8.30.2010

monday's call to worship

Here am I, Send Me!

Hast Thou, O Lord, a work to do?
Here am I, send me!
The field is white, the lab’rers few,
Here am I, send me!

Over mountain, plain or sea,
Here am I, send me!
I’ll go to the ends of the earth for Thee,
Here am I, send me!

O touch my lips with fire divine,
Here am I, send me!
The dross consume, the gold refine,
Here am I, send me!

A lowly vessel at Thy feet,
Here am I, send me!
O cleanse and for Thy use make meet,
Here am I, send me!

My heart now longs and yearns to go,
Here am I, send me!
To reap Thy harvest here below,
Here am I, send me!

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:

"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!"

And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: "Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!"

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: "Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for."

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me."

Isaiah 6:1-8

8.28.2010

food dye intolerance?

If you have experience with this phenomenon, I'd love to hear from you! I am beginning to think Micah possibly has an intolerance to food dyes. Lately, there have been times when his behavior is out of control. I've been trying to blame it on the terrible-two's, but both Vince and I became convinced today that there had to be another culprit. That's when I remembered some other adoptive mom's talking about the effects of food dyes on their children.

Micah's diet is fairly healthy/natural (no candy!!), but...Publix recently had a certain brand of yogurt bye-one-get-one-free, which I purchased. The yogurt looks and tastes like candy, which I thought was ridiculous to begin with -- I had already decided not to purchase that variety again. But tonight I decided to check-out the ingredients, and...bingo!

So, I did some quick research...out of curiosity. Sure enough, the two most suspicious food dyes are in this yogurt!!

THE! YOGURT! IS! GONE!!!!!!!

Please, let me know if there are other foods that I need to be on the look-out for!! I want my son back!

8.26.2010

(un)ashamed

I am unashamed to be a Follower of Jesus.
I am unashamed to be an adoptive-mommy.
I am unashamed of my sons.
I am unashamed of my husband.
I am unashamed that we can't keep up with the Joneses.
I am unashamed that I don't fit. That I don't match.

Each of the statements above are not meant to be a brag. It has been through many tears and even more sanctifying days, weeks and years that I can speak those sentences. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain- 1 Cor 15:10

Let me ask you this.

Have you ever had a feeling like, you don't belong? Not a pity-party...just a simple feeling, that, you don't belong?

I feel that way from time to time. And this feeling always gives me an out-of-body-experience (well, kind of). Makes me ask myself, what am I doing? why don't I fit? am I even suppose to fit?

I suppose many Followers of Christ ask themselves these questions. (Well, probably the whole world asks these questions--but, sadly, they are looking in all the wrong places for answers.)

For me, the context that I ask myself these questions is: North America, southeastern US, Bible-belt, land of the SEC, land of give-me-football-or-give-me-death, suburbia.

And while I am asking who am I, in the a fore mentioned context, what comes to mind is this:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect- Rom 12:2
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you- John 15:9
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds- Eph 4:17
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God- James 4:4
And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever- 1 John 2:17

I don't intentionally turn to these verses (and others like them), the Holy Spirit does that. Yet, do you see the conflict that causes my pause?
...$30,000 cars...the world is passing away...football is king...therefore the world hates you...education trumps holiness...do not be conformed to this world...$75 blue jeans...enemy of God...granite counter-tops...discern what is the will of God...401Ks...futility of their minds

UGH!

I want different.
I don't want to be content with this inner-conflict -- surely inner-conflict is God's beginning place and not His ending point. Right?
I want other. Not sure what that is, or where it leads. (Although I am quite certain my idea of different does not involve being cool -- I'm so weary of cool) I just know that I want it--for myself, and for my family. Not sure how to get there either, but I have a idea that (for me) it begins with a thankful heart. It begins with trusting God. It begins with being broken. It begins with being unashamed of God's lot for my life.

So here I am. Unashamed. Ready for other. Father, make known to me the path of LIFE in this life!!

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore
.

Prov 16:5-11

8.23.2010

RA and kid-talks-orphans

In Wal-Mart today, I had the following *precious* conversation with a beautiful little Hispanic girl (maybe 7 or 8 yrs old) ahead of us in the check-out line. Although, her first question was actually, "Is that a boy or a girl?"

Little Girl: Is that your son?

Me: Yes, he is!

Little Girl: I'm just asking, 'cuz he's brown and you're white.

Me: Uh-huh.

Little Girl: He must be brown like his daddy.

Me: Actually, he was adopted by us.

Little Girl: Was he like an orphan?

Me: Yes, he was.

Little Girl: Did he live in an orphanage?

Me: Yes, he did.

Little Girl: You adopted an orphan!!!

Me: Well, he's not an orphan anymore! He has a mommy and a daddy now!

Little Girl: Awwww. He's beautiful.


Her mother then chimed-in, saying isn't that a good thing they did, and then whisked her away before the little girl could begin with a hundred more questions.


