Friday, December 31, 2010

When Truth Collides with Tradition

It is easy to get stuck in a rut. And it is super-easy to cuddle up in our comfort zone.

So often tradition is this way. And, of course, many different kinds of traditions are good.

But when Truth confronts our tradition, do we easily re-adjust our thinking?

In Acts 10 and 11 I noticed an incredible example to us of how we should respond to Truth, even when it goes against everything we have ever thought, believed, or even valued.

Remember when Peter was on the roof and saw the vision of the animals on the blanket? God was teaching him that everything He called clean was, in fact, clean. Then (in His perfect timing, of course) Peter was visited by Cornelius' messengers, asking him to come and meet with Cornelius, a Gentile nonetheless.

As a result of his visit and the Lord's grace, Cornelius and others there, who also heard the word, were saved.

"While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word" (Acts 10:44).

So here is Truth colliding with tradition. What tradition? These Jewish disciples and followers of Christ had no idea salvation could come to the Gentiles the way it had come to them.

"And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also" (Acts 10:45).

Now, if you think they were surprised, imagine the response of the Believers back in Jerusalem!

When Peter returned, they complained against him because he had eaten with the Gentiles!

(I wonder how often we judge and complain against our fellow Believers before we have heard the whole story or considered what God might be doing, in spite of us . . .)

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall when Peter explained the whole story and testified of God's work with the Gentiles.

"If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we beleived on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God" (Acts 11:17)?

(Don't you just love Peter? Despite his glaring faults, when he recognizes Truth, he just says it! I have a "Peter" in my house. His brother is a "John." And they are just awesome together. :-) But anyhoo. . .)

What was the response?

"When they heard these things they became silent" (Acts 11:18a);

What do they think? What do they do with this new Truth? It sure doesn't line up with what they have always been taught. It doesn't match their idea of God.

What would you do? Would you try to keep God in the box of all your pre-conceived ideas? If so, then you would fail to worship the God of the Bible. You would turn to the god of your imagination. The one that fits who you felt more comfortable serving.

Thankfully, these New Testament Christians were convinced that Truth was worth changing for, worth repenting for, worth altering everything they had ever understood before.

"and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life" (Acts 11:18b).

And, boy, am I glad.

So when Truth collides with your tradition, what is your response?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Bonding with Boys

So hubby easily spends guy time with our sons in the woods, hunting and camping, or talking Alabama football.

Me? Not so much. I mean, I can talk a little Alabama football. You know, like, "I remember when the Bear was still alive!"

But I'd rather just listen to my sons talk and watch them get excited about it anyway.

So what's a girl to do? I mean, when she wants to bond with her boys?

Play Axis and Allies!!! What else??? :0)

I mean, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do!

Lovin' my boys who are so quickly becoming men.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Since You've Been on the Edge of Your Seats. . .

We definitely had an interesting Christmas. We thought we had escaped a full run of it b/c we were all virus-free on Christmas Eve Day. But, unfortunately, seven out of eight of our dear family eventually suffered from the dreaded stomache virus, including yours truly on Christmas Day.

I remember lying in bed on Christmas morning (I had already managed to sit in the living room long enough to see everyone open their Christmas presents) and hearing a few sounds here and there from children playing.

I was thinking, "I can't believe I am missing all this on Christmas Day!" But before I fell into the black pit of self-pity, the Lord reminded me that it was for sickness that Christ came anyway.

It is the sickness of sin that put us all in such a need for peace. A need for a Savior. And in all our sickness, the Lord God already had a plan.

His plan didn't look like the world expected, as do so many of His plans, but His plan was for God the Son to come to earth in the form of a human to save us from our sickness. . .the fatal sickness of sin.

And for that I am thankful.

But here we are. . .on the other side of the valley of the virus. . .washing and cleaning and cloroxing. Tomorrow we will take down the tree.

