Sunday, February 28, 2010

I don't want my children to be happy......really.

Missy sums it best for me in that, I do not strive to be my child's best friend-but their mom. Their mom who will always love them no matter what. No matter what.

Thanks Missy for sharing this.

Dear Shepherd, Sissy, Maggie and Ikey,

Recently we were told by people whom we love and respect why they oppose our plans to adopt. One of the reasons given was that we would not be able to pay for your college education.

It's true.

You all have college funds - college funds which recently took a terrible hit - but "they" say that by the time you're 18, college will cost anywhere between $200,000 to half a million dollars each. You might as well know now, we won't be covering that. I'm telling you now, babies.

The people said that the day would come when you would look at us with resentment because you had to apply for school loans while many of your friends got a free ride from their parents.

Maybe you will. Maybe you'll resent us. I really hope not. But maybe I should tell y'all now why your dad and I have decided to do what we are doing.

I know you're going to think I am going off topic (I do that a lot) but several years I saw a story on a TV show about how the latest trend was for parents to give their daughters boob jobs for high school graduation (I don't know what they gave their sons.) When interviewing one of the moms, she said, "I just want my daughter to be happy." And as I tossed a throw pillow at the television, this really huge thought occurred to me: I don't want my children to be happy.

My goal as your mom is not your happiness, sugars. In fact, I spend at least half my day making you unhappy. If I had a nickle for every tear that falls in this home on a daily basis, we wouldn't need to worry about college tuition at all.

Happiness is fleeting, sweet babies. That means it doesn't last. It's a quick feeling that comes from a funny movie or a heart shaped lollipop or a really good birthday present. It's great. I love to be happy. But happiness is a reaction that is based on our surroundings. And our surroundings are so very rarely under our control. Even when - especially when - we think they are. So no, I absolutely don't want you to spend your life chasing something that has so little to do with your own abilities. You'll just be constantly frustrated.

There are two things I desire for you, precious loves. There are two things that I spend most of my time as a mother trying cultivate in you. Happiness ain't one of them. (This means, sorry, no boob jobs for you.)

The first is, I want you to be content. Being content is so much different from being happy. Being content is not based on your surroundings. Being content comes from within. Contentment is a spirit of gratitude. It's the choice you make to either be thankful for the things you do have, or to whine about the things you don't have.

As you know, because I've told you lots of times, Paul talked about being content. Paul said that he had "learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." And Paul was in some rotten situations, kiddos, really rotten.How could Paul be content whether he was in prison or if his life was literally a shipwreck? Because Paul was constantly seeking to be in the will of God instead of his own, was constantly sacrificing his own comfort for the sake of the gospel, and was constantly being confirmed, strengthened, and blessed by God because of his obedience. He was given a supernatural power - that means something kind of like magic, God magic - to do things that most other humans could not do. And guess what? The bible tells us (in Ephesians 1) that God will give you the exact same power! If you want it!

Which leads me to my second desire for y'all.

I don't want you to be happy. I want you to be holy. That means, I want you to seek that God-power to make you content. I want you to want the Kingdom of God more than your own kingdom. And that's hard, babies, that is so hard. And that usually means passing up a lot of what the world considers happiness. But it means that you will achieve blessings directly from God that most of the world never dreams of because they are too occupied with the achieving the perfect birthday present!

This means you may be poor, 'in want' as Paul said, and that's okay. It will never, ever be okay with the world for you to be poor. So you'll be up against the world. But not your dad and me, loves, because it was never our goal for you to be wealthy - at least not in the way that the world considers wealthy.

Darlings, we love you so much. You will never even grasp how much we love you until you have children of your own, and then you'll get it, and then you'll apologize for the ways you treated us ;) But our goal is not to please you. Our goal is to please our Heavenly Father. And nowhere in the bible does the Lord command that we save our money to send our kids to college.

But the Lord does command us to care for the orphan around fifty times. He does tell us to care for the poor around 300 times. He does tell us that when we care for the neediest, we are caring for Jesus Himself. And in chapter six of the book of Matthew, He tells us to seek His kingdom first, and let Him worry about the rest, like college tuition. Because it's all His anyway.

They said that one day y'all would resent us for using 'your' college money to go and get your sister out of an orphanage in Ethiopia and bring her home to you.

