Monday, December 17, 2012

12/14/2012 - My Devotional from that Awful Day

I can't even begin to make sense or have the right wisdom to share regarding Friday's terrible tragedy. But, I wanted to just pass along what my daily devotional brought to my heart that morning. How could I know what God was preparing my heart to be exposed to that day?

Search My Heart, O God
by Kay Arthur

December 14

"Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?"

Beloved, those words are from Jeremiah 8:22. Gilead was a city in Israel known for its healing ointment. They soothing salve of Gilead brought both healing and beauty. But Jeremiah knew his nation needed more than a topical salve, more than a bandage. Judah's wounds went all the way to the soul. 
There was only One who could heal, only One who could restore health and beauty to a sin-sick nation. God's people learned there is a Physician, One who could bring refreshement, One who could take the bitterness of life and make it sweet. 
Do you know Him today, dear friend, as Jehovah-rapha--the Lord Who Heals?

Your Word says that You heal the brokenhearted and bind up their wounds. You support the afflicted. Thank You for being my Physician today, dear God. I need Your tender mercies and healing touch. Restore my soul to health and bring refreshment to my spirit. 

I love this devotional. My mom put it in my stocking last year. What a treasure it has been!

So, how about a give away?

Leave a comment by December 23rd and I will choose two people at random to receive a copy of Kay Arthur's Search My Heart, O God: 365 Appointments with God.

Don't forget to comment with your name so that I can contact you for shipping information!

I will announce the winners on Christmas Eve!

***Lindsey and Brettney win!!!***

Brettney wins for retweeting the link to the blog!
Lindsey wins for being the ONLY comment!!!
Give away...Fail!

Oh, well. I'll just say that it's because my tens of readers were all so busy being super moms for the week of Christmas! Yeah, that's what I'll say!

Monday, December 10, 2012

While I'm Waiting (Part 1) - Matt 6:25-34

It’s funny how a song takes on new meaning in different seasons of my life. 

Scripture doesn’t really do that…take on new meaning. It seems to mean the same thing but pokes me in a different spot. Scripture stays the same but attacks a different infection in my life, binds up a different wound.

In the last several weeks, I have heard the song While I’m Waiting by John Waller a bazillion times. Not really, of course. But, it’s been often enough to force me to ponder the fact that I am waiting.

Right now, I am waiting for our family to receive a referral from America World AdoptionAssociates. By a referral, I mean the phone call from our Family Coordinator telling us that we have the option to adopt a specific child. At that time, we will be able to view a picture of the child, medical evaluations, any known background information and social assessments that have been made or gathered by the staff.

So, we wait. We are waiting for a referral for a boy, from Ethiopia, between the ages of 2 and 6. If you would like to know why this is the child we are requesting, just ask us. It’s a long discussion, best suited to relaxed conversation over a steaming cup of tea.

We have only been waiting a short while. December 7th, a date which will live in infamy, marked our 3rd month of being DTE. DTE stands for Dossier To Ethiopia. This hurdle means that all of our paperwork is done and we are officially on the list to adopt a child in Ethiopia. On the unofficial list, we are #21 in line for a child over the age of 4. However, there are only 10 families on the list ahead of us that are requesting a boy or are open to either gender. Also, only 5 of those families are open to a boy over the age of 5.

So, we wait. And, we will probably be waiting for a long time. 

It's not the first time that we've had to wait. 

We’ve had to wait for direction.

We’ve had to wait for deliverance.

We’ve had to wait for healing. 

We’ve had to wait for provision.

However, none of those waits had a list, a day on the calendar to count from, a Facebook page and Yahoo group of others waiting alongside of us. None of those waits left a little boy as an orphan on the other side of the earth.

Larry was asked to speak in a senior adult Sunday school class a few weeks back and in their curriculum, I was struck by this quote regarding Acts 1, when the disciples were waiting for the Holy Spirit.

“The key to waiting is to wait with purpose. The disciples did not accidently wait. They obediently waited. The obedience was not only THAT they waited but HOW they waited.” – Jesse Rincones, pastor of AllianceChurch in Lubbock, Texas and President of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas

The reason that this quote gave me such a jolt was that we had just been asked to consider serving in a new way. And, of course, I had immediate reservations because WE ARE WAITING. What if we start serving and then we get a referral? That means that we will have to find someone to cover in this new area while we travel to Ethiopia…twice! What if the transition is awful and we drop the ball? What if we all end up with giardia? What if? What if? What if?

This song was so convicting this week because I have been waiting, not just on a referral, but on a lot of What Ifs. Ugh…I stink at this.

Do you know what? Matthew 6:25-34 did not change this week. It just poked me in a different place this week. It poked me where I trusted myself and my planning and my spreadsheets and my pile of adoption/attachment/trans-racial parenting books.