Mama Hen and her family were supposed to come visit tomorrow for our monthly get together, but there is flu at her house. So she doesn't want to come here and get the stomache virus, and I don't want her to bring the FLU here! So we are just giving hugs through the phone and waiting a bit on that visit! ;-)

Before the onslaught of the Beast, we did get a few Christmas pics, and my children snapped a few shots of the very rare White Alabama Christmas.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thankful for Sickness???

Well,. . .I'm thankful they are throwing up on Thursday and not tomorrow or Christmas Day. . . .

Would be sad to miss our family tradition of celebrating with my brother's family, my dad, and my aunt and uncle on Christmas Eve. . . .

Would be sad to miss our family tradition of celebrating with my hubby's family on Christmas Day. . . .

But so far, we only have 2 down. Four more to go. . . .(I refuse to think I need to include hubby or myself in the count, LOL.)

Okay. . . . . . . . . . .I guess we are waiting to see. . . .(we're pretty good at that one by now. . .)

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Matching Grant Goal Has Been Met!!!

I do not know what to say! I am almost speechless! But I can say, "Look what God did!"

Praise Him!!!

And thank you to so many of you who were used by Him to helped us raise the $3500 needed for the goal but also made it possible for our grant to be maximized to $7000!

And thank you to Grace Fellowship--Micah's Hope and Lifesong! Isn't it awesome to know that even in this slumping economy and during the financial crunch of the holidays, people still care about what God values?! There are those who are not only "aware" of the plight of the fatherless and the worldwide orphan crisis, but they are willing to do something.

What does this grant total mean to us? It means we are now fully-funded for 2 adults (guess who that would be ;0) to go to China and bring Hai Hai home! So we can now focus on the $10-12 K needed to bring Zheng Zheng home.

Thanks to several precious friends and their donations, we are already $2635 on the way to Zheng Zheng!

Lifesong will still receive donations and direct the funds to our agency for those who are interested in being a part of Zheng Zheng's "homecoming." And since Lifesong is a non-profit, all these donations would be tax-deductible!

Thank you to all who have helped. Many, many that I do know and some who I do not. You all have blessed us, and we are humbled by your sacrifice.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

To the Tune of Jingle Bells. :-)

LOA on it's way.
Oh what fun it is to say
Second LOA on its way!!! Hey!

LOA on its way.
Oh what fun it is to say
Second LOA on its way! Hey!!!

Dashing through the rain
In a great big FedEx truck
Headed to immigration
Let's pray it doesn't get stuck!

Next stop--National Visa Center.
Then they should quickly cable
All our info to Guangzhou.
Then we should get our Travel Approval--Ooohhhhh!!!

LOA on its way.
Oh what fun it is to say
Second LOA on its way! Hey!!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Does it Start in the Mind?

Little Sister is a hoot. Have I mentioned that?

But she also adores Little Brother. So it was quite unusual when she became frustrated with him the other day. But he was messin' with her birthday present so the gift seemed to be at stake. . . . .

When she told me she was mad at him I was a bit surprised but reminded her how often she had probably messed up her siblings' belongings. After a smidge of counseling I then suggested she should forgive.

Well, she thought about it a minute then announced, "Ok Mama, I am now forgiving him in my mind."

That sounds like a good start, I think.

Actually, I think there is a lot of truth to her reasoning. Literally.

We must focus on Truth. Focus on the Scripture and God's way of doing things.

"I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplateYour ways" (Psalm 119:15).

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus..." (Philippians 2:5).

So just like Little Sister, I am thinking Truth, meditating on His Word, and trusting God to work in her heart and mine.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

LOA on Its Way!

Yesterday we had the joy of going to our agency's Travel Meeting. It was so much fun to meet other China families in the same process and to hear more details on what to expect in this last leg of the process.

(I also got to enjoy being away with my husband for nine whole hours!!!

And the icing on the cake for both of us was to hear the words from our sweet social worker that Zheng Zheng's LOA was coming to town!!!!

Did you hear us celebrating all the way where you live????

It was quite a surprise to all of us, even to our social worker, as we all were afraid we might have a wait ahead of us.

