We are 10 days away from leaving for China. 10. Days. Oh my.We have 7 "to-do" lists. Yes, 7. Things to buy, things to pack, things to prepare, things to do before we leave, etc.
Oh my.So many of you have called & emailed, asking how we're doing & how preparation is going. We are INCREDIBLY grateful to have such a loving group of family & friends joining us in this journey!Since many of you have asked, we decided to relaunch our custom t-shirt! During this journey, there have been several times when everything could have fallen a part & not worked out the way we hoped they would; in these moments the Lord reminded us of the simple truth that all it takes is a very small amount of faith & He can do wonders (Matthew 17:20). As such, we decided to do a t-shirt around Matthew 17:20 that reflects "faith in the Lord." The shirt is designed by our dear friend Ryan Morris & the scripture reference & word "faith" is written in Jayson's handwriting. This is a very precious t-shirt to me & we are VERY grateful to everyone that has already purchased one! I attached a picture for those of you that haven't seen it & the link to purchase is:If you have one & are planning on meeting us at the airport for our homecoming, please wear it!Last night, after an afternoon of cleaning out things & shifting things around here at home, I was feeling quite overwhelmed: there is MUCH joy in this Mama's heart being a family of 3 & there is a part of me that grieves the fact that in a few short weeks, we won't have these moments again. There is still alot to get done to prepare for our trip & the boy's arrival. I was fighting feelings of overwhelming stress when I got a FB message from a dear friend who lives a state away (& I haven't seen in a year). We share a common bond, this girlfriend & I, in that we have children that have been loved on & cared for by New Hope Foundation in China (see my previous email for more details about NHF). Yesterday, their monthly email came out & there was a sweet blessing inside that I know was meant just for me:"Children continue to be adopted. One very special child, James (known by most as "Rui Rui"), for whom we have prayed for so long to have a family, is finally going to a wonderful forever family in March. It’s these things that bring me much joy in the midst of the sadness and suffering that is all around us. The quote at the end of my letter is from an email we received from his mother."
& in that moment, I was reminded that the Lord is blessing us with not one, but TWO MORE PRECIOUS SONS that one day, we will have the honor of knowing & loving the way we do Jayson. For that, every bit of the preparation, sadness, & stress is so very worth it! Without a doubt.The line Dr. Hill included at the end of her email is the quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that graces the bottom of every email I send, "
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."
--In the depths of my soul I know THIS is what I was created for; what we have been created for. As a follower of Christ, there is no greater calling than to speak up, speak out, & stand up for the things that matter; the things of eternal significance. So our challenge to you is to find out what matters, what has eternal significance, that the Lord is asking you to speak up & speak out for. It will have hard moments, but it will be worth it!It is an honor to stand in the gap for those that cannot stand for themselves; to try our best to love the way Christ loves in a broken & hurting world. It is truly a blessing that we do not take lightly. In the same light, we know Satan is pissed & will be relentless in his attack; we know that he hates it any time any of us put action to our faith to follow the Lord where He leads. As such, we are grateful for your prayers of peace & protection moving forward as we trust our Heavenly Father to lead us.He is with us, He has gone before us, & we trust His plan:"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." ~Deuteronomy 31:8 NIVThank you for journeying with us~
Jonathan, DeAnna, & our boys
|And the packing, begins, oh my!|
|He really wanted to go!|
|This one didn't really have anything to do with packing, it was just so sweet I had to share!|
|Packing, so stressful|