Archive for November, 2010

Learning curves.

Posted by KK on Friday, 26 November, 2010

I think I could say I’ve largely always been a grateful person (I hope God doesn’t read my blog). For most of my life I have understood how wealthy I am (not monetarily speaking) and filthy rich with blessings that many are without. I know that I have been greatly blessed, but I don’t often stop to actually express my gratitude to God and others.

This holiday season I am going through a journey and to be quite frank I have had a difficult time finding things to be thankful for (besides the obvious choices…my husband, children, home, provisions, etc.) amidst many frustrations that are surrounding me during this time in my life. It was not by coincidence that early this week while we were away on a short family vacation I opened up my devotional and it was all about gratitude. Attaboy, Jesus.

The definition of gratitude is learning to recognize and express appreciation for the benefits we have received from God and from others. I needed this broken down for me and my book was very helpful with that…

Recognize – To fully recognize what we have to be grateful for is to open the eyes of our hearts and be alert focusing on the goodness of God each day…a treasure hunt for blessings. This is a daily struggle for me at which point I find myself wallowing in mud and have to mentally pull myself out of the rut I am sinking in and slap myself around a bit. I really do have so much to be thankful for and I know what these many things are.

Express appreciation – Be intentional about thanking God as well as others for all blessings that come our way which in turn gives us frequent opportunities to invest back into those who are involved in our lives…our return gift to them and to the Lord. I can do this and do it genuinely. Thanking people and God for blessing me comes easy. Apologizing….well….let’s save that for another post.

Being mindful of the benefits we have received helps us squeeze bitterness and entitlement from our hearts replacing negative with positive. Our heavenly Father has showered us with many good and bad things. I am learning that these ‘bad things’ (because who complains about the good things?) in my life are benefits intended to make me more like Jesus.  This is so true in so many vastly different areas of my life. Only recently have I actually been able to thank God for certain very negative things and unfortunate circumstances of my life after truly realizing they all have a purpose and I am beginning to see the purpose very clearly. It is, of course, very hard to see when you’re in the midst of a trial. Perhaps it comes with spiritual maturity (which I do not profess to have but am growing each day).

Today I am thankful for much. I have a rough week ahead. Prayers for the Baileys, if you will. ;)

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” ~ Colossians 3: 15-17

My beloved.

Posted by KK on Monday, 22 November, 2010

This is what I’ve had the pleasure of being married to for 13 years today!


Ukrainian orphans need our help!

Posted by KK on Friday, 19 November, 2010

I was largely unaware of the below until I read about it this morning and I acted upon it. It takes minutes. Would you take 5 minutes to copy and paste the below email (adding your name) and sending it out to our state representatives on behalf of the many orphans this will affect? I simply cannot imagine being one of the families patiently waiting for their child to come home only for something like this to happen and put their dreams and the life of their waiting child at a potentially permanent stand still. Some of us can adopt. Some of us can financially support others who are adopting. And some of us can simply be an advocate and volunteer minutes of our day to help a child. Which one are you?

The below post was borrowed from this blog…a family who has adopted two sweet boys from the Ukraine. And if you have the time, here’s another favorite blog of mine who has very recently adopted two young girls from the Ukraine, both with Down Syndrome. They are pure angels.

Even if you don’t feel the call to adopt, you can get involved in orphan care. And here’s a simple way to get involved today…
By now, most of you have probably heard about the decision in Ukraine to go forward with a vote to halt international adoption until an inter-country agreement is in place. Please take a moment to write to your senators & congressmen, then encourage your friends and family to contact do the same!

Below you’ll find a letter that you can use, or write your own.
To send a letter to your congressman:

To send a letter to your senator just click on the state and follow the link:

Please help us get the word out!!

Dear (name),

I am writing to you today regarding a VERY urgent situation. Many families in the US are currently in the process of adopting children from orphanages in Ukraine. Most of these children are older or disabled. American families adopting these children offer them what may be their only opportunity at a normal and productive life free of crime, prostitution, or institutionalization due to illnesses that are treatable in the United States. I personally know one of these families.

