Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dangerous Surrender Chapter 1

Let me give a little background before I go crazy with this post. I "met" a lady named Angel in the blog world. I got her link from Blogs for a Cause (I think???).

Anyway, Angel is an amazing woman who I am drawing much inspiration from. She chooses to live a "disturbed" life (I will elaborate later). I too want to live this kind of life. She started the book Dangerous Surrender by Kay Warren (Rick Warren's wife). After reading her first chapter post, I went to Amazon and bought myself a copy.

I have to admit that I rec'd the book a day ago and have looked at it a few times with the cover closed. I am SCARED!!! I knew that this could be the moment that I would say YES to God about anything He calls this little ordinary girl to do.

The first chapter explains Kay Warren's moment when God said this is a MUST, you must open your eyes to the things happening in the world around you. I am guilty of living in MY world. God called us to look beyond ourselves, our houses, our churches, our communities, our city, our state, and our country. He wants us to love "the least of these" EVERYWHERE. He wants us to live a disturbed life--meaning we should be effected by the things going on around us and around the world and DO something about it!!!

I have two moments I want to share with you all about times that God has called me and I didn't necessarily trust Him in the beginning but He showed me up. They are life changing moments for me.

As most of you know, I went on a mission trip to Honduras in 2003. I have always dreamed of going on a mission trip to anywhere, but this was a trip to minister to Deaf people and children in Honduras (I was an interpreter for the Deaf before I had my first daughter, now I am a stay-at-home mom). New Life Deaf Ministries (their web page is down due to construction) is a church/private school for Deaf people in Honduras. Before this awesome place was established there was NO place for Deaf children to be taught and many believed they couldn't be taught. The church is growing everyday and there were 144 at the camp we did while we were there in 2003. You can check out another entry I wrote about New Life Deaf Ministries here (it also has a few pictures). I would love to adopt deaf children from another country and give them a chance to know Jesus and to be educated and loved. I have always worried about finances related to adoption but God is showing me to be patient and always depend on Him to take care of the rest. The story about how I got to go on this trip was a miracle in itself and probably deserves another entry but there were obstacles that were overcome step by step so that I could go. AMAZING!!!!

Not long after returning from Honduras, I started praying for God to take over my scheduling/planning for the youth group at our church (I worked with middle school kids with my brother-in-law at a small church of about 50). Our youth group was a total of about 2 regular kids. I spent a lot of time in my car commuting during this time of my life and spoke to God out loud many times in the car (most of the time bawling Him out for not doing things MY way). While driving in my car HE gave me this awesome idea to start a program called 7-11 (seven eleven) He was also talking to my brother-in-law about something similar. Once a month, on a Friday night, we would invite the middle schoolers (ages 5th grade to 8th grade) to a movie, pizza, and games at our church from 7pm-11pm. We didn't have finances or ways to advertise this event except through our few middle schoolers. We sent them to school with flyer's on bright colored paper and low and behold we had 25 students show up. We were borrowing equipment (remember a small church of 5o) and the youth workers were giving their money to get this started. Lots of people were not sure if this would even work. I was SURE it would work not from anything we had done but because it was like a NEON sign from God. The numbers kept growing and students were finding that Jesus loved them more than anyone else in their lives (middle school is one of the hardest times in a kids life). We had 16 kids come to know the Lord and change their lives forever.

When we had a lock-in with 36 kids (our high number at that time) we started thinking of ways to find more room. Not long after that lock-in the church started a building project (God provided the space). People in the church started asking if they could help and bring food and donating money for the ministry. We even had one Friday night with 65 kids and God still provided enough food and fun for all the kids to have a fantastic time and learn about His amazing love. I think we ended up touching at least 160 students through this program. We even had a whole softball and volleyball teams from schools attending and it was a fantastic time in my life of following God's will.

Unfortunately at the end of my time at this church (before we moved here) I had my first child and that made serving in that ministry very difficult. After moving to MD I was very busy with a new baby and then had another one two years later. I sometimes feel like I have nothing left to offer when I have to spend so much time taking care of them. I know that God has called me to disciple my children so they can too make a difference some day but it is hard for me. I am an ALL or NOTHING type person. I want to do BIG things for God. From the examples above, I have NO doubt that God will provide all the training, resources, finances, etc. that I need to follow him with a Dangerous Surrender, but it is still scary.

I was once told from someone very dear to me, "Alice, you can't save the world." I responded with "I will die trying." I often hear these statements in my head. I remember the conversation as if it was yesterday. God knows that I thrive on a challenge and that is definitely one!

So here we go...Let's see where HE leads us!!!

Look for more entries on Dangerous Surrender and living a disturbed life later (better yet, get the book and join us).

Love you all!!!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Letter to Sadie Beth- 8 Months

Sadie Beth,

Today you are 8 months old. There is so much going on right now in your little bitty life. You have such personality and are starting to learn how to love back (Mommy loves your "hugs", or what I call a hug).

