Friday, May 18, 2012

Romans 8:3b-5

So, It's taken me over 10 days to get back to posting.
Also, this is my original post with ideas and my post last week. I am going to add some photos; but my phone {where the pictures are} isn't emailing them to my computer for some reason right now.

I really am enjoying reading the sermons by John Piper on this. I'm really eager to listen/watch to Shawn Wood's sermons, too. But, I reading is so much faster for me. If I have to figure out how/when to listen to something, it takes a lot longer for me. I've noticed for years, I always look for a transcript. I think that's why I like blogs so much, too. 

So, now I'm moving on to to Romans 8:3b-5. I think verses 3b-4 are pretty tricky; but verse 5 flows really easily, so it's not as difficult to tack on as you are learning. I am doing the line breaks based on how I'm thinking through the verses. The keys to me are the prepositions:: in the flesh, etc. As you'll see verse 5 is easier to take in longer parts.

By sending his own Son
in the likeness of sinful flesh
and for sin,[
 he condemned sin
in the flesh,
in order that 
the righteous requirement of the law 
might be fulfilled in us, 
who walk not 
according to the flesh 
but according to the Spirit.  

For those who live according to the flesh 
set their minds on the things of the flesh, 
but those who live according to the Spirit 
set their minds on the things of the Spirit.

I'll try to add some links or photos as I go. Feel free to let me know how you are doing. I like getting the FB messages and emails and texts! It helps keep me going, too. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Climbing the Mountain While Free Falling...

Since last June, I feel like I have been running non-stop in all things adoption, orphan care, missional community and fundraising while also still fully engage in normal life with two active little warriors and a part-time gig that helps pay a bit of our bills. As we were praying about the last fundraiser, we were debating another idea for fundraising that would follow. The forward momentum from so many friends has been so encouraging. We still have some things to sell and things to do as silent auctions, etc. 

Yet, I felt like we had to slow down and rest. I was a bit nervous. But, I'm so grateful for God's goodness and I can confidently know now that was God nudging me to ask Travis if we could put other ideas on hold. God blessed us with bypassing our goal, so we can do that without even thinking about the next fee that is due. To me, that was confirmation that I was hearing correctly from him and not just making things up out of sheer exhaustion.

A friend observed that one of the challenges in the adoption process is that there is so much you have to do; but yet there is so much you can not do or control.

You have to do your paperwork correctly. You have to answer questions just so and say things just right on paper. You have to hustle and meet deadlines and get papers from the right place on the right date or they will expire, etc. But, you also are totally not in control. For instance, our paperwork sat in a mail room in DSS for weeks. Then once our certificate was mailed, we never go it. If I had not called back, we would still be waiting for it even though it was approved. 

Yet, you just wait and have no control. No control on when they'll get the mail out of the room. No control over how our daughter is being cared for thousands of miles away. 

So, we either panic. Or we wait in joy and peace. 

There is joy in the wait. In the community that we get to focus on helping grow in our area. In the connections to the global orphan care world that we've made. There is joy and peace in the process of knowing that God is the only who knows where our baby girl is. That the under current is peace. The undercurrent is faith. The undercurrent is trust. 

So, it's a really crazy process to have to be focused and a bit pushy and motivated while completely at peace and resting in a sovereign God. 

And isn't that just what we are always learning? Check the undercurrent of the furry?

Being still and knowing He is God. 

Yet, running the race with perseverance. 

Climbing the mountain while free falling....

Oh, the paradox.....

So, for the next few weeks, I'm hoping to rest as much as possible. And for me, rest is different than it may be for others. To me rest, will be not rushing out the door to be somewhere on time, or mailing something by a certain date or hitting a deadline for a fee or post needing updated,etc. 

I'll post probably tomorrow on how I'm resting with a refocus on the next part of Romans 8:3b-5 if you are tagging along...

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Give-a-away Fundraiser:: {Winners & Updates}

Thank you! I don't think we know how to say this enough.

{Total Raised in One Month:: $4000}

Our goal was to raise $2500 during this time. But, the number in my heart was really $4,000. And guess what! We raised $4,000!
I knew that is what we needed to pay off immigration fees and our last two agency fees. And y'all helped us get there. We now will have several months before we need to worry about the next fees being due. 

Travis and I continually talk about the fact that it would have been great to just pay for all of this on our; but that's not our path right now. And we are also know that we are so grateful for the experience of fundraising. At the beginning it was hard, and it's still crazy to see money be donated.  I know that sounds crazy; but during this process, we have been able to experience the generosity and grace of God in the most incredible ways. We are so inspired to be as generous as all of you are!

We also had no idea that raising funds for one child would open so many doors to conversation and community about orphan care, foster care or adoption. 

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for each prayer, email, post and dollar that was invested in the last month. 

{Naptime Diaries Shop last Friday}.

To those of you who shopped with Jessi at Naptime Diaries on Friday! You raised $400 for us! 

$400, people!
And I am just so excited that y'all will have her prints with the Word in your homes. If you missed this post, please continue to shop at Jessi's store on etsy. She is continually adding new prints. She even has a deal of 15 prints for $95 which make a wonderful stash of last minute gifts to have on hand. Thank you, Jessi & Nick. I know you are printing and packing and shipping. Thank you for sharing your shop with us. 


1st place::  American Girl Doll::
Jeff Davoud
{Travis' traveling soccer team buddy from jr high/high school days}

2nd place::  Jesus Storybook Bible w/ DVD/ Curriculum
Jamie & Wes Koch {let us know your choice!}
{Sweet long time Charleston/Seacoast friends!}
Thank you, Sam for the donated copy of this! 

3rd place:: $150 Gift Certificate to Arbonne {yay!}
Lindsey Reffeitt
{One of my college roommates!}
Thank you, Sandra Connell, for the amazing donation! 


Here is the kicker. I sent Jeff a message this morning to ask him what his choice of prize was since he was first place. Here is Jeff's response:

"That is awesome. I know just the little girl who would love the doll. Her name is Mia Rashkind. Could you please mail it directly to her......"

So, the real winner of the give-a-way is this precious little girl who is battling neurofibromatosis.  NF is a genetic disorder of the nervous system, which causes tumors to grow on a nerve anywhere in the body, at any time. NF is unpredictable and has varying degrees of severity. She has a goal of reaching a million fans on FB.

Become a Fan of Mia here

I am so excited that Jeff is blessing us and we get to know ship something to her from him. 

What a Joy! 

So, thank you for being a part of this. My heart is just bursting continually. 

Happy Mother's Day!

Note: I drew the names through the last night, after each person had been assigned numbers based on how many entries they had for the give-a-way.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Mother's Day Thoughts

My Jumbled Mother's Day Thoughts

Even on my worst day, somewhat like the last 5 hours were today, I won't trade this role as a mom for anything.

I really do still need my own Mom and am grateful that she's one of my closest friends.

I don't take this for granted because I know so many whose Moms are in heaven already.

I am inspired and humbled and challenged by an incredible group of Moms in my life.
              Oh, these ladies! Oh, my heart!

And yet, this year,  the meaning of Mother's Day is changing for me. 

Next year, most likely by this time, my daughter will be here.
                                  With her forever family.

And then there will be two of us in her heart.

The one who carried her
                and the one who has carried her in her heart.

My daughter's birth mom will forever be held in my heart as well.
              She chose life. 

So, my Mother's Day wish is this::

All babies come home!

All birth moms are loved!

All empty nests filled!

The Father to the Fatherless proclaimed!

Tomorrow, I'll post the winners from the give-a-way! 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Shop at {Naptime} Diaries & Support our Adoption Today, May 11th, only!

So, Jessi emailed me a few weeks ago to pick a date that she would donate 100% of her proceeds to our adoption fund! Incredible!

I especially love all things Naptime Diaries::: the person, the blog, the shop! If you've been in my house lately, you'll see that my house looks like a Naptime Diaries display studio. I am especially excited because I found white frames with mats for less than $4 recently at Michaels! My mom always had lots of scripture all over her home. As a kid, I'm sure I didn't appreciate it enough. But, now I can't get enough...

So, TODAY, is the day! May 11th! So, let's shop!

And, since tomorrow is the last day for the Give-a-way entries, anyone who purchases a print through her shop will also be entered {once} in our Give-a-way!
Here are some of my personal favorites & some that are in my home! 2 Cor 12:9 came in the mail from Jessi as a gift. I have a feeling a little birdy, aka her sister, Katie Ruby, let her in on the fact that we felt/feel very overwhelmed with the adoption. This verse has been my anchor for the last six months! Speaking of anchors, the next few are some of my other home favorites!

