Friday, December 17, 2010

Inspiration Friday Party No. 16!

Welcome friends!
I'm so thrilled to have you join me for this last Inspiration Friday Party before Christmas.
But, we can't officially get things going until I announce the winner of last week's Giveaway!

Random Generator spit out the winning number and it belonged to........
Honey from 2805!

She will be receiving the oversized 12 Days of Christmas Towel, her very own Mint Julep cup and a copy of "Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia.
There may even be an extra surprise tucked in there!
Congratulations Honey and I'm so thrilled that you have joined the ranks of Bloggers this year. It is quite a great little community we have, isn't it?

Earlier this month I began the tour of my home all dressed up for Christmas by showing you our main Christmas tree, a.k.a. "Mommy's Tree". As in, "you have your own tree and mommy spent a lot of time on this one so don't you dare go rearranging things!"
 I told you all about my treasured ornaments and the Angel my husband I bought as Newlyweds.
But there was one ornament you didn't see.
Because it hangs on the back of that tree.

And I'm a poet who already knows it. off track there for a second.

This ornament could be considered the "Ugly Duckling" of my collection.
Can you see why?

It probably came in a pack of 20 from Wal-Mart and wouldn't be considered very valuable by most.
That is, if you don't know what it holds inside.
Can you see that?
That little slip of paper peeking out?

At a church retreat in the fall of 2002, we were given these little ball ornaments and tiny slips of paper, and instructed to write down what we were hoping and praying for that year.

Robb and I knew, of course, what we were hoping and praying for. We had been for some time.

I'm only going to let you see a little bit of what it says.

"We are more confident and assured that God is making plans for our child to come into our lives in the next year."

We rolled it up and tucked it back inside that cheap ball ornament and when we got home it got packed away.
Flash forward 5 months and we found ourselves adopting the most precious boy we could have imagined.
Actually, he was (and is) far beyond what we hoped and prayed for!
When I got out the ornaments that year to hang on our tree, I found this one and couldn't really remember what it was for. Maybe it was from the fog of sleep deprivation I was in!

I almost tossed it out until I noticed the "2002" written on it.
Pulling out that little scroll of paper I read the words that came from our hearts just 1 year earlier. And looking down at my sleeping baby boy, I marveled that the God of the universe would answer the prayers of an ordinary young couple longing for a child to call their own. And then, just to show off, He orchestrated the adoption of our beautiful daughter 4 years later!

And, just because it's my blog and I get to do whatever I want here, I couldn't resist showing you just how much God has blessed us by sharing these 2 recent pics of my sweet babies who are getting way too big for their britches if you ask me!

(These were taken by an AMAZING local photographer and I'll show you some more next week)
So, what are you hoping and praying for?
Maybe you would consider writing it down, tucking it inside of one of your cheapy ball ornaments (or a beautiful, expensive one if that's the way you roll!) and hanging it on your tree.
Who knows? Maybe the next time you see it that prayer will have been answered!

Now, this would typically be the point at which I would begin to high-light some fabulous posts from last week's party.
But, to be honest with you, there is so much great stuff in blogland right now with the Holiday Extravaganza going on that I couldn't narrow it down to only 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 get the idea!

So, consider yourselves ALL HIGH-LIGHTED this week!

Think of it as my gift to you!

And, do you want to give me a gift? Well, I don't know about you, but time is not on my side these days. And it would be such a gift to me if you all would take the time and visit the 2 links before and the 2 links after yours. Maybe even leave them a comment?
I try my darndest to get around to everyone but I don't know that it will happen this week. I'll do my best, but you all could be a great help to me in that department so that everyone can get a little bit of linky party love!

Now, let the Merriment Begin!
Here is how to link up...

1. Add your Permalink to your entry but not your General Blog Address. To get your Permalink, click on the title of the blog post you are wanting to submit and copy and paste the address into the URL box. You will also have to add your address but it will not be visible to anyone else.
2. Do not try and Link up until you have actually published that particular post on your blog.
3. Please link back to the host blog, Southern In My Heart, so that those who visit your blog will be able to find some wonderful Inspiration from everyone else.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend preparing for the week of celebration ahead! I'm off to my son's School Christmas Program. That should be good for some chuckles and maybe even a few tears!

From this Southern Girl at Heart,
I'm linking this post to
Tuesday Treasures


SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Hope you have a good time in your son's School Christmas Program! Happy Holidays!

Tricia said...

What a sweet story Vanessa. Wouldn't it be fun to tuck a little message in an ornament each year and look back at them year after year...they would kind of be like a time capsule. Your children are adorable. God has certainly blessed you ♥

Karen said...

What a wonderful idea with the Christmas ball. I see now why it is so special. :)
Have a wonderful Christmas.

Town and Country House said...

