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

Friday, October 30, 2009

Miraculous Progress--Just Look At Her Now

He made the lame walk, and the dumb talk, and He opened blinded eyes to see. I wonder what life would be like we let Jesus live through you and me.......

It has recently occurred to me that Ellie has made some miraculous progress in the last several months. Those of us who see her everyday may tend to forget just how far she has come. Those you of you who saw her walk for the first time across the room would probably love to see what she's doing now. Here is the video I posted on her birthday. At the age of 4, she walked across the room for the first time. What a blessed day!!!

Just weeks later, she was able to give up the brace and walk on her on.

And, with only 8 months of walking practice, just look at her now! To God be the glory. I continue to pray that His glory will be manifest through our family, that she will walk in His grace, knowing it is sufficient, that she will always know she is fearfully and wonderfully made.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Three Requests

We have a lot going on right now, as do so many of you. Stan will likely need surgery soon. Ellie has a possible UTI, but with all of that......

I would love to know our bloggy friends were lifting up up in prayer:

1--a financial need
2--a possible job change/responsibility
3---a DREAM come true

To God be the Glory!~

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You Could be the One

Linny said it best this week. I urge you to take a look at her blog. Click here.

But, I want to echo her sentiments. I would adopt again and again if the LORD blessed us with the means. Why? Because, I get to be the mama. There is no greater joy than watching my children enjoy life! There is no greater joy than being obedient to the Father, and He is the Father of the Fatherless. But, let me say again, "I get to be the mama!"

And, what a beautiful day! What a day to count my blessings. Today our girls had the privilege of attending a Princess birthday party. We began by making it special at home first. While I played the role of hairdress...(Oh, wait a minute, I do that every morning.), okay I was playing the role of boutique stylist, our friend Erica was the make up artist and nail technician.

Erica's sister Mary joined the fun as an audience member.

The party was held at Make a Friend Express, where all of the guests created and dressed their own stuffed animal. The girls had such fun choosing their animal, looking for just the right fashions, giving them an airbath, dressing them, and choosing their name.

And, Josie-Tatum named her bear Shandukani. Wow! That gave us another opportunity to share what the LORD is doing in South Africa, as guests at the party wondered where she came up with that name. And, daily, as we play with Shandukani the Bear, we can pray for Shandukani, the orphan, the CHILD of the KING.

And, while we were at the party, the grandmother of the birthday girl said, "I followed your blog while you were in Africa." And, I'm thinking, Praise the LORD! That's what I want---not people following me---but people following the work of the LORD, seeing his abundant provision for Josie-Tatum and me, and learning what HE wants to do for orphans.

So, if you've ever, even just once thought, "I'd like to adopt." You could the one. You could be the Mama! Please call me or send an email. I'd love to guide you in this path that has brought me such joy.

And, if you've ever, just once, or a million times, thought, "I would like to help orphans." Please do the same.

God is great. His Spirit is mighty. That prompting you feel may just be HIM. He wants you to experience the joy of serving Him. He wants you to join Him, as the Helper of the Fatherless. Will you answer His call?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Family, Friends, and Fellowship

We started our weekend at a birthday party for two special children, Riley and Regan. They are part of our church family. Riley is a miracle child, whose life is a blessing beyond many others. During his many hospital vists, Regan has spent much time with my parents. Ellie calls Regan her best friend. Regan calls my parents, "My Bennetts." We missed their birthday party two years ago...do you know why????

We were in China, of course.

(Please be much in prayer for Riley. He will soon undergo a kidney transplant. A live donor has been identified, another dear sister in the LORD, dear friend of mine. While he waits, continue in prayer for Riley and his mother, as they travel to Jacksonville, FL three times a week for dialysis.)

While at the party, as more guests arrived, I realized how truly blessed I am. Nearly every person at the party was part of our church family, and, or course, part of the body of Christ. The fellowship was so sweet. All of the parents were looking out for all of the children. Ellie had her friends to run around the lawn with. Josie-Tatum had her friends to "priss" with.

Every person there has at some time prayed for Ellie, prayed for us. Every person there has prayed for Riley. We enjoyed time with friends, who are truly family, we enjoyed the food, we enjoyed the fellowship.

And, I couldn't help but think about the first part of the book of Acts. I think it no coincidence that the Bible records the early church continuing in the apostles's doctrine and fellowship, in breaking of bread and in prayers. And, they continued breaking bread from house to house.

I was recharged after the birthday party. My spirits were lifted, my heart was peaceful. Thank you, Jesus, for my church family. (Enjoy these photos.)

After the birthday party, we enjoyed our Fall Festival at church. There as crafting, games, face painting, jumping, food, and just plain fun.

