A New Chapter

I have thought about posting a new entry for a few weeks now but have been so hesitant to do so because it has literally been half a year since I posted. Totally embarrassing! But I have decided to humble myself because to not post and procrastinate is the equivalent of not shouting out to the world and giving praise and glory where praise and glory are due to the Lord! Life has been so busy. We just had another yard sale last week that was a smashing success. It was organized, and everything was priced to sell, so the prices were really cheap. We sold pretty much the entire garage full of stuff. And we now have new donations on the porch waiting to be sorted and priced. God is just so consistently faithful, and it just continues to leave me speechless and praising Him in His timing and His provision. 
God is Faithful, even when we are Not.
I am confessing that even in my best efforts that I am not always where I wish I was in my spiritual walk with the Lord. I am still a work in progress and God is still ever changing my heart to be faithful and obedient to His calling and His word.
  His mercies are new every morning.
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
23 They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 2:22-23

Apparently..I AM so Excited!!!!

It is about to get CRAZY up in here!! We have decided that we are going to go ahead and have ourselves a little yard sale.Did I say little...I mean an enormous, gigantic, epic, Monster Yard Sale. We have prayed about it and feel its time, not to mention that the weather is going to be gorgeous for a yard sale. We are talking sunny and a balmy 19.C (66.F) on both days! In the middle of December...I'm super duper excited! I'm pretty sure we had snow this time last year..
 School will be put on hold for the week (the beauty of homeschooling!) and I have friends coming over for the rest of the week plus some little ladies, (from a girls group that I help teach) are going to come over and earn some service hours! I'm excited!
Today I went online and found crock pot recipes that I am going to try out for the rest of the week...I realized when I was almost done making my list that all of the recipes are chicken..so I am going to make potato soup one night. We may be sick of chicken by Thursday...
I am just so excited!! I cannot wait to watch the Lord work in this!! To show his power and glory and his provision, and I can't wait to show and tell with you all the fun stories!
So yes, Apparently I Am So excited!! But who wouldn't be when you get to watch God do what God does best! To show Himself faithful and get the glory and honor for it all.

A Blessing Within a Blessing

My love and me have been really busy over the past week. We have the entire garage organized and our beautiful porch was put back to rights! I don't look like a hoarder anymore! I'm sure that my mail man is totally thrilled that he doesn't have to climb over  mountains anymore to get to the mailbox and the milk man is probably very happy not to have to search for the cooler. As I glance around my porch right now it strikes me once again.. I am blessed.

We fail to see all of the little blessings inside a huge blessing at the time we receive the blessing.

For example: Almost 2 years ago we bought this house. It has a huge wrap around porch, is almost twice the size of the rental we were in, it has a two story garage. a big yard, and lovely neighbors.
Now I could dissect each one of these because they all have a story, and maybe someday I will, but for now..my porch and garage.
My porch is the envy of everyone who comes to visit me. It could easily be a Better Homes and Gardens Porch..(someday I am hoping to take all of this blue paint off and bring it back to its original color)...It is really big. It has a swing. In one corner there is an entire sitting area complete with a couch, two chairs, two side tables and a really pretty rug. Behind that I have a table and 4 chairs to sit and eat at. At the other end of the porch I have a BBQ and another chair and table.
This porch has entertained many guests and is a wonderful place to spend time in the word and catch a cool breeze on those hot summer days, while sipping a cold glass of lemonade.
Most recently this porch became a collection area. It held 3 full vans, 1/2 an SUV, and 2 pickup trucks worth of yard sale donations with room to spare, and then another van full of stuff, then another van load... and then 1/4 of the porch was filled with the neighbors left over, 'we arent taking this because we are moving' stuff. There was a tiny pathway and that was all that was left. Long story short: My porch holds quite a bit of stuff!
All that stuff had to move into the garage sooner than later. The garage had to be organized before all the porch stuff could move in there. So after a few days of moving and sectioning off areas in the garage we were able to move all of that stuff in. This is the first time we are utilizing the upstairs of our garage. It is currently holding..All the clothes, and the shoes, and the bags and purses, and the sheets and blankets..There is a little path up there, but the piles are high on each side of the path. 
All that is let downstairs is sections of other stuff. I am selling the furniture on offerup really quickly which is making more room downstairs. The bigger stuff is moving and selling quickly as well. 
Now I have room for even more stuff!! and my husband still has the small part of the garage to do all his woodworking and manly stuff. I am trying really really hard not to store anything in there! I never thought that the garage would be used so well, and store so much stuff!! Its a blessing within a blessing!

