Our Family Summer 2008

Our Family Summer 2008
Brandon, Stacy, Samantha Kailey & Trenton

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another One bites the dust.........

Those are the only words I can think of to describe another decade gone by.

I am still having a hard time saying good by to my thirties but I haven't much choice. But as I look back over the last ten years, it would take far more than two hands to count my many, many blessings.

Some of the most memorable have been the births of Kailey & Trenton. Sammy became a teenager (How did that happen?). Kailey started Kindergarten. Brandon & I celebrated our 10th & 15th wedding anniversaries. Brandon was called by God during a revival to leave his Corporate Career to become a minister. We packed up our family & moved to Kansas away from all family & friends. God blessed us with new friends. I have been a stay at home mom. I was blessed with a Wonderful opportunity to work at Saint Francis Children's Hospital PICU for 8 months right before we re-located to Kansas. I LOVED that job! God blessed me with my own daycare which grew far beyond what I ever would have imagined. I had the privilege of taking care of some incredible kids & made some amazing friends along the way. God called me back in to the role of Stay at Home Mom this year. I miss the kids a ton but LOVE the time I have with my own family. I have had the opportunity to volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center in Woodward  in some of my free time. I also have the AMAZING privilege of being a year round volunteer with Operation Christmas Child (a ministry so close to my heart). I pray that in the next decade God will open the door for me to be able to deliver Christmas boxes to those sweet children. This has always been a dream of mine. I have said goodbye to Brandon's grandma, My pee-paw & paw-paw who now reside in Heaven. I have also grieved three children who followed them there. I have had a few successes and many failures. I have had lots of happiness but also times of pain that were too terrible for words. But through it all God was always there! The last 10 years have flown by in a blink. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me in the next 10........

"So teach ME to number my days so that I may gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When Love Takes You In...........

I remember it as though it were yesterday. I remember the hundreds of couples around us. I remember the smells. I remember the cool crisp Fall Air outside that morning. Saturday October 18, 2003. A Day to Remember for Couples, a one day event put on by Family Life (a scaled down version of a Weekend to Remember). This was our first marital retreat (if you have never been to a marriage retreat, I highly recommend you take advantage of the opportunity if you ever have one). Brandon & I didn't have any real marital issues that we were aware of. When he had asked what I wanted to do for my birthday, I had requested we go to this and he had agreed. Sammy was 4 1/2 years old. She was still an only child & the center of our world. We decided a day to focus on our relationship as a couple might be in order. My in-laws gladly volunteered to take care of Sammy (the only grandchild). She wasn't spoiled at all! As we drove to Reunion Arena that morning, I had no idea what God had in store for us that day! The conference was excellent! They kept speaking of a HUGE surprise that had instore for us! The surprise was an appearance by Christian Artist Steven Curtis Chapman. Brandon & I are BIG fans so we were excited he was there to sing for us. He began to talk about adoption (he & Mary Beth had just adopted their first daughter from China (they later adopted 2 more)), he spoke of the millions of unwanted children in the world,then he showed the video of When Love takes you in....Tears were flowing down both Brandon & my faces. We had been praying for a baby for months. Sammy was praying & asking for a baby sister at least once a day. All of her closest friends had younger siblings at this point, so she didn't understand why she wasn't a BIG sister yet. Truth is...we didn't understand either. All of her friends parents, who were our friends were always saying...It's your turn...or When are ya'll going to have another one?? We were too broken hearted to share that we were trying, hopeful & praying. So we would laugh it off publicly while silently our hearts were broken. As the lyrics of the song played I could hear God calling us to adoption. It was as if Brandon & I were the only ones in that arena with God. I quietly said Yes, Lord, I will gladly take an unloved, unwanted child & show him or her love. To be honest, I really believed at that moment that Sammy would be our only biological child and at that moment I was ok with that. Brandon & I had long conversations with each other and with God in the months to come. We were both ready and willing to do whatever He called us to do. We both longed for more children whatever way God saw fit to bring them into our family. Those who know our family know that God was gracious to us and allowed us to conceive 5 more times. We have been so blessed! We have Kailey & Trenton on loan to us on earth (in addition to Sammy) and Trevor and 2 other sweet little gatekeepers waiting to greet us some day in Heaven (oh what a day that will be!). But always in the back of our minds has been that call to adopt. I don't believe that God removed that calling when he chose to bless us with 5 more biological children. He was just saying it will be in my time not yours. In the last 6 months he has been speaking to Brandon & I saying, It is time, It is time, over and over and over again. I think we must be slow learners. Our kids are so excited and have been praying too. They are all hoping for a brother younger than Trenton but we are all willing to accept whatever God has in store for us. We just keeping praying for that orphan out there who belongs in our family. We have so much love to give and can't wait to get him or her home. I realize that the journey ahead will not be an easy one. I have come to learn that God doesn't call us to easy! I also realize that God will be right here with us to see us through. I covet your prayers as we embrace God's calling.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

I Know It's ONLY a Number........BUT

Today is October 1st (where has the year gone?) and marks just 19 days until I hit another milestone in my life. The end of another decade. If I am honest, I will admit that I have been dreading this birthday for at least 2 years now. The funny thing is I spent my whole 38th year of life thinking I was 39. Brandon was always quick to correct me when I would say my age, we would argue about it for a second and then I would do some quick math and realize.....oh I am only 38. I would take a deep breath and then forget again by the next time I needed to know my age for something. So this year I really am 39 again! But the end of 39 is just days away. I have never really had a difficult time with any age so I don't know why 40 is so hard to swallow. Maybe it's because I know I will never be a mommy again (at least not by carrying a baby in my womb) but I don't think that is it. I really think I dealt with all of that last year. So maybe it's because in reality my life is probably about half over. In looking back over the first half I haven't accomplished much. I hope to accomplish so much more (for the Kingdom) in my next 40. I am not sure if that is even it though. Anyway, I was blessed to go to Wonderful Weekend for Women a couple of weeks ago. I was even more blessed by attending a Conference on International Adoption led by Melissa. She adopted a beautiful baby named Mercy out of Uganda. Sadly, Mercy's mama died giving birth to her and her dad was killed before she was born. Little Mercy came into this world an Orphan but now has a loving family and resides in Kansas. Melissa also shared about Child Birth in Uganda. The women have to provide their own supplies for childbirth or they are turned away by the hospital. The supplies cost $7.00 that isn't much to many Americans but in Uganda $7.00 represents one half of one months salary for a man. Yikes!!! God caught my attention, there must be something I can do. I can certainly afford to provide a few kits God. I came back to Protection and shared the story with our church and asked them about praying to provide kits. Many of them have joined me to provide kits. Then it hit me, let's turn my 40th birthday into a celebration. A celebration for those mamas in Uganda. Our $7 can mean the difference between life and death for those mamas and the babies they hope to deliver. Although, I still am not real excited about turning 40, I am excited about the opportunity to present Mercy for Mamas enough money to purchase at least 40 Mama Kits for my 40th Birthday. Please join me in the celebration and help prevent mamas from dying and leaving orphans behind. Uganda doesn't need anymore orphans.

"So teach ME to number my days so that I may gain a heart of wisdom" Psalm 90:12