Monday, November 29, 2010

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"The LORD is good, a stronghold int eh day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him" (Nahum 1:7 NKJV).

So much to be thankful for.
My list of gratitude continues...
#1135- 1165

-a successful movie fundraiser at our school

-great concession stand helpers at our movie

-everyone pitching in cleaning up

-an amazing movie and an indescribable, powerful lesson on forgiveness

-our first snowfall!!! Look at it all!!!

-building a snowman together as siblings

-so much love

-first snowman of the year!!

-Deborah's first snowfall

-a ride in the shovel from her big sister

-eager to wear boots

-play dates

-everyone laughing at dinner

-my sister who helped promote our fundraiser movie

-my mom who cleans out the vacuum bag in the garage (a messy, neglected job)

-Nicole's passion for writing stories on the computer

-emptying lunch bags without being told

-proud siblings showing off their little sister at school today

-wonderful learning dialogues with teachers

-great, Christian teachers and role models

-wispy clouds in the sky this morning

-help leading Bible Study

-safety on the slippery roads (it was a quiet ride with lots of praying)

-ladies/girls night out enjoying a fiddle concert

-Nicole's headache went away

-shopping with Nicole (she's very efficient)

-almost done my Christmas shopping (my goal is by Dec.1)

-borrowing flour from Mom to make pancakes

-children delivering dinner to their Beppe

-planning meals with Mom for the next few nights

-Jesse's interest in the guitar (even though it's electric)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Confessions of a Lousy Wife

"Encourage one another and build each other up..." (1 Thessalonians 5:11)

It's good to confess our many mistakes out loud. This helps us realize we need to change and how blessed we are to have a loving, forgiving God.

I was reminded of this last night as I was confessing to a dear friend, what a lousy wife I am (that was after complaining about things my husband does which led me to more confession for complaining). I received a gentle swat in my arm with a reprimand, "ANNN NNNA". Hey, that's what friends are for, right? I realized I really need to let things slide a bit more. I then started bragging about Paul that he's super-Dad, and my friend said, "Well, that makes him super-husband too". She's absolutely right.

When I came home, Paul and I read devotions together and the theme was about encouraging one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). More confession. I'm thankful that not only do I have a forgiving Father, but also a forgiving husband!

Monday, November 22, 2010

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful"
(Psalm 68:3).

my list of thanks continues...

-our dedicated case worker from our agency

-our understanding case worker

-our patient case worker as she had to put up with our many calls and e-mails!

-all the hard work (often behind the scenes and unnoticed) from all the workers at our agency

-the bathing suit made by my very talented, strong woman of faith, fun-loving hairdresser

-great visits from my nieces!

-my enthusiastic cowboys/cowgirl! Yee Haw!

-my princess wearing her crown made out of love by my gifted, giving sister
-AMAZING report cards from our 3 oldests. Could I be any prouder? Absolutely not.
-going out with my mom and sister and Deborah
-meeting/celebrating with fellow adoptive mommies
-fun sleep over with cousins
-Curtis eager to hold and feed Deborah
-eager son and daughter to do a presentation on our trip to Ethiopia to their class (again, so proud- well done, you guys).
-Jesse, wanting to do the talking during his presentation
-hearing Deborah laugh in the morning before I even opened her door!
-lots of poinsettia orders for Paul
-helpers at meal time
-Nicole, our cheese disperser
-diligent workers in the mornings getting snacks and lunches ready

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


"You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God"
(2 Corinthians 9:11).

Today I was reminded from my friend's blog (Heather- www.heathershomewardjourney.blogspot.com) about giving to others selflessly -even those (especially those) who are not so easy to be generous to. I wish I could be less selfish and more giving to others. I especially wish I could be more generous and less selfish with my husband. Rather than asking him to do things for me (the minute he walks in the door), I need to serve him and focus less on myself. I pray that the Lord will grant me wisdom and the ability to be more generous to my hard working, loving, patient, selfless husband.

