Moving…

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Moving to a new blog! Setting it up (slowly) to be a family blog. Hoping to share more photos, more opinions, and more of the story that the Lord has graciously given us to share!

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We go to an absolutely fabulous church! It’s small, but not too small. We have great leaders, there are great families with similar interests. Everything is God-centered, as it should be. Every sermon is directly in line with scripture, as it should be.

I will admit, I used to feel very insecure when we were not in church. If we missed a service I felt guilty. I felt like everyone thought poorly of me. I was worried that people would think I wasn’t such a “great Christian.”

Did anyone catch the problem in any of that? I was worried about whatΒ people thought ofΒ me.Β 

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

We have been pretty over committed lately. It’s not my favorite place to be. At all. It wears J and I thin, it wears our children thin.

So, when we woke up yesterday to a very rainy Sunday morning, knowing that our busy afternoon was most likely going to extend late into the evening, we declared that it was the day for “home church.” And, by the way, home church can be done piled on the sofa with our Bibles, blankets, and children. In our pjs. Or it can be done on a picnic blanket in the grass. Or on the beach, watching the waves lap over our feet. And, and, and. πŸ˜‰

We read a story from The Jesus Storybook Bible. Just as a side note, this is the best children’s bible that I have found! And we have read alot of them! πŸ™‚ We did a little Q and A with all of the children. CoCo answered some questions that I had given them on her own. I helped Pinky, and Lu decided that he wanted to draw a slide that he could go down really fast. πŸ˜‰ Then we let the little ones go play with J and I read out of the “grown up bible” with CoCo. We read from Matthew 6, which was where our story from The Jesus Storybook was pulled from. We would read a few verses and then pause for discussion, then continue reading. We all three contributed.

It was not only a special time of studying God’s word together, but it was also productive. And, as much as we love and enjoy our church, I believe it is was the Lord wanted from our family yesterday. It was what our family needed. We needed to slow down, catch our breath. Being still isn’t always what we are good at, but sometimes (ha- really, all times!) it’s what we need more than anything. We weren’t pressured to explain our absence. I didn’t have that old, gross, man pleasing attitude that I once had.

Thankful that we know and believe that He is everywhere… not just in the building waiting on Sunday morning to arrive once again.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”-Joshua 1:9

Two weeks later…

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So… I hope that this is the last post about my “girls.”

It’s been two weeks since my surgery. My drains came out a week ago, I finally got the (really itchy) bandages off.

I’m feeling great.
Everything fits better.
My body is much more proportioned.

I feel very… free!

It’s funny (not really) that 12 years ago I made a change that I thought would solve everything! I really believed that it was the ticket to my self esteem and selfimage issues! Just typing that sentence screams part of the problem… selfIt’s not about me. It’s about him. Breast implants were making it about me.

When I look back on my behavior soon after getting the implants, I must have completely reeked of insecurity! I began acting in ways that I had never acted before and I think that the implants just sent me in that direction full speed. Looking for acceptance and approval in all of the wrong places. With all of the wrong people.

All I have to say is praise you, Lord for not letting me go!

I think that what I thought would be the answer to all of my problems only amplified my problems.

The answer to my problems (and your problems) doesn’t come in anything that we can buy. It doesn’t even come in the people that we love.

The answer is Him.

Some comments from my children “you feel better to hug now.” “mommy, it’s easier to snuggle you now.” “you look alot better without that plastic in your body.” πŸ™‚

Running is easier, yoga is easier.

Being who God created us to be is no joke. When we start altering ourselves to suite us then we are getting in the way of His work. I know that it’s very hard when movies, tv shows, magazines, advertisements are all screaming perfection at us and it’s really just a surgery away! It’s hard when people that we love are encouraging it. It’s hard when everyone you know seems to be doing it.

We had the opportunity to worship with the Church of Brooks Hills on Sunday. One thing (well, let’s face it- lots of things) that David Platt said really hit me hard. “We must reject worldly rationalizing.” We have to start taking sin as sin, not rationalizing “little” sins and overlooking them because they are “little.” When I altered my body by having breast augmentation I was sinning. Starting with being ungrateful with what the Lord gave me, and then not taking care of my “temple.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own, you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”

This post has turned out to be much longer than I intended!

Really, all I needed to say was- I feel great, in and out. I feel the light of my Father shining on me. I feel peaceful and I feel free. I’m very thankful for the support system that I have. I am thankful for courage.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2

Gross

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This made me sick when it fell out of the inside of my newspaper (with the other coupons). I had to do alot of cropping to not reveal who the attorney is. Really??? Coupons for a divorce!? There were three on the card.

