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

Kira’s Superpower December 11, 2009

Filed under: Family,Just Silly,Kids — Lori @ 12:42 am

Kira has a problem with buttons.  If there is a device near her with buttons, she wants to push them.  It is like they call to her.  And the funny thing is – when she pushes the buttons she does things to those devices that you never knew could even happen. 🙂

Two things have “happened” today, actually.

The first was when I went to copy some papers on my printer/copier for school today.  I tried to make the copies, but for some reason only one-fourth of the paper would copy.  I tried to shut it off and back on hoping that might clear whatever was wrong, but it continued to copy only one-fourth of the page.

I was messing around with it, trying to figure out what the issue was.  I even called Kevin to ask him for ideas, but he wasn’t in his office so I left a message saying that I might know what he will need to get me for Christmas. 

All of a sudden Kira confesses that she was playing with the buttons.  She, of course, has no idea what she pushed and in what order.  I know I should have been mad, but I was seriously trying not to laugh.

The second event of the day was in the parking lot of Fred Meyer.  The girls and I had done some shopping and Kira – surprise! – likes to push the button on my remote to open my trunk and unlock the doors.  After I got the trunk loaded I realized that her window was down. 

I asked her why she put her window down to which she replied that she didn’t.  Then I realized that every window was down halfway.  Hmmmmmm.  All I can guess is that there is some way to push the buttons on my remote that makes the windows all go down halfway.  I never knew that could happen, but Super Kira figured it out!

I am hoping that we can find a way for Kira to use her powers for good and not evil. 🙂

 

Couldn’t Resist! October 30, 2009

Filed under: Adoption,India,Kids,Photos — Lori @ 5:19 pm

I finally got my long awaited email with new photos of Levi!  The gal from Journeys of the Heart was in India – she got back last week and had promised photos this week.

Here is what she had to say about her visit with him:

I am finally back in the office.  My trip to India was successful and as usual I enjoyed my visits with the children.  I really enjoyed my time with Sangeet.  He is a delightful child.  He is still very busy and curious about everything.   He loved looking at Poonam’s photo album. Poonam is a little girl who will be going home soon to her family.  You will see her in a few of the pictures with Sangeet. I am sure he will be thrilled when he gets his own photo album of his family.  He just woke up from his nap when I went to see him and he was still a little sleepy.      

He seems to have grown and looks older than our last photo and video of him which would have been from last spring.  His hair is cut shorter.  It makes me want them to hurry up before he grows up too much!

I have been promised a video as well.  We also have friends who are in India right now on a mission trip and she happens to work for Journeys of the Heart and will be visiting the orphanage.  She has promised to take photos for me when she sees him. 

Enjoy his beautiful smile:

Levi Sangeet Daniel

 

A Visit to the Eye Doctor October 8, 2009

Filed under: Just Silly,Kids,Life — Lori @ 10:17 pm

Kalindi had an appointment at the eye doctor today for a routine exam.  Her tutor suggested that we get her eyesight checked out.  I watched her do her session with the tutor this morning and she held her head very close to her page as she concentrated on the words she was trying to read.

It seemed like a good idea to have her checked out after I saw her doing that.  I also have noticed that she rocks back and forth when she is trying to read – no clue what that means!  Other than she is concentrating.  No matter what, it seemed like it was worth having her tested.

I had one worry about the test.  Sometimes Kalindi isn’t all too sure of which letter is which.  Not every letter, but there are a few letters that she gets stumped on at times.  So, when they started with the letter chart, I kind of held my breath.  She was doing very well, however, I had to smile because she wasn’t saying the letters, she was sounding them.  She didn’t try to sound them into a word, she sounded them like we do when we practice our phonics.  I was actually impressed that she knew what most of them were!  Yeah for phonics. 🙂

Edited to add:  That cracks me up!  I did not tell you what the eye doctor said about her vision, did I?  Thanks Kristin for pointing that out to me.  He said her eyesight was perfectly normal and her holding her head very close to the page might just be that she has developed a bad habit in trying to concentrate on what a word is.  Sorry about that!

 

An Easy Way to Get Involved October 6, 2009

Filed under: Adoption,Faith,Kids,Ministries — Lori @ 11:37 pm

As a follow up to what I posted about the blog, The Journey, there is a website where you can learn more about the organization called Amazina (connected with the blog) located in Uganda who are physically providing food, medical care, and hope through the gospel. 

From their website:

Today, Amazima Ministries shares Christ’s love with over 400
children, providing them with school fees, supplies, healthy
meals, medical needs, and spiritual encouragement. We
provide a home and a family for children who have never had
the luxury of either. We provide encouragement physically,
emotionally, and spiritually to those who need it most. We
provide these children with truth. The truth of a bigger world
through education, but more importantly the truth of a God
who created them beautifully in His image, a God who loves
them and values them and wants the best for them. These
children have never known that kind of love.

