Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Haggai 1:5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways."
So these few days leading up to Christmas I will be giving careful thought to my ways and hopefully my children will pick up some good things.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
- S. is going to begin preschool on his birthday next month, right after winter break! And he is able to qualify for these services based primarily on his medical needs. He is really not delayed enough in other areas to qualify. Which is EXCELLENT news. He is such a little miracle.
- We are fighting yet another cold with K. bringing it home first. She is still a thumb sucker, and I am afraid this nasty habit is introducing all sorts of fun winter germs to our house. Also, we are trying a restrictive diet on K. this week. She has a lot of food intolerance symptoms, and I have wondered if maybe she is gluten, dairy or egg sensitive. It is hard to cut out all these foods, but I hope soon we will have some sort of idea if there is one type of food she should avoid.
- I have NOT been doing much Christmas shopping and am NOT sending cards or letters again this year. I am nearly finished shopping for the extended family, the kids are almost done (just need a few more stocking stuffers), and then something small for teachers and such. I'm thinking homemade muffins? What do you think?
- The kids have their church play this Sunday. C. has a short solo and is a narrator. K. is one of the 2o or so angels, and L. is the stage manager. Should be good times.
- We've had company the last few weeks, in the form of play dates. The idea of having another child over to add to the noise and chaos used to make me a little anxious. It still does, a bit. But I have decided to put that aside for my kids. They are really enjoying sharing their home and family with their friends. It has also blessed us too.
- I am so excited for the date night our church is putting together on Saturday! The teens are babysitting kids while parents can go out and do some shopping, or whatever for several hours. I can't wait. Not sure yet how we will spend those few hours, but it will be great!
- Thank you so much for your kind and encouraging words regarding Mercy. We are still healing and struggling through the process. I kind of feel like I did when I experienced a miscarriage. Nobody really wants to talk about the issue, and the loss is great. I appreciate your continued prayers for our whole family and for Mercy.
- Please be praying for my friend Melissa. She reached out to love and support me while I was in Uganda as she was there adopting another Mercy. She has spent her time in country encouraging other adoptive families, ministering to pregnant mothers, and shining a light for Him. She has been in Uganda since the end of August. For last few months she's been dealing with visa issues, a complicated mess. Her family at home misses her terribly. Pray for a miracle for Melissa and Mercy to come home soon.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
I was on facebook today when I saw my friends, Beth and Jeremy Howard in Uganda, posted some great links. I checked them out and was moved. to tears. I have a lot of emotions going on lately, but this just convicted me. I am already excited about the Advent Conspiracy site.
- We have been spending less this Christmas, that is for sure. Everyone is getting one gift from us, and kids are drawing names between siblings. Things are simple and easy.
- We have enjoyed spending time together as a family this holiday season. We have enjoyed watching Christmas movies together, cooking and eating, playing games, singing, dancing, listening to Christmas music, reading, doing small crafts, and putting on little puppet shows.
- We have given a bit to those in need (we could always do more). We put together a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child. We gave to a local food drive. We are doing an angel tree gift. J. helped with a shopping trip for local kids in need. We sponsor a child in Africa through Compassion.
- I feel we are lacking on the worship end of things. Of course my children know the reason we celebrate Christmas. We have a nativity scene on our piano and we have a birthday cake for Jesus every year. We go to church, and the kids are in a play. But what about TRUE worship, TRUE sacrifice?
Monday, December 6, 2010
Some sad news...
We are blessed by the finalization of the adoption of our son today! His name change is now official and I shouldn't have to spell his name during doctors appointments anymore. The last step in this whole process is still ahead of us, with the naturalization/immigration stuff. This will cost several thousand in fees, so we are going to have to wait a bit. But at least now this step is over. And the courts did not have any problems with the paperwork. Most of the originals were destroyed in the earthquake.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
When a woman we know (who has the gift of prophecy) was asked to pray for us regarding M, she recently shared that she constantly received a vision...
When nobody is around and when we're able to be absolutely honest with ourselves before God, we entertain certain dreams and hopes. We want very much by the end of our days to have _________________________ (fill in the blank). However, it may well be that we will die with that desire unfulfilled. Should that occur, it will be one of the hardest things in the world for us to face and accept. David heard the Lord's "no" and quietly accepted it without resentment. That's awfully hard to do. But we find in David's final recorded words a life-sized portrait of a man after God's own heart.
After four decades of service to Israel, King David, old and perhaps stooped by the years, looked for the last time into the faces of his trusted followers. Many of them represented distinct memories in the old man's mind. Those who would carry on his legacy surrounded him, waiting to receive his last words of wisdom and instruction. What would the seventy-year-old king say?
