Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Show Hope | Empowered to Connect Conference

GREAT adoption resource coming soon to Iriving, Texas Feb. 17-18.  This conference will be super beneficial and will feature Dr. Purvis, author of The Connected Child.  I've heard her speak twice and read her book twice.  She's fantastic.  Make plans to attend---AND see the amazing ministry that Show Hope does for orphans all over the world.

Show Hope Empowered to Connect Conference

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Heavy Prayers

I just submitted my homework project for the week...with 1 hour to spare until the deadline!  I've been wanting to send this post out so since I finished early(wink wink..pushing it down to the wire), I'll post now.
There are so many burdens right now.  I'm feeling such a burden to pray.  Several of my friends and family members are struggling with big stuff:  flooded house, job not going well, marital strife, need for Jesus in their lives, infertility, babies and families separated and waiting for government offices to get off their butts and grant travel clearance, need for a word from the Lord telling them what step to take next, need for healing.  Such big stuff!  I can't fix any of it.  I can only pray. Ironically, the Gateway Devo app(on iTunes store for free download this month) is a month long daily devotional about prayer.  Perfect timing, cause I need to learn more about prayer. Here is my favorite memory verse. 

Hear, O LORD, my righteous plea; listen to my cry. Give ear to my prayer--it does not rise from deceitful lips.  Psalm 17:1

And of course, one of my all time favorite passages in Habakkuk. I love the last part of this passage because it describes how the Lord will help us climb that rocky mountain by making our feet firm!  It doesn't promise an easy and unencumbered climb.  Some climbs are flat out HARD!  But, He makes our feet like deer....swift..agile...sure footed...and able to climb those big rocks.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,  yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
 The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights. Habakkuk 3:17-19

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

it works for little ones too

Back to the Love and Logic.  Yesterday morning I had to do something and I'd told Hudson to play in his room.  He cannot be alone for 2 seconds and must be near me Always!!  I heard his door slam and I went to investigate.  He was sitting on his floor surrounded by Dillon's DS games and he was holding Dillon's wallet.  BUSTED!  I reigned in my usual response, which is anger, and went for shock and awe folks.  Just as I learned in Love and Logic, I mustered up the saddest and full of empathy voice I could.  I said "Oh Hudson, I am sooooo sad that you chose to disobey mommy by getting down Dillon's DS games.  And what are you doing with his wallet.  As soon as the word sad left my lips, his eyes squinched up, his mouth opened and he wailed!!!!  He wailed and wailed and wailed--heartbroken sadness.  I didn't even have to do anything.  So, I held him calmly while he was a basketcase(once he begins down the slope of tears it lasts a long time--this is a common issue for children who've experienced trauma and disruption of attachements in their lives).  Just as Love and Logic states, I got to be the good guy and we were so sad about his choice of disobedience.  Amazing.  I'm hopeful that I can stop reverting to my flash of anger and  use sadness instead.  Try it.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

How Mike and I had a lunch date...at home

So, Mike and I have been listening to Jim Fay's Love and Logic cds.  We listened to it many years ago and thought it sounded like good stuff.  However, it wasn't relevant back then.  The kids were young and, sadly, Mike and I thought we had this parenting gig licked.
Now, what has changed?  Oh, yeah, we have a teen and a tween!  Those cd's and the stories in them are cracking us up.  We are living those cds. 
Perfect example today:
We get in from church, late and hungry.  Mike and I begin scrambling to make a decent spagetti lunch.  Funny, the kids are scattered.  Nowhere to be found.  Lunch was on the table, all the work done by Mike and I, and no children.  So, we implemented Love and Logic.  We planned what we, the adults, were going to do to with our lives.  We sat down and ate a nice lunch, alone!  We had great conversation, uninterrupted.  No sight of the kids.  You see, it is our fault.  We've trained them to be L..A..Z...Y.  They fully expect lunch to be made and then us call them to the table.  No more.  They are plenty old enough and capable to assemble lunch.  As of this writing, 2:04pm, Carter hasn't come out of his room.  I guess he's sucked into the vortex of some engaging electronic.  Too bad, he's gonna be awfully hungry this evening.  I'm so sad for his hunger!!  HAHA, no more hand holding here.  I highly recommend you guys check into this parenting system.
 Click HERE for the Love and Logic website.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

too many changes coming

When Mike and I were newlyweds, he served as a full-time youth and music pastor in west Texas.  There was a certain teen boy who had some special needs.  God was preparing us for our future way back then.  One of the "Davidisms" that Mike and I quoted for years and years was "Too many changes."  You see, David was becoming a man and not a kid in the youth group anymore.  Mike and I were moving on to a new adventure and poor David felt lost in this new world without his beloved Mike(Mike taught him to shave and wear deoderant).  Now, I'm using the phrase "Too many changes."  I dont....like....this!! 
Carter turns 16 in 2 weeks and we are preparing to get his driver's license.  He is going to look for a job.  The day he drives away from this house, without Mike or I, I'll hit my knees in prayer!  We are planning our summer family vacay to the beach and I realize that he may not get to come with us.

