Monday, December 10, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward" (Colossians 3:23-24 TNIV).

"All of us would like to believe that we could accomplish one brave, selfless act for God and for His kingdom. But it takes greater courage to faithfully accomplish the daily, thankless tasks of everyday life for Him- being a father [or mother] to our children, a good husband [or wife] to our wives [or husbands], building His temple one laborious block at a time" (Lynn Austin, "Among the Gods" Book 5).

Being thankful for "one laborious block at a time".
Continuing to give thanks...
#3217- #3233

-my job at home
-scrap booking with my sister in law
-when he lays on the ground laughing and tears roll down his cheeks
-the thrill and excitement of celebrating Sinterklaas
-the boys club caroling at an old age home
-his excitement as he gets closer to solving the Rubik cube
-giggling with my daughter in the hall way
-another successful shipping season
-his patience with me when I'm so moody
-playing games at Mom's
-Christmas shopping is completed

-my fabulous "helper"

-Paul's goofy sense of humour

-her desire to eat blue or purple things so that she can "show mirror"

-a chef in the making

-entertainment for a few minutes

-her playmate

Monday, December 3, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"The LORD is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made" (Psalm 145:13).

I am so thankful for all of God's promises and His faithfulness. He is good, He is truth, and He is faithful no matter the circumstance.

 When I am so tired and slump into a corner, close to tears, I hear His promise: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and by burden is light" (Matthew 11:28-30). 

 When I feel down for failing again and again, I hear His promise: "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9). 

 When I feel like my job as a stay at home mom is pointless and meaningless, I hear His promise: "The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever- do not abandon the works of your hands" (Psalm 138:8). 

 When I question God's timing, I hear His promise: "[God] has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). 

 When I think some of the battles are hopeless, I hear His promise, "I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard fro me?" (Jeremiah 32:27) 

 Continuing to give thanks for my many blessings and His many promises:
 -God's unfailing promises
-how He speaks to us through His Word
-the testimony of His goodness and mercy through the baptism of one His precious children
-how the young couple is able to still praise Him in the storm
-our kind, loving elder and his dedication to the congregation
-that our elders are purposeful in making home visits
-the assembly this morning encouraging the children to choose music with a discerning heart
-the many different, awesome choices of Christian music that is available (my list of favourites is endless)!
-the awesome concert at Redeemer last week (City Harmonic)
-17 more children sponsored through Compassion

-our annual tradition of going to the tree lot to pick the "perfect" tree

-how she takes on the role of big sister so well and comforts her when she's scared

-a whole family affair

-finding new things to do with snowballs

-fun with the first snowfall of the year

-showing love in different ways
-how the oldest two seem to bonding more
-that they play hockey together in the morning while waiting for the bus

-her fun loving spirit as she gets ready for her seniors dinner

Friday, November 23, 2012

Adoption File

Our dossier is complete!  Our fees are paid.  Our file will soon be in Ethiopia and the waiting game will begin.  We don't know how long we'll be waiting for a referral (months? years?), but I'm sure that I will need to remind myself over and over to trust in God's perfect timing.  We need to trust that God has already chosen the little boy who will be perfect for our family.  And so we wait and we pray.

Monday, November 19, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

'"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future'" 
(Jeremiah 29:11)

I have thoroughly been enjoying reading Lynn Austin's many intriguing novels.  They are real page turners and I eagerly anticipate what will happen in the next chapter.
Our lives are stories written by our heavenly Father.  He knows the plans He has for us and they are "to give us hope and a future".  I think about some of the chapters that God has written as part of my story. They certainly would not have been what I would have ever imagined and perhaps ever chosen.  However, I know that God will use my story for His good in His great plan.  I am thankful to God for all the chapters in my story (including the difficult ones), but I am especially thankful for the chapter of adoption in my story (I would have never imagined that chapter) and all the chapters that include my precious family.

Continuing to give thanks...

-God's master plan
-the chapters He has written as part of my story
-good Christian fiction
-the best book of all- His Word
-his Godly friends
-the good time that he had spending his weekend with thousands of other Christian men at Promise Keepers
-national adoption day and the many adoptions that have been finalized
-the many Christian organizations at the International Market Place selling things from around the world to support their mission work
-her lover for crafts and jewelry from countries around the world
-baby Caleb coming home from the hospital
-fabulous report cards that came home today
-enjoying an evening out with my oldest
-how she loves to watch the African Children's Choir DVD over and over
-the children helping each other sort their Lego
-his good-bye kisses to his little sister every morning

-fun times taking pictures in the poinsettias:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

National Adoption Day

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world"  (James 1:27)

This month is national adoption month.  Every day I am so grateful how adoption has blessed our lives and we eagerly await for God's timing to bring home our second child from Ethiopia.  

Today is National Adoption Day.  What is National Adoption Day??
On National Adoption Day, a number of courts and communities in the United States come together to finalize thousands of adoptions of children from foster care. More than 300 events are held each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving in November, in all 50 US states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico to finalize the adoptions of children in foster care. In total, more than 40,000 children have been adopted from foster care on National Adoption Day

With the awareness that national adoption month brings of the millions of children that need homes, it is my prayer that more people will be moved toward adoption or fostering. 

Although I rarely correct people when they don't use positive adoption language, I believe that they should be educated and taught positive adoption language.  The following article from "Adoptive Families" is a good starting place to learn positive adoption language.


