Monday, July 30, 2012

What's In A Name?

Well, it has been quite a while since I posted on my blog. But for good reason! We have a new family member! Most of my "fan club", whose quantity sits at about 4, knows that we adopted. Our newborn son was born Friday, July 20 at 4:05 p.m. weighing a whopping 6 pounds 1 ounce and was 20 inches long. His birth mother is one of the most special people to our family. What a brave young woman to make an adoption plan for her son, and selflessly place him into our arms and trust us with his upbringing. This adoption has changed our entire family forever, not just in the obvious way of gaining a son...but witnessing the beauty, joy and anguish that go into a modern-day adoption. I plan to share more in the future about that...but for today I'm keeping in simple. His name. But first, a photo of our little handsome fella.....

World, Jake. Jake, World. Nice to meet you!
 Jake Everett Gordon

First off, I will start by saying that my husband has always been drawn to single-syllable boy names. He kept landing on a couple that would make me widen my eyes and think, "Are you SERIOUS?!" For example: (And no offense if these are your names or names of your loved ones)

Bo    (You spell it BO, like body odor. NO!)
Bruce  (no knuckle-dragging neanderthal for me, thanks)

When we saw the meaning of the name Jake, short for Jacob, we knew that was the right name. We are big believers in strong names that have meaning. I know some parents name their children names they just like, and that is great...for them. I remember right after we had decided on his name, I was at La Madeleine for Bible Study and was excited to share what we had chosen. I stated his name, and then asked, with a huge smile if anyone wanted to know what it meant. One woman in particular said, "No." I replied, "Ok...I can see that you are disinterested in knowing the meaning of my son's name, but I will share anyway!" (Insert obvious fake smile here.) But really, names have meanings, and we chose Jake's very carefully.

Jake is short for Jacob, and no we did not name him Jacob. Just Jake.
Jake is a Hebrew name from scriptures that means "Supplanted one; Held by the heel." Supplanted means to replace one thing by something else; to take the place of another. To me, Jake is the gift from God that we would not have gotten if not for our miscarriages. Had we not miscarried, we may not have prayed to pursue adoption, at least not at this time. Also, in scriptures, Jacob is a twin. Our Jake's birth mother is a twin. Cool, huh? But the deepest meaning for me, personally, is that the story of Jacob in the Bible parallels symbolically with our journey. Let me explain:

"Jacob struggled with God his entire life, as many of us do. As he matured in faith, Jacob depended on God more and more. But the turning point for Jacob came after a dramatic, all-night wrestling match with God. In the end the Lord touched Jacob's hip and he was a broken man, but also a new man. From that day forward, Jacob was called Israel. And for the rest of his life he walked with a limp, demonstrating his dependence on the Lord. Jacob finally learned to give up control to God. Jacob's story teaches us how an imperfect person can be greatly blessed by God--not because of who he or she is, but because of who God is."  (Taken from This is a precise parallel with my spiritual journey through these last 8 years. We have had so many good times, but also some very low times that had left me at my worst. This long road of infertility and loss has been a spiritual wrestling with God for me. I am forever changed. For the better, of course, as God is constantly refining us. But just as Jacob survived with a hurt hip, I have survived with only a broken or changed heart. We have learned to let go of our grip on what we want, expect, or think we want. God has proved himself to us OVER, and OVER, and OVER. Don't we serve a mighty God?

Everett is a much simpler meaning for us. Everett means "brave." Jake's middle name is in honor of his brave birth mother. I don't know a more courageous person in my world.

So, that was a very large nutshell, but there you have his name meanings in a nutshell. Speaking of nutshells, there is a little squirrel that keeps staring at me through my window as I type. Every time I glance up at him, he looks away. He's either shy, or spying, or trying to get a sneak peek at the little guy. I might have to go introduce myself later. ;)


Friday, July 13, 2012

Christmas in July and the Opposite of Superstition

Today's post is a little random, hence the title.

Let me start by saying that today is Friday the 13th. Are you scared yet? I'm not. Now, for someone superstitious, that would be a big deal. But for someone like me, it's just like any other Friday. As my husband says, "Just another day in the way." Just to prove how literally non-superstitious I am, let's talk about the proverbial black cat crossing your path. I see that happen, and I think to myself,  "Oh, look. That pretty cat probably just wants to go hang out at a neighbor's." Or, say, the penny on the ground. "Find a penny, pick it up. All day long you'll have good luck." Right? Not to me. My thought would be more like..."Oh, a penny! I'm going to leave that there for someone who needs it more than I do."  I have never been one to wear a lucky shirt, or rub a rabbit's foot to make a wish. (That poor rabbit!!)

