We started our new fall Bible Study in September. I have been a part of Wednesday morning Bible Study since Tanner was a new baby. I was a young mom. A young wife. A new Christian. The invitation was readily accepted for two reasons. To study the Bible. And friends. The companionship that was offered in those days blessed my heart as much as the Word tendered it. I will never forget walking into that house feeling like I was wearing a Scarlet A on my shirt. Not because I was an adulteress but because it wouldn't take long to realize my age and the age of my children to realize how young I was when Taylor was born. (Just FYI, I was 19) I was accepted and loved truly like never before. And those sweet girls are still some of dearest friends.
So fast forward 12 years. A lot has changed. Our group has divided to serve in other areas. New girls have joined. Others left. The location has changed as much as my hair style! And one thing that continues to thrill my heart, we have added numerous children to the Wednesday morning bunch. I added two more, myself!
I have had the honor and privilege of leading for quite some time. Even though we moved quite a distance, God has continued to ask me to serve in this format. And I absolutely love being a part of it.
I knew God was doing something unique when things started getting stirred up this Summer. We added a worship team and live praise music. The location changed from a home to our Student Life Center. A new group of women began coming that blessed me more than I could have dreamed of.
But let me be honest. I was also scared to death. I have never taught in this big of a group before. The format was so different that I was afraid that it wouldn't hold their attention. And there have been a couple of times that I have said aloud "would the real teacher please come forward" only to feel the gentle nudge from the Lord pushing me to the front of the room.
That first day we all looked so pretty and put together. We still had a summer glow about us and a new excitement flowed around the room. It was not unlike the first day of school after summer break. The giddiness. The excitement.
Then the routine sets in.
And real life takes over. The smiles become a little more strained. The sun tan has faded. The giddiness is swallowed back with tears. Before you know it hurt is everywhere.
So, it came as no surprise really that God had laid it on my heart for us to do "Believing God" by Beth Moore. Some of us had already done this study. But that didn't matter. What I felt God speak into my spirit was "give me one year to teach you, so that that you can live the rest of your life BELIEVING me." I knew from the beginning that this was going to be more than another bible study. This was intended to be a LIFESTYLE.
This Wednesday we will wrap up our third week. The title of this week is "God can do what He says He can do." Believing that God has not ceased in performing miracles.
I know God is still in the miracle business. I have witnessed one with my very eyes. Touched it with my own hands. Myer Massey is a true miracle. Touched by the hand of the Healer. A sentence of death from a well respected physician was trumped with the proclamation of life by the One who sits on the Throne.
And then there is Mary. A sweet, young mom with a 20 month old dying from Tay Sachs disease. I had the privilege of spending the afternoon with her and Isaiah today. This precious family has been prayed for and loved on from the Body of Christ that resembled the same outpouring that the Massey family received. There have been fasting and anointing. Lamenting and Praising. But as it looks today, God's miracle will be taking Isaiah to his eternal Home. Not the miracle we asked for. But a miracle just the same.
Last week I felt so compelled to teach Psalm 103:1-5. In fact I scrapped the lesson that was planned at 9:00 the night before. I cannot explain the feeling I had except uneasiness to do anything else.
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
Let me tell you, I have never taught on anything so hard before. As I looked out in those sea of faces and proclaimed "heals all your diseases" when in that very room there is a little boy that has not been physically healed.....yet. Learning to believe Him truly, you have to believe that little Isaiah will be healed. Either here on earth or in in Heaven. That it is God's sovereign decision on just what that will look like. As I struggled with putting the lesson together I felt the Lord whisper to my spirit "don't try and explain me. You do not understand my ways. Don't try. You will only be deceived if you do."
The day ended with a sweet fundraiser to honor Mary and her family. We got to laugh and pray and eat.
But because my heart beats "mom" there is an undeniable ache for this young mom who holds her baby boy tonight. Trying her best to savor and remember every moment. To store in a special place in her heart things that only a mother could treasure.
If you have read this far I will ask for prayers for the Cairns family. Matt, Mary, Ethan, and little Isaiah. Prayers for strength, wisdom, endurance, and peace.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Life here at Casa de Crawford has been so crazy busy.
If I had a dollar for everytime I said that.... I guess I changed it up a bit by adding Casa de Crawford.... probably to not make it sound so repetitive.
Here are a few snapshots of our Halloween festivities. I did not get to capture any pictures of them trick-or-treating because the big boys went hunting with dad that weekend and took the camera.
I could show you a picture of Tanner's first deer. He is so proud.
But I think I will keep it Disney friendly.
Tatumn really got into the door-to-door candy fest this year. It was a gorgeous night so we visited every house on our street! By the time we made it back to our home, Tucker's arm was tired from carrying his candy bucket! What a hard life, huh?
I got a little Martha Stewart with their costumes this year and decided that making them was far more economical........not really.
Tucker also tried to talk me into this being his last year for a theme. I am still undecided. I would love for all of them to do one more theme...... I am thinking a hot dog, fries, ketchup and mustard. Or something like that!
Wouldn't that be hilarious?
Wouldn't my teenagers hate me forever?
Although they love their little sister enough to do it....
