Thursday, December 31, 2009


2009 was SO FULL.
The year started out with some oral surgery for me....thankfully all of my trips to the dentist and surgeon are done for awhile! Yaay!
February brought a new first for Scraps 'N Ribbons- an adoption conference! Our church is hosting it this year and we are getting ready to start sewing and gluing all of the products for that one.
March brought my 3rd trip to Guatemala, this time with Caleb. It was a stretching trip but God had so much for me to learn. He confirmed my love for Spanish even more that week after I helped with the dental clinic, and He gave us the awesome opportunity to go to Maria's home to purchase jewelry in order to buy her medicine.
That same spring, the Semlows brought their 3 home from Ethiopia. I haven't spent nearly as much time with them as I wanted and I miss this sweet family so much. It has been so incredible to watch their adjustment to a family of 8 and to see them cling to Christ through every twist and turn.
Lots of fun trips to my aunt and uncle's house were to be had in the spring, summer, and fall. Go-karting, eating, playing games, and laughing at the farm :)
A dress-up Luau at my old school, youth group activities, and game nights were some definite highlights out of the year.
In June I went on my 4th trip to Guatemala. This was the hardest trip I've had yet, since I had to say good bye to Claudia. Now it looks like the Lord just might give me another hello with this girl but at the time things looked pretty bleak. I came home devastated, sorrowful, emotional, and deeply grieving the loss of this sweet girl in my life. It was a trying time in my spiritual walk. After months of wrestling with the Lord He has really rekindled my heart, my passion, and my fire for Guatemala. And I feel ready to go back whenever He leads. Even with the challenges of this trip, I know that it was a crucial part of my walk with Jesus. And I see even more how faithful, gracious, and loving He is towards His children.
14?! Did someone say 14?! My sweet (hmm...they wouldn't appreciate sweet). My awesome (that's more like it) twin brothers turned 14 in June. This summer was HUGE for the 3 of us kids. God matured both of these boys so much and they are turning into protective, loving, Godly young men. I couldn't be more proud of them.
I got to babysit the same 5 kiddos this summer which was a blast!
The Lord was so good in growing some incredible friends during the Guatemala trip. All 4 of these girls are at least 7 years older than I am, yet they have continued to seek me out and include me even after all of these months. I feel so priveleged to be able to spend time with them and watch them walk with the Lord.
July was a quick weekend trip to the Dells in Wisconsin.
On our second day there, we got a call from our friend saying that some strong winds had taken a tree down in our back yard, knocking off the electrical box and causing a fire. This friend had come to check on our basement to make sure it hadn't flooded, and when she saw the fire (which had just started as she pulled up- go figure!) she called the police, who had a fire extinguisher and beat the firemen to the house to extinguish the fire. God was so good in saving our home and our family. We are so thankful!
August was a family reunion with my Dad's fam! We went to my aunt and uncle's farm and it was a great week of family, fun, annual family olympics, and laughter.
In August I also started my new babysitting job. It has been so much fun and such a blessing.
September was my brothers' first homecoming! I felt so old driving Noah to pick up his date and delivering them to dinner. Wow. I feel like I know a little bit about how mommies feel when their babies grow up! My little baby brothers aren't babies anymore!
In October I turned 18!!! The same weekend also happened to be when my mom's sister and brother were flying in so we celebrated my birthday while we were there. I got my makeup done, we all had dinner, and rented a movie back in the hotel room.
After my birthday, I flew out East with my aunt to take care of my cousins' 2 little girls! It was SO MUCH FUN. I came back and just wanted to get married and be a mommy! :)
Thanksgiving quickly rolled around again and we found so many things to be thankful for! :)
December brought the rush of Christmas celebrations, but also a fabulous 3 weeks of Christmas break. It has been so wonderful.

What a year. So many lessons, tears, and laughter. Learning to trust in God's plan for my life above all else and seeing His faithfulness in the end.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Week Before Christmas*

Twas the week before Christmas and all through our house
Is a hustle and bustle, but not from a mouse.

We've been wrapping, cooking, and running about.
Preparing for Christmas, everything on the to-do list marked out.

The gingerbread house and cookies have been made with great care,
The Christmas cards printed and sent off somewhere.
The gifts were nestled all snug under the tree,
Anticipating the family to gather 'round for some unwrapping.
This morning we went to the airport to get
Aunt Lulu and Uncle Jay Jay from out East, they'd been missed!
When it was all set and done we were ready for a nap,
In fact we might fall asleep on Santa's lap.

When out in the kitchen there arose such a clatter,
It was mom making dinner, nothing was the matter!
Running to the table, we all ran in a flash,
Pulled out our napkins, bowed our heads in a dash.

It was time for our big Christmas dinner you see,
We do it a day early, on Christmas eve.

