Monday, February 27, 2012

Our Next Blessing...Next Adventure

Noah and I are so excited about ADOPTION!!!

Our Story:  Within our first year of marriage, Noah and I agreed that we wanted to do two things:  1. Name our first daughter Magdalena and 2. Adopt.
We have always been open to it, but for a while it was not at the forefront of our minds.  When Walt was about 13 months old, we just began to feel God tugging at our hearts, and so we filled out our preliminary application with Bethany Christian Services and met one on one with someone there to ask all of our questions.  At the time, we wanted to enter into the international adoption process, but when we left, Noah was leaning strongly towards domestic adoption.  With certain guidelines that had to be followed for international adoption, we waited six more months for me to turn thirty years old, the required age by China.  Then, in September of 2011, I went to the international adoption meeting.  Everything about it just wasn't right for us, and after the meeting our social worker talked at length with me.  I called Noah on the way home listing a ton of fears, but yes, I was feeling God calling me to domestic adoption.  And so began our next adventure....

Noah and I have completed some of the larger steps of the adoption process, and the closer we get to the end, the more excited we are about it all!  One of the reasons we have waited in telling everyone is that this time of the year is special to us as we raise money for the March of Dimes in memory of Magdalena.  It is going to be tough finding a balance between two huge things, but we are too overwhelmed with excitement to hold it in anymore!  We may have a good bit of notice or just a few days when we have been chosen by a birth mother.  We are awaiting the honor of calling our future child our own, loving it, waking up in the wee hours of the morning to feed it, and all of the other adventures that come with a newborn baby.

One of the ways that all of this will be possible is that we have joined with Just Love Coffee.  If you drink coffee or know someone who does, go to to see how they are helping us.  With each purchase of coffee, a portion of it goes into our adoption fund.   You can click on the "fundraiser" tab to see the amount of each item.

PLEASE continue to pray for us!  Let us not be impatient or unsettled as we wait.  Also, please pray that the birthmother may feel the arms of Jesus around her as she carries a baby created by God.
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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentines Day

Growing up my mom made every holiday, big or small, fun.  We would wake up with a special breakfast and little happis to acknowledge that the day was different.  My oldest sister does a fantastic job at keeping up the tradition.  Whereas, my creativity is definitely lacking.  I decided to really try this year with oatmeal in the shape of a heart and little happis for Walt to know that it was a special day.  Walt was a little hesitant, but it wasn't long before he enjoyed his playdough and Star Wars marshmallow (Daddy got one too!).  To this day, my mom does not consider us adults on holidays, a fact that I am glad of, and so we get happis just like Walt does!

Mimi brings her Valentines Day gift to Walt.
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Monday, February 13, 2012

Chocolate for Valentines

Just like I don't like shopping in the madness the day after Thanksgiving, I don't like crowds when I go out to eat.  This past weekend we had a romantic time cooking our meal together.  We chose something simple, and we ate an appetizer while we cooked.  The night before I made our chocolate dessert, and although it was a new recipe, it turned out to be a hit in our house.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Weekend

This was a weekend full of emotions for Noah and me.  On Friday, we went to a visitation, and I prayed as I waited my turn that the right words would form in my lips.  Really, I just wanted to give my sweet friend, who is now a widow, a huge hug.  Any verses or words of comfort that I could have given her, she knows in her heart, she just needs sweet time and to be loved by those around her.
Noah and I made a kid-swap date with my sisters a month ago so that on this particular weekend we would have date nights for Valentine's Day.  While Walt partied with his Loli, Uncle Stephen, and cousins, Noah and I did not go out, but we stayed in, cooked together, ate a delicious meal together, and watch a romantic movie.  It was fun to have that down time together after the visitation and in preparation of saying our goodbyes the next day.  

The funeral was beautiful.  I left knowing that our sweet friend would have been pleased at how we spent that time remembering him and praising Jesus.  Psalm 116 was read, and I have put it below because it was perfect. 

