Goodbye Ordinary

I will recount the steadfast love of the LORD, the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has granted us. Isaiah 63:7

The Fascination with Flashlights January 31, 2009

Filed under: Family,Kids,Life — Lori @ 4:14 pm

The other day I went to Home Depot for something and spotted these really cute kid flashlights at the checkout stand.  I remembered that Kalindi and Kira had wanted a flashlight and here were these brightly colored and decorated small flashlights just calling to me as I waited. 

Of course, I purchased them.  The funny thing is I think these convenient displays are supposed to get the kid to beg the parent to buy them. 🙂  I spotted a purple and lime green Tinkerbell one I knew Kalindi would love and there was a pink jewled one with Disney princesses on it – perfect for my little princess in waiting. (Kira) 

It was worth the $7 a piece just to see their faces light up when I got home and, after saying that I had a surprise for them and having them close their eyes while I put them behind my back, they shrieked with joy and jumped up and down when I pulled them out.  It was so much fun watching the girls dance around with them and flashing the light around chasing each other’s beam.

Kira is a little bit afraid of the dark and never likes to go upstairs if there aren’t lights on.  She wanted to shut off all the lights to walk upstairs because, “I have my flashlight Mom!”  So cute.  They also didn’t want the bathroom light left on (across the hall from their bedroom) when I put them to bed that night – because they had their flashlights!

The last two nights they have gone to bed with a book and their flashlight.  I kept checking on the sly  just to make sure they weren’t going to stay up too late.  When I said something to Kalindi about it one morning she said, “Well, you told us not to stay up too long.”  Wow.  They listened and obeyed.  I love it!

Kalindi had been complaining that Kira would wake up before her and since Kira hates to be alone, she would try to climb into the top bunk with Kalindi.  This, of course, was waking Kalindi up and not making her happy.  She finally asked me to say something to Kira about it.  Kalindi is very long suffering. 🙂  I told Kira that if she woke up and Daddy was already up that she could climb into bed with me.  Since I told her this, she has come in every morning.  The funny thing is that she can’t hold still for longer than five seconds.  She is either moving or talking.  Honestly, as much as I am NOT a morning person I would rather have this special time with Kira than another hour of sleep!  I know very well that you wake up one day and your kids no longer want to come get in bed with you or snuggle with you while watching a movie and you better get your time in when you can!

I feel very blessed this week.  Thank you Lord for filling our family with such joy.

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Express Your Views January 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lori @ 1:57 pm

If you would like to contact your U.S. Senator and let them know your views on any issue, you can find their contact information here.

You can contact your U.S. Respresentative here.   

You can also check voting information on these websites to see how your senator and representative have voted.  We need to hold them accountable!  They need to hear what the people they reprsent think.

This is where you can access Obama administration information.

We cannot sit idly by and watch these men and women make very important decisions that will affect us for years to come without voicing our opinions.  They respresent us.  They need to hear from us.

Get involved and don’t forget the most important thing you can do – PRAY!

Thanks for reading,  Lori

 

Ways to Pray for our President

Filed under: Faith,Life,Politics — Lori @ 1:23 pm

Without criticizing every word our new president speaks, we do need to be aware of his agenda and what he believes.

There is a great post at Voddie Bacham’s blog that highlights some things we should be aware of.  There are also links in his post that will take you to the administration’s website so you can read President Obama’s words yourself.

As believers we need to be informed and speak out in love.

Thanks for reading,  Lori

 

Don’t Make Me Count To Three – book review January 28, 2009

Filed under: Books,Faith,Kids,Parenting — Lori @ 4:08 pm

I have just finished reading this book, Don’t Make Me Count To Three by Ginger Plowman.  It is SO GOOD! 

I have been contemplating how hard it is to kind of start over with child raising.  Adopting the girls when our daughter was eighteen felt like going back in time a long ways.  And in regards to discipline and behavior it has definitely been like starting over.

A friend had recommended a book to me when Kelsey and Grant were about sixteen and fourteen.  It was “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” by Tedd Tripp.  It was a great book and reading it I realized that we had not parented that way – focusing on the child’s heart attitude behind their behavior.  The thing is that when I read that book I felt like it was good, but I wasn’t sure how to apply it.  I assumed that we had set patterns with our kids and we weren’t going to change them.  I also remember thinking that the book had a great premise, but did not give me practical ways of implementing it – at least not that was obvious to me.