The worst part?

There was a “fish” on the card.

pa-yuke.

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“we caught a bird!”

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After a long and very fun day at the zoo, J and I were preparing dinner together this evening. The kids were outside, running off some energy that they some how managed not to completely get out at the zoo… Wish they’d share their secret with me because I was sapped!

I heard alot of hollering and some commotion, running closer to the door. I peeped my head outside just in time for an almost out of breath CoCo to say “we caught something!” I immediately put up my guard and asked “what?” I was expecting something long and… yucky. Pinky is behind CoCo at this point, proudly holding up a butterfly “house.” Inside the butterfly house was a frightened and loud bird!

“whoa!” I said, as Pinky proceeded to waltz right into the house with the birdie, “y’all have got to let that thing go!” Pinky plops down the butterfly house (we have got to give that girl a lesson in gentleness, by the way!) and starts to open the top right there, in our kitchen!

“whoa!” I said again. πŸ™‚ “if that thing gets loose in the house we may never get it out!”

So, out onto the back porch we go, the kids are all squealing and chattering about this bird and house cute it is, house it’s wings are flapping so hard, and oh look, it has a talon (thanks, Napoleon Dynamite) stuck in the net! Pinky opens the top and birdie just flaps. It was not stuck in the net anymore at this point but that little thing was not coming out!

The dog was pacing around the butterfly house at this point so I thought it might be better to take the thing out into yard and let it go. I tell them to gently carry the butterfly house out in the yard and open up the lid but don’t hover over the top because you are not going to be happy when that bird flies straight into your face!

They take off into the yard, Pinky is still carrying the thing and she is holding it behind her, letting it blow in the wind.

I really did not think that the bird survived its trip across the backyard.

After about 10 tries on Pinky and Lu’s parts, the butterfly house couldn’t stay upright and open. Poor birdie was getting loud. J finally went to assist. He turned the house onto its side and opened it. Poor birdie was not coming out. It was so scared!

Finally, it fell out with a thud was gently helped out. πŸ™‚ By a precious little one who once again reminded me that she needs some lessons in gentleness.

Once birdie was in the yard, crying its little eyes out, the novelty wore off and the little kids took off to find something else to get into.

It was then that I actually thought to ask CoCo how did she catch the bird!

“well,” CoCo explained, “we were all playing and noticed that the little bird was hopping, then I got a little closer and I realized it wasn’t going to fly away. So I thought, this is a really good time to show everyone that I can catch a bird! And, I caught it!” I really did feel sad for that bird. Poor thing hadn’t moved and was just chirping so loudly! But, I couldn’t help but laugh. CoCo is long and lanky, I could totally see her being able to sneak up on a bird and actually catching it!

After almost an hour I went to check on the bird, I was getting a little worried. It hadn’t moved! It just sat in the grass squawking. I just knew that it had been injured beyond repair in that butterfly house. I went into the garage and got a handful of birdseed. I scattered it on the ground in front of the birdie and it hopped! Then it hopped some more. And then here comes CoCo with the dang butterfly house! Ha! “I thought since it’s so cute and it’s too hurt to fly, we could keep it in here tonight?”

That would be child talk for I am manipulating you and trying to let you keep a wild animal as a pet.

I don’t fall for that! And J for sure doesn’t a, πŸ˜‰

Birdie got a lil’ motivation when she saw CoCo with the little house! Hop, hop, hop and birdie was under the fence. Hop, hop, hop and birdie was a few feet from our fence! I never did see birdie fly away but she seemed to be moving. Hope that she was finally able to flap her little wings again and warn all of her birdie friends not to land in our yard!

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A Heart Changing…

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When we first began our adoption with Lu, we kept the news to a fairly small group of people. We knew that the process could take a long time and it just wasn’t something that we wanted to be constantly updating people on for the estimated 12-18 months! Once our paperwork was turned in and in Ethiopia, when the real wait began, we’d tell everyone.

Well, only two days after our dossier was turned in we received some very special news! Something along the lines of it’s a boy!

Of course, we were thrilled! And wanted to shout it from the rooftops! And we did… But only in our small circle. Now it felt kind of odd that we hadn’t shared with many people! Everything just happened so much more quickly than we could have imagined (which was awesome!) and so, along with our announcement of sharing that we were adopting, we also had a photograph of a precious baby boy to share!

So, as we shared our wonderful news, we were met with mostly excited responses! Lots of surprised people but almost all were happy and excited!

There were some that we’re not excited though. And some were hurtful.
Not really because we were adopting, everyone seemed supportive of that.
But because Lu had brown skin.

