Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Refine Me & Other Rambling Thoughts

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 :-)



Saturday, September 15, 2012

Happy Fall Ya"ll

Today was absolutely beautiful outside! The boys and I woke up early and enjoyed every minute of it playing outside/inside enjoying this beautiful day the Lord had made. I had a few errands I needed to run but I decided to put those off for the day and just spend my Saturday at home with my boys. I can't remember the last Saturday that I spent at home for an entire day :-) Today was Isaiah's first time wearing jeans and a long sleeved shirt and before you think I am super crazy for even getting excited about this, lol let me just tell you not only did he look super cute in his little outfit but it was so funny to watch him look at his arms and try to figure out why he couldn't see his arms anymore, Ha!!
 
Ignore my out of order pictures :-) I uploaded them from my phone and for some reason it put them in a different order then I picked? Have I mentioned Isaiah just loves showing us his tongue, lol I know I am partial, but seriously how cute it that face!
 
 
Noah's face cracks me up! He was obviously done with me asking him to stop his motorcycle so I could take another picture. Isaiah was having so much fun riding on his big brother's motorcycle!
 
Isaiah's face makes me laugh in this one! As much fun as he was having, there were a couple of times I think he got a little nervous. I love his little hand holding on tight!
 
He thought he was big stuff hanging out on his bubby's motorcycle!!
 
Noah was playing his Star Wars game on the Wii and of course his little shadow was right there watching him! I have been so proud of Noah and how he has taken on his role of big brother. Before Isaiah came home I would wonder if Noah would have moments where he would get jealous of Isaiah or tired of sharing me with him. I had prayed that the Lord would prepare his heart. My prayers were answered big time! Seriously, he is so good with Isaiah and the bond they share still amazes me. Isaiah's eyes just lite up when he sees Noah. Makes my heart melt when I see the two of them together!
 
My little goober hamming it up for the camera, lol
 
How adorable is he :-) I think he is getting used to me standing him up against the wall in my bedroom for a quick photo shoot, Ha!!
 
I posted this picture earlier on Facebook and of course one of my friends commented and asked me where Isaiah's clothes were? If you notice he is wearing two different outfits in the pictures I posted. When we were outside playing the first time today he decided to spit up on his clothes, lol but didn't want to go inside so he just rode around in his diaper, lol He didn't seem to mind :-) The second time we went outside after his nap he managed to not spit up on himself.
 
Even though you can't see Noah's face, I still had to post this picture. I just love the way Isaiah is looking at him and I also love how he has his little hand on Noah's leg. He kept his hand on him the entire time he sat there watching him play his game. He sure does love his brother!!
 
Hope ya'll are having a great weekend!! We are trying a new church tomorrow. (that is for a whole other post!) I'm praying the Lord would make it clear where he would have us go. Then it's home to enjoy some more beautiful weather before Monday comes and I head back to work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Happy New Year!!

 
Today in Ethiopia they welcomed the year 2005!! I honestly still don't fully understand how they are 7 years behind us, but they are. Below is a little bit of information about the Ethiopian New Year:
 
In Ethiopia the New Year comes at the end of the big rains; the sun comes out to shine all day long creating an atmosphere of dazzling clarity and fresh clean air, and the highlands turn to gold as daisies emerge to carpet the hills. Everyone dresses in new clothes, and children dance through the villages; in the evening households light bonfires and there is more singing and dancing.

The day is called Enkutatash, ‘gift of jewels.’ It is claimed that the Queen of Sheba was in fact an Ethiopian, and that when she returned from her visit to King Solomon—by all accounts an expensive venture—her chiefs welcomed her back by replenishing her treasury with enku, ‘jewels’. This spring* festival has been celebrated since very early times, the cessation of the rains marking a month of transition from the old year to the new.

Early in the morning everybody goes to Church wearing traditional Ethiopian clothing. Afterwards there is a family meal of injera (flat bread) and wat (stew). Girls go from house to house handing out bouquets and singing songs and boys sell pictures that they have drawn, and families and friends gather together to discuss their hopes for the New Year.
*There are basically two seasons in Ethiopia, a wet season between June and September and a dry season for the rest of the year. Following the wet season, the country is lush and green, full of the flowers and growing crops associated with spring. (source)
 
Just reading that makes me miss Ethiopia more then usual. Had anyone ever told me I would miss a country so much as I do Ethiopia I would have said they were nuts, lol
 
I got out Isaiah's traditional outfits that I brought home with me and took some pictures of him. I know I am partial, but seriously how cute does he look?!?! I can't wait until he is older and can really understand what we are celebrating, instead of thinking we are just having a fashion show were Mommy takes lots of pictures :-)
 
 
 
 
 
I love these matching outfits I brought home for the boys!! They both can wear them for a couple of years, lol
 
Happy New Year or Melkam Addis Amet!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Instagram Addict (I need an intervention)

So I realize I decided to take a break from Facebook, but I am thinking I should have made that break for Instagram, Ha!! Seriously I love it :-) I finally figured out how to update my IPhone so I was able to get the updated version of Instagram. My camera has been acting up, so all my pictures for a while will probably be phone pics. I think I chose the wrong week to start Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace, lol I don't think there is going to be an envelope marked "new camera for Sarah" Ha!
 
