Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Will Never Forget...

To think that we could have let the opportunity pass us by saddens my heart. We have all discussed this, we all agree that we could not imagine life with our our two adopted daughters. We all agree, that we can't imagine if we had let this God opportunity pass us by we would be missing out on what the Lord had in store for us.

I will never forget the day that God spoke so clearly to both Bryan and I about adopting. I will never forget the look on Bryan's face when he came to the realization that we needed to become a part of God's plan. I will never forget the day when we said, "Lord, your will not ours".

I will never forget sitting on a park bench with my daughter to be, tears rolling down my face, listening to the words of God speak so clearly to my heart "Andrea, this is how I feel when my children are separated from me". I will never forget trying to make sense of it all and God saying, "I called you to obedience first, not understanding".

I will never forget sitting in a hot and humid room in China, searching faces wondering if this next child would be our daughter we had been waiting for. I will never forget holding her so scared in my arms wondering, if she would ever love me as much as I have already loved her.

I will never forget reading the words, "Your faith has healed your daughter", and believing it was so.

I will never forget walking through the airport, being met by rejoicing family members and friends.

I will never forget the look of relief in the eyes of the children that knew they were finally home.

I will never forget the blessings that the Lord bestowed upon us.
I will never forget....
I will never forget...
I will never forget...

We should never forget, that God has called us to much more than we can do on our own.
We should never forget, that with Him all things are possible.
We should never forget, that He who begun a good work will complete it.
We should never forget, that He has blessed us so that we may share the blessings.
We should never forget that we ourselves are "adopted" sons and daughters of Christ.
We should never forget that He is able to do more than we could ever ask or imagine.
We should never forget that He says, " Let the little children come to me".
We should never forget...
We should never forget...
We should never forget...
He has given us what we need to change the world. "Well done my good and faithful servant, enter my rest".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Passport 2 Purity...

This weekend I took my girls on their Passport 2 Purity weekend. First let me start with a disclosure. It is 1 am and my postings are backwards. What I mean is out of order, if you want to see what happened first, you must scroll to the bottom of the blog and work your way up. Then it will be in chronological order. It is late, or early rather and I am not going back to fix it, so just bare with me. One more thing, most of you know that I don't spell well, so that might be a problem too. Okay, back to our regularly scheduled program.
This weekend was very special for a number of reasons. I had the privilege of taking my two almost teenage girls on there purity weekend. We have a curriculum put out by Dennis and Barbara Rainey that teaches the importance of entering into maturity and what it means to keep yourself pure. It is especially designed to do with your son or daughter over a weekend and talks about physically maturity, peer pressure and establishing biblical principles. It is a great way to grow closer with your teen and to draw boundaries now, so you won't be caught second guessing later. Here is the link just in case you are heading into those teen times and would like a little help establishing what the bible says about staying pure and how to teach these important views to your child .
We started the trip with our dear friends and headed to Tucson to a beautiful resort. We spent the first night going over our curriculum and then we went to dinner.
The next day we spent our time learning more, then we were off to the mall. The hotel we were staying in was going to be hosting a ball later that evening, even though we were not invited we thought we would stop and try on some gowns, just in case. Yes, Zona and I played too, but I will spare you the visuals. We all had so....much fun. Next stop, Santa...I am so glad the girls (well at least some of them) played along too.
Then back to hotel to change for our "special" dinner. This was the night that I was waiting for the whole weekend. I was presenting the girls with their purity rings!! The "special" part was that I took two diamonds out of my moms wedding ring and had them made into rings for my girls. I thought it would be a great way to remember what the ring symbolizes (staying pure until you are married) and to have a little something from Nana too. Of course I cried, when telling them about why the rings had such meaning, both of them teared up too. As you can see by the looks on their faces, it was just as special to them. We wrapped up the night with some dessert and a movie.
The next day was spent just lounging around. We spent several hours at the pool, yes in December, only in Arizona. Then played some games and the best people watching in the lobby of the resort. After a lot of fun and food we were ready (sort of) to come home.
All and all, it will be a weekend to remember. I am soo... blessed with two beautiful teenage girls who have given their whole heart to Jesus. As I look back on the weekend, I am grateful for a God that gives us understanding of His word, and helps us to cling to His promises. We gained a lot of useful tools that will help my girls remain in God as he guides them along the next phase of their lives.

