Friday, July 29, 2011

Places I never thought I'd end up . . .

Remember how I told you about the fourteen year old girl we were close to who is pregnant? And then remember how I linked up to this post on Katie's blog? Well a few nights ago, I woke up at 4am because I had to use the bathroom. This is basically a common and nightly occurrence at this point in my pregnancy. In fact, I pretty much have to pee ALL the time and am pretty sure I could go upwards of 28 times every day. That, however, is besides the point. The difference on this night is that my 4am bathroom break came with some persistent and nagging thoughts that simply wouldn't allow me to fall back asleep. Right before bed that night, Adam and I had been talking about Katie and her amazing attitude towards all the people who God had led her to take into her home. Wow, we said, she really gets it and is following Jesus even when it's messy. That's how we want to live our lives too, we decided.

Then in the wee hours of the morning as I climbed back into bed, I felt an annoying nudging in my spirit. I realized that, for two more weeks until our other "roommate/community member" moves in, we have an extra room in our house. And I suddenly knew we were supposed to offer this sweet girl a safe place to stay, even though it's only for a short time.

My immediate response was "umm no Lord." Because I'm about to have a baby. And we've been living with people for a year now, we haven't had any space, any margin, any freedom. And I don't love teenage girls. Well, I LOVE them, I'm just not great at interacting with them. I get all awkward and nervous and don't know what to talk about. Give me Zack and Sabo all day long and I'll talk and laugh and be fine, or give me little kids who I can play with and love on . . . but teenage girls (especially pregnant ones) make me feel like I'm in way over my head (which I am, as it turns out).

For the next hour, I wrestled with the Lord and reminded Him of all the reasons this was a TERRIBLE idea (most of which included my comfort). But through it all, I kept hearing a quiet voice reminding me "“I am entrusting you with much."

My wrestling included much tossing and turning, and at one point at about 5am or so, Adam asked me "are you ok?"

My reply? "I think we need to let Sharonda live with us." How's that for a 5am wake up call?

We prayed together and agreed to talk to her mom about it the next day. So today, we will go pick her up, and for the next two weeks we will have a pregnant fifteen year old (her birthday was last week) living in our spare room. Oh and somewhere in there I'm fairly certain we will also have our baby and hopefully close on our house.

Lest you think we are anything special or doing a single bit of this on our own strength, allow me to just confess that yesterday when we went to talk to her mom, I was thinking and hoping that maybe God just wanted me to agree to it and be WILLING to sacrifice my comfort for someone in need. Maybe He wasn't going to make me actually go through with it. But sometimes God has bigger plans, and sometimes we really do have to make sacrifices and do things we don't necessarily WANT to do in order to love those around us more fully, and to experience Christ more completely. And I know that the Enemy seeks to whisper lies that will distract us from doing God's work, to keep us focused only on ourselves and our own comfort.

But for this one time, like Katie says,
"I look up. And His voice is so much louder than satan’s. “I have entrusted you with much and I have demanded of you much. But only with me will your life bear much. So run. Run and run and run into my arms. Run. Run and run and run into this world sharing this story that has Me at the center. This making of disciples, it is my business. And I am with you always and my burden is light. I spill through your brokenness and I will be glorified. I promise. I will be glorified.” And that is all I want."

Monday, July 25, 2011

Random Tidbits and Links etc

I'm a little brain-fried right now (as usual I suppose) and can't seem to put anything super-coherent together for y'all . . . so for now, here's a quick update in list form, along with some links to some folks who apparently CAN put some coherent (and beautiful) thoughts together in actual paragraph form.

1- I went to the doctor today, and I'm 2 cm dilated. Which means, actually, not a whole lot. We still don't know when Caden will be here, but I'm hoping it will be soon. I'm looking forward to having ankles again.

2- Jayci decided to stop napping. Which, you know, sorta sucks. It would be ok (well better than it is now) if she decided this and just didn't NEED naps anymore, but the no napping thing leads to a hot, disastrous mess by 4pm or so every day . . . Not to mention that I'm not sure how to get a single thing done without those blissful two hours of nap time.

3-No, we still haven't closed on our house. Which is awesome. Or not.

4- Now that Caden's arrival is getting so close, we're at "home" instead of at camp. Which makes me miss all my camp friends and kiddos. But seeing as I don't feel much like I can even walk, let along play with large quantities of children . . . it's probably for the best.

5- One of my favorite blogs, Sit a Spell, is doing a series on serving the poor, particularly for those of us who are living in the U.S of A. You can read the series here, and trust me you wont regret it. Well, it might not make life easier for you, but you will be challenged and hopefully catch a glimpse of the heart of Jesus for the poor.

6- Speaking of catching a glimpse of Jesus, I never fail to be amazed by how Katie shines the love of Christ in such tangible ways. Just read this and you will see what I mean.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Banana Costume

I realize it's been all week without an update or post from me. So for those of you who still read this (hi mom!) I am STILL pregnant, and we STILL haven't closed on our house.

Despite the annoyance of the fact that I'm starting to feel as though we will never ever ever be done with this house process (Dear SunTrust, I hate strongly dislike you. Sincerely, Becca), we are still managing to have some fun with folks from our neighborhood. Last Saturday after we got back from camp, we picked Zack and Sabo because we needed some ringers for our awesome kickball team, 41 Force. Our team color was yellow, so Adam picked up a few yellow accessories for our teammates from the camp costume stash. For some reason, we couldn't convince Zack or Sabo to wear the banana costume or chicken suit. But hey, I'm just glad they lost as gracefully as they did. Our team apparently lacked slightly in the kickball skillz department. All I'm saying is that one of the teams we played had some professional kickballers on their team. Seriously, y'all should have seen this man pitch.

