Dear Reader // Letters Day 1

31days2014Dear Reader,

I see you pushing that post-peanut-butter-sandwich-sticky toddler in the swing. You woke up to find a kid had peed in the bed and are so tired you can barely think.

I see you reading by nightlight as you rub a tiny back after a bad dream. Soon you will attempt to army-crawl out of the room and pray you don’t land on a rouge Lego.

I see you sitting down for a break during nap-time, ignoring the dirty dishes and the piles of laundry for a few moments, counting down the minutes until bedtime.

I just want to affirm you wherever you are today, mama. Motherhood, although amazing and a blessing, can feel like being hit by wave after wave at the beach and being unable to catch your footing to stand back up. It’s heavy, hard work and it’s literally messy with sticky hands and poopy diapers and Legos all over the floor.

But get this, mama. 2 Peter 1: 3 says,

“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.”

Um, did you catch that? By God’s power, He is giving us everything we need to live a godly life. That is ah-mazing news for us, dear one! We can do this thing– we can wipe noses and pick up toys and cut crusts of sandwiches and answer 7,327 why questions and share the Gospel of Jesus with our kiddos because God Himself equips us with everything we need to be mothers to His glory.

I hope this thought lifts your heart today– ask God for His help in this crazy awesome job, and then warrior on! Thanks for joining me for 31 Days of Letters this month, I’m excited about what October may hold–

Your friend in the trenches,

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31 Days of Letters

Well, it’s that time of year again! A whole bunch of bloggers are stretching their fingers and getting ready to blog for the whole month of October! Are you participating this year?

I am currently working on a special writing project in all my spare time (BAHAHAHAHAHA, I just can’t say that with a straight face… so.much.to.do.all.the.time.) and so I’ve gone back and forth about participating in 31 Days this go ’round. I have a soft spot for it though, since writing Soul Coffee last year launched me into publishing my first book– SQUEE. I am still not over the fact that MY BOOK is on the INTERWEBS for people to BUY which feels kinda LEGIT.

So… special project notwithstanding, I thought spending some time with the figurative pen to paper (fingers to keyboard just doesn’t sound as cool), would help me stay in a writing groove this month and hopefully even clear some cobwebs I’m experiencing in my writing right now.

I really have no clue what I want to write, but my sister (Hi Em!) does this cute feature on her blog sometimes that she calls “Letters”, so I’m kinda borrowing her idea and spending the month writing letters. They may be sappy messages to my kids, or random thoughts to the lady behind me in the grocery store, or complaints to the trees in my city for not changing their colors. I’m gonna play it fast and loose, mmk?

Will you join me this October as I write

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Did You Win?

The Soul Coffee for Moms Giveaway is over– did you win? I emailed the winners, so check your email and see if you’re one of the lucky two. I’l be mailing out the books and goodies next week to their new homes.

Didn’t win this time? That’s OK, head over to Amazon and get the e-book Soul Coffee for Moms: Quiet Time Meditations from God’s Word FOR FREE from now until Sunday September 7! Don’t fret if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the Kindle App for free for your iPhone or iPad and enjoy Soul Coffee.

Read it? Enjoyed it? I’d love to hear your feedback as an Amazon review! Thanks, friends!

Soul Coffee for Moms… and a Giveaway!

Last fall, I joined in with the 30 days of blogging challenge that Emily Freeman hosts at Chatting at the Sky. I spent the month writing devotional snippets for moms and calling them Soul Coffee. I was so encouraged by some of the feedback from those posts and decided to edit the material, add some more to round out the content, and publish it all into a book.

I wrote a book. A BOOK Y’ALL. With a title page and an ISBN number and an adorable cover painted by my expat mommy friend, Priscila.

A lifelong dream was realized when I saw my book listed on Amazon last night!

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Squeeeeeeeeee! (And how awesome that you can save 7 cents if you buy now! Teeheehee! Can you tell I’m giddy and excited?)

Really it’s not a long or a fancy book. It’s simply some devotional meditations to get busy, tired mommies into the pages of Scripture. Coffee to wake up their souls to the treasure of the Gospel and the Savior waiting to spend time with them each day. I pray it will remind moms of the love their God has for them, and encourage them to read the Bible each day– even if they only have a few minutes to sit down at the jelly-sticky table while the toddlers watch a cartoon, and read a verse while drinking a cup of coffee that’s been re-heated twice between serving cereal and changing diapers. Yes, moms I know your life.

You can buy Soul Coffee for Moms on Amazon (paperback or e-book), or at CreateSpace. Yippy skippy!

Because I’m super stoked, I’d like to give two copies of my book away! I’m gonna pack them up with some of my favorite goodies (think earrings and scarves!) and send them to two friends! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway ends September 4, good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Waiting and Grieving

Last year we were anxiously waiting for July 11th because we were supposed to find out if S, a waiting child we applied for, could be adopted by us (if our agency got her file). We felt hopeful and near the end of the adoption process, so I never would have guessed that a year later we would still be waiting and we would be no closer to bringing our daughter home than we were then. It is a discouraging thought.

