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Thursday, February 26, 2009

I saw red

Do you see this cute boy? The darling one, with the soft brown curls, adorable smile, and an enthusiastic voice with the volume turned all the way up, all the time?
Yeah him.
Look what he did today to my carpet.
Mind you, I don't have that much carpet in my house.
This is in the play room, which is all wood floors except for the closet.
That's where this crime scene took place.
It looks like CSI, doesn't it?
Red paint.
This is AFTER the clean-up.
It was all over the walls, smeared on ever surface in the closet.
This is my beloved school closet...the one with the sign on the door that says "STAY OUT: NO PLAYING" and the childproof knob that my little destroyer laughs at, with his deep belly evil laugh, and enters as he pleases.
Emma painted yesterday, and accidentally left the paints down low.
That's a fatal mistake in this house.
So this was the result.
That's just today.
Earlier this week it was poop. If you've read this blog for a long time then you remember the famous poop-flinging stories of Justus. (If you haven't read that one, and you're entertained by poop, which is often featured on the Bacak blog I've realized, give this one a quick read.) This is very similar. He got into his dirty diaper...don't know why...dug around in there for a while, got it all over his hands and clothes and all the toys he played with, like the plastic riding toy in the yard, and made a good mess.
Claire brought him to me as I was getting out of the shower.
Needless to say, I had to get BACK in the shower by the time the foul mess was cleaned up.
In those moments, when I'm covered in my child's poop (because he thinks it's play-doough) or when I'm on my hands and knees looking at red paint everywhere I can see, I feel introspective.
What is God trying to teach me? And why haven't I learned it yet?
Even with that kind of week, I love my life.
Have no fear. I'm not hopping a plane to Mexico or anything. Not without Rusty anyway.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Run, Walk, or Crawl for COMPASSION

It's true, I'm hosting a race here on April 18th, with the help of the lovely girls of ASC (Aggie Sisters for Christ.)
We are sponsoring the Child Survival Program. (Click and read!) What I've learned is that 27,000 children under the age of 5 die every day, EVERY DAY, of preventable causes. Hunger, malnutrition, curable diseases, HIV (due to lack of meds that are readily available to us in the US), etc. You can sponsor a child ages 5 and up from almost anywhere all over the globe through Compassion and drastically change the lives of that child and their family. But they have to live to age 5 first. That's where the Child Survival Program comes in. They provide everything a mother and children need to make it, and best of all, share the Gospel and provide discipleship at the same time. That's LIFE.
Could this be for a better cause? Seriously!?
How did this get started? What made me think I can host a race? Well, let me give you a peek into the Seay family. (That's my maiden name, Seay.) My parents are amazing Godly people. They are in Honduras right now on a Compassion trip. My brother, Brian, works for Compassion, as you may know from following his adoption story. They recently adopted from Ethiopia, and we will be sponsoring that specific Child Survival Project there. Brian has the coolest job on the planet with Compassion. Let's not leave out Chris and Robbie, who are actively involved with Compassion and Living Water. So my parents, for Christmas, give us $50 and tell us to make money from that with our own fundraiser for the Child Survival Program. We also collect money all year in whatever way we can and my parents collect it at the end of the year from all of us. (Last year Emma gave her life savings; an overflowing piggy bank and eagerly dumped it all in. That was a moment I'll not forget.) My Mom decorated Compassion boxes and we each have one. All that to say, the Seay family is on this. And this is us, making our $50 count! We are super excited about being apart of what God is doing clear across the world! Isn't this exciting? Don't you want in?
So I need your help.
The 5K (and I'm hoping to have a 10K option as well, but we'll see) is on April 18th. (That is Parents Weekend.) My first hurdle has been getting someone from the city to call us back. We still don't have a location. This has been frustrating. Once we get that in place, we'll get registration rolling.
But I want people to know so they can start training now and SPREADING THE WORD!!!
This is an event for the whole family.
I plan on having a fun run for the kids, too! My kids will be training to jog a mile.
Charlie Apel is going to design the coolest t-shirts ever.
All I need is all of you to be all IN, and to let people know about it.
Mark your calendars!
More info to come!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bulk Trash

