Monday, October 24, 2011

Waiting on God!!!!

One of the questions that we hear constantly these days is, "when will Esther be home?". My, how we wish we knew the answer to that question. Only God knows and unfortunately He doesn't share His calendar. Not that this momma hasn't asked Him a million times for a sneak peek at it. :) But we are trusting that He had that date on His calendar long before the foundation of this world; and in His perfect timing He will reveal that day to us.

Ethiopia has recently closed down several unethical orphanages and shuffled the children in them into upstanding, ethically run orphanages. Of course, this means lots of back tracking has to be done on these children that don't have proper paperwork on file. This, along with the government taking every measure to make sure that every child adopted from their country is a "true orphan", has caused a slow down in the process. Of course this is a very good thing for everyone involved and it's hopefully paving the way for a much better system of adoption in Ethiopia in the future. I'm thankful that the government in Ethiopia has the children's best interest at heart, but I'd be lying if I said that makes it easy and painless for us to wait.

This photo portrays a pretty accurate picture of our hearts right now.....
Like this picture, the details are blurry and uncertain, but our hearts are longing for this chair to be filled. And yes, this picture will be retaken when this chair is no longer empty. Praise God!

We strongly believe that one reason for this extended wait is because God had a much bigger plan from the beginning than we could have ever imagined. I even thinks its likely that if we knew the whole plan from the beginning, in fear we might have said, "NO" to adoption. We have spent a lot of time lately praying over this adoption and we are so excited to see what God has in store for our family. In the meantime, God has laid a message on our hearts of what He is requiring of us right now.... He wants us to trust in Him while we "wait".

It would be so easy to waste this precious time by sitting idle and wishing for a phone call, but instead we are choosing to use this time to worship Him and serve Him. We are learning so much from our Father right now that we would likely miss out on if He were a God who was more concerned with "my agenda" than HIS. Thank God He knows what's best for us. I am certain I would miss so many of His blessings if I were in control. Don't think there's not days where my flesh says "I'd just as soon miss the lesson and get on with this process".... but deep in my heart I know that Shawn and I will both look back on this season and know that the wait was worth the gain.

I have revisited this song on my ipod many times lately. If you are in that place of "waiting" for God to move a mountain in your life, I encourage you to watch this video and focus your thoughts on what God is calling you to do "today".

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" Isaiah 30:18
(pause my music at the bottom of the page)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Too Much to Share!!!

That's how I feel right now..... like I have too much to share, but I'm going to try and squeeze in the most important things real quick. I've had several things on my mental list of blogpost and now I need to drop 3 or 4 at once.

If you LOVE orphans.... please don't check out because you expect this to be a "way too long" blog post. I'll keep it short and to the point... Promise :)

First of all, our friends, the Wilbanks need your prayers. Their sweet daughter in India especially needs our prayers for a miracle. Please check out Bella's story on their blog and help us pray her home by Christmas! I know they are grateful for your prayers :)

Bella Button Blog Final

Next, we are so happy for our friends, Mark and Heather who are adopting a baby boy in just a few weeks. They have been on a domestic adoption journey for several months and God has led them to their birthmother. They were just matched in the last few weeks and their baby boy will be born very soon. Therefore, they need to raise lots of money, very quickly. Please visit their blog to check out their cool t-shirts and other ways you can help them bring their baby home. You can visit their blog HERE!

This one has been on my blog list since last week. On Thursday I went to the mail box and this was waiting inside for me:
Thank you Lynsey and Kari for this wonderful birthday present! Y'all are awesome girlfriends :)

Anyhow, I came in the house and snapped a picture of me with my new book and sent it to Shawn. He responded from his seat at the Catalyst Convention and told me that he was sitting in front of Katie at that very moment watching her receive scholarships for ALL 13 of her girls. How cool is that?!!! But, YES, I was a bit jealous. Ok, I was very jealous that I was thumbing through this new book while he heard from Katie in person. Not fair!

