Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Less

This song is MY HEART! Matthew describes it all so very well. A comfort where our family has faced rejection is hearing your heart understood. Please pause the music below and watch this video. I had to run out and buy the CD!!!

One Less by Matthew West (The Story Behind The Song) from emicmg on Vimeo.




Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gianna Jessen Abortion Survivor

Dear Ones:

This is an AMAZING story/testimony of God being in control. Turn off the music at the bottom then enjoy Part 1 and Part 2. God really is amazing. Surrender...









Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ed Thomas ESPY Tribute

Dear Ones:

I am not a sport lover by any means, unless I can emotionally connect somehow, for instance my son is playing or if I can see a tear jerker story before the game about one of the players. This year My husband was watching the 2010 ESPY awards and this story captured my heart. I searched for these clips for months now and FINALLY found them to share. It is an AMAZING AMAZING story of faith and forgiveness. I so hope to be an example of this kind of character to my own children and pray they grow up to be the same. It is soooo worth watching!!! Be sure to mute the playlist at the bottom first.




Thomas Family Receives Arthur Ashe Award




Living Loved,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

70 Little Piggies

Dear Ones:

Well, who would have thought we would be where we are at today? Faith is certainly an adventure. I have named so many things not expecting to grow to the number we are now but I guess it just gives me the chance to come up with a fun new name that fits. If you know me you know that I am crazy about photography and I LOVE piggy shots!!!! Especially my kiddos piggies. I can see them bearing with me as mom lays them out in the grass for yet another piggy capture moment. I have to get them while they still can fit in my lens since they are all growing like weeds right before my eyes. So this is where the new blog name comes from. My 7 kiddos and their 70 sweet piggies. It suits our family...what do you think?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Than We Could Ask Or Think


Dear Ones:

I have some very exciting news to share with you tonight but I am not quite sure how to begin. It is the story of a little boy whom we have seen weekly for over a year now and for months has been on our hearts.

He is the girls 4 year old full sibling.

As we move to possible termination of parental rights and adoption we decided to inquire where "Big Brother" would stand. As it turned out his foster family did not want to adopt him. So we began to have weekend visits with this precious little guy.

It is like a missing piece of the puzzle that we did not even know was gone. The thought of him being lost in the system really bothered us, especially if he could have the chance to grow up with his sisters.

So tonight he has moved in to stay. And like the girls our hearts are hoping it will be forever.

God just continually confirmed this decision in ALL of our hearts. Even through one of our son's lessons from school this week. He is learning that obeying God won't always meet with universal approval, and may even be an unpopular choice, but we know God will honor our obedience.

I could burst with pride over how each of the boys have welcomed him as they did the girls with acceptance and enormous love. They are AMAZING kids, and being their Mama is one of the most satisfying areas of my life.

All I can say is summed up in this verse:

"Now unto Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us." Ephesians 3:20

This is so true is so many ways. We started this journey to find our daughter and the Lord has given us 2 plus another son, whether it be for a little while or forever...

All of our new additions have special needs and we know that with God's power working in us that He will do AMAZING things through us and in each of them.

Please stay with us on the journey. Your prayers are so valuable and such a comfort to know we are supported and covered.

I guess I have to come up with a new blog name now...

Living Loved,

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

19

Celebrating 19 years of marriage with my closest and dearest friend today. Eric you are like water to me. Refreshing and necessary for life. I look forward to every day of the rest of the journey with you.


I love you!!!!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Rebound from meltdown




Dear Ones:

Man I needed this today. Don't you just love when someone is vulnerable as they walk their walk of faith. I have been on the verge of a meltdown since the news of yesterdays outcome. Something I had no control over whatsoever. This morning as I journaled I asked my Father to speak to me. Visiting Lysa's Blog today really spoke to me as I read her posts from the past few days.

This one especially. Because I so wanted the Lord to move mountains yesterday but instead as Lysa put it

"We serve a God who most certainly can move mountains.

But sometimes the greater revelations of God are discovered when He doesn’t move the mountain. Instead, He takes our hand and helps us climb up and over impossibilities one step at a time."

I still have to have faith. I daily have to admit I am desperate for God to work in our adoption situation. To work in my role as wife, mother to a herd, & friend.


Then I watched her video below: Be sure to mute the music below and enjoy what she has to say.


3 buckets:

Out of my control - focusing on these make me act out of control


In My control - My reaction (response) "My response is my responsibility

"


Under my influence - Prayer - I don't pray to change God but so God will change me.


Thank you for speaking to me today Daddy, I needed it and I am grateful for your constant affection for me.