So, we wait.

But, we will serve Him while we are waiting.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Need Something to Celebrate?

We woke up this morning with the statistics shouting that we are a divided country. Check out the eloquent way our friend, Brandy, tied it into her life on her blog --> here.

So, I want to explain why yesterday was a day to celebrate at the Daigle house. In fact, today is a day to celebrate as well!

Thirteen years ago, today, I was boarding a plane at IAH to fly away to my honeymoon. Larry and I had walked into Mims Baptist Church, the day before, as single sweethearts and walked out as man and wife, bound by a covenant made before God and our families and friends.
That day started the greatest adventure of our lives.

We have had a lot of low times. We have lost all of Larry’s grandparents. We have lost three babies through miscarriage. We have lost his father to Leukemia. We have fought with each other, with all of our siblings, with all of our parents and most of our friends. We have overspent, overeaten and overslept. We have had hard heads and hard hearts.  
Thankfully and only through the grace of a merciful and redemptive God, we have had some good times. We have four healthy boys. We have always had a home, a job and a church family that we love. We have come through a cancer scare with no reason to worry. We have a son, somewhere in Ethiopia, waiting for clearances allowing him to be adopted.

We have a God, Who saves, redeems, restores, provides, heals, corrects, rebukes and guides. Who is like Him?
So, yesterday, we celebrated our 13th anniversary.

Today, we celebrate our 2nd month on the DTE (Dossier to Ethiopia) list. As of today, we are still number 24 on the unofficial list. There was not a lot of movement during the month of October. However, the rainy season is over in Ethiopia and our prayers are that the process will soon begin moving quickly and efficiently.
We are trusting that the same God that has carried us through 13 years of marriage will carry us through this adoption process as well.

And that is something to celebrate!
***Pictures of some of the days that we celebrated will be posted tomorrow!***

Friday, October 26, 2012

1 Chronicles 16:23 - Let All Things Now Living

He's alive. Yes, Larry is alive!

In the very basic nature of this statement, I am truly glad. But, I'm also glad in ways I never knew I'd be glad.

Let's go back a little over a year.

Larry and I were sitting in a car dealership. We waited at the saleswoman's desk as the finance department ran some numbers for us.

We waited and waited. Much longer than we had ever waited before. I began to wonder if there was a problem. We had paid down all of our debt. Perhaps, no debt made our credit score scary to lenders. I knew that could happen. We hadn't moved or changed jobs recently. We waited...I worried. Larry never worries, so he sat reading a gearhead magazine.

The saleswoman, who is a friend of my parents, approached with an odd look upon her face.

"Larry, did you know that you are dead?"
The sound of Larry and I blinking...
Larry's big sigh..."Well, that makes this conversation awkward." (This is typical Larry.)
You see, Larry is the executor of his father's estate. Evidently, when he called to cancel one of his dad's credit cards, the creditor reported Larry Daigle III dead instead of Larry Daigle Jr. We aren't really certain how that happened, since my Larry didn't have an account with them. However, he was dead. Just according to one credit card company and the one credit bureau to which they report.
It's amazing that with just a few swift errant keystrokes one Sally Sue DataEntry girl could cause a problem. What's more amazing is that they will immediately take your word that someone is dead...but, they cannot under any circumstance take your word that you are alive.
Fast forward through a year's worth of long, frustrating phone calls to credit bureaus, the credit card company and an attorney. Larry is finally alive.
It wasn't the end of the world. We drove home in the vehicle Larry had chosen. Our life continued as normal. But, today, Larry is in the system and alive.
Let All Things Now Living
words by Katherine K Davis
Let all things now living
a song of thanksgiving
to God the Creator
triumphantly raise,
Who fashioned and made us,
protected and stayed us,
Who guideth us on
to the end of our days.
His banners are o'er us,
His light goes before us,
A pillar of fire shining forth in the night,
'til shadows have vanished
and darkness is banished,
as forward we travel from light into light.
His law He enforces,
the stars in their courses,
the sun in His orbit,
obediently shine.
The hills and the mountains,
the rivers and fountains,
the deeps of the ocean
proclaim Him Divine.
We too, should be voicing
our love and rejoicing,
with glad adoration a song let us raise,
'til all things now living
unite in thanksgiving
to God in the highest, hosanna and praise!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kings & Queens - Matt. 25:40&45/Matt 18:5

I have been sporadically sharing what I've gleaned by going through the hymns during my quiet time.

Today, we'll take a modern spin on the same idea.

I saw the video (brand-spanking new, by the way) by Audio Adrenaline for Kings & Queens and my heart was devastated by the lyrics. It must have broken 255 times while I watched and listened. That's a heartbreaking rate of 1 break per second.

