still grinning from ear to ear

I know I should be posting a recap of this past weekend.  Which was the culmination of a years worth of Scripture Memory Team work with encouragement from the Living Proof Ministries staff.

So here’s the short version –

I met Beth Moore.  I always thought that I would hug her, but she hugged me instead.  Does that make any sense?  It was as if she has always wanted to meet me instead of  the other way around.  Wow what a gift of hospitality God has granted her.

I stayed with a wonderful friend that (till last week) I had only known through blogging.  And our husbands are now best friends too.  Which is kinda freaking us both out.  As in “have we started the end of the world as we know it?”

The event was fantastic.  I got to meet Travis again.  I think it is going to be a once a year “date” for us.  I met him for the first time last year in January.

Last year

this year. (wow, my hair grew a lot in one year!)

We had an eventful time getting home to Atlanta.  Nothing like getting your child all set up and timed right to fall asleep on a 5 p.m. flight and then having the gate agents tell you “the flight has been delayed, please come back in two hours to check and see IF we are going to re-schedule”  IF ???? IF????

I met Beth Moore.  She knew me by my blog name.  She KNEW my blog name!  Give me a couple of years to get over that one okay?  I am STILL reeling from that.  Grinning from ear to ear actually.

Missy found the most amazing Cajun food any of us have ever eaten.  And that is saying quite a lot, ’cause my hubby loves cajun food.

But best of all, God granted me a temporary boost in memory.  Instead of saying the 14 verses that I was sure I would be able to. I recited ALL TWENTY FOUR.  Okay Missy did say I got one word wrong, but ya’ll that was not Me.  I didn’t cram, or try hard or anything.  I just let it go and God came rushing in.

And it was a rush.  It was even better than meeting Beth.  and Amanda.  and Travis.  In a way.

The reason you aren’t getting a real, insightful, spirit-filled re-cap is that I am just too tired.  All three of us came home with colds and/or ear infections.  So I am just plain pooped.

but hey, I got to meet Beth Moore.  Or have I mentioned that already?

Have a great week.

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my child is hurting

“my child is hungry”
“my child just lost their parents”
“my child just lost her home”
“please help”

“please?”

these are the words I imagine you might read from a parent in Haiti right now.

If they blogged.

but they don’t so I’m gonna say it for them.

please give.

I don’t care what organization you give through, but please give.
I chose to use Compassion International because I am already familiar with them, but whoever you choose to give through, do it today.

There are approximately 40 people who read this blog regularly.  If each of them gives at least $10…..well $400 can buy a lot of clean water and aid for people whose lives have been turned upside down by the earthquake in Haiti.

please?

and if I haven’t convinced you, read the words from our Lord –

Matthew 25: 37-45

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

have my baby..please?

Can you possibly imagine that line as the start of a deep, meaningful friendship?

Well, I can.

Cause I once asked that very question of someone.  They turned me down and then proceeded to become a major part of my life.

What on earth am I talking about you ask? (or maybe you’ve already stopped reading ’cause I’ve offended you…)

Well back a few years ago when I was still reeling from our failed IVF tries one of the options the doctor mentioned was to have a surrogate mother carry a baby for us.  We could either use our own …um….material, or just my husband and the surrogate.  That last option completely turned me off, but the idea of having someone carry our child for us was not completely repugnant, so we agreed to think about it.  But then the doctors  started telling me all the stuff we would need to look into to find a surrogate.  DNA testing for the surrogate and descriptions and interviews…it was all so cold and clinical.  We were turned off by the whole process, so we put the notion on the shelf and got on with the process of healing our sore hearts.

Another friend who had been going through infertility issues herself pointed me to a wonderful blog post by a person named Missy.  It was all about how God never puts us in a place or situation without there being a reason, a meaning in it.

After reading that first post I kept reading.  and reading.  and reading.  I really liked this lady.  I liked her style and I envied her the ability to have four kids.  Her fertility and my infertility were in stark contrast to each other, and the thought crossed my mind…I wonder if she would be willing to be a surrogate for us?

I took my courage in both hands, and emailed her.

She very compassionately said, no.  And for a very good reason – Missy had had a rough delivery with her last baby and she was scared to try again.  Which is perfectly understandable.

