A Child Has Been Born

Monday, December 24, 2012 No comments
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!! May the HOPE of Christ fill your home as we celebrate the Birth of our King!!

I'm Going Back!!

Saturday, December 22, 2012 No comments
Oh beautiful Ethiopia how I miss you! The colors, the smell, the people, the joy and peace you feel being there and so much more. I miss it all. The saying is true "I need Africa more then Africa needs me" I do!! I would be lying if I said I don't hope to go back, because I do!! I want to take Noah to see where his brother came from, I want to go and love on the people, share the love of Jesus with those who don't know Him and yes, I want so badly to adopt more children from the country that will forever hold a big piece of my heart.
I thought once I came home with Isaiah my heart would stop aching, but it only aches more. It aches for the faces I can't get out of my head, the precious souls who need Jesus so desperately, the children who wonder the streets begging, not knowing where their next meal will come from. My heart aches for the mothers who sadly will continue to have to make the hard decision to place their children for adoption because they know they just can not take care of them, for those who are dying of HIV simply because they are unable to get the medical care that is afforded in the states and for the children who will watch their family die off one by one as a result of poverty and sickness, only to end up alone with no one to love them and protect them. It's been almost 8 months since I stood in beautiful Ethiopia and I miss it more every day.
Over the last 11 months I have traveled to Ethiopia twice, battled a sickness that has kept me weak and in and out of the hospital, come face to face with the reality that those who I thought were dear friends, were merely just putting on a good act, only to show their true colors once Isaiah came home and I lost my job right before the holidays, BUT I was also completely healed by the Lord of my sickness and the Lord has taught me so much about what it means to truly rely on Him for my daily needs. To keep my focus on Him and not things of the world, including people. I am blessed that the Lord chose to place people in my life this year who have encouraged, supported, prayed and loved me and my boys through a time of transition, change and at times uncertainty. I couldn't ask for sweeter friends, even if the majority of them do live out of state, Ha!!
One thing that has come from this year's experiences is my desire to work with missions. I have always had a heart for missions, and that love grew during my time in Ethiopia. The Lord broke my heart for what breaks His and continues to do so everyday. After I lost my job, I began praying about where the Lord was leading me. I wasn't happy at my job for different reasons, and a couple of months ago I had actually applied for a job at my church working full time with the missions department. I felt the Lord pulling me towards missions but I wasn't sure how that would look? I continued to wait and pray and then my job loss came and I knew I just needed to be still and wait on Him. I found out I wasn't chosen for the missions job and over the last few weeks I have applied for different jobs, interviewed for them but haven't had any job offers? Yet, I have continued to pray, being open to what/where it is the Lord is leading me. Trust me when I say I wasn't expecting what His plans were for this next chapter :-)
Yep, that's right "I'm going back" to nursing school!! I found out yesterday I got accepted into the online LPN to RN bridge program that starts in just three short weeks!! The Lord continues to amaze me at how He provides, especially during times like this where I could not even imagine going back to school while being unemployed!! The Body of Christ has literally brought me to tears and left me speechless this past month as people have prayed, sent encouraging messages/cards and even blessed me with financial gifts. It has been very humbling to say the least.
Let me explain how I came to the decision that now was the time to go back and why? Over the last few months my mom and sister have been asking me when I was planning on going back to school, as having my RN will open more doors as far as jobs and working with medical missions!! My response was always the same "I can't go to school full time, work full time and be a full time single mom" Now of course there are those who will say "yes you can, if you really want to" and to that I say "you're right I could physically do those things at the same time", but I choose to be a mother first and going to school and working full time would hinder my ability to do that, which to me is not an option! So the idea of going back to school never really entered my mind. Around the same time these conversations were going on I was also praying that the Lord would allow me the opportunity to be home with my kids more then I was. Call me selfish, but if I had my way about it I would be a stay at home mom in a heart beat, but last time I checked you don't get paid to do that, lol so that wasn't an option. I was however praying that somehow I could be home with my kids more.
When news came that I was losing my job, I didn't get too upset, because I knew the Lord was in control and His plans were greater then mine. As I applied for jobs and interviewed, I also began to apply for nursing school and get necessary documents in order for that, and stayed in prayer that the Lord would make it clear the direction He would have me to go. I never heard anything from the jobs I applied for but I was getting positive feedback from the college regarding the application process. Then yesterday I received the phone call telling me I had in fact been accepted into the program. The best part is the peace I feel about things, knowing the Lord is leading me on this journey.
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
This is a verse that a sweet friend sent me in a encouraging Facebook message she sent me a few weeks ago. Little did she know the Lord would use that scripture to speak to my heart regarding the step of faith it would take for me to go back to school. I'm once again so thankful for the Lord's provision and the body of believers He has surrounded me with.
SO, why now? Well, for a few reasons. The first being obvious, lol and that is the Lord says so :-) but also with my heart for missions, I am hoping that by getting my RN it will allow me different opportunities to work with medical missions however the Lord sees fit, and I am also wanting to adopt again in the near future and if the Lord sees fit to not bless me with a husband (still praying he does, will you join me) I want to be financially able to adopt at least 1 more child if not two!! Noah informed me the other night I need to adopt a brother his age and a little sister :-) My heart for Ethiopia is also a reason I wanted to go back to school. I know my involvement with that beautiful country is not done and I want to be prepared for when the Lord calls me back there!!
My decision to go back of course came with LOTS of praying, thinking and budgeting!! I basically will be living off my tax return next year and praying the Lord provides for our needs as I venture back into school full time. The program itself is 18 months long but I am hoping to finish it in 15 months. I should find out in a couple of weeks if that will be an option. As scary as this new journey is, I know this is the best thing for myself and my boys and that the Lord is leading the way. I of course would covet your prayers for this next chapter in my life. When I found out how long it would take, I couldn't help but think of how all the big things in my life always come in 18 month time frames. Hmmm, wonder if that means anything, lol
Thank you in advance for your prayers for my schooling and for this new transition my boys and I are getting ready to go through. Noah is of course super excited to have Mommy home everyday! I love how the Lord answers our prayers. With doing the online program, I will be able to schedule 85-90% of my schooling for when my boys are in bed, leaving me time everyday to be more involved with Noah's homeschooling and spend more quality time with each of my sweet boys!! A big answered prayer!! I will also be able to participate in my church's bible study in February that is offered during the week in the morning. When I signed up for it, I signed up believing the Lord would work out the details to allow me to participate in the study, as it is one that I really wanted to do and I didn't know what my work schedule would look like. God is so good!!
As I begin this new chapter of my life I can't help but pray that the Lord continues to break me and mold me, never letting me forget what I saw and experienced. I will never be the same and a part of my heart will always be in Ethiopia!! It is my hope and prayer to always have my hands and feet there in some way, however the Lord sees fit.
"Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand" Isaiah 64:8

This is the start of your sweet little story. The part where your pages meet mine, no matter where your tale takes you tomorrow, our story will always read LOVE

If You Give Your Son Your Phone.......