We have these nasty bean bags.
Bean Bags are the worst. I almost ended the friendship with the person (childless, of course) who gave my kids these ENORMOUS bean bags for Christmas one year.
I hated them then, and that was over two years ago.
I hate them today.
I have tolerated them for over two years.
But every Monday, when the Bulk Trash truck comes by, I want to throw those bulky, ugly, ready to spill out tiny beans everywhere, shapeless things in the truck and wave goodbye.
They had become a fixture in our playroom, and I could almost forget they were there...but every now and then, the dream of the bulk trash truck would re-surface.
So, one day I did it.
I hauled them out there, not caring if my neighbors saw me in my pajamas, and set them out on the curb.
In fact, I hauled several things out there.
It felt so good!!!
I was so anxious to see the truck come by and make them disappear.
But the truck doesn't come until 10:30 or so...and my little ones wandered out there and found them.
Word spread in the Bacak house.
The kids started staring outside at them, pressing their little noses up against the glass, with little tears coming down their faces.
Mind you, before you think I'm a terrible, evil mother who cares nothing for my children, I'VE NEVER SEEN THEM SIT ON THESE THINGS!
So I didn't know it would become this dramatic scene...but you never know.
So before the truck could come my way, and rescue me, the bean bags were dragged back into the house.
In fact, 75% of what I'd put out on the curb was dragged back into the house.
Things that they formerly hadn't seemed to play with or care about, they just couldn't part with.
The Lord reminded me we are just like that with our sin.
There are things in our lives that have become fixtures in our hearts and minds, even though we've always known they were yucky.
But one day, the Holy Spirit prompts us, and we know they need to go.
We drag it out on the curb, we are bound and determined to let it go for good.
But somehow, before we know it, we drag it back in, because even though we know it's gross, it's comfortable. It's normal. We convince ourselves that we'll eventually get rid of it. Maybe next Monday on bulk trash day. There's always next Monday, right?
I love this verse:

Rom 13:12-13
12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So don't live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes . Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light.

Heather writes about this in Her Hands and puts it like this...
For years, there I was, walking around in my old, sinful clothes. Every day I would pray that God would help me stop sinning. I wanted Him to change me…I wanted out of my yucky, dirty, sinful clothes. So, I would strip down naked. I would take those old, icky clothes off. But I never put clean ones on to replace the yucky ones. So, I would stand there, naked, cold, shivering…and my old, dirty clothes would start to look attractive again. It’s just easier to do what we know. It's easier to wear what we wore.
God is saying in scripture to get rid of our old clothes…BURN THEM…and PUT ON the clothes He has laid out for us. WHAT BEAUTIFUL CLOTHES they are! Our Father has great taste. This is why there is NEVER a passage about taking off sin that does not conclude with a passage about what to put on instead. God never leaves us naked! Never!

What I'm reminded I need to do is put something on it my sin's place. If I take off complaining, I need to put on thankfulness. If I take off harsh words, I need to put on kind words. If I take off bitterness, I need to put on tenderheartedness.
I'm so glad God doesn't tell us to strip off our clothes and stand there naked, aren't you?
Today is Monday.
Bulk Trash day.
I hope we can all haul our trash out, leave it on the curb, and wave goodbye!
Happy Bulk Trash Day!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Birth Families

A few months back, we had the chance to meet and connect with some of Justus' birthfamily; his aunt, uncle, and cousins. We had never met them face-to-face before, but had heard a lot about them from Kathleen, Justus' birthmom. They are very close, and I think it meant the world to her for us to finally meet.
They live in Las Vegas, but came to Texas to visit family over Christmas, and made a special trip here to meet Justus. We met at a Chic-Fil-A, and got acquainted.
They were so excited to get to see Justus, hug him, talk to him, and see two little boys, biological first cousins, play like boys in the play area.

Birth families are a blessing. Having a link to their story, another piece of the puzzle to who they are, is so good for my boys! Justus has the same nose as them, which is precious! His nose is one of my very favorite things about him!
Now let's be honest, not every piece of their puzzle is pleasant. I know this. But it's all a part of who they are. Luckily, this was a wonderful piece of Justus' story, and we were so lucky to get this afternoon with them.

New Life does a good job of encouraging connection with birth families. They facilitate visits with all of us, which is unbelievable for three women to do with all the families they place with. That adds up! There are just so many hours in a day, for goodness sake! But they also plan the Kinship Picnic, which is coming up in March. This is a very natural, easy place where birth families and adoptive families meet up at a park near New Life and the kids play...the adults chit-chat...we eat fried chicken...and life is normal. At least almost. This is brilliant, if you ask me!
Also know, that some birth family members may not be healthy enough or making good choices and we may choose not to meet with them when it's not in the best interest of our kids to do so. We are not blind and foolish. We wouldn't put our kids at risk for any reason! This is all about them, and about sharing Jesus with their families! But there are extreme circumstances where we may choose not to visit if we feel it is unsafe.

