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.