Monday, January 27, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose"
 (Romans 8:28).  

What a comfort to know that God knows what we need and when we need it.  It's comforting to know that He has all things in His control and it is meant for our benefit.

I love the song, "Life is Great and Getting Better" by Jeff and Sheri Easter.

God always knows just what we need
He can turn everything around unexpectedly
When we've given our all and think it's over and done
He makes a way where there just wasn't one

Life is great and getting better everyday
His grace shines through the stormy weather
got my family and friends and when you put it all together
Life is great and getting better

He works all things together for our good 
Even when we don't understand or act like we should
troubles and trials come along everyday
but all things considered, friend I'd have to say


My mood and attitude are in my control so I'm choosing to use all the joy that's in my soul



Life is great! (I think my cat would agree!!)

Continuing to give thanks..

-how God knows our needs and what is best for us
-how He knows what we need and when we need it
-how He sent me such encouraging words from the director of our adoption agency
-how "His grace shines through the stormy weather..." (a good reminder with this wonderful winter weather that we're getting!!)

-how they make themselves become small and fit into tiny spaces for her
-the fun she has with her siblings
-a P.D. day today; a time to relax, play outside, and work at the greenhouse
-relaxation time

 -enjoying one of her many birthday gifts

-play dates and enjoying the snow together
-making the most of this wintry weather- X-country skiing, sledding, skating, and playing in the snow
-Sunday worship
-our pastor's sermon series about marriage and the gospel
-our pastor's family and their hearts to open their home to foster children and their new addition

Friday, January 24, 2014

Adoption Update

"A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families... 
(Psalm 68:5,6a)
Adoption update:  Slow and sometimes discouraging.
However, God continues to encourage me in different ways and through various individuals.  For example...

God spoke to me yesterday through the words of a wonderful, Godly man.

Paul and I have been praying for something specific in regards to our adoption.  We know that we were praying for the impossible, but we were also praying for God's will to be done.

The director of our agency e-mailed these very encouraging words to me yesterday, "In my Christian walk when God has really placed a burden on me, as He has with you in this case, I found it was preparing me or to get me focused on His plan already in motion for me".

Even though we probably won't get the answer that we wanted, the director continued to encourage me stating, "Your care and concern for a child unknown to you (but known to Him) is the impossible already accomplished."  This door may be closed (what we were specifically praying for), but another door may be opening.  God has a plan for us and for our family, and we need to keep putting our trust in Him.  As our director wrote to me yesterday, "possibly He has done so to open you up to something forthcoming that will also have seemed impossible just a short time ago...I agree, He is the God of the impossible."

We continue to lay our concerns and our adoption before the throne of God.  We know that He has chosen a child for us already.  We continue to pray for health, safety, and protection for our little boy, whoever and wherever He is.  We pray that God will surround Him with angels to protect him and feel loved, and we look forward to the day that we are able to bring him home to his forever family.  

We also received an update from our agency yesterday.  Referrals are indeed being made, families are passing court, and families are waiting for Visas for their children!   However, we were informed of extra fees that we will need to pay ("fostering fees").  Also, as our update stated, "International adoptions have been reduced and domestic foster programs increased despite the outcry of foreign agencies and families.  Far more strict regulations for approval of adopters have been put in place".  Although that is rather discouraging, it is important that the needs of the children are given top priority.  We will continue to wait and pray for patience. We need to keep trusting in God and His perfect timing.  

I am so grateful for the encouraging words that people give me.  I am thankful for the young Godly women in my church who so desperately want to become Moms, have committed to prayer for one another as we all go through this journey of adoption.  I feel so blessed to have them in my lives.  I am also so grateful for this journey that God has called us on.  I never would have imagined my life looking like this, but I love it that God has placed adoption on our hearts and has called us to act upon that.  I give thanks to my Father who holds ALL things and in His hands.

Monday, January 20, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer" (Psalm 19:14).

I hate it when I speak before I think. Sometimes I say the most unthoughtful things. I remember reading a devotional to my grade five class about the words that come out of our mouth. The author wrote about how when we say things, it is like toothpaste coming out of a tube, which can not be put back in. I thought about that this weekend as I said something out of frustration and discouragement. We were spending a night in downtown Toronto and certain things about our accommodations and the whininess of our children caused me to mumble that they sometimes suck the joy out of our outings. I immediately regretted what I said. I was reminded of that devotional that I read many years ago. HOWEVER, I was also reminded of God's great mercy and grace. Although I can not put the words back into my mouth, I am able to seek forgiveness, and I know that because of God's great love and mercy, He will forgive me. I want so much for "the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart to be pleasing in His sight".  I am so thankful for God's amazing grace and His willingness to forgive. I am also so grateful for the many, many moments throughout the day when God reveals to me the joy that my children bring to me and our family.