Abigail JooMee is talking about how in 7 months, she'll be 12 and gets a cell phone(6th grade seemed like a long way away when we made that agreement!).

Dillon, well, God knew I needed Dillon.  When I wake him up in the morning for school he asks me "How was your sleep momma?"  He is growing and changing and becoming more mature too, but there is still that sweet child.

Hudson, the 4 year old going on 20!  He corrects me, spells things, sings constantly, and begs to go to school.  I filled out his preK enrollment papers last week.  Next year he will go to TCA 5 mornings a week.

I'm being left in the dust.  All I've ever wanted was to be a mommy and have people need me.  My youngest sister started kindergarten when I moved off to college.  I couldn't wait to move back home after the first semester.  I'd pick her up from school and we'd hold hands and sing Sandy Patti's Friendship Company.  When Mike and I got married, I couldn't wait to have a baby and would stare at people with babies.
Now, nearing age 40, it is over.  Closing a door on a 20 something year fixation.  Too many changes...
And, just to clear something up...no...I don't want another one :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

No fat trimmed yet

Not exactly doing fabulously with trimming the fat.  17 days into the new year and we've burned up the roads, which means a lot of gas money.  We've also stuffed our faces twice, which means the eating out envelope is bust already.  Not making my goals proud.  I have, however, been much better about menu planning and cooking(except for the couple of restaurant stops).  Hopefully we can improve slowly and see a real dent.  You see it isn't because we don't have good jobs or are bad with our finances.  We just really want to be good stewards.  Of what good is it if followers of Jesus consume every dime they make on themselves and their desires?  In Radical, Platt talks about how much is enough?  When do we decide to stop increasing our spending and intead, increase our giving?  Tough questions, my friends, tough.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

yep, that's my son!

4yr old Hudson just said "someday me go on a mission trip"
He's been in our family 2yrs and 4 months and already talking about going on mission!  How stinkin exciting is that?  His favorite song is Josh Wilson's I Refuse.  He belts out "I don't want to live like I don't care, I don't want to waste another empty prayer!"  My mom and I were talking about how maybe God will use Hudson to reach the millions of hurting and lost in North Korea.  Wowser, that is a big dream!

Which reminds me, I'm taking a poll:
I've been asked to lead a breakout session at a women's conference in the city this March.  It will likely be  2 one-hour sessions in between the keynote speaker.  People choose what workshops they want to attend. The topic is my choice.  Of course, my passion is adoption and reaching out to others(mission and such). But, that doesn't really pack in the crowd.  So, I'm asking for your help.  What to talk about?  I wish I was funny and whimsy and creative--those are the kind of sessions people like to attend.

raising children to be other-focused(show pics of Mike and Carter on their Outward Focused Life Roadtrip)
big age spreads in kids--teaching 1 to pee in the potty and 1 to drive at the same time
am I spread too thin?  work, kids, school, church...
my trip to Haiti
living a life of purpose
tithing and trusting
when you realize your child is "special"
when the Lord tells you to do something, is your default Yes or Whoa--wait a minute
why you should care about orphans

Leave me your thoughts please(comment, email, Facebook).

P.S.  April 24th is PINK Impact at Gateway Church and Beth Moore is speaking and Kari Jobe is leading worship again!!!!!!! I'm so excited, I've had my tickets since late November :)  I just might break out into one of my late 80's cheers, complete with blue mascara, pink lipgloss, and doodoo roll bangs.

Monday, January 9, 2012

We've already got a teen, now a tween??

The above pic is the first time we met Abigail Joo Mee.  Her foster mother had her all dolled up.  We met in the office at Eastern Social Welfare Society in Seoul. Sweet and compliant little girl, with a stubborn streak, just to keep things fun.  She's 11 now.  The tween has hit.  Just yesterday she came holding a pair of brand spanking new flats that are too tight.  I had tried to talk her into black ones.  She wouldn't listen and insisted she liked the beige patton ones.  Guess what, never wore them, not once--Oh wait, unless you count the time she wore them to walk the dog around the block because she wanted something to "slip on."   Great choice dear.  I got on to her about wasting the nicer clothes and shoes that I buy and how she wears the same old ratty things all the time.  I asked her if there was a better solution to wasting brand new nice shoes.  She had a solution alright.  She said "I'll just wear tennis shoes everyday."  Gonna pull my hair out one at a time somedays.  Carter is almost 16 and has gotten much more likable the last month or so.  And now, my sweet princess, the only girl in the house, she's entering the twilight zone of tweendom!!  PS, her bedtime is 9:10--yes, I said 9:10 because I'm a cool mom like that.  Not a pansy 9pm bedtime like children, a very cool 9:10 bedtime.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

