… everybody, somebody, anybody

I submit bi-weekly (ish… lol) to Houston Style Magazine that is based here in, well… HOUSTON!  🙂

This week, I essentially posted about actively BEING a Christian to the world. On being willing to love and serve people in whatever capacity they need it. (You can read my article here.)
moore, oklahoma

I believe that often times we overlook the needs of people because of stereotypes or just plain old ignorance to what they are dealing with. If we don’t understand a person’s struggle, aren’t directly impacted, or don’t know them on a personal level, it can be difficult to move past the ‘oh that’s terrible. I feel horrible for her/him.’ to doing anything to help ease a burden by stepping out of our comfort zones and DOING something.

Encouraging words and prayer work wonders. I’m a firm believer in both. A little encouragement can change a person’s outlook and give them the boost they needed to get through the day. Obviously, prayer is amazing and lets our Father know we recognize our need for Him and He does hear us.

But, our Father expects us to do more than just talk. He expects us to do more than send cards or post nice words on a Facebook or Instagram feed. He expects more than a quick text in between doing this or that.

He expects us to ACT.

If I need something but everyone around me is talking to me… sending me notes… giving me hugs… and SAYING they’ll pray for me…. is my physical need being met?

Could it be that while we’re praying to God for this person’s need to be met and for that situation to improve that He has already given US the tools to meet that need and improve that situation?

Does the Father really need to come down to feed the homeless? Pray FOR the homeless absolutely… but they need food. Clothes. Shoes. A conversation. They need love in action.

We are praying for marriages and relationships to be redeemed but are we TALKING and COUNSELING these people? Are we asking them for coffee or dinner and forming relationships with them in an effort to mentor and show younger/less experienced folks how to get through what we’ve successfully gone through already?

We all need love in action in some way, shape, form, or fashion.
We all NEED someone.

Are we willing to be vulnerable enough to admit that? Are we willing to be open enough with the brothers and sisters who our Father has put at our side to support each other where and when we need it the most?
moore, oklahoma2

Are we willing to step out of our comfort zones and move past the stereotypes we’ve given those who are struggling with disease, imprisonment, poverty, and homelessness?

Are we willing to use and sacrifice our time, gifts/talents, and money to support someone else…. Are we willing to GIVE out of our surplus to help someone who has less that what we do?

My heart is  truly aching for those who struggle in whatever way…. Since this journey of mine began, my mind and eyes have been opened to so much and I’m gratefully being just torn up over the things we take for granted.

I’m grateful for the opportunities I have to DO and BE of real help to those anybodies I come across in whatever way.

We can be are so selfish. So caught up in our own little worlds. Preoccupied with our overwhelming schedules.
We peer behind our tinted windows as we drive our fancy cars down streets lined with hurting, hungry people.
We browse our Facebooks and Instagrams as we have conversations of this person and that person going through whatever life has tossed them and keep going without a second thought. Well, a second thought after “That sucks.”

But, we do nothing.

Why?

Our hurting brothers and sisters don’t have to hurt nearly as much as they do. We don’t have to hurt nearly as much as we do.

If everyone lent a hand. If we cared about the somebodies who are suffering and struggling in various parts of our work places, cities, states, country, and world and chose to ACT – we could turn our world upside down.

And, what the world would see are the people of God moving, doing, serving, acting, and loving on others. The saved. The worldly. The sinful. The proud. The helpless. The widow. The orphan. The broken. The sick. The hopeless.

The beauty is we all fit or will fit in at least one of those categories at some point in our lives…..
and, if we all decide to step up, we will all be cared for.

We would show the world Jesus.

We would give the world a glimpse of who Jesus truly was.
And, who He expects us to be to them.

Sinners people saved by grace serving others.
They would see a people who are bearing fruit to the glory of God – they would see what it means to be patient and kind with another, how to faithfully, peacefully, and joyfully endure and suffer through whatever they are struggling with.

This life is hard and we need each other to get through it.
hopeLe hubby and I!
{{Our roles at church are colliding this week and we get to actively SERVE together this week… Makes for fun times and fun photo ops!!!}}
Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd, yes! I am wearing our Chrome Buffalo fundraiser shirt “Hope changes everything”
(that’s only available for one more day!!!!)
I’d hoped to sell 200 shirts, but we won’t make that goal.
However, I’m so grateful for our friends and family and friends of friends and family (who don’t know us!) who have donated and given towards our adoption.
I will honestly love you forever.

… here’s to understanding struggle and being confident enough in the story God is writing for me to be painfully vulnerable and possibly a bit to open to share my journey with you.

 

Signature

… a little bit of hope

20130618-222043.jpg

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.
{{Sounds mighty hands & feet of God to me!!}}>20130618-210049.jpg

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!

name
<br /

Signature

… please be still

20130604-222744.jpg

My heart beats fast. Tears well up in my eyes. My imagination runs wild. Plans are spinning, floating, and growing in my mind.

And, I cannot help it.

In a short matter of literally WEEKS, Thomas and I are slated to be presented to birth families.

What does that mean?!

Well, my inquisitive friend…. Let me tell you.

We’re a step away from being selected by a birth mother and hopefully matched to become her baby’s mama and daddy.

A few weeks away.

A few action items away.

A few signatures, interviews, and visits to the post office away.

A few prayers, phone calls, and emails away.

And, we are there.

20130604-223050.jpg
Of course, we may have to wait a few more months until delivery but glory, we are right there.

Right at the brink of a promise fulfilled.

Testimonies to tell.

Praises to sing.

The goodness of God to be told.

Please continue to pray for us.

Pray for our process – that all things go smoothly. That we won’t have to endure another failed adoption, that the birth mama won’t change her mind.

Pray for our birth mother and our little one. That they are healthy and have found peace in this situation.

Please pray for our fundraising efforts. We have a couple of avenues I’m PRAYING God allows us to venture down. I’m praying that God will cause us to ask “How in the world did that happen??” just as the disciplines did when Paul walked on water, when the 5,000 were fed twice,when the dead were raised, the sea was parted, walls fell with a loud praise.

I am excited and greatly anticipating God to move in an unbelievable way.

I believe He can do exceedingly more than we could ever ask or think and we’re asking for upwards of $26,000 plus……

20130604-223753.jpg
My adoption was costly, paid for by the blood of His only Son….. Who rose after he died. I believe that He could do another great work here.

Through us.
Our family.
Our friends.
Other unknown members of the body.

He expects us to help each other, to care door each other, and support one another.

Please pray about how you could help us or another family do what they are led to do for Christ.

Everyone isn’t led to adopt or go on mission trips or church plant…… But, as members of each other, we are definitely called to support (in various ways) those who are.

If you would like to give towards our adoption, you can head on over here to our Deposit A Gift Website!!

You can send encouraging words, prayers, WHATEVER to unashamedgrowth@gmail.com!! I love hearing from you guys!!

Thank you for loving us. For journeying with us. For supporting and praying with us.

We appreciate and love you more than you could imagine!!!

…. here’s to serving and supporting the body in the work they do for Christ.

Signature