… shining moments

The ultimate regret – behavior outbursts.
……. Or,acting in a way contradictory to your beliefs and having to swallow it when it’s thrown back in your face.

You know the times when you speak or act in frustration or even when others don’t feel that you’re living up to your beliefs.

On one hand, it’s a hard bit to swallow.

On the other, it’s a moment to reflect and acknowledge a few things:
1. You aren’t perfect
2. Jesus had full disclosure of who you were, are, and would be when He chose you to be a part of His people
3. The imperfections you know you have don’t make Jesus’ truths any less true.

We all stumble and make horrific judgement calls and says the worst things at the worst times, but you know what – they’re mistakes we use to grow.

They’re mistakes that spark conversations (that hopefully don’t turn into arguments) that give us the opportunity to show the same forgiveness that our God’s shows us moment by moment.

These less than stellar moments of ours bring about opportunities to practice humility, the art of understanding anther’s perspective, and taking responsibility for our actions.

And, once all of this is done ……. We are given the opportunity to come back together after the dissension our selfishness caused.

Because aren’t most of our “behavior outbursts” rooted in our ego? In something that begins with “I…..” or “My….” ….. Owie. Yes!
We are so welcome to own our feelings, thoughts, and opinions but we should never be okay with harming/ruining a relationship.

Back to it, I was sidetracked……

I challenge us all to remain strong and courageous when speaking the truth of God and allowing it to speak for itself.

Take responsibility for your actions with humility and grace, but don’t let your missteps and those who attempt to discredit you by pointing them out, make you feel as if aren’t able to do what you’re led to do.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that you have to be perfect at all times in order to speak on any and all things Christian. It’s your humility and transparency in your “humanness” that lets people know that we are just as fallible & prone to mistakes as anyone else – our errors are just covered by the blood of our Savior.

Isn’t that something to rejoice in? To be glad about?

We’re able to walk in freedom no matter what we’ve done because of our Jesus’ death.

Trust and embrace that. Live there.
And, allow that truth and every trait and characteristic of Christ that led Him to the cross change you. Understanding who He is and what He’s done for you by His death & resurrection will have you viewing the world and those around you differently.

Including yourself.
I don’t know what you have going on, but I have got to learn to ease up on myself…. To not take myself too seriously…. That everything will not be perfect, that I can put my all on the table and walk away proud. To forgive myself and not allow the past to haunt me.

Our God is a redeemer and He makes all things new.

The broken, embarrassing, and destructive things/relationships can be redeemed and renewed in His perfect timing.

You acted out. I acted out. We completely embarrassed ourselves and feel horribly about it – cool. Apologize, ask for forgiveness, and lets keep moving.

…. here’s to giving our pasts to a God who gave us a get out of jail free card before we realized we needed it.

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… a little bit of hope

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From the very beginning of our journey, Thomas and I have been incredibly hopeful about bringing a little one into the world.

As our plans in how we would be bringing home a baby changed, we remained hopeful about God’s plan and how He would use us to get a bit of His work done. A couple of months before we planned to continue to fertility treatments, my heart was completely stolen by the act of adoption. Understanding that we were once orphans and were adopted into a forever family, it is so perfect that we are able to show that same love for a little one.

It’s already the sweetest, most incredible experience and I’m grateful to be able to experience such an act of service.

Faith. Hope. Love. The greatest of these is love. But, how much of our faith is driven by hope?

Our dreams and wishes begin with the smallest amount of hope. A thought laced with a desire of something big. amazing. spectacular. A twinge of excitement and endless possibilities.

…. reminding us that anything is possible. That good can happen.

And, from the very beginning, our good has been happening. The last couple of years rarely felt good in regards of expanding our family… there were definitely some hard times but they gave way to some very real learning experiences and opportunities for growth.

Even though we still have a few weeks before we’re presented to families, we’re not at the finish line yet. It seems as if we’re almost there but I know we still have a ways to go.

But, oh the hope. The joy. The excitement.

The peace and fulfillment that comes when you just go.

Just thinking about how GOD works… how He calls us to do various things sometimes without giving many clues as to what is coming next.

He just says, “Go.” “Do.” “Give.”
The times Jesus called the Disciples… there was no conversation. There was no debating on the Disciples part. They heard the call and obeyed.

There were times when Jesus healed, he sometimes asked questions that would lead to a confession of faith and then told the healed to “Go.”… There are other times such as when He healed the man with the withered hand in Matthew 12. He “simply” said, “Stretch out your hand.” The man obeyed and He was healed.

There is something amazing about obeying God and the glorify He receives through our stories. Our testimonies. Our obedience. Our faith and trust.

His plans are always so perfect and He doesn’t always give us explanations or show was what’s coming but He always promises that He will be with us. That His mercies are new every morning and that they, also, endure forever.

I didn’t think we’d have our first little one through adoption. I never considered adoption as a act of service and I definitely didn’t see the correlation between what happened in the adoptive mama/child and God/child relationships. Ever.

