Dec 21, 2009

What I'd Say

If we were sitting together with a cup of hot tea, this is what I'd say to you...

So much mercy... It overwhelms.
Cora is not only off the ventilator, but today was moved out of PICU.
David's coming home from the hospital tomorrow.
Judah's pneumonia is all better and he came home today.

So many glimpses of His presence in their lives... but still more to be lifted up.
Jennifer is still in the hospital battling pneumonia.
Catherine will be having her complicated heart surgery tomorrow.

This is the nature of life in this place; the ups and downs never really stop... like crashing waves.  And when you stand in waves, you get wet.  Wet with His presence.  Wet with His love.  Wet with His kingdom.  Sometimes getting wet feels a little like drowning, and I wonder how we manage, because I know we're not strong enough.  All I can say is that He fills our cups and He keeps us going.

Jacob and I are reading Prodigal God right now.  Wow.  Seriously.  Has to be one of the best books we've ever read.  It hits us at our cores, exposing the 'elder brother' inside each of our hearts.  Have you read it?  If not, you should.

What are you doing for Christmas?  I want to hear about your plans.  Makes me feel like I know you better.  :) Speaking of which, if you read this blog a lot but don't ever comment, will you do so today?  Just a small hello will do, and if you blog, a link to your corner of the web would be nice!  (I'd like to get to know you, too!) A few weeks ago at the foster home, a visitor called out my name from across the courtyard.  I didn't know who it was, but found out when we met that he reads our blog.  (Hello Dave!)  Anyway, let's have some shout-outs across this virtual courtyard.

Since I asked about your plans, I should share ours.  We're baking 200 or so Christmas cookies tomorrow and decorating them on Wednesday with the little ones.  By decorating, I mean trying to keep the fact that frosting tastes yummy a complete secret until we only have about 50 cookies left to decorate.  Otherwise, we end up with slobbery frosting.  Not yummy.  Thanks to Operation Giggle, the children are going to have a fun Christmas, though we're celebrating on the 24th instead of the 25th.  Christmas Eve, we're hosting a small "wine and cheese" party for some of our dear friends here at our house... On Christmas day, we're going to hang out with family.

That's right, I said family!

Jacob's little brother and his girlfriend are coming to visit us, and they arrive on Christmas Eve.  We have a busy week planned with them, including a jaunt to Shanghai, so there might not be much blogging.  We're thankful we get to spend Christmas with some of our family.

Yesterday, Jacob and I thought we'd died and gone to heaven.  We found out that there is a Subway restaurant about 30 minutes from where we live.  Previously, the only western food available within that distance was KFC and some Chinese-influenced western food.  Subway tasted exactly the same as at home, and even had my favorite unhealthy sandwich, the Spicy Italian.  Yay!

I've intended to write some more Christmas thoughts, and I might still get a big post done before the big day.  But since I haven't mustered the energy, I wanted to share this exceptionally good post with you.

The last couple of weeks have been rough.  Jacob's been down for the count - nasty flu mixed with a stomach virus.  He was out for a week straight.  He's better now, but we're dealing with some personal challenges right now.  I feel really tired, and to be honest, angry that an easy solution isn't at hand.  I want to say that I believe all that I said about God being with us wherever we are, but I have to confess that I don't really feel Him with me right now.  I see Him all around me - in Cora, David, Judah... But sometimes I struggle with trusting that He really loves me and has my best interest at heart.  I want to... I really do.  But, I don't want to let go of all that I'm clinging to; all of my self-constructed safety nets that keep me from holding on to Him.  Even if it might be an illusion, I feel safer with self-constructed safety nets.  If I let go, what if He doesn't catch me?  I know I'm not the only one who wonders this sometimes... Yet I sense He's asking me to abandon myself to him. Why am I saying this?  Just to be real, mostly.  I don't want to get put on a spiritual pedestal by anyone.  And, also because I know you'll pray for me.  And maybe because I know you have your doubts too, and I want you to know it's OK.  If we really try, we can feel His eyes on us.  And they are looking on us with love, not guilt and condemnation for our inadequacies and failures and doubts.

48 comments:

autumnesf said...

