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Friday, January 29, 2010

SNOW DAY!!!!

In TENNESSEE we LOVE a "snow day!" The announcement for "no school" arrived last night after the high school basketball game and the party INSTANTLY started. I LOVE the season of life that we are in with Grace (our 13 almost 14 year old). She has entered the "teenager phase" where all her friends hang out together all of the time. They spend a lot of time at our house and I LOVE it! They are so much fun! (messy, but fun) They take me back in time and I thoroughly enjoyed those years of my life. Mike and I stayed up until 12am talking on the couch, AS IF our little ones were not going to be up at their normal times?!?!? Joshua decided to get up 2 hours early (5am) and I instantly thought "what was I thinking? 12am, really?!" Two cups of coffee later, we cranked up the chocolate chip pancakes. After several rounds of pancakes and bacon (can someone say H-E-A-L-T-H-Y?!?) the nurse from the health department pulled up. I heard my kids out the front door trying to read her front license plate....sounding out each word....SSS-uuu-cckkk-iiiinnn.....(my ears perked up) until Michael obliged them and shouted "Suckin Gas and Haulin A**"!! By the time they were all repeating it, she made it to the front door. We would have that "talk" in a few minutes! I asked myself once again....Really?!? I couldn't help giggle under my breath....LOVE MY LIFE!

So it was sweet little Josie Love's birthday this week and I decided that she needed a car so that when spring arrives she can follow her brothers around outside in their vehicles. She hasn't quite mastered driving it yet...I thought I'd share a video of her first few lessons where Michael was trying to educate her.

I couldn't help but relate her driving to life. Don't we just wake up each morning and it is "pedal to the metal!" We go NONSTOP, forward, backwards, forward, backwards throughout our entire day. When I got up this morning I had the time to read Jesus Calling and have a few quiet moments with Joshua and my sweet Saviour. The peace that I have had all morning sure does surpass the crazy driving that typically takes place each morning. My heart longs for more "Snow Days". Sometimes, we need these little reminders to be still and feel HIS presence. Thank you Lord for these little glimpses of YOUR glory IF we'll just take the time to desire a relationship with YOU.


video
Saturday, January 23, 2010

CHECK IT OUT!



Gwen and I are SO excited to show you guys our newest tee for 147 Million Orphans! We have had the opportunity to partner with Project Hopeful. They encourage, educate, and enable people to adopt children with HIV/AIDS.

This cause is so close to my heart. When Mike and I received the HIV results for Josie Love we were B-R-O-K-E-N. Our heads and hearts were shattered into so many pieces that we had NO IDEA what step to take next. The Lord brought us Carolyn (founder of PH) as a gift straight from heaven. She stepped in and got down to business. We gave Project Hopeful's attorney the reins and instead of 9-12 months, Josie Love was home in 7 weeks. They walked Mike step by step through all of the paperwork while I stayed in Uganda and finished Josie's medical care. The Lord connected our hearts to this ministry and this family. Gwen was working an Adoption Conference while I was away and met Carolyn in person. They instantly connected and Gwen has had a passion for Project Hopeful ever since. I LOVE the way the Lord just connects all of the dots. Josie Love is a product of this ministry. Because of that, Gwen and I want to do everything possible to help Carolyn.

We designed a tee that blends both of our projects together. 50% of the profits of this tee will be given to Project Hopeful. I look into Josie's face everday and tell her..."I chose you! YOU were created to be MINE!" The back of this tee says "chosen 1". Our hope is that you will buy one and "Choose" to feed, care for, adopt, love, help an orphan. Won't you join us in this partnership and help little ones just like Josie Love all over the world! You can purchase one of our new shirts at 147 Million Orphans.blogspot.com. The sleeves are a raspberry color, and the writing is in chocolate and mustard. They are so soft (same as our feed 1's), you are guaranteed to love it!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
A couple of weeks ago Katie came home to be with her family and rest. One of her first stops was to come see little miss Josie Love. You should have seen her face when she laid eyes on Katie. She started screaming and laughing and could not get into her arms quick enough!
She wrapped her little arms and legs around Katie and did not let go for at least thirty minutes..it was the sweetest thing on earth!



I haven't blogged lately because I really haven't had any words. Watching the people in Haiti on TV and going from the infectious disease doctors office to the health department for all of Josie's care has left me "weepy." While traveling to the health department, tears just steadily rolled down my cheeks. The feeling of defeat fills my heart and mind a lot these days. ( The grey skies and rain just add to my "weepiness".) My cell dings and it is a text from Katie "what's up?" I thought "you really wanna know? you REALLY WANT TO KNOW?" I called her and just fell apart over the phone. She listened and sincerely said "I AM SO SORRY....life is hard it just plain ole' stinks" We talked about the warfare that accompanies orphans......and satan...HE IS SUCH A DECEIVER...he makes it a point to try and steal my joy DAILY. Now, the normal person would say "look at your life......you have SEVEN children, you are running 147 Million Orphans, and helping Katie with Amazima.....what do you expect?"

