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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

My Hallelujahs

I love worshipping him by singing praises and reading his word but the greatest way for me to show my adoration and devotion is by obeying. Sending praises to God is amazing but in a way they are just words. James says in verses 2:17, “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” The greatest way to show your faith and devotion is by deeds. What better deeds than the one God has asked you to do. God has taught me this lesson many times and it is one that we will always be learning. It is difficult to understand just how much Jesus gave for us. He gave me life, how can I ever repay him. The truth is I can't and I am not expected to and should not try.  But I can obey Him.
During the rough times my journal has became tear stained, my face became tear streaked, and my heart poured out.  I can not come up with the words to express how I feel, I can not create new words, and there are just not words in the English language to explain my emotions.  I wish there were songs to express these feelings, I would sing them if I knew them, if I had been blessed with any amount of musical talent.  But He, my heavenly Father knows what I would say if I could, He knows what I would sing if I could, He understands.  Jesus knows at these moments my Hallelujahs to Him are in my tears.  My praises or my Hallelujahs are sent to Him in my prayers and cries.  This is better than any well written or beautifully sung worship song.  They are better than any Hallelujah.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thank you for the Mosquitoes, Mice, and Bats

I was recently reminded of a story from a book that I read in my eight grade English class.  The book is The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom and I am sure many of you are familiar with it.  Corrie was a Jew who was placed in a concentration camp with her sister.  When they arrived at the barraks they were appauled by the conditions in which they were to live.  Her sister reminded her of I Thessalonians 5:18 "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  The sisters then went around their surrounding thanking God.  Corrie's sister even thanked God for the fleas.  Later on in their story the girls were able to host a Bible study uninterrupted in their barracks.  Why?  Fleas, the guards would not enter their barracks because of the fleas.
God does not command us to think Him only for the good, but He commands us to thank Him for everything. 

Today I was having a hard day, actually it has been a hard week.  I having been praying "Lord, could something just go my way."  My eyes have been opened, I should not be asking for something, but I should be giving thanks.  Tonight as a lie here in bed in the most beautiful country I have ever been in I am not asking but I am saying thank you.

Thank you for these two precious little girls that are asleep next to me.  Thank you for my husband, Sadie, and Nolen.  Thank you for saving me, loving me, and giving me life.  Thank you for the "mess of paperwork" that has kept me here.  Thank you for the sunburn on my shoulders, the endless heat, the mosquitoes, Smokey the mouse, and the bats on the porch.  Thank You

Friday, January 20, 2012

Rough Week/ Good Week

Well this has been a rough week.  My neighbor that lived across the street from the house I grew up in used to say "I have seen it go on like this for days and then get worse."  That is how I feel right now.
We did not make much progress in the adoption "paperwork."  We are still waiting on a meeting to take place that will have significant effects on our case.  I do not kow when this will be but please remember it in your prayers. 
This week I also got to feel Ugandan.  I have been feeling "Ugandan" for a while now but I think I was missing one experience that was truely African.  Malaria.  Yes, I have been in the bed sick with malaria and a bacterial infection.  I have had the joy of going to the clinic, having lab work done, and receiving IV fluids and antibiotics.  I will say that going to the doctor here was much more pleasant than the dr. in Russia.  Being sick with two three year olds running around has not been fun.  I keep reminding myself "this too shall pass."
The girls have been well behaved while mommy has been out of commission.  The staff at the house has helped me out a lot with them.  They have been my nannys and without them I am not sure I would have survived this week.
Even though it was rough it was also good.  This week I have been reminded of how much my God protects me.  How much He comforts me.  I have had to lean on Him this week and seek my comfort in Him.  And that has made it a good week. 
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MLK Day

I know I should have posted this yesterday seeing that yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day.  However, being in Uganda it is easy to forget about the holidays that we celebrate in America therefore I am posting it a day late.  This is my favorite MLK Jr. qoute from his "I have a dream" speech.

"I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls."
Martin L. King Jr.




Monday, January 16, 2012

Sadie's Prayer

This weekend I was having my daily skype conversation with Chad and the kids.  As usual Sadie asked me when I was coming home with her sisters.  My answer is typically "just a few more night nights."  Sadie measures her time in how many times she must sleep before something happens.  I love it and it is just one of those precious little things about her.  She informed that she had been praying everyday for the paperwork to get done so I can bring her sisters home.  And then she blessed my heart.
Right there on skype she bowed her head, closed her eyes, and began to pray for me and the girls.  She prayed in the sweetest voice and with the most precious words.  I do not even think she really understands "paperwork" but she prayed her heart out for ours to get completed.  I loved every bit of it.  Chad and I just sat in awe and got a bit tearey eyed over hearing our little girl pray such a grown up prayer.