(And let me tell you, nothing in our adoption process has ever before moved quickly, LOL! Hubby and I kept looking at each other saying, "Are they sure they meant the Hixons?")

Soooo. . when it gets to Birmingham, our sw will overnight it to us (unless I just drive on down there and meet their courier guy and take HIS picture, too ;-) and then we will sign with another great fanfare, and get it back to Lifeline with all Zheng Zheng's immigration forms and visa application ASAP!!!

Hopefully, there will be a nice immigration worker who will put Zheng Zheng's file with Hai Hai's. :-)

We are thanking the Lord for this little gift of news and continue trusting in His sovereign timing.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Came Early

Yes, Christmas came early to my inbox. I received some very anticipated pics yesterday!

I've been waiting to receive some more recent pictures of our son Zheng Zheng, and they finally came!

Now, let me tell you, this just about melts my heart. Isn't he ADORABLE!?!

We were oooohing and aaahhing over this little darlin' all day. :-)

Look at that amazing smile!!!

Buddy, we're coming as fast as we can!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Little Sister's Big Day

Today our sweet baby girl turned six! I just can't believe our Little Sister is six years old!!!

She has been such a joy on our lives. Little Sister has such a fun personality and a free spirit.

Life is never dull with Little Sister around! She has such a quick wit and easy-going personality. We are always entertained with her around!

Here she is on her birthday with her long-awaited Pillow Pet. (Has anyone else heard enough about these yet???)

Happy Birthday, Little Sister.

We love you so very much!!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Get a Look at the Thermometer!

Yea!!! Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to us and our sweet waiting sons!

We are so thankful to see our grant total growing!

Every dollar will me matched, and when it reaches $3500, we will be at or very close to fully funded to bring Hai Hai home! We are so thankful for this matching grant!

Meanwhile, we are planning a few fundraisers to help raise the $10-12 K for Zheng Zheng! Please pray for miracles!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Guess Who Dropped By!

And he had a very anticipated package!

Yes! Our LOA is here! Yea!!!

The disappointing news is there was only one LOA in the package. :-(

So we are still waiting on Zheng Zheng's LOA. The question of the day, or week, or whatever, is "When will the CC*A send Zheng Zheng's LOA?"

No one seems to know.

But we are so thankful to have Hai Hai's!

We signed it with great fanfare. . . .

And we will be sending it off Monday!

Next stop: another rendezvous with immigration!

Please pray that Ch*n* will speed Zheng Zheng's LOA along. We hope it will catch up to Hai Hai's paperwork soon at one of these last stops. (Travel approval is typically 8 - 10 weeks after LOA.)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Could He Be Yours?

My sweet friend Stacy at My Cup Overfloweth (the dear who is doing Christmas Frenzy) just returned with her precious son from China a few months ago. Her son Solomon had a best friend in the orphanage. Dalton is his name, and he is quite the cutie!

Dalton needs a family, and Stacy is advocating for him. Please go visit her blog and read about Dalton. It could change your life! ;0)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Comfort and Cost

I love my kids. I know you love yours, too!

If we could sit down together, we could drink some sweet tea, swap photos, and talk about how they make us laugh and smile.

Just like this morning at church when I had a great time laughing with a friend about the witty things our newly and almost 6 year olds say.

I look at my children and think, "What if I had missed all this?"

What if we had listened to the naysayers and decided 2 would be enough?

You know, "A girl for me, a boy for you, praise the Lord, and now we're through!" ;-)

Many years ago, I was afraid with such a "quiverfull" mindset, we'd end up with a dozen kids.

Now with half a dozen in the house, more doesn't sound so bad.

(Two more sounds really good, right now, actually!)

Now am I trying to convince you that I've got it all together?

Would I dare suggest our home is just perfect and all is always blissful?

There is always an element of chaos. Usually noise from most every room.

They are not near as quiet as we'd sometimes like. . . . . .;0)

But, you know, this life is not about me. It is certainly not about my comfort.

And when I feel like I'm getting too comfortable, I know I need to be looking to see where I'm falling short.

