Thursday, February 21, 2008

In the night.........

Why is it that I can go about my day and walk in the Victory that Christ has given me only to be held captive by fear and anxiety in the middle of the night?

And why is that in the middle of the night, when all is peaceful and finally quiet that I start to believe the lies from the enemy? Is it because my defenses are down? During my waking and sleeping periods I go to the Father and petition Him again or praise Him for His faithfulness, recounting all of His goodness.

How is it that the enemy can sneak in and whisper things that go directly against what I am BELIEVING God for?

During our wait for Tatumn I lapsed into a season of insomnia. Our faith-walk was tested like it never had been before. It was an exhausting physical and spiritual battle and it was during this time that I leaned on the promises that God does not sleep or slumber. Psalm 121.

That the Lord defends me and my family and has a great Army fighting on our behalf.

That the Lord is our Provider.

That Gods promises are true and good.

How is it that I know that before I close my eyes and become a captive to fear during the night?

The theif comes only to to steal and kill and destroy. But Christ has come to give us life and a very full life.

So this morning that is the voice I am going to listen too. The One who speaks Truth and whose Promises are Sure in my life.

Psalm 145
A psalm of praise. Of David.
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty, and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works, and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodnes and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made.
All you have made will praise you, O LORD; your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.
The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the LORD.
Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

Trusting Jehovah Sabaoth this morning,

Monday, February 18, 2008


I know if Tatumn was old enough she would be utterly embarassed about this post! But since she is only 2 and cannot read yet, I will go ahead and post this blog entry.
Tatumn got Big Girl Panties for Valentines Day!
We have been getting more comfortable going on the Big Girl Potty. When I saw we ,I really mean Tatumn. I do not sit on her little potty, although she has asked me a couple of times if I would. Hear me clearly, I have boundaries. And I can say no to her cute litte self. So I stand corrected. She, as in Tatumn, has gained confidence in sitting on her potty.
And one thing is for certain, it HAS to be HER idea.
Not mine.
Not Tucker's.
And Not even her Daddy can get her to go if she doesn't want to go.
It has to be her idea alone,
Thank You very much.
Because I am a girly mommy, I also got her matching cami tops! I know a litte excessive, but I have waited a LONG time for little girly panties to become a item in this testostorone filled house. And because Tatumn has a mommy who likes for certain undergarments to match, it goes with out saying that her daughter should have the same coordinating articles to start with.

I really hope that was not TMI.

Tatumn's little tiney-hiney looks so cute running around sans the padding of her diaper. Although she is having a hard time keeping her pants pulled up!

* Okay, the pics where her hiney is showing is a little much I know. But they are pics showing our strong-willed independent girl putting on her own panties! She still needs a little help!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hunan Beauty

We are getting ready for our 2nd Annual Chinese New Year Celebration! We are a little late this year.....Don't Ask! We are so excited that Tatumn's Chinese Sisters will be here to help us celebrate Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Myer and Tatumn

3 Amazing years ago, we found ourselves on the same page as we had so many times before, with our dearest friends the Massey's. This time it was finding our families on the starting line in a race (more like a Marathon) called Adoption. We did not intentionally begin this journey of life together. Kip and I had been praying for a while and Greg and Ally had just received a word from the Lord earlier in the month.Throughout our friendship, though, our lives intertwined in some pretty amazing ways. Ways that only the Author could have wrote out. And as we started this journey together, it was comforting and exciting to have them by our sides. We walked our adoption agreement in to our adoption agency on a bright and sunny Thursday afternoon. And what filled our time from that first day until we boarded the plane were dreams shared, clothes bought, prayers continually were lifted to One who hears, dinner party's, baby showers, and hours of phone calls. The joyful expectation over our girls growing up together flowed through every other plan we had. Our other children are great friends. we have stair-step ages and it works out fantasticly. So, adding a girl from each family just fit perfectly into our family dynamics.
Our journey to China was amazing. And hard. So sweet, too. It seemes almost like a dream now thinking back. So much of life has happened since then and yet sometimes it feels just like yesterday. We had not been home for three months when Myer got sick. Her illness caught us all off guard. We were just getting back into a schedule and figuring out life when this tragedy struck. (you can check out the whole story at *adoption stories *Journey to Tatumn Hope--or at Myer)
But God has promised that He would bring beauty from the ashes. And He has. It hasn't always looked like the pictures we had in our minds, because it far sweeter than we ever thought it would be. There were some very dark days that we did not think we would get to see the girls playing like this. Hanging out at the kitchen making soup. Pouring tea(sweet, of coarse) for each other at a tea party. Fussing over dishes. Watching them put a cup behind their back so the other friend cannot get it. And Myer giving Tatumn a ride as she crawled across our kitchen floor had to be one of the funniest!
I have learned not to take things for granted. To savor today. And play days with Myer, Tatumn's Very Best Friend, are one of God's Greatest.

