If you are anything like me, you feed a lot of people!
Crazy coming from the woman that only has one other person in her home.
Since mid-July, I would say Josh and I have taken meals to people AT LEAST once a week.
New babies, surgeries, conferences, babies coming home from Africa, etc.
I have perfected the meal taking...
I have the easiest recipe for you guys.
1. Buy this packet at the store.
2. Follow the directions on the back. You'll need olive oil, white cooking wine, chicken, potatoes, & baby carrots.
3. Cook it in the oven for about 45 minutes OR put in the crockpot (8 hours low/high. I don't think it matters).
I usually always put it in the crockpot, because I only have a few minutes before work and need to
run it to my friends house right after work! Who has time to do more than that? Not me.
BUT your friends will think you're a chef!
I keep about 3 packets on hand at all times!
Trust me...this stuff is really good.
Hey friends! We have had a cool and busy summer, like you.
Instead of lots of pictures to scroll through, how about a video?!
(all iphone pics)
See ya soon!
With no children, I LOVE "Aunt Kara Time!"
Seriously, these boys are so cute...
don't you think so?!
Last weekend, Josh's family spent the afternoon just hanging out. No plans...just spending time together before Erica & the boys moved back up to South Dakota! That's the best time. Just being together.
They both have a future in modeling!
TWO DAYS and I get to spend four whole days with them!
Remember that time I cleaned my house and my social worker didn't even look around?! Yah, me too!
At least give me the courtesy of walking down the hallway!
Books...books are taking over my life! For this lady who does not naturally love reading, having SIX books open is almost overwhelming. BUT they are the perfect picture of this season of life!
Ready for this breakdown?
First up and haven't even opened is A Theology As Big As The City! I am so excited to open up this book and dive into it. My company is sending me to this year long leadership institute with our association for emerging leaders! This is with emerging leaders from all over the country. We'll meet up for all together three times this year, but in the mean time we are reading tons of books! THEN usually get to do a webinar with the author and ask questions. In March, we had a webinar with Steve Corbett author of When Helping Hurts
! WOW, that was like talking to a rock star. He is one of the leading experts in Christian Community Development. If you go on mission trips, give financially to charitable agencies working with the poor, or work with the poor you HAVE to read When Helping Hurts.
Another book for my leadership class, The New Evangelicals, shines a good light on evangelicals, politics, and the religious right. Talks about how the church lost it's biblical focus! Gives us some really good things to think about. I liked it...not sure if you will!
Suggested to me by a new adoption friend, there is no me without you
! Grab your tissue and get ready to learn! I am about 1/2 of the way through this book and I am in LOVE. It tells some history of Ethiopia and the AIDS crisis. I have cried, righteous anger has been stirred, and I have been challenged by a women of great compassion! It is amazing! Can't wait to finish it. I feel that it is important to finish, because I will not be able to read anything else until it is finished.This book is about Harewegoin T
eferra who carred for AIDS orphans in her country, Ethiopia. Dr. Gary Gunderson said "The only hope for the vast majority of the 25 million orphans...are people like Harewegoin Teferra. A dozen global conferences will not shed half the light that her life does."
One of our counselors at work gave me this book about a year ago...HAVEN'T READ IT YET! Then about a month ago, a friend said "Kara, you need to live from the heart Jesus gave you!" She has read it and is now keeping me accountable to reading it. When I told the counselor, he offered to be another level of accountability for me! He had me set the deadline of July 1st. He will give me a week grace period...he said. I smiled wide. I enjoy him!
STILL HAVEN'T OPENED....see, I'm drowning in books!
Tomorrow is July 1st! EEEKK!!
AND I'm reading One Thousand Gifts with a friend for our bi-monthly bible study together. We can't decide if we like it yet. It is a bit girly for me...very descriptive form of writing...good content, but seems to take her awhile to get to it! And if you have 6 books on your plate, you aren't too thrilled for someone to take a bit to get to their point!!
Good ideas and good use of scripture!
We have another book on adoption that Josh and I are reading together...it doesn't interest me much at the moment! I have to finish There is No Me Without You before I can get into it. So much to do. I spent yesterday on the porch reading for hours. Will probably do the same this afternoon and tomorrow!
That's my life! What are you reading?
Well, #2 Mother's Day on this adoption journey. I'm not suffering, but don't get too excited about monthly numbers anymore. God is moving and doing some things with us that I am hopeful about! So, I'm not Debbie downer this month. In May, we are #61. Four children were matched with families in April. That's good...at one point I was really nervous that it was zero (downer side of finding the moms' Facebook page).
Anyways! I've been running. During my runs I take that time to specifically pray for our adoption and baby. This morning, while I was running and praying, I almost had to stop because my eyes swelled up with tears. While I'm Waiting came on Pandora...whoosh, that song was written for moms waiting. I love Christian movies...if you know me in person, I know that is a shocker to you. Ms. Cynical really does love christian movies!! This song was in fireproof. Listen and enjoy!
I don't know what was on the song writer's heart, but it seems perfect for us moms waiting!
"I'm waiting on you Lord and I am hopeful. I'm waiting on you Lord. Though it is painful."
"I'm waiting on you Lord and I am peaceful. I'm waiting on you Lord. Though it's not easy!"
