Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So life continues on in the kellenberger household.  We've had lots of ups and downs over the last few weeks....
Turns out not everyone appreciates my honesty anymore.  And that's ok.
I'm not out to try to force anyone to understand.
I don't understand it all.
But one thing I know is this-

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." 

It may not ever make sense on earth....but as followers of Christ, we are not living for this earth....
We are all just putting one foot in front of the other and trying to follow Jesus by the grace that He gives us one day at a time.

And sometimes when something different than the norm comes up it's easy to cast judgement and assume that if its different, than it must be wrong.
But I want God's Word to encourage us all to remember that His call is different for each of His children. 
And let's REJOICE in that!

1 Corinthians 12:4 "Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
5 and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone."

And also that when the Bible talks about the body of Christ, it is not referring only to a select group of His followers, but about ALL of His children. 

1 Corinthians 12:11 "All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.
13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-Jews or Greeks, slaves or free-and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
14 For the body does not consist of one member but of many.
15 If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
16 And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body," that would not make it any less a part of the body.
17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell?
18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose.
19 If all were a single member, where would the body be?
20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body.
21 The eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you," nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."
22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable,
23 and on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty,
24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it,
25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.
26 If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it."

We love you all.  We want nothing more than to love and serve and fellowship together united as the body of Christ until He returns.

We are slowly starting to adjust to our new normal.....and making lots of new friends.....

I have been majorly slacking on the pictures, so here is my very random assortment-

i decided not to fight the clothing battle on this day.....and this is what tekoa wore to school...she felt so very beautiful....:)

and she is officially on the vaulting team brave! she is LOVING it!

oh and her pajama day at school was a major highlight in her life :)

neiko wears these boots from cousin josiah almost every day......even just around the house.....he is truly in love with them :)

oh and big news- we finally got a fridge for our pantry....i don't know HOW my mom raised 5 kids with only 1 fridge :) 
this fridge is my new best friend.....and it makes me feel a bit spoiled.....but i totally share what's inside of it, so come on over and have a diet coke....or a juice box....

and this picture was taken by our dentist. :)  he finds 5 kids packed into the room with me while he checks my teeth quite funny.  
i would find it funny too, if i wasn't the last of 5 of us getting cleaned.  it takes almost 3 hours....
we just got a new hygienist, and she commented on the amount of kids and then asked if we lived on a farm or something....:)

i sure love these guys.......and i sure can't wait til i can send them outside to play!! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

I've been told before that my blog is refreshing in it's honesty.
And so i'm going to continue to bare my heart in an honest way, knowing that it will be most likely be offensive to some.  
And for that I apologize.  

That said, this has got to be one of the hardest posts I've ever had to write.

Let me start kind of from the beginning.....

Dave and I grew up, met each other, got married, and have raised our children in the Apostolic Christian Church.
We have loved this church and the people in it.  We never ever dreamed we would ever worship anywhere but this church.

But about a year and a half ago we started to feel the stirrings of change.  Of a call on us to reach out farther than we have been reaching.  To search out our beliefs and study the Word and to question for the first time the beliefs that had always been a part of us.  
And throughout our adoption journey we felt God teaching us that life is just not about our comfort.  And that following Him sometimes means putting at risk the dream of a perfect, safe, and sensible life.  
We listened as people told us every adoption horror story that they had ever heard of, the whole time knowing there was just NO WAY TO SAY NO and to still be following what God was telling us to do.  He paved the way.  He changed our hearts.  This was HIS WORK and He was asking us to join Him in it.  He opened our eyes to how short life is and how little time we have to make a difference on earth.
And each time that we struggle (adoption has been the most difficult but amazing experience) we remind ourselves of what God told us, and that our comfort is NOTHING compared to following Him and forever changing the life of a child....

And then God started leading us from our church.  
And His call kept getting stronger.  
And finally we came to terms with the fact that God was just asking us to GO.  And that when He said He wanted ALL of us, He meant all. 

Yet we held on all this time because remaining comfortable was so much easier than dealing with the hurt and insecurity that leaving the church would bring.
We held on because we didn’t love our church any less. 
We knew God could move mountains and we hoped He would change what needed to be changed in order for us to remain where we felt it was safe and easy for us and our children.
But once our eyes were opened and our hearts were changed, we just couldn’t pretend to be the same as we were before.....  

And that’s when He reminded us that the church is HIM.   That HE will make our paths straight.  That HE is our safety net.  And HE alone is to be worshipped- not the church and not our kids' safety.  That HE will provide for all of our needs.  That HE is the beginning and the end.  That HIS WORD will always make sense, even if others think we are crazy. That HE will ALWAYS be faithful. That HIS LOVE will always be unconditional. That HE will never leave us or forsake us and HE will give us our heart’s desires.  He will make all things new, and He will make all things beautiful in His time....

We remembered all the lessons He taught us through adoption, and we stepped out.  
And it has been so HARD.  
I have always been a bit sensitive to the spiritual warfare going on around us, and let me tell you I am FEELING IT.  There is a battle waging.  
But we are on our knees.  And holding on to our HOPE.  And remembering to not doubt in the darkness what God has told us in the light.  