I really don't understand why they weren't more intimidated by us.

 Because they wouldn't let me play (hello 9 months pregnant), my job was to keep on eye on these three little rugrats. Which, I continue to maintain, was a FAR more difficult job than playing kickball in the 95 degree weather. Plus, Jayci was apparently confused as to our team color and insisted on wearing her pink sunglasses and pink helmet.
 I know they look cute, but seriously these two together are nothing short of Trouble (yup, with a capital "T").
 Luckily, Jay is just about the easiest, cutest baby ever created so he didn't contribute to the chaos caused by the other two.
 And here's a shot of the entire team following two devastating losses. I wish I could say they were close games, but they weren't. Not at all.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Ridiculous

Just popping in with a quick house update. FHA apparently cancelled our loan because Suntrust took so long with the process. Cool. Now we get to start over. Well, at least we have to get the appraisals re-issued and so on and so forth. Oh and did I mention I'm about to pop and could have a baby any day now?

Again, I'm not sure what God is teaching us through all this. But I'm a little over this lesson and wish we could go on and move ahead to the next one. The good news is that we are trying to potty train Jayci right now (we kept saying we were going to wait until we moved into our house and before we knew it, she was almost three and still adamantly in diapers). So today is the day. Which means I've been cleaning up some pee. Which is also fun, and throw in some major contractions and other pains because, well, frankly I'm ginormous - and I'm in a fantastic mood. Or not at all.

It is, however, hard to stay in a foul mood with this little one running around. Currently she is "making herself all pretty so she can get married." Don't you think the Dora underwear adds a little something special to the ensemble?

Friday, July 15, 2011

3 weeks to go

We are now about 3 weeks ago from Caden's due date. And if you ask me if I'm ready for this baby, I still feel like the answer is probably an emphatic and slightly panicky "NO!" Luckily the doctor told me I'm not dilated or anything yet, so I'm hoping we at least have two more weeks to get ourselves mentally and physically prepared for his arrival. Besides, we're at camp until tomorrow and camp doesn't necessarily seem like the most ideal choice of a location for going into labor . . .

The good news is that the appraisal (remember all that drama from forever ago?) FINALLY came through at what we need it to . . . so now we are just waiting to figure out when we can close on the house. We're just hoping it will be in the next week so hopefully it's before Caden makes his entrance.

And did I mention that these two boys were with us at camp last week? I think they had fun (although remember they dont like to smile for pictures, so it's hard to tell except in the one where I caught Zack laughing hysterically because Sabo was passing gas).


And Jayci also had fun at camp. She was insistent on joining in every activity, including the food fight. She marched along in her diaper (I know, someone potty train that girl already) right behind her daddy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Seeing it in them

One of our favorite things to do these days is sit out on the front porch and just watch our new neighborhood. Perched on white wicker furniture with pink strawberry cushions, we swat at flies, sip our peach milkshakes (we like homemade milkshakes ok?) and observe a culture in so many ways completely removed from everything we've ever known or lived before. Small children run through the streets at all hours of the night, cars pull up with their music blaring to solicit drugs and girls alike, dice games accompanied by loud jeering and shouting is commonplace, sirens blaze by, and occasionally fireworks or gunshots will ring out above the normal neighborhood din.

The streets are a fascinating and dangerous place in neighborhoods like ours, and we are quickly realizing how powerful a hold they have on those who inhabit them.

In the last few weeks, we have gotten to know a few of the teenagers who live in the house next door to us. Unfortunately, two of them were just recently arrested for burglarizing other houses on our street (thankfully not ours). We were telling one of the other moms that we've worked with for a while now about these boys and how they have been spending time on our front porch, eating freeze-pops and discussing Top Gun and Tom Cruise, and how sad we were to hear about the choices they are making. We told her how much we like these boys and enjoyed their company.

She asked us: "So you can see it in them?"

And that's just it right there. We can totally see it in them. We see the beauty and worth, we see their potential, we see who they could become . . .  they just dont see it in themselves. And until they do, they will continue to make decisions based on the lies that their neighborhood and the enemy are telling them.

One of our 14 year old girls (who we are really close to) just revealed to us that she is 20 weeks pregnant, by a 15 year old boy who recently got out of juvenile for stealing cars. And guess what? We can see it in her too. She's beautiful and precious and has so much leadership potential. But she doesn't see it. She doesn't believe, deep down, that she is WORTH IT. And that's why she fell right into the trap that she needs someone to love her, like a man (boy really) or a baby, to be complete. But the truth is that only one thing, only one love, will ever really satisfy her. And until she sees herself the way her One True Love sees her, she will continue to let the streets steal her future.

So pray with us for our neighborhood, for our kiddos especially, that their eyes and ears would be opened to Truth. That they would see in themselves what we can see in them. And that they would live up to all the beauty and worth within them.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Feeling Patriotic

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this lately, but I'm Canadian. So I've never been big into the whole patriotic thing and enjoy the fourth of July mainly for the food. However, this year Adam's mom bought Jayci a special festive dress that she loves, and we celebrated some fresh peach ice cream on our way down to camp, and ended the day with fireworks with all the kiddos..







Sunday, July 3, 2011

Camp Again

I have lots to say, but I'm not quite sure how to say it yet. So I'm just going to post pictures from this week at camp. . .

We got to bring some of our kiddos this week - I'm pretty sure they had a great time!







Jayci apparently still loves to model for me. I'm not complaining about it either.


 You know what else Jayci loves? Samaya. She's a little obsessed actually.


 
(it usually takes at least three tries to get a good one . . . )

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