I'm amazed at how my Savior can take any and every circumstance around me to show me more about him. My prayer has always been that this journey of life I'm on would continually bring honor and glory to him, so by using every opportunity; my mistakes, my successes, and my day-to-day adventures, he teaches me how to use it for his glory. This life he blessed me with is ALL about him! So, these are my thoughts, my heart cries, and my lessons from his glorious Word. These are the teachable moments from my Savior!

Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Dealing With the "What For"...

This was the picture I sent my hubby from the exam room right after the tongue lashing I received from my doctor last week. Frankly, I was done. Too many doctor visits in one week and I was starting to feel like a pin cushion. I was just done. Now, there will be no medical lawsuit filed for bad bedside manner or bashing him on social media. I really do love my doctor. I met him on a pretty bad day many years ago and he has been a great help as he's seen me through the trenches on some things. He listens and really gets to the root of issues. Even those issues you don't want to deal with. You don't find great docs like that often so he is a gem, but that day he gave me the "what for" because of my neglect of getting in there sooner to take care of some things and, quite frankly, I didn't like him right then. Lol! He didn't buy my whole sob story of "too busy, not enough of me to go around, new school, family responsibilities, can't take time off, I'll get to it when summer rolls around" speech. It didn't sit well with him and I'm pretty sure he gave me the same look as I had in this picture. Whatever doctor! 🙄

But, in all honesty, I'm thankful for him. Though there aren't any major things going on (praise the Lord!🙏🏼), he reminded me that those little things have become bigger things and I need to release my stubbornness and not wait so long. I got the "taking care of yourself is a necessity that needs to be put back on the top of your 'to-do' list so you will be around for a long long time" lecture. Okay, okay!! I get it! 

I'm sure most of us find ourselves in situations like these. Life gets busy. We put off things that need attention because it's just not something we want to deal with right now. We think it can wait because our attention is on so many other things that we feel take precedence. This would involve focus on ourselves when others around us need attention too. For me it is always easier to take care of others. It brings me joy! But as some really great (and kind of bossy 😉) people in my life reminded me that taking care of myself helps me better serve others, I decided not to roll my eyes quite as hard and take it to heart. Yes, I have given this same advice out of my own lips to others many times but it didn't apply to me, right? O, how I still have so much to learn in this life. I am a work in progress and a stubborn one at that. 🙄

That's just part of life. You fall down, you get back up. You make a mistake, you learn from it and press on to do better. Or like me, make that mistake again and again and try not to make it AGAIN. Life is hard. But to be all that God wants us to be takes intentionality to apply all that we learn from His Word and on this journey of life. Like you, I really do want to be around for a long time because there is so much I know God has for me. I have great purpose and YOU do too! So, I will continue pouring into Scripture and do as my doctors say. I will make more time for my dear family and loved ones and I will continue working hard for the glory of God!! Life is hard, but it is a gift and everyday I am reminded of just how precious it is! I love this life God has blessed me with!

So for anyone else out there making sense of some hard places, please know you've been prayed for. Let's remember that God is good and He is good at being God. He knows best and it is up to us to be still, listen, and then follow through on what He has for us. Let's also thank those He puts in our lives that encourage us to be the best of us so we can become better! 

Blessings to you all this day as we press on the pilgrimage of life! 😊

“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
Colossians 3:2 ESV

“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 NIV

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
John 10:10 ESV

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
Proverbs 27:17 NIV

"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls has no one to help them up."
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Mom" is my Superpower!

Life can get so busy that sometimes there just aren't enough hours in a day. That is the glamorous but oh-so-special life of "Mom". One particular morning, during a very busy season, I visited my local grocery store after realizing it was time to restock the pantry and refrigerator that had gone extremely bare. The milk had run out a few days before and there were no trash bags left in the house so we had resorted to using plastic shopping bags to throw out our waste. Yes, it sounds wonderful doesn't it? Lol! I had been pretty busy those last couple of weeks so the minor things like food for my family and proper waste disposal got a little behind. Haha! Ok, I am really not that terrible, I had just been in too many directions.