This week has big potential for us.  The details of this I unfortunately can not disclose to you, don't feel left out, very few people truely understand all that is happening.  However, prayer is definitely needed.  Please specifically pray for the hearts of a few Ugandans who will have the opportunity this week to move our case forward.  I do not know when this meeting will happen so please lift our case up this week.
Thank you

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

He Forgot

During my fourth month of being Ugandan, my husband had to do some Mr. Mom type things. He is back in Tennessee with Sadie and Nolen and this week got to take them to their first day back to school and to the dentist. This was Nolen’s first complete dental cleaning visit and I wish I could have been there to comfort him because he gets a bit nervous about things like this. He has had his teeth looked at before and had to have some minor oral surgery but never a complete cleaning. This was also a first for Chad. It was his first time taking a kid to the dentist. I do not know who was more nervous him or them. I am glad to report that they all did wonderfully.


During Nolen’s visit Chad had to fill out a history form. A few questions about some spots on his teeth came up after the exam. I asked Chad if he informed the doctor about Nolen’s history. For the first seventeen months of his life, Nolen essentially lived in a baby bed. When we got custody of him we are pretty confident that we gave him his first bath and brushed his teeth for the first time.

Chad told me when I asked him about talking to the doctor about Nolen’s medical history that he forgot. Me being the “why” child that I am of coarse had to follow up with “Why not?” Chad corrected himself and explained his answer in a way that spoke to my heart and brought tears to my eyes. You see he did not mean that he forgot to tell the dentist. Chad said he forgot that we had not had Nolen his whole life. He meant he forgot he was adopted.

I love that. Even though our family shows outward physical signs of being a family with adopted children we forget that they are adopted. They are all our children.

Many Words of Encouragment and Some Not So Much

While being chosen and blessed to be “stuck” in Uganda I have had more emails and facebook messages than I can count. Most of them are words of encouragement. Many of them also include Bible verses to lift me up on my not so great days. These messages are invaluable, priceless as a mastercard commercial would say. It is amazing how an encouraging word can come just when you need it and when you least expect it. However, I was shocked at the not so encouraging messages I have received. I have actually been sent some forms of hate mail, messages not meant to lift me up, not meant to encourage me. I always thought that if Satan was taking the time to attack me that I must be doing something that he did not like. I like to look at my not nice messages as confirmation that I must be doing something right. Oddly enough these not so nice messages are the ones that motivate me. The ones that light a fire under me, get me going, praying, and writing.

During the beginning of my fourth month in Africa I received a message from someone very close to me stating that many people at home in America were “worried that we would move to Africa.” When I think about the “what if” senario I can’t understand why anyone would worry, and even more so I realize that I should not care what others will think if I’m doing what I’m been called to do. I think I care because I want people to understand our family and my passion.
“Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Will Not Leave You

Many times over the past few months and by many different people I have been asked the question, "Why don't you just leave the girls until their paperwork is ready and then return to bring them home?"  I am in no way writting this blog to upset any of you who have posed this question but I am simply wanting to explain why I am here and the decision that our family has made.
Yes, I could put the girls back in the orphanage and return to America.  I could then return to Uganda to bring them to home once everything was complete.  But that scenario does not exist in my world.  Everyday I wake up and roll over to four huge coffee bean eyes staring at me, calling me mommy.  Everyday I get loved on by the two most beautiful Ugandan children.  Of course if I was in America I would wake up to four soft blue eyes staring at me and calling me mommy.  And I would get loved on by my mzungu children and my husband.
So how does one choose?  This was by no means a decision that has been easy.  No matter what descision was made our family would not be together.  Either way the hurt of being split by the Atlantic Ocean would exists.  But we must decide what is best for our children.  Right now the twins need me.  We have spent the last four months developing an extremely close bond.  At first they would not let me love on them and were not very trusting.  Now they want an abundance of love and our trust is constantly strenthening.  I am their mother and they are my children.  To send them back would be detrimental to our relationship, it is just not an option.   
So here I am.  Here I will stay until their paperwork is ready.  One verse is ever present in my mind lately and that is John 14:18.
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
Jesus spoke this to his disciples just before he was arrested.  He did not leave me as an orphan and I will not leave them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Week In Photos

Going to eat at a restaurant to celebrate my birthday.



Meeting Katie Davis

Riding around Jinja.  Riding side saddle, a backpack, one kid, two strollers, and no helmets.  Only in Africa.

Auntie Heather and girls on the Nile River

A monkey near the Nile River.

Auntie Heather and Liana

The girls love their Christmas presents.