Worthy of Our Calling

Living out Ephesians 4:1-3

Our Journey From Suburbia to Homestead

Thirteen was a big age in my family.  I was the oldest, so I got there first and when you turned thirteen, you got to mow the grass.  Doesn’t sound like fun to you?  Well that’s because you didn’t live with us.  We had a riding lawn mower and a full acre.  I was envisioning me wearing my bathing suit, getting a great tan and listening to my walkman (this was the 90s, OK!).  Plus, I got to practice driving.  And since I lived out in the country, I had already been practicing on back roads with my step-dad for awhile!

I think it was my very first time out, after all the safety lessons, that I literally drove over a towel.  Not sure if that’s my fault for jamming out too hard, or my parents fault that the grass was so high I didn’t see a TOWEL!  Needless to say, after wrecking the blades, I got OFF of mowing duty about as fast as I got on it.  Eventually I talked my way back in (yes, I asked to do it, FOR FREE) and had a nice history of mowing our acre growing up.

I had parents that let me do lots of things.  I raised chickens in 5th grade with 4-H when we lived in a duplex.  My step-dad built me a huge chicken coop that took up most of the back yard of our tiny lot.  My mom always made me do it all.  Wake up at 5 am to fluff the sawdust, feed and check water levels.  Others had their animals in an ag barn and had other people do most of the work.  My mom always said if I were raising chickens that I would do it, not someone else.  I learned a lot of responsibility and care during that year.  I may not have loved every part of it at the time, but I look back with extremely fond memories.  I have always wanted that for my children, the freedom to raise an animal and roam our land.

Fast forward 20 years.  My husband, a claimed city boy raised in the suburbs, and I had been married about 9 years and were living in the burbs.  We had done the build a big house thing.  We had done the sale everything we own to downsize and to raise a family thing.  We moved into our current home in 2007 with one child that was 1 year old.  We told ourself we’d move before she started kindergarten.

Our home of 7 years we are leaving.

Our home of 7 years we are leaving.

Of course, we had no idea what God had planned.  We had 2 more babies.  We started to feel the desire to move to some land.  We prayed.  We even listed our home.  Then God spoke clearly our next move: ADOPT.  We were a little blown away and a lot sad that we weren’t getting land.  But you know what, His timing is always perfect.  We pulled our home off the market, which we couldn’t have sold for more than we owed at the time and set forth on a four year journey to our sweet son, Judah.

Judah, Adoption

We got home in December of 2014 after 12 weeks in Uganda and tried to settle into a family.  The Christmas season came and went and in early February Eric and I both started thinking a lot more about land.  We prayed separately and came together and just knew this was the time.  We were really open handed with the Lord: whatever your will, God!

We are a part of a church plant that is almost 3 years old.  My husband enjoys helping to lead worship and we are very involved in our missional community.  We didn’t want to leave, but weren’t willing to drive for an hour to attend and pass 20 other churches.

We started looking and kept expanding our circle of how far we’d be willing to look in our price range.  After an extremely quick and profitable sale of our current home (cash offer, no option period!), we started looking.  The 4 kiddos and I went looking over 2 days with our realtor.  The very first house we looked at was it.  Eric went and saw it the next evening and he liked it, but I had kinda had my heart set on another one, one he didn’t like!

So we prayed diligently.  With the kids, as we went, we decided to go see it one more time and I felt a complete peace as we were pulling in the driveway.  We left and had already started making plans.  We made an offer and after a few days it was accepted and moved into where we are now!  Just waiting to close on our new home in 2 weeks.  We haven’t packed a bit since we put our home on the market!!!  My next post will be some tips to get your house listed and fast!  Then I will share some updates that we plan to do (not many, it’s a great house) to our kids rooms and ours and will share our trials and errors as we move out to our 1.5 acres of land!

We call this our country 'buildin'

We call this our country ‘buildin’

We can’t wait to share our journey as we get chickens, rabbits, renovate a huge building, plant a garden and experience life out in the open pasture.  We cannot wait to get out there.

In the mean time, we’re letting our kids dream about fun rooms!  We’d love for you to follow along on our pinterest boards for girls rooms and boys rooms!

What a Difference $.54 can make

My kids are rock stars.  And I definitely forget to tell them that often enough.  Today is a Monday.  Usually filled with school work, cleaning up from the weekend and maybe a grocery trip.  Today however, I woke up to a semi-cleaned home.  I have enough food for today!  I realized it’s almost summer and my children have had to put up with a lot over the past month from getting our home ready to show, 2 full days of showings and not being able to come home, driving and looking at new homes, daddy working every Saturday and extra rehearsals/practices/swim team all starting.  So I declared today a mental health day.

