Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Christians Vs. the World

I want to preface this post with a warning: this post is directed towards and ONLY towards, God fearing, Jesus following Christians. In no way do I imply that anyone of any other religion should be held to these standards. So there. That is out of the way. I have a bone to pick with you Christians- many of you who are on my Facebook friend list and even more of you who aren't on my friend list. Today is Chic Fil A Appreciation Day and I have seen post after post of people going out to support Chic Fil A. I am one of Chic Fil A's biggest supporters and this post is not going to debate all that has been debated since they came out and said marriage is to be between a man and a woman. Many of your posts have been fueled with passive agressive attitudes and snide remarks about the LGBT community and I am quite honestly disgusted with you. Now I am not involving myself in this type of debate because it is a futile debate. Too many people on both sides of the argument have had hurtful comment and insinuations thrown at them due to their decision to support or not support Chic Fil A. Those on both sides are predominately unwilling to listen to the other side and actually hear what is being said. Instead, everyone wants to yell and scream about how right they are and quite frankly it is exhausting watching both sides make morons of themselves. So please, don't bring all that junk into this converstaion. This conversation is regarding a verse in Scripture that is quite popularly quoted but one that seems to forgotten once someone dares to live differently than us Christians. You know, Christ followers. Here it is: Mark 12: 30-31 "Love the Lord your God... Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these". Now I don't know about you, but my literal neighbors are not Christians and I keep hearing at church how there are 500,000 lost people in Knox County and they are all my neighbors. Do you know how many of those 500k people have different political, social and religious ideals than me? Most. In fact I would say more than 75%. But Jesus was very clear in His teachings. Love your neighbor. Period. Not ONLY those neighbors who sit next to you at church, or sing on the praise team, or volunteer at the shelter; but also those who are part of the LGBT community, that drunkard that you see walking down your street (maybe that is just us...) and that bitter, lonely widow who lives next door. How do you show love to those hurting, aching souls in your life and community who are desperate for someone, ANYONE to show them love? Or do you not have these people in your life? If you are a Christian and you cannot think of people you see on a weekly basis that need to see Jesus's love then I urge you to stop being so selfish and get off your booty and FIND someone. It won't take long and yeah it is uncomfortable. It is hard to proclaim to be a Christian and defend all the other Christians who have treated others like dirt and expect those who have been burned to just instantly forgive and forget. I'm sorry, did you forget? They are LOST. Why, why WHY do we continually expect those who do not know Jesus and His love to act like they know Jesus and His love? And why, why, WHY do we, who know Jesus's love and sacrifice continually act like those who are lost? The double standard has to end. I have little to no respect for those of you who will read this and take it upon yourself to whine and moan about how self righteous I am but will do nothing to try and show love to those around you. Beyond the fact that you disagree with a homosexual lifestyle I ask you to consider this. Have you ever thought about how lonely it must be to be a homosexual in a community that is located in the Bible belt? Have you ever considered the ramifications that might ensue if someone in YOUR family was a homosexual and couldn't tell anyone about their struggle for fear of ostracization? If you feel that a homosexual lifestyle is a sin then I ask you to recall where in the Bible that sin is placed higher than laziness, gluttony (you know, that extra brownie you ate when no one was watching) lying (even if it was "innocent and white")or any other sin. We have to be able to examine our hearts and motives. Do you fear the unknown? Are you afraid the Democrats or the homosexuals or the homeless are going to make you the same as them by association? Or do you still believe that by solely inviting those who are lost around you to church on Easter is going to be the only way they will come to the know the Lord? These people are broken, hurt, damaged and lonely. Hear me when I say this because I have talked to so many who are in the LGBT community in this area and they are lonely. All in all the lost want the same thing we do: community. Acceptance. Love. Grace. forgiveness. Understanding. I have been guilty of everything I talked about in this post. But the Lord has shown me that He wants us to offer all the things He offers us daily to those around us. We deserve the grace and love no more than those who we believe to be dirty rotten sinners. And we were and sometimes still are dirty rotten sinners. So instead of just heading for the showers alone why don't we all turn around and extend a hand of love, understanding, acceptance and grace to those who are in the same pit we just crawled out of and hit the showers together.

Friday, February 24, 2012

happy first birthday carter!

I cannot believe I have a one year old! Where did the last 50 weeks go? Since it has been ages since I updated anything on here I wanted to share some of the things my very toddling toddler is now doing.

