Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Blog Webpage Problems...

I've noticed that several blogs I follow have a small number of page views and others have a very large number. Why is that? I am not up to speed on all the ways to get people to find your site, but I hope some of you are! When I first started this blog, it was so helpful to me and others...a way to connect with people with interest in our family's story or experience in adoption. We even met some folks that were in Vladivostok the SAME time we were...what a blessing. At this point, page hits are very low and perhaps I just need to take the blog down again.
I noticed today that my counter is not showing up either.
Basically, I want to continue to connect with others because I am passionate about getting as many of these precious orphans in loving homes as possible. People need to know the need. For me, it started with a simple donation to Shoes for Orphan Souls....and my life will never be the same. : )

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Study on patience this week

This past week, our ladies bible study worked through patience in our Fruit of the Spirit study. And believe me, I had plenty of opportunities to practice what I studied in my homework!
Jason hurt his back a few weeks back and was in the hospital for 4 days. He had 4 bulging discs and was in a lot of pain. Thankfully, we have been told that surgery will not be required. He will go through pain management and physical therapy. That week, I was bouncing between staying with him in the hospital and spending time with the kids. We have no family that live close enough to help us with our kids, so friends came to the rescue again! I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and prayers.

As a teacher, I have several 'projects' to get completed before school starts each summer, and being the planner that I am, this situation (and several others, actually) have derailed my plans. I have yet to complete ONE of my projects. I've had several pity parties battling my flesh...quite ugly. I'm glad none of you witnessed them! This study is helping me let go of unhealthy habits/reactions/thoughts. God is certainly growing me right now in my life, and I am so glad He loves me this much.

Each day's homework was excellent, but I want to share a little insight I gained from the day we focused on forgiveness.

Why forgive?

*Unforgiveness encumbers so that I cannot keep step with the Holy Spirit. It's like carrying a heavy load.

*God's Word calls me to forgive (examples: Luke 6:37 and Matt. 6:14-15).

*I must forgive for my own sake. Referring to the parable from Matt. 18:15-35, the first servant was tortured until his debt was paid in full. The second was only jailed. The truth is this: both were imprisoned by the first servant's lack of forgiveness and mercy, but only one was tortured. Unforgiveness tortures the person who harbors it.

*Failing to forgive provides Satan with opportunity to take advantage (IICor. 2:10, 11).

*I must forgive because I am not the only ones bound by the unforgiveness (Romans 8:28). Christ has a purpose in the pain I've suffered or He would have never allowed it. God will create ministry from my misery if I let him (IICor. 1:3-7).

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Time is such a gift...give it!

Today I visited a dear family friend in the hospital. Though I intended to stay for only a few minutes (she was in the middle of lunch!), we talked on and on about her health and our families...until her lunch was ice cold, but she didn't complain. It was so good to see her eyes shine. I haven't seen that in a long time. She is determined to make the necessary changes to improve her health. We made plans to get together soon. Her attitude was great, especially considering she has been in the hospital almost two weeks now. As I walked away from our visit, I was reminded of the gift of time. By spending that time with her, she was encouraged and so was I! Why do I, so often, make excuses instead of making time for people/activities that are important to me or to others?

My sister, Cathy, is a perfect example of someone that has become a pro at giving the gift of time, and it has endeared her to countless acquaintances, clients, friends, and family members. Others are drawn to her, I believe, in part because Cathy makes time for them without constantly checking her watch. She goes out of her way to show others that they are important. No matter how busy she is, (and believe me, this girl is always busy!) she always answers her phone when I call. When I need to vent, she doesn't hurry me. During Drew's baseball season this year, she came to several games, high heels and all....and she lives out of town. As an entertainer, she frequently gives her time to sing at retirement homes and various events. These are just a few of the ways she has enriched her own life by enriching others' lives. She looks for opportunities to encourage and compliment without expecting any gain but the joy of giving, and her smile is bright! No wonder every time Aubree swipes my phone, she tells me she is going to call 'Ca-Ca'. See...even my two year old can sense it.

There are several others in my life that give that precious gift of time, too.

This was on my heart tonight. Anyone know a great giver of time in your life? If so, comment please. I downloaded some recent pictures, so I'll add a few to this post too.

Blessed to be a blessing,