Wednesday, February 26, 2014

You Are For Me

Some mornings I turn on JJ Heller Radio on ITunes. It brings peace and calmness to our home and a spirit of joy and gratitude to my God for another day to breathe. Today I heard this song...

I have heard it before and somewhere in the back of my mind I thought, "Wow, what a beautiful song..." I never really paid that close attention to it but today as it came on tears came to my eyes as my heart, for the first time, heard the words that she was actually singing.

I know that you are for me
I know that you are for me
I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness

I know that you have come now
even if to write upon my heart
to remind me who you are

He is for us and he speaks in the little, every day moments just to remind us of that fact. He has come now just to write upon my heart and remind me of who He is. Sometimes I forget. I forget who he really is. I forget that I don't know all of Him. I forget that He is so much more complex than the box that I try to fit Him in. I forget that He knows a lot more than I do. I forget that he not only loves me but he loves everyone just as much as He loves me. I forget that His mercy and His grace is never-ending. I forget that He has called me mighty. I forget that He has made me His daughter. I forget that He is my beloved. I forget. 

Thank you for the reminder today, Jesus. Thank you. Thank you that you are for me. Thank you for not forsaking me in my weakness. Thank you for writing on my heart. Thank you for reminding me of who you are. I will sing this song to you all day today to remind you and to remind me that you are for me. You fought for me. You died for me. You love me. I love you. Thank you seems to not ever be enough...

Blessings to you my sweet friends,

Elle and Isaiah's mama

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Happy Belated Valentine's Day

I took some amazingly adorable photos of a few of my Valentines this past weekend and well, they are begging desperately to be shared. Since I have been in a funk the past few days these have given me extreme joy...I hope they do the same for you! I hope that all of you had a fantabulous Valentine's day and shared the love that this world needs!
Much love and enjoy!
Elle and Isaiah's mama
Our Isaiah Sammy...the hair is on the edge of I-desperately-need-a haircut-but-my-mom-is-too-afraid-of-change and I-am-rockin'-that-messy-celebrity-look...
 he makes my soul happy
 he was in love with his bag of goodies
 of course being in love naturally means eating the goodies inside
 I just love this...I may want it blown up and framed
 Seriously??? Sweet blue-eyed baby Lili
 it just doesn't get better
 Oh, I lied...yes it does

 kisses for Lili...always giving Lili kisses
 and that's enough

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A broken hallelujah

You see my tears...the ones that fell today and the ones that I somehow managed to keep inside. Today was a hard day and I did not like it. Somehow, it seems like the blows just keep coming and I have nothing left to do but crumble. Is that what you want? You want a crumbled mess? I have no idea how it happened or why it happened but when you let Ellersley leave it brought a whole mess of insecurity. Insecurity in who I am, who you want me to be, how you want me to be, where you want me to be and what all of that is supposed to look like in every day life. I walk around in a haze, wondering if I'm ever enough for anyone else let alone you. I wonder if I'll ever be enough...
Will I ever be enough? I give my time, I give my love, I give my family, I give myself...will I ever be enough? Am I supposed to be enough or am I supposed to just give you? When I give me am I giving you? All of this is so confusing. I say it all the time, my identity is in Christ. Do I know what that means? Do I know that it means that my life is not measured by others but it's measured by you? Do I know that you are my joy? Do I know that you are my confidence? Do I know that I stand at the end of every day because of you? Do I know that every time I speak life into someone else it's giving glory to you? Do I know that when I give of myself and my family and my time and my love that I am really giving you? Do I realize this?
Some days are full of joy and some days are full of horrendous pain. Pain that makes me question every single part of my life; my life as a wife, my life as a mother, my life as a woman, my life as a Jesus chaser, my life as a leader, my life as a friend, my life as a daughter, my life as a sister, my life as an aunt...This has never been my reality, Jesus, and I am having a very difficult time navigating it. I suppose I am being a massive drama queen but this life of insecurity sucks. This is not a fun ride and I must say that I want off and I want off right now. I want you to make it stop. I want to stop caring what everyone thinks except you. I want to stop listening to the voice of the enemy. I want to stop being so concerned about me and start being concerned about you. I want to stop. I want you to make it all stop. I want you to tell me that you made me perfectly and wonderfully. I want you to tell me all the things I tell teenage girls every week...
You are beautiful         You are wanted        You are mine       You are a precious gift
You were made for a purpose         You were made fearfully and wonderfully        You are lovely
Your identity is in me        Your joy is in me      Your confidence is in me     You are my beloved
You are enough because of me
Tonight, I am broken and I suppose that is just what you want. You want me to continually be broken before you. A vessel that is always shattered and willing to inspect what is truly at the core of my being. A vessel that is willing to continually be rebuilt with the characteristics and qualities of the everlasting father. Thank you for choosing me. I hate it, to just be blatantly honest. Well, I hate it today, but as you say...tomorrow is a new day and your mercies are new every single morning. Hallelujah for that. I'm listening to this song tonight and it fits perfectly...
I've seen joy and I've seen pain
and on my knees, I call your name
Here's my broken Hallelujah
With nothing left to hold onto
I raise these empty hands to you
here's my broken
here's my broken Hallelujah
So, here's my broken hallelujah...take it tonight and tomorrow, help me rebuild it so that it will look more like you with each new day. I love you and thank you for choosing me...

