Thursday, August 25, 2011

Don't wait.... get "kisses" now!

I know I have promised all kinds of pictures and follow up stories but folks..... it's crazy busy around here. School has started, Shawn and I joined a new leadership team at church that we are super excited about, we are knee deep in non-profit preparations and planning a conference. All while trying to do the normal everyday things like laundry, cooking, cleaning, chasing littles, reading, and playing. It's wild, but oh so fun!

I've had to prune some things from my plate lately in order to keep my priorities straight and my time on the computer is limited. Most of the time I spend on the computer is doing research for the orphan care conference we are planning for next March. I haven't shared many details on that yet.... but I will very soon.

Anyhow, if you've been reading "Our Lives" for a while, then you know we are big fans of Katie Davis. She is Maggie's hero and I can totally see my sweet Mag's living in Africa when she grows up and being a mommy to a dozen or more brown babies.
Well, guess what Katie has done now... she has written her own book. I can't wait to get it in my hands. Actually, my sweet friends Lynsey and Kari pre-ordered it for me for my birthday.
I have a feeling this will be one that as soon as it comes in the mail, it will be fend for yourself around this house for a couple days. Yes, it will be that good!
If you want to pre-order you can do that HERE!!!! Thanks L & K for my birthday present..... you always know what I like :)

Kisses from Katie will be released in October. I encourage you to order your copy and plan to be inspired by one of the most courageous, orphan loving sisters I know.

Well, that's all for tonight..... I will get those promised pictures posted soon.
(I hope;)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A brief update and a sweet gotcha day video

The past few weeks have been especially busy around our house. We've had a few extra special and really fun events on our calendar. Events we have spent the entire summer excited about.

Last week-end we spent 3 days in the woods of Tennessee at Loretta Lynn's Ranch watching hundreds of guys (and a few girls) including my very brave teenage nephew race dirt bikes. Not just anyone can ride in this race. It's the absolute best riders in the nation. My nephew, Drew, trained and worked very hard to qualify..... and he made it. He did great! It was a super fun week-end spent watching races, playing in a cold creek and riding around in the mud on golf carts and ATVs. Yee-haw! Fun times :) Pictures coming this week!

Next was our oldest daughter, Lexie's sweet 16th birthday party! It was a little late (her bday is in July) because one of her closest friends was a camp counselor this summer, so we waited until she got home to have the party. Lexie has been planning this party all summer and I think she enjoyed every minute of it. Her one request was that her daddy hang large Christmas lights over our pool. Well, she's always had her daddy wrapped around her finger so of course she got the lights. About 6oo lights as a matter of fact! She is blessed to have lots of wonderful friends who came to celebrate her special night. I think we had around 50 teenagers plus about 25 more friends and family. Who said homeschoolers are boring. Over half the kids here were homeschoolers :) Again, I will share pics later in the week.

Our last big event was last night and it was one of the sweetest! If you've been reading my blog for long or you know our family, then you know Kelsie. She is like a little sister to me and a big sister to our kids. Last night, she married her best friend in the world. I had the privilege of being her matron of honor and Lilly and Levi were the flower girl and ring bearer. We have loved this sweet couple for years and have prayed for this day for a long time. Pictures of this will definitely be coming soon. Kelsie was gorgeous and I must say, Lilly and Levi were the most adorable little pair I've ever seen. I can not wait to share the pictures and lots of details. It was a very special day for more reasons than the obvious. I will let that post brew in my heart for a week or so and then share.

As you can tell, we've been a bit busy around here the past few weeks. We would normally start school tomorrow morning but guess what...... we're NOT! Another plus to homeschooling!... momma decides when we start. I need this week to regroup and prepare, so we will kick off our official school year next Monday.

We do have one more HUGE event on our calendar and this one we've been praying for since last November. Our niece is coming home from Korea.... Praise the Lord! My brother-in-law and sister-in-law got the news last week that we'd been waiting on. Their sweet little girl Daria was approved to leave Korea and come home to her family. Hopefully, she will be in our arms by the end of the month or the first of September. Please join our family in praying her home. She is absolutely beautiful and I can't wait to share her homecoming! Lots of pictures of Daria coming very soon!

Ok, since I shared some details of the past couple weeks at our house but NO pictures..... how about a very special "gotcha day" video. Turn down my music and enjoy watching this family's journey to Mareto. Adorable!!!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Why Adoption by Tony Merida

HERE is a great post from Tony Merida, co-author of Orphanology, titled "Why Adoption". It's a must in my opinion .... I'm just saying :)
(Incase you are wondering, I'm not receiving proceeds for promoting this book.... its just that good!!!!!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trend or movement.... thank God for whichever!

I have just finished reading Orphanology, and if you haven't read it yet, I highly recommend it. For me, the timing was perfect for this book. My heart has been quite disturbed lately as I've heard a few people (Christians) refer to adoption and orphan care as being a fad or trend. Now the definition of a fad is a temporary notion or manner of conduct. The definition of a trend is the general course or prevailing tendency. I guess it is accurate to say that we are seeing a prevailing tendency toward orphan care, including adoption in the church. Praise the Lord! Trend or movement, call it whichever you like, but thank God we are watching it happen. Also, the definition of a movement is an abundance of events or incidents. I like that!!!

It's so odd to me that many of the people, including pastors, who are referring to this time as being an adoption/orphan care trend, are some who have prayed for the church to love others like Jesus loved others. Well, hello.... I think their prayers are being answered. Last time I read through the gospels I didn't see Jesus just loving the people he went to church with or the people around Him who were safe, cheap or convenient to love. And He surely didn't encourage His disciples to do that.

Here is just a few of God's commitments to orphans and widows:
He promised to: defend them, come to them, be their Father, be their helper, make them a home, execute true justice, maintain their cause, give them food and clothing, rescue them, lift them up, lead them out, deliver them, hear them, not to leave them and extend mercy to them.

That's orphan care!!!.... and it didn't begin recently and it's not a temporary notion..... It started long ago in the old testament days and I am hopeful it will continue in more and more abundance until Jesus comes back. I pray that it continues in more and more abundance.

Lately, I've had a couple people email me about their desire to start an orphan care ministry in their church but in both cases, the pastor and other ministers weren't supportive. I'm assuming, there are many orphan loving families in this same position. My advice is, DON'T give up!!!! Keep standing up and being a voice for the fatherless, because once a flame is started (and YOU are likely that flame) it can erupt into a full blown fire! Pray, pray, pray that it takes off like a wild fire amongst the church, and fatherless children receive the love of Christ through us.

The following video was made this year by the Christian Alliance for Orphans to promote Summit VII back in May. There is power in the message that Steven Curtis Chapman shares in the video and hopefully, you will find much encouragement in his words. Turn down my music before watching the video.