Living Loved


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NEVER EVER GIVE UP IN LIFE



Dear Ones:

Today was a HARD day. We had court for Big Sister today and termination was denied and Birth Parents have been given 6 more months. I literally cried all the way home and off and on all night. While browsing on Facebook tonight a friend had posted this video and I tell you I fell apart sobbing... thinking about the race I have been running and wanting to finish well and sometimes being absolutely weary with the pain. I have been reminded many times throughout today that the Father is with me and this was a beautiful story that put an image to that reality. Enjoy it and please keep praying because we are still hobbling on the track.

Living Loved

Michelle



Monday, August 23, 2010

WIN A Custom Cre8tive Charm Necklace and Help Support Adoption!

Would you like a chance to WIN one of my signature Cre8tive Charm personalized photo necklaces???

Adoption is very close to my heart as you all know. I also know how difficult it is financially and can be even more difficult to find financial support. So I am thrilled to be able to do what I can to help out. Below is a link to my friends blog and a fun giveaway to help support her adoption. I have donated one of my signature Cre8tive Charm necklaces as one of the prizes. Go check it out!!!!




Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunday is Dawning

Dear Ones:

We had the best case scenario this morning. Parental Rights were terminated for Baby Girl. I have to admit I am just stunned. Gloriously stunned. Birth Parents are appealing the decision so we will remain in prayer, but I have to say it feels really good to cry tears of joy and celebration today.
Today I got the best birthday present EVER!

Living Loved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Court Date on Tuesday


Dear Ones:

I wanted to let you know that our court date for Baby Girl is this Tuesday Aug. 3rd.
The information we know at this point is the case worker and casa worker both are requesting that there will be termination of parental rights and that the case will move to adoption. We also know our judge in the case is very conservative and the slowest of all the judges to move to permanency placement. We have been told to be prepared for him to give birth parents another 3 months. We also know if the case moves to adoption the parents can appeal. We are also hoping no family members will crawl out of the woodwork especially after no involvement for this entire year the girls have been with us.

We desperately need your prayers. Honestly my anxiety levels are through the roof. Not knowing what the Lord is going to require of our family and fearing what that might be is very difficult.

I feel like the story of two mothers in 1 Kings 3:16-27. I feel like this baby is caught between two mothers and we are before the king and I hope the king will say "Give the baby to the first woman, because she is the REAL mother." I feel like I am her real mother. No matter what happens, I am her real mother.

I have decided to spend Monday fasting and praying. I will not be on the computer until after we return from court. Would any of you be willing to give up something to spend time in prayer for our family on Monday?

Please pray for God's will. First and foremost for these girls to be safe and for them to know Him always if they are with us or not. Please pray if things do not go as we are hoping that we will trust when we do not understand. That we will not be resentful in our disappointment. That we will know God is for us and not against us. Honestly, we are praying for these girls to be forever family members. That is our hearts desire and hope.

My next post will be how everything goes on Tuesday. Thank you once again for standing with us.

Living Loved,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Somewhat of a 3 Year Saturday~~~ Plan B


Dear Ones:

This post has a funny tittle huh? Well let me see if I can make sense of it all. Let me start with today marks our 3 year anniversary that we started the process of adoption. I never would have thought it would have been this long of a journey. I certainly had no clue as to how incredibly difficult the process was going to be either. This was not my plan A. In comes Plan B.

Plan B circumstance examples- "You feel like your pouring your heart out to God and your prayers are bouncing back and nothing is changing in your circumstance. You've been praying about a dream that feels like it is slipping. You've been praying about an unmet expectation. But nothing. You pray but you see no change in your circumstance. You pray but the things you are dreading still happens. You pray but you still feel all alone. And maybe not just alone. You feel like you've been kicked in the stomach. When the One you depend on to give you what you want doesn't do His job, you feel betrayed, let down, thoroughly disillusioned.

I have never been so stretched. As the mother of 4 biological sons I am covered in stretch marks from pregnancy. Adoption on the other hand has put the stretch marks on my heart. Unfortunately some comfort food weight gain has come into play too. Sorry I digress.

I have started a new book recently and like so many other times in my life it could not be more perfect for what is happening in my life. Especially how it has gone over the past 3 years.
The tittle is "Plan B, What Do you Do When God Doesn't Show Up The Way You Thought He Would?" by Pete Wilson. Check out this you Tube Video about it HERE.


This is a HARD book and it has been kicking my tail but it is also very real and comforting. I am learning that control is just an illusion. I can not control the outcome of my life. The only thing I can control is how I respond when life brings me a plan B situation. Hopefully to surrender. Hopefully giving room for God to work.

