Monday, November 28, 2011

Ageze's 5th birthday!!!

Saturday was Ageze's 5th birthday!! It feels so funny writing 5th!! He is convinced he was turning 7!! Who am I to  argue with that...after all, he's probably right:) He was totally excited about his special day, but didn't love that his cake said..."5th" birthday!! He knows he &  Tesfa are not the same age....yes, Tesfa turns 5 one month from Agezes birthday!! This birthdate stuff just puzzles us all:) Ageze has been telling people for awhile now..."I'm 4,5,6!!" "right, mom??" Ha!! Take a peek at his fun-filled day!!! Love our 4,5,6 year old boy!! Ageze, you fill our life with such joy!! You are such a kind, gentle, loving, sweet, funny little boy!! We are so lucky to have you in our life!!!    xo

Thanksgiving 2011

So much to be thankful for...our family, friends, health, God's faithfulness, a roof over our heads, clothing to keep us warm, more food than our bellies can handle:) Those are just a few things that come to my mind!! We enjoyed our 4 day weekend together...hanging out with our family, friends, sharing a meal together, listening to our kids speak about what they are thankful for...

   Hope you all had a great, memory filled weekend!!!          xo

Monday, November 21, 2011

changing lanes. are you with Me??

Over the weekend, we were able to stay in a local hotel...our home was in the Holiday Home, I'm assuming they definitely knew that a beautiful table setting of china & goblets didn't mix too well with a family of 6---------->>>>>>>>>

Anyhow, after winding down after a full day of swimming...the kiddos gathered their books & I grabbed a great new local paper..."The Great Plains Examiner." I came across an article that caught my attention. The title of it read..."It's time to change lanes." If you are interested in a thought-provoking read that you will probably read at least 20 times....keep reading!!

   Change is coming. It's inevitable. With it  comes potential for new growth-personally & spiritually. It also harbors the seeds of self-defeating doubt & fear. Satan would use it for your demise.
 But God uses change to bring you through something you normally wouldn't follow Him through in order to answer the prayers you prayed long ago. He uses change so you will be forced into the valley of utter dependance on Him so that your mountaintops will be places of power in your life.

I'm cool with that. Way cool.

 If the road of life is a six-lane super highway, then I pray that God causes me to change lanes & experience each one of them. Others, however, wouldn't like to see that happen. there's a world of people who want to see that happen. There's a world of people who want us both to stay exactly where we are righht now: friends, family & most of all Satan.

 They will get mad because you are making changes to grow. they will tell you to stay in your lane, don't disrupt the status quo & play the same game everyone else is playing.

   It's easy to cave when everyone around you is trying to put you into a place of powerlessness, whether they realize it or not. Lets' face it: staying in the same lane is comfortable, easy & safe.

    However, if we stay where we are right now, then we will not be effective for the next season God is bringing us into. Instead, we become afraid of what might happen if we step away from what's familiar.

  For God has not given us a spirit of fear & timidity. Not at all. Rather, He has given us a spirit of power, love, and focused self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)

  Don't seek God from a place of fear and insecurity. Seek God from a place of power. One of the most self-sabotaging things we can do is believe the lie that the anointed place we were called to occupy is not 
ours to claim. This creates in us a culture of fear and a spirit that was never a part of God's original design for our lives.
   A refusal of fear and doubt is in order. Prayers of fear will turn to prayers of love infused with power and purpose, and that's a spirit that God stops the world to hear!
  Above all, don't ask others for permission to do the things God has already told you that you can do. There comes a time when change in your life is demanded, a time when you don't need confirmation because you have a conviction from God about what you should do.

  The Holy Spirit will teach you everything you need to know and will remind you of everything I, Myself, have told you. (John 14:26)

  As we catch this as a pattern for our lives, we will begin to drift into the other lane that our entire existence has been longing for. And God will call you to do something foreign to even some of the most devoted Christians. He will call you to let go of what's easy for the sake of embracing the hard road that few are ever wiling to engage.
  This is not choosing a good decision over a bad decision. It's choosing to make a God-driven decision.

   This sets you up to let go of those things keeping you in that lane you know you need to leave. This will make your breakthrough all the more sweet:) It will be like driving 25 miles per hour through a construction zone and finally getting to break free and put the pedal to the metal!!!

 God's plan starts with you changing lanes. You can't live off of yesterday's experiences, promises and callings. A new season equals new things. Who you are now and who you were created to be is separated by a white dotted line. It separates life from mere existence.

          That line is begging to be crossed. Merge NOW!!!

