“The Plan”

Posted on 23. May, 2012 by in Adoption Process, Family Life, Parenting

We got an email in the wee hours of the morning today from the US Embassy in Addis saying Samuel’s case has cleared and are ready to go get our sweet boy and bring him home! Forever!!!  I’m seriously over-the-moon excited that this time has finally come!  This morning I booked our flights (we leave in just 5 days!) and the next few days are going to be a bit of a whirlwind, I’m sure.  David and I have discussed in depth our plans for the upcoming weeks and months and think that it’s important to make at least parts of it public so that our friends and family can better understand where we are at, why we’re doing the things we’re doing, and what we need.  Everything we are doing is based on research and wisdom gleaned from both professionals and families who have walked this path before us.  This is technically an attachment plan – a plan intended to bring healthy bonding and attachment with our son.  To him, we’re just strange white people who talk in a weird language and smell funny.  He doesn’t understand that we’re his mommy and daddy.  He doesn’t even know what a mommy and daddy are.   When he gets home, he’s going to feel totally overwhelmed and afraid.  He’s lived nearly his whole life in basically the same environment and it’s not at all like our home.  My heart breaks when I think of what it will be like for him.

So what do we do?  First of all, once we are home we will stay. at. home.  People who know me well know that I am usually busy and staying on the move.  But for the first few weeks, our goal is to keep Samuel completely at home (except for doctor visits).  We need this time together without distractions, and he needs to become comfortable here in our home and realize this is his safe place.  So, don’t expect to see us out and about right away.  Our goal is at least two weeks, but we may extend this if we feel that’s best for Samuel.  This is all about him and we will move at his pace until we see clear signs that he is bonding to us and feeling totally comfortable in our home.

We will be holding him.  A lot.  Like constantly.  Either in our arms or in the Ergo carrier.  And for those first few weeks, only David or I will hold him.  He has to know we are “IT” for him.  Only we will feed him.  Only we will change him.  Only we will bathe him.  He has to learn that we are his caregivers.  We are the ones who will meet his every need, whether physical or emotional.  Because that’s what mommies and daddies do.  And he doesn’t know that yet.

We will be making him the priority.  Cuddling.  Singing.  Playing.  Doing whatever it takes to make him look us in the eye.  So, if my phone or emails don’t get answered right away, or I don’t comment on your Facebook posts, please understand.  This is the single most important thing going on in our lives for a while.  Everything else can wait.  This time of bonding and attachment is of vital importance to the future health and happiness of our son and our family.

For a few months (at least), either David or I will be with Samuel all the time.  Yes, a time will come when he will need to learn that we can both leave and we will come back.  But we can’t rush that.  This kind of security is not learned instantaneously.  We won’t be leaving him in the nursery at church, at least for a while.  I have nothing against our nursery at church.  Our girls were  in there every service and we never worried for a minute because we knew they were in good hands.  This is different for Samuel. A nursery environment is so much like the environment he’s coming from and could be really hard for him to process.  Multiple babies, multiple caregivers, etc.  It’s set up so much like the room he’s lived in for these many months. If you look at that from the perspective of an orphan it makes perfect sense. If he’s in there, I will be there with him.

We have such awesome, supporting friends and family and I know some of you will want to know if you can help us through this transition.  You can!  First of all, please pray for us!  We know that this is going to be hard.  We’re going to be emotionally spent, mentally and physically exhausted, and on a roller coaster of emotions.  We need prayers.  Our precious boy needs prayers even more.  Please pray for healing for his little heart.  There is no way to measure the trauma and pain he has endured.  And yes, I firmly believe that even babies know this trauma and pain.  And may struggle for a long time to come.  The memories may not be vivid as they would for an older child, but I believe that subconsciously they are there.  He needs healing.  And our Jesus heals.

Our girls need prayer too.  They are so excited to bring Samuel home but are also feeling nervous about the unknowns.  This is going to shake things up quite a bit and it’s going to be tough for them for a little while.  If you feel led to do something special for them it would be welcome!

Meals will be welcomed with open hands and growling bellies.  It will be survival mode for a few weeks.  Between jet lag, doctor appointments, having an infant adjusting to a new environment (and perhaps not sleeping well), and trying to give him undivided attention while not letting our girls feel neglected. . . Well, I’m sure you can put it together easily enough.  Cooking our “normal” meals will be low on the totem pole.  I’m sure everyone will get tired of cereal or sandwiches for dinner pretty quick.

