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Easter Garland…and cultivating waiting on God {Deut.10,11,12}

CRAFT TIME!!! OK…here’s your craft inspiration for the week…Easter Garland…IMG_2040
OK…just had to make that image BIG…because I LOVE THAT PICTURE of one of our Zambian girlies! The garland doesn’t touch her cuteness…BUT if you want to make the egg garland…

1. Create holes in both ends of an egg using a sharp object (I used a corn pick) and blow the egg yolk out. Let sit over night to completely drain and dry.

2. Dye eggs – This is way fun in empty eggs because they FLOAT and the kids will have fun “spinning them” instead of sinking them and waiting. (You can buy the packaged kit OR you can simply add a cup of water + tbsn vinegar + food coloring.) Again, let eggs dry–we let ours dry over night b/c we dyed in the late afternoon.

3. Make a hook from heavy wire (bend the end tightly and tie string around) so you can string eggs on wire needle. You will need to use a sturdy THICK string like yarn or upholstry thread (we used upholstry thread because I keep it on hand for crafts.)IMG_2019

4. You can add another item between each egg for added decoration (marshmellows–bigger ones would be easier, popcorn, etc) We used miniature marshmellows alternating between eggs…IMG_2026
My older kids (ages 4 and 5) could do this all by themselves—so it was a lot of fun…but you have to watch them if they are using marshmellows;). Mine are sneaky boogers and ate lots in between before I acknowledged the giggles.
If you do use marshmellows—display them like this for the first day and night to let the marshmellows harden or else they will be sandwiched by the eggs and start to fall off…but displaying this way is my favorite I think…so we may just leave them like this…IMG_2042
If you want to hang it, however, as garland–use framer wire or a thick floriest wire to tie the ends of the string to and then we tied the wire to our topiaries. It worked;).

TUG YOUR HEART TIME…here is your picture of the week. MEET Obbrey…DSC00807
Okay, okay—I know you aren’t supposed to have favorites…but this is my “nephew”! Pictured with Obbrey is my hubby—and we had to get this picture for my sister’s family who sponsors Obbrey. I’d like to say he’s just a family favorite—but I’ll confess…he is one of Wiphan’s favorites. We can’t help it! We confess…with 450 orphans…some times it JUST happens. And Obbrey is set apart. Yes. He is going to be used by God!!! We are believing BIG things for this kiddo! Doesn’t Obbrey make you want to sponsor one of our children!? MELT. MY. HEART. OK…so if yours is melting…it’s never to late to “add” one to your family. P-r-e-c-i-o-u-s.

AND now…be HONEST from Andrea time… I love God’s Word. I do. I do. Today’s reading is Dueteronomy 10, 11, 12. I just needed to be in the Word today. NEEDED IT.

I feel like I have waited during this adoption process well. I have been focused on the three children I already have in my home—and thankful for this time with my clingy 16 month old…who obviously just needs to be held by his mommy allllllll the time. OK…yes, ALL the time. BUT then there are days like today. Where the waiting is just hard. ALL I think about is the baby I am waiting for…and at many points in my day I feel WORTHLESS. Yep, good for nothing. Picture miniature marshmellows + slingshot + 2 preschoolers + baby picking them up and eating them….all the while…a mommy sits on a chair dazing off into space wondering, “When will I ever bring my baby home?”

CLEARLY, when you imagine the scene you understand that I NEED yet another addition to our chaos. BUT I DO. Simple because the Lord planted it there. AND truly there is an empty space in my heart that causes me to LONG for my baby. Some days are easier than others. Today was not one of those days.

SO…I organized. I cleaned. I did a craft with my kids. I organized some more. I checked the mailbox. Checked my email. Played Batman and Joker…I had to be Joker—again. I cooked. I dazed off more, only to be interrupted again by someone pulling on my pant leg for more milk in their sippy cup.

After dinner, I went for a drive just to get some fresh air while the sweet hubby put the children down. I have few days like this—but when I do…the hubby knows and sends me off to the bookstore. Well, I didn’t want to go to the usual. I didn’t want to go to a bookstore. I didn’t want to go anywhere. BUT TO MY BABY.

That is what I want. And if it’s okay—I decided to pitch my little fit in my heart. I’d like to say it felt good. But it didn’t. Then I walked in Homegoods…and landed on the aisle of nursery decor. No that color won’t do…I really wanted something more seagreen. AHHH…a ramb stool! Now that would be perfect for Isaac. Oh wait—maybe that’s too “Isaccy”…yes, no ramb. Or yes Ramb? No, no ramb. Ok, I have to leave the nursery aisle. This is just too much. Frames…yes, who can go wrong with frames?!

