May 29, 2012

we're (finally) going home!

we're bringing our amos home!!! it's been a long long road & we are so ready to be home (for 2 weeks before we move ;) )! pray for lots of grace for our little family as we have a very long trip home!

while in africa... we've had a lot of fun experiences & quality time as a family, we've eaten way too many carbs & sugar, we've cried some, we've laughed a lot, we've sweated a whole bucket full (maybe more. sorry that's a little gross), we've enjoyed meeting new friends, we've learned to spit in the shower to keep from swallowing any of the water, we've played in puddles, we've done a lot of new things, we've been stretched beyond what is comfortable to us, we've longed to be comfortable, we've learned to cope in stressful situations, we've been sick, we've (well some of us) ridden boda bodas. we've been eaten up by mosquitos, we've resorted to letting the boys watch the iPad at meals to keep them still (& therefore become horrible parents), we've eaten doritos for breakfast, we've had way too much fanta, we've changed soooo many dirty diapers, 
we've been SANCTIFIED!

the Lord is so good to us! He's so faithful! we look forward to what the Lord has next for our family & we rejoice in what He's done during our time in africa. we will cherish these memories!

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May 25, 2012

adoption & the gospel pt 1

hi dear readers, friends & family.
i apologize for being so quiet. we are still in uganda getting our sweet sweet amos.
i've missed blogging soooo much! i didn't think i'd have any time to blog while in africa... & for the most part that's been true. but i have a few minutes now. :) so here goes... (ahhh, blogging gives me so much life!)
(taken before we left for africa. we now have one more little boy to fit in that wagon! i cannot wait to share pictures of amos's cute little face when we get home!)

wow, adoption is the hardest & most sanctifying thing i have ever willingly been through! (i say willingly, because there have been many difficult things in my life that i did not "choose" to go through. praise the Lord for His good & gracious purposes for our lives!)
i have learned sooooooo much about the gospel during our 5 weeks in uganda that i wanted to do a short series to share all i've learned. i want to start the series by rejoicing in the goodness of our God to use trials to sanctify us. 

"God always looks upon me & treats me with gracious favor, always working all things together for my ultimate & eternal good. God's grace abounds to me even through trials. because i am a justified one, He subjugates every trial & forces it to do good unto me."


"i don't deserve any of this, even on my best day; but this is my salvation, & herein i stand. 
thank You, Jesus."

HE IS SOOOO GOOD! i don't deserve that He looks upon me & treats me with gracious favor. i don't deserve that He is always working ALL THINGS together for my good. i don't deserve that His grace abounds to me EVEN through trials. i don't deserve that He subjugates every trial & forces it to do good unto me. BUT HE DOES IT ANYWAY!!! just because of His grace & great love for me. i have done absolutely NOTHING to deserve any of His goodness. BUT this is my salvation! thank You Lord! He does not give up on me. He keeps working on me & making me more & more like Him.

(quotes from this great great book! BUY IT & read it everyday!)
we cannot wait to be home! we miss our friends & our home! then we move to MI... maybe i'm kinda dreading all the change that's about to happen. but we will find our "new normal" soon enough. :)

May 11, 2012

Our Lives, A Living Sacrifice (guest post)

Hi friends and family of Allison!! I am Stephanie over at Sons & Daughters. I was very excited when Al asked me to write a guest post this week for her blog while their family is in Uganda! We miss them dearly but through the times I have gotten to chat with her it is so clear they are in the center of God's will, and though difficult at times they will come back having grown so much, and experienced the wonders and grace of our God!! Can't wait to see you sweet friend ;)

Our family is also in the process of adopting from Uganda at the "Loving Hearts Babies Home" and right now are #10 on the waiting list! Its such an overwhelming and exciting feeling to know that Lord willing this year we will be packing up and bringing home our little boy! We can't wait for him to live life with us, and forever be a part of this crazy fun loving family! 

I have a close friend who is filled with such spiritual wisdom it would be easy for me, and my pleasure to  sit and talk with her all day! Recently, while chatting about adoption she shared this beautiful picture of it and how it sanctifies those who walk through it.  