When the girls came I picked up that book again and began to read it.  While in the process of re-reading it, I happened to see in a catalog I was looking at for adoption resources a book title that caught my eye.  It was “Don’t Make Me Count To Three”.  I read the description and decided that was exactly what I needed.

The premise of DMMCTT is that we have a biblical mandate from God as parents to teach and train our children when we are siting down, when we are standing, or walking in the way – in other words in everything we do with our children we should be teaching them the precepts of God’s word.  We all KNOW this, some of us just aren’t sure HOW to go about doing this in a practical way.  Ginger Plowman doesn’t just tell you the concept of reaching our child’s heart she gives you specific examples as they have played out with her own children.  When you can read the exact words that she said in specific situations you get the idea of how to implement the concept.  It isn’t that it is a hard concept.  It is just that wasn’t the way I learned how to parent.  So, for me, it is taking some thinking before I respond to a discipline situation with the girls. 

The author’s handy mantra she teaches her kids of, “Obey right away, all the way, and with a joyful heart” sums up her method.  The actual steps of discipline are:  1) Ask the child a heart probing question. Not something like, “Why did you do that?” but more like “Are you purposing in your heart to promote peace, or are you stirring up trouble?” 2) Reproof (put off), state the biblical standard they are breaking using scripture.  3) Encouragement (put on)  Give them the positive biblical mandate to replace their action. 

I have begun to teach the girls this saying so that they realize what is expected of them.  Their English is good enough that we can have the conversations that we need to in order to not only correct or rebuke the bad behavior or choice, but to tell them why it is wrong – what the Bible says about it – and then give them the correct action that God expects of them.  It really is common sense when you think about it, but to do it correctly, you have to take the time every time something comes up to rebuke and exhort and then discipline. 

The first day that I put this into practice I needed to talk to Kalindi about disrespect.  We had a great talk and then discipline was administered.  I also told her that she had not only disobeyed me, but that she had disobeyed God and so she needed to pray and tell God she was sorry for her actions and to ask him to help her make the right choices.  It was so interesting how repentent she was when she had to voice this in a prayer.  It seemed to really reach her heart which is the whole point!

I was so happy to have found this book for several reasons.  The first, is that I believe it practically teaches how to administer biblical, godly discipline.  And what does that kind of discipline teach?  I am teaching them that God is the ultimate authority and giving them a pattern of how to live their Christian lives.  I am teaching them biblical precepts that will hopefully guide them in their behavior and decision making now and in the future.

If you are interested in this book, you can go to the Shepherd Press website and see all their resources.  If you are interested in purchasing Don’t Make Me Count to Three or Ginger’s scripture reference guide that goes with the book called, Wise Words for Mom you can find them at that website along with other great looking family resources they have there.

Thanks for reading, Lori

 

Sovereign Grace Book/Music Sale

Filed under: Books,Faith,Music — Lori @ 12:49 pm

Sovereign Grace Ministries is having a special on books and music February 1 – 28.  Take advantage of the great prices and no shipping!  See more info at the link below.

Between Two Worlds

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Almost a Year

Filed under: Adoption,Faith,Family,Grief,Home Schooling — Lori @ 12:24 am

The past eleven months has gone by so quickly.  I was recently reliving our call we received from the adoption agency telling us that our guardianship order had been signed and that we could make our travel plans.  The reason it all seemed so fresh and exciting is because some friends were preparing to travel to India for their little girl at about the same time as we did last year.  They got home with their daughter on January 26!  It was so much fun to go meet them at the airport.

On February 13, 2008 we left the U.S. for India.  That trip was awesome in so many ways.  It was also overwhelming.  We were taking on this task that seemed so huge when we realized how little English was being spoken by the girls and wondering how we were going to deal with everyday life.   The trip home was exhausting.  Getting home felt so good and having our family and friends there to greet us and knowing how much support and love we had around us – well, I know I sighed with relief.  And wanted to kiss the ground in this country that I am so privileged to live in.

Tonight when I went in to tuck the girls in for bed, Kalindi asked me, “Mommy, why did you and Daddy decide to adopt us?” It made me think of your young kids who want to hear the story again of when they were born. 🙂  It was so much fun to explain to her that Daddy and I had always thought about adoption and that after Grant died, we both prayed about it and decided we weren’t done being parents.  And, we knew that there were a lot of kids in the world who needed a family.  We have talked about this before so I am not sure why she asked tonight.  Maybe she enjoys hearing the story.  It could be that it gives her some security to hear how much we wanted these two little girls from India.

