Thursday, September 30, 2010

TWO New Family Members This Year?

Our little family just keeps on growing and in unexpected ways.  No, we didn't find out we're suddenly expecting twins.  Would it offend you if I added a sigh of relief after that one?

We've sponsored a new child through Compassion International.  A six year old boy from Guatemala.  And we are so happy to have him as part of us now!
I say it happened unexpectedly because we had other intentions for the monthly sponsorship money.  Our own intentions, like lessen the strain on our monthly income since Richie's salary has been reduced like so many others during the current economic situation.  So nothing extravagant, but God still had other plans.

I pulled into the parking lot to cancel life insurance policies we had on the boys and as I opened my car door, God began to speak.  He basically told me that the monthly payment we were making on the life insurance should be used to bring LIFE to another child right now.  

And now we have a new child in the family.  Caleb helped choose which child should receive our sponsorship. Honestly, I was leaning in a different direction, but I want our kids to have a connection with our Compassion child(ren), so I left it mostly up to him.  It has been amazing how this child that we will likely never meet has already worked his way into our hearts! 

Of course, the minute I see any of the pictures of the many children waiting to be sponsored automatically grabs my heart.  I've been crying over these children and those like them since I was a child and saw my first Sally Struthers commercial.  (Do you remember those?  I would seriously bawl.)  My heart breaks for the littlest of these.  I remember when I've traveled overseas and the conditions the "less thans" of this world live.  The dirt, the stench, the poverty.  The loss of hope.  The need for Love. 

So, I find it a privilege that God would lead us to this little one and use us in his life.  He may not be in my home or within arm's reach, but my prayers and God are never far from him.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'd Rather Have a Tooth Pulled

If you ever hear me say that, you'll know it is a serious, serious matter.  Either that or I'm in serious need of having some sense knocked into me.  Let the Spirit lead you.

After having a year and a half of issues with a tooth, it was extracted today.  Two days after I had oral surgery to determine the source of my trouble.  Until today, there were no answers as to why I was experiencing pain, infection, and bone loss.

When the tooth was removed, perforations in the tooth that were never sealed from a root canal were discovered and determined to be the root of the problem.  Pun totally intended.

As the pain medication and numbing agents wear off and I realize I have another two hours before I can take anything, I'm developing a new life strategy.  Having a tooth pulled could be my new motivator.  My new measurement.

For example, would I rather sit in traffic for an hour or have a tooth pulled?  

Or...would I rather spend the night with someone throwing up all over me or have a tooth pulled?

Discover my shirt is inside out after speaking in public or have a tooth pulled?

Puts a whole new perspective on things.  Gotta clean out a freezer that broke while we were on vacation?  No problem.  Match up 40 pairs of almost-identical-but-not-quite socks?  Piece of cake.     

So I'll choose to focus on that instead of the fact that I cannot have the one thing I was looking forward to today (outside of the normal hugging my kids responses) because I'm not allowed to drink through a straw for 24 hours.  

A milkshake, or five, would've made this so much better. 


Saturday, September 18, 2010

For God So Loved The World

I was struck once again this week by the unfathomable love of God for His creation called mankind.

We are studying ancient history this year in our homeschool and have been using the Bible as one of our primary history books.  I really have no words to adequately describe how awesome this has been!

One of the topics we covered this week was the story of Cain and Abel. As we read and discussed this passage (Genesis 4:1-24), there were a few things I had never really paid attention to before.  BUT there was one thing specifically that stood out from the rest for me and that was God's love for Cain.

The condition of Cain's heart was just plain yucky.  He did not have the right attitude when bringing an offering to God.  He is unrepentant and angry when God is not pleased with his offering and then decides to exact revenge for this upon his own brother, Abel, by committing the first murder in our world's history.  And it doesn't stop there.  He does not confess to his sin when God gives him the opportunity and he does not repent for taking his brother's life.

As God delivers Cain's punishment, Cain whines and is fearful that someone will kill him because he is now a "fugitive and vagabond on the earth."  And this is where the love of God completely blows my natural mind.  God marks him so that none will kill him.  

The mark wasn't to let others know of his sin.  God placed the mark there to protect Cain.

He loved Cain, an unrepentant sinner, so much that he still offered protection for him.  What is this uncomparable love?   

This Love is what saved me.  This Love is what changed my life.  Bringing a broken woman peace and joy.

This Love, this is what I hope to reflect.  What I hope to carry and deliver.  The legacy I want to leave behind.     


Sunday, September 12, 2010

God Doesn't Serve Leftovers

Open your mouth and taste,
open your eyes and see how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.
Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness.
                    Psalm 43:8-9 The Message
My thoughts are on how each time I'm worshipping my Heavenly Father, it's different.  The experience is never quite the same.  Always an original recipe.

Today I tasted His sweetness.  The sweetness that leaves me satisified yet longing for another heaping spoonful.  Call me a glutton, I want more.

I saw His beauty.  The beauty that brings tears to my eyes.  The beauty that speaks of His glory.  His majesty.  His holiness. 