We gobbled our food, our tummies now full.
We loaded in the car, come one, come all!!

To celebrate Jesus, His coming, His birth
The miracle of Christmas in a service at church.

With Molly on piano, and friends playing other things
The music was delightful as we worshiped our King.

The candles were lit as the congregation sang.
It was a beautiful moment as our voices rang.

Now we are back, snuggled in our house tight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

*I stole this idea from MckMama. Hope she doesn't mind :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Christmas Princesses

Well... it's almost Christmas.

And I am LOVING looking at these pictures.
So I thought I'd share a little bit of sweetness with you all too.
Because, you know, these are 4 of my most favorite little girls in the world.
And my heart is aching to go back and see them.

May the strong arms of Jesus hold you tight tonight as you sleep, sweet girls. I love you more than you could understand. Praying for a Christmas miracle this year. I would fly down right now and take all of you home with me for Christmas if I could. Your darling voices and giggles are forever imprinted on my heart.
Love from 12,000 miles away,


I need a little break from the college applications so I thought I'd do a quick post :)

I've been reading through Hebrews and have delighted every night in seeing God meet me in the Scriptures.

Monday night was Hebrews 10:35-36, "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised."

Tuesday night was Hebrews 11:39-40, "These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect."

Last night was Hebrews 12:1-3, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."

On each of these nights I had found myself going upstairs to bed with a tired, discouraged, bad attitude. I have been trying to give one last hard push to get all of these essays done so that I can be finished with college applications. But I have found it is much easier said than done. The unknowns of going to these different schools is scary, and so different than where I thought I would be. BUT this is the race God has called me to. And where He leads me I WILL GO. I would a thousand times rather be 8 hours away and where He wants me than at my dream school and away from His plan.

So every night this week He's chosen to lift my head towards Him. To fix my eyes on Jesus and the Kingdom picture. To persevere and run the race because God has planned something better.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

On my mind..

Is this little girl. With a beautiful smile, a compassionate heart, and a desperate need for affection and affirmation.

Is this little boy who just needs a mama..

Are these 4 beautiful girls I can't take my eyes off of. Such potential, such infectious giggles, so much JOY to be found in their precious hearts. Please Lord OPEN THE DOORS!!
Is this little girl. And just how much I would give to see her again. Precious precious Claudia there's a hole in my heart waiting for you, sweetheart.

These and the thousands of others are heavy on my heart and mind. Will you join me on our knees petitioning the floodgates of heaven to pour forth REDEMPTION and GRACE and MERCY on these children? Pray for the meetings that are taking place this very week and month. Pray for favor and wisdom for those who are working on behalf of these kids.

I will not stop praying. I believe God has something more for them than this.

"I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Philippians 1:3-6

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Journey

This life is truly a journey, isn't it?

Full of unexpected twists and turns. Full of miracles and surprises. Love. Joy. Lessons. Challenges. Disappointments. Sorrow. But at any time during any of these things you can always find one thing. Hope.

As I look to the Savior and think of the cross I am blown away everytime. Everytime, my eyes are lifted from the challenges here to gaze at the wonderous sight of Grace. Hanging on a cross for me. Giving me freedom, and promise of Eternity with the Father. Hope.

I have seen the Lord bring about miraculous changes in my relationship with my brothers, and their relationship with eachother. We enjoy just hanging out together now. We laugh and joke. We drive to the gas station together to get polar pops. We can vent to one another about life and show sensitivity. We talk about next year when they will come to visit me at college and when I'll come home. We still argue, shoot unkind comments at eachother and lose our patience but our relationship has been restored by the Redeemer and I can't wait to see the precious friendship with these guys blossom even more. Hope.

This journey of life has brought me through 2 years of college searching. We thought I was graduating early but it didn't work out so this is the 2nd winter I've done college visits. I have seen the Lord grow in me a love for a college, and this week I found out the finances are just not going to work. And now it's time for Him to lead me elsewhere. My heart is aching this week as I plod forward and try to move past the dreams that I had for next year. He knows very well the plans He has for me. I know and rest and trust in that. I have prayed that I would fall more in love with Jesus, more in love than ever before. I want my Jesus to be my First Love. And I want that love to go above my desires, my comfort, my security in the future I had envisioned and find in Him my rest and assurance. So with that, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead," Philippians 3:13b I look to Christ and trust that He knows what He's doing. I am trusting that He has a school for me, scholarships, a great campus ministry, and friends. Hope.

