Thursday, November 10, 2011

Minivan Mayhem Myth #2

"Single Girl Mayhem"

My name is Jen. I am 24 years old and I drive a Ford Focus...no minivan...no car seats...no kids.

When I first heard about Minivan Mayhem, I thought it sounded like such a great group that I grabbed a stack of flyers and started handing them out to all of the moms I knew. When one of the leaders of the group asked me if I was going to join, I asked, "Am I allowed to?"

It turns out that acceptance into the Minivan Mayhem group doesn't require having kids or even a minivan. All it requires is a hunger to know more about God. As a recent Christian, I had so many questions about God, the Bible, and how to live life as a Christian. I knew reading and knowing God's word was important, but every time I opened my Bible, I felt so confused. Minivan Mayhem has changed my anxiety about the Bible into excitement. I can't wait to study this book for the rest of my life!

What is Minivan Mayhem? It is a place where I can ask any question and get answers from people who care about my spiritual walk and care about me. It is a place where I have friends and mentors whom I know I will spend time with outside of our weekly meet up. It is truly a place where the unity and love that Christ calls us to have for one another can be seen and felt.

So don't get hung up on the minivan part! Focus on the the mayhem...for that is something I am certain we all have in our lives, for which Jesus is the only cure.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Minivan Mayhem Myth Busted...............

Myth #1 "You have to be a biblical scolar in order to do Minivan Mayhem."


As I walked through the doors at Bethel Community Church in September, I was a nervous wreck! I was embarrassed and ashamed of what I didn’t know. I was scared that I was going to be judged about my past and lack of relationship with God. I have two beautiful boys and thought I was a pretty great mom, but I wanted to be the best mom I could be and Jesus was the one area I couldn’t give my children the answers. As I walked through those scary doors (as I thought) it wasn’t so scary after all. The church was filled with all sorts of women from beginners (just like ME) to very knowledgeable women who have followed Jesus from the time they were children. As we meet with our small groups each week, we not only discuss the Bible and what we have learned, we have also become friends. I LOVE my small group women. Each one of us has walked a different path that led us to Minivan Mayhem, but we all have a similar goal, to learn more about Jesus and discipleship. My small group not only meets on Tuesdays, but we have also met for coffee, lunch and to exercise. In just a few short months I have made 6 great new friends and I thank Jesus for them.

If you are a beginner, like me, we would love for you to take this journey with us. If you have something inside of you, telling you to sign up, that my friend is Jesus. He is speaking to you. 1 Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

More Mayhem a Coming.....

Hey friends, it is your long lost blog author who is still snowed under with the Mayhem of the Minivans leaving little time to get on and chat. My biggest fear has been that my fam would be neglected as I am off discipling women. The good news is my blog and not my family has been neglected which as much as I miss you guys I am pretty sure this is what is best. I wanted to let everyone know that registration for the spring semester will be opening on the blog from December 1st-January 6th so please keep us in your prayers and if you are a local gal please pray and see if this is something for you for this upcoming spring. More details to come I assure, along with some awesome testimonies from some current Mayhemers. God is rocking our worlds each and every week and I am beyond humbled and honored to be a part of such an amazing group of crazy Jesus followers that are bound and determined to go into all the nations and make disciples. For any of you that miss the old style Kelly Blogs I PROMISE to blog again with lots and lots and lots of pics of our sweet babies. This is just a season where I am having to prep intensely each and every week and this season soon too will pass. I love you all and I thank you for any prayers and love that you offer!

K

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I'm BACK!!!!!!!

Hello dear friends (a/k/a the 5 readers I have left after my blog sabbatical). I will say I have good excuse as Minivan Mayhem was more of a task to tackle that I ever expected but let me say too the fruit is worth every ounce of gardening that took place. These ladies are rocking and rolling for Jesus and it is contagious to witness. They are soaking up the Word, pouring out in community and building each other up in ways I never dreamed. It has hit me lately that every ounce of spiritual growth I have ever had has been from the Word and the encouragement of other believers. It is not complicated to grow spiritually, it is just work. It is work to make it each week, work to be open and not give a hoot what anyone thinks of you once you are. It is work to get your kids, house, and life organized yet all the while keeping Christ as number one. It is work to say no to things and to rework your schedule, it is work to feel sick and tired yet reach out and serve. BUT OH HOW IT IS WORTH IT!!!!!

On another note, I thought I would share with you guys some very deep and theological thoughts from our new family of four since I have been gone for so long, just to make sure we are digging into the intense depths of life. So here we go........

GIRLS "NEED" a LOT of Shoes....For the love of Jesus, boys need church shoes and tennis shoes (who cares what color they are). Girls need shoes, tights, bows and white underwear just in case you can see through. It has been a bit exhausting dressing a girl, but somehow I am managing.

I have had NO problems feeling attached to my adopted daughter. I know many people want to ask that question but don't know how so I just wanted to go ahead and throw that out there just in case. I can give you many examples but here is a recent one just to show you a visual. We were at the park and I was talking to someone and had one eye on my kiddos. I noticed this little boy really bullying Mercy. I withheld the first time and let her "hold her own" but the next time he put both hands on my daughter's arms she started crying........well you know how that goes. You walk over telling yourself not to do all the things you are visualizing (like ripping the 5 year old's arms right off at his shoulders). I was very polite and gave him the look like "you touch my daughter one more time and I'll take you down little kid" and said "honey let's play nicely with each other, come here Mercy girl, Mommy will handle it". I thought to myself that day, you may have been hurt numerous times in that orphanage and it went unnoticed but now you have a MOMMY and I will take down anyone that even thinks about hurting you dear one. It felt SO good to rescue her and it made me think about how our Sovereign Father feels the exact same way about us.

Next in our deep theological discussion is cute things we are saying these days. Cross says "he ate it all" like when he is all done with his stickers. I told him today, "honey we say we used them all" but I kind of like it when they mess words up. He is turning 4 in a few short months and that is certainly a reality check that they DO grow up and that it IS sad. Onto Mercy girl, she L O V E S her preschool and her teachers. They (the teachers) have been in trouble for spoiling her rotten but who on earth could blame them. She says super cute things too like "Thomack the train" and "Mercy's birfday is all over". She is ALL caught up with her English and now knows 99 percent of her letters and their sounds. She is reaping the benefits of having an older brother.

Well, that about sums up our study for today. I promise to write more later but for now I am afraid if I don't hit "publish post" soon it may take another 4 months to write again. God has been and is being very good to the Bullock family. It is all grace, we don't deserve even the smallest of gifts. I pray that we never ever fix our eyes upon this earth, that somehow we always have our eyes on Heaven!

Because of Him,
K

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Quick Chat........

Hey gang, just a quick update and YES Minivan Mayhem really is starting THIS Tuesday so I will happily take about one million six hundred and thirty one thousand prayers! One foot in front of the other is where I am today and that is probably best. It will all be Jesus, no doubt about that. Also, my sweet Daddy had a pretty major surgery on Friday and his wife (my step-mother) is having some serious health issues as well so please keep them in your prayers. And then finally, MY MAN, oh good golly, there is no prouder wife on the face of this planet today than this gal. I am beside myself with his focus and bravery to go into all the nations and make disciples. If you would like to follow his journey you can do so at http://ordinaryheroblog.blogspot.com/. One of the team members will be blogging the entire trip so you can literally tag along. I honestly have about a hundred or so blogs rolling around in my head since Minivan Mayhem registration has taken over for such a long time but I have a few things on my plate that are demanding some attention this week so until I can have a writing party we will all watch closely to see some "ordinary" heroes hard at work. I feel a bit like I have NO IDEA what all Jesus is up to in the Bullock household but I'll tell ya this, it is MUCH more exciting than the life I beg to have! Have a glorious week friends!!!!!!!

K

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Minivan Mayhem....

****Registration has closed for Minivan Mayhem****

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Bullock Family UPdate......

Hey guys, we are certainly trying to leave MM at the top of the list for the next few weeks but I just had to get on and say hello. I am doing one of those posts where I have about 1,000 things I should be doing but I am overwhelmed so I shut down. When that happens I like to do something like blogging which can be tied in a nice publish post bow and all is well with the world for a bit. I feel caught up in at least one portion of life. I know this is an illusion but let's just enjoy it for now.