I'm one of your readers that probably hasn't left a comment yet. We are new transplants in Ohio from Waco. We have one adopted daughter from China plus two other children. Hubs is Air Force. Loved China and love reading about your life there and about all the kids. Also love your sharing of your faith experiences.

Not doing anything but staying here for Christmas. The move took too much out of us to travel to family this year.

Merry Christmas!

Aaron and Erica said...

I hope to one day come share a cup of hot tea with you :) I have only commented a few times so you may or may not "know" me. We did email back and forth a couple of times when I stumbled across your blog for the first time. We had also hoped to visit you guys when we adopted our daughter last January but it didn't work out that we could come to Beijing. As for our Christmas plans...we'll be staying in town for Christmas because all of our family lives here. We always go to our Christmas Eve service at church and then go to my husband's parent's house to have Christmas together with his side of the family (about 20 of us). Then Christmas morning we'll open presents together with our 3 children and then my mom and dad come over for a big breakfast. Later that day my sister and nephew will be coming over and then finally, that evening my uncle and his family will come over. Whew...I think that's it! Our main family blog is private, but I have another blog I update occasionally with info on our daughter and her medical issues...
http://prayingforyouyou.blogspot.com

Thank you for the work that you do and for "being real". You are on my prayer list!

Merry Christmas!

Erica

Tara Anderson said...

Carrie,

I wish we could sit down and chat over a cup of tea! I'm glad we get to do it "virtually" though! :)

I can't begin to put into words the feelings stirring around my heart about Cora. It sounds crazy...and maybe even a little arrogant...but I just feel that He's done this for ME. So many months ago I fell in love with a thumbnail picture of a little girl, became her monthly sponsor, and began praying diligently for her. Now she has witnessed this miracle in her life, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude to our Father...somehow in granting her this miracle, He's shown me favor. He saved the one I love, and I just can't thank Him enough for that. I know it doesn't make much sense here on the screen, but it makes total sense in my heart!

I'm so glad you're getting to spend Christmas with family! Having gone far too many years without having family around for the holidays, I know what a delight that is for you! We're going to be able to spend Christmas with BOTH sides of our family this year, so we're excited about that. We're spending Christmas Eve with Andrew's family at his parent's house and Christmas day with my side of the family at my uncle's house...a limited number, but still better than we've had the last 5 years!

I'm thankful that you've found a Subway and that the illness has begun to subside. I'm thankful for your transparency in your struggles...and yes, I struggle too sometimes. Abandoning is hard, and even after I've done it I find myself still fearing the unknown. If you remember, that's how I found your blog. I surrendered to the call to adopt a little girl with CHD and I was wrestling with fears when I came across your blog through some "research" of mine. I pray that reassurance and security surround you and that in your abandonment you are able to experience God like never before!

Many Blessings and Merry Christmas!
Tara

Love for Lilly Yin said...

Hi! Maybe I haven't left a comment yet..I do love your blog. I want to tell you something my grandmother passed along to me many years ago. She told me when we worry and do not have faith, that God sees that as us being Atheist. That's such a strong word...and the last thing I want God to think of me. I try to remember that when I am in the middle of storms in my life..just trust.

Amy said...

Merry Christmas! I am Amy, and I also wish I could sit down with you for a cup of tea! I just recently found your blog, and I am enjoying it so much.

We are celebrating with our three little ones, praying for #4. We are hoping that God will soon show us where he/she is. Blessings to you, your family, and the work you do!

Karrie said...

Hi Carrie!!! I read you daily and have fallen in LOVE with the kids in the foster home.
Hope you have a wonderful Christmas!!

Karrie in Indiana
http://getthisgirlsomegrits.blogspot.com/

Karrie said...

Oh and I'm looking forward to the present opening from Operation Giggle!! We sponsored Judson and had SOOO much fun picking out presents for him. He is just precious!!!

Karrie

Holly said...

