What do my book + MOPS International have to do with each other??

Years ago, when our kids were still small and I only had two blonde boys at home (ohhhh how things change!!), I heard of this thing called MOPS International. I first thought how weird the name was...and then thought the acronym didn't apply to me because I wasn't a Mother of a PreSchooler, I was the mother of two toddlers. (Helloooooo...they didn't need to be IN preschool, they needed to be pre-elementary school aged! I was totally their target mama!)

Even though I didn't really "get" what it was all about, a friend was starting a group at our church and she asked me to co-lead it. I really shouldn't have said yes and was the worst leader ever because it was right around the time we brought home Imani...and then Ezekiel, and I was so massively over-capacity that I could hardly function in life, let alone lead 40 other exhausted mamas.

But alas...God used being the co-coordinator at our MOPS group to get my feet wet and learn what this incredible non-profit was all about and teach me of its impact during my exhausted season with little ones underfoot.

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Fast forward several years of living in Denver and I became friends with a handful of women who worked in MOPS' corporate offices (who knew their home office is mere minutes from my own home?!). God is so fun to have introduced me to the organization when I, too, was trying to figure out this whole motherhood-thing. He brought me to these women who love-on and support mamas in the most beautiful way and then moved me closer so I could link arms with them! I love that He sees 10 steps further than I ever could.

One sweet friendship I've made is with Mandy Arioto, the CEO of MOPS International. She even wrote the foreword to my book. So humbled by that.

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(don't tell Mandy I posted this photo, it's horrible of both of us, she'll kill me hahahaha)

A few days ago, MOPS' blog featured my story and the heart of what Beautifully Interrupted is all about. 

Here's a snippit:

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Click the button below to read the rest of the article!

**If you're not involved with MOPS and you have babies on up, click here to learn more. They also have groups for teenaged moms, military mothers, as well as moms with school-aged children.**


By the way, have you preordered your copy of Beautifully Interrupted yet?

I keep getting screenshots from friends after Amazon has sent them updates on the delivery date...how crazy that some will arrive on doorsteps on April 30th when the release date isn't 'till May 15?!

Go order now and you might get it before it hits stores, too!!

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(PLUS... by preordering, you'll have access to freebies!! See what I'm talking about here)

Take Joy,

Teresa

can you believe God did this?

Sometimes I get frustrated. I get wrapped up in my own little world of chaos.

And then I stop on a photo like this...

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And this.

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And then I remember how crazy life is. How good and funny and creative God is.

I mean quite honestly, remember...I never wanted kids.

And now we're this??

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Anyone else out there find that humorous? Anyone? Anyone?

Bueller?

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But He has. And we're genuinely happy.

These smiles you see aren't for the camera, they're real-life, honest to goodness happy-go-lucky grins.

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Has it always been this way?

No.

Is it like this every second of every day?

Hah.

But the Lord is so gracious and so good and loving. He has brought us through hell and placed us gently on the other side. I mention it here and there, but because I want to be respectful of our children, I'm cautious on where those boundaries lie.

I promise you though, at times it's not pretty.

Like, at all.

Have you ever felt that? Felt as if a storm swirled around, whipping your hair violently as it blew your entire being, threatening to overtake you?

I've certainly felt the darkness drifting in as an elusive and volatile enemy.

Let me tell you, my friend...I've been there.

And you know what? I prayed a prayer years ago that God use me. REALLY use me.

And funny thing is...Ben prayed that same prayer.

So here we are, living a life out of the ordinary...overcoming struggles we never expected to face. Being fluent in desperate phrases such as, "God help me, I don't know how to do this!"

And He not only listens, He answers.

You, Lord, are my lamp;the Lord turns my darkness into light.30 With your help I can advance against a troop;with my God I can scale a wall.

As for God, his way is perfect:The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him

2 Samuel 22:29-31

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I am amazed at all Christ has taught me through our struggles, through the darkness and the storms. Things I wouldn't have been able to learn any other way.