We will just have to wait and see!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Because he is "that kind of brother", Tucker let Tatumn steal the spotlight at his Halloween party. The kids thoguth she was the funniest thing and because of her ice-cream sundae dessert at 1:00, she was in rare form!
The class was so excited that they sang "Happy Birthday to you" and something about hearing 25 little voices sing to her melted me. I was truly so overcome with emotion that I couldn't even take a picture!
We started out Tatumn birthday with a manicure and pedicure! This time she sat by herself in the chair and looked every bit of three. I had to suck in a sob that was welling up in my throat. The ladies just loved on her; which did my heart so good. Tatumn ate up every ounce of attention and even showed some personality! In fact, later that weekend I ran into someone who was at the salon that morning and recognized us. She told us that watching Tatumn that morning was a blessing to her because she just found out that she is having a girl! And cannot wait to do that with her daughter! How sweet is that. I stopped myself from telling her my story, from the wait to almost losing the reality of holding her, to being a girly girl with three (amazing) boys at the house, and on and on! Instead, I just smiled and said "Thank you!"
Tatumn really is a blast. I know that may sound crazy but boiled down that just describes the time I am having being HER mom. She loves to me to pieces and I cannot put into words what that does to my heart.
The Father has really been so tender to me the last couple of weeks concerning her actual birth and the spaces in her life story that are blank. In ways that only He can do, He has tenderly cared for my heart and the ache that lies there. He has shown me that He's always been there. And in His graciousness (is that a word) He deliver some very meaningful mementos to us in China. Things that I would have not dared to ask for. Things that I thought were just too much, like a birthnote from her biological parents. Her clothes that she was found in. A newborn picture.
And just yesterday as I was getting Taylor's birth certificate out of our safe, I came across something that I had not noticed before. It was a medical chart and summary of Tatumn's (Jun De) first day of life. She was brought to the orphanage on her very first day of life and they did the examine that day. SO, as I was looking over it I realized I know how much she weighed, how long she was, what her skin looked like, and how she acted! I could not believe I had missed it before. Of course, some of it is in Chinese but I think I was so excited to know what she like at that moment, I skimmed throughout he first part. Actually, I believe God allowed me the privilege to see that page in a new way. And in doing that a piece of my heart was mended. And for that I will be forever grateful.
The day just kept getting better!
We met daddy for lunch at Applebees! Tatumn had just got your nails done and she was so excited to show everyone! The waiters came out and sang to her, which she was not too sure about until they offered ice cream! My sister called to wish Tatumn a Birthday blessing and to hear her talk one the phone....she sounded more like 13 than 3! She told my sister "thanks for calling" before she handed me the phone and said "it's your sister"
Then when we got home there was a HUGE balloon bouquet waiting on the front porch! It was from our sweet friends Terri, Clara and baby Maddie! We even got in a quick wave before Clara went down for her nap! Our other neighbors brought over a Cinderella bubble blower and yet another (I know! we are so loved on by our neighbors!) brought over a darling GYMBOREE outfit!
And you know what the day was not over yet!
Because you only turn 3 once!
I know I am way over due in posting. Life here at the Crawford house has been whizzing by in a flash.
And the fact that I do not a computer during the day, that raises it's own issues. It's not that I can't have one because I can. It's that I am choosing not to have one. Does that make sense?
Ever since my first journey into the adoption support groups online, I was hooked on this new found "friendship". The world of adoption blogs allowed me a sneak peak into a journey that was so exciting and new and I could glean from their adventure. It started honestly. It really did.
But then...because I am just wired this way. I became involved. I would wake up and check. Before I went to bed, I would check. It began to take up a chuck of valuable time and felt the Lord convicting me.
I know that is not pretty. But it's the truth.
So, I began to ask for healthy boundaries and limits.
And God answered.
My computer crashed this spring.
And although Kip has volunteered to fix the problem. I have declined. I have his computer when he gets home. And for now, that is enough.
So a long winded excuse as to why these posts are looooong overdue!
We had such a great day at the pumpkin patch! It was great weather and we all liked each other. Remember, today all you get is honesty!
This was Tatumn's first "official" trip to a Pumpkin Patch! We went to a little farm/pumpkin patch. There were all kinds of animals and Tatumn was in love. She is such a nurturer and was totally in her element. Which the boys loved! And because she is totally my daughter, she didn't like the smell at all. The animals. Good. The smell. Yucky. Love that girl.
If you remember from the posts about Tatumn's favorite Summer movie, you will recall that it was Charlotte's Web. (I wrote it that way to act like I have a multitude of readers! So much with being real. And thank you for allowing me a bit of fantasy!)There was this little pig that we visited last. Thank goodness it worked out that way because if we had visited that pig first, we would not have seen anything else! She loved that little pig! When she saw him, she turned and asked me "is that Charlotte's wub?" She says wub instead of web. I would post a video but I can barely post pictures so that's not gonna happen. Maybe one day! She kept talking to that pig and was getting a little upset because "that pig not will not talk to me!"
We got a pumpkin big enough that Tatumn could sit on it! Which she loved that. And because blogger and Picasa are being obnoxious tonight I cannot post anymore pictures than these! Fun times!