Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Big Shoutin' Praise

This morning, in my quiet time, as I talked with Jesus, I asked the LORD to send some encouragement. Josie-Tatum asked yesterday, "Mom, do you think we're really going to get the money we need for South Africa?" I felt that He has affirmed multiple times that Josie-Tatum and I were supposed to be going to South Africa. It is time, though, to buy our plane tickets, and I needed direction for paying for them.

So, I get to school and open my email, I have an email with red letters in the subject....I think, Okay, it's time NOW to pay for those tickets. I still don't know what to do.

And, big shoutin' surprise from my Jesus, it was a message from the mission trip coordinator. She has received a $900 check for mine and Josie-Tatum's account. How's that for encouragement and an answered prayer??!! And, thanks to K, for allowing God to bless her by blessing us. Your reward in heaven will be great.

Later that morning, I received another $35 check for our trip.

Can I shout THANK YOU to Jesus again, and thank you to M for his faithfulness, too?!

God is great and greatly to be praised. I just had to sit in overwhelming joy that God will provide for our every need, that He is the Father of the Fatherless, and He has called us to a great work.

Thank you for your prayers. Please keep them coming. I can't wait to see how He will provide for the remainder of our journey!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Ellie's Prayer

Someday, I will have to get the video camera, so you can watch and hear Ellie when she prays. She is never still when she prays, because she is never still. She talks to Jesus for a minute, asks me a question, talks to Jesus some more.

Here are two of her requests tonight,
"Please, Jesus, help Daddy not be grumpy. Please help if I be a good girl, she won't be grumpy. (Everybody is a she.) Right Mama?"
"Yes, Ellie."
"And, Jesus, help me poo poo and pee pee on the potty, because I know how to hold my poo poo, but I don't know how to hold my pee pee."

So, laugh one minute and cry the next to think of my little girl telling God she doesn't know how to hold her pee pee. Can you say an extra prayer for her?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Depending on God

I must say I feel more dependent on God now than ever, as we have committed to the South Africa mission trip. While we've seen some small privisions, I still have no idea where the money is going to come from. I will learn how much the airline tickets cost tomorrow, and that money is needed now. Would you please continue to pray for us? The remainder of the money can wait until very close to time we leave in July.

I've been meditating on the verse, "Seek you first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you." Then, today, the verse showed up in my daily devotion. Don't you just love it when God speaks in such a way that you know that you know that He meant for you to hear that message? I've been trying to worship more and praise more. I find it interesting that I really don't know how He plans to provide for us to go to South Africa, so I can't be busy figuring it out. Occasionally, I find myself making up a plan for God. Then, I really have to laugh at myself.....like He needs my help!

Whitney took the pictures above of the approaching storm. Why can't we trust God more when we see His creation every day. Is $6,000 too hard for our God who created the universe?

In other News...
Praising the LORD for poo!! Well, poo on the potty. Ellie has continued to use the potty for bm's for a couple of weeks now. Her behavior is changing, as she seems much more in tune to her body.

An interesting note.....one day when changing her pull up, she said, "Mama, I feel something. I think I'm pee peeing." Well, she was. It's the first time she's ever said, "I think I'm pee peeing." I pray that this a good sign, that when we begin the medication to control her bladder spasms, she will learn to read the signs for emptying her bladder.

God is good. He is in control. He loves me more than I can imagine. He can do more than I can imagine or even think. I can't wait to see what He is going to do in our lives. To God be the glory!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

More About the Mission

With just a few minutes before I need to be in bed...here are a few details.

Josie-Tatum and I will be joining a group from right here in our hometown, an organization called The Servant's House. Others in our area will travel to South Africa in late July, tentative dates are July 19-29. We will be serving in an area where there is a mission base. You can read about the area at Build the Nations.

It's beginning to feel "real" as I complete the paper work, make copies of our passports, and look at pictures of the area at the Build the Nations website.

We are still looking for a miracle from the LORD, provisions for the money we need to make the trip. (The photo above is Josie-Tatum, who asked if she could count the money in her piggy bank. She wants to use all of her money to help pay for the mission. What precious faith!) On the radio this week, a pastor referred to the scripture in John, where Jesus is talking to Martha. After the death of Lazarus, He said, "Did I not tell you that if you would trust me, you would see the glory of God?" I needed that scripture at that moment. How good is our God to send it to me!!1 I am trusting in Him and I look forward to seeing His glory!

Monday, March 23, 2009

We're Going to South Africa!!

God has sent us His word.....Josie-Tatum and I are going to South Africa. I'll post more details later, but I had to start spreading the word. I am excitedly looking forward to seeing what God is going to do in our lives. We will be ministering to orphans and other children in poverty...all the while spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ.

There is much preparation. Please be in prayer for us and the entire mission team.

And, we will need much money. I know that God has NOT led us this far to let us donw financially. I know that He is the Great Provider. If you believe God is leading you to contribute to our journey, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net
I will joyfully send you more information!!! Spread the word!


