Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Baking Bread, Ice, and other things

Today is day 3 that we have not left our house. I am not complaining. Even if there were no ice, we would still be here as there have been sickies going around, Mommy is one of them! We did not have PE today, we are sad about that as we love seeing our friends. Okay...MOMMY loves seeing HER friends!! (They are all about my height...except for one...sorry Nheree...and none of them ask me for juice or whine that they are hungry. Who could ask for better friends????)

I will get a repreive this weekend as I attend the OKC Homeschooling Mom's Summit. I cannot wait! I will be speaking also, but for the most part I will be a participant. Since I am in charge of the workshops at the yearly OCHEC Homeschool Convention (, I don't get to participate in those much. Have I mentioned how much I am looking forward to this weekend??? If you are interested, it isn't too late to sign up! kids played outside on the ice for approximately 6.3 minutes. We told them it was cold!!! Actually, Justin played longer and went back out later for more, but my smarter kids stayed in by the fire.
Bread. About 3 years ago, I was invited over to a friends home for a playdate. She has lots of kids like us, and baked her own bread. And when I say "baked her own bread", I mean, grinds the wheat, adds the ingredients, forms the loaves, etc. When I had HER bread with my sandwich, I knew then I never wanted to go back to store bought. So, we invested in all the equipment and while there have been momentary lapses and I have bought store bought bread, we prefer fresh, whole wheat, home made bread. We make 5 loaves at a time and it lasts about a week...depending upon whether or not my mom steals a loaf.

Sunday, I made bread. It was our Sunday to have the family over for lunch. (We rotate houses each week after church.) I was in kind of a hurry, though, because everyone was due back at about 11:30am. (We were home with sickies.) So, I might have rushed the bread a little. I didn't let it rise as long as I normally do, and I probably could have let it cook a little longer. So what did I end up with??? Kind of squishy in the middle bread. Now, nobody complained, as it was still pretty yummy. BUT...I knew...and I just don't enjoy squishy in the middle bread. So, I have 2 loaves sitting on my counter, untouched, because they just aren't as good. I am sure they will get eaten, but just not as eagerly. Maybe I should just toss them out and start over.

I was thinking about this bread in relationship to us and God. In our daily walk, we follow God. We are listening to His voice, His will (bread), obeying his commands (or ingredients, if you will), following Him (recipe). What happens when we try to "speed up" the process??? We get squishy bread. As I have said before, I don't like squishy bread. I want my bread completely finished, inside and out. And thank God that He doesn't just toss us out and start over when we get squishy!

"May the God of peace fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him." Romans 15:13

I don't know what kind of bread God is trying to make out of you, but I pray that you will allow him to use HIS recipe on you and bake you until you are not squishy!

Ashlee....she refuses to wear a coat...something about lack of "coolness" I am sure!

I think this is Bryce...he never stays out long...doesn't like to be too hot or too cold. But he can do an awesome load of laundry!

Noah...we found out his coat zipper is broken. That's what happens in Oklahoma when you only wear your coat 2 times a winter.

Justin is in the middle...our neighbor friends, Wes on the left, and Madeline on the right. Madeline and Justin were in Sunday School together at our previous cool that we built houses next to each other and didn't even know it! I love our neighborhood!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I finally found it!!!

Okay, Okay, you asked for it, so here it is! NO NEWS!!! I will get this out of the way right now so as not to make you wait any longer! I keep hearing "have you heard anything yet?" Well, not from bio mom, but God is talking to me LOTS!

I did find out why bio mom is on the run...can you say FELONY??? Nothing violent, just trying to support her addiction. But for the grace of God...that could be any one of us. The details do explain why she isn't calling, though, so there is a slight comfort there.

