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

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Never Give Up

A dear friend called last night. There was despair in her voice. I told her I didn't have words as we spoke, but I would spend time in prayer for her.

This morning, I believe God sent words, and as I prayed for her, I thought of you. Whoever you might be out there today, I wonder if someone else needs these words, too. I really believe someone does. So, I actually look forward to hearing from one of you today, one of you who says, "Hey, that is JUST what I needed."

My friend is stepping out in faith, making a huge leap of committment to do something for God. But, last night, she received criticism, another unknown critic, someone who told somebody who told somebody.

So, here's what I was hearing from God.

When you do BIG things for God, Satan gets BIG mad and BIG scared. He can't have your soul, but he will try to steal your joy. That's what he does, you know. He comes to steal and destroy. I didn't say that. God did, in HIS word. When you feel discouraged, those feelings did NOT come from our Almighty Father. He may have a different direction for your life, but He does not send discouragement.

So, as I was praying this morning, I thought about Isaiah 41:10
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed......Well, I looked it up and KNEW those were words for my friend because I didn't remember the verses surrounding it, and she needs those today as well:

9Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away.
10Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
11Behold, all they that were incensed against thee shall be ashamed and confounded: they shall be as nothing; and they that strive with thee shall perish.

You see He called her, He has chosen her. That's why He will give her strength and uphold her. And, those critics, well, you see what God thinks of all of that when you read verse 11.

So, dear friend, if God is calling you to greater things, know that tribulation will come, critics will come, too. (We've had our share.) But, God is there to hold you up. He is there to give you strength. He is there to be certain you overcome.

Don't give up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Praise the LORD!

I dont' have much time this morning. Students are at PE, and I need to get busy planning my day, but I have to share!

After our recent pheasant shoot fundraiser, the profits are in. We have been blessed today with $1,400 toward our adoption!

The LORD has done great things for us! My soul magnifies the LORD!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Not the Day I Planned

The day in south Georgia was warm, over 75 degrees in February. I know colder days will return, but this day of spring was like spring to my soul.

We have our third social worker visit, and I had plans to do some fundraising work this afternoon, spending a lot of time on the computer.

I'm so glad God had different plans. When we had just begun our interview with the SW, someone I dearly love drove up.

It was Brother Ronnie! He's in town from far north Tennessee. I've posted about how special he is to our family here.

He is in town at a neighboring church encouraging couples at a marriage conference. We spent a couple of hours visiting with him at my parents' house between separate interviews with the SW. We made plans to order pizza and continue our fellowship time when Brother Bobby called. Josie-Tatum had spent the night with the Russells, so they came over and enjoyed the pizza, too.

Caleb and Casie came before the SW visit was over.

And, we had a house full for lunch.

Not my plan....

God's idea was FAR BETTER!

Then, the afternoon grew more fun. Brother Bobby and Brother Ronnie sort of have a regular practical joke time when he is in town. So, I joined Brother Bobby in an act of crime...only I took my girls with me.

Brother Ronnie went to the motel to take a nap.

We followed after we thought he might be sleeping peacefully.

I posted this photo on his FB wall, so he would wonder what was going on.

Then, we set about "decorating" his beautiful Navigator. (Good thing this is a small town, and we know the owners and managers of the hotel, so they didn't call the police.)

And, if all that fun was not enough....

I went to Wal-Mart.

When I came home, there were two beautiful black trucks in the driveway. The two stooges are both home!!!!

Not the day I planned.

But, so much BETTER!!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Flapjack Fundraiser

If you live in south Georgia, and you'd like to support our mission trip to South Africa, keep reading.

Five members of the mission team are holding a pancake breakfast on Saturday, February 26th.

Where: Applebee's in Waycross

Cost: $8.00 per ticket

Who: Jeanne and Jeff Crawford
Robbie and Josie-Tatum Mattox
Joshua Walker

We have to sell 100 tickets by this Friday. If you know you plan to go, please send me an email so we can be sure we have enough sold.

If you aren't sure that you can come, you don't have to purchase a ticket. "Walk-ins" are welcome!!!!!

Thank you for helping.

Chinese New Year

This post is a little late, well, just a few days.

I did receive an email stating today is the last day of CNY, so maybe I'm not that late.

But, we celebrated, as we have for 8 years now, with First Coast FCC. They have such an extravagant Chinese New Year Celebration. There have been times and reasons we sometimes think we won't make it, but we have been able to go every year, since the day before we left to bring Josie-Tatum home.

We love it!!!!

Stan couldn't go this year. :(

But, Grandma and Grandpa went with us. :) It was a blessing to have them to travel with us to Jacksonville, FL, so I didn't have to drive with the girls all by myself, especially when we were coming home late.

We started the evening with crafts! And, Grandma was there to help.