So, what are we up to these day and I promise pictures too because I read a blog the other day about a certain twin birthday party and there were NO pictures and I was so sad and thought I would try not to repeat such a sin. So here goes.....

J, good looking as ever and just about to hit the road to Ethiopia to serve a slew of people which in turn makes him just about the sexiest man on earth and I get to be married to the man. THAT is grace my friends. You will not waste one single prayer on this trip as we (I am trying to be his side kick on the planning of things) have literally what feels like a jillion things to do between now and then. God has graced the trip already so I have no reason on earth not to trust Him. It is just difficult to plan for a third world country where they will see more needs than they can ever remotely meet. Type A doesn't work well there either and we happen to be a family of them so just pray for us to "let go and let God". I always thought that was a bit of a dorky saying but it seems to fit here perfectly.

Ok, K (me), God currently has me out on a limb holding on for dear life and I am just praying (and begging) that He will come through and save my rear. I like to have my to-do list all nicely marked off at least once a month and until this ET trip is over and MM is up and running, that is not humanly possible. I have more to do and no hopes on earth of ever getting it all done unless God comes through and does an amazing miracle. I will say this, I am bound and determined not to keep any of this from me raising my sweet babies so that is one priority I have actually kept. We are hitting the road this week, just the three of us, to do one last summer hoo-rah before it comes to an end and I may have to say "no" to a lot of things but it ain't gonna be them! I mess up every single day in the littles but one of my greatest prayers is to not miss the bigs. I wanna date my man and love on these babies and spend time not just serving but loving my Jesus and the rest will all fall into place.

Now on to Cross, could the boy be any more handsome....I think not. We shaved his head again a few nights ago and he is now an 8 year old and more than I can bare. He needs about 8 hours of physical activity a day and I need about 1 so prayers there will be taken as well. We had an awesome time at the beach and I saw just how much he thrives when he can get ALL of that boy energy out. I will include those pics as well. He and M are both absolute fishes and had the best time ever.

And last but not least, Mercy girl. There are honestly no words and I could get choked up just trying to type. We are starting her immunizations this week and she got a perfect report from the doctor. She is an angel. She did amazing on vacation. Never really phased her that we were off-site and off schedule for an entire week and she thought the sand and the ocean were both amazing. I will take this moment to brag just a bit. She had never even seen a swimming pool 4 months ago and on vacation she swam 1/2 the length of the pool, under water, all by herself, no floaties. I was in shock and just about the proudest mama in the whole wide world. She is really a princess in every sort of way. She turned 3 this month so certainly pics and the girl opened presents for an hour and then looked for more. Americanized for certain.

So that in a nut (literally) shell is the Bullock Family. It will probably be after this crazy month comes and goes before I will get to say hi again but in the mean time please update your blogs (hint hint) and add pics (more hints) and pray for us and share Minivan Mayhem with all the local ladies that you know and keep in mind that you are the greatest friends a gal could have. We are BLESSED beyond measure!

K









Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Mercy Girl....

Hello Blog Friends, I just had to get on and add one more post as I know time will get away and this could very easily never happen. However, I think it simply must happen and it must happen on this blog because most of you have paved the way in prayer and support for this sweet girl to come to our home and I want to use this post as another THANK YOU! Thank you for every prayer and every dollar. I am still amazed at God's grace.

Last night as we sat and ate dinner I became so emotional watching Mercy eat. That is a BIG deal for a starving child, food. When I first spent time with Mercy in a guest house in Ethiopia as I visited for court, she looked and acted like an orphan. She would "beg" for food with her eyes. She would eat and eat and eat anything I put in front of her. She would awake every morning and look into my eyes as if today I might say no to food. It crushed my heart then and it crushes it now even as I type. But not last night, last night my girl chattered and ate and said it was good and smiled and laughed and talked and said "fork and spoon and plate and eggs and bread and chocolate and potatoes". She drank from her sippy like she owned this house and she then politely said "all done mommy" with a good heaping of potatoes still on her plate. Oh how my heart danced. In just 4 short months of being home my baby girl is NOT an orphan any more. She is a child of God (she was then but now I think she is starting to know it). She is a Bullock girl, she is a princess in all ways and in all forms. She is our pride and joy, she is finally free.

So in 48 short hours, Mercy girl will get the day of all days, her very first ever birthday. Her birth mother did not know her actual birth day. She didn't keep track because in those dark conditions there would have been nothing to celebrate with, but what her mother did know was her approximate age, 2.5 (at the time of our meeting). So it was with great honor and joy that we got to chose her birthday and in keeping with her age it fell perfectly (as God Himself could only allow). Her Birthday is the exact day I first laid eyes upon my child. So we plan to spoil her rotten, we plan to have cupcakes numerous times throughout the day and we plan to throw her a party and let her open 101 presents and I am certain that her eyes will forever tell it all.

So Happy Birthday Mercy Girl, one year later and my my have things changed. Your Mommy and Daddy love you more than life itself and your precious brother will never remember life without his forever side kick. We love you and we are honored you are ours!!!!!!!!!

I just had to throw in a few more pics, this is Mercy and Mommy on a date Friday night. She sure does look like a princess if I do say so myself!



Sunday, July 10, 2011

A Quick Hello

Hello Dear Friends,

I wanted to say a quick hello because sometime, hopefully sooner than later, Minivan Mayhem will take over the Bullock Family Blog for a bit and I won't be able to say hey as sign ups will certainly be underway. I wouldn't turn down a single prayer for this venture as I had completely forgotten what a start up takes out of you. I think God had me forget so that I wouldn't run for dear life. I am also getting ready for a much needed vacation get-a-way and I am planning to UNPLUG from everything else but my family. I want them all to myself, not sharing them nor them having to share me and I wanna laugh and play and read and pray and think and NOT DO LAUNDRY! hahhaha

The Bullocks haven't been "busy" in several years as life has been so much at what seemed like a stand still. Now I feel like I would pay a small fortune for a stand still and I am praying this vacation will be a taste. On top of MM launching in August my good looking man is taking a team of 10 back to Ethiopia so that is no small task on our plate as well. I am not going with them due to two small fries that need their mama right now, but I am helping with some admin stuff so I still feel like I am a part. I will certainly be a jealous mess when they board that plane without me. How true that it gets in your blood, I miss the smell (even when it is bad) and I miss the people more than I can explain. I am so proud of my man and the other members of the team who are obeying Jesus and going into the Nations with the love of Christ. Please pray that his entire journey is anointed and that God will go before them 100% of the way.

I've had cute blog posts in mind with adorable pictures all grouped in themes but the realities of this thing called life will be a random smorgasbord of snapshots but none without proof of God's great grace on this family. We are blessed beyond measure, our cup is running over, and we are amazed at how much greater God's plan is than our own. Today as we ran around getting ready for church I laughed and thought to myself as J said "skip the ironing", my my have things changed. When I had Cross I wanted to dress him up and color coordinate our family. He quickly ruined that by spitting up on everything. Today I am always tempted to do the same, but someone may pitch a fit right in the middle of the road or hurl a sippy through a crowd and I am constantly reminded no one likes those families anyways.

Our family may not be a lot of things but we are hopefully always going to be real. We are real sinners who were in great need of a Savior and we have two babies who are also real sinners greatly in need of a Savior. Hopefully our walk with Him will always be my greatest plea and hopefully I'll skip the matching, outrageously priced wardrobe, along the way. Those things are fine as long as they don't compete with our focus for the hurting, the hungry and the ones in need, the ones 1/2 way across the earth and the ones right here in our back doors. May we always serve the King that so graciously saved our tails!

K

Our baby girl dancing the night away at a wedding...

This double stroller is our new bff...

Mercy girl's first 4th of July...

BLAST Ball...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's almost here.......

Good Morning Blog World,

I write to you this early Tuesday morning accompanied by my sweet dog who may just have a complete and utter nervous breakdown before these summer storms are over. I am getting picky these days and being up in the middle of the night, often, WITH A DOG, is not my cup of tea, a newborn maybe, a newly adopted toddler maybe, but a dog, not so much. I have medicine to give her but often times I don't know the storm is coming and by the time the medicine takes affect (or is it effect) the storm has come and gone and we are all WIDE AWAKE to prove it.

There is a life lesson tied in there for certain but this is certainly not why I was getting on to write; I was writing to chat about the blog's fancy overnight makeover. I, by no means, can take a lick of credit. Almost 100% of the time if I have something going on in the design world that is the least bit impressive it is because God has graced me with amazingly talented friends and nothing could be truer in this situation.