We also received the hard-copy of our Referral Approval confirmation, which we immediately signed, and will mail to China tomorrow (via our agency)! The RA basically says that China (the CCAA) approves us to adopt Judah Fu Xue, and requires our signature as evidence that we still intend to adopt him. I still have more paperwork to complete this week, regarding visas and travel...but, I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel!

monday's call to worship

Never Further than Thy Cross (Rev 4:10)
Elizabeth R Charles, 1860

It was interesting to me to read that Elizabeth was buried in Hamp­stead, Church Row, Lon­don, Eng­land. We actually were blessed to prayer walk Church Row Street in Hampstead -- I wonder if that's the same area? We obviously did not see Elizabeth's grave, but we did get see many other hallowed places were saints-of-old walked, ministered, and died (often for their faith in Christ)!
I am praying even right now that the words of this hymn and God's Truth would give life to those walking in darkness on Church Row, in Hampstead, and in greater London.

Never further than Thy cross,
Never higher than Thy feet;
Here earth’s precious things seem dross,
Here earth’s bitter things grow sweet.

Gazing thus our sin we see,
Learn Thy love while gazing thus,
Sin, which laid the cross on Thee,
Love, which bore the cross for us.

Here we learn to serve and give,
And, rejoicing, self deny;
Here we gather love to live,
Here we gather faith to die.

Pressing onward as we can,
Still to this our hearts must tend;
Where our earliest hopes began,
There our last aspirings end.

Till amid the hosts of light,
We in Thee redeemed, complete,
Through Thy cross made pure and white,
Cast our crowns before Thy feet.



Rev 4:
8And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all around and within, and day and night they never cease to say,

"Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,
who was and is and is to come!"

9And whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to him who is seated on the throne, who lives forever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who is seated on the throne and worship him who lives forever and ever. They cast their crowns before the throne, saying,
11 "Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created."

8.19.2010

meet Judah Fu-Xue!!

Here he is!!
The newest (soon-to-be) Martin addition! We received our referral acceptance (RA) from China today -- I was in total shock!! We are beyond thrilled! And, it looks like we could travel as soon as mid-Nov!! We are so proud of our little boy,
and can't wait to go get him!!
Thank you to everyone who
voiced a prayer from yesterday's post!!
Several prayers were answered in less than 24 hrs!!
No coincidences!
Only God's faithfulness!!





The LORD is faithful

in all his words

and kind in all his works- Ps. 145:13




8.18.2010

news about Judah?

Many of you have asked if we've received any updates on Judah -- and, we have not. I'm not sure when to expect an update either. But it definitely won't be before we receive our RA (referral approval). We've been waiting 21 days for our RA (the average wait time being 45-60 days).

Once we receive our RA from Ch*na, then we will be able to request an update on Judah, as well as send him a care-package. For Micah, we were able to send care-packages with other families traveling to Ethiopia to pick-up their children. This was because, in Ethiopia, children who are being adopted go into the care of the placing-agency. This is not the case in Ch*na. Judah will remain in his orphanage.

And with China, it's highly unusual for families to visit the orphanages. So, we will have to use an agency like Blessed Kids, or Red Thread to send him something (cost is $20-100+...yikes). It is a bit pricey, but something we really want to do! Especially since we'll miss Judah's 1st birthday. Plus, we want Judah to see pics of us before Gotcha Day!

We will share more when we're able! We are excited to tell you more about him! In the meantime, we would cherish your prayers...here are a few requests!!

  • Judah: his health, his eating; pray that the Lord give us favor with our son on the very 1st day that we meet him, so he would not feel anxious or fearful! For his care-givers. For his birth family (no, we no nothing about them).
  • Micah: everyday he tells me he wants to go to China; he tells me the things he's going to share with and teach Judah; he loves to go an play in 'Judah's room' and prays for him often throughout the day; pray that the Lord would give Judah & Micah favor with one-another; that their brotherhood would develop quickly & deeply.
  • Alisa: the anxiety of going from one to two children; wisdom & grace to meet Judah's needs (he will not know English, and when he does learn, his cleft will impair his speech).
  • Vince: how to balance his ministry with adding a new child to our family, especially since Judah will have several surgeries and therapy the first year he is home with us.
  • Finances: we have a large sum we will owe very soon; we have two fundraisers planned for Sept; if we could complete Judah's adoption before Dec 31st we will be able to apply for our adoption tax-refund in 2011 (otherwise, we'll have to wait until 2012); the tax-refund will help us pay-off adoption debt sooner & cover co-pays/out-of-pocket med expenses

Psalm 144
12 May our sons in their youth
be like plants full grown,
our daughters like corner pillars
cut for the structure of a palace;
13 may our granaries be full,
providing all kinds of produce;
may our sheep bring forth thousands
and ten thousands in our fields;
14 may our cattle be heavy with young,
suffering no mishap or failure in bearing; may there be no cry of distress in our streets!
15 Blessed are the people to whom such blessings fall!
Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD!