Week before last I was terribly anxious. Almost to the point of not functioning, anxious. It's a terrible feeling and I prayed all week that God would take that from me and encourage me. Finally, toward the end of the week, I remembered what I have plastered on my wall:

Okay, God. I am TRYING!!! I decided to go through my Bible and write down (yes, manually, with pencil and paper) all the promises that God has given me regarding this adoption. I started in July. I was going to go through the entire Bible, but realized I didn't have that much time! As soon as I started copying the words down, the anxiety started to lift. "Be still and KNOW that I am God!" That was a week ago. Then I started to pray that God would really speak to my heart through our pastor. I was craving His Word. Well, before we even went to church, I had my music playing and had just downloaded a new group to me, "Go Fish" and it was like they had written their songs just for Tracy's situation. God was feeding me before I even got to church.
Then, at church that night, our pastor spoke on knowing what God's will is for your life. It was powerful! He just confirmed what my dad has told me all along. He said if you believe God has a plan for your life, keep moving forward, proclaiming the gospel. God will direct your steps IF you keep moving! When Paul started his ministry, there was a logical way they probably should have traveled. But, God stopped them and directed them an entirely different way, one that seems crazy to us when looking at the map and the logistics of it all. BUT, God had a different plan. Paul and his guys just had to be open to it. OH...and guess what??? When God turned them a different direction, they did not get discouraged! I wish I could be more like Paul! Anyway, my dad has always said, "If you believe that God is opening a door for you, keep walking toward it until He shuts it." So, we are walking...moving forward...proclaiming God's works!
Back to the title of my post. A year ago December, I had been praying for God to change Patrick's heart. He wanted to adopt Jacob, but after that, he was done. (Remember, at this time, S&J were still going back to their family according to DHS.) I was praying that God would either change Patrick's heart or mine. I wanted God's will, but I wanted us to be in agreement. I shut my mouth and did not speak to Patrick about adoption things. One day as I was praying and reading my Bible, God gave me this:
""The Lord replied, 'Look at the nations and be amazed! Watch and be astounded at what I will do! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it!" Habakuk 1:5
I knew at that point that God had a plan and it would be big! So then, on December 18, 2008, I get this verse again, but in regards to our baby/adoption! I LOVE the Bible! I was discouraged last week. God lifted me up, as He always does. Friday, I asked God for discernment. I cannot figure out how all of this is going to work out legally. I don't think "T" is going to stick around long for any kind of court I asked God to help me out. Help me to discern if this baby is really His will. I am truly okay if it isn't, although I have not felt led in that direction at all.
Yesterday morning, I woke up thinking, "Just forget's all too hard and complicated, I'll just take my toys and go home!" I thought that maybe this was God's discerning voice, telling me to quit. And then it hit me...wait...maybe it's someone ELSE'S voice. "God, please speak to me through your Word and let me know if this is of You or not."
If this was Him giving me discernment, then so be it, but if it was Satan whispering in my ear, I wanted to know. As I think I have said before, my Bible through the year has Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs each day. Here is what God said to me:
“May the God of your ancestors help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the earth beneath, and blessings of the breasts and womb.” Genesis 49:25

“You have so little faith! Why are you worried about having no food? Won’t you ever understand? Don’t you remember the five thousand I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of food that were left over?” Matthew 16:8

“May He grant your heart’s desire and fulfill all your plans. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory, flying banners to honor our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers.” Psalm 20:4-5

“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; then stick to the path and stay safe. Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil.” Proverbs 4:25-27

I don’t think I have ever been spoken to so clearly in all 4 places of the Bible! Thank you GOD!!!
I would ask you to continue to pray for us. We need at least a phone call. Would it be terrible to ask that "T" be arrested??? Think about it...she would have food, clothing, shelter, and medical care. And she would be in a place my attorney could get to. Please pray that she doesn't have the baby in a parking lot. I am terrified that this will be her plan. Pray that all the legalites will go smoothly...God promised to "smooth our way". (And remember...he already brought her from Texas to Oklahoma!!!)
Also, please pray for me as Iwill be speaking at the Oklahoma Homeschool Mom's Summit on 1/30-1/31. I am looking forward to it! "Organize THIS!" is my topic. I have less than a week to practice what I will be preaching!!! I just want to be an encouragement to these moms.
I promise to post as SOON as I hear anything...good or bad...and I will leave you with this:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge cloud of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us." Hebrews 12:1
Now I am off to grind some wheat to make home made bread to go with our stew for lunch! (Yes...we skipped church...too many kids hacking and coughing...but we can watch it online!!)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sprite, Crackers, and Grandy's Mashed Potatoes!