Earlier that morning, a friend sent me Katie's new promo video. Turn my music down and watch it.... this servant of a sister challenges me to sacrifice more of my life for the least of these!

This sister ROCKS!!!!

Ok, last thing (see I told you I could share a lot in a short time:).... I must confess that even though I know we (Christians) ARE NOT all "called" to adopt, I still catch myself trying to talk other families into adoption. Yes, we ARE all commanded to care for the orphan in some fashion, but adoption must be the will of our Father. It is serious business and we should not take it lightly. Not that I'm downplaying the seriousness of caring for orphans without physically adopting them. As a matter of fact, I have recently made a new friend who has never adopted, but she is running orphanages in several countries including Uganda. She and I had lunch last week and it blows my mind to hear all of her stories and to see the impact she, with the help of many others, is making in the lives of hundreds of orphans. I'm sure I will be sharing a lot about all that she's doing and how you can help her organization be the hands and feet of Jesus. Actually, she's trying to arrange a little "trip" for me, her and Lexie, to a faraway land where lots of beautiful little brown kids live........ I bet you can't guess where it is ;).( Lex and I are waiting until we have all the details before we ask Daddy for permission. HeeHee!!!)

Anyhow, I don't know how I got so sidetracked in that last paragraph, so back to the point. No, we aren't all called to adopt but we certainly need to let God be the one to tell us whether we ARE or NOT. When you ask God about adoption, He will speak, I promise.

Today I read an article by Russ Moore and it reminded me that we (I) should never try to "talk others into" adoption. Instead, we (I) should encourage them to pray and then pray for them. Pray that God will speak clearly and boldly. Russ reminds us in this article that adoption is risky. It's often times ugly and even disappointing. However, doesn't that sound much like raising biological children. Having children period is risky, can be ugly and sometimes it's even disappointing. If you are considering adoption, you should read this article and then continue in your prayers. Please don't let it be a discouragement, just enlightenment.

Sorry for so much randomness. This is actually a picture of my life right now. Trying to do way too much in a hurry! I'm sure most of you mommas can relate :)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another Baby and Another Shower!!!

Expecting a Blessing would like to introduce you to our newest little blessing,..... Sweet Baby Girl "K".
She is so tiny, you can barely see her in my arms. She only weighed 7lbs.... which is itty bitty to me. I had to have twins that came four weeks early to get a tiny baby and even then, I had almost 12 lbs of babies.

Anyway, Mom and baby are both doing great. This little lady is very blessed with a sweet momma. I have had the joy of walking through this entire pregnancy journey with this dear friend; so this was quite a celebration to finally get to hold her precious little one.

On a different note, Expecting a Blessing has another new edition that I just can't stop thanking the Lord for. My very dear friend Lisa, in the picture above, just joined the E.B. team and she is such a blessing to our ministry. We have a team of ladies that dedicate their time to this ministry each week but we were still in need of someone else. When Lisa joined us, she jumped in with both feet. This Sister has one of the most beautiful servant's heart I have ever seen. The women we minister to will be blessed by Lisa's love for Jesus and her heart for young women in need of Hope.

We are gearing up for our next shower and if you would like to help us, that would be GREAT! Our fall shower is scheduled for October 26 at the Lovelady Center. God is always so gracious to provide every single item we need for the showers..... and I'm confident He will do it again. If you would like to donate items, please email me at

Thank you friends for your support and prayers for this ministry. Below, I am listing the items we will be collecting for each "baby care package".

*receiving blankets
*burp cloths
*hooded towels
*wash cloths
*newborn outfits

Please remember, we ask that all items be new, and newborn in size.

I want to give a shout out to our friends at Grace's Kitchen. They will be providing cake, punch and refreshments for our shower again. If you are not familiar with their ministry, please check them out HERE! These sisters encourage me to be a doer of the Word.... they are making much of Jesus, and I am thankful for their friendship.

Be on the look out for pictures from the baby shower. I can't wait for you to see how cute these sweet mommas are :)