We are gearing up for the launch of Minivan Mayhem and certainly had to bring the blog along for the ride. I am dying to give you guys 101 details, but until everything gets ironed out I want to leave you with a video that ever so perfectly depicts exactly what we desire to do with this crazy discipleship group for women that is starting this fall called Minivan Mayhem. Just watch the video and envision the very girly version but overall what we desire to be. Basically, if you want to know Jesus more, and you live anywhere near Clarksville, TN, this may just be a group for you. I am one big combination of honored, excited, and scared half to death, so if you are a reader and you are far from here and unable to participate I would just about go as far as to beg for some prayers in the months to come. But if you are a local and thinking this may sound like something you are interested in know that we will have sign ups and more details ready to rock and roll in just a few weeks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtzxnY9Yob0&feature=related

Well, now that everyone is nice and CALM I guess I sould try to crawl back in bed and catch a few more hours of sleep before my very own personal minivan mayhem begins again. I love you guys and thank you beyond words for reading the writings of this poor, saved by the blood of Jesus, kind of gal!

Because of Him,
K

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I had it in my head...............

Good Morning Blog World! I have had a little thought swirling around in this mommy brain for a week or so now and that usually means I need to make time and get on and share. I personally love a revelation from the Lord, even sometimes when it is convicting, because it still helps all of this crazy life seem to make a bit more sense and to me that is never a loss. I was also remined a few days ago from the various texts I got throughout the day from a dear friend just how UP and down life can be and how much we need all the revelation we can possibly get.

Ok, so on to the topic at hand, a week or so ago I had the glorious privilege of taking a road trip to the big city of Louisville, KY with some dear friends. I got to have one of my most favorite treats on earth and that is road-trip girl-talk. To me there is really nothing better (well I do enjoy road trip hubby talk as well). You have hours and hours to hear every one's entire life story. If you don't have kids with you it is like a 3 hour uninterrupted phone conversation and any mom out there (or pour soul trying to chat on the phone with a mom) knows that NEVER happens. You can tell the whole story, details and all, not just the shortened version. You can focus because there is nothing else pulling at your attention, other than an occasional GPS mishap that is. To me it really is the best.

One of the sweet girls on our journey was telling a story of how she had experienced something so many of us know full well, life, our idea of what it would be verses the sometimes sobering reality of what it in fact really is. Along the way she coined a term that I just cannot get out of my thoughts. She said, "I had it in my head...". Nothing deep to the average Joe, but to me that day God made that the most profound phrase ever. It was like God had shined a spotlight, used a heavenly highlighter, and said to me "this is your problem with a lot of things in life Kelly, you had it in your head".

I don't know about you guys but I am problem solving junky. I am really NOT the gal to come to just to vent, I wanna HELP. I wanna solve your problem, find a solution, fix it quickly and move on with life. I usually run as if every trail in life is one good solution away from disappearing. I have a doctor or a book for just about anything and my (not so) glorious advise on life very often carries over into my relationship with the Lord. I GET IT IN MY HEAD all the time what He should do, how He should fix it, how He could make everything all better. And with this very annoying tendancy I am frequently let down because God didn't react how I thought He should, He didn't perform how I thought would be best, He didn't do the miracle I had it in my head that He should do.

So as I sat down to type this a.m. the Lord instantly gave me a verse and so I had to also share with you because SURELY I am not the only one out there with this need to fix everything ailment. It's one we hear all the time, one we see written on wall hangings and such, one we probably know by heart but God is showing me not by head. Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and LEAN NOT ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING (whatever you had in your head) and in all your ways acknowledge Him (the maker of the Heavens and the earth) and HE will make your path straight. (Emphasis mine, hahhaha)

I felt like God was saying to me, every time you have something in my head, even when you think you prayed and I led you that way, when things don't work out like that in your reality, lean not. Lean not on your own understanding, remember I am BIG, my ways are not your ways. I do have a plan, a solution, and quiet honestly it is much better than yours, thank you very much. Just TRUST IN ME!

So with that said this average everyday a.m., what do you have in your head? What do you have in your head to the point that you would be darn right annoyed with God if He didn't cause it to be in your reality? I usually keep a pocket of several but I would love nothing more this morning than to just lay them ALL down. I would love it if I could get to the point that I didn't demand God to perform how I had in mind, over the big as well as the little. When someone gets a cold and my day doesn't go as planned or when 4 years of my life seem to be an insane roller coaster I never ever saw coming, may I lean not and trust in. He is BIG, we are little, He is really smart and all knowing, we only pretend to be, He HAS OUR BEST INTEREST AT HEART, we have our selfish interest in mind. I would love to look back in 5 years and have actually been more trusting in Him and less trusting in me. I would love to not always need to know why or have a great solution ready to share. I would love to watch HIM work out the details and see the glorious benefits of staying out of the way. How about you guys? Pray for me and I'll pray for you!

K

Friday, June 10, 2011

Minivan Mayhem...A Discipleship Group for Women


HELLO Blog World along with something I don't say very often around here, Good Afternoon! I am usually always a morning gal, but today as I write from a cozy spot preparing to work on something God is nudging me towards I somehow just cannot begin before saying hello to you. I have not thought once about when I would share with you guys this calling God has placed on my heart, maybe I thought whenever the heck I got time enough to sit down and chat!?!? Honestly, for so long it has felt so very far off that there was no need to mention, but now as I type it is truly sinking in that it is THREE short months away and kind of really TWO but we won't dwell too much on that fact or I will have to exit the blog and get to work.

So...in a nut shell, God has been showing me a very specific calling He has for me as well as a place where the body of Christ just really struggles and that area is in discipleship. We "love" on people, we "mentor" people, but do we really ever intentionally disciple them??? I have never been intentionally on the receiving or the giving end of that and as I sat and thought I honestly did not know very many people who had. So through that realization came something I believe God has called me to start in the Fall of 2011 and that is "Minivan Mayhem, A Discipleship Group for Women".

In M&M we are going to learn how to intentionally disciple women and be intentionally discipled all at the same time and in the mean time attempt to "teach the older and the younger women" as Paul charges in the 2nd chapter of Titus AND THEN somewhere along the way I am praying we will laugh our heads off, build life long relationships, and for Pete's sake do real life together with a few women instead of just saying hello on Facebook Chat-guilty-. People are messy and so we avoid them, the Bible is complex so we avoid it, but Christ esteems them both very highly and so I think it is time we all start digging in and I include myself first and foremost in that challenge.

So here I am, tucked away for a 24 hour work day for Minivan Mayhem. My own personal mayhem makes it a bit difficult to hone in and focus so this fine (kid free) space is doing wonders to put everything at ease. Please pray for me that God would speak to me this weekend and direct this path. It is all His, all at His feet, He will receive all the honor and glory because Lord knows if the thing gets pulled off it will certainly all be Him and nothing of me. I want to be His tool. I want women to be victorious, to know the Word, to know how the heck to make a grocery list and most of all to know the intensely intimate relationship of their Savior. He is everything and we are sitting in a community while drawing closed our garage doors, and all the while we are right beside hundreds of thousands of hurting women, needy women, and women who are dying to do this thing called life with victory but don't have a clue where to begin.

I have so been (and am really) one of these women, in the area of parenting especially. Many of us grew up in the anit-home economics era and I most days haven't the foggiest of even where to begin with two toddlers. I had big plans in banking you know, but God had others and it will take some "older women" even if just by a year or two to show me the ropes. We are going to dive into the Word and figure out how the heck to avoid a poppy diaper disaster all sometimes in the same day.

So with that, there will certainly be more to come, opportunities to sign up, the ol' who-what-when-where-why and how are in the works. I've certainly gotta get to work just in case someone actually decides to show up! I know I am in a constant state on this blog begging for prayer and sadly I am not going to stop now. Pray I don't get even my pinkie toe in the way of this thing. Pray if it is not Jesus that it flops flat in front of my face. Pray that if it is Him that it will be a great ministry to our wonderful city of Clarksville. Pray it will reach military wives as well as the good ol boys of Clarksville's significant others (that's where I would be I guess so not at all knockin) and everyone else in between. WE ALL NEED JESUS, either way! I love you guys and so long, there are details to be done!