I am so thankful that I am one of His.  That all five of my senses can experience His goodness.  And that He is always generous in serving His portions.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

My Heart Is Smiling

There are homeschooling days when I wonder if we can really do it.  Days of discouragement and frustration.  Even when I know it's best for our family.  That it's what God has called us to do.  There are still those days.

Today, thankfully, was not one of them.  And I needed to write down what my boy said before I forgot, so on those days I can look back and remember.  Or maybe even to remind him in the futture.

We were discussing timelines and historical dating for history today and I had him make a timeline of his life.  We were sharing events that he might want to put on his timeline and I mentioned the date when he began homeschooling.  He heartily agreed and said, "Yes, one of the best things that has ever happened in my life."  My heart began to smile.  

Later as he was filling in the actual timeline, he was brainstorming what to write under the date and said,"The day my future changed for good."  And outside of the day he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, it probably was that kind of a day.    

I cannot explain how much it means to hear him acknowledge the value of this path we're on.  That he enjoys it and is happy. 

Perhaps it would be more appropriate to say my heart is beaming.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Sneak Peek

Because the sun is shining... 

Because the morning air is crisp...

Because God is the author of life...

Because you're never supposed to start a sentence with the word because...

Because I won't be observing labor day until some time in January...

I thought I'd take a moment and introduce you to the one we'll be welcoming this winter... 

He has a hand in his mouth in this picture.

This is our Titus Josiah!

We look forward to the day when we get to meet you face to face, precious one.  Our hearts are already full of love for you.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Stinky Week At Our House

No, literally a stinky week at our house.  The olfactory system has been getting quite the workout around here recently.

First, my house smells like onions.  It's what happens when a large mass of onions are diced up in order to be dehydrated.  And let me tell ya, my pregnant nose and stomach really do not like the smell of a large mass of diced onions.

The outside of our home smells like onions, too.  We put the dehydrator on the front porch so the heat doesn't affect our kitchen and you can actually smell onions in the backyard.  Lovely.

As a side note, I also cook with my crock pot on the front porch in the summer to avoid the extra heat in the kitchen. It's a great! Especially when you do not have an air conditioner near your kitchen.

So, I'm beginning to wonder if we smell like onions.  Would someone we know tell us?  But then again, how do you begin THAT conversation?  Maybe they just thought we had a loaded onion omelette for breakfast.  Or an onion smoothie perhaps.

I think I just almost made myself gag on the onion smoothie thing.  Sorry.

Now the good news bedroom does NOT smell like onions. 

The bad news is that Abigail dumped strawberry flavored fish oil on the carpet in our bedroom.  

Wanna guess what our room smells like now?  Why do I feel like I'm the only one stuff like this happens to sometimes?  Anyway, it has been our hope to replace the flooring in our room some time soon (well, at least since a flooring guy we know told us the carpet would be bare soon), but until we can scrounge up gather that money, I need some good ideas on how to get the smell of fish oil out of carpet. 

Anyone have a good solution?  I would be ever so grateful.


Friday, September 3, 2010

From Their Mouths

The boys have said a few things in the last week about the new baby, pregnancy, etc. that I want to jot down before I forget...
Last Friday morning I was explaining to Samuel that we'd be going to see pictures of the new baby.  I reminded him of when we went to see Abigail's ultrasound and saw the baby's hands and feet and he was super excited.  Then he told me that he wanted a boy baby, that we needed a boy baby.

When I asked him why, he said we already had a girl baby, so we needed a boy baby.  I told him that I had two boy babies - a Caleb boy baby and a Samuel boy baby.  He started laughing very hard and then reminded his silly mommy that he and Caleb were not babies.

No, Samuel dear, you'll always be my baby.
In the ultrasound room both boys cheered when they heard we were having a boy.  I didn't know Caleb had a preference either way until then.

That night he shared with me that God had answered (in the affirmative) one of his prayers.  Apparently he had been praying that we would have a boy.
Richie asked both of the boys what they thought we should name baby boy.  

Samuel:  Diego - yes, as in everybody's favorite animal rescue hero
Caleb: John - because he decided he liked that better than his name

Which leads me to something interesting I've watched with Caleb through each of my pregnancies.  He tests out new names.  In Kindergarten, he decided to change his name to Zach.  He was in public school then and thankfully had a wonderful teacher who handled it really well when one of her students kept writing a different name on his papers.  It went on for several weeks and then just kind of went away.

During Abigail's pregnancy, he wanted to be called Jeb.  It didn't last nearly as long.  So I guess now he's outgrown the phase of "trying on" names and can just verbalize that he thinks he likes a different name more.
Caleb started telling me that there should be 10 kids in the family.  When my eyeballs came out of my head and threatened to attack him he brought the number down to six.  He has also informed me that I should be pregnant by July next year.  My eyeballs restrained themselves from inflicting bodily harm on the child, but they wanted to, I just know it.  And Samuel keeps telling me that we should have more babies, too.  
The boys are so sweet.  Talking to the baby, hugging my belly.  Caleb gets really concerned if I'm doing something he thinks might hurt the baby or me.  I love being able to see this side of them!  Gives me great hope for their future wives. *smile*  I also pray its the beginning of beautiful and lasting sibling relationships.