Oh Carrie. You are so very real. So very precious. Thank you for sharing your heart with us...strangers really.
I'm Holly from Purpose Driven Family and newly Beading to China.
(click on my name to find out more)
My son was fed by New Day the first year of his life in Inner Mongolia. I loved the post about stretch marks. Amazing.
This Christmas brings peace unlike the pain and strife of last year's.
However it also finds our family apart for the first time in 16.5 years. My husband is in the Army and will spend his first Christmas in Iraq. God is faithful!
We are experiencing this year what SO many other families have already experienced...and quietly...without grumbling or complaining...so that the rest of us could go about our holiday traditions carefree.
It's an honor.
God has given us a heart for the orphans and specificially for those labeled SN.
This year we stay home for Christmas and celebrate the greatest gift ever given. Amazing. Mind boggling...God wrapped in flesh. Jesus.
Merry Christmas!

TanyaLea said...

So true...we are all human and we are all often plagued with doubt. But it is then that we realize it's not about us and our control, but about Him and our faith IN Him... "for without faith, it is impossible to please God." Thank you for sharing your heart so openly and for your candidness. I, too, would LOVE to sit down and share some tea with you and simply enjoy some great conversation. You have so much experience in areas that intrigue me and I could pick your brain for hours, I'm sure! I look forward to meeting you in person when we travel to bring Khloe home!

I pray that whatever it is that is eating away at you, that you receive the answer you are looking for and that God brings you peace and shows you His presence... He IS there, Carrie!...no doubt!!

Enjoy your Christmas with Jacob's family and have a nice time away with them. You will all be in my thoughts and prayers!

Can't wait to see Khloe opening her OG gifts...we had such a great time picking them out. It means so much to know that she is being loved on and that we are able to be there with her in a small way! Have fun with the kiddos and take LOTS of pictures... and there's a general consensus amongst us Operation Giggle sponsors that VIDEO would be great, too!!

Have a Merry Christmas and God bless! <><

Love and Hugs,
~ Tanya
http://acornsandcherryblossoms.blogspot.com/

Lori Petrie said...

Carrie, Thank you, as always, for your wonderful Blog. We have even read some of your postings for our church council meeting devotionals. (good old ELCA Lutheran). You are an exceptional person - even if you don't want to be called out for it!! I passed your blog onto some of my good friends (in Rochester, NY) a long time ago. One of the friends was visiting with family in Denver CO area, was having meal in restaurant when overheard a young girl telling someone she was headed to China to work in orphanage. They butted in and asked her if it was with "Carrie and Jacob" - and it was!!!! The girl (total stranger) was so surprised. God is watching! I just loved that that happened. We are celebrating Xmas at home with our 3 lovies from China (Sydney Jinjiang Fujian 8, Jay Nanchuan city Chonqing 6, and daughter Jordan Dongguan, Guangdong 5). We can see the magic in their faces this year. We love you; take care...-Lori Petrie

Robin said...

Hi Carrie, I subscribe to your blog in my reader and am a faithful reader. I love reading about what God is doing in your corner of the world.

We will celebrate Christmas at home this year with my husbands parents who are visiting us (in New Mexico) from Virginia. We will go to our church's Christmas Eve service and have Chinese food for dinner to celebrate my mother-in-law's Christmas Eve birthday. We always read the Christmas story in Luke before opening presents on Christams morning. (Gifts will consist of Lego's and video games for our three boys.) Some friends are joining us for dinner in the afternoon.

It's great that you will have family visiting you for Christmas. Have fun!

Robin
robinmb.blogspot.com

Sharie said...

Carrie,
I am certain I've posted before, but I wanted to thank you for being real in your struggles with God. I have a very strong faith, but go through periods of doubt as you describe and it so helps to know that I'm not alone in that.
I also love to read of all the children and their challenges and successes. It is those days when they struggle the most that I can look at my own life and thank God for all that I truly have and pray that they will also see that day.

Jenna said...

Carrie-

Christmas here is a 4 day festival of church & friends, cozy day at home opening presents, off to grandma and grandpas, then to spend time with the "cousins" club. Then.....a week off for everyone to relax and enjoy! I *love* all the get-togethers though, and I can't help but feel that this is our last Christmas without our son being home with us form China (no, we have not been told who that son is yet, but we are all PRAYING that it will be a certain little boy we all love). So, I'm enjoying this year immensely. (All the shopping and wrapping was done before Dec. 1st, so I was free to enjoy!)