You are reaching for us like crazy (even your big sister Mili).

Sitting like a champ these days (still a little lazy sometimes but doing much better than last month).

Finding your paci and putting into your mouth is no problem for you now (more sleep for Mommy when it falls out in the middle of the night).

Speaking of sleep, you are learning to fall asleep by yourself in your bed for nap time and at night. Mommy is proud of you for being a trooper (it is very hard on Mommy to hear you cry).

You are trying to crawl but haven't quite figured out how to get your legs to do the right things yet. Your arms want to go but your legs are quite lazy. You are trying to pull up on things but haven't figured out how to make all the limbs work at the right time yet.

A little white "thing" is popping through your gums on the bottom front. You have been chewing on everything in sight, including every part of Mommy you can get into your mouth.

Mommy will be happy when you stop pinching me. You are always pinching me behind my arm and it brings tears to my eyes every time (I want an apology when you are old enough).

Your little hands are starting to sign "milk" and it is too cute. I love tiny, chubby signing hands. You recognize milk, eat, more and sleep in sign language.

Solid food has become your best friend. You LOVE to eat (sweet potatoes, peas, bananas, pears, and applesauce).

You absolutely love holding hands with Mili in Mommy and Daddy's bed in the mornings and in the car too.

You are ticklish under your chin and even laugh when I am changing your clothes sometimes. So cute!!!

I LOVE .......

your sleepy chant right before you drift off.

the way you press your face up against the playpen (tongue out and all).

the way you tap your foot on my leg when I am holding you.

how you analyze everything you can get your hands on.

how fiesty you are.

how you are busy, on the go, non-stop all day (most days).

to kiss your chubby feet.

your beautiful eyes (and eyelashes), cute little nose, and your contagious grin!

to hear you belly laugh, it is music to my ears.

the way you look at if you know how much I LOVE YOU!!!

Happy 8 months and so many more.

I am so GLAD God gave you to me. I love you all the way to the moon and back and then some.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Please Pray for ME

Currently (like right now) I am trying to train Sadie to fall asleep by herself in her bed. It is probably the hardest thing I ever did with Mili but the best thing we ever did. I HATE doing it because it usually takes a week to fully train them and that means a week of MANY tears (me and Sadie).

With Mili I waited until she was nine months old to do it and she could already pull up in the bed so she wouldn't stay laying down long enough to fall asleep. So with Sadie I decided to start earlier (Sadie will be 8 months soon).

The most unbearable part is listening to them cry and cry for sometimes 45 minutes each time I lay them down to nap (it gets better each day...less time crying). It just kills my soul to hear her cry and I can't go and get her. I tense up all over and I usually end up crying myself (although it has been better today than when I started this with Mili).

She has given up!!! I went to check on her just now because the bedroom is silent and she has both her legs sticking out of the crib and asleep on her side. Well....I will just take a picture and show you.....

Not sure if she fell asleep because she was tired and gave up or if she couldn't figure out how to get her legs out of the bars.

Hopefully she will have a long nap now (her first nap of the day was only 20 minutes after 45 minutes of crying.....there was half the crying this time so hopefully she will be easy to train)

Please say a prayer for me. I don't think I would look good bald, however I DO think it would be therapeutic to pull my hair out some I can do it....I can do it.....I can do it!!!!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Plants Have Popped!!

Mili has been watching the plants that she and Daddy planted for a while. Waiting for something.....anything to happen. She checks them religiously and tells them to grow all the time. It was so cute when she finally saw a little spec of green one day.

This first picture is just because it is cute. Don't you just love this cute outfit (THANKS Dani Lee, Emma probably wore it when she was much older).

"Take my picture with my plants, Mommy!!!!"

Very proud of "her" creation.

A closer look at the green cuties.

We will keep you updated and when they "have flowers" as Mili says it, we will take more pictures.
Hugs and Kisses to all of you.....We MISS ya'll (I DO still know how to say ya'll no matter what my family says).

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nanny Struck Again!

With a very LOUD knock on our door Saturday morning we rec'd a box from Nanny and Poppy (Brian's parents). Mili has been waiting for this dress for a while and was overjoyed with its arrival. After finding out that her little sister would be matching her on Sunday, she was ecstatic.

Mili called this dress her princess dress. I had to take these pictures after church since we had to drop off Daddy at the Metro Station before church. We received MANY comments on our sweet girls in their matching dresses. Great job Nanny!!!!

Mili does this hundreds of times a day. She loves to love on Sadie.

Nanny always makes bows to go with the girls dresses. I sewed this bow on an old headband I had here. It worked out perfectly. It was cool here so they wore their sweaters and tights.

Mili didn't want to take pictures. She better get used to it because Mommy will be doing lots of it for the rest of her life.

More mad faces. This will be a blackmail picture later in

What a transformation....from ugliness to a twirling princess in 2.5 seconds.

More twirling, the tongue helps us concentrate....Sadie Beth looking on.