Selling Without a Yard Sale

Lets talk selling things for a minute...Our city only permits two yard sales a year, and you have to have a permit. You have to pay a $5 fee to the city and hope that you make more than $5 in your yard sale to make it worth it. Ridiculous, but that's the way it is. I talked to a police officer about it one time, who thought it was ridiculous too. He said "We have far more important things to do than check if someone has a permit." So technically I could get away with it..but I like the idea of holding up the law far more than having the remote 5% chance Id be asked to show my permit. Would I have to pay a fine? If I did, I would be out far more than $5 and wish I had just paid the $5.... a vicious cycle. Anyways I wanted to share with you how I make money during the times that I dont have yard sales. There is a new app called OfferUp I absolutely love it! Some people I know don't love it so much. My experience has been good so far though, and I am learning as I go along. Its an app where you can sell your things online. Its like Craigslist. I have not tried Craigslist. It freaks me out. I have heard a lot of horror stories, and I'd rather not participate in that. So OfferUp is the way I go. In 3 easy steps you have something listed. You take a picture, write a description and determine and pick your price, and click Sell Now and you are done! Easy Peasy,. Yesterday we sold two chairs and made $110. I have so much more out in the garage Id like to sell, but one or two things at a time is as fast as I can go. I find if I stage the item in my house somewhere instead of in my garage (with its concrete floor and sheet rock walls)it has a lot more charm and appeal..
So if you are looking to make some extra money off of your stuff this is a great way to do it. 
From my experience so far here is my advice:
1.) Make sure your items are clean.
2.)Make sure your items work.
2.) Stage your items, like you use them.
3.) Depending on your conversation with a potential buyer, meet at a neutral location. If you feel comfortable enough they can come to your house.
4.) If they want it delivered. Charge a delivery fee. 
5.) Make sure when you sell something, and have the cash in hand that you mark the item sold so you don't have any more inquiries.
6.) When pricing your items, determine what price you would like to get for an item and then add an extra $5 or $10 to the item. People will ask if you would take a lower amount for the item. They will think they are getting a deal and you will get what you wanted for it all along. Its a win win!!
So far that's all the experienced advice, but if I have more, I will add it! 

I look like a hoarder!!