Fun in the sun??? It's December

Beautiful African wrap

View from our room

Passport 2 Purity...

The big moment...the purity rings

Passport 2 Purity...

Me and My Sweet Friend

My Fav Picture

In our hotel

Old Saint Nick

Dress up

Passport 2 Purity...

Having fun trying on dresses

Zona & her girls

Goofing around, silly girls


Me & my girls

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Now that I have seen.....

" How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!...You drove me from them and took their place, you who are sweeter then all pleasure". St. Augustine

Now that we have seen we are responsible. If we are truly bond servants to Christ, if we are the servants of the Most High, we must SERVE!!

We must step out of what is normal, we must risk all for Christ. We must trust Him with all of our possessions. We must get out of the mind frame, that we don't have enough to give this month, or this year. We must step out in faith beyond all that we know, leave the comfort zone. Faith without deeds is dead.

I have a sister in Christ that has a blog that is a must see. She is a living testimony of the hands and feet of Christ. Follow this link and see for yourself.

May these words not fall on deaf ears. My prayer is that the body of Christ, will rise up and take hold of the opportunity the Lord has given us to care for the people of His nations.

He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, "My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me." But remember the Lord you God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covneant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:16-18

Monday, December 1, 2008

Singing Praises...

God is so.. good.

We already know that God is good, it is evident all around our lives. But sometimes he takes us off guard with His goodness, He surprises us when we least expect it. Today is one of those days.

I am a worrier. I spend a lot of time repenting for worrying and not trusting God when I know that He is beyond trustworthy. We are in the process of raising funds for our three Ethiopian children. It is a lot of money and we need it in a short period of time. I have spent several days praying for the needs of our children and for the money we need to bring them home. Bryan, myself and 2 other friends have committed to fasting and prayer until these needs are met.
My friend and I were discussing Daniel and he prayed and fasted for strongholds to be broken and they were. All this to say that the Lord is faithful to give us what we need, all we have to do is ask.

Today I called to see if we had raised any funds. The lady at the NPO had said that she didn't see anything but she thought that we had, she asked to call me back. When she returned my call, she said, hesitantly, that we had raised $5000!!! I was in shock and I think she was too. This was just one donor!! What a blessing, thank you friends for obeying God. This is a miracle, not to mention, completely unexpected. All together we have raised $5,335 !!! Thank you for all of your prayers. We are praising God for His provisions. We are well on the way to bring our children home!!

God is so.. good!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Memories of Mom.....

Yesterday has been one year since my mom went to be with the Lord. Over the past year I have been referring to my mom's death rather then to her new life. Yesterday, Bryan commented to me that my mom had been with Jesus for a year and how awesome that was. So I have changed my tune.

I thought that I would post some pictures of my sweet mom, to share the joy with you that she has given to me over the past 35 years. None to be forgotten but everything to be remembered. She was the BEST mother ever. She trained me up the way I should go, then I had my turn to testify to her. She was an amazing Nana, it was her most favorite thing to be. Our children miss her so much. There are really no words to discribe the kind of Nana she was because she was so many things to the kids. A best buddy, slumber party friend, sports Nana, secret pal, cheerleader, nurse and the list goes on. She left a legacy for them that they will always remember. I am so glad that our two new little ones had a chance to meet her this side of heaven. We have many a hilarious stories about my mom, and great things to share like Buttons the dog, and worm soup.

Most of all, I miss her. Besides Bryan, she was my very best friend. We did everything together. As a child, I was the growth on her left hip. As a teenager, she couldn't shake me, she drove me every where and did everything with me. As a young adult, she gave me away, and was the very best Nana any daughter or grandchild could ever ask for. As time went by she allowed me to care for her. Even though the tides were turned she still encouraged me and chastised me. She taught me to be brave and courageous. She taught me how to continue to love even when you are too tired to. She taught our children, how to care for the sick. She taught them mercy and grace. She taught us to endure and to only trust God, never man. She taught us the importance of community, and to share the effort. She taught us to rest in Christ. And then she taught us all, how to pass graciously into the hands of Our Father.