I've been checking iTunes to see if the single is available yet. Nope. Dern. But, I will let you know when it is available. In the meantime, watch the video, read the lyrics, crack your Bible to Matthew 25, visit the Hands And Feet Project, and love the least of these.

Kings & Queens
Audio Adrenaline for Hands & Feet Project
Little hands
Shoeless feet
Lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent to grieve?
On their own
On the run
When their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum
I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won’t let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and to be loved
Boys become kings
Girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love
When we love the least of these
Then they will be
Brave and free
Shout Your name in victory
When we love
When we love the least of these
Break our hearts
Once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won’t you look around
These are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open
Boys become kings
Girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love
When we love the least of these
Then they will be
Brave and free
Shout Your name in victory
When we love
When we love the least of these
When we love the least of these
If not us
Who will be
Like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us
Tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these
Boys become kings
Girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love
When we love the least of these
Then they will be
Brave and free
Shout Your name in victory
We will love
We will love the least of these (6x)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pictures of the Firsts

***Update: Jeremiah's visits to the orthopaedic specialist and the ENT went very well. The doctor that did the temporary cast in the ER was doing a rotation there from Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. The ortho said that she had done the temporary cast so well that he didn't see a need for a new one. If it becomes too worn or gets wet, we will go in for a full cast. However, we are going to try to make it the full time with the one we have. The ENT feels like the damage to the right side of Jeremiah's nose is minimal and that there will not be any problems with its healing. We already had another CT scan and round of allergy tests scheduled for next week. So, the ENT will be able to compare the CT scans from the week before the accident, the night of the accident and then the new ones to make sure that everything is on the right track.***

Here's my brave little man.

He wanted to get on his bike the very next day.

The morning after, with his temporary cast. He's going in to the ENT tomorrow and the orthopaedist today. We will update you later with the color of cast he selected!

We may also swing by Academy and get a few pairs of wind pants. Buttons and zippers are a little tricky.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

A weekend of firsts

Ever planned something?

I know the famous line is "the best laid plans of mice and men..." However, it really, Really, REALLY should be "The best laid plans of moms..." You're giggling because you know it's true.

See, I started a rough draft of today's post on Friday morning. The rough draft is still a rough draft. I will have to work on it a bit more. It's more thoughtful and reflective than this one.

See, I was planning on marking the 7th as a big day. We were to celebrate our 1 Month DTE (Dossier To Ethiopia) Day. There was a plan to make a batch of cookies each month to celebrate. And, each month would be a different type of cookie. ***Our DTE Day on September 7th had Snickerdoodle Pinwheels, out of a cookbook my mom-in-law gave me for Christmas one year. They were great.***

My plan was to hit the grocery store early Saturday, stock up for the meals for the coming week and grab the last ingredient that I needed for today's cookies. But, that was my best laid plan.

We were going to celebrate our 1st month of being on the waiting list for our adoption.

But, we had an unplanned first on Friday. Just a standard Friday, but with a couple of surprises. For one, Larry's twin sister, Jennifer, popped in for a surprise visit on her way back into town. That was an awesome surprise and we were all hanging around in the kitchen chatting away when our second surprise occurred.

Jeremiah crashed on his bike...big time. I mean Big Time! Poor little dude. He broke his thumb, broke his nose and knocked out his two front baby teeth.

Obviously, there was never another thought of my plans for the weekend. Immediately, we flew into scramble-mode. After we got Jeremiah (and Gideon) calmed down, we were able to assess the damage and determined the best course of action was visiting the ER.

Now, you might think that a mom with four sons has had to take one of them in for a broken bone before, but remember...this is a post about firsts.

Larry loaded Jeremiah up and went to the hospital. I did the frantic scramble of arranging for a friend to come and stay with the other guys (Thank you, Regan!), ordering pizza, making sure I had the new insurance cards, then hopping in the other vehicle. Of course, it was almost out of gas necessitating an additional stop before getting to the hospital.

It all caught up to me at the gas pump. Of course, I'm so grateful that it was only a broken thumb, broken nose and double-duty for the Tooth Fairy. But, you still hate to see your little guy hurting and upset.

Just rambling at this point. So tired. Ready for new day, when His mercies are new!

I'll post pictures of our tough guy tomorrow...and make cookies!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Praise Him! Praise Him! - Psalm 48:1

Just a little thing, but I'm so glad.

The civil case that I received a jury summons for was dropped at 9:30am!

Praise Him! Praise Him!
Tell of His excellent greatness!
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Ever in joyful song!
(Words by Fanny Crosby)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Philippians 3:14 – Higher Ground/Goodbye, Crib and Overalls

Change. I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all.

