we have had many, many of those wonderful experiences to share.

There are those times, however, where the road is not clearly defined.  We are at a place of crying out to God to confirm if we are on the right path or if we need to take a different direction.  For reasons I choose not to share here, we are considering a different direction.  We are absolutely confident of what God placed on our hearts.  That has not changed.  Although disappointed about the twins in Oklahoma, we have peace that God is in control and knows which boys are to be with our family.   It is the path that is in question.  

The past few days I have felt blind, darkness surrounding me so I cannot discern a path...not sure the direction to take.  What once felt so close seems so very far away.  

Isaiah 42:16 says...And I will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.  

Our pastor shared a story recently about a man that told a native of the area that he wanted to climb to the top of a mountain.  The guide agreed to take him and woke him early in the morning while it was still completely dark.  Going up the mountain side, the novice climber could see nothing.  The only thing he could do was cling to the guide's shirt and put one foot before the other.  He had to trust the guide knew the way and that the guide would not put him in harm's way.  As they reached the top, the sun came out and casted light on the journey they just accomplished.  The novice climber was astonished to find that the path He just finished was extremely narrow and winding.  If he had taken a step to the left or right he would have fallen to his death.  

Can you see the correlation here friends?  I must hold tight to the garments of Christ and trust my guide!!  HE will guide me in paths I have not known!! 

The girls and I begin our school day with worship, prayer, and devotions each day.  This morning we had such a sweet time in the presence of the LORD!  One of the songs that just caused me to bubble over with extreme joy is the one attached below!!   

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Good Ole Lazy Sunday

Oh how I love me a good Sunday!!!  We had a great morning in church followed by a lazy afternoon.  Mélika and pooch were enjoying the jokes in Reader's Digest...

 And Kylee was playing with some special horses.  

This is the girl we know and love...90% of the photos I take of her turn out this way...what a silly goose!

We had some special visitors (that would rather remain nameless) that blessed our girls with belated Christmas gifts!  

Several envelopes containing... 

You guessed!  The girls are excited about round 2 of after Christmas shopping!!

Then we had a visit from our favorite toddler!!!  
Oh yeah...her parents came too but dodged most of my photos:)   

Don't ya just want to take a chunk out of those gorgeous cheeks!!!  

The pink team!!

Ok...this was a priceless moment!!  Kylee was on the floor and miss Neely plopped down for a rest.   

We have been asked how we are doing with the disappointing news about the twins.  My honest, quick answer is this...we hurt...but know God has great plans for our future.  Please pray that we will have wisdom and discernment as to how to proceed at this point.  

Friday, January 6, 2012

When God says NO

Have you ever experienced great sorrow and peace at the same time?  That is where I am this evening!

We received word tonight that birthmommy for the twins in Oklahoma gave birth on January 3rd and has decided to keep them.  After seeing their little faces, she simply could not follow through with an adoption plan for them.

Although very disappointed, we know that God has a plan for our family!  The simplest way to put it is that I have given my heart to Jesus...and I TRUST HIM WITH IT!!  He will not give us more than we can handle, and he will carry us and lead us down the path we are to be on!  We pledged to praise HIM whether we were chosen or not.  So, as soon as the email came in, the four of us sat down together with tear stained faces and praised God for his faithfulness, and for growing us on this journey.  I don't know why we have put ourselves out multiple times without being chosen.  I don't know why I felt so very convicted to prepare and pack.  I don't know why it took 63 days to get an answer...any answer.  But I do know that we are being stretched, molded, and prepared for the journey ahead.  I believe that we have been obedient and it has not gone unnoticed by our heavenly father.

After praying together our family sort of went our separate ways tonight.  Hubby brought work home this weekend and got back to it, Kylee went back to the movie she was watching, and Mélika was in texting land with some friends.  My dear friend Natascha came over to sit and pray with you friend!  What blessed my heart was that both our girls came in to check on me and see how I was doing.  We encouraged and reminded each other that we want the Giver more than the gift!

When Kylee came in to see me, she said, "I am doing better than I thought I would."  She went on to say that she has been learning about disappointment in Children's Church (Thank you Pastor Jeff and Miss Liz...she is listening:)  She shared the story of Joseph and how he endured many trials, would gain favor, and then be knocked down again.  But then she said....but look where God took him in the end!  We cannot see the end of this story, but we trust and believe that He has plans for us.  Plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future!!!!

Though the sorrow may last for the comes with the morning!!!!

At War With Yourself

Have you ever seen this clip from the Disney movie Tangled?

Although my situation is MUCH different from that of Rapunzel...I find myself on the same emotional roller coaster.  One minute I am at peace and saying, "God has this all under control...He knows the timing...His timing is best".  The next I am crying out to God, "Lord...but I want the phone to ring arms are empty...can't I just bring my babies home already!!"  Much like Flynn, my hubby sits calmly and states the obvious as I spin from one emotion to the other.  

I know God is in control and can MOVE MOUNTAINS...but will He choose to do it in this situation...for me?  Sometimes in our week fleshy moments we think, if I pray more, spend more time in my bible...etc...He will hear me and answer my prayers.  The reality is that I can't DO anything to find favor with God.  HIS grace is freely given and unearned.  He walks with us daily and supplies our needs even though we don't deserve it.  He blesses us even when we are disobedient.  But what about our wants?  God is certainly not a genie in a bottle popping out at our every beck and call.  I do believe however that He places things on our heart and delights in blessing us with them.  In Matthew 7:11 it says: If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  

Well, I have asked and prayed.  Truth be told, I have also pleaded and begged:)  But it all comes down to this...what do I want more...the gift or the giver?  In those times where I am beside myself with impatience, and long for my little ones sooner than later, that is when I need to cling to the giver of all good things!  In those moments I loose myself in the presence of a holy, just God!!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Growth...and visit from friends

Well marks 60 days of waiting to hear if we will be chosen by Oklahoma birthmommy.  Yep, I am still counting.   I have been reflecting today on the many times God has placed something on our heart and we have needed to walk in faith.  In each of these faith journeys we have had to: overcome the urge to look to the left or the right and keep our eyes fully focused on our leader, remain tuned into the still small voice that whispers to our soul instead of voices of well meaning people, and step out without knowing the path or assurance of a successful mission.  Each time we have prayerfully embarked on this type of journey it has grown our faith and made us more confident to step out the next time.  And each journey stretches and grows us in ways we would never have imagined!  May we never become stagnant but continue to grow, safely in the hands of our Heavenly Father!  

We started off the new year with dear friends from afar.  We first met the Carey family MANY years ago while living in Québec.  We haven't seen them in ten years and were so very thankful they made us part of their Christmas vacation!!!

We talked about old times, and caught up on the new.  

We played games...

and Kylee showed off her artwork.

Thank you for stopping in friends!  Hopefully you will make it to our neck of the woods again soon or we will venture up to the great white north after the boys' adoption paperwork comes through.