Monday, July 27, 2009

The Ethiopian Princess

Sis and I had fun this morning dressing the princess up in her Ethiopian garb:) This little outfit is very special because it was a gift from her birthmom. The day that we met her birthmom, she brought this outfit, specially wrapped up in shiny paper, for her daughter. I'm thankful that the princess will have this outfit and her cross necklace as tangible reminders of her birthmom's love for her. I'm so thankful to have the princess with us! At nighttime I love to feel her tiny arms around my neck and hear her sweet voice saying, "My mommy!" In response to this I squeeze her tight and smilingly say, "My baby!" God is so good to us!

Monday, July 20, 2009

An Inspiring Read

I love to read and I've been reading ALOT this summer! I just finished a book by Gracia Burnham called "In the Presence Of My Enemies". She powerfully tells the story of her and her husband, Martin's, year-long captivity by terrorists in the Philippine jungle. She and Martin had been serving as missionaries there in the Philippines for 15 years and were kidnapped while they were celebrating their anniversary at an island resort. Gracia chronicles their struggle to survive, their conversations with the other hostages, their relationships with their captors, their heartbreak over being separated from their 3 children, their thankfulness for God's special gifts to them along the way, their love and encouragement to one another during that dark time. She writes about becoming especially depressed one day...Martin talked with her about it and basically she said, "I believe that God sent his son to die for me...I believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world...I believe the Bible is God's Word...but I just can't believe that God loves me." She was miserable for 3 days until she came to realize that God truly did love her. I've thought about that often since I read her testimony. Then, when I couldn't sleep a few nights ago, I was reading John 12:27 where Jesus said, "Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!" It struck me that I serve a Savior who could have asked for an escape from pain, but it was through His pain that God was glorified. It made me think about all the times that I ask for a "way of escape" from painful or uncomfortable circumstances. I should be praying that God would glorify (make Himself BIGGER) Himself through the circumstance. That's what Marcia Burnham has allowed God to do with her life...and I think that God HAS glorified Himself through her!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 10, 2008

The little princess has been with us since January 10, 2009...exactly 6 months! We can't imagine our lives without this darling girl:) She's brought so much joy, laughter and love into our home - we are so thankful that God has brought her to us! But as we celebrate the joy of having her with us, my heart aches for her birthmom in Ethiopia. The princess was brought to Hannah's Hope in Addis Ababa on July 10, 2008...exactly a year ago. I can't imagine what she is feeling as she remembers her precious baby daughter. I'm praying that God will fill her heart with His peace so that she knows her sweet girl is being loved and cared for here in the States...8,000 miles away from Ethiopia. Most importantly, I'm praying that she knows Jesus as her Savior so that one day we can all be together with Him!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Bowling Princess

We took the Princess bowling for the first time recently! She loved the whole experience, but especially loved her beautiful orange ball:) We were laughing with her as she slid past the line a few times and landed on her bottom. Then, we found a great contraption at the alley that allowed her to simply push the ball and it would roll right towards all the pins. The funniest part of the whole experience was that this 3 year old Ethiopian beauty beat her sister, her big brother and her mommy during her first bowling game ever!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Lesson from Ruby Bridges

We journeyed on a field trip to the Children's Museum yesterday. We hadn't been there in probably 3-4 years...I'm loving getting to revisit all of my favorite places for toddlers again:) Anyway...the museum has a powerful exhibit called the Power of Children that focuses on Anne Frank, Ruby Bridges and Ryan White. We were able to sit in a replica of Ruby's 1st grade classroom at William Franz Elementary School and hear a dramatic monologue by one of the Federal Marshalls that accompanied Ruby through the hostile crowd outside of the school. Ruby was six at the time and was the first African-American student admitted to the school. There were huge protests in New Orleans against her admittance. Many people were screaming horrible things at Ruby. The museum had a photo of some of the protesters...some of them had taken a black baby doll and put it in a coffin. In the same picture there is a smiling, little white girl holding up a cross. A cross?! Their hatred was a very ugly thing. After a few days of this same thing, one of the federal marshalls saw that Ruby was saying something as she walked by the angry mob. She was praying. She wasn't praying for herself, but she was praying for God to forgive those who were cursing her. This is part of her prayer: "Please, God, try to forgive those people. Because even if they say those bad things, they don't know what they're doing. So you could forgive them, just like you did those folks a long time ago when they said terrible things about you." I want to be more like Ruby Bridges and I pray I can teach my children how to forgive those who hurt them, like Ruby's Mom must have taught her.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." Colossians 3:12-14

Friday, May 15, 2009

Reflections on Mother's Day

Last Sunday was Mother's Day and D. decided that he'd treat me to a family bike ride! I have always loved biking with D and the kids. When we were first married and living out in VA, D surprised me one day when I came home from teaching to say, "Let's go buy some bikes." My response was, "Why do I need a bike?" I'm so glad he persuaded me to follow his lead! We still have those same bikes after almost 20 years:) Anyway, back to Mother's Day...we took the kids to a bike trail that we haven't ridden on for about 6 years, so the kids have grown since then (and we've added the African princess!). The whole time I was just filled with a sense of awe and joy that God has given us these precious kids to care for. I kept looking at Bub's back as he rode next to D. and thinking, "He's looks almost like a man! Last time we were here he was 7!" We rode the bikes on the trail to this special park we used to visit...the Princess had fun on the was surreal seeing her enjoying the same things Sis and Buddy enjoyed so long the playground seemed tiny to them! The day just reminded me of all the good things and simple joys that God brings into our life daily. One of my prayers as I'm parenting has been from Psalm 90:12, that God would teach me to number my days aright, so that I could gain a heart of wisdom...that I would enjoy each "stage" of their childhood. He has been faithful to answer that prayer!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Funny Conversation

I have always loved the nighttime routine with our kids, the time when everyone gets ready for bed and D. and I go into each of their rooms to pray with them and talk about whatever they want (sometimes this is shorter if we're all exhausted!). Last night, I had fun getting the little princess ready for bed...bathtime, new kitty pajamas, sweet arms wrapped around my neck, reading the "Spot" books together, then we had this conversation.

Me: Tomorrow morning you can have some oatmeal:)
Princess: Oatmeal.
Me: Yes, oatmeal.
Princess: Cheerios.
Me: Cheerios.
Princess: Banana.
Me: Banana.
...a slight hesitation and a little smile...Princess: M&Ms!

Yes, Princess, you might get some M&Ms:)