But I know my babies. Even at your tender ages, I know your hearts, and I have already seen you weep for the least of these. I know the prayers I offer up to God that He and not the world would shape the desires of your hearts. I am trusting Him to answer those prayers.

So, sugarbears - I just don't believe those people.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Temporary home, right?

How do you view life today? Do you strive to save and to have a secure nest egg? How do you respond to those you are surrounded to who are desperately in need? This is not written to pass judgement, or to suggest that we should be neglectful of taking care of our family. But what's heavy on my heart today is, am I keeping the real perspective on life that God has intended this life to be for?

We are living in a temporary home. Right? Have you grasped that truth? How do we respond to that?

Music constantly inspires me and when I find a good song, I have to post it.

So here you go. I hope this puts things into perspective as it did for me-again!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

He does it again :: The Ring

Meet my 3 yr old, Collin. Cute, eh? Yeah, I thought so too. But do not be deceived...he is so full of mischief a 24 hour period with him will leave you feeling as if nothing else could surprise you.

Today, he surprised me.

We spent the weekend with my parents repainting the interior of our home. Everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. However, our ceilings look amazing...our wall, well, they are a force to be reckoned with.....


This morning, leaving for church, I could not find my wedding ring. This was the second time in 2 months this has happened. I'm sure you know the feeling


The feeling you get when you do not find your wedding ring where you swear you left it just hours before.

I asked both of our boys "where is mommy's ring???"

"I dunno!" was the response I received from both. I looked over, under, upside down, toppling everything I saw around the area I left my ring at over.

Then it dawned on me. Bribery works.

"Hey boys, the first person who finds mommy's wedding ring will get a homemade blizzard (ice cream blended drink) with any candy you choose".

Collin promptly stands up and states. "I know where it is's in my bank!!! My little boy football bank."



My husband took him into his room to empty out his 'little boy football bank' as I continued the trashing of my home. He came out holding my ring.

I do not recommend bribery as good parenting technique, but desperate time equals desperate measures, right? A blizzard is cheaper than the purchase of a new wedding ring-or insurance claim, or whatever and tonight my heart rests easier....

What desperate measures have you taken in your desperate mommy moments!!?!?!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where YOUR treasure is.....

Last night, TJ and I prayed together. Pleading with God to show us clearly the path he wants us to follow. I heard a sermon a few weeks ago from our new pastor regarding discerning God's will for our life. It brought me peace (again) that God has a plan-a clear plan-that He doesn't keep these plans a secret.


Fears about moving to Kenya that I have been sharing with people recently have been:

as a mom, will moving to Kenya make my kids hate me when they are older? I mean, what about all the 'stuff' they are going to miss?

will homeschooling be too challenging?

what about retirement...that's what I'M concerned about! What do we do when we are 65-70 yrs old?
I mean, I worked for it, now I should enjoy it, right?

"If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 16:24-25

I got my answer today. I GOT IT GUYS! Through my tears, I post this. God met us with this. What am I thinking? God knows my needs!

Watch this. Watch it again. Watch it three times and share. Does this change your perspective on whatever it is you may be battling with?


Monday, February 8, 2010

Not Me! Monday

Not Me! Monday was created by a dear blogger, MckMama as a blog carnival for all of us mamas to come clean about our inperfections of things we certainly NEVER do. the time recently I cooked a gormet meal for my know, the time when I most certainly did not cut my finger, burn the palm of my hand AND start a blanket on fire in a span of about 5 minutes. Not me! I am quick with my hands, gentle on the stove and certainly do NOT wrap up in blankets while cooking. Especially when cooking Dilled Salmon and carrots. That is why when I did NOT cut myself, I was certainly NOT making corned beef hash eggs. Not Me! I always cook major gormet for my hubs as a big thank you for working so hard.

Wanna join? Go here for the offical rules and link up!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ugandan halt on adoptions.

A while back on Facebook, I posted an urgent prayer request for this family as they were "stuck" in Uganda with their medically fragile little girl, about to go home, when they were abruptly stopped due to the way their court order was issued to them. They would be breaking the law by leaving Uganda, as they had guardianship of their little girl, but could not bring their girl to the US. Stuck.

