Thursday, April 28, 2011

Adoption is pretty amazing....

Monday started out with a lot of anticipation. But ended with the best news I have heard in months... if not years! My sister Alicia and brother in law Ryan found out Monday at 5:00pm they were going to be parents. For those of you who don't know the story, Alicia and her husband Ryan have been waiting to adopt for over a year. With several failed placements, they were faithful that God knew their prayers and would deliver as he promised. You see, God lead them to adoption. It wasn't something that was a fall back plan when conceiving of their own didn't work. They knew it was something God wanted for their life. And Monday, they found out that they could take their little girl home with them the following day.

I couldn't imagine a more perfect little girl to join this family. She will be loved with everything we have in us. Alicia is going to be an incredible mother. Ryan, a wonderful father. I always knew that they would get a baby through adoption, but I must admit, after a while, I questioned on if we would be waiting FOREVER! Well, our wait is over. We have been blessed with a little princess they named Keira Leigh. We are so excited to have you in our lives. I can't wait to meet you and love on you. You are even more beautiful than I ever imagined you could be. Perfect is the only word I can think of to describe you. :) I would like to thank your birth mother for the beautiful sacrifice she made for you. The amount of love she must have had is admirable. I know Alicia and Ryan will do everything in their power to always protect you and love you. You are extremely blessed to have these two as your parents, and we are even more blessed to have you.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Homemade pregnancy tests

Okay, I found this on the web, and I thought... I have A LOT of pregnant friends right now. So I'm wondering... How many will do these and post if they are accurate? I'd like to see if I can get a true answer to if these really work. 

Here we go. 

      Test #1:
    Put some pine sol in a cup/glass and add some of your pee to it...if it changes color,supposedly you are pregnant.

Test #2:
Add small amount of bleach in a cup (1 or 2 cap fulls) and add pee to it; if it froths or fizzes you are supposedly pregnant.

Test #3:
 Collect leaves and stems of dandelions ,thoroughly sature the leaves, let it sit for a while, if the leaves get red blisters on them,supposedly you are pregnant.

Test #4:
Put white toothpaste on a plate and pour pee onto it if it turns blue or changes color you are supposedly pregnant.

Now, of course, I have no idea when these would be accurate if they DO work. But who doesn't like a little old wise tale? :) 

PLEASE don't forget to post the results!! :) 

Temper, Temper

Do I ever have one. I have been dealing with my temper and the way I handle things for years. I have always been fast to speak and slow to listen. I can dish out criticism really easily, but when its given to me, I don't always take it well. Today my temper was tested. My immediate thought was "I hate when I have to talk to stupid people!" After our conversation was over, I felt convicted by God to really sit down and re-think the situation. Perhaps this lady was so overwhelmed at work that she honestly just forgot to call me back (for the past month) or she's dealing with things beyond my imagination at home and doing the best she cannot to bring those worries to work with her. I then went back and forth with God about my reasoning behind my behavior and feelings towards this lady. Yes, I actually argued out loud with him!! 
"If she can't do her job, she should quit. Or if she can't keep up with the work load, she should talk to her boss about it. Regardless of HOW it's handled, I should not be paying the price. And right now, I AM!!"
Our gracious God reminded me of this... In James 1:20, God says ..."for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God".  I take this as anger turns to sin when it is selfishly motivated. Instead of using my energy generated by anger to attack the problem at hand, it was this women being attacked. I have to admit, I was a bit frustrated at God for showing my fault in all this. I mean, it IS a form of criticism. And I don't like to be given criticism! I have a fault that can be hurtful to others if I don't control it. So, with that being said. My goal is to speak slower and attack the problem instead of the person. My "count to 10 moment" needs to be used to reflect upon the Godly way to handle the situation opposed to letting my fallen nature or first reaction hurt others. 

As I'm writing this... I hear Brennon (age 3) singing VERY LOUDLY in the other room "He's still working on me...." Yep... I guess He's still working on me too. 

Monday, April 18, 2011


I know we all have it, but do we have it throughout every aspect of our live? I have started to question if I have truly given everything to God and have faith that He knows my needs better than I do. I think Faith is something that is hard to have in difficult situations. Weather it be something that really doesn't seem to be that important, or maybe it's something that is really important and you just can't let God take complete control over.  Or maybe you feel like you have given to God, but you still wonder and question the situation. That's not faith. I say this a lot. "If you're going to pray for rain, you better carry an umbrella!"