For the most part, so much good comes from these connections with birth families. The Gospel is shared. People are saved. Sometimes, a birth family member sees a healthy family up-close for the first time in their lives. A birthparent whose heart is aching to see her little one slide down the slide and play with their siblings has that chance. I am excited about meeting up with some of Treston's birth family at the Kinship picnic. (Pictures will follow.) God has been good to bless us with birth family members for both our boys. HIs purposes in adoption are many!

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Bacak Valentine's Day

Well, I had 5 other cute pictures to put here, and my computer stubbornly refuses to post them. No idea why. I'm very mad at it, but am calling a truce with it for now so I can write this. After this, I'm going to ignore it for the rest of the day.
Valentine's Day!
Of course the day was kicked off with some homemade by Mom valentines for each of the kiddos and their favorite candy. Candy for breakfast. That is all Treston has ever wanted around here.
But breakfast got better. Emma made heart-shaped pancakes. They were so good!
Rusty and I did our long runs. Rusty did 12 all by himself, and I did 8 with Jeanna.
I got to see one of my sweet former HOPE groupies get married: missionaries in Nicaragua, Julie and Jader, tied the knot. I visited the nursing home to deliver valentines and had a memorable chat with Mr. Gruner. He told me about his wedding day to the late and beloved Mrs. Gruner. I could picture it all in my mind. I love that man!
But Valentine's night was special.
I already wrote about how we see it around here, and we like to share that.
So we always invite some of our favorite college people over!
We had seven beautiful girls descend on this place. So fun!
Rusty, being the amazing man he is, cooked an unbelievable dinner for ALL 13 of us!
I mean, for real, an amazing dinner. One of my primary love languages is food, so this was legit.
He made us, my very favorite, crab legs and lobster tails, plus chicken, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, and killer broccoli. The girls contributed salad and rolls. Then I made the strawberry cake with cream cheese icing, and we dipped strawberries in chocolate.
(If you're reading this and you're hungry right now, I'm so sorry!)
Then we had a family worship all together and Rusty taught on love.
What is love? And how should we love? Jesus told us.

John 15:12-15
12 I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. 13 And here is how to measure it — the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends. 14 You are my friends if you obey me.

Wow! That was specific! How do we love?
Like Jesus. Imitate Him.
How do we measure it?
By our sacrifice.
How far should we go in sacrificial love? How far is too far?

In the last few weeks Rusty has been teaching from scripture about love, and I've been challenged. I want to love like Jesus does. I want to be sacrificial, and less about myself. I want to loving at all times!
There is so much good in scripture to put on when it comes to love.
And it's probably something we want to pay attention to, because the greatest commandment is to LOVE God, and next to that is LOVING our neighbor.
So that's a big deal, I think.

I can tell you, I'm definitely challenged by my husband and the way he loves me. I was so glad we got to share it with those beautiful girls. We loved having our own little Valentine's party. Jax even gave out goody bags!
Happy Belated Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day- Attn: single ladies

I was going to write a new post about Valentine's Day, and then remembered I wrote one last year. It hasn't expired. So I pasted it below this. But I want to attach a note to my beautiful single ladies: I know what this holiday does to us. I can remember what it felt like. I know that just walking through HEB and being bombarded with the hearts and candy and junk that no one is going to buy for you can make you feel like a loser, for NO GOOD REASON. I also know, that when we copy the thinking of this world, we lose perspective on what God says. So please meditate on LOVE this weekend. Real love. God's love. And let the married women around you affirm for you that there is no love like God's. Our husbands are amazing, but everyday is not Valentine's Day, and if we didn't know God's love, we'd be empty inside. Romantic love doesn't fill you up. God does. So I'm praying you feel filled up to the very top this Valentine's Day, if you're a believer in Jesus Christ, because you know the greatest love of all time!!!
So DON'T wear black on Valentine's Day.
DON'T throw a pity party, and send out pathetic invitations for other girls to join in.
DON'T act like God has forgotten you because you aren't in a romantic relationship.
DO remember, that by grace, He has saved you, when you did nothing to deserve it, and He loves you with an everlasting love.
Seriously, what more could we want from Him!?
Here's my old post...please read to the bottom because the scripture is there.