Christ's life was not comfortable. Neither were the lives of the disciples. Nor the prophets for that matter.

I know most missionaries lead pretty uncomfortable lives.
And that is what I am. . . . . .a missionary in the heart of my home.

And I think about what my dear friend Robin recently posted, quoting Charles Spurgeon:
"God forbid that we should offer to the Lord that which costs us nothing."
So I resolve again to wake each morning, trusting in His mercy and grace to equip me. I depend upon Him to minister through me to each of these precious children and to the ones who are yet to come home.

I cannot do it alone.

But God forbid that it should cost me nothing.

Ni Hao Y'all

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two Sons from China!

Wow! How do I begin? I think I will start with a big PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Way back in the spring, when we first submitted our LOI for Hai Hai, we were also especially drawn to this other precious little 3 year old boy. However, as many of you know, it is not too common to bring home 2 at a time from Chin*.

Circumstances were not in our favor, so we had to "settle" for praying for this precious child.

But deep down inside, I knew I was his mama. I can't explain it. But I certainly didn't trust my heart b/c of our past experiences with adoption disappointments.

So the months went by, and we would check occasionally to see if he was still on the "list."

He remained.

Recently, we and our agency realized that perhaps circumstances might be in our favor, and we submitted an LOI (Letter of Intent).

Yesterday, in my inbox sat these most precious words: "Pre-Approval!"

So we have 2 sons waiting for us Ch*n*! To God be the Glory! What an amazing "Solomon's Porch" occasion to celebrate and praise the Lord!

This son is 3 years old like our Hai Hai and also has similar special needs, even though his are a bit further up the spectrum than Hai Hai's. We are so thankful they will not only have us, but they will also have each other!

So with no further delay. . . . .introducing. . . . . .

Zheng Zheng!

(I think he already looks like a Hixon. :0)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Solomon's Porch Opportunities

This morning I was reading in Acts 3 about Peter and John at the temple. When they met the lame man, they looked on him with compassion.

Peter said to him, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk" (v.6).

The Scriptures tell us that immediately the man was healed. So healed that he went "walking, leaping, and praising God" (v. 8).

Notice how his healing immediately led him to praise the Lord.

But he is not the only one who seized the opportunity to exalt Him.

After the lame man was healed, others saw the results of this miracle and ran out on Solomon's porch, greatly amazed (v. 11).

As soon as Peter saw this opportunity, I noticed that he quickly responded by witnessing and pointing the crowd to the Lord.

So I asked myself, "Am I paying attention to the opportunities in my life that give open doors to glorifying the Father?"

I want to be quick to seize these opportunities, much like Peter was.

What about you? Are you letting these "Solomon's porch opportunities" slip you by?

Obviously, some Solomon's porch opportunities could be great amazing events in our lives, perhaps as amazing as this lame man's miracle.

But there are so many opportunities in our day to day lives that lend themselves to testifying of the Lord's greatness.

How many Solomon's porch opportunities have you had today?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Giveaway Winners!

Thank you to everyone who has helped support our efforts to bring Hai Hai home! We have been so encouraged by people's support and interest.

My sweet Middle Sister helped me draw the winners' names. I am so excited to show our thanks through these gifts.

The winner of the Adoption Bug t-shirt is Crystal Moman!!!

The winner of the $20 Target gift card is Chelsea Gour!!!

The winner of the David Platt book Radical is Vicki Jensen!!!

I will be happy to mail these ASAP! Please send your mailing address to

Thank you to everyone!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Last Day of our Thank You Giveaway

Good morning! Just a reminder that this is the last day before we draw for our Thank You Giveaway. We are placing all our dear friends who have been so kind to us in our fundraiser this past month and the new "followers" in our Thank You Giveaway.

The kids and I will have the drawing tonight before they go to bed. I will post the 3 winners in the morning.

Prizes to be given away are an Adoption Bug t-shirt, $20 gift card to Target, and David Platt's book Radical!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Matching Grant!!!

God is so faithful.