And, there's nothing more special to me than living next door to my parents and going to church with them. Grandpa even joined in the fun at the Fall Festival, really into the spirit, getting his face painted, too. I love my daddy!!!!

Ellie and the C-Pap
I so hope the c-pap will help my dear Stan. He was diagnosed with SEVERE sleep apneia. He just received his c-Pap machine on Friday. I hope he finds his lost energy soon.
And, since Ellie has been rather woebegone over her differences, we took time to talk about Daddy's new machine. Just like the machine will help Daddy breathe better and feel better, the catheters help Ellie.
So, Ellie wanted to try on the "mask."
BTW, Daddy did NOT want to try out the catheter....

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Happy Gotcha Day, Sweet Ellie!

We celebrated with Chinese food, and an evening of home movies, watching our videos from China, nearly 2 hours...

Thank you, Jesus, for two years with our special girl.

More to come tomorrow.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Busy Blessings and Snaggle Times Two

We had a busy weekend, but such a blessed one.

All of my children were home. I hardly saw the big kids, but I enjoyed the little bit of time I had with them.

We went to the homecoming game Friday night. On Saturday morning, the girls and I went to a friend's birhtday party. Brandon was an offical at a recreation soccer tournament.

After lunch, the little girls and I attended a wedding. Whitney chaperoned a high school band competition. The boys spent the day fishing with high school friends.

Saturday for supper, Stan, the little girls, and I visited the Stretch family. We are so blessed to have them here in our little home town. Our children have such a good time playing together. And, I love chatting with my friend Joli.

Snaggle Times Two

How cool is this:
Joli and I were waiting moms together. Josie-Tatum was the first child adopted from China in our hometown. Elisabeth was the second. Their adoptions were four months apart. And, now, they both are missing their front teeth at the same time!

And tomorrow, it's off the Tampa for Ellie to get new AFO's. Then, we're going window shopping at Downtown Disney.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Prayers and Dollies

Ellie was praying tonight, while holding a doll and began,
"Thank you that I was a good girl with my dolly."

She continued
"Please help Brandon with my dolly.
Please help Grandma with my dolly.
Please help Whitney with my dolly
Please help Mama with my dolly
Please help Daddy with my dolly
Please help Caleb with my dolly...."

ad nauseum

Until I finally said "Amen."

And Ellie said, "Amen......with my dolly."

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Snaggle Tooth, Hermit Crabs, and Wishes

I almost waited too late to take this photo. Yes, Josie-Tatum has lost both of her two front teeth. She lost one on a Friday night, and the next on a Saturday. One more reason for the wish girl to wish she were her sister.....see the last part of this post.

Hermit Crabs

We have house guests this weekend. Their names are Junie B. and Jim. They're hermit crabs, and I have no idea if one is truly female while the other is male. How could you tell??? Josie-Tatum was thrilled to be chosen to "babysit" the class hermit crabs for the weekend. It might surprise you, well, no it won't, that Ellie has done her share of pouting over the fact that she did not get to bring home hermit crabs. Finally, though, both of the girls have had enough time watching the hermit crabs do whatever it is that hermit crabs do, and they're arguing less, while simply enjoying our house guests.


Ellie broke my heart months ago, when she said, "I wish I was Josie." As we talked, she shared how she wished she could use to potty and wear panties like Josie-Tatum does. Our conversation that day centered around God's love for her, and his plans for her, all of her special abilities.

She has begun to say, "I wish I was Josie," more often.

"I wish I was Josie. Josie-Tatum doesn't have to use a catheter."

"I wish I was Josie. Josie-Tatum doesn't have to wear braces."

"I wish I was Josie. She knows her numbers better than I do." Well, yeah, Josie-Tatum is 6-years-old. You will know numbers better when you are 6.

But a recent conversation gave me a chuckle.

Ellie said, "I wish I was Josie," and, once again, I felt the lump in my throat. When asked why this time, she said, "Josie-Tatum doesn't get many spankings." I really did laugh...out loud. I said, "Ellie, Josie-Tatum doesn't get many spankings because she obeys her mama more than you do." (Yes, we do spank out our house, for open disobedience, but we use many other forms of discipline as well.)

But, here's the good part of this story. Ellie's behavior has been better. Several times, I've asked her to do something, she starts to disobey, checks herself, and then says, "Yes, ma'am. That's obeying, right Mama?"

Wow!!! Why did it take me two years to get you to understand that part of the behavior management plan?

So, tonight, pray for our strong-willed Ellie, pray for her parents to guide her to monitor her behavior, while remaining the vivacious Ellie we all love. And, especially pray that we can continue to teach her that she is fearfully and wonderfully made!!!
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