I'll be praying for you. I've been there- knowing God is with me, but not feeling Him there. That's a hard place to be. I know it will change in time, but I'll be praying for you in the meanwhile!

I LOVE your blog, and read it daily! You have such wonderful insights- really!

Merry Christmas!

Jenna :)

www.waitingforbabypandabear.blogspot.com

Gwen said...

Hi Carrie,
My name is Gwen and I'm a faithful reader of your blog. We are a NDFH family and we were blessed to bring home Sarah Mei a little over a year ago. The adoption process in general and our experience with New Day Foster Home have been such blessings and have truly changed our lives in many ways.
You are so inspiring and faithful and I love your honesty and words of encouragement. I often feel like you are speaking right to my heart and say the things I can't always seem to express. So thank you. You are making a difference in so many ways!

God bless and Merry Christmas!

Robin said...

Hi Carrie, I hope all these comments raise your spirits a bit. Christmas can bring out so many emotions.

We are staying close to home this year and spending the entire day with family eating entirely too much food - Prime Rib and all the fixins.

I found your blog through Tara in Haiti and I love keeping up with both of you.

AlyAbox said...

Carrie,
Know that you are loved, prayed for, and being lifted up always.
i understand the fear of letting go completely. That is probably why i never have. i, too, want to, and i want to want to, but, can't seem to get a grip on His all encompassing hold on us all. Knowing you and reading about my daughter and all her friends at ND, has really helped me see that not one of us "slips through His fingers".

For Christmas this year, we will be alone, but, that is okay! We had family for Thanksgiving, and this is our first Christmas in the new house. We will be having dinner with friends in the afternoon. The day after, we are headed to Disney World for a week of fun and crazy times... our last trip there without our Adahlyn. We can hardly wait to take her with us!
Have a very Merry CHRISTmas!
Blessings,
Alycia

WilxFamily said...

"It is doubtful that God will ever us an individual greatly until he hurts that individual deeply."

This is my MOST favorite non Bible quote, and was said by Pastor Greg Locke several years ago. I have found this to be so true in my life.

It is pretty obvious that God is teaching, stretching, and training and molding you to be the vessel he needs and wants. The best part is...is that you are letting him. Oh, sure there is give and take there...we aren't perfect! You are doing great.

So, here's the verse that I cling to...more often than I care to admit! "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Deut 31:6

It may seem like God is so prevalent in others life and perhaps a bit too busy to be more apparent in yours. I can struggle with that too. It always seems to be in times of uncertainty. Makes me wonder if it's not that old nasty devil fighting hard to pull the wool over your eyes, as you witness first hand AMAZING MIRACLES...like Cora, like an adoption, or another child brought back from the brink of death. I think you're going to be much more prone to attacks because of where you are at, and what you are doing. You are saving, loving, and nurturing little pieces of God's heart, so of course the devil will be red hot mad.

Keep on keeping on, and sticking close to the Lord, as he is going before you, he won't fail you and he won't forsake you.

Christmas? (as if my comment isn't long enough!) We are actually in IL, with all of my family. Crazy days! I was cleaning out a house and found an old and HUGE fish hook, my crazy little brother would LOVE. I can't wait to give it to him. No doubt its for deep sea fishing...it's much bigger than my hand. I am excited to give it to him, as I know he'll love it. I have a huge family, and extended family and we always celebrate Christmas Eve together.

This year will be the last year we'll have just two children...next year we'll be celebrating with Evan in the mix, and oh how I can't wait! Our family is missing someone and we have yet to meet him.

Lindsey said...

Carrie,
I love reading your blog ever since I just got back from ND last month! Thanks for always blessing me though this!
I will spend some sweet time with my family, friends, and myself! this holiday season!
When I do decide to blog .. I blog here:
lindseykj.blogspot.com
Merry Christmas!
Lindsey

Sheila said...

Carrie,

Admittedly, I am a lurker. I discovered your blog a couple of weeks ago and have been uplifted by your faithful journey. We are currently awaiting our CA confirmation for our 7 year old son who is waiting in Beijing. FAITH and ADOPTION should be synonomous in our book.
Christmas eve will be spent having lunch with the in-laws and a wonderful evening service at our very small church. Christmas morning will come at around 5am b/c our bio son insists on it and it only happens once a year :) My mom will come over for breakfast and we will have a late lunch/early dinner at our dear friends' home where our son will be spoiled rotten and preparations for spoiling the new son will be made :)

In regards to your struggles, I just have one thing I am compelled to tell you and I hope it helps.

Sometimes God doesn't catch us...He picks us up :)

Hugues and Jodi said...

I never have commented before but so enjoy reading about your daily struggles and joys! We, too are celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. My husband works on Christmas morning, so we figured that our 15 month old won't know the difference between the days :) We will have two days of Christmas this year!

I know very well how hard it is to trust that God will catch us, or even pick us up if we do fall. Something I have "learned" (or am working on learning) is that really God is holding us the whole time, even if we don't feel him, see him, or hear him. Somehow he is working it all out and carrying us through it, to get to an end that we may never even know, to touch people we may never meet, and to give us glimpses of Himself that we would not notice otherwise. Have a very Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year :)

Jodi

www.severefamilyblog.blogspot.com
www.graindespoirhaiti.com

Don & Cindy said...

Dear Carrie,

There are "so many glimpses" in "their" lives, especially when the "their" is your daughter . . .

And your correct, the nature of life is the "ups and downs" that never really stop. I remember one time a little girl running behind me picking up the "stuff" I was throwing out of my wallet, while screaming in the DFW airport that someone was trying to hurt us. Talk about "crashing waves" . . . how does one find the crest??

But life goes on, and though the ups & downs don't necessarily end, we can start to see the pattern.
And you know what, even though both you and I have faced some great personal challenges last week, we know that He does fill our cups, and "He keeps us going".

Which brings us to Tyler Lake State Park, where your mother & I are safely enconsed in our little pop-up camper in the "Black Jack" camping area. We were "appointed" to camp at the "Big Pine" camping area. But there were several trailers, and the camp host said if we wanted to be all by ourselves . . . come to Black Jack@@!!

Considering some of the issues Daniel, Mom & I have had to deal with the past two weeks . . . I have to admit I was a little afraid to be by ourselves :>

But life's journey for those who have experienced the "new birth" is not conducted by feelings of fear . . . but feelings of the one who indwells & is in controll . . .

So what do you do in this situation?? You listen to the "still small voice" of the one who indewlls "you" also, and then your mate says . . . "This is perfect, you will find is at Black Jack in the morning" . . . to the camp host!!

Keep the faith daughter, you have been through much tougher times than these.

Love, your earthly father, Dad.

McCoy Family Adventures said...

Hi Carrie

I follow your blog consistently. I love it, but haven't posted comments because I'm subscribed by email. I love to read about the kids and I pray for you and them often.

We are in Colorado for Christmas. We spend our time at our little retreat in Estes Park every Christmas, and this year will be the same. We love it in Colorado, and we love just being together as a family without interruptions and schedules.

You are awesome and I love reading about your lives there and the kids lives.

Merry Christmas!

Sandi McCoy

Anonymous said...

I am a fairly new reader and lurker to this point. Am always interested to see what you have to say. You and your realness are wonderful. Thanks for being honest.
Our Christmas plans in MN are a little tenative - we are expecting a big snow storm which might alter our travel plans. Looking forward to a few days off of work and lots of family time.
Hang in there. I will say a prayer for you tonight.
Cari in MN

Kinsey said...

Carrie! I think i have left a few comments here and there... but I read your blog religiously as well as NewDays. They make me feel at home and still connected to what's going on. I know I was only in china for 2 months but it felt like a life time...

My Christmas plans, Well myself and my parents will head to Oklahoma City for a Christmas brunch. We will come back to Tulsa around 5 and have homemade Chicken and noodles with my brother and his wife. Oh and I'm attending the Christmas eve service where I will be reading a scripture because I'm a bible school student.. :)

Anyways, I also recently found out that i'm going to be an aunt to a little niece! This is very exciting.

