Unusually Quiet

I recognize my postings have slowed dramatically over the last two weeks.  Normally, this would be a sign of extreme busyness in our household and while life is busy, I think mostly I am just tired.  Those who know me well know that pregnancy is a constant uphill battle for me, where victory doesn’t finally come until a few hours after delivery (with Molly Kate, I still threw up twice after she was born).  My nausea has picked back up in recent weeks, I’ve begun experiencing very uncomfortable pains in the lower half of my body and the rising summer temperatures are definitely slowing me down.  I’m finding each day a struggle to fight for joy as I just long to have this baby out of my body!  So, if you are wondering how to pray for me, pray that I’ll persevere and that God would grant me patience in affliction.

We are still waiting on official word from the US Embassy as to whether Kevin will be traveling at the end of the month to pick up Miles.  We are still praying for an embassy date of July 1, which would mean Kevin and his mom (who has graciously agreed to accompany him and help with poopy diapers!) will leave June 25/26 for Ethiopia.  Baby Madden is due June 29th and given that Molly Kate was 11 days late and even then only came because we finally gave in to an induction, we are planning on inducing June 21st so that Kevin doesn’t miss the birth and that I can be home from the hospital before he leaves.  Yes, I know all of this sounds absolutely nutty, but what can we say?!  God is good and it seems at though He has ordained for two little men to come into our family around the same time.  Who am I to question His good and perfect timing?  And praise be to Him that we have two mothers ready and willing to serve us in our time of need as well as an amazing church family who continues to care so well for us through all of these transitions.

I’m just finishing a great book, so I look forward to posting a review sometime this week.  I also have a few new recipes I want to share.  As far as other insights into our life and what I’m learning from the Lord, well those just may have to wait until my head is a little less cloudy and my body a little less weary!

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Happy Birthday Miles!

I can’t believe our baby boy turned two years old today!  I remember how hard it was to watch him from afar on his first birthday last year and rejoice that this year, even though my heart longed to be with him today, I know he will be home very soon.  We praise God for this precious little life, for knitting him together in his mother’s womb and for sovereignly placing him in our family!  Mikias and Molly Kate loved singing “Happy Birthday” to their little brother this morning at breakfast…they both seem genuinely excited about his homecoming (very sweet to my heart)!

Penne with Chickpeas, Feta and Tomatoes

I pulled this recipe from Cooking Light in March and gave it a try tonight.  Kevin and the kids gave it two thumbs up!  A perfect pasta dish for summer with fresh basil and tomatoes…filling but light.  I love finding new “meatless” entrees to add to our monthly menu rotation!

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Ingredients

8  ounces  uncooked penne (tube-shaped pasta)

2  tablespoons  olive oil

1/2  cup  chopped shallots

3  garlic cloves, minced

1/2  cup  chopped red bell pepper

1  (15-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

3  cups  halved cherry tomatoes

3/4  cup  (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

1/3  cup  small fresh basil leaves

1/2  teaspoon  salt

1/2  teaspoon  grated lemon rind

1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté 45 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in bell pepper and chickpeas; sauté 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in pasta and reserved cooking liquid; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat. Add feta and remaining ingredients; toss to combine.Salty feta, sweet cherry tomatoes, and nutty chickpeas combine for a hearty Greek-inspired pasta dish. Use oregano instead of basil, if you prefer.

Practical Theology for Women – Book Review

I originally ran across this book on the Passionate Homemaking site and recommended it for study in our women’s group.  I think all of us thoroughly enjoyed this read, found the material excellent for discussion and were greatly helped in the way we think and study the nature of God.  The author, Wendy Horger Alsup (who has an excellent blog), endured a period of great trials which she describes in detail in the opening introduction.  These trials are what God used to push her into a deeper understanding of God and who He tells us He is in Scripture.  As I read, I couldn’t help but see the parallels in my own life and the trials we’ve endured the last two years.  I could easily affirm with her, that while difficult, the trials have produced beautiful fruit in our lives and I wouldn’t trade the confidence I now have in the Lord as a result.

Some might read the title of this book and think, “Oh, sounds like a dumbed down version of theology because women can’t read a regular theology book.”  There’s nothing “dumbed down” about this book.  She writes of foundational theology as it is presented in Scripture, but does so in a way that relates our theology to the practical parts of our daily lives as women, friends, wives and mothers.  She moves beyond a simple study of theology to helping you connect the dots between your theology (what you believe to be true about the nature of God) and how you live and especially react to your daily life.  I cannot think of a single woman who would not benefit from reading this book…how’s that for a summary?!