What I am about to tell you is going to be no surprise. The stomach bug sucks the life out of you. Then it tricks you into thinking you are better. So you get up. AHA!! You are NOT better. So you go back down. And then you are up…faking better a little bit…and down again! Thank God for my family. It hit me about 4am on Thursday morning. Patrick took the day off, at some point went and bought all the necessities, (sprite, crackers, popsicles, and Grandy’s mashed potatoes and gravy with rolls on the side) he has been down this road with me several times it seems! This time, he had the kids all wiping everything down outside my room with Lysol! LOL! I was keeping everything wiped down INSIDE my room. (You know…in that “honeymoon period” right after you puke??? You feel great for about 3 ½ minutes??) My kids came to the door about once an hour checking on me…Patrick says he did not tell them to do so…I have great kids! I also have a secret gift. I can catch the stomach bug over the phone. Seriously. As soon as I hear that it is “going around”, I know it’s coming to me! And this time, just for kicks, I actually got THROWN UP ON! How do you get out of it at that point??? (Poor baby Cherish…she is much better now!)

So, all of that to say, that I have missed my Bible study. Sorry…yes…rumors are true…I am human. I do not delve into my Bible while I have the stomach bug. If you do, do not respond to this blog…I hate you. BUT…I must be feeling better, because my desire to pick up where I left off is coming back. I had also been praying that God PLEASE not let our baby be born while I am puking…my hair looked SO bad! (I only have one “just had a baby” picture out of FOUR that is decent! He is also the only baby I had that I had a flat stomach almost immediately after birth…even the nurses were in shock…he is my favorite.)

I have now started thinking that I can take care of a baby again, so that is good, also! Hair is back to normal. I even have make up on today. Yes…it makes a difference! BUT…with all the “normal” stuff coming back, so are the “normal” not so good things. The doubts…the what ifs…the anxiety. While sick, I really didn’t think a whole lot about God’s promises. Or the baby. But now, here I go asking for reassurance again because I have this silly human mind that thinks it needs constant encouragement and hand holding until our baby arrives. So, anyway…I decide to skip the days I was sick (in my yearly Bible) and start today, 1/10/09. As I am flipping the pages from 1/7/09…the last day I read…my eye is drawn to a few verses I had underlined last year on these days…allow me to share them with you.

“So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life – whether you have enough food, drink, and clothes. Doesn’t life consist of more than food and clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t need to plant of harvest or put food in barns because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than they are. “ Matthew 6:25-26

“Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened.” Matthew 7:7

“Then the Lord did exactly what He had promised. Sarah became pregnant, and she gave a son to Abraham in his old age!” Genesis 21:1-2

And then I read on about Abraham willing to sacrifice his son…with faith that God would provide the lamb! There was a time…well…according to the markings in my Bible, it was a year ago…that God told me I was to share what He was doing in our lives.

“I will thank you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done. I will be filled with joy because of you. I will sing praises to your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:1

“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you….For he who avenges murder cares for the helpless. He does not ignore those who cry to him for help.” Psalm 9: 9-10, 12

And I haven’t even made it to today’s passage yet!

Many of you have asked how you can pray for us. Here are a few specifics until further notice!

