Thursday, January 26, 2012

Mommy's Heart Went Pop

My heart often feels like it is going to pop thinking about J and waiting for our court date. I am so glad that I found this book. Christina Kyllonen and Peter Greer are the authors of Mommy's Heart Went Pop.  It is a beautiful book about transracial adoption and the emotions that go with it.  This book is not only a perfect way to express to J the feelings we have had but also a great book for Jake and Elyse to read because it resembles our family!  I can't wait to get my copy!  You can preorder here.  You will also be able to order the book at the Created for Care retreat. Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to the RubyMyles fund which provide adoption grants and other solutions to the adoption crisis in Africa.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

simply for our happiness...

" If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and
 it's not so bad."
-C.S. Lewis

I am currently re-reading Ann Voskamp’s book, “1000 Gifts”, and this quote from C.S. Lewis is in chapter three.  Wow... I wondered why this quote didn’t hit me the first time I read the book? I believe it stood out to me this time because our family has been going through one of those seasons in life when you just keep thinking, “what is going to happen next?  Why is this happening?”  Life is just hard a lot of times. We all go through those times!  When these struggles have come into my life it has been easy to question...why?  Or, to question why God allows tough things to happen.  When I think that way I have to admit that I am only focused on the here and now, as well as being focused on myself.  This world is not all there is and if I fix my mind on things above, and fix my mind on the fact that this life is just preparation for heaven, then the bad times, rough times and sad times here on this earth will not be an opportunity for me to question God in his sovereignty, but to be pointed back to his goodness and his faithfulness.

But being human, I do question Him when I see suffering and situations that don't make sense. I feel like the father in Mark 9 who said to Jesus...”I believe, help me overcome my unbelief” ...I find myself asking that same thing. I want to believe….. fully. I don't want to be swayed by what my circumstances are here on this earth. But, at times, I am, and in those moments I know thankfully that God's grace is greater than my questioning.  Tim Keller in his book Gospel in Life has a helpful list of what religion looks like in the life of a believer compared to what the Gospel looks like.  Below is one of several comparisons that Keller made between religion and the gospel, and this one specifically deals with how we handle our circumstances, and often, the tough situations in life:
  • Religion: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I am angry at God or myself, since I believe that anyone who is good deserves a comfortable life.
  • Gospel: When circumstances in my life go wrong, I struggle, but I know my punishment fell on Jesus and that while God may allow this for my training, he will exercise his Fatherly love within my trial.
The apostle Paul talked about how God taught him how to deal with circumstances in Philippians….

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.

Philippians 4:11-12
I pray that Jesus is seen in my life and  through my circumstances!


Monday, January 23, 2012


Last week we had some friends visit us here in Charlotte. Mark and Nicole Kennell and their two daughters, Maddie and Michal are working in Kara, Togo, West Africa to shine the light of Jesus. They are home on furlough ( working vacation)  visiting their supporters and family and friends.  It was great to see them and hear about the work they are doing with the Kabiye people.  Togo is not open to international adoption but the need is great in this country. Just like in so many other countries AIDS is the leading cause of orphans.The work that Mark and Nicole are doing with an AIDS clinic through Hope through Health is changing lives. But unlike countries that are open to international adoption, Togo doesn't have a  ready  made advocacy group through adoptive parents.  Adoptive parents are usually great advocates for their child's country but what about the countries who don't have that?

Thankfully there are folks who step up and do the work. One of these women I want to introduce to you is Phoebe Assiki.  Mark and Nicole made a video to show the work that is going on in Togo. Phoebe is introduced around minute 5.  She is one woman making such a difference in the lives of children in her country.  She is truly living out what Jesus said in Luke 9:48

Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.”

