Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Monday, January 30, 2012

Stress Baking

I have a confession to make. When I'm angry I clean. When I'm stressed I bake. Something about doing those two things however imperfectly reminds me that there is order in this universe and helps my head from exploding! Lately, I've had a pretty clean house full of fresh baked food...this past week saw no cleaning and LOTS of baking. Baking calms my soul. In fact, if you have ever seen Pushing Daisies, I'm afraid Ned the Piemaker and I would have a thing or two in common:) So I can't touch dead people and make them alive again...I'm pretty proud of my culinary creations just the same:
Double orange Scones

Mango Muffins (2 batches in the last week)

I didn't even take pictures of the chocolate cake with peanut butter glaze that I made tonight. I think I need an intervention. (If any of my Zambian friends reading this are hungry, feel free to stop by and relieve me of a few calories)

Seriously, though, although baking (and sometimes cleaning) does for some crazy reason take the edge off some of my stress, nothing has calmed my heart more that pouring out my tears at the feet of my savior. I know he cares for me. I know His ways are good. I don't understand what's going on right now, but isn't that what faith is? "The assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (Hebrews 11:1)

I really thought that today (Monday) was going to be a beautiful turn in the story. No instead, what part of it wasn't silent, seemed to only bring more confusion. Through all of this, though, the family of Christ has been so encouraging. I have recieved countless e-mails and facebook messages from people quoting scripture to me (which has been like water to my thirst) and telling me that they are praying for me. I can't even tell you how much that means to me! Thank you all for your sweet words and loving prayers. I am so blessed to be loved by so many. Hoping to update with good news soon. Until then, pray that my faith would not waver as I KNOW that the Christ who upholds all things by the power of His word is not ignorant of my fears.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Can I go home now?

I can't even begin to explain what I've gone through this week. I still don't have an answer on when our court date might be. Josie (and I think myself) have strep throat. I want to go home more than anything in the world right now. I cry every single day. So as I try to maintain my sanity and joyful dependence on Christ, I just thought I would share this quote that I stole from a friend's blog. It's just what I need right now:
"[One of the marks of Christian maturity which a believer should seek is] an
acquiescence of the Lord's will founded in a persuasion of his wisdom, holiness,
sovereignty, and goodness...So far as we attain to this, we are secure from
disappointment. Our own limited views, and short-sighted purposes and
desires, may be, and will be, often over-ruled; but then our main and leading
desire, that the will of the Lord may be done, must be accomplished. How
highly does it become us, both as creatures and as sinners, to submit to the
appointments of our Maker! and how necessary is it to our peace! This great
attainment is too often unthought of, and over-looked; we are prone to fix our
attention upon the second causes and immediate instruments of events;
forgetting that whatever befalls us is according to his purpose, and
therefore must be right and seasonable in itself, and shall in the issue
be productive of good. From hence rise impatience, resentment, and secret
repinings [i.e., complainings], which are not only sinful, but
tormenting; whereas, if all things are in his hand, if the very hairs of
our head are numbered; if every event, great and small, is under the direction
of his providence and purpose; and if he has a wise, holy, and gracious end in
view, to which everything that happens is subordinate and subservient; --then we
have nothing to do, but with patience and humility to follow as he leads, and
cheerfully to expect a happy issue...How happy are they who can resign
all to him, see his hand in every dispensation, and believe
that he chooses better for them than they possibly could for
themselves!" (Respectable Sins, pg. 66)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


It hit me today...I have stairsteps! A 4 year old, 3 year old, and 2 year old. Wow! If you had told me a couple of years ago I definately would have had a good chuckle. It's great, though!
Here's a little introduction to our newest member: Keira Jane!

So many prayers we answered by the simple fact that she came "home" today. I wish this process were over, but having her here is such a big step! Evolet was ecstatic to see her when we came in the door! The kids were cute...crazy too, but mostly cute. Our sweet friends Sophie and Natasha brought us pizza and took lots of pictures. Can I just pause to say "Thank you, Lord for my friend Sophie!" I mean, this is a girl I don't have to clean the house for or put on make up for or even pretend my life is perfect for...mostly because I'm at a loss of energy to do any of those things, and this friend STILL hangs out with me and plays with my kids and encourages me and does my dishes when she comes over. Wow I will miss her:)

She is so much fun!
Josie is loving being a little sister...most of the time.

