Monday, February 25, 2013

There is beauty

I have been seeing them poke up for the past few weeks. For the first time ever I was a bit resentful towards the daffodils as they started to peek out as we tiptoe toward spring. You see, I've been praying that Miss Lydia would be home by the time our little field bloomed here. So when Nathan told me I should check the field I couldn't imagine going. Today though the blue skies and warmer temperatures partnered with a God who promises strength will rise when we wait upon Him, gave me just enough courage to go. Lylah was bursting with excitement! She immediately set to work picking her bouquet!

Now there were some tears hidden behind sunglasses, but mostly there was just beauty. Beauty in the wonder of creation. Beauty in the excitement of a child. Beauty in a God who carries us when we feel we can't carry ourselves. We found a sweet little patch of flowers all by themselves in the middle of four big trees. We decided that that patch of flowers was Lydia's patch.

After snapping a picture of big sis with her "sissy's" flowers, we picked everyone from the patch for Lydia since she wasn't able to be here to pick them herself this year.

After that we picked more flowers and just enjoyed a sweet tradition that is on its 4th year. Though this years flower field experience wasn't how I would have pictured it, it was still filled with sweetness and beauty because true beauty doesn't lie in our circumstances-it lies in a God who carries us through each and every moment of His plan.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Two years and still counting

Tomorrow is a big day. Tomorrow is the two year mark for our adoption journey. As I was looking back at the posts from February 2011 I can't even begin to explain the emotions. So much has changed. As I sit here and try to come up with something worth saying, I just have to say some days are harder than others. Of course some days are busy, and even though Lydia is always on my heart, those days life sort of just takes over. There are other days when I am full of peace that surpasses all understanding. Then there are still days when it's harder to remind myself of the truth of Gods word and sorrow threatens to overwhelm me. In those moments or on those days I am even more thankful for a few things: the sweetness of the body of Christ as I reflect on those interceding on ours and Lydia's behalf, the gift of "big sis" here with me each day, making me laugh and learn so much, and the fact that Jesus knows my heart and all of the emotions flooding it better than even I do. I wouldn't have chosen for this journey to be two years and still rolling, but since this journey has the fingerprints of my Heavenly Father all over it, I will rest in His perfect plan; just some days better than others ;-)

Friday, February 8, 2013


I've learned so much on this adoption journey, but since a lot of adoption is about waiting many of my lessons come back to that same place. I have to daily surrender my plans and my timing to His. I have to daily confess that I'm trying to make this journey about me when it is really all about Him. I have to take myself off the throne and let Him be there-where He belongs. Many verses have encouraged me lately so I'd thought I'd share a few just in case you too find yourself waiting...

Psalm 147:5 Great is The Lord and abundant in power, his understanding is beyond measure.

Jeremiah 31:3b I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.

Hebrews 4:15-16. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin, let us then with coincidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Joshua 21:45 Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

Last week we got news that the Embassy in Congo was adding a step to the adoption process. They are adding an investigation because they are seeing such a surge in adoptions through Congo and want to make sure each child being adopted is in fact an orphan. This step could add 3-6 months to our process. Today we did get our i600 approval which was needed to begin the investigation so that was good news. Please join us in praying that our case would be very smooth and swift. Pray for the people working in the embassy and in our agency to be organized and efficient. Most of all pray for our sweet little Lydia that she would be safe and protected while we continue to wait for her to come home. We of course need prayers as we wait. It is our desire to wait well and to use each moment spent waiting for His glory. It is humbling to know there are so many prayers being spoken on behalf of us and our little lady. Thank you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

To Catch You Up to Speed

Wow. I was just thinking about doing a blog post but then I sort of got lost in old posts for a bit. I was a crummy blogger in 2012. Forgive me? Maybe I'll do better in 2013. It certainly was fun looking back through old posts so maybe that'll be motivation. Anyway I wanted to post a little update on all things Mattingly..

1. We are getting closer to moving. We have had volunteers and friends helping Nathan get things all ready and it's getting close! We are super excited to be in town and to see what God has in store for us. Oh, and don't you like my pretty green cabinets?!

2. There are a few guests that pop up at our house at least once a day. Marco, Luka, and Luke are all of Lylah's imaginary sons. Random, I know, but totally Lylah. These imaginary sons have entertained her for mornings on end. One day I got the entire house ready for a showing while Lylah and her sons had conversations. Here is what I know. It is always Marco's birthday. He does karate and gymnastics. She seems to talk with him the most. She also talks to her real friends and family about Marco like they should know who he is. I don't know much about Luka except he seems to get in trouble the most. Luke is the newest "son" on the scene and by far the coolest since he is "super brave and usually spends 3 hours killing monsters and mean guards". Seriously?!