My peace comes from something far more wonderful. My faith.

Our family knows that today is kind of a big deal for us. If you don't know, we are waiting to hear important medical information about our newest family member who will join us soon. He is fine, so don't get all crazy on me. We have a lot of people praying for this new little man, and have fully covered this in prayer. The fact that the tests fall on Friday the 13th would just terrify some. It didn't me....I just rolled out of bed at the crack o'dawn like I always do and headed out the door to a local estate sale right up the road, with prayers running through my heart and mind non-stop.

Shuffling through the sale, I stumbled upon a box of Bibles. The sign said, "Bibles...Free." So I began digging through the box to find a couple I'd like to have. Let me just tell you...I hit the Word of God jackpot! And guess how many Bibles there were in the box? Yep. 13. The lady told me I could have them all, so I took them home and started rummaging through them all.

Once I got home, I realized the significance of God's Word in abundance over our family today.
John 1:1-5 began flooding my mind and gave me such peace about our circumstances.
 1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2. He existed in the beginning with God. 3God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him4 The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Call me quirky, but it doesn't stop there. I discovered in the stack a teen Bible, for my precious Stayton. A child's Bible, for our new little man. An Amplified Bible, which happens to be my favorite translation. Several antique versions of the Bible that fit my vintage decor in my house. I'm a sucker for anything vintage. I even found handwritten notes and heirloom letters tucked into the pages of these Bibles. These next few images fully portray why I felt such a PEACE as I explored my free treasures. Have a look...and tell me there is not a God who hears our prayers.

I know that He is sovereign over us. I know that our future is in His hands. And I know that He gives us the grace and strength to make it through. For those of you praying for us, thank you. We are deeply grateful.

Now, for the Christmas in July part. The fact that we are getting a baby brother for Stayton very soon, coupled with 10-year-old stockings that, quite honestly, I'm tired of looking at, I decided it was high time I started a new batch of Christmas stockings. Armed with amateur sewing skills, minimal sewing supplies, and a magnificent vision...I went fabric shopping today. Here are the coordinating fabric choices:
SOOOOOO PRETTY!  What?? You don't like them? Oh, it must be because they don't scream Christmas. Again, I'm quirky, and one of my least favorite things about Christmas is all of the blatant commercialized fabrics and decor that just feel so 'mawmaw' to me. Maybe it's my design background mixed with the belief that Christmas doesn't always have to be red and green, but I am so in love with these fabrics!
Stripes for the boys...

And mod flowers for Mom and Abbie.

So, get out there, live your life without fear today! Let go of your superstitions! And embrace truth...and by all means, MERRY CHRISTMAS in July.

Until next time~~
Peace out

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Speaking of Lit....

We received a very special gift in the mail today from a fellow adoptive family, and it melted my heart. There is something about a children's picture book that sucks me in. And no, it's not the pictures. (Although I would LOVE to illustrate children's books someday.) I distinctly remember in my education classes I had a professor that, each and every class meeting, would read-aloud yet another storybook. This was by far my favorite time of learning...not just for the simplicity. There is something so fresh, innocent, and beautiful about kids' books. The beauty and morals portrayed bring hope to my heart every time I read one. Especially the classics!

But this book? This one is especially beautiful. This one was written from the perspective of someone with a heart like my own. Here...I'll share. Pull up a chair, and grab your favorite snack, and if your heart is not made of stone, a couple tissues as well.  It's storytime, people.

"GOD FOUND US YOU" Written by Lisa Tawn Bergren  ~  Art by Laura J. Bryant

 "Little Fox cuddled up to Mama Fox one night and said sleepily, "Mama, tell me again about the day I came home.  "Oh, yes." Mama said with a smile. "That is my favorite story of all. When God found us you, it made me the happiest mother in the world."

"Just by me comin' home?" Little Fox asked with a yawn. "Especially by coming home." Mama said.

"For so long I dreamed of you," she said, snuggling closer. " 'Bout me?"  "About you. I dreamed of how you would look, smell, even what you would sound like. And every day I thought of how wonderful it would be to hold you in my arms."