Talking. All. The. Time. (I just don't know where he gets it!) He can say Mommy, Daddy, Up, No-no, and a variety of words that only he understands. I do believe he is trying to say please when he wants something but I am not completely sure of that.

Walking, falling, crawling, etc. He started walking at 10 months and about 2 weeks later decided that the two or three steps he was taking at a time were not sufficient so he started taking mote like10 steps at a time. He is now into EVERYTHING and babyproofing is a constant challenge

Carter is an observer. We have noticed when we go out places where there a lot of people that he is just content watching them. It is so strange to see his almost shy side around other kids because at hone he is anything but reserved.

I am sure most parents would say this, but he is funny! This baby or big boy I guess I should say is stinkin hilarious. He knows when to do things to get a laugh out of someone and he takes it. He also thinks that I am quite funny which is a huge confidence booster. (:

He loves music which is good since his radio is never, ever turned off. We leave K-Love playing in there nonstop and he will "sing along" and even dance to some songs. It fills my heart with joy to know that he enjoys music so much... I truly pray he is not tone deaf...

Carter loves to read, in fact, in all his toy crates around the house are books and it is not uncommon to see him sitting in he floor reading to himself. It is one of the cuter things.he does.

Lastly this buy likes to eat. And eat. And eat. He has to have the worlds fastest metabolism because he eats like he is a 14 year old. Some favorites are broccoli (yeah you read that right), raisins, chicken, turkey, cheese, pickles and his current all time favorite is blueberries. So far he is not a huge fan of mandarin oranges, cucumbers, and zucchini but we will try them again in a few weeks and see what he thinks. We made the switch to whole milk about 2 weeks ago because I just couldn't stomach the idea of buying another can of formula and it has gone remarkably well...especially considering that we also began to transition away from the bottle and only use sippy cups except for the bedtime bottle.

Carter, you have brought so much joy and love into Daddy and my hearts that I can't even explain it to you. I love the opportunity to be your Mommy and I love Miss Megan for allowing me this privilege. I pray that as you continue to grow that you will begin to know and love Jesus and begin to listen to Him guiding you through life. I am so proud of all the things you do already and so well and I can't wait to see what else you will learn this year. You are so special and Mommy loves you. Happy 1st birthday.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


many memories i have of my childhood revolve around extended family and the times we would get together. ma and bobo (my dad's parents) lived in or near the same town as us for the majority of my life so we were over there fairly regularly. it was not uncommon for those who smoked to be outside shooting the bull about how much rain we needed or what the cowboys needed to do to fix their defense. many of the older kids and grownups would be gathered around the table playing phase 10, canasta or zonk. the one tv was in the living room and they had only 3 movies that we liked to watch- a care bears nutcracker movie, the unsinkable molly brown, and lil' abner. whenever we wanted to watch any of those we would have to ask bobo if we could watch it. so in we would traipse over to his chair and ask him to please let us watch these movies, and most of the time, he would oblige. in my opinion, the care bears was probably his favorite!
bobo was missing the tips of 2 of his fingers from an accident he had working in the mechanic shop at john deere, but whenever we would ask him what happened to his fingers he would tell us that was what happened when you picked your nose. as i got older and realized he was just joking i have fond memories of watching younger cousins' eyes bulge the first time they heard it.
in 2001 bobo had some serious heart trouble and it wasn't expected he would live to see 4 of us grandkids graduate that year- he was a fighter. doctors told him he needed to stop smoking or the outlook would be grim for him in the future- he was stubborn. in may of 2001 i walked across the stage to receive my diploma and bobo was alive. in june of 2006 i married chris and bobo was there to see me get married. christmas of 2010 i expected it to be the last time i would see him alive as he was quickly declining. i brought carter to texas to see him in march of this year. friday morning, my stubborn, tough, and loving bobo went to be with Jesus. he left his body riddled with cancer, his lungs that couldn't breathe well enough, his heart that couldn't keep up, to assume a new body that had none of the ailments that his earthly body had.
my bobo was not perfect- far from it in fact, but in the last few years, everytime i would see him, he would kiss me on my cheek, hug me tight around my neck, and tell me that he loved me, that he was proud of me, and that i was a good girl. so now if i close my eyes and try really hard i can still smell the lingering scent of tobacco, hear the gravely sound of his voice and feel the scratchiness of his stubbly cheek as he hugged me; and that is the memory i am going to hold onto most of all until i see him again, someday.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

here's the story, part 2

thursday, march 10, 2011

i woke up after a relatively restful night's sleep and immediately began to pray for everyone involved- M, S, the interim care mother, and us. during my prayer i suddenly grasped the enormity of the situation and it really started to sink in and i completely dissolved into body racking sobs of thankfulness. i laid there praising God for His faithfulness, asking Him to forgive my lack of trust and honestly brokenhearted for M and S. i was so thankful for this gift they were going to entrust us with, but i was so burdened for them at the same time... it was the strangest and most powerful combination of emotions i have ever experienced.