With all of that said, we are being drawn to a little church on the south side of town where we are in the minority.  
The church has about 50 members, and there are about 30-40 people on any given Sunday.  
There is no Sunday School and the service is about 3 hours long. 
3 hours of soaking in the Word and the presence of our Savior in a much different way than what we are used to.

And we have been told by those very near and dear that our kids need to come first, and that maybe this isn't the best option for us for raising our kids....

And it would appear that way.  Even to us.  Unless this is where God is calling us to be.  In that case, there would be NO BETTER PLACE for us to raise our kids.  
And most importantly they will be hearing the Word preached by an amazing man of God who is a very Biblically sound preacher and a very, very beautiful worship leader.

We are more aware than ever that there are LaKishas all over this town.  People who can benefit HUGELY from just a little effort on our part.  We are hearing the call to bridge the gap, and to be His hands and feet.   To not keep apart from the need or to be afraid of it, but to be immersed in it.  To not sit in ivory towers while others go without the basic human needs.  To not hoard our salvation and spend all our energy on perfecting it, but to share it.
Please pray for us!! Pray that we will hear God's voice above all others.  That we will listen and obey.  And that we will better serve Him and bring Him glory every day for as long as we are here on earth.

6 "Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. 9 Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, 'Here I am.' If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, 10 if you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday. 11 And the LORD will guide you continually and satisfy your desire in scorched places and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail. 12 And your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in. 13 "If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight and the holy day of the LORD honorable; if you honor it, not going your own ways, or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly; 14 then you shall take delight in the LORD, and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father, for the mouth of the LORD has spoken." Isaiah 58: 6-14

Proverbs 14:31
"Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, 
but he who is generous to the needy honors him."  
Proverbs 21:13
"Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor 
will himself call out and not be answered."  
Proverbs 28:27
"Whoever gives to the poor will not want, 
but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse."  
Proverbs 31:20
"She opens her hand to the poor 
and reaches out her hands to the needy."

I love love love all of you and there are some of you that I miss so desperately already!
I will always pray for you!! For the church I grew up in- full of some of the most beautiful, amazing people I know.  People with hearts that serve and love.  People who have shown Jesus to me Sunday after Sunday. 
Thank you....we ALL thank you....
Please come see me anytime- I'm always here! And our home is always open!!'s not always clean, but it is always open! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

i know i'm way behind here, but we've been BUSY!!! 
here's my attempt to recap :)

first, here's Dave's Christmas project- he made some fake doors out of barn wood for our entryway.  
i love it :)

and here's Neiko at his cousin Livie's "pink" birthday party :)
 he actually loved prancing around in that sparkly dress all night.....and he's loving looking at the picture right now :)
btw he is getting HUGE.  i can barely hold him and type....

this is our Christmas Eve picture :)

LaKisha and the kids came at noon and LaKisha helped me cook all day.  we were hosting Christmas Eve dinner for Dave's family.  we had a lot of fun together, and I LOVED watching her command my kitchen :) 
i think she has missed cooking....she doesn't have much opportunity for that at the Salvation Army. 

LaKisha had to work the week after Christmas so I had her kids during the days.  
we had fun :)

I asked Cornell to put Neiko's puffy vest on him.  and he put Tyden's vest on Neiko.  it was so cute to see Neiko walking around in it like nothing was wrong :)

we had a play date with some second cousins.  
i'm so thankful for the people who let me come over with my many children!! :)

nothing like a little girl with a big gun....:)

while we were driving home from Christmas at grandma's Tekoa kept asking Dave if he could hurry. "Can't you go any faster daddy?  can you hurry?"
finally he asked her why he needed to hurry, and she said, "cause all the icicles in my pockets are melting!" :)

here's wren with her "funny bunny" :)

wren is entering into the "many questions" phase of life.....
how do we get money, where does the moon go during the day,  where does Jesus live, why do people have to sleep, etc
it's still cute at this point but i remember very clearly how quickly it gets old....

i found this in Shaeya's journal.  it's so awesome to see God at work in her heart.  she is such a sweet, sweet little girl.....

after New Years Dave and i went to Kansas to visit his family and celebrate Christmas with them.  we went to Kansas City first to visit Dave's older brother at IHOPU.  we got to see the school and visit the "Prayer Room" where they have worship going on 24/7.  it never stops.  pretty amazing!!

who says you can't sleep 7 people in one hotel room??

and then we were off to Viola, Kansas to stay in my sister-in-law's parent's home with the whole fam! :)

we visited a dairy farm- with lots of questions from wren about milk and where does it come from and how does it get to the store and why do we have to buy it and why do we even drink milk.....:)

it was super fun for the kids, but i think they were most excited about the farm cats :)

all the cousins! 

and these kids love to SING! so fun! :)

it was the Christmas that just kept on giving this year.  it was fun and amazing and memorable.........and i'm so glad that it's all done and life can slow down a bit.  :)
this is our third day back into the school schedule and it's been a crazy week.  we are still adjusting. 
and as much as i LOVE LOVE LOVE having my older kids around, it's nice to have a few quiet moments around here while the older ones are at school and the younger ones are napping.

Happy 2013 to everyone! 
I pray that this year brings us deeper intimacy with our Savior, generous hearts, a greater ability to love like Jesus, and a whole lotta fun :)