Thursday, February 28, 2008
Last evening, we received a disturbing email in regards to Mixco Civil Registry. I am not going to speak the specifics, I will not give any credit to the enemy who has none to get in the first place. But I am sad to report that the email sent not only me, but several other families from our agency in to a down ward spiral. I thought "what? What is happening Lord, we have broken that strong hold in your name! You must abide by your Word, you cant be discredited...you promised that if we believe and stand firm in our faith, that what we pray will come to pass through the authority of your death and resurrection. I don't understand Lord, what did we miss?" Myself and several other prayer warriors were absolutely confused. However, after prayer last night and the new mercies of the Lord that are given every morning. I am humbled to share with you (it certainly was through our own strength) that my friend Jenifer and I spent the first hour of the morning quickly digging ourselves out of that pit through speaking and quoting the Word of God and we went on with our day. We both "considered not our bodies" and went on with our life. Not easy, but again, faith is a choice, and we both "fear" God enough to choose faith.
In the end, God has been victorious AGAIN! 3 more Birth Certificates issued today for our agency, thus, continued hope and blessings. What was so dark last night, turned in to joy today. And we are once again shown that brightness always over powers darkness. There is no end to light, but there is absolutely and end to darkness. Black is black, but light can get brighter and brighter, there is no end to illumination.
I heard the Lord say to me "Look up, eye's up, eye's up.....Look at me, don't look at the ground , look up!" I thought about different moments with my sons where I grabbed their faces and said "look at me...no look at me", and here my heavenly Father is saying the same thing. Just like Peter the disciple, I momentarily took my eye's of Christ....and He said "look at me, pay no attention to the rough waters, look at me". I am looking, the waters have calmed and no matter how rough they may "appear to get", I will keep my eye's on Him....his light is brighter, His waters are calmer, His ways are smoother.
Please DO NOT stop praying the prayers I posted previously regarding Mixo Civil Registry. I cant express enough the power that exists in intercessory prayer. I expect to be posting very good news in the days to come.
Blessings, and thank you for always checking in.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
"The joy of the Lord is my strength"
Here are 3 of my joys last spring break, 2007.....love my boys and oh so grateful for them.
We awoke today to another new layer of fresh powdery snow. It was one of those snow's that sticks to the tree's....it really was quit pretty. However, I found myself immediately annoyed and in a "grouchy mood". I am personally a "summer girl", I prefer the outdoors more than anything, hence, my passion for camping, water, boats, etc. I absolutely struggle emotionally in January and February as I begin to feel cooped up and trapped within my home and surroundings. I for one cant tell you that I officially feel "complete" with winter!
However, every day, my heavenly Father not only supplies me with enough strength for the day as well as my needs, but He also supplies me with enough joy. It's up to me to receive this new joy everyday and live it. I must admit, some days are easier than others to do this. I wish I could say the wait gets easier....but its tough! Some days, it takes every bit of energy I have to just to get out of bed in the morning. But I do it.....again, "I consider not my body" and I make a choice to live the life I have been blessed with and all the wonderful people and things in it. I seek the joy the Lord has given me for the day, I praise for all that has been given to me and pray that He will continue to reveal himself more to me.
We are still waiting for our Birth Certificate for Bella. It has now been 4 weeks since originally being registered with Mixco Civil Registry. The good news, is that the Civil Registry does appear to be releasing BC's and we are hopeful and expectant of our BC....."today is the day"! Please continue to pray and praise for the release of the corruption strong hold in Mixco CR and Minors Court.
We received our monthly update DVD yesterday of Bella getting her bath....she loves WATER, what a relief. She is absolutely my "chunky monkey"....they are still giving her 2 bottles at night time! Her weight, height and head circumference all stayed the same this month, she finally slowed down a bit in her growth. As a reminder, she is 24" long and 16 lbs and 16" head circum. She is precious, very content and sweet and loves to focus on faces. Oh how I long to just hold her and kiss those chubby thighs and cheeks. I am believing and speaking that this will be our last medical update as we will be there to pick her up by the end of March. That's my story today and I am sticking to it!