I know, believe, and trust that God has some really amazing work to do through adoption in general and our adoption specifically.

My heart is constantly full. Constantly overflowing with amazement and tears of pure awe.

Hope changes everything. It keeps us going. Gives us the wherewithal to dream a bit bigger. It keeps us believing.

I have never been so fulfilled or at peace with a decision…. Adoption is more than just one of the numerous ways we can expand our family… It’s being the hands and hugs of God, loving on His children, raising little people who grow up to love God and serve others. It’s comforting the lonely and hurting. It’s giving hope to a little one and their birth mama. It’s promising to care of and do right by a person that was loved so much that the best decision that could have been made for them, was to create a plan that enabled them to live a much more comfortable life.

A life that exposed them to things they may have never been able to experience.
A life full of love. Safety. A future.
A life that can’t promise the lack of pain or suffering, but a life that is steadied by a village of people who love them more than they ever imagined.

Does that sound familiar or what?

This road isn’t easy. We’re close but not there yet. But, I know that we are doing all of this for the right reasons. And, I haven’t done this on my own. And, even with Thomas by my side, we couldn’t have endured all we have on our own strength.

“… if anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ….” 1 Peter 4:11.
Read all of chapter 4 for some real knock you down kinda encouragement.

>>>>> Wanna know how you can help?? <<<<<

We were blessed to be accepted into a crowd funding program, Chrome Buffalo!! It’s an exciting program run by a husband/wife team who are so incredibly sweet and generous!
They have somehow devised the most generous plan that enables them to assist individuals and families raise money for their endeavors.
Every quarter, they create t-shirt (with spectacular designs) and sell them for $22.
Then, they give HALF of the proceeds from each shirt purchased during the 10 day drive to the driver.
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If you click HERE, you’ll be able to check out our shirt design and read/watch a portion of our story! …And, purchase a shirt!

These shirts really are the softest, most comfortable ever! The quality is amazing!! We supported a friend’s mission trip with a shirt from CB, and was pleasantly surprised at the quality!!

… here’s to being the hands and feet of Christ, going when he says to go, and glorifying Him along the way!

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… be strong & courageous

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

As we grow in wisdom, we learn that being strong and courageous can sometimes mean sitting still….. Praying…. And, waiting. Being quiet. Trusting God while He works.

We recognize that being strong and courageous in Christ is completely different than being strong and courageous in the ways our culture defines strength and courage.

It’s counter-cultural. It’s not ego driven. It is not self satisfying.

Sometimes showing strength & courage means standing up and defending ourselves and others, but never at the cost of another.

Tearing someone down doesn’t make you strong.

Neither does holding your tongue “to keep peace” when someone or their cause needs defending against a larger entity or when it means going against what’s popular. There are times when it’s much wiser to remain quiet, which takes a strength all it’s own, but we can trust that wisdom will tell us what battles are worth fighting with who and when.

Getting our little one has been a fight from the very start, but I have learned that some battles are best fought on my knees. Praying and pleading.

For my baby. My family. Their family. And, for whatever circumstances wherever they may be experiencing.

One of my friends called her family her adopted child’s Plan B family. I never thought of it that way but how true it is.

It is so true that God doesn’t desire families to be broken and children to be removed from their homes.

It’s true that God doesn’t want His children living with life long soul aches because they can’t raise their children comfortably themselves.

But, redemption stories are also true. How God can mend all of our broken hearts. How He can comfort our sorrows and turn our pains into opportunities that birth our greatest joys, opportunities for us to testify to His goodness & glorify His name.

How these three or four separate entities can find peace and comfort in our Savior. The One, besides the baby, that unites us forever.

It’s absolute truth that our Plan B story written by God is better than any top tier, Plan A story that could ever be written by anyone or any cohesive group of people.

I think about how our Savior wasn’t God’s first, second, or even third choice when deciding how to bring His people back to Him…….. But, because of our sinful nature, His last option was the greatest option.

I have wanted to give up. To say “this just may not be for us…” but I know that it’s God’s desire for us to care for a baby who is either unwanted or just cannot remain with their birth family for whatever reason.

And, I can’t walk away from that.

I’d prefer to wait in the balance knowing I’m doing God’s will than to walk away and experience temporary “peace” that will never truly be satisfying because of how the Holy Spirit will nag me and forever tap on my shoulder reminding me of what could have been and pushing me to obey anyway.

I’m excited about the next steps in our process…….

This week, I’ll be working on gathering our pictures so they’ll be ready to go in the next few weeks!

I’m excited and literally sitting on the edge of my seat in anticipation about what God is going to do over the next few months! I truly believe that He is going to do something amazing through our lives and I am so ready for it!!

He commands to not fear or be discouraged. No matter what the circumstances or what you face, The Lord YOUR God is with you wherever you may go.

His presence is more valuable than anything we could ever purchase to protect us. Or, whatever comforts we feel could make us feel better.

…. Here’s to a strength, peace, & courage that could only come from The Lord!

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