Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Roundup

Hello lovely readers,
 Spring has sprung and with it God has given miracle after miracle!
 On the adoption front we have received a grant!!!
 WE ARE SO CLOSE to having our placement fee paid. We only have 1,675.00 until our books can be shown to birth mothers!

On the prep for nursing our adopted newborn we have also had miracles and success with pumping .

With spring in full bloom I've had my eye on many certain pinterest trends and my own spring inspiration regarding food and fashion.
My latest thrift haul from Goodwill. Gorgeous antique tray,tea cups,and an incredible dress. This dress is so cool,I'm pretty sure it was handmade. It has a hand made tag and I'm calling it my "tea party" dress. I've got a few pounds to shed before this will be making another appearance,but it's totally worth it.then,there are the two skirts behind the tea party dress. A blush pleated lace skirt that I'm in love with. And an incredible chiffon floral midi skirt. I'm going to have so much fun in the coming months styling these!
 On a whim I put tea light candles in some antique glasses and now I'm in love with them.
 This blueberry crisp is life and I'm gonna give you the recipe right here and now.
                                            Blueberry Crisp
                           2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries.
                          1/2 cup brown sugar
                           1 tblsp. flour
                          2 tblsp. butter
                          3 Nature Valley Oats and Honey pkgs (6 bars) crushed
Blueberries ,sugar,butter,and flour are combined and the oats and honey bars sprinkled on top.
Bake at 375 until bubbling and awesome. About 25 min.
                                       Pattern mixing makes me so happy. I can now mismatch my clothes and it's                                                                socially acceptable
 These crackers are on my best friend list. I love this brand and I love these crackers.
                                             Reading list for spring 2017

                                           A typical meal lately ,because i have been grilling ALL THE CHICKEN . These lactation cookies are divine and then there are the usual prenatal chews and fenugreek. Which side note; these made me so sick.                                            

Well,readers let me know what you think. Are there any springtime trends you've been jumping on? Any new recipes you can't get enough of? Any books on your reading list?

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Price of Love.

The holidays of Christmas,New Years,and Valentines have come and gone.
They were sweet. Quiet. Full of love and very special times with just the three of us. And small get togethers with family here and there. A little bitter taste in our hearts longing for the child we are adopting . On a very cold Christmas Eve my husband and I lay wide awake in the pitch dark. " It feels like someone special is missing, and they should be here." I said to no one in particular. Except maybe the darkness. My husband sighed " I thought for sure we would be holding a brand new bundle of joy by now". He said. Completely out of character for my very practical and patient husband.

Somehow knowing that he felt the same I did made me feel unified and not so alone.

Dec. 1 was the date we gave Babies R Us for our " due date " on our registry. 

We really had no clue if we would have the placement fee by then , let alone be matched or placed with a baby. But back in the summer , December seemed so far away. Surely by then we would be making great headway . 

There was hardly anyone to tell or share this season with. The pain of waiting. The very few that had experienced our pain before , knew there was little they could do other than to offer prayers. They rallied around us. Cheering us on, giving sacrificially of themselves in the form of some donations,but mostly baby clothes, and other items we would need for when the baby came. There were other small few that even though they had never walked this path, stood behind us . Helping us to press on and have hope.

But all this is a prelude to what I want to write. I want to somehow capture the words in our hearts and share them with you. Maybe you'll nod your head in agreement. Maybe it will unsettle you. Maybe it will confirm a longing in your heart. But mostly I want it to open your eyes. So you can see the redemptive love of Christ and see Amazing Grace in a way you never thought of before.

Adoption. The word brings to mind a lot of things. Maybe certain reality TV shows. Maybe the cost, and you're thinking ,YIKES! Maybe you think of foster care. Teen pregnancies . Infertility. Maybe you think of it as a solution to abortion. Children in other countries, starving, refugees, and utterly destitute. 

If you have done any ounce of trying to educate yourself on the subject ... You will find a million different view points.

You will find that most adoptions are very expensive. Dauntingly so. 

You will find that foster to adopt is more than likely less expensive.

You will find a majority of people who adopt or do foster to adopt have dealt or do deal with infertility.