I know many people will be anxious to meet this little one they’ve been praying for for so long.  And we want you to meet him, too!  If you want to visit, that’s fine!  Just call first and don’t let me get so chatty that I keep you hostage for the rest of the day.  That really could happen since I may well be starved for some social interaction.  But seriously, please help us keep visits fairly short through this initial period.  Phone calls, cards, and Facebook messages are all welcome — even requested!  We’ll be looking for encouragement!  Send me every hilarious You Tube video that comes your way.  It may come at a moment when I need to laugh so I don’t cry.

Thank you for being a blessing to us.  So many of you who will read this have encouraged our family in many ways throughout our long journey.  And we are so grateful!  We look forward to you being part of our son’s life and showing him what it means to be surrounded by people who love you.

Waiting for His Coming,

Erin

You CAN afford adoption!

Posted on 07. May, 2012 by in Adoption Process, Fundraising, Uncategorized

I will be honest, it is a huge struggle for me when people say, “We would love to adopt, BUT. . . .”  And most of the time it is followed by something related to money.  I just want to grab them by the shoulders and say, “You CAN do it!  You just have to be WILLING!” I will be the first to acknowledge that most adoptions, both domestic and international come with great expense.  I wish that weren’t true, but it is.  And at the beginning of the process, the dollar signs can look so big and scary that it’s hard to see past it to the beauty of a child whose life you can change forever. . . and who will forever change your life!  What we really can’t afford is to say NO to adoption!

I was just thinking yesterday about writing about some of the things we did that helped us pay for our adoption.  And then today, I saw one of my favorite websites, moneysavingmom.com featured a guest post on this very topic!  It was so good and so in-line with what I wanted to write that I just thought I’d share it here.  Just click here to read the article.

We did many of the things listed in the article, including having a fundraiser yard sale, cutting down on our eating meals out, and saying goodbye to our cable tv.  I made jewelry and other items and sold them here on iwillcometoyou.com and on etsy.com.  We designed fundraiser adoption t-shirts and signed up with Just Love Coffee’s fundraiser program.  Money was really tight when we got our referral and had to pay the final fees to our agency and then all of our travel expenses for our court trip, so my husband sold his beloved truck  and bought an inexpensive little car which would not only save us money in fuel costs, but also profited us several thousand dollars to apply toward the adoption costs.  There is sacrifice involved, no doubt, and there have been many occasions when we’ve said ‘no’ to things we wanted to buy or do but we have NO REGRETS!

There are awesome organizations that offer adoption grants, too, and I know many families who’ve benefited from them.  Our church graciously gave us a grant from an adoption fund they established several years ago and that, along with several other kind gifts from individuals have been a huge help.

We stand now at the end of this adoption simply amazed at God’s faithful provision.  We are a living testimony to the truth that when God calls you to do something, He WILL provide what you need to do it!  If you feel a tug on your heart to adopt, don’t let financial fears stop you! You may need to make sacrifices for a season but it is oh. so. worth. it!  And the journey will grow your faith in a way that nothing else will.

“The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” I Thessalonians 5:24

Waiting for His Coming,

Erin

Samuel David

Posted on 03. May, 2012 by in Adoption Process, Africa, Christianity/Faith, Family Life, International Adoption, Parenting, Uncategorized

We are thrilled to introduce our son, Samuel David.  For more than two years – long before we ever saw his face – we labored in prayer for this child.  On February 8 we received his referral and were instantly smitten by his adorable face.  But when we saw his name on the referral paperwork, our hearts nearly burst in awe and gratitude to God.  Samuel.  “God hears.”  Every single prayer we prayed for our child was heard by God.  Even in the darkest days of waiting when it felt like our prayers were hitting the ceiling, our perfect, sovereign, faithful God was orchestrating the unimaginable to connect our lives to the life of our son.  Through tragic beginnings, God had a beautiful, redemptive plan.  We are so humbled to be a part of it. We have come to treasure the Scripture Isaiah 61:3, “. . . and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”  Beauty from ashes.  For the display of HIS splendor.

One of the first photos we received with his referral information

His middle name is David.  “Beloved.”  Named for his Daddy, proof of his sonship, a glorious reminder of our own adoption.  We are the beloved son and daughter of God, adopted by Him who we can freely call ‘Abba’, literally, ‘Daddy.’  Our hearts resonate when we read I John 3:1-2: “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! . . . Beloved, now we are the children of God. . . .”  And Romans 8:15: “For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption [sonship], by which we cry, Abba, Father.”

