In this season of my life I am living in Birmingham, Alabama. I married my best friend and graduated college all in August.. I am blessed with the opportunity to nanny and share the love of Jesus Christ with precious twins, Preston and Sawyer!
So I randomly found this adorable blog and immediately fell in love with this mom and her family (http://www.laurencasper.com/). Lauren has a beautiful heart. Go onto her blog and take a minute to read about her and her sweet family and how you can play a part in her and her husbands second adoption. Donate or allow her to design a precious blog setup up for you (L.C. Graphic Designs).
You can pre-order one of their adoption t-shirts here.
If you know me or have read by blog then you know I am passionate about children. More specifically I am passionate about the orphan. I have been heavy hearted about adoption becoming a trend instead of calling. It is a subject that I think many believers have thought about and I believe it is a subject every believer should be in prayer about.
Heidi Weimer (http://www.wehaveroom.blogspot.com/), mom of 10 children- 6 through adoption and 4 biological children- puts my prayers into perfect words. This is why I am thankful for good writers so when I can't express my feelings others can :)
"During the last couple of years of watching this virtual adoption community increase exponentially, I have noticed that the collective passion has transformed into a collective zeal for the sake of the orphan. The Church, slowly but surely even if still with a long way to go, is awakening to God’s heart for the most vulnerable. THIS IS A GREAT THING and particularly refreshing for those of us who tend to feel like the social justice oddballs in the Church. I believe that God must be incredibly pleased with this awakening. In fact, since it is HIS movement in HIS Church for the sake of HIS children, I am sure of it.
While observing and cheering on this movement for the orphan, however—and particularly during extended quieted seasons when the Lord has asked me to turn inward and sanctify myself for Him—God has been gently showing me that we can very subtly pervert this miraculous movement of God into a ministry that misses both the point (serving Jesus) and the target (the lost world). We can very easily veer from the precipitating Person of our passion until we are no longer following Jesus into the world, but instead building a ministry to others as a cloak for making a name for ourselves—even amidst all of our so-called self-sacrificing. It is a fine line, yes, but one that distinguishes between serving our Savior because of His righteousness and serving our self-righteousness in the name of our Savior.
She also goes on to say:
Would not the saddest irony be for believers in the orphan movement today to get “true religion” but become true religious Pharisees in the process? Church, let us be so cautious. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, not on ourselves or on others. Let us not pursue adoption or orphan care because it is the newest, trendiest stamp of righteousness in the Church. Let us not become advocates because so-and-so did and “has such a great story” and we want to be just like them. Or so that we can proudly wave our own banners and get some attention in the Kingdom. We serve but one Master, and “no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him” (John 13:16). As Jedd Medefind reminded us at Summit VII, we cannot truly reflect Jesus “if we aren’t hungry for Him and in love with HIM.” We will instead reflect our own selves and our own zeal from a dimly lit bulb, all the while foolishly screaming the self-righteous message “My light is brighter than yours.”
There is one Great Light of the world that we are to reflect. Church, it’s time to check our motives. What is fueling our passion for the orphan? Have we gotten off-target? Have we made an idol of adoption? Has our own passion become our precipitator? Have we begun to serve a cause instead of our Christ? Have we made “true religion” our own “little g” god? Don’t think that it’s not a possibility. Just ask the Pharisees. After all, they thought they “got it.”
Will you join me in praying that we, the church, would feel the calling to orphan care because we were once orphaned, hopeless, and adopted by our Abba Father instead of to receive the glory for ourselves?
A lot has changed since I last blogged--I was blessed to marry the man of my dreams. This month we came straight into making some pretty big decisions and it has been so comforting to know that I am serving alongside a man who seeks to honor God with all that is in Him. He honors me: spiritually, physically, verbally, financially and emotionally. Taylor has a beautiful heart and desires for men to rise up in the church. He realizes that this world is full of MALES who aren't MEN. David Gilmore describes being a man as both tough and tender. Taylor is just this. He is tough against false doctrine, and soft against lost hearts. He is tough enough to be able to handle what life throws at us, but soft enough to love on people. I am truly blessed with a man of God. To God be the GLORY.
Darrin Patrick, one of Taylors biggest role models is a pastor out of St. Louis. He is also the Vice President of Acts 29; a church planting network. Taylor was blessed to get to take a short trip to Chicago last week with 3 Godly men to attend the Acts 29 conference. Men like Darrin challenge Taylor to be more than just a man. To be a leader. Taylor is so blessed to be surrounded by men on staff with him that love him. I mean really love him. They pour into him, invest in him and challenge him to become a better man.
My best friend since the 6th grade got married yesterday. What a beautiful wedding it was. Not only were the decorations gorgeous and Haley stunning but it was beautiful in another way- It was the perfect representation of the covenant between Christ and his bride, the church. This is the way my dad described the wedding: "I attended a worship service disguised as a wedding. Daughter's two long time friends."