Tuck's Big Day and Guitar Hero!

Tucker Chase was born on the last wekend in January. He is our third son. The baby boy. In a snow storm. On Super Bowl Weekend. It really has never been a HUGE issue because we are not a football loving family. Our home-town team has not come close to the Big One since I think the year I was born. So, to me this is the weekend to celebrate our youngest son and I think it was pretty great of the Lord to have a Major Sportting event held on this weekend to commeerate the amazing goal of delivering our third child!
However; some people love to sit and watch this game even if it is not your home town team playing, so we combine Tuck's birthday with a little Super-Bowl PAR-TAY. It is really just a great excuse to have our BEST friends up to eat and celebrate with.
This year we had a little distraction that beckoned us away from the Super Bowl and the commercials.........GUITAR HERO!!!
If you have not had the privlege of playing the G.H. Hear me clearly........Run, Don't Walk to your nearest Guitar Hero store and pick yourself up one! It is a BLAST!!!!!! I have to brag a little on myself.......I am good. I am thinking about auditiong for our Worship Team at Church. Although I have not come across a Chris Tomlin song, yet.
I am still practicing if the role for a mock Wii guitar lead comes avaiable at church.

A Ballerina in the making?

Tatumn has become very independent lately. There is a strong-will inside this pint size Asian princess that has us drawing lines and finding naughty spots for a time out. For the most part she is a good little girl. She plays in her kitchen, is a wonderful mommy to her doggies and bears and an orphanage full of babies. If you act like you are not listeneing she will sing "Gods Great Big World" on and on to any given animal that has occupied her lap in the rocky-rock. But as soon as she knows you are listening the tune stops. I have also learned this week that a couple of her babies have had a stern talking to and I definetly heard a "say yes maam" come out of her mouth. And I also heard her say a time or two "don't hus me." (don't huff me, which I know she has heard a time or two!" )
She is also a very limber girl! She can stretch her legs out to her sides and her toes can touch the ground! And then one night when I was fixing dinner I turned around and found this..................

Maybe my ballerina dreams will come true.

**Only kidding about her becoming a ballerina. Her aunt wount rather see her become a gymnast, then we could go to the Olympics!**

I Heart U

Things that I Heart

Painted Fingernails and Toenails especially on a sweet Asian Princess
Hearing "you awake?" first thing in the morning
Free Coffee Mondays from McDonalds- Non-Fat Vanilla Latte with extra vanilla
When my oldest tells me he loves me in front of all of his friends
Tanner reading! (He has read at least 9 chapter books this year! Answered Prayer!)
Tucker's Bear Hugs!
My NEW Coach Bag
Chicken Alfredo Pizza
Good hair Days
Laughing with my girlfriends
A Good Book ( I have already 2 this month!)
The way Kip thinks I am the most beautiful girl around!
When the air starts to smell like Spring
Being on the same page with Ally
Tatumn's baby hands
A clean Kitchen
New Make-Up
New Clothes for me, or the boys, or Tatumn, or even Kip
Wednesday morning Bible Study
Lunch with my mom and sister
Phone Calls from Bambi
How the Lord completes families through the miracle of Adoption
That the Lord knows MY name, my heart, my hurts, my dreams and holds them in His hand and covers us under the shadow of His wing.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Gung Hay Fat Choy!

