Friday, February 25, 2011

5 Things On My Mind....

I am strictly doing this for my friend Randee...who is a faithful follower and gives me undeserved coolness by mentioning every now and then that she "misses my blog". It makes me smile when she does such things.

So, here goes the 5 things on my mind...right now, anyways!

1.  Things haven't gone as happily along as we had hoped on the adoption front (but we are praising God for other families that have accepted and are waiting to meet their new children). We are praying that God would continue to have favor on our process and that we could be united with our little guy or gal as soon as He sees fit! No matter what the story, we trust that He is still sovereign and we are constantly reminding ourselves that He hasn't forgotten about us here. When you think about it, please pray for families adopting, as it is sometimes can feel like we are wandering alone in the desert land.

2.  I am excited about JBF coming back to town and my ability to get into the pre-sale this weekend! I am more prepared than  I was last time, as I know what I am looking for AND that curling up in the fetal position will get me NOWHERE in the masses of crazed moms! There was seriously no mercy in that building. But this time? Stoller section....I will own you.

3.  My husband is leading worship this Sunday at the church I grew up in (shout out GFCC!). I don't get to go. Dumb graduate school project.

4. Speaking of graduate school....4 more weeks. That's it... Unless, of course, the whiney people win out and get the presentations backed up a week to make up for idea of  which I ? am not in favor of. It will be nice to be done. To actually NOT have stuff to work on all the time, as opposed to my current system of just ignoring those things by sticking my fingers in my ears and shouting "Lalalalalalalalalalalala..I can't heeeeear you". 

Yes, that will be nice.

I can already hear the playing of 'Pomp and Circumstance' in my head every time I think about it!

5.  I just finished reading There Is No Me Without You. It. Was. Riveting. I was actually really disappointed when the book ended. I highly recommend you read it...but don't read it without a huge box of tissues, or maybe some chocolates..or mashed potatoes...we all grieve different, afterall.

Don't judge me, I am an emotional confirmed on WebMD.

So, that's where I am today. Just trekking along...answering the phone with anticipation every time it's an area code I don't recognize and then throwing it down in anger every time it's an automated call (dumb telemarketers using up time the agency might need).

It's not pretty. But it's truth.

Happy Friday to all!

{Show Us Your Life...and your stuff}

Today, over at Kelly's Korner, the topic is all about stuff you make! 

I starting thinking...How could I....

a self-respecting, adoption-fundraising, fabric-endulging, waiting momma....

possibly forgo the opportunity to showcase some of my most favorite creations (all in the name of bringing home Baby Smith) for ya'll to browse through and order??

I couldn't. 

It just wouldn't be right, ya'll!

For those of you who don't know, we are currently "expecting" our first little guy or gal, all the way from Ethiopia, sometime this year soon... hopefully... {please God, please!}..If you want, you can read all about our adoption journey [so far] here.

We were almost 10 months into the process before I remembered how much I enjoyed sewing (don't judge me) and lugged out my old (and now retired) sewing machine to get started creatin' away. I started with these cutie-pie little bib and hat sets:

(word to the wise, click on the pics to see them completely..Unfortunately my blog face cuts off the last pic)

2 bib set/ bib-cap set $12 each.  Click on the picture to see the last photo completely

and it wasn't long before my passion for all things "unique-baby" morphed into something more like this:

Shirts and onesies for kiddos $10 each. Click on the picture to see the last photo completely

and this:

Shirts and onesies for kiddos are $10 each. Click on the picture to see the last photo completely

and before long, friends were suggesting I do things like this:

Flowers are $5 each. Don't mind the model, she was puffy that day. and the lighting was bad. and she had had too much caffeine.....

and then I decided that bundling items together (like this) was perfect for showers and baby-gifts:
2 piece gift set (bib/flower-cap, bib/burp cloth, flower-cap, burp cloth) $12 each. Winter caps $10 each. Click on the picture to see the last photo completely

And now I have creations that range from:

Monogrammed onesies and shirts: $10 each (plus shipping)

3-piece gift-set $18 each

4 piece gift-sets $28 each

$5 flower clips
My personal favorites: Africa tees $10 for kids/ $12 for adults
 and last but not least...the "original":
Tie onesies and shirts $10 each.
Feel free to email me at for more information on ordering! 

Thank you for checking out our adoption fundraiser, "Journey of Love"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day... about saying "I love US"!

