{Dangerous Prayer} 2014 in Review.

Almost a year ago, I prayed the most dangerous prayer of my life. The fruits of this prayer have been manifesting ever since. You see, my prayer took place while I was cleaning my house. I don’t remember what I said exactly, but I recall asking the Lord to fill my rooms and fill them for his glory.

It started in January of 2014. I had recently graduated with my Master’s Degree in Business Administration and my husband and I decided to celebrate the accomplishment by taking a trip to Haiti. I’ve been to Haiti several times and am in love with the culture and the people.

When we went, we told our Pastor that we had plans to start a family when we returned. He and his wife prayed over us before we left. I felt confident we could conceive quickly because I had done everything the right way. I had it all under control. We’d been saving for medical expenses for a year, had the OK from the OBGYN, had stable jobs, and degrees. This was the farthest thing from the truth; the Lord immediately took control orchestrated a plan far superior then anything I could have crafted on my own.

After our trip, my heart longed to help our friend, long-time interpreter, John Robert get to America to attend college. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’d wake up at night, I’d Google scholarships, I started networking with people and making connections, I felt certain I was the friend that was supposed to help him. J encouraged me to get a game plan together for fundraising and then educate myself on the potential risks of bringing an international to school in America. I went full-steam ahead and completed the necessary paperwork to get John Robert to America.

In April, over Easter, I was blessed with a trip to Haiti. It was on the other side of the island and not where my friends were, but I knew I had to get John Robert to me. I had the paperwork he needed to get to the States, and I wanted to surprise him. I bused him to the mission along with two friends, and gave him the paper he needed to get a Visa appointment. If all went well, he would be coming to the USA for college in the fall. At this point, John Robert, my friends, family, and I launched a fundraising campaign to pay for his education.

During this time, Jason and I were still trying for a family and every period came and went with disappointment. I was consumed with fundraising for John Robert and trying to chart my ovulation, and didn’t realize at the time, but this was the first response to my dangerous prayer. The Lord was filling my rooms.

In May, Jason and I received a call from our family and social worker in Pennsylvania. They asked if we would be interested in fostering to adopt one of our distant relatives. As a ten year old, they explained it would be hard, but that we were the only hope for making sure she didn’t age out of the system (older kids are not usually adopted). We didn’t hesitate with our response. We love our family and didn’t want to lose our cousin to strangers, so we asked what we could do. We were encouraged to get certified in KY to be foster parents. Again, I was awake at night, I googled, made phone calls, and we went full steam ahead. We started foster parenting classes in the state of Kentucky and committed to eleven weeks of grueling work.

We were able to have two transitional visits with our cousin (little mama) over the summer. This helped her see where she would live and helped us make sure we felt confident in our decision. Each visit went well and we decided to continue pushing forward with the process. We completed our parenting classes in August.

By this time, Jason and I had still been unsuccessful at conception, but had our friend John Robert in America, enrolled in school, and on campus. We also had little mama’s room ready and our family, friends, and co-workers had thrown us showers, so her closet and toy chest was chalked full in anticipation of her arrival. This was the second response to my dangerous prayer. The Lord was filling my rooms.

We decided to plan a vacation in the fall and take a trip with our friends to Destin, FL. At this point, we had stopped “trying”. I threw the ovulation kits away; I stopped charting, and just focused my efforts on helping John Robert adjust to life in America and stayed in prayer for little mama. We were told she would likely arrive around Thanksgiving because the state didn’t like transitioning kids during the school year. I kept praying for her and felt confident that she would be here before the Holidays. I wanted her to adjust to normal life in KY as soon as possible. So, a week before we left for Destin, we got the call. Little mama and her social worker would meet us at the Lexington airport on September 30. This cut our vacation short, but we didn’t care. We were excited to start our lives as parents and to help her know love.

When little mama moved in, she immediately started asking about siblings. She has a big sister, but wanted to be a big sister. This stung a bit, since we had been trying for months, but we assured her that when the time was right, we would give her a sibling. We brushed this off and focused our efforts on her and John Robert.

In October, I was late. I had previously thrown away all my tests, and kits, so I didn’t think much about the possibility of being pregnant right away. But when my period still didn’t come, I asked our research nurse at work for a test. I holed myself up in the bathroom at work and took the test in the middle of the day. The line was faint, but it was positive. One of my docs caught me coming out of the bathroom and asked why I was so white. I shoved the test towards him and he laughed and said, “you need to go upstairs and get blood drawn”.

In my head, this was a joke. I had too much going on. Sure, we had tried to conceive for months, but it was a fruitless endeavor. The Lord had already blessed me with little mama and John Robert. I had to focus my efforts on them and not be distracted by the “what ifs” of a baby. The blood came back after two hours (we ran it STAT. I was a mess) and it was positive. I was pregnant.

