Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Service Star from Heart on Your Wrist

I had the pleasure of collaborating with one of my FAVORITE online stores, heartonyourwrist.com to design a piece of jewelry honoring men and women serving in our armed forces who are deployed all over the world.

My concept of a wearable, fashionable and simple Service Star to show pride for my husband currently deployed to Iraq, was turned into this beautiful sterling silver necklace thanks to Beth and her company's commitment to customer service and satisfaction.

Please consider this as a gift for friends or family who have loved ones who serve our country past or present.  Each necklace can hold up to three stars for multiple loved ones serving in harms way.

Thank you Beth for this amazing opportunity!

For everyone who orders from seeing this post please enter the coupon code STARS10 at checkout and receive 10% off your order!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Praying Effectively Through The School Year

Today's Faith Deployed article focuses on praying scripturally for our children!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I Will Not Apologize For Adopting

I Will Not...

1.  ...apologize for adopting my sweet daughter.  You can not convince me that her life would have been better in an orphanage or foster care.

2.  ...make politically correct excuses for why we chose international adoption over domestic. It's none of your business.

3.  ...apologize for refusing to blend our daughter's religion of birth with our faith and maintain with certainty that she was brought out of darkness and into Light. Amen.

4.  ...apologize for the amount of money that was spent on the adoption process and would happily do it again.

5.  ...apologize for raising my daughter as an American first.  Her nationality is a part of her history but her home, her freedom and her opportunity come from here.

I Will...

6.  ...love my daughter with every fiber of my being not because she was adopted and fragile, but because she is my daughter and a gift from God.

7.  ...raise her to define herself not by her circumstances, but by the freedom she has in Christ Jesus.

8.  ...pray for her that her adoption into the Kingdom of Heaven becomes her greatest joy. 

9.   ...encourage her to ask questions, seek answers and heal any wound that is a result of her adoption experience.

10.  ...share in her tears for the loss she has suffered.

11.  ...hold her hand for the moments that matter...her wedding day, the birth of her first child, meeting her birth mother...I will be there.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Book Review: Choosing To SEE: A Journey of Struggle and Hope

Please see the following link for my review on Mary Beth Chapman's moving book, Choosing to SEE.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Today I find myself in quite a pitiful state. Not completely happy and not completely sad but some strange place in between.

Prim started her first day of preschool today. Yes, she began last year but it was only two days a week and this year she will be gone four days a week. As I watched her go into her new class, after just yesterday waving goodbye to G as he began his second grade year, I lamented over how quickly it has all gone.  Time is quickly passing me by and I fear that I haven't captured it enough, remembered enough.  I worry that the little things that make having a child so precious are going to be forgotten.

My expectations have had to shift since May. You see, at this point I hoped to be pregnant, just in the beginning stages of showing off a baby bump.  How it hurts my heart that I do not have this small gift to carry along with me.  I didn't think it would hurt this much but in the quiet of my own mind today I found myself longing for what seems to be missing.

Is it supposed to feel like we're always saying goodbye? Goodbye to expectations, goodbye to our children as they grow a year older, goodbye to a season that we thought would outlast our dreams.  I ask God so often why, why, why that I wonder if He's still listening. But maybe it's me who's not hearing.  I read His Word that says:

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  1 Peter 6-7

and not only do I think of my own trials; this deployment, infertility and a small brood growing older by the minute, but I think of the people that I see around me who are suffering and I feel overwhelmed.  A friend of mine often posts on Facebook about about a family who just lost their daughter to an aggressive form of brain cancer. She was five. She was alive one day and the next she was gone, resting in the arms of Jesus.  Or I read Mary Beth Chapman's new book about losing her daughter, Maria, and I think to myself, is this what perspective looks like? How can I possibly feel this way with what they have suffered through?

Maybe it would seem easier if H were home.  Him being gone only magnifies the loneliness and I know that he would stand next to me and say "they're getting so big, where did the time go?"... And then I think of him being seven thousand miles away and not being able to kiss them goodbye on their first day of school or hug them when he gets home. Again-perspective.   