Tuesday, December 11, 2012 No comments
You will find LOTS of pictures on your phone that your sweet boy apparently took of himself while playing on your phone while you cooked dinner :-)
These folks are just the few that made the blog cut! I assure you there were about ten more pictures of super silly faces, lol I love that boy and his silly sense of humor!!

Philippians 4:6-7

So it seems that life right now continues to keep me from blogging like I would like. Seriously, how do ya'll do it? I read a lot of blogs where ladies are able to post every day almost, if not every other day. Me, I'm lucky to get to post once a week, lol This guest post comes from my sweet friend Kristen who I was blessed to meet through the blog world. I asked her to share with ya'll her story and how the Lord has worked in her life. Enjoy :-)

My absolute favorite verse in the bible is Philippians 4: 6&7 do not be anxious
about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God! And the peace of God, which transcends all
understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (NIV) Today
I'm writing to tell you "God's good news"  ((:   First off  we should always
talk to God about what is bothering us, ask him for help and give him thanks!
Acknowledge how he has helped you in the past, and how he has provided for you. 
Tell him how blessed we are to have such a loving faithful trustworthy father
watching over us!  If we do these things Gods peace will descend upon is and we
will find rest for our hearts and souls!   Peace with God is only found at the
foot of the cross whereas peace within is achieved trough obedience to the word
of God. God wants peace to be the fabric of your life and he wants you to learn
to trust his heart even when you can not trace his steps.    Now how does this
verse tie into anything that has to do with the advent season... Jesus is the
king of peace in my life! I enjoy everyday of my life because Jesus has
delivered me from my trials and struggles and he saved my soul!  Isaiah 9:6 For
to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon
his shoulder, and his name shall be called. 'Wonderful counselor, mighty God,
everlasting Father and (my favorite) ..PRINCE OF PEACE!   Today Let your heart
pause for a moment with thankfulness and peace as you prepare for the Christmas
season!  Look at the manger scene with the fresh wonder of all he is to you! Let
our sweet savior fill your heart with joy and peace today!  As i close this
today my prayer is that I would look with expectation to what you (Lord) will do
in my life and that you would fill me with your joy!  Fill my heart with the
wonder of what that first Christmas means and thank you that today that you fill
my "anxious heart/thoughts with your peace" Let your word and joy flood my heart
and soul as I lean in you to be my wonderful counselor, my mighty God, and my
everlasting father and prince of peace!

I'm Kristen and it was an absolute blessing and honor to be able to write for
Sarah's blog! My story isn't anything special. I'm just a sinner saved by Gods
grace! I've had more trials this year.. (Losing my dad to cancer, battling with
fertility issues, lose of a sister) to name a few, but Gods peace has Mended my
broken heart and gives me a new outlook on life daily! I praise him with that
new peace I found in him and praise him for the peace that I know where my dad
is today and for the new body he has in heaven! I praise him for the desire he
has given me to be a mommy one day and I praise him for the opportunity to share
his word! I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and remember our prince of peace
is the reason for the season!   Kristen <3

There Are No Words

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 2 comments
First let me just say a HUGE THANK YOU for the text messages, e-mails, phone calls and most importantly your prayers!! These last few months have been so hard dealing with being so sick and not feeling like myself and it has meant so much knowing so many people are praying for me, interceding on my behalf.

After being diagnosed with Gastroperesis I was scheduled for a test that would show how long it was taking for my stomach to empty, that way my GI doctor would know where he needed to go next as far as treatment? I had done a lot of reading on the subject and the more I read the more nervous I got at the thought of what life was going to look like with this condition. Last Friday I went to the hospital where I ate radioactive scrambled eggs, lol yes you read that right. I had to eat the eggs and then every 15 minutes for 2 hours I was to get an x-ray done so that they could watch the eggs travel through my stomach. Good times :-)

Everything went well with my test and I was really feeling a peace about everything. My symptoms had began to decrease last week and I knew it was because of all your prayers. I was starting to think maybe my condition wouldn't be that bad as far as the severity of it. I was anxious to go to my follow up appointment the following Tuesday (yesterday) Sadly, my peace was cut a little short when I came home and got a phone call informing me I was being let go from my job :-( So I am now unemployed. I can't lie, the timing is just rotten. Any savings I had has gone to pay for all my doctor bills and there are still bills to pay, Christmas as well as my truck needs new tires and brakes before the winter weather gets here, but before I allow myself to go there mentally, I remind myself HE is my DAILY BREAD!! The Lord sees the big picture to what is going on, while I only see piece by piece. I will continue to trust in His plans for my life, even if right now things don't make a lot of sense. I know they do to Him and that's all that matters.

So yesterday was the big day. Time to find out exactly what the test showed and where we were going to go from here. My symptoms have still been easing up, so I was hopeful that things wouldn't be that bad. The doctor came in and asked me how I had been feeling? I told him that my symptoms had gotten better. He then pulled up my results on the computer and the first words out of his mouth were "this doesn't make sense" Of course my heart fell to my stomach at the fear of what was going to follow that statement. The next thing he said was nothing short of a miracle, an answer to YOUR prayers!! He said "your test results show that your stomach is now emptying as it should" I immediately got tears in my eyes and my mom looked at me and almost at the same time we said " God healed me" It feels so amazing to type that!! God HEALED me!!! My own GI doctor still can't understand it. He had pulled up the results from my scope that I had done a couple of weeks ago and was comparing them to the results from my test last Friday and he was literally dumbfounded. Two weeks ago he saw with his own eyes Gastroperesis and now he was seeing results that showed zero Gastroperesis!!! I want to shout from the roof how AMAZING our God is!!!! I am still in awe that He chose to heal me COMPLETELY!!! I had been praying for healing, but had been prepared for dealing with this condition for the rest of my life, but as always God showed up BIG and BLESSED me with complete healing of my GI issues!!

