Friday, January 30, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

This has been the wallpaper on my computer for almost two years now.
I love it!!! doctor said I have a couple of ribs a little out of whack, that's it.
No worries! Thanks for praying!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Ghost of Cancer Past

I'm struggling this morning about whether or not write what is going around in my head like crazy. I'm simply not sure if this is the place that I want to keep such thoughts. Do I want this to be a blog full of fluff...absolutely not (see The Story Behind Setting Up Stones). More than anything I want this blog to a something that brings glory to God! But there's a lot of fluff in life, so at times it will be a little fluffy and that's not a bad thing! But how heavy do I want it to be?

I'm not sure but I'm here and I'm writing. My logic being that in ten years I will want to remember that nights like last night existed, so that I will know how far God has carried me. I'm also hoping that anyone else who has gone through such a night will know they are not the only ones to have such a battle.

I'm sorry if the curiosity is getting to you. Let me back up a little.

If you have read "Our Adoption Story" than you are aware that I had cervical cancer. Well, here I am five years later and I'm cancer free!!! Praise God!!! There are times though that the Ghost of Cancer Past, still haunts me. Last night was one of those nights.

I've been experiencing a little pain in my back (kidney-ish) during the night for awhile now. Since the pain is only at night, I have been blaming our bed...we really need a new one...whole other story though. Then, about a week ago, I starting having a few other issues and Monday I decided I should go to the doctor. I have an appointment scheduled for this afternoon. Last night the pain got pretty bad, so I decided to take a couple Tylenol. It was when I got back to bed that the Ghost arrived.

I once heard a fellow cancer patient say that it's easy to have cancer during the day, it's at night that the real battle takes place. You're tired, you're hurting, and you're at your weakest. So when the sun goes down, our enemy sees this vulnerable opportunity and attacks. I HATE our enemy! He simply fights dirty and I hate him!

Back to last night...I'm trying to fall back to sleep and the Ghost of Cancer Past starts to whisper at me. "What if the pain is kidney cancer?" In my head I hear my husband (doing a very bad Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation from Kindergarten Cop) say "It's not a tumor." So I try to go back to sleep.

Then the Ghost whispers "You know how hard it is to cure kidney cancer. You've been ignoring that back pain for a long time now. Who knows how long it's been growing? If it's cancer, it's probably stage three or worse by now." Mind you that during the daylight hours, I know that the minor issues I've been dealing with are probably treatable with simple antibiotics but it's not day time. I'm half asleep and his whispers are getting louder. I told you he doesn't fight fair!

Now my mind begins to go crazy. His whispers are working and I'm too tired to draw my sword. My thoughts have gotten out of control...

"If I have cancer again, KayLi stays in an orphanage. If I have cancer again, our next adoption won't take place. By the time we deal with treatments, surgery, recovery, then wait the two years to apply to our agency again, then wait forever for a referral....ugghhh!!!! We'll be too old to adopt!!!! Poor Emily, not only would she not have the little sister she has dreamed about, she may possibly not have a mother. And what kind of a father would Allie be if he's grieving the loss of his wife. I should write them a letter. You know, those letters that people with terminal illnesses write so their families can read them when they are gone. What would I say in a letter like that?

"Dear Emily"...NO!!!! Wake up!!! It's just Him again.

"Back off in the name of Jesus!"

He flees and I'm able to sleep.

Praise you Jesus, that there is power in your name! Praise you Jesus, that you defeated our enemy and HE KNOWS IT! Praise you Jesus, that you never leave us alone in battle! Praise you Jesus, that you know the plans you have for us and they are plans of hope and a future! Oh how I praise you!

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is you faithfulness."
Lamentations 3:22-23

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Cutest Cousin

Hi it's Emily. I want you to meet my cousin Will. I don't understand why my Aunt Wendy brushed his hair so straight.

On his fourth birthday he said "No singing. No singing."

I like his hair better like this. He's so happy!

He's the cutest cousin ever! I love you Will!!!


We woke up to a very icy world this morning.
As much as I love how beautiful it looks, it sure is scary.