I have met a lot people who's faith has been tested. One of the most important people in my life has had faith tested over and over again. I have asked her to write a little something on her faith throughout her journey with adoption.

From my beautiful sister Alicia:

Faith... That is such a wonderful word isn't it? The first definition given in the dictionary for Faith is: confidence or trust in a person or thing. To me Faith is so much more than that and it's definitely not confidence in a person or a thing... it's complete confidence in God, the one who created us and loves us more than we can even begin to imagine. During our journey to start a family, my Faith has truly been tested! We spent 3 years trying to get pregnant and every month my Faith took a hit when that test showed a negative reading. Before we finally decided to start the Adoption process, my Faith was all but gone. Sadly I was bitter and felt sorry for myself. I felt like God was never going to give me what I wanted the most in this world, a baby to love. I still remember the hardest day for me was finding out my sister was pregnant with her 3rd child (who I love dearly and was very happy for but at the same time it made me sad for myself) and finding out a coworker was pregnant with her 2nd on the same day. It was a hard day but after that day, I realized that I was too blessed to be so sad all the time! Soon after, I started researching Adoption. My husband wasn't quite ready to take the plunge, so I researched and finally about 6 months later, he was on board! We started the process in late August 2009 and although it hasn't been easy, it's been a wonderful ride so far! Once we started this process, my attitude improved and my Faith was restored. We have now been officially waiting a little over a year and have had several failed matches. Our first failed match was definitely the hardest but it taught us so much about the process, about our Faith and how strong it was and about each other and our support system (family & friends). To say it was hard is an understatement! Imagine being at the hospital while what you think is going to be your son is born and being at the hospital for 2 days only to get a call on the 3rd day that he's not your son. It was hard BUT we made it through and are stronger because of it. The fact of the matter is that we were not meant to be his parents. I don't know why we go through things like that but I do know that God has a plan and there is a reason. Maybe God knew we were strong enough to handle it. Maybe he wanted us to see that we were strong enough. Or maybe he just wanted us to pray for that baby and his parents (which we do still today!). I may never know why we have had such a rough journey so far, but I know that even now when we are still waiting, I would do it all again in a heartbeat! I have met some of the best people throughout this process and have made lifelong friends in the process but most importantly, I've grown so much closer to HIM than I've ever been and for that in itself, I'm eternally grateful! I know that the day will come when we will finally get to meet the baby that God has selected for us because "The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made." Psalm 145:13b. He IS Faithful because of that my Faith will always been in him! For Christmas, my Mother-In-Law gave me a plaque that I have hanging above my kitchen window that reads, “Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” I'm sure that he is always there and that he will never let me down!
I have to say, I don't know that I could keep faith quite like this if I were put through all the tests that they have been put through. I like to say that I have a lot of Faith. But truth be told, I am weak, and I haven't really had anything major in my life to knock me down like they have. Alicia, you are truly an inspiration to others. Not just people going through the adoption journey who feel your pain and are struggling with Faith in their life, but with everyone around you who is struggling with a lack of faith in everyday life. I love you and I am so excited at what God has in store for you and Ryan! 

If you or someone you know is pregnant and considering adoption, please contact Bethany Adoption Agency for more information.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Prayer for my Children

How do I begin to pray for the things I want for you? 

I stroke your hair as you sleep and these words come to mind. 
I pray that you keep your childlike innocence and hunger for life. 
I pray that you find a love that lasts forever. 
I pray you not only follow your dreams but you chase them. 
I pray one day you experience a happiness that brings tears of joy to your eyes. 
I pray when someone hurts you that you remember how it hurt and to learn from it and not become bitter. 
I pray that when I discipline you for a wrongdoing you know someday it was out of love and protection. 
I pray you always remember where you come from and always know your way home. 
I pray you know your never too old to make snow angels and dance in the rain. 
I pray that you always speak your mind but carefully choose your words. 
I pray you always know you are 
GOD's child and not because you were brought up going to church but for you to find out for yourself. 
I pray when someone breaks your heart that one day you'll look back and appreciate what you learned from it. 
I pray that when you're a parent and you have tears of fatigue in your eyes that you thank me for all the things I did for you and that you finally understand, just like I did my parents. 
I pray that you choose your friends wisely and stick up for the kid who everyone else is picking on. 
I pray that you know what it's like to be lied to so you'll always want to tell the truth. I pray that you don't believe everything you hear but to find out for yourself and to trust your instincts. 
I pray you appreciate the differences in people and see it as a beautiful thing. 
I pray that you see that you see I did my best to be a good mom. 
I pray you protect your mind, body and soul. 
I pray you know that life isn't about finding yourself but creating yourself. 
I pray you learn from your mistakes. 

