Romans 12:2

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The First Melt-Down

Last night Charlie and I are just finally in bed after a long day, and there is a very faint knock on our bedroom door....we say come in, and Esther is standing at the door with big tears in her eyes....I think to myself....ok, here we go, I have read about this, I have prayed about this, I hope I'm I say to my sweet girl...."What is the matter honey?" And she rubs the tears in her eyes and says, "Mama, I think I have lost my toothbrush." Holy smokes, I can totally handle this....I hit Charlie dead in the chest, and say, get this girl a toothbrush as I hug her and tell her it is absolutely NO BIG DEAL!!! We have plenty of toothbrushes!!! We buy them in bulk at Costco. So Charlie flies out of bed and begins to ask her what color she would perfer. She picks red and skips off to bed after a big 'ole hug from her mom and dad.

I'm pretty sure we handled this one with flying colors. Whew....if this is as bad as it gets, I think we are totally equipped!!!

As she left the bedroom, Charlie and I gave eachother a high five and were glad that on this night this was the biggest problem we had to face.

The Lord knows to start us out in baby steps!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Few New Faces!

I changed my blog the current update. As you will notice we have 2 new faces in the picture...the tall handsome young man in the pink shirt is my soon to be Son-in-Law!!! I can not wait, we are so excited and since he was an amazing trooper and spent the week-end with the family, we thought if that didn't scare him off he was a sure deal, so we put him in the family photo. His name is Chaney and he and Lashae are getting married on July 24!!! We can hardly wait, they are the most beautiful, godly, fun, loving couple I have ever met. They are just glowing with excitement and joy; and Chaney must love her A LOT to put up with what he did this weekend. We had them take their engagement pictures at my sister's house and we had soooo much fun, that it turned into a several hour project, and we didn't waste one second...we were being typical bossy hens and the poor guy was outnumbered about 5 to 1....and he did not complain one time, he was THE BEST SPORT!!!

Then, the other new face is our Esther!!!! She is the one in front with the pretty sundress on! ( case you couldn't tell). We are soooo excited to have her in the family photo finally. She was wonderful all weekend. She got to meet a WHOLE bunch of family that she had not met yet, and she loved every minute of it. She can not figure out why we all live so far apart though.......I thought that was a good question!

So, that is the new family least until mid September when this baby hits the scene!! As for now, I'm so glad it is where I can easily keep track of it because it just makes it easier at this point.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Changed Prayer

God changed my prayer. I've been praying for rest...I've been praying for some down time, I've been praying for quiet and calm and no big THING to prepare for....just get up in the morning, go through the day, and go to bed at night....not get up in the morning, and work feverishly trying to navigate the next big thing, or prepare for whatever, but just a boring season of predictability....I know most of you are rolling your eyes...this is NOT real life, but I was praying for was MY prayer.

God Changed my prayer, He has to do this to me sometimes....He has shown me I'm not asking for the right thing, I'm basically asking Him if I can be a blob and not engage, and not be urgently or passionately living and loving on people that are in my life....but just wanting to disengage and be a blob...this is not the life Christ called ANY of us, my heart and my prayer has changed....I'm praying for strength, and I'm praying for resilience, and I'm praying that I don't even need much rest, and that I have energy abundantly and joy and the desire to go, and take on lifes little things and big challenges with excitement.

We all have this strength, when we have the Lord we have the Holy Spirit living in us, and He is all we need for strength, comfort, wisdom everything we need is right IN US...we just have to tap into it and quit trying to get more rest...God will supply the exact rest I need, as long as I trust in Him and don't try to do it on my own.