Together at last

Our "Meetcha Moment"

 

On April 5 we stood before judge in Ethiopia and heard her say, “He is yours.”  We are so richly blessed by this incredible gift from God.  Our times with him in Ethiopia were sweet.  Cuddling, coaxing smiles and giggles, rocking to sleep, giving bottles and even having the joy of feeding him cereal for his first time!  We fell hard in love with him and with the indescribably beautiful country of Ethiopia and its people.  We are eager to return and bring our son home forever.  Until then, we rejoice in God’s grace and goodness.

Waiting for His Coming,

Erin

My shirt is a caption within a photo!

No longer fatherless

First Quarter Book Report

Posted on 13. Mar, 2012 by in Christianity/Faith, Family Life, Housework and Organization, Personal Growth

I always liked book reports when I was a student.  I enjoyed reading and I didn’t even mind writing, so this was always an easy assignment for me.  When I became an English teacher it was my job to assign and grade six book reports a year for each of my students.  Call me crazy, but I really liked it.  Other than wearily treading through the occasional grammar and spelling mine field, I always found it interesting to read what my students thought about and gleaned from the books that they read. Whether or not you particularly benefit from reading my thoughts on the books I’ve been reading from my 2012 book list, it helps me to write it all out so please indulge me.  Hopefully you won’t feel like you’re in the mine fields of grammar deficiencies as you read on, and you won’t have to get out your red pen, I promise. Here we go.

I’m on track in my Bible reading and I’m still working through Trust, Hope, Pray and Never Alone: Devotions for Couples.

The first book I completed was The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman.  I was familiar with the concepts of this book before reading it, but it was very helpful to get an in-depth look at the five primary love languages; words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.  David and I both read this and discussed it as we went along.  We really felt like this book helped us in understanding one another better and to intentionally speak the love language of the other.  It was a valuable experience and I’d highly recommend this book.  My primary love language is quality time, by the way.

I also read Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider.  This was more than just a reading assignment.  It was an intense, in-depth experience requiring me to carefully go through my house one room at a time, empty it, scrub it thoroughly, and refill it with only things that we either use or love.  Everything else gets tossed, sold, or donated.  This took several weeks for me to accomplish, and I’m still not totally finished.  I might not have gotten as extreme as she would recommend, but I did clean out a lot of junk – both trash and clutter, and I feel like my home is more manageable as a result.  For me, that’s a win/win situation.

I read the first two books in the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games and Catching Fire.  I wasn’t sure if I would, but I really liked them. A lot.  I’m anxious to start the third one but I forced myself to take a little break, since I was also in the middle of the Organized Simplicity project.  Not a normal genre for me at all.  But hey, broadening my horizon’s is what it’s all about!

One book I read wasn’t on my original reading list.  Our Sunday School class was studying it, so David and I decided it would be extremely profitable to read it.  It’s called What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage by Paul David Tripp.  The book is fairly lengthy and it took a while to get through because the principles require some digestion in order to fully soak it all in.  The study came at a time when we needed it and our marriage has profited greatly from taking the truths in this book to heart. Good stuff.

And just a side note (because I can’t resist), we will meet our son in 20 days!  Woohoo!!!

Waiting for His Coming,

Erin

 

 

We Have A Son!

Posted on 06. Mar, 2012 by in Adoption Process, Christianity/Faith, Family Life, International Adoption

Our referral story is not at all what I’d always envisioned.  I waited expectantly for months for the phone to ring and to hear the infamous words, “This is your referral call.  . .” cuing a gush of happy tears and screams of joy.  Not. What. Happened.  First of all the phone rang at 5:45 pm on Monday, February 6.  My kids were having a screaming fight (because it was, after all, that time of day — you know, when I’m trying to cook supper and everyone is grouchy — tell me I’m not the only one!) and I didn’t hear my phone fast enough.  Our family coordinator left a vague voicemail about having something to talk to me about but she was heading out of the office and would call tomorrow.  I called her back immediately but she was already gone.  Really?!? I was an absolute wreck.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep that night as I wondered what it all meant.  Was it nothing more than a simple paperwork question or did they want us to adjust our age range (meaning there was a potential referral older than our age request)?  By morning I was sure this was it.  There was a toddler boy for us.  I was so convinced that I was already making a mental checklist for bringing home a toddler instead of a baby.  In my mind I’d already put the crib in the attic and bought a toddler bed.

Then our FC finally called.  And the words I didn’t expect came out of her mouth and tried to register in my brain.  “We have a baby boy, BUT. . . .”  There are some medical concerns. . . did we want to pass?  Did we want to view just the medical part of his referral and consult with doctors?  My heart was racing as I told her I’d talk to David and call her back.  This was not what I expected at all.  Tears of confusion nearly choked me as David and I discussed it.  We were extremely guarded and cautious as we took the course of gathering his medical info, researching, and setting up an appointment with our doctor.  After another sleepless night, much prayer, a lengthy doctor consultation, and hours of independent research, we were decided and at perfect peace.  THIS IS OUR SON.

*Sidenote:  We have chosen to keep the details of his medical history and of the tragic circumstances in his life that brought him to our family private.  One day, he may choose to tell his story, and that’s fine with us.  But for now, we are protecting that story for him until such a time as he knows it himself and can choose what he wants the world to know.  We are grateful to you all for respecting that choice!  (By the way, he is NOT HIV+.  In fact, we have reason to believe that he is and will continue to be very healthy. We don’t want anyone to jump to incorrect conclusions.)

Finally, on Wednesday, February 8, after a couple of the most agonizing and emotionally exhausting days of our lives,  we received his full referral and saw his precious little face for the first time.  We were instantly smitten!   He was four months old and tiny with the most captivating huge brown eyes.  We can’t share pictures or his name online yet– not until we pass court.  We’ll share all of that as soon as we’re able!  I’ve been busy with a home study amendment, I-171H renewal, booking flights, and cleaning out my house like a crazy woman (worse nesting now than with my two bio daughters!) We have received a court date of April 5 and are counting down the days until we meet our son and hold him in our arms for the first time.

Thank you so much for rejoicing with us in God’s unbelievable blessing to our family.  Please pray for our baby boy’s continued health as he waits for us in the transition home, and that our final bits of paperwork (h.s. amendment and 1-171H) arrive quickly in Ethiopia so that MOWCYA can review our case and God-willing write us a positive letter before our court date.

Praising the God who “sets the lonely in families,” (Ps. 68:6)

Erin

The Book List: 2012 Edition

Posted on 30. Jan, 2012 by in Adoption Process, Christianity/Faith, Parenting, Personal Growth, Uncategorized

 

 

 

 

Except for the books that are on my iPad, this is my stack!

 

 

 

As promised, I’m sharing my book list mentioned in my last post, Bookin’ It In 2012.  In addition to reading through the Bible, I’ve chosen 24 books of various genres for this year.  I’m determined to read at least these 24 and then I have several more that I’d like to read if I finish these, including I’m Chocolate You’re Vanilla, The Money Saving Mom’s Budget, Cutting for Stone, Orphanology, 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess and The Help.  I’d also like to read more historical books on Ethiopia before we travel there.  My long-term list includes about a zillion others, but I’ll stop there and get on with the current list.  Here we go. . . .

Non-Fiction

The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt

Fields of the Fatherless: Discover the Joy of Compassionate Living by Tom Davis

Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate by Jerry Bridges

Organized Simplicity: The Clutter-Free Approach to Intentional Living by Tsh Oxenreider

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp

Bloodlines: Race, Cross, and the Christian by John Piper

Jesus + Nothing = Everything by Tullian Tchividjian

Biography

Kisses From Katie: A Story of Relentless Love and Redemption by Katie Davis

A Chance to Die: The Life and Legacy of Amy Carmichael by Elisabeth Elliot

Devotional

Never Alone: Devotions for Couples by David and Teresa Ferguson (IN PROGRESS)

Trust, Hope, Pray: Encouragement for the Task of Waiting by Luke and Trisha Priebe (IN PROGRESS)

Non-Fiction on Adoption

Reclaiming Adoption: Missional Living Through the Discovery of Abba Father edited by Dan Cruver

The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family by Purvis, Cross and Sunshine

Non-Fiction on Parenting and Marriage

Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches by Rachel Jankovic

Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp (IN PROGRESS)

Give Them Grace: Dazzling Your Kids with the Love of Jesus by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick and Jessica Thompson

Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas

The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman (FINISHED)

Fiction

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Joy In the Morning by Betty Smith

Beneath the Lion’s Gaze by Maaza Mengiste

So there you have it!  I’ll try to blog some book reviews along the way.  I always enjoy seeing what people think about a book, especially if I’m on the fence about reading it, so I’ll probably share my opinions as I go.  And after all, that’s what having a blog is all about, right?  Sharing your opinion whether or not anyone cares to listen! :) I’d also really love to listen to you, too.  Have you read any of the books on my list?  If so, what did you think?  Any great recommendations for my future booklists?

