Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Monday, October 31, 2011

In Christ Alone

Here are the words to one of my favorite songs:
In Christ alone my hope is found,
He is my light, my strength, my song;
this Cornerstone, this solid Ground,
firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
when fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My Comforter, my All in All,
here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone! who took on flesh
Fulness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save:
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied -
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain:
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave he rose again!
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me,
For I am His and He is mine -
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death,
This is the power of Christ in me;
From life's first cry to final breath.
Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home,
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand.

I first heard this modern hymn at Grace Community Church in California. I loved the powerful, worshipful words right away and it quickly became a favorite because it so clearly defines our faith and reminds us of the beauty of Christ. I've even had the pleasure to hear the writers (the Getty's) sing that song in person twice! A year a half later, Darren and I drove to Grace commenting that it was our last Sunday before we left for our new adventure in Alabama (which we have been on for 5 years now:) That Sunday morning we sang this song and a typically unemotional me broke down in tears. We were meant for community. To build strong relationships and to have an unexplainable love for "the brethren". Now it felt as if there WAS truly nothing certain, but Christ. There was something bittersweet about that day, even as we knew God would provide a new community of much-loved brothers and sisters. That morning I remember feeling so much human uncertainty mixed with Christ's strength.

This past Sunday, Darren, Josie, and I drove to church together and commented about how this would be our last Sunday at Morningview as a family of three, and We weren't too dramatic about it especially as we know we are coming home to this same church even after our long trek to Zambia. And guess what song we sang? Yep...In Christ Alone. As soon as we started singing I felt tears. I felt weak, but I felt His strength all at the same time. I felt anxious about the unknowns ahead and yet certain of our great future hope...Heaven! I felt like screaming "But this is too much! I changed my mind. I like these people and I'd rather spend Christmas with THEM" and at the same time praising God for such clear direction that we KNOW that no matter what comes our way He led us to Zambia. Y'all we're down to 5 days. I'm so stinkin' excited I can't contain it sometimes. Like seriously I can't sleep and I want to talk and think about it all the time. I'm also all the time having to tell myself not to be anxious, but "with prayer and supplication let my requests be made known to God." So...that's where I am right now. Pray for me!

So here's my little Robot as promised:

And the Family:

So I was Padme and Josie was C3PO. Darren decided to pretend he wasn't with us nerdy folk and instead of wearing his "cheesy" Jedi costume he went as a cowboy. He's purdy handsome. He made a hot Jedi, too though;)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pumpkins and Packin Up

How cute is that little person? I can't believe how fast she's grown! Yes...she'll be 2 in Januray. We went to the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago and she was just thrilled about the hayride and the "punkins". In case y'all didn't know, I'm a bit of a pumpkin fanatic myself. I LOVE some Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes in the fall, Pumpkin coffee creamer, pumpkin bread, pie, waffles...you name it! It's one of my all-time faves. So Josie and I have this little thing we do where I'll ask "where's Mommy's pumpkin?" and she'll say "Josie Punkin" and giggle. It's just the cutest thing.

Aw my sweet loves. We just made a quick trip to Nebraska so the grandparents could see Josie one more time before we leave in...(yes I'm counting down) 11 days! Can you tell I really love that orange sweater? I was going to post a really cute video of some of our crazy fun, but it wouldn't load so...maybe next time.

So we have packed 2 bags and will try to finish alot of the packing up this weekend. It feels like we are taking so much stuff! Between everything we are taking for the super-long stay, there are orphanage and ministry donations in there. We are checking 9, plus the double stroller that we will gate check...plus the computers, diaper bag, and any carry ons we'll take. Crazy!

Is it trite at this point to say that I am really really excited!?!?!?!? I'm not super excited about starting my malaria meds tomorrow, though. Its never a good thing when there's a huge disclaimer that basically says, "This medicine can cause you to have severe mental problems that may not go away even after you stop taking this. If you feel crazy or suicidal, stop taking the medicine." Aaaaaaand Josie's taking the same stuff so....pity on Darren if two of his girls go nuts!

Yesterday, we went to an open house for an attorney in Montgomery named Sam McLure. He is with the Adoption Firm. He and his wife Mary Beth have such a wonderful heart for adoption and long to help couples understand and navigate the legal process. Sam has also been writing some very helpful blog posts about legal aspects of adoption. I highly recommend you check out the web site.

That's all for now! Our church is having costume night tomorrow so I hope to have some photos of our little C-3PO to post!

Eleven Days and counting!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

You Would Laugh...

...if you saw our spare bedroom right now! The bedroom is somewhere under all the stuff we are taking. We've already packed 2 bags and it brings me so much joy to look at them and think that in 3 weeks they will traveling to Zambia with me! So it's an understatement to say that we are excited.
God has provided so much guidance and reassurance in these past few weeks. Everything is coming together according to His Plan. Sometimes I really just feel like I'm along for the ride. We have felt so blessed to have a church family who is praying for us, asking how to help, donating clothes in all different sizes, handmaking bibs to take to the orphanage, and even a stranger from craigslist who GAVE us a double stroller! Seriously...our God is so amazing! And seeing His body work together in harmony as instruments of His will is just a really beautiful glimpse of heaven.
So...that's the excited beautiful giddy part of this post. The other side is that somewhere deep down, I'm just a little scared. Adoption is beautiful, but it's not easy. I know that there could be some really ugly times ahead of us as well. Constant legal uncertainty in Zambia. Not knowing when we're coming home. Not to mention...Who knows what these kids have been through? Who knows the physical and emotional pain they may be feeling? I want to think that having loving parents to call "mom and dad" could be enough, but I know from countless stories that this is not always the case. I'm praying every day that I will have the strength to be up to this task that we've been called to. To have the "die to self" kind of love that needs to be exhibited to ALL my children. It's hard to do that for one--let alone three! PLEASE pray for these things for us as well. To trust in our awesome God and rely on Him day by day to complete the good work that was begun in us. Pray that we will become more Christlike.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

31 Days

So we officially have tickets and have 31 days to get ready to go to Zambia! Darren and I are so excited! We have been making lists of things to take, thinking about Christmas presents for our 3 littles, and trying to figure out how to navigate the legal system over there. We are so thankful to the Lord for putting us in touch with James and Megan who have been so kind to share their knowledge with us, and have even agreed to meet with a social worker on our behalf before we get there! I'm so grateful that we have a God who knows and orchestrates all the little details.
We are very busy trying to get everything ready, but oh! what a sweet kind of busy this is! Also, it will be summertime in Zambia, so while we are rejoicing in the finally-fall-weather that has just hit Alabama, I know we can't enjoy it for too long. I constantly have to remind myself that, while yes, fleece Christmas PJs would look so cute on my kids, we have to think warm weather Christmas!
I baked pumpkin bread today! Pumpkin is one of my favorite things in the world. I'm going to enjoy as much pumpkin as possible this month:)
I want to say "thank you" to all those who have been praying for us through the decision making process. Please continue in your prayers. There are so many unknowns that lay ahead of us. Please pray for God to grant our hearts a peace as we trust Him and His timing.
Yay Zambia!!!