I feel so blessed today to have shared all of these things with such a beautiful and special woman. I am who I am today because of the things my mom passed down to me. The Lord has grown and stretched me in so many different ways in the past couple of years, and made Himself known in this house among these people. Today I rest in the knowledge that my mom is with her Lord and Savior. She is whole, healed and dancing with Jesus. I can't help to imagine that she is still Nana to the little baby we lost, hanging out with her mom and some of her dearest friends & family that passed before her. She gets to sit at the feet of Jesus and worship Him all day and night.

My sweet mom is finally, fully alive. Today I rejoice in that!

Memories of Mom....

Nana's Slumber Party
Bonding with C~6

On our way to a Tonsillectomy

Easter Sunday

Me and My Mommy

Memories of Mom...

My Wedding Day

Mom & Grandma, both with Jesus

Nana and some of her kids

Coral's Kindergarden Graduation

Saturday, November 15, 2008

One Step Closer To Home

Home: n (h o m) 1. a place to hang your heart. 2. a refuge from the storm. 3. a structure of wood brought to life by the love of the family within.

A couple of months ago I had a dream of three little children in Africa. They were all alone, naked, dying and without parents. I began to run to the children to help them and I became afraid and turned around to leave. A lady told me not to be afraid, but to get them. I turned back and picked up the first child. As I cared for him, he began to heal and live. One by one the healing continued. The Lord revealed to me in my dream that I was to take all three of them home. Little did I know that 3 weeks later we would meet, via e-mail, three children that would one day become part of our ever growing family.
Now some might be saying; "NINE children"?? What would you need with nine children. I am here to say, we don't "need" nine children, we are being obedient to a call that Jesus has put on our lives for nine children. I am thrilled to be a mother of nine, ten, twenty if the Lord allows. We are willing to give all of our life to follow Jesus, may God give us the strength to do it!!
Psalm 127:5 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them.

James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is the: to look after orphans and widows in their trouble , and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.
We have a lot to trust God for. We are trusting for our three children, their safety and the safety of us here. The last time we did this, the enemy tried to attack us in more ways than one. We are praying for their hearts and healing even now. That the Lord will reveal himself to them and their older brother who is allowing them to be adopted so that they will have an opportunity to be cared for. We are praying for their salvation. We are praying for the funds that we need to bring these kids home. We are praying for the timing of it all.
God has so much to do in such little earthly time. Will you join us in praying? We are excited to see God show up in BIG ways. We trust that "He who calls us is faithful, and He will do it".
1 Thessalonians 5:24

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Glory of God....

The Chapel where we prayed for our sweet friend Julie K

Amy and her amazing guitar talent!

The sunset, God is glorious!!!

We spent Monday through Wednesday with some of our worship team in California at Calvary Chapel's campus for a worship conference called "The Glory of God". It was a wonderful time of worship and studying God's word. I sat in awe as we studied the Glory of God and what it looks like in the bible. What God expects from us, obedience and worship.
We enjoyed spending time with our friends, and getting to know each other better then before. We were blessed to stay at my in-laws Dennis and Sue. We have missed them so much, although a couple of days are not enough time.
We were able to join together in prayer for needs beyond our control, healing, adoption, finances, changes of heart. We heard from God in very personal ways, encouraging us and challenging us to trust and submit like never before.

The Glory of God....

Julie and I waiting for AWESOME worship to begin!!

The Manly Men

Bryan's artistic expression, I love it.

Bryan & Me, true love!

