Monday, October 31, 2011

Be Still...

I love observing people to see how they are wired. I especially love watching the people close to me and predicting their response and then seeing if it plays out like I thought it would.

Some people make really quick decisions and make them well.

Some people go back and forth, analyzing every option over and over. Then they second guess their decision after they've made it-- even if it turns out well.

I'm both in different situations. Sometimes, I make those quick decisions and sometimes I mull things over, changing my mind back and forth. Sometimes I allow the indecision to stall things past when I have the capability of actually making a choice. Other times, I make a snap decision and it works out well.

Brandon leans more on the quick decisions that are made well. He is drawn to employment positions that require this. He loves fast paced work. And luckily for me, he loves fast paced homelife.. life with four is anything but slow. LOL!

Why am I sharing this you ask?

Well.. in my previous post I asked for you to pray for us as we prayed for direction. Brandon and I both seemed to be getting the same answer.

And honestly both of us having the answer so quickly, made us wonder if we were reacting in fear.

We have the opportunity to commit to one agency for a fee and become an "official" adoptive family for them. The fee is pretty significant to us but we trust this agency and the adoption coordinator. The adoption fees are within our adoption budget. Our homestudy is written far more open than the current adoptive families which means that our adoption profile would be shown often.

And yet we feel like we are being told to "Be Still."

I know, I know.. I scratched my head at that one too and so did Brandon.

I can't tell you how many times I've wondered "Is this fear talking, or You God?" I've asked God this question repeatedly. And yet, Be Still continues to be what we are supposed to be doing.

Honestly, we feel at peace with this decision. We are still eligible to adopt. But for now, we are attempting to listen to the message and savor life with our amazing four children and live in the moments.

Trust me, I know how bizarre this all sounds. When I started my blogging journey it was to document my life -- the good, the bad and the seemingly crazy.

Somehow we do crazy really well.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Best News in a Long Time..

Katie is no longer an orphan! See here...

In Bee tradition, I danced right where I was.. which happened to be the carwash.

Got lots of funny looks, but I don't care.

I promised.. just as God promised Katie to the Musser family. ;)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Right or Left?

Things have once again been crazy busy.

In the last 15 days, we've had a major car repair on our one vehicle, had issues with the well not working in our new rental, had a small air conditioning issue, had a 2 hour cell phone conversation with our internet provider that required Brandon to run into the middle of the yard to get the instructions and then run back in and work on the computer, back and forth, with some calls dropping and having to call back in, had an extra 2 year old for a few hours one day recently, cracked the windshield of our one vehicle, had a day surgery event, had 6 tubes of blood extracted from a fearless two year old, were contacted about an out of state adoption situation possibility and had a one night fever.

One day it will slow down. I know I keep saying that, but one day we'll really start coasting.. right? If not, please keep that answer to yourself. This is how I get through the crazy days.. telling (lying?) to myself saying that it won't be like this forever...

Now we are preparing for my aunt to arrive this week which means that everything truly has to be unpacked because she will be staying here with our children as we go on an adults only getaway.

I'm so excited.

Brandon and I look forward to the opportunity to reconnect and talk some more-- especially without little ears around. We just want big ears around-- big MOUSE ears. ;)

Brandon and I have big decisions to make in regards to our adoption journey. Big, HUGE decisions. We want to hear God loud and clear. We want to be on the correct path!

At this time, we aren't discussing what those choices/decisions except among ourselves, but we would covet your prayers. God knows and once we decide which path to take, you'll know too.

In the meantime, if you think about us, would you pray for us? We appreciate it!


Sunday, October 9, 2011

Stumbling or Falling?

Oh I love when something happens with my children and I feel that nudge from the Holy Spirit! All morning I've been reeling and writing this post in my head!

For those of you that haven't gotten to meet our Julianne, she is such a blessing. One of the things that has amazed me in raising a larger family has been watching the similarities and differences among our children. Gifts and areas of opportunity sometimes overlap but sometimes they are completely different from child to child.

Our Julianne is a sweet girl. She can be a little shy. She makes a friend easily and her love language is touch. I can calm her in a matter of moments if I can touch her. She loves it when I rub her back during service, or hold hands with her. Or when I brush her hair out of her face. She gives out hugs often. She dances to her own little beat and is witty beyond her years.

She is also very afraid of heights. I'm not talking rollercoasters or skyscrapers, even stairs frighten her.

At our church, we have several flights of stairs that you can go up or down depending on which area of the church you are trying to get to. It's taken me a few months to figure out these stairs because I am directionally challenged. For Julianne, these stairs challenge her every week.

Most weeks she stands at the top with tears in her eyes and we have to coax her down. She will step down, then bring the other foot to the same stair, then go down to the next stair. She doesn't alternate feet and stairs. Nope. One stair at a time. All while desperately clinging to the rail, with her Bible bag draped on her arm. Most of the time, she will leave her hands planted on one part of the rail and step down and have her body all stretched out because she is scared to move her hand down the rail a little. We've shown her how to slide her hand down so that she doesn't even have to let go. Cognitively she knows she has to move her hand down, but she usually takes quite some time before she will do it.