Once upon a time, there was a girl.....
 who liked a boy.....
And when he finally said he'd go the Senior Prom with her, she knew it was gonna last....
Nevermind the fact that they were from rival schools......
This picture predates our union...but the story is the same =)
We knew it was meant to be.
And to this day.....
There is no other person I'd rather create 80's jingles out of billboards with....

There is no one else I'd rather travel to distant lands with....

There is nobody I'd rather raise a family with....

Than him.

I just love who we are together.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Giveaway Opportunity

Hello fellow AP's out there!!!! Can I get a "Woot woot" for Fridays?!?!

*tap*  *tap*

Is this thing on?


Well, anyways.......

Check out A Bushel and a Peck today for an incredible giveaway opportunity!

It's Dr. Karen Purvis.

Enough said.

P.S. If you are somewhere warm? Enjoy the sunshine for me this weekend..It's colder than Alaska where I live. No was colder than Alaska yesterday...we beat them by 15 degrees. And their temperature was 3.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

He Is In Control.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7

A few days ago, you might remember my optimism towards our journey. I was having a "good day" for sure.


I am making my requests known to God with thanksgiving that He is sovereign.

I am asking that His peace be renewed in my heart and in my mind.

And I am replacing anxiety with trust in Him.

This journey isn't easy. There have been things have have simply frustrated me..and there have been things that I sincerely feel must be changed.

I want Baby Smith home now. But I am thankful that they do their due diligence in making sure no corruption is part of our story. I am blessed to know that our child is being well cared-for. And I am certain that this road will not end prematurely, because God is in control.

These are the things I was prepared for and am willing to deal with.

The pain of waiting is greater than the pain of no communication, for sure. 

But I am not angry. Because here? I know that it is all for the good of the child.

My prayer is the the only delays in our journey are part of God's plan. That no man-- nor the enemy-- will even get a foothole of control in our child coming home. That however long it takes, it is never out of God's hand. And that our beating hearts would be still while we wait.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

My subconscious.

There I was....minding my own business.

Being all positive and zen and cool with all this "waiting" nonsense?

And y'all remember how hard it is for me to be *cool* anyways, right?

And what did  I dream last night?


The call. 

All about the call. Where I was, what she said, how I felt.

My subconscious?

Is a traitor.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Pray for them.

In Adoption-World?

The wait... can feel like a moving target.

There are so many question marks.

You wait ? number of months for a referral.

Then you wait ? amount of time to receive a court date.

Once you've passed court, you wait ? amount of time to get your embassy appt.

All before you can bring your precious child home.

And question marks are really hard because on good days, you fill in the blanks with small, appealing numbers.

But on bad days? Well, on the bad days, those question marks can feel paralyzing.

Today, I am having a good day. I am optimistic and hopeful. I am seeing good things from the agency and hearing even better things from other familes.

Today, I am optimistically filling in those question marks.

But I know some people who aren't. I know some people who feel incredibly overwhelmed by the question marks. And my heart is heavy.

I can't help but ask myself, 'What can I do???'

I mean. They are 'question marks' afterall.....
But even as I said it, I knew the answer.....

We pray.

There is a story in the Bible about Moses when the Israelites were battling the Amalekites. As long as Moses kept his arms lifted high, the Israelites were winning. As soon as his arms fell? The enemy started succeeding. But Moses was growing weary. He couldn't keep holding his arms up alone. That is when Aaron and Hur came along either side of Moses. They held his arms up for him so that the Israelites were victorious. (Ex. 17:11-13). Moses couldn't do it alone, he needed others there to lift his arms when he grew weary.

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecc. 4:9-12 (NLT)

Satan would love to steal your hope. He knows God has the ultimate victory, so he's going to try to get as many battles won as possible. And we just can't do this thing alone. We can't do it without God. And we can't do it without each other.

This {adoption}journey is a battle. When we grow weary? The enemy has an open door to successfully defer our hope. We all need "Aaron and Hur" sometimes to hold up our arms so we can remain victorious. Pray for them in the way God leads you, remembering strength and perseverance in the battle!

When you're having one of those amazing *good* days? Pray all the things you are positive are going to happen over your friends. Pray for renewed strength, pray that they are encouraged and rested. Pray for God's favor in their situations.

Maybe even send a card to let a waiting momma know you are thinking about her and praying for her heart as she waits.

And when you are having one of those *this is never gonna happen* days? 

Listen. Because prayers are going up on your behalf. 