Happy New Year! It is the year of the rat. Our middle sons year on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. This is our second official year celebrating CNY! We are planning a par-tay for the last week in February so be looking for pictures of our 2nd Annual Red Couch Photo!!
**Can you believe how much Tatumn has changed in 1 year!??**

The Rat

Being born a Rat is nothing to be ashamed of. In China, the Rat is respected and considered a courageous, enterprising person. It is deemed an honor to be born in the Year of the Rat and it is considered a privilege to be associated with a Rat. Rats know exactly where to find solutions and can take care of themselves and others without problems. They use their instinctive sense of observation to help others in times of need and are among the most fit of all the Animal signs to survive most any situation.Years of the RatFirst in the cycle, Rat Years begin the sequence and recur every twelfth year.
The Chinese New Year does not fall on a specific date, so it is essential to check the calendar to find the exact date on which each Rat year actually begins.
The Sign of the Rat:Being born under this sign determines many talents, as well as other characteristics that may not be so commendable. Rats are very lively and need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. They can be calm and perceptive, but sometimes their brains can cause a mental restlessness, tempting them to take on too much, only to discover they are unable to meet their commitments.
Rats are blessed with one of the best intellects going. Add to their intelligence a curiosity and a bright imagination, and they seem as sharp as a needle.
The sign of the Rat is the first sign in the cycle giving Rat people exude great leadership qualities and are good at taking the lead. They don't mind a lot of responsibility and they demonstrate a strong presence that other people respect. For those with the Rat nature, status and monetary satisfaction are the greatest motivation.
RAT FACTS:People born in the Year of the Rat share certain characteristics. The Rat sign is an abbreviated way of characterizing that individual's personality. Following are features associated with the sign of the Rat. First in order, Chinese name-SHU, sign of charmHour-11pm-12:59am Month-DecemberWestern Counterpart-Sagittarius
CHARACTERISTICS ;Smart, Magnetic, Well-liked, Affable, Quick-witted, Surreptitious, Selfish, Protective, Calculating

Tucker is One S'More year older!

Our baby boy is 8!
Tucker is .....
our littlest boy
A big brother to Tatumn
A second grader
A GREAT student
My buddy
A fantastic soccer player
A WII Bowling Professional
A sweet and tender spirit given to us by the Mighty Hand of God.
We are blessed to be his parents.

More pictures to come.....including a log, camp-fire cake and Guitar Hero!!!
**Tuck's goldfish, Goldy, is no longer with us. Sadly, he only lasted 1 week. Believe me when I tell you it was a very BIG loss to our boy!!**

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Glorious morning!

Our first nudge into morning happened at 6:15 AM. Soft music began drifitng into my sleepy head, gently waking up a very tired body. Then as I began to come to my senses, I realized I had not opened my eyes ALL NIGHT LONG! Which is a very BIG deal! And then I began to feel for the little Asain darling that is my bed companion, only to run my arm across a stranger. My husband! There was a canyon between us that was EMPTY! As my brain began to evaluate the situation and my heart began to beat faster I was able to put this thought together!


I cannot remeber the last time this happened. She has begun sleeping better in her big girl bed. But not all night. In fact the last couple of nights before this, she never even made it out of our bed. She fell asleep there and woke up in the same spot. Well, not really the same spot. She flipped and flopped her way throught the night and woke up still in the middle of 2 very weary parents. One was WAY more weary than the other. I will give you a dollar if you can guess which one! :)

Lamentaions 3 tells us that God's faithfullness is Great and His mercies are renewed every morning and it really and truly is! I almost found myself skipping down the stairs this morning to get my morning jolt of caffeine with an added shot of Creme' Brule creamer! I am fasting from my Sweet tea, not my morning coffee! So, maybe today since I am rested up from almost 9 hours of sleep, I won't miss my afternoon pick-me-up!

Here are some pictures of Tatumn's newly made over room! We are waiting on a quilt until she sleeps in there all the time. She is a spicey Hunan girl who doesn't feel the need to cover up, so really the quilt is for decoration. And right now the budget doesn't have an added line from Pottery Barn Kids. Dang it! The paint job was all done by her adoring daddy! Didn't he do a good job?

