Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Your Mind and Your Brain

I love Joyce. After I posted my last post the other day, I've been watching these videos over the last couple of days. So very interesting. If you find yourself in a place where you do not want to be, if you find yourself wishing that your life was different, take the time to watch these. Then really get on your face before God and ask Him to help you to apply these principles. And drastically change your life.

Your Mind is the Battlefield - Part 1

Your Mind is the Battlefield - Part 2

The lady that Joyce is talking to here is so very interesting. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak in person at a conference I went to while in the states. You have to really listen closely when she speaks because she is just so very passionate about what she's talking about. It's nearly impossible to take notes when in her sessions. Hahaha. She speaks in one big run-on sentence and doesn't take a breath. But, UH-MAZING what she has to say. God is simply incredible...and so is the way He made our bodies. Love how science even shows that. her accent. ;)

Your Brain and You - Part 1

Your Brain and You - Part 2

What Picture Have You Painted?

Excerpt from a book I'm reading:

Most people have what they are not firmly embedded in their minds. There's a saying, "Argue for your limitations and they're yours." Very true.

If you say, "I'm not a morning person," "I don't like to exercise," "I'm not very disciplined," I just hate vegetables," "I'm lazy," "I'm a procrastinator," "I'm depressed," "I'm fat," "I'm old," or "I'm sick," then you're absolutely right!

However, if you say, "I'm a 'go-to-bed-on-time-and-get-up-ready-to-rock-and-roll-at-6:00-a.m.' kind of person," "I love the feeling I get from completing a workout," "I am disciplined and motivated," "I am healthy," and "I am orderly and a hard worker," then you're absolutely right!

What you need is to exchange your old, lousy, self-loathing, limiting beliefs for ones that actually are moving you toward the person you dream to be, the person you were created to be, and the person you really are.

What Joyce Meyer said long ago is true. The battlefield is the mind.

I love to hear my kids reminding each other of the right things to do and choices to make. I'll hear them in the other room saying things like, "Remember, use self-control," "Uh-oh, remember, don't fuss," "Remember, put others first," or "Remember, Mama said words are powerful." Words are powerful.

But, the other day it came time to take it a step further. Hadley started to say something and then stopped herself. I asked her what she was going to say and she told me. Then I said, "Yeah, that's not nice, huh?" She smiled and said, "Yes, that's why I didn't say it." :) Loved that. It's working. The endless training is working. :)

But, it opened the door to a discussion about how the next step to that is to not even have those wrong thoughts. Or, to take those thoughts captive. If you practice that enough, taking those thoughts captive, you get quicker and quicker at not entertaining those thoughts. Every time you have a wrong thought, you immediately take it captive. The more you do it, the quicker you get. And the more you practice that, you start to not have those thoughts at all. It's called renewing your mind. It's a lovely thing.

Your actions spring forth from the way you see yourself and think. Your life and who you are is a direct reflection of your thoughts...of your mind.

So, what picture have you painted of yourself that you repaint every day? Do you paint positive things about yourself? If not, what are you going to do to change that this year?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hope You Had...


Ours was soooo great. It's been 3 years since we had been home on Christmas, so it was really great to just stay put and relax and enjoy each other. It's great setting up your own traditions with your own family. Lots and lots of fun.

Things have been pretty busy around in most places I'm guessing. I mean, you've been pretty busy too, right? ;) But, it's time for a major update and I am also needing to just document a few fun family facts from recent history. ;) So, bullet points, here we come.


Everyone is doing well. Grady got a Legos spaceship for Christmas, so he's spent every. waking. moment here at home doing that. He just finished it up as I was typing this. Now he and the girls are playing with it and using LOTS of imagination.

The girls' biggest hit gift-wise as far as what they've spent most time doing since Christmas is their make-up. Of course. It's never far away.

It's been a wonderful few days.

Joel had a reunion of his old youth group yesterday in Goiania. It was so fun to meet all his old running buddies. They are all really fun...a bunch of characters that had us laughing all afternoon for sure. We talked and laughed and had churrasco and they played music...and played music...and played music. Joel said that is mostly what they always did together. We even had a mini Setimo Selo (Seventh Seal) revival...hahaha (Joel's old band that was actually really successful). Then we went to church with Marcelo. Really fun. He's our closest friend out of Joel's old bunch (and was also part of Setimo Selo). :) We hang out with him a lot.

Joel now has the week off of looking forward to this. We will be working on the house. We are really making this house our home these days...working on getting it all organized and fitting our needs. For instance, Joel built a huge custom bookshelf in our little study...and it's exactly what we needed. We have plans to do that in all of the rooms of the do whatever each room needs to make the most of the space we have here. A really needed long-term project. Will be soooo good when it's finished though.

And now the bullet points...