I'm so thankful that school was postponed until ten and that my friend who drove the kids to school is from Ohio. She's very used to driving in awful winter conditions but I still wanted to keep Emily home! She's taking the bus home from school and I would appreciate your prayers for all the buses on the road. If you enlarge the picture of the mirror you will get a better understanding of why I am one scared wife and mother right now.

Allie had a forty mile drive in this. One of their leases is completely without power and he had to get to it. He said he did a bit of sliding but was fine. He also said it's better than it was this morning.

Ryan is two hours further north of here at Tx. Tech and he is only slightly experienced at driving
in this. It is really bad here and we are on the bottom edge of the ice storm!

They are saying it will stay like this through tomorrow. There has already been one fatal car accident in our area. So I can imagine it is a lot worse the further north you are.
So please pray a lot!!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

This picture is over four years old and it still makes me laugh!!!!

Don't ask me how she got like this but she's actually wedged in pretty tight. All I know is she started yelling that she was stuck and needed help. I was very helpful....
after I took about fifty pictures!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome Home Mr. President!

While the rest of the country focused on our new president, West Texas welcomed home President and Mrs. Bush. We don't live far from George W.'s home town of Midland, so Emily's class was able to enjoy a field trip to celebrate their home coming in Centennial Plaza. They joined over 20,000 people who welcomed the Bush's home.

They were all so excited! They watched the inauguration at school and then headed to Midland. She was a little disappointed that "We didn't get to actually see him. We only saw the big screens. They were huge!" With a crowd that size I was just glad they didn't lose any one.
I'm still praying for their teachers!

A big thank you to the teachers and staff at Elbow Elementary school for giving them such a historical memory! I know it's something they will tell their children about!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ryans 21st Birthday

I'm not sure when it happened...

I know I was there through it all...

but the years flew by so FAST....

and my baby boy grew into a man. I'm honored and thankful to call him my son.

Happy two days after your 21st birthday Ryan! I love you!

"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shem. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far the LORD has helped us."
1 Samuel 7:12

Friday, January 16, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday

My all time favorite photo of Allie, taken at our all time favorite place - The North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Awwww - Thanks!

I wanted to thank you guys for the sweet comments to yesterdays post! It was so hard to write and you knocked me down with your responses!

You guys are the best!!!

Perfect Word - Perfect Timing

I absolutely love it when God speaks the perfect word at the perfect time! And that's what he did this morning.

My current Bible study is "A Call To Die" by David Nasser and I highly recommend it! It would be great for a young adult or high school youth/small group study! Thanks for bringing it to our youth group, Kelli!

Anyway, each week you are asked to memorize a new verse and today was the beginning of a new week/verse. It's Isaiah 26:8 which reads,

"Yes, Lord, walking in the way of your laws,
we wait for you;

your name and renown

are the desires of our hearts."

God has spoken so many words over this journey, always at just the right time! This verse is no exception. It spoke perfectly to my heart this morning. God never ceases to amaze me!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Counting The Real Cost

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish." Luke 14:28-30

OK, so I'm a little slow. Maybe even, more than a little. Allie, you can stop agreeing with me now.

Forever, it seems, I have understood this passage of scripture. I understand that it relates to being a disciple of Christ and following Him, no matter what it costs you. I "get" that. Really I do! But I hadn't seen how it relates to our adoption and I hadn't seen the battle that has been going on around me, until now.

Lately, I have allowed my enemy to use this scripture against me in regards to our adoption. I have allowed him to blind me to the spiritual truth of what Christ was saying in this parable and focused only on taking the verse literally. I have been, pitifully, thinking of it in terms of our adoption finances. I've been dwelling on how high the financial costs are. And even worrying about how we may be viewed as not having counted those costs.

This morning during my quiet time, I FINALLY realized that I was under attack from my enemy and that I was letting him win.

Every time I have watched the cost of adoption increase, I have heard my enemy repeat this verse. Every time we have had a financial need come up and had to take a large amount of money out of our savings account I have heard this verse. Every time we have made poor financial decisions (yes we're human and we sometimes do that) I have allowed my enemy to throw this verse in my face. Every time I have watched stocks fall or our economy decline, I have let my enemy use this verse as a weapon against me.

