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, May 31, 2011

An Afternoon With Caleb


So much to do and running out of time. I've packed three bags to check thus far, waiting on a package to come tomorrow and I'll pack the remaining bags. My house is a wreck....really.








But, I am determined to enjoy this week with my family before Josie-Tatum and I leave for South Africa.



It's been a few weeks since I last saw Caleb, and he was not able to come home any this week. When he called to say he would finish his 24 hour duty at 6:30 Monday morning, but he would have the rest of the day free, I decided that was a good time for the girls and I to head out to see him!

Not only do I have a precious daughter-in-law, my girls have an awesome sister-in-law. While Caleb, Grandma, and I enjoyed conversation, Casie played Mario Cart with Ellie.


And, later Caleb took over with the Ellie entertainment:


Grandma decided she would like to take a ride and visit some places she remembered from the time we lived near by...when I was a baby.

After visiting the town, we headed to a state park. Since my DIL likes to take a hike as much as her MIL. we headed down this beautiful trail.


Casie continued earning favor when she agreed to walk down with Ellie to put her feet in the river.


After the park, Grandma treated us to my favorite Chick Filet milkshakes!

When I got back home, my house was still a wreck, but I think you will all agree my time was much better spent with these treasures!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Daring to Dream

At Ellie's kindergarten celebration, the parents, family, and friends "Awwww"ed in unison when Ellie stepped to the microphone. She said, "When I grow up, I want to be a professional horse rider."

I've posted before about the blessing Saddle Up is for our Ellie. She loves the people, and she loves the horses! Mr. Phil, the director has asked on more than on occasion what my goals are for Ellie. He always listens intently as I share my desire for her to have an activity she enjoys that she can also excel in.

Ever aware of my plans for Ellie, he had a surprise for her this Thursday. First, he talked to me. He told me what he had planned and asked for my permission. Then, he stepped into the arena where Ellie was riding, supervised by two volunteers. And, he told Ellie, "I have a surprise for you."

"How would you like to ride in a horse show?"

Ellie beamed, and you'll be surprised to know.

She was speechless.

She did, however, put two thumbs up. So, Saturday afternoon, we spent time at the PC 4-H arena where Ellie participated in her first ever horse show. And, if you wonder about the blessing Saddle Up is to children. Take note. In every photo, there are three people, trotting alongside the horse and leading the horse. These people volunteered their time on a hot Saturday afternoon, loaded up the horse and equipment, and ran through the arena in four different events with four different children.

Her mama teared up a few times. It didn't matter to Ellie what place ribbon she received in each event. She just loved ribbons...and her blue snow cone...hehehehehe
Don't they all look proud? And, if you want to know what Ellie really thought about it all, pause the play list and turn up the volume!!!!

video

She will have 3 more horse shows this summer. Her dream really is coming true!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Miracle of More Continues


Day by day, I can get lost in the drudgery of laundry and dirty dishes, what's for supper? and tell her to stop.

But, most days, I can look at the dirty laundry or the mounds of clean laundry that needs to be put away and remember why it all exists.

And, then this treasure whose heart is so burdened for orphans reminds me that God is painting a far bigger picture than I can imagine.

Please visit her blog and leave her a comment of encouragement. We leave in 8 days for Africa!

Josie-Tatum's Mission

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ellie's Village


I've had this post rolling through my mind for weeks now. I'm still afraid I won't be able to put in words what my heart is singing.

There are times when public education gets such negative publicity, and I know there are some poor schools out there, but our public school, Midway Elementary, is a shining example of a true school "community."

You who read here often will know Ellie's personality can rule the world....with all of the energy and with all of her medical needs, it truly takes an entire village to care for her at school. And, we are blessed beyond compare. I have the privilege of working at the best school ever, and we are more blessed that the girls can go to the same school where I teach. And, we only have to drive 1/2 mile to get there.

Before school began, we had a meeting to address my concerns for Ellie's needs. There were so many people there who wanted to be sure they understood her needs, the room was filled to capacity. That care and concern has continued throughout the year.

Every good school starts with strong leadership, and our leader takes the time to get involved with his students. Meet Dr. Todd in his Hawaiin Luau attire with Ellie.

With the opening of the new school, I only had to go to him and share my concerns for Ellie beginning kindergarten, and he brought those to the discussion before school began. He listened and he's checked to be sure her needs were addressed to my expectations.