(A couple of disclaimers before I get started. 1) You may have seen a couple of these on Facebook already, but wanted to document them here, and 2) This is about what I love about homeschooling, not about you who may not homeschool and me thinking you should. Hate I feel the need to point that out every time I mention homeschooling, honestly, but want to make sure that you are not reading disapproval of your lifestyle into my one paragraph. Everyone makes their own choices. I'm more than happy with our choice to homeschool. If you feel the same way about whatever choice your family made, then we are all good. :) Now on with the bullet points.)

--Eissa has been soooo funny the last few months. She makes so many words have way more syllables than they should. And it started after we left Saline, which is weird. ;) But, for instance, she says 'again' like 'uh-gee-uhn' and 'man' like 'may-uhn' and 'pants' like 'pay-uhnts' and 'get' like 'gee-uht' gee-uht the picture. It's really cute.

--Eissa also got a new bike a couple of weeks ago. It's actually Hadley's old bike and Hadley got a new one. Poor Eissa...she got the hand-me-down and Hadley has now gotten 2 new bikes in her life. But, there was not even a sound uttered about that from her. She was so excited about getting a bike period...she didn't even think to complain about it not being new and Hadley getting another new one. So sweet.

--BUT, Eissa will be getting a new one soon herself. Because Cass will be getting the hand-me-down Hadley/Eissa's time.

--Grady continues to be really into 'Bible time' at night. He is so into the's really cool. Remember when he was saying "I want God to just go away" back in August? I really think that a lot of that had to do with the fact that He was very weary. Weary of travel...weary of following God who was calling us to travel. He said something to the affect of "I want God to go away so I can live where I want to live and do what I want to do" more than once during those few days when we were having those discussions. Thankfully, God is allowing us to stay put for a while. God knew that Grady needed that (along with all of us actually). But, our Bible time at night continues to be SO rich with discussion and learning. Love it. Oh, and Grady hasn't said anything like that fact, he even told me that God could stay. Nice. :)

--I hear "I love you bery so much" or "Ohhh, I just love you" from Eissa several times a day. And Hadley is also very lovey dovey...always wanting to give me a big kiss on the cheek. Cass tells me often, "Mama, you're my best friend." that...and hope this trend continues...forever. Doing my best to keep it going, that's for sure.

--My kids say 'starving' for everything. "Oh, I'm just starving to play" or "Oh, I'm just starving to watch a movie" or "I'm so starving to go outside and ride my bike." Last night we got home reeeeeealy late and they were saying, "Oh, I'm so starving to go to sleep." Hahaha.

--They can be pretty dramatic in the way they put things. This morning they were waiting for us to get breakfast when Hadley said suddenly, 'Ohhhhh, I'm just filled with hunger.' :)

--I was about to fix the girls' hair one morning. Eissa said, "I'm first, because I'm so beautiful" (she had just put on a pretty little pink dress made by Grandma that she can twirl around in and make a full skirt...she loves it). She said that and then she tripped over her own feet and fell down. Hadley immediately and very matter-of-factly pointed out to her, "Pride comes before a fall." :)

--Cass says the best prayers at mealtime. Super cute.

--We talk a lot about hearing God. There have been so many things that we've read in school these days that have brought up discussions about the many different ways that God can speak to you. This morning Grady and Hadley had been being playing too loudly. Cass was still asleep, so I had told them to stop doing what they were doing...then they went back to doing it anyway and that's where Hadley's story picks up. She came to me and said, "Me and Grady were playing and I heard God say, 'That isn't the right thing to do.' He gave me thoughts. I think He was talking through the lamp." ;)

--Cass just came up to me and said, "Mama, I got all your stuff-es." Stuff, but there was lots of stuff, so she felt the need to make it plural I guess. Ha. Love these kids.

--LOVE the homeschooling these days. Just in the past 3 weeks we've read stories about the Holocaust (yes, in Kindergarten), bullying, the poor conditions of the Appalachian Mountains, and many more incredible stories that have brought up countless important and incredible discussions. And it's continuous, these discussions. And, whenever I see something throughout our days that relates to what we are learning in school, I can point it out. Many people ask why it's so important to me to homeschool. These are just a few of the reasons. I couldn't do that if I sent them to school. Not that we wouldn't still talk and discuss things...but our lives and activities just wouldn't be nearly as intertwined and all working together. It's nice.

--As I was finishing this post up, Cass and Eissa came to sit with me. They are playing, one on each side of me. Cass said, "Mama, you are my best friend." Eissa said, "I love you bery so much. I wish I could keep you." Hahaha. I said, "So why can't you keep me?" Eissa said, "O.K., I will keep you as a pet." HA. So I asked her, "Why can't you just keep me as a Mama?" Eissa: "Ohhhh, right." And then Cass named me 'Sissarena' and has been calling me that for the past 10 minutes. ;) She's insisting that I call her 'Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the Way.' Fun times.