About that time I got a text from Redbox for a free movie.  We haven’t seen Paddington.  It was available!  I held the Blu-Ray (only because our player is finicky and sometimes normal red box don’t play in it) and for $.54 I changed my kids day!  I said, “We’re going to run an errand.  We need to drop off a check, pick up a movie and go to the dollar tree for a few cheap boxes of candy for our MOVIE DAY!”

We made a quick slo-mo movie on my phone and they have had almost as much fun watching it over and over :).   Cheers to your Monday friends!

A Letter to My Son’s First Mom – When Adoption Both Grieves and Gives

Dear A,

I am writing this letter while our son is tucked into this bed, sleeping away the day we had.  And it was a good day today with lots of tickles and giggles and less fits.  Today, you see, it finally hit me how sad tomorrow can be.

I am blessed with an amazing mom and mom-in-law.  And I love them both dearly, but I didn’t meet one of them until I was 19 and it took me a few years to feel as comfortable with her as I do now.  This little boy, this boy of both yours and mine, has in his 3 years called 3 people mama: you, me and the orphanage director.

A letter to my son's first mom

I think back to 4 years ago when you might have just been learning that he was growing in your womb.  You would just be learning that this little person needed you, and you chose life, and for that, our family will forever be grateful to you.  I consider how you weren’t that much younger than me when I had Cara.  I’m sad that I’ll never know how that first flutter felt or how you felt when you found out.  I will never get to tell you on this side of heaven how much our boy cares for you and how we choose to talk about you and honor you in our home.  Because if it hadn’t been for your choice, we wouldn’t have this son we love.

I grieve when I think of what you had to go through.  How hard your life must have been.  How scary it must have been to move to a new country and not know the language.  I grieve because we live in this fallen world and you got sick and we get to raise Judah.  Would you have liked that name?  We kept Mugisha, our favorite name given by you, A, meaning blessing in your native tongue.  And when we say that name and anything associated with you, he just smiles so big.  I grieve that you won’t know that smile as it grows.

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Childlike Faith

So this morning, one of the last Saturday’s my hubby has to work this school year, I woke up after finally having a good nights sleep for the first time all week.  I gave my hubby a hug before he left and my oldest was already up.  I told her I needed a shower before the little 3 woke up so I was going to let her watch a show: Wild Kratts. She followed me to the bathroom and we chatted for a few minutes and I asked her to go to the garage to get a new bag of toilet paper.

She was coming in and I scared her and we had a good little chat and giggle.  She went back to the garage to put some up because she brought three bags in, instead of one.  I was putting the new bag in the linen closet and I heard this awful scream!  She ran to the bathroom; she had closed her finger in the door :(.  We cleaned it up and the little three woke up and we put a cold pack on it.  I grabbed a shower while they all watched a show; I fixed breakfast and got basketball uniforms ready and she came to me and said it still really hurt.  We re-bandaged it and as we were cleaning it up again and I was making plans to take her to Urgent Care, she told me this.

“Momma, after this happened, I prayed.”

I asked her what she prayed.

“I prayed that God would take the pain away and that it would heal fast.”

And just like that, even in her pain, she turned to the Lord and my heart swelled.  How many times do I forget to say the simple prayers?  How many times do I feel like a failure for missed opportunities and sin in my own life?  When I yell and feel convicted.  When we experience joy and I forget to give thanks to God from whom all blessings flow.

And on this Saturday when we have basketball games and possible Urgent Care visits and a daddy who is working, again, we can still find a place and room to give thanks to the Lord.

Mother’s Day Giveaway!

I’m over at Tonya’s blog today helping to bring more awareness to the kids at Kirabo Seeds.  I have fun helping with social media and learning the ins and outs of all the different platforms.  With Facebook algorithms that no one seems to understand, PinterestTwitter, and Instagram are getting more and more productive as far as blog traffic and getting messages out quickly.  (I have both a personal and blog accounts for both Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram – I’d love to have you join us on both!)

Visit Tonya's Blog to enter

 With this, I love this ministry: the heart behind it, the children it serves and the staff who pour into them.  I mentioned before that our lawyer who finalized our adoption in the states is moving to Uganda in September to work with Kirabo Seeds there!  We have known of each other for years, but that simple statement has brought us together in these past few months and I have enjoyed praying for someone I know to serve in a country I love.  She is heading there tomorrow on her first trip if you’d like to join me in praying for Mary Beth.  Here she is 2 weeks ago at our finalization!

Mary Beth, our lawyer - now missionary to Uganda

Mary Beth, our lawyer – now missionary to Uganda

We have a cute giveaway ourselves planned for next week, so go enter this one now for some amazing mom you know!

 

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