The blessings kept on going that day, as I received an e-mail from a sweet sister in Christ who had found out I had lost my job and she and her husband wanted to bless me with a gift to help with the holidays. I have tears in my eyes again as I type this. He is our DAILY BREAD!!! I have learned so much these last few months and that is one of the biggest lessons the Lord has taught me. Not to allow myself to look ahead at what we need or bills that are going to be due, but instead to rest in Him and trust that He will provide. I have had to remind myself of that since losing my job, but I can honestly say I am at peace because I know He will provide for myself and my boys. His ways are not my ways and I am so thankful for that.

So where does that leave me with my health? My doctor recommended I go on a probiotic, which I had already purchased the day before and planned on doing. He also suggested I go on a vegan diet for a while to give my body a period of rest and to help me lose some more weight, since I had gained some back due to my stomach not emptying for a while. So that is the plan for the next few months. I am feeling better but still not 100% I discovered today just how weak I have become due to this sickness. This summer I was walking/running 3 miles every other day in the dead of summer (ya'll remember that heat) this afternoon my mom and I decided to go for a walk and a 1/2 mile into the walk I was exhausted and couldn't catch my breath. We ended up having to turn around and come home. It was a huge feeling of defeat for me but I am hopeful that I will be back up and walking/running my 3 miles by early next year. I am just so thankful that the Lord HEALED me!!

With all this being said, I would be humbled if ya'll would still keep me in your prayers. I have some specific prayer needs if you wouldn't mind and please if I can be praying for you for anything, please leave me a comment or Facebook me if we are FB friends.

  • Please pray for my current unemployment and financial situation. Pray that the Lord would provide for our needs and for peace for me regarding the future.
  • Pray that my health would continue to improve and I would regain my strength. I am still dealing with some fatigue but am hopeful that will subside soon.
  • This is the biggest! I was due to follow up with a cardiologist next week regarding the halter monitor I wore last week for my heart. Since losing my job, I have also lost my health insurance, leaving me unable to go to the appointment. Please pray that everything is okay with my heart!! Not knowing for sure what is going on, makes me nervous but I am just trusting that the episode with my heart was due to the stress my body has been under?
  • I am still dealing with episodes of shortness of breath. They occur through out the day, everyday, but I am praying that with continued exercise/strengthening that it will go away on it's own? Please join me in that prayer!
  • Pray that the Lord would continue to get all the Glory for what He has done and continues to do in my life!! I pray those who don't know Him will be encouraged by my testimony and would come to a relationship with Him or at least that seeds would be planted!!
I could say it a million times and it still wouldn't be enough, but from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU  for all your prayers!! These last 11 months have been some of the hardest months of my life both physically and mentally. I look forward to the future with anticipation at what the Lord has in store for me and my boys and am so thankful to be surrounded by such an amazing body of Christ!! May God bless each and every one of you!!

I came across this quote on Facebook tonight and it couldn't be more perfect for me!!

"Praise God for who He is- all powerful and all capable. Praise God for being able to see and know things when we feel in the dark. Praise God for being able to give us a wisdom beyond our capabilities. A comfort beyond our reach. A security beyond our circumstance." -Lysa TerKeurst

Praise God for His healing hand, His Grace, Mercy and Restoration!!

Advent & Bethany's Story

Monday, December 3, 2012 No comments
As we begin Advent, we light one candle in the midst of all the darkness in our lives and in the world. It symbolizes our longing, our desire, our hope. Three “advents” or “comings” shape our desire. We want to be renewed in a sense that Jesus came to save us from our sin and death. We want to experience his coming to us now, in our everyday lives, to help us live our lives with meaning and purpose. And we want to prepare for his coming to meet us at the end of our lives on this earth.
So, we begin with our longing, our desire and our HOPE.

I had the idea to have some sweet friends share with ya'll their stories about how the Lord has worked in their lives. I hope and pray that their stories will be an encouragement to you as they have been to me. How thankful I am for the HOPE we have in Christ! I honestly don't know how anyone gets through this life, let alone hard times or trials without the HOPE we have in Jesus. I have asked my sweet friend Bethany to share with us her story. She and her husband John are in the process of adopting two sweet children from the DRC and their story is a testiment to not only their faith and hope in the Lord but also of the Lord's continued provision and faithfulness for their lives and the lives of their children. I hope you are as blessed as I was when you read Bethany's story!! Praying until these sweet children are home and thanking the Lord for bringing such a sweet family into my life who are not only my family in Christ but also some sweet friends!!

Hi, my name is Bethany. My friend, Sarah, asked me to share a little bit of the story of how God has been at work in my life and my family’s adoption story, so here it goes.
I grew up in a very loving, very Roman Catholic home here in Louisville. I went to Catholic schools from 4th grade through high school, and basically lived in a catholic “bubble”. I was the oldest child and was definitely the “rule follower” of the family. I went to every Youth Group event & mission trip every summer to help the poor. I had also created my own set of moral standards for myself, when many of the kids around me were being outwardly rebellious in high school: I will not drink until I’m 21, I will never smoke, and I will NOT have sex until I’m married. As long as I stuck to these things, I thought I was a very good person and that God would be pleased with me. However, after graduating from high school I decided that I was tired of being the “good little girl” and trying so hard to be “perfect” and please my parents, I wanted to have fun. So I left for college and pursued all kinds of “fun” that I thought would make me happy. I jumped headlong into the party scene from day one on campus. This went on my entire freshman year at UK. If there was a party, I was at it. And boy, did I LOVE my sin. I had no conviction whatsoever. Until it caught up with me and I began to reap what I had been sowing (Galatians 6:7-9).
I returned for my sophomore year hurt, depressed and desperate for healing & forgiveness. So when my new roommate in my sorority house invited me to go to a Christian church with her, which was SO against my upbringing, I said yes. I was searching for answers and willing to try anything at that point. For the first time in my entire life I heard the good news of the gospel: that I was a sinner in need of a Savior and that Jesus Christ had fully paid the debt that my sins deserve on the cross. And that I could never be “good enough.” I could never EARN my salvation. “For ALL have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). I cried my eyes out every Sunday for months as Danielle faithfully brought me back with her week after week. Finally I had found a source of hope: the Jesus of the Bible that I’d always known about, but never really known. Danielle continued to be my friend and ask me hard questions. One question especially stuck with me and pricked my heart. Danielle asked me, “how sure are you that you would go to Heaven if you died tonight?” I thought I was about 85% sure. I had been very “good” growing up and I thought that would outweigh all the “bad” stuff I had been doing for the past year. Danielle explained that it wasn’t based on me at all- it was based on Jesus alone. She shared Ephesians 2:8-9 with me, “By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works so that no one may boast.”

