Holy

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A few days ago the kids and I were headed to my parent’s house to spend a few nights. I had the radio loud so we could all jam out and I came across a song I’d never heard before and my eyes instantly swelled with tears. All I could remember was

Bride and Groom. Wedding day. Oh death where is your sting. I hurriedly texted Jon with the few lyrics I could remember as soon as I hit the driveway to their house. The next week I kept flipping stations to see if I could find it again. Finally, on Monday I googled the few lyrics I remembered and I found it! I texted Jon The name of the group, the song, and how much I loved this song in hopes that he’d listen to it and love it just as much as I do :)

I hopped in the car last night for an emergency run to Walmart and as the radio turned on I heard a familiar song…

This is the story of the Son of God
Hanging on the cross for me
But it ends with a bride and groom
And a wedding by a glassy sea
O death where is your sting
Cause I’ll be there singing
Holy Holy Holy
Is the Lord

That sweet man that’s been by my side the last 5.5 years bought this cd, popped it into my cd player, and made sure it would start as soon as the car started  Seriously, I was overwhelmed by his thoughtfulness and these song lyrics and all that they have come to mean to me. In a time in my life where everything seems so out of whack this song has meant so much to me. Please listen to the song…so beautiful!! Click here> http://youtu.be/hyMRglSxF0E I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed.

Dad started his radiation last Friday for the lesions in his brain and he’s tolerating it very well! He has lost some sensation of taste which is frustrating, but we were there to see him really taste Spaghetti and meatballs and a hearty burger from steak and shake…yay! Right now he’s battling some type of cold so please be praying he gets over it quickly! Anyhow, when I first heard this song it instantly brought me to tears…why? Because for the past several years I’d been praying for my Dad to know Christ fully and even though it took cancer to bring him to this point I’m able to rejoice knowing Dad knows Christ. It’s been such a sweet blessing to hear Dad and his excitement to help out at trunk or treat and all the other activities his church is involved in. He’s a brand new man with a whole new plan. He’s a part of the body of Christ and it is just a beautiful thing! The lyrics of this song show us how Christ died for us, and how the church is His bride. And even though there is pain and sorrow, life will end in triumph! Oh, death where is your sting….it gets me Every. Single. Time! Because really, at the end of this life, what we have ahead of us is SO gloriously beautiful. And at the end of our lives both Dad and I will be singing “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord.”

This is the story of a bride in white
Waiting on her wedding day
Anticipation welling up inside
While the groom is crowned as king
O death where is your sting
Cause we’ll be there singing
Holy Holy Holy is the Lord

I can remember so vividly my wedding day, the nervous excitement, clammy hands, butterflies going crazy in my stomach…and it’s the same feeling I feel when I think about the day our little boy will be placed in our arms. To know Christ has brought us to this moment, to this boy, and these circumstances. I find myself asking Him “why” all the time, but I find comfort in knowing He’s had this planned all along (Is 55:8-9). So we wait with great anticipation that one day he will be placed in our arms and it will be beautiful and full of praise to our King.
Holy, Holy, Is the Lord Almighty. Who was and is and is to come

I’m so thankful that Christ has invited me in to be a part of His family. These days that seem so hard, are made easier when I come to my King and lay it all at His feet. And in the midst of so many uncertainties, I can cling to the One who holds the end of the story.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted; He saves those crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18

Aside

This past Sunday Jon and I were asked to share our adoption story for Orphan Sunday. Jon waited a few days before he asked my opinion on the matter. My first thoughts were, “totally! Let’s do this!” As the week went on I struggled with the news that my Dad’s MRI came back showing 7 spots in his frontal lobe. My mind couldn’t grasp this news…and my heart is still trying to process what this all means. On Friday I began praying for God to help me with the words we would speak on Sunday. I prayed That my heart would be pure and my words would make sense! Jon and I practiced what we would say several times Saturday night and a few times on the way to the Church Sunday morning. Our kids were in tow and wily of course :) A sweet couple in the church offered to sit with our kids while we spoke to the congregation. As we went to hand our kids over Naomi went without a peep and Aiden shook his head “no” violently and remained seated on the pew directly behind the couple.

Butterflies began happily dancing in my gut as a microphone was handed into my clammy palm. From that moment on God did something beautiful! Jon began answering the question to why we are adopting. He quoted his favorite man, Platt,

\First and foremost we felt that God was calling us to adopt a child. The idea came from our greatest role model- God. When you read Ephesians 1:3-10 and Galatians 4:1-7 you get this beautiful picture about our spiritual adoption from slaves to children of God. It had to do with God’s love for us. His initiative. Nothing we can do alone could ever be enough. It had to come from God, to us and for us. Feel this right now…before the sun was ever formed, before a star was ever put in the sky, before mountains were put on the land and oceans poured out between them, God almighty on high set his sights on our soul.