I love this idea and will be using it and encouraging my children to do so also. Your children are beautiful and I know y'all are so proud. Our neighbors across the street just drove many miles at the drop of a hat to bring home their new baby boy! So exciting!

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

What a precious idea! Don't you just love all the memories putting up a Christmas tree can bring? This idea could become a Christmas tradition! Thanks, Vanessa!

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Such a sweet story, Vanessa. Your children are beautiful.

Nancy's Daily Dish said...

Your tree is gorgeous but the story is absolutely precious! Beautiful children you've been blessed with!

Grace @ Sense and Simplicity said...

What a lovely story and I'm so glad you have two sweet munchkins to celebrate Christmas with. I can see why that ornament is so special.

Sue said...

What a sweet,sentimental story to share with us. It's proof that God works his wonders in many different ways....
Merry, Merry, dear friend.
~ Sue

KimMalk said...

Now that's an idea I haven't heard of before. How wonderful and special those memories are.

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Vanessa, Your children are adorable and what a wonderful story about blessings. I love the idea of doing this each year and being able to go back and read them the next year. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Hey there Vanessa~ Love this post-just love it. Thanks so much for sharing it- Your babies are so darling too! All linked up- thanks for hosting!

Honey at 2805 said...

Vanessa, Your children are so adorable and precious. Indeed, you have been blessed by God. Thank you for sharing this sweet story and what a lovely idea it is.
May your family always be blessed.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos. Your children are so so cute!

I wasn't sure if I had anything this week but I did. Thanks again for hosting.

Honey at 2805 said...


Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind hospitality. I am so excited about winning your lovely gift! (insert Happy Dance).
You are so gracious and a valued new friend.

The blogging community have indeed made me feel welcome and I am happy to be included in your membership.

With that said, I may not bring my post to your party as it is really silly and the great gals in this community may think "oh, this poor girl has already lost control". :) :)

Thanks for being a gracious hostess!

Hugs, Honey

Abby M. Interiors said...

Consider yourself gifted and don't worry your sweet heart about visiting my blog!

Thank you for sharing God's grace and perfection in this post. In the past few months I feel like God has been whispering to me about the miracle of adoption.

Thanks for hosting this party!


NanaDiana said...

Oh you are soooo blessed...and God has certainly fulfilled your wishes, hopes and prayers. Your children are absolutely beautiful..and I know that you are honored to have been chosen to be their parents. With their coloring and faces they could pass for biological sister and brother.

I love your son's smile and your daughter is just a little sweet pea.

Hugs to you- Diana

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

This is such a sweet sweet story and your children are sooooo CUTE!!! Merry Christmas to you and your family.


Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

What a true, gorgeous and touching post. I am going to do this with my family on Christmas morning. We will have a time of prayer and quiet time with God and then fill them out. Thank you for this meaningful idea.
YOur children are precious! Great blessings from our GOOD God!
xo Have a very merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

O.K., my friend. We are now trading tears. What a beautiful post. Thanks for sharing your beautiful answers to prayer.

Patricia @ 9th and Denver said...

God is so faithful!
I'm so glad you didn't toss the ornament. I'm glad that He prompted you to pull that paper out and read what it said-- in your heart of hearts you knew Him to be faithful and that is why you prayed what you prayed.
God is so Good. Bless you and your beautiful family.
I may be shopping for a dozen of those little empty ornaments for our family Christmas gathering-- we may do this together this year. I love it!

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Oh, Vanessa, you're so open and sweet-hearted. You melt me with your lovelieness. I am so glad for you that your prayers were answered in just the way you hoped.

Your cildren are so beautiful. Those photos have captured them incredibly well.

Merry Christmas, my gorgeous friend.


michelle said...

Hello my friend! What a beautiful ornament inside and out!! I am so glad that God has blessed you with the love of you children, they are so precious and absolutely adorable and you are such a wonderful mother!!
Thank you for your friendship this year and all your wonderful and sweet comments! It has been such a pleasure getting to you know you!

And sadly, no, I do not have beautiful wrapping, it is exactly like you said, I am all gun ho with the music and the pretty paper and then I am so sick of it and just want it done!!! No pretty bows or ribbon, just paper and lots of tape!! :)

Blessings to you and your beautiful family my friend and Merry Christmas!!!

Christie said...

Vanessa, Your post always touch my heart! I love this and what a GREAT idea! Maybe I will have my children write some notes and tuck away...wouldn't that be cool years from now to read in their little handwriting what they hoped for! God is good and I love this story of how He answered your prayer not once but twice! What a miracle and a blessing! Your children are beautiful!! Just like their Mama! Such a touching and sweet story...Merry Christmas to you my friend! I know it is a hopping time, so we can catch up when the dust settles! I missed the great cookie exchange, so here are some cookies for this party! I am always late to everything! ugh...blessings my friend to you and your family!

An Oasis in the Desert said...