We knew when we committed to international adoption that we were stepping into a great expense. But when you know God is calling you to follow Him, you also must trust that He will supply what is required.

In this we have put our trust through this process.

God has been very faithful to bless so many of our efforts in this cause. Many of you have helped us with bake sales and a yard sale. Many others have bought t-shirts, jewelery, Belk tickets, and Mary Kay. God has used several people to bless us with money donations.

We need just a little more than $7000 to bring Hai Hai home. This is something to praise God about! He has helped us save/raise almost $19,000!!! He is AWESOME!!!

We are so thankful that we have now received a MATCHING GRANT!!! Grace Fellowship-Micah's Hope has blessed us with a $3500 matching grant, and it is being overseen by Lifesong for Orphans.

For every dollar our family and friends donate in our name to Lifesong for Orphans, they will match it up to $3500. That means we have the potential of receiving $7000! (Remember how much we need? Isn't God amazingly good???!!!)

If you would like to help bring Hai Hai home, you can contribute a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE gift that will then be doubled!!! Please preference the donation by designating it "Hixon #1525 adoption."

Please continue praying for us and for Hai Hai!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"Thank You Giveaway"

We are getting closer each day to bringing our Hai Hai home, and I want to remind everyone about our fundraisers!

We are selling t-shirts, Mary Kay Satin Hands Pampering Set (be sure to put "Hixon adoption" in the comment section) , and Junk Posse is also giving us 30 % of proceeds when a customer puts "Hixon" in the comment section during a purchase.

Please go here for more details on all these great fundraisers!

For all our sweet friends who make a purchase before November 16, you will be entered into our "thank you giveaway!" Prizes include an Adoption Bug t-shirt, $20 gift card to Target, and David Platt's book Radical. (Please leave me a comment or email me letting me know of your purchase.)

Be sure to read all the details!

(You can also receive an extra entry in the "thank you giveaway" by becoming a follower--if you are not already!)

Thank you for helping bring Hai Hai home!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Happy Birthday to the Man I Love!

I have a fabulous hubby, and today is his birthday!

He is an AWESOME husband and one TERRIFIC daddy!

So thankful for a man who loves the Lord and loves Truth.

Happy Birthday!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Why I Love Homeschooling: Reasons # 138, 139, 140, and 141

Lunch with best friends. . . .;-)

P.E. in the park

(Or should we call this recess. . .or just plain fun?)

Science and Moonpies in the fall leaves. . . .

And I LOVE that Big Sister still spends time with her younger sisters.

Holdin' on to these days as they seem to be passin' ever so fast. . . . . . .

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Now Where is that Cape?

So I get up this morning with my sweet children in mind. They love homemade cinnamon rolls.

So at 5:15 AM I am working away, smiling at the thought of those happy little faces.

Ya know, it takes a while to make these little gems. (There's a reason Pillsbury charges so much for those pop n fresh cans.)

I'm even beginning to think, "These are going to be so good. Maybe I should just get rid of this old apron and find my supermom cape."

The kids rise and begin drooling. The rolls rise and begin oozing. Yumminess dripping--tempting us all.

Well, we all need a pridebuster. . . .I guess.

As those fabulous looking rolls have only 5 minutes left and the homemade maple icing is ready to be applied, I notice something seeping from the oven.

It's not. Oh, yes it is.


The next thing I know we are opening windows, turning on fans, and at that point, I think my cape blew out the kitchen window. . . . . .

Yep. About the time we saw flames in the oven.

Or maybe it was when the smoke alarm went off.

Or was it when hubby had to call ADT and ask that they NOT send a fire truck?

Cause he had doused the fire with flour.

But he was a sweetie. I think he needs the cape.

He volunteered to go get breakfast from McDonald's.

Update: One pan is salvageable. Older Brother renamed homemade cinnamon rolls "Smokies." I guess when I get the oven cleaned out I can finish baking the other pan. Easy Oven anyone???

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Privilege

I love this pic. Middle Sister is stirring the eggs for our breakfast burritos, and she has Little Brother on her hip, giving him a turn at the bowl.