Because of Him,
Kelly Bullock

Friday, May 27, 2011

Good Summer Morning Blog World..............

I am writing you from my special spot on the couch this a.m. My sweet family and I are officially on vacation and I just couldn't leave town without saying hello. We have the honor and privilege of traveling to Atlanta this weekend for the wedding of a sweet gal whom we consider her and her entire family to be some of our dearest friends here on planet earth. They live long and far away so when it was announced that the wedding was a short trip to Atlanta, we all knew it was a must that we would attend. This vacation for me seems to mark another step out of the wilderness land. My word this year from the Lord was "party" (that could be a whole other post for another time) and I plan to have a wonderful celebration this weekend with my dear friends, with my precious family, and with my King. He really likes weddings you know! I feel like we can see Canaan in the near and distant future, but we are still far enough away that it is taking faith to actually get there. I can't wait until the land is fully underneath our feet to the point that we can feel the sand between our toes as we take hold of the land.

Ok, so enough of those ramblings, I also wanted to get on and give you a little update on how everyone is doing. I have saved the most frequently asked about member for last so you will actually read about us all! hahhaha I guess now you could technically scroll down but I'll just tell myself you really do care about us too but we all know the truth and I honestly couldn't blame you one single bit.

I'll start with my very good looking man. I am so very thankful that he really is the love of my life and that so far we have stuck this thing called marriage out. We are doing premarital counseling with a precious couple whom God has chased down (very similar to the two of us) and through that we have had to laugh a lot about our years of not so marital bliss. Jeremy looked at them last night and said, "guys, it takes work, but man is it worth it". I was beaming from ear to ear with pride in him because he is so right and it is so worth it! He is rocking and rolling in real estate land. He has recently had the privilege to list some friends' house that are radically picking up their family and moving to Lexington to plant a church. That was cool, cool to see God working on their behalf (a two week sale) and Jeremy getting to truly assist them in their calling for Christ. He is a servant in this business and I knew from the start he would be, it is just still attractive to watch that play out in real life. He is certainly in LOVE with his girl and he is coaching Cross' little "Blast Ball" team (t-ball for 3 and 4 year olds-hilarious). This is now starting to sound like a braggy Christmas card so let me rewind and say, we have been through hell and back these past few years so it feels good to feel good again. I never ever want us to sound like we have it all together because nothing could be further from the truth.

Ok, as for me, God has been ever so gracious to give me more than I can handle lately to assure I am 110% t-totally dependant upon Him. I am working (volunteering) for an organization called Ordinary Hero www.ordinaryhero.org as the Ethiopia Missions Coordinator. It is certainly in my blood, that's all I can say. We are working mainly to help with an orphanage there that is in desperate need of a Jesus transforming miracle. This could possibly be one of my greatest honors in life. I remember a lady saying one time about how grateful she was for her abundant life (after a very similar storm) and she looked around at her beautiful home and said "oh I don't dare mean all of this, I mean the ministry God has given us here in Memphis". Now I see what she meant. To be able to play a role in the health of an orphanage that could potentially one day be a training ground for orphanages all around the area establishes a joy that only Jesus can give. I am honored but mainly humbled that He would see fit to allow me to have this small and tiny piece of one very big God puzzle. I am also gearing up for a Summer Bible Study (read about below). AND I am also preparing for a group that will start in the fall called "Minivan Mayhem". I PROMISE you will hear WAY more about that but in the mean time I would be so thankful if you would PLEASE pray all of that up. When the summer/spring began Minivan Mayhem was the "only" thing on my plate (other than the ol husband, kids, and housey of course) but now Ethiopia and Summer Study have joined for a full course meal. I have asked God over and over if it is too much and I just feel Him saying to Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God......He wants me to be reliant on Him and that I certainly am!

Cross Bow (that's what my Daddy calls him and Mercy says "Mercy has a bow too, now that's cute). Cross is a tall, thin, very handsome stud these days. The other day he ended up with a very cool pair of Children's Place shades and he was in the back seat (mind you in a car seat which should knock out the cool immediately) trying to keep the sunglasses on his nose and I am pretty sure he was as full of himself as one could possibly be. The trouble was I was full of him as well. He looks JUST like his daddy........oh if I had a quarter for every time I hear that his college tuition would be paid in full. He now l o v e s his little sister. They still fight like siblings and he still occasionally (okay more often than that) chokes her with the head lock, but all in all I can say that seeing them play and get along and him serve her is just about the thing that makes this mama's heart beam most. He is really good at t-ball (again sounding a bit braggy, NOT my intent) and learning to play as a team is proving to be a VERY valuable lesson in his life as an only child of 3 years was certainly starting to show. There is honestly just something about a mama and her boy that no one can explain but we've got it to the max over here and somewhere deep down that wild and crazy boy of mine can certainly do no wrong.

And now, for the moment you have all been patiently waiting for, our sweet Mercy girl. Just an FYI, if you do see us out and about, try NOT to gloat all over her and not Cross. I am sure (know) at times he wants to send her on back and let the spot light readjust back to him so just gloat over him too if you don't mind. He is certainly worthy of the attention. Mercy's eyelashes are just a foot long and her ringlet curls are just more than people can bear and I totally understand. She now, after a good healthy diet, has a hint of cellulite on her rear and you can only imagine how that ups the squeeze factor for me. I could, can, and do sit there and kiss her half to death most days and she doesn't mind one single bit (well on occasion she does say "all done mommy"). I'll end the brag session with a few short, very cute, very adorable, things my - talking almost solely in English, has 50-75 at least words now - girl has to say in life these days.

*If you sneeze, she will say "bleshish you mommy, bleshish you".
*She still can't say her r's and I may never teach her because she says the cutest "onanage" (orange) and "Caloss" (Cross) or if she is really bossy "KEY-LOSS".
*She likes a list of things, I think it is her learning a new language, but her new thing is "Caloss has light up shoes, Mercy has sparkle shoes".
*She now has "fiends" (friends). Her eyes just light up when she sees peeps she knows. She is a very social butterfly and likes to get up (that part takes a minute)but then she wants to get dressed and get out and about to her fiends.
*She loves "Tomack" the train.
*She feels her head before we walk out the door to make sure she has on a bow.
*Everything pretty much other than a dog, cat, or horse is a "dinosore" (dinosaur). And she is often a scary dinosore and Cross and I have to run and hide and be very very scared.
*It is "Mercy's turn" a LOT.

I'll stop now because I could really be "that mom" and go on and on for hours. Please also know (some of you do thank goodness) that we couldn't be further from perfect in all reality, these are just some better of days and we are going to take them with great joy. I still (somehow always once a month) want to take someone out in our family, for good. Our dog is still scared of storms and keeps us up at night and then I am a grouch for a week. I need a shower desperately and my time management some days is for the birds and I neglect the most important things around me. But as for today, I am going to shower and then load up the car with wedding attire and we are going to turn OFF the blackberry's and turn on the family time. We are going to turn up some praise Jesus music while we are driving, mixed in with some good "shine shine and joy joy" kid's selections and I am hoping my man will allow some Beth Moore to boot. We are WALKING this thing called life out with Jesus, most days we fall but we are doing everything we can to continue to fall forward. He is worthy of our lives, not our Sundays or an occasional small group. In light of His mercies upon us, may we view ourselves as living sacrifices, Holy and pleasing to Him. Happy Memorial Day Weekend my dear friends. I am so thankful for our soldiers and our King, who have payed a price so that our lives can truly be free!

Because of Him,
K

Friday, May 13, 2011

Summer Bible Study

Hello Ladies!!!!!!! I had to get on and tell you gals about an awesome Summer Bible Study that is about to be up and running to get us through these hot, long, (no stinkin childcare) summer months. Let me also say there is one thing I know for certain, if we take the "summer off" from Bible Study, we are probably going to have some JUNK to deal with when we go back to school. That mindset is a tricky lie satan slips in and if you are like me, if I am not in Bible Study, that USUALLY means I am not in the Word. SO, with that said, I wanted a study, even this certain study, and sometimes beggars have to be leaders. So I present to you..........

