Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Funny Story with a Lesson (Plus a Bonus Thought)

Some of you already have read the story I am about to share because you saw it on Facebook, but I want to expand on the funny story with a life application, so here it goes:

The kids and I have had many a conversation about God's omnipresence in our lives/world. We usually discuss it in terms of Jesus and how He is everywhere. For some reason these conversations usually occur in the car and Robert is not with us. Abby in her attempt to understand will say, "Jesus is sitting right there," meaning the front passenger seat. This past Sunday, on the way to church, she suddenly bursts out, "Daddy, you sat on Jesus! You squished him!" She was very bothered by this and we finally convinced her that myabe Jesus was sitting in the back seat between her and Brandon. This satisfied her, she even looked over and said. "Hi, Jesus!"

The rest of the day I teased Robert about squishing Jesus and about how Jesus gave up His seat for him, which got me to thinking. How many times do we try to squish Jesus/God into what we want Him to be? We try to mold Him, conform Him and quite literally squish Him so that He fits into OUR lives and OUR way of thinking. We don't want Him in certain parts of OUR lives, so we try to squeeze Him out of the picture. We want to justify OUR ways so we tweak things just a little to make it sound right and even "holy". I think this applies to both believers and non-believers.

For the believer, we got something in our lives that doesn't quite jive with what the Bible says, so we try to twist things to hide our guilt and make us look right. Or, on the flip side, we are facing something quite big and difficult and we don't have the faith so we try to make Him look small and incapable of getting us through it. We set limits on what He can do, where He can be, who He is, when He can act and how He can work.

For the non-believer, it depends on where they are coming from, but you see those who minimize who He really is - He was just a teacher or a prophet, He wasn't who He said he was. Others might believe He is who He says He is, but say He can't forgive me, He doesn't want someone like me, etc.

So, I challenge all of us to think about how am I "squishing Jesus"? 

"'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' declares the Lord." Isaiah 55:8

A bonus life application: I said something to Robert about Jesus giving up His seat for Him and his response was, "And He saved me!" How true is that! Jesus did give His seat up for us, His seat next to God, the Father, to come down to earth, live a perfect life, die on the cross to save us from our sins, rise up from the dead and return to heaven where He is waiting on the day He comes back to take us home! All I can say is, thank you Jesus for giving up your seat!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Tribute to My Husband

On August 23rd Robert and I celebrated 3 years of marriage. I can't believe it has been 3 years already. I love him more today than I did 3 years ago when we said our "I do's". In October it will be 4 years of being together. We met officially at his son, Nicholas' football game. When he asked me out the first time, I told him no. I wasn't interested in dating anyone at the time (funny how that seems to be when God brings someone into your life). Well, Robert went on with his life and God started to work in mine. I couldn't shake thoughts about this man that had asked me out. What is he like? Is he a good man? What kind of father is he? God just would not let me move on. So, about 1 week later I asked a mutual accquaintance to give Robert my cell number and tell him to call me. He later told me that he just about didn't (thank you God he did). I asked him if the offer still stood, he said yes and the rest is history.

For those who know Robert, he is a quiet man (at least until you get to know him), but a strong man. I don't just mean physical strength, I am referring to strength of character and spiritual strength. He is not one to speak up in a crowd of people, but if he does, you better listen. One of the things I love about him is that he did not let his humble beginnings and lack of strong positive examples keep him from becoming a successful person. Instead it motivated him to be better. He is hard working and determined. He is an amazing husband, he is kind and thoughtful. He is faithful and very willing to put of with my stubborness (well, most of the time). He is a leader and a great man of God.

But, one of the things that I love most about Robert is that he is an amazing father. That is one of the first things I learned about him. I could see it in his relationship with his son. I know that at times, especially here lately, that Robert feels that he has let Nicholas down and maybe messed up somewhere; but I know that he hasn't. I believe the foundations are there and I can see the respect he has for his father even though he doesn't always show it. Watching Robert with Brandon and Abby is so much fun. He wasn't sure if he really wanted to "start over" or not when we first started talking about having kids. I know he quickly changed his mind though. I love the relationship he has with each child, modeling for Brandon how to be a man of God and a loving husband and modeling for Abby what to look for in a man. I love watching him learn how to raise a little girl, and how he helped a little girl who wasn't too fond of men grow comfortable with him. She now has him wrapped around her little finger. I love that he was willing to make the sacrifice and stay at home with them while we all got settled here in Valdosta. I know it is hard for a hard working man to stay at home with two rambunctious kids. I know he feels like he isn't contributing anything. I also know that he will never know that tremendous impact he had on them this summer and that they are stronger and better for it. So thank you Robert, the investment in your children contributes more than any job ever could!

