Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Give Me Jesus


Our daughter Elsie is a senior in high school and has been studying American Sign Language since she was nine years old.  She knew after the first class that she took at our church that ASL was what she wanted to pursue as a career.  We waited and watched as she continued in her studies.
She has shown a passion for this language and for the 
Deaf Community that has been inspiring to watch.

Recently she was given the opportunity to begin signing for worship at our church.  The first time she got up on stage and began signing to praise songs I became overwhelmed by God's goodness.

When our children are little we hope and pray that they will grow up to be who God has designed them to be.  I was standing in church watching my daughter step into the role that God had designed her for. It was beautiful and it brought tears to see her doing exactly what she loves.

Please watch as she signs to a song of special music called 
"Give Me Jesus."

Sweet Momma


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hairy:)

If you are a mom to a bunch of kids, or maybe just one or two, you might notice the "kid things" taking over the house from time to time.  It might be the never ending science project, the lego project where the whole universe is being recreated or just an art project that won't dry.

I happen to LOVE all these kids and all of the "things" that come with them.  I know there will come a day when my house is cleaner than it is at the moment, but that will invariably mean that there aren't as many feet pounding down my stairs and I will miss this time.

My kitchen window sill seems to be the collector of many things.  Over the past week it has become home to my new friend "Hairy."

My little Sunshine is in a class at our homeschool co-op called "Upcycling."  She has the most creative teacher in the world.  They take left over things and make them new again.  A couple of weeks ago she brought home my new friend and we have enjoyed watching him grow...



Go Seahawks!!!

Sweet Momma

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Thirteen

At our house the children keep growing and having birthdays.  There have been several birthdays that I have not documented here.  I am hoping that those kiddos will forgive me.  I suppose the most important thing is that they were each loved and celebrated on their day.:)

Thirteen years old is a big deal at our house!  I wanted to share with you what our family does to celebrate this milestone.  Historically, the age of thirteen would be a mile marker toward adulthood.  Many famous men and women in history were doing remarkable things in their teen years.

Our society today has trained parents to believe that the teen years are a time to be fearful of.  We are led to believe that we should expect these precious little ones that we gave birth to will turn into rebellious young adults who lack self control and disrespect authority.

In our home we look at the teen years in a very different way. We celebrate this step toward adulthood with a different kind of birthday party.

A month or so before my child's birthday I ask them to make a list of women (or men, depending on the child's gender) that they believe has been influential in their life and in their relationship with Christ.  These are the people that are invited to this very special birthday party.

 Last weekend our Sweet Pea turned thirteen and we had a wonderful time with a houseful of women and their daughters.  Sweet Pea wanted a Tea Party that included those cute little tea sandwiches and scones with devonshire cream.  Yum!

There are no presents at this party.  Well, not the kind of presents that a girl of thirteen would typically receive.  Each women that was invited was asked to write out a letter filled with thoughts, encouragement, scripture and words that might help Sweet Pea as she moves toward womanhood.

 After tea and sandwiches, we all gathered in the living room as Sweet Pea sat and listened to words of love and wisdom from her mom, dad, aunts, sisters, grandmothers, teachers and friends.  I was in awe of the amazing ladies who have been a part of her life so far.  What a privilege to hear all that God had shared with them about Sweet Pea.  I am so thankful that she has such a godly community of women to share her life with.

After cake and more tea we had a time of prayer for the future of our daughter.  She had such a lovely time and was overwhelmed at the thoughtfulness of each friend who came.

She is already such a beautiful young woman.  I am so thankful for the relationship I have with her.  I know as she grows that there will challenges and changes, but I don't fear the years to come.

My next step is to take these beautiful words of wisdom and the pictures taken that day and create a memory book that she will have to look back on as she goes through the years ahead.

Happy Birthday Sweet Pea!!  I love you so!

Sweet Momma

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours!

May God bless you and yours this Christmas!

Sweet Momma

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Extra Grace Required


2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.



 Have you ever heard the phrase "EGR?"  I heard this phrase from another Christ follower in early adulthood.  At that point in my life I was following Christ, but looking back now, I was a fairly immature believer.  The phrase was meant to point out the people in our lives who were, shall I say, a bit quirky.  You know what I mean, the person who might seem awkward at care group or that special someone who always seems to have "issues."

