Saturday, June 30, 2007

You're Always There

Follow this link to listen to this song. I hope it blesses you, like it did me today. It takes a few seconds to download. I like to listen and read the lyrics at the same time, so here are the lyrics:
Always There
by Don Francisco

Closing the door, I leave the world behind me
Lifting my hands to You,
You’re always there
You’re always there

All of the joy that this world denies me
Flows from Your heart every time
I come to You,
Your love shines through
Whenever I come to You.

You call me by name at the sound my soul rejoices
Heaven descends and Your glory fills the air.
Every prayer, every heart’s desire has found its answer
As You tell me once again, that Your love will never end.
You’re my Savior, my Friend who is always there.

All through the day as Your Spirit leads me
No matter where I go, I’m still with You, still with You
Though I may walk through the Valley’s shadow,
I will not be afraid, because You lead me through,
I know that Your Word is true,
And I put my trust in You.

You call me by name at the sound my soul rejoices.
Heaven descends and Your glory fills the air.
Every prayer, every heart’s desire has found its answer.
With Your arms around me there, You tell me again You care,
You’re my Father, my Friend who’s always there.

You call me by name at the sound my soul rejoices.
Heaven descends and Your glory fills the air.
Every prayer, every heart’s desire has found its answer.
With Your arms around me there, You tell me again You care.
You’re my Father, my Friend who’s always there,
You’re always there!

I grew up on Don Francisco's music. I love his heart and how freely he shares the songs that God has given him to sing. If you'd like to listen to more go to:

These are some of the songs I really like and remember from my childhood, but they are all nostalgic to me, so I like them all:

In "The Package":

Bird With Broken Wing

Turn it Around

In "Beautiful to Me:

Beautiful to Me

Voyage to Gennesaret

I Could Never Promise You

Steeple Song

In "That I May Know You":

Shelter of Your Wings

That I May Know You

In "He's Alive" Collection:

I'll Never Let Go of Your Hand

I Don't Care Where You've Been Sleeping

Brother of the Son

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

New Pictures of Benjamin

(Edit: 6/29/07: I was off on my estimate of how soon Benjamin will be able to come home. I thought that all of the stuff that has to be done after the adoption is finalized would take 6 weeks, but I just read on the AOH yahoo group that it is more like 2 - 3 months after the adoption is finalized before the child is ready to travel. No wonder you were surprised by my time-line, Rae. Boo-hoo....I like my time-line better. Looks like I at least have a due date now of around October or November.)
I am on cloud-nine! I just got an email update on Benjamin and THREE NEW PICTURES!!! Here's my beautiful son:

Are those dimples?????

Hey, Grandpa. Do you see my T-Shirt? It must be a sign! I'm going to be your fishing buddy. : )

This is my favorite picture. Oh, my heart hurts with how much I want to hug my little boy. I can't wait!

Donna at AOH said that she would estimate our adoption being finalized in August. Then there would be approx. 6 more weeks after that before he would be ready to come home. It's just a guess, but feels so good to know where we are at.
I am so grateful for pictures!!!!! Please keep praying for Benjamin and for the whole process.

The Song I'm Singing Today

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Happy Father's Day!

I wanted to use my blog this morning to honor two amazing men and fathers, my husband, Pat, and my dad, Roy Abshire.

When I was a little girl, I started praying for my future husband. I have been so blessed over the past 8 years to see how God has answered those prayers exceedingly more than I could have asked for in Pat. One of the ways that God answered my prayers was to give me a man who is a great dad.

Pat has sacrificed a lot in order to allow me to be a homemaker and stay-at-home mom for Karissa and Amy. He works hard as a police officer and puts his life on the line daily. The girls and I take a lot of pride in the job that he does. The girls are always telling people, "Did you know that my daddy is a police officer?" He loves providing for us and taking care of us. He's a rock that we lean on. He takes good care of his girls. : )

All week long, the girls ask me, "Is it tickle day yet?" Tickle day is what they call Pat's days off. They have so much fun wrestling with daddy and playing on tickle day.

One of the things I love to see is not just that the girls have fun with daddy, but they respect him and admire him so much. We all do. He does a great job of lovingly disciplining them and shaping them into future women of God. He makes them feel secure and loved and has taught them to be such good girls. It makes me happy that my girls are going to grow up having a great model of what it means to be a godly and good husband and daddy. It also makes me happy that Benjamin is going to have such an amazing daddy to raise him and help him grow into a great dad and husband himself.

Pat- Sorry if this is too mushy for you. I just woke up so grateful for you and had to tell the world. I love you! Happy Father's Day from Your Girls.


I will never take for granted how good it was to be raised by my dad. I had such a happy, memorable childhood and I KNOW that this is a gift. One time in high school, my brother, Ben, and I went to Dairy Queen together for lunch. While we were eating, we started talking about our family. Ben looked at me and said, "How did we get so lucky?" That is an amazing tribute in itself to a dad, that his two high school kids loved each other enough to want to be out to lunch together, and spent the lunch wondering how they got so lucky to have such a great family.

I used to love holding my daddy's big hands. My dad is a big guy and he always made me feel so safe and special. I loved sitting next to him in church, leaning on his big arms or holding his big hands, listening to him sing.

Nobody "gets" me like my dad. I guess it is because we are so much alike. He understands how I think, the things I struggle with, and the things that I dream of. He has always been my biggest fan and cheerleader. I get embarrassed sometimes about how he brags about me. He has always used words to tell me he thinks I'm beautiful, smart, and that he's proud of me. I've never had to guess.

My kids ADORE Grandpa (and his pancakes and sausage). We are all so blessed by him.

I love you, Dad! I wish I could be closer to you so I could tell you in person all of this. You are the Best Dad in the Universe! (You and Pat are tied now for this honor.....I hope you understand, hee hee) Love, Bopps

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Becoming the PERFECT Mom

I've been doing a lot of soul-searching and thinking lately about what I've been calling my "Period of Preparation." I know that there is a reason why God has asked me to be patient while I wait for the perfect timing of Benjamin's homecoming, and I want to use that time wisely.

However, I think maybe I have been analyzing this too much, because I find myself so discouraged by my weaknesses and failures. I just want to be the PERFECT mom. Is that too much to ask? : )

I keep thinking about what I need to learn and how I need to grow as a wife, mother, and homemaker before our life changes drastically. Every time I have moments of weariness, irritability, immaturity, or the housework piles up, I condemn myself and start listening to the lies that are meant to discourage me.

So as I work through my spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional "to-do list" I'm going to have to resign myself to the fact that no matter how much time God gives me and no matter how hard I work on my self-improvement plan, I am never going to achieve perfection.

There is nothing wrong with wanting to make the most of the time that I am given to prepare, but God has been reminding my heart lately that there will not be some magic moment when I am the perfect mom and ready for Ben to come home. Jesus will be perfect for me in my weakness. It just seems like every setback or every little failure as a mom is magnified when it happens because I panic and think, "I've got to get that fixed in myself before our adoption is complete." I panic and subconsciously wonder if six months is enough time to perfect myself. Then I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10:

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made
perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my
weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for
Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in
persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I've been really struggling lately with weariness. Maybe it's just a cold coming on or all in my head, but I have been really fighting fatigue lately and it's been hard to keep up with everything. I am clinging to this promise today:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting
God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or
weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to
the weary and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired
and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the
LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like
eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
- Isaiah 40:28-31

I need to remember that it is God who began this process, it will be God who completes it, and it will be God who will cover where I fail. I will be strong in His strength and by His power, not by my own.

So, I will be working on things like cleaning up the playroom, getting rid of some of my laziness and selfishness, getting our days more structured and organized, etc....but I will not be expecting to become Super Becky: The Perfect Mom, before Benjamin comes home.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

More Thoughts on Simplifying....

I still have a lot to do in the area of simplifying. I think the best plan is to enlist the help of my husband in the toy room, because he is so unattached emotionally to stuff. He was born organized and after eight years of marriage, I have loved what I've learned from him. It feels good to let go of things, and I've never missed the things he's asked me to part with.

For all of you fellow pack rats out there, I recommend skipping the yard sale route and just giving it away quickly before you can change your mind or form any deeper emotional attachments to it. We tried a yard sale this weekend that was fun, but the work it takes to set one up doesn't pay off, and I've found that giving it away is a lot more gratifying than trying to sell your stuff. That being said, yard sales are a fun option if you are up for it.

Our neighborhood did a community yard sell that we participated in on Saturday, but unfortunately every other subdivision in the city seemed to choose the same weekend to do their community yard sales as well. We competed with some of the larger, more popular neighborhood yard sales, and lost. We are going to try again next weekend since everything is already set up and priced and that will give me an opportunity to find more to sell.

My daughters (4 yo and 5 yo) had a lot of fun with the sale. It took awhile for them to join in (they are a lot less excited about Mom's conviction to simplify than Mom is), but eventually they got excited about finding toys to sell. They made $2 each on Saturday, and hopefully, they'll get more next weekend. We are using it as an opportunity to train them to give (tithe), save, and spend their money. We go to the Saturday night service at our church, so they got to immediately experience taking a portion of their money from the yard sale to give as their gift to Jesus for the children in India. It was a good learning experience for them.

I like Rae's suggestion of asking for experiences. I've also done that myself, but I haven't asked specifically for that only. I think this year when I get the question around Christmas time about what would the girls like, I'm going to ask for a family zoo pass, passes to the Discovery Center, music CD's, and a magazine subscription for my youngest. This year for her fifth birthday, Karissa received a subscription to "High Five Magazine." It is the preschool version of Highlights Magazine and it was a GREAT gift. She asks me daily to stop by the mailbox to see if her magazine has arrived. The anticipation of something coming in the mail is great for her. I know that there are lots of children's magazines for all ages that would make a great gift that can be recycled after it has been thoroughly enjoyed. I'm just thankful that we are all done with birthdays for the year, so I have a lot of time before Christmas to figure all of this out and organize and let go of what we do have. I've also heard the quote, "You can't organize clutter, you can only move it around. You have to get rid of it." Isn't it amazing how much stuff can drain the life out of us?

Well, I guess I've thoroughly explored this topic in my quest to figure out how to prepare for Benjamin's homecoming and how to use the long wait time without going crazy. Stay tuned for Part Two of Becky's Period of Preparation Discussion. Hee Hee.

Friday, June 8, 2007

The More You Own, The More You are Owned

As I said in my former post, I'm trying to make the most of my time of preparation before Benjamin comes home. I have a huge list of "to-do's" before he gets here. Practical things like: Clean out the playroom so it can become his bedroom. It is such an overwhelming mess in there, it might take me six months before it's ready for him. : )

When we were on vacation, my husband and I talked a lot about how we were living in a much smaller house for the week, but it felt perfectly comfortable, even after our friends, a family of five joined us. While we were there, we had just enough clothes for the week, only the bare minimum dishes that were provided in the condo, and the kids had only three toys each to entertain themselves with. It was a simpler life, and I loved it. I did small loads of laundry and dishes as needed, and we had all we needed, and I had a lot less work to do. It was peaceful and relaxing and the house mysteriously stayed so clean and organized because of the lack of stuff.

I've heard an old Japanese proverb that says, "The more you own, the more you are owned." I think that is so true and after our week of the simple life, I was inspired to come home and simplify. It was depressing to come home to the playroom, where I have to wade through a sea of toys and can't even see the floor. I know my kids are overwhelmed by the amount of "stuff" that they have, but we are all sentimentally attached to the toys because they were given to us by generous friends and family members. How do we simplify? What goes? What stays? I know that Benjamin would be completely overstimulated and overwhelmed by the amount of toys we have currently, so it is a project that I am determined to take on, and I think that we will all feel the weight come off as we de-clutter. We have been pretty good about keeping the rest of our home simple and de-cluttered, but toys and kids clothes are the next step. I spend so much time doing laundry and cleaning house because of those two things. I'm going to simplify, simplify, simplify because I want that peaceful life back that I had on vacation and I don't want to be owned by our stuff anymore. : )

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Blog Writer's Block

I'm having some blog writer's block. It isn't for lack of things to write about. There is too much floating around in my brain....too many topics to write about, I don't know where to begin. I got out of my writing rhythm while I was on vacation, so I keep procrastinating blogging.

Part of it has to do with the stage of the adoption we are in, I'm sure. This adoption process is so vague and so unpredictable, I don't even know where in the process we are. I can't stand to look at Benjamin's picture on the fridge and than think it will probably be another 6 months before he is home. Even that is a guess. It is almost easier to try to not think about him at all. ( I say "try" because it is impossible to do this)

So, I think part of my procrastination with blogging stems from having very little to say about our adoption other than "we're waiting" and "we'll be waiting for a looooonnnnnggggg time."

I've had emails from friends who have also accepted their referrals at the same time, asking me if I know what to expect or guess for a timeline, and I don't. I guess it helps to know that we are all in this together. All without a clue of when our "due date" is. It will definitely be a character builder and a time to totally rely on the Lord for His will, His provisions, and His timing.

I must say that as much as I don't like it, I can already see some of God's purposes in making me wait. I have known that this would be a time of preparation, and I want it to be. I sense that there are a lot of areas that I still need to work on in order to be ready and prepared to be the best mom I can be for Benjamin.

That's why I said that I am not lacking for topics to blog about. The question of what do I need to do to prepare for Benjamin has been looming in my mind and I've discovered there is a long list of things, spiritual and physical, that I need to work on. That's the things floating around in my brain, all jumbled up. What takes priority? Some of it is very vague thoughts that I'm trying to sort through. Some of it is some more painful stuff that is remaining from the losses of my babies. There's a lot there, so I guess I'll break it up into topics and use my blogging to sort through it all.

I am praying for an update on Benjamin soon. I've been told, that one of the blessings of working with Acres of Hope, is that you get to receive frequent update photos and information on your child. This is totally rare in the adoption world. Usually for an international adoption, you receive a referral photo and a medical report and that's it. I can't wait until we get our first update. I check my inbox frequently, so I'll share it with you my e-friends as soon as I get one.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Song I'm Singing Today

You are my supply
My breath of life
Still more awesome than I know,
You are my reward
Worth living for
Still more awesome than I know.

And all of you
Is more than enough for all of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with your love
And all I have in You is more than enough

You’re my sacrifice
Of greatest price
Still more awesome than I know
You’re my coming King
You’re my everything
Still more awesome than I know.

And all of you
Is more than enough for
All of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with your love
And all I have in You is more than enough
You are more than enough.

More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me.
More than all I know
More than all I can see
You are more than enough for me.
More than all I want
More than all I need
You are more than enough for me.
More than all I know
More than all I can see
You are more than enough.

All of you
Is more than enough for
All of me
For every thirst and every need
You satisfy me with your love
And all I have in you. (Oh Yeah)
And all I have in you. (Jesus)
And all I have in you is more than enough.More than enough.
(Jeremy Camp)