Praise God, my eyes are finally open to the fact that the REAL cost of following God's plan for our families adoption has very little to do with money! The REAL costs that are worth considering are far different and I have counted them! I totally understand that the REAL adoption costs are far greater than any monetary amount and I am so willing to pay them.

Now that I 'get" it, here's what's killing me. I HAVE counted the REAL cost of adoption all along! I have counted the cost of being a stay at home mom for infinity, of not having time to myself for years, of going back into the world of Barney, pull ups and "mine!", of being asked insensitive questions about my family while waiting in line at the grocery store, of explaining racism to a toddler and of overcoming physical challenges. I have counted these costs and I am willing to pay them. And with God's grace and strength, I will be able to pay them!!!

So why am I allowing myself to be beaten up by my enemy over the financial cost? Because sometimes, I'm a little slow!

Yes, the financial aspect of adoption is huge but it is nothing to God who owns "the cattle on a thousand hills"Ps . 50:10 Perhaps I need to remind my enemy of that. While I'm at it, maybe I need to remind him that "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion." Phil 1:6 And when I feel our finances are a weakness, I probably need to remind him that God's "power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Cor. 12:9

The REAL costs of adoption are so worth it! They are nothing compared to the blessings that will come with them!

I really "get" that now!!! I warned you...sometimes I'm a little slow!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Favorite Photo Friday- Fiddlesticks Farms

This past November we had a great time at a local pumpkin patch called Fiddlesticks Farms. They had several fun activities, including huge black tube slides.
Only Allie would take pictures of the kids by holding the camera in the bottom of the tube!!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It Is Well

Life in our house has been challenging this week to say the least. But God is still God and it is well with my soul! The lessons we are learning about trust, faith and patience can only be surpassed by the amazing love and peace only God can bring.

We are learning to listen for direction and rely on God's wisdom like never before. He is truly worthy of all worship and praise!

For those of you that know what I'm referring to, please know that we greatly appreciate your prayers. And if you are clueless, I would appreciate your prayers too.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Our Sonogram

It seems that everyone who is adopting from China has one of these on their blog or website. A little over done I know but I just couldn't resist it!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year Full of Promises!

2009 got off to an unusual and promising start! This morning...our home study social worker came to meet with us for our special needs update!

If you're wondering why a social worker would be working on New Years Day, it's simple. Texas is huge! When our social worker said she would be traveling in our area for the holidays, it made perfect sense that we schedule it for today.

I'm so thankful that we choose Methodist Mission Home for our home study agency! Not only do they do amazing work, they are truly great people to work with. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for an adoption agency. If they had been doing international adoptions at the time our journey began, they would likely be our adoption agency...maybe next time?Not because we don't like AWAA, they are awesome too, it jst would have been nice to go have an agency closer to home...a place I could have visited and taken pictures of, ya know.

So, the first picture above is us with our sweet social worker, Barbara. Thank you so much Barbara for making our updates such a pleasant experience! The idea of letting a stranger into all the personal details of our lives was so scary at the beginning of the adoption process. You made it so much less stressful than it could have been and I appreciate you!!!

I can't believe I'm posting such an awful picture of myself but we only took one picture of us! Besides, Emily looks so cute and stylish in her new outfit, thanks to a Christmas gift card! I love how well she is accessorized! Very cool, Em!

WELCOME HOME TORYN!!!! Our friends the Kendricks arrived last night from China with their precious son Toryn! Isn't he adorable!! It was amazing to greet them at the airport. I can't describe all the emotions that overwhelmed me when they got there. I'm a little worried that I may just pass out when it's our Gotcha Day!

I couldn't help but post a couple pictures of their homecoming! If you have been following their blog Our Little Asian Sensation, you will quickly notice that Traci is holding a couple Diet Dr. Peppers!

Praise God, for what he is doing in and through this awesome family! I can't wait to ask Traci about a thousand soon as she gets some much deserved rest!

All these adoption activities sure make me wonder what God is up to for our 2009! God has promised us so many things. I pray this will be a year full of promises kept by The Promise Keeper!

May you be filled with God's love, grace and peace as you enter 2009. May His glory shine on and through you. And may 2009 be filled with blessings beyond measure!!!!