After watching Phoebe tell her story I couldn't help but be convicted by the life she lives and her commitment to living like Jesus. Adoption is not easy...the application process, the waiting...and more waiting,  the cost, and the days, months and years after bringing your child home are not easy in fact it is just hard!  But, I am blessed with a huge support network. I have a local support group of adoptive families, I have a huge network of adoption mamas who I can ask anything to and will be there for help and support, I have fb support groups, I have books to read, I have blogs to read, and I have an incredible retreat that I can go to each year and get filled up!  Phoebe has none of that but yet she still does the hard work. I can't help but ask myself would that be me?  If it wasn't so easy in this country, if ministry in this country weren't so clean and tidy and if I had no support groups and blogs to read etc. would I be doing what Phoebe is doing?  She has seen the need and she is meeting it!  I just wanted to share her story because she is such and encouragement and example! 

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give
 His life a ransom for many.
Mark 10:45


Friday, January 20, 2012

Birdseed wreath

In science, we are studying birds. We have made a bird wreath in hopes of attracting different types of bird to be able to study them up close and personal.
The recipe is very easy.

Birdseed wreath
3/4 cup of flour
1/2 cup of warm water
3 Tbs. light corn syrup
1 package of unflavored gelatin
4 cups of bird seed

bundt pan
cooking spray

Step 1: Mix edible glue.  Stir the gelatin into the warm water until it is dissolved.  Whisk in the light corn  syrup and flour.  Stir until there are no more lumps.  The glue should be gooey.

Step 2:  Add bird seed to the glue mixture.  Mix until the bird seed is coated with the glue.

Step 3:  Spray the bundt pan with cooking spray and press the bird seed mixture into the pan.  Press it down firmly until it is well packed and even.  Let stand over night.

This type of wreath works really well in the winter.  The gelatin can get soft and cause the wreath to fall apart in the warmer weather.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Snowy Day

 Our family started the tradition of buying J a book or two each month while we wait for him to get home. This month we bought J The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats to add to his book collection.  If he doesn't get home soon we are going to be swimming in board books! 

We are trying to not focus on the wait but honestly it is hard.  We are ready to get the call that we have a court date.  We are ready to meet this boy whose picture we have been looking at for the last 15 months.
 So, pray for us as we wait, pray for J,  pray for us as we try to be thankful each day for what we already have and pray for us to get a court date!!


Monday, January 16, 2012

From one blood...

 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us;
Acts 17:26-27

Monday, January 9, 2012

every nation, tribe, people and language

If you haven't seen this video from the Passion conference have to watch it! I cried!  I know my kids think I am nuts because I cry at the drop of a hat.  But you cannot watch this praise time at the conference and not be moved.  Hearing the song in different languages and knowing we are all praising the same God is incredible! A glimpse of heaven! The choir that joins the worship leaders on the stage are children in the Watoto Children's choir from Uganda.  The children in this choir have been orphaned either from HIV/Aids, poverty or war.

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.
Revelation 7:9a


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Love these things!

Welcome 2012!  I am so excited for what this new year will bring! It is our prayer that J is home soon!  Please keep praying with us. 

I just wanted to share these great ideas/things with you all.

Love this calendar for January. It is a great way to start the year off with the right focus. Shanita and Melanie thank you for sharing this with the rest of us!  31 Days to Anew You!

Love this quote from Martin Luther King Jr. and We are That Family  happens to have this free printable right now!  Go download one for yourself!

This is great...The Twelve Months of Christmas. Over at Somewhat Simple she shared the idea to keep the Christmas spirit going on all year long. She gives you great printables and ideas to do each month of the year!

Tracy over at LilyGene has a cute calendar for 2012 ours for the downloading! Go here to download.

Lil Light O' Mine is a neat blog that has great printables and ideas for the family. The clean slate club walks you through making a family mission statement, writing out your family values and personal goals.  They have lots of other great ideas on the blog. 

We moms are crazy busy and we can want to accomplish the world.
We love our kids and we want the best for them.
We want the Pinterest-style homes and the Facebook lives our friends claim to live.
It’s just not reality.
We have a little bit of time on this earth and limited time, money and energy.
Let’s give our precious God and families our very best in 2012.
-Courtney DeFeo