Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Josiah is 7!


Seven years ago today, our family was heading into one of the scariest events we've had to deal with, but in the end, we got our sweet Josiah out of it, and I'm so very grateful! This little guy is my special bud. And while he's definitely growing up and doesn't seem to need me quite as much as he used to, he still had to sneak in some snuggles the day I came back from being out of town last week, and it thrilled my soul, haha.


Josiah's biggest accomplishment lately has been learning to read so well that he got his own bible for his birthday this year, a special request he made :). He's a knowledgeable little man, loves taking things apart just to look at them, especially if they have batteries and buttons. He's has a good birthday, I think. He and the other little guys were happy to get to go to the store today, a special treat during this pandemic crazy world, and pick out some fun things, I know they enjoyed it!

Happy birthday, Siah!

 

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Noah is 5!


Five years ago this little imp joined our family! 

His birthday celebration is not going to be quite the same as we've done many years. Daddy's job is running him through the wringer, and covid regulations are still pretty intense where we are, so there won't be a trip to the zoo or anything, but he enjoyed playing with the new sandbox, and we made this little paper rocket craft. It's so cute! I did it with the kids at school, and now with our little guys, and it was a hit with everyone! https://inspirationlaboratories.com/make-straw-rockets/ And of course we'll be doing his cake and presents in just a bit :).

Noah is my self-proclaimed "snuggle buddy". Don't let him fool you, I think he just likes that I always have a blanket with me, but I enjoy it regardless ;). He's a mischievous hilarious little guy, right in the middle of all the little boys, and a wonderful blessing to our family!

Happy birthday, Noah!

Friday, January 22, 2021

All the babies (and some of the not-so-little babies anymore) are down for their rest time, and the house is nice and quiet. It's so quiet that, when I left this little clodhopper asleep...


... I walked out to our birds intent on taking advantage of it themselves 😉.


We recently got Mango and Misty a new, huge, wonderful cage, and I'm seriously so happy about it. Seeing Mango flying around thrills my heart! A second cage was a must for me when we got him, in case they ever need temporarily separated, but after we saw how he loves to play and be busy (much more than the girls ever did), we decided it had to be bigger if we were going to bother. 





I thought, since it was quiet and I had some time, I'd write a blog post, and pulled out my laptop. But we've been having ridiculous internet issues lately, so of course it's out right now. I'm typing this on my phone instead, and I hate doing that... Which is why I originally quit blogging a couple years ago. So I'll decide if this is a permanent rediscovered hobby or not after I learn if that is going to stay an issue, lol...

Philip is becoming more and more interactive, and his rare giggle is so much fun ❤️. Mama and I are positive he said "I love you" last week, which was just about the cutest thing, even though it was probably an accident 😉. He has also started to roll over!




Life has been full and pleasant lately. Christmas is officially over, even for us (we had a lot of "Christmas" left to enjoy after the holidays were over, because December was not long enough, especially with Daddy working such long hours right now). We're ready to get back into the swing of things, maybe find a new normal. Mama has been reorganizing and finalizing the house so much, now that we've been here long enough to troubleshoot problem spots in the home.... Like the high cabinets that not even Andrew can reach without a stool. Or the fact that hardwood floors + four small boys = furniture traveling all over the house on accident 😶.

I'm trying to get back into the things I used to do all the time and have let slip over the past few hard years. One is reading! I want to use this time at home that I have right  now in some useful way, and I truly believe reading is one of those ways I can both grow in understanding and wisdom, plus get some more redeeming, truly relaxing down time than scrolling through Instagram (although Isaac and I still do that often enough, talking about all the little foster kitties and trained parakeets on my page 😉). I'm planning (barring the internet being permanently out, of course...) sharing my monthly reads, but if I don't get to it, or if you just want a sneak peak, THIS book is one I wish I could lend to everyone, honestly. So. Good.


Being in the kitchen was the one thing I didn't stop doing while I worked at Chick-fil-A, but I've been doing even more of it since the move. My baking stone is one of my favorite Christmas gifts ever, and I made cheese balls last week 😄!


I'm also trying to either do something creative/crafty or spend extra time writing (outside of my journal) each day. I have a crochet project I really want to finish, but I'm having trouble finding the last bit of the pattern I need 😕. So here's a picture of some recent artwork instead, haha. 


