Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Over a year in the making... would you come?

Remember THIS POST that I wrote just over a year ago? Or THIS ONE about six months ago? Man, I love looking back and seeing how God works and orchestrates conversations and meetings, all for His glory! 

Here's a sneak peak of something you'll see on Sunday!
Well, THIS Sunday, October 2nd, a big step towards God's vision is being fulfilled! Preston Trail Community Church's orphan care ministry, Abba's Children, that I have the privilege of heading up, is officially being launched! All the prayer, all the discussions, all the meetings, all the time and effort put into developing this ministry are coming to fruition! I am so stinking excited!!!

I feel like this ministry launch is my proud moment to brag on how God has brought it all together! That being said, I just want to invite anyone local to come this Sunday to Preston Trail, to catch a glimpse of what God has been up to!  I honestly can't think of anything that would mean more to me than to have those I care about there this Sunday.  I know many of you have your own home church that you go to, and that several of you can't even remember the last time you stepped foot into a church... don't worry I'm not asking you to switch church's and I'm not expecting to see you every Sunday from here on out... BUT if you'd be willing to come this one Sunday, I would be so honored! Growing up, I never was in theater or involved in a performance of any kind, but I can only imagine I would have felt the same way as I do now, hoping that my friends and family would come and see what I've been pouring my heart and time into. It's gonna be good, I promise!

I'm confident that God will show up and I'd love it if you did to!

Church services are at 9:15am and 11am! You can click HERE for directions on how to get there!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Abba's Children

Ahhhh!!! I just realized it's been FOREVER since I've updated about our church's unfolding orphan care ministry, Abba's Children, that is about to officially launch October 2nd! Exciting stuff is happening folks! Over the past several months, we've been dreaming, planning, praying, and developing Abba's Children and we've watched God stir hearts, answer prayers, provide leadership, and confirm that His heart truly does break for those in need. If I'm honest, there are times where I'm flat out overwhelmed considering all that God has in store for this ministry and the responsibility that comes with that as one of it's leaders. I've mentioned it before, but the fear of inadequacy and not meeting expectations is a constant battle for me. I'm regularly reminded that God likes my dependency on Him and He is leading this, not me. I'm so glad my only responsibility is to be obedient to what He asks of me, and then He'll do the work! Despite my fears, there is an underlying peace and joy as I trust in God's ability to develop and mold this ministry into what He desires! He has already proven to be so faithful!

So October 2nd is our "official" launch and I'm super pumped about it! We're going to be incorporating a powerful worship element that echoes God's heart that we are ALL adopted children of God. I would share, what we're doing, but I don't want to spoil the surprise- trust me, it's gonna be good! I'm hoping to have this element captured on video,  I'll post it here afterward for ya'll to see if we do in fact video it! After both services we're going to have a table set up with our leadership team ready to answer questions and hand out info with our upcoming events! I pray specifically that God's love would be reflected well, that the announcement of this ministry would come a blessing for families who have longed for support, that seeds would be planted in the hearts of those God desires to rise up to possibly pursue adoption/foster care, that souls would be burdened to make a forever impact in a child's life resulting in them taking the next step and signing up for our upcoming events, and that above all else, His name would be glorified! Would you join me in prayer for our Oct 2nd launch?

Even though we have yet to launch, God has already gathered a core group of passionate people who love orphans! It makes me smile to have seen first hand how sweet friendships have formed, how the power for prayer has knit families together, how heartfelt conversations and laughter have gone late into the night, and how we have CELEBRATED along side of one another as children have been joined with their forever families!!! This past weekend we were able to have have our 2nd Abba's Children Airport Welcome Home for one of our sweet families, the Stows! After a long and faithful journey to their precious son "L", they were finally able to bring him home from Ethiopia and begin their new adventure as a family of 4 (they also have an adopted daughter from China). Here are some pictures from their homecoming! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What we desire for our boys

I can't even begin to tell you how many prayers I've shot up to God begging Him for guidance in this crazy thing we call parenthood! Often my prayer goes something like this... "Please Lord, don't let me jack my kid up! Cover me in your grace... AND cover Jude's ears and heart from anything I say or do that doesn't reflect you well!" If you're a mama, I'm sure you'd agree, we just desperately want the best for our children and hope that we don't get in the way of just that!

Lately there has been a reoccurring theme surrounding me (you know the kind, everywhere you turn, there seems to be an obvious trend of topic. Whether it's the book I'm reading, the message at church, or conversations with friends). Typically this means (eh, I take that back, this ALWAYS means) God is trying to speak to me. God apparently also likes to use life circumstances to push my thoughts towards a topic He's particularly trying to drill home in my life...

I was driving Jude to his first day of Pre- K yesterday and was suddenly hit with the realization that my little man is growing up! Yes, I know... this shouldn't have come as a surprise to me! All kids do it (it's true), I've had 4 years to prep myself for it, yet I felt like I had blinked and my chubby baby (more like little sumo wrestler) had become a slender pre-school big boy in a matter of seconds! I was bombarded with the reality that time is so precious and that investing in that time is everything! This sappy sentimental mom moment carried my thoughts to yet again, you guessed it, the oh so persistent, reoccurring topic! Here it is...

What is our deepest desire for Jude (and Isa) in this life? And how are Joshua and I, as the parents, cultivating in him (them) this desire?

As we sort through what our prayers, hopes, and dreams are for our boys and their future, I can't think of a better way to capture our ultimate desire for their lives than this...

"My daily prayer is that God would use (your) victories, wounds, and transgressions forged along the way to encourage others to risk losing everything to know the life God dreams for them, for you...
Your journey will be where God's pleasure and your purpose meet, not mine. Your destination is the same as mine- an intimate encounter between you and your Creator- but your route will be filled with adventures, both mild and wild, made just for you. No less challenging. No less exhilarating. Uniquely yours. As when Abraham placed Isaac on the altar, when we're ready to risk what we hold most sacred, we step into that adventurous life, the only one that matters. There we find our purpose and feel His pleasure- His delight in us. Beaming with the Light of His image, we clearly see the exact dream He holds for each one of us. In that Light and life, we find Him- our passport through darkness. " (Excellent book! Totally recommend reading it!!!)Passport Through Darkness by Kimberly L. Smith

The resounding answer to the second question (what are we doing to cultivate this desire in him?) that keeps starring us in the face... LIVE IT! Simple as that. God continues to confirm in our hearts that if we desire for Jude to live a life or reckless abandonment, sold out for God's purposes- then we sure as heck better be doing the same! Talk about accountability! When fear creeps in and doubt weighs heavy on my heart, thinking about Jude's little 4 year old eyes watching, soaking in every decision we make, brings me to my knees in prayer. I find myself begging for the courage and wisdom to live "this life on the edge- where so much is uncertain, maybe even scary, certainly out of our control; but also where true freedom lives" .... so that, Jude will do the same with his life! (Kimberly L Smith)

More than success, more than family, more than the American dream..... I wish for my children God's story, God's dream, and the courage to live it!

And I continue to pray and probably always will, "Lord, please don't let me jack up my kid!" (o;

I can only imagine that this message/topic continues to surround me because I'm a slow learner and need constant reminding!

 For entertainment purposes I've included Jude's video of his first day of Pre-K yesterday! Enjoy our silly conversation at the end of the video about transformers and his Capri-Sun!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beautiful Outlaw

Guess what?! Remember a couple posts below when I was sharing about my husband's zest for John Eldredge? How the last monthly Ransomed Heart Ministry newsletter captured my heart and attention so much so that I just had to share a snippet from it?! Well, lo and behold, I opened my email last week and found a message from a gal with the Ransomed Heart Ministry team saying they had read my post! To top it off, I also had a comment on the post from the executive assistant of John and Stacy Eldredge!!! What?!  (OkayI'll admit, I was a tiny bit flattered/intimidated for a moment at the thought that ANYONE from a well known ministry, let alone anyone who isn't family or close friends, read a post I wrote! That being said, flattery is fleeting and I'm well aware that it wasn't my crazy mad writing skills that caught their eye, rather a simple google search of "John Eldredge" or "Ransomed Heart Ministry" that just so happened to pop up my blog- but whatever, I'm still excited about it!)

They were grateful for the encouraging words I had to say about John's writing, and let me know that the portion of the newsletter that I liked so much, was in fact taken from John's upcoming book- Jesus_Beautiful Outlaw. You ready for this?... Here's the best part.... they're sending me a signed copy of the book as a gift!!! (Now at this point, if I had been thinkin' ahead, I totally would have taken advantage of the fact that my husband's birthday is next month and kept this a secret, resulting in winning the wife of the year award as I handed over the book signed by his real life hero! But instead, in classic Hilary style, I got so excited because I knew he would be excited, that I blurted it out the moment he walked in the door from work! I stink at keeping good news to myself! But his reaction was well worth my outburst as his mouth hit the floor and he quickly called his mom and brother to brag that he's getting a signed copy of John's book! Totally made his day!) They simply asked that if I liked the book, that I would write a review about it here on the blog! Uhm.... Gladly! There's no question, after checking out this short video trailer about Beautiful Outlaw, I am already hooked and can't wait to read it and let ya'll know what I think! It's gonna be a good one folks! You should check it out too!!!

And yes, in case you're wondering, this only furthered my husband's love affair with John Eldredge! (o;