Okay, so check out my little monkey's face!! He was watching Lady and the Tramp for the first time and boy was he concentrating!! I lovingly call this his Ethiopian attitude look :-) While it is cute, let me tell you it can come with some stubborn attitude at times. Isaiah gives new meaning to "strong willed" He definitely keeps me on my knees in prayer for the Lord's wisdom and guidance for that strong will of his!
I took this picture the other day and just could not believe my eyes!! When did my little boy grow up and get so big?!?! He keeps me laughing with his silly personality :-) To say he is a mini me is an understatement. Today we were playing outside and he was riding on his power motorcycle, pretending he was driving down the highway when I heard him say "oh boy I need to find a gas station, my low fuel light just came on" Ha!! I guess he has heard me say that a time or two.
Noah decided to get his non-crafty momma to help him turn this box into a dog house for his Webkinz puppy. By the time we got done with it that thing looked like it belonged in Hollywood for dogs!! Seriously, the front of it has a sun shining, some clouds, a tall tree and a mailbox all cut out of construction paper, and let's not forget his name.
Today was Isaiah's 15 month check up!! Of course he still confuses the staff at the pediatrician's office, since they see him and think he is one advanced 9 month old walking around. Yes he is still pretty small for his age, but I keep reminding myself it will take him a good year to catch up. It just makes me mommy heart so sad to think of what his life was like before he came home? My sweet boy weighed in at 20 pounds 12 ounces and is 30 inches long. He is at the 8th percentile for weight and 15th percentile for height. The pediatrician suggested an early intervention for his developmental delays? I'm not sure how I feel about that, mainly because of his super strong will. Isaiah is the type of kiddo if he doesn't want to do something there is nothing you can do to make him!! So I am really not sure that having someone come to my house and try to work with him would be beneficial for him or the person trying to work with him. I am going to think about it and pray about it before making my decision. I know I can work with him at home myself and my mom is more then willing to work with him when I'm at work. So we'll see. My main concern right now is getting him to gain weight. In 3 months he only gained 8 ounces, which totally blows my mind because I am not exaggerating when I say the boy can eat more then Noah!! We are going back in a month for a weight check and will go from there on deciding if something further needs to be done. Praying he will gain a pound or two before then!!
So if you follow me on Instagram you saw this picture. Isaiah will NOT take a binky for anything. I tried numerous times while in Ethiopia and while on the plane to get him to take one with no luck. I even tried a few different types once we were home, hoping he would take to one, again with no luck. I have had a couple just laying around the house, since buying one of every kind, lol and that little stinker loves to find them, put one in his mouth and then look at me! He won't take one for nap or bed or any other time I try, but put one in his play area with him and he loves it!! Go figure, Ha! Oh and he just loves to try and hijack my best friend's daughter's binky whenever he can!! Strong willed stinker I tell ya :-)
Fall is officially in the air and I am LOVING it!! It is my absolute favorite season of all time and if I could move somewhere where it was fall all year long I would move tomorrow!! Today we enjoyed some time outside while Isaiah slept off his shots. Noah loves riding his motorcycle and was happy to pose for a picture for me. He always ask me are you going to post that on Facebook, lol Oh how things have changed since I was his age!!
Hope ya'll have a great week!! It seems so unfair that my days off seem to always go by so fast, but my work days go so super slow!! Such is life!! We are heading to the Zoo tomorrow, for the first time this year!! I can't wait to see how Isaiah reacts to all the animals. Should be a blast!! I can't wait :-)

Saturday, September 8, 2012

My Boys

This is my weekend where I work 12 hour shifts back to back. Leaving me one tired momma! Oh the life of a single momma working as a nurse. I have a couple of different blogs writing themselves in my head :-) but won't be written on here until sometime next week. Although I would love nothing more then to go to bed, I am getting ready to torture myself and do some Pilates! Yes, I am crazy!! I thought I would share some pictures of my sweets boys for my little weekend post.
 
This was taken last week while we were busy cleaning and organizing. Days off for mommy apparently bring out Noah's desire to sport his UK scrubs and throwing up the 3 sign, lol oh and let's not forget our Marine's hat from his Pa :-)
 

Noah LOVES Legos! I surprised him with a little set last week from the store. He was so proud and excited about his police car he built! He came in the kitchen asking me for my phone so he could take a picture. Later that night when he was in bed, I looked through my phone and he had taken like 15 pictures of his car, lol and a video!! I nicely deleted a few of them and kept a couple for him. Such a silly boy!!