Romans 8:10-13 (New International Version, ©2011) 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[a] because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[b] his Spirit who lives in you. 12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
Sunday, I was looking forward to a nap like I've never before, and instead, we needed to go visit someone in the hospital, do a little shopping, and make a delivery to a friend going to Uganda, because Esther had put together a package for her friends at Redeemer House. At first, I was all put out, that my day was going to be full speed ahead ONE MORE TIME!!! But, God gave me a great day! I felt rested and energized and I got to spend a few hours with just me and my MAN; and that has not happened in a very LONG time. Then, even in the shopping we had to do, I got the best deals EVER, and actually enjoyed, all in all, it did not go the way we planned, it went soooo much better!!!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I'm Coming Out of the Closet

We had such a good time at Bible study yesterday. I am blessed enough to be a part of the best group of ladies IN THE WORLD!!! I will argue my case until I am blue in the Bible Study...THE BEST IN THE WORLD! (I know it's not my ladies or my Bible Study...but I just like to talk like they are all MINE because I will claim each of them and they are just sweet enough to claim me back!! )

We laughed until we cried. So what were we laughing about???? Well, I finally mustered up the guts to tell everyone that I AM PREGNANT. Yes, you read correctly.

I have had a little of trouble talking about it or accepting it....I'm not so proud of that aspect....but, I was NOT expecting to BE EXPECTING!!! I mean, I just DID NOT even have it on the radar screen...and when I found out, we left just 2 days later to travel to Africa, to go to court for my precious Esther. I have NEVER been so sick. Jet lag...morning sickness...and shock are a rough combination. It was a trip that I made it through ONLY by the COMPLETE GRACE of God himself!!!

We did not tell anyone for a while...we needed to focus on getting our Esther home!

I ended up telling my kids and family ...mostly because they were beginning to wonder what was the matter with me...I was sick and pale and tired beyond!!! I was glad I told them they were each such great support and encouragement!!!

This has been my hardest pregnancy....and it was going on at the same time as the adoption pregnancy which was just plain HARD!!!!

I am now feeling joy, and I have apologized to the Lord for not trusting Him and His perfect timing. This baby....IS A BLESSING!!!

I know that I know that I know that He has given me this baby as a gift ( as each and every child is a gift) and one of those gifts is for Esther to experience in her own home in her own family....LOVING ON A CHILD FROM DAY ONE. Esther will see for the first time in her young life what a mother does when she has a baby, how she LOVES it and holds it and nurtures it. All the kids are excited for this little blessing, but it will just change Esther's perception of family and hopefully fill in some spots in her little heart that have holes from not knowing how a mama loves on a baby and protects and treasures it from day one FOREVER!!!!

So, the reason we were laughing until we cried, is because we are all women and we all know the feelings and emotions and ups and downs and hormones and "unexpected turns" and "unexpected blessings" and I got a ton of love and encouragement and now I'm coming out of the closet!!!

I'm 40 years old..pregnant....overwhelmed....laughing....crying...throwing a fit.....throwing up....thanking God for "unexpected blessings".........overjoyed....having a ball.....wrung out....behind....looking ahead.... AND EXCITED about all that God has for me!!

I'm so glad that God does NOT operate based on my feelings, but is Sovereign and All-knowing, All-Mighty, and Gracious and knows me better than anyone EVER....and yet STILL loves me and can handle me....even my fits and my fears and has the patience and Love to work with me right where I am!

I'm due September 15!!! I'm so excited to take my girls to the next ultra-sound. They are going to LOVE it. Charsie went to the last ulta-sound and has been an amazing encourager and support!! I would think she would be throwing a fit bigger than mine because she has to help so much already, but she is thrilled. Charsie and Lashae are totally experienced in all this; they were right there even at the birth with Reece.

We tried to explain an ulta-sound to Esther, but she still does not even trust the microwave, so this will be a hoot!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How is Everyone Doing??

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (New American Standard Bible) 9And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness " Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

I am blessed beyond measure! I'm feeling the grace of God and the support of people. I am loved and have more blessings in my house than I can count. We have children and life and energy ABUNDANT around here.

I have to admit, I am weak right now though. Which is a good thing because I believe God's Word and when I am weak He is strong. And His grace is sufficient. I am living proof of that right now.

