About Me

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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.


Surviving the Valley Series

Surviving the Valley Series
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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A half day left

I can hardly believe it, but we are down to the final last half day of school tomorrow.  I packed up my classroom almost a week ago, sent everything home, took away the kids' desks, and pushed them all to the side of the room.  However, I let them (and their parents) know that school wasn't over yet, just the tests were, and now we were going to have some fun with other ways of learning.  So, with no desks, chairs, supplies, etc., we took advantage of the spacious room and did a lot more hands on stuff.  I think I actually enjoyed them more without all their stuff. One day they practiced and performed Reader's Theaters, they've done a lot of partner and group reading, we turned multiplication and division into real life situations by making equal groups of students on the floor, we enjoyed a game day, and tomorrow they're performing a talent show in the morning.  It's turned into a fun-filled few days.

Once school is over tomorrow, then maybe I can get caught up on blogging (as I realized it's been over a week since I last made an entry....)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Getting close!

Okay, so now it's pretty real......two weeks from this moment, we will have been in Bogota for about an hour.  David and I were discussing today everything we're looking forward to.  Of course, seeing Julian tops the list, and then eating at Crepes and Waffles comes in a close second. :)  This year we already know where we're going, we know a lot of the people we'll be seeing, and we already know and love Julian.  All of that anxiety that we had a year ago is now gone, of course.  However, this trip brings with it a whole new set of unknowns that leave me guarding my heart just as much as I did a year ago.  Lots of new possibilities have come up at the last minute that leave me wondering just what God has up His sleeve this time.  I'm thrilled, excited, and terrified all at the same time.

I had a choice as to which age level and English level I would prefer to work with at the school for summer school.  I said that I had experience working with all grade levels, but that I preferred the younger ages and especially the lower English levels.  Today I found out I'll be teaching Pre-K!!!!  This will be a whole new experience, but I definitely will be working with the kids who speak the least amount of English, and that is what I wanted. :)

We haven't heard any specifics on what Mike may be doing, but I assume we'll just play that by ear. Speaking of Mike and ears, he also just went to the doctor today and found out he has an ear infection.  Isn't that a bit odd, you think?  We must have all just gotten a bad cold or something that went straight to our ears.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not exactly like I'd planned...

Well, my birthday came to an end last Friday evening just as I started feeling a slight sore throat.  I hoped that a good night's sleep would cure it so we could move on to enjoy a nice Mother's Day weekend.  That good night sleep never came, and I felt pretty crumby by the time morning rolled around on Saturday.  I got up and did a little shopping like I normally do, but I couldn't even make it to the second store.  I felt so miserable and knew I needed a nap.  My "plan" was to just sleep a couple hours, then get up, go to a global prayer meeting at church, and attend church that evening (Mike and David were hanging out with their buddies at a Mud Bog all day and evening).  Well, after a few hours, I knew that I wasn't going to make it out of that bed.  I kept telling myself I at least needed to send an e-mail to someone to let them know I wouldn't make it, but I couldn't even lift my head off the pillow long enough to do that.  I was down for the count.  I stayed in bed all afternoon, all evening, all night (well, until 12:30 when Mike and David came home, and David was screaming in pain from an earache).  I took care of David, got him some medicine, calmed him down enough to fall asleep, and then I was back in bed to finish out my 19 hours in bed.  The next morning, Mike and I got up pretty late, and our "plan" was to go to church for the Sunday service and then go out for Mother's Day lunch.  By eleven o'clock that morning, we realized David wasn't getting out of bed anytime soon, so Mike and I attended Lake Pointe Live via the internet campus at church while we let David continue to sleep and recover. Then we went out to Chili's so I could get some hot salsa for my ever increasing sore throat.  We stayed home and rested for the remainder of the day because there was a FULL week ahead of us on the schedule. (My boys also gave me some beautiful cards, a pair of slippers, and hung a really cool cross out on my back porch for me.) The next morning, I thought I was feeling better and more rested, and I was thankful that I'd taken the entire day off for my "on-call" jury summons.  I took David to school, treated myself to breakfast at Chick Fil-A, spent a little time on my own, and went to my favorite bookstore. I also finally made it to the grocery store.  I called to see if they needed me for jury duty, and I found out that on-call jurors were not needed for the day.  Yeah!  This was good news.  Then my ear reminded me that it had been hurting quite a lot, so by 2:00, I knew I needed to head to the doctor.  After testing me for the flu and strep, we came to the conclusion that I  was suffering from an ear infection.  So, now I've been on antibiotics all week, and my energy level has been much lower than normal.  No fun at all for a week of TWO late night soccer games, ONE late night of David's choir performance, ONE night full of working out more arrangements and details for our time in Colombia, and then a preplanned evening out together lastnight to go to my friend's book signing for her second book.  All good and fun events, but being sick just took a lot of the excitement out of them.  BTW, David never complained of his ear again, but by Thursday, Mike was sick, too, and missed David's last soccer game of the season.  Sometimes, things just don't go like we planned........It's nice to look at the calendar for the next week and see nothing scheduled for a single evening.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

35 years!