There was dinner.

Then, dancing from the local children.

And, to grand finale: The Traditional Lion Dance!!

This year, the girls were brave enough to follow the lion around when he came down from the stage and made his parade around the room. They stayed quite some distance in the back, though. ;) When they are 16, they might have the courage to get close.

And, then, oh Happy New Year!

I told you what I found when I came home.

May this be for all of us...the most blessed year yet!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just Blessed!

Tonight, I must just tell you that I am blessed.

Blessed with seven beautiful children, three at home tonight, two away at college, and two waiting on their Forever Mama to come get them.

Blessed because last night my Sailor Son was sleeping on my couch when I came home from Chinese New Year.

Blessed because a friend very quietly sent a $500 donation to us today.

Blessed because another friend sent word that she needed more necklaces because she has once again sold EVERY one I have sent to her.

Blessed because still another friend sent me the MOST encouraging email I've read in a long time.

God is good to give us so many blessings, undeserving as we may be. I'm so glad I'm a part of the family of God. While yesterday's post spoke of eternity, my Jesus came that we might have life more abundantly, even here on earth.

Praising Him tonight for His blessings!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A Different Kind of Post

This will be a VERY different kind of post for me, but I was so burdened with this situation last night, I feel I must share it with you.

Stan had a difficult day at work yesterday. He mentioned his bad morning when he came home, and then rested some on the couch. We were waiting on our SW to arrive for our second visit.

After she left, he began to share with me the details of his morning. I began to realize this was not the usual job frustrations.

Stan works at a prison. While he is a correctional officer, he spends most of his time in medical. I think he missed his calling early in life. Nothing about blood or guts bothers him. He is fascinated with such and likes to watch Operation on the Discovery Channel. (I leave the room.)

Well, he was working in medical, nothing unusual about that.

But, his job yesterday was to stay with a prisoner who was


He has been with prisoners who were dying before. He has been at the hosptial with prisoners who are dying before, but this he said was different.

This man, whom God loved and sent His son to die for, was not ready to die.

He had told people he was not ready to die. He did not want to die.

But, he was dying. His body was doing what dying bodies do. He had lost control of his bowels. He was hemorhaging from his nose and mouth. But, worse than that...

He was out of control. He was fighting. He was climbing out of the bed, out of his restraint. His fists were clenched and his arms were tense.

Stan said, "The demons were after him."

I have heard it said that you can tell when you are in the room with a dying person, whether they are right with God or not. This is the first time I have heard it from someone I know, love, and trust their every word.

I could tell by the emotion is Stan's voice that he was troubled. He had been with another inmate that died recently, an inmate that had made his peace with the LORD. It was different.

So, I write this, because I have to.

I have to ask you.

Have you made peace with the LORD? When your family watches you die, will they see you fighting demons, or resting peacefully as God's angels escort you to heaven? If you've never committed to Jesus, please email me. I'll give you my number, and today you can be a CHILD of the KING!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Message from the Mountain

This morning I procrastinated getting out of bed....and left myself with only a few minutes for my quiet time with my best friend, Jesus. As it was drawing near time to go to our first session this morning, I realized the sun was getting ready to peek over the trees alongside the lake. I waited just a few more minutes before heading to the conference room. I felt God smile as I watched one of His miracles.

So today, we spent our ENTIRE day learning more about school improvement and developing plans to make our students more successful. We discussed the urgency of our message. If 90% of our high school students graduate from high school, those statistics sound good, until you consider the %10 who did not. If there is a class of 200 seniors, how does it impact your family if your child is one of the 20 who drops out. How does it affect the community? I believe there is an urgency to the message of No Child Left Behind.

I am even more passionate about the message that NO child should live without a family. How urgent is that message? How effective are we in conveying that message to our churches, to our community? How can you be involved in sharing the message?

Then, today following the afternoon session, our team CLIMBED the mountain.


We had to encourage one another. Sometimes one team member stopped to allow another to catch her breath. It was hard work. There were moments when we wondered if we could make it. But, the view from the top was beautiful. The sense of accomplishment was exhilerating.

On Sunday, I had a mountain top experience. I was invited to share our family story and our current journey at a small local church. I met with the body of Christ. None of them had heard the message before...that there are 147 million orphans. But, there hearts were touched. They were moved to action. And, they blessed us with an offering of over $800!!!! (With a few more blessings, check out the change in our total!!!)

And, now it's time to come back down from the mountain. We have an urgent message to share. There are 147 million orphans in the world...waiting for the BODY of Christ to be His hands and His feet, His heart and love manifested.

Why are there so many people who still don't know?

How can we organize ourselves to effectively share the message?

