Thursday, January 29, 2009
The sermon series is called The Love Movement. They are teaching us that we need to love like Christ even when it makes us uncomfortable. They are challenging us to step out of our comfort zones to love. They are encouraging us to give up comforts of ours to love. I should say that through them God is challenging us big time. I can't wait to see what this week's challenge is even though it scares me a little.
The first week they challenged us to do a random act of kindness like I posted about a couple weeks ago. The next week they challenged people to bring in food for the food pantry (this one was easy). This last Sunday they challenged people to take their shoes off right then (it was around 10 degrees outside) and leave them so they could be donated to people that need them. Then they took it one step further and ask people to leave their coats to give to those that needed it (again it was about 10 degrees outside). Then they challenged those that needed to say they were sorry to someone to send a note telling that person they were sorry. They didn't make you feel bad if you didn't do those things but they challenged us to love even when it makes you walk out side in 10 degree weather with no shoes and no coat because there are people that live like that everyday.
It's so easy to give when it's "easy" but we need to learn to give easily even when it makes us uncomfortable.
God has really been teaching me that if I could give up fear of so many things and live our life more simple than we even do now that we could do so much for him.
I am so thankful for these challenges!
Saturday, January 24, 2009
OK, so Abby doesn't know what to think about Jaxson kissing her.
Friday, January 23, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Monday, January 19, 2009
Can you tell daddy had as much fun as the girls and maybe even more fun than they did. I looked out the window and caught him making snow angels when the girls weren't even watching him. Isn't he so cute?
Friday, January 16, 2009
Wednesday they lost their home to a fire. If that wasn't enough Thursday as they were getting ready to sift through the ashes for anything they could find they had to take their son in for emergency surgery. Now on Friday the vet let them know that their dog just died and it had nothing to do with the fire. Most people could not handle the fire let alone all that has happened since.
I can tell you Satan does not like who this family is, he does not like that they praise God in everything, he does not like they they preach on giving. Satan does not like the fact either that they keep filling their home with those orphans that are so close to God's heart and they are trying to get families to go serve in Uganda and adopt the babies there. They also encourage people like no one I have ever met before.
This is their blog http://aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com/ and this is a blog that was set up to get them help and to try to get Extreme Homemakeover to come build them a new home http://lovebuildsahouse.blogspot.com/. If you go to the last website and go to where you leave comments for EHM if you read the comments you will see how much this family means to others.
Let's help them fight this battle by praying with them and let's help provide for them what they need. They have a BIG family which means lot's of things are needed.
Don't you just love baby pictures like this? This is little miss Paigie when she was 18 months old.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
PLEASE PRAY...I just received a phone call that the Saunders are heading to the hospital as they think that their son Graham is having an appendicitis attack. Please, pray.
I must say that I am really overwhelmed by the amount of support we are getting from all over the country. I appreciate all your emails & I hope I have given adequate information.The Saunders are devastated but taking it moment by moment. They are having to do an extensive inventory of the contents in their home (or what's left). This will be painstaking as you can imagine. Please pray for them as they endure this process.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
You can go here to see updates on their blog and please leave them a comment letting them know your praying for them.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
I want to challenge you my dear readers to do a randome act of kindness this week because it is so much fun. Also you never know how much a tiny thing could affect someone that is down in the dumps in a big way.
Here are some ideas and try to take one (you may want do more after you see how much fun one is) and do it even if it pushes you out of your comfort zone.
Do something special for a shut-in.
Give a $5 gas gift card to a stranger.
Take 4-5$ in quarters to a laundry mat and just walk in and give it to someone.
Find out what one of your co-workers favorite drink or snack is and get it for them.
Take brownies to work.
Get a St*rbucks gift card for someone.
Take a snack to your local police or fire department and thank them for what they do.
Send a note (snail mail) of thanks to a family that has military oversees.
If your going through a drive-thru pay for the person behind you.