Noah and I were thankful that we had plans with our nieces and nephews to keep our minds and hands busy that evening.  And so my sisters went out and all of the cousins came to play at our house for a huge sleepover.  Walt LOVED waking up surrounded by his favorite friends!  We all had a blast, and I am so thankful to be near my family right now.  It is weekends like this that I am reminded how hugely blessed I am to have them in my life.  We each are so different, and together we create a fun-filled, loving family.  

ylove the Lord, because he has zheard
my voice and my pleas for mercy.
Because he ainclined his ear to me,
therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
bThe snares of death encompassed me;
the pangs of Sheol laid hold on me;
I suffered distress and anguish.
Then cI called on the name of the Lord:
“O Lord, I pray, deliver my soul!”
dGracious is the Lord, and erighteous;
our God is fmerciful.
The Lord preserves gthe simple;
when hI was brought low, he saved me.
Return, O my soul, to your irest;
for the Lord has jdealt bountifully with you.
For kyou have delivered my soul from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling;
I will walk before the Lord
lin the land of the living.
10 mI believed, neven when1 I spoke:
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 oI said in my alarm,
p“All mankind are liars.”
12 What shall I qrender to the Lord
for all his benefits to me?
13 I will lift up rthe cup of salvation
and scall on the name of the Lord,
14 I will tpay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
15 uPrecious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his vsaints.
16 Lord, I am your wservant;
I am your servant, xthe son of your maidservant.
You have yloosed my bonds.
17 I will zoffer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving
and scall on the name of the Lord.
18 I will tpay my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in athe courts of the house of the Lord,
in your midst, O Jerusalem.
bPraise the Lord!

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Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Update from Last Post

Thank you so much for all of you who prayed yesterday.  The couple that I told you about was definitely on my heart for a reason yesterday.  The husband is now with Jesus. Please pray for the wife, the family, and all of us who will be missing him so much.  We all know that he is in awe of God's beauty and having some conversations with some of his favorite people like C.S. Lewis, but he will be missed until we see him again.
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Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Dear Refuge of My Weary Soul

I have so many friends fighting for their lives, but tonight I ask that you pray for two of them. And when they are too weary too pray, let us all pray for them now.

When I was in college there was a woman who truly changed my life. Back then I was not even close to the person that you know today, and God used my sweet friend to truly change my heart. We enjoyed talking about scripture over a glass of wine, and she would pull out her bible that was worn with much use to read directly. Over the last year she has beat so many odds, and basically showing doctors it is God who is in control no matter what type of medical degree you have! I say all of that because today especially my heart has been so heavy for her and her family. I ask that all of you would take a moment right now and pray for my sweet friend and her family. You don't know the details, but God does. May God wrap his arms around all of them so that they may rest in knowing he has not left them nor forsaken them.

An outstanding wife and husband both have been diagnosed with cancer within the last year. The wife is just beginning treatments now as the husband's body is becoming so tired in this earthly world. They are an amazing couple who is special to both Noah and me. Please pray for them and their family right now.

I ask this of you because I know that even now when I am overwhelmed with hurt and grief there are days in which it can be so hard to pray, but those are the days when I need to feel the closest to God. In those times, it is your prayers that I have felt and God has answered. If my friends should have these same times, it is my hope that all of us who love them, will carry their prayers for them.

Be sure to pause the music at the bottom of the blog before pushing play!

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Jesus Plus Nothing = Everything

Between the title of the book and the fact that the author,  Tullian Tchividjian, is the grandson of Billy and Ruth Graham, my expectation of what I would gain from this book was low.  Many people get book deals with their familiar connections.  I know Jesus is everything, and I know the gospel.  After being blown out of the water when reading the first chapter, I found myself realizing how much it is that I need to be reminded of the gospel.  Like Tullian, I too grew up in the church.  Jesus' name and the fact that he died to save my sins is a part of my everyday language.  This book really caused me to reflect on whether or not my life is lived to know the gospel to be true.  

"We recognize that the gospel ignites the Christian life, but we often fail to see that it's also the fuel to keep us going and growing as Christians." (page 37)

I "know" that Jesus died so that I could have freedom on this earth because there is nothing that I can do to gain my salvation.  Jesus has done it all by paying the ultimate price, and yet, I am living in the chains of self reliance....."what we need to do, not what Jesus has done becomes the end game" (page 46).  With scripture being thrown into every sentence, Tullian shows how we have taken the focus off the cross and put it on ourselves.  We don't need to simply tell others the gospel, we need to be reminded of it daily and to reflect on its meaning.  This is a gift to us!  This is our daily sanctification!  

I gained more from reading this book than I imagined that I would.  It was the gift of being reminded of my salvation through Jesus, and how ridiculous I can be by trying to earn my way by doing certain things in my life.  

Even if you are not a big reader, this book is a simple read full of scripture and reminders of our beautiful Savior.  I would recommend this book to the newest and most seasoned Christians of all ages.  
"Pascal expressed it well when he said that we should make people wish the gospel were true, then show them that it is." (page 125)

Also, the publisher, Crossway, has brief videos that are less than five minutes to coincide with each chapter's reading.  You can click here to view them. 

Note: I was provided a free copy of this book by the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.

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