Friday, March 30, 2007

Retreating

Many of you have asked me if the NY picture was an old picture because of the date on it... no, it was taken last week but we were using my mom's camera for the first time, so we weren't sure how to use it. :)

Today I am leaving with 19 girls and 7 women for the HYG Girls Retreat. I am so excited! We're going to stay at the lakehouse of one of our generous members. We're supposed to have amazing weather and last year's summer interns, Jess and Jenna, are going to be joining us.

Our lessons this weekend are going to focus on Women of Faith. We'll look at Esther, Ruth, Hannah, Deborah, Rahab, and Joanna. Keep us in your prayers!

Lastly, I'd like to announce that we moved up one spot on the list! Single digits baby!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Its a Small World in the Big Apple


Right now I'm sitting in my bed in our hotel room in Manhattan. I know, random. Last minute, I joined my parents on a quick trip to visit my sister who is here working for a few weeks. They sponsored me on this trip (thanks Mom and Dad) and it has been really fun. We got here Friday and we're leaving in the morning.

I ran into a friend from college in H&M *my favorite store that we of course don't have in Memphis*. Can anyone guess who???Jamie Chitty! It was really fun to catch up and so ironic. I have only recently reconnected with Jamie over the blog world and then email and then to see her in Soho! Totally random. It really is a small world. I only wish I'd thought to take our picture together!

I had never been down to Chinatown or Soho or Little Italy, and so I really loved getting to see the diverse and often humorous people and surroundings. Here's a funny tidbit. We were eating dinner at "Buona Notte" in Little Italy, and absolutely loving it. (Seriously this was the best Italian I've had since my semester in Florence with Harding!) While we were there, a Chinese delivery guy brought over a pizza that the waiters at our Italian restaurant had ordered. I asked him why and he said their chef doesn't like to make pizza, and that Chinese make good pizza. Ha!
P.S. Where was Josh? Oh, in Bristol, Tennessee, at a NASCAR race. Yes, you heard me. My yankee husband in the middle of a lot of rednecks. More irony! I can't stand it!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Intercession


This picture has nothing to do with my post to follow, I just think its a funny product. Baby accessories for adopted babies only.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I have to share a funny story. Since my friend doesn't update her blog often enough to use this story, I'm going to. Someone must.

K and K have been praying with their daughter Annie for me and Josh and for another couple of our friends - and the wife of that couple is Brooke, too. We are adopting and the other Brooke is pregnant. They have been explaining to Annie that we (Josh and I) are going to have a baby whose mommy and daddy can't take care of it, so Josh and Brooke are going to be its mommy and daddy.

So the other night Annie prayed for us again, except this time she reminded God to give Brooke Ray Brooke C's baby! It can get confusing to understand this baby stuff! I laughed so hard at this story. Especially if you know Annie, who is so very well spoken and articulate for a four year old.

This made me think of Romans 8, you know the verses, about how the Spirit intercedes for us to God when we just can't seem to get our words out right. As I looked at the Message's wording, I thought, Wow, how appropriate! Here's Romans 8:22-27:

"All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. " (ok, so pregnant is used a little differently here, but still ironic, huh?)

Which reminds me, if you're reading this, add the Ethan Powell family to your list of people to intercede for. I do not know them, but I am amazed and inspired by them from reading their website. Other Christians in Memphis have been ministering to their needs and people around the world are praying for them. What a powerful example of intercession!

(K and K - thanks for having such adorable children and for praying for us.)

Monday, March 19, 2007

#10 and holding

So, we're #10 now and in a "holding pattern". We have been officially on the CHSFS waiting list for four months now. The families who received referrals (that means they are matched with a specific child) back in early January are traveling the first week of April - exactly three months later. Related to that, there is a small prayer request I'd like to ask everyone. This whole timeline question gets really complicated, so I'll just tell you that we are hoping to get our case through the courts by the time they close every year (somewhere around August). At this point if we got a referral today, we wouldn't get to travel likely until June. A referral in May would probably have us traveling in August. Therefore, I'd like a referral sooner than later if I had my druthers. (I love that word.)

We are praying for our child every night together. We'd love you to join us.

Friday, March 16, 2007

New show obsession


Most people who know me know that I really loved Alias. (Thanks again, Jesse.) It was a really great show, though the last season was not up to par. The best part of the story was the leading up to the two main characters proclaiming their love for one another. Here is the moment when they finally kissed! Love it.
Well, I have a new show that is edging up the list of my favorites. Bones. While not recommended for the youngins', its a great crime solving in a lab/partners who love each other but won't say it/great wordplay kind of show. The writers are quite witty. So....... I have found my new "Sydney and Vaughn" : Booth and Brennan. Anyone else a fan?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Latte inspired rambling
















Yesterday I had a thought after leaving my local Starbucks. (I know I am so cliche.) I drop into Starbucks about 3 or 4 mornings a week. I see the same people there over and over. There's a guy from my church who runs his own business and is always working in Starbucks. There's the barista guy with a ponytail and glasses who is friendly and after many many attempts has finally memorized my grande half caf nonfat with lite whip toffee nut latte. There's the friendly happy girl, who works occasionally, who gets my drink ready before the time I even reach the front of the line to order, and says "Brooke, here's yours." I love when she's working. I completely understand the world's fascination with the place. It is warm. I feel at home. I like seeing such a cross-section of the city - students, business people, retirees, cops, young, old, some reading the paper, others studying some type of medical book, others holding hands and talking softly to their love, others just in and out, back to whatever it is they are in a rush to do. Something about it makes me feel good. I think there is something great about "knowing" these strangers, and them calling me by name and vice versa.