Well, since you asked.....I EXPECT My sweet Saviour to pull me up from my darkness and fill my cup with HIS presence. He promises me this. HE WILL NEVER LEAVE ME NOR FORSAKE ME. perhaps it is in His timing and not mine, perhaps He is letting me "sit in it" until I compare my circumstances to those in Haiti......hhhmmmm.... I am driving through WILLIAMSON COUNTY (horse farms to the left and right), IN A CAR, not by foot, with air blowing in my face, drinking my diet coke and crying...is it REALLY that bad? Hard? YES Bad? no

We are not called to an easy life, as a matter of fact my Bible says this:
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'

45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'

46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

These verses are a little bit unnerving to me.... He is literally talking about casting people into hell. I do not have a "works based" relationship with Christ so these verses do not taunt me to try and "do" more and more. But if we are BELIEVERS, shouldn't our hearts yearn to do more? Shouldn't we ask ourselves "am I dying to self daily all for the sake to bring joy to my Saviours heart?" if not, what ARE we doing with our lives?

this first pic I was weary from cleaning up messes, so I put all three of them to mopping up the commode water that they had been playing in

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lifting up my friend/sister


My sweet sister/friend is at the hospital right now. Gwen adopted a special needs little girl that was a burn victim from China two years ago. Her "special needs" was no hair. When Gwen arrived in China to bring her home, she realized that you could see her pulse in her scalp where she is missing hair. Which leads us to present day. Sweet little Maggie went in today for scalp extenders. The extenders that they put in today will eventually be filled with saline to stretch her scalp so they can pull the healthy skin over the part of her head that was so badly burned. Pray for healing and no infection. If it heals well, with no infection, then they will go back in and put in bone over the exposed part of her brain. This is the second time that they have had this surgery. The first time infection was found, and they had to remove the extenders. When I talked to Gwen earlier she said that they shaved her whole head, the procedure went well, and that she would probably swell pretty bad. Pray for Scott and Nana at home with her three other children, and for rest for Gwen at the hospital. You can follow her journey at Oatsvallteam.blogspot.com. Gwen serves the "least of these" on a daily basis. Her heart is bigger than anyone else that I know. It is a true privilege to walk through life with her on a daily basis. There are really no words to express how much Gwen and her family mean to me. let's lift them up sweet friends!
Friday, January 8, 2010

"God's Will for My Life"

I just had to add this pic of my new niece from India (Mia) isnt she precious? Caleb is quite intrigued with her also.
STINKER!!



This post has me feeling many mixed emotions. While adoption has completely changed my life spiritually, emotionally, and has filled me TO THE CORE with joy, it has also taken my days to a WHOLE NEW level of just plain ole HARD. I spend at least an hour each day just sitting in my kitchen floor. Not because it is my seat of choice, but because that just happens to be where I land when my 4,3,and 2 year old all decide that they want me to hold them all at the same time. So, I literally just sit and prop my back up against the cabinets. That way they can all just roll and whine and kiss on my face and they all have plenty of space to just be on top of me all at the same time.@#$?!?!# I usually speak aloud "okay, just take a deep breathe and they'll get distracted in a moment and I can pick up where I left off." Sometimes they do, and other times not, so we just SIT as long as it takes. During the holidays I had 2 weeks of just sitting in the floor. Then 2 more snow days....and I reached my point yesterday. My 6 and 8 year olds decided to argue for 2 hours straight on top of me just sitting in my kitchen floor with the little ones rolling all over me. I screamed at the top of my lungs "I QUIT! I AM QUITTING MY JOB! I AM TIRED, AND YA'LL ARE JUST GOING TO HAVE TO FIND SOMEONE ELSE FOR THIS JOB! I QUIT!" silence.....silence....the look on their faces was as though I had 3 heads! (mama doesn't scream much...I'm not sure why, because it felt really good at the time...My mother never screamed so I guess it is somewhat foreign to me)

I had a sitter come today and I got a chance to get out a little bit (Thank you Lord for sweet Ali!)so I feel much better. I thought about that moment a lot today and I couldn't help but wonder why the Lord has called me to this particular life that I am leading. I can say with certainty that I didn't "choose" it, HE did and I am a little perplexed about it.

One particular part of our adoption story is that the Lord spoke to me AUDIBLY for the first time in my life. Now, I know some of you are thinking "audibly? are you sure? how does that really happen?" and I will be the first one to say that before it happened to me, if you told me that the Lord spoke to YOU audibly I would think "hhmmmm not so sure about that!" SO, I totally understand if you have your doubts. But HE did....clear as day..."I HAVE A CHILD FOR YOU" and he sure did have a child for me! Joshua's birthmom made her adoption plan THE SAME WEEK that I heard those words! I started paying more attention to thoughts that I would have. Sometimes things will just pop into your head about someone or something and you think "where did that come from?" START PAYING ATTENTION...it just might be the HOLY SPIRIT. Most of the time it is. After that moment I started acting on my thoughts. If someone popped into my mind that I hadn't seen in awhile, I would send them a little note in the mail and they would call me later and tell me about something bad that had happened that EXACT day that my note arrived...HOLY SPIRIT! Start paying attention to those little thoughts...the Holy Spirit is sending them to you.
As I look around at the body of Christ these days, the HOLY SPIRIT is missing. I think that we need to forget about "God's will for my life". God cares more about His spirit leading us TODAY than what we intend to do for the next year. We are so caught up in trying to figure out what His will is for our future that we are numb to what he is whispering in our ears TODAY.
Most of the time we are fearful of making mistakes, so we try to figure out what our 20 year plan looks like. He doesn't promise us a plan, He promises us that He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. Or if you feel like I felt yesterday, you want to know what your future holds so that you will see light at the end of the tunnel.
It is much easier to use the phrase "God's will for my life" as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience. It is much less demanding to think about God's will for your future than to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next few minutes. It's safer to commit to following Him SOMEDAY instead of TODAY.
Many of you have heard the Holy Spirit whisper to you about adoption but you choose to ignore it because of ALL of the circumstances that surround you that might make it a hard road to follow. Is that you?
Each of us that know Christ have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us. As we walk together through this lifetime, let's pray BOLDLY that we will desire His Spirit to guide us and that we will follow it moment by moment and not quench or resist it. (even if you are sitting in the kitchen floor with children all over you!)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Perception....