I will say that we did expect some reactions like these. But, it didn’t take away the fact that it hurt to hear. I really and truly thought that seeing Lu’s face would change the hearts of some that we heard these comments from. And it did.

But seeing his sweet face wasn’t enough for everyone. And my heart felt broken, but we knew that we were following the Lord here and we knew that that wasn’t always the most popular or easiest choice.

Who can not love a child? Once we brought him home from Ethiopia and people met him, I was just sure that they’d love him!

But I was wrong.

And my heart was broken. Really and truly.

Our precious boy. With a personality bigger than the moon! A laugh that could make anyone smile. Huge bright eyes and big happy smile. He would give anyone a high five, a squeeze around the neck, or a thumbs up. Almost everyone that met Lu just melted.

Except for the one from whom rejection hurt the most.

Lu would approach and this person would turn a shoulder. Lu would hold out his hand for a “five” and this person would pull their hand away. Lu would try to share from a bowl of popcorn and this person would yank the bowl from Lu’s level… I could keep going. Sometimes this person seemed tolerant. Not often though, and it only lasted for a moment before that tolerance wore off.

I went from annoyance, to anger, to confused, to disgust, to bitter, to just plain hurt. And then relived all of those emotions all over again.

This person, who I held in such high regard, disliked our son. A baby. Because his skin is brown.

This person, who I thought could have walked on water right along side Jesus, had hatred in his heart.

Lu never noticed.
The girls never noticed.
I am so very thankful for that!
So many times I prayed that their hearts would be protected and God has been so faithful!

In March J and I shared our testimony in relation to Lu’s adoption with our church.

After we shared, we opened up for a little Q and A.

We were asked some great questions! Wheels were turning and hearts seemed to be stirred. πŸ™‚
And then came a question that we were not prepared for.

Someone asked if we had any family or friends react negatively to our adoption announcement. Specifically because of Lu’s skin color.

The room was quiet for a moment. And then I answered, “well, to be honest, some people were not happy.” I specifically named the one person whose heart had still not changed, a year and a half later, and I said “but I had to make a decision, was I going to please my Lord or was I going to please… (specifically not naming this person in the post for privacy reasons). And I had to choose my Lord. And that’s been hard. … means everything to me and … still reacts negatively to Lu.”

J told me later that he couldn’t believe I said that. He couldn’t believe that I answered that way and when I opened my mouth and said “well, to be honest…” he was just thinking “ohhh boyyy.”

But it was the truth. And if anyone in the church that day felt their heart being stirred to adopt, I wanted them to know that they might have people who totally shock them by not embracing their decision… or even their child… Not to talk anyone out of it, just so that they know it is possible for someone we love so much it hurts to carry hatred in their hearts.

I would like you to know that three weeks later, on Easter Sunday of all days, the day that we are reminded that He makes all things new, we saw a heart that seemed changed.

I was guarded. Waiting to scoop my little love up before he could even be shown any hate.

But I saw something different.
I saw interest. I saw kindness.
I saw a smile that was real.
I noticed that when Lu was off playing that this person was watching Lu, with a soft smile.

The next time that Lu was around was two weeks later. I approached guarded. My hopes were not high that we would see a replay of Easter.

The Lord must have been shaking His head “oh you of little faith!”

Again, Lu was met with kindness. Encouragement. I overheard this person bragging about how Lu can hit the ball without a tee (it is pretty impressive, hehe). Commenting about how fast Lu runs and how well he rides his bike. All while watching our boy with a smile.

I am sure that it will take some time for this fierce Mama to let her guard down. We might not have even seen the last of the yuck.

But for now we are so thankful to see that a heart is changing. A heart that I have just grieved over. A heart that I began to wonder if it just physically could not change. He is making it new.

“Behold, I make all things new…” Revelation 21:5

Almost a week later…

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Tomorrow will be one week post-op.

I still have drains in, I am very uncomfortable.

If it weren’t for the drains, I think I’d be around 97%! My incisions are only a little sore- the place where the drains are attached are very sore! Feels kind of like a teeny cut that you didn’t know you have and then lemon juice or salt gets on it and suddenly it feels like a deep gash that may very well be the end of you!

So… yeah… pretty uncomfortable.

Those drains are hopefully coming out tomorrow morning!

How do I feel mentally?

If you want the honest truth?

I feel really, really great!

I feel very different and there have been moments when the enemy is trying to convince me of some nasty lies- but I know the truth. My FATHER created me in HIS OWN IMAGE. And that’s good enough for me!

Flat as a pancake and all! πŸ˜‰