I pray one day you know the sacrifices I made and while you were sleeping I was up praying over your bed that you may have the best life and you live it to the fullest. That you experience all the joy in the world and learn from all the hurts. To not only love your family and friends but to cherish them. To have an open mind and to not just follow the crowd. To know that we fought cause we are so alike but remember all the fun times we have. To remember that I may not always be here but to remember how much I love you.


I was thinking earlier in the week about writing my prayer for my boys... and I remembered a friend sending this to me. I'm not sure who wrote it, but I have to say, it's every prayer I have for my children... I couldn't have said it any better so I left it alone and posted it as is. 

The thought of my boys growing up feels me with so many emotions. Sadness of the innocence they will loose along the way, and the hurt they will be exposed to. I am grateful for the memories of their childhood, but anxious about the teenage years. Above all, I am thankful. Thankful that God trusted me enough to raise these children. Thankful that each and every one of them are perfect to me. Thankful that God knew I needed each one of them to know what it was like to love unconditionally. I could write 100 pages of prayers and emotions my children have brought to my life, but I'll end it with this. 

My biggest prayer for my children is that they know the Lord and in time,when they are old enough to understand, have a personal relationship with Him that molds their life.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Gateway To Joy

I have so much to say about this, but I want to first post a passage I read about motherhood. My two sense will be shared at the bottom.   Okay, I'll be posting my thoughts in blue throughout the passage.

I'm taking this from

It's long.. but worth the time it takes to read it. Especially for mothers!!

Those of you mothers who may be listening who can't stay home, who literally must go out and work, possibly because you're a single mother and you must support yourself and your children or possibly because your husband insists that you must go out and work and you are desirous of being obedient to God in that, then let me just say that you can pray that God in His time may enable you to stay home in some unimagined way. Maybe you just have closed your mind to the possibility that God would have something else for you. He might, you know. I don't know.

I'm not here to lay a guilt trip on the mothers who must work, but I do want to encourage you to pray that the Lord will show you if that's His best for you or if He does actually have something better, a better way which might enable you to stay home. I've had some wonderful testimonies from women who have had just that experience.
Well, here's a woman who writes to tell me about staying home and making it.
My husband and I have been married 11 1/2 years. When we married we bought a two-bedroom mobile home. In 1982 we had our first son. I also had a miscarriage in 1981. In 1985, a daughter came. In 1987, another daughter. In 1989, a second son. People thought we were crazy. My oldest brother said to me, 'When God said multiply and replenish the earth, He didn't mean just you all by yourself.' (This comment irks me. I've heard it before and I must say, it really gets under my skin. For those reading who have made the comment before, go apologize to the person you said it to! God's will for a person's life is between that person and God. It's hard enough doing what the Lord wants you to do, and feeling like it's not what is acceptable from the world. No one wants the extra comments about having more children that what YOU think they should have.) 
But in obedience to God, we just kept having babies and hope to have more. We also home school, which as you know makes us even more weird. We had four children in one bedroom-the girls in one twin bed, the boys in the other. I haven't worked at all outside the home since two months before our first child was born.
And Elisabeth, God is faithful. (AMEN) We have never missed a meal. Neither us nor our children have ever gone barefoot or naked. We have eaten rice only for supper, but only on four or five occasions. I have had only two dressy dresses, and alternated them every other Sunday.
But what did it hurt? Absolutely nothing. It helped rid me of some pride. 'Pride goeth before destruction.' (Oh my gosh, this is so POWERFUL!! I often am full of pride and worry so much about what other people think.) Our pastor preaches to have lots of babies and stay home. Most families at our independent missionary Baptist church do just that. Our church, about 250-300, is filled with poor people. Yet we have 160 missionaries we support, from $25 to $200 each per month. Women who stay home have children. No one is rich in the world's sense of the word. (I've always said, everyone is poor in their own world! The more you make, the bigger your bills are.)
One lady is fifty and expecting her 11th child. Number ten is just four years old. My mom had her fourth child at 42. Our pastor's wife had number four at 43. My mother-in-law had number four at 43. I have a rich heritage. I am thirty and I already have five. The fifth one is in heaven.
My husband and I, especially in and around 1987, began praying for a bigger house. Not a new house, a bigger house. We looked at double-wide trailers, etc. To make a long story kind of short (ha!), I'm now sitting here in the living room of a two-story house with a basement. The girls have their own room. The boys have their own. We have a big kitchen, a dining room, a pantry, two baths, a schoolroom, a washroom in the basement, all for"-are you ready for this, listeners?-"$50,000. That's God's miracle. We sold our four acres and our mobile home to our next-door neighbor, and thus had a large down payment.
Four acres were given to us when we married. Our house payments are only $351. The neighbor charged us $350 rent while we remained in the trailer. My 38-year-old husband makes $30,000 a year. That's counting eight hours and more overtime usually per week. Two years ago he worked weekends at a nursing home as a nurse's aid, feeding and cleaning up, etc. My husband is head of the art department at a custom rug plant. He has designed rugs for the White House, Bob Hope, etc., and yet he was willing to spend Fridays from 6-11 and Saturdays from 3-11 and Sundays 3-11 for six months at a nursing home doing whatever he asked for $4 per hour so that I could stay home with the children. God is faithful.

