I recently got an email asking about my prayer journaling so I thought I would share some basics to get started! Prayer is so powerful and it wasn’t until I started to intentionally write mine down that I really realized that. To be able to go back and read over my prayers and see how God moved is truly amazing. Prayer is our one and only contact with our heavenly Father, and He hears us! I don’t know about you, but knowing this makes me want to pray and pray often!

I think a lot of times the thought of this can seem intimidating. You might not know where to start or how to write prayers (I’ve been there)! It’s really easy to get started and please remember that these are only my suggestions of what works for me:

1. I highly recommend that you read this book. I’m in the middle of it right now and I wish I had this years ago before starting my journaling. It’s totally changing my prayer life. Anne gives easy and straightforward insight on the power of prayer and how the Bible says to pray:

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2. Buy a journal. This one is a little obvious, but a good journal is key!  Everyone is different. You might want a small one or a big one, but I always get leather ones because they are the most durable. I usually get mine from Barnes and Noble. I’m on my third one like this:

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3. Be thankful and give praise. I start my journaling by simply thanking God. The Bible says “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.” Psalm 100:4 – and that’s exactly what I do. There is nothing to big or too small, He loves to hear about what delights us! If it’s a day that I’m especially thankful for coffee (I know you moms feel me) then I will thank Him for it! Thank Him for the things that you are truly thankful for, be authentic! Here’s an example of what I might start out saying:

“Dear Father,

Thank you for this beautiful day, thank you for allowing me to wake up, and thank you for coffee! Thank you for the birds that I hear outside, they really brighten my day. Thank you for Sweet P and her laugh. Thank you for healing her, she’s my light and joy. You are the mighty creator of it all, and I praise you!”

Now to be honest, it feels funny at first when you’re praising God on paper. But think about all the songs we sing that give Him praise. “Bless the Lord oh my soul, worship His holy name” “Our God is an awesome God” “How great is our God”. We sing praises all the time so writing them is really no different. If you can’t think of the words to say, then write out a song!

4. Write your prayers. After being thankful, I’ll write my prayers over to God. Notice I used the word OVER. When we pray, we are literally handing them over for Him to handle. They are His. It’s no longer my burden to carry. Think of it like an email. Once you hit that send button, you ain’t getting it back. Did you know”Amen” means “so be it”?  I love that! Once we finish our prayers, we are literally saying “let it be”!

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5. Be specific. This one took me a while to realize! God wants us to be specific when we pray. I used to be too broad with my prayers. Saying things like “Please be with Casey today”. Ummmmmm, hello… It’s Jesus. He’s already with Casey. Duh. So I try to be specific about WHY I want Him to be with Casey. “Please protect Casey as he drives to work. Guard his heart, give him a clear mind”. Let Him know the specifics, Jesus loves details!

No matter what, we don’t have to be fancy. If you don’t have time to write and you’re praying as you clean the house, He hears you. When you’re driving in your car (don’t close your eyes y’all) He hears you. He’s always listening and waiting on you to reach out.

These are just a few suggestions on how to get started in prayer journaling. If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you!  Have a great day friends!

One of my favorite memories growing up was taking a family vacation every year. It’s something we want to continue to do as a family with Sweet P.  I’m so thankful that my parents and my in-laws get a long so well – they made this trip so much more interesting fun! 🙂

This year we went to Gulf Shores. We chose it because we can drive there in a day, the beach is white sand with lots of shells, and the water is clear (I like to see my feet!). We found this condo on the beach and we highly recommend it! We would definitely stay there again.  The last day we were there we starting seeing a lot of jellyfish and hearing of people getting stung (including me, ouch!) but it didn’t stop us from swimming. I’m very grateful for this time together as a family…

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Below is my all time favorite photo of Sweet P with whom I now call “Flip and Flop”. My mom had her sandals stolen at the beach then Debra had her sandals stolen a few weeks later when we were at Splash Country. Not only that but when they were parasailing, the banana boat that took them to the bigger boat was going so fast that everyone riding flipped off. Ohhh, the memories. “Flip and Flop” just makes sense! 🙂 

Well, this post is kind of off subject! When we were packing for Sweet P’s surgery last year I was looking online for tips or tricks on things to pack and I couldn’t find a lot. Ladies from my church got together and bought things for me that I would’ve never thought of (thanks y’all!). This is something you never want to think about, but when the time comes it’s nice to know what’s helpful!

These are items that we were glad we had. This is for the parent, patient, or both!