Well, as of yesterday, I am officially 35 years old.  The good thing about spending so much time with people older than myself is that I always feel young. :) I really had a great day, between my students being extra well-behaved, my husband and son taking me to grab my favorite dinner (Chick Fil-A) on the way to a movie, and Julian sending me messages during the day saying I was the best mom in the whole world--it was a good day.  We watched I Bought a Zoo at the dollar theater, and all I can say is, "Wow.  What an incredible movie." Loved it.  We just had a really nice time together.  Julian said he felt bad that he had nothing to give me, but I found out that he was chosen to lead a devotional lastnight at his prayer group that he attends every Friday night, and I told him that, honestly, that was the best gift he could give me.  He'd never, ever led a devotional before, so throughout the week I helped him pick a chapter out of Proverbs and he studied up on it.  He was pretty nervous, but by yesterday afternoon, he said he felt pretty confident.

Now let me tell you the history leading up to that, because it's truly another one of those divine encounters I'm always talking about.  When Julian was just getting ready to exit the orphanage and had nowhere to go, God let us know of a retired music teacher who is living in Colombia as a missionary who had a room available.  However, she was experiencing incredible back pain and didn't know if she was comfortable bringing someone like him in due to her physical condition.  They connected via phone, anyway, and he made the effort to go see where she lived and to meet her.  Yet the day he chose was a day that she was in so much pain that she couldn't even come to the door.  However, in a way no one ever could have planned, the neighbor actually saw him that day and invited him in for coffee.  He found out that she was a Christian and attended the very church he'd attended as a child before ever entering the orphanage.  For some reason, I just had this feeling that that neighbor was going to be very key in this whole story.  Sure enough, because of her genuine hospitality that she'd showed him that very first day, after he did indeed move in with this retired teacher, he began attending a weekly prayer group at the neighbor's house.  He goes faithfully every week, and it is obvious that they have really embraced him and become like his spiritual family.  He is the youngest of them all.  Isn't it like God to have more planned out than we ever could have?  That's why people who are always planning too far ahead seem to walk around disappointed all the time.  Their plan wasn't what God ever intended, and they're actually missing God and all the divine encounters He's arranged for them.  I hope I miss less of them every day as I continue to learn to just let go of the reigns.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Resume

I updated my resume tonight (because I had to send a copy to Colombia for summer school), and I finally got to add a new section of work experience as an official author.  That was pretty cool! Just thought I'd share. :)

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Book signing

I'm doing another book signing event at Holy Grounds in Grapevine, Texas today.  I am looking forward to meeting all the new people that God will have cross my path today.  It's a little far for close friends to make it to, so today, I think, is going to be all about just being open to talking to whoever passes by my little table.  I've got some pictures to share, some cards with poetry printed on them, and a new pink pen to sign any books that might be purchased.  I've realized that these opportunities are more just about sharing our story than about making sales.  If the books sell, great.  If not, as long as someone can walk away with a greater faith in God's love because of our story, then the day is still a success to me.  I literally have no idea what kind of sales have been made over this book so far because the majority were purchased through Amazon.com.  However, I actually am glad that's the way it is because I never wrote our story in order to make money.  I just want it to be an inspiration to anyone else out there who is wondering if there really could be a purpose for what they're going through. I want them to know that God is a personal God who loves us each individually, and He will be there to carry us through the valleys of our lives.

I can hardly believe that a month from today we'll be getting back on a plane to return to Colombia.  So far, despite my procrastination and extremely laid back attitude (that will be another post to come), God has brought every little detail together and is continuously showing me that He's miles ahead of me, anyway.  We will be staying in the same apartment complex that we did last year, just in a different apartment.  That was very comforting news because it means that we already know our way around, where to shop, where to go and not to go at certain times, etc.  The people currently in the apartment have already read my book, and I hear it's been passed all around to different teachers at the school.  Amazing.  I've been told that it's  in the hands of the director of the school at the moment.  God definitely had much greater plans to use that book than I ever imagined when I was writing it.  At least two people told me they wondered if there would be a sequel.  Lastnight as I was looking over the poems that I've written over the past year and seeing how God has continued to write this story, I am thinking that a sequel just might already be in the works.  We'll see how God surprises us in Colombia this time around.....

You can still support our trip financially if God so leads you to do.  Go to www.lakepointe.org, find the section GIVE ONLINE, find the mission trip section, and click on our name/trip. We believe that the funds we'll need for our expenses there have been covered.  The only financial "concern" we still have is from the week of unpaid leave that Mike will take during our final week of stay.  We know God will either provide for that need or will alleviate some of our normal expenses so we can live on less.

I guess now the countdown begins and I actually have to start getting the last minute details ready.