We are expecting the snow to begin after sunset tonight and deliver a major snowstorm. Central and Southern Virginia typically doesn't get big storms. For us, this will be huge. Current predictions are for 12+ inches (some medels show 16" could be likely) and what they are calling "New England storm temperatures." Translation- high temp of 20 in the morning and then falling. That's something that hasn't happened in a Central VA snow in many years. Quite likely that temps will stay constant between 16 and 18 degrees most of Saturday. ((What???)). The VA Beach area and Norfolk which hardly gets any accumulation is trending for 12-14 inches. My parent's in Williamsburg could be a 'direct hit" at 15+. Don't believe Williamsburg has had more than 6 inches in the past 20 years. Insane!
I went shopping over the past few days for necessary food (and technically unnecessary but much desired foods too). We have sleds and snowpants and gloves procured just prior to our unprecedented December snow. Hit the library yesterday for a bunch of books and DVDs. I think we're good to go.
The nerd in me has had a blast learning about meteorology, looking at all the weather charts and NAM and GFS models and following the local weather blogs where super nerdy weather buffs and novice meteorologists have been posting in real time about reading the models and tracking fronts. I have learned a bunch!
So now I'm doing some laundry, and mentally planning what I can do on my days off (because we have to get a few days off of school). It will take a good while for our county to dig the neighborhoods out so school can resume. Just hope we don't lose power.
I've been feeling like I have been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster over the past few weeks. I want to just turn all my fears and doubts over to God, but I am finding myself hanging on to them. Why? Why, when it is so counterproductive and I know that He wants me to lay my burdens down is it so. darn. hard? Life has been pretty good on the whole and knowing that Paul is on board with this year being the year should have me feeling pretty up. And many times I am, but then the fear and doubt creep in and I let them, which angers me that I let them when I know it's just Satan messing with me. Ugh!
As many know we first sponsored Gracie from Nov 2008 until she was adopted in May of 2009. In those seven months I fell completely in love with her. Her photos were around the house, one in my purse as well. The girlies and I prayed over her daily. I made her a doll, we threw her a birthday party (y'all know I love any excuse for cake!), we sent many gifts and our old bumbo seat. I was invested. I dreamed that we might adopt her. Some mountains were starting to move, but when she was adopted very quickly in country she was suddenly, from my perspective, gone. I at least desired to know of her family via the blog world. I was happy for her, but it was hard. I had to grieve and it felt silly to have to do so, but it was a loss. We were given a little boy to sponsor next with a note that we could change if we had a different child in mind. Paul said stick with a boy- I had become very emotionally invested with a girl. But then a few weeks later Melody arrived at ND and there were some pretty neat red threads that tied me to her. So I sent my email request in and had my sponsorship switched to Melody. But I have had a hard time investing in her the way I did with Gracie. I've been making it about me. Sure, her picture is up on the credenza along with the girlies. And she is constantly on my mind and in my prayers and I have a gift that's been in my closet waiting to be sent for several months, but honestly I have been afraid to give all of myself to her in the manner I did before. Why? Irrational fear that I'll fall completely in love (I already have) and have my heart broken again. How utterly selfish. Could it be that she'll be made paper ready when we are ready? My mind wanders and I plan. Then I snap myself back into reality. It's a rough inner struggle.
Then there are the doubts of will this ever even financially happen. I have so many blog posts bookmarked of families telling about how God provided- and in my heart I know He will. It's just that dang doubt and fear again. But I am encouraged- and this is pretty cool.
Monday morning I had the day off- teacher workday for the public schools so a day home for me. I was in a daydreaming then doubting roller coaster mind play. I had finally turned it all over to God and said something along the lines of "You know the desires of my heart, and that this is all consuming me. I just need to know if this is in my sooner than later future so I can move forward, because I just need to let go if it's later." I checked my yahoo groups and saw a praise from a woman who had just received a grant, thankful for God's provision. I looked up the grant provider and was completely drawn in to their story. A couple had adopted a beautiful little girl, a heart baby. Her need was uncorrected. Upon returning home, she had a procedure, which she so sadly did not survive. My heart just ached as I read about sweet Anna . This God serving family made the decision in their pain to honor their daughter and bring glory to God by offering adoption assistance grants. Simply amazing! As I devoured every page of their site I felt God speaking to my heart. They concluded the telling of Anna's story with "We pray Anna’s story gives you hope that with Christ you can do anything (Phil. 4:13)." I was speechless. Then I had a little "Wow, God!" moment. I looked at the list of families who had received grants and saw my sweet friend Adeye's name at the top. In this wonderful blog world I have been so blessed to have found some amazing mentors and friends. Adeye has encouraged me through comments and emails, and by her example so many times. I had my answer, God was there saying "Child, don't let go, just trust me." And it gets even better.
