Wednesday, November 30, 2011

if we wait til we can handle something... we'll do nothing...

i caught myself singing the lyrics to jingle bells a little while ago and i got so tickled... i love life... as stinky and as hard as sometimes it can be... i love life...  it doesn't negate my desire for life in heaven... it just makes it stronger... because there will be none of the stinky parts and the good parts will be better...  so... while i long for my new home i am going to enjoy every second of my time here until i leave for it... so as the lyrics of the song go... i will be laughing all the way...

the kids are all away this afternoon and i've been preparing for a Bible study for January...  when i looked around a minute ago i began to belly laugh yet AGAIN!  if the social worker came today that would be it... i would be deemed unsuitable...  besides the fact i've been at the computer all day and i am unshowered... here is what i see when i look around...

yes, thats my desk under all those books and papers :)

and yeah that is a tall ladder in the middle of our foyer (that has been there since saturday when we began the decorations)  and behind it... that is our table covered in decorations, also there since sat :)

so i laughed outloud at the thought of adding more to our household (as many others have)... more to the chaos we call home... more to the craziness of the Newsom clan...  is this really the time Lord??

however something i've found to be true with me and lots of others is this... if we wait until we think we can handle something or when we can afford it, we most often end up doing nothing...  so why not now? 

interesting thing i have found about God's timing and His will verses mine is that He doesn't ask me if i think i can handle something, nor does He request a time frame that i am willing to do His will in, nor does He even ask if it is a good time for me and my family, HE SIMPLY ASKS IF I AM AVAILABLE AND WILLING TO OBEY!   

and the resounding answer is YES LORD SEND ME!!  wherever, whenever, however, to do whatever...  that includes opening my home for MORE TO LOVE...  for MORE TO SHARE THE LOVE OF THE FATHER WITH... yes and for more to join in the chaos we call home...

how grateful i am JESUS was WILLING to be available and obedient so that I would know the Fathers love...

as i was closing this tree caught my eye... so i had to snap a shot and include it... it is the tree i cherish most... it is in my office (so the kids won't throw away the ornaments)... it is full of amazing memories... it has ornaments all over it that the kids have made and given me over the years... although they complain about them... they come in and reminence over all the fond memories that we have had over the years... they have NEVER complained once about the chaos that surrounded the time frame of each of the ornaments but instead they smile and laugh about the family that was there walking with them through each step of thier life that the ornaments represent...  why wouldn't i want to share that :)

Can i handle it... IF GOD SAYS SO!!


Saturday, November 26, 2011

got lemons... make lemonade!

what an awesome time of year... i love thanksgiving!  we had an incredible time with family and friends... we ate too much, talked continually and laughed often...  i had even gotten wind of a program the boys had at school where one said he was thankful for "his new mom" and the other said he was thankful for "his new home"... i mean really?  i am so blessed... how much better does it get...

yet yesterday after all the guests were long gone and the girls and i were setting up our new homeschool room... yes you heard me right (i can hear you laughing out loud :)... we've all decided we really do love our new lifestyle so we are sticking with it...

i got the news... the hearing wasn't what we thought it would be (imagine that, hehe)...  a new date has been set, December 7th.  i found myself moments later sitting in the boys room embarrassingly being not so thankful!  BUT God in His infinite grace wasn't going to allow me to stay in my self absorbed, ungrateful mode very long... He had a life lesson too teach me, YET AGAIN :) 

as i was sitting there (must have been there a while) staring at their pictures (from our meeting almost two years ago) stating in my mind how "stinky" this news was (with a face twisted up probably much like someone sucking on a lemon)... i heard a beating sound coming from down the hall... so i stood and walked across the hall and opened the door and this is what i found...

i love how God meets me where i am, never tiring of my childishness... and i love how He uses my little ones to remind me of the opportunities before me... :)

see Gracie wants drums and has for a LONG time... however, we won't buy her drums... we have had the conversation many times about the fact that when we feel she is ready for them THEN we will give them to her... sometimes the answer sits well and sometimes not...

BUT this time i love what she did about it... instead of fussing she made the most out of the moment...  this time when she didn't get what she wanted (and got lemons instead)... she chose to make lemonade out of them instead of whine or fuss... she found some toy buckets, made her a drum set and was playing some sweet, LOUD music :)  i giggled as i walked away (of course after videoing her in concert)... with a completely different mind set!