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Brandon, or Ellie....Okay, Brandon

This post really is about Brandon, but I couldn't resist the photos of Ellie to go along with the post. I don't know who enjoyed it most when he put his pads and helmet on Ellie, Brandon or Ellie.

Brandon was selected to play in an All-Star football game, playing in the "Florida-Georgia Border Wars." He had the opportunity to play in front of college scouts and really shine. He looked so handsome on the field in that football uniform, a site I will miss seeing next year if he doesn't play college football. We had a great time at the game yesterday, and Brandon played one of his best games ever!!

Please say a prayer for Brandon. It would be such a blessing for a college to have seen his talent yesterday!!!

And, I should have some exciting news to share in the next few days. Check back in a day or two.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

A Few Words from Ellie

While on the potty, bm in progress,
"Mama, are you happy?"
"Yes, Ellie, I'm happy."
"Mama, is Jesus happy?"
"Yes, Ellie, Jesus is happy."
And, don't you know He is. The God who created her is rejoicing with me that she is rejoicing that she is gaining control of her bowels. So, the next time you're on the, well you know, think of Ellie.

One More Word from Ellie
While eating supper....
"Mama, I don't like this."
To which Seth replied, "Ellie, hold your nose. Then you want taste it."
Ellie says, "Silly Seth, you don't hold your nose when you're eating supper, you hold your nose when you're poo pooing on the potty."

Smart girl.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When God Speaks

If only I could slow down enough to truly hear our sweet Savior speak. His love is overwhelming, his word is powerful, He is!

As I've continued to pray about the possibility of a mission trip for Josie-Tatum and me, I've heard from God through His word and through a faithful servant.

In the book of Mark, I read a familiar verse, but felt more convicted than ever before. In Chapter 6, I read, "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands up9on a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief." Can you imagine Jesus "marveling?" I know the unbelief of the people of Nazareth did not take him by surprise, but it caused him to marvel.

I thought of Ellie when I read this nearly 3 weeks ago. I pondered the times my unbelief may have hindered his work. When I have worried about Ellie, has He marveled? And, then tonight, the Holy Spirit brought this passage to my remembrance again. Could it be my lack of faith that makes me hesitant to commit to the mission trip to South Africa? I am convinced now, more than ever, that my God will provide where He leads.

And, last week, I went to Katie's blog. If you have never heard of Katie, you must follow the link here, and read her post from March 4th. What a challenging, take me out of my comfort zone thought. When Jesus said, "Sell all that you have, and give it to the poor," what if he wasn't kidding? You have to see Katie's photos for the full impact of that question.

As a child of the KING, I don't beleive in coincidence. I teach 1st-3rd graders in Sunday School. I didn't get to teach the lesson, because Josie-Tatum was sick, but I was struck with awe when the lesson for the week was the same scripture Katie referred to. I was compelled to ask, "God, what are YOU telling me?"

Then, just in case I hadn't heard the message loud and clear, I turned on the radio Monday morning, and the program on the radio was based on the same scripture.

So, I've really begun to ask myself...am I serious about God's command to care for orphans? Do I trust Him to provide for them? Am I willing to sacrifice until it hurts? Will I give of my abundance, or share my necessities?

If you'd like to continue to help me pray, here's the latest revision of my prayer request. I will go to South Africa, or anywhere the LORD leads. I'm waiting to hear from Stan...aka my husband. He hasn't heard from God yet, as I have certainly asked him to pray. This may come as a surprise to some of you (well, not my immediate family, or close friends, or distant relatives), but I have trouble with submission. I know, I know, you're all in shock. I am totally committed to Stan's decision on this issue, though. I know that I know that, if God wants Josie-Tatum and me to go to South Africa this summer, He will speak to Stan. So, will you help me pray that Stan hears from the LORD? Will you pray that I will remain willing to follow his lead?

Thank you for your prayers. I continue to read God's word, to hear Him speak. Thank you for your prayers for Josie-Tatum. She slept last night and only woke up once. I thought she might make it to school tomorrow, but her fever went back up some this afternoon.

AND...BIG SHOUT OUT PRAISE! ALEKSEY HAS A FAMILY! Another child with spina bifida has found a family, willing to accept the unknowns, willing to love the child!!!!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Prayers for Josie-Tatum Monday Night If You're Still Awake

Josie-Tatum has strep throat. After such a beautiful day on Saturday, we've not had much sleep the past 2 nights. Last night her fever climbed over 104 degrees. When she wakes in the night, she begins to cry, "My throat hurts, my throat hurts," over and over again. She has worked herself into a frenzy, and stays awake for long periods of time during the night.

If you're still awake,please pray that Josie-Tatum will sleep better tonight and that her fever does not climb so high.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sunshine Inside and Out

Today was an absolutely beautiful day! The sun was shining, the weather was warm, and we had the sweetest fellowship.

We went to the city park, where we had a picnic with other adoptive families. Who would think that our little town would have 5 or more families who had adopted internationally. We were joined by 2 families from neighboring communities. The children had a wonderful time, and perhaps the parents did too. What a blessing to fellowship with other members of the body of Christ, all with a heart for orphans.

