Thursday, February 28, 2013

What is this alone time you speak of?

My days are long, and generally start out early, with running shoes and a head lamp on.  It is my time of prayer, fresh air and solace. I cherish every second of it.

{side note: My husband refers to this as my self-medication.  He says everyones day starts better when Mommy runs, I wonder what he means by that? :)  }

Some days, I wish the sun would stay down just a bit longer so that I can keep running.  Some days, I return from my run and just stand in the driveway watching the sun turn the sky pink and orange and listen for the chickens to start talking, asking me to open their door.  Praise be to God for this gorgeous place I call home.

Back to reality, which means I eventually have to walk back in the house.  I am quite certain that door is a portal into another universe.  As in all family households, our mornings are full-tilt-boogie, semi-stressful and usually containing some drama from our oldest daughter and a lost belt or shoe somewhere. Yet, somehow they all get out the door (husband included), dressed, in one piece and with a lunch.  95% of the time they will even have everything they need!

 Whew, I am a total success so far and it is only 8 am.  In fact as I read somewhere, "given a tiara and cape, I am quite positive I could rule the world!"  Damn straight, throw some cute shoes in the mix and I am on my way to the parenting Hall of Fame!!  Ok, ok, get back on track here.  Kids and husband are gone and chores get done and some time during the day I always look forward to my daily devotional that I receive, via email, from my FCA team.  I hate to admit it, but some days it gives me that little bit of scripture time that I did not allow for myself.  I have got to get better at that!  A few days ago, the scripture piece was Mark 1:35-37 which reads:

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark,
He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place.
And He was praying there.
Simon and his companions went searching for Him.
They found Him and said,
"Everyone's looking for You!"

Wait, you mean Jesus was a Mom???  Do you think the disciples followed him to the bathroom too?

It is amazing isn't it?  You try so hard to get time to yourself, only to have someone track you down and ask for you to come fix it, heal it, cook it, clean it, bandage it, feel it, see it, correct it, and the list goes on.  Moms, I know you can understand this, some days, I find myself taking a deep breath, looking towards the sky and thinking that I am not sure I like the sound of my own name...well, at least not the "Moooooooooommmmmm!" name.  Now that our children are not constantly following me around I find I can at least go to the bathroom by myself. WAIT, nope, there is our dog, following me, and trying to put his head in my lap while I pee.  Now I understand why my mother-in-law used to lock herself in the bathroom.  The key word there being LOCK!  We should get those at our house. Hmmmm? 

Now, I realize that if you add the later part of this verse then it can be interpreted differently than how I did, but I am quite convinced that this verse was written so that I (or any mom out there) would not feel alone!  
Seriously, I keep this in my email so as to remind me that I am not the only one who is constantly being tracked down.  Equally as important, it tells me that if Jesus could get up while it is still dark and take His "alone time" then so can I!  

However, as much as it drives us crazy, it doesn't take a genius to realize that our job as parent and the fixer-of-all-things is precious and valuable.  People searched far and wide for Jesus, they tracked Him down to listen to His words and learn from His knowledge.  We strive to live more like Him and to walk in His glory.  I strive to live more like Him and walk in His glory.  If my kids are doing the same thing to me, then I am honored.  This means they choose me instead of some other idol, they choose me instead of violence, they choose me instead of feeling alone, they choose me just as God chose me to be their mother.  And really, if they are following me, then I pray that I am leading them honorably, creating disciples and showing them what it means to follow Him.  

Plus, I am pretty sure we have had some great talks in the bathroom.  No shame here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Big Decision With A Side Of Dessert

Happy Valentines Day to you all!  In a world full of amazing love, I am so thankful to be living out Gods plan and to be married to the love of my life.  Today is yet another day to remind myself of how blessed I am to have a partner who is my best friend and biggest supporter/fan. 

  "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 
For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, 
and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. 
They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." 
--Galatians 5:16-17

Last month, after the Arizona marathon,  my coaches began to ask me to decide what my plan for Boston was.  If I was going, we needed to continue preparations. I felt as though I was constantly praying about it and at a crossroads for a decision.  I have been training for quite awhile for this event and yet, something about it didn't seem right.  When I started to doubt if I should go or not, I would simply get online and search the entrance list for other Alaskans and Montanans who would be racing.  Why?  I liked to see my name on the list, to be reminded that I had qualified and become one of the chosen ones, who wouldn't?

Not long after that, I was reading a daily devotional that I receive from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  The story was about a man that was simply appalled when a football player made a tremendous play and then immediately pointed to his own name on his jersey to take credit for the achievement.  What about pointing to the team name on the jersey or to the rest of the team themselves?  I thought to myself that I too would have been disgusted by this selfish act.  However, later in the story, the author tells us that as sinners we are no different.  We may not be outwardly pointing at ourselves, but inwardly we want people to notice us. We can outwardly point a finger at those that do this, but really we need to look inside!  The author wrote

"when I compete, I need to die to myself. I can't point to myself, not even in the hidden areas of my heart. There needs to be a total sacrifice of the flesh, pointing toward God on the outside and on the inside. Our competition should bring attention 
to the only Famous One: Jesus Christ!"

Here I was, trying to decide if I should spend thousands of dollars that we have devoted to bringing home our twins and for what?  I was trying to convince myself that I wanted to race.  I was convincing myself that I wanted to continue training and exhausting myself emotionally and physically, knowing full well that the months ahead were going to be DIFFICULT and trying. Afterall, I planned to not only run in Boston, but race to the best of my ability.   However, when I looked inwardly, I realized that I only wanted to race because it showed everyone I was a chosen one, that I was a "Boston finisher" and that I was a "real runner".  I was not giving credit where credit is due.  They call it God given talent because that is what it is!  I needed to take a step back and remind myself that all this work I have done and the talent that I have been blessed with is in His glory, not mine.