     The lift of a 14 month old! Discovering your tongue and showing it off to Mommy :-)
 I joke and say Isaiah would eat ANYTHING! Seriously, the boy does not mess around when it comes to food and at times has eaten more then his big brother. I gave him a peanut butter sandwich one day for lunch and he got SO excited!! Love my boys so much!!
I hope ya'll have a great weekend!! I have one more 12 hour shift and then two days off!! I can't wait :-)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Master Noah, Jedi Knight

Before I had kids, I always said I was not going to get wrapped up in the whole "character themed" stuff. Especially rooms, because let's face it, kids grow up and go through lots of different phases of what theme they are stuck on for the moment. For the most part I have stayed true to that, lol BUT Noah LOVES Star Wars and after lots of begging on his part I finally caved :-) I am pretty proud of myself for not going completely overboard when it comes to the decorations. If Noah had it his way it would look like a galaxy in his room, Ha! All in all I really like how it turned out. I still need to get him a navy blue valance for his window. My goal for his room was to make it feel warm and inviting, while also adding his unique personality to it. He is a lover of legos, basketball, books and cars, as you'll see. For those of you who might wonder, his bed set is from Pottery Barn Kids and the two decals by his bed I got from etsy.com The actual Star Wars decals including the big Master Yoda I picked up at Target, my second home, lol
 



10 Months

It's amazing to look at those pictures on the left and then to look at that healthy, chubby, bubbly, curly haired, 4 goobered little boy on the other side, and see how much he has changed in 10 months!! The pictures on the left were the very first pictures I ever saw of Isaiah. It was love at first site and oh how I couldn't wait to get him home. He still makes that little face like the one on the bottom left, and his eyes are still just as big, but instead of that empty look, they are full of life, love and laughter ALL the time!!
 
Isaiah,
You were CHOSEN by your Heavenly Father to join our family!! Your face is a face of REDEMPTION and there are not enough words to express the LOVE I have for you. You and your brother will always be my little boys but you are both also sons of the KING, ADOPTED into His family through our Savior Jesus Christ!! I love you both so much and thank God everyday He allows my the blessing of being called Mommy by you two.
 
I love you to the moon and back sweet boy!!
Love, Mommy
 

Change Is Coming & I'm Excited

Okay, so I have to apologize to those of you who saw the title of my post and got excited thinking I was going to announce something big, lol because that's no what this post is about. Yes there is change in the air, but nothing huge (yet)
 
Today's big change involves this blog and a website we all are familiar with, Facebook! Below is this morning's status update that I posted:
 
There is a saying that I once heard and it is so true for today's technology driven world.
"If the devil can't make you bad, he will make you busy" Over the last few months I
have been in constant prayer about what areas of my life I need to change to become the mother/daughter/sister/friend God has called me to be. I don't want to get to Heaven and
realized I missed an opportunity because I was too busy to see what was right in front of me. I realize that those moments I think to myself I'll just check Facebook "real quick" can sometimes turn into 30 or 45 minutes of getting notifications and answering messages. My perspective on life in general has been changing over the last 8 months since I first went to Ethiopia. God has been molding me and changing me and I am anxious to see what he has in store for me next. I never want to be "good enough" when it comes to what God has called me for, I want to be my best and glorify Him in the process. So with that being said, I am taking a Facebook break for a while. If you need me feel free to e-mail me or text/call
me. If you don't have my phone number just shoot me an e-mail.
 
So there ya have it :-) See I told you it wasn't big, lol but for me it is. I have sadly allowed Facebook to sometimes overshadow other things that should come first, or honestly it just sometimes sucks my time away when I should be focusing on two little people, who grow way too fast for this momma!! I understand that some of you may be thinking "seriously Sarah, it's just Facebook" and you're right it is, but for me, Facebook was sometimes like my drug. I have over 350 "friends" so my news feed could sometimes keep my attention forever reading what was going on with everyone. I found myself waking up in the morning and grabbing my IPhone to see what happen while I slept! Oh my stars I can't believe I just typed that, Ha! Yes, I'm pathetic, lol So you get the point :-) So I have deleted the app off my phone and am taking a break from really getting on period. Don't get me wrong I might get on once a week or something just to see pics of some sweet kiddos I keep tabs on who were in the same transition house as Isaiah in Ethiopia, but for the most part I am done with the big F word, lol
 
I want to focus more on being the person God wants me to be in every area. I don't want to miss anymore precious time with my kiddos then I have to. Being a full time working mom, I already miss out on too much time with my boys, so why allow myself to miss anymore? Even if it is 30-45 minutes once they are in bed on Facebook? Why not spend that precious time with my Father, digging into His word! One thing I have decided is that I am going to start blogging way more. I LOVE how I can go back and read entries that I posted during my adoption process and I want my boys to have the opportunity to read about their lives, our adventures and how God was at work in their lives. I love to write and I have met some wonderful friends through blogging, so why not add the two together!
 
So there ya go! That's the big change as of right now. I don't know what other changes are in store for us, but I am excited to sit back and watch how the Lord is going to continue to work in our lives and am anxious to follow Him where ever He leads us!! I would love some help with the ole'blog as far as a new design/subscribing ability if any of you know someone who does that or can do it yourself. Just leave me a comment or email me at Believe02@aol.com
 
Of course I can't post without including a picture of my two guys!! I seriously still have moments where I can't believe Isaiah is home!! I look at him and can't remember what life was like before he came home :-) It feels like he has always been here!! God is so good!!
 

 
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