These are just a few ideas and I know you could think of a lot more. So there it is my friends, I CHALLENGE you to this and have fun doing it.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Please do not let the words "special needs" scare you though. These are kids that God created just like any other child. The good thing about these kids is that a lot of times you have a good idea of their needs before you bring them home and you can ask a Dr. about it. Special needs can also be as minor as a birthmark or it could be very serious. When your pregnant you go into pregnancy with the faith your child will be healthy but the truth is most of us wouldn't care if something was different about them we would still love them. The awesome thing about adoption of special needs is you choose the needs you are comfortable with. A lot of the needs are correctable and the ones that aren't is just what makes that child special and unique, created by the hands of God. One other positive thing about special needs is there are tons and tons of kids on waiting lists for families. A lot of times if you go the route to get a healthy child you have to wait in lines for months to years to get a referral. Please don't get me wrong I'm not saying the healthy kiddos don't need homes to because they really do. I do try to educate people about special needs because a lot of people don't even know they have that option. When we started the adoption journey 6 years ago that didn't happen because we got pregnant we didn't know about waiting children. Can you tell I have a passion for these precious kiddos?
These are some places you can go to see some of these beautiful children waiting for families just like yours. They are not looking for perfect families, rich families or the perfect education. These children are looking for someone to love them.
http://www.rainbowkids.com/ (you will have to sign up for a password but no big deal)
http://www.brittanyshope.org/ This is a Christian organization that offers grants on harder to place children waiting. Jaxson had a grant through them and they were incredible. This is not an agency but a grant organization and they having waiting children on their site that have grants through them.
http://www.theshepherdscrook.org/ This is another amazing ministry that helps find homes for special need kiddos. Agencies contact them with children's info and then they try to help find homes for them. If you have time read their story, they are from Cincinnati. This is where God showed us Jaxson's precious face.
http://www.wacap.org/ This is an adoption agency started by adoptive parents. I have heard nothing but good things about them. You can sign up on their site for a password to see some of the waiting kiddos and you can also request a catalogue that has even more kids on it. This agency offers grants on some children of almost the entire adoption fee and has a $4,500 no interest loan you can get.
http://www.reecesrainbow.com/ This is a website of waiting children mainly for children that have down syndrome. There are also other children waiting on this site though if you go to "other angels". You can also join a yahoo group on this site for people adopting, considering adopting or just have a passion for these kids. Warning: there are some very precious children on this site so get ready for your heart to melt.
Have fun looking and maybe, just maybe you will find your child.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Someone STOP the insanity!!!Effective February 10th, in the United States, the sale of all children's books (books intended for children ages 12 and under) is to be PROHIBITED. Every single book printed prior to the ruling is affected, whether new or used. New books in production are required to include a "lead-free" certification and will be the only books that are legal to offer for sale.What does this mean to the homeschooling family? Well, for one, curriculum fairs across the country will be cancelled as book vendors scramble to figure out how to comply with the new ruling. Complete book inventories will have to be destroyed -- the ruling even prohibits giving away the books! Local thrift stores will be hard hit -- most will likely have to close their doors -- yes, even Goodwill and Salvation Army. Clothing, toys and books -- even CDs and DVDs are included in the ruling. Thrift stores will no longer be able to accept or process anything (including clothing) that would be intended for a child. No more library sales. Libraries will not be permitted to give away or sell book donations. It is unsure yet, however, how the libraries' shelves themselves will be impacted (the rulingdoesn't explicitly mention "loaning" books, just selling or giving them away). The key word, however, is "distribution" --libraries may well be required to destroy books from their shelves.