Thursday, October 24, 2013

One More

As we enter into adulthood, it becomes all the more real that age old statement from our parents - "you just wait until ____________". You can fill in the blank - you're my age, or you have children, or you have a house of your own, or you are married for 20 years... But geez, it is all the more startling at just how RIGHT they are. As we enter into adulthood, we begin to embrace the death of our irresponsibility and freedom while also embracing the gratifying experience of responsibility and commitment. Do you feel that as well? For some this happens at 18. Some even 25. Others, more like 45, but we all feel it at some point. I remember realizing at various points in my life, "this is it." I will never be the same. It is monumental and humbling all at the same time.

When Emma, our first born, arrived there was an overwhelming rush of multiple emotions. Not just the understood, "oh my goodness, we have a baby!" Or "this is the most incredible miracle I have ever seen" or "oh my goodness, we have a baby" (said the second time in fear). No, there were more emotions than that. The realization that all of the pretend play you had just some 20 years before has finally come to a reality strikes you on multiple occasions as a woman. The realization that you must make enough money to feed another mouth and put this child through a beneficial educational and life experience strikes you as a man. The awareness of how many things can cause illness or how dangerous a playground is or why a schedule is imperative to peaceful life experience...

...or why your parents said all of the things they said and did all of the things they did. You remember that? When you became aware of words slipping out of your mouth that you had heard from your own mother. I'm not talking about the "because I said so" disciplinary tactic. The ways you express your love for your child, the lullabies you choose to sing as they begin to ring in your memories, the way you contemplate each decision you make because you are seeking to do what is best for your child - the child that has been gifted to you from the very one who gifts us with life.

When Abbi came, there was a fear of as to whether we would be able to effectively invest in the life of another little one as fully as we had our elder. Yet, again, as when Emma came into the world, that rush of emotions flooded our souls as we locked eyes with the unforgettable Abigail Jo. Not only did we get to experience the rush of emotions and tremendous joy all over again with another little one, we also got to witness the incredible growth and interaction of her older sister as she adjusted and accepted a sidekick. There was an indescribable interaction between the two as that first year unfolded. The end result of a year of deep investment by both parents was a little sibling who very obviously idolized the older sibling. In conjunction with that was an older sibling who very obviously mothered the younger one.

Our hearts are blessed with two amazing children, but God has allowed us to feel the pull to experience this rush of emotions one more time. This time, we get to watch two older siblings adjust and accept another family member. This time we get to experience the rush of emotions as this little one not only grows and develops but is also embraced by our family and friends as a treasured gift to our home. This time, we are going to find the joy in knowing that one more is one less - one less in the throes of poverty and dismal existence. One more in our home is one less struggling for life in a world unlike our one. One more is one less to not be exposed to the love of our Heavenly Father.

One more...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Not Quite the Author, Just a Messenger

My life is a story; as is yours. It is a story that has an author who is capable of creating a plot and sequence of events that is beyond my ability to conjure. It is ever changing, ever complicated, ever unpredictable, ever blessed. As I find myself in continual complicated situations, I am reminded that the author and perfector of my faith is at work. My job in this story is to adhere to His word and to be still and listen as He so gently and yet firmly tries to instruct me down the path of righteousness. It is these fascinating stories that I choose to share in posts or written letters or other forms of scribing. For He has also requested that I not be kept silent, but that I boast in Him...not me.

As we progress towards a new day in our family, I feel it important to utilize what God has blessed me with in order to further His kingdom and to expose His greatness. Currently, I am working on a collection of family devotions for families to share with one another as they are encouraged to speak openly about their faith and relationship with Jesus Christ. Part of our great struggle with overcoming the world in this generation is that we are unable to speak of the One who speaks on our behalf to the Creator. In order to attain that boldness that is needed to recapture the world for the kingdom of God, we must first practice that boldness with those we are most comfortable. Speaking openly about your faith with your family and discussing the interpretation of the scripture with others who can walk alongside you in deciphering God's word is an invaluable tool giving you strength and wisdom to then in turn speak truth to those who are not in your immediate circle.

God is so clear in His word of the things He wants for us. Yet we are afraid to take hold of it because we are afraid of the world. Immediately advancing into the darkness without a firm footing on His word and His grace can be dangerous and damaging. Yet knowing His truth and trusting His guidance will provide us with the tools we need to face those who are in need of returning to their Creator. Practicing your faith with those who already share it is imperative training for battle.

I am not the author of anything, but merely the messenger of the message that He has placed upon my heart. May your family engage in training for battle as we seek to regain the kingdom of God.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


My brother and I have been excellent students all throughout our academic career. We both were blessed with the ability to write and to communicate our thoughts on paper. We both can give credit to similar educators as I followed him through the same educational institutions that instilled in us the framework to create written messages. Yes, this is a great trait that we both have in common. Coinciding with this great gift is also our amazing ability to wait until the very last minute to finish, or even begin something. I will never forget my freshman year in college I had this huge 10 page paper due on Machiavelli. This was my first semester and an intimidating professor. The super cool thing about this assignment was that I could submit it via email; something I had never been able to do before. So because there was an option to submit this assignment electronically, we had until midnight.

Of course, you know where this is going. At 11:15pm the evening that my assignment was due, I completed the paper. Whew, right? Nope, not yet. I begin to run spell check (Thank you God for spell check). During this process, my computer crashed. I had saved NOTHING! So, through tears and hyperventilating, I called my computer savvy brother and fellow procrastinator to help me. Through the grace of God, Jason walked me through rebooting my computer and recovering my paper. I submitted it at 11:57pm. After that fiasco, one would assume that I have improved upon my delay of completion of tasks. Some, but I am still a work in progress.