I am learning God is with me and even if not immediately, eventually I will see God in my circumstances. I have learned that "the Lord is with you" does not mean things are always going great. Even when God is with me life is not always going to turn out the way I hoped. Look at my favorite Bible Character Joseph. He had one plan B situation after another and God was with Him. I am learning that sometimes discovering God's will is a matter of trial and error. Sometimes we get it all wrong. Sometimes we have no clue whether we are getting it right until much later. God's will is as much about the person I am becoming as it is about where I am going. I love these quotes from the book;

"The process of becoming the person God wants us to become doesn't come from success, success, success. It's loss, success, failure, success, heartbreak, success, disappointment, success." "We tend to think God is with us only when everything is working great and all the charts of our life are going up and to the right and we think that our Plan B situations are signs that we're not where God wants us to be."

What a HUGE comfort to know how untrue that last statement is. That thought process can destroy your faith.

I am learning that my faith must rest in His identity and not necessarily his activity. Placing your faith in what God does (usually what you want him to do) brings so much frustration and disappointment because we will never figure out God's ways, which are higher than ours, this side of Heaven.

I have to ask myself this question ( a quote from Andy Stanley ) "Am I going to define God by interpreting my circumstances or am I going to simply trust that God is who he says he is?"

Ever heard the saying God will never give you more than you can handle? I am learning nothing could be further from the truth. The truth is throughout life you will face one situation after another that will be completely beyond what you can handle and we have a choice to either abandon God or worship Him in the midst of it. The Bible is packed with stories like that.

We get to ask ourselves are we going to serve His kingdom the way He asks or the way we want to?
My plan A was Guatemala, in and done in about a year....Never would have I chosen Foster Care NEVER!!!!!!

I am thankful though for those God has placed in my life who have not judged me in all of this process. Those who have not looked down on us and who have stood faithfully by us in prayer. Those who GET IT! Three years is a long time to hang I know and some of my closest relationships have come out of this Plan B situation.

I am learning more about the cross. The seeming ultimate Plan B scenario. I have learned that part of why some of this past 3 years has been so hard is because I have wanted what I thought God could give me more than I wanted God.

Here is where this post tittle comes in. It was Friday when Jesus was crucified. How devastated the disciples must have been and how that hopelessness intensified as they moved into Saturday. Good Friday is the day redemption happened. Easter Sunday is a day of celebration. "Saturday was a day of questioning, doubting, wondering, and definitely waiting. It's the day of helplessness and hopelessness.

Sometimes throughout this process I have felt so helpless and hopeless. I am learning God does His best work in helpless situations. I can either hope for something or I can hope in someone. The Someone who is powerful, in control and who can and will do the impossible and that is not based on whether my life turns out the way I want it to turn out.

I am learning that if I feel distant from God it is because I have drifted not because he's left.

Somethings throughout this process have felt like they are in the tomb. I am learning "when Jesus shows up at your tomb, he can set you free. He can breath new life into you." "While life is uncertain. God is not. While our power is limited, God's is limitless. While our hope may be fragile, God is hope Himself." This does not erase pain, and sickness and the hardship of "Plan B" but I have this hope because I am hoping in Someone:

My favorite quote from the chapter I read last night:

"Your world may feel chaotic, especially when you are stuck in a Saturday (boy can I relate) struggling hopelessly with your Plan B. But no doubt about it, GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL, And one way or another (which will be his way not mine)
SUNDAY IS ABOUT TO DAWN!!!!!!!!!!

to be continued...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What a Year!!!


Dear Ones:

One Year ago today I walked into the NICU to meet Baby Girl. I just could not believe the call had finally come. I was on my way. So much excitement inside of me. Yet equally matched with caution. She was so beautiful. I thought I would sob my head off when I saw her for the first time but I just couldn't. Not that she wasn't precious... I just didn't have that "she's mine" experience.

As she came home both Eric and I had somewhat of a guard up. It didn't take long though to fall completely head over heals in love with her.

I finally had my sob moment when our dear friends Fritz and Andrea, who have completely stood by us every step of the journey, came by to meet her for the first time.

Fritz brought his guitar and sang worship songs over her and I just lost it. Every guard I had in place just crumbled.

This girl melts my heart. I am just done for her. She makes my heart smile. All of us are that way....totally smitten.

I still have not had the "she's mine" moment and we continue to hope that one day we will. Ultimately I know that she is His and He loves her more than I do...so I continue to place my trust in Him.

Thanks for staying the journey with us, I know it has been long. She is beyond worth it... hoping one day to introduce "our daughter" to everyone.

Living Loved!

Friday, May 28, 2010

An unexpected Blessing!