Continuing to give thanks..

-the joy that all of my family brings to me
-God's love and mercy and forgiveness
-His many gifts, especially the gift of children and family

-for the joy that she brings to our family
-for the silly and funny comments that she makes at dinner time (and all of the time), causing us all to laugh!
-celebrating her 4th birthday and the privilege of calling her our daughter

-how she's always excited about everything

-the children's eagerness to give their baby sister her gifts and to share in her excitement

-how she loved opening all of her gifts
-how she told everyone it was her birthday in January

-Oma's surprises and homemade gifts

-the many gifts and talents of her Oma, including Deborah's beautiful sweater

-her excitement to blow out candles on her birthday

-celebrating with family (especially her idol/cousin, Jon)

-celebrating with both grandmothers

-early birthday gifts and greenhouse parties
-her aunt who loves giving gifts
-the signs of a well loved stuffed animal

-the fun at the basketball game

-how she warmed up to all the cheering and joined in

-their excitement to go to Toronto

-good sports
-enjoying our night away

-exploring the city and appreciating the country!

Monday, January 13, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit" 
(2 Corinthians 3:18; the scripture written in my signed copy of Stasi's new book, "becoming myself-embracing God's dream of you). 

We had a glorious view of the gorgeous sunrise this morning. My friend and I attended a breakfast this morning at Crossroads. We were so blessed to be surrounded by such beautiful, godly women and to be inspired by the guest speaker, Stasi Eldredge.  She inspired us to become our true selves through the love of God and to embrace God's dreams of us. She also challenged us to write down our dreams, to pray about them, and to embrace them.
It was a beautiful, inspiring morning!

Continuing to give thanks...

-surrounded by beautiful, godly women
-breakfast with my friend, confident, and an inspiring, beautiful person
-the gorgeous sunrise
-the ministry of Crossroads
-the staff at Crossroads
-having fun being part an audience of a live taping at Crossroads
-Stasi Eldredge's story and inspiring talk
-Stasi's godly character and beauty (inside and out)

-her enjoyment and hard work during winter enrichments (and her successful, beautiful wooden picture cube)

-the first session of Winter Enrichments, a success
-my brother's willingness to make all of the wooden blocks

-warmer temperatures
-being silly with her buddy

-a fun birthday party
-how the older children also had fun at the birthday party

-her curiosity
-how they play so nicely with the younger children

-unplanned ice rinks
-fun with friends and spontaneous play dates

Monday, January 6, 2014

One Thousand Gifts (continued)

"And He said, 'My presence will go with you and I will give you rest'" 
(Exodus 33:14 ESV).

A new year has begun.  Christmas holidays are over.  There is always a lot of different places to go do and things to do during the holidays.  It is such a comfort to know that God is with us EVERYWHERE we go and His grace meets us ANYWHERE.

Continuing to give thanks...
-celebrating a new year with cousins
-the comfort in another new year, that God is always with us and His grace always finds us
-lots of laughs
-playing games as adults and children

-God's majestic handiwork displayed in the ice storm and with the blanket of snow

-for hydro workers who worked in the cold weather and during the holidays to try to restore power
-our generator which provided a bit of power during the ice storm
-making the most of the ice storm by going swimming at the public pool and using their showers!

-God's creative icicles that defy gravity

-my loud, crazy, fun family

-how Beppe loves her loud, crazy family
-the fun we always have
-how the cousins all get along

-my awesome homemade socks from my very talented mother-in-law

-celebrating our daughter's 12th birthday
-her loving, generous heart and free spirit
-how she made loom bracelets and envelopes for all the widow ladies in church
-her fun loving personality
-the fun she had in Toronto with her dad and a few friends

-the beautiful Christmas program at school
-how the band played so well for their first time ever!
-our incredibly talented, patient band teacher

-how he played in the Christmas recital, after only having 4 lessons
-his desire to learn
-enjoying her new Christmas gift

-Christmas dinner with cousins/family
-so much (too much) yummy food
-Oma's meatballs

-his diligence at shovelling the rink

-how they curl up in bed in the middle of the day and read books together

-his joy and pride over all of his creations
-how they play so nicely together in the snow

-carving out some time over the holidays to scrap book
-my sister-in-law, such great company to scrapbook with

-her fun, beautiful hair and being able to use other people's ideas/hairstyles from the internet

-how she didn't need stitches!
-our amazing health care system and our great medical clinic in town; meeting the doctor on call on Christmas day

-that all three of us ladies now have cross country skis
-snow to go skiing and cold weather to go skating!
-our own winter classic game on New Year's day

-how much fun we had, all 6 of us going sledding
-injury free sledding experience