The power of a word is a subject that I am most passionate about. Words can lift a person's spirits when they are feeling low. Words can let someone know how much you care about them and love them. Words can bring healing to someone's soul. Words can be artistic and poetic. Our words give us the opportunity to express our hearts out loud. Did you know that speaking a kind word to someone in desperate need of some encouragement could be life-changing and life-giving? Did you also know that words have the opposite effect on people? Words can crush someone's spirit. Words can make a person feel like they are nothing or like they have no self-worth. Words can hurt someone so bad that they actually feel physical pain from those words being spoken over them. Lying and hurtful words can usher in things like low-self esteem and insecurity, self-loathing, bitterness and pain. One of Satan's biggest tools he likes to use are people's words. He loves to twist things and make people believe things about themselves that are lies. If a person hears a negative word (lie) spoken over them too many times throughout their life, eventually they are likely to start believing that lie. This hurts my heart so badly! I wonder about the girl who starves herself or purges because she feels as though she needs to look a certain way for someone to love her...I wonder what lie she believed that caused her to think that her value was in her outer appearance. I wonder about the young man who believes that he is a loser and won't ever amount to anything in life, so he might as well just quit school now and forget about his dreams....I wonder who first uttered the word "loser" to him. I wonder about the young girl who gives herself to boys over and over because she feels this is how to receive love and attention.....I wonder what lie she believed that made sex and attention from boys the definition of love. I think about each of these people and I wonder who it was that first spoke a word over them while they were still children. Was it their mom or dad, or a grandparent? Maybe it could've been a teacher, or a brother or sister. Perhaps a bully at school, or even a "friend". Whoever it was, Satan took that word as a seed and planted it into that child's head and then each time that same word came up, he watered it, and it took root and grew, until finally it was deep rooted and that child had grown into an adult who believed a lie that someone had spoken over them at an early age. They not only believed it, but they were walking out that lie in their life. The good news is that we have the choice to speak words of life over people. Words that lift a person up, not words that bring them down. Have you ever been around a person that had the gift of encouragement? Every time you are around them, they say something nice, and encouraging, calling out the best in you? I don't know about you, but I LOVE being around encouragers. My youngest daughter was born with the gift of encouragement. In fact, one day my oldest daughter, Alyssa told me, "mom, when we grow up, I am going to be a singer and Aubrey is going to be an encourager." So precious that even my five-year-old could see that in my 2-year-old...AND she was calling it out in her! Oh yes, there is never a day that goes by that Aubrey doesn't make me feel as though I am the best thing since sliced bread and the most beautiful momma on the planet! Some people are born with that gift, and it just comes naturally. Others of us have to be a little more purposeful. So the next time you get upset at your kiddos or your spouse, and you feel like calling them a "spoiled brat" or a "trouble maker" or a "lazy bum" please think twice. Think about what seed could be growing there, or what is already there and you could be watering. And I want to encourage you to speak words of life to people around you. Be a blessing to them. Bless them with words of life!
Proverbs 18:21 (The Message) "Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose."
2 cups oats 3/4 cup wheat germ 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds 1/4 cup flax seeds 1 cup peanuts or almonds, crushed 2/3 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup honey 4 Tbsp butter 2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 tsp salt approximately 8 oz. dried fruit (I like to use raisins and cranberries and sometimes dates) Before getting started prepare a casserole dish or baking pan by lining with wax paper, and spraying with non stick spray and set asside. In another baking dish add oats, wheat germ, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and peanuts. Mix together and put in the oven for about 15 min until toasted, stirring the mix every 3 min or so, to even it out. While that is being toasted, combine brown sugar, honey, butter, vanilla and salt in a pot and melt on top of stove. After the oat mix is nice and toasted, pour the liquid mixture over the top and mix evenly. Transfer the mix to the wax paper-lined pan for cooling. Spread evenly and cover the top with another piece of wax paper, and press down all over firmly to pack it tightly together. Set asside and let it cool completely for about 2 hours. When finished remove from wax paper and cut into serving sizes and enjoy! Simple, nutritious and yummy. * I like to play with the recipe and add unsweetened flaked coconut and frozen dark chocolate bits to the mix. I think the possibilities are endless :)
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that, let freedom, ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi and every mountainside.