I'm not the first person to feel like that, of course. We all remember Norm, from Cheers. (Yes, I know its a show about a bar. Stick with me here, church people.) His character, along with the show's theme song, showed the world how great it was for people to know you by name. Here's the words we all remember.

sometimes you wanna go
where everybody knows your name,
and they're always glad you came.
you wanna be where you can see,
our troubles are all the same
you wanna be where everybody knows
your name.

I love hearing my name, especially by people close to me. I like saying people's names. I probably say Josh's name to him or about him a hundred times a day. I love when Josh says my name or my many nicknames to me or when he introduces me or tells me he loves me. I think it would be the pinnacle of loneliness not to hear your name said aloud during a day.

Why is that? Some of you are thinking I'm a freak, others of you might relate.

Well, this morning, when I looked at my "verse of the day" (some cards I made up with differnet verses) I saw something very similar!

Isaiah 43
1 But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he
who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed
you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you
pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk
through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you
ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your
Savior.

I like the CEV's wording of verse 1b:
I have called you by name; now you belong to me.

Now that's something to imagine, right? God calling out my name. God being so familiar with me that he doesn't have to rack his brain to remember my name, or my favorite anything... or my needs, or my fears, or my questions. He is familiar with me. He made me. And I shouldn't be afraid because of that! I like to think of him saying, "Hello, Brooke, will you please relax? You have been redeemed! You have me on your side! You don't need to be afraid of what might happen in this world, Brooke! I am God, and I made you, Brooke, and I can handle this stuff you're freaking out about!"

Not only that, but God is already familiar with my child because He made him/her. Our baby already belongs to God!He or she has a name that God knows right now. How cool is that.

Hope these thoughts can encourage you a little bit today, too!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How Great is Our God Tour


Wow, last night's concert here in Memphis was amazing! Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, and Matt Redman all performed/spoke. Chris Tomlin is a worship leader, best known for songs like "How Great is Our God" and "Holy is the Lord". Matt Redman is also a worship leader from Australia, who wrote "Blessed be your Name" and "You Never Let Go". Louie Giglio is a speaker who begun a huge ministry to college/young adults in Atlanta and the Passion Conferences. Total powerhouse team, they are.


It was a great night of worship. I love seeing people from all over the area gathered there for one reason: to praise God. All the names of our churches didn't matter anymore. It was such a blessing to me! If you are not acquainted with these three, you should be... click on their names for more about them.
Have a wonderful day!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

Accessories


Hi, I'm Brooke and I'm obsessed with baby stuff. There, I said it.


Seriously, this is getting out of hand. The assistance you all gave me on this blog has been helpful. But then I decided I should in fact read everything the web has to say about every possible product I might need. And every list on Amazon.com Listmania feature called "what every first time mommy needs" or "an adopted baby's first days at home" seems to have something I might need to get... I need to slow it down, and remember what most people I trust who are actual-moms say: "You don't really need all that stuff! Just keep it simple!" Perhaps this is just the only tangible way that almost-mom's handle the wait. Do they call it nesting? Or it is just accessorizing? Gotta slow down.

While surfing the web's many fun baby-focused locations tonight, I came across a must-share. My "friend" Julie whose blog I admire (I call her that because we have never met, I have only emailed with her, and I haven't asked her if I could link her blog to mine, I just did it!) has the cutest thing at the top of her blog. Well, I wanted to know where I could find it. And I have found at least one place where you can do this. On the Mandy's Moon website, you can create a little cartoon version of your family. And you can choose so many variations! Here's an example from their site. This is of course perfect for a multicultural multishaded family like mine will be. I can't wait to get some labels or stationary or a mug....


Oops.
















Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Baby Paraphenalia II

WOW! Thanks to all who commented on my baby stuff question! This post, as Jesse pointed out, has far surpassed the number of comments on my sort of famous plastic cups post. I have begun registering and will be going to test some products very soon!


As for baby news, I was told by our agency that we will likely have a referral in two months. This is still within 4-6 months that they told us, but of course I was hoping for 4 not 6! It's not bad news, I know, but I was kinda discouraged. I know that it will happen in time!


P.S. I am loving American Idol this season for some reason. I just wanted to give a bit of recognition to A.J. who was kicked off last week. Sad! I loved him! This week, for the boys, I predict Sandaja (hopefully) and Jared (even though I think he's adorable) will be gone. My current faves of the boys are Blake and both Chrises. We'll see about the girls tomorrow!