 Thanks to Terry Parkman for writing this fantastic article!!! It feels as if it was written specifically for me!!!                                                    xo Kristen

Monday, November 14, 2011

beautiful boy & his (he)art!!!!!

As I was going through Grant's school work from today...I came across some pretty sweet artwork, which I had to share!! I love that my boy thinks about Ethiopia & Uganda during school...and so many people often wonder what Adoption will do to their kids!!!! I love what God has done through adoption in our home & love that my children "get it!!"  xo

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Our God.

  Love this song. For me, it's one of those songs where I just sing as loud as my voice will carry...maybe not always a good thing...but I just love it that much, so I really don't care how it sounds coming out of my mouth!!! Oh, and Our God IS healer!!! My last MRI I had of my brain about 2 months ago came back amazing!!! The radiology report said the large spot I had on the right side of my brain is hardly visible!! Praise be to God!!!    And then I'm reminded...Lord, it's so easy to be thankful when things seem to be going "our" way, the way we like them...but, that's not Your way!!!  We are to cling to You with all we have, every minute of every day...In rain or shine!!   Remembering back.....when we had first announced to our family & friends that we would be adopting....I had a few very concerned friends...They questioned.."are you sure you should be doing this??" "are you sure it won't be too hard on your health??" They are dear friends...they mean well...they were just concerned for my well-being. And, I remember saying..."I would be worse off NOT going forward with the adoption!" We had to. God had made it very clear to us that adopting was not in our plan, but HIS!! Not that we were ever against it....we had entertained it many times...but, this time it was not being entertained...we were commanded!! Anyhow, after sharing our hearts with those friends, it was no longer me trying to explain why I should adopt...God simply placed the words in my mouth. I no longer felt like I needed to justify myself. God was doing it for me. Thank you Lord. I cannot even begin to imagine If the"what if's", would have held us back. From that day on...I could hear God saying..." Kristen, I did not command you to adopt to then have your health spiral downwards." "Trust ME, for I am with you." God, You are faithful. God, You are greater. God, You are stronger. There's no one like YOU. I will cling to YOU on the good days & the bad.                                                      xo           "Our God."
Water, You turned into wineOpened the eyes of the blindThere's no one like YouNone like You
Into the darkness, You shineOut of the ashes we riseThere's no one like YouNone like You
Our God is greaterOur God is strongerGod, You are higher than any otherOur God is healerAwesome in powerOur God, our God
Into the darkness, You shineOut of the ashes, we riseThere's no one like YouNone like You
Our God is greaterOur God is strongerGod, You are higher than any otherOur God is healerAwesome in powerOur God, our God
Our God is greaterOur God is strongerGod, You are higher than any otherOur God is healerAwesome in powerOur God, our God
And if our God is for usThen who could ever stop usAnd if our God is with usThen what could stand against
And if our God is for usThen who could ever stop usAnd if our God is with usThen what could stand againstThen what could stand against
Our God is greaterOur God is strongerGod, You are higher than any otherOur God is healerAwesome in powerOur God, our God
Our God is greaterOur God is strongerGod, You are higher than any otherOur God is healerAwesome in powerOur God, our God
And if our God is for usThen who could ever stop usAnd if our God is with usThen what could stand against
And if our God is for usThen who could ever stop usAnd if our God is with usThen what could stand againstWhat could stand againstWhat could stand against

Monday, November 7, 2011

one of a kind friends.