I'm just feeling weak because....bringing Esther home was a tough ride for so many she is home and things are better than you can ever imagine, but there are hurdles, as with bringing anyone new into your home....when a baby is born and you bring it home everyone has adjustments to make, and sometimes the younger ones need to be reassured of their place in the family, so they require extra attention. This is kind of what we are experiencing...Reece is needing me a bit more....Luke is scared to death I'm going to forget a baseball practice, and reminds me continually...Charsie is a huge help and doing more than ever and learning to share a room....Kole seems the same, he is so busy trying to catch up from being gone that we rarely see the whites of his eyes...Lashae is being an amazing big sister, but also heading towards her next season of life, and is feeling the tug between helping Esther adjust and wanting to spend time with her man.

Charlie is working his crazy head off...and we are so thankful for the work...but, he has barely found the ground from coming home from Africa, so he tries to engage with the family at night and he just can barely hold his head up.

So, all is all, we are just weak in our flesh..strung out, tired and adjusting....but, THE LORD IS STRONG and His GRACE is SUFFICIENT and we are swimming in it right now. I honestly think I never want to leave this pool.

Monday, April 4, 2011

This one's for my Sisters.

This is a post for my sisters!! They enjoyed the picture on the last post so much...I decided to post the other one too. These are pictures that The Bulletin took on Esther's arrival at the airport, and they published it on the front page with a nice article the day after Esther arrived home.

I forget my sisters do not get our local paper, here it is. I have saved a few papers and will give them to you when I see you. :) I knew you would enjoy Charsie's joy on her face in this picture.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Esther's Homecoming

This is Lashae and Charlie walking Esther right into the rest of her family's arms. Lashae said as they were walking from the plane...Lashae was crying, in anticipation and Esther had the hugest grin you have ever seen in anticipation. Ther were probably 70 people at the airport to greet the team and to welcome Esther home. It was a wonderful celebration of a family coming together. Kole said it best in church today, he said we adopted Esther into the Brewer family and our church also adopted her into our church family. True and beautiful statement.

Esther is meeting Grandma Marcella (Charlie's mom) for the first time. Grandma has had a stroke and her memory is horrible, but she has NEVER forgotten that we were praying Esther home, and she never lost track in her failing mind of what was going on with Esther. She has looked forward to meeting Esther and it was a very blessed meeting. Grandma Marcella knew that she was welcoming another Grand-daughter into her family.

Here is Luke with his sign...him and Esther are the same his sign is welcoming his long lost twin home.

Reece's face says it all!!!! Reece and Esther are pretty good buddies.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A First for Esther!

Here's Esther...on her 4th day here she was already horse back. She is adjusting so well, and just doesn't want to miss out on anything. She is wanting to be a part of everything we do and seems to be having fun learning. She is a sponge and just taking it all in. She is observing and asking questions often. Mostly kitchen questions. She is very into the kitchen...she is an excellent cook and I've learned to just let her do her thing and she cooks what she likes....she is getting familiar with our appliances and she seems happy in the kitchen. She is not a big fan of my cooking or our food in general, but she is very good and telling me what food she needs and then she whips it up herself and quite proudly I might add. She likes to cook for we try it and Americanize when she made chipote...we added butter and sugar and it was just like an elephant ear. Yummmm!!! She had everyone involved in her chipote cooking...Luke was rolling out the dough and it had to be just right or she would ball it up and start over...I was giggling to myself!!!

The first time getting on the horse was an experience. Of course we put her on the bomb proof horse...but apparently not Reece proof...because just as I got her on the horse..Reece threw a rope at the horse's head and she reared up and was kind of throwing a little fit...I jerked Esther off the horse, not knowing how this was going to go. After everything settled down we convinced Esther to get back on, she was pretty scared, and she just sat for a few minutes and then she began to relax and pet the horse, we also backed Reece up so we didn't have another "roping incident"! It all ended on a good note. Leave it to Reece...he keeps us on our toes around here. Life would just be boring without that kid! haha I don't know if you noticed, but the trailer we raffled off and got donated back to us is in the background. That trailer is a symbol to us of God's unfailing faithfulness and provision. He is just so good to us!!!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Video of Esther

Click on the address below, and you will see a pretty cute little girl riding a bike!!! Today she SAT on a horse, and was quite timid about the whole thing. She enjoyed grooming the horse though....I will post pictures soon.