Our group, Julie, me, Bryan, Amy & Roger

Monday, November 3, 2008

A Servants Heart

After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet, drying them with the towl that was wrapped around him. John 13:5
Sundays lesson at church for the children was about being servants, and feet washing. They all came home with wash clothes wraped around a bar of soap tied off with a scripture, John 13:5. I didn't realize that C~6 realized what it was about until I heard her talking about Jesus and washing. I told her that we are servants of God and that He washed the feet of his friends.
By the time we got home, she was on her way to feet and washing. She started with C~4 and then on to Amy and Mommy, then her self. She loved every minute of it as you can see from the pictures above.
I love about that when my kids go to Sunday School at Calvary Chapel Surprise, they are indeed learning about Jesus to the fullest, that is obivous. The second thing I love is the lesson that this presented to me. The Lord says, that we should come like little children. He wants us to be bold with abandoned thought. My little C~ didn't have any issues washing feet, or spending time being a true servant. Nothing crossed her mind like, gross, me wash feet, no way! She enjoyed it and laughed and rubbed our feet. She wanted to continue even when we were done. After, she carefully dried our feet and moved on to the next one.
Granted she is a child and doesn't have full understanding, but it is an attitued to adopt. I find myself asking questions like, do I live to be a full servant? Do I abandon all fleshly desires to live fully for Christ and do what he calls me to do, am I obediant? Do I do what he askes even when I think it is "yucky" or something less desirable?
Jesus is our perfect example of being servants. He was a servant unto death. He loves us and wants us to share that love with others. We may not wash their feet, but we could serve them in other ways.
Lastly, when we serve we experience great joy. The people who receive the service are blessed, but we are truely blessed in return and our joy overflows.
Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.....And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God's will. 2Cor 8:2,3,5

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Never A Dull Moment

"The next birth will be normal", are words that still ring clear, but something that I have yet to experience! I am loving midwifery, especially the people I get to learn from. After a long evening as we sat in the OB ward of the hospital with an, "we made it" grin on my face, I asked my teacher midwife Carol, if we were setting a trend of abnormal births? The last two times we discussed together, that the next time would be normal, only to find out, not so much. Carol answered, "We are training you for the hard stuff"!

The evening started well, and ended well, it was the in-between that was an adventure. After a couple of hours of home labor, our client's baby's heart rate was really decelerating. Again, Carol (and her daughter) had completely unreadable faces on. Again, I watched and wondered if what I was hearing was right! Staring at Mary staring at the Carol, waiting to see what she would call...."Transport"!! We were on the move. After a few minutes of doodling, Carol said sternly "We have to go NOW"! We were on the way to the hospital! We decided that I would drive, my car was big. Mom, Dad, Carol and I were in, and Carol said (in that voice) "Floor It", I knew that she was serious, so I did.

Now I won't lie, I was nervous. I could hear in Carol's voice, that she was concerned so off we went. I prayed almost all the way, for mom and us as we flew down the streets, and got on the highway and flew down that too. We were almost going too fast to notice the big bright FLASH on the side of the highway, but I did. 95 mph, in a 65 mph zone YIKES!!

We arrived safely and after several hours, mom delivered a little baby boy!!

Now the real amazing thing is that by Gods grace I get to participate in the lives of my sweet midwife and her clients. I love this. I love that the Lord has allowed Carol and Mary this calm disposition (one that I will pray that I adopt). I love that they are humble and respectful of all around them. I love that we are able to be involved with one of the biggest miracles, life. I love that God is always in control, and empowers us through His Spirit, to have wisdom to make quick and futile decisions. I love that we are the vehicles He chooses to demonstrate His unchanging, perfect love to others. He gives us opportunities to pray and see first hand how He will intervene.

Thank you Sweet Jesus, for the miracle of life. Thank you for my teachers Carol and Mary. I love that you are faithful and consistent, even we are not. Thank you for this opportunity to learn about something that you so intricately designed. You are an amazing God, and deserve all the glory and praise for last night, nothing we did counts, ONLY you can save. I love you Jesus!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Forever Home

I love those words "Forever Home". They are sweet, comforting, safe and secure. James 1:27 says: Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
These little children are forever home. Adoption is a precious gift for both child and parent. It is a perfect picture what happens when we accept Jesus as the Savior of our lives, He becomes our Abba Father, and we become his children. We then know that we are "Forever Home" in Christ.
Another common tie is that both require action and obedience. To adopt children takes a act of faith and action to put it into motion. I believe the Lord wants us to have to put effort toward something so that we will fully appreciate the gift.
The same goes with accepting Christ and being adopted into His forever family. Jesus does not make us take that step, but he wants us to. Once we understand the need we have for a savior and understand what we need to be saved from (eternity seperated from God due to sin) we have the opportunity to accept Chirst (that takes action) and then we can fully appreciate the gift of being saved.
My heart is just overjoyed to know that these children are forever home. It overjoys me more to know that without the willingness and obediance of the parents, these children may have never had the opportunity to know Christ as their personal Lord and savior.
Praise God for a safe trip, and WElCOME HOME Kaitlyn Christians!!!

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