Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Almost Go Time

We finally, officially cleared Embassy!  Praise the Lord!  We weren't suppose to get word until tomorrow, which is when our finder interview had been rescheduled.  After being super frustrated with not being able to travel last month, I basically rode Embassy's you know what.  Like would email them every other day making sure that they were still on top of our case and seeing if there was anyway to appeal this step in the process or go about it another way.  Finally, our consular officer requested a phone interview with the police officer that filed all of the paperwork for Robel's abandonment.  It was suppose to be last Monday, then it didn't happen.  Tuesday I didn't hear anything and Wednesday I started bugging Embassy again about it.  Our officer replied back that they had conducted the phone interview, but were still requiring the finder interview on the 17th.  Keep in mind that we had already booked our tickets for the 20th.  Basically, on a scale of 1-10 my stress level was a 75.

Thursday morning I get up and am making breakfast for the kids when the Hubby comes in and asks if we cleared Embassy?, why would he even ask me that?  Well, he asked me that because Embassy had emailed HIM and told HIM that they were going to go ahead and clear us and were cancelling our finder interview based on having enough information from the police officer.  First of all, why the crap are they emailing HIM?  I send and receive all the emails, I stay in contact with all the important people, I did 99% of the leg work in this adoption but they email HIM the most important and exciting news EVER.  Jerks.  Second, it is only by the grace of God and the hundreds, maybe thousands of prayers that were being poured out on our behalf that we got cleared without a finder interview.  That basically never happens.  Ever.  To God be the glory!

So, this week is slightly stressful.  Here are the most common asked questions from this past week..Am I ready?  No.  Have I packed?  No.  Am I excited?  I don't have time for that yet.  Where is Robel going to sleep?  No idea.  Am I going to drug him on the plane ride home?  Absolutely. 

Pretty much the only things I can focus on right now is my ever long to do list and praying that we aren't on the next flight 370.  Can I get an amen?  No seriously, we updated our will just in case...
Pray for us.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Clean Eating

Ugh...the Hubby and I started 30 days of clean eating last week.  Neither of us needs to lose much weight, but we pretty much eat like crap all the time.  We love good food and trying new restaurants.  His weakness is salty foods and mine is sugar.  Like, I could eat a brownie sundae every day for the rest of my life and be sooo happy.  We have eaten about 95% organic for about 6 years now.  However, organic sugar and butter pack the same amount of calories and fat as non organic sugar and butter.  Anyway, it pretty much all boils down to the fact that my brother is getting married in a month and I bought a dress that's a tid bit tight and would really like to wear it comfortably.  Plus, I need to quit depending on sugar so much and form better eating habits.

So, I went to 3 different grocery stores last week and dropped about $300 on organic lean meats, fruits and vegetables.  Plus everything I needed for smoothies, because I need my sweet fix everyday.  The first morning I looked in our cram packed refrigerator and thought to myself that I had nothing to eat and was going to starve on this diet.  First world problems.  I ended up making some eggs and a smoothie for breakfast and within an hour was STARVING.  I mean, my body is use to bagels and PB&J's and banana bread for breakfast.  It was in no carb shock.  I crammed my face full of carrots and salad and fruit and nuts all day....and I was still in starvation mode.  Day 2 went a little better.  I slowly started realizing what my body needed and when.  Finding the right balance of protein and grains along with fruits and veggies is a science I tell ya.

Day 3 I was craving mexican food, because that usually takes up about 50% of my normal diet.  So, I went to Chipotle for lunch and got a bowl loaded with chicken and guacamole, along with all the other healthy stuff.  It melted in my mouth.  By day 4 I realized a few things about eating clean.  First thing was that I was sleeping like a rock without any melatonin help.  Second, the first week of clean eating will clean you out, no additional fiber needed.  Third, I had a ton of energy and didn't hit my afternoon 'Oh crap, I have to have some sugar and some caffeine and I wish I could take a cat nap so I can get through the rest of this day' mode. 