Adoption begins with a parents initiative…not with a child’s invitation.   Before C* was even born, before he was abandoned at the hospital by his mother in K* he had a mom and dad that were planning to adopt him.  And while he was alone in an orphanage, with no one to hold him, wipe his tears, kiss him, love him, maybe even some days feed him, he had a mom and dad working to bring him home. One day when he is placed in our arms he will have no idea all the work involved in bringing him home.   He became our son, not because he pursued us, but because we pursued him, before he was even born. 

 

I choked back tears as Jon poured his heart out into what he said.It’s so beautiful the way God placed conversations, small group video sessions, and discussions into our lives before we had even decided to adopt. It’s like God gave us a foreshadow of what was to come.
He wrecked our hearts for the orphans, the family’s who aren’t able to provide adequately for their children, the momma’s who can’t keep her baby because she’s not physically well.Just a year ago we were praying for C* not even knowing he was growing in his momma’s belly, but God knew this all along.We first heard about our special little boy in April, and a few weeks later we had a photo to swoon over.It’s hard to imagine that out of so much brokenness comes so much beauty. I can’t imagine the way we will feel when he is placed in our arms and he is ours and we are his-forever.
The church we spoke to collected a love offering for us :) I was able to chat with a fellow adoptive momma about her journey with 3 boys..it’s so nice to see a family on the other side of the process! The love offering was such a blessing as the waiting continues we encounter more fees from C* being in his foster home. We’re not sure how long this process will go on…but we’re praying for quick action from the government! While we wait we have been busy brainstorming ways to pay for the rest of the adoption (travel,foster fees). Jon and I have an Amazon associates link if you click here and shop through this link we’ll get a percentage of your purchase :) Amazon Riegler Adoption

A few things when using our amazon code:
1. Your cart must by empty.
That includes previously saved items! Your cart MUST BE EMPTY.
2. Click on our link.
3. Add items to your cart.
4. Check out as usual.
You have shopper privacy… we will not know who purchased which items. Feel free to bookmark our link and use it as many times as you’d like. And thanks for your support

If you are a lover of coffee this is for you https://justlovecoffee.com/rieglerfamilyadoption
If you’re looking for a special gift for an adoptive parent check out our etsy site https://www.etsy.com/shop/SnuggleBugBby

Thank you for loving and supporting our family!

Orphan Sunday

Aside

Clearly I stink at keeping up a blog! :) Only a few  things have happened this past year ;) In May we accepted the referral of “C” who is now in a foster home and 6 months old! I may be a bit biased but he hosts the cutest baby fro I’ve ever laid eyes on…and those eyes! They make a little swoony every time I flip through the photos. We have passed court and our i600 was approved this past week. We’re (im)patiently waiting for the US investigation which has been taking anywhere from 3-6 months to be completed. That being said, Congo has stopped issuing exit permits and we have no way of knowing when they or if they will start issuing them again. Please be praying for all the families who are stuck in country right now waiting to see if they’ll be able to leave the country with their kiddos or not. Such a heartbreaking situation and I can’t imagine being so close and having to leave a child behind for who knows how long. 

We knew the Congo was unstable as over the past year things have changed, been rearranged, or temporarily haulted. We don’t know what this means for our family or for our little “C”. But we know God has already seen the ending He knows what’s up ahead. We’ll wait with an aching in our heart and praying for the day this little boy no longer goes to bed without kissies from Naenae and a forehead bump from his big brother!

As some of you may know, my Dad has recently been diagnosed with stage iv melanoma. Two years ago he noticed a mole on the top of his head that had turned painful. He had it removed, biopsied, and returned to the dermatologist on a strict regimen. A few months ago he had a persistent cough and noticeable drop in energy. He went to the Dr. where they did a lung x-ray and noticed nodules on his lung. He then had a biopsy done and a pet scan which showed a mass in his lung, in his lower abdomen, and several nodules in each lung. It has taken several weeks to finally get the definite diagnosis of melanoma. 

My dad has 2 treatment options and he’s opting to do the most vigorous option first. He will go in tomorrow for a brain mri to check for any brain mets, if any are present he will not be eligible at this time to move forward with the IL-2 treatment. IF everything is clear tomorrow he will then go in Friday for a stress test and a pulmonary function test to make sure he will be able to handle this treatment. PLEASE join us in praying for a clear mri, and an awesome stress and pulmonary function test! I am pleading for you to join us in prayer :) Updates to come!

