Tuesday, May 25, 2010

God is Great Not Late. ;)

One of the things that I LOVE about the Lord is His perfection. His decisions are always perfect, His answers are always perfect, and His timing is ALWAYS perfect. I often have a hard time with His timing. I try to tell Him that He is too fast, or too slow but I am always wrong.
I remember 41/2 years ago when we had Benji (Josiah) in our home I felt that the Lord told me that he was going to be our son. After his birthmother decided that she was not ready to give him up, I remember crying my eyes out talking to my mother-in-law on the phone.
“I don’t understand Mom! I really thought that the Lord told me that he was going to be my son! Why would He do this? Why would He tell me that if He was only going to let him be taken away?”
Her answer was (as always) very wise.
“Danielle, if this is the Lord, if this is going to happen, it will happen in His time.”
For the next four years I cried every year on Benji’s Birthday. I guess that I thought that I had just heard the Lord wrong. Little did I know that the Lord was going to bring our boy back into our lives. (If you want to know more about how that happened read “From 5 to 8”)
I was thinking the other day about my newest additions. I was asking the Lord why he would let them go through all of the experience that they have had to go thorough in their little lives. I don’t yet have an answer for this. My prayer is that He will use the things that they have gone through to bring glory to Himself.
Nathan and I will be raising these kids on the missions field. We will have lots of opportunities to minister to kids in the orphanage and on the streets. While Nate and I can love the kids in the orphanage, we will never be able to tell them that we understand how they feel, or that we have been there. My kids will be able to say that. They will be able to say, “ I have been there, and this is how the Lord used that situation and brought me through it.”
So maybe the Lord waited to bring our boy back into our lives because He wanted to be able to use him to minister to others someday, or maybe He waited because we would not have been able to get settled in Brazil with 4 kids, or maybe He waited because we would not have our precious twins if we had adopted Ben when he was a baby. I may never know why the Lord chose to wait, but I know that He knows and I trust Him. 

“Thank you Lord for your perfection. Thank you for seeing my life from start to finish and thank you for knowing what is best for me. Please use my life, and the lives of all of my kids to bring glory to You. I love you”

The Joys of Motherhood! ;)

Oh man what a day! I am starting to get the feeling that life with 6 kids is going to be just full of adventures! This morning started out pretty normal. We woke up by 6a.m., got breakfast for everyone, cleaned up a little.. changed 6 poopy diapers by 7:30a.m. ..then bathed and dressed 6 little stink pots.. same old, same old. E.Z. was not feeling well and because I was planning on some of my very best, very oldest friends coming to visit I decided to lay him down for an early nap. My oldest boy Josiah (or Ben age 5) and Hope (4) were running around the house playing while I took care of the younger 4kids needs. For some reason they kept trying to go into my room . I was not sure what they were trying to get in there, but I had to redirect them multiple times. They both know that they need to stay within ear shot/ eyesight when they play.. they just were having a hard time with the whole “obedience thing” this morning. Anyway, to make a long story a little shorter, soon after Josiah came away from my room we figured out that the door was locked- and Ezekiel was asleep inside the room! After questioning the kids Josiah admitted that he was the one who locked the baby in the room. After sending him to his room (until I could talk to him more in depth about the importance of NOT messing around with locks – again!) the search for the missing key began. We spent the next two hours looking EVERYWHERE for the key. Couches were moved, all drawers were opened, and all purses were dumped out. The key was nowhere to be found. The more time passed the more stressed I got . I knew that Ezekiel was not able to get out of his crib, but because he was a little sick I was afraid that he would soon start to cry. I knew that if he was crying in there and I could not get to him I was going to lose it.
My dear old friends came in the middle of the chaos and tried to help us think of ways to get to the baby. After we had worn out all other options my mother-in-law looked up numbers for a locksmith. In sheer desperation, and as a last attempt to get out of paying a $150 locksmith fee I resorted to bribes for the kid.
“O.K. guys, if you find the key I will give you $3!!” Josiah looked up. Finally I had his attention!
“Ummm…. Do you mean the key to your room?” Josiah asked. “Yeah.” I answered. He then reached into his pocket and pulled out the key!
“Josiah, have you had this in your pocket the whole time?!” I asked in disbelief.
“Umm… do I get the $3?” Josiah asked. Ahhh!! I didn’t know what to do.. kiss him or ground him!
All ended well . The baby was fine, we had a great visit with my friends, and Josiah learned never to play with locks. I guess I should just be happy that he thought that a $3 reward was enough to come forward with the key, and he didn’t wait to give us the key until it went up to $5!
Oh the joys of motherhood! 

“ Lord thank you for my crazy kids. Help me to always have patience with them. Give me wisdom in raising them. Help me to always have joy in the midst of the chaos.”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Live, Laugh, Love. :)

