Thursday, November 15, 2012

My turn to write a letter

I just finished packaging 5 photos to send to my boys' momma in jail along with a note that spans the back of each and every one of them. I thought I would share the note here and have you all pray. At the end, I told her I would be glad to visit sometime if she would like. I'm thankful I can rest in His Sovereignty over that, because I'm honestly a bit fearful at the thought. I'm also thankful that He has the power to redeem my words and use them, however disjointed and poorly written they may be. "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks." - Matthew 12:34 Lord, please let these words reveal my heart as a testimony to Your grace at work within it!


Know that I am praying for you and will never stop praying. My friend shared your note with me. I'm so thankful that the Lord is using many women to love and encourage you with the Word of God. I was struck by your statement, "I'm really trying." I believe you, T, and I know how frustrating it is to try and try and try to fix the poor choices we make only to keep on doing the very things we're trying to change. The Truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ is John 15:5, "apart from me (God) you can do nothing."

I've never been to jail, but I have been a "prisoner" of my sinful heart. I have tried with all my strength to do the right thing only to fail again and again. Until the Lord showed me through His Word that I needed Jesus Christ, and Him alone, to forgive me, humble me, and fix my heart - giving life to a heart that was dead in sin, I was completely and utterly powerless. I could do nothing!

When Jesus began His ministry on Earth, He stood in the temple and read these words, describing Himself: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." -Luke 4:18-19

T, my prayer for you is that the Lord will give you true freedom - the freedom that comes from humbly admitting your guilt before a holy God, humbly admitting your inability to save yourself, humbly submitting to His will for your life, however different it may be from your own, and walking in obedience to Him, by faith.

In 2004, the Lord set me free. I pray He will do the same for you through the power of the gospel - that Jesus Christ, who was God, came to live as a sinless man and die in our place that we may be given the overwhelming gift of salvation and the grace to live a new, different, holy life. I love you, T. I will never stop praying out of deep love for you!


I also included these passages and have been praying these for her:

"The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make His face to shine upon you 
and be gracious to you; 
the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace."
Numbers 6:24-26

"Jesus said to him, 
'I am the way and the truth and the life.'"
John 14:6

"But to set the mind on the flesh is death, 
but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace!"
Romans 8:6

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
Romans 3:23

"The wages of sin is death, 
but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:23

"God demonstrates His own love for us, 
in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!"
Romans 5:8

"Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!"
Romans 10:13

"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, 
neither angels nor demons, 
neither the present nor the future, 
nor any powers, 
neither height nor depth, 
nor anything else in all creation, 
will be able to separate us from the love of God 
that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38-39

Join me in praying for T, and join me in praising God for His perfect plan - regardless of what may happen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Photos of the Journey!

A year in review...with photos! I hate that I can't show their precious faces. We have so many awesome photos, but these will have to do for confidentiality purposes! Just a little fun photo scrapbook of a crazy year.

The first day these 2 little guys came to our home. November birthday :)

My nephew. K-man's instant best friend.

Painting pumpkins. I still remember these early days so vividly and laugh at them now. I had no earthly idea what to do with a 3-year-old...

That is a huge bowl of broccoli. Snack of choice on this day. The Lord blessed us with one good eater out of two :)

The zoo. Love these pictures of K-man and I, just getting to know one another...bonding as we watch a momma gorilla lovingly care for her little one.

And another fun zoo shot. This was a sweet day among many difficult ones in the beginning.

K-man...quite the builder and loves puzzles.

Would not stand still after a late-night visit from our agency workers caroling and delivering fun gifts.

A really sweet opportunity to join my uncle-in-law and ring the Salvation Army Bell. Teaching K-man to be generous, and he blew us away with his selflessness at the age of 3.

Family Christmas celebration with my husband's family, and we had some special visitors!

One of my personal favorite Christmas gifts last year. He loved this sooo much!

Gifts, gifts, gifts! This boy is so loved.

Baking...a favorite together activity for us :)

 K-man LOVES trains. Good thing my parents, Bebe and Doc, live nestled among countless railroad tracks! Makes for some very exciting visits.

 A guitar for Christmas just like my husband's. A really fun gift to give.

 Football on Christmas day with the family.

MLK Jr. Day at the Children's Museum. We made a fun craft and enjoyed a great day, until the worst melt-down ever as we tried to leave. Yikes!

 Easter! A fun day spent at a park with my husband's family. This was a real milestone when we really felt like we were starting to feel like family and were able to enjoy time with our extended family without feeling the need to hover over K-man and watch his every move like a hawk. This was a great day. 5 months after they came. It's probably taken close to the full year to really feel like a family.

The tricycle. Quite a task getting him to pedal forward instead of backwards. Now, he's all over the place on his big boy bike. Man, where does the time go??

 FUN!!! This makes me miss summer so bad! Such sweet times.

******************2 months at home******************

A dear friend met us at the park after he came back to our house. Sweet to see this friend love my boys so dearly.

The big boy bike for his birthday. Seriously...when did he get so big??

"Helping" the plumber who came to fix the kitchen sink.

Fun on the driveway! It is so wonderful to be able to let them loose to play together!

K-man was asked to draw a picture of his family. I adore this picture. Even Layla made an appearance!

B-boy putting the baseball bat into the basketball goal...a common occurence.

 Railway museum...another wonderful day. It was a good day, because it was nestled right in the middle of the really awful month we had after they returned to our home in June. I was so thankful to have my parents with us that weekend to help us endure and give out new mercies to these kids when we really didn't feel like it sometimes.

 Doc splurged and got K-man a ticket in the engine with the conductor. Let's be honest, the train hardly moved at all, but K-man was THRILLED!

 B-boy has already begun nurturing his own infatuation with cars, much to my husband's delight. Such a bundle of joy, this one :)

Yes, that is K-man driving a forklift. This evening is not an overly fond memory due to K-man's horrendous behavior, but the fork-lift ride, however undeserved, was really fun. Thinking back on this evening really makes me stand in awe at how far he has come. Wow, God has been so gracious.

 4th of old fashioned water balloon toss.

 I got traded in for a new partner.

 First time to put his toes in the ocean!!! Now this week was AMAZING! I can't even tell you the blessing this was amidst very trying days. The memories made were invaluable in helping us to come through some of those attachment issues the second time around. Plus, my parents were with us! We really had the best time.

 K-man did a lot of digging. We kept him busy digging for treasure often and got a lot of one-on-one conversation while he worked.

 This supposedly said his name...not even close, but creative nonetheless.

 Apple Picking on the farm...among other things! K-man milked Buttercup, the cow. Still talks about this.

 Caption: "Please don't squeeze too hard, please don't squeeze to hard, please don't squeeze too hard..."
 I want a goat...bad. B-boy agrees. Husband does not...

 The super cape!!! For the Super Friend!! Couldn't have been more thankful to God on this day.

 Pumpkin carving...another fun first! No one is more shocked than me that K-man actually put his hand in there. It didn't last long...

 Best buds...looking at the fish in the pond at the pumpkin patch. Fish...another new love for K-man and B-boy. They both adore fish lately. It all started when Doc took K-man fishing at the pier this summer. Wow...what a day for K-man! We still talk about it often :)

 Poppy and B-boy with our neice. These three have a lot of fun :)

 Chilling with Uncle Bump. So sweet how they are very much a part of the family these days.