1-DHS will move Samara and Josiah’s adoption along. The county’s are not cooperating…one tells us we should be finished…one won’t answer my phone calls. Please pray that this will move on smoothly. We are concerned that it might be held up due to our allegation report…we found out the DHS is recommending grief counseling for our family. To be quite honest and without getting really ugly about it, well, it just ain’t happening! When those people making the recommendations lose a child, and then want to meet and get to know me, then maybe I will take note of their recommendation. That is all I will say about that…

2- “January” baby will be protected in the womb from the drugs and lifestyle her bio mom is living. I am praying that God has been/will cover that baby with His hands in the womb and if there are issues when she is born, the doctors will have the wisdom and knowledge to care for her.

3- Birth mom…praying for her safety and health as well. I am also praying that God will put someone in her path to share His love with her. Don’t get me wrong…I would love for it to be us, but that isn’t happening right now. From what I have heard, she is in her early 20’s, been on drugs since she was 10, with the mentality of a 13 year old. Sounds very much like S&J’s birth mom.

4-That God will continue to hold us and put wonderful, praying people in our paths as we learn to live this life without Jacob.

That is all I can think of at this point.

Friday, January 2, 2009

So very personal...

I want to tell you how personal my God is. I have only begun to realize this in the past few years. I have always had a "personal relationship" with God...well...from the time I accepted Him as my Savior...but I don't think I knew exactly what that meant.

I really started listening for His voice when we were considering foster care. Although at that time I didn't know how corrupt DHS was, I did know that there would be many issues to come...I knew I didn't want to go along that path on my own. God became very personal to me. I remember the Friday evening we got Josiah. We had 6 kids (DHS's magic number) including our bios, Jacob, and Samara had come just 2 weeks earlier. Having Josiah would put us "over the limit" number wise. DHS dropped Josiah off at our house, telling me not to unpack him. They said the only reason they even brought him to our house is because the judge court ordered it and they did not want to be in contempt. They said that they would be moving both Samara and Josiah on Monday, after court.

I was exhausted. I had worked so hard to get Josiah here with Samara. She asked for him every day. His family wanted him here. I was done. So that Friday night, I decided to let them go. I was tired of fighting DHS. As I was reading in my Bible, this is the verse I got:

"Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 82:3-4

I went to court, fought, and here we are, 2 years later, ready to adopt. There was another instance with Jacob that we were told some of the family was going to come to court and fight for him. ( wasn't family, but the adoptive mom of some of his bios...we had already had Jacob for over a year at this point.) I went to my Bible and while I cannot find the verse at this moment, God basically told me not to fight, but to sit back and allow Him to fight for me. And that is exactly what happened.

God was very personal and specific in those situations, and these are just two examples of how God led us through the foster/adopt journey. My Bible is SO marked up with promises, directions, and encouragement!

So, fast forward to yesterday. Here is part of what a friend whom I only know through this blog sent to me last night:

"your story just amazes me I can see the Love you have for children through your words and WoW How God Honors that in his word. I really feel the Holy Spirit has spoken to me and you will have your new baby soon. To some people that may sound crazy, being that I only know you by reading your blog but I feel strongly about this and cannot wait t o hear the news I check daily, I continue to pray for you and your family and the birth mother of your future child." might read that and think, "wow...that was nice of her". But because of something I had done a few days earlier, this was HUGE!

I couldn't even tell you what day it was, but it was within the past week. As I was talking to God, just throwing things out there, I said, "please either close the door on this adoption, NOW, or encourage me along the way...let me know this is Your plan and we are following Your will. As a matter of fact, God, why don't you tell one of my friends that "January" baby is ours. How cool would that be??? Tell someone else that this is going to happen to us."

Now...I dare you to tell me that God isn't a personal God! I double DOG dare you!!! Seriously, I NEVER imagined that God would answer that silly little prayer! I mean, I just threw it out there for fun! And, it's not like He hasn't confirmed this in so many other ways...every time I ask! you think it would be too much for me to ask God to mark the date in my yearly Bible that this baby is coming???? LOL!!! God is laughing at me a little today!