Monday, February 27, 2017
Happy Birthday Mikiyas!
This weekend we went to the beach and celebrated Mik!
He had a basketball tournament and it was his birthday, so we figured there was no better way to celebrate him then go and cheer like a bunch of freaks and eat cupcakes with his team.
It's a ready made party weekend with lots of entertainment!
Mik plays with a team of guys that have played basketball together for several years. It is a little team with a lot of diversity, and a whole bunch of puberty hormones, and feelings and attitudes and fun, and good hard life lessons all wearing the same jersey.
Coach deserves a trophy for taking on this group like he has. He deals with a lot of "stuff" that doesn't have anything to do with basketball, but has a whole bunch to do with some messy teen life. These guys aren't your run of the mill teens (if there is such a thing), they are super diverse from the inside, and on the outside.
It's amazing the power of sweat though, it's refreshing to see these guys work hard together and sweat it out as a team.
Many times when they bring it all together, it's really exciting to watch and cheer them on.
Mik is a gift to this family. I have watched the Gospel take root in his heart and see the power of forgiveness at work in his life.
He has truly learned to receive and give grace. Mik knows what it is like to be treated unfairly by circumstances and people, and yet he knows the power of love and trust and he is growing in both of those, as much and as fast as he is growing in his body.
Mik got Student of the Month Award at school in December. This is just one huge example of how well Mik is doing. Mik has also worked hard to be in Honor Society this year.
Mik is smart and he is kind.
Mik can make me crazy (and not the good kind, if there is such a thing), and turn it around really fast and make me crazy proud of him.
I know that God gave us Mik for so many reasons and I also know that we could have missed this amazing kid by not taking a crazy quick leap of faith.
We needed Mik as much as Mik needed a family and neither one of us knew it at the time.
He will always be a reminder to me, that God gives good gifts and blessings, but sometimes it looks and feels scary for everyone, but it's worth the risk.
Mik has a funky "lump in his throat" that the Dr. is keeping an eye on.
We are praying big prayers with big lumps in our own throats, that God heals this and it's not another "issue"
that Mik has to work through.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Happy Sweet 16
Mirembe Esther Brewer.
Esther is one of the strongest people I know. She is strong in body, mind, and spirit. It is her strength that has made her a survivor and a conqueror. She has endured many hardships and crazy blessings in her short 16 years. Esther's life and experiences can explain how she can feel so low and then so high in a short time frame. She has experienced some desperate lows and some elating highs in her short life.
Esther, in the Bible was a strong orphan girl, that against all odds became a queen and ended up saving her people by standing for what was true. She rose to the challenge and did the hard thing in spite of the fear and risk when she was faced with adversity.
I believe Esther was named providentially, she is a princess for sure and she is strong and can do hard things and come out on top. She has a way with people, that draws them in, and as she grows and matures she will be used by God in more beautiful and powerful ways.
This daughter of mine has challenged me in many ways, I have learned things about myself through my relationship with Esther, in my faith and in my parenting, and I am so grateful to God for giving me Esther as a daughter and a gift to all our lives.
We do the hard work together to learn and grow and bond, and we both have learned to love so much better.
Esther's life has taught me so much about my adoption in Jesus.
Esther is a daughter and a sister and an auntie and a friend.
Esther is funny and playful.
Esther is also deep in her thoughts and in her heart. She can be hard to break through the surface, but man, when you dig deep with her and hang in there with her, there is a treasure so beautiful that it's worth every single bit of the digging.
Charlie and Esther have a very special bond. He and her connected before I knew anything about her, and he went back to Uganda and brought her home when it was time.
She is the kid that Charlie was in charge of the "delivery" and he did an amazing job, it was a true labor of love.
Esther is Cellie's absolute favorite person in the whole world.
You can't fool Cellie, she knows true love and Esther is all
Saturday, February 18, 2017
The words that I felt like God just speaking to me for the year 2017 is:
REMEMBER and TIMING.
Remember who God is and what He has done, and His timing which usually translates as
My mind and fb page has been flooded with memories lately.
The two big memories that I am camped on right now are when Lashae was a senior in high school, in 2010. She told us that she had missions BIG on her heart. She had no idea where or what or even why, but she knew she felt urgent about it!
I was soooooooo fine-ish with it, once she just finished high school with the honors that she had worked for all her student life, and had her college career well under way, and had saved all the money needed, and had the perfect opportunity, with the perfect safety measures, with a the perfect experience of 5,000 people around her, and the perfect suitcase and clothes and hair style and
blah blah blah.
Then, my lovely brother-in-law, Justin, decided to answer God's call and throw together a mission team and go to Uganda and have it just a few weeks before my first born valedictorian daughter graduated.
(It wasn't actually "thrown" together, there was a lot of planning and prayer that went into it, but to ME, the MOTHER, it felt THROWN together.)
She was positive this was an opportunity that God was giving her. I was positive it wasn't God at all, and if it was, He must have forgotten He made me the mother.
I reminded God, that He gave me a job to raise her and I was doing a pretty fantastic job until He came along and took over her heart, before she was even 18 of all things.
I mean I wanted her to love Jesus, but not do anything out of order, she could sing songs and pray and go to a few Bible studies and then, when her life was in order, and she was an adult, she could do something that He laid on her heart.
His timing seemed so wrong.
As it turned out....she went, and Charlie got to go, and God messed him up too. Charlie spent the whole time NOT watching our daughter, which is what he was SENT for
(according to me.)
He was too busy crying and dealing with His own heart that was being changed and lit on fire for Jesus.
Charlie came back with a passion for Jesus that I had never seen in him, and he was listening to the Holy Spirit and responding in a way that is still effecting lives.
God's timing messed with me!
As my husband was NOT watching our daughter, but falling in deep crazy love with Jesus and sponsoring kids and committing to adopting our daughter, I was at home getting served papers on the foreclosure of our house.
A few weeks after Lashae and Charlie returned from their first trip, they were at a church sharing about their Uganda trip; it was at that service, Charlie announced that we were going to pursue adopting Esther, as I was in the car having a wrestling match with God over it.
I explained to Him that I had a heart for adoption, and I could tell this was our girl by Charlie's love for her, but I reminded Him that we were in a financial hardship and I would be happy to follow His lead just as soon as he straightened out our mess. God, thankfully did not listen to my plan and timing, He faithfully led us thru the adoption process at the same time that we were dealing with a financial mess. This was 7 years ago, and our daughter has been home for almost 6 years now, and our house situation is still not fixed. God has been faithful and generous to provide, above and beyond everything we need and ask for.
He has taught us a lot about REMEMBERING to trust Him and His TIMING.
He has taught us to obey even when it makes no sense to us or anyone else at the time.
There have been several things that God has lead us into, without any doubt, that I thought we would be right in that place for a long time.....and it ended up being a short season.
Then there are situations that I'm sure He is going to resolve and fix or get us out of very quickly and we remain right there for a looooooooooooooong time.
I don't get it, and I don't like it,
but I have learned to TRUST Him
It may not look pretty and I can't hear the angels singing, but I can REMEMBER where we were and WHO we are following and it's all worth it.
Following Jesus, and His leading in our lives, is messier than I ever thought it could be, and more beautiful than I can see with my eyes,
it's harder than I ever imagined and more wonderful than I ever knew possible.