After I made out my shopping list and had it organized by grocery aisles, I grabbed my purse and coupons and headed out the door. “Mom” is my superpower so that grocery-shopping thing had nothing on me. I even went in full Pender County mode by donning a big old t-shirt and yoga pants and wore my hair up with no makeup on. Yes, yes, I was a sight to behold! But surprisingly, I felt a twinge of freedom and went with my head held high. Or that may have just been the large scrunchie on the top of my head. Haha!

I selected my buggy (a.k.a. shopping cart), disinfected with hand sanitizer and made my first stop at the coupon hub for the special coupons just for me! Oh, how special I felt when they printed out with "Jordan Family" at the top! Ok, now I was ready!

I began stocking my buggy and checking off my list. At the same time I was adding up my purchases and shock and awe began to set in. Wow! Those prices! Of course, the budget is the same but the prices have taken a dramatic hike so then I began making adjustments. I'm sure you all understand, well, unless you have an endless supply of money and in this economy, I kind of doubt that. So, the list gets adjusted and some of those previously selected items get the ax and go back on the shelf. But, nonetheless, I press on and come to the end of the list. By this point my mood starts shifting and I get a little discouraged. It was as if the grocery store acted as some sort of kryptonite to my “mom” superpower. Lol! Of course, it was just my human weakness that came to the surface so I asked God to show me how to make the most of out of what He had blessed us with. 

I paused in mid-aisle and said a prayer of thanks to God for His constant provision. I praised Him for the many items in my buggy; those items that will nourish our family and even our sweet dog, Louie. Though it may not be everything on my list, it was more than enough, and for that, I was grateful! I needed an attitude adjustment and also to refocus on God's many blessings.

I took my final turn down the frozen foods aisle and as I walked, every light in the freezers began lighting up. The more I walked, the more lights lit up! Oh, how I love it when God sends me teachable moments in these unsuspecting places. Lol! In all my redneck glory of no makeup and yoga pants on the frozen food aisle, God reminded me, in His gentle way, that He will always give me just enough light for each step I'm on. His light will always shine brighter than any disappointment or circumstance I am in and He will guide me every day of my life.
This was not exactly how I had imagined my grocery shopping experience that day. But the longer I walk with the Lord and trust His heart, the more I see His presence in every area of my life. From life’s victories to life’s disappointments, He will always show himself faithful and guide me to His Word for comfort and direction.

Thank you, sweet Father, for your perfect ways of adjusting my focus back on YOU. In my weakness, YOU are strong. It’s not my power but YOUR power within me that I walk in. Thank you for reminding me that YOU are always enough and will provide every need beyond what I could ever imagine. You are so good and YOU are enough!

Today, take some time to see the goodness of God. Through all your frustrations and disappointments, remember that you have a God that loves and adores you. He is for YOU! He will provide your every need and give you just enough light for each step your on! Blessings to YOU this day!

“You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”
Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

He Really is all We Need!

How do you rightfully sum up a year that changed your life in just one front porch pondering session with Jesus?

Well, I don't think I can...

I was thankful to come out to the porch this morning and dry off the rocker to spend time with Jesus. Even more thankful the temperature was still in the 60s and the humidity was so low at only 95%. Lol! 😬 There is always such calm after a storm. The gentle breeze is delightful and goes right along with my reflections. 

I guess I've been reflecting a lot this week. Remembering where I was just a little over a year ago walking a path that had nothing on it yet, except a lot of dreams, prayers and, to be honest, many fears. There's a lot of questions on an empty path and loneliness too. But as God keeps reminding you that He sees the whole path and that my job is to just trust Him and walk forward, you realize so many things you never knew and see more of the heart of God! He really is all we need!

I looked out in the auditorium the other night into the faces of the families of Seacoast and God gave me a gentle squeeze and said,

"Look what I did!" 

These were not just faces of random people. These were families that I remembered every tour, meeting, and phone call. Hearing their story and being honored and entrusted to pour into their precious children. These were families that have become part of my family. A bond through a beginning year where it took great faith to entrust their child to us, a new school, and where it took great faith in us that God would do as He promised and bring them in. 

Great is HIS faithfulness!

I love our growing family!

So today, I'll finish this time of reflection and my cup of coffee and head in to work to tie up loose ends. Still hard to believe I'm wrapping it up when its been front and center for all these months. Then I'll take the weekend off with my family as we take this thankful living venture with great intentionality. 