I've had a hard time deciding how to come back to blogging. The truth is, a LOT has happened in the last year. I kind of want to do a big update post... I kind of want to pretend that a lot of what happened didn't happen... I don't feel like I can, because so much of what happened has had such a big impact on my day-to-day life, and I feel like that needs acknowledged. But I'm at a spot where I'm ready to be where God has brought me and move forward. The lessons, the timing of things, yes, they've been good, even when they have been hard, because I see how they've all played into each other and it's obvious God is in control. But I feel like looking back too much, I'm not growing from it, but become anxious about it. Maybe, sometime, those things will come up, and that will be okay. But for now... If anyone wants to know what's happened the past year, you are free to check out my Instagram (rejoicing_in_hope) which is what I did the most updating on. And I'm just going to jump in where I'm at, at this point. I do have so many friends who aren't on instagram/social media at all, and I actually prefer to be able to ramble when I share updates, anyway... quite a bit, if any of you remember that from back in the day when I was pretending I was in control of my life and kept up with this space 😉. I think I just want the simplicity and personalization of blogging back, and I don't want to wait until everything is "perfect" to come back. Remember my lesson from 2020? Haha. 

If you're still around (or just joining me, doesn't matter!), what have you been up to 😃?! Also, would anyone be interested in me starting a page just to link to recipes I've tried online? Because it's something I'm thinking about, if only so I don't lose them and make something good only once 😉.

Rejoicing in hope,
Ambrielle

Thursday, December 31, 2020

As We Say Goodbye to 2020

In a year that's been hard for the whole world, it's been hard to see any purpose. To be honest... It feels like this year has been three. I was just reflecting on this year and scrolling through my photos, and I seriously thought twice, "That happened in 2020?! That was a lifetime ago". January-February I spent hopeful that somehow, someway, something could work out and we'd stay in SC. March-July were so uncertain and stressful, and we just hoped we'd be able to find a home in VA and be done with it all... And then August-October were just as bad as I'd hoped they wouldn't be, with more thrown at us than I'd thought to worry about. I remember standing in the kitchen on October 14th (specific, yes 😂) and just having a complete breakdown, and I knew something was going to have to change. I've had to be honest and raw with myself and others in ways I have avoided from sheer stubborn idealism and fear over the past several months. I've had to admit I can't be the one who has it all together, and while I wish I could be 14 again and at least feel like I had the potential to be, I'm going to guess that's never going to happen... And that's okay, because it means I have to trust God to work through me instead. I've had to give up some things, and other things are being changed.


But since October, as I've spent a lot of time in deep consideration, one thing I'm becoming convinced of. 2020 was not for nothing. God is working. I don't see everything that's being played out, but I can see how some of it has been used. I've seen how some of this might be used in the future. And my heart is slowly wrapping around the head truth that God has a purpose for everything he ordains.

2020 is going to leave us with two more precious members of the family, since we welcomed my cousin Kali, the first baby girl in the family in almost 10 years!!!, and our wonderful, family tie breaker, "solid 10 out of 10"  brother, Philip. Honestly, any year would have been worth the safe arrival of these two people 💕.

While I've felt like all of my hopes to get where I think I'm being called to serve have met roadblocks and discouragement at every turn, especially through the past year, I've found a promising lead that I'm going to be able to look into over the next couple of months, and 2020 also turned out to be the year that my writing was first officially published and sent out in physical form to people I'll never know in the recently started Anchored magazine, and that's a very real first step to something I have pursued for years!

I had the privilege of finding two little kittens a home this year. And while I might have wanted nothing more than to keep the second in my own home, I'm so very thankful for how everything worked out and how God used Merci and "Miss Grace" (forever Raspberry in my heart) to plant little seeds in mine and others hearts that I pray will bear fruit for many years to come.

We were provided with a home here in VA, and we're all together again this holiday season. No matter the down sides, the fact that God had planned it all - four years before, when He crossed our paths with the church friends who ultimately found this home we now reside in for us - was something amazingly obvious.

We brought home Mango, and it's been the best thing for Misty... And me. In all the pain September held, you couldn't have prepared me for the comfort I'd get from my little green "baby" bird, when I wasn't even sure I wanted him.

