April 30, 2012

my heart...

(photos from easter sunday)
as our family approaches many changes in our life 
(& have currently approached one, since we are in uganda getting amos)
my heart has been so so sad. 
michael & i both don't handle change very well, but the change of moving away from memphis has been a difficult change to embrace. we will be leaving the only home our boys have ever known, all our dear friends, the place michael & i started our relationship & family & a sweet sweet season for the barkers.
2 weeks ago i realized i was grieving this loss. i didn't have much of an appetite & i felt sad all day long. 
i know He has good for us & not harm. i know that He has amazing plans ahead for our family.
things i wouldn't believe if i saw them now. i have much peace this week. thank You Jesus!
i grieve for my boys (jude mainly) because he really doesn't handle change well. we had some guys working on our flowerbed a few weeks ago & he stood at the window & cried because he didn't want them to "change" our yard. :( sweet boy. we tried to explain to him that they were making our yard look better & it would be good, better than what we had. he just cried & cried & didn't understand.
so it is with our gracious & good Father... He brings along new things & works in us to make things "better than what we have" & we don't understand & we cry & we try to hold on tightly to the things/places/people/season we have now. but we HAVE to trust Him. there's nothing else we can do. 
He knows what's good for us... & we do not. years, months & even just weeks from now i will look back at "our flowerbed" & see how the Lord uprooted many things in our lives & planted new things. & it will have felt uncomfortable in the moments of His working, but IT WILL BE GOOD!!!
i know this to be true.

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April 27, 2012

i'm learning... (guest post)

Hi! It's Megan again from The Unlikely Housewife.  I wanted to share some of the things I've learned in the brief 4 years that I've been a mom and some things I am still learning. I am a mommy of 2 amazing little ones. Eden will be 4 in July and Owen will be 2 in just a few weeks! I am so delighted to be their mommy. Staying home has very difficult moments, but I would never ever trade it for the best job in the world. I feel like I already have the best "job" in the world. I am no pro and have lots and lots and lots of shortcomings.  These things are not universal for every mom, but it works for our family.

~ I have to get up early. Our entire day runs so much better when I am up, showered and have spent time in the Word and prayer. This doesn't always happen, but it has become more and more apart of my schedule. It has gotten a little more difficult since my sweet Eden keeps making her rising time earlier and earlier. I know that I need time in God's word to be prepared for the day and I do not want sleep (with exceptions of... new baby, rough night, sickness) to get in the way.

~ I cannot get stressed out over the house. I say that, but I do! My husband reminds me all the time that I have a 4 and 2 year old and the house isn't always going to be clean. For instance, the other day I cleaned my floors and after just the afternoon there was playdough, sand and food all in the kitchen. I looked at it and wanted to cry at first, but then realized I had rather my kids remember having fun than having to keep things tidy all the time. This can be a struggle for me.

~ We are our children's primary educators. No matter if we homeschool, private school or public school Don and I are the ones that are responsible for the things that influence our children and shape their worldview. While I am excited about that it is also a huge job! Thankful for the Lord's help and grace

~ Play with them as much as you can! They are only little for so long. I can get so focused on the things that I need to do for the day and feel like I have to get everything on my list checked off that the day can slip by before I know it. As I grow as a mom I am learning more and more the balance of housework and time with the kids.

~ They are constantly watching me, especially Eden. She notices and comments on the clothes I wear, my makeup, my jewelry, the things that Don and I talk about, things we listen to, things I say to friends. It is crazy how aware she is about everything and interested. I know it is so important to be instilling in her kingdom values and not things of this world.

~ I greatly need to plan my days out. I don't do this minute or even hour by hour. But I do decide what we will be doing during our school time in the morning, what fun places we will go, playdates, crafts we will make. If I just let the week happen it's usually not the best week in our house.

Those are just a few quick things I've learned and we are doing as a family. I could go on and on, but I will leave you with that. Thanks for letting me share with you all. Al's friend Britney will be up next week! I leave you with a few picture of my sweet babes. Have a happy weekend!