at 830 we called mark, our adoption worker, and told him that, yes, we were going to go pick up our son and he told us to head on over the office to sign all of our paperwork so we could get to the tri-cities by 12. i called christie who had agreed to go with us to take pictures of our first encounter with carter and told her what time to be at the house and we were out the door to bethany. mark went over many things with us and had us sign so many papers and going over all the legal responsibilities, et cetera, et cetera... it felt like 5 hours, but in reality it only took bout 1 1/2.

we left bethany's office and headed home to pick up christie and get the carseat loaded. the drive there was a blur of excitement, anticipation and angst. when we finally arrived at the bethany office in johnson city i felt as though i was about to throw up, i was so nervous. i kept thinking, what if this is one of those ugly newborns? (be honest, you know there have been times you have seen a newborn and thought, you aren't quite finished... not all babies are cute). we met julie and she told us that hope, the interim care mother, was in the next room with him so we walked in...

"thank goodness he isn't an ugly baby!" that was my honest to goodness first reaction when i saw him. you are lying to yourself and everyone else if you honestly believe that all babies are beautiful- miracles, yes, beautiful, no. so for the sake of honesty there you go. after that we talked with hope and christie was taking pictures for us and we loaded up and went to the pediatrician for his discharge visit. the whole thing was surreal. dreamy. not at all what i expected it to be, yet so perfect at the same time.

i remember as we were leaving tri cities and headed back to knoxville feeling like something would fall apart and they would realize that they were just handing over this beautiful, precious baby boy to us and sending us on our merry little way. at that moment all the trainings, meetings, interviews, etc we had done with the bethany staff didn't even register with me and i just kept thinking- is this real? are we just babysitting this baby?

when we got home we were so excited for everyone who had prayed him to us to come over and witness God's faithfulness and provision so we had a crazy night and lots of company and carter behaved like a champ. the first few weeks were such a whirlwind of company and travel that by the time we were finally home in april i realized almost an entire month of my leave had gone by.

so the past two months have just been glorious. i will not apologize for my lack of blogging as i am trying to soak in every single second with him before i return to work on friday/doom's day/ day of death/ whatever. i can't believe how absolutely quick you can fall in love with a child and be willing to fight or die for him. i can't believe that after years of heartache, pains, and questions we finally got our answer. and he is a smiley, happy, bouncing baby boy. God is good, all the time.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

here's the story...

tuesday, march 8, 2011

this evening i decided to look over our budget calendar and get a handle on how many vacation days i have and how we might be able to make our budget work for us whenever we got a baby. this is an activity i had done several times before in different stages along the way so there was no special significance- i just wanted to make sure that i could take off as much time as possible when we got a baby.

wednesday, march 9, 2011

i go to work, just another wednesday, and i did my work thing- a few loans, vault stuff, and i was trying to get some loose ends tied up; there was a sense of urgency, but no reason really, i just wanted to make sure that i had everything in order in case we were to be audited. it was a rainy and dreary day and i had forgotten to pack a lunch so i ran down the road to subway and was feeling pretty good so i decided to grab a box of these new delicious raspberry cheesecake cookies at subway for the branch to share. had my lunch, went back to work.

i went to the bathroom (tmi- perhaps, but this is part of the story) and while i was back there i started thinking, "we have 4 new employees; i should probably send out a refresher email that if mark or terri calls for me that it is urgent- this way i wouldn't miss their call and someone wouldn't tell them i was unavailable- because short of being unconscious at the credit union, there was nothing that would keep me unavailable from that phone call! so then i begin contemplating what our birthparent's names will be and if I would use an A or S or K to signify their name...whatever; wash my hands and i leave the bathroom.

i walk out the back and one of the girls, anita, says, "hey sass, a mark akers just called you..." i know there was more but i took off running and the only other thing i heard was "call you on your cell phone". so i have just run the equivalent of 10 yards to my office and i am sucking wind (duh, i am not known for my athleticism) and i hear my phone ringing so I take a deep breath, and acting as though i hadn't just depleted my lungs of oxygen from the marathon i just ran, answered my phone ever so suavely.