In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul is continuing in his loving correction and parenting of the church in Corinth. During this passage he is speaking to them concerning giving. In the midst of his very detailed explanation of where giving should be from, he calls them out on talking the talk, but not walking the walk. As many people today, they are not meaning to be unclear in their demonstration of their faith, but they are also not carrying out some important acts that are necessary in expressing to God and to others their love for Him and their true commitment to this newfound faith.

"And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means." 2 Corinthians 8: 10-11.

This passage pierced my heart today as I have had many a good idea, but never been able to completely follow through. My house is a house of unfinished projects. I long to find completion in something as the unfinished business around me leaves me with sleepless nights. As I wrestle with this very clear message, I am aware that my energy and time must be focused on and reflective of my priorities. Today is a day where I seek to begin to improve upon previous behavior that is not matched by my eagerness.

Oh God, may I have the time and the energy and the wits about me to prioritize and begin to clean off my desk. In so doing, Father, I know that you will then make the direction of my path more clear. In so doing, You will allow me peace. In so doing, my heart will be at rest. In so doing, I will have more time for the relationships of which you have blessed me. In so doing, I will see Your glory all the more clearly. Thank you for the clarity of your word.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Well, the official planning and coordinating of the auction we are to have to raise money for this new addition to our home is underway. There is excitement in the air in not only our home, but also the community. I cannot begin to describe to you the feeling when I got the first response of someone willing to bake a good to sell at the auction or the first response of someone willing to attend our event. You have experienced it before. It is that feeling where you realize that "this is really happening." It would be similar to the first kick of your baby moving inside you. It would be that first time you get on the elevator to go to your office at your first official job. Perhaps when you receive the acceptance of your offer on your first home. Maybe those can match this feeling, but yet each are there own unique absorbtion of emotion.

Tonight was consumed with brainstorming and list making and delegating. My friend, Becky and I spent the evening listing themes, ideas, vendors, and more and though it was overwhelming at times, it was also a rush of adrenaline. My eyes were widened to further opportunities and my heart was encouraged by possibilities of involving the generosity and compassion of people even beyond our immediate community. How I long to already be there locking eyes for the first time with our new little one. The progression of this great event and the increasing support gives me such hope that this day is well on it's way.

Blessings to you all! If you wish to assist the Powells in their adventure to grow their family, you can also contribute through paypal which will directly deposit into our savings fund strictly for the adoption process.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013


As we are consumed by the flow of every day life, many of us are unaware of the very peril that is dancing outside the city's walls. We are in the days of pre-9/11 that gave us this arrogance that we were invincible and no matter what struggle may come our way, we will overcome such. There is a level of trust and a level of naivity that must be dealt with concerning our state of the union. However, if we are to be honest with ourselves, it will not be dealt with according to great wisdom and discernment. No, dear friends, we are witnessing right now the very fact that our people are oblivious to history. Our people are unwilling to make the very clear comparison between previous great empires and nations and our very own.

We want, want, want and we really don't care how it is acquired. We just want to have it. Give me more money to hold in my hand. Give me more entitlement without my efforts or energy. Give me more recognition despite my choices and conflict. Give me what he has because it is only fair that I am able to take from his portion because I cannot (will not) achieve his status. Give me what you don't have because it is your fault that I have my own disrepair. Create for me a perfect society at the cost of those who are exerting all their energy to be personally successful and sufficient. Protect me from enemies who seek to kill and destroy, but do so in a way that does not intefere with my freedom. Create for me equal shelter, equal wealth, equal health, and equal opportunity so that nobody is aware of my lack of contribution to the greater good. I deserve it. I was born this way. It is my parent's fault. It is my teacher's fault. It's my ancestor's fault. It's my boyfriend's fault. It's my pastor's fault. It's my community's fault. It's the government's fault. Not mine.

Have we not WATCHED people lose jobs because of obsession with self? Have we not WATCHED families self-destruct as they have been unable to own their responsibilities to one another? Have we not WATCHED families lose their homes because of overwhelming debt caused by overspending? Have we NOT WATCHED our leaders lose the ability to lead with strength and dignity because they are unable to own their mistakes and avoid them with maturity?

But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. Galatians 5:15

We are always wanting it to be someone else's fault. We want to blame the government for the demise of our nation. WE PUT THESE PEOPLE IN OFFICE. WE WERE GIVEN THIS FREEDOM TO CHOOSE WHO SHOULD BEST REPRESENT US AND MAKE APPROPRIATE DECISIONS FOR US. WE CONTINUALLY RE-ELECT THEM. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR MISTAKES BECAUSE WE GAVE THEM THE REIGNS. We want it to be there fault, but my dear friend, it is our fault. We are about to witness America lose it's home because they are unable to pay the bills that WE have created under OUR WATCH. We have requested them to spend beyond the budget and to overprint the dollar and to protect every cause known to man as we sit back and watch tv and play on our iProduct and shop in our designer stores. We point at each other with jealousy like small children who want the same ice cream cone their sibling has. And you know what? Like a parent who is unable to teach their child about true fairness and responsiblity and hard work, the government has given us what our sibling has so that we don't feel lesser or unequal or unfortunate or just sad. We have bitten and devoured one another and the ultimate consumption is upon us.

Watch and pray. We are about the experience the fruits of our labor.