You will find that once a conversation about adoption begins people say comments like;
 It's a crime that adoption is so expensive, when people are just throwing away their kids!
Adoption agencies are just taking you for a ride.
Why not just do foster care?
Why does it have to cost SO much?
You are so good and selfless to adopt.
It should be easier for good people like you to adopt and not so hard. All of these comments are well meaning. I have no doubt in my mind that these responses come from people who genuinely care about us, who love us and don't like to see us strive so hard to be adoptive parents.
I know that I have said some of these phrases many times. Over the course of this past year I've come to learn a lot. I've learned a lot about myself, society, and what God has to say about it.

If we can , I'd like to take a closer look.

What is revealed is that a majority of people have a totally warped idea of what adoption REALLY is.

Did you know adoption is very special to God? It's so special to Him because adoption is what He did for us. My theory is that , that is the very reason society (on the majority ) has such warped views about this subject. It reminds me of the picture of salvation through grace and faith in Jesus vs. religion. Religion says you have to somehow earn your way to heaven. Jesus says that he already paid the price on the cross when He defeated sin and death.Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith;and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works lest any man should boast. Religion says you are worth nothing. Jesus says He loves you so much that YOU were the reason He came to die on the cross. He says you can be redeemed,and that when you accept His gift of salvation (which He freely gives) you are joint heirs with Him and are now in God's family. Galatians 3:29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

So far on this journey, I have discovered that a majority of society likes the idea of adoption,they think it a good thing for good people to do. Typically when people find out we are adopting there is a congratulations. We smile and say thank you. Almost 98% of the time the very next thing they say is a negative comment on the cost of adoption , OR a question of how much exactly are we paying ?

This is either a result of a lack of education about adoption, or a subtle way to warn the adoptive parent to not ask them for money because they do not approve of such a high cost.You will usually be able to tell by the expression on their face. Many people get very defensive when they hear you are adopting. Even if you have never hinted at your hope of their participation in your journey.  And this is a very real reality I , myself was not prepared for. Society in general is all for adoption UNLESS there is a massive sacrifice involved. The cost of adoption is met with a sputter in shock that the adopting of a child has the audacity to be so expensive.

This type of defensiveness or hostility is not limited to the financial aspect of adoption. It covers emotions, birth mothers and fathers,what avenue of adoption you go through, diversity of race,what country or state your child is from, and whether or not your adopted child has been exposed to drugs,and alcohol while in the womb.

All of this is a reality. Satan uses it as a tool to discourage the adoptive parent and to twist the picture of the Gospel adoption gives.

All of this can be expected and come as no surprise from a community that largely does not know the love of Christ. But, it is a very discouraging thing to find this type of mentality so openly accepted within the family of God and those that claim to know Jesus and follow Him.

Adoption is a part of the Christian life, because it is a picture of what Jesus did on the cross for us.

I have often told my mother and close loved ones that the financial cost of adoption feels like a giant to me. A giant that occupies my promise. Very much like the giants that lived in the land of Canaan.

The Hebrew were coming in to possess the promise land, and 12 spies went into the land to check things out. In the book of Numbers 13:33 this is what they report from their mission. And there we saw giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants:and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. 
Many of the men that came back did not want to go in and conquer these giants. They feared a great loss among the men of the Hebrew and had decided it was too great a sacrifice for them. They didn't want to claim their promised land.They had actually decided to reject God's promised land and GO BACK to Egypt where they had been in slavery. Two amazing men, Caleb and Joshua that had been in that company of spies decided to stand up. They tore their clothes,they were so grieved by the faithlessness of their brothers. This is what they said: The land which we passed through to search it, is an exceeding good land. If the Lord delight in us,then He will bring us into this land, and give it us; a land which floweth with milk and honey. Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defense is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.

I want to be like Joshua and Caleb.

Yes, the cost of adoption is high. The cost of any true love , is it not immensely sacrificial? Did God not send literally His only Son? To take upon himself the sins of the world,and die on a cross ,to be buried and rise again conquering death and hell. Providing for you and I, a way to be adopted into the family of God making us HIS sons and daughters should we only believe.

The price of love is every.thing.

The cost was covered by Jesus.

Lest, you think that this is a way for me to con money out of you,a post designed to evoke pity so that you will donate ... please hear this.

My God shall supply all my needs.