There has been a lot of change in my life recently. Most notably, Larry’s job change. While most spousal job changes mean that a spouse leaves and goes to a different location than he used to, our situation has been a little different.

Larry had served in youth ministry for the last 13 years, with the last 4 years at a church here. When he switched jobs to serve in missions full-time with International Commission, changing churches was the courteous thing to do. *** The prior church that Larry served in hired him as the student pastor, because the student pastor had been promoted to senior pastor. Pastor Steve did a great job of referring parents and students to Larry when they came to him. However, it was still a long transition before Larry was the student minister in people’s minds. We didn’t want that for the new guy. Plus, we knew that it would be difficult for our boys to understand the change of roles…No, that’s not Daddy’s office anymore; No, we’re not going to the youth room, etc. You understand. ***

So, Larry changed jobs and we changed churches. During the months prior to Larry’s resignation, we tested the waters at several churches by participating in nearly every Vacation Bible School in town. We fell in love with First Baptist of Conroe almost immediately. They had their VBS at night. That was great because it meant Larry and I could drop the guys off, pick them up and check things out together, rather than me scoping out the place/people on my own. The first night, as we checked the 3 big guys in, a woman approached me and asked if Caleb would like to come as well. I didn’t think that he could since the preschool classes were for workers’ children. However, she assured me there was plenty of room for one more and walked us to the preschool area. He was delighted! In fact, he still calls the church “Mega Sports Camp.” What impressed us most was a call that Larry received on that Thursday morning. Pastor Eric, the children’s minister, called every child’s parents to encourage them to attend on Thursday evening, when they would be presenting the gospel. He called EVERY parent! We were hooked.

So, Larry changed jobs, we changed churches and we had to select a Sunday school class. Ugh, we have been teaching Sunday school for the last 12 years, we didn’t know how to pick one…we have always been assigned one or filling in for absent teachers. The most striking part of this process was realizing we were in the late 30s/early 40s age bracket. What?! I can’t go from 11th/12th grade girls to the 30s/40s class. That just didn’t seem right. But, we found that we love it.

So, Larry changed jobs, we changed churches, we changed Sunday school habits and Larry moved his office. Now, in the mornings, we get up, get the boys off to school and Larry goes to work…at his desk/study…in the game room. This has been perhaps the most jarring change of all. I ADORE my man. Hang out with me for one hour and you will know it is true. However, we’ve never been together constantly. That’s Constantly, with a capital C.

So, Larry changed jobs, we changed churches, we changed Sunday school, Larry moved his office to the game room and I took down Caleb’s crib (again). I took it down once before and mourned the changing of seasons in our lives. Happily, I put it back up just a few weeks later when I began watching a precious little girl three days a week. But, a year later, I’ve taken it down again to give to some friends that just had a baby. Larry loaded it in the back of his Sequoia last night and delivered it to them today. We realize that our Micah will probably be old enough to sleep in a big boy bed. And, we realize that by the time we have Micah home, our friends’ son may be big enough to sleep in a big boy bed himself. (Although, I can’t imagine that their son won’t have some siblings rolling down the pike!) Add to the change of our sons growing up that this crib is going to a couple much younger than us. In fact, this new daddy was a student in one of Larry’s youth groups and not the most recent one at that! Everyone is growing up! Sheesh.

So, Larry changed jobs, we changed churches, we changed Sunday school, Larry moved offices, I took down Caleb’s crib (thereby coming to grips with the fact that my children are getting older) and today, The Overalls broke. Caleb is a mini-man and as such, he was bequeathed the OshKosh Overalls that Joseph wore, that Gideon wore and that Jeremiah wore. Caleb has been wearing them frequently for the last 4-6 months. Today, one of the clasps broke. It completely broke and not in a “oh, I can fix this” sort of way. I could have lost it. I stood at the dryer, holding that darling set of overalls and wanted to cry. But, I did not.

There are too many blessings ahead for me to hold on to my yesterdays.

I don’t want to look over my shoulder and long for what is familiar. I want to continue to see my little men grow to be big men, to see my big man continue to grow as a godly man and for my heart to continue to grow and be transformed.

I’m pressing on the upward way,
New heights I’m gaining ev’ry day;
Still praying as I onward bound,
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”
(Higher Ground - Words by Johnson Oatman, Jr., Music by Charles H. Gabriel)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Back to Church Sunday - Sept 16, 2012

I love this! "All of the people, get to a steeple"

PS: I'll post on Monday with A Daigle Update!

In the meantime, I'll see you on Sunday!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

DTE 9/7/12 - My Faith Has Found A Resting Place

I mentioned last week that we sent in our dossier documents to America World (AWAA).