God knows when we are ready for them... He knows when they are ready to be here... He knows when His kingdom will be best served... He knows when our families reunion will bring Him the most Glory... He knows the exact time and date it will all happen... and His plan is perfect :)

so the next time i think i am getting served lemons in this adoption process... i think i will follow Gracie's example and see if i can't make some good 'ol lemonade out of the circumstance :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

really... wait some more?!?

sat was my niece's b'day party... and it was at CHUCKEE CHEESE...  (i will not share my opinion about this particular location... you can guess... :)

aren't they cute... so anyway... we had been there a while when the infamous chuckee cheese made his way out... it was only minutes before Gracie was tugging at my sleeve... as you can imagine the scene went something like this...
   "mom, come... hurry Chuckee is over there." 
   "yeah, sweetie be there in a minute."
   "no really hurry... he is going to be gone."
   "no baby... trust me... he is here ALL DAY!"
   "i want a picture with him, pleeeeeeeeeease!"
   "wait just a sec, i'll be there!"
   "no, no, no, you see he's gonna leave."
   "honey, really if we go over now, we have to stand in that LONG line."
   "mom, come on, do you know where we are?"
   "just wait a few more minutes and we'll go..."
   "i've been waiting... pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeese!" 

so we went and stood in line and waited :)  some of you laughed all the way through that conversation because you've had it!

anyway i have a point for sharing the story... as i sat back and thought over the whole scene i got tickled... and the more i thought about it the harder i laughed... because i am Gracie (just in grown up body)...

every day since last December i have woken up and literally said "ok Lord is this the day we get the news?"  last year i even said out loud "i am boarding a plane on dec 16th (2010) to go get them"... ha...

i have read into things and created my own story line... and you can guess how that worked out... i've cried and kicked my feet... you can figure that one out too i'm sure... i've told our story again and again... to some with glazed eyes... i have handled each day different... however at the end of the day each and every one of them for 11 months now has been the same gentle reminder... just wait...

so how have i responded? well to my embarrassment... and totally being transparent... my dialogue has sounded just like Gracie... except it just wasn't said out loud! 

it went something like...  "God hurry!"  "we need to get there."  "they need us."  "really Lord do you know where they are?"  "they'd be so much better if we'd get there!"

i could keep going but honestly i don't want to... i'm sure you get the picture...

as i have been so incredibly impatient over the years... i have to exclaim... it is all worth it... the wait has TAUGHT US SO MUCH!  God is so patient, kind and good!  He never tires of my 8 year old behaviors... He doesn't leave me hanging nor does He applaud my inappropriate behavior when i don't get my way... He meets me where i am and gives me the opportunity to learn from Him how to be more like Jesus in the circumstance...

His faithfulness blows my mind... He is always beside me as i wait for the next step of our journey... and He has never wasted a moment of the wait... this journey has brought me face to face with my selfishness and my ridiculous need to know the next step... it has been humbling to say the least...

so what about the boys... they are being SO BLESSED by God during this wait... when it's all done and said and i can share the whole story with you i will... God's hand prints are all over them and us as our roads continue to weave together... a beautiful picture of God's glory is being painted through HIS STORY in all of our lives... so yes we will be waiting some more... but i can say with complete confidence... it is worth it!

We have no confirm yet on the supposed meeting this Friday, but will let you know when we know.  Regardless of this weeks outcome... we know God's got this :)


Friday, November 18, 2011

just relax...

i don't know about you but when someone tells me to "just relax" it is not usually because they are trying to be thoughtful :)  I'm not very good at it, yet often it is exactly what i need to do.  this morning i had just gotten all three girls stationed in their school space with their assignments for the hour in front of them when i decided I'd JUST RELAX.   well that lasted about 10 minutes before my eyes rested on a photo of one of our boys and my mind went crazy with thoughts like:  will the judge look at our paperwork today?  will the boys hear that we've been pronounced their parents?  will we be traveling in January?  who should i email or call to find out?  and i could list 20 more questions that sound something of the same...  i began struggling to "take every thought captive and obedient to Christ"...  and as i began to seek Him for help... my eyes fell on two of the sweetest pics...

of our four shih-tzu's, these two: daisy and cookie, were in immediate eye shot... now they are relaxed!

it didn't take but a minute as i stared at them before i felt God move within my Spirit as He spoke over me...  and this is what i heard:  "what makes them just relax LeAnn?  is it that they trust you!  they trust you to feed them, to comfort them, to protect them and to care for them...  they have experience with you and know you are their care giver... so when you are near... they can relax!  I AM WITH YOU ALL THE TIME!  you can trust me... i will feed you, comfort you, protect you and care for you... you have experience with me as your caregiver... i will never leave your side so just relax!!  I'm over the situation and in control, so just relax!"

i began to feel my shoulders ease and my bite loosen... being anxious today will do nothing for the situation... emailing and calling around will do nothing but frustrate all the officials... BUT trusting in the Lord... crying out TO HIM on their behalf... and then relaxing and letting Him handle all the details... now that is my best course of defense for all I'm going to take my cue from the pups!