Wow. What a beautiful picture to see two people who have been dating for 7 years commit their relationship to the Lord wholeheartedly and now the Lord has blessed them with marriage.
This is an attempt at gathering my thoughts from Passion 2011. There was no better way for me to start the New Year than in sweet fellowship with my father. What an incredible blessing it was to watch 22,000 college students worship our all-knowing God and how precious it was to listen to how our God is stirring each heart towards huge things for His glory.
Lately I have had a really difficult time trying to discern what it looks like for me to live completely satisfied in the Lord. If I am honest with myself I am not to a point where I am completely satisfied in the Lord ALONE. I would ask myself what does this look like and how is this possible to live this way? Can anyone actually place ALL of their satisfaction in a SINGLE person?
I have been in constant prayer to the Lord to reveal my strongholds and the things of this world that are keeping me from this complete satisfaction. It is unbelievable to me how the Lord's timing is so perfect. This is a question I have been caught up in for weeks now. Going into Passion my prayer was that I would get to a point where the Lord was all I needed, that he was the ONLY ONE who satisfied all of my desires. That there would be an awakening in my heart that I would come to realize what it was keeping me from placing my FULL satisfaction in Him.
The first night Louie Gigglio spoke from Philipians 1. He spoke on making our lives count for what matters most. He asked us to pray this prayer, "Lord, would you eliminate all of the desires of our hearts that do not matter for your fame and your glory." He discussed the reasons why we should want to link our chains to Christ versus the other unimportant desires.
The next day Andy Stanley spoke on our Appetites. He described our appetites as something that will either rule me or I will rule it. He talked about how we can lose our influence because of our appetites and how our response to our appetites will determine the direction of our lives. Our appetites are something that are never fully and finally satisfied by no one or nothing. He challenged us to step back and ask ourselves, is it really worth trading my future for this appetite? Galatians 5 says that we are to walk by the spirit and not gratifying the desires of our flesh. If I am honest with myself often times I want what my flesh wants. Why? Because it appeals to my flesh. But like Paul says in Galatians 5:17, We cannot live submitted to the Spirit and at the same time gratifying the flesh, because these two "are opposed to each other".
Both of these sermons challenged us to resist temptation by eliminating desires/appetites that are not from the Lord. It is only by the Lord that we can do this. Because selfish Kelsie wants a lot. Selfish Kelsie wants the American Dream. Selfish Kelsie wants to buy out Ann Taylor Loft. And I really think all of this will satisfy me? Thank you Jesus that, "We were created for so much more than ourselves." (Matthew 10:39)
Hello to everyone on Kelsie's blog! This is Melanie, the oldest sister, posting a blog taken from my blog, The Swinson Adventures. Enjoy the beautiful pictures, most of which were taken by the third sister, Stefanie, and join me in congratulating Kelsie and Taylor on starting their new life together!
Taylor proposed to Kelsie. My little sister, Kelsie, is engaged to be married. Taylor asked Kelsie to be his wife. As many ways as I say it, it still sounds crazy! I am so excited for both of them, and I am thankful I was able to be in Alabama to celebrate with them.
Taylor proposed to Kelsie Friday night in Birmingham after the NeedtoBreathe concert at the Alabama Theatre. Once they finish their Knot site, I will post it so you can read the story from their point of view. After Kelsie said yes (of course!), they headed back to my parents' house to tell them, where, unknown to Kelsie, many family and friends were gathered to celebrate with them.
One of Kelsie's friends took a video for us with our flip camera.
The quality isn't the best, but Kelsie's reaction is priceless!
The pictures below are evidence of the celebration. It was great to have everyone there to share in the special, albeit overwhelming, night with them. Thanks, Mom and Dad, for hosting everyone!
Right when Kelsie and Taylor walked into my parents' house.
Can you tell my mom was excited?
The sign we had made for them! We had it in the entry way when they walked in.
Compliments of their friends and Taylor's mom.
The soon-to-be Borders!
Everyone likes the ring!
Kelsie has the sweetest friends!
Kelsie's best friends--Haley, Kelsie, Amy, and Shelly.
Three weddings this summer--Haley, then Shelly, then Kelsie!
The table set up sans bruschetta and L.A. Caviar.
Cute glasses--filled with Dr. Pepper and Coke Zero, of course--from my parents.
Taylor's "little" brother, Brett.
Rockin' the sisters picture.
The Dew Zoo girls and parents.
Are you sure, Taylor? Really sure?
Kelsie with her new in-laws, Leisa and Larry.
We had everyone sign a frame for Kelsie and Taylor.
Kelsie's friend, Haley.
The new MIL, Leisa.
And, in case you couldn't see it in the pictures--the ROCK.
Compliments of Stefanie Dewhurst Photography.
Kelsie and Taylor, we are so excited for the two of you!! This Thanksgiving, we are extra thankful for the two of you, the love you share, and the new life on which you are about to embark! Love you!