how he defines himself

Define yourself radically as one beloved by God. This is the true self. ~Brennan Manning

Just Melissa: How He Defines Himself
You. Guys. This just got real! What happened?  Where does the time go?  I know a lot of you reading this have little one’s in school.  Several just sent there’s off for the first time.  Can I just tell you… oh my stars!  There really aren’t words to describe it is there?  You mom’s know. That’s your baby!  That’s my baby I just sent out into the BIG REAL WORLD all by himself. We struggled (well I struggled really) all summer with whether to wait one more year.  With a July birthday, he will be the youngest.  I’ve gotten lots of advice from wise people I respect.  Some say hold him off.  Boys mature slower and waiting one more year will be better.  Some said to go ahead, it will be great for him.  He is so smart he will love it. I prayed, prayed hard.  Bart knew my issue was really more of a letting go issue and not really an issue of having peace about the decision.  I came to terms with that myself.

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So…we now have a Kindergartner!  Ah, did I just say that? I know this sounds silly, but really y’all.  Wasn’t this just yesterday?

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Look at that sweet boy walking to preschool for the first time.  That little Buzz backpack was bigger then he was. But you know, he is so excited.  And I am really excited for him.  We love his teacher!  I have such a tremendous LOVE for teachers now that I have a child of my own in their care all week. School really is a big deal.  They learn so much.  They grow so much.  But my prayer for Little B is that he learns and grows and remembers what life is really about.  I want him to know that being respectful and obeying is important.  I want him to know that working hard is important. But above all, it’s who you are that matters.  Bart and I care less about straight A’s and more about how he see’s himself and the influence he goes on to make.  We care more about him discovering God’s love for him and that God has a plan for him and less about him measuring up to the world’s version of success.  We pray that as Brennan leaves the shelter of our home and enters the world, that he is a light!  We are the primary influence in his life, the school is there to assist us in his learning.

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So I don’t have to be scared.  I don’t have to worry.  God will protect him.  He will guide us as parents just as he will guide Brennan’s steps. I don’t believe it starts when they are older.  I believe it starts know. As Brennan was walking to his classroom yesterday, I asked him if he remembered the song he learned and performed last year in Preschool.  ” Of Course!” he said.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.  Be an example for believers.”

This is who we are.  This is my prayer for him each day as he enters those doors.  Well, and that he has fun!

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I don’t really see that being a problem though!

Creativity kits for kids!

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so here’s what’s been going on.

I mean really.

Can’t believe it was last November since I’ve been here.  Can I first just tell ya life in Houston is so not the same as life in Des Moines. It’s a whirlwind in comparison.  In a good way.  But I do sometimes miss the slower pace of the day to day living that Des Moines offered.  However, our hearts are so content here.  We know without a doubt we are where God has called us to be.

BUT… the sacrifice is this here blog.  I love it.  Dearly!  I miss y’all.  Like crazy.  So please forgive me for my rudeness.  I have been getting lots of questions on how the adoption is going.

I also have not been getting much sleep and my mind has been reeling.What better time to come here with you and share what’s been going on in the Lewis house.

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It’s hard to put these things in words.  Really it is.  I’m gonna try, but please don’t judge my inability here.  My goal is to be transparent.  In all we do, it’s our desire as a family to search after God’s desire for us and to share what he has done.  This is all him!

I shared last October how we felt God calling us to Foster to Adopt.  We were led to a specific agency, which is also a ministry to the homeless of Houston.  In March, after taking the first necessary steps to start the process, a family very generously and sacrificially donated the money to pay for our adoption!!!!

I mean, really!

My struggle for so long was “HOW” we would do this.  Adoption so wasn’t practical.  It’s expensive and we didn’t have extra money saved up.  Not to mention the house we were in at the time, well… I HATED IT!  Not to mention it was tiny.

But, God promised me that if we would just take the step and LOVE a child, HE would provide everything for us to do just that.

And provide he did.  There are no words that can adequately describe how grateful we are to this family and how humble we are that they would choose to help our family.

So then…we waited.

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On June 1st, our case worker called to ask for our family photo book.  She had a very urgent tone in her voice and I knew something was up.  A few hours later she called me back.  After explaining that “this” has never happened before, she went on to tell me that a currently pregnant mom came to see them and wanted to give her baby up for adoption.  She looked through several family books.  Our case worker then showed her our family picture on her phone (because I never actually got the family photo book to our case worker.)

The birth mom looked at our picture and immediately said that we were the family she wanted her baby to go to.  She also said she wanted me to BE IN THE DELIVERY ROOM!  She also said the baby is a GIRL!  She also said she was due in 3 MONTHS! Which makes her due around the first week of September. (Though my case worker thinks she will be early)

Y’all… this is a straight up adoption.  A FIRST for this agency.

And then…we continue to wait.