You can donate for their general expenses or even sponsor a child for $300 a year which will pay for them to be able to attend school.  For $10 you can buy a family a chicken.  There are many other ways to get involved as well.

It is estimated that there are 147 million orphans in the world.  It seems like too huge of a problem for us to do anything about it, doesn’t it?  Sometimes it seems that way.  But, we can do something. 

Not all of us are called to adopt, but God’s Word commands us to care for widows and orphans. (James 1:27)

We are called to care for those who are helpless, the fatherless, the aged.  We can and we must help in whatever way we can.  Once we are aware of these needs, we must not turn away without responding.  Some, like Katie of Amazima, go to meet needs in person.  Others support that work with prayer and with their finances.  However we decide to be involved, we can all be part of – no we are actually commanded to be part of – the work to relieve some of the suffering in this world.  And as Jesus said,

Matthew 25:34-40  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Please go visit Amazima’s website and read about their work and see how you can get involved.

 

A Special Gift September 27, 2009

Filed under: Kids,Sarah's Covenant Homes — Lori @ 10:03 pm

You might remember some months back, I wrote a post about Kalindi and Kira being excited to bless the girls of Sarah’s Covenant Homes with a gift that would enable them to purchase silver anklets to help the girls that live there to feel special.

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Kalindi and Kira with their anklets

Sarah and her daughters came to the states this summer and while she was here she mailed the girls a special package with their very own silver anklets!  They were so excited to receive some.  They had never owned any and love them.  I just thought it was sweet of Sarah to purchase a pair for my girls and bring them with her from India so that she could give them to the girls.  Aren’t they pretty?

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Thank you Sarah!

 

Grief – In Progress July 24, 2009

Filed under: Books,Faith,Grief,Kids — Lori @ 1:01 am

Events like Kira’s accident in April are always eye openers, aren’t they?  Those situations always get you thinking about serious things – or at least they should!

I sat in the ER holding Kira’s hand and talking to her, trying to get her to respond to me and wondering if we might lose her.  It turned out to be just a concussion, but I had no idea at the time.  My mind went back to another day when the life drained away from one of my children and there was absolutely nothing that I could do to stop it.  Nothing that anyone could do to stop it.  I sat there that night wondering if God was going to ask me to trust Him that way again and I doubted I would be able to.  It was a scary moment.

We experienced God’s mercy that night with Kira.  But, I have to say very explicitly that we experienced God’s mercy tremendously on a Monday night in July almost three years ago (and every day since).  God’s mercy doesn’t depend on the outcome of our circumstances on earth.  Sometimes it feels that way because the outcome isn’t what we would have hoped for.  But, that doesn’t change Who God is.

I wonder what God was trying to teach me with Kira’s accident?  I have plenty to learn, unfortunately.  I learned once again that I have no control over this life.  Why do I always think that I do?  “Why do I want to have control?” should be a better question.  🙂  I have been struggling with trust.  I feel like God is stretching that part of me more and more.  I assume that He is trying to grow me in that area and, let me tell you, it isn’t comfortable.

Sitting there feeling similar feelings to when Grant died, it just brought back all those thoughts and feelings I have felt since then and that isn’t an easy place to be.

I keep waiting for life to feel like it used to.  I read a blog post today that resonated with me.  I read what she had to say and I could completely relate.  There is this realization that I am not the same person I was before Grant died.  When I look at the ocean, or a mountain, or trees, or a beautiful flower, I don’t just enjoy it for it’s own beauty like I used to.  I am not really sure how to explain this.  I feel jaded.  I feel a bit numb.  I keep wondering when it will wear off.  Will life ever look like it did before?  Will I ever feel like the same person I was before?  Will I ever smile and not feel a sadness underneath it?  Will I ever experience something and not have a painful ache in my heart that Grant isn’t there to share it with us?

I don’t want to give you the wrong impression.  I don’t walk around crying all the time and it isn’t that I see creation now and it is meaningless to me.  Rather, I see creation – this present earth – and I long for the new heaven and new earth.  I have learned that this life is not what I should try to hold onto.  I want to live out the days God has appointed for me and fulfill the purpose that He has for me, but I long for heaven and eternity – an end to tears and pain.

I actually know the answer to those questions I posed before.  No, life will never look like it did before.  I am always thinking in terms of something that happened back when my life was normal as opposed to the “after” when nothing has felt normal.  No, I will never again be the same person I was.  That, quite frankly, isn’t a bad thing.  Growth is good.  But, sometimes I really wish that I could “feel” like I did before.  I was more carefree, naive, innocent.