Thank you for sharing this lovely story. Your children are adorable and so very precious. And your "Mommy Tree" is just beautiful.

DIYbyDesign said...

What a sweet, sweet story. I love a happy ending...

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

What a precious and amazing story with a wonderful ending :) I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas!

Heather@Gourmet Meals for Less said...

Okay, I read your post this morning laying in bed and L. walked in to me sniffling and crying. I know the story inside and out, yet it still makes me cry. That my sister, is the gift of a good writer. I love you...and those two miracles so much.

~Kristin~ said...

Let me know if you can figure out how to slow all of our babies down, so they don't grow so fast!

Sandra said...

Vanessa, what a beautiful story! I think that is such a special ornament because you guys were conveying your feelings about a baby and it came true for you all! I love it! Thank you for sharing with us.

Simone @ Doberman's by the Sea said...

What a lovely idea to put a note in the ornament. Thanks for hosting and Happy Holidays. said...

Love your ornament note. So glad your prayers were answered with 2 beautiful children.

Tks for hosting a fun party. Happy Holidays!!

Dayle ~ A Collection of Days said...

What a wonderful story of prayer answered. I, too, know the joys of adopting. My only regret is that I didn't go for #2. Your children are beautiful. And that "cheap" ornament is one of my favorite kinds. I have many red and gold ones just like it that I hang in the inner branches of my tree every year. They reflect the lights so wonderfully.

Merry Christmas, Vanessa.

Anita Diaz said...

Vanessa, that is just incredible!! God is indeed amazing:-)

Delchick42 said...

What a wonderful story. I can relate to wanting something that strongly. I'm so happy that you were able to experience 2 miracles. I really like the idea of the note in the ornament. Very sweet. You and your family have a joyous and safe Christmas and a happy New Year.


Parisienne Farmgirl said...

OH my gosh, so glad you came by for a visit and then invited me here!
Your children are GORGEOUS! And I love the "paper" story!
Thank you so much for your kind and funny words!

Hubby is waiting to watch a movie or else I would hook up to our party - dont have time at the moment!

Honey at 2805 said...

Thanks, Vanessa. I just couldn't help myself, so finally linked up. Yes, I think we are kindred spirit...just wait until you meet the manniquins of one of the guest rooms. They are very sassy and tend to be demanding :)

Leslie {Goodbye, house. Hello, home!} said...

Oh, Vanessa!
What beautiful children God has blessed you with!!
Did I ever tell you I am a birth mom?
My son is 22-it was an open adoption, so I have contact with him :)
Adoption is very near and dear to my heart.
And yes, I am going to have our family write a "wish" to the Lord this Christmas and roll it up and save it to read next year, God willing.
What a sweet, inspiring idea!
I am loving all the blog parties, but too busy to participate, as I have been preparing for our own "real world" party tomorrow night.
Should be fun!
I will be taking pictures of our home when it's all ready for guests, though, and those should suffice for some more posts, I hope :)
I love you blog, and I'm glad to know you!
P.S. I meant to tell you that I read your Advent post a few weeks back--got taken away somehow, and didn't comment. It was an excellent post...most special and thoughtful! And I am especially trying this year to rememeber my Savior before anything else.

Becca Bertotti said...

What an absolutely beautiful post! You and I are both so blessed to be parents through adoption. Your kiddos are absolutely precious. I love the idea of placing a thought, hope, dream or goal in an ornament and pulling it out one year later to see if you accomplished it. I *just* might have to do this! Thank you for always sparking such insightful words and thoughts in all of us. Hugs, Becca

The Decorative Dreamer said...

Vanessa that is one precious Christmas ball you have there. I hope you hold on to it dearly! I would add something around the top, like maybe a fancy ribbon with tiny baby boots and a cross or prayer hands charm. Just so you don't forget which one it is again in case you overlook the 2002. Then move it to the front of your tree my friend! That's a wonderful keepsake. Thanks for sharing your story.

Ashley said...

I LOVE the story of your ornament. I came back to show it to my husband. So I think we will try it. My little girl is still talking about the chain we did at Thanksgiving that we'd found on your blog. Every night at dinner when we pray she asks if I remember the Thankful chain we made :) It will definitely be a tradition for us too every year. Thank you for sharing!

Debbiedoos said...

That is truly a beautiful story, and the best Christmas story I have heard yet!!~ Your children are beautiful and look how happy they are, they are blessed as well as you are to all have had all found each other.

Jemsmom said...

That is the sweetest story! Don't the most wonderful things hide themselves in the plainest of trappings? We have learned that we can't have any more babies and I am so grateful and in love more and more when I see my little girl. Children whether you have them or adopt them are a blessing!

Melanie said...

What a beautiful story. I almost cried while reading that. You just never ever know.

Merry Christmas! I have missed everyone but I am enjoying my break. See you soon.