I know tomorrow will be a new day and the goodbyes won't feel quite so difficult. And maybe in November, when there is a welcome hello they won't seem so harsh to begin with.  But for now, I pray that I will be proven faithful and that He always be in it...

My Life

Just a bit about me...

click here to read a bit about my military wife life!

Monday, September 06, 2010

We Are All Adopted

 Please check out my article this week at Christian Military Wives new online magazine "Wives in Bloom".  I love sharing how adoption has made such an amazing impact on my life and my faith!

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Wordless Weekend: What Love Looks Like

Rachel's Birthday Video from Kristian Anderson on Vimeo.

The husband has been battling liver and bowel cancer since last October...

Friday, September 03, 2010

Back To School

I have to say that this upcoming school year has not been without trepidation.  I don't know why but I felt like this was a defining year for my kids and their education.  When we were in California and decided to pull G from public school to place him in a private Christian school I felt like I was making a big statement about how he was going to be educated going forward.
Our move to Virginia, before we were able to place him in said private school, gave us two options. Send G to the local public school (which was raved about by friends and strangers alike) or send him to a private Christian school which would cost $10,000 more than what we would have been spending in California. I hate to say it but the bank account won hands down.
There were things I loved about G's new school and things that made me cringe. I loved that they pushed the kids academically and physically. Who knew first graders would have to run a mile-yes that's one full mile- multiple times a week or that they would have to create their own country with a capital, means of leadership (king or president) and country motto. Hey, for first grade I thought it was pretty great!
I cringed at the way the lunch room ladies were nasty to the children they so obviously labeled as "troublemakers" and still think that it's disgraceful that there is a naughty table for kids who are not following the rules-and it seems like these rules include talking above a whisper.  To place kids at a table that is more like being on exhibit skates a fine line between breaking a child's spirit and discipline.  I will NEVER forget the day that we brought cupcakes to the lunch room for G's birthday and one of the little boys who always seemed to be at the naughty table started to cry because he thought he was going to be excluded. My heart broke when I saw a grown woman lash out at him and tell him to knock it off.  Was this where I wanted my child?
My other concern was that after a while I didn't feel like his classroom was a good fit for him and that is when I began to worry about the upcoming second grade year.
This school year Gabe tested into a gifted and talented cluster class. After watching my best friend struggle with her son and his gifted class-or lack thereof-I worried about my G's upcoming experience.  Would he be challenged and encouraged to be his best without expecting perfection?  Would he have a teacher that can look past flaws in handwriting, attention to detail and silly mistakes and see the brilliant and compassionate little boy who can light up a room just by walking through the door?
At this point you may be laughing at me and my expectations for my children. I know that there is never a perfect teacher or perfect school. I'm not a perfect mother so I get it. But my son is going to spend-as he has in the past two years-seven hours a day with a person that is not me! And that's ok in theory but really-I struggle with that.
So back to the trepidation. I started to wonder if this year would be the one that pushed me to home school. To keep the kids at home where I know them inside and out, where I could ultimately look at myself as a mother and say I did the best in every circumstance including their education. My best friend was now doing it and would be completely supportive and after our first grade year considering home school versus private school we had been at this place before.  What was best?
Back to school night was last night and I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw.  Even after hearing positive feedback regarding his new teacher I was still hesitant.  I can honestly say that today I am excited for the start of school on Tuesday. I saw a woman that was both nurturing and resourceful, experienced and mature in her teaching style and I like that.
I think the first day of school is going to be difficult for me. Not only because I am watching this little boy whom I used to carry in my arms as a baby walk away towards a new adventure, but because H will not be here to experience it with us. It's just one more memory that we will have without him, one more step towards the future that will include him waving goodbye to the yellow school bus.
I hope that as families, both mom and dad, walk their children to school on their first day that they remember all of the kids who will be without a parent because of their service to our country.  If you have a child in your son or daughter's class who has a parent deployed overseas, consider doing something special for them or their family. You won't believe what a difference you'll make.

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