Everything was complete. So, our documents were sent to the Department of State and the Ethiopian Embassy for certification/authentication. As of now, those documents are in the hands of FedEx, travelling to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Relief, excitement and angst converged on Friday when I opened the e-mail providing our tracking number. Will I be able to handle the wait? Have I read all of the right books? Are the boys (all five of them) going to be okay through this? Will we have enough money saved when it's time to go? Is our new little guy okay right this minute? Is he hungry, cold, alone? Is he safe? Is he already in an orphanage? Is he still with his family? Are You sick of my questions?

I intentionally searched for this hymn during my devotion time.

My Faith Has Found A Resting Place

My faith has found a resting place,
Not in device or creed;
I trust the Everliving One,
His wounds for me shall plead.

We who have believed enter that rest. -- Hebrews 4:3

My all-time favorite album is Todd Agnew's Need. I can't really choose between two songs on that album for my favorite song.

Tell Me The Story is going to be played at my funeral and you WILL dance and play the air guitar. You will.

I Need No Other is bit more low-key and a re-writing of My Faith Has Found a Resting Place. And, I want to have one of my friends at Uppercase Living to have its chorus made for my dining room wall.

I need no other argument,
I need no other plea,
It is enough that Jesus died,
And that He died for me.

Right now, there is nothing that I can do for our adoption process. I can study and prepare. I cannot make this current step go any faster. So, I choose to trust the Everliving One.

Friday, August 31, 2012

In His Time - Psalm 27:14

Timing is everything. My current fav on Hulu is MasterChef. I can't really stand any of the judges. However, I enjoy rooting for the amateur chefs as they compete for the title. It's just fun. This past week, two contestants faced off making three different types of souffles, which had to come out of the oven at the exact same moment. Yikes!

Sometimes, the kitchen gets hot and the pressure is on. Even then, probably more critically than ever, timing is everything.

I shared a while back that I had put my book-buying-self on hiatus until we complete our adoption. This led to my use of a hymnal for quiet time prompts. What a fruitful source! There have been lots of pages scribbled in and one scripture referencing another, referencing another and so on, until I end up with my nose stuck in a commentary!

Today, the hymn that I read was In His Time (words and music by Diane Ball).

In His time, in His time;
He makes all things beautiful in His time.
Lord, please show me everyday as You're teaching me Your way,
That You do just what You say
in Your time.
In Your time, in Your time;
You make all things beautiful in Your time.
Lord, my life to You I bring; May each song I have to sing
Be to You a lovely thing
in Your time.

The scripture reference was Ecclesiastes 3:11, "He has made everything beautiful."

He has, indeed. And, He is doing so now.

I have felt for a while that I've had three "souffles" in the oven. But, everything seems to be coming together. Not all at one time. Not the way Gordan Ramsey would like it. But, I like it.

Today was a big day.

Today marked the end of the first week of school. Having three guys in school means a lot of careful calendar watching. It can be easy to miss dates, switch dates, and make-up your own dates when you have three children and a total of six teachers in the mix. We love the school our boys attend. There is not a complaint that I can muster. Our family is my #1 Souffle. The time that we spend together is my delight! The week before school started we had a wonderful week. We went to the Houston Zoo, Houston Children's Museum, the Downtown Aquarium, Houston Museum of Natural Science, toured Minute Maid Park, SpaceCenter Houston and SeaWolf Park. Of course, we also partook of glorious shakes at 59 Diner, where the shakes are (according to the menu) "Rich Enough to be Your Landlord!" Delicious!

But, as of today, we have one week of school and its routine behind us!

Today we sent the very last documents needed for our dossier. The adoption is my 2nd Souffle. We've have been on this step for ages! I know, I has taken us a long, long time. It's not that we didn't have the paperwork done, funds for this step or the confidence that we were doing the right thing. We were waiting for the 3rd Souffle. But, we're done with our paperwork (other than periodic updates, depending on how long our wait time will be.)

Today was Larry's last official day with West Conroe Baptist Church. Larry's duties rounded out in mid-July, with a very sweet and endearing "Thanks, Larry" reception in the Garden Room at the church. The church was even gracious enough to allow Larry the last 6 weeks to prepare for his new position. We have received so many cards of encouragement and count the church family as dear friends. However, Larry has changed ministry paths to work with International Commission.

International Commission is the group where my father is the area VP of Africa. This is certainly the dessert course souffle! I love my daddy! I love my hubby! It is exceedingly, abundantly more than I could ever ask or imagine for them to love each other enough to work together! Blessing upon blessing...they will be working shoulder to shoulder to see people around the world come to Christ.

I could just cry like the guy at the end of Facing the Giants, "I'm overwhelmed!"