Monday, February 4, 2008

40 Days of Blessing

Today I started a 40 day fast. A lot of people take these next 40 days (approx) before Easter to fast from something to get their heart ready for the death, burial, and resurecction of our Risen Savior.
I am fasting Sweet Tea. Yes, I capitalized it because it is something of great importance to me. I really think I am a Southern immigrant, somehow. I love to say Y'all, call my children darling, Love big hair. And sweet tea.
I usually fix a pitcher of sweet tea around 3:00 in the afternoon. ( I don't drink the whole pitcher by myself) It helps me get through the mid-day coma that tries to take over my body. And if I am going to be honest it just makes me happy. I look forward to it and tell myself "3:00 is coming, you can make it!!" and sure enough when the microwave dings.....because I like brewed Sweet heart skips a beat and I feel like the Heavenly hosts have come down and blessed my cup!
But as of today I am forgoing my afternoon cup of Sweet Tea. For one thing, after watching the Biggest Loser last week and they poured out the ginormous drum of sugar showing how much sugar we consume in a year, it made my tummy hurt. I do not drink soda but I like my tea pretty sweet. So besides it being full of sugary goodness, it is a lot of empty calories that add up. And I am trying to be more healthy and need to fit into last years spring wardrobe!

But mostly the reason why I feel so compelled to give up my Southern Sweetness is because I desire God to bigger in my life than anything else. I need God to be cup of goodness because His cup of goodness doesn't run empty. It doesn't only satisfy for the afternnon, it is a continual filling.

And to be honest, once again, I desperately need it.

For the last couple of months it has been very difficult raising a middle-school, teenage son. He is our first-born, and bless his heart we are all learning this together but the metamorphosis that has been going on in this precious life is strenuous. Gut wrenching. Heart breaking. Our amazing Father has big plans for this boy. I know that, my husband knows that, the people who know and love our first-born know it but somehow my first born isn't believing it. And that breaks my heart.

This weekend was probably the toughest one, yet. I have been assured by my "spiritual" mother that there will be more to come. (At that declaration I almost ran to my kitchen and pulled out my tea pitcher and made me a gallon of the sweetest tea.) I knew I needed Jesus way more than I need a glass of tea.

Today as I sat down to my quiet time this is what the Lord declared over my family.
That He will fight for us. "You need only to be calm; the Lord will fight for you." Ex. 14:14 Now I am not kidding when I tell you that I laughed out loud when I read those words. Be Calm. This is my translation " Stephanie, DO NOT FREAK OUT!" How I needed to be reminded that Jesus IS fighting for us. The enemy has snuck into our lives in an area that I just wasn't prepared for. He plays tricky and decieves. He hits us when we are down and mocks us when we are already hurting. But instead of freaking out, God has commanded me to be calm. I needed that.

I have begged God to step into my first-born's heart and be bigger than the world that is beckoning him. I am believing God for the promises that he whispereed to a young mom's heart so many years ago. This is a confirmation straight from His Word. "Also, I will teach you to respect me completely, and I will put a new way of thinking inside you. I will take out of the stubborn hearts of stone fom your bodies, and I will give you obedient hearts of flesh. I will put my spirit inside you and help you live by rules and carefully obey my laws. Ezekiel 36:26-27" How truly grateful I am for Gods Word. An alive and presently active word. That has brought me way more comfort and refreshment than the best-tasting glass of sweet tea ever could.

So, as I start to wrap-up my very first day of me sweet-tea fast, I am filled with an endurance that has come from a renwed spirit and heart. There are 39 more to go. I will probably really crave a good, warm glass of sweet-tea. It will be hard after our wednesday Bible study when I go to lunch to forgo my usual pick-me-up. I may find myself in a mid-day coma and wake up from it when my little boys ring the doorbell to announce they are home from school and my day as only really just begun. But in all of that I am thristing for God to do a work in my oldest son's heart. To fight for him. To fight for this family. To trust the Shepherd.

He tends Hisflocks like a shepherd; He gatehrs the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those who have middle school children. Isaiah 40:11