How can God use you?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Seven Years Later

I'm sitting in quite the luxurious hotel room in a solitude I cannot remember experiencing in several years. I should be enjoying myself...and maybe I am a little..but I can't help but thinking:

I miss my baby girls.

I sat in a workshop today at an energizing school improvement conference. As I listened to the presenters describe how to engage others in a school improvement initiative, I couldn't help thinking:

How can I apply these same ideas to raise awareness of the orphan crisis?

How can I NOT think about orphans.

This weekend we celebrated MUCH!

First, we celebrated Ellie's birthday:

I worked as diligently as any good mother to be sure she knew how special she was!

But, the days I like th most are those we celebrated the next day. You see, we celebrated Ellie's birthday on Feb.4th...

Then, we celebrated Josie-Tatum's Gotcha Day on Feb. 5th.
Seven years ago, I finally held in my arms the little girl whose face I'd held in my heart for almost 10 weeks.

Sitting here in the hotel tonight, I completed an online adoption course on attachment. And, all of those attachment issues I read about were quite fresh, as we had watched our travel video on Saturday. We were reminded of the forlorn face we saw for four days:

And, then less than one week later, that face began to shine!

And, I've had the blessed privilege of watching the life of one orphan become the life of one who KNOWS she is loved!

Seven years later:

Seven years later, we are BOTH changed. I believe when a person adopts for the first time, they tend to think adoption is about changing the life of a child. What I know now is, adoption is about changing the life of a family. I don't know that I couldn't make an argument that my life and my perspective on life has changed as dramataically as hers.

Is is any wonder I could not stop thinking about my girls today? Is it any wonder I couldn't stop thinking about 147 million orphans who need someone to hear their cry, who need someone to reach out, who need someone to commit to making a difference?

Is it any wonder I'm ready to hold in my arms two precious souls whose lives I will have the privilege to watch CHANGE forever?

(Check back tomorrow...I have some exciting news to share!)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Gotcha Day

Check by tomorrow...we've have a celebratory weekend!
Ellie's birthday Friday...
Josie-Tatum's Gotcha Day Saturday.
God showed up in a big way today.

I don't have time to post it all tonight, but I hope to share some great news tomorrow.

Please pray for the girls and Stan. I have to go out of town for three days this week. The girls are crying themselves to sleep.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Ellie

Today is Ellie's birthday. I couldn't help today thinking of her second birthday, when she was in China. We were blessed to be able to send her gifts, and more blessed to receive photos of her wearing the outfit Josie-Tatum picked out for her and opening her new tea set.

The next year we were able to celebrate with her!

Tonight, we will have our family celebration. For the first time, she will have two friends spend the night with her. I hope to post photos of our evening before I go to bed. Until then......

Would you like to leave her a birthday message? I'll read them to her tonight when we have our cake.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

She's Going to China!

Tonight, I'd like to ask you to pray for a dear sister. I've only had the privilege of being with her a few times, but I've spent time with her on the phone and in emails.

She is my sister. We have the same Father. And, she is about to take the trip of a lifetime.

Our sweet friend Abby has answered God's call to minister to orphans. God has ordained an awesome course for her life, and she has made the CHOICE to listen and follow.

Abby leaves tomorrow for China. She will minister to orphans, complete a semester of college in China, and minister to orphans again. She will have the privilege of serving God through orphan work at Maria's Big House of Hope!

And, you can have the privilege of following her here.

We love you Abby, and we promise we will be praying for you!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


I have so much to do this week and next week, I am "overwhelmingly" overwhelmed...well, that's what I told my daddy.

I have a conference to attend next week, 3 days away from home. It seemed like a good idea when I agreed to go last August.

But, this week, as I began to prepare for the SW visit and Ellie's birthday, while I was working on fundraising and preparing to speak at a local church, writing lesson plans to be out for 3 days, adding comments to progress reports, developing a list of students who will receive extra tutoring, my mind spinning all the time.

I thought, "I did not know we would be adopting again when I agreed to attend this conference. I did not know I would be fundraising. I did not know I would be preparing to go back to Africa."

I had just got off the phone with my sweet daddy.

I'm a slow learner.

But, I had an Aha! moment.

I didn't know this is the place where I would be.

But, God did.

I know, you were probably already thinking that, right?

I didn't know how crazy I would feel this week, but God did.

So, I changed my perspective a little.

I decided everything is going to be alright. Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world. He is my helper, the shade upon my right hand.

So, you see that photo up there. That's my great-niece Maddison. You've seen her before. But, I want to take a few lessons from her. Nothing is more fun to her than a ride in the jeep with Ellie at the wheel. (Living on edge, right?) But, the whole time she is riding, she squeals. Her mouth is open wide in most of the photos I took.

I hope tomorrow my attitude is a little better. I hope you see me with my mouth open enjoying the ride. ;)

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