I know that MANY do not even have a spare penny.That's okay, because God has everything under control. He will work miracles. He will use someone , somewhere for His honor and glory. In all of this We will trust in HIM. His timing. His way. God has given us this promise. I will not allow this "giant" to discourage me from claiming what God has promised.

the cost of love. It has to be a sacrifice , how can we have love without it it?

For, truly the best and truest LOVE was on the cross.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall musings

Last night our heater kicked on. Considering the fact that this Hooah household stays nice and cool and we like it that way, it must have gotten quite a bit chilly.
This day has been deceptively full of sunlight but yet very chilled. I LOVE it!!! There was frost on my screen door this morning and I got so excited!!!!

I've been doing quite a bit of gluten free recipes from Pinterest,sewing, and I have volunteered at my church's private school as a part time preschool teacher. Yesterday was my first day and I REALLY loved it. I can't wait to see what kind of adventures I'm going to have while working there.

As mentioned I have been testing out many gluten free recipes from Pinterest lately and here are a few winners!
First up is this gorgeous  pan of breadsticks made from cauliflower. My only problem was it seemed to have a kind of flat aftertaste. Still working on the recipe to see if we can tweak that out of there. Otherwise, it was great.

Next was hamburger helper!
I know, I should be banished for mentioning a typical meal from a box, but I was craving it so much!! I just had to see if I could recreate it but without the gluten and processed junk. It was very successful!!!
 Last, but certainly not least are these adorable pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!!! I loved them so much I had to take more than one picture!!

Moving on to focusing on fashion; I didn't get the chance this week to play much with the things I've been making. For some reason I was a little off and just wanted to LIVE in baggy tshirts and yoga pants. But, the very few times my body left my pjs I managed to squeeze in a couple different looks.

I laugh every time I see this picture. Because I felt so awful that day and was headed to the dr. For some antibiotics. I remember thinking I wish I was sleeping right now instead of trying to look human.
This scarf is like a really awesome hug. So far I've paired it with black and white stripes and now fur..... I'm really loving both.
This circle skirt was a breeze to make with material I found at goodwill . I'm having a lot of fun mixing up the styles, but this past Sunday I went with a retro cowgirl look and of course felt so at home in it!!! "If I can't wear my cowgirl boots, then I'm not going" Jk I LOVE my boots, but there are other things more important than boots.

Seriously though, I am loving this skirt.

Regarding our adoption journey.... The Lord has been doing so much working in my heart. I'm trusting in His timing... Of course every adoptive mother will understand that I just can't wait for that baby to be in my arms. Thank God , that while He has us waiting , He's been teaching me so much.
I've been reading a lot of birth mother stories lately . I'm trying to understand and see adoption from their point of view . After all, if it wasn't  for a birth mother , I wouldn't have the chance to be a parent again, my son would never be a big brother, and we wouldn't get the joy of gaining more family. I'm starting to realize that when I finally do meet her, I want to have my heart totally open to her. Not just the child that we will share. But, I want God to open my heart and bless her, pray for her, love her. As far as I'm concerned she's family. She is special. She is loved and wanted by me, the adoptive mother. This baby that we will share is going to be loved so much. And , I want to rest of the world to look at us , our individual stories; The birth mother and father, the adoptive mother and father, the little boy who gets the chance to be a big brother and have a sibling, and the little baby that all of us will share together. I want people to look at that and say WOW!!! God is so good, because only He can do something like that. God is good and gracious and His grace covers all of our uncertainty and anxiety!!!
Praise the Lord!
I hope all of you have a beautiful day!
Mrs. Hooah

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

A journey of healing

Good day lovelies!!!

What a beautiful fall day it is!! I'm still working on photos for the different ways I've been styling some of my recent projects! I'm excited to share so many low cost fashion ideas with you!!

As I mentioned before in my last post, I've been dealing with health issues lately.
( sigh) I feel as if I'm always posting that. And, it got me wondering. I have been in and out of dr. Offices for going on years now, but I haven't sought out healing from the Word of God. It kind of shocked me, because I believe that God can heal me, but I think I leave it there. All that to say that I've started a journey of learning about sickness and healing from the Word of God. I have no clue, where this study will take me. Already , I've studied one passage in James and I'm chewing on what God has to say. If any of our lovely readers has studied this particular subject in Gods Word I'd love to hear what you've found. You can leave a comment with your favorite bible passage about sickness and healing. I can't wait to see what happens!