I was blessed this year to meet in person for the first time my penpal/dear friend, Alyssa! She lives in FL, and I lived in SC... But it took me moving to VA to finally work out a visit, haha. She has been a constant in this journey of upheaval, and so sympathetic and encouraging, so getting to sit and talk face to face was a joy! And I was blessed to truly solidify some precious, precious friendships this year. Moving and being so far away from everyone has only made me more intentional to find ways to stay in contact. It's been a year of reconciliation and deepening of relationships, of realizing how important gospel-centered hospitality is to me, of seeing how much I value gospel-centered vulnerability. I have been forced to take the time to reflect on things that I have conveniantly avoided in the busyness of life for too long. I have found comfort in not being able to be the strong person, and, instead, seeing others step up and uphold me with truth. Pour life into everyone you meet. But find the people you can trust to pour life into you, and cherish them so, so hard.

I was able to advocate for Quincey, one of the orphans on Reece's Rainbow Christmas Campaign this year, AND see my little sister join me by advocating for Bruno! We had an amazing year. So many people shared and donated and prayed and helped. Some of the children were found by their families. So many children made it PAST their goal! And *all* of the children made it at least to goal this morning before we had a chance to wonder if it would happen today - something never done in the past, that left us advocates asking each other at 9:30 in he morning, "well... what do we do without our annual New Year's Eve wrap up party tonight?!" 😂❤️

If 2020 has taught me one thing, it's not to wait until the perfect moment... Don't punish yourself because God's path is different than your plan. Pour yourself into gratefully and joyfully living life here, where you are, because nothing is guaranteed, and there is no better place than here to find something to smile about. Care for plants, drink some tea, snuggle down with a baby, learn how to make bread, start that project you've always wanted to do, even if you don't have time to finish it... You'll be that much closer to the finish line. Don't wait for an hour block of time to make a phone call that never happens, give that loved one a 15 minute phone call instead, whenever you can, and  it turns out to be more in the long run. Burn your candles you've saved for a "cozy moment" and make one. Buy that special paper for your Christmas gifts, don't wait for next year in case things might be more fairy-tale like. Take twice as long on a bible study as you "should", if that's the only way you get to it at all. Don't let your ideals of doing everything keep you from doing anything. Live life where God has placed you to the very fullest.

I pray you each have a joyful 2021! And I pray you see the good in 2020, even though it hurt.

Rejoicing in Christ and with love to each of you,
Ambrielle ❤️

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Hello, friends

It's been a while. I really, really thought that I was going to come back to blogging at the beginning of this year. But covid, and moving, and September hit me off my feet one after another, and I decided Instagram was good enough to keep people updated. But the past few weeks, it's been different. Thanksgiving, actually... I started a post for instagram and realized I'd rather have written a blog post. And I've slowly realized I'm aching to get back to writing since then. This means more to me than you know. And I do want to share some things with you all in the next few months (I'll be realistic... even wanting to write will not cause me to do so quickly until I'm caught up in all areas of my life...), but first, I have a shameless request to make for some people very near and dear to my heart.

Every year, I join Reeces's Rainbow, an adoption advocacy site that helps special needs orphans, in their Miracle of Adoption Christmas Campaign. Each year, they try to raise $1,000 for each child on the "tree" to help with their adoption costs, and they try to get these children seen by the families who have opened their hearts to welcoming these children as sons or daughters. This year, I advocated for Quincey (https://reecesrainbow.org/128122/quincey)...



Quincey made it past goal last night!!! But he still needs a family.

And all of these babies...



They haven't made it to goal. And they don't have a family, either.

Can I ask a favor for these voiceless ones?

Go to this page: http://static.reecesrainbow.org/macc/

Find one baby who has less than $1,000 in their adoption funds.

Donate 1 to 5 dollars to their account today.

And then share their page with someone, somehow.

There are so many easy ways to do this straight from the child's page; email, text, facebook, instagram.

Just share something simple, like, "I saw this child who needs a family, and gave a bit to their adoption fund, I wanted you to see their sweet face too!"

We never truly know the impact that this could have on a child's life. Each dollar raised is one more worry taken off of the family that may want to start the adoption process. Their family may see them because you saw this blog post and let them see a face that was meant to be in their family pictures next Christmas.

We have 3 more days before this campaign is over, and I'm praying we see ALL the babies hit goal, including the ones who have families coming for them. I would love for more to find their family, too. 

Go to the MACC page (http://static.reecesrainbow.org/macc/).

Donate $1-5 to one adoption fund.

Share their profile with at least one person.

It might take 3 minutes.

But it could change a life.

Love, Ambrielle