I began reading my Bible for the first time in my life and slowly became convinced by scripture that the gospel was truth and that a lot of what I’d been taught growing up wasn’t based on the word of God. Eventually I decided that Jesus was far more precious than pleasing my parents & following the Catholic tradition of my family. And in February of my junior year, at a Campus Crusade conference for Greek students, I surrendered my whole life to Christ. I finally let go of the idols I had been holding so tightly onto, my drunken social life and my immoral relationships, and I placed my faith in Christ alone for my salvation. I memorized 2 Corinthians 5:17 and had to constantly remind myself that I was “a new creation in Christ, the old has passed away and the new has come.” God was so kind and merciful in immediately giving me fellowship with believers who encouraged me in my new walk with the Lord at Campus Crusade. The believers I met helped me grow in my walk with the Lord, study my Bible, and eventually introduced me to the godly man who is now my husband!
My husband, Jon, and I had always talked about adopting “one day,” but around our son’s first birthday we decided to officially start the process to adopt internationally after praying about it for years. That was almost 2 years ago. We’ve been humbly reminded many times throughout our adoption process that WE are not the ones writing our adoption story. Our Sovereign God is the one in control; He is the author of our story and only He knows the twists & turns and how it will end. We would never have dreamed that we would lose our first referral, that the precious 9 month old baby girl who we were in the process of adopting would die, or that we would have two legally adopted children in the DRC who are both “missing.” But that is all part of our story.

And here’s what I want to share with you: if you are a Christian and you desire to care for orphans through adoption- DO IT! But don’t go into the process all naïve and dreamy the way I did. I thought that because we were doing a good thing, by rescuing orphans, that it would be easy. Oh was I wrong! God has NOT promised that caring for the fatherless would be easy. But it is WORTH IT. Every single orphaned child on this earth is worth fighting for. They are worth mounds of paperwork, many fundraising events, months of waiting and constant prayer. They are precious children made in the image of God, just like you and me! So by all means, please consider showing a child the love of Christ through adoption! But please, come prepared with the full armor of God on, ready to fight for them and advocate for them if and when Satan attacks. I have learned that adoption is not simply a “process,” it is a battle. Do not fear the battle. No one can know how the process will go for them. Every single adoption story is different, but the Author is the same. And He will not abandon you when the trials and the suffering comes.

 I was greatly encouraged by our friend, Matt Delaughter’s, sermon this morning at Immanuel. The text he preached from was Romans 5:1-11; my heart was especially encouraged by verses 3 through 5: “Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Matt reminded me that all the suffering weaved into our adoption story is not in vain. It is producing endurance, character, and hope as we have never known it before. The fact that we have been able to persevere thus far is encouraging to me. Why? Because I know without a doubt that my flesh would have given up a long time ago, and therefore, the Spirit of God truly is dwelling inside of me equipping me with the fruit of the Spirit to help me persevere and not give up!! Further proof that God’s word IS trustworthy and true. And I have HOPE in the midst of all the unknown because of the gospel of Christ.

I do not know how our story will end, when it will end, or even what chapter we are in! But I don’t have to have it all figured out, I just have to hope and trust in my Creator, my heavenly Father, who went through far more than Jon and I have gone through, just to rescue me to be His daughter! Afterall, he sacrificed His only son for me.
“ But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7
We wish you a Merry CHRISTmas! Believers have so much to celebrate this time of year in the ultimate gift God gave the world: His only Son, Jesus!
You can read more about our adoption at www.wewillcometoyou.blogspot.com


Praying For Healing....Would You Please Join Me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 2 comments
I break this blog silence to update everyone on why I have been being "MIA" on this blog and to ask for your prayers, and the prayers of your friends, family and church. If you're like me you know there is power in prayer and as the Lord says:

"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them" Matt 18:20

I'm going to start from the beginning so forgive me if some of this is information you already know (if we are Facebook friends or IRL friends, humor me :-)

Back in January of this year I traveled to Ethiopia for my court hearing and to meet Isaiah for the first time. The trip went wonderfully, I passed court, got to spend 6 amazing days with my newest son, see parts of his beautiful birth country and experience his culture. It was a wonderful trip! Upon coming home I got very sick! Jet lag was horrible with a capital H and I came home with a friendly parasite. ER visits, CT scans, chest X-rays, blood work, antibiotics, pro-biotics and numerous co-pays later I thought I had finally gotten better just in time to travel back in April to bring Isaiah home. I was covered in prayer for my health as I prepared to leave in April and I had a huge peace about leaving. My poor mom, God love her had asked me if there was any way I did not have to travel to bring Isaiah home, could someone else do it? She had spent 3 months watching her "baby" be terribly sick and was honestly scared that me leaving again would mean a sick Sarah again once I got home.

In April I traveled back to Ethiopia to bring Isaiah home. The trip again went great. Everything went as expected with our Embassy appointment and on April 20th Isaiah and I stepped foot on US soil and he was officially home!! The days and weeks following our coming home seemed to go great. I had ZERO jet lag!! Seriously, how does that even happen, lol I went from being in Africa to being home and never once did I have a problem sleeping or waking up at crazy hours of the night. PTL!! Isaiah on the other hand, lol that poor child would fall asleep while I was feeding him, bathing him, you name it he fell asleep during it. Thankfully after a few weeks he was on a pretty good schedule. I'm sure those first few weeks home I was going on pure adrenaline. Dealing with starting a new job, adjusting to home life with two kiddos and trying to settle into our new normal, dealing with Isaiah's night terrors (yes a baby can have those and no I wasn't expecting it) accompanied by doctor's appointments, blood work, surgery, fighting with my insurance company, getting Noah finished up with his school year and getting settled into our new church. Things were crazy but I was counting my blessings and just thankful to finally have both my boys on the same continent, under the same roof!

Over the next few months I was tired ALL the time, had stomach issues with bouts of nausea, vomiting, going all the time, not being able to go (I know TMI, lol) feeling bloated all the time and having really bad shortness of breath whenever I ate ANYTHING! I began going to a new family doctor who is super sweet and really knowledgeable but when I first started telling her what was going on with me, her answer was "well you need to lose weight" Really? I mean don't get me wrong, but since last November I have lost almost 75 pounds and before I lost the weight I never felt like I did currently. Since I wasn't really getting anywhere with her I decided to look into some theories myself. After talking to some friends I decided to eliminate gluten from my diet to see if that helped? To my surprise it helped a little bit but not completely. I still felt bloated and had shortness of breath but nothing as bad as it was, so I thought maybe it was a gluten allergy? I went back to see my doctor and she said she wanted to test me for Celiac's Disease and send me to a GI specialist to have a scope done.