At this point, the kitchen of my life smells like three beautiful souffles! That's not to say that lots of little side dishes haven't burned, spoiled or bubbled over recently. And, there is still a lot of time to wait in our adoption. There is still a lot of administrative stuff to complete before Larry's boots are on the ground with International Commission. There are still many things going on with our four boys. There is much to do and much waiting still to be done.

But, He does make all things beautiful in His time! His timing is everything.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

My Sister Makes Me Cry

Let me start by declaring that I have a precious sister.

This evening, I have been going through a bunch of adoption paperwork. At a moment of frustration, I stumbled across this letter of recommendation. Penned by my very dearest friend, it is one of my most valuable possessions.

To Whom It May Concern:
Lawrence and Laurie Daigle, who we call Larry and Colleen, are my brother-in-law and sister. Colleen is my big sister and best friend. I was eleven years old when she and Larry married, and it has been a joy and a privilege to watch, over the past thirteen years, their sweet example of a Christ-centered marriage, godly parenting, and a family founded on faith.
Colleen is Larry's biggest fan. No one loves him more, encourages him more, or fights for him more than she does. The reverse is just as true. They model for their boys and for others what it means to support each other through prayer, forgiveness, and laughter. Larry and Colleen love each other more today than they did when I saw them dating; more than they did when I watched them get married. Their commitment to each other and to their family is stronger even today than it was when their oldest son, Joseph, was born. I am confident that in years to come, that love and commitment will only grow deeper and stronger.
Joseph, Gideon, Jeremiah, and Caleb Daigle rarely meet a stranger. Larry and Colleen have taught them well how to welcome and befriend the friendless. They make room at their table for little boys from school who don't get enought to eat at home. They have taken under their wing teenagers who needed encouragement and the love of a family. The Daigles have, perhaps unwittingly, been practicing for years for this journey of adoption. Their homes and their hearts are so ready to embrace their new son and brother.

Jeezalou! And, yes, I cried! What an honor!

Thank you, Hannah!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Part 2 - Let Your Heart Be Broken - James 2:17

I promised last night that I would explain the random title of the post and how it correlated with saving money.

Like I stated yesterday, I love to read. I am therefore also emotionally connected to books. Truly, I am emotionally connected. I almost never get rid of them. I am willing to lend, but (thanks to a thoughtful friend) they are each stamped with a lovely "From the library of Colleen Daigle" stamp.

While we are going through the process of adoption, I have promised to not buy any books. This has been especially hard, but I have stuck to it pretty closely. After I completed the James Bible study by Pam Gibbs, I squashed the desire to run out and buy another Bible study by relying on something that I heard during the Senior Adult Retreat that our church hosted in the fall. Yes, Larry and I did attend the Senior Adult retreat. All of the church staff and their spouses were invited to attend. It was wonderful to soak up wisdom and I would love to go again. One of the women that spoke, shared about her daily quiet time and how she always starts by reading a hymn from one of the older hymnals. She went on to point out that each of the hymns has a scripture reference under the title.

BINGO!!! Who needs to buy a devotional/Bible study when there are 734 hymns, responsive readings and benedictions in the hymnal, each with a nugget of scripture attached to ponder, stew in and soak up? By going through one per day, I have 2.01095 years worth of devotionals without spending a penny! Isn't that just perfect, considering our adoption agency recently announced that the wait times have been extended to 18-24 months?! ***Please note, I did not steal a hymnal. I have one from one of the churches where we attended which purchased all new hymnals and encouraged each of the members to take one of the old ones homes. Just sayin'!***

An added bonus in all of this came about 3 weeks into my hymnal/devotional journey. Larry came home with a piano one afternoon. Just like that. He just showed up, as if it was as common as the mail. We hadn't discussed my current quiet time literature. He just happened to have a piano donated to the youth group garage sale and knew that I had always wanted one. So, for the bargain price of $100, he bought me a piano. (Just a little FYI, he also sold 2 more for $, we paid a fair price...don't be judging!)

The advent of the piano kind of messed up my method of going through the hymn in numerical order. As a little girl, I took piano lessons for several years. So, I was completely distracted from my first plan and took a new approach determined by what key I could sit down and play first. I started hopping around from page to page...willy-nilly style.

I stumbled on this precious jewel. The reference is to James 2:17.

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Let Your Heart Be Broken
by Bryan Jeffrey Leech

Let your heart be broken for a world in need.
Feed the mouths that hunger,
Soothe the wounds that bleed,
Give the cup of water and the loaf of bread.
Be the hands of Jesus, serving in His stead.

Here on earth applying principles of love,
Visible expression
God still rules above,
Living illustration of the Living Word,
To the minds of all who've never seen or heard.