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Today I started a Bible Study that has already been challenging me and confirming things. 
 Its called Love God Greatly, Names of God.
Today's reading was about when Abraham and Isaac went up to Mt. Moriah so that Abraham could give Isaac as a burnt offering to the Lord. 
     I thought that this mornings time in the word was simply lovely. I will admit that when I started I was like: What am I going to get out of this read today? Yes Abraham put Isaac on the alter and a ram appeared and they all lived happily ever after.." But before I really started to dive in, I prayed and asked the Lord to open my eyes. Now I have 5 full pages in my journal. Isn't that always the way it goes? 
 smile emotiI find this passage is a path I am walking on right now. I am following God one step at a time. I am making sacrifices and seeing God's provision.  May I share a real moment here? We have not tithed in over a year. We have been living from pay check to pay check. Last month we started tithing. We miraculously had money left over at the end of the month and the bills were paid! This month, we are focusing on raising money for our adoption. We are almost at the, waiting for a referral phase. The very costly phase.
As you can see, God delivered just a few boxes to my door.On Saturday a local church donated all of their left over items from their church yard sale to us. It took 3 full vans, our SUV and 2 truck beds to bring it all over to our house, and because it had poured in the morning and sprinkling into the evening the back yard was to soggy to bring it all to the garage, so it has found a place on our porch for the time being. After church on Sunday my friend came over and we had lunch together. She helped me try to go through some of this stuff. I saw my neighbors had a U-haul truck infront of their house and asked my neighbor if they were moving. Indeed they were. It was really sudden, but she had a pile in her backyard of stuff they were going to get rid of and asked if  I wanted any of it. Of course I did! So we went over to my neighbors house and got a whole bunch of stuff there instead of bringing stuff to the garage. Adding to my pile, it started to get a little more crowded on the porch. My friend had to leave for a while so I went upstairs in the garage and started moving stuff around up there because we are at that point where we are going to need to use the upstairs. After about half an hour of being up there my friend texted me and told me someone she knows is bringing over a few things. I was so excited! It feels like Christmas! I texted my Mr. some pictures of the porch and let him know we are officially looking like hoarders!!  My friend's friend came over with a crammed van full of awesomeness! I am feeling just slightly overwhelmed but I know we will work hard to pack it all up into the garage and are thinking about having a yard sale before the year is up. 
Just like Abraham was willing to be obedient and sacrifice, we have been obedient to the Lord's calling  and the Lord has provided the provision. He is so good and so faithful. We are called to adoption, and we are following his footsteps one at a time....I will never stop being amazed and rendered speechless when I follow His will.


We have been busy working on adoption paper work related to our dossier. It has language on there that I dont always understand or a word I cant pronounce and so I have to go to google for an answer. Then I have to memorize that word because when I talk to people about our adoption and tell them what we are filling out, then they in turn will ask me: "What is a Dossier or apostille?"
So for your reading pleasure and an informative read: I present to you a list of adoption terminology!!
Im quite sure there are more but these are the most helpful to me.

Adoption: A legally recognized process that creates a parent-child relationship between individuals who are not biologically relate to each other. 

ApostilleAn "apostille" is a form of authentication issued to documents for use in countries that participate in the Hague Convention of 1961.

Dossier: A collection of required documents that is sent to a foreign country in order to process the adoption of a child in that country's legal system.

Hague Convention or Inter-country Adoption: A multinational agreement designed to promote the uniformity and efficiency of International adoptions. 

The Whisper of Love...

As I sit here this morning, the sun is just beginning to peek over the horizon and is shining a bright sunny glow over my magnolia tree. I was reading in Galatians 1:5-9 for my devotions this morning. Verse 5 caught my eye and halted me abruptly in my read: "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ."
There was great conviction behind this verse for me. I have struggles, as do all of us..
It amazes me how the world lures us back into itself when our relationship with God is not as strong as it need to be so that we can overcome this world and the darkness and the corruption that so easily coils  around us and pulls us down and through the mire and mud. It begins as subtle and gently as a snowflake and then before I know, there is a huge snowball before me made up of worldly things. It is toxic to my soul and I loose my view of who God is because I cannot see in front of me. My view is marred. The snowball is ugly, covered in deception, deceit, unforgiveness, gossip, anger, annoyance, frustration and selfishness.  
Silently the Lord in His still small, mighty voice says something that captures my heart, and brings me to my knees in anguish, and repentance. How can I possibly take my eyes off of someone who offers hope, and beauty and delight in everything..in me..
He is faithful and just and forgives me, he places my crown that was at His feet back on my head, and calls me His precious daughter, I am His beloved, I am His joy and His Delight, I am His treasure, His jewel, the one lost sheep that He left the other 99 for to find me..In my frailty and my weakness He seeks after me, to capture my heart again.
 His Son shines brightly on me, His forgiveness is poured out over me like a healing balm. That ugly snowball is all but melted and that crimson stain is as white as snow...His love is like the gently falling snow that sticks to my eyelashes and melts on me as it hits my skin. His love poured out over me and over you....