Friday, September 30, 2011

But if He does not....

The past few months have been a whirlwind of activity around the Turner house. New kids learning more and more English....hearing the words, "probably" and "actually" come out of their mouths is music to my ears. A five year old who hasn't pitched a fit in several weeks AND walked away from the table after only one serving for the first time...can I get a HALLELUJAH!!!! This is huge considering he eats like a grown man training for the World's Strongest Man competition. My precious mother-in-law's passing into eternity....which leads to 7 people grieving 7 different ways...... School with 5 kids ranging from pre-calculus and world geography to Colors, Numbers and Rhyming Words. Ah, it's our life, and I cherish it! It's crazy...but it's ours...well, not really....

That's just's NOT our's His...and for His glory alone! Which brings me to the reason I am writing... this world is truly not our home. So, let's keep our minds set on eternity and His glory. Let's pray without ceasing..interceding for others constantly. God has prompted me so many times lately to pray for people that I barely know and others that I know well. But, how do we pray?

I find myself praying a lot....which means I don't hear much of what's going on around me at times. Truly, I'm not ignoring my children or you when you are talking, but if I don't stop and pray immediately, I'll forget! My is not working properly in the memory I have to obey immediately.

We pray for His glory to be known among the nations. We pray for God to heal...whether on this earth or in eternity. We pray for His glory to be shown in and through situations. We pray for Him to speed up adoption processes or to slow them down for His name's sake. We pray for His will to be done...whether it fits our plan or not. We pray that God will act in such a way that He and He alone gets all the glory. We pray not to manipulate or plan or control...we pray that He controls because He is Sovereign. We pray that He will give us the strength to glorify and praise in the midst of pain and anguish.

My favorite chapter in the Bible is Daniel 3. You know the story. Three guys....three disobedient men...refusing to an earthly king. The king commands them to bow..and they refuse again. Then, they speak with words only God could orchestrate. "King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand." I LOVE the confidence they have in God alone. They boast in His great power and majesty. They proclaim His goodness and strength!

But, here's the BEST part! They KNOW what God can do, but they do NOT know what He WILL do. So they say, "But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” YES!!!! YES!!!! YES!!! IF HE DOES NOT, we will praise Him! We will praise in the waiting, in the pain, in the grief, in the longing, in the valley, in the storm. We will praise our God despite the situations and circumstances around us. We will praise our God!

Today, let us praise God for provision, for family, for friends, for all the "good" things...but let us purposefully choose to praise Him for the things that we don't like, don't understand and don't want....because we KNOW that it is for His great glory....

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

God's Sovereign Plan

Revelation 21:4 reminds us that "he will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." We rejoice in knowing that my sweet mother-in-law, Gena Turner, left her earthly body last week to be with the Lord. Just yesterday, Zeke said, "Where is Meemaw's body?" Before I could answer AGAIN (this had to be the 20th time he asked), he said, "Never mind. She no need her body. She has a new body and a new name!" Hallelujah!

We rest in knowing that God's Sovereign plan included her life of 71 years and her death last Wednesday morning. Job 12:10 tells us that "In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." He is Sovereign in life, and He is Sovereign in death. God Almighty is in charge of them both.

Every person who knew Mom/Gena/Meemaw knew that she had the spiritual gift of bragging...on her grandchildren. She loved them dearly and was always telling someone about one of them. Some people even said, "Oh, she will miss them so much" or "I'm sure she wishes she could hug them one more time." NO, she doesn't! She doesn't miss ANY of us. She is in heaven doing what she was created to do, and she does NOT miss life here! She has stepped into eternity, and she has no desire to do anything other than what she is doing! Praise His Holy name!

We give all honor and praise and glory to God for her life and what she has meant to all of us. It is too early to adequately put it all into words, but she will be missed dearly. Thank you to all of our friends and family who have supported and loved us along the way. We love you!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Count the Kids....

When you go from 3 kids (who can all take a shower by themselves and feed themselves and don't require me to wipe them) to 5 kids....well, it's a stretch. Most days. There are times when I can't remember if I ate or where I am or what I am supposed to be doing. I rarely have a moment to myself...and that's okay.