On November 3, 2010, the Ukrainian parliament voted to proceed with voting on legislation that would halt all international adoptions until inter-country adoption agreements are in place (see the State Dept. announcement at . At this point, all that is needed for this to become law is one more vote in Ukrainian parliament and a signature by the Ukrainian president. This could happen any day. If it does, many families and innocent children will be greatly affected. I personally know one of these families.

I am writing to you to urge you to act quickly on this matter by 1. Contacting your Ukrainian cohorts and requesting a consideration of revision of the law to allow adoptions to proceed while the agreement is being drafted (as was done in Russia) and 2. Work with your colleagues in congress to begin drafting this agreement so that it is ready to go in the event the law passes.

Thank you for your timely consideration of this urgent matter!

Christmas traditions…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 17 November, 2010

It’s here, folks. The long anticipated Christmas shopping post. As we approach this holiday season we see ad after ad for Christmas gifts pour in to our homes via television, newspapers and internet. {Doing away with our television was one of the very best decisions we ever made} This felt like a good time to suggest to you a better way. If you are reading this post then you have a) a computer with internet connection and b) you can READ. So you are already richly blessed. What more do you need?

Before the holidays last year I read a blog post somewhere about a family whose tradition is that they give only four gifts to their children:

Something they WANT.
Something they NEED.
Something to WEAR.
Something to READ.

I thought it was brilliant. Since Jason and I became parents, we have had a very real problem with accepting a truckload of gifts for our kids from everyone under the sun and even ourselves. Our children have so much and it has never been a goal of ours to teach them that life is all about taking and getting and always longing for the next big thing. It is no secret that I struggle with anxiety and over the last several years I have become increasingly anxious about the holiday spending, not because Jason and I are spending too much, but because I find myself needing to make a trip to Earthfare for groceries and end up stuck in traffic at Turkey Creek for hours because of all the mad shoppers out spending hundreds and thousands of dollars on complete crap that no one needs when there are so many better things we could be using our money for. It smothers me and I cannot breathe. It makes me so sad that this is how most of the world is.

So we introduced the idea to our kids and I won’t lie, they were just a little surprised when they learned they were only getting four gifts. They had obviously been spoiled in past years but it is important we all understand that it is ok to disappoint our kids when it comes to issues like this that we know will ultimately create a better adult and it is never too late to start a tradition like this. The closer we got to Christmas, the more excited they became trying to guess what they were getting. I have always let them pick out their own wrapping paper that I wrap only their gifts in so we’ve never had the need for tags but then I tagged their gifts last year with the WANT/NEED/WEAR/READ tags. It was an amazing time and lesson for us all and we are doing it again this year and every year going forward. The other day the boys made out their lists with some suggestions (because Jason and I will make the ultimate decision on what they get). You know your kids are well provided for on the inside and outside when they cannot think of one single thing that they NEED. On Wheat’s list beside his NEED he put “Nothing!!”. On Lake’s list beside NEED he put “money to donate”. They all put down that they wanted a new pair of gloves for their WEAR (River specifically wants a pair with rubbery grip stuff in the palm so he can grip things…lol).

Christmas is about our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He was born into this world and would later give His life for me and for you. Why would we want to taint such a day with selfishness and greed? We can give to others. We can use our hands to serve others. It is our duty as Christians to do this in His name.

“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45

Would you consider doing something different this year? You WILL be blessed!


Posted by KK on Sunday, 14 November, 2010

As I walked out of Target today I stepped on a crack with my left foot. I saw about three more cracks on the pavement from where I stood before I got to where Jason was parked waiting for me. I was hoping to step on the next immediate crack with my right foot {because whatever my left foot does my right foot also has to do so they always remain in perspective} and it didn’t line up with my stride so I missed it. It is important that it all just falls into place like it was all a part of a plan so I wanted to try again to see if it naturally worked out. So approaching the next crack, I shortened the distance I was stepping out with my left foot, increasing the distance with the right, so that by the time I reached the crack perhaps my right foot would have landed right on it. Missed it again. With one crack and a very short distance left I knew if I didn’t want to shuffle my feet in order to step on the crack then I was indeed going to miss it leaving my right foot completely bummed out because it didn’t feel the completeness of stepping on a crack. I don’t like things being left incomplete and I decided drastic measures had to be taken. So I shifted my feet {which is not something a person can do discretely because you are actually swapping your front foot with the back foot in mid air without progressing forward… like a little hop & swap maneuver} and my right foot ultimately landed perfectly on the crack just before reaching the car. <insert fireworks imagery>

As soon as I did my little hop & swap, I looked around to see if anyone saw me and I caught two people starring right at me with the oddest looks on their faces. They probably just thought I like to spice up the way I walk from time to time. Luckily, they can’t read my mind. Then again, if I was worried about what people thought of me I would be posting this little incident on my blog.

My boy and his vanity…

Posted by KK on Friday, 12 November, 2010

If you follow me on Facebook, then you likely saw my post from several weeks ago that read:

~ For those of you who do not know already, Lake is my comedian. If it weren’t for him, I’d likely never update my status. This morning, his dad called and was apparently asking him what he was doing because I heard Lake reply “Oh nothing, I’m just rollin’ like I always do. Just being flawless.”
Clearly, we need a devotion on vanity today.

My sweet Lake…he is so vain. I have wondered for a long time how much of it was truly how he felt and how much was just his perfectly timed comedy he likes to share with me and Jason. I do know for more than a year now (since he began taking gymnastics from our friend Matt) that he really likes being strong, bragging about his strength and showing off his muscles. It is quite hilarious. So lately I have had a few talks with him about vanity. I just thought maybe since the cockiness has intensified a little that it was time he was told that isn’t really the way God intended us to act. I know when I bring him down a notch, he listens. In fact, he has strong convictions about things and if he learns that he is doing something wrong, most of the time he corrects it quickly. Love this boy’s heart.

So that was probably a couple weeks ago or more that I began calling him out here and there about his attitude and he has indeed changed it already. My mom got the boys a new step-by-step ‘how to’ drawing book yesterday and they all spent at least two hours at the table drawing. The drawing below was one he did and I nearly fell over laughing when he brought it to me.


{Click on the drawing to enlarge}

I have finished sulking.

Posted by KK on Thursday, 11 November, 2010

I was a mess yesterday. That isn’t good for me or my family. When I am down, everyone suffers. It was just a bad day. I wish I handled disappointing news better but I haven’t found a way to just yet. So late in the afternoon I began picking myself up and decided to go to The Well. The Well is my church’s Wednesday night service. I have been attending Two Rivers Church for more than 8 years and have never been to The Well (although in fairness it was only started a few years ago, I think). I love it. It is largely 2 or more hours of worship through song, dance & prayer. Childcare isn’t available so my kids go with me. They love it, too, and I love seeing them get a different taste of all the many ways we can worship our God. River & Lake especially love waving the banners.

So last night I went in prepared to just try and relax and to clear my head of all my frustrations and worry I had been moping in all day. After the worship team glorified God through some amazing song we entered into a time of prayer and listening. I found myself sitting on the floor reading my Bible. I ended up in the book of Matthew, chapter 6. It was for me. Especially for the day I’d had.

I journaled a lot that I wanted to read over the coming weeks to remind me once again that every detail of my life is in His hands and that He is in control. I forget this every day.

I KNOW that the same God who created life in me can be trusted with the details of my life.

I KNOW that worrying about the future hampers my efforts for today.

I KNOW that worrying is more harmful than helpful.

I KNOW that God does not ignore those who depend on Him.