  • Dry shampoo (I use baby powder)
  • Thick, comfy, warm socks
  • Zip-up hoodie
  • Favorite snacks
  • Comfy house shoes
  • Pillow
  • Blanket(s)! I’m always cold so these were a must
  • Hospital food gets old, so be sure to ask the nurses what restaurants deliver. We love Jimmy John’s and they would bring our food straight to our room door (freaky fast)!
  • Shower Towel. If you have room, pack one! The ones we got were very small
  • Toilet paper. Hospital TP is basically sandpaper, trust me on this
  • Quarters/dollars for vending machines
  • Favorite water bottle so you’ll drink more water
  • Lotion
  • Chapstick
  • Room spray. The smell of a hospital gets old quickly. I was so glad I had my Lavender spray with me!
  • Packing cubes. They are great because rooms and bathrooms are small. When Sweet P was asleep and I was able to shower, I could just pick up my cube and take it straight to the bathroom instead of rummaging through my clothes and being loud in her room.
  • Room decor. Sounds crazy I know, but you want to feel like home as much as you can in a hospital. Bring some framed pictures, or things to stick on the walls. Most rooms at Vanderbilt had signs on their doors with their names, verses, and more.
  • Books, magazines and DVD’s (most hospital tv’s have DVD players)
  • Favorite toys, games, etc…bubbles were a big hit!

Hopefully you never need this post, but if you do then I hope it helps!

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One year ago today we became a family.

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It just seems like yesterday that I was dreaming about adopting from China, that I was longing to be a mama, and that the WAIT of everything was driving me crazy. Now here we are, and one year has already passed. I wanted time to pass so fast last year so we could get to her, and now I just want time to slow down!

I don’t have the words to accurately describe what I’m feeling! How do you describe a joy that you’ve never felt before, the joy that she brings us all? It’s everything I ever imagined and more.

Of course it’s not all rainbows and butterflies y’all! Adoption is hard. The wait was horrible, the trials we faced were scary, her open heart surgery was terrifying, but you know what? Everything was worth it! I would go through it all again in a second because it resulted in her. Her laugh. Her smile. Her personality. Her strength. Her love. It’s all worth it. She was meant to be ours and that is so evident!

My prayer is that you consider the orphan. There are so many other children out there just waiting to bring someone joy and love. They are waiting on you. Domestic or international, it doesn’t matter. Let this blog post be your sign. Listen to that tug on your heart, step out on faith, and just watch God do His thing.

This is the exact moment that she was placed in my arms…

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Here come the tears again! Just look at that face. She was so sick, so confused, and all decked out in red white and blue.

Now here we are one year later…

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She is happy, healthy, and full of joy. Gosh, I can’t believe the difference! Honestly we look back on videos in China and she has blossomed so much in just a year. It’s crazy what love from a family can do for a child.

Our 1 year anniversary family photos pretty much sum up the joy she brings. Thank you Brittany Conner for capturing our sweet girl… 

To everyone who helped us along the way; I can’t post this without saying thank you. Thank you for helping us bring her home. Thank you for praying, for donating, for volunteering, for cooking, for ordering, for giving, for taking pictures, for loving us through it all. We would not be here without our community. We thank you!

Future mama; don’t give up! Your time is coming and it will be here before you know it. It’s hard, the paperwork is never ending, but I’m here to tell you it’s worth it!

We thank God every day for leading us to our daughter. It’s so evident that He designed her just for us! I tell people it’s like she’s always been here. She was our missing piece. Our hearts are full.

Here’s to one year, and a lifetime to go!

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!” 1 John 3:1

  • July 6, 2016 - 2:46 pm

    Britt Mack - I can’t believe it’s been a year already! You all look so happy! What a sweet blessing!ReplyCancel

Happy first day of Summer! With this hot weather we’ve been having, it’s hard to believe today is just the first day. We are SO CLOSE to our one year anniversary of “family day”!!! I can’t wait to share that blog post with y’all!

We’ve done a lot already, but here’s a list of things we would like to do together this summer:

  • Celebrate Family Day!
  • Visit our local farmers market
  • Make this heart tie-dye shirt 
  • Run through the sprinkler
  • Dollar movies
  • Go to the beach
  • Spend more time with Nana since she’s off
  • Build a sandcastle
  • Splash Country
  • Dollywood
  • Go to Mimi’s pool as much as possible
  • Bake cookies for friends
  • Catch lightning bugs
  • Plant a tree on the farm
  • Water gun fight
  • Play with sparklers
  • Ride bicycles
  • Play in the rain

Here’s our biggest bucket list item: HAVE FUN! As a mom, it’s easy to overdo it trying to make every summer moment extraordinary. And while some moments should be amazing, I need to realize that she’ll love every moment as long as we are together and having fun. Just sitting on our land eating dinner makes her happy…

View More: http://caseyandkristin.pass.us/house-buildAnd of course eating watermelon is her favorite… _KLP9967Happy summer everyone!