Thursday, June 23, 2011

Count it all joy...

This past month has been an emotion-filled month for many reasons. Our faith is definitely being tested...along with other character qualities! There are so many ugly things that have come out in me lately. While I hate that, at the same time I'm trying to be thankful and see that God is working on me.
A couple days ago I heard James 1:2 and 3. Count it all joy! It's easier to count it all joy when it's only affecting me, but, when I see my children going through hardships...that's a different story! But, I know that God loves these children....HIS children...more than I can even imagine loving them. He knows what's best....not ME.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Lately I've been scheming and trying to figure out how we're going to raise the money we need. I've been running specials for photography, signed up to have booths at several craft events, I've been making hair clips, etc. None of it has been going good! Usually I'm turning away clients for photo shoots....now I can't book one to save my life. I've been very prideful in so many ways. Somehow I think I know what's best and that I can make things happen with my words or actions.

The fact of the matter is that every good thing is from Him. It's not because I deserve it or because of something I did. Believe me...I don't want what I deserve! I am so thankful for His grace. I'm not worthy to be blessed with these two precious children...it's only because of His grace that I get to be a part of this adoption. I'm not worthy of how He has provided over and over. It's only by His grace and his amazing love. He's been so generous! He's so faithful.

Is. 64:6

All of us have become like one who is unclean,
and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
we all shrivel up like a leaf,
and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

If God has put adoption on your heart, please don't let things like money stop you. Adoption is so far beyond us! Adoption is God's idea...He came up with it and He calls us to it. HE will make a way!

I struggle with feeling like I'm asking for handouts or I'm not doing enough to raise this money. I don't deserve generous gifts from people. But, this is how He gets the glory! I have to remember that it's not about me and I can't do it. Only He can and this is an opportunity to worship Him and show others how much he loves us and these precious children.

2 Cor. 12:9....his strength is made perfect in our weakness!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Photography Special

I'm running a photography special right now to help raise some of the money we need to come up with asap.

$250 for a session and cd of 20-30 images.

I'm also running a special for referring friends. Check out my website for more info!

Photography Special

I'm running a photography special right now to help raise some of the money we need to come up with asap.

$250 for a session and cd of 20-30 images.

I'm also running a special for referring friends. Check out my website for more info!
http://www.stephaniebowlingphotography.com/

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Family Portrait



Some friends of ours are heading over for court this week. So, they are taking a bag to our kids. Ethan included this drawing of our family. I love it!

It seems like a lot is happening, yet nothing is really happening. It's a hard place to be....waiting and trusting. I'm thankful that even though I lack so much faith, He is still faithful.

A verse this past week that I have clung to is Deuteronomy 10:17 and 18.

For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.

He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Random....

Ethan lost his other front tooth shortly after losing the first one...but, I've been slacking and just now took a picture. Here is my goofy little guy....




The last two days we've spent a lot of time outside working in the woods and weeding the garden. The ducks have been especially obnoxious....pecking on our bedroom door at 7a.m. on Saturday morning!

I'm excited about our first garden....we've got lettuce, cucumbers, corn, bush beans, watermelon, cantaloupe, tomatoes, broccoli, and gourds. Don't ask me why I planted gourds. I really don't know.



Basil...

Dill...


We're really disappointed. We have this amazing hemlock tree right behind our house. It's huge and beautiful. It's an excellent shade tree over our house. It has the wooly adelgid on it and about half of it is already dead. I think the trunk of the tree is so pretty.

As I came around the house, I heard the ducks quacking their little hearts out and saw them at the kitchen door waiting for someone to bring them a snack.

I'm so blessed to have this sweet little guy....he picks me flowers whenever he sees them. He's such a sweetheart. Last night he jokingly put on a hat he picked out for our little girl. I said "awwww.....you look so pretty". He seriously said, "Don't call me pretty.........or cute........or wonderful." I wish I could record everything he says.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

For Sale!

We have got to raise another big chunk of money quickly. We will have court next week (hopefully) and then we immediately need to send money for them to start working on getting passports and visas for the kids. I'm selling these flower clips and headbands. Will ship for $2.00.

This small flower on a headband is $5.00

Large flower on headband $6.00

Large flower clips are $5.00 and small ones are $3.50









Friday, June 3, 2011

Progress

Today we heard that we should have a court date the third week of this month!!! It seems like every. single. little. thing that happens along this journey...is HUGE. But...this really is HUGE! Once court is done we can start the process of getting things done to get them home. It will take at least a few months...but, it seems so much closer now. Please pray that we are not called to court. This should not be a problem, but, you just never know. Please pray that court goes smoothly and on schedule.

Since Chad returned from Africa, I have watched all of the videos over and over and looked through the pictures countless times. It's amazing to finally get a better glimpse of who my children are. It's been wonderful and sweet. It's also been incredibly hard. For a week I got to talk to my little girl on the phone everyday. I got to know that they were in their daddy's arms. Now, I wonder what's going through their minds. I'm praying for God to comfort them and to draw them close to Him during this time....I'm praying that for all of us. It's also hard hearing stories about many children in the orphanage that have no family. It's heartbreaking. It's wrong. I'm praying that God would rouse his church. There should not be so many children sitting in orphanages around the world...for years! I'm struggling with what God wants us to do. I'm not sure where He wants me or what I'm supposed to be doing. But one thing I'm sure of is that's not to sit back and do nothing. I'm praying for God to break my heart more and to not let me grow cold and comfortable again. I'm praying for God to rescue these beautiful children. If I am a child of God, who has been ransomed and rescued from my sin, saved and loved by the Almighty God...how can I do nothing?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Africa 2011

We have so many pictures and videos from Chad's trip. Here is a little video we put together with a sampling of them all.

video