So, fast forward to last week I had 10 tubes of blood drawn for a Celiac panel and went to the GI specialist to have a scope done only to have to go back the following day to have a colonoscopy done as well, that thankfully went fine and nothing was found on that end. As far as my scope, that is a different story. The doctor found a bleeding lesion in my intestin that he took a biopsy of and he also discovered I have what is called Gastroparesis.

Gastroparesis, also called delayed gastric emptying, is a medical condition consisting of a paresis (partial paralysis) of the stomach, resulting in food remaining in the stomach for a longer time than normal. Normally, the stomach contracts to move food down into the small intestine for digestion. The vagus nerve controls these contractions. Gastroparesis may occur when the vagus nerve is damaged and the muscles of the stomach and intestines do not work normally. Food then moves slowly or stops moving through the digestive tract

Well, no wonder I was having all my stomach issues?? On one hand I was thankful that I did not have Celiac's but on the other, part of me thought maybe it would have been better then what I am currently dealing with? I have spent the last week researching this condition, trying to figure out the best way to handle it. Unfortunately it can cause a lot of issues regarding nutrition and vitamin absorption because as it says above, food is not going through at the rate it should or at all? There is not always a specific cause for this to occur, but it can sometimes be caused by a virus. In my case, my doctor seems to think it was caused by the parasite I came home with after my trip to Ethiopia in January :-(

Dealing with this has not been fun. In trying to keep my spirits up, I have started joking with my mom and saying "it is almost like I had lap band surgery, but for free" because currently I seriously can not eat without feeling super sick, being in pain and gaining an easy 3-4 pounds in one day because the food is not going anywhere. Last week for Thanksgiving I decided even if it made me sick I was not going to ruin the holiday for my boys so we were going to have our Thanksgiving dinner and mommy would eat with them. Besides a few bits of a lunch at work that I ate, that evening's dinner was all I ate for the day and the following day I weighed out of curiosity and discovered I gained 8 pounds!! Can we say frustrating and crazy?!?!

Currently I am waiting to go have yet another test done this Friday where I will be swallowing a pill that has a camera in it so doctors can see how long it is taking things to get through my stomach? I have a follow up appointment scheduled with my GI doctor next Tuesday where I am praying I get lots of answers and a plan to allow me to feel human again and lead a normal healthy life. It is the absolute worse feeling when you feel too sick and too tired to do anything, let alone play with your kids. I have cried over the fact that it has become normal for my oldest son to come up to me on the couch or in my bed and ask me "Mommy does your tummy hurt?" or "Are you too tired" It breaks my heart that this condition has crippled me to a certain degree as far as what I am able to do. Working 12 hours shifts makes it even harder, not only to work but to recover on my days off from my lack of energy. I force myself to "fake it" for the sake of my boys. We still do things and go places, but on the inside I am falling apart, my body is screaming from pain and exhaustion and all I want to do is lay in bed. There are moments where my shortness of breath get so bad that I find myself scared something is going to happen to me. I stay in constant prayer, pleading with the Lord to please heal me and allow me to have my life back where I am active, running around with my boys, enjoying life.

As if dealing with my GI stuff wasn't enough, yesterday while I was at work I was sitting on break eating some chicken noodle soup (one of the few things I can handle eating) and reading my bible when I started to feel real light headed and feeling like my heart was going to beat out of my chest. I went a grabbed a pulse reader off my cart and my heart rate was measuring at 188 beats per minute. My first thought was the machine was faulty, so I checked my pulse myself manually and got the same reading. Still feeling really funny I went into the office and told my charge nurse what was going on. She checked my blood pressure and it was reading 166/96 The decision was made to send me out via EMS to the ER to get checked out. 7 hours later I was discharged with instructions to wear a halter monitor for 24 hours because the doctor thinks I may have what is called SVT, rapid heart rate with no known origin. I don't know a lot about SVT and honestly I don't want to know. After the doctor in the ER told me what his thoughts were I just layed there crying thinking to myself I am only 29, I have two young boys, why is this happening to me??

The answer is, I don't know why ANY of this is happening to me BUT I do know that God IS in control of my life, every detail of it and I HAVE to trust in knowing that. The doctor did tell me that there is a slim chance that yesterday's episode could have been caused by not taking my blood pressure medicine yesterday morning and by the stress that my body has been under over the last few months being so sick. I am due to take the monitor back tomorrow and will follow up with a cardiologist next week. Let me just say this because I feel I need to, I KNOW that my health problems are small compared to others and I know there are MANY other people going through much worse then me. Please know I consider myself very blessed and am thankful that these are the ONLY things going on with me, but please also understand I am a single mommy of two precious little boys who deserve 100% of their mommy and that friends is why I come to you tonight and ask you to please join me in praying for COMPLETE healing!!

Recently before my stomach issues got so bad, I had put myself on a plant based diet. I was only eating fruits, vegetables and soy. I cut EVERYTHING else out, in hopes it would make me feel better. Sadly because the food isn't going anywhere, nothing is helping right now. I am still determined to eat plant based for my health, especially now with my episode yesterday. I am just going to try and eat 6 very small meals a day, in hopes that the small portions won't cause so much pain and discomfort. I am going tomorrow to purchase some more pro-biotics as well, hoping that those too will help heal me.

I don't know why these past 11 months have been full of so much sickness for me? I know the Lord is teaching me something, but what exactly I don't know yet? I was talking to my best friend last night while I was waiting at the ER and we were talking about what it is the Lord could be teaching me through all of this, and she said "Sarah, maybe the Lord is trying to teach you to rely on Him for everything" Really? Don't I do that? I like to think I do, but do I? If I was being honest, I would have to say no. As much as we all try to completely rely on the Lord, our sinful nature likes to try and take a hold and allow ourselves to think " I know the Lord will work it out, but let me help him by doing this, or maybe if I do things my way everything will work?"

