Friday, April 3, 2015

Burnt CDs and Giggles of Grace

I must begin this blog entry with just an absolute "bragfest" about my amazing, hunky, hottie of a hubby that left today for Kenya. He is currently teaching full-time and pursuing his Master's degree in Biblical counseling. He is a busy, hard-working fella. And, bless him, he may sometimes feel like he needs this degree in counseling just because he is married to me #hotmessexpress... But, I am so thankful for him and his sweet spirit as he is constantly speaking truth and love into my life. He is my confidence and balance as he leads our little family with such humility and grace. He chose to spend his spring break loving and serving our sweet friends and kiddos in Kenya. He will be teaching and discipling teenage boys that he has already established relationships with from previous missions. He will, of course, be on "daddy duty" as he spends time with our boys, Maxwell and Isaack, and will love on them a little extra for me. Of course, this "momma" sent him with goodies, letters, and pictures letting them know that they are prayed for and loved so BIG! This is the first time that he has traveled to Kenya without me, and as we woke up this morning to the news of the terrorist attack in Kenya, we looked at each other knowing that our God is sovereign. We experienced nothing but peace this morning as we loaded up, headed to the airport, and after lots of tight hugs and sweet kisses, he and the team headed out knowing that our God is in control, and His GRACE is sufficient.

Throughout our journey, one thing has been certain: God's GRACE is sufficient. It is enough. All that we need. We have seen this even more evident in our adoption journey. We are still currently in the home study process, taking a day at a time, and checking things off the list daily. We have been so encouraged by so many who have already been loving on our little one and have sponsored puzzle pieces in order to help us bring home the "missing piece" to our family. 233 pieces of our 500 piece puzzle have been sponsored as of today!  God is truly using His people to grow our family. Like they say, "It takes a village", and we are so thankful to be a part of the body of Christ. Friends are family that you choose, and we are honored that so many of you have chosen to join us on this journey of bringing our baby home from Haiti. We have not been matched with a child yet, but know that God sees and knows who he/she is. Hopeful. Anxious. Impatient. Content. Excited. Joyful. Worry. Heartache. Peaceful. Overwhelmed. Humbled. Grateful. Freaking out... are ALL emotions felt sometimes even all in just one day, it seems. YET, at the end of every day, we KNOW that His GRACE is sufficient.

Since Jared is in the air heading to one of our "Peace Places", even as I type, I must share with you a story from our first trip to Kenya. It was our first day at Wings of Life Children's Center located in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa and the second largest in the world. We walked through the gate and were greeted by singing and dancing. Instantly, my attention was drawn to a tiny, little girl with a BIG grin and even BIGGER ears. It didn't take long before she was in my arms, and I knew there was just something special about her. The next night, the girls in my room were chatting and preparing for our last day at Wings. As we were discussing the difficulty of knowing tomorrow would be our last day to spend with these little ones, one team member reminded us that God's grace is sufficient. My sweet friend had prepared verse cards for me to open throughout the week while we are on mission, and not even 5 minutes after this conversation, I opened my verse card for that day. It read, "2 Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." The next morning, I shared the verse with the team during our morning devo time, and we headed to Wings for our last day. At the end of the day, it came time to say our goodbyes, and that means that even on a cloudy day, the sunglasses come out as the tears begin to flow. I scooped that little one that caught my attention on the first day up into my arms, and knew that I had to know her name before we left. Because she is so little she did not speak English well, so I asked an older child what her name was... "Her name is Grace." Of course it is... just look at her! I literally saw GRACE like never before and know now, more than ever before, that HIS GRACE is all I need.

So... You may be wondering what is with the title, "Burnt CDs and Giggles of Grace". Well, my day today ended with a sweet time with a sweet friend. We have been friends since junior high and have shared many, many giggles together as well as "jammed" to many a burnt cd back in the day. And, tonight was no different as we sat as mommies in our monogram hats, sipping coffee, and giggling about, well, everything really. But, this was not just a simple "catch up", it was a picture of GRACE. I watched her radiate that "mommy glow" as she talked about her little one that was longed for and prayed for. She was such an encouragement to me and gave me a burnt cd from her cd player in her car that God  used to speak to her during her time of waiting. I spent my drive home in a time of worship, then the coffee kicked in, and here I am... resting in His GRACE.    

We experience this GRACE, because of what we celebrate this weekend. This GRACE is possible because of the cross. We can experience GRACE even today, because of the empty tomb. HE IS ALIVE! 

James 1:16-17 "And of his fulness have all we received, and GRACE for GRACE. For the law was given by Moses, but GRACE and truth came by JESUS CHRIST."

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