And MORE twirling....Sadie Beth amused by her sisters performance.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Bath FUN with Mili

One day while bathing Mili she put her wet hand on my jeans and noticed that it made a hand print. Now every time I am wearing jeans and she is taking a bath my jeans look like the pictures below. I am usually soakin' wet when we are finished. She giggles the whole time she is doing it and my jeans will dry but the memories will last a LIFETIME.

I LOVE my Mili Bear!!!

I know this seems like something strange to take pictures of but I don't want to forget a thing about raising our sweet girls.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ain't Nothing A Little Daddy Time Can't Fix!!!

Brian has been out of town for almost a week and the girls have missed their Daddy (and husband). We are so glad Daddy is home!!! Mili keeps asking to sit in his lap every five seconds. She really understood this time what it meant to miss Daddy when he was away. She was so excited when we FINALLY got to go pick him up. She asked me everyday (several times a day) if it was the day to pick up Daddy.

We bought a SEEK and FIND (similar to Where's Waldo) book at Sam's tonight (it is huge....floor book). We were all on the floor seeking weird stuff like pigs with police uniforms on and such. This book is awesome for a family event. Mili loved it and did very well finding and circling the items or animals in the pictures. It will be something we continue to do on a regular basis.

And don't forget SISTER time!!! These girls LOVE each other already. I can't wait to see them when they can actually communicate with words (they communicate in cute ways right now).

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Lazy Parenting

Sadie has become very mobile in the last few days. She is not crawling yet but rolling EVERYWHERE. It is very difficult for Mommy to keep her safe (away from Mili's toys that are not appropriate for her). She is rolling from one end of the room to the other, hitting her head on anything that is in her way and picking up everything she passes. So here we are in the "cage". Mili actually liked the "cage" (still does, see pictures) until she was walking and then it became the place of dread for her.

I am not sure how to read this face...Like or Not Like

I took this picture through the mesh

Do you think she has seen a face like this before (maybe from Mommy).
This is the face I get when I say, "Mili wait... one more picture.... look at Mommy."

"Caged" but happy about it!!

Mili is still in the "cage" with her. She likes it there and the house is awfully quiet this way.

Mommy likes the "cage" because it gives me some rest from picking up Sadie ten thousand times a day and spending time trying to locate Mili. Mommy is all smiles now, since the "cage" has reappeared in our house!!

Science with Daddy

Daddy and Mili went on a date the other day. They brought back some stuff to plant flowers. Daddy is starting early to help Mili appreciate science. Mili looks out the window several times a day to see if they are growing. She wants to water them constantly.

Mili had to have her hat on so she could be like Daddy.

Watering EVERYTHING was her favorite part!

Sadie was enjoying the weather.

Getting a little dirty

Not sure we like being dirty

Talking to the seeds to help them grow faster.

Still waiting for a leaf to appear.

Poseing for crazy picture taking Mommy.

Thanks Daddy for a great day!!!!

Just Because

These pictures are just because I haven't posted in a while. So here they are.

Hugs and Kisses from the girls....We love you Daddy!!!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Please PRAY for Tricia, Nate and Gwyneth

Most of you know that I LOVE sharing our lives with all of you through this blog (especially for grandparents, family and friends back home). As much as I like to share my life with others, I also find myself enjoying other blogs that I have found links to from other blogs. The blogs that I read on a daily basis, I feel a close connection to (especially this one Confessions of a CF Husband, I check it many times a day).

This family is an amazing picture of Christ centered faith. I have been following the story of their lives since a few days after their daughter was born. To give you a little background (since some of you won't click on the link...I know you, but I dare you to, you will be blessed).

Nate is the author of the blog and shares his remarkable story of his life with his wife Tricia (who has Cystic Fibrosis) and now his micro-preemie daughter, Gwyneth Rose. Tricia was preparing to be put on a double lung transplant list and they unexpectedly found out they were pregnant. She carried that sweet baby as long as she could and the baby was born at a little over 24 weeks old. Gwyneth is doing fantastic and now weighs over 2 lbs., however, Tricia was still (if not more now) in need of the double lung transplant.

Today is the DAY!!! Tricia is in surgery right now to receive her new lungs and I am praying all goes well. I have been following the story so closely today and when we left for church they were the only thing I could think of. When we arrived home I barely got the two diaper bags off my arm before I checked the blog to see if she was in surgery. Tears started to stream down my face as I read the blog. I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mother and I want for other women to be able to experience it, especially Tricia. When I am aggravated at the everyday tasks of caring for our two blessings, I almost always think of Tricia and how she would LOVE to be doing what I am complaining about.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE pray for Tricia, Nate and Gwyneth as they continue on this journey. They have been an incredible inspiration to me as a wife, mother, and child of God.

Please don't forget to pray for the donor family as they have unfortunately lost a loved one today.

I am praying for the day that I see a picture posted of Tricia holding precious Gwyneth with no tubes, gowns, gloves, or masks in between them. What a sweet picture that will be.