Friday Favorites - Summer 2014

I love summertime.

Although spring, fall, and winter all have their good-qualities, summer is my favorite.

Because we are saving for our adoption, we decided against a big family vacation this year.  We still had so much fun! Here are a few snapshots of our summer:

Jack played T-Ball for the first time and loved it!

Jack's pirate birthday was a hit!

 Titus LOVED his minion birthday party!

The boys took swim lessons together and learned so much!

Emmalia celebreated turning 2 with a rainbow-themed birthday!

We joined our local pool for the first time this summer. We were so glad we did!  We will be joining again next year.

What fun things did you do this summer?



LID - We Are Moving Forward!

Our Logged in Date (LID) is August 25, 2014!!!!

We are LID!
We are LID!!
We are LID!!!

Thank you so much for praying!  God is truly amazing - going beyond what we could even imagine.  We are so grateful that one (HUGE) step is completed.  

**Remember to check out my Adoption Timeline (at the top of the page) for more details.**

The short and long of it is: we are now waiting to be matched with a referral. Before we can be on the Waiting Child (WC) list, we need to have a conference call, which will be scheduled next week sometime.  
Some good news is about referrals that might make this process not take as long:

1. We are open to quite a few different special needs.
2. We are already LID.
3. Our agency is getting referrals every 2-3 weeks (instead of once a month like they used to).
4. When talking with my social worker today, she mentioned in passing that we couldn't wait until November to do the training because "we will more than likely have a referral by then." _ WHAT?!

We are completely expecting that the referral process will take the minimum of the six months as originally planned. HOWEVER - we are praying and hoping that God brings us to her sooner!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your prayers.  I know that God is answering!  He has shown us great and mighty things.  We are so excited that you are a part of this journey as well.  

Just a quick question: 

If we were to have some type of fundraiser - would you be interested? Leave a comment on the blog, on Facebook, or email me.  Thanks!!

My Best Yes

I stood in front of my son.  He had disobeyed me.  He had argued. He had fussed.  Every ounce of me was frustrated.  I was tired.  I was busy.  I disciplined with a quick action and left stomping mad. 

My heart dropped when I dropped into the chair upstairs.  Is that going to teach him anything? I asked myself.  I let my anger and frustration dissolve away in prayers to God.  I asked Him for forgiveness. 

Mommy’s sorry. I said to him, explaining the discipline. My rushing to finish my task almost cost me a moment lost with my son. How many other moments have been lost to me just trying to rush?  Why did it seem that ever since I started writing, I was feeling so off balance not at peace with my life?

That was me.  I lived with a sadness of an underwhelmed soul.  I would plop into bed at night dreaming about all that I didn't get done.  I resolved to get up earlier, stay up later, or just do better. My days filled up with stress, schedules, and sadness.

My soul, these past few months have been spent focusing on my schedule and routine.  Since my husband lost his job back in February, we've been searching for a routine.  The upheaval from that weighs me down.  I began writing as well.  What started out as a simple blog, has become so much more than that.  My dream is bigger now. 

Was writing a Best Yes for me, right now?  Doubts flood through my mind.  Guilt evades my heart every time I sit down to write a sentence.  Was I choosing writing over something more important? Was my mothering suffering because I was choosing to write now as well? What is my Best Yes?  To answer this question, I needed wisdom.

I began to evaluate why I was so hesitant to write and why my life felt off balance since beginning to write.  God began to show me that I had neglected to put Him first and I had doubted whether He was calling me to write.  Confessing my lack of faith in both areas released a weight I had been carrying.  He still must come first - above my marriage, above my children, and now above my writing.  In the quietness of my heart, He showed me that writing was something He really did want me to do.  It was not chosen on a whim.  It was not decided with haste.  He wanted me to write.

I questioned whether I could be a good mother AND a good writer.  Neither will come without work.  I've made mistakes in the past.  I will continue to make mistakes.  There will be times I will rush through life and not live in the moment.  But as I grow in wisdom, my heart will know what the Best Yes is for each season.