When I came home from work that night, I waited until little mama got in the shower and handed J the urine test and the lab work. I immediately walked away. He was confused until I said the words, “I’m pregnant”. In typical J fashion, he said, “you are always on pinterest and reading blogs… is this is the best you could do?” He wanted some fancy announcement, but all the energy I could muster was used to hand him the results. This was officially the third response to my dangerous prayer. The Lord had filled my rooms.

We waited to tell John Robert until he visited in November. His immediate response was, “this was my prayer”. And then we waited a bit longer to tell little mama by giving her a shirt that said “big sister”. Her immediate response was, “this was my prayer”. It took days for these responses to sink in and for me to understand the magnitude of what God had done in ten short months. He positioned me to surrender my plans and to believe that his words were true. When my husband and I poured our lives out and gave it away, the Lord filled it back up. He filled my rooms. He answered the cries of my heart. He made a family out of his fabric and wrote a story that only he was capable. I learned to surrender my ideas and focus on the plan God has for our family. By being open to His timeline, His goals, and His will, my family flourished, my prayers were answered, and all the rooms in my home are filled (the last room due to be filled in June 2015!). God is good.

 

 

 

 

A Break.

Hi Y’all! For those of you that frequent this lil’ blog of mine, you may have wondered why I have been MIA for the past month or so. At the beginning of the summer, my blog posts converted into a trickle from what I considered a steady stream of posts, ideas and grand tales… Then last month, the blog took a halt… I stopped blogging. First I stopped blogging because I was busy and then I developed a brief writer’s block. I didn’t really know what to say or how to say it so I just stopped trying. It was easier that way. Now as I stare at the blank page that’s before me, I feel renewed. I know that the page is a blank canvas for me to use in order to spill out thoughts and a platform to foster the creative side of me. For this renewed feeling, I am grateful.
I can’t wait to start writing more but until the content is developed (or I feel inspired), here is a preview of what I’ve been doing this summer. It’s been so awesome! 
(Oh yeah… the photos, mostly iphone! Quality— not so much!)
 1. I finished another quarter at school and am one step closer to graduation. I’m pretty stoked!
2. My friend, sister and husband traveled with me to Haiti for two weeks. I’ll tell you more about that later. 
3. The hubs and I went to Bunbury Festival in Cincinnati. So much fun!
4. Before we went to Haiti, we had the opportunity to visit Moline, IL where my friend lives. 
We loved the John Deere exhibit. 
5. We had family lunch a few days ago and it was really nice. The older I get the more I cherish family time. 
Doesn’t it look like a great time? It was. Have you had a fun summer? If so, tell me all about it. 

Weekend Love.

I had so much fun this weekend. J was out of town and I had the house and the schedule all to myself. I have always been independent so enjoy alone time very much (sleeping alone is for the birds though!). 
On Saturday, I attended the Arthritis Walk and had the pleasure of working with a committee to ensure that this event was a success. We met at the Legends ballpark at 6:30 AM to get everything set up for the event. The weather was wonderful and the turn-out was impressive. During the walk, they had a local emcee announce and briefly interview some of the honorees for the walk. One little guy, Cameron stood out to me the most. He was diagnosed with arthritis at an early age and has proven to be quite the fighter. His family has travelled all over the nation and educated folks by reminding them that “kids get arthritis too!”— SO SWEET! 

After the walk, I went to celebrate the first birthday of my long-time friend’s baby boy! We had such a great time watching him interact with the other kiddos. My other friend Margaret and I represented the high school group of friends that afternoon and I think we did a pretty great job! 

The weekend wrapped up with a ladies night at Nick Ryan’s Saloon ( a local restaurant… DELISH) and a Sunday filled with relaxation and the return of my man
I love the weekends because I can PLAY! What fun things did you do this weekend?

Zumba Fitness 2 House Party

I hosted a Zumba Fitness 2 House Party this weekend. My girlfriends and I were able to shake our booties and get some swag! We LOVED it! 
House Party sent me a party pack last week. It included the following: Wii belts, Zumba bracelets, coupons for accessories and apparel, one week pass to 24-hour Fitness for the ladies and a copy of the newest wii game and Z Life magazine for me! 
We had such a good time learning how to booty pop and salsa that we almost forgot we were actually working out! Zumba really introduces fun into your work outs and helps you shed calories quickly. We read an article in the Z Life magazine about Mandisa and her weight loss journey and were able to use that as a platform to encourage one another to stay active and eat better. 
I love having the opportunity to fellowship with friends and am glad we were able to come together in a healthy way. Thanks, House Party for making my weekend so special!