I have been thinking that it might be fun to write a little bit about what life has been like being a mommy of 6 little ones under 5 years old. I think that I am going to start doing this more for myself than anything else. I think that it will be good for me to be able to look back in a few months from now and see how far the Lord has grown me up, grown my kids up, and how He has grown us as a family.
The last four months with my three new little blessings has been such an adventure. We have had so many mountain top highs, as well as valley lows. I have moments where I find myself thinking “Wow! Look at how good they are being! I have got this down, this is easy!” These moments are usually few and far between and they go as quickly as they come. Lol!
The other day we were having a particularly good afternoon. The kids and I had been playing games together and we were all just enjoying being together as a family. I decided that because everyone was in such good moods it would be a good time to put everyone in the shower (well the youngest 5 anyway). I knew that it was not going to be easy to convince my twins to get in the shower because they prefer baths, but after lots of convincing I had everyone undressed and the process of “destinking” had begun, A few minutes into the shower I realized that I had to go to the bathroom! I know that it sounds crazy, but when you have 6 kids and you spend the day literally running you can actually forget to go. Anyway, I knew that the timing was not the best, but I hey, you have to do what you have to do (and when you have to do it). ;)
So I very quickly used the restroom and in the matter of half a second all 5 of the kids were SCREAMING! The screams were not the normal screams of whining, they were screams of sheer horror. I looked up to see four of the five kids running out of the shower. Before I even had time to see what was wrong Grace (2) was hiding behind a plant, Hope (4) was hiding under a towel, Lilly (2) was hiding behind the toilet (and flushing it over and over again), E.Z. (9 months) was still in the shower but pretty freaked out that everyone was screaming, and Jeremiah (2) had opened the door and was dancing in the hallway – totally wet and butt naked! ;) Why all the screaming you might ask? The answer – A roach. Yes, that is right. One little roach has the power to strike fear, terror, and wreak havoc in the lives of my little people. I managed to get them all calmed down within a few minutes but it took all week to be able to convince them that the “bug” no longer lived in the bathroom, and that it actually was safe for them to shower there.
I have learned the importance of laughter in times like these. It would be so easy to let stressful moments get me down, but I have learned that it will never help anything to stress. So what do I do when all 6 of kids are having a break down at the same time? What do I do when my 2 year old is dancing naked in the hallway? I LAUGH! That’s right, I laugh, and I thank the Lord for blessing me with these crazy, energetic, awesome, and totally wonderful kids. 

“Thanks God for blessing me with every one of my sweet babies. Please help me to be the very best mom for them. I want to serve You as I am serving them and their needs. Help me to raise them to love you , and give me the energy and the strength to do it. Love you Lord! Amen.”

Coming to the end of myself.

I know that it has been a little while since we have posted anything, but since my sister-in-law convinced me of the importance of keeping up to date I thought I would take a few minutes to catch up.
The kids and I are still in the U.S. waiting to be able to take our family home to Brazil. We are pretty much just in the waiting phase of this adoption. The seemingly endless homestudies and mountains of paper work are almost complete. We are starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Now we just need to pray that the Lord will provide the finances so we can get rolling on the next phase of getting our family home (tickets, passports, and visas). We are praying about taking the kids home in the next month or so and then finalizing the adoption over the phone with a notary. We will just need a few more “mountains” to move in order to be able to do this.
The last few weeks I have had so many moments of freaking out. I start to think about all of the “Hows.” “How are we going to get all of this money together?” “How are we going to survive 6 kids under 6 years old on a plane and in airports for 30 hours?” “How am I going to manage raising 6 kids in Brazil when I had my hands full with 3?” “How, how, how?? Holy cow!!!? What are we doing? What have we gotten ourselves into?!”
It is in my moments of freak out that the Lord is always so faithful to show Himself to me. Not having Nate here has made me count on the Lord so much more. The Lord’s answer to these questions is always the same.
“You can’t do it. It is only by My grace that you are going to get through this.”
The Lord knows that I have a personality that I often need to be brought to the end of myself. I love to figure things out, and get things done. I also have times that I think that I love when people think that I am Super Woman! Haha, it is in these times that the Lord always lets me know that I am nothing without Him.
I remember a few months before I came back to visit the U.S.I had a time of being brought to the end of myself. It was shortly after EZ was born so I was still not feeling well after the surgery. It was almost dark, Nate was at a friend’s house, and I was alone with our 3 kids. I was just cleaning up and I heard our pittbull barking. I looked out the window and saw three guys trying to break into our house. I was a little scared because I was pretty sure that these were the same guys that had broke into my girlfriends house a few nights before. Poor thing, she woke up alone in the middle of the night with the guy just standing by her bed. The Lord had given her courage and protected her, but I was afraid of these guys boldness.
I went to the back window and started screaming for our neighbor to come and help but because of the strong wind that night they could not hear me. I gathered my kids, put them in their room, and then went to see if the guys had gotten in. I listened to the guys argue about how they were going to get by my dog. I started to scream again and my dog made it pretty clear that she was not going to let them just pass by. I am not exactly sure why, but they decided to go. Praise the Lord!
Nate came home a little later but the guys were gone. As I sat in my “bathtub” (a little plastic box filled with water) that night I began to think about what would have, or could have happened if the guys had gotten in. How would I have protected my kids when I was still sore from surgery? In that moment of emotions I started to cry.
“Lord, what are you doing?!” I asked “I have done everything that you have asked me to do! I moved here, I learned how to live here, I went through those terrible pregnancies, I have been poor, I have seen so many bad things - even my kids have seen so many bad things. I have had my pets taken hostage, other pets killed. We have had crazy people tell us that they were going to hurt our kids. We have watched adults get beat up, we have watched kids get beat up. I have opened up my home to people I don’t even know.. I have tried to always do what I thought it was that You wanted me to be doing. I LOVE it here Lord, but I am so tired. Please God, I don’t want to do this anymore. Please just send someone else. I am done. I can’t do this!”
As I sat there crying the Lord starting to speak to me. “I know that you can’t do this, but I know that I can.” It was then that I was reminded that the Lord does not need me. I am blessed to be able to be used by Him, but it should always be Jesus doing the work. I am just the vessel .
I think that I always have knows this simple truth, but because of my thick head I need to be often reminded of it. It is an awesome thing that the Lord would choose me to serve Him. I guess when He said He would use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise He was not kidding!
Please pray for us this next month as I am sure that Nathan and I both are going to have many moments of coming to the end of ourselves.
The Lord has already done so many miracles during this journey to adopt. I know that He would not have brought us this far unless He was going to be faithful to bring us to the end!

“Thank you Lord for your faithfulness. Thank you Lord for reminding me that without you I am nothing. Thanks for being my EVERYTHING! I love you.”