(The ruling that originally passed was about toys, but the EPA has since made a statement that clothing, books and media are included in "children's toys".)Just how serious is this new law?Amazon.com has already notified all vendors of their need to comply.No book can be sold at the Amazon site that was printed prior to compliance. And the "compliance" must be coordinated at the manu-facturing stage. At the time of this article there is no clause to be able to grandfather-in older books or even rare out-of-printbooks. It can cost between $500 and $1500 to test a book for lead.I happen to own a children's bookstore specializing in living books from the 1950s and '60s. My punishment for selling a book after February 10th? Up to $100,000 and 5 years in jail. And yes, it is a felony charge. For selling a SINGLE book.(Although I don't think the S.W.A.T. team scenario would become a reality overnight, at the same time I would be leery of blatantly violating Federal law.)So what can you do to help save your local used bookstore that sells children's books? Or that homeschool curriculum business?Or your EBay business selling children's items?ACT NOW before the quickly approaching deadlines:1) Email or call the CPSIA - the office of the CPSC ombudsman at888-531-9070. http://www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/newleg.aspxComments on Component Parts Testing accepted through January 30,2009. Or email: Sec102ComponentPartsTesting@cpsc.gov2) Contact your local representatives. For their contact informa-tion, just enter your zip code.http://capwiz.com/americanapparel/dbq/officials/3) Make your voice heard by voting on this issue! The top 3 ineach category will be presented to President-elect Obama.http://change.org/ideas/view/save_handmade_toys_from_the_cpsia4) Sign the petition.http://ipetitions.com/petition/economicimpactsofCPSIA/index.html5) Spread the word! Forward this article. Send an email. Writeabout this on your blog. Tell others about this issue andencourage them to do the same.
I am so very thankful for my dear friend Rett. Rett and I are as different as night and day and I'm not kidding at all. I am very quiet and shy, Rett is loud (that's not bad Rett) and loves to be the star of the show and would go to a good party almost everday if she could. I dress in old jeans and shirts that I had when we got married, I don't even know what dress up clothes are. Rett, she looks so good all the time and sometimes I wish I looked that good but I really like my old comfortable clothes.
When I first met Rett I was very, very intimidated by her. Honestly, Rett and I have had some hard times because we are so very different. Funny thing though God gave us both the same passion and called us to the same ministry at the same time. For the last 2 years Rett and I barely go a day without emailing or calling each other. Rett is there for me in good times and bad. I am so very thankful for my dear friend!
As most of you know Chris and I own some land that we pray we can build a house on someday. We also have a dream of bringing more kiddos home, that's right I didn't say just one I said more. Lately it just seems like this isn't ever going to happen. Both of our dreams take a lot of money and everytime we seem to start getting ahead a little bit something happens that puts us back a step or 2 back. I saw this prayer this morning and I just thought it was perfect.
Dear Lord, keep me focused on the vision you place within me, and let me not grow weary. I pray that you will give me courage and perseverance to deal with opposition and the challenges that lie ahead. Lord, as I seek you with unwavering faith, may you grant me wisdom and guidance to take practical steps to accomplish this vision. Amen
Have a wonderful day and remember to be thankful for the things that frustrate you because chances are someone is worse off than you.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
4 Chicken Breasts
1 Bottle of BBQ Sauce
1 Large Onion
1 Green Pepper
Cut pepper and onion into large pieces. Place chicken, peppers and onion in a gallon size freezer bag. Pour BBQ sauce into bag and coat all ingredients and then freeze.
Thaw and place in baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (I just put mine in the crock-pot in the morning on low and let it cook all day).
I serve it over rice and oh my is it yummy.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Natural Child: Any child who is not artificial.
Real Parent: Any parent who is not imaginary.
Your Own Child: Any child who is not someone else's child.
Adopted Child: A natural child, with a real parent, who is all my own.--- Rita Laws, PhD
Monday, January 5, 2009
Chris actually went back to his old job that is under new ownership now so he gets to go back to all his old friends. He has one friend that he has missed so much over the last 2 1/2 years so they get to be together again. I just made Chris promise that he wouldn't talk to his friend so much during the day that he didn't have any words left for me at night.
I love my hubby so very much even after 10 1/2 years!!!
Friday, January 2, 2009
We had the hardest time deciding what to get him since he got soooo much for Christmas. Finally we decided he needed a train, I don't think we could have come up with a better gift.