And, then....there's his assistant, Mrs. Brandi.
She noticed the falls Ellie was having and asked Dr. Tood if he noticed. They both remembered my mentioning infections can cause her to lose her balance more often and came to ask me how her health was. She came to me before the young author's conference to ask how to best help her on and off the stage. She cares for the students in her school.


Ellie gets care daily from the NUMBER 1 nurse, Mrs. Angela:


Not only does she take care of Ellie's cathing needs, Ellie often visits her after school for gum. Mrs. Angela keeps me up to date on her observations of Ellie's urinary health, but she also just plain loves on her!

And, there's Mrs. Sheri...whose not even one of Ellie's teachers.


She was Josie-Tatum's first grade teacher and is now her gifted teacher. But....Ellie just likes to stop by most mornings and some afternoons. Mrs. Sheri even invited Ellie to be guest speaker for her 5th grade class and share what her life is like with spina bifida.

Ellie still visits her pre-K teacher often and the pre-K teacher next door. She likes to stay there and play sometimes after school.



The custodians even take extra special care of Ellie. There is Mrs. Mary, who santizes a restroom just for Ellie, making sure it is especially clean daily before her catheters.


And, one might could say that it is her job, but she humors Ellie after school by allowing her to help push her cart, the vaccuum, or the broom. And, it surely wasn't part of her job description to come to work dressed as the Easter bunny!

But, I've saved the best for last! Mrs. Clough:

She has helped Ellie learn to read. She has politely allowed Ellie's mama to interrupt when she forgot to give Ellie her medicine at home. She yells back at Ellie in the mornings when we drive up and Ellie yells, "Hey Mrs. Clough!"

She blessed this Mama's heart the most on this day:


Remember how excited Ellie was before the Spring Fun Run? She really thought she might win, and I was worried about her. Josie-Tatum was worried about her, too.

Well, look who was "running" with her.


Josie-Tatum went to run with her and her teacher did, too! They both made the whole lap with her, and, though she didn't win, she felt like a winner just the same.

So, if you ever visit or move to south Georgia, you might want to check out Ellie's village.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mystery--Can you help?

I received a package today, and I have no clue why!

I opened it because I thought it might contain donations of supplies for our trip to Africa...but it was full off.......

Fishing tackle, reels, line, lures, etc...all very expensive items from Bass Pro Shop.

It came from Fed Ex. My name was on the package. My street address was the on the package.

I called Fed Ex. They gave me the name of the person who sent it. I don't know anyone by that name: Susan Tripp. Do I? Do you?

The return address was a Jeff Vasco....looked up his name and address, called the number. He's a dentist. Got his answering machine.

Why did I get this package? Who sent it? Why did Susan use Jeff's name? Why did she use a dentist's address? What am I supposed to do with this stuff?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Paid In Full

With praises to my King, I share with you.....

Our entire expenses for our mission trip to South Africa are now paid in full.

And, I wonder how my Heavenly Father is smiling down on a group of young people here in our little community in south Georgia.



You see, a few months ago, I shared with our youth group at church our desire to change the world for orphans. I shared how God had called us both to South Africa and to adoption. We viewed photos and videos with information about the orphan crisis. When the service was over, there were few dry eyes.

Then, after I got home, my phone rang.

It was our youth director.

He said, "Mrs. Robbie, remember how I asked our youth how many of them wanted to do something for orphans? Every hand went up. Then, I asked how many were willing to sacrifice something. Every hand went up. Let me tell you what the LORD has laid on my heart."

As he began to pour out his heart, I began to cry. And, as he has continued to pray, meet with his leadership team, meet with the pastor, and meet with the deacons, I stand amazed at what God has done.

He has asked our youth group if they are willing to sacrifice youth camp this year so they can use their allotted funds in the church budget to pay the remainder of the funds needed to pay our way to South Africa. He said when he went back to the youth group to share his plan, he was prepared for questions, and even a little pouting, but he received none of that. They were all willing to pay the price that others may hear the Good News!

As it was noised abroad of the working of the early church in Acts, may it be noised abroad that there are teenagers in south Georgia willing to make a radical unselfish sacrifice for the Kingdom of God!




The LORD has done great things for us, and we are glad!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Prayers

My heart is burdened for a mother I love dearly. She is so lost in her world of drug use. She doesn't see the love, the life, she is destroying. My heart hurts for her children. My heart hurts for her mother and her grandmother. Please pray for her. Please help me know how to pray. Please ask God to make her so miserable she only knows to turn to Him. Please pray peace for her family.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

What Do You Say?