Now this COULD have been a humiliating moment for me, but Missy made it into the beginning of a sweet relationship.  And no matter how depressed I got, or how frustrated with God’s timing, she kept pointing me back to God and reminding me that He is GOOD and He had not forgotten me.

Eventually, after a lot of healing and soul searching, we chose to adopt domestically and we could not possibly have been more blessed than we are to have Ginny.  Her birth parents are a wonderful part of our family life and they know how much we love them.  I honestly would not trade Ginny for any child of my own body.

But beyond helping me with my emotional healing, Missy did something far greater for me – she pointed out a prejudice that I was holding on to unjustly and opened my eyes to the amazing ministry of a lovely lady in Houston named Beth Moore.

Since then it’s been three years of non-stop blessing. Accountability,  Bible studies,  discussions, scripture memory teams, and now I’m EIGHT DAYS away from FINALLY meeting MISSY.

so Missy, thank you for NOT having my babies.

a visit to hooters

yes.

we took our 16 month old baby girl to Hooters.

please don’t call out the Department of child Services on me yet okay.

there were extenuating circumstances.

We were in Knoxville, visiting friends.  Lots of friends.  We had been bouncing about from party to party (not boozing, just social gatherings) and the occasional break for shopping.  It was Saturday.  We had one last stop to make at Liz’s house and then we were heading out of town.

Liz’s party wasn’t scheduled to start till 4 p.m.

by which point we were scheduled to be on the road back to Atlanta.

Liz very graciously said that we could come by early so that we could hang out and see her and her hubby for a while.  We knew they would be doing party prep, but we were hoping to be as little of an intrusion as possible and still enjoy some time together.

To help us be as little bother as possible, we felt we should eat before arriving.

So there we were.  Shopping was done, we were driving down a commercial street filled with lots of expensive eateries and I saw a sign  that said

“kids eat free before 6 p.m.”

okay, sold.

me – Honey, let’s go there.

him – where?

me – there.  hooters.

him – WHAT ?!?!!!!!! you didn’t just seriously say that we were going to Hooters for lunch.

me *sheepishly*- yes.  the food is decent. or so I hear and I’m in the mood for wings, AND KIDS EAT FREE so Ginny’s $7.00 chicken strips or whatever will be FREE

(can you tell the word FREE had gotten lodged in my brain?)

him – ooooookkaaaa-ay. If you’re sure.

me – yup.  FREE food.  How bad can it be?

Now in all fairness, yes, I know that the entire Hooters business model involves exploitation of women’s bodies. and NO I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF THAT.  However I must say that the outfits were much less offensive than I recalled from my one other time in the restaurant way back when I was an insecure 21 year old.

And guess what? the food was good.  I liked the medium spicy wings. The wait staff was very knowledgable and didn’t …um….thrust themselves upon my husband notice.

and people…the place was CRAWLING with kids.  Families, 3 generations at one table, babies, toddlers….I was stunned.

No I would never take a child there who was old enough to be ….interested in the attributes of the women on all the posters and the wait staff.  But for another year or two, it will be a decent place to take Ginny when we want her to get a free lunch and mommy is hungry for wings.

To his credit my sweet hubby had never been in a Hooters before and declared himself to be unimpressed by the…..scenery.  ( I LOVE my man!)

now the $64,000 question –

How did Ginny take all this?

well…….

There’s the rub.  See it took us so long to find somewhere to eat lunch that by the time we parked and turned to get her out of her car seat, she was asleep.  We figured that she would wake up when we got her out of the car.  Nope, still snoozin’.  Okay, the walk across the parking lot will certainly wake her up, the air is so cold up here!  Nope, still snoozin’. Okay, perhaps putting her in her high chair will awaken our sleeping beauty….nope.

she lay back in her chair for a second

then slowly rolled her head forward

and gently rested it……on. the. table.

still snoozin’

the wait staff…oh alright, the hooter’s girls kept coming to ask to have their picture taken with our sweet baby girl ’cause they thought she was so beautiful and cute.  Martin raised Ginny’s head at one point and put his hat under her face so she would have something resembling a pillow.

So we have no idea what Ginny’s opinion of her first Hooter’s visit was….

she slept right through it.

Eventually she woke up and enjoyed the chicken fingers very much on the drive home.  But we will have to wait till next time to find out her true opinion of the place.