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

He will choose me

I had a moment this morning. 

It brought tears.

It brought repentance. 

It brought what I hope will be a lot of change. 

We were at the kitchen table for breakfast, Isaiah and I. Wesley was getting ready for his day while I sang songs to Isaiah and fed him some oatmeal in between. Wesley leaned over me smiling and talking to Isaiah and I watched Wesley and smiled. I leaned in and kissed his cheek and then I looked at Isaiah. I expected him to be looking at Daddy in wonder, which is his usual gaze. Instead, he was staring at me with this look of concentration in his eyes. 

He was studying me... 

He was watching me... 

He was catching the look in my eye as I looked at his Daddy... 

He saw that kiss... 

He saw the smile...

And then I realized... 

He is studying and he will be until the day he leaves this home. I looked in his eyes and I smiled as he threw his head back and smiled his toothy grin.

I am the model. I am the one who will show him how to choose a wife. He will choose one like me. He will choose one that acts the way I act. He will choose one that treats him the way I treat his Daddy. He will choose one who loves the way I love. He will choose one and he will base his vision of what one should be on what I am. 

That is terrifying. 

I cried. 

I cried because it's just not possible that my baby will ever grow up. It cannot happen. I will be the first mom to actually make time stop, I am determined. I cried also because...are you kidding me? I cannot possibly be the model. I can't be the example. I am so very unworthy of this title; of this position that God has given me. I cannot possibly lead him in the right way. I do not have the characteristics I should have. I do not take care of my husband the way that I should. I do not hold harsh words. I do not put him first most days. I do not give unselfishly. I do not hold him in high esteem as I should. I am so very unworthy. 

I read an article the other day about this very topic. It's been on my mind ever since and it is probably the reason that I made this connection and realization this morning. The article was all about mommies and how mommies were wives first. That you fell in love with a man and for a while it was just you and him. He was your all; the focus of your day, the laughter in the deep, the excitement of your life. It talked about not losing that in the midst of an insane day which turns into insane weeks and insane months and then insane years. 

Today, I am broken over the way that my son will view marriage. This world is destroying it minute by minute. They are turning it into something it was never meant to be and I am determined (just as determined as stopping time) that in our home the view will be different. Our son will know how to choose a wife that is full of respect, full of grace, full of love, full of compassion and full of forgiveness. One that holds her tongue and quiets her voice. One that is loving and kind, sweet and repentant. I must be this...I must do it for my husband first and then I must do it for my son. I am sad that it has taken a child in our home for me to come to this realization but I cannot change the past, I can only repent and move forward with Jesus by my side.

He will choose based on me and mamas, your baby boys will choose a spouse based on you. Live up to the challenge. Be the woman to your man that you want your son to have. Now, when those harsh words come up so quickly I will think twice about holding them. Not only do I love my husband and am I doing it for him because I love him but I am a role model for little ears and little eyes that are listening and watching. I hold a very weighty responsibility in my hands and I am choosing to run with it and change the view of marriage for our children. Marriage will equal kind words, soft voices, hugs and kisses, smiles and forgiveness when mistakes are made...

Our home will be different than this world...


My future daughter-in-love, 

I must confess to you that after 14 months of our son's life this is the first time I have ever thought about you as a very real part of our lives. I have not prayed for you as I should; I haven't even imagined you in my mind. For that I am sorry and I hope to change that. I want you to know that I love you and I haven't even met you and won't, hopefully, until my son is at least 35. I want you to know that I will try my best. I will try to model a loving, patient, forgiving and compassionate wife. I will try to model Jesus. I will give my all in hopes that when he is choosing you he will look for those things. All I can say is please be Jesus to him and do it from the very beginning. I have wasted so many years. I have allowed Satan to deceive and steal so much because of my need for control. Let Jesus be your guide and show him love and grace when he needs it most. Show forgiveness when needed. Show repentance and humbleness. Say sorry and ask for forgiveness when necessary. Show respect and keep the harsh words to yourself. It won't be easy and failing will be necessary to learn some's ok...we will give grace and so will he. Our son will choose you and therefore, so will we. We will model a marriage for him; one of love, forgiveness and some mighty strength. We will model Jesus and we hope and pray that God will fill your marriage with the same mercy and grace he has given to ours...

Elle and Isaiah's mommy

Monday, November 18, 2013

We remember...

Today is the day...

One year ago today at 1:07am a tiny, fragile, dark skinned and dark haired baby boy was born. He came into this world 9 weeks before this world planned for him but just on time for the plan God had for him. He came in via emergency c section under stress. He weighed only 3lb 10oz and was 16.5 inches long. He had big brown eyes and a head full of dark brown hair. He was bright red, just like a little chili pepper. 