I have seen God MOVE MOUNTAINS in my "heart country." Guatemala is reopening adoptions!!! PRAISE JESUS THE KING! I am so excited about this. Immediately after reading about it my heart stopped.....what does this mean for my Claudia girl? (Even if her case isn't reassessed, this is still a miracle for the other thousands of orphans in Guatemala.) The answer is i don't know. We don't know if this could get her case reopened. We don't know if this could be the "window" for our family to jump through to make her ours. We just don't know. At first, I had a bitter attitude, I'll admit. Why won't God make this rollercoaster stop?! And the same week that I find out I have to make up a new college plan?! Today was the first day that it sunk in and I have wept several times today over the enormity of how amazing it is. This could be the answer to our prayers. Years of prayers that this sweet girl could be my sister. It could totally fall through and my heart could shatter again. But you know what? THIS is my passion. THIS is the call that God has given me- to care for and love these children in Guatemala. So I'm going to RUN after it. I am cautiously anticipating seeing what the Lord does! The thought of Claudia being adopted. What greater word could describe it? Hope.

This life is a long, hard journey. But it is not without hope. Even in the darkest hour we are not alone, and not without hope. Our God is a faithful God and He has shown me that so many times despite the challenging season of life. We have been given grace, mercy, compassion, and a future. Hope in abundance.

Holy Fire burn away,
my desire for anything
that is not of you and is of me.
I want more of you and less of me.
Empty me,
Empty me,
Fill, won't you fill me,
with you, with you.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dear Blog...

I am so sorry I have abandoned you the past couple of weeks.

I have 3 posts that are 90% of the way done....and lots more I could write.

But life took over.

Thankfully, Thanksgiving break is almost here and I will have time to write once again.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

My brain is full....

I just got back from a Beth Moore conference. Simply amazing.

My heart is refreshed and encouraged.

And my brain is full with everything I've listened to in the past 24 hours!! So full, in fact, that a post about what I learned isn't possible.

Maybe later.... after my brain has had time to process.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Challenge!!

November Challenge is up at This Next Generation:

Please join with me it's going to be a fun challenge!!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Very well

"Porque yo sé muy bien los planes que tengo para ustedes —afirma el Señor—, planes de bienestar y no de calamidad, a fin de darles un futuro y una esperanza.
Jeremias 29:11

Does anyone know what this says?? Come on all you Spanish speakers. There's got to be somebody out there...

Okay I'll give you a hint. It's my FAVORITE verse.

In Spanish, there's 2 verbs that mean to know. The first is conocer. Conocer means to be familiar with, or acquainted with. For example, you would use it in the sentence: I know of an excellent Italian restaurant. The second verb is saber. Saber means to know facts, information, or data. You would never use it to say that you know a person, or you "might" know how to crochet. Nope. Saber is when you REALLY know something for sure.

So, in the translation for Jeremiah 29:11, they use the verb saber. For I know the plans I have for you. Except in Spanish they say "Porque yo sé muy bien los planes que tengo para ustedes."
Muy bien means very well. For I know very well the plans I have for you.

God knows very well, for a fact, set in stone, without a doubt, the plans He has for us. I loved studying the translation of that and I love how they emphasize just how secure His plans are. It brought me such peace to rest in the fact that my life is in His hands.

So much of my future is out of my control right now. On college admissions desks in 3 different states. My heart so burdened to GO somewhere and serve, yet knowing I am a student right now and that is not where He's leading me. Trying to take control of these plans God has for me is futile. It only creates stress and discontentment.

How much better to rest in His arms, lean my head upon His shoulder and saber, know, that His plans for me are good and perfect. For He knows very well what He has for me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"Wait for the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."
Psalm 27:14

Does anyone else think maybe God put "wait for the Lord" in there twice for a reason?!

I think He knew we might just need it.

I could probably use that written a 100 times in a row.

But then again... it probably wouldn't completely demolish my impatience.

I'd gotten onto BibleGateway today to look up some Scripture references for another blog post on This Next Generation and I nearly laughed out loud when I saw this Scripture smack dab in the middle of the webpage. Sometimes God has a sense of humor and He likes to wave it in front of our eyes. :)

So I'm trying to wait on the Lord. Wait for His perfect timing. Wait for Him to show me what road to take.

"For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 3:14. I can be strong, take heart and wait on the Lord, through Christ who strengthens me.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Call

I get so excited whenever I watch these videos or find new adoption blogs.

I just can't help it.

It makes me so excited to see God calling families to this journey of adoption. And seeing them follow.

It makes me so excited for the day God ordains to be the Gotcha day for my child(ren) :)

It makes me so thankful that there are people doing what I am not yet able to do.

I am thankful that I am able to do something while I wait for that day to come when I can adopt children myself. God will provide a way to minister to the orphans to each and every person. All you have to do is ask what He's calling you to. And each and every call is IMPORTANT. It could be praying. That is just as important as bringing home a child. There is no such thing as a unimportant aspect of ministry. ANY type of service is productive, necessary, and crucial to furthering the kingdom.

I'm excited to see what God is doing and what He's going to do as the Church follows His call to the orphans.

"Seek justice, encourage the opporessed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow."

