Monday, February 28, 2011

A Friend's Online Auction

Shonni over at Nations Around Our Table is holding a Bao Xinu auction! ("Bao Xinu" means "precious children.")

Shonni and her family are bringing home 2 sweet darlin's and are holding this auction to raise the funds needed for a double adoption.

Hop on over there and see the great frame her son built for this auction! You will love it! And just think, you will be making a difference in the lives of TWO orphans, who will soon be ORPHANS NO MORE!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cabeled Again!

We are so thrilled and thankful that Hai Hai's paperwork has been cabeled by the National Visa Center to the American Consulate in Guangzhou, Ch*na!

Once step closer and just 2 more steps to go!

Monday, February 21, 2011

More on Trough Cleaning

So messy houses remind us to be thankful for the oxen.

Right?

"Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox" (Proverbs 14:4).

But do I need to be doing it all alone?

Think about the latter part of this verse.

And consider another Proverb:

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when his old he wil not depart from it" (22:6).

As we train our children in the right ways, which I believe include the spiritual ways AND the practical ways, we eventually see the "much increase comes by the strength of the ox."

When Big Sister was about 7 years old, I finally awoke to the fact that I was doing her a major disservice by only requiring her to pick up her toys and make up her bed. She was capable of so much more and could contribute to the team in many ways, if only I would take the time to teach and train her.

We started small, but it did not take long to realize how much a child could accomplish, given the chance and the instruction.

It is such a blessing now to see that she can do ANY TASK IN OUR HOME if and when needed. From baking and cooking to washing and ironing to cleaning and childcare, she is able to jump in and handle it, even if it is not her normal chore, because at sometime or another, she has been trained to do it and given the opportunity to practice it.

Bigger Brother is just as capable and often accomplishes some of these tasks better than I do!

The other children are still being trained in several "job opportunities" and still need. . .ahem. . .more practice before promotion. :0) Some showing more promising signs of moving up the ranks than others. . . .but I digress. . .

Imagine the benefits of intentional life skills training. How many of you had to call home to ask Mom about every little thing after you were married? I know I did. Seems like everytime I turned on the stove, I was picking up the phone!

I hope it will also instill in them a strong work ethic, a sense of "do it right, do it light; do it wrong, do it long" (as hubby says, lol), and hopefully help them to strive towards diligence and responsibility.

And praying for servant-hearts to be moulded in the process. . .

What about you? How has this played out in your home?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Reflecting on a Clean Trough

Several weeks ago, I was bemoaning the neverending cycle of messy house-clean the house-messy house again.

I mean. . .why can't a clean house stay that way for just a little bit?

I thought of my many household projects that were yet to be done and wondered how I would ever squeeze them in between school, supper, and sunrise.

Then the very next day, I came across God's wisdom on the matter:

"Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox" (Proverbs 14:4).

Wow. God very clearly says it all in just a few short words.

Sure, if my home were just a house. . .with no precious babies in it. . .it would probably stay clean for a while.

But with the mountain of laundry and the many meals and the multitude of toys, books, and games come a mountain of joy, many smiles, and a multitude of laughter, fun, and memories.

And with the blink of an eye, they will be gone. If how fast they are growing now is any indication.



So I will keep cleaning the trough but not worry when it doesn't stay clean.

Cause that just means my house is not yet empty.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rumor Confirmed!

The rumor has been elevated to a confirmed status!

I was so thrilled to receive a short little email from the immigration officer today saying Hai Hai's application received the provisional approval we had been waiting on and that it was sent (I like that form of the verb: "sent"--instead of "to be sent", lol) via USPS.



So, I guess I'll be stalking the mail-lady now. ;-)

We're comin', boys, as soon as we can!

Rumor Has It. . . .

that Hai Hai's 800 application was approved yesterday.

Oh, I am ever so hopeful!

If you hear a Dukes of Hazzard-like yell coming from my part of Alabama, you'll know I found it in my mailbox. ;)

Monday, February 14, 2011

An Article 5 Valentine!

Seventeen years ago on Valentine's Day I received a diamond ring and a proposal.

This Valentine's Day we received an Article 5!!!

We are praising the Lord that Zheng Zheng's Article 5 was picked up today, the last little stop before Travel Approval. It will be sent to the C*AA in Beijing to await Travel Approval, which normally takes 2-3 weeks from this point. :0)

Where, oh where is Hai Hai's paperwork, you may ask. Ahhhh. . . the question of the month.

Well, I learned today from my 357th phone call to immigration that his 800 application is "in the system" and "in the building!" So it has made it out of the mysterious and autonomous Texas lockbox and found its way to the Missouri office. Where it might be "in the building," who knows. Unfortunately, it hasn't made it to our immigration officer's desk. Hmmmmmm. . . . Anybody out there in Missouri want to go walk it over to the appropriate desk for me? ;0)

If I sound disgruntled, maybe it's your imagination. Or not. . .;-) You see, not only are 2 of my babies waiting on us halfway around the world, but one of them is going to have a birthday next month. And I really want to have them in my arms by then. . . . .

Anyhoo,. . .I keep trying to remind myself of all the wonderful lessons we have learned about God's perfect timing and resting in the Lord's sovereignty. To be honest, some days I find this easy, and other days, not so much.

Like my husband said a few months ago, we definitely have our LID (Lessons in Discipline ;-).

Friday, February 4, 2011

Interruptions

Wow. This week has been full of them.

It is so interesting that a week like this has come after I noticed a small point in Sunday's sermon that mentioned the way Christ dealt with interruptions.

It seems when Jesus was teaching or ministering, there were often interruptions. Yet, He always used these interruptions as teaching opportunities.

The instance mentioned Sunday was in Mark 3:31 when Jesus was teaching to a multitude. His mother and brothers sent someone to Him, interrupting Him. Instead of becoming frustrated at their ignorance and lack of understanding His ministry and work, Christ used it as an opportunity: "For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother" (Mark 3:35).

Remember when Jesus was teaching, and people brought their little children to Him? The disciples saw it as a major interruption and rebuked those who brought them. But the Lord was displeased with the disciples and used the little interruption as another teaching opportunity: "Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God" (Mark 10:14).

I am reminded to keep it all in perspective when interruptions come my way. It is so easy to become task-oriented when mothering a large brood ;-), and especially in these last weeks of preparing to travel to China, I find myself more and more check-list driven.

So knowing that Christ never let a teaching opportunity slip him by, and remembering how when "He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them. . ." (Matthew 9:36), I am praying He will help me seize every opportunity to teach, love, and show compassion to my little "multitude." :0)