Sunday, February 28, 2010

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

I am crying my eyes out right now after just reading this. I read it on a friend's blog, who copied it from her friend's blog. Now I bring it to you. It's not sad. You probably won't cry, unless you're a sissy freak like me. It's just very convicting to me personally; I need to do better.

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.

Love,
Mommy

(Original blog post written by Missy @ almostnaptime)

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Noreaster



It's a bird




It's a plane




It's our flashing (part of our house).




On Thursday we has a noreaster with 60+ mph winds and a ridiculous amount of rain. It was pretty freaky to be going to bed with parts of your house falling off. The wind was fierce. We lost power from around 10pm on Thursday to Saturday at around 4pm....which totally doesn't seem like a long time, but trust me, when you're in it and you can't flush the toilet and you don't have heat, it seems like a LOT longer.
Of course, I think about those who live in these conditions all the time and I scratch my head. I am such a wimp. A big American wimp.

Driving around town on Friday was difficult...there were trees down and hanging on powerlines on every street. Wendy and I ventured out with the kids only to overhear Will proclaim from the backseat of the minivan, "It looks like Haiti around here".
Needless to say, we're so glad everything is BACK!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

March Madness

Happens early at our house...



but we love it



I beat the kids at H.O.R.S.E. last weekend



(I just wanted that documented somewhere)



Cause they're pretty good and I really stink.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Climbing the Walls

Amelle has been begging to go climbing for forever, so we decided to have her birthday party at the climbing gym.


She had a blast


hanging with her friends from school


and her awesome cousins



Good times.

Happy 9th birthday Amelle

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This Valentine's Day...

Why not let an orphan break touch your heart?

David Held has the daunting task of getting 130 older boys who live at Kolfe Boys Home sponsored. I don’t envy David. I know from coordinating the sponsorship effort at my church that the cute little girls go first. Even in the adoption world, girls are adopted far more often than boys. It just be like that.

The other challenging aspect of David’s job is that the Kolfe boys are…well…old…some of them really old, like in their twenties. ..and trust me, there is no surplus of people out there banging down doors to sponsor 20 year old boys.

However, one of the best kept secrets is that these boys are the real gems. They’re old enough to articulate their feelings, their vulnerability, their need for you to show them what it’s like to have the love of a family. One 18 year old boy recently wrote, “I don’t know what it’s like to have mama love, can you teach me this?” [heart = mush].

So if you are interested in finding out about a different kind of love this Valentine’s Day, I would urge you to contact David. My own experience with sponsoring an older boy from Kolfe has been incredibly fulfilling. If you know me, you know how much our son B is a part of our family and our lives.

Both of these boys (and 48 more) at Kolfe Youth Orphanage need families to step up to sponsor them! Sponsorship means $34/month and the ability to have a relationship that will rock your world. Email kolfesponsor@gmail.com or click here to learn more.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Why I love boys



Cause girls don't do things like this.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Miss the Kids?

I do too.


Life has been so hectic lately - I was away much of this week for work and life is snowballing -with every passing day I fall further and further behind.

...in case you're forgetting what they look like, here's an idea: