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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!


This past year has been full of amazing adventures and blessings for our family. Two trips to Ethiopia that changed our hearts forever, bringing home our precious baby girl, and seeing our kids go to school for the first time in 3 years are just a few of the changes we saw in our family. It's been a year that will be hard to top!

Can't wait to see what God has in store for us in 2012!

Happy New Year everyone!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!





Hope you had a wonderful Christmas full of magical moments!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Enjoying our First Christmas with Sophia


Just before Thanksgiving Eliza said something that summed up what we were all anticipating this year.
"It's Sophia's first Christmas home! She's going to see our pretty tree, and open presents, and eat good food! It's going to be so fun!"


It's been fun seeing it all through Sophia's eyes and watching the other kids watch her reaction. I'm pretty sure she thought we were a little nuts when we brought a tree in the house. Not to mention the cold weather she endured to pick it out. Now she ventures over to the decorated tree and slowly puts out her finger when she thinks no one is looking.



We have an animated reindeer named Rhonda that plays music when someone makes a loud noise. I have never heard it go off as much as I have this year. Our sweet girl is so full of life and when she and Eliza get going--it is so entertaining! You should see them get out all of my Hallmark snowmen (I have around ten) and set them all off.



This year Emma & Faith were in the Nutcracker Ballet and their school Christmas play. It was so fun to watch them perform. Eliza was so very proud of her big sisters. She told them how beautiful they were with their stage makeup on and the look in her eyes was priceless. Sophia did great at the ballet. She watched the nutcracker so closely when he came to life. She was A LOT louder and animated at the play. The girl knows how to work a room!



God has blessed us so richly! It blows my mind to think what we would have missed if we had let our fears win out and had given up on bringing Eliza and Sophia home. The long wait for Eliza was hard and at times we wondered if God wanted us to keep waiting and last year, when we lost Savannah, we wondered if we should go back on the wait list for a baby. Every time doubt would creep in God would find a way to reassure us and He would use my stubborn streak to keep me going. I'm so glad He did. If you're reading this and you find yourself wondering and waiting, God will give you the grace you need. You can persevere and what He has waiting for you at the end of this trial is beautiful, priceless, a treasure worth waiting for.....

Thursday, November 24, 2011

So Very Thankful....

It's been a year. A year since we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner. A year since we went out sale shopping for our baby girl, Savannah. A year since we bought the bedding, the high chair, the car seat, and the toys. A year since our baby girl died in Africa before we could ever hold her, kiss her, or tell her we love her. It's strange to me that we sat down, ate a wonderful and filling meal, and all the while the child we were dreaming of and praying for was gone.

I'm sad for us, for the siblings who love her and wanted to know her, and I'm sad for her birth mother who gave up her precious daughter in the hopes of setting her free from poverty only to have her die in a Care Center. I couldn't stop thinking about it today. We sat down to eat another filling and plentiful meal and all I could think of was that somewhere in Africa, someones child is dying. MY CHILD died in Africa.

I watched Sophia chowing down on mashed potatoes in the high chair we bought thinking Savannah would use it and I'm thankful. Thankful for the chance to love Savannah, thankful for the hard times that brought Sophia home to us, and thankful for a God WHO NEVER LETS ME WALK THROUGH THE HURT ALONE.

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever." Psalm 30:11-12



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Hearts Knitted Together


"Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself." 1 Samuel 18:1


God could have chosen to have us all go through life without the need of a kindred spirit to share our hearts with, but He didn't. He made us to need each other. He made us with a heart for fellowship.

Not long after we started the adoption process for Sophia God did something amazing. He brought some very special women into my life. At the time I had no idea the connection we would have or the connection our kids would have.

Throughout the wait we rejoiced together, cried together, and understood each other and the toughness of it all without even having to say a word. We prayed, we ate, we laughed, and we shared our hearts. Two of these sweet friends were in Ethiopia when we found out Savannah was gone. I cannot tell you how soothing it was to my heart to know they were so close to where she was.

During our time of sorrow, I had no idea that God was joining our sweet Sophia's heart with her bestie, Davy. These two sweet girls have known each other since Davy was just a few days old. When we were in Ethiopia, visiting Sophia, we brought Davy a toy from her Momma. It was during this time that the nannies told us Sophia and Davy were best friends. The nannies were so excited to know that the girls would live so close to each other.

On my last birthday Davy's Momma gave me some yarn she had spun herself. A few weeks ago I finished a scarf I made with that yarn. The whole time I was working on it I could not help but think about how God knits hearts together. I love these women and I'm so thankful for God's knitting.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Harvest

We had a great time watching our kids dress up and "treasure hunt" this Halloween. It was adorable. Eliza had so much fun and could have gone all night. I'm not sure which was more fun for her, handing out candy or getting candy. There was only one kid who was in danger of not getting any candy at our door. He was dressed in a scary costume and right before Eliza was going to hand him a candy she says, "I don't like that one," and goes to put the candy back in our bowl. We made sure he got one before he left.

Here are some pictures from our night of fun and from carving pumpkins. Careful, some of them are so cute it hurts! :)







Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Christmas Gifts that Bless

Last year I was blessed by a blogger who shared websites where you could buy Christmas gifts that help others. I used many of the links to buy gifts for family members. This year I thought I would share some of my favorites as well as some I have found myself. If you know of one that would be a great addition to my list, please leave a comment with the link.

ethiopiadad

craftymommy

Compassion International Christmas Catalog

Worldvision Gift Catalog

Gospel for Asia Gift Catalog

Living Hope Ethiopia Jewelry

Feeding the Orphans store

Operation Starfish Etsy store

Holt International Gift Catalog

Junkposse

From Africa to your Heart

TOMS

147 Million Orphans

Half the Sky Shop to Help

Show Hope Store

African Elders of Portland

Twinkle Stitch

The Fistula Foundation

foryourchildandmine

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fall Traditions


Fall is one of my favorite times of year. I love seeing the leaves change color and feeling the morning air become crisp in preparation for Winter. One of the traditions we have as a family that I look forward to every year is our trip to the pumpkin patch. This year was Sophia's first time. All of us were looking forward to seeing her reaction to all she would see. It's one of those things I dreamed about doing with her when we were waiting to bring her home. I LOVED having our whole family together at one of my favorite places.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

You'll be Blessed

One of the many things I love about the adoption agency we used to adopt Sophia is that they are not just about adoption, they are about preserving families. When a child is brought into care with a Holt program many times they are in need of immediate medical care due to illness or malnutrition. Holt is able to provide that care largely because of their sponsorship program. When you sponsor a child, you are a vital part of finding the best permanent home for that child. First, Holt works to reunite the child with their birth family, then seeks in-country adoption options, and after those options are found to be impossible they then pursue a match to a family internationally.

You may not feel God calling you to adopt but you can be a part of God's call to help the orphan. Holt is holding "Winter Jam" concerts aimed at finding sponsors for children. They need volunteers to help. Not only do you get the blessing of doing something worthwhile; you also get to see NewSong perform and come home with a free CD. Please follow this link, watch the video about child sponsorship, and see if you have the time to help at one of these concerts. You'll be blessed!

Holt Winter Jam 2011

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

One Year is a Big Deal


Our baby girl turned one today. Here is a look at what that one year has been like for her:

*born in Ethiopia
*lovingly placed with an orphanage in the hopes of giving her a safe and happy life
*being affectionately cared for by nannies and other orphanage staff
*meeting and attaching to those nannies as well as other kids in the orphanage
*meeting her new parents
*being moved from the only home she has known to a new care center in Addis
*being taken to a new country with new smells, food, language, and people who don't look familiar.
*learning what it means to have the safety of a mother & father's arms

What amazes me the most about all of this is our daughter is one of the happiest and most joyful people I know. God has truly blessed her with a special heart. I doubt I would be smiling like she has through so many losses and changes. Would you? You know what the best part for me is? I get to be her Mom.

I don't think a day has gone by when I have not thought of her birth mother. Her birth mother has lost so much and given even more in letting us raise her. You see, she is missing the good stuff. When Sophia cries--she reaches for me. How is it that someone like me can be given so much? I love the woman who gave my daughter life. I want my daughter to love her too. Oh, how I pray that God grants Sophia's birth mother peace on such a special day--a day that is bittersweet for one we love so much.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Facebook Deactivated; Life Reconnected

Facebook has been my "frienemy" for four years now. I first started an account when Toby was on a two week business trip to China & Malaysia and I was missing him terribly. Instead of seeking to be filled with what God would have for me, I sought out social interaction through social media. It seemed harmless at first. A fun way to reconnect with people I had lost touch with and stay connected with people I wanted to know better. That's what it was for a while, with a few games thrown in that I had to stop playing because while they were fun and my virtual crops were doing great, my real garden was dying and my family was being put second.

In the course of four years I have seen my social world expand into a false sense of intimacy. Really knowing the heart of my "friends" and sharing my heart with them has been reduced to a status update. I have found myself feeling like I don't need to share my life with others in real time because they have already seen it all on facebook. In the same way, I feel like I know people, but I don't know their hearts. I can easily see what is going on in your life through your facebook, but face-to-face, I'm too busy to say "hello". Is that really the kind of friend I want to be? Is that the kind of friend Jesus would want me to be? The kind of friend He is?

Then there is the issue of how truly addictive it can be. How easy it was for me to go straight to that facebook app whenever I turned on my phone. How simple it has been to be on facebook during a conversation with a friend, my children, my husband. How much time I have spent coming up with status updates that would gather numerous likes and comments. Do I spend that much time and energy trying to please my Lord?

There are things I will miss about facebook. I'll miss the daily scripture postings by my friend Phil, the easy way to communicate with people on a broad scale, the opportunities to step up and help those in need, and the feeling of being part of a group. I won't miss the privacy concerns or the needless drama that arises from time to time.

It has just been a few days since the facebook deactivation. I am hoping that I'll be a better friend, mom, wife, and follower of Christ. I already have more time to spend on all of those things. I'm looking forward to striking up real conversations and maybe even writing an actual letter to a friend.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!


It's our last day of Summer vacation and it has been a busy one! Sophia has been doing wonderfully, even with the trips we have taken. More about our Summer adventures to come on another post. Right now I want to talk about some big changes for our family this Fall. Ethan, Emma, & Faith are headed off to private school. I have to say, it's bittersweet for this Momma. God provided a way to send them and made it clear to us that our season of homeschooling was ending (at least for now). We are so excited for all the new experiences they will have at school. Ethan is starting high school (I absolutely DO NOT feel old enough to have a kid in high school), Faith is starting middle school, and Emma is off to 7th grade. I am truly going to miss our adventures as a homeschool family. However, God does not disappoint so I know whatever He has in store for them and us will be fun as well. In the mean time, if you need to find me I'll probably be in the car shuttling kids to school, dance, sports, & rocking out to whatever is on the radio with the littles.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Life's Messy......Or So It Seems

It hasn't been all butterflies and lollipops since we've been home with Sophia. At times it has been downright overwhelming. It's been messy. I've been pooped on, slimmed, spit at, even peed on. My first trip to WINCO yesterday would have been a complete disaster if not for my ergo carrier and my amazing son. (Note to others, when buying a cart cover, make sure it has a buckle for your baby or baby will try to launch herself out of the cart.) It's been tough. We are still getting to know each other. Bonding doesn't happen in an instant, it takes work, patience, grace, and time. Someday I'll know what she wants when she cries without having to guess. Someday she'll accept the comfort of my arms every time she gets hurt or feels sad. For now, we try and try again.

It's sad when I think of all she's lost. A birth family, a birth culture, the benefit of being with people who look like you. I wish I could have given birth to her, but if I had, it wouldn't have been her. Only God knows why her life has started out this way, but in His plan for her, she was ALWAYS meant to be ours. I wish we "looked" on the outside like we feel on the inside, like a family that belongs together. I'm finding that a lot of people assume, when Toby is not with us, that I have had relationships with a few different 'guys' to get the kids I have. Please forgive me if I don't correct them. I'm just glad they think I'm their mom.

In the mean time, life is messy. But then, at the end of the day, I get to cuddle my beautiful daughter, get to know her a little better, tell her how much God loves her, and how much He loves me that he picked me to be her mom.

Monday, June 20, 2011

There are no words....

I've been hesitating about posting since we've been home. We did have an amazing trip to pick up our daughter, it's just been hard to find the words for all the emotions I've been feeling. You see, we were able to hug, talk to, and take pictures with Sophia's birth mother. In a moment of time, a woman we had never met became our family. It was the part of the trip I know I was the most nervous about. I could tell right off that she was nervous too. I don't want to go into details about what we asked her or post her photo. We believe that those things should be shared by our daughter when she wants to share them and is old enough to decide to. I can tell you that her favorite color is red, that she has Sophia's eyes, that she is beautiful, that she LOVES her daughter deeply, and that she is more courageous than anyone I have ever met. I hope that meeting us gave her peace about where her daughter was going and who would raise her. I hope she knows how much we love her and that we will continually pray for her. I hope she knows that we will tell Sophia about her and the selfless love she has for her daughter.

At the end of our meeting, she gave us bundled grass. This, in Ethiopian culture, symbolizes handing over a great responsibility to another. What an understatement...what a gift...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Family of Seven in the House!

Just wanted to make a quick post and let everyone know we are home with our sweet girl! She is transitioning beautifully (and so are we). So very thankful for all the prayers! We had an amazing trip and will post more about it later. For now, here are some photos of our sweetie!





Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sophia is Coming Home!!!

Today we found out for sure that we are scheduled to appear at the US Embassy in Ethiopia on June 6th with our daughter. This means we are leaving in 5 days--5 DAYS!!!!! Are we running around like a bunch of crazies getting the house ready for a baby and our bags packed? YES! Are we feeling overcome with joy that God is bringing our girl home so soon? YES!

When we started this journey last February we had no idea about the journey God would take us on. There have been times when our hearts have been so heavy yet God has never left us. Now, we sit at an end and a beginning. An end to the roller-coaster ride that is adoption, an end to the frantic checking of email and jumping when the phone rings and a beginning of our life with Sophia home.

My heart is full from the blessings this journey has brought into our lives:

-2 beautiful Ethiopian daughters, one we will bring home and one that is home with Christ

-1 adorable nephew and a closeness with his parents that we will always treasure

-Sisters who have provided love, support, and laughter, and left me wondering how I ever survived without them--you know who you are S, C, L ;)

-Love for Ethiopia and the beautiful people who call it home

-2 trips to Ethiopia in 2 months--cannot wait to go back "home" next week

-A new understanding of God's grace that we would not have without needing it so badly

The list could go on and on but I do have A LOT to do before we leave in 5 DAYS!!!! Did I mention we leave in 5 Days!

On June 10th, we will get off a plane, go through immigration where our daughter becomes a US citizen, and walk through a terminal where our children will meet their sister. Thank you Lord for getting us here and for carrying us when we couldn't even crawl.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I Want to Love Like That.....



When we went to Ethiopia we knew we would see poverty and need on a level we don't begin to experience in America. We knew we would have the opportunity give to those in need. We knew God was going to touch our hearts and change us through our time there. What I didn't expect was to fall in love so quickly and so deeply with the country and it's people.




The first day we were in country we were blessed to do some touring in the North. We hiked a gorge that was breathtaking. Not just for it's beauty but also for the altitude. It was after that hike that we visited the Debro Labanos Monastery. It is known as the holiest Orthodox Christian church in Ethiopia. All the way from Addis we saw people walking on the road, many headed to this church. You see, it was Palm Sunday. Orthodox Christians were gathering there for a service that was going to begin at 9 pm and finish at 9 am. The priest who was our guide shared with us that the church would be filled with people standing with nothing but a staff to hold them up. All just to celebrate Palm Sunday. It was humbling. Do I treasure God enough to walk that far and stand that long? Do I love Him like that?



It was easy to find people in need at the Monastery. Many were sleeping under tarps around the church. We met one little girl and her mother who were living there. Such beauty, such hope, such joy.