Redemption is beautiful!

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You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior


  
 
 

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This time last week we were looking forward to a phone call from our #1 agency letting us know if they could allow us into their pilot progrom or not. We got the call Monday evening and were told they were unable to allow us into the program at this time due to the time it’s taking to get referrals. I ‘m relieved to know they aren’t allowing everyone into the program only to have a ridiculously long wait for a referral, but I was hoping we would be accepted in just to feel like we’re making progress. We’re still hoping to go with this agency but they are still in the pilot stage which can be a long, unnerving road. I feel confident that they’ll get the kinks figured out and be up and running at some point, but until then we feel we’ve found the right “fit” and we’re just waiting for them to open back up Please be praying they make the right contacts in the DRC so the program runs smoothly for the first families traveling to pick up their kiddos soon!!

After our news we decided to interviewed two other agencies, and though they seemed wonderful, amazing, and came with some pretty rave reviews, we’re still feeling like the other agency is the right one for us. I keep reminding myself that time isn’t our enemy at this point…we still have a lot of money to save and raise. Please be praying for wisdom as we seek ways to fund our adoption. We’re looking into a few fundraisers and I just completed our storefront at Just love coffee. Check it out! I’ve heard great things about their coffee, and if you love coffee why not go ahead and be our first customer ;) Part of your purchase will go straight to our adoption fund, and it gets delivered right to your door…no crowds to fight at Walmart! As we were filling out some of the information they were asking about our family and the reasons we’re seeking certain fundraisers we stated …After 4 years of marriage and two sweet blessings we feel God is leading our family to adopt from the DRC. Every purchase made will bring us one step closer to becoming a family of 5.!…Jon looked at me and said wow, a family of 5! Now I’m thinking, wow, a family of 5! I love how God is shaping our family into this 5 we will one day become. I love it! I love how God is already preparing our hearts and minds for what He is about to do. What a sweet, sweet Savior we serve!
We’ve begun talking to Aiden about one day having another brother or sister. When we ask if he’d like to have a brother or sister he will generally say a sister. But when I ask if he’d rather have another Nae-nae (that’s what we call Naomi) or an Ethan he always says Ethan. We’re not going to request a certain gender when the time comes, but we have heard that a large majority of families request girls so Aiden may be getting bunk beds to share with little brother after all! Jon and I had bunk beds as well as Sam on our trip to Glen Arbor…ever since Aiden has been requesting bunk beds :)

Ruined

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These past few months we’ve been blessed, encouraged , and challenged by our small group. We’re currently doing the Weird series by Craig Groeschel who is the pastor of Life Church. This past week our segment was over being Blessed with a Burden. And wow…God is working in our lives yet again showing us we’re right where He wants us. Thank you, God how you are working through our lives..I love how you reassure this heart of mine. In his message he asks 3 questions:
What is it that breaks your heart?

What is it that makes you angry? – Righteous kind of anger?
What do you care about that other people don’t care about?
The challenge:
Let your burden ruin you-let it mess you up! You can’t ignore it, you have to embrace it. Read about it and study about it. Be prepared to be awake at 2am praying about it.
Take action

They really have challenged me personally and I encourage you to watch this message… http://www.lifechurch.tv/watch/blessed/2
I don’t know why God has placed this burden on our hearts to the point of ruining us, but I’m so thankful He has entrusted us to do something about the orphan crisis. We’re not perfect people- believe me we are humans. I feel like God could have chosen a couple more equipped- a couple who has it all together. But He has chosen us and I am so glad He has. We know this journey is going to be long, hard, heart wrenching, and scary, but as we pass each milestone or we fall back down the cliff we’re going to be giving all the praise to God. We know He is faithful, and wherever this adoption journey takes us we’re along for this glorious ride He’s taking us on.
Why are we adopting internationally and not domestically? Well, when God places something so deeply on your heart you don’t have much of a choice  I don’t want to step on any toes when saying this, but we feel like the need in the DRC is so much greater than here in the US. We know there are so many sweet, orphaned children here in the US that deserves a mommy and daddy but there is a system that-to the best of their ability- they are placed with foster parents given food, clothing, and shelter. When a child is orphaned in the DRC there is no system that protects them. If they’re lucky enough to go to an orphanage they will normally receive one good meal a day and be given whatever scraps are left to wear. They may or may not receive an education. I stumbled upon a statistic yesterday that stated that 515 out of every 1000 children under the age of 5 will die because of lack of basic nutrition. It breaks my heart knowing that my little Aiden or Naomi could be one of these children that are so deserving of all the love and care in the world and so, so special. It doesn’t matter what it takes to save just one of these sweet little orphans we’ll do what it takes. Wouldn’t you do anything to save one of your own children?

