Tuesday, November 30

Thankfulness and Feasting

This thanksgiving we had a lot to be thankful for. We are very happily married, we have two very handsome boys, we have a fun family, a loving church family, the greatest friends anyone could ask for and way more than we need. I was reflecting on thanksgiving day on all that God has done for us since last Thanksgiving. He has done a lot.  He has done some huge things and some small things. All very important and meaningful. Some of the small things but still just as important as the big things include:

Me being 15-20 lbish lighter than last than last year (depending on the day of course)
Phillip being in the best shape he has been in a long time
Parker loving and thriving at his school
Beckham being 80% potty trained (we have good and bad days)
Beckham also loving and thriving at his new school
New friends
New members of the family
New volunteer opportunities with the Junior League of Midland

And some of the Huge things I am Thankful for:

Phillip & I's baptisms and our new unity in Christ
Our Best Friends/Family not by blood but by spirt adopting the two most beautiful Ethiopian Princesses
Another great friend conceiving the daughter God promised her 4 years ago
Our little Ethiopian Princess Emerson God has placed on our hearts
God stripping me of my rotten flesh and refining my heart
Phillip's graduation on Dec 11th!!!!!

I know I am leaving some things out. God has blessed us immensely, it is hard to get it all in on paper. We are so undeserving of our blessings. But I am eternally grateful for them.

We celebrated Thanksgiving this year for a whole week. We kicked it off with Parker school feast. I love Parkers little school. I am so grateful that God has allowed us to put our babies there. Here are some clips & pics of his Thankful Feast as he calls it.

I forgot to take pictures of Thanksgiving day! Booo!!! I am rotten I know! But we celebrate it with Phillips side of the family. We had lots of yummy food and I got a to take an awesome 2 hour nap with little B.

On Friday we drove to Weatherford and spent the day with my mom's side of the family. It was great to see all of my cousins and meet my second cousin Ella. She is great! I just love her! I wish we lived closer.

My cousin Eric, Phillip and my cousin Keith doing the dishes for us ladies.
My mom and her grand babies and my Aunt Jeanie and her sweet Ella
Me and my Dad
My Nannie and Papa and their great grand babies
Enjoying each other
My kids with my neice and my cousin's daughter Ella

On the Saturday following Thanksgiving we headed into Fort Worth to take the boys to the Zoo. We had a blast! They loved it. After the zoo we met up with my aunt and uncle and cousins for dinner at PF Changs (Yummy) then my cousin Eric and his wife Natalie went with us to the Gaylord Texan for a fun and freezing night at ICE. 

My sweet Beckham... my camera died after this shot bummer...

These little guys were made entirely of ice! It was awesome!

9 degrees is too cold for these boys!

sweet Ella!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend as well. 

Tuesday, November 9

First Cleaning

I took Parker to the dentist last week. It wasn't his first visit. We went 6 months ago to introduce him to the dentist and to get him comfortable with all the equipment and the dentist counted his teeth. It was a really relaxed first visit. This visit was his first cleaning! A real fluoride cleaning. He was super excited to get his teeth cleaned. I went first just to reassure to him that it was no big deal. Here are some fun shots I got of him getting his teeth all shinied up ;)

He was so proud of his sparkly teeth ;)

Monday, November 8

Spiritual GPS Part2

The devo for last friday was so profound to me. It is simple but it moved me and spoke to me. I will share it with you below.

Isaiah 28:16 says "So this is what the Sovereign LORD says, " See, I lay a stone in zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed."

When erecting a stone building, the cornerstone is the first stone laid and the most critical part of the entire structure. Each subsequent stone will be laid parallel to the sides of the cornerstone oth horizontally and vertically. If the cornerstone is cut perfectly in 90 degree angles, then every line that is projected off the stone will be straight and square. If not, walls can miss their mark by feet not just inches. Corenstones must be true and must be accuarte. They must also be strong to carry the weight of the structure they must support through thte centuries. The conrerstone laid by the Sovereign Lord is Jesus. His ways are true, his foundation eternal.

Our lives are like stone buildings with each stone representing a decision we have made. In my life I have made both random decisions prompted by my flesh and guided decisions prompted by the Spirit and his Word. It's the differenve in trying to find a location in a city you have never visited before by gut feeling or by a GPS system. I'm not great at guessing where to turn in strange cities. Trying at night without landmarks is even worse .However, a good GPS is amazing. If I miss a turn it calls me back, like the Holy Spirit, giving a new set of directives to correct my course and get me to my destination.

In a world where lines are blurred and truth is declared to be ever changing, much like a compass without a magnetic pike, we need a true North to navigate the challenges of life. Jesus is that true north, the cornerstone and the capstone (Psalm 118:22), the beginning and the end. He is our GPS. Line up with him, get where you are going safely, and take others with you.

This moved me. I had steered off of the route that God had set me on. No he is calling me back. But not to do a u-turn but to take the next turn that will lead me back to where he wants me to be. I want so desperately to be in tune to my Spiritual GPS. I fail at times but I know God is not a God who turns his back but a God who lifts your head and tells you to keep going and he sets your path straight again. 