I just had to write the family and tell them basically what I have written here, but much wordier. I was quite emotional! I had to share with them what an encouragement they were to me, how the Lord had led me to them in my time of questioning, and to thank them. Yesterday I got back the sweetest email from Jo sharing some struggles and doubts she had been going through when my email had arrived, and how God used my words to encouraged her. My words? Isn't God great! I look forward to getting to know Jo better and praying for her continued healing and for resources to fill their coffers so they can continue to provide grants and spread Anna's love.
So the doubts and fears will continue to come. But here is one more moment I can reflect back on showing God's greatness. When I turn it over to God who is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20) He grows me in ways I hadn't imagined and my burden is lightened.
And my faith is renewed.
And I make a new friend.
(And I am finally going to gather my present for Melody and get it off to China and give her all of my heart).
We just received the latest item I've inherited from my grandmother Mattie May, aka Mema to me and Great Mema to the girlies. She passed away in September of 2008, but it has taken my dad a while (for physical and emotional reasons) to go through the jam packed storage facility that housed all of her belongings. He and I moved everything, and I mean everything, to the storage facility many years ago when she went into an assisted living facility. She didn't want anything sold, or even touched and though she would never have any idea Dad followed her wishes and packed it all in and let it sit. Several months ago we borrowed a neighbors truck and my Dad and Paul met up at the unit and I picked from memory what items I wanted. They loaded them up and now they grace our home. Nothing is of much monetary value, she had working class stuff and it was well used and old. But I have many memories and am thrilled to have her things in our house. I most love her china cabinet that fits perfectly between our unusually narrow dining room windows and her upholstered rocking chair and drum top table that are now in our master bedroom and match perfectly.
Dad went back last week to have an auction house come take a look at what remained and to gather a few more things for me. Her old Singer sewing machine and cabinet needs to be rewired, but will be mine. He also set aside a drop side table that my grandmothers uncle made for her, likely in the 1930's. It's solid pine and beat up, but I plan on painting it and placing it in the playroom. Plans may change once I see it, but I think it's cool to have a piece so old and handmade.
Th girlies are in heaven over the new piece from Great Mema they got this weekend. My Mom's friend had a luncheon a few miles away from us, so mom came along for the drive and we hung out together while her friend had her party. She brought with her our newest treasure....
A baby stroller, likely from the 1930's. I remember riding in it as a child with my brother. I need to clean it up a bit. The fabric tag is just hanging on and says "since 1839". Love it! We have no dining room furniture so the front of our home is wide open for strolling around baby dolls and stuffed animals. They are even taking each other on rides. Dad says there are two more, but this one is in the best shape. Makes me smile seeing the girlies play with it. I know Mema is smiling down from heaven too!
The girlies started off their day on a good foot (I've said before that we are not morning people, so good mornings are, unfortunately, not the norm).
I had a good day teaching with a few kids absent so the teacher:kid ratio was wonderful and my dinosaur skeleton/macaroni project had fabulous success.
It's above 40 degrees so we got to go outside for recess and the girlies are playing in the cul de sac right now with friends getting fresh air and hopefully tired out a bit.
I browsed my blog roll and was greeted with some uplifting testaments of God's provision and was encouraged to see the body of Christ uplifting one another.
I'm having a good hair day- Piper did it for me today in her style (sidesweept and a clip) and I had a few compliments at school.
I just got a few bow orders from my website and a custom order off the gymbo chat boards that will be a lot of fun to make for Thing 1 Thing 2 onesies for a gift for a set of twins.
Did I mention it's above 40 degrees? I can't stand being cold!