We’re currently working on getting our Yard sale ready for this weekend Saturday 18th ;) if you want to show up and buy all of our stuff. We have tons of baby cloths, baby items- baby swing, bouncer seat, moby wrap, sling, toys. Dvds,rockband 2, singstar for ps3. Exercise bike, scrubs, clothes, all the stuff we no longer need. The money we raise from our sale is going straight to our adoption fund. Every single penny we can save is going straight to our fund  Feel free to stop by!
Praying God “ruins” you in the best sort of way!

Our hearts

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Our little Naomi isn’t so little anymore. In fact, at 23lbs she’s quickly outgrown her 9 and 12 month outfits! What a blessing it is to say that we have a little chunky monkey in our family. She’s now just over 10months old and learning new things every day! Our little girl loves when we listen to Klove in the morning her little legs start swinging and her hands start clapping which just makes my heart so happy. She’s crawling like a pro now and she knows how to make us laugh and make Aiden squeal . Our hearts are overflowing with love for our little girl.

Aiden is growing oh-too- quickly. He’s now 2.5! He loves his train table and anything that involves trains and trucks. He can count to ten and match up his numbers. He is perfecting his alphabet and can recognize some letters. We’re working on colors right now and it’s been quite a challenge, but every day we find a way to go over colors even if it’s with his trains. This boy knows exactly what to say and do to crack us up :) He’s just like Daddy and his silliness; I hope he can always be the sweet, silly boy he is today. Our hearts are so full of love for our silly boy

Summer is winding down and Jon will soon be heading back to school. We’ve had a perfect summer with trips to the zoo, children’s museum, walks, bike rides, and a trip to Glen Arbor. This summer has brought us closer together as a family and for Jon and I it has really brought us closer to where God wants us to be. Before we were married Jon and I always discussed that if we were unable to have children of our own we would love to adopt. This summer we’ve prayed for direction on how God would like us to possibly grow our family and we both feel God calling us to grow our family through adoption. These past several weeks we’ve read countless blogs and researched a number of international adoption agencies. We’re feeling an overwhelming burden for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here are some shocking facts we’ve found.  Please check out http://nothinglefttopaint.com/ They recently brought their little one home from Congo.

There are 5 MILLION orphans living in the Congo alone.  (The population of the entire state of Indiana is 6.5 million.)

Only 46% of the population has access to clean water.

The life expectancy is 51 years. 20% of children do not live past the age of 5.

48% of children in the Congo have no access to school or an education.

Average annual income of a Congolese citizen is 120 US Dollars.

War and conflict have led to the death of 5.4 MILLION people since 1998. It is the deadliest war since World War II.

Congo has been named as the worst place on earth to be a woman.

To know that our little boy or girl will be born in such a hostile environment makes my heart ache in such a way that it hurts my entire body. No Mommy to wipe away the tears and no Daddy to protect this small child from all the hurt and disappointments. One day, sweet child, we will be there to whisk you away, and believe me I will wipe away every tear you cry and Daddy will hold and protect you. Though we don’t know you, we love you more than you could ever imagine and we’re praying for your heart and eyes to be protected for however long we’ll be apart.

Saying goodbye to my sweets, coke zero, Moe’s isn’t so hard when you know your child needs a home. We’re pinching pennies and tossing every spare penny we have into our adoption fund. This may be a long, hard journey, but every step we take brings us closer to you.

Please be praying for us in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. We need to save an astronomical amount of money, but we’re giving it over to God. He’s placed this desire on our hearts and we know He will provide. Please also pray for us as we decide when to start this process and who to start this process with. A few agencies I have contacted have quite a waitlist…pray for our hearts as I know I get so anxious about things. Most of all please pray for our little one wherever he or she may be. Thank you, thank you!

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was made in the secret place.  When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body.  All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16

Aside

As a mother, my heart is breaking for my tiny little 5 month old daughter. At a whopping 9.9lbs I’m praising God for no weight loss, but discouraged in the fact that she gained no weight this week. When I hold my little treasure in my arms i’m reminded that

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I’m caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won’t turn back
I know You are near

And when the Dr’s tell me they’ll give her another week to gain weight by changing her caloric intake…

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm
Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me
 
I know the God I serve holds her tiny body in her hands and I’m so thankful that He loves and cares for her far more than I ever can. Knowing that he treasures her little life and has big plans for her helps get through these days that yield little to no good news. So thankful today for all these people praying for our wee little treasure and so thankful to Mom for sharing Psalm 46:10 with me
 
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”

As a mother, my…