Keep encouraging us, Elisabeth. In front of my Bible I have written, 'Children tie the feet of the mother.' That's a Tamil proverb, and I gladly therefore allow my feet to be tied for the sake of One whose feet were nailed for me." I think she's quoting there from Amy Carmichael, but she takes that as her own commitment to God-the willingness to allow her feet to be tied for the sake of One whose feet were nailed for her. 
"Thank you. May God bless you. In Him, Diane Wilson." Thank you, Diane. We do appreciate your testimony. I know that if people had your address, you would get a flood of
mail, some of it very critical of some of the decisions that you and your husband have made. You hang in there. You be obedient to God.
And for the rest of us, let's remember Jesus' words. When Peter asked about John, "What shall this man do?" Jesus said, "What is that to you? You follow Me."
And I also want to read a little leaflet that I have called "Called to Be Mothers." And if you would like a copy of this leaflet, all you need to do is call Gateway To Joy. This is called "Called to Be Mothers." (I am thankful God has called me to be a mother, a full time mother to my children. Sure, we struggle at times, but even families with two people working struggle. I have peace and joy knowing that I'm doing what God has asked me to do. Is it easy? No. In fact, it's the hardest job I've ever done. But it's also the most rewarding!) 
"'You mean that's all you do? That's all?' As a mother, Your life is given to taking care of people, small ones to begin with, whose wants never seem to cease. Sometimes when your days seem to be wholly taken up with wiping things, dishes and sinks, little runny noses and big, slow tears, you wonder about what fulfillment is supposed to mean for you. You wonder about being, besides the perfect wife and mother the hostess with the mostest, creative, intellectually productive, beautiful, and slowly your dreams seem to evaporate.
You've been listening to what they're telling us nowadays about how important it is to find yourself, express yourself and assert yourself. Maybe you're thinking that you're nothing more than somebody's wife and somebody else's mother, and what kind of a life is that?

This next part is probably the most powerful part to me. Look who we are being compared to! I must say, I feel honored and unworthily to be compared to such a woman. If you haven't read any of this blog, take time to read at least this part! 

There's a tribe in the southern Sudan called Nuers where a woman's name is changed not when she becomes a wife, but when she becomes a mother. She is manpuka, mother of puka. Among the Nuers, being someone's mother is what makes a woman's life meaningful.
2,000 years ago there was another young woman of the Jewish tribe of Judah who understood that truth. The world has never forgotten her, Mary the mother of Jesus, because she was willing to be known as simply someone's mother.
Motherhood is a calling. It's a womanly calling. And let's not be cowed by those who extinguish the light and joy of sexuality by trying to persuade us to forget words like manly and womanly. At the beginning of time when God made the first man and the first woman in His image, He put both under the divine command to be fruitful.
The woman's obedience to that command meant self-giving. First, she gave herself to her husband. He initiated. She responded. Then she gave herself for the life of her child. A woman knows in the deepest regions of her being that it's this very self-giving for which she was made, single or married.
Her level of maturity is measured by how much she gives to others. If she's married, she gives herself to her husband and she receives. If she's a mother, she loses her life in her child and mysteriously she finds it. A woman knows that no one can really say where the giving ends and the receiving starts.
It's no wonder we're confused when urged to look for some better or higher vocation in which to prove our personhood. No wonder we're distressed to be subjected to male standards or told that the notion of femininity and masculinity are obsolete. Old-fashioned notions they are indeed, but they weren't ours to begin with. They were God's. He planned the whole system, and it's God Himself who calls. He calls some to be single, some married people to be childless, but He calls most women to be mothers. 

There are, the Bible tells us, differences of gifts and they're all given according to God's grace. If our calling is to be mothers, let's be mothers with all our hearts-gladly, simply, and humbly, like that little peasant girl Mary, who spoke for all women for all time when she said, 'Behold, the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to Thy word.'"

I am honored that God trusts me enough to be a mother to my beautiful children. He provides, and is there for us through it all. We have moments of hard times, and struggles, but we are humbled by the simplicity that God's love brings. He has brought people into our lives that have been there to help us when we needed an extra hand, and love when we fell down on our luck. I am thankful for those people. I know that with God first in our lives, we will continue to grow as Christians, and husband and wife, and as parents to our boys. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I despise tests...

Ever since I was in elementary school I hated tests. I could know everything about what the test was about, and still freak out when it was time to take it. I think it's the pressure, or the stress that it brings. Maybe it's because I'm dyslexic and want to read and write everything backwards. (True Fun Fact About Amber!) Regardless, I despise them.

This week has been full of tests. I'm not having to sit down with a #2 pencil and wait for my teacher to grade my work, but in a way I am. The devil is throwing rocks in my path and waiting for me to stumble so he can have the satisfaction of winning. And I'll be honest, a few days this week, he came pretty darn close. I almost gave up.

I find it amazing how in the mist of the storm, God can throw a rainbow in to show those struggling that he's still there, and in control. Today, he threw me a personal rainbow. When I left like I had been knocked down onto my knees, I realized the old saying was true, "... You're in the perfect position to pray!"

And I prayed about tests.

The most important test in life is oddly enough, the one I enjoy the most....

I've been taking this test for quite some time, and I'm very thankful God has been patient with me. It's a time test too, and I'll be working on it until the day I meet my Savior. So many parts of this test I'm thankful for. I'm thankful that when I have a question, I can raise my hands and ask questions and get step by step directions on how to work it out. I am thankful that if I get a question wrong, I can ask for forgiveness and my Teacher will let me re-do it without judgment. I am thankful that I wont be compared to my older sister (for those who have a smarter older sibling, you know what I mean! lol) and my Teacher wont be disappointed that I'm not the perfect student like she was.  I pray that I slow down to see that person He worked so hard to make. My prayer is that I can live up to what God knows I can be.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

We are at war!!!

No, I'm not talking about our ARMY. I'm talking about the people who are married. We as husbands and wives are under a war and sadly, loosing terribly. The devil is working hard at each marriage, weather we know it or not. You can have a wonderful marriage now, and the devil is still putting stones in your path for you to stumble across later on in your marriage. Trust me when I say, he IS working to destroy you.

Everyone can commit. But its time for people to commit to their commitments!! When we marry, we marry for better or worse, in sickness and health, and for richer or poorer. Lets face it, it's easy to be committed during the better. It's easier to be committed during the richer, and definitely easy to be committed during good health. What proves a strong marriage is being committed during the worse, the sickness and the poorer times. Our government used to make it hard to divorce. There was no such thing as  a "no fault" divorce. If a man wanted to leave his wife, his wife could say No and the divorce was not granted. But we have changed the laws to make it easier to divorce. If a man wants to marry someone else, he can do so very easily. If a woman wants to leave her husband, no big deal.

