Sunday, September 26, 2010

Makin' mud pies...

All NEW PICS (May, June, July, August and Sum Hop)

We have been counting down the days till we move and are now in the home stretch... 4 nights left. This week I have said things like: this is my last Friday or my last time to drive home from Vietnamese lessons from this direction. Basically, sappy stuff. I am not super sentimental, but have definitely been reminiscing about the last 9 years and all the things that have happened in this home.
Here are just a few...
First home we bought together- moved in our first six months of marriage, bought "real" furniture, had two dogs, hosted multiple wedding showers, multiple baby showers, washed thousands of dishes, brought home three children, painted every room (some a few times, note to all- don't paint a ceiling orange, it will make your carpet look pink). We have had times of sadness, major anxiety and marital fights, but praise the Lord we have had more joy, peace, blessings, cherished moments with family and friends, great meals and laughter that far out weigh the tough times.

It took a lot of courage for me to decide to move, and many tears. I mean A LOT for me to set myself aside and surrender to moving. I felt like a child who lost their security blanket. On paper, there was no reason at all to move. I loved everything about my city, location, house, neighbors, no negatives. It was God who called us to move to a new home. We both had a stirring to move that came out of left field, it was actually odd. (And left me crying every night for a couple weeks. Yes, literally tears, ask my hubby.)
And so we obeyed His direction. But then I set my parameters. I literally handed the Lord a 3 square mile range in which I was willing to move. And it was in the same location as my current home, where I was totally comfortable and knew where everything was.
After about 4 months on the market all we had heard were negatives about our house. "We hate the driveway, ugly garden, outdated faux finish, blue bathroom, too this or that." (BTW, the best one we heard was it was "too country." Umm, what? My house is not country, not ober modern, but not corn husk wreaths and roosters either.)
All the while we were also looking at houses and I hated them all too!! Hated. I felt like it was a lose-lose situation, lose our house and lose by not finding one I liked.
Then one weekend I fully submitted my heart and decided that I really did want God's best. I did not want to pass-up on a great plan just because of my fears. And if you deal with fears, this is easier said than done. Your brain, body, spirit and will, are all at war.
But alas, we began to venture out and found one house that I actually loved. Like, loved like crazy. I dreamt about this house. Loved the price, the size, the age (1965), the area of town, I knew it was something special. But it didn't matter because no one wanted our house.
That same week we cleaned our house really well and dropped our price. That Saturday morning we had 3 showing. Those 3 families made back to back offers within 3 hours on our house. The timing was perfect in every way. And our realtor was just as shocked as we were. She gave credit to the Lord for our house selling and our offer being accepted at our asking price for our new home.
Oh how those details fall into place when we surrender. I learned that sometimes things just don't move until we open those secret passageways of our lives to Him. The Lord desires to reign in all places of our lives. (And trust me, I have many more places to give to Him. Don't we all?)
I memorized a scripture with a friend this summer, one of the lines was Acts 17:32, "For in Him we live and move and have our being." This helped me in a few areas in which I was struggling, but one day I received revelation about this scripture. You see the word? MOVE. Hello, Natasha! IN HIM WE MOVE. It was an ah-ha moment for me, not the, "oh, in You, O Lord, I abide and do life kind of here and there move." NO, it was so literal. In Him, I pack up my house and MOVE. Move because He moved, live where He wants me to live, be where He wants me to be.

Right now the house is about 90% packed into a POD (which by the way, I am a huge fan of the POD system! Pack when I want too). And the rest we are putting in a U-Haul on Wed night. It has truly been an amazing process for our family and we give Glory To God for such a gift as this new home. We pray for a smooth transition this week!

Since we have most of the house packed, I have had to be a bit creative to find things to do around the house with 3 kiddos. One afternoon we decided that we would all go make mud-pies in the backyard. There was a whole kitchen actually. Miss Beautiful was the chef, Nehemiah gathered ingredients and Avi Joy delivered them. And boy were we messy. It was a grand time! (Although the new home owners might not like the patches of mud.)

Crazy over this pic below.

"Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20-21
The P's

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Sum Hop Day

Four years ago today, September 7, 2006, we were standing in court in Ninh Thuan, Vietnam, becoming a forever family.
We are filled with deep gratitude thinking upon our great love for Avi Joy. We are beyond blessed to have her as our daughter. And as I told her so today, she responded, "Yeah, and I am not anybody elses."
She is our girl through and through and we are so thankful to the Lord and to her birthmother for allowing her to be our child. She is pure joy, wise, patient, loving beyond compare, gentle, smart, talented, seriously- simply amazing.

Here we are hanging out at our hotel in Vietnam. Age 5 months.
Sum Hop Day 2007. Age 1 1/2.
Sum Hop Day 2008. Age 2 1/2.
Sum Hop Day 2009. Age 3 1/2.
Sum Hop Day 2010. Age 4 1/2.
Sum Hop in Vietnamese means, "to come together, to unite." We celebrate our Sum Hop day by going somewhere fun as a family (this year will be Incredible Pizza) and by taking pictures in traditional Ao Doi, the native Vietnamese dress. We also made a delicious cake to eat after dinner.
This year we were able to wear one of the dresses that Miss Anna, her Vietnamese teacher, gave to us. I love that I can see the stitching of each bead on the inside. I revel in the thought that someone in HCMC was sitting (probably on an itty-bitty plastic stool) hand stitching this beautiful ao doi for my baby!

I am head-over-heels for all these pictures of Avi Joy in ao doi, she is so beautiful. (And I will be posting all soon.)

The verse that popped into my mind about Avi Joy has a preceding story.
One morning we stopped at a donut shop that we had never been too before. We went in and sat down and Avi Joy said, "Mom, I am going to sit on this side, facing away from the t.v., because Sponge Bob is on and that is not an appropriate show for me to watch."
Wow the praise she received for desiring to keep her eyes pure and also willingly obey her parents rules. She excels in character and the following verse reminds me of her:
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8

The Perryman's