Add to your believing deeds that prove it true.
Knowing Christ as Savior,
Make Him Master, too.
Follow in His footsteps, Go where He has trod.
In the world's great trouble, risk yourself for God.

Let your heart be tender and your vision clear.
See mankind as God sees,
Serve Him far and near;
Let your heart be broken by another's pain,
Share your rich resources...Give and give again.  

Gorgeous, is it not?! The words were written by Bryan Jeffery Leech. When those stanzas are read and then compared with the scripture in the second chapter of James, I am overwhelmed by the notion that risking ourselves for God, giving, giving again and serving others as a "living illustration of the Living Word" can only be accomplished by putting our faith in Him.

All of the money-saving, coupon-clipping, book-reading, webinar-watching, Karyn Purvis-listening in the world won't accomplish anything, if I am not relying fully for God's patience, provision and protection in this process. While I am still doing all of those things, I am not sure that we could endure this process without absolute confidence that God had put a burden for a world in need in our hearts and more specifically, for a little boy in Ethiopia.

May we be constantly reminded that Jesus is not just our Savior, He is to be our Master, too. Please, Lord, help me to risk myself for You. I want to be a living illustration of Jesus to people who haven't seen or heard. I want to let my heart be broken.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Part 1 - Let Your Heart Be Broken - James 2:17

Like so many adopting mommas, my brain is constantly partially focused on our adoption...even if I am dealing with/planning for/thinking about something that has nothing to do with adoption. Please...if you understand what I mean, comment. Don't leave me hanging here thinking that I'm alone in my bizarre state!

One of the classic symptoms is that I have to, Have To, HAVE TO buy everything at a discount. My already weird couponing habits are nearly out of control (only on things that we really use). We've cut our eating out to a miniscule portion of the budget. Speaking of budgets, Good Ol' Dave R would be so proud! We've paid off all of our credit card debt (which wasn't too bad) and should be done with our car payment soon. That will leave us with only our mortgage payment in the debt column! Yee-haw!

If you've been around me, you know that I love to read. It's nearly as overwhelming as the couponing. Hello!!! I found a way to get books for free. Yes, I am aware of the library. But, I'm talking about new, pre-release books. Check it out!

I also like to rearrange the furniture and redecorate rooms that have already been decorated and redecorated repeatedly. However, that tends to be a big budget buster....meaning that it's out of the picture at this point in time.

Does it stop me? Do you really think that it stops me? I am not dead, I'm just saving money like a crazy woman.

Finally, I couldn't take the heinous brass colored fixtures in our home any longer.

Eeewwwww!!! I just despise them. I'm sure that some number of years in the future, a sweet couple will buy this house and move all of their stuff in and then change all the fixtures to the new trendy brass. But, I'm thinking that's at least 50 years out. So, I did what any nerd would do...I made a spreadsheet.

I found the door handles that I want.

I wrote down the manufacturer, the item number, the UPC...I documented EXACTLY what I WANTED.

I then counted all of the doors in the house...29.

I figured in the different prices for dummy doors, privacy doors (locking) and the doors to the outside.

$874, plus tax. Ugh. I can't replace all of the door handles.

But, I can paint them!

For just $27, I have already painted the 11 doors that are downstairs.

I removed the hardware, sanded (don't skip this step) and then cleaned everything well. I punched holes into a cardboard box to hold the knobs and screws in place.

I primed everything.

Then painted them with this.

Much better! (The chalkboard on my pantry door was completely and unabashedly copied from Bethany's at What's Mine Is Yours. However, I did ask if I could copy it before doing so!)

Tomorrow, I'll post again. I promise! And, as an added bonus, I will tie the seemingly random title in with my money-saving madness! This post was just getting a bit too long to stand!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Donate to Ordinary Hero!

Feel like doing something super awesome today?

You can donate to Ordinary Hero to give Bibles in Amharic to children in Africa, give a blanket, a donkey, 1/2 a donkey and still help out our family raise adoption funds.

Check out the giving options through Ordinary Hero by clicking here.

When you check out, choose my name (Laurie Daigle) from the Affiliates list. Or, if you want to spread the love...choose my cousin's name (Chris Ryan). He and his wife are adopting from Ethiopia as well!

Ordinary Hero will then send a percentage of your donation straight to America World Adoption to help offset the many costs associated with our adoption.


Our Home Study Visit

Last night, we FINALLY had the in-home visit with our precious social worker.

I think that my angst prior to the visit was typical. I cleaned like a crazed woman. I fretted over things that typically don't even enter my thoughts. I imagined all sorts of bizarre comments that the boys could have made. I imagined my explanations for their imaginary bizarre comments. I feel like a nut. (However, sometimes I don't.)