Trust. Because God has never forsaken you. 

And persevere. Because you aren't finished yet.

We are in this together. We can do this. Together!

“So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.” 1 Thess. 5:11 (NLT)

Compelled. {re-post}

 [Originally posted Nov. 12, 2009]

Last night, during an "impromptu" meeting, I was addressing some concerns and observations. In my conclusions about what was happening in life and what my place would be...I decided that "I would rather not". 

Those are interesting and difficult words for me to say. Trust me, I walk NOT in false humility. I truly have been humbled...and it wasn't fun. 

I have felt I earned and, even deserved things in life... 

and I have had important things washed away like sand castles during high tide. 

I have felt rejected, lost, hurting, and soaking wet at times in the middle of storms and I have carefully tried to remember those feelings and remain humble. 

I know, my personality is 'matter of fact', and I rarely put up with foolishness for very long....but don't make the mistake of wrongly associating those traits with pride or self-elevation... 
These things I tread lightly around...

I say all this to say that by the end of that meeting, my conclusion was no longer simply "I'd rather not" but became, instead, "Okay, I will...but I'd rather not"... 

See, there are a lot of things I would do for the people I care about without even giving a second thought...I think about giving organs to loved ones, even giving my life to protect my family...I sometimes give my lunch to the guy standing at the stoplight, I would give money, clothes, shelter to friends...all out of love for them..and I think MOST of us would say the same thing. That doesn't separate me from the masses. 

But in this case? 

There was only ONE reason why I agreed. 

I was compelled by the One that has given his life for me, and in return, I have given back the life I owe, to serve him.

Weeks ago, God began impressing on my heart 2 Cor. 5:14-15:
"For the love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced of this, that One died for all, and therefore all have died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again." 

I love that verse. My spirit jumps every time I read it...but I didn't really understand the "Why" of it all...Sometimes, as a minister, I feel led to immediately research scriptures. To dig to the depths of a thought or verse... but in this case? I just kept reading it.

Over and over... Until last night.

It was then that I really needed to know the depths of Paul's words...because it was then I recognized that they were no longer Paul's words alone, but now they were my words also. 

I was compelled by my love for His love for do something that, in all honesty, I would be fine without. 

You see, the idea is that Christ's love so completely controlled and dominated Paul's life that he had NO CHOICE but to preach. He wasn't forced in the negative sense of the word, by way of a gun to his head or a threat looming over... He had just come to the careful conclusion, by thorough examination and analysis, that Christ HAD died for all... and that by reaping the benefits of having him on that cross, representative of our sinful nature? All had died with him... 

So, for Paul (and me) there was no other option but to live fully, 100% for Christ...even to the point of doing things I (in my humanity) would rather NOT do. To serve Him...

No one here on earth can force, sway, or influence my decisions anywhere remotely close to the way Christ can, simply through His love for me...

How could I say no?

How can ANY of us say Him....?

I have been reading some amazing commentaries on these few verses and may make a series of posts digging deeper into what Paul was REALLY saying here...

But, do we even need that? 

Isn't this enough for today, or any day for that matter? 

What else do you need to know to start living your life for God? 

Because to live your life for "yourself" as "the master of your own destiny" is to truly serve sin.

Freedom (in the manner we choose to use it) is an illusion.

Your life has already been purchased. Your only choice now, is to serve the one who loves you, or to serve the one who wants to destroy you. One has already given you everything.

Isn't that compelling enough?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

{Support Adoption}

Can I just say that [aside from our babies] the best part of adoption-world is the community of families! I am so looking forward to the gathering next weekend so I can meet more families and catch up with some I already know I love!!! Here is an awesome post from one of those "already know I love" waiting-mommas (not officially yet, but close) =)) She took the time to really outline some great fundraisers out there.

If you can't figure out how to "help" the global orphan can start by supporting adoption. I read a shirt today that said 'Adoption isn't for wimps' and that is the TRUTH. While I am soverythankful that we [as a community] support each other.....I really believe that it's time for other believers to start supporting these families, too!!!

So check out this list of adoption fundraisers and while you are there, check out the Habudas own fundraising efforts!

P.S. Thanks Sarah for your oh-so-kind shout out! It made my morning =)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Just a little cold outside

Not going anywhere today.....

snow drifts two-thirds the way up our 6ft privacy fence!

3 ft bushes completely covered in the snow.
13 1/2 inches with 3 more hours of solid snowfall

What do ya know....