With our little boy Isaiah, or with Mike and Allison's son Amos God the Father had already set them apart to be with us. In advance he chose those boys to be ours. Yet when they come home to this new house, new voices, new scents, new food, pretty much new everything it is a learning and growing process for not only the child but everyone involved. That child will slowly learn to (in the barkers case for Amos) talk like a barker, act like a barker, love like a barker, live like a barker! Can you see where this is going?? ;)
In the same way God in advance chose you and I to be adopted into His family and share in His inheritance ! We have a lot of work that needs to be done in us and Christ is faithful not to leave us to sort out our mess. Over time through the taking in and savoring of his Word, communion and fellowship with our risen Savior our lives begin to change and look differently (or at least they should) and things we used to desire and feel we couldn't live without don't seem important or even necessary. That's the work of the Holy Spirit!!!
Continue to press in deeper and deeper to that and you will begin to talk like Christ, act like Christ, love like Christ, and live like Christ! Your life will be a sweet fragrance to those you come across. 

Turning corners a little bit I would like to leave you with something from Ephesians 1 i read the other day.   

Ephesian 1:18-19 says "having the eyes of your heart enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness toward us who believe according to the working of His great might."  

My prayer right now is that my eyes would daily be enlightened to his magnificent love and power towards me and all who belong to him. That redemption, adoption, my inheritance, the sealing over my life given by the Holy Spirit will wash over me anew. 
May these truths humble and stir rapidly in and through me! You and I have been called to something so great and glorious and we have his immeasurable greatness going before us, working on our behalf and I do want at the end of my life to know that I only gave 20%, 50%, whatever it might be. He truly is worthy and deserving of our all. And I  hope I can have the attitude that in what I do for his kingdom is not just a duty but my privlige and delight

Well that's all! I hope to do one more post this week :) Have a great Tuesday and the days following! 

Glory be to the One True God

May 8, 2012

brunch w dear friends

we had some of our dearest friends over for a "before life gets really crazy & then we leave town" brunch a few weeks ago. ahhhh, i love hosting parties. & ahhhh, i'm going to miss these people!
IMG_3049 IMG_3052 IMG_3071 IMG_3059 
sweet sweet sweet sweet friends!!!!!!!!! our children have grown up with these beautiful children! i know our boys will miss them! i think jude will be sad & feel like something's missing, but not really understand what.
these kiddos will be missing. :(
IMG_3058 IMG_3073 IMG_3074 
sammy & owen have become cute buddies. i wish they could be friends forever! ;)
little red headed titus.
wes & kelsey
jared & steph
don & megan
soooooo grateful for these beautiful people in our lives. could not have asked for sweeter friends during this season of our lives.
thank You Lord!

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May 7, 2012

photos, nothing more than photos

i took the boys to collierville 
(a sweet historic town square with a huge old train)
before we left for uganda & i just wanted to share a ton of pictures with you. :)
thank you for your continued prayers while we're in uganda!
IMG_2897 IMG_2900 IMG_2902 IMG_2904 IMG_2906 IMG_2921 IMG_2923 IMG_2926 IMG_2928 IMG_2938 IMG_2956 IMG_2975 IMG_2973 IMG_2980 IMG_2977 IMG_2987 IMG_2991 IMG_2994
& then jude told me a story...
IMG_3012 IMG_3014 IMG_3016 IMG_3019 IMG_3020
the end.

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May 4, 2012

vegan (!!) banana bread (guest post)

this is britney from mike+ brit and so happy to drop in to al's blog tonight to share a little banana bread recipe with you guys while al and her family are away in uganda picking up their little man, amos!! (wow, that was a loooong sentence.)  anyway, on to some banana bread, yes?

i figure if you love al's blog (which i do! i do! i do!) then you might be someone who is somewhat interested in healthy eating that doesn't include meat and dairy products.  yes? maybe? maybe not?
well, my husband and i actually aren't meat and dairy free folks, but we love this banana bread recipe.  its super dense (so don't think you messed up!), and really filling, and just lovely.  
here it is:
hope you all have a lovely weekend!!

and if you can remember, pray for al and mike and jude and sammy and dear amos in uganda!!
xoxo, brit
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