developing stories

The gorgeous baby girl Brad and Melody were hoping to adopt from the foster system....the judge(for some crazy reason) granted a 6 months extension to the birthmother.  Thus, the child who has lived the first 11 months of her life in foster will continue in foster care--not a forever adoptive family.  The heavenly Father has a plan, to my finite mind it seems like a frustrating and painful one, but He does have a plan! Addendum this afternoon:  Daniel Doss wrote a song called Stained Glass Windows about he and his wife struggling through infertility and several failed adoptions.  He gave the testimony at church today and then sang the song--boohoo and yet Hooray Jesus for the glorious testimony!  Look up the song on you tube--it is great!

Carter's mission trip to South Africa is going to a be glorious story of God working!  A sweet friend gave him a check yesterday towards the costs.  Out of the blue.  She loves missions and is so excited for him. My mother-in-law said something the other day about how glad she will be when he gets back on US soil.  I told her that I was certainly going to cry when I see him walk out of the terminal at DFW.  The relief and joy that he is back home(heck, he is only going for 8 days, you'd think he's going to be gone a month they way I'm talking!).  I'm excited for him and I wish I was going, but really, this is something he needs to do and excell at...and see how God uses him as a young man, without his mom and dad.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Trimming the fat in 2012

Several days ago I was jogging in the early morning.  I just happened to be listening to David Platt teach on "The Gospel and Materialism" (sermon from mid October) on my ipod.  This post-Christmas trash heap was outside a neighbor's home.  Creeper--yes, I am, I ran home and got my camera.  I just couldn't help it.  I wanted to be reminded of all the trash that materialism generates.  Platt was interviewing Katy Davis of Amazima Minstries(click the button on the upper right side of my blog to read about her work in Uganda).  Simply amazing, humble, radical, and counter-culture living. 

What does that have to do with us, with me?  I so desire to not forget, to remain cognizant that about 25,000 children will die today from starvation, untreated diarrhea, and contaminated water.  I want to trim the fat from our comfy middle-class life and be able to help.  A trip around our house revealed some startling info about having more than we need.
Dillon has 40 short sleeved shirts(includes play Tshirts, school Tshirts, and nice collered shirts).  We didn't buy all of them, many were given to him.  And, I just love thrift stores, so many are second-hand.  However, what 9yr id needs 40 shirts??  No one, I tell ya.  Hopefully in 2012 our family can trim some fat and share.  These kids at the feeding program Mike visited in South Africa sure don't have 40 shirts.

We are going to try to eat at home more.  I really want to plan my menu and grocery shopping better.  The couponing went out the window after 8 weeks.  I just don't have the dedication.  Better planning and control of my impulse decisions will help.
We also want to not waste so much gasoline.  Folks, Texas is HUGE.  We drive thousands and thousands of miles each year.  Yesterday alone, I made 2 trips into the city and Mike made 1.  Do you know how much gas and money-not to mention time that is? 
So, a few more snip-snips here and there will trim some fat so we can honor Jesus and give to the poor.  More than anything, I want our children to grow up understand they are blessed and that they must share.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What's in store for 2012?

A new year!  I love a new year:  making To Do lists, making new prayer lists to tape up to my bathroom mirror, making resolutions that I'll keep for 2 months, all the new possibilities! 
Here's a few 2012 plans for me(well, I guess I should say us). 
1.  Accomplish some more of our house projects we've needed to do for years.  I did finish painting our front door and it looks smashing!  Tip learned the hardd way:  don't paint your front door with oil-based paint when it is 40 degrees outside.  Nuff said!

2.  Stick to a cash flow plan and pay off Mike's truck balance early so we can save like the dickens--college is 2.5 years away!!
3.  Prayers for our family to honor Jesus in our words and deeds(I seem to especially struggle with the words part) and I want to use my words for blessing not harshness
4.  Continue asking God for a miracle so Dillon can speak clearly
5.  Carter is going to South Africa over Spring Break--without Mike or I!!  I really want him to learn a big lesson--that God will provide for his needs if he will work hard and pray.
6.  For me to finish my BSN strong and not peter out.  And, then, to enter grad school IF the Lord so desires
7.  Mike assumes the role of Chief Administrator of his school tomorrow!  I'm praying for wisdom, peace, vision, and unity in the staff and that the students would be a light and desire excellence.