                      8x10 2 Corinthians 12:9 print   Romans 15:13 8x10 printHebrews 6:19-20 8x10 print
This is still on my wish list! Chevron w/ the green & a pink China!I can't decide on a verse, so I'm thinking solid colors.

         state/nation/continent love print
These are also some newer prints on my wish list!

                  Song of Solomon 2:4 8x10 printMatthew 6:26 8x10 print1 Thess 5:16-18
Also, Jessi and her blogging friends are hosting an Influence conference in Indy in October. So, to all my blogging friends and my midwestern friends, check this out! So bummed that Jessi didn't do this while she was still in South Carolina! And so tempting to hop a plane to Indy.

I encourage each of you to follow along with Jessi's blog and shop. She and Nick love Jesus something fierce and are constantly pouring out that love. They build community everywhere they go as naturally as they blink their eyes!

Thank you, Jessi!
Shop here!

Monday, May 7, 2012

{Memorize}::Romans 8:1-3{a}

There is
no condemnation
for those who are 
in Christ Jesus.

For the law
of the Spirit of life
has set you free
in Christ Jesus
from the law 
of sin and death.

For God has done
what the law, 
by the flesh, 
could not do.  

Romans 8:1-3a {ESV}

Today, I'm starting to my official journey to memorize Romans 8. 

I decided that there is no way that I can figure out how it would be best for everyone else to memorize. But, I thought I'd try to share what I'm working on. Please, if this is not at all how your mind works, and you may have a C or S personality in the DISC profile, please do not get discouraged. I am not going to follow a solid system. But, please share what system is working for you.

And post what I'm reading and doing. I hope if you are doing the same thing that you'll either leave a comment on the blog {don't be afraid of comments, please!} or my FB page, etc. I also am not going to get hung up on verse 1, verse 2. Try to memorize more in complete thoughts, etc. I also am not interested in just spitting out words, so I think I'm going to be studying this chapter daily. I'm going to be reading John Piper's sermons on this. I read better than I listen. I posted the links to what I read in the last few days below. I'll be updating this post w/ extra notes throughout the week instead of more random posts.

If you missed my post last week, you can check it out here and review some of the ideas on memorizing.

Romans 8:1-2:: No Condemnation, Part 2 


Monday: May 7th Focus:

Here is how I'm thinking through it:

There is THEREFORE now no CONDEMNATION for those who are IN Christ Jesus.

*Focusing on the THEREFORE, leading to what Paul said previously in Romans.
*Focusing then on the power of NOW being present as Piper points out.
*Crossing out the Condemnation to remember it's been destroyed forever. 
*But remembering that this is only truth to those who are IN Christ Jesus. 

Friday, May 4, 2012

Save the {Adoption} Tax Credit


So, the last few years, there has been a tax credit that allows a lot of families to get back some of what they end up spending in government and agency fees when they are adopting.

I would like to say up front that I am not the most tax savvy or know-it-all in politics. But, I do know that a lot of families have been able to afford adoption by taking out loans on their home or through the amazing Lifesong or Abba Fund knowing they could get that money back eventually.

I just saw a post come up from a family that is attending the Orphan Alliance Summit at Saddleback this weekend. Please read her post and see how you can support us.

She makes a great point, not everyone is called to adopt; but most everyone does care about orphans. This is one way to help.

Please take a minute to read this. If it changes next year, it will favor only domestic adoption or special needs children.

Here is Karen's Post!

Thanks, Karen, for taking the time to post this information.

Here are some of  her action step links. I am completely quoting her right here. I did not write this next paragraph.

"Share.  Please blog about this.  Tweet it.  Share it on Facebook. Email it to your friends.  Share it on group chat boards.  Do not stop sharing about it until the law is passed and the tax credit is SAVED.  Share this article from Reuters.  Share this additional article.  Visit and pass on the link:"

Sidebar::: Just a Thought

Also, I don't want to get super political or controversial. Children in the US who are in the Foster System are supported at least to some level and guaranteed care. Families are paid to care for them by the government. Yet, when a child is adopted, the cost relies 100% on the family adopting. Again, I know I could have opened a can of worms. I just think that is interesting thought and one that allows me to support asking to keep the tax credit. I am not advocating for not paying those families. However, I do believe that if the Church (as a whole) stepped in to take care of the US Foster issue that there would not be a need for social services to be paying families to care for children. But, again, please here me, I am not  bashing that system or the parents who are paid to take care of children that they might not have been able to care for without the extra funds. Foster families make a zillion sacrifices. I am only making a case for why it would be nice to also have support for families who will adopt a child and commit to take care of them forever since there is ongoing support for kids in the foster care system.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Romans 8: {Let's Memorize a Chapter!}

So, I've been reading over Romans 8 lately. Well, almost every morning. A few weeks ago, I felt God nudging me to memorize the chapter. So, I thought I'd start by writing it out, etc. Then I got busy and forgot about committing to memorize it. But, I kept reading it. I believe I could read it every day for the rest of my life and barely wrap my head around it. So much power in the Word of God!