My oldest son Nathan is in the state spelling bee today, we are very proud of him. He is also currently the main character of "Nate the Great" at our local Civic Theatre! He turns 13 tomorrow, how can it be that my first baby is going to be a TEENAGER! Oh yikes, not so sure I am ready for all this....but again... JOY!
I continue to pray for all of my blogging buddies and I so appreciate everyone that checks in and continues to support us through your notes of encouragement and prayer. We need it more than ever right now. You are all such a blessing to me.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Ok, so I have been waiting awhile to take these photos and post them. I am just believing we are only a few weeks away from bringing the ladybug home! For those of you that dont know, I always have some little nick name for my "babies". My Nate was my "peanut", Jake was my "lamb", Sam my "bear" and Bella is my "ladybug". So we went the theme of Daisys and Ladybugs in her room and lucky for me, I even found a few out fits with Lady Bugs. I am just believing these little cloths will still fit and be in season for her. Remember my rule "no blue unless there's BLING", the jeans have pink sparkle in the fabric! :) Can't you just see her at the beach this summer! All we need is that Birth Certificate..... Upon receiving her BC, our legal team will immediatly order her Guatemala passport, and then its off to the US Embassy for her final DNA sample and then once returned to USE they will schedule what's called "Pink" which is our VISA apt....it's off to Guat then! It's very possible it could me March and right now, that's where my mind has to stay. Please continue to pray for the manifestation of her BC and all families who are waiting for the Mixco BC's. Especially my friends Jennifer and Gail! God is faithful, TODAY IS THE DAY! Blessings to all and thanks for always checking in.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
It is often described that during this "transition phase" of birthing, a woman feels exhausted emotional, vulnerable, overwhelmed and at "the end of the rope". In addition, there is frustration, feelings of discouragement, irritability and restlessness. Many lose it during this time, and that's exactly where I am this evening.
I never anticipated that we would be waiting 3 weeks for a birth certificate. Bella will be 6 months old in 10 days....and by the miracle of God, she still could be. However, the average time from BC to Pick Up trip is 4 weeks. Transition......
A play ground for Satan, and sadly, one I have given in to at moments. It's a perfect time for the enemy to "hit God's people with great force because he knows its a time when we feel weak and vulnerable. However, its but a moment....and most importantly, its only a feeling and a lie.
According to the author, there are 3 important facts regarding Transition:
1. There is an ending! God does not leave us and He will not leave us any longer than necessary. This is temporary. God has "bountiful seasons ahead for those who will seek Him. "Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for which the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus". Phil 3:13,14 A new season is just ahead!
2. Confusion is Normal! Our carnal mind is trying to work against God. (Rom 8:7). Our minds "are in opposition of God's mind". We then begin to wonder if God is really there. The question "why" comes in to play and we begin to meditate on the lies of the enemy rather than on the promises of God. Regardless of how we feel, what are emotions are doing or the anxiety we may be experiencing, we can and must remain in peace...knowing that God knows where He wants to lead us. Confusion is normal, but we must work past it....God's promises, not the enemy's lies.
3. There is a NEW Beginning! Oh can I have an AMEN to that one. It's that time when grace sets in and restoration and refreshment begins. Hope is the light, its time to PUSH!
PUSH!!! That moment when the tranisition is over and the Doctor is yelling push, and with all that you are, you let go of every fear, worry, anxiousness and discomfort because the urge to push becomes stronger than the urge of discomfort. And then, woosh! In a split second, its over, and the child you labored for and anticipated for is laid on your chest. Perfection! And its in that very moment, God erases the pain. This is the part that amazes me to this day, God erases the pain.
I remember that labor was difficult, but I could never explain to anyone what it physically felt like. It's gone, the memory of the pain is gone. And I know that this pain of longing to be reunited with our daughter will be a erased from my memory. Now that is a miracle.
Again, sharing my heart here, because although my ultimate goal is lto ive my life for the Lord, I still struggle and have down days, because I'm human. Yet His "mercy's are new every morning". So I will go to bed tonight with His Word on my heart, in my mind and OUT of my mouth. And the morning brings hope and a promise from my heavenly Father....that all is well.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Meet Molly! On Wednesday, Dave, the boys and I headed to "Build a Bear". My friend Sue is a member of a church that has a Mission Team traveling to Guatemala Saturday and will be visiting our orphanage on Sunday. A member of that mission team offered to take something to our Bella Girl....so we decided on a stuffed animal from Build a Bear. Now I had my heart set on a Pink and White Bunny, but this is what the Boys picked out and they named her "Molly". We put a recorded chip in her hand paw with a saying from each one of our voices. We are so incredibly greatfull to Laura (lady in the photo) for taking this very loved bear to our Bella next week. I cant even begin to tell you how comforting it is to know that someone is loving on our daughter and bringing a piece of us to her. Any time she wants to hear our voices, all she has to do is press the paw. This sweet bear has 5 hearts in it, one from each of us.
Please pray for this Mission Team, you can visit this womans blog at http://www.xanga.com/richandlaura
They have very specific prayers that they are requesting.
We are also asking for prayers for our friends Amy and Matt. They will be traveling to Guatemala with this Mission Team as well to have time with their daughter who was diagnosed with a fatal brain birth defect. We Praise God for His perfect provision for this family, and ask that God keeps them safe in His arms and that they fully receive His peace and hope in their visit trip.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Prayer for Ashley
Dear Lord, we thank you for our servant Ashley, Ambassador for our children and our families, the one whom you called, appointed and anointed to the ministry of advocating for our children and families. In the name of Jesus, we believe her to mantled in Your precious blood and protected from every evil. We claim Your promise to give words of wisdom to Ashley and a presence of peace and goodwill that her adversaries will be powerless to resist or refute (Luke 21:15) Strengthen Ashley to comprehend that as she stands, she manifests the fullness of God in that we stand with her (Eph 3), she is not alone, as we are one in the Lord, therefore, a complete and full army stands with her. May the belt of truth hold our armor in place, our shields held high and no fiery dart will injure our defense. Our offensive weapon, your WORD, is wielded with the power, cutting to the core of any stronghold or argument. And all of us, one in Christ, are seated in the heavenlies, far above any other power, with Jesus, whose name is above every other name. The mighty name of Jesus trumps every stronghold, breaking in to its knees, defeating and despoiling it. (
Prayer for Mixco CR
Lord, that we may truly be your children, we will be imitators of you.(Mat 5:45) We have been redeemed at a tremendous cost, therefore, we put no hope or trust in Human Beings. (Eph 5:1) For we wrestle not against flesh and blood….but of powers and principalities. Lord we forgive them….for they know not what they do. In obedience to your call to love and forgive, we ask for you unmerited favor, provision and blessing upon all Mixco CR and
Prayer for Strong Hold over Mixco CR and
Gracious Father, for the sake of Your most holy name, everything you have is ours. You have given us in Christ, every spiritual blessing for the purpose of the coming of your kingdom (on earth as it is in heaven). We have been given the authority over ALL the power of the enemy. Our weapons, faith, love, the Name, the Blood, and the Word are mighty for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds. O Praise you Lord, In the name of Jesus, that is above every name, I wield the sword of the Spirit that is sharper than any other and penetrates to the core. In the mighty name of Jesus, the enemies power at Mixco Civil Registry and
Josh 10:12-14, Eph 10:20, Eph 2:6-23, 2 Cor 10:4, Kj 10:19, Heb 4:12, 1Jn 5:4,
Eph 6:11-18, Lk 15:31, Eph 1:3,
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
One day closer to news of Bella's Birth Certificate. I know this to be true and I am speaking it right in to existence! I wanted to share something I read in a book I received from my Mother.
First, I encourage you to read 2 Chronicles 20. The story is about King Jehoshpahpt, he "sought the Lord for a strategy to defeat the enemies standing in the way of Judah's God given inheritance." He cried out to God and God answered him with these 5 instructions:
1. Let go of FEAR, its not your battle to win but The Lords.
2. Position yourself to meet the enemy head on
3. Stand still (Know that I AM) and see the salvation of God
4. Believe by faith that God would defeat the enemy
5. Believe the Word and the inheritance you have in His promises
So we know that "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God", but this definition of Faith really hit home for me. "Faith is that pause between knowing what God's plan is and seeing it actually take place". It's the pause.....that space in between seeing his Glory revealed.
I envision that moment that we see our daughter for the first time since we placed her back in the arms of her special Mother in September. And I realize that God has that day already perfectly designed. He knows the day, the time, the hour, the minute. He has it perfectly planned out for our delight, oh how magnificent it will be. He has every intention of that time being more amazing than we can ever think or dream of.
God loves to surprise us, what parent does not love to surprise their children? He loves to WOW his kids....I anticipate His Wow, and wonder...Will I fall to my knees? Will I burst out in tears, will I scream in delight? I don't know the physical response, but I can tell you one thing, I will PRAISE HIM! " For he has done this, and it is marvelous in our eye's".
I listen to many families in the adoption world, I read their posts on the Forum, their blogs, our phone conversations, and the one underlying factor in all of us is not the "fear" that our children will not come home, its the "fear" of the wait in getting them home. It's the physical time lapse that hurts adopting families the most. Our children are growing and we feel we are missing special moments, milestones. And although we are, we can take rest in knowing that through Him, we are together and no time will have lapsed. I know that through Him, our daughter knows us, she knows our voices, our touch, our smells. God can and will heal this time. He is bigger than time, my goodness, He created it! I also realize that God does not work in our earthly "physical" time, but in spiritual time. And in spiritual time, our prayers are all answered. This adoption is done, complete, final....and she is home. So I "speak as though it were", Bella is Home.
Take rest dear friend, God will "repair and replace the years the locust stole". And the glory of His plan will be more magnificent than you can ever imagine. Enjoy the journey....there is value in this waiting.
Blessings to all,
Monday, February 11, 2008
I think that may boys may have been home at least 1 day every week since returning back to school after the holidays. We had snow day #5 today, its so cold the 8" of snow we received Sunday morning cant melt and roads are completely snow covered and iced. So here we are.....no school Thurs or Fri this week as the teachers have training. A slight disruption to my weekly schedule, but its up to me to receive the joy the Lord has already given me today.
Today marks 2 weeks of our Mixco Birth Certificate wait, so not worried, I know the Lord has this covered and that we already have it. We are just waiting on the manifestation of that BC.
Bella's Diaper Bag arrived today, ordered it from LL Bean...it's one of their boat bags, It's pink, black and white. It's the first thing I have ordered with her name on it and it's WONDERFUL!
Below is a picture I posted of the flowers my husband gave me when we received our PGN Approval! This is only the 4th time I have received a dozen roses from my hubby, I received the other 3 when giving birth to our 3 boys. This time, my roses are PINK!
"Some people trust the power of chariots and horses, but we trust you, Lord God. Others will stumble and fall, but we will be strong and stand firm" Psalm 20:7-8
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
On Wednesday, Feb. 6th we received an email from our agency regarding all families waiting for Mixco Birth Certificates. The facts of the circumstance were overwhelming for me....and a short time later, I found myself in a flood of tears over the reality of the situation.
On Jan. 28th, our adoption of Bella became legal and complete in the eye's of the Guatemalan Government. However, US policy is that the Guatemalan Government issues a new birth certificate for all adopted children with their adopted families last name. This 1 document is required by the US to bring our daughter home. It is not a Guatemalan requirement, but a US requirement. In other words, our daughter is legally ours, but our country will not allow us to bring her home with out this document, a Visa can not be issued under current law. Please note, I understand that this policy is in place for probably a very good reason, I just have no clue what that reason is.