I've read about and spent time with many families who have adopted from all over the US and the world. They all have the same thing to say. "Adoption is hard." "Adoption will pull and stretch you in ways you have never known you could." "There will be many hurdles."

This week has been a bit paralyzing for us as we learned that Ugandan adoptions have now come to a halt. It's a long, hard, complicated story, but I'm sure, like many of you, these kinds of situations are common as we deal with corruption in many forms.


We need to be on our knees NOW praying for God to move this government to allow many Americans who are there with their babies now, that cannot return home themselves, nor can bring their babies home due to language used in a court order.


You can read more here.

There will also be a group of people from around the US praying for this specific country and for the government to re-open adoptions. If you are interested in joining this conference call on Monday night, please go here for details.

I know that this situation is similar to those of you adopting from China, Haiti, Guatemala, or other countries. May this be a place we can lift eachother up in times of joy or saddness, or fear, anger, rejoicing of bringing your babies home. Let us pray for those whose arms ache for their child(ren) to come home and remember that we serve a MIGHTY God, one who heals, and restores.

His eye is on the sparrow!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Details of our adoption.

There have been many questions you guys have emailed me concerning how our adoption could affect our move to Kenya. I thought I would take some time to help you understand how we've been led to this place and where we are going from here.

To make a very long story short, I truly feel that TJ and I were led to this very point in our lives not by our own doing. I'm sure many believe in "the moons lining up" or "stars shifting" or whatever-but I truly believe that God has set HIS timing in perfect rhythmn for us to struggle, grow, and take great joy in knowing how HE knows every second of our life and has the path laid before us. All we need to do is obey.

Obeying is NOT easy. At times, it doesn't make sense. But TJ and I believe that if we feel led, even in the moments of "seriously.....SERIOUSLY...what about???....." remember, that's putting God in a box!

And I've thrown my boxes out, remember?

So here we are.

We are adopting from Uganda.

Why Uganda?

See, Uganda has a very special place in our hearts. About a year and a half ago we took a journey that changed us for the rest of our lives. We toured villages and a baby home that loved on kids that came out of the LRA. The LRA pursues and terrorizes children to do the unthinkable. I cannot mentally go there as I get a huge lump in my throat thinking and remembering the kids we hugged and listened to stories of that lived that life for several years.

Kenya is not an option for us to adopt from at this time due to laws that make it very difficult for us to do at this time. So, for now, we will call Priscilla our Kenyan daughter and Daniel our other beloved.

From my learning about the Bukedea community who's kids are literally starving to death and falling in love with little faces and souls who need parents, we could not hold it in any longer.

How did you come to decide that adoption was the thing for you?

Through reading scripture about the responsibility, I believe, we as Christ-followers have to "the least of these" ADOPTION is the way we feel our family is feeling called to act.

From traveling and learning about the need, globally, it seemed like an easy decision. Life is a whisper in the scope of eternity, right? Making a difference in a life of a child in a culture we love seemed like a good fit.

Our goal is to have money raised by June to travel to Uganda for about 6 weeks with our entire family to live with our future child (ren?) and go through the legal process of adoption. We hope to also visit Kitale, Kenya and see the Mattaw kids along with Bud and Kimberly.

Isn't international adoption expensive?

Yes, but it doesn't have to be. There is a fabulous woman I have never met, but feel as though I know her well that has helped us through this process. She has created a website/blog to help others adopt from Uganda. The site can be found here.

I can't adopt now, but I want to help you, how?

There are ways that you can help us. We have started a fundraising website where our family will receive $5 per bag of coffee sold to go towards our adoption costs. The website is:

Please consider purchasing and following us in this journey. We need to be saturated with prayer in this, guys, and I know many of you have been praying and that means the world to us!

Another option is that we will have a supply of Ugandan paperbead necklaces-much like the ones we sold for the launch weekend for Bukedea we will have available for purchase for about $10-20 by the end of February. If you are interested in me reserving a specific color, leave a comment or email me at tlkenya (at) yahoo (dot) com.

What about Kenya?

We are completely surrendering this to the Lord. God knows the desires of our hearts and we are trusting that if we keep the "step by step" prospective, what is meant to be will fall into place. Certainly the move to Kenya is not happening in June but there are several other factors that are in the works at this time that will give us some guidance as to what those next steps are!