mark proceeded to shoot the bull with me about my day, blah blah, and then he said, "well cassie, today is march 9th" at which point i thought, great, he's going to talk about our renewal that is coming up for our 1 year approval... "yeah mark, i know" "and i really need to see you and chris just as soon as possible. we have a situation. either tomorrow morning or today..." "today will be fine. let me call chris. (dialing) chris, mark's on the phone and he needs to see us, can you leave? i'll meet you there! mark see you in just a few!"

i stand, i cry, and i go to tell my manager that it is time for me to leave because finally, FINALLY we have a "situation" and lo and behold, she's not there! she had to run out to drop her car off at the shop so when i called her she asked me to give her 15 minutes... does this woman even KNOW how long 15 minutes is? but i obliged and when she got there i took off out the door and called my mom to keep keep me calm as i drove to the bethany office (which i must say seemed to be at least 20 minutes longer than every other time i have driven there!)

so i get to the office, and chris was already there and mark sits us down and tells us that terri, the director, is just dying that she had to go out of town, but she wanted to be there with us, so she was going to conference call in, until it was time to board her flight. mark gave us a free question at the very beginning and it was, "boy or girl?" boy.

now i feel it is only fair here to stop and explain something. i never expected to get a boy. i fully had expected to adopt lillie faith and she was going to be a biracial or african american little baby girl. never ever in my head did i expect to have a boy. b-o-y. do you know how scary having a boy is to me? i am girly. i don't like dirty things, i am annoyed with sports programming, i hate video games, boys do not have as cute clothes or bows, you can't pain their fingernails... do you know how intimidating that is for a priss like me? it's not that i wasn't open to a boy, it's just so foreign to me and that is scary... not to mention all the boy parts... whew.

so mark starts with carter's story. the birthmom, M, is young and has another child. so he has a biological brother. she chose to make an adoption plan because she couldn't handle having two babies (her other child is young) and she has dreams and goals for herself. she hasn't had a great life growing up. she chose us when she saw our profile and was adamant that we were his adoptive family. not anyone else. in fact, she didn't even want to look at other profiles when she saw ours. here is where i jump in again... remember that prayer journal i have been keeping for her? i prayed specifically on a number of occassions that she would see our profile and know beyond a shadow of doubt that we were the family for her child. god is so amazing.

at this point mark stops us and wants to know if we have any questions. no dude. we're good. we have all the information we'll need. yes of course we have questions; how much time do you have this afternoon? so we ask a few questions, which was futile, because he kept telling us we would get to that part later. pshhh. so then he tells us about the birthfather, S, who is a little younger than chris and me and has also had a rough life. he really wanted to keep our sweet boy, but when it came down to it, someone close to him told him that one day he would be a good dad, just not then. so he made the decision for his child that he would give him the best life and signed his waiver. that was march 4th.

mark stops again and wants to know if we have any other questions. yeah- when is M due? we're getting there... sheesh. eventually mark lets it slip that carter had a negative toxicology screen... no drugs! and i was like, woah. (just like joey lawrence on blossom, woah) he's born? when? what? huh? explain! so since he spilled the beans mark told us that yes, M had delivered sweet carter on february 24, 2011, in the tri cities area and he was 6 lbs 10 oz and 19 inches long at 37 weeks. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

so we of course wanted to know right then when we could go pick him up but mark told us to just go home and pray about it and see if it was the right decision and to let him know the next morning at 830. we had prayed all along that we wouldn't be presented with a situation that we had to turn down and there was nothing at all in carter's history that made us think we needed to stop and tell mark that he wasn't the child for us. God clearly has big plans for carter, M and S. the rest of the evening was filled with hundreds of calls, texts and emails as we ran around babies r us and target picking up necessary items we needed to go pick up our sweet boy the next day...

thursday, march 10, 2011

to be continued....

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


i don't want to forget any part of this so i am going to share with all of you my feelings and thoughts. i am sick to my stomach, have heartburn, and feel like every extremity is going to shake off. i truly feel like i am in a dream and just watching this happen to someone else. i am walking around the house gathering things to put in the diaper bag, washing bottles and washing the new clothes, burp cloths, and towels i just bought, but i don't think it's sunk in yet.

chris is bouncing off the walls and so ecstatic to have a boy and i am scared. i don't know what to do with a boy! but i am confident that He who has given us this child will help me along... I will share the whole experience later, but right now i am just going to try to get the rest of the house clean and move on from there!

stay tuned!