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, January 25, 2013

Sweet Sweet News

I put two and two together tonight and realized a Jesus-given blessing is coming soon to us.

I had received an email from a mom asking questions about spina bifida. It is ALWAYS my privilege to talk with families considering adoption a child with spina bifida. Our Ellie has taught me much about the blessings we receive when we expect to bless our children.

Anyway, this mom made the decision to commit to adopt the little girl with spina bifida. And, I had forgotten that she told me the little girl was also from Zeke's SWI.

Tonight, I saw a post by MOM and the name of the little girl rang a bell.

I looked back and Zeke's school reports from the LWB Believe in Me School. She was indeed mentioned in his reports as one of his best friends. Then, I looked further and further to see that I have lots of photos of her and Zeke together.

And...the best part....

Zeke's friend from across the world in a little recognized province in an obscure town in an orphanage where few international adoptions have taken place....this friend is going to be living in GEORGIA!!! And, only 2 hours from us.

I can't wait until the moment these two meet again!!!!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Open Door--Part 2

Check out the Why South Africa tab to see how the LORD began the work that drew us to  ministry in South Africa.

Then read this email I received a week ago:

Sending this out to see who may be interested. CAMPING/BUILDING TRIP TO MOZAMBIQUE. Depart Atlanta either April 30 or May 1. Begin departure home May 10 or 11 2013.

Albert and I will be going. We hope others will join us. We will first dedicate The Lighthouse South Africa that our church has built then travel to Mozambique to assist with building a school and shed.

It will be a great camping/building/evangelism trip for those with good to excellent health. We will end with safari and camping in Kruger National Park.

We have partnered with Build the Nations for 10 years. It has been a wonderful and rewarding partnership.

So if you are remotely interested. Please let me know. I need to count heads then see how many BTN can handle.

Air will run around $1500. Depending on the number of days we stay in country, the ground fees will probably run another $1500.

Total cost will be about $3000.

For those of you who have been asking for a rustic trip - here it is!

Brenda Sutton
Many of you may remember that Josie-Tatum, Joshus AKA Moose, and I were in South Africa 2 years ago. Knowing I couldn't miss school this year, I told Brenda how much I would love to go...but
I couldn't.
However, Joshua could.....

After talking with Joshua, I knew he was interested, and I began the planning in my head how we could help him. I sang with joy throughout the day thinking of Joshua going back.
And thus the story ends for today....but there is more!!!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

(sort of) wordless Wednesday

Also known as: Never give your adult child your Blogger password or she'll post things like this while you're getting your hair cut.
Eventually she'll forgive me.... ;-)

My Sick Zeke---Cuddling with Jesus

As Chris Roberts was preaching during the Christmas season, he made this statement that stuck with me, “The baby in the manger didn’t come for you to cuddle Him. He came that He might cuddle you.”

                But, do we let him?

                I was awakened many times during the night with my Zeke. He is 7 years old and has been home now 10 months. Wow! These 10 months have flown. He has been sick with cold symptoms for a few days, but yesterday afternoon when the outside temperature was nearly 80 degrees, he told me he was cold. After we came home from school, I realized why he was cold. His body temperature was well over 100 and had continued to rise to 102.9 before bedtime.

                I put him in bed with me, as I have done with all of my very sick babies since I first became a mother nearly 25 years ago. As I prayed for Him and asked God to heal his body, I was also reminded to be thankful. Thankful. Thankful for the opportunity to love on Zeke when he is sick. It made me wonder about times when he was sick while he was still living in the orphanage.

                Zeke is a joy-filled little boy. He gives smiles all day long. He loves attention and quickly gravitates to anyone who will give him attention. He will give hugs and receive hugs. But…he doesn’t seem to know how to cuddle.

                He will sit in my lap. He will put his arms around me. I will put my arms around him. But…his body language is not typical. He remains a little stiff sometimes. He never really sinks into my lap. He hasn’t yet learned to let it all go and completely relax in the arms of his mama.

                Aren’t we like that with Jesus? Do we let it all go? Do we rest in HIM, as he told us to when he said, “Come unto me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest?”

                Zeke is learning. Last night, he awakened several times. Once he woke up coughing and said only 4 words. He whispered, “Mama, I love you.” My heart sang even though I had a sick baby in my bed.

                Then sometime around 4:30, he was awake again and unable to go back to sleep. He told me he was thirsty. I got up, took his temperature again, gave him so ibuprofen, and some water.

                You know where I’m headed.

                All we have to tell Jesus is, “I’m thirsty.” He’ll get up…only it won’t be from a dead sleep. He knows your temperature already. He knows your needs already. He’ll give you the water from the well that never runs dry.

                And, back to Zeke. I asked if he wanted to watch TV. I helped him settle on the couch with his water and a soft blanket. I covered him up and handed him the remote. (He’s a man –in-training.) Then, he asked me if I would turn off the light. I did. And, he said, “You are a good mama.”

                And, my heart sang again.

                He is a good God. He is kind and loving. He provides our needs. He wants to cuddle with you. And, when He does, His heart will sing, too, if you turn back and say, “You are a good Jesus.”