I told her about the first time we saw their photos.  They were the very first photos that had been taken of them when they came to the orphanage.  At the time the photos were three years old so the girls had changed quite a lot when we finally received new ones.  When I first saw the updated photos I felt like I had just been told I was pregnant.  It was amazing.

Kalindi asked me if Grant knew about them.  I told her no, that he had already died.  She said, “Would you have adopted us if Grant didn’t die?”  I had to say, no, we would not have adopted them.  It’s true.  We may have adopted, but it would not have been these girls at that time.  If I never before believed Romans 8:28,29 before I certainly believe it now. (FYI I have ALWAYS believed it!)

28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

All things work together for good.  And what is the ultimate good?  It is that we are being conformed to the image of his Son.  But, you know what?  There are a lot of other good things too.  God is so gracious and gives such good gifts.  Our house is full of laughter and Barbies and hair things and joy. 

February 23, 2009 will be our one year anniversary of returning to the U.S. with our girls.  I am sometimes in awe at how much progress we have made and I am so thankful that things have gone so smoothly.  We have our issues, but really they are minor.

I am also back at work.  I have two eager students who enjoy our school time each day.  I have plenty to keep me busy, not much time for feeling sorry for myself.  To be honest, I still have some days when it is hard to keep tears at bay.  I am sure it will always be there.  But, I thank the Lord for His healing and His comfort.

Thanks for reading, Lori

 

Trying……really hard! January 21, 2009

Filed under: Life,My Opinions,Politics — Lori @ 3:23 pm

Yesterday was kind of a hard day.  You know, inauguration day.  There were some amazing things about it – there are about any presidential inauguration.  Very few countries in the world exchange power so seamlessly and peacefully as the United States.  I am proud of that.  I am also proud of the classy, gracious way that George and Laura Bush left the White House.  I certainly did not agree with every decision he made or every position he took, but I think we can all look back and see that God had that particular man in office to handle – the cool and gutsy way that he did – what happened on September 11, 2001.  I also appreciate that he stood by his beliefs and principles even when they were not popular – according to the polls. 🙂  I am pretty sure that the people of Iraq – on the whole – have a pretty good opinion of what President Bush did for them. 

What is hard about yesterday is the unrealistic and completely unfounded expectations that have been placed on a man who has not even established a record for himself in the public arena.  When I tried to find President Obama’s voting record in the Senate I found that too many “NV” or not voting was listed more often than should be.

According to the National Journal, 1/31/08:  “Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., was the most liberal senator in 2007, according to National Journal‘s 27th annual vote ratings.”  On the website, “Project Vote Smart” you just have to read the list of endorsements to see what side of the issues he is on.

This man’s fervor to make any kind of abortion legal at any time and for any reason and never again to be challenged legally is scary to me.  (Freedom of Choice Act) How selfish have we become that we think we can decide who will live and who will die depending on our “choice” or what is convenient for us? 

I have mixed emotions about the election of our first “black” president.  Honestly, just saying that makes me think that we are more racist than we ever have been.  Why is he labeled as such if we are so “color blind” we don’t take into consideration the race of the person we elect as president?  Then, there is fact that many African-Americans (why do we need these labels!) voted for him JUST because he is the same color they are.  I know that they see it as this historic chance, but did they really care WHO they were voting for.  Would just any black guy work?  I bet they wouldn’t have voted for Alan Keyes. (A very conservative Christian.) 

I don’t wish anything bad for President Obama.  I would like for him to succeed as our president.  I will diligently pray for him as he takes on some pretty huge issues.  I will also be praying for God’s people to be willing to stand up and speak out against the things that are clearly spoken against in the Bible.  We can say that we believe homosexuality is a sin and a choice and that people need to turn from it and repent and still show them kindness and respect.  We need to stand up and say that it is wrong to abort babies because it happens to be inconvenient or the baby is “imperfect” in our estimation.  We can stand together in support of strengthening our families.  We can stand up for a families right to choose how to educate their children.  We can devote part of our income and time to those who are less fortunate than ourselves – because, after all – isn’t that why government thinks they need to do that for us?  We aren’t being the “neighbor” that God commands us to be.

I am trying to put my perception of who I think Barack Obama is aside and watch what happens.  I am glad if his election gives the black community a feeling of pride in themselves.  I hope that pride will lead to action and change for the better.  I would love it if there were no color issues in this world.  I guess what I most long for is that new heaven and new earth when sin will be in the past and the people of God will be who He made us to be.

 

 
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