They were actually right for once.

Probably not such a bad day to be a weatherman, eh?

Happy Birthday.

To my little sister, Gator.

Maker of mashed potatoes brilliance.

Pork-chops extrodinaire.

And amazing nephews.

Who calls me by a one-syllable nickname.

Apologizes ahead of time when [said] nephew references a hippo as his aunt. ahem. heh.

Who takes delicious recipes to  her grave (diagnosed middle-child syndrome)

To the one who never would wrestle with siblings,
yet spares no mercy when "socking" you in the arm.

To the one who stole all the little debbie snacks to sell at school

And covered her side of the room in N-sync posters (347 at last count)

To the one with a dramatic flare that is only matched by her compassion

Who works so hard and is incredibly responsible.

To the one that makes me proud to have a sister

And thankful that it's her....

Happy Birthday.

I'm sorry I tried to sell you, told you you were left by gypsies, and sold you half-used nail polish at full retail price.


The Pursuit. {re-post}

[Originally posed October 21, 2010] 

As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. (Ezekiel 34:12).

When I read this scripture, it speaks to me about  so much more than obligation and responsibility.

It speaks of more than protection and shelter.

It even speaks of more than unyeilding love.

This scripture? speaks of  pursuit. Relentless, unadulterated, pursuit.

So many times, in our lives and most importantly in our faith, we see ourselves as the pursuers. We believe that we are the ones in control of the pursuit. That we are the ones pursuing God. And in many ways, that is semi-true. We do seek after God. We do long to know him more. We do come before His throne.

But to address ourselves as the pursuers? 
Is just. not. truth.

Pursuit (per-soot)A following with a view to reach, accomplish or obtain; endeavor to attain to or gain; as the pursuit of knowledge; the pursuit of happiness or pleasure; the pursuit of power, of honor, of distinction.

 Go in search of or hunt for;  To follow with a view to overtake; to follow eagerly, or with haste; to chase

There are so many definitions and synonyms of the word "pursuit" that I wager it would bore you to death long before you got the point.

The point? Is that to be in pursuit  is to consciously make the decision to journey after something (to hunt; chase; seek). There is no instant gratification in pursuit. In fact, there is more commonly pain, bruises, and hurt.

And I thought I understood pursuit. The same way I am sure most of you believe you "get" it.

I was wrong. Now, please don't misunderstand me...I know some of your stories well enough to recognize that you are truly knowledgeable of the real pain of pursuit. It's just that in most cases, our "pursuit" of Him, has paled in comparison to His pursuit of us.

How do I know this?

Because I am in pursuit.

I am constantly humbled by the revelation of pursuit as we traverse this new world of adoption. I am honored to share in an experience that so few will venture out into. That so few will take the leap of faith towards.

There are good reasons why people don't take this journey....

And quite frankly, there are really lame reasons, too.

But, in this this 'pursuit' of the greatest blessings I have received is a greater revelation of my Father's heart.

It's a deeper understanding of how He feels as He pursues...well, US. His children. His sheep who have somehow gotten lost, gone astray, ended up in a "not ideal" situation. And he seeks after us. He pursues us with a vengeance that I think most people in "normal" circumstances...will never understand.

I can't feel my child move. Or watch my child grow. I can't protect my child by my actions. 

All I can do? Is pursue. And so, I pursue with a vengeance. 

I seek the end prize of getting to have my child in my arms, even while today that is not the case. 

I chase after by moving quickly through the maze of paperwork and find my child. 

I waver not at the cost, because my pursuit is relentless....

I pursue my child's child who is a world away, in a "not ideal" situation..the same way the Father pursues our hearts...a world "not ideal" situations.

Many of you will never choose to venture into pursuit of this nature. That's a shame...Because through my pursuit of this child...our child...I realize...All of this? 

Is really about HIS pursuit...of HIS child. 

I am merely the vessel blessed to be used. 

And in the end? It was never about me anyways.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Today is brought to you by the number 4

Today, we have been waiting for you for four months.

We woke up this morning to a blizzard.

And all I could think about was how I wished you were here.

Over the next few days (as it warms slightly) it will be perfect for snowman making, sledding, and snow ice cream.

I am most excited about the fact that I KNOW that will be a "first" for you. Even if you're already walking, talking, smiling, and laughing...I can be sure that the first time you see snow? Will be with us!

Four months doesn't look like that long when you type it.

But it feels like forever.