"I WILL MOVE AHEAD BOLD AND CONFIDENT. TAKING EVERY STEP IN OBEDIENCE."
Waiting Moms, how was that not written for us?
Here's to waiting! Happy Mother's Day! AND here's to not another Mother's Day without our babies!
It's been three months since I have talked to you guys on the blog about our wait list numbers!
We have hardly moved...hence the silence. Monthly numbers just haven't seemed that exciting.
I kind of dread the number email every month. I try not to think about it...I try NOT to look at the facebook group, because if they aren't announcing referrals on there it means that they aren't going out. Most families are on there.
We're #64...it is a bit disappointing, but I KNOW God is in control! He knows who our lil one is and when it's time for them to come home to us. I know the disappointment in my heart is nothing to the pain my lil one is feeling or will feel when she/he is relinquished. So, we use this time to pray for our lil one.
On a good note, we met an adoptive Ethiopian family in our neighborhood! YEAH!!!! They stopped by this morning for about 15 minutes...their lil girl is soooo cute! I wanted to give her a huge hug, but that would have been creepy. So, I gave her mom a hug!
Hope you are well! We are doing good...promise. I just thought I would update you on our number.
If you know me very well and have heard any of my 5 soap boxes, you know that I can't stand the term "the least of these." Yes, I get the biblical term. Before today, I had only heard it used in one context that I actually loved. It was at the 2011 Together for Adoption conference in Phoenix. I can't even remember much of what Jeff Vanderstelt preached on, but I do remember one thing he said. "the least of these? We are ALL the least of these! God is God and the rest of us are the least of these. We are dead in our transgressions without him!" This woman, me, about jumped out of my seat with AMENS!! Okay, so really, this introvert looked at her husband, winked, and internally gave God a high five (we have that kind of relationship)! :D
It's the idea/truth that we all come to the cross of Christ equally!
Just imagine if people called YOU "the least of these"?! What if that is how people identified you and your value?! WRONG!!! Our identity is in Christ! :D
THEN today I heard this song below! Part of my "least of these" soap box has to do with dignity...another reason why I don't like pictures of poor African kids that spark an "Oh poor people! I feel so sorry for them!" (don't even get me started on blessings...another soap box). ANYWAYS, back to my reason for chatting with you today! I saw this video today and about started weeping. It is the second time that I have heard "the least of these" used in a dignifying way! I LOVE it because it talks about the children becoming kings and queens...it speaks to their true value. It shows them smiling, laughing, wrapped in royal glory!
"They will be brave & free. Shout your name in victory!"
Did you cry?! When they show the first boy with a giant smile, I LOST it!
"The least of these" is still not my favorite phrase and I wish they could use another term, BUT
I'm cool with it because they speak to the true value of the children! :D
Thanks for letting me share a bit of "soap box Kara" with you today!
Hope you love the video...like I DO!
I love my community of friends in Tulsa!
(The Lauras & Belky are included in that)
I love how they randomly call or text and want to know our "number!"
I love that they pray for our child and for their caretakers!
I love that they also dream about our kids...those texts have made us cry! :D
BUT there has been one thing missing in my community...people on my path...in front of me!
A couple of weekends ago, I packed up all my month's worth of extrovertedness and went to Created for Care
Let's say I prepared myself to not meet anyone...even though I had been told I would meet lifelong friends.
I decided to be brave and go BY MYSELF! I thank God that he had other plans in mind for me.
During the retreat, I was blessed to meet some of the greatest moms.
Moms from my agency! I about tackled the first one I met, Reagan
, with a hug.
Just by sitting with these moms at dinner, during sessions, and hanging out late into the night I was able to learn so much. I was able to hear their stories, see their pictures, and ask questions. At one point, a new friend points at a movie screen and says "THERE! Kara, that is where you will be! IN THAT ROOM!" I loved that.
(literally tears coming to my eyes as I think about it)
These moms literally told me they were excited to walk this path with me and encourage me along the way!
Moms who have been where I am going...PRICELESS!
There was so much during main sessions and breakout sessions that I could share with you, BUT I'm going to share something that the ladies above taught me! (Don't freak out on me...this is just information!)
DID YOU KNOW that children that are HIV+ live a normal healthy life with proper medication?!
I spent the last week reading and researching. AND what I learned is "it's true!!!"
I'm serious, guys. The disease is considered a chronic but manageable disease.
I could try to give you all the info, but just watch this video!
Did you hear that?! When on the proper ARV meds, the virus is undetectable by normal blood tests! AMAZING!!
I mean, come on training material! Why wasn't THAT in my 20 hours of online training?!
The information is so good! A couple of weeks ago a story broke about a baby that was cured. AHHHMAZING!
So, go check out www.projecthopeful.org
and read the facts...facts that are backed up by the CDC!
Let's just say the leading expert on HIV/AIDS and orphan care at the CDC was AT Created for Care...
she's kind of a rockstar!
I hope most of you are going "DUH, Kara! Get with the program!" BUT if you are like me, this is all new information!
(I figure you just said "thank you" for the new information...big smile)
Have you guys been following Kid President? I just found him...like 3 hours ago!
Watch this video!
I'm headed to the store to pick up some CUPCAKES for a pregnant friend! Just to help her have an AWESOME day!
What will you do?