I am beginning to feel as though the holidays are slowly coming to an end. We just celebrated Christmas with Mike's side of the family on New Years Eve. His sisters travel in from other states, so because of Christmas landing on a weekend this year, it pushed things back a bit. I have really enjoyed staying home and just being with my family. I haven't had to dress up, put on make-up, fix my hair or any of those things that I typically feel the "need" to do when going out. ( YOU southern women understand, that's the way the way that we show that we "have it all together...everything is under control". Hair rolled and "set", fully faced with eyeliner, blush, lipstick, and not to mention the "outfit" that fits just "so")

The other day, Mike was at work, my two older ones were asleep and my five younger ones were playing with their new Christmas "goodies". I was trying to get a little bit of my LOTS of laundry done that had accumulated over the days prior. The phone rang and it was a girl from Atlanta that I was going to meet near the interstate and get some 147 million orphan gear that she had left over from a fundraising party that she had done for a friend that is in the process of adoption. I got off the phone, started calling to the kids to get in the car so that we could meet her and "what before my wandering eyes did appear? Two little WHITE brown kids that looked like powdered covered doughnuts!!!!"





I grabbed them, took them to the car, and off we sped to meet my friend from Atlanta. I did NOT want her to have to wait on us because she was doing ME a favor. I have not had time to take down my Christmas lights in my van, so they were ON (Yes, I drive a 15 passenger van that has colored Christmas lights strung all along the ceiling for us to REALLY feel as though it is CHRISTmas!) As I am talking to my little ones about staying out of my bathroom and I look in my rear view mirror and there are BLUE lights flashing and the officer is pointing his finger telling me to pull over. SERIOUSLY? The officer walks up to my van, peeks into my back window (no doubt to see how pretty my Christmas lights look inside) and saw my little powder covered chocolate doughnuts in the back. By the time he reached my window, he was at a loss for words so I obliged him and said "Yessir, it's been ONE OF THOSE MORNINGS!" He kindly checked my record and saw that I am a law abiding citizen rather than someone from the "looney farm" and let me go without a ticket for speeding. My mind INSTANTLY went to "what does he REALLY think of me?"
We had a conversation at my in-laws house about how everyone opens their gifts with a smile for fear that we might disappoint the one who spent money and time buying it for us. We got tickled thinking about the responses that we might receive if we were ALWAYS honest about the way that we really feel about things in life rather than thinking about others feelings. Here are a few of the pics that came out....


We laughed at each other and had so much fun while opening gifts this year. I looked through these pics later, and these faces remind me of some of the looks that I receive sometimes when I am out with my children. I have a choice to laugh or cry. (Gwen reminds me regularly..."we laugh...we DON'T cry!!!!) So most of the time I laugh. This morning during my quiet time I was reading in Samuel. He was lecturing Saul on his desire to follow Christ.

Do you think all God wants are sacrifices-empty rituals just for show?
He wants you to listen to HIM!
Plain listening is the thing, not staging a lavish religious production.
Not doing what God tells you is far worse than than fooling around in the occult.
Getting self-important around God is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors.
Because you said NO to God's command, He says NO to your kingship.

What do I REALLY focus on? Things that are of importance to the world or to my Saviour? He is VERY clear in the things that are important to HIM in scripture. And most of his heart issues are not "fully faced, hair fixed nice, cute outfit on, all together and under control!"

HMMMM....when I think about Christ's heart He seems to have all sorts of upside down viewpoints. "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt 5:3) He said the first would come last and the last come in first. (Matt. 20:16) The weak are considered strong, and the strong considered vulnerable (1 Cor. 1:27-29) The poor are rich and the rich are poor (Rev. 3:17-18) The humble are exalted, and the proud are brought down. (Luke 1:52-53)

Maybe it is MY viewpoints that I am BOMBARDED with DAILY in our comfortable little world that are "upside down?"

My prayer for the New Year is that my heart will be MORE and MORE in tune with Christ and Christ ALONE. That my focus will be HIS heart and the lens that I look through daily will be CLEAR and not tainted with the world...join me?

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suzanne
I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.
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