Music Video - Journey to My Promise (One Thousand Years by Christina Perri)

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
I hope every one of you had a wonderful holiday.
I want to share this music video Bethany, David, Kaden and I made yesterday.
The song is by Christina Perri.
I found it while watching Frozen clips on YouTube with Bethany:)
The song is amazing,
and is the exact story to how I found Bethany - part of my treasured promise.
I feel guilty because so often I celebrate Bethany and what a wonderful gift she is, while not acknowledging Kaden enough.
He is a treasure too!
So while this song is about Bethany, know that Kaden is my answered prayer too, and we love him to death.
With that,
Enjoy the video!
(and feel free to share!)

Bethany Update

Oh, Bethany...
My beautiful, beautiful sister...
How we all love you!
We are completely smitten around here with Bethany!
She is 2.5 years old, and such a darling!
I am happy to report that Bethany is potty trained!
Except for naptime and at night, Bethany is completely diaper free.
My mom could speak more to this, but I personally like the way Bethany was potty trained.
My mom waited until she was ready (and for summer - less clothes that way!),
and introduced the potty, explaining how it was used. 
 The next step was to simply take her diaper off and show her that she could use the "big girl potty."
Yes, there were accidents, but for the most part, Bethany did great!
After a couple months of this, she is always using the potty and can do it on her own, although we are always nearby to help if needed.
I am also very happy that Bethany is out of the "NO!" stage.
Again, it comes back occasionally, but at this point we rarely here her yelling it.
With Kaden at 1/2 day Montessori school, we no longer need a nanny during the morning.
Brandon, David and I take turns with Bethany in the mornings during school time.
This works for us.
During this time, we don't have to entertain Bethany, exactly, but it is our job to be available if she needs anything.
I usually work on school at my desk and set her up with Play Dough or something similar.  
She does amazing with playing quietly by herself. 
Sometimes it is mind blowing for me to see her laying on her stomach quietly coloring!
One thing that we are working on with Bethany is her eating.
Bethany LOVES  juice.
She could just drink, drink, drink all day.
But she gets full of juice and won't eat,
so we are working with her to help her with that.
When Bethany was younger, we were a bit concerned about her speech.
We shouldn't have been, though!
As soon as we had her speech evaluated, she took off orally, and has NO problem talking now!
One thing that I love is that I can really enjoy Bethany now.
When I was sick, I honestly couldn't at all.
My life was consumed by my eating disorder, and I remember crying because I finally had what I always wanted - a baby sister- and I couldn't enjoy her.
Thankfully, I'm making up for that now and honestly love the time I spend with my baby girl.
So, here's a little update on our Bethany.
If you haven't already picked it up I hope you can see that
we absolutely love her to death, and I cant imagine life without her.

Bethany Quote 8

"I like Brittany... some days."
Ehhh, I better work on that!
But I love Bethany everyday!

God at Work! Big News for Me

I have some exciting news to share!
The story behind it is amazing...
God has shown himself so very real, and it takes my breath away.
Several weeks ago,
I was sitting in our church youth group.
The main pastor of our church was preaching there for the first time in 5 years.
Out of the blue, as he preached, I heard God tell me,
"Go to Nicaragua."
I was confused.
Was this God?
or was this just me?
A bit of background...
I went on my first missions trip to the Dominican Republic in 2010, when I was almost 11.
The trip went well, and left and good impression in my mind.
After coming out of treatment, when I was 13-14, I went through an identity crisis.
I tried to figure out who I used to be, who I was then, and who I wanted to be.
I didn't know "what I wanted to be when I grew up," and it bothered me.
This was a very hard time in my life.
Those 1.5 years of anorexia left a scar on me and my family.
It was a time I will never forget, and I don't think I'd want to if I could.
That time, as horrible as it was, molded me and made me a better person.
It is teaching me reliance on God and how vital surrender to Him is in life.
I still have much work to do,
but healing is taking place in my life.

coming out of that time has shown me how important hope and joy is in life,
especially to those who are hopeless.
That, as well as many other things, points me to life as an overseas missionary.
That is the job for me, and I am more excited about it then anything.
The details are still coming together,
but unless God leads me otherwise,
I will go to a missions school after high school, and go on to do mission work.
Just clarifying, this isn't happening yet.
It is still a few years down the road, but it is my plan, and, I think, God's will.

Back to the story: 
I kept what I heard to myself for a few days, only asking my Mom if she knew much about the Nicaragua..
I found out that she's actually been there, and learned a bit about country.
Later that week I was looking at a random blog, and saw pictures of a trip taken to Nicaragua.
I then told my mom what had happened that Wednesday,
and we decided to keep it in mind and see if anything would come of it.
Several weeks past.
I felt called to a malnutrition site in Uganda, and talked my parents about letting me go this summer.
After discussing it, we came to the conclusion that it wasn't the right time for that.
That night, I went to the website of a youth pastor who visited me in treatment.
He takes groups on missions trips in the summer, and I was curious what he was up to.
I was astonished when I saw where they were going...
I excitedly shared the news, and received positive feedback from my family.
I emailed the group asking for more information.
You can imagine my amazement when, the reply told me that their music was going to my youth group that night.
Completely out of the blue, and it can only be God who orchestrated it.
My youth group very rarely has other groups come to speak at it, and his group hadn't been there in a couple years.

I thought about my youth group, and the trip they were taking this summer.
I had heard a rumor that they were going to Jamaica,
and wondered how they'd feel about me going with another youth group on a separate trip.
Of course it didn't really matter, but I felt awkward. 

This part of the story, a long with the rest of it, just spells out GOD.
Only God.
That night, my youth group announced that they were going with Maximum Missions, (the youth group going to Nicaragua) to Nicaragua!

and the news:
I am going to Nicaragua this summer!

I am utterly speechless, but more that that, overwhelmingly excited.
To be shown God's hand in such away leaves me breathless.
We serve and amazing God, don't we friends?

I know it has been a long post, but thank you for reading it to the end.
Please keep me and my church in your prayers.
God's hand is at work, and I am so excited to see how he will use us.
As the apostle Paul would say,
"Peace be with you!"