For the last 4 months, one of several Civil Registries in Guatemala known as Mixco, has been with holding birth certificates for their own financial gain..as well as power. In the beginning, there was hope and belief that new management had taken over and all corrupt individuals were fired and replaced. They also made the announcement that they would need 30 business days to review files before issuing a birth certificate (this document is literally turned around in other civil registries with in 24hrs to 2 weeks). Sadly, it does not appear as though that is the case. In the words of our agency "the children are being held hostage". Our own agency currently has 36 families waiting for Birth Certificates, some since October of 2007 (4 months).
Now, here my heart.....these are only the facts! The truth is, God has shown me over the last year and half of this process that this is only the facts, not the truth! The truth is....He has promised in His Word that "He will bring to completion the good work He has begun". I choose to believe God. And although my physical body is crying tears of fear, dread and hopelessness, its not true...its simply just not true, and my spirit takes over and say's "I will not fear! He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. He has gone before me and paved the road smooth." My God has promised good for me and for all the innocent children who are at the mercy of a corrupt government. God is bigger!
I share this with you because although I consider myself a daughter of the King of Kings, I am still human, I still have a physical mind, and sometimes, that physical thought process tends to give satan more credit than he deserves for power he does NOT have. So I press in to the one of Hope, Mercy and Promise. I press in to my heavenly Father and "I consider not my body" and keep my eye's on Christ. I will not fear, I will not let the enemy steel my joy, I will stand in God's Army and I will fight for My God who brings all things good.
On Monday, we will have been in Civil Registry for 2 weeks. I choose (and I would like to iterate "choose" faith is absolutely a choice!) to believe that in the name of Jesus, today, we have our Mixco Birth Certificate with NO previews! I don't care what "man" says....I believe God! I am also a servant of my Heavenly Father as well as an heir, so with that being said, I am part of a movement that will be assisting our agency and others in bringing attention to this circumstance to our own government and the Guatemalan Government. We are unsure of all those steps yet...but we are seeking guidance and wisdom from Him who has all answers.
It has and always will be our will that this journey to our daughter Glorifies God, His will be done, More of you Lord.....None of Me.
Our agency's director will be traveling to Guatemala next week to advocate for all of our families and the children. I will be posting a prayer soon and I will be asking all who read this to pray that prayer with us. She will be advocating of course on our behalf, but her success will effect hundreds of children, not just the 36 from our agency. Please check back to see this prayer.
I end with this "All is well with my soul". This is but a time....it will pass.
Blessings to all of you.
Monday, February 4, 2008
So here's the deal:
There are 5 rules to being tagged:
1. Link the person who sent this and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit your site.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share 7 strange/weird facts about yourself.
4. Tag 7 random people, at the end of end of your post... link their blogs.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
I've been tagged by http://theshrumfamilyadventures.blogspot.com/ I think the Mom is cuter than the kids. :)
7 weird facts about me:
1. I am the oldest of 6 children, 4 of which are brothers.
2. I have a very strong sense of smell. Believe me, you want me with you when your house hunting, I will know the second we walk in the door if there have ever been any animals, water damage, smoke or fire!
3. I have NEVER passed gas (that's my story and I am sticking to it, my boys just cant understand this, Princess quit a lot!)
4. I love my Diet Coke first thing in the morning, not coffee.
5. I met my husband Senior Year in High School Religion class! 16 years strong!
6. I am the girliest girl you could ever meet but I love CAMPING in our Pop Up Camper. I do not worry about my hair or make up, but I still wear my Pink.
7. I get out of bed at least 10 times at night when attempting sleep because I think of things I need to do the next day or forgot to do today. My husband is finally used to it and almost always falls asleep by the 3rd jump out.
Ok, here are my 7 Random People I am tagging:
That's it, all my other blogging buddies have been tagged.
Thanks MaryAnn, this was fun!