Obviously, she didn't need his help. But she allowed him the opportunity to help and get involved in the task.

Of course, he loved it.

I just love her heart.

And it reminded me of Christ.

You know, He doesn't need us. He has been doing fine for all eternity without us.

I noticed this Scripture while reading The Attributes of God by A.W. Pink:

"Below the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, He taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. To whom then will we liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him" (Isaiah 40:15-18)?

Yet He loves us, sustains us, and even gave Himself for us.

Then He lets us get involved in what He is doing.

He invites us to value what He values, care about what He cares about, and then calls us to get involved in the task.

We get to "stir the eggs."

What a blessing. What a privilege.

Ni Hao Y'all

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Christmas Frenzy: A Chance to Make Eternal Investments!

There is an awesome Mom over at My Cup Overfloweth who wants to make a difference in the lives of Christmas shoppers and adopting families at the same time! Stacy and her husband just came home from China last month with a sweet little boy, and she definitely has a passion for orphans! She has offered much encouragement to me over the past few months, and I love her heart!

She is making it possible for Christmas shoppers to buy Christmas gifts that make eternal differences!!!

You can go to her site and link to several adopting families who are fundraising to bring their precious children home to their forever families.

Imagine! Giving gifts that make eternal differences!!! Instead of shopping retail and fighting the crowds, you could invest in the life of an orphan (James 1:27) right from your chair! :0)

Below are some of our fundraisers that are helping to bring our little Hai Hai home:

1. Tracy at Junk Posse is offering us an incredible opportunity! If you purchase jewelery from Junk Posse and include "Hixon Family" in the comment/notes section, she is donating 30% of the profits to our adoption efforts! (Just make sure it is not a piece already designated to a non-profit.) She has some AWESOME jewelery that you definitely want to see! She will even custom-design for you!

2. Our family is also selling these great t-shirts through Adoption Bug! These are fabulous shirts! What a great way to promote adoption, family, and love! Please consider one of these shirts as we will receive proceeds from these sales, and the proceeds will go directly to our adoption efforts!

3. One of my dear friends Christy is a Mary Kay consultant, and she has offered us a generous fundraising opportunity. If you buy the Satin Hands Pampering Set, we will receive 40% of the sale. (If you have never tried Mary Kay's Satin Hands, you are in for a treat!) This wonderful set even comes in a great gift bag, so you would be all set with this as a Christmas gift! Be sure to put "Hixon" in the comment field at checkout. Please go see Christy's website!

4. Now, for those of you who just don't see anything here grandma would like, or for those of you who just really enjoy the spirit of department store Christmas shopping, we are selling tickets to Belk's Charity Sale Event, which is Saturday, November 6th from 6 AM til 10 AM. This is a private sale event with 20%-70% off storewide (including "special savings on rarely discounted brands"). These tickets are only $5, and with the ticket, you not only get in the sale event, you get $5 off your first purchase! ("Ticket valid on your first regular, sale, or clearance purchase.") If you would like a few of these, please email me at

Please consider Christmas shopping from one of our fundraisers! I will have a "thank you giveaway" for all those who make a purchase between now and November 16th. If you purchase from one of the above items, we will put you in our "thank you giveaway" and randomly select a few winners. Right now the prizes include an Adoption Bug t-shirt (winner selects style and size) and a $20 gift card to Target. And since the idea behind Christmas Frenzy rings so true with the message of David Platt's book, I think I will include his book Radical in the prizes! (More prizes were be included if they become available. ;0)

If you purchase an item from one of our fundraisers, please email me or leave a comment, and I will enter you into the "thank you giveaway." If you are not a follower here at In the the Heart of our Home, we will give you an additional entry into the "thank you giveaway" when you sign up to follow!

AND IT GETS BETTER!!! If you purchase from our fundraisers or from any others listed at My Cup Overfloweth, Stacy will enter you into HER giveaway! How awesome is that?

Whew! Sounds like some awesome multi-tasking! :0)