My blog: http://kinseymac.blogspot.com

Jan J. said...

Hi Carrie,

I am saying hello as requested! I don't even remember how I got here, probably from a link on a China adoption blog, but I know I sat up far past my bedtime that night reading through your story of why you are in China and Xiao Ai. I was very thankful you had already written all the parts because I was on the edge of my seat LOL!

I'm a single mom of two adopted from China. I now subscribe to your blog in my blogger reader as I just love what you are doing with your lives and you are a wonderful writer. I am with those who say you should definitely write a book! Even self-publishing is a good option these days with a subject such as yours - there are 70,000 people who have adopted from China and who love to read about life there, China orphanages, etc. You have a built-in audience!

Anyway, I pray for your little ones that you care for and for your family and happy you found that Subway! I was in China two weeks with each daughter, and while I loved most of the food it just felt good to get something familiar!

I'm happy you will have family for Christmas and hoping you have a wonderful holiday and that the little ones in the hospital will do well.

Jan J.
http://bluewillowgirls.blogspot.com

Jen said...

Hi Carrie,
I'm still reading here in MN! I love reading your insights on faith, work, and living in a developing country. Thanks for sharing!

I'm spending both Christmas Eve and Christmas day in Minnesota with my close friends (who are like family to me). I'll also spend a day with my parents and one of my brothers who still lives here with his family. We already have about a foot of snow on the ground, and it's supposed to snow a lot over the next few days, so it'll definitely be a white Christmas!!

Blessing to you guys!

Chris said...

Oh what fun it would be to have a cup of hot tea with you....

I have been following your blog for a while, I want to do what you do 'when I grow up'! It is my heart's desire....I'm just waiting on God and His timing!!

For Christmas, we are just hanging out with our kids...Praising God for all our blessings and absorbing the miracle of the birth of our Savior!!

You guys are definitely in my thoughts and prayers!
I hope your husband is feeling better...
Please know that God 'will catch you'! You are doing amazing work for His Kingdom and He is with you every step of the way!!!
You have touched and impacted so many children and adults...there, where you are ministering and here, even in this humble home!!!

God Bless you and Merry Christmas!!

I would love for you to 'visit my corner of the web'!!
thelayersoflife.blogspot.com

Oh yeah, my husband used your post on "Dirty Sheep" as a basis for his chapel message last week. That post was astounding!!!!!

Tami said...

Hi Carrie,

Sophie wants to send you and jacob a big (((hug)))) for Christmas!

As for our Christmas plans, the festivities are definitely underway here!. My parents are in from New York...Uncle Dave is in from California, and my in-laws are coming down from northern Maine on the 23rd. We'll definitely have a houseful!!! That's what Christmas means to me....having loved ones around and just enjoying being together.

We LOVE going to Christmas Eve service at our church. They do a wonderful job re-enacting the Nativity story, and it is so child friendly. Sophie is looking for ward to singing her favorite Christmas carols:-)..and what a voice she has. 'Santa Clause is coming to town' is her favorite right now.

The kids LOVE having all the extended family attention and we've been sledding in the new snow, and baking up a storm!! As you know, Sophie a such a help in the kitchen. Yesterday, my father made a batch of norweigian holiday cookies called krumkake. Sophie was rolling them around the dowl like a pro!

After the holiday we may head down to my brother's in CT for a few days to spend time with them.

As you know...It's extra special this year having Sophie with us. I honestly haven't asked for ANYTHING because I feel like I have all I want right here!

Merry Christmas!!

Love,
Tami

Tori said...

Hi, Carrie! We've spoken some through e-mail and I follow your blog. I LOVE how real you are. Thanks.

For Christmas, we have a steak and baked potatoe dinner at my husband's grandparents. This is a tradition they have that I quite enjoy. It is the only time of year they grill steaks, but we eat, then open gifts. On Christmas morning, we go to my parents for Christmas breakfast and presents, then back to Jason's grandparents for (Thanksgiving) dinner (it is what we have for Thanksgiving).

We are saving to adopt and I would LOVE to come to New Day and meet you and the beautiful children you get to work with everyday.