More than 100 adoption groups, profes- sionals, and individuals have signed a let- ter drafted by the Accurate Adoption Reporting group to the editor of the Associated Press stylebook, used by journalists around the country, and to the editors of stylebooks used by a wide range of other publications, asking them to add an entry on adoption in style- books. “Through their word choices, even well-meaning journalists can inad- vertently convey the misconception that adoptive families are somehow less gen- uine and permanent, and that people who were adopted—and their role in a family—remain somehow different. A stylebook entry on adoption would help journalists use language that conveys the fact that adoptive families are just like any other, both in law and in loving rela- tionships.” A copy of the suggested style- book is below.We urge you to send it to your local newspaper editor. SUGGESTED ADOPTION STYLEBOOK

☛ As with race or gender, the fact that a person was adopted should be mentioned only if it’s essential to the story. If it is used, its relevance should be made clear. A daughter who joined the family through adoption is—and should be described as—simply a daughter. If it is relevant to mention adoption, we suggest past tense phrasing such as: “She was adopted in 1997” rather than “She is adopted.” Adoption is one of many events in a person’s past, not an immutable personal trait.

☛ An adopted person’s parents should be referred to simply as father, mother, or parents. The man and woman who shared in the child’s con- ception can be referred to as the birth-, genetic or biological parents (not “real” or “natural” parents).

 ☛ Writers should avoid terms such as “abandoned” or “given up.” It is usu- ally inaccurate to refer to children avail- able for adoption as “orphans.” Often, their birthparents are alive. Nor should children be referred to as “unwanted.” It is better to say that birthparents placed the child for adoption, made an adop- tion plan, or transferred parental rights.

 ☛ The reasons that people adopt are rarely relevant. To suggest or say that parents “couldn’t have a baby of their own” is inaccurate. Adoption is not sec- ond best. Children who join families through adoption are their parents “own” by law and by love.

☛ Stories should not portray adop- tive parents as unusually selfless or saint- ly. In most cases, families adopt because they want to be parents and are no more saintly or selfless than other parents.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Mike Feazel, Accurate Adoption Reporting, 2115 Ward Court, NW, Dept. MF, Washington, DC 20037. To subscribe, visit www.AdoptiveFamilies.com/order or call toll-free 800-372-3300 © 2002 Adoptive Families Magazine. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, November 12, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (Continued)

"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" 
 (Psalm 147:3)

 Remembering and giving thanks for God's promises.
 Remembering past hurt and giving thanks for God's healing.
 God is good ALL the time!

 Continuing to give thanks...

-remembering those who fought in the war for freedom
-remembering Jesus' ultimate sacrifice on the cross for our freedom

-when celebrating my father-in-laws birthday, remembering to give thanks for his life and the godly example he is to all of us
-when walking along side with others who are hurting, remembering that God is the great physician and "heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds"
-when looking back at our rather busy week, remembering how God guided us along the way and gave us the strength that we needed
-when thinking about the busyness of preparing for the school bazaar, remembering to celebrate on the successful day that it was and that it was a day of excitement and joy
-when looking back at the success of our school bazaar, remembering to give thanks for the many volunteers
-when cleaning up spilled milk for the millionth time, remembering how blessed we are to have fresh, cold milk
-when my patience wears thin, remembering how richly blessed we are to have 4 wonderful children
-when surrounded by huge leaf piles, remembering how much I love all our trees in our yard

-when I don't feel like raking, remembering how blessed I am to have a mom who does it for us!!
-when I don't always feel like making the time to go outside, remembering how much our daughter loves being outside

-when I am sitting in a cold arena, remembering how blessed I am to have a husband who normally sits in the cold arena (and loves it) and how our son is learning sportsmanship and team building

-when her favourite game is spread all over the floor, remembering how much she loves to play games, especially with her Beppe

Monday, November 5, 2012

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him" 
(Matthew 24:44)

The poinsettias are ready for shipping.
How often do we prepare, or get ready for things/ outings?
It's good to be ready for things, but I ask myself, am I ready for Jesus' return?  I would like to think that I am, but I am reminded that the way to prepare for that is to choose obedience.  I know that I fail so often in obeying my heavenly Father.  I am so thankful that He forgives me over and over.  Why bother, then to choose obedience?  The answer is simple:  out of gratitude.  And so my list of gratitude continues...

#3140- #3167
-His grace and His forgiveness
-prayer partner programs
-first poinsettia shipping this week!
-a third grader's obsession with learning cursive
-Paul, our official family taxi driver
-how she lunges over to get a hug from her big brother
-how he excitedly came home and shared with me that his story was chosen for the Tri School Creative Writing competition
-the joy that we experienced from visiting our children's classes
-finding my purpose to cleaning my home and completing my fourth day of 31 days to clean:  Having a Martha House the Mary Way
-getting invited to attend our nephew's church to hear the African Children's Choir

-amazing voices and beautiful singing
-energy and great rhythm
-hearing testimonies of how Children in Africa are making a difference in their home countries through the work of the African Children's Choir
-Deborah sitting in church for the first time (listening to the choir) and asking "More??" every time they left to get ready for their next set

-big smiles and serious faces (secret agents can't smile, he said;  they need to be serious)

-a secret longing to be a kid again (or reliving his water buffalo days)
-his willingness every year to take the children trick or treating

-a beautiful day for the Road to Hope race
-running our race in support of Edu Deo Ministries
-the money raised for Edu Deo Ministries to help children in developing countries receive a quality education rooted in a Biblical worldview (over 65 000 was raised)!

-an eager participant (competing the 1km; maybe next year, she'll do the 5km!)

-beautiful weather and beautiful scenery along the lake

-completing 5 km with my niece and sister-in-law (her first race)
-achieving personal bests!!

-completing his first 10km race (I'm so proud of him)!

-another sister-in-law running her first race (since high school) and making 10km look so easy (so proud of her too)
-the director, running for a great cause!
-a great group of guys that share a passion for running, fellowship, and our Lord Jesus Christ