Monday, November 30, 2009

Green Acres Christmas Tree Farm in CARY, NC

Go to GREEN ACRES if you are in NC to get your trees. They donate proceeds to the African Children's choir...

Santa's Uncle and Christmas Carols as a Second Language

Birthday with a Burning Oven Mit...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Finding Joy In the Midst of "Flippin out"-Early Christmas Tree Set UP

Have you ever been in the middle of a total funk, or grief, or despair and all of the sudden you get a wave of joy? I have been stressed lately. Our business is way down due to the economy as well as the fact that I am embarking on a new ministry. The Lord is clearly moving us into a new ‘field’ with ministry through my TO BE A MOTHER book as well as our advocacy with MOTHER THE WORLD (an org I am launching to raise awareness to the awesomeness of mothers). Although, I know I am following God’s call, it is scary to watch and look back at a business you built and see it sort of fade behind you in the horizon as you look ahead unsure of what your eyes are looking at in your future. So, I have been consumed with fear, not knowing if we have to sell our house, not knowing if we have enough to pay the bills, groceries, Christmas presents and the list goes on. One reassurance though is that I know we are not alone. There are many people in the same position due to the economy etc. Still, there have not been very many times in my adult life that I remember having to ‘practice and refine’ my faith muscle as much. I don’t recall feeling so unsure and afraid of things before.

I started to go to the gym this week determined that if my body moves a little more I may find the HAPPY endorphins….I go to the YMCA. I picked up the OUR DAILY BREAD devotions that they have there. Funny how I made the observation today how much joy I feel in the midst of my simultaneous ‘flipping out.’ And then I opened the devotional to today:

Ezra 3:10-13 (New International Version)
10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel. 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD :
"He is good;
his love to Israel endures forever."
And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

I know that the Lord is laying a new foundation for us. I know it is one I have longed for. But in my flesh I can’t help but look back and mourn and grieve the security I had for so long in the old temple. I can’t help but be human in realizing I am moving out of a place of expertise into a place of being the apprentice minister. So, I have simultaneous joy and grief….

Today I put the Christmas trees up. I said on my facebook status that I needed a little more time to celebrate Christmas (thus the early set up). I felt honest outbursts of joy in my heart as I looked at my children who already only into their second Christmas with us have clung onto tradition. They placed decorations in spots that they remembered them in from last year. Ella cried as she found the African American angel that I purchased last year to put on the top of the tree. She said “mom can I sleep with her?” Joy in my heart as I look at our beautiful home filled with so much love. I don’t regret spending my WORK money on international adoption rather than the Mercedes Benz and Lexus’ that my competitors in NYC drive. I am so full and happy knowing that even as the bank account is dwindling, I can honestly say that I believe our investments have gone into something and somewhere that I know was a CALL and EDICT from God to do in our adoptions and in growing our family. I know that the lifestyle choices we made in moving to a family friendly/community was an action that contributed to our spiritual growth. So, I have so much joy in my heart right now. And I am learning to truly LIVE with faith as my bread and sustenance is in Jesus. I spend my time making birthday parties and making home made chicken soup a lot more than I used to. But when I was constantly traveling and “gigging’ there was also a frustration and loneliness in my heart desiring to be in my home with my family ….mothering them like I am now.

Luke 8:21 (New International Version)
21He replied, "My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."

Jesus claims us as part of His family (as mothers and brothers) when we hear God’s word and put it into practice. Pure Religion (james 1:27) makes it clear to us that if we want to PRACTICE Pure religion we will take care of orphans and widows. So, here I am now finally where I have always wanted to be in ministry. But terrified as an apprentice in practicing being a mother and putting God’s word into action. It is not easy. The next part of James 1:27 tells us to not be polluted by the world. There is a part of me that wants to resurrect the busy flourishing worldly vocation I had…mainly for security purposes. But the consumption of the world that surrounds me at times in that job is difficult at times to escape. Money is dripping everywhere, wine is flowing, everyone is artificially beautiful, the hype is palpable….and being around it can boost anyone’s ego…still the look in Ella’s eyes as she says “that angel looks just like my mommy did…thanks mom for giving me an angel from Ethiopia.”

Is so much more joyous than any million dollar wedding that I ever played over there on that other field. A new life for a previously orphaned girl where she is happy placing ornaments on trees and wondering if I am going to make a chocolate dessert for her again this year…the joy just overpowers my despair at times….SO, I hold onto believing that as a family ‘adopted’ into the kingdom…that no matter where we are here on earth…the Kings of Kings will always find a way to provide for His family. So, we cry out to ABBA FATHER and Praise Him for the new foundation He is building for us with Praise and Thanksgiving..”HE IS GOOD. HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER.”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Spaghetti Girl and Family-Video-Halloweeen 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Mother the World in Appalacia/UPCOMING TOUR

We are going to be launching our follow up tour and official debut of MOTHER THE WORLD in December and we will be going to APPALACHIA in the Eastern part of Kentucky. I am hoping that we can meet the woman whose organization put this video together (Appalachian Ministries). Our plan is to visit and document mothers in the mountains, talk to the woman who runs the ministry and hand out gift packages to mothers. AND of course spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I would also like us do some beauty work on the mothers and teens (haircuts and manicures or pedicures) and bring princess and super hero costumes for the kids. We will ask for donations.