For example, a couple of weeks ago my truck started smoking and making a popping noise, it turned out the spark plug had went bad and it was going to cost $350 to get it fixed. Recently my hours got cut at work and with bills, post placement visits, my doctor visits and blood work and Christmas coming up I just didn't have the money to get my truck fixed. I told my mom the Lord would provide, we didn't need to worry and thankfully my sister and I have been sharing her truck but in my heart was I really relying on the Lord to provide the money for my truck or was I again trying to take matters into my own hands? Sadly, it was the second of the two. Then last night after a super emotionally draining day I was sitting in my room reading the Word when my mom walked in and shared with me that she had received an e-mail from a friend who was wanting to pay to have my truck fixed! I broke down in tears. How awesome and powerful is our God!!

"Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

He is our daily bread!! He provides our every need, all we need to do is TRUST in HIM and RELY on HIM!! I went to bed last night praising and thanking HIM for the amazing ways He provides for us and praying that in that He would choose to heal me of this sickness!!

"Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases" Psalms 103:2-3

I come to you tonight friends asking you to please join me! I have some important appointments coming up over the next week and I would be humbled if you would please be praying for not only my appointments but for COMPLETE healing for me in the name of JESUS!! I have recently joined the twitter bandwagon (don't start following me just yet because I assure you I have no idea what I'm doing) but I follow my pastor and this morning I retweeted a tweet from him as well as posted it on my Facebook because it hit so close to home for me and this season of sickness I am in.

"You can't have the testimony without the test. God promises strength for you IN storms, not FROM them."

I look forward to the day that I am healed of this sickness, when I can shout Praise to His name for healing me and restoring my health. I pray that not only will I come through this healthier and stronger but most importantly closer to my Creator, the One who knit me together in my mother's womb, in His image. Relying on Him for every step and every breath. For He is my manna, my daily bread.

6 Months, Is That All?!?!

Friday, October 19, 2012 1 comment
Isaiah, You have been home 6 months already!! Technically it was this past Saturday :-) but your momma is not always the best at finding time to blog!! My sweet boy I honestly don't know where these past 6 months have gone? On one hand it seems like just yesterday that we were both still in beautiful Ethiopia waiting to start our journey home and on the other hand it feels like you have always been here!! Look at how much you have changed since coming home!! The picture on the left was taken your first week home and it was also the first time you ever touched grass :-) The picture on the right was taken a couple of weeks ago!!
You went to the doctor today for your second flu shot and I got an updated height and weight. You are 16 months old and you weight 22 pounds and are 30 3/4 inches long!! You are still playing catch up when it comes to your weight but I know you are healthy and that is all that matters.
You wear a size 4 shoe and sizes 18-24 months clothes!! You came home wearing 9 months clothes!! You have had the same 4 teeth for the last couple of months :-) Two top and two bottom. I can look at your gums and see TONS of teeth just ready to pop their way through!! I don't know if I can handle you looking any more bigger with more teeth. The four you have already make you look like a little big man!!
I love watching you with Noah, or as you call him Bubba :-) You are his constant shadow! Where he goes, you want to go too!! Almost every morning when we hear you in your crib talking Noah races in their to jump in the crib with you and the both of you just lay there talking and laughing until I come get you. I am so thankful for the sweet and close relationship the two of you have. Noah is so patient with you and is always eager to teach you new things and you are always so excited to learn from him. Every night we gather on Mommy's bed to read our bible story and say prayers and I just cherish that precious time with my two boys!! You are both so special to me!!

You love any and all books. You and your brother would both sit for hours and listen to Mommy read to you if I would. I usually have to cut you both off at 5-6 books, lol You have a few special books that you love to carry around. Your baby bible and a little picture book that has pictures of you and your family in it. You absolutely LOVE to sing!! Grant it right now it is more like you like to make tons of sounds that go along with the music, but to you it is singing :-) Your brother and I sing with you every night before bed. Your favorites are Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Love the Little Children and You Are My Sunshine. One of your favorite things to do is carry my IPhone around and listen to music, Ha! Sometimes you will just sit it next to you on the floor while you play :-) Recently my friend loaned us the Praise Baby DVD's and you LOVE them!! I can't wait to see what  comes of your love for music in the future!!

Your favorite foods are bananas, oatmeal, sweet potatoes and yogurt. Recently you have become pretty picky, which is the complete opposite from what you were when you first came home. I used to have to cut you off and now I have to sometimes beg you to eat, lol You are still taking a bottle in the morning, which I am totally okay with (your pediatrician, not so much) I have learned over the years not to go by a chart when it comes to raising kiddos and I don't plan on being any different with you :-) You have shown Mommy that you just are not ready to give up your morning bottle just yet. You drink out of a sippy cup through out the day just fine and I know over the new few weeks you will be ready to let go of the bottle completely.

Moments with you Isaiah are just pure JOY (most of the time, Ha!!) We still have our moments where your strong will butts heads with Mommy's rules but we have made a lot of progress over the last 6 months!! Your smile lights up any room and your big beautiful brown eyes can speak more then what some can express in words!! You LOVE to laugh and you get lots of pleasure out of making others laugh. I knew from watching you with the nannies at the Transition House that you had a super silly side and it definitely came home with you :-) If you realize that something you did made someone laugh, you will do it over and over again waiting for more laughter from people.

You love to be outside and this summer we spent LOTS of time outside swinging and playing in the grass or splashing in the water. We take lots of walks, even now that fall is here and the weather is getting cooler, I bundle you up and off we go with your brother leading the way on his scooter or bike. You love looking at everything around you and when you see a dog you start yelling with excitement!! The noises that come out of your mouth are pure entertainment. We went to the Zoo a few weeks ago and you were so fun to watch as you saw all the different kinds of animals. Your favorites were the monkeys! I stood you up against the glass wall and the momma monkey put her hand against your hand. It was the sweetest things and you just smiled from ear to ear!!

Your favorite toys are actually your brother's toy kitchen and all the accessories that go with it, lol 9 times out of 10 when you are walking around the house you are seen holding a play fork and play frying pan!! I think it is so funny. You also love playing with balls of any kind and recently you have started pretending you are talking on your play phone. Veggie Tales and Praise Baby are your favorite things to watch and you will also watch some Disney movies with your brother like Finding Nemo and Lady and the Tramp. You have a little tag blanket you sleep with that we call "taggie" It is a small square piece of fabric that has little tags around the edges that I ordered for you before you came home. It is definitely your little security blanket for sleeping.

You are finally getting used to going to the church nursery!! PTL!! This past Sunday you actually went to the nursery worker willingly without screaming, crying and holding onto my clothes for dear life (which has been our normal routine on Sunday mornings, lol ) We are at church at least three times a week so I think that is helping you get used to the environment and the workers there just love you and always have such sweet things to say about you when I pick you up!!