if the courts met today i will let you know, otherwise next Friday would be the next possible date :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

slowing down...

i have had the indescribable joy of discussing being the hands and feet of Jesus with a group of youth the last couple of months.  however, as exciting as the discussion has been, i have found it to be even more enjoyable to work alongside of them practicing what we've discussed.  two of those youth happen to be my daughters...  i caught one on camera the other day as she was working alongside Mr Randy...

what i love about this photo is that the smile on Jordan's face is not posed...  but it's not just her... all the students have that same smile every week as we work... what a blessing!  they are ready and available every week to go and work... wherever needed... doing whatever asked...  that is quite a task for the busy teens we have these days.  for each student, working at this food distribution center each week is their choice... they had to choose it above other things crying out for their time. 

each week as we enter we are greeted by Mr Randy and Mrs Kimberly, who are NEVER in a hurry!  we pray over our work and then we eagerly get started... but NEVER are we in a hurry!  we talk about their lives and ours, we laugh together, we work together, we accomplish together... but NEVER in a hurry!  they have both become precious to each of us as we have slowed down and taken the time to know them and serve others alongside of them... wow, the lessons we would have missed if we had not chosen to spend time with them... lives we would have missed the opportunity to bless in the name of Jesus if we had not slowed down to participate. 

as i continue to sit in the "wait" over our adoption (oh how i so wish i could sit across from you with a glass of tea and a BIG piece of chocolate cake) i have failed to spend ample time gushing about GOD'S FAITHFULNESS!!!!  as much as i would love to have my boys... i wouldn't trade God's timing for mine (i've seen my results too many times).  God has used this adoption process and our two years of "wait" to reveal to us so many areas of our lives that we are missing the good God stuff because of our level of hurry!  and not only are we missing it, but worse is that we are training our children to do the same.  checking scripture and looking at our level of busyness from a Biblical perspective has been humbling :(

we are here TO KNOW GOD and MAKE HIM KNOWN in all situations and circumstances!  the particular circumstance or situation that our family finds itself in that speaks the loudest right now is our adoption...  so... i pray that we slow down and enjoy God's ride through it... basking in who He is, knowing Him more and making the most of exclaiming His Glory through it all!

i can't wait to share God's story with you through the lives of our newest family members... it will be glorious whenever and however it takes place... the reunion is around the corner :)   


Friday, November 11, 2011

He is in the details...

the papers were hand delivered yesterday to the "peeps" and the next hearing is either fri the 18th or the 25th... at that point the match between our family and the boys should be made... we'll wait and see what the Lord has in store... 

the whole thing this week has left my shoulders sore and my head hurting...  i was exhausted and tired from the week... and God showed up right where i needed Him!!!  i was blessed by the Shellums this am with an unexpected massage... can i say my shoulders feel great!!

and months ago my friend Kasi and i had decided to take our girls to see Casting Crowns in concert tonight... can you say A NIGHT OF INCREDIBLE WORSHIP... i believe it is just what the doctor ordered... He is always in the details...

will let you know what i hear next!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Smiling at the simple :)

i love it when God gives us a kiss on the head, just in the ordinary and simple of our day.  i just got word that our package has arrived in Brazil and is set to be delivered to whomever the "peeps in charge" are :)  however, we know that GOD IS IN CONTROL! we'll see what happens next!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

God's plan is best!

so much for our Christmas in Brazil... truth is, it is probably not on the horizon since our original documents haven't made it to Brazil yet :)  although this is not the plan i wanted or prayed for... i know God's plan is better and that all things are working for the BEST for all involved!

in my time with the Lord early this morning, before those in the house began to stir, i read out of a devotional by Oswald these words:

"All your circumstances are in the hand of God, and therefore you don't ever have to think they are unnatural or unique.  God, by His providence, brings you into circumstances that you can't understand at all but the Spirit of God understands." 

i had been pondering this all day when all of a sudden i had an aha moment and the truth of this statement really sunk in... all my girls, the ones God has uniquely placed into my life today, were gathered around the table studying Porteguese (the language that my other children speak)... and my eyes filled with tears... what a gift...

see i was NEVER having kids.  my mom teases me constantly about my stance all through my younger years; i was rebellious and terrible, mean and unkind and totally self absorbed.  i was filled with the ridiculous idea that i didn't want the headache... how it breaks my heart today to think about it!  i am so grateful that even through my stubborness, God did not give up on me!

He had a plan, He was always working behind the scenes.  as much as i wish i could wash some years of rebellion away... that i could rinse some memories down the drain forever... those years of heartache and brokenness are what brought me to my knees as a beggar before the Lord.  

as He began to break me... the dam of self absorption began to dissolve some (i wish all, but that's far from the truth)!  and i began to love from a depth i had not known before...  my desires changed and my attitudes softened. 

as i look into the faces of those gathered around the table, i am so grateful that i am not in control and never have been!  i am so thankful for a better plan... HIS PLAN!