Reading While I Wait,

Erin

 

 

Bookin’ It In 2012

Posted on 10. Jan, 2012 by in Family Life, Personal Growth

Proof that there are bookcases in our attic. And many, many boxes of books which I couldn't photograph without also capturing lots of other junk you don't care to see.

When I was a kid, reading was my favorite thing to do.  I read just about every book in the school library and got in trouble many-a night for reading way after lights out.  I adore good books!  My heart skips a beat when I see signs go up for the biannual “Friends of the Library” used book sale. When I go to yard sales or thrift shops, I make a beeline to the book sections.  Consequently I have shelves upon shelves in my house filled with books (even a couple bookcases in the attic!).  The strange thing is, for such a lover of books, I’ve read surprisingly little as an adult.  I’ve often been puzzled by my own lack of reading and I’ve come up with a few reasons for this.  First of all, I find it very tempting to shirk my responsibilities when I become absorbed in a book.  Also, I’m not a fast reader, so it takes me a lot of time to really accomplish any reading. I’m also often tired by the time I pick up a book late in the evening and I DO NOT enjoy the head-bob, losing-my-place-constantly method of reading that results from this situation. Additionally, since quality time is my primary love language, I’ve never liked to spend my evenings with my nose in a book because then I don’t feel like I’m spending any time with my Sweetheart.  Lastly, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I’ve gotten way too used to crashing on the couch and mindlessly vegging out in front of the ol’ boob tube after the kids are in bed and I’m finally done with my “chores”.  There.  I’ve made my excuses.  The end.

I’m not big on making a lot of new year’s resolutions because, well, let’s face it, no one likes to be a failure.  But I did turn over a new leaf this year and resolved to turn the TV off and read much more.  My husband, always supportive,  is trying to make it a little easier by canceling our cable.  Ugh.  I made my 2012 book list after much careful consideration and I’m pretty pumped about it.  And I fully anticipate being able to add a few extras in as the year goes on so I’m making an unofficial back-up list too.  I’m also reading the Bible through cover to cover again, only this time I’m going to take a year to do it rather than 90 days.  (You can read about my adventures with that here, here, and here.)  And now that I’ve stated that publicly, I am under great pressure to finish in order to avoid public shame. Stay tuned for the book list, if you care.  It will appear in a future post.

Waiting for His Coming,

Erin

 

 

On Deck!

Posted on 28. Dec, 2011 by in Adoption Process, Christianity/Faith, International Adoption

Four days before Christmas we got an email from our family coordinator at our agency, AWAA, letting us know we are now on deck! Honestly, this doesn’t change much for us since we’re in the yahoo group for our agency’s Ethiopia families and already knew (from tracking the “unofficial” list kept by all of us adopting families) that we are near the top of the baby boy list. Number 2, actually. But the on deck email simply tells us that our agency expects a referral for our family sometime in the near future.  The timing is very vague since our agency has no way of knowing when a child’s paperwork will be ready for referral.  We sure hope and pray that our wait won’t be too much longer.

We are now in the stage I’ve been dreading.  The stage where our phone could ring any day.  I was telling David last night how torturous this stage is.  Every morning I wake up with a heart full of hope that perhaps “today will be the day” we finally see our child’s face.  And every evening ends with a heavy heart of discouragement.  Each and every day we pray that we will receive The Call.  And each and every day I have to remember that God’s timing is perfect, even though it hurts.  Please pray for us, friends.  Pray for grace and strength for our tired souls.  And please pray that our child will soon be released from the bondage of paperwork that is keeping us from knowing him.  We are so ready for this stage to be over.

Waiting for His Coming,

Erin

Santa Is {Not} Coming To Town

Posted on 23. Dec, 2011 by in Christianity/Faith, Family Life, Parenting, Uncategorized

I remember it like it was yesterday.  I was standing at my cubby in my first grade classroom, hanging up my denim jacket with the yellow lining, chatting excitedly with my best friend about my Christmas wishlist when she dropped a bomb on my world and announced that there was no Santa.  I still remember the awkwardness of my mother when I jumped into our burgundy minivan at the end of the day and confronted her with the question.  Was it true?  My poor parents. I was their firstborn and as my mom has told me since, they were already wrestling with their conscience over the “Santa lie”. My heartbreak was enough for them and the Santa Claus game was over for our family.