I love you Robert, you are my best friend and companion through life. I wouldn't be who I am today if it weren't for you. Thank you for all you do, for your patience and your love. Thank you for giving me a second chance to get to know you! I thank God every day that He didn't let me pass you by.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

My Little Man

Brandon is such a sweet loving child that anyone who meets him instantly falls in love with him. He loves attention and will be as sweet as he can be if you give him the slightest bit of attention (although this means that at times he seeks after negative attention...)! He is my detail man, he doesn't miss many details and is quick to tell you if you don't have it just right! I believe Brandon will grow up to be some kind of engineer or something along those lines, he can take apart and put things back together so easily and, as I said before, is detailed oriented.

My heart goes out to Brandon for what he has been through. He was 3 when he went into DFCS custody and remembers a lot of his past. He has had a harder time adjusting to life with us for various reasons. See, Brandon and Abby have two older half siblings who live with their dad. His brother had always been with him until the day that Brandon and Abby came to live with us. His brother was his rock through this situation and suddenly he was gone. It breaks my heart that he has had to go through such a difficult loss. The loss of his brother had been more significant than the loss of either biological parent.

But, my little man is a trooper. I have seen the most changes in him in this last year. He has gone from being a very scared little boy who was even scared to go upstairs by himself to one who runs around our house full steam and will even play in his room al by himself (big accomplishment). I have seen him begin to step into the big brother role from little brother role and begin to take his place as the oldest sibling. Everyday he seems to become more and more confident in himself.

He loves going to church and especially Cubbies. He loves to sing, although likes to be silly while singing! He loves sports, fishing and all things boy! As you pray for us, say a special prayer for my little man! Pray that he will continue to gain confidence and that he will be able to one day understand all that has happened to him. Pray for their brother, too, unfortunately we don't have contact with him but we know he has had a hard time dealing with the separation also.

I thank God for Brandon, he has been a challenge at times, but I wouldn't take back any of it! My prayer, just like my prayer for Abby is that I can be the mother he needs be to be, direct him the way he needs to go and to comfort him when he needs comforting. These children have forver changed our lives and God has given us a big and awesome task of raising them to be people of God.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

My Sunshine

Most of you know the song "You Are My Sunshine," every night at bedtime Abby and I sing that song together. It is something that I had started when both kids first came to us and had actually gotten out of the habit of doing for awhile. Until, Abby started asking me to sing it again. For awhile that song was very hard to sing because it ends with "Please don't take my sunshine away;" there were so many ups and downs during this process and that particular line was my plea, my prayer and my heart's cry.

For those who know her personally, Abby is my little sunshine. There is no doubt that she is mommy's girl and she is so full of personality that she lights up any room she walks into.  She is a vivacious and precocious two year old. I know I am biased, but I have never met a two year old who can think outside of the box. She is very creative, imaginative, independent and stubborn. She loves to talk and sing (she even makes up her own songs). She is a challenge at times because she is so slick (according to her daddy) and can come back at you with stuff that makes you stop and think.

I was actually surprised when she started to ask me to sing this song again because I honestly thought she didn't remember it. I know she knows what it means on the deeper level, she knows that she is my sunshine when we sing. For example, we were leaving a park one day and I was just a little bit ahead of Robert and the kids. She started yelling, "Mommy, don't leave me!" I turned and stopped and said, "I could never leave you." She looked at me and said, "Cause I am your sunshine!" So, she knows.

She lights up my world and fills it with joy. She is such an amazing little girl. She will never know how I much I love her and how much she and Brandon changed my life for the better. I thank God that I have the privilege to try and be her mother. I pray that I love her the way she needs to be loved, direct her in the way that she needs to go and that I can be the mother she needs be to be. My prayer is that she grows up to be a strong, vibrant woman of God.

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine,
You make me happy when skies are gray.
You'll never know dear, how much I love you,
Please don't take my sunshine away."

Next post is coming soon, all about My Little Man!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Adoption Day and Dedication Day

Just a few days late, but the last week has been a whirlwind of events. It started last Monday, the 15th with Abby starting Preschool, then Adoption Day on the 17th, then Dedication Day on the 21st, then Brandon started PreK on the 22nd and today is our wedding anniversary! Whew, I am worn out just typing it all out. But, here are a few pictures to show:
 Our first "official" family picture with the judge!
 Proudly holding their certificates!
 Dedication Day!
 I love both of these pictures because they were looking at the pastor so intently and Abby was batting her eyes at him!
I will write more later, I have a lot on my heart to share, just need the time to sit and write!

Monday, August 1, 2011

16 days and counting...