"I started seeing you everywhere, in the leaves of the giant oak and in the bark of the pine. Even in the stars! Oh, how I longed for the day that you would arrive, when God would find us you." "And then I came?"  "Oh, no. No matter how much I prayed it would happen, I still had to wait."   "You waited and waited?"   "And WAITED. But I knew that someday you would arrive, when God would find us you."

"It made it hard to see other mamas with their children," she said, like she was telling me a secret. "YOU were lonely for ME?"  "Very. I could not wait until the day you'd come, the day when God would find us you."

"I'd go up to the cliffs and watch for you. I stood there day...after day...after day."  "Did you ever want to give up?" Little Fox asked. "Sometimes," Mama said, rubbing Little Fox's cheek with hers. "But I trusted that God knew you, and knew me, and knew when we'd fit perfectly together."

Little Fox paused. "How come I couldn't stay with the mother who had me?"  "She must have had very big reasons to give you up. She must have thought it was best for you."  "Did she have fur like mine? Eyes like mine?"  "Most likely." Mama smiled softly. "She must have been as beautiful as you are handsome. I think she prayed like crazy that you would be safe, Little Fox. I think she prayed for me as much as I prayed for her." Mama's voice got all whispery. "And God answered both our prayers."  "I came then?? To you?"  Mama nodded, happy tears in her eyes. "You came then. When God found us you, you made me the happiest mama in the world."

Little Fox smiled and then thought for a moment. "Mama, will YOU be my forever mama?"

"Always and forever. No matter what." she promised. "This is where you belong. Here, with me, my sweet child. You are mine. The best gift in the whole wide world. I will always love you and treasure you and celebrate the day you came, the day that God found us you." .........

Sunday, July 8, 2012


Can anyone hear me?
Well, it seems I am back in the blog world...I have put it off for quite a while now. You might wonder: "Why? Blogging is so fun! I love to stalk people I do or don't know and share all about my world too!"

First of all, some may see blogging as just "one more thing" on their to-do list. I did. That is reason #1 why I stopped blogging a few years ago. My job(s) of full-time teaching, being team leader, and a mom, wife, shopper, cook, taxi-driver, etc....I honestly needed to say NO to something. Something's gotta give, you know?

Second of all. Ever heard that old saying by Theodore Roosevelt "Comparison is the thief of joy?" Oh, you haven't heard it. Well here it is all purty-like:

Unfortunately, blog-stalking and blogging began leaving such a sour taste in my mouth. Nobody really did anything to make it that way, it just DID. I began blogging several years ago as a way to keep in touch with our former city, Houston, and all the loved ones that lived there. But the physical distance was only broadened in my heart by the lifestyle distance that kept pushing its wedge in there. Not only were we no longer with our friends and family there, in the words of John Mayer, I watched those pretty lives play out in pictures from afar. I began to notice that every single time I logged in and blogged or read others' blogs, my heart hurt. Plain and simple: we were different than everyone else. Comparison stole my joy.

Thirdly, I hit rock bottom. Everyone's rock bottom looks different. Some may consider my rock bottom mild. But for an extroverted, happy-go-lucky, artsy-fartsy goodie-goodie gal like me...I thought my rock bottom stunk. I lost my love for life and all the beauty it held. I became angry, hard-hearted, bitter, jealous and grieved. I learned to cling to these 3 things during that time: the powerful Word of God, my husband and son, and my own bigger family. I honestly could not have gotten where I am this moment without those 3 things, in that very order.

The reasons for NOT-blogging have begun to be outweighed by the reasons FOR blogging lately. Have I had a change of heart? Absolutely. Just like that?? NOOOO. God has been working on me for so long now, and there are countless ways He has refined me; too many to mention, in fact, although I do hope to share with you some tidbits of our journey here and there mixed in among the fun day-to-day sharing. I don't want this blog to be just about our past, or just about my kids, or just about my crafty tendencies. This is a blog about a lot of different things.

Values I can see now in blogging:

~Keeping in touch with distantly located friends and family
~Sharing insight and profound "aha" moments as I live them
~Providing a testimonial outlet
~Sharing in joy, not having my joy stolen
~Book discussions
~Therapy in writing it out
~Log of our family life

So, as I close it a couple things for me:
1) Post your own top reason for blogging in the comment section below
2) Cast your vote in my poll for your favorite type of lit  :)

Until next time....Peace Out.