New prayer request. Social welfare is telling me that they want me to stay three months from yesterday...like until April! I pretty much had a meltdown, but my lawyer assures me that if I play it cool he can still work something out to have it backdated to November since I have been spending time with the kids since then. He seems pretty confident so either he knows what he's doing or he's a good bluffer. It's hard for me to lay all of these worries at the feet of Christ and KNOW that He is bigger than all of these "what ifs" in my life right now. I refuse to let the uncertainties ahead put a damper on loving my children to the fullest right now. Today is a day of great rejoicing as God has "set the solitary in a family". Pray for these issues to be resolved quickly and pray for our hearts to rest in knowing that God will finish what He has begun.

These last three remind me to enjoy the silliness. I'll admit that sometimes I get so caught up in remembering what a responsibility children are that I forget how FUN they are too. I was totally on a quest for the "perfect" pictures. But instead I ended up with all these silly, giddy ones (or ones of crying kids or fingers in noses) I think the last one is my favorite. It's very typical. Josie's in her own little world, Evolet's crossing her eyes and Keira's just trying to figure me out. Love it!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Life

So many people ask me all the time why we picked the name "Evolet" for our oldest and they always ask what it means. We actually liked the way it sounded and picked it before we even knew the meaning, but for you curious people out there it means: The promise of New Life.

That's really quite fitting when you think that this is really the "third life" this child has had. All things being considered she's adjusting remarkably well I think. I've gotten so used to having her around that it blows my mind to think how far she's come in just 6 weeks. I'm praying that one day through the hearing of the Word of God and intervention of His grace that she will know yet another new life in the Savior's love.

Here are the most recent pictures of our precious Evolet Hope:

Can't wait for everyone to get to know her! She asked me "Is Keira coming today? I'm feeling like she should be here by now." My sentiments exactly...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Where did the last 2 years go?

Josie Loves Elmo!
We spent Josie's 2nd birthday party with these 2 awesome people! Love you, Sophie and Natasha!
Mommy and the kiddos!
Spaghetti face. This kid put away THREE plate-fuls of spaghetti!
Happy Birthday to you!
Funny Face
My Elmo Cake!
Elmo Shirt!
Sophie also took some really good photos of Evolet and I together, but I'm saving those for the next blog post! Happy Birthday, Josie!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Make a Joyful Noise

This week has been alot of things. Exhausting, fun, stressful, happy, frustrating, hilarious, sad, and full of anticipation. How is it possible for all of that be true at the same time?

I know so many people are wondering when Keira's coming home. I put myself in that group as I'm pretty much as in the dark as anyone else. I hear alot of excuses for why it hasn't happened yet and some of them are most likely legitimate. I'm holding onto a small sliver of hope that she may come home tomorrow, but I wouldn't bet on it. I never thought that she wouldn't be here to celebrate Josie's 2nd birthday. I was really hoping I could have all the kids together by then, but the Lord knows best so we'll just roll with it.

Speaking of the birthday girl, my sister Amber sent a box that we got this week that had a strawberry cake mix and frosting!!!! I'm so excited and since we got the box Josie has asked for birthday cake every morning. Tomorrow, we plan to have a few friends over and eat spaghetti and green beans (Josie's a big fan)...and CAKE of course! I know Darren will be sad to miss it, but hopefully with all the people here we'll be able to get some good photos and video:)

Evolet's doing pretty well learning her letters and phonics sounds. She and Josie are both working through a catechism book and are doing quite well with that too. It's been nice to have so much time for teaching. I have to remind myself that I'll never have this much time with nothing else to do so we might as well LEARN!

Teaching the kids some new songs this week as we're focusing on making a joyful noise to the Lord (instead of grumbling and complaining.) For some reason there's been more of that than usual lately. The kids have both not felt 100% lately so that may be contributing some. Hope you all have a great weekend. Praying my next post will contain photos of Keira!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Raindrops Keep Fallin'

It has been very rainy lately in Lusaka. This is really nice because it has cooled off alot. The downside is that the kids don't get to play outside as much. We've been having popcorn and watching a movie before their naps. They seem to enjoy this. Today they put on their sweaters and watched the rain for a while. They are so cute together!