Isaiah these last 6 months have been full of laughter, smiles, JOY, tears, prayers, GRACE, many "first", moments of taking 2 steps forward but then 4 steps back, encouragement, peace, curiosity, exploring, and HOPE for what the Lord has in store for us in this next chapter. You are such a blessing to all of us, especially your brother and I :-) I prayed for you and the Lord heard my prayers!! I am so thankful He CHOSE you for our family. I pray you always know how loved you are!!

I love you to the moon and back sweet boy!!
Love, Mommy

Our Story......

Recently I was contacted by my church's newspaper and asked if they could interview me for a story they wanted to write about my little family and my journey to bring Isaiah home. I was extremely humbled and honestly couldn't believe out of the 20,000 members (yes there are that many people who belong to my church, lol ) they wanted to do a story about us. I of course took it as an opportunity to bring more Glory to God for everything he did during those 18 months and to tell of the amazing ways he provided for my adoption!! I never want people to look at my adoption story as something I did as a single mom! I instead always want people to see what God did through me. I was only the clay, He was the potter!! To read the story click here
"Yet, O LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand" Isaiah 64:8

Phone Dump.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 3 comments
Work, homeschooling, serving, errands, bible study, church........yep just to name a few reasons why my blogging has hit a rut lately where I only manage to post once every other week, lol as unbelievable as it may sound (due to my blogging record) I actually love blogging and really wish I could manage to do it more often. I have to remind myself often that this is a season and I need to embrace it and all the craziness that comes with it :-)
The boys are doing great! Thriving and growing. I hope to do an update post on both of them, if not for any other reason then to have it written for myself. As much as I love photography and taking pictures with an actual camera, ever since discovering Instagram I find myself taking way more pictures with my phone. If you follow me on Instagram or if we are Facebook friends, you have already seen all of these pictures. For the few of you who actually read this little blog of mine and don't know me personally. Enjoy :-)
Some sweet friends of mine came into town a few weeks ago and we met at our local Ethiopian restaurant. Isaiah LOVED the food!! He had never had it, so I was anxious to see how he acted with it. I am having some friends over next week and plan on attempting to make my own Ethiopian food? I'll let you know how it goes :-) Let's hope we don't have to call for pizza, lol

Against every fiber of my being I agreed to let my dad give Noah his very own pocket knife! Both of my nephews have one to widdle with and Noah had been begging asking me when he could get one, so he could start to widdle? My dad called me one day to tell me he had found the perfect pocket knife for him and wanted to know if he could please get it for him. I caved agreed and oh my stars it made the boy's day times ten!!! Below is a picture of Noah with my youngest nephew. They were having a serious conversation about the art of how to widdle, lol

My boys and I a few weekends ago before church! I am so thankful for these two precious gifts from the Lord and pray daily that I raise them with servant's hearts and that they always know their Savior and seek Him in everything they do!
When you have two boys, what's one more, lol I surprised Noah with a sleep over with his buddy Hooper who came home from Ethiopia a year ago. They had so much fun making pizzas, building, going on a walk with their scooters and watching Disney movies until I was ready to pass out and waved my white flag, making them go to bed, lol
Have you ever seen the movie Tangled? If you have you will understand the picture to the left and why I find it so funny that my youngest child LOVES that toy frying pan and carries it everywhere, Ha!! I love the other picture to the right. Noah was working on his bible work during school and Isaiah squatted down next to him with a serious look of concentration while watching his big brother :-)

Our first trip to the ER since Isaiah coming home. 5 hours later after having IV fluids run we were sent home with a diagnoses of strep throat, double ear infections and some antibiotics. Ugh!! Thankfully it only took him about 24 hours and he was back to his silly happy self :-)
What? You mean all big brothers don't enjoy pushing their little brothers around Earth Fare in mini shopping carts, lol

I had the boys outside last week and decided to snap a couple of pictures while they were looking exceptionally cute that day, lol I know I am a little partial :-)
Typical day in our house :-) Noah entertaining Isaiah and Isaiah mimicking everything Noah does, lol
Sunday afternoon naps brings out our silly sides and a reverse picture taking with my phone, lol
My mom is awesome and on the Sundays I have to work she always sends me a picture of my boys before they go to church! Yes they are matching :-) I accidentally found matching sweaters for them at a consignment sale I recently went to.
Hope ya'll are enjoying this beautiful fall weather!! Please continue to pray for Julee and Preslee in the coming days and weeks ahead as Julee finds her new normal without her dear husband Matt by her side.

Please Pray!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 1 comment
One thing I love about blogging is the friendships I have gained, the ladies who I feel like I "know" from years of reading their blogs and the amazing community you find yourself a part of. I have been reading Julee's blog for almost 2 years now and yes as crazy as it may sound I feel like I "know" her. She is just the sweetest lady, with a beautiful heart full of love for her family and friends. She and her husband welcomed their beautiful baby girl Preslee into the world last November after struggling with infertility.
Last Saturday evening her husband Matt was killed in a car accident and since finding out on Sunday through a mutual friend on Facebook I have not been able to get sweet Julee and Preslee off my mind and heart. I find myself praying for them all day, before I go to bed and as soon as I wake up. I want to ask you all to join me in praying for Julee and sweet little Preslee in the coming days and weeks ahead!! Pray that our loving God would wrap His arms around them and carry them during this time. Pray that Julee would have peace that surpasses all understanding on this side of Heaven. Pray that her strength would be strengthened during this time and that the Lord would place many people around her during this time who will love, support and be there for her. I can't imagine what she is going through right now, but I do know our God is Sovereign over all things.
You can head over to Kelly's blog to read about other ways you can help Julee during this time. There is a silent auction being set up as well as an address where you can send donations for Julee and Preslee.
"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."
Romans 8:26