And when this happens, when we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, 'Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.' "
Today I am more thankful than ever for the sacrifices and the courageous stand that Martin Luther King, Jr. lost his life fighting for. He was a 'prophet and a Moses' of his time, delivering people to their promise land. Today I think he would be proud of the difference he made in the lives of so many people. It was obvious through his speeches that he had a close relationship with the Lord. He was an obedient servant in which God used to change the history of our world and impact the lives of so many. God used him to change things that grieved His heart so deeply. I can't help but wonder what Dr. King would be doing today if he were still alive. I bet he would have something to say about abortion, the rights of the ones with no voice yet. What do you think?
Come to find out our agency doesn't have a waitlist. I guess getting caught up in reading blogs of everyone else's journey, I just assumed ours would be the same. Once you are approved to be able to view their waiting children's list of paper ready children, you can log on and see if God is speaking to you about a particular child/children. If He is, you can request a referral for that child and come to an agreement with the agency about the referral. If not, you wait until more children are added, and God does highlight your child for you. I love this! I was told that from day one of them bringing a child into their care, the children are prayed over with them knowing that God already has a forever family in mind for that child. Knowing that they have been praying for our child and us, has made such a big difference on the whole journey we have been on. He has led us straight to where we needed to be, and has spoken to us on so many personal levels. His confirmation has been mind blowing at times. When we first contacted Ethiopia YWAM, they urged us before we made any decisions to sign with them or not, to take some time to pray and ask if this is the right place for us. At the very first of our journey we rushed into the process with a different agency out of us just being anxious to get started, and we lost some money that we had already put into it. We had that feeling of maybe this isn't quite where we should be. So we prayed about it and felt God say, 'nope, this isn't the agency that will lead you to your son,' and He led us to YWAM. This time with YWAM's advice to pray, we took our time...about a month... and made for certain that it was the place for us and we went for it. Since then, God has spoken so clearly letting us in on clues about our son. Even though we have felt a little frazzled over the paperwork and what we were doing, God has continued to stun us, and show us that He's got this! I guess my point in all of this is just to say that I am so thankful God speaks to us! When we have the ears to listen and take the time to seek Him, He speaks! We are truly in awe of Him, and are so grateful!
In less than 1 week after we got our fingerprints taken with USCIS, today we got our 171-H in the mail!!! I opened it and looked at it and didn't even know what it was until Aaron told me it was our approval. I argued with him and said..."no, it can't be." I thought it was a receipt or something from our appointment. They had told us that it would take 4 weeks to process, so I just wasn't expecting them this quick at all, therefore, kind of didn't believe it. After me reading over it MANY times and Aaron pointing to the bottom where it says "171-H form," and where it says "APPROVED" in all caps on the front, I finally believed it (lol!) I am so thankful that God knows what He is doing, and that He is in control! So we should be on the waitlist shortly. Stay tuned and I will let you know, when we hear anything else!
Melkam Genna means Merry Christmas in Ethiopia. Today in Ethiopia they are celebrating the birth of our Lord. My kids will love celebrating Christmas twice when our Ethiopian son comes to live with us forever. I don't know what we will do to celebrate this day, but I am sure we will think of something special we can do as a family! We will make our own new traditions. As for today, we will celebrate by going to our fingerprint appointments! Did you know you don't get to pick your dates or times to your fingerprint appointments? They just send you a date and time in the mail and you have to be there. I find it pretty sweet that God let our appointments be on Ethiopian Christmas Day! It was a nice first Genna present from Him! Please be in prayer with us today, that all goes smoothly, and that our files don't get lost in the shuffle. Pray that all is processed on God's time. We know that His timing is perfect and He has already picked out our son and is leading us right to Him. Once these fingerprints are processed and approved, we will be on the waitlist for our little guy. So you see, this is a BIG step! We will be seeing our son's face for the first time sooner than we think! Please be praying that God leads us to our Josiah.
Sweet baby girls how I love you so; your sweet little smiles and your sparkly little toes. the way you giggle and laugh with your whole belly; the way you sing at the top of your lungs and act so silly. Your kisses and hugs are the sweetest part of my day; Being home with you is where I want to be, I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't want to miss a single minute of watching you grow and change; sometimes I wish God would slow down this whole beautiful thing. If I could push pause on life, now would be the time; these are my golden years, watching my girls shine! I never knew how powerful it could be to be called "mommy." It's God's highest blessing and joy, and it is my calling.