Friday, November 5

Spiritual GPS Part 1

Since this is such a long post I will break it up into 2 parts.
Part 1. Spiritual GPS
As you all know (or those of you who have been following since August) we are adopting a little baby girl from Ethiopia. We don't have an actual girl yet. We are waiting on a wait list for a baby girl under 2. The wait list is not long it should be soon when we get our first referral. (Soon as in 4-6 months). A couple of weeks ago I hit a wall in the process. Not a wall caused by anyone or anything but myself and my emotions. The wall was necessary though. God used that time to work on Phillip and I. We were able to sit back and make sure that this is absolutely something we want to do. Not adoption, we know we are called to adopt. We were trying to make sure that an International adoption is what we are called to do RIGHT now.
On October 7 I pulled up on a situation that is buried itself in my heart. I felt broken and burdened. I was running around town getting some errands taken care of before I went to lunch with some friends. I was headed to a store on the other side of town from where I live. I am usually not over there. Well about 1 mile from the store I changed my mind and just didn't "feel" like going to that store. I can't explain what changed my mind. It just changed in an instant. I was driving home and Parker decides he's hungry so I pull into McDonald's. (We rarely eat McDonald's) As I pull into McDonald's I see 3 cop cars. In a straight row. The first cop car had a mother (who looked like she hadn't showered in months) and the last one had a father (who looked even worse than the mother). Standing by the car in the middle were 2 police officers holding the cutest, dirtiest little blonde boy. The little boy was wearing a green and brown stripped shirt, no shoes, a diaper that looked like it was a week old hanging down to his knees (you could tell his little bottom was raw and he hadn't been changed in a VERY long time). His skin was so dirty, you would see sticky stuff and spots where something wet had dried onto his little legs, and his hair was so matted it looked like it was trying to dread. He was probably 12-18 months old. My heart broke. I wanted to jump out of my car and love on that little boy.  I wanted to take him and bathe him and feed him and tell him he is great and loved. The cops drove away with the parents and the 2 stayed behind with the little boy. I am guessing they were waiting on a social worker to come and pick him up. I felt devastated not knowing where this little guy was going. Would he find a foster family here? Are there any open homes here? I know Highsky's emergency home is full. Would he be sent to another city? Is that family going to love on him and want him? 5 million thoughts and emotions flooded my mind.  I wanted him and I would have taken him on the spot.
I questioned God's direction during that time. He has been working on my heart over the last 2 months about domestic adoption/fostering. I wasn't interested. At the conference he kept stirring my heart about it. I kept fighting him and telling him there wasn't a need. Well through new friends and people I have met I am quickly realizing there is a huge need here. I felt like God led me to that situation so he could break me. I have been praying for a tender heart for needs here. Well he have it, along with a giant flashing sign that there is a need here. There is need everywhere. We just have to be willing to see it. The scales fell off that day. I have been broken ever since.
So I let my emotions fog out God's voice. I was overwhelmed and I wanted to act then. (I'm the kind of person that sees a problem and wants to fix it immediately) I did take time to pray about what I had seen and I told God I needed a clear word on what to do. I don't think in that moment I got a clear word. I was hasty and spontaneous. I called our social worker and told her to change over our adoption plan to domestic. I told her what I had seen and what I felt God was telling us to do. She scrambled to get it done and we were on our way to do a domestic infant adoption. Well as time was passing and we started doing research on domestic adoption I began to feel frustrated and confused about my decision. My heart was still in Ethiopia. I long to be there with those people. I want to love on them and share Jesus with them. My heart was screaming Ethiopia and my head was telling me domestic. So, at this point,  I have totally confused everyone around me including myself. Phillip and I decide to STOP both international adoption and domestic adoption talk and just pray and seek God's guidance and wisdom. We so desparetaly needed his direction on this.
After taking two weeks to pray about it and really trust that God knows what he is doing and he is revealing stuff to us in his timing, we have direction. We know with out a shadow of doubt that we are going to get Emerson from Ethiopia. As long as there country doesn't shut the doors to adoption during or process. We feel like God has put the Ethiopian people on our heart for a reason and this is the way we are supposed to go. Now, about the whole domestic thing... We feel like God showed me that scene to show me the need here so I will be open to the need and open to what he calls us here for. We feel like we will foster to adopt once we are home and setteled with Emerson for a while. If we get Emerson by late Spring then we will start the fostering journey this time next year.
Last friday during my devotional time (The Trust Journey devo) I was moved and God spoke to me. The title of last Friday's devo was Spiritual GPS....  

Thursday, November 4

Madsen Cycle

I so badly want one of these...
I have been looking at it for months...
I see myself now just cruising through my neighborhood with boys in tow....
If you click one of the images below I will be entered in a contest for a free one....

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Madsen Cycles Cargo Bikes

Lord... Please let me win one. I promise I will ride it everyday. ;)

P.S. I really love the blue one!!