Evolet decided to take scissors to her hair (because apparently it wasn't short enough). She cut two huge chunks out of it. There't not really much I can do I guess...except make her put her hood up for photos:p

We are praying that this week will be filled with progress in our journey to bring Keira home as well. January is halfway over and I'm very eager to start making plans to go home. Thank you all for your prayers for us, the sweet words of encouragement, the phone calls, the packages that have been sent. We appreciate you all more than you know! Praising the Lord on this chilly, rainy day!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Answered Prayers

"Hey mom,look, I'm Cris Angel!"

"I'm going to have another sister?!?"

So today was amazing...very stressful and nerve-racking, but in the end amazing. Today papers were signed to start the process of getting our "Keira"'s committal order. I'm still putting her name in parenthesis because part of me is afraid to really believe this is finally happening. Her case has been so "on again/off again" that I guess I don't really know how to react and I'm trying to guard my emotions a little. However, it does seem that real progress was made today and that this thing SHOULD really happy so we are excited.

I spent most of the day at immigration jumping through their hoops (and it seems they enjoy telling you about the hoops one at a time so you can't jump through them efficiently). I got the application approved for my visiting permit so that's good.

I found out that Darren's Christmas box that he sent us has been in the country for a while, but went to the wrong post office and when I got there they were just closing. That made me a little sad, but that will just make today that much better:)

I know we have had many people praying for Keira's adoption. Thank you all for pleading her case before the Lord! We are so thankful to bring this precious child into our home soon and I can't wait to post pictures of her too!:)

I'm very excited about tonight because a friend here offered to watch our kids so that another mom and I here could go on a "mommy date". We are going to get pedicures and see a movie at the new theater that just opened here. I may even sneak into the coffee shop...I haven't had really good coffee since Starbucks in the London airport (which I found out later translated to $6 a cup) So I am thankful to have this little break and it is coming at just the right time before Keira comes and we jump into "early adjustment" phase again. My assumption is that she will do really well since Evolet is already here. Hopefully Josie will be as excited as we are about another addition to the family. So far, she and Keira seem to get along really well when we go to visit so just pray that everyone (including me) would adjust to 3 kids very well.

Evolet has had an ear infection the last couple of days. While it has enhanced our "bonding" (she's wanted me to hold her all the time) it has been hard for her and hard for Josie to allow me to hold Evolet more recently. The good thing is that you can buy antibiotics over the counter here so I didn't have to take her to a doctor. She's starting to feel much better.

So that's my update for now. Pray for Keira's committal order to come quickly!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A sheep or a goat?

I was going to post a few pics of the girls, but my internet is freaking out a little today for some reason. Sorry no pics:(

My church back home is doing the ESV One year Bible so I found a downloadable chart that matches theirs and I'm doing it from here. God's Word is so refreshing. I just want more of it. This passage is not from my daily reading, but I was cross referencing some stuff and came across it. Do you know how many verses are in the Bible that talk about not loving our possessions and giving to the poor? A lot. Anyway, this one struck me:

"Take care and be on your guard against all coveteousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of possessions." -Luke 12:15 ESV.

I've never thought alot about "being on my guard" against coveting stuff. It kind of makes me think that I should be fighting my fleshly love of possessions much more than I do.

You know, when I first met Darren, I thought he was a little too radical when it came to his view of possessions. I really like "stuff" and it made me uncomfortable. I didn't truly understand where he was even coming from. Now I realize why he was able to view possessions more objectively: He had been to Africa--twice! I have the feeling that I am still so much of a "baby" in the learning stages of how to make sure my life doesn't consist of possessions. To say that God has taken the blinders off over here would be an understatement and I haven't even left Lusaka.