--Hopefully you have all gotten our Christmas cards by now. ;) If not, they are coming really soon. The friends of ours here in Brazil have not...nor have other international folk. But soon. They were all mailed out on the 23rd...thanks to Joel's wonderful parents and brother and sister for carrying out this major project for us. Next year, since we have no plans of traveling this year at all (that we know of anyway...although I do still hold out hope for being able to travel to one very special big event), we will be settled and normal (hopefully) and calm and set in a schedule. All things I look forward to in this coming year. And...we will be able to get things done in an orderly fashion. will be nice. But, these are just a few of the pictures we took during our Christmas photo op. As always, click on the image to see an enlarged version. Enjoy. ;)

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

40 Weeks and An Opportunity to Bless/Save

We just got done with our last adoption class on Monday night. We have been approved to adopt since last spring and on 'the list' since that time as well. All that was lacking were these classes to complete our process. I can't even tell you how excited I am. Eeeek!!

Monday night as we were chatting with the leader after class, we realized that given our list of preferences (or non-preferences)...doesn't matter the race or the gender, we're fine with the ages of up to 3 years old, we will accept sibling, we could get a call any day. OF COURSE, it could also be 3 years down the road...only God knows the day and the hour. ;) But, it really is kind of like being about 40 weeks pregnant (ahh, the anticipation; so fun!!)...could happen any day. Which got us to thinking...

What if we are presented with a sibling group, like next week? Hmmm...where will we fit them? :) Our car at the moment will only hold one more person. This house is not ours and we could technically be asked to move out at any given time...but, besides that, we are really kind of growing out of it, esp. if we accumulate more children and people want to come visit (which they always do, something that we are so very thankful hosting you visitors, so keep 'em comin'). What then? much as I want to just settle (and we are until God moves us onward), if I'm honest with myself, change is still in the air.

And what does that have to do with you?

Well, I am writing today about a neat thing that we just learned about recently. We had really kind of put in on the backburner, but felt a little nudge to get at this last night. Let me tell you about it...

But, first a little history for those of you who have maybe just happened upon this here blog. We are missionaries with a Brazilian organization that uses aviation to reach and help others. Being a missionary, in our case, means that we live on support/donations. That is always a thing that requires just a whole lotta trust and faith, you know? A very different lifestyle to lead.

We have never actually been 100% funded, according to the basic-needs budget that we set up for our family (only around 70% to be honest). Our 'income' varies from month to month...and some months are pretty darn tight. But, somehow God has always provided (as usual...He's like that) whether it be through special one-time monetary gifts or through someone just giving us the material things that we are in need of. So very blessed and thankful for that.

We are always mindful, though, of watching out for ways to practically generate funds for our ministry. I can't stand a scam. ;) Or nagging for money or even asking nicely for people to give money just because they love us. :) Hahaha. God can prompt the hearts of the givers to be a part of our outreach...and even provide for a very tangible way to 'make' money. So when we found something recently that could not only help us, but help the ones helping us in a very practical way, we were
on board.

Everyone loves a good deal, right? And everyone has used a gift card or discount card of some sort before, right? Well, that's exactly what we are talking about. It's pretty cut and dry. I can't tell you how many times I've purchased a discount booklet or card from someone. It helped them, sure. But, was a no-brainer for me to buy it because not only did it help whoever I bought it from, it also always helped me. So...

We have found a great Christian company who provides discount can save up to 50% at 100,000 merchants for a full year...all for a $20 investment/donation to our ministry. You can even buy more than one and give them away...what a great Christmas present! you might have guessed by now, yep, we have your Samaritan Card right here for only $20 each. ;) You can view just how helpful these things can be at You have to actually have a card to do some of the things on that site, but it can give you a good idea of the wonderfulness you can expect with your Samaritan Card.

How does this work for you to get your Samaritan Cards? Good question. Just go here to our website ( and click on the link to get your card (click on the image of the card). It will take you to 'the Card' page. You will make your payment through our PayPal account and we'll send you your card...simple as that. You will be able to start saving within days...and if you act now, you can order some as Christmas gifts too.

So, what are you waiting for? Go bless us and bless yourselves, for heaven's sake. Scat. Go now. :)

I love the Sample $avings! Hello!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

On Second Thought...

O.K., yeah...just takes too long to resize the pictures and upload to do an album for every month. I really want to do that, but just don't have the time. It was more feasible in Campinas when I started, but not here. So...I had really hoped to avoid this, but what I will now probably need to do is find the best plan to choose and upload (not resize) pictures to another web album that will also print into a photo album. Have looked at Shutterfly and Snapfish a bit now, but nothing in-depth. Who has done this already? What do you recommend?