The boys did a great job. They were well behaved and didn't make any of the bizarre comments over which I fretted. They were their normal, silly, happy selves. Joseph was well-spoken and excited. Jeremiah and Gideon would make little jokes with each other and randomly break out with giggles. Caleb sat quietly until someone mentioned our recent trip to San Antonio and SeaWorld. At that point, he made sure that everyone knew that he had taken the opportunity to ride the Shamu Express three times.

Larry and I had individual interviews, as well. Those were interesting. I'm really relieved that we have that visit behind us. I had made it into a much more dramatic issue in my mind. After she left, I was exhausted. It had been a whirlwind day. Not really, as far as reality is concerned. I had spent the day doing laundry and cleaning. I had Caleb and a sweet daughter of a friend. It rained. I cleaned. We played. But, there was a lot going on in my mind.

Once I was done for the day. I was ready for some restorative sleep. Guess what I dreamed about? I dreamed that Mike Holmes of Holmes on Homes came to inspect our home. Good grief, can you say "Vain Imaginations?"

I think at this point I am ready for the dreaded waiting period. At least then I can worry about our new little guy and things that truly matter, not just paper work and processes.

By the way, through this process, I have been doing the Bible study James: Faith Under Pressure by Pam Gibbs of LifeWay. I picked it up to go through before deciding whether to offer it as a Mother/Daughter study for the youth group programs during the summer. I just wanted to make sure that it was something that both adults and teen girls would benefit from going through.

I highly recommend this study.

***Testimonial Alert: I can't express how God has used this study (for teens) to work on my heart and prepare it for some of the obstacles that have been thrown in the path of our adoption/life over the course of the last 2 months. I didn't plan on grabbing a Bible study that day that we were "popping in" to the local LifeWay store for some Sunday school items. I hadn't planned on the bumps in the road that Larry and I are currently experiencing. But, God knew what was coming. He knew what I needed. He is awesome that way. I love Him. Who is like Him?***

Another, By The Way: If you click on the link for the study, there is an option to download a free sample. And, it just happens to be the week which spoke to my heart during the onset of a majorly bumpy section of the proverbial road of life. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Gone Postal

I'm pretty sure the lady at the local post office thinks me a lunatic.

I have happened to have the same postal worker each time that I have had to mail something for the adoption. It truly is odd, considering how many workers that there are and how often they take breaks. (Come on, you know it's true.)

A while back, I asked her if I could take her picture with the first two packages that went to the AWAA offices (1 to McLean, VA and 1 to Dallas, TX).

Later, I took her picture when I sent the package with all of our home study questionnaires and docs.

I took her picture today. It was the package going to the Authentication Unit at the Secretary of State's office in Austin.

Maybe I am a lunatic.

Maybe she will give a more genuine smile when I march in one day and ask to take her picture with our little guy. I hope it doesn't take so long that she's retired at that point.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Genesis 1:24 Reflecting on Monday (Part Two)

So, we spent the day at the Houston Zoo. I told you all that yesterday, right?

Here is the moment that stood out.

We were making our way through the relatively new Africa Forest when we came upon the strangest and sweetest thing. In the chimpanzee exhibit there are walls of glass that allow zoo guests the opportunity to observe the chimpanzees nose-to-nose, all while in a gorgeous educational facility that is air-conditioned (a plus in Houston).

At the window, was a group of twenty-somethings. I could be overestimating their age. They were terribly immature and crass. However, one of these fellows had captured the attention of a chimpanzee. From the Chimpanzee Family Tree page of the zoo website, I believe that this particular dearie was Sally.

She stood at the glass, pointed at her head and then pointed to the glass. The young man copied her every move. He was wearing a pair of ripped up jeans and had evidently tripped somewhere and scraped his knee quite severely. His knee was a bloody mess. She kept looking intently at that knee. He didn't pick up on it.

Our family stood there, watching the sweet compassionate chimpanzee check on the obnoxious moron with the bloody knee.

I piped up, "She's worried about your knee."

All of a sudden, it clicked for him. "Ohhh...she sure is!" He quickly propped up his foot on the wall so that she could see the wound better. She moved closer and kept looking at his knee. Then, she squatted down in front of him and pointed at her head again. (I'm pretty sure she wanted to know what on earth he was thinking!)

The doofus got bored before the chimpanzee and he moved on. Her gaze followed him across the window. When he moved out of sight, she got up and went to the next window and watched him leave.

Such compassion.

I hit and searched "compassion" in NIV.

Here is the verse that stood out.

You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Micah 7:19

How many times has God been standing before me, waiting to show compassion, asking "What were you thinking?" How many times have I stood before Him, acted like an immature moron, and walked away?