Yes, I'll take a deep sigh and probably even cry some more at the goodness of God through some really hard days and some even greater days. But then I'll hit the ground running next week, continuing on to what God has in store, trusting Him with every step as He lights the way. Lots to do! Lots to pray over! But knowing He's got this! It's ALL His!

He is amazing God and the best is yet to come!

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:9‬

Monday, May 22, 2017

There's No Place Like Home!

There are so many things I love about my home! 🏡❤️

I love the people that inhabit it with me. I love the location away from the chaos of city life. I love the view from my front porch. I love the marks in the kitchen doorframe that measure how my precious kiddos have grown. I love the voices I hear going from room to room as my once little kids with little voices are now big kids with teenage/young adult voices. I love the family dinners around the kitchen table where laughter is abundant but etiquette is not. I love waiting at the door and seeing my husband pull into the driveway at the end of the day. I love being the first to hug him tightly when he comes in our home. I love my crazy dog and how he gets excited when I grab my coffee and Bible because he knows its front porch time for us. I love the late night Nerf gun fights by the kids (and sometimes their dad 😉) when I'm tired and ready for bed but they are wound up and ready to keep going. I love the prayers I hear lifted throughout each room to our awesome God and the Bibles opened for guidance. I love watching my daughter continually dance and sing around the house or hearing her laugh with her cousin as they constantly FaceTime each other. I love marveling at Caleb's latest Lego creations and listening to the story behind it. I love seeing Ben and his girlfriend sit on the floor as they work on crafts for her preschool class. I love watching Ben and Matt walk down the street with their fishing poles and backpacks headed to the neighborhood pond together. I love hearing the dog start barking out of jealousy when Matt hugs on me in the kitchen. I love our frequent dance breaks in the kitchen because sometimes you just gotta. I love seeing the kids in deep conversations with their dad as he shares wisdom and encouragement with them. I love hearing Ben head out the door in the early mornings headed to work because he's taking responsibility and growing into an incredible young man. I love the sweet notes we all leave for each other whether handwritten or by text. I love walking through the fog of Axe men's body spray from the upstairs boys section then to enter the fog of cotton candy body spray from Callie's bedroom. Yes, yes as crazy as some of it is, I love it all! ❤️

The list could go on and on so I won't bore you anymore with my revelations of our "glamorous" life. But waking up this morning beside my wonderful husband, God so tenderly reminded me that even though life is hard sometimes (ok, a lot of times. Ha!), it is still amazing! We cry together, laugh together, sometimes get annoyed with one another but it's the together that makes it all work out. At every turn in this home I see God's blessings. Even though I also see lots of work that needs to be done throughout the "house"...our "home" is a priceless masterpiece that God has been building since Matt and I said "I do" over 25 years ago. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. Some days it is downright imperfect and a big mess. But it is my mess...my home...with my tribe...and together we grow. 

Christ has been and will continue to be the center of our home. Through Him we love and live and grow and this morning I am so grateful for each and every part of it. The overflowing sink of dirty dishes, laundry piles, and dust bunnies are just part of its character. Lol! But the main attraction is the awesome work of God that He continues through us all. Living, learning, loving.....

Thank you, Father, for my home and all the dear souls with whom I have the honor to do life with. I am blessed and, today, so eternally grateful! I don't take a second of it for granted. Sweet, sweet blessings!

Look around your home today. Look past the mess and thank God for the blessings that inhabit your home. Hug each loved one tightly and realize that each day is a gift! Tuck the memories inside and continue making new ones and live life to the fullest. Thankful living! Gratitude and praise on this Monday!

“But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”
Joshua 24:15b

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Our Journey to Caleb 2007 - "Gotcha Day" Recap

Looking back 10 years ago as finally, all three of my children were together! What a blessed day and we praise God for the miracle of adoption! Today we celebrate 10 years !! God is so good!


There is only one word to describe today, AMAZING! It is now 9:30 pm on "gotcha day" and all three of our children are asleep. That's right THREE! I can't believe we finally have Caleb! Matt and I have been saying that it seems surreal. We have waited so long and now he is here! It truly has been a remarkable day! I thought I would back up to the beginning and tell you how the day went.

