Faithbridge: Home Visit #1

Hey sweet family and friends! I wanted y’all to be in the loop (and praying!) we finally got all our paper work in and have our first home visit this Saturday!! Yikes! I am a bucket full of emotions, excited and a little nervous mostly. I know that this is completely in God’s hands but the human part of me wants to control any aspect I can. (Like, I don’t know, making sure my house just exudes o.r.d.e.r.) I am trying to resist the temptation to manipulate this situation to go any other way than God’s way. My mothers comforting words “If your house is too neat Katie they’ll definitely think something is wrong!” 🙂 Thanks mom! (Those were the more humorous words of wisdom she passed on.) And of course the home visit goes well beyond an orderly house. Oh how did my amazing correspondent put it….. “Happy interrogation!” 😉 You get the idea.

Meanwhile this morning in my quiet this verse came into my prayers, not limited to foster care but it did remind me of why we are pursuing it and also instilled, again, confidence that God is with us no matter what.

His glorious power will make you patient and strong enough to endure anything, and you will be truly happy. I pray that you will be grateful to God for letting you have part in what he has promised his people in the kingdom of light. (Colossians 1:11, 12 CEVUK)

I keep being reminded of the privilege it is to partner with God in advancing His glorious Kingdom. I want to be willing and grateful for every opportunity he gives me to take part in the more that He offers. It is so much more than anything self gratification brings. I saw this really awesome quote as well by the brilliant Albert Einstein “Only a life lived for others is a life worth while.” And let me take that a step further and emphasize that I only want to live for others when I’m living for and loving Jesus. Apart from Him I live for myself, and it ain’t pretty!

Y’all, I have to tell you I have so many posts working in my head. God is just teaching these Grahams so many things. He’s always showing up in our day to day and much of it I want to share here but my goodness, I can’t keep up with all the Spirit is impressing on me. I hope one day soon I’ll get to just sit and write. I just love writing and I would enjoy sharing more on how mighty our God is. But until then, we covet your prayers Saturday morning right around 9:30am 😉

Thanks and lots of love!

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For the broken hearted

Praying for the broken hearts today.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed. (Psalms 34:18 NLT)

This morning I was getting situated to begin my quiet time. In my head I just began singing the lyrics to Hillsongs Cornerstone. You know how sometimes you will do something, think something, and it takes you a minute to realize what’s going on. Like at first you don’t realize your singing in your head…. It was like that.

Christ alone, cornerstone, weak made strong in the Saviors love. Through the storm He is Lord, Lord of all.

So than as soon as I recognized the song I was singing I was flooded with images of individuals I know who are just broken hearted right now. People who have experienced loss, or have someone in the hospital, or are struggling with the unknown, or just the general trials and adversity and suffering this broken world brings. Your faces and/or names came to my mind and I prayed for you. Some of you I don’t even know but I am aware of your hurting and I am lifting you up to the One that cares for you deeply.

When Darkness seems to hide His face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil!

Gods ways are mysterious. He doesn’t always do things the way we would. (I often find myself thankful for this!) He has eyes that don’t see like we do. He has eyes that see everything and eternity. I’m constantly praying for eyes like his. To see and love like him. And to “rest on His unchanging grace”.

I read out of 1 Peter today. Chapter 1 is just so so good. Allow God’s Word to speak to you. I found myself once again so extremely thankful for His Word. What a gift.

God the Father knew you and chose you long ago, and his Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed him and have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ. May God give you more and more grace and peace. All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls. This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward. They were told that their messages were not for themselves, but for you. And now this Good News has been announced to you by those who preached in the power of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. It is all so wonderful that even the angels are eagerly watching these things happen. So think clearly and exercise self-control. Look forward to the gracious salvation that will come to you when Jesus Christ is revealed to the world. So you must live as God’s obedient children. Don’t slip back into your old ways of living to satisfy your own desires. You didn’t know any better then. But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as “foreigners in the land.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days. Through Christ you have come to trust in God. And you have placed your faith and hope in God because he raised Christ from the dead and gave him great glory. You were cleansed from your sins when you obeyed the truth, so now you must show sincere love to each other as brothers and sisters. Love each other deeply with all your heart. For you have been born again, but not to a life that will quickly end. Your new life will last forever because it comes from the eternal, living word of God. As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” And that word is the Good News that was preached to you. (1 Peter 1:2-25 NLT)

Caleb 10 months, 2 weeks, and 4 days

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Who ever said recounting mile stones and memories had to be on an “even” day? 😉

As I stood at the sink and looked over at Caleb in his high-chair eating/playing with his banana I thought to myself “I just don’t want to forget this moment.” It’s simple. He obviously had enough to eat; some yogurt, 2 hard boiled eggs, half an english muffin, and now almost half a banana. The boy can put it away. So, he just sat there, squeezing his “spear” cut banana so it would shoot out the top of his fist,…… and he laughs. He proceeds to try and pick up the slippery spear again, which is now turning into something like banana pudding and he just laughs and laughs. Does it get any sweeter than that? Not only is it amusing for me as a mother to watch his fine motor skills develop but also his humor and approach towards playfulness. I love this little guy. And I find it so important now to document these little moments. For one I don’t want to forget this time that FLIES by faster than words can really describe. My other reason being because well there are other moments when I may not like his behavior all that much. Moments that aren’t so amusing. So these sweet times are good to have etched on your heart and mind when you might be inclined to run away.

I mean for real, we always love our children, we will do whats best for them and if ever necessary sacrifice everything for their well being, BUT we don’t always like their behavior. They are still humans and all. For example: I don’t particularly like it when Caleb cries, screams even, most every time I lay him down for bed or 80% of the time I set him down on the floor. Seriously. Full.blown.meltdown. Not just for girls. I have no idea what developed that within his personality but truly, his initial response the majority of the time he’s set down by me is to wail. Okay, I admit sometimes it is slightly amusing. He can be so dramatic about it you know. Picture this: I set him down, obviously in a sitting position. He then throws his head back, (I suppose to get the most amount of oxygen to his lungs) and let’s out a loud cry just before he folds himself in half with his arms straight out above him and his forehead touching the floor. (Should I get a picture?) It’s so ridiculous it can be funny at points. Once I walk away he’s fine. But really? Has my response ever changed to this reaction Caleb? No.

He is a funny little man though. Tonight, after one of those emotional mother-hood days (you know the kind, common yet a bit draining) I watched the kids play. Micaila and Ryann doing laps around the kitchen, Caleb crawling and trying so hard to keep up, and again giggling his little head off. Every time the girls would approach him they’d say “boo!” and he would just laugh that adorable baby laugh, the kind that after a few chuckles he’s trying to catch his breath again “huhuhuhuuuuuuh”. 🙂

We are fast FAST FAST approaching 1 year(s) <~~ I always add the s and Jason always corrects me! I don’t know why I do it! Here is what Caleb has been up to in the last few months. 🙂

In February you became mommies first baby she has ever cloth diapered. Daddy did not think I could do it but 3 months later and we are doing pretty well!

On March 27 you officially crawled.

April 16 you waved “bye bye” and it was the cutest! The pediatrician is very impressed with your hand coordination. 😉

I lost track of exactly when all your current teeth came in because you have 5 now and they just came so fast!

At 9 months you started weaning from nursing and moving towards solid foods and formula. You eat like a champ! Whatever we’re eating you want and you like. Basically, you’ll eat anything and it’s fantastic!

The beginning of May you pulled yourself up for the first time, on NeeNa’s dishwasher. Now you have successfully pulled up on chairs, the couch, and your crib rail. I can tell you are figuring out how to walk your feet as you hang on to the couch. Summer by the pool should be AwEsOmE 😉

You also have made it up 2 steps of our stairs, yikes!

You now enjoy drinking out of a straw, that’s fun to watch! You still seem surprised by the cold beverage that comes up it!

Best of all you FINALLY are saying “momma”!! It started mid cry, you would be all “mmmmmm mum mum mum mumm aaaa”. So I jumped on that and you have perfected it now and don’t always only say it when you’re boo hooing. Hey I will take what I can get.

Honestly though all these mile stones may be the beginning of watchful eyes but I am so grateful you are a healthy, happy, developing baby boy. And quite handsome too. 🙂

Thankful to the One everything comes from, every single day.

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Encourage the Spirit

I love writing and I also love reading. I particularly enjoy reading other blogs of fellow Christians. This is just about the only “social media” I do. Does blogging even count for that? I recently told a friend of mine this: “If I’m going to spend time ‘following’ something it’s got to point me to Him.” My point was that, essentially, I’m such a mess that I can’t afford to spend any time following someone or something that doesn’t point me directly to Christ. Really, I just am a yucky person if I focus on anything other than my King. Simply being alive in this world provides plenty of other avenues to focus on the wrong things, the selfish things, the SELF, MYSELF, me, me, me. See how that happened? So I need to protect my mind from certain stuff and essentially be feeding my Spirit as often as I can.

Which brings me to my point. I like to read 🙂

I follow a few blogs which I get by email. And my dad, mom, and friends forward me things that peak their interests and we bounce off commentary which is fun. I am not suggesting you rely on a blog for your source of Spiritual nourishment. We all most definitely need to spend as much time in the Word of God. I just really enjoy reading other Christian’s application and taking their scripture references to my own study time in God’s Word. It’s also a blessing to be exposed to other people’s life experiences and see the work God is doing on their heart. I’m always very encouraged.

I’m getting off topic here. Did I mention I read?

I have been receiving an abundance of good reads. Some from women I am honored to know on a personal level and some I pretend in my mind that we are best friends,……or sisters, maybe an “Aunt” type figure. :-/ oh and a few pretty cool guys here and there too! But being a woman, the women usually post on topics that are super relate-able to me. So, I share with you some of the awesome posts I’ve read recently. I encourage you to read them, maybe even browse the blogs and have your Bible in hand. 😉 take their references a step further and read it for yourself out of the living Word. I pray God will bless you and take you into a deeper, fuller knowledge of Who He is.

This is my very sweet friend Alison. I wrote in this post about her mother Sharon passing away. I am so thankful for Alison’s writing and her allowing the Holy Spirit to lead her in what she posts.

I Stand Continually Amazed

This is my blog world friend Jesika. She actually found me first but we have emailed and are not only blog friends but sisters in Christ. I admire her so much and all she is in Christ.

Knowing Jesus

Y’all know I really admire Beth Moore. I have been blessed this year in particular by her “Siesta Scripture Memory”. Check out this post, written by a young lady from Beth’s LPM team and I bet you’ll be drawn into the awesomeness of this ministry.

Rejected by strangers

Recently my mom has shared Rick Warrens Daily Hope, which I really like. Once again a great devotion that is very impacting.

Daily Hope

Last but not least David Platt and Francis Chan are just spot on. Here’s a taste from Verge. If ever this phrase applied it’s now. Completely.Awesome. Yep that’s our God!

Verge Network

 

He calls them Home

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My mom posted this picture on her Facebook last night from Live58.

To describe this week I can only say that it’s been bittersweet. On the heals of losing one of our dear sweet sisters in Christ, Sharon Coad, this morning my mothers brother, Uncle Tommy, passed away after battling cancer for some time. As I quoted my dad in my previous blog, Love and Loss, the pain and grief runs deep because the love is deep. The sweet part of it all though is the confidence we have that these two individuals are in the presence of God right now. I can not imagine losing someone and questioning wether they had relationship with Christ or not. Friends, the urgency we should be feeling to ensure that those who come into our life be exposed to the Love of Christ and surrender their lives to him who created them, it should be overwhelming and great.

Fortunately Sharon Coad and Uncle Tommy had people in their life that loved the Lord so much and loved them enough to impress upon their hearts all we can experience through right relationship with Christ.

My mom is the 10th child of 11. And my uncle Tommy was the 6th. Because of the gap between them by the time every one was grown and had children I was very young and my cousins much older so I didn’t grow up particularly close to my Uncle Tommy and his family. With that said though they were still family. And any time we all had the wonderful opportunity to be together he and my Aunt Sharon were warm and loving no matter how much time had passed. They have 4 children, 2 boys and 2 daughters who are as sweet as they are beautiful. When it comes to family, especially our family, you don’t have to necessarily spend time with them to know them. My mom and dad and other aunts and uncles I do see frequently keep us filled in on the details and stories of all their siblings. Oh and there are some wild tales to be told. What I know of my Uncle Tommy though is he had such a gentle, kind Spirit. You could figure that out just from an introduction. Characteristics that stick out to me are faithfulness and loyalty. He loved his family and he loved his Lord. Even in the midst of battling cancer his faith remained strong and true. He knew exactly where his citizenship was. I know my Uncle touched lives around him and all who had the privilege of knowing him will certainly hold his memory close. We are proud of his life and proud that even in dealing with the painful effects of cancer Uncle Tommy finished well, giving glory to God all the way.

My precious family, I am lifting you all up during this time of mourning.

He is the God of comfort! And for all who I know are longing for his comfort right now I pray these verses over you.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 ESV)

You will increase my honor and comfort me once more. (Psalm 71:21 NIV)

This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. (Psalms 119:50 NKJV)

God, you are my comfort when I am very sad and when I am afraid. (Jeremiah 8:18 NCV)

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. (Isaiah 26:3 NIV)

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. (Psalms 118:14 ESV)

Yesterday Ryann and I were driving and she was singing this song in the backseat. I hope you are blessed by the powerful lyrics.

Chris Tomlin- Whom Shall I Fear

This song gets me every time because my exposure to it is from a beautiful young woman at our church in GA that sings it with strength and complete belief in the lyrics after losing her husband suddenly back in November.

Fellowship Church-The Everlasting

With His unfailing love,
Katie