At that time, he wasn't sure of who his mama and daddy would be. He hadn't been introduced to them yet but he did get to meet his birth mom and his birth dad. His birth mom was a beautiful young lady with long blonde hair and very fair skin. His birth dad was average height with dark brown hair and very dark skin. He got to spend some time with them, holding their hands and listening to them whisper their plans for him. He heard how much they loved him and he saw the tears they cried when they told him this would be one of the last moments they would have together. And then he waited... 

On November 21st they walked through the door to his room. His daddy made his mommy promise not to look at him before they both could go over and see him together. They washed their hands (up to their elbows) and he heard their giggles and could see their smiles from where he was laying covered in wires and secured in his warm incubator. 

The moment they walked from the sink to the bed seemed like forever and like they were stepping on clouds. They felt like it was a dream come true. They held hands and smiled and their eyes were sparkling with all the joy and love a parent could hold. As soon as they reached his incubator and looked down at him he raised his arms up in the air as if he were saying SCORE or showing them just how big he was. He slept through most of their first meeting but he heard their giggles and their whispers of "Oh, baby Isaiah how we have prayed for you and dreamed of you and we loved you so much before we ever even laid eyes on you."

He watched as they left and then returned with his birth mother. He listened as they talked and got to know one another. He held her hand as she spoke about how scared she was for him and how she hoped that his adoptive parents would love him even if he had problems due to a traumatic birth. He watched as she whispered love to him and held his little hand just like a mama would. He listened to his new mama and daddy tell her how much they already loved him and how long they have been waiting for him and praying for him and praying for her. He listened as they giggled and said that NOTHING would ever stop them from loving him. He listened as they told her that she would always be a hero in their hearts and she would always be spoken of very highly in their home. 

Isaiah Samuel was born today and his daddy and I have many tears of joy and a very grateful heart. We cannot believe it has been a year. We remember the days leading up to this day. We remember the ache. We remember the pain. We remember the whys. We remember the 16 year old girl that came up to us at church on November 18th; it was her first time there, she was visiting family for Thanksgiving. She told us that she knew a couple in her home church that went through a lot of fertility issues and couldn't have children. They had decided to adopt and they were matched with a baby and that baby was born and the birth mom changed her mind. She said they were devastated but then Jesus gave them another baby and this birth mom did not change her mind and their baby boy was now almost 1 and he was theirs forever. She said God had a plan and not to give up and to trust in him and his timing. 

We remember the call I got while at work on Monday, November 19th. We remember sitting and listening as our adoption consultant spoke about a tiny preemie that was born the day before and he was waiting for his mama and his daddy. We remember putting our YES on the table and allowing God to take us on the most amazing journey. We remember. 

Today we will celebrate one year of God's glorious plan. One year of joy. One year of complete and utter thankfulness. One year of awe. One year of wonder. One year of Jesus showing us just how much he loves us. One year of redemption. One year of the amazing journey of adoption. I have been listening to a song lately called Come Away...

Come away with me, come away with me 
It's never too late, it's not too late, it's not too late for you
I have a plan for you, I have a plan for you
It's gonna be wild, it's gonna be great, it's gonna be full of me 

Jesus is wild. His plan is wild. We NEVER in our wildest dreams or imaginings could have come up with the journey he has us on. We decided a long time ago to trust him. It doesn't always look like it should and we don't always go easily but eventually we get to the place we should be. We trust him. We know that he has our BEST interest at heart. We know that his plan is the best plan and we do not ever want to fight it. It may hurt for a minute but in the end it is full of more joy than one heart can contain. Don't fight his plan. Follow him. Trust him. Believe us when we say, it is worth every second. Every ache. Every pain. Every tear. It's worth it. 

Our Saiah Sammy, 
Today you are one year old. Mama and Dada cannot even believe it. You have been our greatest joy Isaiah. You have shown us what true redemption is. You have shown us what true hope is. You have shown us what dreams coming alive looks like. You have shown us what true joy looks like. You are our perfect picture of God's love for us. You are silly, so smiley in the mornings, stubborn, sassy, busy, handsome, funny and serious. You love to sing and dance. You love to be sung to. You love church. You love kids. You love to play. You love to read books. You love to say dada and you are working on mama. You love to get into EVERYTHING! You love your baba and you love to eat. You love vacation and a new place to stay. You are such a joy Bubs. Daddy and I have loved raising you this past year. It was our heart's cry to get to raise a baby here on this earth and you have filled that void. Jesus has given us such a sweet gift in you baby boy. We can't wait to see all that God has planned for your big life. We thank him for each and every day with you and we pray that you would always run after Him. Today we will celebrate you. The amazing life that God has given you and the amazing gift he has given us. We love you Isaiah Sammy and nothing will ever change that just like we told your birth mom one year ago. We promised her that we would love you forever and that is most definitely what we will do. To the moon and back our love, to the moon and back. 

Love you always...

mama and dada