We got the bags unpacked and somewhat settled and then I headed upstairs to where the other families were doing their paperwork. We will do ours after we have Caleb. After the meeting we were to get our money together and copies of our passports. We already had copies of our passports, but they wanted them on their paper since the paper size is different here. So we headed down to the front desk to exchange our money. They only let you do a certain amount per day. So now we are off to find a bank to do the exchange. We ended up down the road at the China Agricultural Bank. Long lines in the US are nothing. We got there at 11:15 and 1 1/2 hours later were leaving. There were five of us and you take a number. They were on 63 when we arrived and our first number was 73. Okay here comes the fun part. The first in our group went to the teller and 30 minutes later had their money exchanged. It is not even that much to exchange. We were supposed to have everything to Rosa by 12:00 but that didn't happen. It was taking so long for us that the Chinese people waiting were getting a little irate. One man started screaming at the teller because it was taking so long. Needless to say, we were glad to get out of there. That is the only time we had to do that. Everything was to Rosa by 1:15 and then we relaxed and had lunch, KFC!

We gathered on the bed and had prayer time together and then got all our things together; travel approval letter, gifts for the orphanage workers, and Caleb's backpack and headed down to the lobby at 3:30. By this time the butterflies were flying 747s in our stomachs! Even Ben said he had butterflies. As all the families gathered in the lobby you could feel the excitement! On to the bus! It was supposed to be a 15 minute ride, but with the traffic, more like 40 minutes. We went into the building, took the elevator to the 9th floor, walked out and heard them call our name. As soon as we turned around, there he was! Our little man! You could tell he was trying to be brave but soon the tears flowed. My heart was breaking for him. He settled down very soon and let me and Matt both hold him. In the meantime, everyone else is getting their babies. It was so exciting! The orphanage director answered some questions and then gave us a picture of Caleb's orphanage and a sheep statue since he was born in the year of the sheep. We said our goodbyes (we'll see her again tomorrow) took pictures and were back on the bus. He started warming up to Ben and Callie on the bus, but when we got to our room, he was already one of the family. He was laughing and smiling, he has even given me kisses!

Matt and I did our paperwork and then we decided to go eat - McDonalds! We walked in and got lots of stares. Caleb enjoyed his first chicken nugget and fries. The whole time he ate, he would just stare at Matt and smile. He loves him already! We got back to the room and it was bath time. He loved it! He had so much fun in the tub, blowing the bubbles and he wasn't scared a bit. Callie showed him how to brush his teeth and then we gathered and said bedtime prayers and it was hugs and kisses. It was funny, we heard they are very protective of their shoes. He didn't mind taking them off to get in the tub, but when he got his pajamas on, he put his shoes right back on. He is sleeping in them now. He laid there and I rubbed his sweet face and sang "Jesus loves me" and he drifted off to sleep. No tears! I pray he sleeps peacefully!

I thought about Moses today before we left. How his mother loved him so much and put him in a basket to save his life. I wonder if Caleb's birth mother was watching today from around the corner to see his "forever family" come to take him to safety. I pray that God gives her a peace to know that he is safe and loved and where he is supposed to be.

As I sit here now, watching all three of my beautiful children sleep, I am so overcome with emotion. God is so awesome! He knew before I was born that this was to come and He put it all in place. He is the Living God, and we sense His presence to strong! God has indeed blessed us with this miracle of adoption and I give him total praise!

Thank you for your prayers! We don't know what tomorrow holds, but we know Who holds tomorrow!

In His Mighty Grip!

Matt, Allison, Ben, Callie, and Caleb!

Ready to go meet our children!

Big brother and big sister ready to meet their little brother!

Look at these beautiful children!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
First family meal....McDonald's

First bath was a hit!

Precious boy sleeping soundly with his mommy and daddy!

Our Journey to Caleb 2007 - GOTCHA!!

Our Journey to Caleb 2007 - GOTCHA!!!


