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Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Life In Bullet Points ...

I was hoping to have all this time last week to post (cause so much has been happening w/ the Oatsvall Team and 147), but just not going to happen, so I thought why not give you a snap shot of our life ... If you could read this at a super fast speed (like fast forward motion) then you would really get how our life is going .... lol

1.  Texas was amazing ... Meeting so many people and hearing other stories was so encouraging ... We really didn't get to attend to many break out sessions, because our table was always busy ... We even pulled a couple of blog buddies from the conference to help us run the 147 booth ... The parts we did get to hear and the music by Aaron Ivey was refreshing to our souls ... I still want to learn more about the FOSTER CARE system ... I feel like I know many people who could take in and love an older child, who is in need of a family !!! Someone to stand in their corner and say you belong w/ us ... (lots to process there) ...

It was comical how the people in Dallas talk about the city as if it is a person ... hee hee ... "Well in Dallas, In Dallas we, So Dallas, etc" ... Then you go Austin and they are like the rebel child and would rather not be a part of any other city/state ... HILARIOUS !!

2. Came home from TX and turned 40 !!! That is all I have to say about that ... well there was CAKE !!! that is always a positive !!

3. I have been reading my Jesus Calling and the daily themes/scripture keep me from falling apart each day and that is just the honest truth ... Hard work w/ 6 kids and 3 that seem to need me constantly, while trying not to forget the older 3 ... It is a season for sure, but it is hard ALL DAY LONG - breakfast time, getting out the door, laundry, lunch time, playtime, quiet time, tv time, running errand time, dinner time, clean-up time, and BEDTIME ... It is all hard right now !!!

4. Highly recommend getting the POVERY AND JUSTICE BIBLE .... It has highlighted all the scriptures pertaining to POVERTY AND JUSTICE ... It is truly amazing and so humbling to see how much our FATHER cares about these two issues ...

5. Jeremiah's 6th grade football team will be playing in the championship game next week ... I love football season ...  Jeremiah is talented and such an inspiration to me ... He is a great help to me and an amazing big brother.

6. We had quite an emotional experience this week w/ one of Maggie's sweet friends ... Maggie and her were playing when Maggie's hat came off ... This friend was very scared and confused by Maggie's burn ... I am very thankful to Meg (the mom) for her sweet, sweet spirit ... We had a great talk w/ Maggie's class and God was ever present in calming the situation and our hearts.  Surgery number 6 will be in 1 month and they will pull the skin over her burn they have been expanding ... I am giddy and nervous all at the same time ... Once that is healed (probably 3-6 months) then they will go back in and put in a new skull plate !!! Praying they are completely done by the time she goes to Kindergarten !!!

7. My sweet Anna's (Anna and Anna Bliss) came over yesterday to paint pumpkins with the kids ... And if you know me you know that is a HUGE blessings because I DISLIKE W/ A PASSION all things CRAFT related ... NO GLUE, SPARKLES, PAINT, HOT GLUE, GLITTER, etc ... And that is one reason why I dread school projects ... I have many talents, but crafts are NOT one of them ... They actually give me HIGH ANXIETY ... (there is my confession)

8. I am just saying NO these days to so much because there is just no way to say YES ... It is a hard place because many feel that you are ignoring them or don't have time for them, but the truth is there is just not enough ME or TIME in the day to get back to everyone, talk to everyone, or see everyone ... I know I have hurt some peoples feelings and for that I am sorry, but I am just trying to survive w/ what I feel God has first for me to do ...

I hope you all have a fabulous Sunday and that the Lord gives you a special blessing today for you to take into your week ...

20 kind words.:

mamamargie said...

You're a busy Mama and a blessed one too. Don't be afraid to say no to the many requests that come your way. I understand how hard it is to disappoint people, but, our main concern must be pleasing our Lord first. He has asked for you to be a wife and mother first. Everything else must come after that.

I know you know this already. Just thought I'd reinforce it for you. It always helps me when others do it for me.

Have a blessed day with your beautiful family! Be at peace.

Andie said...

Gwen,

I watched some of the live stream of the conference and really enjoyed it that way. I read your blog regularly- found it through Katie's. I figured out that you and Suzanne know my friend Maridel here in Minneapolis. Anyway, just wanted to say, I am an artist, but i also HATE crafts. The best I do is play dough and bubbles. Thank goodness the kids will experience some of that in school someday :)

andie

Erica said...

Love you sister. Praying for you as you work through the tough season of No. It's SO important. I'm there too as we prepare for our girl. Setting boundaries and putting my peeps first.

Praying for Maggies surgery - can't wait to see what God is going to do in and through that little lady.

Off to find the poverty and justice bible.

Loves.

"Are These Kids All Yours?" said...

We are soooooo alike- I don't do crafts either, and I cope through my days with Mt Dew and lots of play times outdoors!!!! :)

Kristin said...

I just wanted to say how much I admire your ministry and what you do....it inspires me!!

Kim K. said...

I love your new blog design. Beautiful header. You are always an inspiration. Continued blessings to your amazing family. Maggie is always in our thoughts and prayers. Hugs!!

The Middle Mom said...