Today there were 15 children...I think....from 3 different countries, the Phillipines, China, and Russia...oh, yeah, and the USA. What a mighty God we serve!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My Spiritually Sensitive Six-Year-Old and an Ellie Story

Josie-Tatum is my ever spiritually-sensitive 6-year-old. At four years-old, she asked, "Why did God create a devil anyway?" In China, when she was still five, as we passed a statue of Buddha, she said, "We shouldn't be looking at him, because we worship Jesus.

She has such a heart for orphans, prays for them nightly, and wants to go "somewhere" to help them. She told me she would like to ask Santa to help the orphans, but she didn't know if he could. She has said, "If you didn't have to work, and I didn't have to go to school, we would go all around the world and bring home every orphan Daddy would let us bring home.

I've been praying about a possible mission trip we could go on together, walked through a few doors, only to have them shut later, found details of some trips I didn't feel called to. A friend recommended a contact Brenda Sutton, but I never followed through. Then, last night we had a guest speaker in our church--Brenda Sutton.

So, last night I talked with her about Josie-Tatum's desire, and her age....and Brenda said, "Why don't you come with us to South Africa this summer?" She told me about the orphanage there that they will work with, the school, and the evangelism that will take place. My instant reply, "We'll pray about that."

My biggest concern....money.

I do not want to stay in GA if God wants Josie-Tatum and me in South Africa this July. But...I don't want to run ahead of God and go to south Africa if He wants me here. I had thought JT and I might go to Guatemala. It looked like the trip for us until I heard back from the coordinators who have an age requirement of 12 years old.

I began to think now was not the time. We have so much debt. Perhaps God was preparing our hearts for the future.

And, then......Brenda came to our church. Is that coincidence? Someone had told me to call her, and I didn't. Then, our WMU director invited that same Brenda to come to our church. I talked with her last night just to ask her if she ever ran across a short trip she thought was appropriate for a 6 year-old. When I told her of Josie-Tatum's heart, she didn't hesitate to ask, "Why don't you come to South Africa with us?" AND....a teacher who teaches on the same hall with me is going to South Africa on this trip.

Oh, please help me pray. I want God to make it clear. I want to have great faith, but I don't want my flesh to be making the decision to go. How do you really know when it is God's voice you hear speaking?

Thank you for the prayers of many!

Now the Ellie Story

Today we were walking home from my parents' house. Ellie was taking her time, as usual, with her walker, stopping to smell the roses...umm play in the dirt....along the way. I told her I was going to get chicken out of the freezer, take it inside, and come back to help her up the steps. I said, "Don't walk near the mud puddle."
(I know, I know.....)

Well, I went inside with the chicken, put it in the sink, and went back outside. As I stood on the back porch, I saw Ellie with a handful of dirt, standing right on the edge of the forbidden puddle. I yelled, "Ellie, what are you doing?"

And, do you know what the little booger said? She said, "Mama, what were you thinking, leaving your baby girl outside by herself?"

Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Escape from the Funny Farm

I was recently reminded that I haven't introduced you to Seth. I would say I can't imagine why he comes to our house, where there are no dull moments; however, I think he's attracted to the oldest of my three girls. ;) And, this weekend was the first time since November, that Josie-Tatum has showed any signs of accepting this newest addition to the weekend clan. She's been slow to accept that Whitney might be sharing her affections with someone else.

I Do Live at the Funny Farm
Tonight as Ellie was getting out of the tub, she said, "I'm c-c-c-cold. That starts with C." When I bragged on her, she said, "I'm learning all of my numbers from the Letter Factory."

And, when you live with a child with spina bifida, one with limited sensations, you might hear her say while sitting on the potty, "I don't feel it Mama, but I smell it. I don't feel it, but it smells bad."

The Story of Our Escape
And, just to further incriminate myself....that I am totally NOT right.....I have this thing for snow, you see, I was an adult before I ever saw enough to make a handful, and I had Whitney before I ever made a snow man, and I 've been known to chase down a snow storm. Like, once I told Stan, "There's a 100% chance of snow in the whole state of West Virgina this weekend, can we go?" Well, after her said no, we were packed and driving down the interstate 2 hours later, where Whitney, Caleb, Stan, and I saw more snow than we'd ever seen.

Okay, well, we haven't chased snow quite like that again. And, this weekend, it began to snow in north Georgia and in west Georgia. I checked weather.com and found it was snowing just 2 hours north of us, so in 20 minutes, the girls and I were in the car headed down the road. BTW, Seth was in the car, too. He was a good sport. I skipped church, choir practice, and other responsibilities to chase snow. Then.....we get there, and the snow that was predicted to accumulate up to 2 inches.....had turned to RAIN!

So, we drove 2 1/2 hours just to eat at BK. Well, all was not a bust. As we were leaving, the car next to us had just been driving north. There was snow in their grill. We scooped the snow, and each had one snow ball to throw.

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