This week in school we are studying LOVE.
Don't worry folks, if you are concerned for our homeschooling education, we do academics out the wa-zoo. We finished a month studying the human body, and my kids are now ready to take the MCAT.
Our project for this week was to make 88 valentines for our friends at the nursing home. Good thing we recruited wonderful friends to help us. That would have been a lot of glitter flying in this house.
We had already decided Valentine's day would be our unit study, in addition to our math and reading, etc. We love holidays!
The kids know that there is a difference in certain holidays...some are God-holidays. We stop working and take time to worship, like at Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter. But some days are remembering days, like Veteran's Day, President's Day, or some are silly days, like Halloween, and National talk like a pirate day.
Emma asked me on Sunday night on the way home from church "Mom, is Valentine's Day a God-holiday."
I explained to her that the world does not think of it as a God-holiday, but it truly is! I was saved as a little girl on Valentine's day, which has always been a sweet reminder of my love relationship with the Lord. But the Bible says God IS love. Without God, there is no love.
As we were talking about this in the car, I felt impressed by the Holy Spirit that we would study Biblical love this week.
The world has already begun telling my kids what love is. I want them to know what God says love is.
I decided we would wipe the white board of our minds clean on love, and write only what God says about it in Sharpie.
Wouldn't that be cool if our minds really had a white board?
Rusty's would have more on his than mine. He stores a lot of info. When you have a job that requires you to be awakened up from a dead sleep and do complicated math, you have a lot of math on your whiteboard.
Good thing I'm only awakened to tend to children and stuff.
So I started on Monday morning copying all the verses I could find and write in my journal about love.
Monday, we learned the greatest commandment (we talked about in church this past weekend.)
Mark 12:30-31
30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.'
We should be THE MOST PASSIONATE about loving God, and everything else in our life should come as an overflow of that.

Tuesday we learned the second greatest commandment.
Mark 12:31
31 The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these."

But what does it mean to love others? What does that look like?
John 13:34-35
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."

So how did Jesus love?
1 John 3:16
16 We know what real love is because Christ gave up his life for us. And so we also ought to give up our lives for our Christian brothers and sisters.

John 15:12-14
12 I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. 13 And here is how to measure it — the greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for their friends.

We have more ground to cover on God's love this week. How does the Bible describe God's love? How does that compare to the way we love each other?
There's so much. So much to erase. So much to Sharpie.
But it's been so good!
Labels: spiritual, Valentine's Day

Saturday, February 07, 2009

A "God" Birthday

If you know my kids, you know they plan their birthdays year round.
We love birthdays, and half-birthdays for that matter, and we love parties.
So it's not strange for my kids to come up with a birthday theme and plan when their birthday is six months away.
Out of the blue the other night, Emma tells me that she wants to have a "God" themed birthday party. She gave me some ideas for making the decorations, but the best one was her idea to play "Pin Jesus on the Cross".
Yes. My daughter said instead of playing pin the tail on the donkey, she thought we could put up a cross, and pin Jesus on it.
Okay, more than slightly irreverent.
But she was totally serious, and I know her heart was not amiss in this, so I did not correct her.
We WON'T be playing "Pin Jesus on the Cross", however.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Welcome Babies!!!

Two of my favorite girls in the world gave birth to their beautiful babies less than 24 hours apart. Both ended up needing C-Sections. Both boys.
It was only fitting. They told me they were pregnant in just the same fashion.
These girls...I LOVE! They are precious to this family!
How did this happen? One minute these girls are bouncing through my home, full-fledged college students, my mentee for Her Hands, in my Countdown class, and the next, they're married and having babies. It happens fast! And these are not my first precious girls to have babies. Jodi has Wyatt and Carissa has Eden. They are multiplying quickly! Way to go guys!
Adam and Emily Williams, now residents of Albuquerque, NM, where Adam is like Jack Bauer for the government, we suspect...he can't really tell us...and Emily has been making a home and substitute teaching, now have Josiah David Williams! She tells me he has a head full of hair, although, he didn't come out in dreads, like his Dad wears, as we hoped. Someday.
Matt and Erin Mosier, Treston's Godparents and dear friends here in College Station, gave birth to Cade Matthew, with a cute button nose like his Mom's. Seeing Matt present him through the nursery window with the paparazzi (20+ of us awaiting a glimpse of him) was one of the sweetest things I've ever seen. I took a snapshot of him in my mind. It was precious.
I love these families. They are beginning a sacred task. They are raising children to know and fear the Lord. They are embarking on the journey that will last us a lifetime of loving our children.
Malachi 2 talks about the sacred covenant of marriage, and in verse 15 says "Didn't the Lord make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union." (this is an amazing chapter so read it fully!)
I pray Godly children, starting with Josiah and Cade, will continue to come from these sacred unions.
Adam and Matt, these boys are blessed to have fathers who will so willingly lead them to Christ! Emily and Erin, motherhood suits you beautifully.
I love you guys!