The Lord is our Portion

The Lord is our Portion

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Happy 21st Birthday

Our 2nd child and 1st born daughter turned 21 years old!
Today I was thinking about her and the story of her birth. God has sustained her since she was in my womb. At 26 weeks gestation my body was in preterm labor and I spent the next 9 weeks on bed rest (we had just moved to a new home and  Blessing #1 was only a little over 10 months old!). God preserved her little body and born only 3 weeks early she was healthy and weighed 9 pounds! Satan had sought to seek and destroy yet God protected (John 10:10 says  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full) God then used circumstances following her birth to bring me to repentance and to know Jesus as my savior. As a child Blessing #2 was saved and then baptized. God used the birth of Blessing #2 to give us life - a full life. It amazes me thinking on her birth story and how God used it to change the trajectory of our family and generations to come!

Our sweet girl has always been very tenderhearted - she cried watching the Bambi movie when she was about 2 1/2 years old (we didn't think they would catch on to Bambi's mom dying). She is meek yet strong willed (when needed), kind, persistent and determined. Ever since she was 8 or 9 years of age she has wanted to be a missionary to China. This summer the desire of her heart became a reality as she went on her first trip to China and the love she has had for the people there was deepened.

Blessing #2 you are a blessing and a dream come true that some day I would have a little girl that I could dress in pink and do her hair. I will never forget the moment I seen you and how beautiful you were and all the hair you had when you were born! I have loved watching you grow and mature through these years. God has done so much in your life and this year has been a year of major spiritual growth for you. I am excited to see what He has planned for you this year as you continue seeking Him.

Monday, September 19, 2016

24 years of marriage

 
24 years of marriage! Since the day we met while still in college we have been together for 9,709 days! We were able to celebrate by going out for Chinese dinner at PF Chang's. We both feel so blessed to have spent more of our life together than apart - we have grown up together…. and are still growing up together. This past spring we were able to attend a Weekend to Remember what a blessing that was - we have always felt we have a good relationship yet we needed a tune up –we learned so much about how God views marriage and that weekend gave us a renewed commitment and vision towards our marriage relationship. I am glad to walk beside my best friend for life.
From that day forward only by God's grace we have lived our vows:
  • lived together after God s ordinance in the Holy Matrimony
  • love her/ him
  • comfort her/ him
  • honor and keep her/him
  • in sickness and in health
  • forsaking all others keep you only to her/him
  • have and to hold
  • for better for worse
  • for richer for poorer
  • in sickness and in health
  • to love and to cherish forever
AS LONG AS YOU BOTH SHALL LIVE - Thank you Lord for the gift of marriage. Even our marriage does not belong to us - it is from you and for your glory. May we walk and live out our marriage in ways that brings you glory and points others to you. Thank you Father for your grace in our life and blessing us way beyond our wildest imaginations. Lord please continue to direct our steps and lead our paths as we seek to follow you with our lives, marriage and family.





Monday, September 12, 2016

2016-2017 school year has begun

We are a little late on doing our first day of school pictures (as usual). This year like every year is a little different for us. We have some new extracurricular activities scheduled which means we are a little more strict on our morning schedule to get our lessons completed (blessing #4 can't sleep in as long as she wants!).We are also doing our weekly homeschool co-op again which is the highlight of our kids week. Thankful for the opportunity I have to be home with our kids all day and homeschool. Its extra work but I wouldn't trade it (well on most days). I love that we can pour into our kids the truths of God, creation, the authority of scriptures, how to think through things with a biblical worldview and most importantly how much Jesus loves them. I have so many fond memories of discipling our kids through the years and grateful for them. I really love watching them learn, grow and develop their personal interests. I really like the close relationships they have with each other.
This year Blessing #3 has a part time job now which she loves and is taking college courses online again but this year hopes to take three. She is continuing to work on her art portfolio for college scholarships.  Also, has just started taking guitar lessons and is planning on auditioning in a couple weeks for vocal in our churches youth band*. Blessing #4 has wanted to do dance lessons for years, so instead of drama we found a Christian dance studio and she is taking lyrical dance -which she is totally loving it. We also signed her up for a six week ballet class for homeschoolers where she will be learning the dance moves as well as history of ballet and studying certain ballet performances. She also will be doing open gymnastics. (*update-she is part of the band now and is so excited)
 
Blessing #5 is doing Trail Life which is basically a Christian boy scout program seeing he is total all boy this is right up his alley and he is super excited about it. He is also going to weekly gymnastics with blessing #6 which is great for sensory input. He is above in math and reading like crazy-beyond any beginner reader so we will see how the 1st grade curriculum we have works for him. We may need to bump that one up so he's not bored although we are huge on making sure they know all the phonics "rules".  Blessing #6 since the first day we had her in China has always had dance movement and flexibility like we have never seen in any of our kids-like she can do complete splits! So after much prompting from my oldest daughter and prayer we signed her up for gymnastics. She will also take part of the homeschool dance ballet program (only the class for younger ages) that blessing #4 is doing. We will see what happens with all this. Hubby and I are not big fans of putting your kids in too many activities because childhood goes so quickly and play is very important for development.
  