So now it's time for a recipe review!!!!

I found this recipe on Pinterest and we tried it out last week! It was fairly easy to make. I made two small mistakes. 😁 I didn't read the directions for the rice noodles , and let them soften in cold water as opposed to the correct way of soaking them in HOT water. So, it took longer to cook than usual, but still turned out SO GOOD!!! My other mistake was that I used actual soy sauce ( which has gluten FYI), I think my brain was missing that day. So my tummy was in a small amount of pain later, but it still turned out great! I think what I liked the most is that, this is a very forgiving dish! My husband actually requested that we make it a regular!

The low cost fashion for today is this awesome outfit!

The jeans were found on sale at my good ol' Post Exchange! 7.00 bucks ladies...... And they are by far the most comfy jeans I've put a leg into!
The necklace is from premier designs ( not low cost, but definitely an investment since I wear it a TON)
Tank was a dollar from Walmart, and the belt and cardigan were from a thrift store.

I hope you all have wonderful days, and good food in your bellies!!!
Love, mrs. Hooah

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Growing in Grace

Hello friends, it been an eternity since I have posted. 

I can't apologize, because my time away from here was needed.

But, I can say that it feels good to be back.
Blogging is special to me, I know it's completely outdated and I break ALL the rules for a successful blogger. But, I also know that all of that is ok. The handful of people that DO read this blog, I'm VERY grateful for!

All of that said... Here is an update 😍

My sweet soldier had to have heart operation a little while ago. He is fully recovered and loving life to the fullest now! Praise God!!

Our adoption is moving right along, at the pace that God has designed. Gonna be totally honest here, I wish it was moving faster, but I trust that God has everything figured out.

This has been so hard. 14,000 is how much we need to be able to have our profile books shown to birth mothers. We've been applying for grants, and slashing personal costs where we can, but we've hardly budged . 
I'm so thankful for the friends that have contacted us about doing fundraisers on our behalf , and I'm grateful for how the Lord has worked on my heart during this waiting period! 
Anyone reading this, that would like to donate to our adoption can go to Operation Growing Paynes.

Fun fact, that I have found out with my own health problems lately..... My body will no longer allow gluten. Like not even a little bit. I went gluten free a bit ago to see if it would relieve some chronic pain in my stomach that I've been dealing with, and it seemed to be at least taking the edge off. Then I went to a women's retreat with our church, ate something that I didn't know contained gluten, and boy howdy!!! Was I in pain?!?!? It was awful . Thankfully there was a sweet lady in the group that eats gluten free and she was able to educate me on how to be able to live. Lol. Clearly, I have a ton to learn. It's going to be a long road, I can tell. But, at this point I am so desperate for something that works!
Speaking of the women's retreat.... What an incredible time!
The women at my church have so sweetly ministered to me! And you know what is funny about it? Not in the way that I've expected. There is something about the way they fellowship, and encourage that has just blessed me so much. It's almost as if they are so focused on Jesus that nothing else matters. My pastor's wife spoke about spending time with God daily at the women's retreat. She was so humble and gracious in the way that she urged us to grow in God's grace. I've grown so much at our new duty station. I love how God takes all my expectations and He does the complete opposite. We had a wonderful time together, I've never really gone to things like that with my church, but I'm glad I went this year. I'm glad I didn't miss out on some grace that I didn't know I so badly needed!

With the beginning of fall, I have done a TON of designing and sewing!!!

It makes my heart so happy!!
Annnnnddddd I'll soon be branching into QUILTING!!!! My SoldierMan got me a few quilting books and a quilting hoop. I'm so excited!!! I'll be working on a special quilt for the baby we are adopting!  Coming soon as well, there will be a special post about decorating your nursery on a very tiny budget!! I'm excited about the rustic Winnie the Pooh theme, and sharing all the details with you!

For now, here's a little taste of what I've been crafting together!
There will be individual posts on each project with a few ways of how I style them, soon. 
This glitter peplum top! 
This knit, striped, circle skirt!
This plaid blanket scarf!
This navy and cream skirt!
This red vest!

Can't wait to share these with yall! It's time to close for today, thank you to all our readers, yall are awesome and we LOVE sharing Our Messy Faith with you!!!