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In the waiting, I am trying not to get to far ahead of myself.  It’s always a risk.  Birth mom can always change her mind. We know because this has happened to us before. It’s hard for me to dwell on the possibility of this happening because it did happen to us before.

But y’all, the “nesting” stage doesn’t just come when you are physically pregnant.  I was fighting it, but I couldn’t help it.  So I began to crochet.  I figured the things I made would always make great gifts for other babies, so I was safe. That makes since right?  (But you better believe that each of those little blankets and booties were made with prayers and love for baby girl.)

And so…we continue to wait some more.

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I’ve talked with our case worker and they haven’t heard from birth mom since that day she came into their office.

They tell me this isn’t at all abnormal.  They tell me this is how it is with street moms.  They don’t want anyone to know where they are, for many reasons.  They also don’t want to spend what money they may have on minutes for their phone.  They also don’t think of others… well… because it takes all they have to survive for themselves.

We are proceeding as normal.  We are waiting just to get a call from our agency saying that birth mom is in the hospital having baby girl and to hurry up and get ourselves there.  AND.  We are also waiting knowing that there is that possibility that this could not happen.

But I’ve seen what God can do.  I’ve seen what He has done.  We lost the first baby we were going to adopt.  I grieved the loss of her.  But then, a week later, we got another phone call about Brennan.  And as I prepare for his first day in Kindergarten next week, I wonder if baby girl is also getting ready for kindergarten wherever she is.

Y’all, if we hadn’t gotten the call about that baby girl, and THEN LOST HER, we wouldn’t have our son.  AND HE IS SO SUPPOSED TO BE OUR SON!

So I know, that no matter what happens here, God HAS GOT THIS!  He has a plan.  He has given me a promise. I trust him!

But I also want you to hear when I say that this is hard.  It is good, but it is hard.  I am waiting for the unknown.  I could very possibly have a baby next week or the week after.  Most moms are pregnant and have a plan with the nursery all complete, bottles and paci’s sterilized and the hospital bag packed.  Not us.

I now waking up most nights at 2 am and can’t go back to sleep.  My heart is heavy all day wondering where baby girl is, if she is safe, if she will be our baby girl.  But I refuse to doubt God.  So because of this hard place we are in, I am listening to worship music ALL day long and you know my face is wet with tears as I am broken before my Father.  I wake up and go straight to my bible for some word from Him and He NEVER disappoints or abandons me. In my head I am repeating promises from scripture as I go throughout my day. Old hymns I grew up on are coming to mind and I am singing them like crazy (God is so good, he is so good, he’s so good to me. He answers prayers. He answers prayers… )

I remember that there is MORE to this!  I remember that God created baby girl and loves baby girl and has a plan for baby girl.  And he does the same for me and my family.

So we are waiting.

Y’all, I know this is a long post, but trust me, this is the short version.

Would you please pray for us?  Mostly pray for baby girl… that she is safe and protected in the shadow of his wings wherever she is.  Pray for birth mom…that she is safe and that somehow she knows and feels the love that God has for her!

And would you pray for our family?  I learned so many things through all of this infertility and adoption.  One very valuable thing is the POWER OF PRAYER!  Y’all I believe it.  I feel it when y’all are praying over us and this baby.  I know God is faithful in his promises.

Thank you for walking alongside us during this journey.

**If you want to follow the journey on Instagram, you can find me here :: #waitingforbabylewisdos **

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share your off the wall home

Off The Wall Home Faith Print

Y’all, I’ve been so busy the past couple of weeks it’s been difficult to find the time to write here.  I’ve had very good intentions but I have found myself covered in paint and buried in cabinet doors.  I’m grateful for this but I don’t like not spending time here.

This morning I received an email from a reader/faux client/shop customer with a link to a sweet nursery picture on pinterest.  I squealed when I saw our very own “Faith” print on this precious babies wall.  What an adorable nursery this little girl has.

I can’t tell you the feeling that comes with seeing our work in our clients/customers homes.  Every time we see one of our products or prints… well it’s just a blessing.  It doesn’t just mean a “sell” to us.  It really is so much more.  We really spend so much time in prayer over what Jaime and I do. Over each design, each piece of wood that is cut, each piece of artwork that is painted – lots of thought and meaning go into each one.  Our focus and mission isn’t to just make money, although it is how we make a living and a way that God uses to provide for our families.  But more, our desire is that each piece truly stirs up something inside each person who comes across one of our pieces.  That it brings real inspiration and encouragement in your spirit.  And ultimately creates a desire for you to also do the same.

What an honor it is to be a part of someone else’s life this way.  What a privilege!  That’s what we feel each and every time we see something created by our hands.

It’s more then just a product.

Thank you Stacey for sending this to me!

If you wanna join in on the fun, you can always share a picture of one of your Off The Wall Home pieces with us on pinterest or our Facebook Page. We would love to show it off and maybe feature it here on the blog!

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