After our Together for Adoption boot camp weekend, where we spent a lot of time studying this passage, I realized that this is some essential doctrine that I can not get enough of. Now, I know there is no one magical chapter in the Bible. But, there are seasons when a certain verse or passage is something you meditate on and need to digest more deeply.

So, this morning, I felt led to send a tweet and facebook post about memorizing it. I was pretty sure I could do this with a group of people. Not all on my own.

And, wow, y'all were on it! My notifications blew up like crazy all before 9 am! Austin's preschool director even stopped by car in the carpool line and told me she saw the post and really needed it. She asked if we were really going to try to memorize it. So, here's the deal. My "idea" was not anything genius, y'all are straight up hungry for the Word. As I was editing this, my friend just text me and said she was reading Romans 8:15-29 today and thought of me.

And to that, I say YES! Let's do it! Obviously, God is moving several of us to this passage right now, so let's not miss this!

{Initial Thoughts}:

Here is what I want this little journey and challenge to be:
Just enough accountability to keep us moving
Goals that are realistic and not discouraging
Exploration of a variety of ways to memorize scirpture: notecards, writing, songs, scripture doodles, etc
Focus on the Word and it's power to sustain us!

What I don't want to happen:
Anyone to feel discouraged at the pace being too fast or too slow
Anyone to give up because the systems isn't working for them
Anyone to forget that this is the WORD of GOD and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us!

{Memorization Prep}:
So, while I hammer out a good little loosely gracious and motivating structure for us... I am leaning toward 1-3 verses a week is better for the posting series? Or as the text breaks down. I saw one post that does it in 40 days, is that too intense for us?

Shall we start by reading Romans 8 daily? Pick your version, too and stick with it.

(I'm sort of an ESV/NASB girl. Kay Arthur has had me in the NASB since 1992. And I love the ESV because I trust the theologians that are using it today for accuracy in areas that I have no knowledge of. But, that wasn't an open forum for discussing versions. Just pick the legit one that you know you'll learn the best.)

Pray for the ability to focus and memorizing in distracted over worked brains!

Decide if you think you'll do better with notecards or a notebook or by doodling or check out the other ideas below.

{More Ideas}

Get Creative with Scripture Doodling

Also, check out Scripture Doodle which is the brain child of April Knight. She is a worship artist and friend. 
Every time I see April I want to hug her and want her to rub off on me...somehow...and in any way possible! She has been using Scripture Doodle to encourage meditation and worship of scripture. I'm already pretty sure my way to memorize will include notecards & a doodle book for each verse! If you are on twitter or facebook, you can also link up with Scripture doodle, too. 

Memory Box

Check out Shannon Jeffries post on how to do this. I love Shannon. Such an amazing heart. Before I resigned from my crazy wedding director job, I got to coordinate this amazing girl's wedding. What a sweet family! Check out her post here!

Music & More Tools:

I googled Memorize Romans 8, and look what I found:
Check out the tools here:
Printable flash cards in several versions.
You can follow Romans8 Movement on Twitter . I am trying to find out if they did the entire chapter or not. I don't think they finished it. But, somebody has to have a good version that isn't horribly cheesy out there, right?

Scripture Typer
Audio from You Version or Bible Gateway
This guy's You Tube Song and his second You Tube Songs for 28-39.
{Dig a Little Deeper}:

Study the Word!
Google or search through John Piper's transcripts for messages or writings on Romans if you want to learn more

I'm going to try to check out our friend Shawn Wood's mesages on Romans 8. If you want to join me, click on this link: . When you get to that page, click on Listen to Sermons at top. Scroll to 1/291/12 and series VIII. There are 5 sermons on there on this chapter. And if by any chance you live in the North are of Charleston and need a church, you need to check out Freedom Church led by our friends Connie and Shawn Wood!

All right, I'll be back on Monday, May 7th to officially kick us off. Post ideas here or on my FB page in the mean time. 

Or you know, start memorizing and get a head.