Dear Ones:

I just found out I was featured @

Mama's Little Notebook


Please go and check it out!!!!
I am under Faves for Cre8tive Charm. Just click on the link above :)

Living Loved!!!!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No or Not Now...

Dear Ones:

Sometimes I am just a brat. I want what I want and I want it now. I was reading an e mail devotional from Proverbs 31 this morning and it was just what I needed. I felt a little spanked but I also felt encouraged. Mostly encouraged I guess, because My Father keeps working on me. Sometimes I think I am a hopeless case but He continues to be faithful to complete the work He has begun in me. Let me share the part that really hit my heart:

"Hearing "no" is never easy. However, as children of a loving Heavenly Father, we can learn over time to trust that He really does have something planned that we are going to love more than what we want right now. When we trust God is working behind the scenes for us, we can control a complaining spirit that threatens to steal our joy. And restore our faith in God's goodness.

Dear Lord, I know I'm often like a child when I get told "no." Help me to understand in my head and in my heart, that You truly love me, and that You are planning something good. Forgive me when I doubt You and voice those doubts in a complaining way. In Jesus' Name, Amen."

Honestly, I have been complaining whether in my mind or out loud. All it does is wound my trust in God. Causes me to doubt. So the paragraph before this one really is my prayer. Asking for the understanding that I am truly loved by God and he has a future and a hope for me. That all things will work together for good. The truth really does set us free and I am repenting and all ready feeling lighter.

Living loved,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Fighting a Funk

Dear Ones:

Do any of you sometimes find it difficult to not dwell on your challenges or frustrations? Maybe it is just me. Sometimes I really feel like the whole taking your thoughts captive thing is such a battle.

I find it helps for me to focus on things I am thankful for so this post is just that. A little list of things I am thankful for:

  • A savior who is faithful and kind esp. to someone like me who can be so unkind at times.
  • My husband who still finds this older, stretched out & sagging, PMSing, hyper sensitive bride of his, the love and attraction of his life.
  • My wonderful , amazing sons who I have seen grow leaps and bounds in their stature and their faith. I not only love those guys, I genuinely like them.
  • Two little sweethearts that have totally stolen our hearts and we will never be the same for having had the opportunity to love these precious angels.
  • A fantastic school that supports our desires for our children to know their lord and savior and to love others with the love of Jesus.
  • True, genuine, non - judgemental, safe friendships that you can laugh and cry with. You know those who like Jesus see the worst in you but believe the best about you. I treasure those relationships.

Well thanks for letting me share a portion of what I have to be thankful for. It really does help me fight the funk.

Living Loved


Monday, May 10, 2010

What Love Can Do


Dear Ones:

I just need to tell you what Love can do. Let me start with I know I haven't been writing much about our foster/adopt situation because I really do not want to be a broken record that everyone gets sick of hearing.

It is still very much a raw emotional experience. Monday's especially. Mondays are when we have visitation. Baby Girl usually cries while we are there and then I cry on the way home. It is just so uncertain. So much heart is invested. So much risk. So much hope, and so much trust and so much exhaustion.

I tell you if these girls leave it will feel like a death. Our hearts will surely grieve big time. I really am believing God through this all though. Either way I know will be a powerful miracle. But honestly I struggle. I know he will heal our broken hearts if we are not to be their forever family. I just don't want to have to walk that path. Sometimes I feel so broken just thinking about the possibility. Today was one of those days. The tears just could not be held back. Frustration, bewilderment, questions, anger...you name it... it reached a breaking point today.

I just wanted to say I don't understand Lord and I am tired and this is too much!

You know one of those times when you just feel ugly and weak. This is what the Lord came back at me with:

First a gift from my BBFF. It is a mini photo album packed with scripture and truth. She brought this out to me today when we returned from visitation to pick our boys up at her house. I just wept as I read through the pages. As I felt God wrap His arms around me through the work of her hands. Such perfect God timing wouldn't you say?

Then tonight as I sat emotional and crying again my sweet little guys Canaan and Zion brought Mommy some love. Canaan had a late Mother's Day Poem that he had so artistically decorated with his art and glitter glue. He is so precious and so was this gift.

Soon after my Zion came in and handed me a note that just blew me away. I was like this kid is in third grade for Pete's sake and he so lovingly spoke truth to me in his note. I seriously want to frame this to remember always. I hope you can read the words. They are POWERFUL!
And there you have it. Love changed everything. It brought me safety, hope, strength and encouragement. It spurred me on when I felt at the end of my rope. God is good, all the time!