Monday, November 15, 2010

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel just as He promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises He gave..." (1 Kings 8:56)

My list of thanks #1100-#1115


-KFC tradition

-celebrating with family

-photogenic baby

-fun photos in the poinsettias
-serious family photos in the poinsettias as well
-niece who's a great photographer!
-friend/neighbour home from the hospital
-kids running off the bus to see their baby sister
-thoughtful neighbours
-each child trying to make their baby sister laugh in their own unique way
-smiles from Deborah when she sees her siblings
-an effort made by our 10 year old son to peel potatoes
-a successful school bazaar
-many, many volunteers
-already many new milestones made by Deborah

holy experience

Thursday, November 11, 2010


"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" (John 14:27).

Although my mom was quite young when the Germans invaded her village in the Netherlands, she will never forget those days. She remembers hiding under the table when the Germans barged into her house. She remembers the fear, the unknown. She remembers things that the Lord Willing, we will never have to experience. Our children so often say how glad they are that we are not living during the war like their grandparents did. Today, I watched parts of different ceremonies on TV, and I too am so thankful for our freedom, but I don't want to forget all those who have fought and are fighting for peace and all the many lives that have been lost because of the war.

Monday, November 8, 2010

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"O LORD you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago"
(Isaiah 25:1).

He has truly done marvelous things and we have so many things to be thankful for!


-the work of Compassion and their dedicated workers (http://www.compassion.ca/

-meeting our sponsor son

-seeing the joy in his face

-the happiness our sponsor child's family has with so little- and yet they offer so much

-the many donations from others that we could share with others

-playing cards
-a sister- in- law who loves playing games
-fun times with our sister-in-law while travelling

-ability to change our flight in order to come home earlier
-flying first class (not planned)
-safe travels to and from Ethiopia and during our stay there (it's crazy driving in the city)!

-fresh fruit (and other goodies) thanks to my family
-flowers from family
-greeters at the airport
-coming home
-our house and all it's amenities

-welcome home graffiti

-welcome home banner

-a proud big brother

-the wait is over!! (great bib from a friend- another adoptive Mommy)

-lavished in love and gifts and cards!

-becoming well adjusted to her life in Canada
-borrowing baby equipment from friends
-happy baby!

-helpful big brother
-coming home and seeing my baby boy (I missed Curtis like crazy)
-the fun times Curtis had a his cousins'

holy experience

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Five Senses

"...you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you look for Him with all your heart and with all your soul" (Deuteronomy 4:28-29).

Our six year old son came home from school the other day with a booklet he had made about his five senses. Toward the end of the booklet, it said, "My Five Senses... are tools that teach me about God's World". How often we take our senses for granted, yet God gave them to us for a purpose- to learn more about His world. I would like to reflect on my 5 senses and what we have learned about God's World while we were in Ethiopia.

1. Hearing

There were many different sounds that we heard while in Ethiopia. Some sounds that stand out are the sounds of God's creatures (dogs), and construction workers (late at night/early morning). The sound that I will remember the most is the sound of religious chanting early in the morning. Although I do not know what kind of chanting or religion that was, Paul reminded me of how important it is for us to start our day talking to God. It was a blessing to hear the little children talking to God at the transition home as they said their prayers out laud together- that was beautiful to hear! It was also beautiful to hear Deborah laughing for the first time (thank-you big brother, Jesse).

2. Smell

Perhaps not a pleasant smell, but a strong one, nonetheless is the fumes from the vehicles. It made me appreciate the emission controls we have back home.

Another strong smell was the coffee ceremony. I have learned the importance of this tradition and how wonderfully hospitable the people of Ethiopia are (too bad I don't like coffee though)!

3. Touch/Feel

Deborah loved touching/splashing in the water (she's going to love Oma and Opa's pool)! We'll always remember the feeling of the squishy injera and eating without utensils.

4. Taste

We lived on French Fries and Pizza and fresh squeezed Orange Juice for 8 days. The fresh squeezed OJ is definitely a taste I would like to savour. The injera, however, I can live without, but using my taste senses helped me learn and appreciate the Ethiopian culture/food.

5. Seeing

There were so many beautiful things that we saw during our trip. We saw beautiful mountains, sun sets, views from the mountains, country views that seemed to never end, many different animals, but the most beautiful thing we saw and that I would like to remember is the many beautiful faces of God's children. God made us all in His image and He loves us all very much. I also will never forget seeing our baby girl for the first time- a wonderful sight!

May I never forget the wonderful memories of Ethiopia and all that my senses have taught be about God's amazing world.