Gwen,
How incredible to meet you guys in Austin! I really do feel a kinship with you. Caryl and I would love to get together sometime, but with 25 kids between the 4 of us- don't know when that will be! :) Love and blessings to you! Christie Erwin :)

Lori S said...

I related to SO much in this post!! My husband and I just went to an adoption conference in Wash. DC. We have adopted 2 girls from Ethiopia but found ourselves wanting to do more for the foster care system!! The day I returned home, I turned 41!! lol We have 6 children...3 a bit more needy than the others. :) Our son plays freshman football (mixed feelings!). AND...I do NOT like crafts!! :)

Polly said...

Hang in there, you are one cool mama! You inspire so many, praying for peace and rest for your sweet soul.

Alison said...

Wow!! Ya'll do have so much going on...I love hearing about it! It is so inspiring as we are trying to really get some orphan awareness/adoption things going here in MS! And I love that you are not a crafty person because I am not either! Just makes me feel better to know there is another momma out there afraid of craft projects! :)

Kristi J said...

miss ya gal...40?? really? how did I miss that big one?? wow...you don't look a day over 20 :) will call ya this week..kj

mamamargie said...

Woohoo, more non-crafting mothers! And I thought I was the only one! I would rather clean the bathroom or pull weeds than do crafts with the kids. Terrible, I know. So glad to read that I'm not the only one! :)

Lyndsay said...

Gwen,
I think one way Satan attacks our families in America is with busyness. As we are preparing to bring our 5th child home from ET we have taken a hiatus from everything! We are not letting any of our kids play sports this upcoming season, my husband and I are saying no to a lot of things that would take us away from family. We are so blessed to have an amazing family and I don't want to look back one day and have it all be a blur. I want to BE with my kids. Sending prayers for you and your beautiful family!

Jill said...

I hate to say "no" too but have had to do it more than I want to here lately. God has removed the guilt I have felt here lately by reminding me that, as long as my priorities are in order, it is "OK TO SAY NO!" This is something that I did not believe for the longest time, because by nature I am a people pleaser. All this, just to encourage you and let you know that you encourage me as well. Keep God 1st, family 2nd, others 3rd, and self last and you will continue to survive. Much love and prayers, Jill

clairebmoore said...

it was so great to get to meet you both today....what an answer to prayer you are. a real look at what adoption is like, I love that you dont sugar coat it...real life with kids adopted or not is tough (medical issues make it tougher). so many things I pray for you as a mom with many irons in the fire but mainly that your faith in Gods plan for your family is firm. You are an inspiration!

The Ferrill's said...

You are doing an amazing work, Gwen. And your priorities are in order! You have to say no to keep those priorities where they should be!
The first six months after we brought home Kimmie and Quan, the word no was my friend.
Then later, the Lord allowed my yeses to come back...we all go through different seasons at different times; praise God He is always with us!
I love hearing about your busy days...and welcome to the FORTY club sister! So far it's been a blast!
Hugs!

Allison said...

So glad I was "pulled in" to help & so thankful to meet the two of you and Erica, as well. :) You and Suzanne will be in my prayers along with your sweet families. Keep letting him speak to you and soothe your weary, beautiful soul! He is faithful & will give you the strength you need each day! You are ministering to the fatherless and SO many more!! thank you for that ~
keep smiling...
Allison Phillips

Erin said...

Gwen! It was so great to meet you in Austin! I just LOVE all that God is doing through you guys! I will pray that God would be gracious in this "no" season. It can be so freeing! Praying that God would multiply your time and energy with that!
And...40?? You seriously look 25! I don't even believe you!

Rebecca said...

Hi Gwen!

I met you in Austin as well! I am a foster mom, and I was excited by focus on foster care in a couple of the main sessions and several of the breakouts! There is a HUGE need for Christian foster parents. My first set of foster children were removed from a FOSTER home where they were being neglected. My second (and current) set were removed from their parents when they were arrested and thrown in jail on federal charges. These girls are so confused as to what is truth and what is a lie because of the life they lived previous to coming into care. They are in desperate need of the Gospel and so receptive to it!!

All this to say, I know all to well the reality of what life is like for foster kids who do not end up in a loving foster home. However, we as Christians can't bash the system if we're not going to be a part of the SOLUTION!!

Christie Erwin says it best in her book: The gov't is not equipped, empowered, or called to care for the orphan...WE (the Church) ARE. And we have failed miserably at it. I would love to see you shed some light on the need for Christian foster parents!!! Maybe even some t-shirts? :)

Great meeting you!!
Rebecca

P.S. I live in the Dallas area and, yes, Dallas is known to have it's own personality, quite different from it's neighbor Ft. Worth next door! :)

Anna Wheeler said...

Gwen,
My name is Anna Wheeler and I am part of the orphan ministry with Amy Cargile. You are coming to Blackshear for our conference on Nov 20. Thanks for this post. The more I read the more I felt like I could have written it!! Football, crafts and saying no. Just yesterday I told a friend that I had to start saying no. I am involved in so many GOOD things, but my family and my orphan ministry are my passion. Can't wait to meet you. I feel that God is brining you to us to help us with our ministry as much as He is bringing you for the conference. We will have lots to talk about I know.
Blessings,
Anna Wheeler