Here’s a few favorite quotes:

It’s obvious from these Scriptures [Job 28:28, Psalm 111:10, Proverbs 15:33] that wise, practical daily living is preceded by a knowledge of God that leads to fear, awe, and reverence of him, his power, and his purposes.  In other words, theology is the root, foundation, and framework for practical living that reflects wisdom and understanding. p. 25

During our struggles, we learned to wholeheartedly praise God in the good times and the bad.  Most importantly, we learned that God is every bit as good in the hard times as he is in the times of plenty.  In fact, often he seems more beautiful and sustaining during the trials, perhaps because he has forcefully removed from our line of vision the things that obscure our view of him.  p. 60

Know him, then act like you know him. That is faith.  p. 61

God has planned our salvation since before the earth was created, and despite man’s wickedness, God has never lost control.  I find daily comfort in the knowledge that God chose me for himself before he had even created the world and the he perfectly works out his plan according to his will.  Our Father is truly a rock in the midst of the raging storms of life.  We can cling to his unchanging purposes and uncompromising nature to sustain us when we are battered by the seeming chaos of life. p. 71

Personally, I have to fight the tendency to place the Word of God down in third place on my priority list, after wise counselors and good Christian books.  I find it easier to seek wisdom from people or books rather than from God himself in his Word.  However, this attitude works against me in the very areas I need help.  No Christian book can claim to be the hammer that breaks the heart of stone.  No wise counselor can claim the ability to judge the unspoken attitudes of our hearts.  Only God’s Word has this type of power, and we must avail ourselves of his revelation to us through his written Word.  p. 135

We LOVE Orange Beach!

A Precious Sight
Enjoying the Sand!
Thank you Poppa and Nana for a wonderful trip!
Molly Kate's favorite aunt 🙂
Waiting on breakfast (patiently, I might add!)
Mikias' favorite uncle 🙂
Uncle Kyle's idea - everyone needs their first time buried in the sand!
So, of course, Molly Kate needed/wanted a turn too!
Oh, how we love Aunt Amy!
We missed you Daddy!

Family of Five – It’s Official!

And thankfully it is not because Baby Madden came early!  This afternoon I received a call from our agency letting us know that Miles Wubishet Cuthbertson has finally passed court!  Apparently there was an error in the conversion of our court date and his case actually went to court today, May 4th and we have been granted a new son!  We are so happy that the Lord has seen fit to add another member to our family, officially bringing us up to five members…whew!  Please continue to pray that we might receive the July 1st embassy date.  Our I-171h expires July 10th and to file the extension would require more money, more paperwork and more time (in a nutshell).  We’d love to avoid all of this and bring our little boy home sooner rather than later!

Finally, finally, finally….introducing Miles Wubishet Cuthbertson!

Our first picture - his referral pic
First big smile!
First picture of Miles sitting up
Crawling and seeing our pictures for the first time!
Cruising furniture
One of my favorite pics!
And our baby became a toddler!
Our first meeting!

Beach Time

The ocean is probably one of my favorite parts of God’s creation.  And I haven’t seen it in person in over two years…yes, for me, that’s tragic!  My parents own a condo in Orange Beach, Alabama and even before, had been bringing me to the beach since I was two.  I’ve been craving a trip for a while and thought it might be a bit easier to make the journey (a 10 and 1/2 hour drive without all the stops to potty) before Madden and W are a part of the crew.  Though the weather hasn’t been outstanding, the kids are quite happy to be here! We’re enjoying time with Nana and Poppa (my parents) as well as my sis Amy and her hubby Kyle.  Kyle and Amy have and continue to be a huge hit with my children!  Mikias was hilarious experiencing the ocean for the first time…the tide was strong and each time it went out, I think he thought it was going to take him with it.  But let me clarify…we were standing at the very edge of the ocean!!!  Molly Kate, on the other hand, was dying to go further in and was also quite happy to keep digging her hands in the sand.  We ended up in the pool for a while yesterday and they had a blast!  I’m so thankful the Lord provided this trip for us (and that my precious husband happily let us come even though he had to work!)!