I knew in my heart that this was not the right time for me.  I am a 34 year old child of God first, wife second, mother third, followed by...........................................runner.  I need to be true and faithful to that order.  As one of my coaches would say, I am still a young buck, I am fortunate enough to know that I can race Boston anytime.  God has other plans for me right now and they do not include seeing my name in the paper or the internet as a Boston finisher.  That is not something I need to define myself or my God-given talent.

So for now, I am at peace with my decision.  We are working just as hard as I would be if I was training to get our kiddos home.  There is no way I would ever give up running, it is a part of my daily self-medication, but for now, I am going to be content with just running to keep myself in ice cream and dessert!  Most days, I find those things more rewarding than a medal anyway.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

One busy week!

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy    Psalms 126:3

This post won't be as insightful and emotionally transparant as others but I thought some of you may be interested in an update...

...We have been absolutely and completely overwhelmed with blessings these past couple weeks.  We cannot believe the way God is working for and in us.

First off, over 1000 people from all over the world have read our blog.  SO COOL!!!! Keep them coming!

Last Sunday, we were pleasantly surpised to find our official referral in our in-box of our email.  We also had recieved a message that our revised home study (our original one was for Ethiopia) would be at the office in Twin Bridges on Monday.  We knew this was going to be a big week for us.  We were brimming with excitement and overwhelming by dollar signs! We had been praying for as much work as we could handle for me and the Lord provided me with 3 substitute teaching jobs, a few blankets to make and special ordered necklaces galore for Emma (and I).  We still needed to send our paperwork to the capital to be authenticated so, in true Johnson/Fry fashion, Josh and I decided we would rally it all in one day. 

Monday morning, I set off on a day of driving.  My first stop was Twin Bridges, MT.  This tiny town is just about 90 minutes from Bozeman and home to the Winston Rod Company. I was able to pick up our home study, as well as one for another family in Bozeman.  Then I headed off for the second leg of my journey.  Another 90 minutes later, I arrived in Helena for a visit with the Secretary of the State's office.  Luckily for me, she had all the paperwork ready for us and I was headed back to Bozeman.  I was dead set on having our dossier scanned to our agency by the end of the work day and sure enough, I did. 

Exhausted, I went home to make dinner and study with the kids, knowing that our dossier was submitted, our referral was accepted, our home study was in hand, i600a application is in and our loan and grant applications were in.  Usually, there is some time between all of these, but oh well, this way works for us.  We would have preferred to have been able to apply for loans and grants before writing the checks for our referral, but we know that faith in God is faith in His timing.  Apparantly, this is how it is supposed to be. 

On that same note, we are so very thankful to all of you that have written me about our blog, ordered charms from Emma, special ordered from me, felt moved by our Lord to donate to us, shared our story, and prayed for our family.  Emma has sold over 30 necklaces to friends as well as strangers who are now friends.  I am doing my best to keep up with all of your blanket and caramel orders.  We asked, and He is providing.  No complaints here!

Yesterday, we were able to send the kiddos in DRC their first care package.  What fun!!!  Our kids are spoiled already and we haven't even met them yet.  Our agency told us that they will introduce us to them through our photo books.  In the timely fashion of this week, they told us on Tuesday afternoon and the package had to be together and mailed to the Denver office by Wednesday.  I definitely don't have to wonder why I am sleeping so deeply lately, I am worn out and it is only Thursday!

What is next you ask?  Well, now we wait for translation and more authentication.  We pray we will have another update for you in about 3 weeks.  This gives me some time to get caught up on the housework that has been neglected over the last couple weeks and maybe have lunch with a girlfriend who just recieved her referral from China!  YAY!!! 

Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts to all of you who are joined with us, in even the smallest way.  We look forward to each day, each message we recieve, and each prayer that is made.  This journey is much more peaceful and a lot more fun knowing we are not alone.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

One Day/One Lunch

It is Saturday morning and here I am at my computer, reading my favorite blogs and enjoying a little breakfast.  The kids love Saturday because they get to watch television.  I love it because I can hang out in my robe for the morning!

I clicked on one of my very regular favorites, Building the Blocks and came across her latest post as well as a link to her amazing teenage daughter, Addisyn, and her blog Life as a Missionary Kid. This lovely lady is 16 or 17 and is a beautiful example of our Lord and I am so impressed! I am so completely moved that I am raring and ready to go for the day with a smile.  This family has given their lives to Christ as missionaries in Guatemala.

For the last three years, Addisyn has spearheaded a day she calls One Day/One Lunch. It is a day that she encourages others to skip a lunch and enable someone else to have one.  I promise you will not go hungry.  99.9% of us, as Americans, will never know hunger pains the way that the 160 million orphans in the world will.  We will never wonder if there will ever be food in our bellies again.  We will never wonder if there is someone who will hug and love us.

This year, One Day/One Lunch which is February 3rd,  falls on Super Bowl Sunday. Addisyn asks that we, as spoiled Americans skip lunch that day and consider donating the money, that lunch would have cost you, to helping orphans that have never known what it feels like to be "full" of anything, especially food.

While you are preparing to watch the Super Bowl and devour incredible amounts of tasty treats and watch commercials that can cost upwards of 2 million dollars, please consider missing just one meal and giving it to someone else.  If you just can't miss a meal, please keep this phenomenal young lady in your prayers.  You can donate to this incredible teenagers program at One Day/One Lunch.

**Please indicate that your donation is for Village of Hope-One Day/One Lunch when giving.