It's Friday and we are having breakfast for dinner, we are going to play some new board games (probably my new fav Blokus) and watch a DVD together (joined netflix for a Christmas gift... we have a documentary called Ballerina for tonight about some Russian ballerinas and their rehearsal and performance time picked out- Paul will have to deal) AND...
Our local grocery chain was recently sold and the news reported last night that the change over will happen very soon. That means no more of their simply amazing pound cakes. So I had to stop by the bakery while I still can and get a cake. I think I'll go get another when this one is gone in a few days. I'll miss it terribly. It's THAT good. Tonight I'll get to cap my really good day with some yummy cake.
He said the words out loud that I have been waiting to hear. Let me back up a bit...
It was 13 months ago that I poured out my heart about adopting a waiting child to Paul and he agreed that we would do so- one day, not any time soon.
A few weeks ago in talking about the new year he mentioned that he was thinking that we'd likely get the process started sometime in 2010. Still a lot of unresolved issues regarding finances in his head.
Last night we began taking Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University course at our church. We were instructed to go around the room and introduce ourselves saying why we were there and what we hoped to get out of the course. Several people spoke about how they wanted to be able to fund missions trips and be better gifters to causes that were dear to their hearts. When it was our turn he said it- publicly- for the first time in my presence. We were there to learn to get in control of our finances the way that God intends and we want to adopt a little girl from China and hope to start the process this year. He said it out loud, not only to my ears, but to a room full of casual acquaintances and strangers. This year. I know he's likely thinking Nov/Dec (ha!). I know that the Lord has the perfect time already planned. It has been difficult to wait this long already just to start the process and wait a whole lot more. But I feel like I have received my first of the much anticipated "A's". Audible conformation that adding an orphan to our family is on the agenda. Praise God!
I'm a cat person. Always have been as long as I can remember. Right now I have two boys. They are mine. Paul can't stand cats. He let me get them after we were married, but they have had some "issues"- OK, still have "issues" (long stories) and that makes them fullymy cats. Simon and Schuster. Those are my boys. My BIG boys. My eighteen pound boys.
Simon is a very possessive lap cat. When he wants my affection he gets right in my lap, in my face, on my pillow at 4am... He demands and commands affection. He's so soft and snuggly and I love it for a bit. But he wants his mamma all the time. It can be annoying. And heavy. But right now when I am constantly freezing, I have been enjoying having my own personal radiator take his spot up in my face as soon as I sit down. I was listening the the Kutless It Is Well CD I just got tonight while the girlies were watching their third (perhaps fourth) movie of the day. Paul is out for the night riding along with our friend/Sunday school teacher/mentor Mike, who is giving a presentation on Fathering at a church a few hours away this evening. So it's just the girlies, a frozen pizza, my new CD and an eighteen pound purring lap warmer hanging out for the night.
(picture taken by my budding photographer Teagan with my new Christmas present)
Here it is the afternoon of the last day of Winter break and I have neglected to post all the fabulous, insightful posts that I have composed in my mind. Where did the time go?
For starters there were several chock full days of last minute Christmas preparations and 14 dozen cookies to be made for our family and my brothers and dad for part of their Christmas gifts. Then we had a few days of travel and a surprise visit from the other set of grandparents up from Florida for a few days. We spent an afternoon helping Paul move to a new office location within the general office and get somewhat organized. Now here I am, at a loss of time with a huge agenda I thought I'd have accomplished days ago. I just got all of my thank you notes done (still need to get the girlies done) and I spent the majority of yesterday planning my January teaching curriculum and reserving library books that go with my units of study. I have 3 bow orders I need to wrap up tonight and get postmarked tomorrow and we have to get to the store so we have lunch items on hand and a few other essentials that mysteriously are running on empty. Notice posting that eloquent blog post didn't even make the list. Ahhhh.
I do have many goals for 2010, one of which is to be much better about keeping a family record of our lives and my thoughts. I love how so many of you, my bloggy friends, manage to keep up your blogs so well. I got a new camera from Paul for Christmas, a small pocket sized Kodak since my big Nikon is, well, big. Maybe I'll at the very least get up an end of 2009 pictorial summary....after I cross a few more things of of my list.