Yup, They make me smile!!! Joey & Destiny & their sweet little girl "Gali" came to visit last week!! Well, I guess it started off more like..."Hi, nice to finally meet you all!!" "Thanks for making the trek up here to North Dakota!" So, yea...Destiny & I had been emailing each other for a little over a year...(ok, I guess you could say I was stalking her)ha!!!! And now I know why I was stalking her!!! An hour or so before they pulled into our driveway..Kasey said.." are you nervous, Kris?" "Nervous for what?" I asked. "Well, to have people stay with us that we don't even know!" Ha!! "Nope!!" was my response!! That's exactly how it went:) This family is incredible. Delightful. beautiful. real. and the best part is....they LOVE GOD. Like, you can just feel it. I could listen to Joey speak for hours...because you know what he talks about....God!! And the passion, the love, the light, that shines from Joey when he is speaking about God..well, I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone quite like him. Or her. They arrived Late Friday night...we stayed up for a few hours visiting, said Good night & I laid in bed knowing these would be life long friends....yes, friends! I know, I had just met them..but, I knew!! If you had the chance to meet them while they were know exactly what I mean:) Saturday brought a fun day getting to know each really getting to know each other. I love deep talks. We talked & talked & talked!! Destiny & I share the same love for healthy food. I've always thought I love healthy, organic, good for the soul food...but, she taught me so much about healthy everything!!! Anyhow, Saturday night we had our adoption Group over for appetizers & a gathering. We enjoyed the company, visiting & then listened while Joey shared his heart. You missed out if you weren't here...just sayin!! Again, we stayed up till like 1:00 am!!! can you even believe it?? I am so not a night owl!! But, then again...I could talk about God, life, family, friends...for hours!! Sunday morning we had breakfast & off to church we went! Our church was lucky enough to have Joey speak...the whole service!!! I mean, when you look at this can see God's love. It was beautiful. We had a laid back afternoon, then went to my parents for dinner!! I just had to share This family with whomever was available!!! They blessed us big time & I know others felt the same way!! Sunday night Destiny & I headed to our local grocery store...i, right??! I love the organic section at the store..So, since they were leaving 2 days later...we thought it would be fun to shop for healthy stuff!!! She had a ton of great suggestions...& I love it!!! You all are gonna think we are nuts...but, we were at the store until midnight!!!!ha!! That's what mom's who love health food do on Sunday nights!!! Monday we spent the day just hanging out together, sharing our hearts some more, dreaming together, praying together. What a terrific day we had!!! We trick-or-treated the night away...then stayed up late talking!! Tuesday was a day we were dreading at this, in just a few days time...we had created such a strong friendship.... an everlasting one. I just Love the people that God brings into our lives. They were such a blessing to our family. Friends who we can talk GOD, life, family, happy, sad & everything in-between with. Since they left a week ago...we've talked on the phone a couple of times...prayed over the phone, text back & forth....and I always hang up feeling so encouraged & led. The work God has done & continues to do in & through this family is just beautiful...just like Joey spoke about are a few scriptures I've been reading today & have been speaking to my heart...

Matthew 9:37-38 "Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.'"
  • When the crowds of needy people were multiplying, what strategy did Jesus use to multiply the presence of God in a saving way to meet the need?
  • Jesus sends the 12 disciples to do and teach the same message and methods of the kingdom of heaven as he was (Matthew 9:35; 10:1, 7-8). What principles of leadership selection and reproduction do we see here
Revelation 7:9 "After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes…"

  • Since this great multitude comes out of the generations who have lived on the earth, how can you increase the total harvest of the kingdom of God in your region, including crossing cultures and language groups to bring Jesus to them?
  • Can you see here how God has delighted in the dream of his heart and seen the fulfillment of millions upon millions of human beings becoming members of his forever family by receiving the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world?
                                         Here I am Lord....SEND ME!!!!!         xo

                                 Joey, Destiny & Gali...thank you!!!! We look forward to the day we can see you all again:) 
                                                                       Until then.....I'll be praying:)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

rice & a cardboard box.

Today was probably a normal Sunday for most...for us, we chose to do things a bit differently this evening. Since we all know...Today....November 6th, Orphan Sunday. We gathered in our home with a another family...they too, have been to Ethiopia & have adopted their little fact, it seems like yesterday we all welcomed them home, but it's been almost 2 years!!! As you can see in the last pic, she & Tesfa got along just great!!! Their giggles were contagious!!! They were quite the pair:)

 So, tonight...we ate an orphan's meal. On a piece of cardboard. Each family drank out of a bowl. The meal consisted of RICE. Even though we have seen the still seems so hard to believe that a child might just get rice for their dinner. And in many cases...dinner is their only meal for the day. And, let me tell you...we each ate the portion that one child gets...& it's not much. My stomach is begging for more. I find it hard to put into words how i feel. Thinking that our daughter is classified as an orphan makes me hurt. Wondering how well she was fed today...makes me cry. Knowing that she has no one to tuck her in at night, reading Bible stories, giving her kisses & hugs, telling her she is loved....makes me cry even more.

 So, I'm sure some of you might ask...why??? Why would you even think of going without your normal dinner?? Why would you want to be uncomfortable?? Why are you having a gathering focused on Orphan Sunday?? Why are you adopting again???
  It's the least we can do. And, it's not about us.

Did you know that if just 7% of Christians would adopt one child...there would be no more orphans!!

In you the orphan finds mercy.
Hosea 14:3

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father."
Romans 8:14-16
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.
James 1:27
Father to the fatherless, defender of widows — this is God, whose dwelling is holy. God places the lonely in families.
Psalms 68:5-6
I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!
Matthew 25:40