My father-in-law also made a really cool video for us of pictures of Jaxson from when he was in the orphanage, us leaving for China, us coming home with him and then some pictures after being home. That was a pretty cool gift.
It's kinda funny to think that we have two 3 year olds now and they're not twins even though sometimes I wonder if they really are.
Now I have 2 precious little angels to wish Happy Birthday to. I have to tell you a little story behind them. Our friends Tony and Rett had been on a very long waiting list for China. One day in December of 2005 soon after they had started their adoption journey God told me to have a friend draw a picture for Rett of Christ's hands holding a baby, God showed me very clearly what the picture was to look like. I called my friend and ask her and she told me it would be the first week of January before she could do it. When she drew the picture it was EXACTLY what God had shown me. Rett also has a word that meant a lot to her and that word was Kiros which means "in God's time" and so I had my friend add that to the picture. OK, I will finish this in a little bit.
Now it was June 2007 and I found Jaxson's little precious face on the internet. We were just praying for a family for him because we were not in a position to adopt him. Well, I have this sneaky little friend named Rett who was praying that God would have us adopt (I'm really glad she did). God used Rett in July to push us to realize that Jaxson was our son. I was so very excited but at the same time very sad that Rett who had been waiting a very, very long time for a referral was praying for us to start the adoption of Jaxson and she still had no idea how long it would be until she saw the face of her baby.
In August 2007 Tony and Rett finally got the referral of their baby but it wasn't one it was 2 babies. Rett was showing me their file and I looked at their birthday and it was January 2, 2006. I about fell to the floor because that was Jaxson's birthday. God brought all 3 of our children into the world on the very same day on the other side of the world.
Rett called me a couple of months ago and said "Sarah, you are not going to believe this". Rett said she has had that picture hanging in her hallway every since I gave it to her and looks at it several times a day. One day a couple months ago she for some reason stopped and really looked at the picture. The date on that picture was January 2006. That picture was drawn the same week all 3 of our babies were born. Isn't God amazing?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY Abby and Laney!!!
Today we get to celebrate the 3rd birthday with our precious new son. We will probably never meet our son's birthmother but she has given us the most incredible gift ever.
Three years ago today somewhere in Ch*na a mother that had carried this precious child with her every second for nine months gave birth to the most beautiful, perfect child. To be honest by world views she was probably very scared and sad by the ways God had made this child unique. I can't begin to imagine what this mother went through that day knowing that in the country she lived in the chances of her keeping a child like Jaxson was very slim. This amazing women though chose life for this precious child.
Oh how I wish his birthparents could see him and know that he is healthy and nothing stops him. God may have made this child different in several ways but Jaxson doesn't know that and nothing slows him down.
I can't begin to imagine what birthmothers go through on the childs birthdays, the same day we celebrate. I can't begin to understand the choices that they had to make. What I do know is Jaxson was created by God to be part of our family and for some reason God needed him to touch some peoples lives in Ch*na before coming to us.
If you are a birthmom and you chose life for your child, I thank you so very much!!!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
I am thankful that last weekend we were able to have a surprise 40th anniversary party for my parents. There are not a lot of people these days that get to have parents that have been married that long. I'm so glad that my parents taught me that when you say "I do" that it means forever.OK, now I'm going to cry. I am so thankful that tomorrow we get to celebrate Jaxson's 3rd birthday with him in our arms and not looking at a picture wondering if in the orphanage they are doing anything to celebrate his birthday. Jaxson will have his very first birthday with his family. I am also very thankful that a email friend of mine is in V*etnam right now with her precious new daughter. I met this friend when we had both started to adopt from V*etnam 6 years ago and then the country shut down the adoption program and we both switched to Gu*tamala. God had different plans for both of us once again and we got pregnant and my friend had some life changes that lead her to foster care adoption. Now finally after 6 long years she has her daughter she has been dreaming about for so very long. Oh, and we both have 3 kiddos now.
Well, I gotta go my mom is taking me out to lunch today.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!