I am almost finished reading a wonderful book entitled “Trusting God” by Jerry Bridges.  The description I read of the book made me want to buy it – I loved his comment on the back cover:  “Why is it easier to obey God than to trust Him?”  That really took me aback.  Here is a synopsis of the book:  “Do you find it easy to trust God—until adversity strikes? When life clouds over, do you suddenly begin to suspect that you only imagined his care for you? Bridges uncovers three essential truths about God: he is completely sovereign; he is infinite in wisdom; and he is perfect in love. Building on these three rocks, Bridges shows how we can learn to trust God, even when we don’t understand what he is doing.”  This is a great book I recommend for any believer!  Mr. Bridges has a wonderful fatherly/pastorly delivery that is very easy to read and it is very Biblical and very practical.

The year Grant died I had chosen Isaiah 26:3,4 as my verse for the year. 

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever,  for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

I chose those verses because my daughter needed to have jaw surgery that year due to the negligence of our dentist/orthodontist and it was a burden I was carrying.  I needed to trust God for her safety, but also for the outcome of the surgery.  Little did I know that I would have an even larger reason to lean on and trust the Lord.

But, one reason I chose that verse out of a million verses on trust in the Bible is that it had something for me to do in it.  Aha!  Back to the statement about it being easier to obey than to trust.  I was still trying to be in control.  I was still thinking that I could do something to make myself trust God.

I am in no way discounting the need for us to obey.  If I am to trust God I had better keep my mind stayed on Him and I had better submit my heart and will to His purposes.  There is an aspect of my will or obedience involved.  But, what I didn’t realize at the time and I have come to know is that I can not even align my will with God’s will unless He gives me the grace or ability to do so.

I love that in “Trusting God” Mr. Bridges spends several chapters talking about what God is sovereign over.  We often quip that God is sovereign and how wonderful that attribute is, but do we really understand what it means?

God is in control of life and death.  He is in control of the weather.  He controls the hearts of kings.  Nothing touches me that is not allowed or ordained by Him.  He made me exactly the way that I am.  He allows and uses people with evil intentions to carry out His divine will and purposes.  (Remember Joseph?)

I find that comforting.  Can you imagine a world where just one single thing could happen that was not controlled by God?  I don’t want to live in that world. 

The Lord is teaching me that the way that I trust Him is to let go.  Not be inactive because that is wrong too.  But that I give – repeatedly – my will and all that I am over to His power and leading.  I shouldn’t expect to figure out what He is doing or why it is happening.  I just trust that it is His purpose and that He is in control.

I wish I could say that I have this trust thing all figured out.  It is a daily struggle.  I have to keep going back to Who God is.  Why should I trust Him?  Because He has proven Himself trustworthy.  Is He worthy of my trust?  YES!  He IS worthy!

 

What We Have Been Up To….May May 28, 2009

Filed under: Adoption,Family,Home Schooling,Kid Happenings,Kids — Lori @ 11:41 am

My energy level lately has been pretty low.  This time of year my allergies sap my energy and I feel like I am walking around in a fog!  There are days I wake up that way and it is hard to do anything beyond what really NEEDS to be done in a day.  I am always saying that one of the things I am looking forward to about heaven and my new body is NO ALLERGIES!

We celebrated Kira’s seventh birthday on Sunday, May 3.  She chose hamburgers for her dinner (I threw in hot dogs as well).  Actually, both the girls ended up having hot dogs which was their first time having them.  They liked them. 🙂

Our Birthday Girl

Our Birthday Girl

We had family and friends who are family at the party.

The Cousins

The Cousins

She got a princess cake – chocolate!  Yeah!

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The girls have been taking swimming lessons the whole month of May.  More on swimming later.

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There was Mother’s Day at my Mom’s house:

Great Grandma Helen and her great grandkids!

Great Grandma Helen and her great grandkids!

Kira got to have a second birthday (is that something Hobbits do?) with our homeschool group:

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We had an “Oregon City” outing with special friends:

In front of the McLoughlin House

In front of the McLoughlin House

We also had family and friends over for Memorial weekend for a shish-kabob barbeque – you should have heard the attempts at repeating that word!  I don’t have great pictures of that day since I forget to do much photo taking when I am in charge of the activity!

Kevin has been working hard getting a fence put in on the back of our yard.  We have wanted to get to this project for a long time and it feels good to have it almost done.  The girls have helped out as well.  They love to be Daddy’s helper.  I’ll post yard pictures when we get it finished.  I am happy with how it is turning out.  It has been a lot of work, but very rewarding.

Another thing going on around here is getting paperwork together to start on our adoption.  Brings back memories!  That will keep me busy for a couple of months at least.  I do remember how good it feels when you have it all done and sent off! 

The girls are excited about their brother in India.  It has been fun to listen to them pray for him and to tell others about him coming.  It will be interesting to see how they react when it actually happens. 🙂 

Spring/Summer has officially hit.  Not only is the weather getting nice, but I am starting to hear, “Do we have to do school today?”  I swear there is a kid manual that is handed out at birth to every child in every country.  They all know the same lines because there wasn’t anybody around here to teach the girls that one!

 

 
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