Praying for you.

www.roadtoruthie.blogspot.com
www.learningtofollowtoday.blogspot.com

Leah said...

Hi Carrie,

I have never left a comment, but have been following your blog/and New Day blog since this summer. I am not even sure how I found your blog, but it sure has been a blessing. I have such a heart for orphans and Asia in general. I was thrilled to read about Sheri's idea and Operation Giggle and have sponsored Hannah and she has so touched my heart and I CANNOT wait for her little eyes to light up when she receives her gifts and more importantly I pray she feels God's love for her through the spirit of this Christmas.

Many blessings this Christmas and beyond!

www.hannahs-song.blogspot.com

Bonnie said...

I discovered your blog quite recently - your thoughts on the incarnation - have forever changed the way I will think of it. Very powerful.

this Christmas we are praying like crazy to pass court in ET so our newest kids can come home soon. And today we are looking foward to snow (life in Colorado!!)

Merriest of Christmases to you!

Team Heartline said...

Hi guys-

We're so glad we "met" you guys and figured out all of our Minnesota and Texas commonalities or whatever it is we figured out. We're routing for you and enjoy reading about all that you're doing and learning as you seek to be love in China.

T & T
et al.

Katie said...

Hi! I have read your blog for a while now, but I'm not sure how I found it. I recently made the connection that you are with New Day, and I wanted to tell you that I'm applying for the internship this summer! So these sweet kiddos you write about, I'm hoping I get to meet this summer.

I hope you guys have a fantastic Christmas. God bless!

My blog is http://whereverheleads-illgo.blogspot.com

Katie said...

Hi! I have read your blog for a while now, but I'm not sure how I found it. I recently made the connection that you are with New Day, and I wanted to tell you that I'm applying for the internship this summer! So these sweet kiddos you write about, I'm hoping I get to meet this summer.

I hope you guys have a fantastic Christmas. God bless!

My blog is http://whereverheleads-illgo.blogspot.com

Teresa said...

Hey Carrie - looks like you have some fans! : ) Mike's family is in town so things are a bit hectic for Christmas, but good nonetheless. I am so glad to hear that Jacob's brother is getting to come for the holidays... too bad they will not be there early enough to help with the cookies!

a Tonggu Momma said...

I would love to share a cup of tea with y'all! And I totally don't comment enough over here, but I read every day. We are heading to my mom's and sister's houses (they live five minutes from one another). Oh, and shoveling out more snow.

Waiting For Bella said...

Carrie,
Hi there!! I love to read your blog and enjoy being a sponsor of New Day. God has blessed us through the lives of the kids there. I enjoy your honesty and can relate to your thoughts that you so openly share. I can tell you though that God uses you to touch so many others and I am one of them. I don't think I will ever forget your post titled Dirty Sheep. I am stil digesting it and have went back to reread it several times. Thank you for sharing.

I pray that God will hold you through whatever it is that you are facing recently and that through this time He will be real in your life. Show up in a new way and reveal Himself to you. He is able, trust Him and keep believing!!

As for Christmas, we are spending it with family. We are looking forward to the celebration. I have to admit though that I am glad all the shopping is behind me. Now for all the cooking... sigh....

We are awaiting our daughter from China and can't wait til we receive that call. We hope to visit New Day whenever we are in China. I look forward to it. We were glad to help Sherri with Operation Giggle this year and look forward to doing it again next year. We sponsored a litte angel there and just can't wait to see her sweet face as she opens her gifts. That has been the highlight of our Christmas giving this year.

May the Christ of Christmas be alive and real in your heart this holiday season!! Blessings!!

WWW.Bellasjourneyhome.blogspot.com

Robyn said...

Hi Carrie! Here is a shout out across the virtual courtyard from a fellow lurker! I've been reading your blog for quite a while and have just really appreciated your honesty, genuine heartfelt posts and your love for Jesus Christ and orphans! We are adopting our first son from China and are hoping to travel soon! We'll be spending Christmas here in NE Georgia with family!
Love,
Robyn

Carla said...

I've been reading for some time, but never comment. I know the Bush family, and through them have fallen in love with New Day. I'm also friends with Adrian's soon to be family, and can't wait to get to hug that little boy in person.