Here's some perspective for you. Let me just say that I generally kind of hate statistics...ya know like 50% are wrong. (that's a joke) Seriously, I'm sure there's always some give and take in these numbers, but bear with me. And please understand that this is coming from an overweight woman who loves food way too much and wastes way too much money and time on clothing and entertainment. This entire post will probably strike you as irony if you know me at all. But here are some statistics to jog your brain:

People in the US spend between 30-50 billion dollars a year on diets and related expenditures to reduce calorie intake.
Over 2.8 billion try to survive on less than two dollars a day.

Listened to a sermon today about giving where the pastor commented that "God is not decieved by the American Dream." How sad is it that I'm His child and I feel like most of the time I am not even TRYING to fight my covetous heart. It's so pathetically normal to me to make myself happy and forget about the "least of these", that is seems "out of character" or "special" to not think about myself. And then I'm really proud of that "moment".

In Matthew 25 Jesus makes a pretty clear statement that how we treat the poor is a direct reflection of our relationship to Christ:

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?
38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,[a] you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’
44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’
45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’
46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Of course, Jesus is not saying that we merit heaven based on the degree that we lessened physical suffering in this world, but here and in numerous other passages, he states that humbling ourselves to give to the least of these is a fruit of a salvation we have already been given. It makes me look at my life and wonder if I really look any different sometimes? There are no half sheep/ half goats by the way.

I am not pointing fingers and I do not pretend in the slightest to be fully accomplishing what God's Word explicitately commands, in fact I feel like I'm just uncovering the tip of a very big iceberg, but I am so thankful that God has put me here for this time to teach me what I need to learn. I'll admit that in some ways it's easier to be passionate about this over here. Poverty is in your face every day and you don't feel the constant need to keep up with anyone. Plus most of the stuff over here isn't mine so while I feel a great sense of stewardship, I don't feel really tied to anything here and I'm not like buying new stuff all the time trying to show off a home that isn't mine. Shouldn't we be that way about heaven? Shouldn't we care for the things God has given us and enjoy then without coveting more stuff and ignoring the starving world around us because THAT's our true home and not this one?

Again, lest I be taken for a depressing grinch, I do not see a biblical mandate for excluding our lives of pleasure...that's impossible and actually Anti-biblical and I think our children and spouses would find us miserable people to live with. However, there is a Biblical mandate to give and care for the poor. To what degree is a matter of prayer and consideration. I know in my life I could be doing more.

Just some thoughts...

Please pray as we continue to wrestle wtih decisions surrounding Keira's adoption. At some point we have got to set a court date for Evolet and if everything with Keira drags out it could really mess that up. Please pray for us to have wisdom. Hopefully I can upload photos again soon. The kids have been extra cute lately:)

Sunday, January 1, 2012


As I watch my little girls start to bond like sisters, it makes me think about how great it is to have siblings. They make you laugh, they make you cry, you wouldn't be siblings if you didn't fight every now and then, they tease you relentlessly and drive you crazy--even after you grow up, and they are also your best friends and sometimes they don't get enough credit for being that.

I'm the third child in a family sibling dynamic that spans 20 years, but it's beautiful to know that as our families grow and change and mold into their own entities or as our careers develop, that we're always there for each other and will love each other no matter what.

It's been a blessing to keep up with sisters back home. One leaves me lots of sweet facebook messages and one called me and talked to me for an HOUR on Christmas! I know that was precious time she could have been spending with her family, but called to make sure I felt loved and cherished over here in Zambia all alone. I was also able to skype with both of them and they got to see the girls this morning.

My brother's a hip little (almost) 15 year old who thinks he's super cool. He loves basketball and older girls. I don't see him alot, but love him very much!

I also have an amazing brother-in-law who is like a brother to me. I've known him since I was 12 so there aren't alot of memories I have when he wasn't part of the family. He makes us all laugh and has been the brother that always listened to my heartbreak stories and frustrations about my home life growing up. He's pretty awesome and I am thankful for him.

So while I hope that my children will avoid some of the trials that made my siblings and I as close as we are, I do hope that their sisterhood grows into a friendship that includes kindness, forgiveness, patience, laughter, joy, and most of all--LOVE! I know I've been blessed by these things. ~1 Corinthians 13~

Just wanted to give a shout out to my siblings on this first day of 2012!