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Let me preface this by stating "Adoption is not for the faint hearted" (Sue H). In no way did I anticipate that the statement would ring so true. I remember thinking that she was probably right....but how can you possibly understand till you go through it? In all my life experiences, not one of them required more faith than this journey of adoption.
International Adoption requires you to work with not just one government, our own, the US, but also a Third World Country. We knew right away we have two choices, trust God or trust your self. So what does that mean? You can trust God for all His promises and enjoy the journey, or you can listen to the lies of the enemy "who comes to steal, kill and destroy" and be stressed out, bitter, angry, worried and fearful.
For those of us who choose Christianity, we tend to use "prayer" as our way to communicate with God. Jesus told us to "ask and you shall receive". So why is it that there are those who struggle? Whose journey's to us seem less than perfect. Who seem to hit road blocks at every corner they turn. Why hasn't God answered their prayers? Does He not hear them, have they not prayed enough?
The truth is, God has heard their prayers, He hears and answers everyone of our prayers. All you have to do is go to His Word "And whatever you ask for in prayer, have FAITH, BELIEVE, and you will receive". Matt 21:22 So what is faith, "faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God". What tends to happen to most Christians along the way is that we forget the "Believe" part. It's easy to hear the Word or look up scriptures, but its a whole other thing to believe it. But you see, that's they key to Faith, that's the key to receiving. We have to learn to Believe God at His Word. That's what it means to be under the new covenant, that's what Jesus want to the cross for. "I came so that you may have life". God cant break His covenant with His people, it discredits Him.
But take warning, "Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:7-9. "The thief comes only to kill, steal and destroy:. John 10:10 Our enemy is not God, the day we asked in prayer, He gave it to us....but the enemy came in with, doubt, worry, fear and fills our minds with lies, and what do we do? We mediate on His lies and as a result, believe him. This is what it means to transform minds, to wield the sword of the spirit...that is Spiritual War Fare.
So what do you do? I dont know Spiritual Warfare, I dont understand it. Let me give you the cleanest scripture version I have found regarding this " 10Finally, let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. 11Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil's tricks. 12We are not fighting against humans. We are fighting against forces and authorities and against rulers of darkness and powers in the spiritual world. 13So put on all the armor that God gives. Then when that evil day comes, you will be able to defend yourself. And when the battle is over, you will still be standing firm. 14Be ready! Let the truth be like a belt around your waist, and let God's justice protect you like armor. 15Your desire to tell the good news about peace should be like shoes on your feet. 16Let your faith be like a shield, and you will be able to stop all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17Let God's saving power be like a helmet, and for a sword use God's message that comes from the Spirit." Eph 6:10-17(Contemporary English Version).
What is your strength? God's Promises. Where do you find those, in His Word! What is the Armor of God? His Word. What does it mean to stand? That even when every arrow is thrown your way, you say "NO! I will not fear, He who is in me is GREATER than he who is in the World" You use every scripture God has given you and you list them off....and then comes the hard part, you have to believe it. You see, its a choice. Choose God and live a life of peace, joy and abundance. Or choose the enemy and his lies and be angry, bitter, fearful, worried and stressed.
So what happens when things don't go our way. Why didnt God step in? Why is this happening to those who are trying to be a faithful steward? My dear friends, its not God....its the enemy. B Its how you respond that makes all the difference. God "turns all things too good for those who love and serve the Lord". You see God will use times of difficulty to "Get Us". He wants us! He does not allow bad things to happen to us, but He will use those circumstances in the hope that we will PRESS IN to Him! "Trust on, Rely on" him.
Let me tell you friend, there is so much joy to be had in this journey. It's not easy, there are really hard days, there are days that I don't even feel like getting out of bed. But I choose God! "I do not consider my body" like Abraham....but I press in to the Lord and I speak His Word and I believe it to be true. I praise Him for the journey. And I would do this all over again to have what I have in the Lord today. I will never be the same again.
Why Pray? So that you can "come to know the hope to which you have been called too and the glorious riches in the Saints! So that you can know God....its worth everything!