Hello???? THIS IS A HUGE DEAL!!!! I get that sometimes being married is hard. It's REALLY hard at times. And yes, there will come times that you feel like it's easier to just leave than to stay and make things work... but there are some things worth the fight!! God has commanded us to keep our promises. The promises we make to each other, and our promises that we made to Him.

I think its time we Burn The Ships......

* This phrase “Burn The Ships” comes from a historic conquest of history when, in 1519, Spanish Conquistador Hernando Cortez landed in Mexico on the shores of the Yucatan, with only one objective…seize the great treasures known to be there, hoarded by the Aztecs. Cortez was committed to his mission and his quest for riches is legendary.

When Cortez and his men arrived on the shores of the Yucatan he rallied the men for one final pep talk before leading his men into battle, and utters these three words that changed the course of history. “Burn the Ships”.

He met with resistance from his men. "Burn the ships," he repeated. He then uttered these words "if we are going home, we are going home in their ships". With that, Cortez and his men burned their own ships, and by burning their own ships, the commitment level of the men was raised to a whole new level. A level much higher than any of the men, including Cortez, could have ever imagined.

Amazingly, the men conquered the Aztecs and had succeeded in something where others had been unsuccessful for six centuries. With the victory Cortez and his men took the treasure. Why did they win? They had no escape. No fall back position. They had no choice! It was "succeed or die". Their ships were burned. They had no way to get back. Their backs were to the wall. * This section was taken directly from Kemp's Koner for the accuracy of the story.

I think its time we burned our ships. Our ships being the distractions that the devil throw at us. Things that push us away from our husbands. Things that push husbands away from their wives. We need to stop using crutches (like divorce) as an out. 

 I am thankful for an amazing husband today. The little things that make me fall in love with him more each day outnumber the little things that drive me crazy throughout the years. He is an amazing husband, and an incredible father. He works hard for his family, and will do anything in the world to make me happy. I can't imagine my life without him in it. Take today to be thankful for your husbands, and in return you will see they are thankful for you as well.

Marriage is one of those things that is hard work, but promised to be worth it!!

Now... go call your husbands and tell them you are planning to cook in nothing but an apron tonight and ask if that's okay with him. I'm pretty sure he'll say yes. :) 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Toxic Friendships....

Recently, I had a "slap in the face" from a friend. Not literal, but it might as well have been. I am not a perfect friend, in fact, I'm probably not a very good friend most of the time. I try to be there when friends need me. I live a bit of a hectic life, and sometimes I hear the phone and just can't answer, or I do manage to make it to the phone only to have to let them go without really saying anything at all because I can't hear them over the screaming or crying coming from the boys. I often say "I'll call you right back" and I forget for hours... or sometimes a full day. But my close, true friends, understand all this and love me just the same. They are still there for me when I need them... and I never feel like I'm a burden to them when I call about my pet peeves, or irritations for the week (or sometimes days). 

I have been heavy hearted about the choice to let this friendship go since we had our fallen out. The day it happened, I was tired from trying to make the friendship work that I was almost relived that it was over. I know that sounds awful, but at times, this friendship had been exhausting. A few days later, I started to question if friendships are worth the work you put into them. That answer is yes. Some anyway. I read once about "toxic friendships" and I believe some friendships are better left as old friendships... mere acquaintances. 

But when do you realize who those toxic friends are? Here are 10 different types of "toxic friends". 

1. The Phony: Always pretending to be something she's not

2. The User: Uses you for her own purposes or goals

3. The Betrayer: Double-crosses you and stabs you in the back  

4. The Cheater: Steals or messes around with your romantic partner 

5. The Exposer: Discloses  your confidences, tells your personal business

6. The Abuser: Abuses you verbally, physcially, sexually, emotionally 

7. The Self-Centered: Concerned with her own wants and needs not yours
8. The Criticizer: Extremely critical and finds fault in everything you do  
9. The Regulator: Needs to control you and the friendship

10. The One Upper: Always trying to be one up on you 

How are you feeling today about your toxic friend? How were you feeling yesterday?
And of course, think about how you might feel tomorrow?

Based on your overall feelings...

Is your toxic friendship really worth holding onto.....

Yep... lots of praying to be done about this.....