Here's the kicker...I'm petrified that I'm going to leave somebody somewhere...and then not remember who I left or where I left them. So, I often here myself say, "Count the kids." Or "number off..." But, my life is full...abundantly. And, I wouldn't trade it for anything else.....

Friday, September 16, 2011

Turner...Party of Seven

(who h

It took eight months to get to this point, but Zeke and Elly are officially Turners. We went to a courtroom with our formidable attorney a few weeks ago...and it was a done deal.

The judge, who had been adopted himself, asked us a few questions, and then declared it legal. Ezekiel Duke Turner and Ellyson Faith Turner are going back now. Praise God for His faithfulness in orchestrating our family.

For the record, the picture of all of the people above if our family with our friends, the Fannings. They went with us to Uganda and we walked the adoption road together. We started and ended together. God's grace is all of this people...ALL over it. Praise His name!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coming Home.....

Coming home from the mission field is always a bittersweet time...a time of leaving friends and extended family in another country...yet missing my family at home. Another goodbye to the place that steals my heart and a hello to my sweet babies! It is a hard but rewarding time given by God to refresh my soul and remind me that He is in charge.

When I recently came home from Guatemala, God gave me a sweet reunion at the airport. These are a few pictures of the kids welcoming me home. They still seem just as shocked that I (or JT) return from another country. I would like to say that this is unusual, but the fact is that they do this EVERY morning when they see us in the surprise that we are still here. God's grace....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Soccer Time

Jett has been a Turner for almost 4 years now....and well, he has added a lot of energy and spice to our family. With 2 girls for a long time, we knew a life of sitting still to do homework, reading books in an upright position, and hanging clothes up neatly in the closet. Not so with's more like a 3 ring circus all the time.

I can't keep up with Jett. He is literally ALWAYS moving. It is nothing to send him upstairs to do something and he comes back within 3 seconds having already done it. He is fast...and faster. He never sits still unless he's asleep. We have spelling time on the mini-trampoline and reading is consistently done upside down on the couch or spinning in the floor. He is a ball of energy.

So, we decided to use that energy in a way that would benefit Jett the We were blessed to get on a team at Briarwood with several of our friends from church. Jett is VERY excited about that...the girls on the team - not so much. But, he is loving being a part of a team. And, we are excited to see how God uses Jett's soccer abilities for His glory!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Why not Poppa?

It was a typical Monday although we had friends from Atlanta visiting. So, One Way Academy was still going to proceed as usual despite the storms from the night before (many of our friends were without power and had no school). It was still raining which caused a deep desire to sleep the morning away. However, with 7 kids in the house, that was not to be.

So, we started school, and the "littles" (Zeke, Elly and their friend Nondu) were eager to finish and play. For about an hour they played inside....then, I could hear them from the schoolroom begging their Poppas to let them play outside. This went on for a while...just pure begging.... Then, their Poppas had a revelation....why not? They had played outside when they were all in Africa...surely, they played in the rain. So, as Poppas do, they let them go outside and play in the rain.

The kids had a great time, and all we had to do was wash a few clothes. Seriously, that's it. Why do I seek to avoid the additional work instead of allowing them the freedom to dance in the rain? Oh, for the love of children!

We did get a little insight from Zeke after playing in the rain. He told us about a time that he got locked in his house all day in Uganda. It made me very sad for him, but it was a new story that we had not heard. We reassured him of our love for him and that we are here to love him forever. We are grateful that he felt safe enough to share a little.....

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Grafted In...

A month or so ago, I was contacted by someone at We Are Grafted In about a blog post I had written. She read one of my posts and wanted to republish it.

Let me preface all this to say.... I do not have a creative bone in my body (the thought of getting out scissors, tape, glue and especially glitter make my head spin), and I have NOTHING to offer...NOTHING! The Bible reminds us that EVERY good gift comes from the Father and that all of our boasting should be in the cross of Christ alone. So, if anything He has given me to write is a help or encouragement to someone else, may ALL the praise go to Him alone.

If you'd like to read it again, here is the link: