Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Break my heart for what breaks yours

Wow, today my heart is stirred. For encouragement, I have been reading other people's blogs that have adopted or are also adopting. Every time I watch a video or read a story I end up moved, and some days, like today, I end up just balling like a big baby. I really really feel like God has given me His heart for adoption. In fact I know He has, because these kinds of passions and feelings just are not something that I would have acted on in my own strength. Ten years ago, before I was walking with Jesus, I wouldn't have even cared about kids in another country. My theory was like many others, "out of sight, out of mind." Sad but true. Now, my heart breaks because His heart is breaking for these children who are in need of families, who so desperately long to know the love of a mother or father. I cannot even imagine what that would be like to be completely and utterly alone in the world, having to grow up by yourself. Most not even getting the chance to grow up. According to statistics, 1 out of 10 kids in Ethiopia die before their 1st birthday. 1 out of 6 die before age 5. And there are still between 4.6 million - 6 million orphans in Ethiopia alone. I know that I can't save them all, but I can pray for, donate money, time, and love to them, and I can make a difference in at least 1 life. We can be the instrument God uses to completely change the future and fate of one of His children, and hopefully that will ripple on down and inspire others to do the same. I came upon this quote in a blog earlier and I thought it was so profound and right on in how I have been feeling: "I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse the something I can do." Helen Keller.
What is your one thing that you will not refuse to do?
Whatever that passion is, it's there for a reason. Whether you are walking with God or not, He still speaks to you and loves you just as much as He does any other person. He puts passions in all our hearts.
This one for me and Aaron just came out of nowhere, but hit us like a ton of bricks, and I know our lives are forever changed. He has ruined our hearts for Him. I pray that He keeps doing it and I pray that He keeps giving us the faith to step out, no matter what. No matter if people disagree or don't understand or aren't excited with us. That's OK. It oftentimes hurts, but it's OK. I know we are being obedient, and I know God will bless this whole situation. NEVER in my life have I felt so moved by the spirit.
God is so real and powerful and LOVING and awesome! I hope He continues to change my heart on a daily basis. There is a worship song that I love, and some of you are familiar with, where one of the lines goes...."Fill my heart and make it clean, open up my eyes to the things unseen. Show me how to love like you have loved me. Break my heart for what breaks yours, everything I am for your Kingdom Come. As I walk from earth into eternity." That song for a really long time( about 2 years) was my prayer. Every time that part would come up, I would close my eyes tight, hold my hands up high, and sing it with a lifted head, as loud as I could so God would hear me. I feel like that prayer has been answered on some level. It has taken me a little while to realize that I am called to act on that broken heart.
Here is a verse I came upon also : Proverbs 24:12 "Don't excuse yourself by saying, "Look, we didn't know." For God understands all hearts, and He sees YOU. He who guards your soul knows you knew." Don't ignore the things that God lays on your heart. They are there because He put them there.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Yesterday Kendra and Matt were in town so we had our usual big gathering over at my mom's house for lunch. As we were sitting at the table eating lunch Lindsey just blurts out..."I'm pregnant." Such exciting news! She is about 4 weeks along now, so her baby will be due the end of October or beginning of November. Congratulations Lindsey and Frank. You will be wonderful parents and make the cutest babies!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Ok. So today we got our application and paperwork in from Gladney! I wanted to officially record our first big step in this adoption journey. We have to send the application and fee in with a current family picture and then wait to hear back from them on whether we are an acceptable adoptive family and then go from there :) So here we go everyone. Keep us in your prayers. We are excited and nervous and anxious, and ready to move forward. I know this is the beginning of a long process, but the gift we get in the end will be worth every second of it!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Group date night

This past Friday night Aaron and I went on a group date night with our good friends Steve and Courtney and Jake and Christine. Courtney and I had previously talked about and decided we wanted to go and eat Ethiopian food, so that is just what we did. We went to place in Addison off of Beltline and Innwood called the 'Queen of Sheba.' I would have to describe the atmosphere as romantic and intimate. The intimate part could've been due to their lack of customers, which I am guessing was because of the weather :) But the restaurant itself was very nice. The waiter had told us that on Friday nights they usually have a jazz band that plays, but they weren't there the night we went. For starters we ordered the Sambusa, which was spiced beef stuffed in a crispy pastry paper. Everyone liked the Sambusa. It tasted very similar to a fried burrito. We joked a little about it being comparable to an All-Sups chimichanga...mmmm! All you Princeton people's mouths are watering right now and you know it! (haha). Next came our dinner. Everyone ordered differently, but we all tasted what everyone else had. We had a mix of Yebeg Tibs, which was chunks of lamb with onion and jalapeno sauteed in a spicy butter sauce; Doro Tibs, which was chicken sauteed in a spicy wine and butter sauce; and Beef Minchet Abish, which was tenderloin simmered in a spicy pepper garlic sauce. All their food is served with various vegetables like spinach and lentils and injera. Injera is a crepe-like spongy, sour dough-like bread that the Ethiopian culture eats with all their meals. Instead of utensils, they use the injera to pick up the food and eat it. Aaron and I have eaten it before and knew what to expect, and enjoyed the whole experience. I think everyone else enjoyed the experience and trying something new, but it wasn't their favorite. I can't really quite describe the spice of Ethiopian cuisine. It has a definite unique flavor to it.
After dinner we decided we didn't want the fun to be over and we ended our night chatting it up and drinking cold coffee at Cafe' Brazil yuck! The coffee was luke warm but the company and conversation was great!
We feel so very blessed to have such amazing friends as these! Great food, Great friends, Great night! Next time we are going to try Turkish food :)

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Today it snowed more in Texas than I have ever seen in my lifetime. They said on the news it was the first time in 35 years it has snowed this much here. Last I heard we were getting anywhere from 6-9 inches. It's so beautiful. I love watching those big giant fat flakes falling from the sky.....such a wonderful gift for us to enjoy.
I love how it turns us all into kids again. As I drove around town running errands, I saw more grown men making snowmen than I saw kids outside. In fact, when my brother dropped Kyle off this morning, as I opened the door they had snowballs ready to throw at me. Kyle's shoes and jeans were soaked up to his little knees. I don't even think Steve noticed. He was probably too busy and excited about playing in it to realize.
Every morning my dad takes breakfast to my 97 year-old grandmother. He called me this morning also excited about the snow, and said that when he opened the blinds on Memaw's window to show her the snow outside, she said "Oh I wish I could run out there and play in it." I thought that was so sweet. It brings out the kid in us all.
Aaron, me and the girls went out for a while and built ourselves a snowgirl. Alyssa wanted to name her " Taylor with a Th" I guess that would be "Thaylor." I thought that was rather smart of my 4 year old and funny :) We all had fun except for Aubrey who didn't like it for long at all. She kept taking off her gloves and getting mad when her hands would get cold. "Thaylor" turned out pretty cute. We gave her green eyes out of jawbreakers, candy red lips and a red nose. Her head was topped off with a pink cap and we wrapped a red, and black scarf around her neck. Her stick hands must have been cold because we thought she needed some pink gloves too. She wasn't the most matching snowgirl on the block, but she was the cutest!
So tonight we are going to wind down and take it easy with the fire going, and our jammies on. I have made my mamaw's recipe of beef stew and cornbread and may be making little oreo cake balls in the shape of hershey kisses dipped in chocolate for my sweeties. Aaron went to Blockbuster to get a movie, but I don't know if I will watch because afterall it is Grey's Anatomy night. Sounds to me like the perfect evening. I love the winter time, and I love cold weather and snuggly PJs, warm fuzzy socks that feel like hugs on my feet, and being inside with my family and making stew and cornbread. I LOVE it!

Just in case you wanted mamaw's recipe for stew: It's so simple but so very very good. We make it after we have made potroast with the leftover roast (I don't know exact measurements)

One large onion chopped
2 large potatoes cut up
left over pot roast or a small roast cut up
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 small can of diced tomatoes
salt and pepper

Put chopped onion and potatoes in boiling pot of water and boil til tender. Add tomatoes and roast and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for about 15 minutes.

It's so easy but so tasty. Mamaw says that the secret for the flavor is a lot of onions so if your onions are small you could put 2 in there. Try it and I guarantee you will love it. Serve with buttered cornbread of course:)

Saturday, February 6, 2010


So tonight we shared with our family, and now I share with you, that Aaron and I have made the joyful decision to adopt a baby boy from Ethiopia. For years now Aaron has had the heart to adopt, but I wasn't quite there. I thought it was a beautiful thing, but never saw myself doing it. Over the years God has planted seeds here and there with me, and just over the last 6 months, those seeds have taken root and grown into this deep passion and also burden for the fatherless. For many years now, I have dreamed of having a little boy. In my dreams he was blond haired, blue-eyed with small freckles on his sweet face that mirrored his daddy's image. This was a deep desire that sometimes brought me to tears. I LOVE my sweet girls with my whole heart. They are too too precious to me, but I still wanted a little boy too.
In church one Sunday morning, a woman shared her testimony about her journey to India and her little girl she had adopted there. At the end of the service, we saw this little girl, who is now I'm guessing 7 or 8, run up and give her mom the biggest hug. It was so powerful to us. God really really used that testimony to touch both Aaron's and my heart. I think He used that testimony to ignite a flame in us that he had already started to spark in us years back.
To tell our whole entire testimony about why Ethiopia and why should we adopt would take forever typed out. What I will say is that this is completely not of me. This is one of those undeniable God moments where He completely changes your heart. He didn't just change our hearts, He gave us His heart. My dreams of having that little blue-eyed boy slowly started to change. Some days I would find myself dreaming about a little brown-skinned boy with soft black curly hair and big brown eyes and a smile that could melt your heart. There were other days when that fear would creep in and I would doubt that I could be a mother to an orphan. But, as I shared in an earlier post, Aaron and I surrendered that fear over to the Lord, and honestly since then haven't been the same. Now there is absolultely no doubt. Before when I did have that doubt, God would confirm that this is what I am calling you to do over and over again. This is what I am doing in yours and Aaron's heart. After letting go of that fear, it's been a whole new thing. It's been so exciting and I've had this feeling of urgency to get started and not to wait.
I absolutely dream all the time of my little brown-skinned boy. My son who I can not wait to meet. I know he will have 2 sisters that will love him whole-heartedly, and a mom and dad who will love him unconditionally. It's true what they say, God puts desires and dreams in your hearts. And He wants to give you the desires of your heart. But with God, most of the time it doesn't look exactly like you initially think it should. It's oftentimes different on the outside, but so much better than you could have ever imagined or dreamed of. That's just how awesome He is! He goes above and beyond when He pours out His blessings.

Happy 2nd birthday Aubrey!

So, Today was my sweet Aubrey's 2nd birthday. This morning, me and Alyssa were already in the kitchen, and when she woke up close to 9:00, we broke into the happy birthday song, after which Aubrey rewarded us with her clapping. Tonight we had a little party for her over at our house with family and few friends. I baked, what seemed like all day long, making strawberry cream cupcakes, oreo cake, and frosted sugar kiss cookies. We had pizza, chicken bites, a veggie tray, and of course Aurbey's favorite...cheetos...the puffed kind. She is absolutely the most joyful kid ever, always happy, and she really enjoyed her birthday. We asked most people to get her summer clothes, which she loved. She would open the presents and ooh and aww and walk around the room showing everyone her cute new outfit. There were approximately 16 kiddos in my house, which made it seem super small, but it was so much fun! Thanks everyone that came to celebrate my sweet girl's life! She really had a great night.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Ok. So without going into too much detail, the marriage encounter was so powerful and life changing for us. Just processing all that God showed us and what we learned is just mind boggling to me. It was revelation, after revelation, after revelation. The main thing that He showed us was that we were living under fear for most, if not all of our marriage. This was a process that He started walking out with us for about a month before the encounter, so our soil had been plowed and the ground was soft and ready for God to be able to do His thing, and we were in a position to receive what He had for us.
He didn't waste any time. Our church leaders felt God saying that as a body we needed to concentrate on our marriages. They were right on the money b/c He was so present all weekend and speaking so loud and clear to EVERYONE there. Maybe some time soon, i will share more in detail some of the things that God spoke to us, but getting rid of the fear thing was just so huge for Aaron and me. We had let fear paralyze us from moving forward in life...ministry, relationships, and so on. We always had an excuse. Mine so very often was that i didn't want to add anything else to my life, b/c I would feel overwhelmed. What it really boiled down to was that I was afraid to engage in anything or anyone. Afraid of change, of getting out of routine, of getting hurt. I didn't want anything new or unfamiliar. I just wanted to stay in my little stay-at-home mom box.
So after totally surrendering that fear over to God, the downloads from Him just kept coming. They are still coming.
One of the wonderful things I noticed was that I felt so hyper, and happy all week. I have been dancing all the time and getting such overwhelming senses of love for my family and different people that I almost can't stand it. I feel like jumping up and down, and sometimes I do. What I realized today, was that was God's joy! I got my joy back, and man does it feel so good! Joy from God is such a sweet gift. The last time I remember being this full of joy was when I first surrendered my life over to Jesus. For about 3 months, I felt like I was in this wonderful euphoric bubble where I was floating on cloud 9, happy all the time. God truly had given me new eyes and the gift of His joy. Through life I had let fear creep in and steal that from me, as well as Aaron had. After God pinpointing that for us, we surrendered once again. For me, He rewarded me with joy again! What an awesome thing! And for Aaron, he told a friend tonight that he got a new and improved wife! I love it! God changes us from the inside out, and it can happen as quickly as 1 night. I went to this encounter without any expectations with my hands open saying, God do something. I need you, and that's all it took. He's always waiting on us, we never have to wait on Him! His love and goodness is overwhelming!