What do we do when God interrupts our lives? Many times, like Jonah, we run! Join us for Jonah: Navigating a Life Interrupted by Priscilla Shirer as we redefine interruption and find out that it is actually God's invitation to do something beyond our wildest dreams. We will meet at Bethel Community Church on Wednesdays from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m., beginning June 8. The group will be led by Kelly Bullock. Childcare will be provided for a small fee. Visit Bethel's website www.bethelclarksville.com and click on 'Growth Groups' to sign up or simply click here: https://bethelworld.infellowship.com/GroupSearch/ShowGroup/439569

We pray pray pray this is a blessing for you this summer and if you have to be out for a week or two you can truck on and download the missed message and you will still be connected with an awesome group of Jesus lovin women! Please share this with anyone you think may be interested and by all means message me if you have ANY questions. It is by no means a "Bethel Only Study". NEVER! Love you gals! Have a wonderful weekend!!!

K

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy Mother's Day................

Sorry this post is a few days late but now that I think about it, a few days late is actually very appropriate for this Mother's Day Hello. As you can tell by my last post, the Lord is continuing a work in my heart. I wondered so many times before Mercy was here, would I REALLY be able to love her like my own? I personally think every inch of Cross is precious, you know that mother feeling, where you can stare at their toenails even for hours. I didn't know how on earth I would feel the same for my sweet girl, who looked nothing like me nor her father, who hadn't spent time in my womb. Well let's just say there are no worries there anymore, NONE. I cannot express to you my love for that girl. Her naked rear end can just about take me straight to heaven. Her little feet, I could sit and rub and kiss them for hours. And when I think of how God gave me a child with the same love language as my very own, it almost makes we want to bawl. When she shakes her rear with rhythm, this mother of many years of dance lessons just wants to squeeze her half to death.

Over and over I have sat and stared at her eyes, her eye lashes even and thought to myself, what if? What if we had said "No God"? Now fast forward or rewind actually. When I was in Ethiopia the first time, a sweet friend from my trip was called to move there and do "full time missions". (That is just a fancy word for really looking like the Word.) Each time I returned I would get to see her and I knew God was doing something big in her life, with her life. I wanted so badly to help, but I knew my home was to be the U.S., at least for now. Then I read this..............

"As I held an orphaned little girl tonight who is 10lbs underweight, I began to sing Jesus Loves Me. She stared in my eyes as I sang and I started thinking about her life. Her last name is X because she has no father, she is malnourished, found in the street, and has a horrible bacterial infection that if went untreated would kill her. As the song was ending her eyes slowly closed as she drifted off to sleep. A peace that passes all understanding was shown through the sweetest smile as she slept. I whispered, "Lord, you are her Father. She does have a name, and you know her by name. You know her life and her destiny. Protect her heart and give her peace." There are 15 other babies with a similar story in this orphanage, and 10 more on the way, and only 3 nannies to care for them. I pray that all who read this would prayerfully consider helping this orphanage financially care for these helpless lives. The nannies LOVE these babies but the funding just isn't there for proper care. You can turn tears of hunger into peaceful nights of sleep, and the longing for someone to just hold you into security and happiness. Will you help an orphan fall asleep in peace tonight?"

and then I saw this............



and this...................



And then I was supposed to go about my day, my week? I was to celebrate Mother's Day, place my children in adorable clothing, and have them dedicated to the Lord during our Mother's Day service at church? How was that supposed to look? You see it is VERY different when you know these people, when you have been to this orphanage, when you have smelled what they are smelling and seen other babies just like the one above. It is easier when you can just come back to the states and put your daughter in cute clothes and pretend like the former never was, but somehow God just did not allow that ignorance to be my reality. As one friend said after seeing all of this, my world is now wrecked and forever wrecked to be real honest.

So Happy Mother's Day, a few days late, because many are still without their forever homes and their forever Mothers. Many will die if the veil of our American Dream is not lifted. Many will suffer if we don't DO SOMETHING, even if it feels like that problem is a million miles away. God has called me to partner with sweet Ashli and Ordinary Hero, the ministry that took me on my first trip to Ethiopia (and allowed the wreckage to begin). He has refused my heart the luxury of denial and I will be coordinating the sending of "troops" this summer to help Ashli and restore this orphanage to literal life and also to coordinate the sending of supplies to make sure that this injustice on life is stopped and stopped for good. Even if it is "just one" orphanage...don't ya think it is worth it. I think it will lead to two, then to three, and prayerfully one day this orphanage will be a training camp to all in Ethiopia to set up some much needed systems to make sure these babies not only survive but thrive until they can be partnered for their own Mother's Day.

So I am asking you today, just as Ashli asked above, will you help? Will you do something?? Some are called to go and some are called to send, some are called to gather supplies and some are called to take them, some are called to pray pray pray pray pray and some are called to move move move and move. He is faithful to show us all what our role is to be, but we have to be willing to surrender our own "plan" for His. I am attaching a link to Ordinary Hero's Blog below where you can read much more, just scroll down to the first post that reads "An Immediate Need in Ethiopia". That is where the story begins. Clarksville will be a post for this orphanage and I am a little lost on where to even begin. But I do know one thing, I HAVE TO DO SOMETHING and I HAVE TO HAVE HELP! If you are not in Clarksville there is still a TON you can do. Just message me if you are on board, if your heart is wrecked as well and we will tackle this thing and make satan wish he had NEVER messed with these babies, with their health, with their parents, or with their God! When you look at these babies don't ask "why God" ask "why-insert your name here-". We are the answer, the hands and feet of Jesus here on this earth, we are His plan, His answer, His solution to the problem!

http://www.ordinaryheroblog.blogspot.com/

So Happy Mother's Day!
Kelly

Monday, May 2, 2011

The thing that keeps me up at night..............

is what...............





if we..................




had not................




said YES?????????

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Our Men..............

Good Afternoon Blog World. This is a topic that has been swirling around in my mind for sometime now. It may seem like an odd topic for an Easter afternoon but it is actually because of the power that Jesus released upon his Resurrection that allows for miracles to occur and prayers to be answered. I am also somewhat avoiding anything largely productive so it seems like a great time to chat. In addition to my current reclining, this is a topic that I tip toe towards with great precaution. Anything I mention doing "right" is ONLY by God's grace and I could write a much longer blog on the things I have done wrong. I want you to know that by the time this blogs hits post it will certainly have been read and approved by my man who proofs each and every one. We are an open book around here but I never want to display a page that he doesn't see fit for reading. The topic is "Our Men" and on that note please know that Jeremy could also write a blog on the way he has so faithfully backed me a million times over when my faith was in the gutter or my sin was soaring high. He has corrected me in love more times that I would ever like to admit so please don't dare hear me saying that I have been his "rock" because nothing could be further from the truth. This is just a blog I (personally) write and it is most often for the encouragement of women so I am telling this from the side of a woman and what we can and can NOT control but also what we can and most certainly should claim. OK, disclaimer DONE.

I honestly think the main reason I am writing is because SO very many women through out the years have chatted with me and been praying for their men. I told a gal the other day, when your man is struggling with his faith it may be one of the hardest things we women ever endure. Over our 6 1/2 (very short) years of marriage God has shown me some holy wisdom that to me has meant everything. Some He showed me in love and through books and some I learned by a good smack in the rear. Regardless I think it is all worth sharing. NO matter who you are or how long you have been married, if you are walking with Jesus you want your man to as well. And if you are reading and you are not married this will be a wonderful blog to remind you that IT AIN'T ALL FUN AND GAMES around these here parts. I am more thankful for my man than anything on this entire earth but I will also say that my man (and my children) have brought out more of my junk and taken more work for me to fight the flesh than anything on the earth. I am constantly reminded of the fact that anything I want to complain about my man on is something that God has ordained to work out something in MY own flesh. I heard a friend say recently that if you want to serve Christ, stay single and if you want to look like Christ, get married. OUCH I would say that is very true and I would say my man would certainly give a strong AMEN in return.

So Jeremy (he has faithfully surrendered himself to you as an example so we approach this with much love), when I met my man there was no more sold out Christian on earth, none. He LOVED people, he loved Jesus and everything else in between was just details. I was so excited because I wasn't up for phonies and certainly not up for religion so this man was the one for me and God had blessed me 100 fold. AND THEN THE HONEYMOON WAS OVER, literally. Oh sweet Jesus, that first year of our marriage I would have used a lot of words but sold out wouldn't have been one of them. JERK would have been what first came to mind and I am sure his words to describe me would have been along the same lines. I watched a man who read his Bible all day every day begin to slowly lay it down and let it at times begin to collect dust. I was in sheer panic wondering what on earth this would mean for our family. We fought in public, that's always attractive and we went to church together but at times I felt like that man's heart was far from God and certainly far from mine. God showed me a VERY valuable lesson that first year and that was this, whatever junk he has is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS, God (oddly enough) was worried about MINE! Another huge turn for me personally during that time was being introduced to Joyce Meyer and her saying "study what you are struggling" which meant if your marriage was struggling, study marriage and so I did. I read book after book after book and one even started with the phrase "don't be mad that you are the only one reading books on marriage right now". Good gravy were they reading my mind?