April 25, 2012

"Look after Orphans and Widows" (guest post)

Hello, I am so delighted to be guest posting for Al while she is in Uganda. I am Megan from The Unlikely Housewife and I have know Allison for about 8 years now and have been so blessed by her friendship. As most of you know Al and her family are in Uganda where they are adopting a precious little boy Amos. I cannot wait for you all to see his sweet face. So precious!! I wanted to briefly share on adoption:

James 1:27 says, "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."

I am so struck by how clear the Lord puts it. He says to take care of them. Nothing confusing about that. I do think this looks different for everyone in the body of Christ. Some are called to adopt, some to support adoption, some to foster care, some to be a mentor and Christ-like example and some to visit and bring encouragement. I believe a huge message that James is communicating is that as the body we are not to forget about anyone especially those we see in need. And that we are all to be apart of caring for orphans and widows. So, with a convicted heart I encourage you to ask yourself what you can do to be more a part of caring for orphans and widows.

Galatians 4:5-7 says, "to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, 'Abba! Father!' So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God."

Adoption is a beautiful example of the Gospel. I was lost and alone and Christ came and called me beloved and called me his daughter. Earthly adoption portrays that. Not that the family adopting is that child's savior, but that family has said you are no longer alone you are no longer fatherless and motherless you are our son or daughter now. So beautiful!!

I wanted to leave you with what The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, AL did a few years ago when challenged by a sermon their pastor David Platt preached. In the sermon on James 1:27 he states, "... I (David Platt) wondered why could we not take our county and say, ‘We’re not going to let a child in our county be without a mom or dad for a night, without someone who will care for them and love on them, maybe for a short time or maybe for a long time." As a result of that 70 families signed up to help look after orphans in their county. Amazing!!! That is so encouraging!! Here is the full article

Let us all be diligently praying for the Barkers as they are bonding with Amos and as they prepare to bring him into their home. As well as prayerfully considering how each of us can be more apart of adoption and caring for widows. I know the example of the Barkers and others in my life have greatly challenged me with how to care for orphans and widows. Have a beautiful day!

April 23, 2012

granola bars & little boys

i got this recipe from my friend mel. 
make them right this second... you won't regret it.

the goods you'll need:
*2 c old fashioned oats
*1 c raw nuts
*1/2 c raw seeds
*1 c shredded coconut
*1/2 c ground flaxseed
*1/3 c peanut butter
*2/3 c honey
*3 Tbs unsalted butter (i use earth balance)
*2 tsp vanilla
*1/4 tsp cinnamon
*pinch of salt
*1 c dark chocolate (i use about 1/2 c)

how to make the yumminess:
*preheat over to 300 
*toast oats, nuts, seeds & coconut on a cookie sheet in the oven until golden brown, about 15 mins.
*meanwhile, bring peanut butter, honey, butter, vanilla, cinnamon & salt to a simmer in a small saucepan. reduce heat to low.
*transfer toasted mixture to a large mixing bowl & add the flaxseed.
*pour the wet mixture into the bowl & stir until fully combined. add the chocolate chips.
*transfer the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. use the back of a spoon to pack it in really well.
*bake for 30 mins.

we are in uganda, africa at this very moment to bring our amos home!
i have thought many times about seeing our boy for the first time
& learning his personality.
i've thought about the emotion that i would feel when i held him for the
first time...
but now it is actually happening!!! we are, at this moment, loving on our little one.
what a joy & an honor to be asked to welcome this sweet boy into our family forever!
Father, give our family grace for this transition!!!
our Father has gone before us & He is sovereign in all things! :)
keep praying for us!!!

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April 19, 2012


we are currently packing up the car & driving to the airport!!!
we're finally going to get our amos!
God is faithful & good, His timing is perfect!
we're so looking forward to this month together as a family of 5!
please pray for us. 
pray for the moments of frustration & being exhausted... that Christ, through our weakness, would be glorified & that we would be sanctified. 
pray our little amos would attach to us quickly.
pray jude & sammy would just fall in love with their little brother.
pray for wisdom for mike as he leads & shepherds our family.
pray that i would be humbled & after this long trip... would look more like Christ!
i am not planning on updating the ole blog while we're in uganda, but i will have a few "scheduled" posts & i have some dear friends that will be doing guest posts so stay tuned. :)
we CANNOT wait to return home with our dear amos & tell all of what the Lord did in our lives & show you pictures of his cute chubby little face!!!!!!!!!
leaving you with a picture of us with our dear friends the gales. 
i cry when i think about moving away from them. ah i will miss them greatly!
(embracing the camera here.)

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April 17, 2012

we leave sooooon!!!!

pray pray PRAY for us!!! we're leaving so soon to get our amos!
our family has a lot happening (as you can tell from previous posts).
our house is on the market, 
we're going to uganda for a month to get our amos,
we're trying to finish up projects around the house to be ready to sell, 
we're packing,
& the list continues..........

last week i felt overwhelmed with stress & sadness. i realized i was grieving.
grieving over leaving all our boys have ever known, leaving my dear/sweet/beautiful friends, leaving the place michael & i began our relationship, leaving the season of the Lord taking us through many many hard things & many joys.
this will be a lot of "new" for us & sometimes the "old" is just more comfortable, 
even if the "new" is better for us. 

i lift up my eyes to the hills.
from where does my help come?
my help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven & earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
He who keeps you will not slumber. 
behold, He who keeps Israel 
will neither slumber nor sleep.

the Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
the sun shall not strike you by day, 
nor the moon by night.

the Lord will keep you from all evil;
He will keep your life.
the Lord will keep
your going out & your coming in
from this time forth & forevermore.
psalm 121

the Father has given me so much peace & joy over the past couple days! i don't feel stressed (thank you for your prayers megan & steph!!!)!
i feel calm & i am enjoying this time with my guys.

pray for grace for us & the Lord's sanctifying work in us as we travel to Uganda as a family. may we see more clearly what our GOOD GOOD God has done for us as we in turn adopt amos into our little family.

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April 12, 2012

used up for Him

(embracing the camera here)
(jude's making a funny face, he's not mad :))

yesterday was a difficult day with these sweet little boys. i found myself getting quickly angry with them & raising my voice. really it's because i was taking it personally that they were disobeying me instead of being grieved by their sin against the Lord. i was reminded last night that i need to see those moments as a rescue mission to discipline them & restore them to the Lord. 

all i have is the Lord's. my home, my children, my body, my wisdom, my giftings... all to be used up for the glory of the Lord. gosh i can be so selfish! humble me Lord & in the moments that i'm sooo annoyed that my boys aren't listening to ME remind me that it is You alone who deserves the glory & all my efforts!


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April 11, 2012

we're ready to fill that seat

amos is coming! this time next week i will be running around like crazy because we'll be leaving in 1 day. 
oh my goodness oh my goodness oh my goooooooooodnessssss!
i was just thinking about his sweet little face & how much i just want to love on him & make him part of our bunch. sooooooooooon!!!!
we are so grateful that the Lord has chosen us to welcome him into our home. 
through this whole process i think i've felt the way daddies do when they're waiting for their baby to be born. like it's not really happening until you see that sweet baby's face. i cannot imagine the emotions we will all feel when we see him for the first time & hold him & play with him & hear his little voice!!!!
ahhhhhhhhh!!! can we get on the plane this very second?!!!! 
ok, just a week... i better go get busy!

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April 10, 2012


our family has a lot happening right now! i feel quiet overwhelmed & a little anxious about everything. we are going to get our sweet amos from uganda in the next few weeks & then we're moving up north. i'm feeling sad about leaving memphis & all mike & i have known as a couple & all our boys have ever known. the Lord has done A LOT during our time here & we've been through so so much! we will miss our dear friends who have stood with us through trials & sadness & they've rejoiced with us in sweet seasons. the Lord has sanctified us & made us more like Him. i'm soooo grateful i'm not who i was when we moved here. :) i just don't want to get caught up in the craziness of this time & forget to enjoy these last weeks here with our friends & sweet boys. i know all this change will be hard for our boys & i want them to feel secure in our love & always point them to the Lord. i want them to know that though everything around us changes our God NEVER changes!
i know our God is faithful & He will sustain us. this season will be sweet if i choose to let it be. memphis has been home to the beginning of our family & we rejoice in all He's done.

check up on the north & west.

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April 9, 2012

nashville getaway

about a month ago mike & i got away to nashville for some moments alone before craziness ensued... & it has. praise the Lord for that time. we love nashville. we will miss it a lot when we move away from the south. i like it so much more than memphis. naturally beautiful! 
enjoy some instagrams of our trip...

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April 7, 2012

this season

this season has been quite difficult for me.
i know the Lord is sovereign over this time.
i have to cling to Him. 

we're moving,
we're leaving all our boys have known,
we're adding a sweet little amos to our family,
we're moving further away from my family,
we're stepping into difficult/uncomfortable/sanctifying times,
we're living in sanctifying times,
we have a lot to accomplish before we go to africa,
i'm missing my mom,
we're in a season of unorganized craziness,
we're saying a lot of "goodbyes".

i feel like i can't handle it sometimes.
& at times i feel like i can't breathe.
i feel like our days are flying by us.
i feel like i'm trying to grab on to every moment i can with friends & my guys.

Father, be the biggest thing in our lives during this season.
i can rest in Your peace.
i know You are good & You are over all things.
i trust You.


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April 6, 2012

i felt so small

mike & i flew to nyc this past weekend...

i had this in my ears.
we were floating somewhere above pennsylvania & i looked out the window...
it was so dark. all i could see was the moon, it was sooo bright, & all the stars burning in the sky.
we were soaring over a sea of white fluffy clouds. seriously i couldn't see anything below the white ocean. i looked out across the vast darkness & saw other planes floating along. i thought about how those planes were filled with people... people going about their lives. flying from here to there. busy people. hurting people. people that are loved by the very Creator of this beauty that we were flying through. 
our little plane, the many thousands of little planes that were flying through the skies at that moment, filled with hundreds of thousands of people. 

i felt so small.

& yet so loved & so honored & so grateful for His great love for me, for us, for this world that doesn't even take a look out the window to see how great He is. we are surrounded by His awesome creation.
i pray that the lost & the saved of this globe would "look out the window" & be struck with awe. & they would be wooed by our loving Father. 

He is so amazing!


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April 4, 2012

my dear mommy

my mom past away from brain cancer 4 years ago today. sometimes i feel like i can't handle how much i miss her. i think about her often & wish she was here to be grandmom to our little boys. i wish i could pick up the phone & call her whenever i like. a few nights ago i was overwhelmed with sadness & i wept for about 10 mins over my beautiful mom. michael held me & he cried too. i weep for my self & how i wish she was still on this earth to go through life with me, i do not weep for her because she is before our Savior at this very moment, free from all pain & sin & the cares of this crazy world. i long for the day when i can run & hug her & laugh with her & worship our Father with her. she was an amazing worshipper even on this earth, i cannot WAIT to stand beside her & hear her sing His praises for eternity!  
here are a few pictures of sweet moments with my mom on our wedding day. i rejoice that i have these memories & that she could be apart of our wedding. thank you gracious Father!
DSC_0365 DSC_0369 DSC_0382 DSC_0371
(embracing the camera here)

i am so grateful for a mother who set a beautiful example of a mom & wife & lover of the Lord. i pray i can carry on her legacy with my children & strive even more to be like Christ.
i miss my mommy & how she would just let me hug on her all day. i miss her hands & how she played with my hair. i miss her joy & i miss how she encouraged me & pushed me toward the Lord.

i call her blessed.

this picture was taken a few days before she passed away. thank You Lord that she is free from pain. i rejoice that even in her pain she said, "yet, i will praise the Lord".

james taylor was her favorite. i listen to him often & think of her. :)

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