                Cuddle with him today. Tell him He is good. And, as you’re cuddling, ask Him to take care of my Zeke….and get him well!! We are supposed to leave for the mountains Friday afternoon for some cuddle time with Jesus as we spend time with a dear-to-our-hearts Christ-filled family who lives in TN. We need to be well…..

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Open Door Hint #1

To fully grasp this clue, I fully believe you must re-vist this post:

I Love. Love. Love. Love watching the LORD work in the lives of my children. This is quite a story to tell, but I don't think all of the magnitude of what God was preparing our family for could be understanding without visiting something that happened about 2 months ago.
Sometime before the holiday season, and I don't remember when, Ellie said, "Mama, when I grow up I want to be a Christian singer. Then I will give the money I make to Josie-Tatum so she can go on missions."
I pondered those words for a few minutes. Then, as the LORD spoke to me, I told her, "You don't have to wait until you grow up."
We began discussing the possibility of Ellie having a mini-concert, and, since there were no family members planning mission work for the moment, she would donate the proceeds to a ministry dear to our heart. Life was busy, so we decided we would start planning after Christmas.
Little did we know...God was up to something more.
Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Rainbow Days

Our family has been in a dark place. I can't and shouldn't go into the details here, because it is not my story alone to tell.
But...my story does include my GREAT GOD who has been holding my hand. It included many prayer warriors who are holding my hand up to God when I am too weak. It includes my quiet moments in the secret places with my Savior.
It includes my time in a new book. It's actually not a new book. I bought it a long time ago. John Ortberg's "God Is Closer Than You Think." I couldn't get into it when I bought it. But, God knew I would need it one day. And, I need it now. I am being reminded and learning at the same time that God is closer than I think.
And, this weekend God has sent me the gift of "rainbow days." As the book describes, "On rainbow days your life is filled with too much goodness and meaning for you to believe it is simply by chance...On rainbow days God seems to speak personally to you through Scripture." After a very dark place, God has sent me rainbow days to treasure as gifts and to keep me holding on.
  • I enjoyed Winter Jam with Moose and my girls Friday night.
  • We sang Jamie Grace songs ALL weekend.
  • The TV was never turned on until late Saturday evening because....
  • WE sang Jamie Grace songs ALL weekend.
  • My sweet Sister in the LORD who is my sister by blood let the boys stay the night with her so the girls and I could enjoy our time at Winter Jam.
  • I was able to sleep late on Saturday because my sister had my boys.
  • The girls fixed their own breakfast Saturday while I laid in bed even longer talking with My BEST FRIEND JESUS.
  • He spoke to me through songs and scripture and my new/old book.
  • I was reminded of my earthly best friend Melanie who has been withI me through many highs and many lows. God reminded me to be so thankful for her.
  • I jogged 5 miles.
  • Whitney cooked supper.
  • Church today was AWESOME!
  • God spoke directly to me at church.
  • God spoke to Josie-Tatum at church.
  • He has opened an amazing door: 
And, I'm going to have some fun with this one. I'll let you ponder what door He has opened, how I know he opened, and what a great adventure is just beginning!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

She Said Yes to the Dress

You many remember the announcement we made here .

Just after Christmas, Whitney scheduled her first wedding gown consultation at David's Bridal in Savannah.

It was a beautiful day, blessed in so many ways. A good friend who loves my boys agreed to keep them all day long so all of my girls and I could have a Just Girls Day. We drove for 2 hours and were met by Whitney's future mother-in-law and two of her bridesmaids. Cousin Valerie, another bridesmaid, joined us for the ride from our home.
Valerie, Whitney, Taylor, and Liz


Whitney and Mrs. Renee
I must say that the staff at David's Bridal made us feel welcome from the moment we stepped into the front door. After asking Whitney what she had in mind, our new friend Ashley, the consultant, left to grab some dresses while Whitney and her bridemaids grabbed a few as well. 

 I've been told you might want to take a closer look at the photo above. Apparently, one does not often see Taylor in a dress shop, especially NOT holding dresses.
Then came the fun part....Whitney....coming out of the dressing room....as we all sat around in anticipation......
The first dress we knew would go right back where it came from:
The second dress made Mama cry.
The third dress was another No.
The fourth dress was added to the maybes....
Sixth was a no.
Seventh was a No.
After we sorted through the No's, we revisited the maybes with veils.

And, much to the surprise of everyone we talk to, Whitney chose THE DRESS on her visit to a bridal boutique. We did NOT have the drama seen on the televised version of Say Yes to the Dress. Whitney and her sisters, however, have watched enough of that television show and My Fair Wedding, that she knew exactly what she had in mind.

So, we left David's Bridal with a bridal gown....and I'm sorry that you don't get to see it.

Here is the reaction of Whitney's friend Liz.

But, Whitney has graciously allowed me to give you a peak....

And, thanks to our consultant Ashley and Whitney's friends and Mrs. Renee for making this day a precious memory to hold dear. Thank you Jesus for another one of those days you did more than we could have asked or imagined.
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Ellie Min Chun

Ellie Min Chun
Josie-Tatum's MeiMei