God absolutly loves my Brazilian babies WAY MORE than i do.  and He is working out thier future for an eternal purpose, one that is WAY BETTER then i can dream up or imagine.  so although i don't know the plan today, tomorrow, this month or the remainder of this year, HE DOES... and it is the BEST!

I am so grateful for an all knowing God!!  LeAnn 


Saturday, November 5, 2011

Not what i want... but is as He says...

i cannot thank you enough for all your prayers thru this journey and your continued prayers that will see us through.  i am not sure what all is going on behind the scenes but i know with UNMOVED CONFIDENCE that God is in control.  i know He answered our prayers in a better way than we can imagine yesterday, but it was NOT the way i had wanted. 

i was on a field trip yesterday at the space and rocket center when the call came...

after hearing the verdict, i would have to say my heart grieved greatly, and the pent up tears almost began to flow. (see... truth is: even though i had prayed intently for GOD'S WILL TO BE DONE, at the end of the day i wanted my way).  but... all said and done the copied papers were NOT enough, no match was made. 

God had planned ahead for this moment though... as i was literally trying to draw a breath, trying to hold it together yet again... amazing friends stepped in immediately...  they surrounded me, joined hands and did all we had available to us to do... Anissa prayed God's strength and covering through it all.  then my girlfriends took my kids and urged me onward in the battle...  and so i found myself, yet again off to find papers and get them scanned and this time fed exed to South America in hopes the judge would change his ruling soon. 

as i crawled in my car in the parking lot i almost lost my resolve... but i stated outloud in a broken voice... THE ENEMY HAS NO PLACE HERE, I WILL PRAISE HIM!  So i turned up the worship music and sang outloud as tears of pain stayed tucked in their ducts and words of truth ministered to my aching heart.  GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!  after alot of stops i finally made it to the fed ex office in time to get them sent out.  EVERYTHING in my flesh said go home, whine, complain, stomp your feet and lick your wounds, BUT not in my spirit... the words i heard speaking over my aching heart were... DO NOT GROW FAINT...  DO NOT GROW WEARY OF DOING GOOD...  DO NOT GIVE UP NOR GIVE IN... SPEAK LOUD MY TRUTH!!

so i headed on to target to get the fixings for a game night at friends, came home prepared the food and went with a smile on my face...

i told the story countless times, (the exact reason i didn't want to go) yet... what i found was that with each new person i shared with... the resolve grew stronger.  see everytime i shared through the night it reminded me of how blessed i am... it reminded me of the truth: that God NEVER gave up on me... HE never grew tired of pursuing and fighting for me... He never grew tired of the heartaches or the pains that were part of the process... as He was seeking to ADOPT ME INTO HIS FOREVER FAMILY, He NEVER QUIT on me!!  (and I am SO GRATEFUL!)

this new mountain i found myself standing at the base of yesterday has presented our family with yet another opportunity of choice... will we fight or complain, get better because of the hurdles or get bitter??  it is our choice...

so after many hours this morning in quiet time on bended knee... with the ONLY ONE that can give me the strength and resolve to move onward... (and check out my friends surrounding me, how good is our God :)

the choice has been made... with new resolve...  i choose to not GIVE UP... and not only do i choose, but i will fight with a spring in my step and a smile on my face because it is today as God says it is...  can i just say with new meaning... watch out enemy I AM READY!  He is worthy!!  LeAnn

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Prayer Warriors Needed!!!!

i know you all have been praying for us diligently and i have no right to make a bigger request, but... prayer is my one and only weapon of defense. so... i'm asking you my friends to join my family in yet another pursuit of the Lord's mighty hand in the matter :)  because i know that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD, i am choosing to believe that tomorrow will go off with out a hitch.

in the morning (approx 11 a.m our time) there will be a special called meeting (it has been agreed upon by all the officials involved).  in that meeting we are praying that the judge will rule that scanned documents are sufficient for us to move forward.  there are two documents that he still does not have the originals, which he needs.  However, IF GOD SAYS SO, the call will be made on our behalf that we can move forward inspite of this complication. 

if this happens our paperwork can be finalized as early as next week and our prayer will have been answered!!  we are praying that we spend Thanksgiving with the boys, lifting high the name of Jesus in thier country and then Christmas here with the boys, lifting high the name of Jesus in our country ALL AS ONE FAMILY!

we know God is the final decider, so we are asking, if it is HIS WILL, that tomorrows decision slides our way :)  thanks for sticking beside us, we couldn't make it without you!  LeAnn