What do you say when.......

You are standing at the back of the church, talking with a visitor who has travelled from VA with your guest speaker. You are discussing your upcoming mission trip, as he is promising to pray.

When, your Ellie comes to you, grinning from ear to ear and says,

"Mama, look at my boobs."

I'm not sure how many tissues she had placed in her shirt.

What do you say?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ponderings of a Mother's Heart

I've learned that Ellie wouldn't trade me for a cookie.


I've learned that Josie-Tatum thinks that one of the things her mom can do best is love orphans.

Oh, what a blessing to be a mother.

I've begun reading Jesus, the One and Only. Thank you, Beth Moore for helping me dive into the life and Jesus and develop a closer walk with him.

And, last night as I read her thoughts on Mary, and how she pondered all of these things in her heart, I began to ponder.


What a blessing to be a mother! What a blessing to be the mother of SEVEN. I didn't get to spend the day with all of my treasures. I did get to spend the previous day with the best MOM in the world, and the best sister, and all of my daughters!




Our lunch was served by some pretty awesome dudes...young Christian men with a heart of service.


And, I can't wait to tell you about the sacrifice those boys are making. It will make your heart smile, and the joy may leak from your eyes...but I can't tell you until next week!





I was saddened some, not having all of my chicks home for Mother's Day, but I did have all of them home for Easter.




So, last night, I pondered. I wonder what Mary pondered, how she might have wondered just how such a tiny baby could change the world.




As we prepare for our mission, trip I ponder.....how might God be preparing this precious child to change the world:









And, I ponder, how many more lives will this treasure continue to inspire:




How did my baby boy grow up so fast with a desire to protect and to serve?






And, what does God have in store for my first born? She leaves on June 6th to serve for two months in San Francisco with the North American Mission Board. What if I had ignored her request to attend church camp when she was eight years old? What if I had ignored her desire to serve at that same camp year after year when she became old enough to be a counselor? Would she be prepared to serve today?



>
Then, what does God have planned for this child of His? When he graduates from college and begins to teach, how much more will he relate to his students in need because he has known need? How has God guided His life so he, in turn, can live for His glory?



And, I know that next year Mother's Day will be the BEST yet! For, Zeke will no longer be a face on the computer to Drew. They will finally be brothers in a family who longs for them to be home.


And, tonight, I will go to bed pondering many things. I wouldn't trade this ride for a cookie.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What I Think

I think I am way behind on my posts and hope to share some photos with you tomorrow! ;)

I also think Uganda bead necklaces would make GREAT graduation gifts for any girls you know who are graduating. And, for a limited time, (if I can sound like a commercial) I will have Katie's Red Dirt Road necklaces, which are also made from recycled paper, but are solid red.

So, if you want to make a purchase, let me know!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where We Stand

I have so much to share and so little time! I hope I can share much soon.

For today....we have our airline tickets for South Africa. We have stepped out in faith that God will provide the remainder of what we need.

Please join me in prayer tomorrow! I am joining Linny at A Place Called Simplicity.

We need $4,800. We have two fundraisers in the next two weeks, a Boston Butt sale, and a concert.

If the LORD is leading you, click on the Why South Africa tab and click the donate button. Each day in Africa costs us 100 each. I wonder if any of you are able to sponsor one of us for a day? Could you donate $100? Could you donate $10?

If you live locally and would like a Boston Butt, they are $20 each. Email me if you'd like a ticket. The butts will be ready for pick up on Friday, May 13th at 11:00 a.m., or after 4:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church in Blackshear.

And, if you live within an hour's drive or so...............

JOIN US:

This Saturday, May 7th at 7 PM
Youmans Chapel Church

"For the Fatherless"

Featuring the band Letters to Rome

Challenging videos to commit to making a difference in the lives of orphans.

Admission is a suggested donation of $10. Ask you youth director if he is taking your student group. Invite your small group from church. Help spread the word. I can email a flyer if you are interested.

And, pray, pray, pray!!!!!

We have fought Satan every step of the way. One team member's mother's home burned to the ground, one team member's grandmother passed away on Sunday, one team member has endured a personal crisis, we had some scary medical issue with Ellie this weekend. (All is well with Ellie now.)

But, pray, pray, pray!!!

I am more convinced now than ever that the enemy does not want our team in South Africa because God is getting ready to do great and mighty things.

Pray, pray, pray!!!!

Spread the word!!!!!

To God be the glory,

Robbie
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