He began with the passion of his heart, pulling back the curtain to reveal his deepest desire—the dreams and plans for building a temple to the Lord (1 Chronicles 28:2). It was a dream that went unfulfilled in his lifetime. "God said to me," David told his people, "'You shall not build a house for My name because you are a man of war and have shed blood'" (28:3).
Dreams die hard. But in his parting words, David chose to focus on what God had allowed him to do—to reign as king over Israel, to establish his son Solomon over the kingdom, and to pass the dream on to him (28:4–8). Then, in a beautiful prayer, an extemporaneous expression of worship to the Lord God, David praised the greatness of God, thanking Him for His many blessings, and then interceded for the people of Israel and for their new king, Solomon. Take some extra time to read David's prayer slowly and thoughtfully. It's found in 1 Chronicles 29:10–19.
Rather than wallowing in self-pity or bitterness regarding his unfulfilled dream, David praised God with a grateful heart. Praise leaves humanity out of the picture and focuses fully on the exaltation of the living God. The magnifying glass of praise always looks up.
"Blessed are You, O LORD God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all, and in Your hand is power and might; and it lies in Your hand to make great and to strengthen everyone." (29:10–12)
As David thought of the lavish grace of God that had given the people one good thing after another, his praise then turned to thanksgiving. "Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name" (29:13). David acknowledged there was nothing special about his people. Their history was one of wandering and tent-dwelling; their lives were like shifting shadows. Yet, because of God's great goodness they were able to supply all that was needed to build God a temple (29:14–16).
David was surrounded by limitless riches, yet all that wealth never captured his heart. He fought other battles within but never greed. David was not held hostage by materialism. He said, in effect, "Lord, everything we have is Yours—all these beautiful elements we offer for your temple, the place where I live, the throne room—all of it is Yours, everything." To David, God owned it all. Perhaps it was this attitude that allowed the monarch to cope with God's "no" in his life—he was confident that God was in control and that God's plans were best. David held everything loosely.
Next, David prayed for others. He interceded for the people he had ruled for forty years, asking the Lord to remember their offerings for the temple and to draw their hearts toward Him (29:17–18). David also prayed for Solomon: "give to my son Solomon a perfect heart to keep Your commandments, Your testimonies and Your statutes, and to do them all, and to build the temple, for which I have made provision" (29:19).
This magnificent prayer contained David's last recorded words; shortly after, he died "full of days, riches and honor" (29:28). What a fitting way to end a life! His death is a fitting reminder that when a man of God dies, nothing of God dies.
Though some dreams remain unfulfilled, a man or woman of God can respond to His "no" with praise, thanksgiving, and intercession . . . because when a dream dies, nothing of God's purposes die.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Some of the birds in Uganda are BEAUTIFUL. I just wish we had a better camera to photograph them. The ugly ones were somehow easier to capture on film!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
On one of my last days in Africa I was brought to the orphanage where M. spent a year. I was saddened. There was very little supervision of the older children, although they had a really nice yard and play area. It seemed the children who were disabled were not cared for. I was sad to think about M. being there for a year, suffering from epilepsy. So today I am thankful for the home and family she has. For the love she has received. Thank you so much HSH and especially S.
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
- S. had his developmental preschool evaluation today. There are some concerns in his cognitive/reasoning areas as well as his expressive communication. We will come back the first part of December to hear the results.
- I have had to catch up on a lot of paperwork/school work/household things this last week.
- I am most likely going to be starting a weight loss challenge with my sis in law. This may be interesting. More details later.
- I am trying to get things in order to finalize S.'s adoption. He needs to get his name legally changed, it's about time! He's been with us for over two years now!
Monday, November 8, 2010
The risk is especially high for children. Researchers say that children are 10 times as sensitive to the radiation as adults are, putting them at an even greater cancer risk.
"Children's tissues are more sensitive to radiation, and they live longer than adults do, which means the cancer has more time to develop," says Cynthia McCollough, a radiological physicist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "However, if you need a CT scan, parents shouldn't lose a minute of sleep over it."
The reason parents shouldn't be too concerned is that the individual risk of developing cancer is small.
"One in four Americans will develop cancer in their lifetime," explains McCollough. "That's 25 percent. Radiation from CT scans when you are a baby increases your risk of developing cancer to 25.1 percent."Since last year, S. has been administered MRI's instead, which do not use radiation. But I AM concerned. Cancer freaks me out. I have had many members of my family suffer from cancer related illness or death. We have cared for a teen from Haiti who lost his leg above the knee from cancer. My mom recently had surgery because of cancer.