Another thing (besides a new library and a new focus) I had going for me was SPUNK. My personality comes with a whole collaboration of sins. I can get myself in trouble in 2.2 seconds if I am not under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit but every once in while that spunk pays off and in marriage I have just had no intentions of settling. I didn't want a church boy I wanted a radically sold out man of God and in marriage I didn't want to just kind of get along and stay together, I wanted to be madly in love and still do. So that spunk and about 100 books later, things started to change. I don't know how to explain it but I started working on my junk one thing at a time and what do you know, my prayers for J started being answered as well. I started serving him and treating him like the man I wanted him to be not the man he was. I started getting my crazy emotions in check and keeping my big mouth SHUT and he started to be nice. I stopped trying to be his Holy Spirit and what do you know, the Holy Spirit spoke to him. I would pray through when to say truth, when to nudge him to do something at church and then when to just stay still and trust Jesus even when I was seeing nothing in return. But most of all, I started to submit to my man! It actually became a "game" to me because I do like to give satan a good smack in the mouth and because my flesh fought this topic tooth and nail I had to get radical in my efforts. If that man said "Johnny's Big Burger" we ate at Johnny's Big Burger (I would have much preferred frilly). If my man said no I said ok, if he said yes, I said sure thing. I just had to learn how to let him lead EVEN when he was not "walking" per say hand in hand with Jesus. I had to trust that Jesus would lead through him regardless and that all I could control was me and my actions and that God would handle the rest. I am not kidding when I say this, the next thing I knew my man surrendered his life to a call to ministry and started seminary. It was 2.5 years into our marriage but looking back it seemed to literally happen that fast. He was sold out again, not at all because he was going to seminary but because he was hearing God and obeying him and our marriage was bliss and I do mean bliss. Oh Praise You Jesus, I had my man back!

So let's fast forward a few years, we get a little surprise named Cross, we move to North Carolina and then resign from a job there and move home and then we walk into the darkest most difficult times of our marriage. We lost a baby, and what felt like everything we had owned and my poor man couldn't find a job to save his life. To say these past few years have been a hard time spiritually for both of us would be fair. So what had I learned to do when my man was struggling with his faith?? You buck up and you pray and you fight again! You learn to be very intentional about what you say, when you say it, and how you say it to him. You serve him even when you are shaking in your boots that he may walk away from it all any day. You have the house clean when he comes home because that makes him happy or less mad. You put Scriptures on his bathroom mirror until he tells you to take them down. You pull out the pocket size "Power of a Praying Wife" and you pray that man UP! YOU FIGHT FOR YOUR MAN!

I don't understand it but ladies it is our honor and our privilege to get to fight for our men. I DO believe that behind every good man is a good woman and that to date has been my most rewarding calling in life. It is not rewarding when day after day after day you see nothing change. It is not rewarding when you think to yourself, seriously, we have come this far and now he is going to fall off the wagon. It is not encouraging when you know he hasn't read his Bible in weeks or even months, it is not encouraging when you feel like he almost makes fun of you for your walk with Christ. BUT WHEN THEY RETURN, oh for the glory of Jesus, when I watched my man worship Friday night it was worth it. It is worth it when you watch God finally give him a career and watch him flourish doing it. It was worth it when he led a Bible Study Thursday night. It was worth it to hear him set his alarm Saturday morning to go to a prayer breakfast and it will be worth it when we die after a life of serving Jesus radically TOGETHER!

So ladies (and men really) let's all have some godly spunk. Don't want your man to "go to church" or say to yourself, oh well, things are never going to change around here. THAT is an attitude that minimizes the cross at it's core. Claim some things over your family and your man. Pray they encounter Jesus in a way that changes their lives forever and be willing to work out your own junk so that you will be worth the man you are praying to have. Our men could do things for the Kingdom that no man has ever done but what if we have the prayers and the charter to release it. What if our submission was in the way or what if our weakness being worked on was the missing piece to his puzzle. You expect more out of your men than they remotely expect out of themselves, but you give them grace when they are a long way away from reaching their potential. You love them madly (and I mean that in ALL ways) and you care WAY more about their needs and wants than you remotely care about your own. You serve them and honor them in public (even if you hardly believe a word that you are saying) and you build them up in person even if inside your mind is circling words that would completely tear them down. I have opened my mouth a hundred times to "let J have it" and forced myself to instead say "honey, did you say you wanted tea with your dinner". It hurts the flesh to do the right thing but smacking satan somehow makes the pain go away. Your man is worth it dear friend. You probably married them because you thought they hung the moon, well by golly, you just didn't know you were going to have to help them get it there. You are the only one fit to be his helpmate, and sometimes the only opinion on earth that he deep down cares about. And certainly you are the only one up in his business enough to know his each and every weakness in need of prayer. I have seen ladies radically back their men through divorce, addiction, infidelity, and a slew of other strong holds. I have felt like the least of victors when talking to friends that were smacking satan through much more difficult times. But I have YET to meet a lady that wasn't being blessed by her Jesus for backing her man, never, not one. I have seen prayers answered radically and I have seen women still in the war with no true sign yet of victory, but fighting on with joy. So let's back our men and believe we will watch them storm this world for Jesus one day.

Jeremy Bullock I thank you that you care way more about other people than you care about our junk being aired. I thank you that you put up with a very broken person through a lot of years of marriage (even if they have only been a few they have at moments seemed like a lot I am certain). But most of all I thank God that you have never lost your faith or walked into sin this entire time. You are still the godliest man I know and I wait with anxious anticipation for all that you are going to do while on this earth to glorify our Jesus!

Amen!
K

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter 2011

Good Morning Blog World! I write to you from my "spot" on the couch this early overcast a.m., right side, lamp on, where I meet with my Jesus in the mornings. I have a heavy heart this Easter eve eve after the reminder and realization that today is Good Friday. Growing up I never really knew or understood that Good Friday was the day that Jesus died on the cross and that Easter was the day that He rose from the grave. I probably just thought it was "good" because we got out school. I was disillusioned by the basket, the bunny, and the eggs like the rest of the world.

On that note, a few days back I went to Walgreen's to get an Easter card for Jeremy's precious grandmother who will celebrate her first holiday without her spouse. I was scanning the aisles of cards for "Easter" and I ran across a sizable selection and then I glanced down to a teeny tiny corner of that selection and saw the title "religious". In the middle of Walgreen's I hung my head in shame. How on earth do you have a "religious" section for EASTER for Pete's sake? EASTER IS RELIGIOUS! It is Jesus, it is His death, burial and resurrection and it is forgiveness for all the sins of the earth. But in that moment it hit me, I was horrified mainly because Easter has meant so very much for me.

If you knew of the sins this one soul from a little town called Winchester, Tennessee has committed you would understand. If you knew the forgiveness that cross has bore for this 5'2" gal you would see why I was staggered by the trick of society. A bunny means nothing to me and does nothing for me but JESUS.....well that's a whole other story. He saved my rear, radically changed my life, healed REAL diseases I had and called me out from a grave that a few people had begun to dig on my behalf and I so easily helped finish.

I spent last weekend with some gals that knew that old Kelly. I tend to remain somewhat in a bubble these days. Most people that I "run" with I did NOT run with before. They've never seen me smoke a cigarette or drink a beer (or 12). They've never seen my actions wreak havoc over an entire family or be a complete and utter disgrace to myself. But those gals had and what a perfect reminder for this Easter 2011 season. That cross and that tomb means EVERYTHING to me and one of my greatest fears is that after all He and I have been through I will begin to dumb down Easter to matching outfits for my children.

A little boy asked me the other day (with a blatant look of disapproval on his face) "why is his name Cross? is it like cross the street." And I looked at that sweet little boy who has no clue the impact Jesus could make in his very own life and said "no honey it is like Jesus on the cross". Cross the child is here ONLY because of the cross of Jesus. These two sinners would have destroyed each other long before we would have had the honor and privilege of having a son. Sin would have killed and destroyed our reproductive systems just to be totally honest. That cross means everything to us and our journey to our Cross not to mention our Mercy.