It is hard to believe that in just over 2 weeks (16 days to be exact), we will walk out of a courthouse with two sweet children that a judge will declare as "forever ours". Two children that we have believed to be ours since the day we met them (since the day I first heard about them, at least for me). For those who haven't heard, August 17th is our schedule adoption hearing. We are so excited! We have been busy making plans, buying outfits for the children (okay, so I have been busy buying the outfits, let's be honest, Robert hasn't done that), creating adoption announcements to send out, etc.
In 16 days I will finally be able to share with everyone, my sweet babies' names and pictures. So many of you have been blessed to know the sweet children known to the online world only as B and A. Those who haven't been blessed will meet them soon enough.
So many of you have been such precious blessings to us during this process. The prayers, the support and the listening ears, you all have been so helpful and we are grateful. I wish I could thank each and everyone of you individually, but it is not possible to do so. We have been blessed with wonderful DFCS caseworkers, who truly had the children's best interest at heart. We thank them also. Thank you to our family, who has been so understanding and loving during this process. You loved them as family before they were "officially" family.
Our sweet church family at Cartersville FBC has been such a blessing to us also. Never in my life have I been to a church with so many families who have adopted or are adopting. It is such a unique community of believers who are obedient to God's calling to care for the orphans! Thank you CFBC family and my prayer is that you will continue to support adoption! We will be sharing our adoption joy with our CFBC church family through a "baby" dedication the Sunday after the adoption.
We have been so blessed (the world would say lucky) to have gone through the process as quickly as we have. We pray and ask you to continue to pray as we head to the final stages. I also ask that you pray for other families who are adopting, many of my friends are in this group, who are having struggles, difficulties and roadblocks. Pray that God will keep them strong and faithful to see it through to the end. It is so worth the wait and such a blessing. So many people tell me, "those kids are lucky to have you," but honestly, we are the lucky (or blessed) ones. So many times I think, these are two wonderful kids (I am not biased...), how did we get so lucky for God to have chosen us to be their parents, we don't deserve them. I don't have an answer to that question, all I know is for some reason, He chose us and we were obedient to His calling to be their parents.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Settling in

We finally moved about 3 weeks ago to Valdosta to begin our new journey. It seemed like we had been moving FOREVER! I signed my contract for my new job early in January and we didn't move until May. We have unpacked most (maybe even all) the boxes, the pictures are hung and we are settling in. I started working almost 2 weeks ago and Robert is adjusting to being a stay-at-home dad (I am not sure how long that will last!).

We have started the daunting task of finding a new church. It is something neither Robert nor I enjoy doing, but we know it is a priority. I feel for the kids, they don't understand, so each Sunday it is another heartwrenching episode of taking them to yet another nursery. They both do fine once they are there, but it rips my heart out each time to hear them cry. I pray that we find the right church for our family soon! Robert and I are quickly learning that there in no church quite like home. Cartersville FBC was our first church together as a couple so it is definitely home. We miss it dearly! I am learning that CFBC is a truly unique church and there truly isn't a church just like it (not just because it is home either)! But, there are some good churches here in Valdosta and I am certain that God will lead us to the right church for us!

Nothing much new to report as far as the adoption goes. We are currently in the 30 day waiting period after the judge terminated parental rights. That ends on June 23. We are scheduled to come to Cartersville on July 5 to sign the papers from DFCS allowing us to proceed with the adoption. The caseworker said that it usually is about 30 days after that for the adoption hearing with the judge. That will be the day when they will be officially declared as Madons and will be OURS FOREVER!!!! I cannot wait to be able to post pictures so you all can see my beautiful children!

Hard to believe that it was just a year ago that we were first learning about these sweet precious children! I knew the day our caseworker told us about them that they would be ours, that they were the ones that God had chosen for us! That day He told me, "Here are your kids you have been so desperately praying for. Here they are." That day that He showed me that He was in complete control and that I needed to sit back and let Him. It was the weekend before that Robert and I, broken hearted, sat down and prayed to Him to give us direction and show us what to do. It was then that I prayed and begged God for rest because I was tired. He gave me rest, He reminded me where I could find my rest, in HIM ALONE!!!!

"Find rest my soul,
In Christ alone.
Know His power,
In quietness and trust.
When the oceans rise and thunders roar,
I will soar with you above the storm.
Father, you are king over the flood,
I will be still and know that you are God."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Change on the Horizon

Anyone who might by chance be reading this blog has realized by now that I cannot seem to post on a regular basis. Oh well, as always, I will try to do better.

So as the title states there is change coming to the Madon family, Big Change. We are moving, not just across town, but across the the state. We are going from being up in north Georgia to about as far south in Georgia as you can go. I have accepted a job offer with an office in Valdosta, GA. We are all excited about this change. The kids should be able to go with us (more on that later) and it will be a nice fresh start for us as a family. We are sad to be leaving our friends and family here in Cartersville, but we know this is where God is leading us at the present time.

As far as the kids are concerned, there should not be any issue because we are still in Georgia. But, things are looking very favorable right now. A's dad has already surrendered his rights and it is looking as though mom and the other dad will be following suit. We are praying God continues to work in their hearts to do what is best for the children. Our next court date is coming up on April 12, so be in prayer for that as well. Once they surrender or termination occurs we will be able to begin the process of adopting them. For things to be moving as quickly as they seem to be is highly unsual so please be in prayer for us as there are still many hurdles to overcome.