God is so good! It has been an amazing day! We have Caleb! We got to the Civil Affairs building at about 4:20 and Rosa told us we would get our children in alphabetical order. That means we would be about 5th. We thought we would have time to get our camera out but we all walked in and they said "Jordan family". As soon as we turned around, there he was! He was carrying the bear we sent him four months ago. At first he was very hesitant and not looking at me. He was holding back the tears. The director kept telling him "Mama" and he said it and then started to cry. He was so scared. We talked to him and showed him his bag and then he let me pick him up. He still was very hesitant. We talked to the director for a few minutes, in the mean time everyone else was getting their babies. It was a lot going on.
We stayed there for about 45 minutes and then loaded up on the bus for the hotel. We are now in the hotel and as soon as we walked in the door he motioned that he needed to go potty. He did very well! He immediately started playing with the toys and Ben and Callie and he is now laughing and smiling. He is very at ease with us now and he is a joy! That is a little recap but we will post more after everyone is in bed. Right now I am going to go enjoy my whole family!

Thank you for your prayers! Please keep them up as we begin as a family of 5!

Love to all,

Matt, Allison, Ben, Callie and NOW....Caleb!

Here he comes!
A little scared

GOTCHA!!! He fit perfectly in my arms!
Add caption

Looking at pictures!

Meeting his "baba" aka daddy!
Finally have all my babies! :)
Family picture with the orphanage director

Having fun with his forever family!

He was fascinated with Ben's gameboy!

He has the BEST smile! :)

Our Journey To Caleb 2007 - Waking up on "Gotcha Day"

Happy 10th Gotcha Day Caleb!!


Good Morning!  It's "GOTCHA DAY"!  I can hardly believe that we have made it to this day!  Only by the grace of God did we sleep so well last night.  We are all just waking up (it is 7:00 am here) and the butterflies are multiplying in our stomachs.  We are now 9 hours and counting till we have our son!  It really does feel like I'm in labor!  I remember those last few hours before Ben and Callie were born and all the emotion we had.  We were nervous, excited, and overjoyed all at the same time and it is no different this time.  All I can think of is Caleb is just waking up and I guess they are giving him breakfast and getting him ready to meet his "forever family".  I can't imagine what is going on in his sweet little head.  We pray that God will cover him with peace today.  It is going to be a long 9 hours.  7 of the families in our group are adopting baby girls from the same orphanage which is about 3 hours away and they will all fill out their paperwork at 10:00 this morning, us and the other family are adopting from different orphanages and we will fill out our paperwork after we have our children.  We are the only family in our group adopting a boy.  Rosa said that in all her years of helping adopting families, she has only witnessed about 20 boys being adopted.  We will all get our children together at the Civil Affairs Office this afternoon.  We have all been given permission to visit our children's orphanages, but that won't be set up till after "Gotcha Day".  I will let you know when that will be as soon as I know.

It was funny as we touched down in Guangzhou last night, everyone erupted into cheers!  We have gone from "vacationers" to expecting parents.  We are all on the same floor of the hotel, floor 31, and checking in our rooms and seeing the cribs set up brought tears to our eyes.  It is almost here!  After we got checked in, we headed down to Pizza Hut!  We have KFC, Pizza Hut, McDonalds, and Starbucks right next to our hotel.  Yeah!  American food!  Our hotel is beautiful!  We are staying at the Asia International Hotel, which is the tallest hotel in Guangzhou.  There is a revolving restaurant on the 45th floor and the view is amazing.  Guangzhou is a huge city, but compared to Beijing, it seems much cleaner, more westernized.  We are also very relieved to know that they don't cut the air conditioner off at night here.  We slept in a nice cool room!  Maggie and Rosa told us that the Chinese like to be warm. Thank God for the USA!  Even our flight yesterday seemed like an oven.  That was a long 3-hour flight!

Thank you all for your encouraging messages and especially your prayers!  It means so much to us to know that everyone is praying for our family!  I do know how you feel being on that side of the computer.  When all my friends were here adopting, I think I checked the computer 100 times a day just waiting for information.  I promise that I will post pictures as soon as I can.  We get him at 4:00 (if anything changes, I will let you know) and then I don't know how long it will take to get back to the hotel, but we should have pictures posted by the time you wake up.  We miss you all so much and can't wait to share the joy of our new son with you!  Stay tuned and we'll post those long awaited pictures soon!

In His Mighty Grip!
Matt, Allison, Ben, and Callie (very soon Caleb!)