Thursday, November 27, 2014

~*Happy Thanks and Giving*~

This year was incredibly difficult for me emotionally. I can't point to any one particular reason but it was just difficult, and honestly, I was struggling to see the blessings in all the heartache. 

In October I began reading the book "The Best Yes" by Lisa TerKeurst and she believes that in order to have peace you must release. The release finally happened for me at the Refresh Summit.

I released....

The guilt of saying "No" became peace that it was the right decision *right now* for our family and for the little guy we had wanted to adopt

The fear of what others would think if we backed out of an adoption that we so desperately wanted to make work because this specific child was worth it became a realization that its not about never has been..its about God and His glory. 

The fear of what would happen to this wonderful child became a certainty that he was not forgotten and he would be chased after quickly. 

I released and then came the peace. 

Every other thought is now for this child's adoption journey, for the journey his family will take to get him and each thought is a prayer for speed and blessing in that journey. 

This year...gratitude is overwhelming my heart. 

My children are healing physically.
My children are healing emotionally. 

My children are learning to trust that they are safe. 

Nana and Papa

My crazy bunch!


With Grandma

Overwhelming peace and gratitude!

~*Happy Thanks and Giving*~ 

Monday, November 24, 2014

~*A Refreshing of the Spirit*~

I was not born with the ability to weave words into beautiful pictures. I was not born a gifted athlete nor am I a perpetually perky person so when heard about the Refresh Summit I knew I would be completely out of my comfort zone. I wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, though.  
Beyond Refreshed!
I looked at the Refresh Summit as a fitness retreat and nothing more and I did not expect to get anything out of it that would bless my relationship with Christ.

I *so* love being wrong! 

 I loved all the workshops, Zumba and Piyo, meeting so many new peeps and learning a few new things...I walked away from this Summit with a few lessons I wanted to share with y'all.

Negative Nellie: 

Zumba, I'm in the pink jacket front and center
Piyo! LOVE IT!
I had to silence the negative voice in my head saying, “You’re not good enough”, “You don’t belong here”, “You’re not as pretty”, and “You’re not skinny like them”. I had no idea how loud this voice was until the Refresh Summit. I had no idea how much I was psyching myself out with all that negative chatter.

  While I am not an extremely social personal (homebodies raise your hand!) I was determined to crack my protective shell and be uncomfortable! I chit-chatted with everyone I came across and I tried to sit with different people at each meal. I did workshops I would never have done in the past, such as Zumba, which turned out to be so much fun, even if I looked ridiculous while doing it!
2 Corinthians 10:5
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

 Making captive every thought for Christ is my key to freedom! It is my key to live without fear.

Fearful Frannie:

Our lovely speaker, Amia, spoke to me on fear.  I pulled her aside because I really thought she had some wisdom for me on this subject.
Amia, our lovely speaker!

1 Peter 5:8
Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

You are bought and paid for by Christ and when the devil asks the Lord if he can mess with you, He will confidently answer "I know my child and my child will not deny me". 

The devil will prowl around and roar at you but he can't hurt you, he can't bite....he can mess with you and scare you with that roar of his and what happens when he roars at us? We run! We flee from him out of fear! Isn't he suppose to be fleeing from us? 

James 4:7
 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 

    It isn't about living fearlessly its about realizing when the devil is messing with you and you call his bluff. Fear is going to happen; how will we deal with it? 

Blessed group of ladies!

Friday, November 21, 2014

~*The Ultimate Love Story*~

This mama's heart is swelling with love as I watch my busy brood build bows and arrows out of K'nex. Their ingenuity always surprises and delights me. To be honest, I am enjoying this quiet moment. After two weeks in the hospital with Dalton, several difficult weeks of recovery,  followed up with the {Refresh Summit}, and my heart is breaking at the same time.

This boy right here.

 He won my heart.

He has won the hearts of so many.

He is loved and adored. He is priceless and precious. He is a gem, a treasure, a miracle. 
This mama's heart breaks for him. All the "if-onlys" in the world cannot change our circumstances to bring him home to us...

 God's plan is bigger. God's plan is grander!
God's love story for this boy will not end now...its only the beginning of the ultimate love story. 

 We pursued adopting this sweet boy and our circumstances changed significantly and now we must leave it to God for someone else to continue the pursuit.

You can do several things. 

Pray for this boy as he waits longer for a family. 
Please consider running AFTER this sweet boy!
Help fund his {Reeces Rainbow page}!

You can learn more about him {HERE} and {HERE}!

John 14:18
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

~*Dalton Recap*~

Dalton was taken into surgery around noon on Thursday and the first incision was made at 1pm. They were technically finished at 5pm but they took another hour or so to get him put back together again but it didn't take all the Kings horse and all the Kings men! 
Beautiful autumn view

He was quiet overnight and slept well and his pain was managed well. Early in the morning his pain had gotten away from us and with shift changes it took awhile to get him comfortable again.

They were on top of the pain once shift change occurred and he was made much more comfortable. I did have to get all Mama Bearish with them but they did hear me and promptly acted. 

God's hand has been enveloping this child since his birth. We are so grateful he was covered in prayer, humbled that our Pastor would stay with us the entire procedure and pray over our sweet son, and fill our cups up to overflowing with the Word of God.
Crazy sleeper!

As Dalton was laid on the operating table and I held his hand the Anesthesiologist thanked me for adopting Dalton and told me she appreciated that we had given him a future. Being from China herself she mentioned that she knew he would not have had any chance of a future in their birth country. 

An O.R. nurse then turned and asked me how she knew me. As it turns out she had taken care of our Analina back in December for Ana's spinal cord repair. I received warm hugs from her, assurance he was in good hands, and more encouragement as a Mama of Many than I have received in a very long time.

I have to giggle a little about this next thing...It was always a desire of mine to go into the medical field, however, God had other plans that included 7 lovely children. As I was puttering around Dalton and doing all the stuff I do to help out the nurses, make him more comfortable and such a Doctor commented that I must have medical training because I just seemed to know so much of what to do and that sentiment was echoed through our two weeks there by many-a-nurse.

As Dalton was gearing up to go home one week after surgery we learned that his intestines were not ready for solid food. He spent over 24 hours vomiting and having horrible abdominal pain. We took him off all food, again, and reintroduced it slowly on Monday, the 27th, to which did give him horrible abdominal pain, again.

Dalton is a tough cookie when he's ill and he is not one to tell us when he's in pain. We go by the look on his face and his body language.

We took the solid food reintro super slow and the Doc thought for sure he'd be home by Wed. No dice! Finally, on Thursday we convinced them to just let us take him home. At home I can play with his diet, work on keeping things moving with different supplements, he can rest and relax and heal. 

Two weeks in the hospital consisted of over 3000 miles and 65+ hours of driving. We are so glad to be home!!

Huge shout out to my MOM who drove 90 minutes and countless hours of Nana-sitting each day to care for our other children. To my Mother (in law) who brought food every 2 days to keep the crew fed back home! What a blessing to not have to worry about that!

Friends who gave their time, prayer, encouragement, meals, gift cards, gifts and their steadfast friendship! 

Psalm 41:3
The Lord sustains them on their sickbed
    and restores them from their bed of illness.