I have no desire to upset anyone with this post.  It is true that for some reason people get very defensive on this topic. Some of my very best friends do the Santa thing and I’ve got not issue with them. But I do want to share some of our personal convictions on the issue and explain why my children will give you a very blank stare if you ask them what they’ve asked Santa to bring them.

From the first Christmas with our oldest daughter, the name Santa was tossed around in fun, but we had decided not to join the hosts of parent’s who desperately work to protect the secret that (shhhh!) Santa isn’t real and do all sorts of silly things to try to convince their children that he exists.  We just didn’t feel right about it.  (Notice I said WE.  I’m not trying to be anyone else’s conscience.)  Then I read a wonderful book by Noel Piper, wife to John Piper, titled Treasuring God in Our Traditions, and the feelings became firm conviction.  She brings to light the confusion it must bring to young minds as we try to teach our children the truth about God and His unique attributes, and then give those attributes to Santa as well!  Think about it.  Santa sees everything you do, rewards you for being good, is omnipotent, gives good gifts, etc. If our goal is to help our children understand as much about God as possible at whatever age they are, we are doing them a great disservice to confuse them by celebrating Santa and the manger.  There’s lots more good stuff in her book, but I’ll stop there.

I love the passage in Matthew 19 when the disciples attempted to keep the “pesky”  little children from bothering Jesus, and Jesus rebuked them and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”  I’ve always pictured the Savior gathering these precious children onto his lap. I want nothing more as a mother than to be ushering my children constantly to the “lap” of Jesus. When we teach our children about Jesus, we are taking them to His lap. When we pray with our children about the things that they need or desire, we are taking them to His lap. As I thought about this the other day, I realized the sad comparison. I don’t want to undo all of these efforts at Christmas by suddenly shifting focus and taking them to the lap of Santa to pour out their list of “needs” and desires.  And I certainly don’t want Santa to receive credit for the blessings that we receive that are actually gifts from God.  I just can’t tear my children off of the lap of Jesus to sit a while on Santa’s knee. My conscience won’t allow it.

There is no avoiding the topic of Santa during this season,  but my children view him as nothing more than a pretend character like Rudolph or The Grinch.  And while we enjoy those things as a family to a small extent this time of year, my goal is that when my children think of Christmas, all that comes to their minds is a pure celebration of the birth of our Savior.  It’s the least we can do.

We had so much fun making a nativity scene out of candy this year!


Waiting for His Coming,

Erin

Reclaiming Christmas

Posted on 08. Dec, 2011 by in Christianity/Faith, Family Life, Parenting, Uncategorized

I just wonder what the wise men of old would’ve thought of us when they brought their sacrificial gifts to the little Lord Jesus and knelt before him?  What would Mary have said of the way we celebrate the birth of her Son, the Savior of the World, with crazed shopping and wrapping of piles of packages.  Would Joseph have been offended – he who suffered scorn for following God and marrying a pregnant girl to play his part in the working out of God’s perfect plan of salvation- by the way we give Santa a position of prominence?  Even more, is Christ offended?   What if we, His church, start to reclaim Christmas.  Maybe, just maybe, the world will see the Truth.  There will be a few less “holiday trees” and a few more nativity scenes.  Let’s bow before Him as the wise men, and present to Him the gifts He desires; our sacrificial service and humble adoration.

There are a couple of great blog posts that I’ve read over the last few days that I want to re-blog here.   They are so well worth reading.  It won’t be a super quick read.  It may make you squirm.  It may even convict you to the core.  Or perhaps you’ll read it, evaluate your Christmas traditions, and decide no change is needed.  Regardless, this is good food for thought.

The first is on the blog of Ann Voskamp, author of One Thousand Gifts.  I’m challenged every time I read her writing.   Please read this!  Please, please, please!

The second is written by Jen Hatmaker, also an author and speaker, who just recently added to her family and brought two children home from Ethiopia through our agency, AWAA.  Her sense of humor and down-to-earth nature make her lengthy blog posts an easy read.  Well, sort-of easy.  If it’s ever easy to have your toes stepped on.  Read The Christmas Conundrum and you’ll know what I mean.  I’m still working on digesting this post.

My prayer as I write this is that we will resolve to honor the Lord this and every Christmas, even if it means going against the flow.  He is worthy.

Waiting for His Coming,
Erin