Refine Me & Other Rambling Thoughts

Wednesday, September 19, 2012 No comments
It's funny how you can usually tell when I work by my blogging or should I say lack of blogging :-) Working 12 hours shifts and being gone for about 13 hours with travel time,  leaves me 11 hours when I get home to spend time with my boys, prepare food for the next day, set out clothes, do baths/bible stories/prayers and songs and sleep before the next day comes and I do it all over again :-) So as much as I enjoy blogging, it is nearly impossible for me to blog when I work. You wouldn't believe the notes I e-mail myself to remind myself of things I want to blog. Be it topics or funny things the boys did that I don't want to forget.
These last few weeks I have been struggling with some things. Bitterness, frustration, confusion and loneliness (that whole being single thing, yeah it stinks) Yuck those four words just don't look good on my blog, lol but it's the truth and if nothing else I want to be truthful and honest with ya'll. You know the 10 of you who read this silly blog of mine :-) Over the last few weeks I have experienced some harsh truth being brought to the surface regarding some friendships, frustration and confusion about where and what I should do/go next and loneliness regarding my marital status. No offense to those of you who enjoy being single :-) this momma does not and it is my heart's deepest desire to meet a Godly man who wants to join me on this journey of life, living for the Lord and being His hands and feet! The reason I decided to lay it all out there tell ya'll this is to show you how God continues to take ashes and turn them into beautiful reminders of His love and faithfulness through blogs, friends, instagram and songs.
During my time of struggle, I have been in constant prayer that the Lord would help me to heal, move on and remember that He is Sovereign in ALL things! As He always does, he answered those prayers and continues to do so. A couple of weeks ago a friend on Facebook Gwen Oatsvall from 147millionorphans.com posted a link to her newest blog post. When I clicked over to read it I immediately knew this was the Lord speaking through Gwen. Below is a part of her post. Click here to finish reading it :-)
There are seasons when God removes ALOT of things and people from your lives ... Try not to let this throw you for a curve ball because many times it is for the best ... God wants to be your everything and from the business of life it can get really crowded ... He is the great POTTER and he wants to mold you into his likeness and he wants you to be WHAT HE WANTS YOU TO BE ... So when seasons change, life goes in a new direction, or circumstances throw you for a loop try not to FREAK OUT, but just sit back and ask - WHAT ARE YOU SAYING GOD ??? It may take some time to adjust and you may mourn for the WAY IT USED TO BE ... BUT HE so many times has a great lesson for you or a new calling or simply wants more time for the two of YOU together !!!
Um, can I get an AMEN?!?! Yes Lord, I'm listening!! Seriously, when I read this I was blown away!! This blog post was followed by a Jesus Calling devotional that really spoke to my heart:
Grow strong in your weakness.Some of My children I’ve gifted with abundant
strength and stamina. Others, like you, have received the humble gift of
frailty. Your fragility is not a punishment, nor does it indicate lack of faith.
On the contrary, weak ones like you must live by faith, depending on Me to get
you through the day. I am developing your ability to trust Me, to lean on Me,
rather than on your understanding. Your natural preference is to plan out your
day, knowing what will happen when. My preference is for you to depend on Me
continually, trusting Me to guide you and strengthen you as needed. This is how
you grow strong in your weakness.
I purchased the Jesus Calling app a few weeks ago for my phone and I just love it. It is the first thing I read in the morning when I wake up and no matter what I'm dealing with it always speaks to me and ministers to my heart. I am so thankful for the ways the Lord uses technology to speak to His children :-) Then a few nights ago a friend of mine posted about how we should allow the Lord to refine us, and reminded us all to be patient during the process. She mentioned a favorite song of hers by Travis Cottrell called Refine Me. It is a beautiful song, one that you should definitely take the time to listen to!! As I sat in my car the other day listening to it I cried as I heard these words:
Your so patient with me
Faithful and sure
To make me into something better
You know prayers that I've prayed
The tears that I've cried

Lord you know my heart's desire
Oh, to know You
To be more like You

Do what You need to
Help me to trust You
Even if Your love brings me suff'ring
Help me to hold on
To know that You're strong enough to see me through completely

Refine me
"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26
Excuse me while I pause for a minute and shout some praise to the Almighty God we serve!! Seriously, I love the Lord and how he has so much patience with me and is willing to give me reminder after reminder that all those negative feelings I allow Satan to whisper into my head have no place in my heart!! Thank You Father!! On top of everything else the Lord has used Instagram, of all things, lol to bring some sweet friends/sisters in Christ into my life. They all have blogs that I have followed for some time now, and I was just so excited to connect with them first on Instagram and now on Facebook!! I feel some road trips will be needed sometime next year!! Do you hear that Kristin, Ashley, Kendra and Lea :-) They are all just the sweetest!!
I want to ask if ya'll could please join me in praying for Ashley's daddy? He had heart surgery almost 2 weeks ago and is still in the hospital. They are hoping he can go home this week! Pray for complete healing for her daddy and for comfort and peace for her momma and their entire family. You can read more about it on Ashley's blog.
Also please pray for Kendra and her family. They are going through a rough spot right now and could really use our prayers. The Lord knows the details, just please pray.
Today was my first of two days off and believe it or not I spent the first part of the day volunteering for a local consignment sale that is happening this weekend. Of course I have a little bit of a motive :-) for those who volunteer you get first dibs on everything being sold and I have two kiddos who are in need of a winter wardrobe, especially my little buddy who has zero winter clothing. While I was helping today I was also making my plan of attack, Ha!! I saw quite a few items of clothing I want to get for Isaiah and a few things for Noah (they don't have as much in bigger sizes) and then some toys that Isaiah could use and a particular Star Wars puzzle that a certain boy is going to love and momma loves the $1 price tag on it!! So yes tomorrow I will be ready to shop with my stroller in tow :-)
Tomorrow I also have my 3rd Dave Ramsey class. Have any of you done his Financial Peace University? I am really enjoying it, but man there are some parts that I think are going to be hard, but worth it!
This is my last 3 day weekend to work, PTL!! My schedule got changed and I will no longer have to work three 12 hour shifts in a row!! I was so excited when I found out, I almost screamed :-) I still have to miss church every other weekend, but what can I expect when I work in the medical field :-(
Tonight my mom snapped some pictures of the boys and I doing our bedtime routine :-) We read their bible story book every night, and tonight Isaiah was really getting into the story of Adam and Eve! His hands were flapping, his voice was raising and he was smacking on the book as if it was a pulpit!! Love my little preacher boys, lol

I have moments like tonight where I miss Ethiopia a little bit more then usual. I love my little corner in my room of my pictures and some of the things I brought home. It's a beautiful site to look at everyday :-)
 Speaking of Ethiopia, I had to share this picture of my little Ethiopian making the funniest face when we were out to lunch one day. Apparently he was hungry and didn't want to wait on his food, Ha!! Love it!! He is such a little stinker :-)
 A lovely reminder from a sweet friend the other day. How blessed I am to have such amazing friends who continue to encourage me every day. Now if only we all lived in the same state!!

Take a few minutes, listen to this song and be blessed!! I know I sure was :-)

Have a great week ya'll :-)