Motherhood is my first vocation.  My family is first.  I will not always do it right.  But, I will no longer feel guilty for choosing writing. I have all the resources (time, ability, money, passion, and season) to invest in BOTH of these callings.  After a conversation with Jason, I was assured that he felt the same.  Nothing has seemed to fall away since I have been writing. 

I have had to say small “no’s” along the way.  No to a Bible Study on a particular night. No to dance lessons for the two-year-old.  No to helping with VBS.  No to singing in the choir.  No to joining too many home school groups.  Through these no's, I've found My Best Yes:

Motherhood and Writing

You must check out Lysa Terkeurst's book, The Best Yes
Order from Proverbs31.org and get some free stuff!!

Make sure to look at the TheBestYes.com and see some great videos and extra resources!!

 I'm linking up with The Best Yes Blog Tour.  
Head over there and check out the other inspiring 
Best Yes stories!



Motherhood is a Journey

Nothing humiliates you like children.  They are experts at "showing themselves" in very public places:

Grocery Store.
Doctor's Offices

We stand looking into their little faces and wonder, "Who ARE you? And where are MY children?" 

The ugly cries.
The demanding voices.
The defiant responses.

The bright red crawls up our necks and faces. We wonder what others of thinking of us.  At worst they are thinking we are horrible mothers, at best they pity us.

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering (Col. 3:12)

Nothing teaches your mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, and longsuffering more than a tantrum in the check-out line. 

Can I say something I need to hear?

Embrace those moments.  They are changing you.  Those little day-to-day moments bring you closer to who God wants you to be.

Motherhood is a journey toward Christ-likeness.

When I brought my little guy home for the first time, I was overwhelmed.  Overwhelmed with exhaustion, overwhelmed with the pressure of caring for a little one, and overwhelmed with joy. When I began that journey six years ago, I did not picture myself here - in the midst of chaos, crumbs, contentment, confusion, and Christ-likeness.

"Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful....And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to  men." (Col. 3:12-15, 23)

We love that last part: whatever you do, do it heartily as to the Lord. We cannot miss the context. This passage is teaching us how to react in family relationships.  In verses 18-23 Paul speaks about how wives, husbands, and children are to treat one another.  Our family relationships are there to honor God - not men (or ourselves).

I want well-behaved children in public to make ME look good.  Do you know what God wants me to look like?  Him.  God is more concerned with our Christ-likeness.  God is more concerned that we reflect who HE is than who we think WE are.  These family relationships are to change us from the inside out to be more like Christ.

What does this list look like?

The fruits of the spirit! (Gal. 5:22-23)  As we daily, sometimes hourly, put on these things we slowly but surely become to look like Christ.

Instead of punishing, extend mercy.
Instead of a harsh, terse word, speak kindness.
Instead of a proud (I'm always right because I'm your mother) attitude, be humble.
Instead of yelling, use meekness.
Instead of sighing, be longsuffering (patient).
Instead of bitterness, forgive.
Instead of anger, love.
Instead of stress, live in peace.

Motherhood is a journey toward Christ-likeness.

Notice I said "journey."  Motherhood is a living breathing thing.  We are constantly changing with our children.  I am not the mother I was six years ago on that day in May when I brought my baby home.  I will not be this mother (today) this time next year.  God is ever-changing me. Hopefully, I am changing to look more like Him!



Friday Favorites - Favorite Children's Book

One of my new favorite children's books is an adoption book:

God Found Us You
Lisa Tawn Bergren

"Little Fox cuddled up to Mama Fox one night and said sleepily, 'Mama, tell me again about the day I came home.'"

And so the Mama Fox tells her baby how she waited and waited until God brought them together.

"Oh how I longed for the day that you would arrive, when God would find us you."

This sweet book is such a wonderful story to help explain adoption to young children, especially toddlers.  I have already read it to my two sons.  My six-year-old loves and it helped him understand how this "new sister" would be coming to our family. 

 Of course I cannot wait to read it to HER one day.  It also explains interracial ideas, why might "the other mother" could not keep him, and other similar adoption topics.  I feel in love because the focus of the book is not on the birth mother, the child, or the adoptive mother.  The focus in on God.

The companion book is

God Gave Us You
Lisa Tawn Bergren

I plan on getting this book as well!

Happy Friday and have a good weekend!