After 7 days I weighed and lost 5 pounds exactly.  I even cheated a little and had a couple of glasses of wine...and a few non fat lattes.  Don't judge.  So, needless to say, all those clean eating freaks aren't all that crazy.  I think I may forever be one of them!  I will keep you posted.  Off to make my kale smoothie.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Thoughts on Church

I grew up going to church every week, usually 2-3 times a week.  That's what you were suppose to do.  I have lots of great memories of my church growing up.  All of my friends went and there was Wednesday night youth events, camps and disciple now weekends.  I learned a lot about faith , the bible and God.  I learned how to navigate my way around the bible and was told how much God loved me.  I knew all of the words to worship songs and asked Jesus to be apart of my life.

I also learned that there was a long list of dos and don'ts and if you stayed away from the "don'ts" then you wouldn't be judged and you were definitely going to heaven.  Unfortunately for me, I chose the don'ts more than the dos so I was pretty much looked down upon and talked about by the people that were suppose to be loving on me.  So, as soon as I graduated high school I just quit going to church.  I mean, the judgy looks I'd get the morning after I'd been out all night drinking and hanging out with all those "sinners" on Saturday night just wasn't worth anything that I may have gotten from a sermon.

The thing about the Holy Spirit is that when you are a believer, He constantly tugs at your soul and will not let you run too far away from him.  Because of that, when the Hubby and I got married, I decided that we needed to find a church.  A church that we could both agree on and a church that would love us for who we were and fill us with what we needed starting our lives together.  We tried several.  The Hubby wanted a mega, non denominational church and I wanted a smaller church that had lots of newly marrieds that we could befriend and do life with.  We ended up at a mega Baptist church that had everything to offer.  We loved it there.  We made friends, we enjoyed going and serving and growing in our faith.  It restored my faith in the church and it's people.  Not because the church was just that awesome, but because I changed my attitude towards church.

You see, I decided one day that I was going to study the bible on my own.  Without any preconceived notions that had been imbedded into my head, I was going to study the bible all by myself and come to my own conclusions about church and faith and who God really was.  I realized through that that I could not look to a pastor or worship leader or Sunday school teacher to determine my faith or to fix my broken relationship with God, that was up to me.  I also realized the church is full of jacked up hypocrites.  I know that because I am one of them.  Who am I to judge the screwed up people inside the church when I'm one of those screwed up people?  I'm a sinner and I need Jesus and so does every one else that chooses to step foot through a church door.  People nowadays don't go to church because that's what they are suppose to do, they go to church because they are yearning for something that the church can offer.

After 10 years at that church, we felt like the Lord was leading us somewhere else.  We prayed about it and visited other churches in our town.  We kept going back to one in particular that was very different than what we were use to.  It's small and very laid back.  There's nothing fancy about it, in fact, we meet in a barn.  It's the kind of church where everybody knows everybody.  The teachings are solid, the music is raw and soothing.  The people love on each other and are all there to better their walk with Christ.  It's refreshing.

I most certainly do not think that you have to go to church every Sunday to have a personal relationship with God.  There are missionaries all over this world that never get the opportunity to ever step foot in a church.  At the end of the day, God knows your heart and knows where you stand with Him.  However, as much as the people inside the church are jacked up, they are jacked up together and are all working on their jackedupness.  Yeah, I just made that a word.  I truly believe that there's a church out there for everyone, you just have to find the right fit for you.  10 years ago, it was a huge mega church with all the bells and whistles.  Now, it's a tiny little Baptist church that meets in a barn.  No matter where you go, there will be things that you don't like.  Why?  Because there's no perfect church.  But there is a perfect God and everyone needs him.  The churches job is to love on people and help lift each other up to bring each other closer to Him.  It's job is to hold you accountable so that you can constantly grow in your faith and quit falling victim to the same sins that have a hold on to you.  It's job is to surround you with people that are jacked up like you, so that you can help each other be more like Christ and less jacked up.

There are lots of churches that offer all of these things and more.  Find one.  Keep going from one to the next to the next until you find one that works for you.  Then once you're there, jump in.  Build relationships with fellow believers, serve with your God given talents, give to further the kingdom and you will be so much better for it.  You will find your purpose.  My thoughts on church are that it's pretty awesome and you should probably try it.