But this week... this week, she started down the stairs. And she immediately started to get upset as she yelled out "I'm falling!!!!" I was in front of her on the stairs walking down and Brandon was behind her. She has never fallen down these stairs or any that I can remember.

She wasn't really going anywhere. She was still standing, grasping the rail so hard that her little knuckles were white.

Brandon called out down the stairs, "Baby, you are okay! You just stumbled! You didn't fall! Daddy is right here..." And a little tear slipped out onto her cheek.

Stumbled.. you didn't fall and I'm right here.

And I felt that quickening in my soul...

We got down those stairs and I stopped her right before she walked into large group time, to wipe her cheek and comfort her.

And I told her "You did it!" She flashed a quick grin and said "Yup! And I didn't fall! Daddy was there!" And I nodded yes.

And then her grin disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.

"But Momma, what if I did fall?" I assured her that if she had fallen, Daddy would get her and pick her up and dust her off... and that she could try the stairs again another day but she had to keep going and keep trying.

And I felt that quickening again.

I walked to my class in my own little world trying to process what was going on in my heart.

Here's the application:

No matter how many times we walk the stairs, they may still look scary. Just like Julianne's Daddy was there ready to catch her, so is God. Just like Julianne was scared to fall, sometimes we are too. Sometimes we think we are falling and we are really only stumbling. Sometimes we cling to things so hard, that we can't do what we are meant to do. Julianne was desperately clinging to the stair rail so hard that she couldn't reach the next step. Instead of sliding her hand down the rail, she was stuck. But if Julianne would have skipped the stairs and taken the elevator, would she still have learned that she can walk the stairs?

Are you taking the elevator in your life? Or are you taking the "scary" stairs? When you feel like you are you falling, are you really or are you only stumbling? If you did fall, would you try it again? Are you desperately clinging to something that is keeping you from being able to freely walk?

Father, open my eyes to things that I am avoiding, by taking the elevator instead of going the scary way. Remove the fear from me, so I can go that way. Reassure me that if I fall, You will catch me, in only a way that You can. Allow me to loosen my grip on whatever I am clinging to desperately, so I freely walk and if I must cling, allow me to cling onto You. I love You and praise You. Amen!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Great Picture Dump..

My frustrations with Blogger have led me to not upload pictures for quite some time. Here are some recent pictures. (I'll caption them underneath the picture.)

Traveling to Lynchburg to visit friends meant that we happened to be in town for R's birthday! She had a tea party. I love this picture because it shows Julianne's REAL smile... not the fake grimace I get so often!

Julianne and Mr. D. She loves to be read to!

A and Solomon. A is the oldest of five and babies come second nature to him. ;) My boys love A and being held. Win- Win!

Sweetie Solomon :) He's getting harder and harder to photograph because he moves so fast! Those eyes still melt his mama!

Xander put his self feeding skills to test with Jello! He kept telling the jello to be still! It didn't listen. (So far my girlies are left handed and my boys are right handed!)

Brandon with three girlies. R was picking features for her fairy character for a game.

This picture cracks me up. Xander eating breakfast. Oversized John Deere shirt, no pants and camo knitted beanie with a "Ladies Man" bib. He dressed himself. I'm keeping this one for blackmail!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My Rainbow after the Storm...

I'm so convinced that God gives me rainbows when I need them. They serve as a gentle reminder that He stands by His promises.

Friday, we headed out to pick up the U-haul truck and it started to rain on the way to our apartment. We had people coming to help us load up our place! I quickly asked the girls to pray that the rain would stop.

And it did.

Further down the road, I saw a tiny piece of a rainbow. It wasn't a huge beautiful arch but it was a tiny, tiny, fragment of a rainbow.

I smiled as I started thinking back to how amazingly God has provided for us during this journey.

Here are just a few of the ways that He has provided:

- We found our church right before this whole thing began. We'll be here 3 years this November. I do not find it to be a coincidence that our church was revealed to us right before this crazy ride.

- Other than our homestudy (that could still be used although we do have to pay for an update since we moved) and our travel expenses we lost very little of our adoption fund. We are thankful that God spared our tiny fund especially since almost all adoption fees are non-refundable.

- We "randomly" chose a Sunday School class when we visited this church the first time. They welcomed us with open arms and I don't think a week has gone by since that we haven't heard from someone in between church activities. These friends rejoiced with the news that we were matched. These brothers and sisters in Christ have battled in prayer for our situation when things went south. They've reached out to us. They've hugged me. They've cried with us. They've shared their own stories.

- One of our friends from our Sunday School class, helped me find my way to the Women's Bible Study. This has been amazing for me. I tearfully asked for prayer during our prayer request time one week and afterwards several women stopped by to introduce themselves and tell me their own adoption or fostering stories and promise to pray for us!

- For this move, several men and one couple from our Sunday School class blessed us with their time and packed our things into the moving truck. The next morning they came and unloaded the moving truck. It was speedy and efficient and done without a single complaint. Brandon and I are still in awe of how smoothly and quickly it happened!

- Our new neighbors are so friendly! Everyone has come to introduce themselves.

Each day does get a little easier. We've moved past disbelief. We don't understand why this happened, but we have accepted it. We are finding ourselves laughing and smiling more.


PS: I know I have been lacking in the picture department. I am about to dump a bunch from our phones. So stay tuned!