3. When Lylah's sons are all off doing karate and killing things she spends her time dancing around the house being a "prima ballerina". She turns everything into a barre, my oven and dish washer handles, the bathroom rails in the handicap restrooms. She even practices going up on pointe. She loved all things ballerina already, but it exploded when she visited dance class with a friend! To top it off her Meme got her a "ballerina suit" for Christmas and then a friend from church gave her one too! We will probably have dance classes in her near future.

4. I so wish I could post some of the pics we've gotten lately of Miss Lydia! In one picture she is going to town on a sucker! My favorite so far is of her riding on a nanny's back (classic African style) while the nanny pushes some other kiddos on the swings. She looks tiny in that pic! We also got a picture just last night of her crawling! Our i600 has been filed so hopefully we will get approval in the next few weeks. We are finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel! Please pray that we don't have any major hiccups from here on out and that we are celebrating being a family of four soon!

Okay, I think that's all for now.. :-)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Thoughts on "Yuck".

I did something today that I haven't done in four years at least.  I put on my big black roller blades and took off.  Those of you who knew me four years ago, know how wonderful this must have felt.  Those of you who know me now, might also be able to imagine how much needed this time was.  You see, some of you know that the past couple of weeks have been filled with "yuck" all around me.  "Yuck" actually doesn't really begin to explain it really.  Here is a run down.  An adoption quickly approaching 2 years with no real end in sight.  One young man and two young women my age dead, leaving behind young families and countless loved ones.  Cancer claiming yet another precious member of our family.  A shooting in an elementary school, probably not too much different from the one I taught in only 2 years ago. Seriously, so much sorrow and sadness in this world.  I was to the point of being a bit overwhelmed by it all. 

Then, as I took off on my roller blades, this song was the VERY FIRST one that played.  We could make all kinds of arguments about these different tragedies.  "Adoption shouldn't be so hard, I mean there are sooo many babies who need homes" or "If we could only find a cure" or "We really need better gun laws".  I'm not saying that some of those arguments aren't valid; I'm just saying that even if all of those problems were solved this world would still be filled with sorrow.  This world would still be filled with pain.  This world would still be filled with "yuck".  Why?  This. world. is. not. our. home.  Like the song says (go listen to it) "Jesus has overcome, And the grave is overwhelmed, The victory is won He is risen from the dead."  I needed that reminder.  I needed to be reminded that Jesus has won the victory over sin and all the sorrow in this world.

1Corinthians 15:55-57 "Oh death, where is your victory?  Oh death, where is your sting?  The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ"

My time roller blading ended with this song. These lyrics brought me to tears. 

"Higher than the mountains that I face
Stronger than the power of the grave
Constant through the trial and the change
One thing remains
One thing remains

Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me  [ Lyrics from: ]
On and one and on and on it goes
It overwhelms and satisfies my soul
And I never ever have to be afraid
One thing remains."

I am so thankful for His love.  So thankful that it never fails.  In the face of the fear of our adoption never coming to an end.  In the face of the sorrow for my friends and family who are dealing with loss.  In the face of evil that is senseless killings.  This one thing remains.  "Your love never fails it never gives up it never runs out on me."  That love is the answer to the questions that these trials bring.

Romans 5:8 "but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Adoption Update and some pretty awesome shirts.

We got some news last week that we have been waiting for for almost two years. Our agency notified us that there is a little girl in DRC who is now a Mattingly! Wow! What a journey we have been through so far. Here is a recap for those of you who may not know:

---Start with one agency. Wait for well over a year for a referral. No end in sight as far as that wait. Start to hear about and suspect some corruptness within that agency. Find an agency with a waiting child list. Switch to that agency. Get a referral for a little 11 month old girl almost immediately. Wait seven months only to hear that she actually had family come forward who wanted her. Cry, grieve, pray, and wait to see if it was in fact family that wanted her and not someone else. Get a phone call that the little girl did in fact have loving family that had been looking for her. Cry some more. Overwhelmed by peace in God's sovereign plan. Get word of another little girl who is a true orphan who needs a home. Accept that referral, she was then five months old. Two months later here we are! We now know who Lydia is and we can't WAIT to kiss all over her sweet cheeks!--

I have a couple whole other posts started about things we have learned through this journey and how this journey has changed our faith and grown our love for Jesus, but those posts are for another day. Today we just wanted to rejoice with you! I also wanted to let you know that we will be doing a long sleeved shirt fundraiser for the next couple of weeks. We will be taking orders so if you'd like one let me know your details! The adult shirts will be long sleeved and are $25. The kiddo's only come in short sleeve and are $20. If you'd like one just look me up on facebook or shoot me an email!
Thanks so much for walking this wonderful journey alongside us!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Free Greeting Card Deal!

Still card shopping?

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