We must let Him teach us rather than allowing trials to consume.

We are not our trials.

We are not our sins and temptations and struggles.

We are children of God. Period.

Embrace the promises He's given. Cling to hope. Pray for joy.

Remember, He listens. And answers. He may allow less than perfect circumstances to surround you for a time...but He will also see you through.

Let Him.

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In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.

These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1:6-10a

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God must be laughing

Did you ever know I never wanted kids? Well ok, I thought I never wanted them.

It wasn't the path I thought my life would lead. I wanted to work internationally, perhaps get my masters & phd in art history {as I had studied in undergrad} and become a curator or work at a gallery.

But no. God had other plans for me.

He built me a family.

if you want to make God laugh

As we let out of church a few days ago {on Easter Sunday}, Ben saw an email from the Director of our adoption agency. Knowing she's in Ethiopia right now, we figured it was new photos of Aberhem.

Instead however, the beautiful eyes of a tiny baby girl peered back at us.

Ummmm....whaaaaaat?!

Who is THIS?!

This is our new daughter.

As we sat there in our car, the current 4 excitedly talking about brunch and egg hunts, Ben and I had tears streaming down our faces as we scrolled through each photo. She's breathtaking, her eyes and lips absolute perfection. She is so young, she has barely uncurled from being in the womb.

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I had prayed & prayed for the Lord to show us if we were to have another baby biologically or through adoption {remember this post?}.

We'd placed ourselves on the Waiting List for a baby girl so long ago that to be quite honest, I didn't even think about it anymore. We have gone back and forth on the idea of me getting pregnant again, but my pregnancies were SO awful. Amongst other places, Ben would find me passed out {from throwing up so much} in the hallway, just to get up for a glass of water. The idea of becoming pregnant was appealing. The reality of it though...with four children...I don't know how I would do it. Nevertheless, it still weighed heavily on my heart.

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God made the decision for me.

Want to know something funny though?

Just last week I decided maybe we were good. We have kids ages 2, 4, 5 & 7...with a 13 year old on the way. We're almost done with diapers, we all sleep through the night. We have a routine. It's busy, but it's pretty easy actually. We're in a good place. I {even if it were for a moment}, thought perhaps we were fine without the baby my heart has been yearning for.

Maybe that's when God decided I was ready.

...once again, He must have laughed.

Ben and I now spontaneously burst into quick {hysterical?} laughter. Tears often prick my eyes at random times.

We will have SIX CHILDREN. SIX.

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The girl who "didn't want kids" is now often referred to as Mother Teresa {oh if I could only be half as amazing as she}. God, you have such an incredible sense of humor. Such trust of Ben and I. Truly, I'm not sure why. I feel like I fail too many times throughout the day. Miss opportunities to help the kids learn. Am too short or selfish with my time.

But I love them...oh Lord, how I love them. My family have tight hold of my heart and none of us have any desire of that letting go.

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I'm learning to have an open & willing heart and who knows what our future holds. Our lives are a million times more joyful, more fulfilling, more fun, {more everything!} than anything I could ever have planned by myself.

We're not lucky...we're blessed. And blessed far more than we deserve.

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|| I can't wait to show you photos of our newest 2...we'll be able to in a few months after we travel to Ethiopia for our court appointment ||

from E

{note from Ezekiel to Ben & I}

Are you being called to be part of our story?

Because both Aberhem and Milki have come into our family without planning by us, we are having to fundraise this time.

Do you feel led to help?

. . . . . . . . .

 We GREATLY appreciate any amount you feel led to give. Truly, in ANY amount. If it's giving up your morning Starbucks, that's amazing. If it's the amount of a few lunches out, we're so grateful. If you feel like the Lord is calling you to really stretch yourself {as He is us!!}, please remember you are changing the lives of two children forever.

Anything. Truly, anything. Is such a generous & humbling gift.

From the bottom of our hearts...thank you.

 {click here to make a secure & tax deductible donation}

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