Living Loved!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Love to Hear Your Thoughts







Dear Ones:

I would love to hear your thoughts about something. Since adding my new jewelry to my cre8tions, I have had a nice rush of sales. All of which have been from very supportive friends/family. How do you think I can get outside my personal connections? Hopefully those who bought pieces will share from where and I can get some nice word of mouth advertising, but I would like to brainstorm with you guys to see how I might increase Cre8tive Charms awareness. I lean towards economical suggestions. Let it rip...

Living Loved

Thursday, April 29, 2010

New In the Shop Today


Dear Ones:

My slogan for MY ETSY SHOP is "Wear Your Heart" I think this inspirational piece fits don't you? New in the shop today.

Living Loved!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Having So Much Fun







Hi Dear Ones:

I just wanted to share some of my latest cre8tions. I am having so much fun and it really is cre8tive therapy for me. A nice distraction from the ups and downs of the foster/adopt process. I am loving all my pieces but those near and dear are the personal photo pendants. How cool to combine both my cre8tive passions. Be sure to check out my etsy shop I think if you hurry there is still time to order a custom piece for the Mother's in your life! Local readers contact me through e mail so you don't have to pay shipping charges :) All I need for custom photo pendants is a good quality digital photo e mailed to me :)

Living Loved!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Who Knew?









Dear Ones:

Who knew I had some crafty in me? I have always admired those around me who had mad crafting skills. I always thought I was not the crafty type, but as I discover new facets of me, I never knew was there, I am having a blast.

For a long time I never knew what else there was to me other than being Mom. There were even times I felt so down about who I was and wondered what I had to offer. It was even scary at times to think after kiddos...then what?

You might think I am silly, but it was something I put to prayer. I find it so cool that my God is so personal and he cares so much about every detail of my life and I can bring everything before him.

As I waited for self discovery I tried and bombed at so many things. This was so frustrating and self esteem wounding. I have to tell you though how blessed I am to have the best husband in the world who kept encouraging and believing in me. Even when I did not believe in myself.

I feel like I am finally developing me. Things I was meant to do and be beyond motherhood. Not that I am bashing motherhood. It is and always will be my most rewarding and challenging aspect of myself, and I would not trade it for anything. I also think that God has been so good to bring these self discoveries to me in the midst of EXTREME motherhood (6 kiddos - 1 teenager, 1 tween, 2 grade schoolers, 1 toddler and 1 baby). It is a comfort to me to know that when life progresses and motherhood is not as extreme I still have something to offer. The best part is I love what I am doing and for a long time I feared I would not find that.

Photography has grown into a passion for me and I am learning more and more all the time and look forward to continued growth in this area of me.

Jewelry making has also become a borderline obsession. I especially love making hand stamped jewelry and glass tile pendants.

Some of my most recent work in both these areas is pictured above. The cool part is others are enjoying my work. People ask me to photograph for them & pay me to do it. People have also bought some of my jewelry pieces. It really is so satisfying to do what you love and for others to love what you do.

So I am excited to see what comes next I hope you stay tuned...

Living Loved!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Super Excited



Dear Ones:

I am super super excited to share that I have some new additions to my Etsy shop.

I have been chomping at the bit to cre8 some jewelry pieces and just have not been in a position to buy some supplies to do so. Finally I was able to get some and I just loved what I was able to cre8.

I told my boys and hubby that all I want for Mother's Day is Jewelry supplies. I will take some for my birthday too but I am still wishing for my girls that day :) Let me know what you think and I would love to ship either or both pieces out to you.

Living Loved,

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Wonderful Spring Break


Dear Ones:

Those who know me, know I love when school is out. Nothing against my boys school. They happen to have the best one possible. I just enjoy having them around and not having things we have to do.

This week has been wonderful. We started with a birthday party to celebrate our girls. Actually today our sweet Baby Girl is 1. The party was so sweet. The cake was adorable. We had an owl for Hootie (Baby girl) and chocolate bon bons for Bon Bon ( Big sister). We were surrounded by some of those who have faithfully stood by us through all of this and have never wavered in their support. My brother and his lovely wife even made the trip up to help us
celebrate and it was sooo good to spend time with them.We had a precious time of worship and prayer for these little sweeties and my heart was so blessed.

Then we continued the week with a visit from our dear friends we have not seen in a while. These are the type of friends that no matter how long it has been or how far apart you are from each other in miles that your hearts stay connected and you can pick up right where you left off. We had the best time with them. Check out the pics with the fun foam swords they helped us make. We always have the best time laughing with them. Laughter is good medicine.


We also had a relaxing picnic at the lake with my "sister friend" and her lovely family. I think it was the first time Big Sister had ever seen sand.

It has been a wonderful week and I hate to see it come to end. It has made me ready for summer and more sweet memories.

Living Loved,

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