I've REALLY been touched by the posts on Christ's birth, and the shepards. I told the boys this week to remember what the petting zoo smelled like. What the barn area at another zoo we go to smells like. They wrinkled up their noses, and I said, Jesus was born somewhere that possibly smelled worse! Think about that.

We are staying here for Christmas, and we're doing the candlelight Christmas eve service.

Carla said...

oh...my main blog has moved - http://somebodyneedsanap.wordpress.com :)

Jewels of My Heart said...

I have just recently found your blog and am so thankful. You are a beautiful daughter of God and what a blessing you are.....
Sometimes we walk through the valleys and are not able to "feel" His presence. There have been times in my life where this has lasted a while no matter what I did.... then Holy Spirit helped me to understand that it is part of our walk of faith... that it is a time of growth in Him.... for when we feel Him... when we are in the presence of God there is no faith involved. He is more tangible than the person standing before us. So we must walk, keeping our eyes fixed upon Him and trusting by faith that He has us... that He is there... and that one day we will once again feel Him around us.
God's peace as you walk on the water... as the storm rages around you take courage as you fix your eyes upon the Lord... He has you and He is faithful... Let go and let God...
Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rives in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19

Thank you for sharing your heart... oh, how I understand for I too fight the same battle of trusting and believing and resting in Him.... even though I shouldn't for He is faithful. God's peace and I will lift you up in prayer.
I have been praying for the little ones and what a blessing it is to see our prayers answered and how God is glorified through each surgery, through each healing.... it is so heartbreaking how these precious little ones are suffering yet, so beautiful how God's hand heals them and in doing so they are a living witness to those who don't know Him of who He is and of His power and love....
He has a plan...
Romans 8:28
Merry Christmas,
Daleea

Football & Fried Rice said...

Wow, Carrie, it was actually fun to read the comments that people left for YOU! Not much left to say :) Your blog is thoroughly enjoyable & you & Jacob are an inspiration and such amazing prayer warriors. I love it when you call the other sheep to kneel at the throne - you really lead the way - and your care & passion for the orphans - is amazing.

I was really disappointed to have missed you last year - meeting you would have been a great blessing.

I love it when you post about your "life in China" - what it's like to go to the market, your apartment, the daily grind. I wonder about small things like where you buy your groceries, what your subway looks like, what you do for entertainment, where do you buy your books? Where is your apartment?

Anyways, that's just half being nosey, isn't it??

Thanks for blogging!!

Blessings,
Sara

Anonymous said...

I too am a reader, but thought I would share one thing we did this season. We took the children on a Walk through Bethlehem that was at church. It was great, lots of stalls of pottery, weaving, baking, etc. We had to sign in with the Census taker as well. We remarked how hectic it was and then realized that was probably how it was all those years ago. Not the quiet peaceful place we think of when we think of the night of His birth.

I hope your season was filled with peace.

The Raudenbush Family said...

We've been praying for Cora -- so glad to hear that she was released! Hope you had a great Christmas!
Kelly

Anonymous said...

I can't remember how I found your blog, but I love it, and I appreciate you showing an interest in your audience. At the moment, I want to remain inconspicuous, so that's all I have to say: I appreciate your sharing.

Valerie

Salzwedel Family said...

Hey there! Just found your blog for the first time and will be back for more. God bless.

Ladyblog said...

I read your blog, but just made mine private... I think it is wonderful what you are doing! I hope one day to spend some time in China too.
~Rebecca

nonewclothes said...

Hi Carrie,

I've lurked on your blog for awhile now...maybe a year? It always seems a bit strange to admit that! I'm not quite sure how I found your blog anymore, but I've so enjoyed reading about your life in China and being able to pray for specific needs/children there. I've even mentioned you to friends after reading different posts that really stick with me, so I guess a comment is way overdue!

I've blogged here and there...but am one part of a 3 person team here: nonewclothes.wordpress.com and I was excited to link to the Scarlet Threads shop as it totally goes along with the theme of the blog. :)

Praying you have a blessed and happy New Year!

Katie

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