8.15.2010

monday's call to worship

Thought I'd share something new I'm starting with Micah. He loves music. Seriously, LOVES music! (Those of you who know him personally are probably giggling right now.) We listen to lot's of contemporary Christian music, but I want to introduce him to some older hymns and spirituals, too. They are so full of rich, deep truths that are well-worth our reflection!! So, join us Mondays for our Monday's Call To Worship to see which hymn we'll be contemplating through the week! We'd love to hear what some of your favorite hymns, as well!!

"The Love of God"
Frederick M. Lehman, 1917
Main subject: Love
Scripture: John 3:16; Romans 8:38-39



The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain:
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When hoary time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

8.14.2010

remaining t-shirts...LET'S SELL 'EM!!

** UPDATE! Only 3 t-shirts to go! See remaining sizes/colors below! Thank you!!

OK, we have 14 adoption t-shirts left to sell! They are $25 each! We can raise $350 toward our next adoption fee if we can sell them ALL!!

Here's what we have:

WHITE
1 small
1 medium

TAHITI
1 large

The t-shirts are a unisex slim-fit. You can order yours using the Paypal "DONATE" button on the right (specify color and size) -- or, leave a message if you'd like to send a check instead!


8.12.2010

Micah's eating adventures, in-print!

We attend church with a friend who works for Oxmoor House Publishing -- we, therefore, got in on a fun little project! Next time you're in the book store, check it out! You might even want to add the book to your collection! It contains some great recipes!

Cooking Light's First Foods, Baby Steps to a Lifetime of Healthy Eating


Micah got to participate in one of the baby photo shoots - here's his cute, little crinkled-nose self!


I even got to submit short story about his eating adventures!


8.10.2010

us is 'those'!

Our family got to mingle with those families--at least for today! (read previous post to know what in the world I'm talking about)

We received our pre-approval for Judah's adoption today...day 13 of waiting! One day earlier than the estimated time-frame of 2-4weeks!! Very exciting! And, very humbling (since I was such a whiner last night).

We still have a long road of paper work & approvals ahead before we can bring Judah home. We still have to wait for our official referral approval and then travel approval...looking at about 4-5 months-total. Crazy. I know. Welcome to the world of Hague adoptions. We'd love to go get him before the end of the year, but that most likely, will take a miracle.

Changing subjects...

Micah had his 2-year check-up today. We are very excited to report that he's now in the 95th percentile for height, and off the charts in verbal skills. Our Dr just kind of sat in awe, watching and listening to Micah today -- he, of all people, understands how far our sweet boy has come!

Much to be thankful for!!

8.09.2010

sometimes...

...I want to be one of those families.
You know, that family who's adoption paperwork always arrives earlier than expected. That family who finds a mystery check in the mail. Or a pile of cash on their doorstep.

I could go on and on...

I don't always think about being one of those families. Just sometimes.

We sent our letter of intent (requesting to move ahead with Judah's adoption) on July 28th. The estimated time-frame to receive China's response is 2-4 weeks. And we've been waiting 12 days. Prideful 'ol-arrogant-me just knew we'd hear something sooner. I don't know why I do this to myself! Why can't I just mind the typical time-frames, and chill??!!

Well, I know why -- because I stalk the date logs of hundreds of families on chat groups and blogs. And, some families (those families) have received their pre-approval in less than 2 weeks.

Guess it's not really that big of a deal. All the paper work will fall into place in God's perfect timing, according to His perfect plan. I trust that, and I really am at peace with that most-comforting truth! Maybe the legalistic side of me (which is obvioulsy dying a slow-death) thinks that being one of those families would suggest we've earned an extra-measure of God's favor. Kind of like my drooling-Basset Hound, who always demands extra attention when I don't have time. Or that pesky co-worker (back in my medical technologist-days), who always needed affirmation and approval when I wasn't in the mood.

But, God isn't like that.

He doesn't tease me with the notion that I could experience His love.
He never withholds it, and I don't have to earn it.
He simply loves me.
And He loves me completely, and fully.

So whether our pre-approval arrives on day 13, or day 33, I can trust the out-come to be perfect. And we may never be one of those families...but, we're His family. And for that we can celebrate on day 12, day 13, and day 33!

For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.

Ps 84:11

8.04.2010

i'm TWO!!

Today, to celebrate Micah's birthday, we covered all of his favorites...story time at Barnes & Noble, Chicken-play (Chick-fil-A), music at church...and also threw in a few presents, and lots of sweets!! We look forward to continue our celebration into the week-end with more friends & family!
Thank You to everyone who took a few minutes our of your day today to let Micah know how special he his...our family felt the love!!! We are so thankful for our family & friends!
God bless you all!!




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