Our traditional first day (not to school) homeschool lunch - Blessing #1 created this: grilled peanut butter with bananas and chocolate chips...the kids always love it and it is a special treat for them.

Blessing #1 is in his senior year of college! He is working for a professor and looking into grad schools as well as opportunities to take a gap year. Blessing #2 is in her junior year of college is in the choir and has a job on campus. Looking forward to what God has planned for us this school year and seeing all the growth academically, physically, emotionally and spiritually in our children this year (and us).

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I get by with a lil help from my friends....

In our world today so many people are "too busy" or are more concerned about their needs or wants to take the time to care for or invest in people. God is never to busy and sees our needs and won't leave us hanging to navigate this life alone...so I have been reflecting about the wonderful dear women God has brought in my life - especially throughout this past year and a half and I am very thankful.

I am so grateful for the adoptive mom friends. Being an adoptive momma can be draining at times. Also, sometimes isolating because often no one gets our kids, you loose friends (its hard to stay connected when you barely have time to breathe some days), you don't want to share the trials with people outside your home because of fear of rejection or maybe you already have been rejected and don't want to experience that again. These friends - adoptive mommas have been a life breathing source for me...we get it, we get each other, we get the chaos that comes from adopting, we can cry with or in front of each other, be quiet together, we text each other encouragement, we go to retreats together (or run them), or go to mom's day out, we take dinner to each other, we support one another to carrying on with this huge calling God has given us, we pray for one another, we have no expectations of each other, we understand if we can't call or if it takes 2 days to reply to a text, we are there in crisis, we comfort each other, and love unconditionally.

This year two monthly support groups were started in our area. That has been a blessing meeting so many great people. There is so much to be said about community. We have really enjoyed these evenings and the fellowship outside of the groups that we have with them also.
My sweet friends from the Thursday embrace adoption group I will never forget how you listened to me and prayed for us and we would not be where we are at today without the two of you in my life.

To the sweet woman at the adoptive moms retreat who felt impressed to pray for women and had an announcement that there would be prayer that afternoon - I was the only one who came for prayer. You told me that God did that for me - He impressed me on your heart to intercede for our family.... out of all the women there (almost 300) and I knew immediately when I heard the announcement I had to go for prayer.You dear sweet lady, I will be eternally grateful that day changed my heart and let me see God was in the midst of this and our lives have changed since that day.

The wonderful Godly biblical counselor (ACBC) who weekly impressed Gods truths on my heart every week for a few months. She helped me to see that my despite my trust issues from my upbringing I can trust and believe in God and His plans for me are not to harm me but to make me look like Jesus. God is trustworthy and he has not nor will He ever abandon me I am not forgotten by Him and He is never too busy to care about me. He is my Abba Father.

Also, the sweet women (and men) we serve with weekly at the food pantry who hug us, love my kids, even agree to be interviewed for college papers and help her with it, you pray for us, send texts to us and even offered to let us stay at your home when our heater needed to be repaired. Thank you for loving us and also for sharing your struggles with us so that we can pray for you. There is something so sweet about serving together this way - it is a wonderfully run ministry our family is so glad to help at.

For my sister and non-adoptive momma friends I love you all too. This year you have listened, encouraged, supported, respected decisions we made for our family, prayed for us, met me and/or my girls for coffee and/or dinner or shopping, loved us unconditionally and challenged me to keep going and growing in this calling.

As the song says, "I get by with a lil help from my friends..." I am forever thankful for you all and look forward to spending eternity with you.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

end of summer pool party

 
Growing up my sisters and I always enjoyed swimming in our uncle and aunts pool. Even though we had a pool growing up it was always a treat swimming there because of the diving board and slide. Now we get to enjoy watching all our kids swimming there! Our kids love the slide and jumping off the diving board! (even our little two have no fear)Yearly we all go and hang out at their house for a pool party. The kids always enjoy it and its super fun. Its really sweet watching my uncle and aunt with their grandkids! Thankful for memories like this.