The grief I have felt during this process– for the girls who we tried to adopt who were matched before us, for the girls I have wanted to adopt who had health needs beyond what we can realistically handle being overseas, over knowing our daughter is family-less and not being able to DO anything to make this move faster. It’s heart-wrenching and often churning only inside me. It’s not visible as I keep taking my kids to swim lessons and digging the Legos out of the couch cushions and cutting the crusts off PB&J sandwiches. Grief is funny like that.

I still pray over the faces I’ve seen. I pray for A and B and T and H and S and P and C, who we pursued adopting to some degree or another. I still grieve for their losses of biological parents and siblings and beseech Almighty God to place them in loving forever families. I still think about them and wonder where they are (most of them are home or on their way!) I am still changed by encountering their stories and their realities. I am forever changed by orphan girls who I will never meet or hold.

People don’t understand. Someone wrote to me recently that Jesus doesn’t want us to adopt as shown by our lack of a match and we are disobeying Him to continue in the process. That made me super mad! Who the heck do you think you are? And why would God give you special insight into our life and our calling as a family? And how did you come by information about His sovereign will? We live in a world that glorifies instant gratification. We have even spiritualized that “fast food culture” and tell each other if something’s not happening, it’s not God’s will. It must be a “closed door”, so He can open a window. What a bunch of cheesy Christian-ese baloney.

Of course I have questioned this calling (is calling synonymous with burden?!) and wondered if we heard wrong? How easy it would be to just ignore those promptings we first felt in 2011? And the knowledge of the global orphan crisis? And the mandates from God’s Word about the fatherless?… But it’s all true and I know what He asked us to do and I can’t call a cease and desist. I just can’t.

I serve a God who calls His people to hard things. He doesn’t value their happiness, He values their holiness. And do you know when we are made holy? When we can’t put down His Word because we want to know what He says… When we’re on our knees begging Him for more of Himself… When we don’t feel like we can handle it on our own… When we’re in the middle of HARD THINGS.

So last July 11 came and passed. This July 11 is passing as well, with no news, no match, no end in sight. But I continue to believe that God is in control and His plans for my family will not be thwarted. We will endure the hard work of waiting by His grace, and in His timing our wait will (finally) be over.

Summa

We haven’t officially hit that day of Summer Solstice, but can we all agree, it’s summer?

School is out, the temps have soared and I remember, yet again, that I just don’t like summer. You can keep your Pinterest-pinned summer bucket lists, and your pool memberships, and your tanned legs. I’ll even give up my iced coffee. I just want some moderate fall or spring weather. Please.

We live in the land of no central a/c which means that you get hot and stay hot during June, July and August. Body odor reigns supreme on stifling buses and metros as you go about your daily business (I try to keep my business inside during the daylight hours for this reason!). You just have to go ahead and remind yourself that you’re gonna sweat. And sweat. And sweat. It’s two (sometimes three) shower a day kinda weather.

I had this romantic notion that if we could find an accessible outdoor pool to spend some time enjoying, summer would feel better. I grew up in a club pool each summer– days spent chasing and swimming and snacking and falling into bed exhausted each night. I heard of one that was supposedly close by and we took off Tuesday to try and locate it. We should probably have gotten the hint when the GPS had no clue where we were trying to send it, but we pressed on. Off the highway, through some villages, over the bumpy faux roads, and past the groves of olive trees. And then we found it!

And the pool/water park is closed for renovations until further notice. Hmmmm. Why didn’t they renovate during the winter, you ask?

What a logical thought. (One I entertained myself even).

And then I remember that we live overseas. And it’s not always logical.

So, we inflated the balcony kiddie pool left over from last summer that has a gimpy side, and threw some popsicles at the kids, and called it a fun summer day.

What have you been up to this summer?

Feeling Shy

I think I dreamed about blogging last night. Well, that and drinking a ginormous sweet tea from McAllister’s Deli and eating an order of chips and salsa solo. I know, my dreams are pure glam y’all.

I write, it’s what I do. I scribble prayers and words to help me process, I string sentences to express my heart. I just have been doing that in journals and scrap papers and Word docs and haven’t made the time to do that here lately. And I kinda miss it.

The internet (Internet? Does it need a capital?) has certainly changed our lives. Blogging was such a comfort to me as a new mommy in 2008 when I started Momfessions and reached out into the depths of the Web to find comfort and camaraderie. Nowadays blogs have seemingly been replaced with the faster paced tempo of Facebook and Instagram and who knows what else (apparently not I.)

I don’t want to generate a six figure income here. I don’t really want to do reviews or link you to products or pretend I have it enough together to start a blog feature. I don’t even want to go to blogging conferences and pretend I know what’s going on. I just want to come back to my space, and I don’t know why I feel so shy about that.

I cleaned up some, but I am still working on clearing debris from the archives and tidying up the place, but by all means grab a latte or an entire bag of M&Ms and make yourself at home.

This is my blog. And I like to write here.