Isaiah 1:17

Kisses from Heaven..

Have you ever had those experiences or those moments where you're like, "This was just totally from God." It's one of those times when He does something, sends someone, or shows you something that just touches your heart- right when you need it.

Well today I got one of those (and of course forgot my camara! For real, it sits in my purse ALL WEEK and I don't use it. Then when I need it I happen to not have it!). And fyi this story might not make sense to anybody lol but it was important to me so I"m going to blog about it haha.

I was pushing Hannah (my little cousin) in the swing at the park today. Her laugh is IDENTICAL to Claudia's and while I love love hearing her sweet giggle it pierces my heart everytime. So I've been missing my little Guatemala girl alot this week and my mind was on her alot today and it was making me feel a little sad. I was being silly as I pushed Hannah and she kept giggling at me. My thoughts turned again to Claudia and as I silently prayed for her I looked out at the GORGEOUS blue sky. It was incredible. I said, "Look Hannah, isn't the sky pretty?!!" She looked straight up to the sky and said, "Yes!! And look!! There's a rainbow!!!" I thought she was kidding. I looked back out across the field and didn't see a rainbow. She said again, "Molly look! There IS a rainbow up there!!" I looked straight up into the sky and there it was- a perfect rainbow.
I wanted to cry. How beautiful for God to give me a rainbow just when I was feeling discouraged about Claudia and wondering what His plan is for her. Rainbows represent HOPE. HOPE of redemption, a greater plan. God has a HOPE and a future for my Claudia girl and I know that I can rest in that fact. Even when I can't help the tears that slide down my cheeks when I think about her. Even when I question this journey with her thus far and His will for her life. Claudia has HOPE, the orphans have HOPE, we have HOPE through Christ. Praise God!

I truly believe that God delights in delighting us. He loves giving to His children and He loves blessing them. I think that He loves demonstrating His love for us. That rainbow lasted only 5 seconds. But it was enough for me to get His message, "I see Your heart. I hear Your cries for this girl and for all the others. I LOVE you, my precious daughter. I LOVE you more than you know, more than you can ever comprehend. Rest in that fact. Rest in the HOPE that you have through me."

It's easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of life. It's far too easy to forget to watch the sunset, forget to smell a flower, forget to admire the gorgeous blue sky or the puffy white clouds. It's far too easy to forget to hug your family good-bye, to remind someone you love them. It's far too easy to miss beauty, and to miss kisses from heaven.

Has God given you any "kisses" recently?? Has He blessed you or brightened your day in a simple yet meaningful way?? I want to hear about it! :)

Show Me Your Glory

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard. [a]
4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.
7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.
10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.
11 By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.
14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalm 19

Lord, you are beautiful. Your glory is displayed in all of creation. You make me stand in awe of all that You are and I praise You, Jesus.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nice Mommy and Daddy

I have no words. Saw this on another blog and it broke my heart in two.

If you need a reason to consider adoption, particularly to adopt older children, I submit the following two stories that are brought to you courtesy of Feromsa:

1. Out of the blue Feromsa began to discuss being at Kids Care Orphanage. In this discussion he made this comment, "In Kids Care I pray, 'Please give me nice mommy and nice daddy' and now I have nice Mommy and nice Daddy!"

2. In another discussion about being in Kids Care Feromsa offered this observation, "The big kids know that people don't want them. They want the little kids. I was scared I too big."I don't think any commentary is necessary.

Tea Party

Today we had a tea party with Hannah. I am seriously going to cry when I leave. I love this girl so much!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Lessons in Parenting

I'm with my aunt out East for the week taking care of my adorable little second cousins. It has been great so far.... and I'm learning alot haha.


why caffeine is a necessity.

Why mommies LOVE naptime.

That sometimes it's incredibly hard not to laugh at the things kids say. They're hilarious.

Why those portable vacuums were made in the first place. You have to use them after every meal if you don't want mushed food all over your floor.

And I I will ever manage this huge family that I want???!! The Lord will have to give supernatural strength for that one.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I just read Katie's post here and am still fighting back tears.

I feel a great longing, an ache deep in my heart.

A sorrow for this world. A conviction to do more than what I am. A great desire to go and serve.

A longing to help, a longing to love these children.

I want to be patient. I want more than anything to be exactly where God wants me to be, in His will for my life.

But there's this part of my heart that is so FULL of joy and peace when I am holding the children in Guatemala, or translating at a clinic.

This part of my heart is longing to risk, to go somewhere, to serve.

Jesus, may my heart long for You and You alone. May my heart be satisfied with what You have for me now. May this season of life be preparing me for what is ahead, where maybe You will fulfill my longing to go and serve.

"He will answer them, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you failed to do one of these things to someone who was being overlooked or ignored, that was me--you failed to do it to me." Matt. 25:45