This blog is where I 'share' and will always be printing out this as a book. So, I'd hoped to just add the albums to this, but now hope to just put a few on here and then print out the others from the other site. a few here and also provide a link to the online album that I want to print? Not sure that's a possibility. Anyway, I'm sure all of what I just said is about as clear as mud. But, any ideas? Let me know what you know. Any and all suggestions welcome. Thanks!!

In other news, the adoption classes have been just great. Love them. Very excited about meeting together with people who all have a heart to help these kids...and be blessed by them in return. So exciting to think about. Can you all pray for one specific child in particular? His name is Washington Gabriel (I just love his name; this is not a picture of him, but we were told that he had light skin and hair and green eyes...this little boy has blue, but this is kind of how I pictured Washington in my mind). :) He developed toxoplasmosis in the womb (ladies, you know how they warn you to not touch the kitty litter while preggo...this is why; you can also get it from a number of other sources, but that's what I always associate it with). He is 2 1/2 and is released for adoption. But, they are having trouble placing him. They mentioned him in the first class and we asked about him after class. We did some research afterward on the disease.

We are all called to care for the orphans. But, we all have our specific callings within that. Some will finance. Some will adopt. Some will take care of multiple totally healthy ones. Some will take in physically or mentally challenged. We will continue to be open, but we sought God that first week about the possibility of Washington. And, at this point in our lives, we know our limitations. We felt no peace about pursuing the adoption of Washington. So hard...he needs a home too. But, we very much know that we aren't the ones for him. So, be praying for him...that his special family will come soon for him. Thank you.

And, big Rebecca is doing very well. As her Dad said, this has proven to literally be a life-saving miracle surgery for her. She is out of the hospital and will return home to Houston on Monday. You can continue to read about her progress here. Thank you for praying for her. (this picture was taken in Jan. 2006...last time I saw these two; Amy Terry Shneberger on the left, 1 of the 4 of us roommates, Rebecca, and me...we missed you Rebecca Porter; I had just found out I was expecting Eissa)

Now on to some family news. Homeschooling is going great. As you can imagine, with all the travel we've done, we're playing catch-up now. It's going well. Lots getting done and lots of learning going on. It's really fun and we love it.

Today the kids stayed with a sitter and Joel and I went and did us a little Christmas shopping. It was quick, but it was fun. Got some Christmas decorations...don't think we've ever really bought any. But, like I said...we're doing some settling now. Ahhh...feels right nice (insert Andy Griffith voice and accent). We are still in search of a tree, but have mostly everything else.

We plan to get the kids settled in their rooms for their Christmas presents (shhh.). ;) The girls are getting iron beds. Only 2 beds will actually fit in their room without doing a bunk bed (which we don't want to do), so we plan for the younger two to share one of the beds (like the older 2 are doing now...Cass uses the crib). Or, we might also use trundles. But, someday I'm sure we'll move to a bigger house and will make the 3rd bed for our dear little Cassle.

We have accumulated the greatest bedding for them already. Our great friends, the Carmos, when moving back to the United States, gave us 2 Pottery Barn twin quilts. Then when we were in PA this summer, Joel's aunt and uncle had us over for supper one night. I was getting the tour of their house and she had just redone one of their rooms for the girls (they have 4 girls...cute as buttons). They had picked up some new bedding for a good deal and so I just casually (with the wheels turning in my brain) asked what they would be doing with the old bedding...which I had just happened to have already noticed looked like something from Pottery Barn. (little background: I've drooled over Pottery Barn stuff for years, but have never actually owned anything from them) Well, she conferenced with her hubby poo and it was given to us a few days later. We have 3 girls. We now have 3 Pottery Barn (really, really cute) quilts for girls. Perfect. (picture is not of our bedding...ours is cuter) :)

Grady has a great boy bed (with a trundle...and a top bunk for assembly as needed). So he will be getting a few things for his room, but he's mostly set. Then they will each be getting (by and by...not by Christmas, but in the future) a great hand-painted picture with their names and other wonderful stuff on it, done by none other than my incredibly talented and able-to-do-anything friend (since childhood...she also helped with my wedding), Tanya (hopefully...we are still talking through the logistics). Not only is she talented, she knows me. Knows my style. My flowers were just perfect for me for my wedding. Perfect. Because she knows me. So nice when doing something of this sort. Oh, and the kids' rooms will also be getting some paint. Yay. I'm excited. (picture is a small sampling of Tanya's artwork...she does all kinds; if you are interested in getting something done, I'll be glad to give you her business contact info....she does stuff for people all over country literally...and hey, now all over the world :) )

Someday maybe me and Joel will get a bed and some paint in our room. And wall hangings. For now, our made-and-taped-up-by-our-kids art will do just fine. ;) It's the best there is anyway.

I'll have to tell you the full stories about the beds we are planning for the girls another day. It's very interesting the way you get things accomplished around these parts. ;)

It's been a very rainy, wonderful, relaxing, but very productive day here at the Ebersoles'. I hope you had the same.