So for this Easter 2011, I pray for all of us, that we will figure out this weekend regardless of where we are in our journey. If you have no relationship with Jesus, I pray that you tell society you have a bigger brain than to celebrate a bunny. I pray that you will grab a Bible and start in John and figure out what really happened that Easter weekend all those many years ago. Or if you have walked away from your Savior who you once knew and loved, I pray that you remember that the cross of today is so precious because it only takes a return to be reunited. It is no more complicated than that. And then finally, if you are madly in love with your Savior please fight tooth and nail this weekend and in the years to come to avoid society's temptation to settle for an egg. I wanna talk to my Jesus on Easter! I wanna snuggle up and thank Him. I want to confess sin on Easter for sure but because of the resurrection I want to walk in the power and not be bound to any ever again. I want Easter to be something I celebrate and thank Him for daily, certainly not once a year. I want this weekend to be one that is of Holy significance on the Kingdom calendar and I want my kids to get that truth more than they ever get a stupid Easter basket. I want to respect this corporate Holiday but at the same time I want it to be very personal to this sinner redeemed.

So Happy Easter dear friends! May we walk humbly this weekend, checking our hearts, seeing how we love others, seeing whether our greatest concern is matching outfits or needy neighbors. May we never do another Easter egg hunt with our children without doing everything in our power to make sure that they know the King before hand! He loves you, He died for you, He rose for you, He is coming back for YOU!

K

Monday, April 18, 2011

Miracles.............

There are no words for this Mama's proud heart! God thank you for exceedingly, abundantly, more than all I asked or imagined!













Thank you http://www.hilaryflynnphotography.com/ for these amazing photos!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hope really does help............

Hello Blog World. I am writing you on this Friday eve with glorious hope. This is not just any weekend around the bend, this is a weekend with plans of joyous Beth Moore, road trips, awesome friends, and I am hoping a meal that is far from "clean". I haven't packed a single thing but I honestly feel like it would be so wrong to leave town without saying hello first. My social butterfly has been squished these days so I am getting a whole lot of adult conversation out on this here blog and I am hoping you are at least not bored to tears. I also, of course, wanted to update you on one HANDSOME young man and one PRETTY pretty princess. They are going to bed right now which makes them the absolute loves of my life. Other moments are not so warm and fuzzy but this weekend I know will help with that as well. Cross is about 6 feet tall right now. It kills me. I asked J last night how we ended up with an 8 year old and he just smiled and sighed. He is LOVING the warmer weather and every day he is loving his sister more and more. He wants to ring her neck sometimes but if he is getting a treat, his first question is "what about Mercy girl" so in my book all is well there. Mercy is a dainty princess who tries to growl like her brother but it just doesn't work. She squills, prances and Jeremy even said yesterday-throws a ball like a girl. She received some play clip on earrings the other day at a CHUCK E CHEESE Birthday party (that could be a whole other post) and watch out world, I have put those things on her ears four hundred times and I honestly haven't minded a single one. I have honestly LOVED having a girl.

Let me say right now (for fear someone would thing I was bragging)Cross is trying to trick Mercy to get out her bed so she will get a "spank spank". I can tell you that gal is WAY too smart for that little man. That's another great topic while we are on the subject, strong willed verse not. Good Lord have mercy (little m) on this mama. I have had my eyes open to just how difficult it is to raise a strong willed child verse an obedient, people pleaser. THE LOOK WORKS, even the teeny tiniest raise in your voice can cause total tears heart break and I know she is often looking at her brother and saying to herself, "why Cross, WHY?" I have even seen her furiously shake her head NO to him to try to keep his behind out of trouble. She is going to hold him back a little and he is going to push her right off the edge. It has honestly amazed me but in a good way. I really do KNOW that God has made my boy a leader and that He is going to do great and mighty things for the Kingdom, it is just going to take every last ounce of mine and his father's energy to get him there. And Mercy girl, well, we will have to help her understand that despite the fact that she wouldn't hurt a fly or disobey if you paid her 2.2 million dollars that she still IS a sinner and in great need of a Savior. I think that will be taxing on the mind more than the body which in this moment may sound better but I know I will always have concern for them but probably for very different reasons.

Other random tidbits include Mercy's English is coming along great. She talks and talks and talks and now there are many many words we actually know involved. It will break this mama's heart (honestly) when it is all in English because I love hearing that little Amharic chatter. She has pretty much captured the heart of everyone she has met. Total strangers are apologizing for staring and grown men are holding her with the death grip of no return. Speaking of holding we have seen HUGE strides in her attachment. PTL No more walking up to strangers and holding her arms up to be held. She goes STRAIGHT to mama or daddy and even on our little date the other night she acted perfectly normal the next day, like we had never been apart. I am SO thankful for God's grace because even though she will be with Jeremy while I am out of town, I never dreamed I would be willing (or so needy) to leave town for 36 hours just 5 short weeks in.

I have also FINALLY gotten my snuggler. I have gone all my life with most of the closest people to me having ZERO sign of touch as their love language. Now I have a little girl who will kiss me 400 times over and lift up her shirt to have her underarm rubbed while watching a movie. I am in snuggle Heaven and I am sure my man is thrilled. I honestly have to put her down and make her go play just so I can get something done. What a GREAT problem to have.

So as you can tell, Jesus has done great things! We are a family of 4 and besides the obvious color difference, if you saw us out you would never know we hadn't all been together since birth. They are siblings to the core of cores. She jumps and leaps when her daddy gets home from work and as far as this mama goes, can't even remember life before her if I tried. What paperwork? What waiting? What fundraising? All I know is obedience ALWAYS brings about a blessing.

I guess I better be heading to the bed soon to get my beauty rest before I hit the road with another Jesus performed miracle of a friend and hopefully one more. We are all proof that God DOES change lives, He does do miracles in this day and that nobody (I am proof for sure) is too far gone to be redeemed! Jesus you are mighty and worthy of our praise, may we trust that You are for us, always!

K

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Avoiding all things productive................

Sometimes when I have a long list of things to-do, especially for a long time, I get stressed. I am the type A kind of person who likes to make her list and then mark it off. I am not a procrastinator, I am the opposite, I am OCD about my list and life is not life as it should be until it is ALL DONE. After Ethiopia, the fact that I was going to be a full time stay at home mom told me that I would have nothing but time on my hands, but nothing could be further from the truth, at least not so far. There has been a LOT of post adoption, readoption paperwork and stuff to do and I am beginning to move into shut down mode. That is always a great time for me to blog. It is like my form of running away, I run from the have-to-do list and embrace the just-because-I-want-to-do kind of things in life.

I would blog 2 times a day if I could but right now that is far down the reality list. Cross and Mercy take a LOT of attention and focus right now. I have been doing good to keep the house somewhat picked up, the food at least somewhat cooked and purchased and for the love of homemaking what did women do before the washer and dryer? My lack of a dish washer is the constant keeper of my time but with Ethiopia fresh in my mental mind I am trying my hardest not to complain. I am sure you can tell! The thing that really triggered my "all work and no play" state happened a few weeks ago. I was reading a blog, of a stranger, and she was giving the sweetest and most innocent recap of her weekend. She had gone out with friends and her husband on Friday night (without kids) and then out with girlfriends on Saturday morning (again without kids). I was down right annoyed with my internet friend. Who died and made her queen of the world? How did she get all those breaks and write about them with zero mention of guilt or apology?? God gave me the grace to know, that was my que, I NEEDED A BREAK. Parenting makes you feel guilty for the thought of a break and then add in adoption and you are in martyr mentality faster than you can blink your non-mascared eyes.

So here is what we (I) have to remember, Jesus really is about your business, if you need a break, He knows, He cares, and He is a Man with a plan. Your role is really just to pray. I have prayed off and on over the past few weeks. How do I balance, QT with Jeremy, Cross, Mercy and MYSELF????????? How do I get a date night, a one on one night with each kid and a girl's get away, all in one month, all in one budget? I felt God telling me, take it one day at a time, do what is best today and that was a few weeks back. Well let me tell you what has unfolded over the past two days literally and if you tell me Jesus only cares about the largest details of your life, I'll tell ya you are missing out on all the fun. Jeremy and I obviously haven't had a date in now almost 5 weeks (great for the marriage, NOT). Well we got invited to a fundraising dinner in Nashville (PTL) and we talked about it and talked about it and said YES! Mercy has been doing great at her hour or two of childcare here and there so the kids are going to a friend's and my man and I are going OUT. Then I got invited to something this weekend where a combination of super heroes and Jesus are present so my little man and I are going on a hot date while my princess and her father go on a daddy/daughter breakfast. I bet they will be the cutest thing in Clarksville, TN (please don't think I am bragging, I just can't get over the two of them still). And THEN a girlfriend at Bible Study today said she was going on a road trip to a conference next weekend and asked if I wanted to go and I did something I never do, SPONTANEOUS!!!!!!!!! I text my man, he said yes, and I didn't ask twice, I AM IN!

So out with the productivity of life, let's start living. Please know I am not bragging on me, I am bragging on Jesus. Two girl friends have asked me about this exact topic this week so I wanted to write about it, sisters we need a break and satan ain't gonna roll out the red carpet for ya, you gotta ask Jesus to do that. This morning as I walked, unknowing of the icing on the cake He had in store. I just told Him, Jesus I still feel like I need a break, a real one, like more than a few hours here and there. Imagine my reaction when one short sentence paved a way for His answer. I now know He was saying, "I know sweet one and I have it all planned already, you just keep walking".

He is more personal and more trustworthy than we ever give Him credit. All of this may not work out as blissfully perfect as it sounds on paper. Satan will want Jeremy and I to fight tomorrow night and Cross may have a fit on the floor in his Spiderman suit. My friend and I will have to fight satan tooth and nail next week to get the heck out of dodge and get us some Jesus, but that is just life after the fall and Jesus is the only thing that makes it remotely bearable. So get up and get out a little. If your personality is like mine and people would be far less impressed with your social life than your productive life, live a little, life's way too hard on us not to. So I am signing off, going to bed, it'll ALL still be here tomorrow. I have a date to prepare for, two actually, and I am making plans to be dazzled, you should too!

K

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Good Morning Blog World.............

I am writing to you from my favorite spot and time on earth, the early morning a.m. all curled up on my comfy couch. I really have nothing of any major importance to say but I have a few more moments of silence before the day begins and since I can finally (to some degree at least) pick what I want to do with it instead of what I "have" to do with it, well I most certainly pick you. Life is for sure becoming a bit more normal around here. Please know I am still adjusting my definition of normal so if I get on tomorrow a.m. and cry my eye balls out, please have grace for me, I am just adjusting, slowly but surely. From 1 to 2......to be honest, I didn't really give this step a whole lot of thought. For the most part my goals have been revolving around getting Mercy here for so long that what-on-earth life would look like past that was just too obscure to plan. We are coming to the end of our third week home and I think all in all, God is doing a great miracle because I am not sitting in the floor sobbing all day. (Again, if you are reading and you are doing that just know I have been there too.) My Cross man IS potty trained, praise be to Jesus! God is helping me overcome my anger and I am seeing my little strong willed tot love on his sister more and more everyday. They are attached at the hip already that is for certain and it blows my mind to think that God had all of this ordained and I tried to fight it.

I think, however, that I am still trying to get in the groove of this whole mommy thing and it is happening very slowly. I mean come on, almost 3.5 years in and you would THINK I would have gotten a bit more adjusted by now. I don't know how to explain all of my stay-at-home mom emotions. I KNOW it is an honor and a blessing and I think because I know that I fight mounds of guilt when I struggle with it. Another part of me knows that I grew up in a single parent home where my mother always worked so I don't have a lot to draw from. It is like I am a woman, who has always wanted kiddos, and yet I have no clue what on earth to do with them. I didn't have any younger siblings and the little girl that I baby sat during my high school years I now know just didn't count in experience per say because she was literally a complete and utter angel. I do have a nephew whom I L O V E dearly but I am/was only around him once every few months so I really have had the ultimate shock of my life.

The one thing (really there were many) the Lord did so graciously allow was a mentor in North Carolina that had herself a wild, all boy, strong willed little man and I thought he was the cutest fella on the planet. Cross at the time wasn't even walking and I literally think I said something as crazy as "I sure hope Cross is all boy just like that one day". I don't even know what to say to that statement today. Praise Jesus God gave me his wonderful godly mama to turn to, even to this day I call her asking what on earth do I do. Here are a few examples of my mentionings, it takes every amount of will power that poor child has to take a bath without soaking and I mean soaking my (sometimes clean) bathroom. He knows one speed, full. He wakes up ready to rock and roll and we have been going to bed in a big boy bed for well over 400+ nights and he STILL gets out of bed, I would say 9 or 10 out of 10 nights. He is that kid that you see running through a hallway followed my a frazzled mom and you think to yourself, lady, you need to learn how to control your kid. Mercy girl on the other hand, she got out of bed once, got in trouble, now she barely sits up in the bed. If she splashed in the tub with her fullest of force, a drop would probably never even hit the floor. She "jumps" when she gets excited. Her feet barely get off the ground. And often times, she and I literally just look at each other when Cross is doing extreme boy and we almost shrug our shoulders after our eyes refocus from bulging out and we silently agree, he is crazy.

Boys are just another breed and I WANTED one first and I guess honestly it has helped. Heaven forbid if I had Mercy first and then Cross, it would be a much greater shock that I will say. I know Mercy is NOT perfect, she is a sinner, she is just a quieter, calmer one. I really DO want my boy to be all boy, but not always at the expense of my aching flesh. I wanna know when to let him romp and when to teach him self control and have him sit. I want him to sprint after Jesus but some days my goal is simply to make it until bedtime. The other redeeming fact about this now very sad sounding blog post is that I love that little man more than life itself. He can be tearing through the house and I do mean literally and I could squeeze those now Thomas the Tank Engine butt cheeks right off his non-existent rear. I pray that at the end of my life, he will be one of my "well dones". I pray that I always (or ever really) embrace their radical differences because there really could not be any greater, two extreme opposites on the earth.

She sleeps right side up, on her back, under the covers. He sleeps wrong side up, on his tummy, hates the covers, to this DAY I still have to go cover him up at night so he is not numb by morning. She pets the dog, ever so gently, he squeezes the living day lights out of the dog if she is ever unlucky enough to get caught. She rubs your arm, he hits it. He does laps around the car even though we have told him 1,000 times "go straight to your door", she stays right by my side. He doesn't like chocolate fudge rounds, she knows they are Heaven. He chugs his milk, she sips, he wakes ready to conquer the world, she wakes and it takes a princess a minute to get movin. It really is kind of the cutest thing ever if you are not the one doing the chasing. She is chocolate and he is vanilla in about 101 different ways but I really do love them both. He has been the wreck of my "perfect little life", but I know deep down just how bad it needed a wreckin. She is my blessing for obedience and he is my test of time. But at the end of the day, there is neither of the one that I can get enough kisses from to satisfy this mama's heart. I am SO thankful for Beth Moore's messages about her two opposite children and the privilege to watch them from afar now both follow Jesus. You have no idea the encouragement that brings to this tired mother's heart.

With that said, the time is drawing near, I must depart and embrace this calling I have upon my life and do it with great vigor and determination. Cross actually goes to school today so 2 sweet teachers will get the honor and privilege of raising him and this little mama is going to TAKE HER BREAK! I love you all dearly!

K

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Mercy Girl Re-Adoption Raffle............

Hey Everyone, we are literally down to the last step...Mercy's re-adoption in the states. That last step comes with a not-so-lovely fee of $1,300. A very generous couple has donated, so we are down to $850. We are going to do a $10 raffle because we want you to get back for all that you have given.

The raffle is easy. It will run through Friday, April 1. The first 25 people that give will get their choice of a free CD or a set or earrings. With each $10 that you donate, you will have a chance to win one of these awesome prizes below. The Scentsy warmer will go to the highest donor.

The way to give is to donate using PayPal on the left side of the screen. After the raffle has ended we will contact you to let you know if you've won and we will mail your prizes to the address listed on PayPal.

Just think, with 85 facebook friends and blog friends we would reach our goal! Thank you all so much for all you have done. There is no way you can't win something!

Free Gifts............



Gifts to win...........(the Mercy t is a 4t)