Among my friends we would throw in "They are an EGR," as we referred to that person.  Meaning that there was extra grace required when talking with or spending time with them.  We all thought it was kind of funny and was a better way than saying we thought they were weird.

At that time in my life I was a young mom with several little ones.  When I look back at my prayer journals at the time I almost laugh at the things I had listed as "challenges" in need of prayer.  I am sure that my view of God was fairly shallow.  I am so glad that God did not leave me in that shallow, selfish  place.  He is so kind and full of grace that He waited to push me into a deeper knowledge of His power when I was ready.  Actually, I wasn't ready.  But I began to pray that God would  show me more of Himself and He did not disappoint.


 Hebrews 4:16
Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive 
mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

As I continued to walk through my adult years I began to experience deep hurt, loss and pain through many circumstances.  It is amazing how God uses pain, suffering and loss to draw us to Himself.  It is in that time of need that He makes himself known in amazing ways.  The pain and hurt grow us and mature us in ways that times of ease cannot.  This kind of growth can also help us to see others through the eyes of Christ.

Christ made every single person on this planet.  He has a plan and a purpose for us all and He does not prefer one of us over the other.  I know this may seem like Christian Ethics 101, but I think we can get caught up in life and forget these very powerful truths.

There are many ways that God shook my world to draw me close to Him.  Looking back I am so thankful.  But I do not believe that anyone enjoys the process of refining that pain and struggle can take us through.

As I matured in Christ, my heart for the helpless began to grow.  The EGR's in my world became wonderful friends.  I actually began to seek out those who looked a little lost or in need of a friendly ear.  I began to teach my children to do the same.

Then our whole family answered the call to adopt.  We were so excited!!  It is an amazing feeling when you know you are walking in the path God has chosen for you.  Not everyone in our circle understood this calling.  We were met with many questions and concerns.  We admitted that we also had questions and concerns, but believed that God would equip us for this step of obedience.

We read books and took hours of training to prepare us for these precious people that God had chosen for our family.  We had expectations of what the transition into our home might look like.  We prepared ourselves to be amazed at the work of God.

Then we flew on a plane to meet our newest little additions.

The transition at home began and was much like we expected.  It was very hard bonding with two little ones who were scared and confused and mad.  But we continued forward knowing that this was part of the process.




Then one year and then two went by and things were a bit different than the first months, but still very hard.  I found myself wanting to take all of the prayer request time at care group because I felt like I was drowning.  I didn't understand what was happening and why it wasn't getting better.  I knew God was good and faithful and full of that wonderful grace, but where was it?

My heart hurt.

I cried out to God asking for Him to move on behalf of my precious little ones who were hurting so badly.  I knew that I couldn't repair their brokenness.  The only person who could do it was God.

I began taking them to attachment therapy.  I asked anyone who would listen to pray.  I read God's word searching for truth, hope and more of that wonderful grace.


Ephesians 2:8
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—
and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Through the past three and a half years I have seen God move in absolutely amazing ways.  The difficulties that our family experiences on a daily basis are growing us in ways that never could have happened if we had not answered that call from God.

Our family is quite different from the average family.  I am not referring to the beautiful chocolate brown little ones or the fact that we have half a dozen kiddos... I am referring to some of the ways we parent our little ones that the "world" doesn't understand, but we know it is what is best for them.
One of our little ones is still struggling to trust and open his heart to real love.

But that little one has given me the incredible privilege of truly loving like Christ.  I am rejected on a daily basis and I have learned to see my little EGR as the most precious being that God ever created.
I wouldn't trade this experience for anything.  Yes, I do hope that God will heal his little broken heart, but aren't we all broken?

I hope that when God looks at me I have a big EGR next to my name.  I want Him to pour all of His Extra Grace on me.  I sure need it!

Sweet Momma

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Bubble Fun!

Summertime and what to do?  Keep a bottle of bubble solution just hanging around and you might be able to stir up some fun.  It has been awhile since we have played with bubbles.  I had just as much fun watching.  Some of them were HUGE!  I love the photos where they are trying to blow the big bubbles up so that they won't pop on the grass.


 This is Bookworm. "Master Bubble Maker"









 Sweet Pea always manages to look sweet.

 
Cate claims to be a four year old at heart.  This photo is clear evidence.

 Even my sixteen year old Elsie got in on the act!



 Bubble parade anyone?


This one is so funny!  Laying on the grass, making every attempt to keep the balloon in flight.

Sweet Momma