I KNOW that my worry shows a lack of faith in and understanding of God.

I KNOW that there are real challenges that God wants me to pursue and that worrying keeps me from them.

I KNOW that living one day at a time keeps me from being consumed with worry.

Lord, help me to trust You,
the same God who created my life,
with all the details of my life.
I know You will not ignore me
if I depend on You.
Give me a stronger faith
and understanding of who You are.
Help me to focus on today
and worry less about tomorrow,
living one day at a time.

Oh crappy day…

Posted by KK on Wednesday, 10 November, 2010

Yes. I said that. It has been one crappy day. But when I feel like this because of mediocre crap that I am going through (because, selfishly, I do not like to have to go through crap. Ever.) I stumble upon words like this written by those who have really had a crappy day…and this author is a mother to 14 young girls in Uganda, all adopted.

And every single day, it is worth it. Because ADOPTION IS GOD’S HEART. He sets the lonely in families. Adoption is the reason that I can come before God’s throne and beg Him for mercy, because He predestined me to be adopted as His child through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

My family, adopting these children, it is not optional. It is not my good deed for the day, it is not what I am doing to “help these poor kids out.” I adopt because God commands me to care for the orphans and the widows in their distress. I adopt because to whom much has been given, much will be demanded. I adopt because whoever finds his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for HIS sake will find it.

Some days, my friends, it is not easy. Today, it is not easy. The HURT in my daughters’ hearts is big and real and as their mother, I want to fix it and know that I CAN’T. So I lay it at the feet of my Father and rejoice to know that if we are children, then we are heirs – of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings – in order that we may also share in His glory. And I call out to the Holy Spirit knowing that He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him, because He always lives to intercede for us.

A sweet friend pointed me yesterday to Genesis Chapter 33. Esau and Jacob are meeting for the first time in a long time. As Jacob approaches Esau, with his many children following close behind, Esau asks, “ And who are these with you?”

Jacob’s reply: “These are the children that the Lord saw fit to bless me with.”

We get all the questions. “Why do you do it?” “Why so many?” “How in the world…” “Why these specific girls?” “Why the number 14?” “Do you think its ok to adopt as a single Mother? Don’t they need a father too?” “Do you think they will have issues since you are not the same race?” We also get the compliments. “I don’t know how you do it!” “Good job!” “You must be so responsible!” “Your girls must be so well behaved.” We get crazy stares and huge smiles and every look in between.

Adoption is beautiful. Adoption is hard. Adoption is the Gospel of Christ and the promise of God’s love and redemption lived out in our lives. So I ask for your prayers. Prayers for understanding and peace and trust and the power of God that is more than all I can ask or imagine. And to the questions and the comments and the compliments, this is my reply: “These are the children that the Lord saw fit to bless me with.”

So I think I’ll go fold some laundry or something and get myself out of this pathetic pool of tears that I have been swimming in all day…

Saturday hike…

Posted by KK on Tuesday, 9 November, 2010

We went on a very short hike with friends this past Saturday during the warmest part of the chilly afternoon (which was only about 47 degrees). Our friends, two families, have seven boys between them so with our four boys we had eleven. Love it. This hike might have been a mile long and on the way out we (when I say ‘we’, I mean the 11 boys) picked up NO LESS THAN a dozen bags of trash. It was devastating. The bluff we hiked to is a little known treasure (and one of the few) in Lenoir City and it was ransacked by the careless. Our friend snapped a pretty cute little family photo of us being silly.

If you like adventures, check out our friend’s web site HERE or click the link on my sidebar called Adventures Beyond. We love this family!


{Click the image to enlarge}

Orphan Sunday

Posted by KK on Friday, 5 November, 2010

This Sunday is Orphan Sunday. Fellow Christians, it is a mandate that we look after the fatherless. Not an option. Pray about adopting and/or fostering a child or financially supporting those who are willing to do so themselves.

To learn more about Orphan Sunday, click HERE.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1: 27