When we returned to Addis, we did some shopping. Once again, it was easy to find people in need. Nursing mothers begging for anything we could give, boys selling gum and carved wooden toothbrushes. We so wanted to help them all but we just couldn't. It broke our hearts to have to walk away. Could we ever make a difference? Yet again we were faced with great need yet joy and hope still reigned in many of their hearts.

Fast forward to our last day in Ethiopia. This was the day we met the Compassion child we have been sponsoring for six years. I have to say that writing that monthly check has never been a struggle for us. We have gotten letters from him thanking us but to hear from him, face to face, how much it has meant to him and his family was priceless. I have never seen a 15 year old smile so much! It was then that we realized that we were making a difference to one boy in Ethiopia.

Click here to visit Compassion's website: http://www.compassion.com/

So here I sit, back home in one of the richest countries in the world, wondering how else God can use a simple housewife to make a difference to even one person. I want to love enough to give it all to Christ. To truly love "the least of these" enough to give whatever He asks. What that is I'm not sure, but I'm praying that when He shows me, I listen.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Court Trip Blessings



It has been a week since we saw our daughter. A week since I kissed her cheek and rocked her to sleep. A week since we said the hardest "good-bye" I can ever remember. She was more amazing than we could have imagined and the glimpses we got into her sweet, playful personality we will hang onto and treasure, especially while we wait to bring her home.



God answered so many of our prayers on our trip. Not the least of these happened when we went to court. Thankfully, WE PASSED!!!! This means that all the paperwork needed was in place and we are, according to Ethiopia, the proud parents of Sophia. Now we wait for her visa and the day we will be able to bring our sweet girl home. What a joyous day that will be!!!




God has blessed us tremendously. He chose to give us sweet memories of Sophia and He allowed us to meet the Nanny who took care of our Savannah. Let me back up a little, when we first found out our court date we found out that we were the only Holt family with that court date. At first we were a bit disappointed but then, we saw the possibility God was presenting us with to ask questions about Savannah without the awkwardness a group would have. It was a gift. While holding and loving on the daughter God has chosen to bring home to us, we were able to meet the woman who loved the daughter we will have to wait to hold until heaven. We saw her little bed. I was blessed to pour out love, hugs, and even kisses on the woman who was with my daughter when I couldn't be. There are no words to describe how full my heart is and how thankful I am that God chose to bless us this way.

Our trip to Ethiopia was only a week long, but our hearts are forever changed by what we saw there. So much need, so much joy, and so much love all together in one place.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Getting Ready to Fly

Tomorrow our baby girl turns 6 months old and one week from tomorrow we get to hold her. This momma is SO ready to meet our precious Ethiopian princess & I know her daddy is too! We would very much appreciate prayers for our trip and for our children at home. Here are some specific prayer requests for each day we are gone.

Please pray that our children at home will remain healthy, do well on the achievement tests they have while we are gone, and will have a great time with their grandparents

April 15-16-We fly to Addis Ababa Ethiopia. Please pray for safe travel.

April 17th-We tour Debro Labanos Monestery. Please pray for safe travel and opportunity to share God's love with those we meet.

April 18th-This is the day we have been waiting for! We drive to Durame to spend 2 hours getting to know our daughter. Please pray that we have a good visit with her and have a peace about leaving her until embassy.

April 19th-We travel back to Addis Ababa for orientation with the lawyer. Please pray that we would be well prepared for court the next day.

April 20th-We attend court to officially adopt Sophia according to Ethiopian law. Please pray that all the necessary paperwork is in our file and we pass court

April 21st-We have a meeting with our Compassion child, whom we have been sponsoring for 6 years. Please pray that we have a good visit with him.

April 21-22-We fly home. Please pray for safe travel and a sweet reunion with our children at home.


Thank you all so much for your prayers! We know that "...The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." James 5:16. We will be updating our blog when we get home with specifics about our court trip so stay tuned!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

3 years today....

We walked into an office in Guangzhou, China, and met our daughter. It's amazing to me how quickly three years have passed and how blessed we are to have her. She lights up every room she enters and brings joy to even the hardest hearts. So many times people tell us how lucky she is to have us, what most don't realize is that we are the luckiest ones of all.

Happy "Gotcha-Day" to our sweet daughter and to us--who are blessed to be loved by her.

Three years ago today



Today

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blessed Be Your Name

The Lord never ceases to amaze me. Today was a day in which we found ourselves in complete awe of what He is doing. February of last year, shortly after we announced we were adopting from Ethiopia, Toby's brother and wife announced the same news. We had never talked about it before that day. A few weeks later, we found ourselves applying to the same agency. Of course we would talk about possibly traveling together and how great that would be, but so many things needed to work out for that to happen. Things have happened along the way that made us feel that the chance to travel together had passed. They had court in February for our nephew, such a cutie too! Last week they were submitted to embassy and were cleared for travel to bring their son home. We thought they were most likely going to be traveling home from Ethiopia the day we arrive for court. Today, we found out they will be arriving in Ethiopia the same day as us and will be there while we are, staying at the same hotel. Only God could orchestrate it so that two brothers, who live 2,000 miles apart, could be in Ethiopia at the same time, to share in the blessings of adoption. We are blessed, amazed, and so joyful! Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Court Date!!

We are so excited to announce that we have a court date set for April 20th! We are going to Ethiopia NEXT MONTH!!!! This is the trip where we will get to meet Sophia and appear at court to officially adopt her. What a privilege it will be to finally get to see the country that we have fallen in love with for so many reasons. Only six weeks and we will board a plane and fly to Ethiopia where a piece of our heart already resides and, much like China, always will.

Please be in prayer for our upcoming trip. We will only have a few hours with Sophia before we will have to say "goodbye" until Embassy. It is so hard to know how long that separation will last. It seems like everyone who has gone before us has had a different timeline. Some have breezed through Embassy with no problems and others have been faced with one challenge after another. This is where our trust in God is tested yet again. Please pray we will hold onto Him, trust Him, and have a peace that surpasses all understanding. Also, please pray that our time with Sophia will go well and her heart will be ready to meet these crazy American parents of hers.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Welcome Year of the Rabbit


This past week was the beginning of Chinese New Year 2011; the year of the rabbit. I don't know all the traditions that go along with Chinese New Year or the meanings behind them all but this year we did a few things to make it special for her and us.

One of the things we did was make up Chinese New Year goodie bags for her preschool class. When I picked her up from preschool she was so excited to have shared some special gifts with her class. It was the first time since we brought her home that she was visibly proud to be Chinese. Chinese New Year goodie bags, $30, pride in being Chinese, priceless.

The other thing we did this year is go to the Families with Children from China's Chinese New Year Celebration. The Lion Dancers were pretty cool--although Eliza was scared of them and would not go near the costumes. They had a live band playing Chinese instruments. It was beautiful to hear and made Toby and I miss China. It amazes me how much of your heart can be left in a place so far away. The food was wonderful too, although Eliza would not try any of it.

Lion Dancers



One of the guests at the FCC celebration was the Chinese Ambassador from San Francisco. It was very sweet to hear him talk about how loved all the adopted children are. I hope he can share that with the people of China and maybe, through that, Eliza's birth parents will somehow know how loved she is.


Eliza's version of Chinese food--fish crackers



When you can't work the chopsticks, sword fighting with Daddy is the next best thing!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

It's Time to Dance...

One of my favorite passages in the Bible right now is in Ecclesiastes:

"There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven--A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance."


I am so pleased to let you all know that IT IS TIME TO DANCE!!! Today we saw the sweetest face for the first time; the face of our daughter. Our little Sophia was born on October 11th which makes her 3 months old and she is one precious little bundle.

It was just last Friday, while I was dusting the highchair, that I felt a definite change in my heart. Instead of looking at the seat we meant for Savannah to fill and feeling sadness for the things we would never do with her, I felt hope and joy for the baby who will fill that chair. I know now that God had prepared my heart for the good news to come.



Guess what we are looking at! Sorry, no peeking! We can't show her picture online but if you see me I would be happy to show you.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Counting My Blessings

Today an old hymn keeps playing in my head. You may have heard it, "Count your Blessings" by Johnson Oatman Jr. Here are the lyrics:

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain:
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
*Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
[*And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.]

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


I am thinking that today is a great day to get out of the "funk" I've been in and do some counting.