On the frame aisle I found myself reading each one. They just happened to have scripture on them–and with just a few words from THE WORD…my heart melted. Okay Andrea, not here. No, not in Homegoods. Hold ’em back. Do not start tearing up not. No, not here. Everything related to my baby and our wait. He who hopes in the Lord…The Lord is my strength and my salvation… OK…needed that. But definitely also need the next aisle. BOOKS. Yes, books are safe. So I picked up a child’s book and began to read…maybe I’ll find something sweet for one of my kiddos…

I am your mommy and I’ll always be here for you…no matter what I’m always here...Every line of this book about a little bunny…so sweet…and then—a tear. I thought of my baby who is probably already born. Who could just be in a government orphanage right now. AND I am NOT there. BUT…I AM your mommy. And I soooo wish you knew that I am here—and I will ALWAYS be here. Close book. Time to go home. I know the only book I really need to be in is at home…

When you are in the midst of waiting, its some times hard to see or do anything. Marshmellows might be flying, little people tugging on your pant legs…and reminders seem to be everywhere of what is yet to come…what your heart is longing for…the wait that seems to not even be close to an end. It isn’t until you run to the source of the only thing that stands…that is sure…that can’t or won’t ever change…and allow those words to be written on your heart. CLING TO THE WORD. HOLD TIGHT TO THE LORD. Today is one of those days where being in the Word daily makes life so much easier. It starts to make so much more sense. And I begin to see that the feelings I have are simply answers to prayer…”break my heart Lord for what breaks yours”.

The Lord’s heart breaks that babies need homes. The orphan. The widow. The poor. The forgotten. They all break His heart. Have you ever wondered if God is ever distracted? If you read scripture, you can definitely see evidence that things distract His perfect nature—they get His attention—and it’s those things He fights for. Want to know what they are? If we want to be conformed to His image, we need to know what’s important to Him…and let it be those things that distract us too.

In today’s reading some things that grabbed my heart…

(Chapter 10)
For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes.

(Chapter 11 verse 22)
Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him.

And in my reading…the miracle of waiting on God begins to happen. I begin to lose my feelings of anxiety. I begin to hold TIGHTLY to HIM instead of the future. Yes, on days like today…I need to be in His Word more than ever. It is my LIFE BREAD…literally…I NEED IT!

As we pray Lord, to have hearts like yours–help us to be brave enough to let them break as yours does. I have listened to the lie that when I am broken—I am weak. Not so much. I have YOU. YOU are MY STRENGTH. You are enough! Where I am weak, you are strong!!! You are made strong through my weakness. Shine your glory now in my brokenness and weakness! I am trusting in You for all that is to come. Let thy will be done on Earth as it is in heaven! Amen.

Megan - March 16, 2010 - 12:37 am

Reading about your browsing through that store made me tear up – only because I’ve so been there! I feel the same. That overall I’m doing great, but I have my days where that’s all I can think about! And I feel guilty as my Lil Man is running around playing so patiently without me as I’m browsing blogs and bawling reading about mommies finally holding their sweet ones in their arms after their long wait. It can be. So. Hard. I hear ya.

april - March 16, 2010 - 1:08 am

ohhh girl…i need to tell my sister about that egg craft…she has little ones that I think would like doing it! Your seriously so crafty and creative! Love all your ideas! :0)

Amy @ Filled With Praise - March 16, 2010 - 8:57 am

Andrea, I love the craft. So cute. I also feel your longing for Issac. You know I can relate. I feel like I am Elijah’s Mommy, so I should have him now. I don’t even know what he looks like, smells like or feels like, but I know I am his and he is mine. One day…some day…hopefully soon.

Renea - March 16, 2010 - 9:05 am

Wish I could give you a big warm hug and sit down with you and have coffee and chat. That would distract your waiting heart. 😉 My 6 yr old reminded me of his favorite song this morning. Our God is an AWESOME God! He reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power and love our God is an AWESOME God. Always lean on Him and you will find the comfort you need. Hugs today! ♥

Renea - March 16, 2010 - 9:06 am

P.S. If I ever get to your house I’m stealing that big ‘ole picture over your fireplace!!!! It’s to die for!!! ♥♥♥♥

Jennifer - March 16, 2010 - 10:08 am

Great post! Yes, this waiting journey is full of ups and downs. I posted about my down and back up journey last Friday:-) I also did a Wiphan shout out yesterday. Blessings!

Kim - March 16, 2010 - 10:19 am

Love the craft but the portrait over the fireplace is beyond FABULOUS! WOW!
I know the ups, downs and distractions of the WAIT.
And I also know that God is working mightily behind the scenes!
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Heather - March 17, 2010 - 6:32 am

Yes, I’m still here. You described how I feel, only I have no little ones to help distract me at home. I wish I did. 🙁 BUT I do have work, hubby, church, & all the little ones there to help. Sometimes it’s hard though when I’m home alone & the house is too quiet with nothing to do but think…….. Thanks for this encouragement.