Sunday, July 3, 2016

Gathering Baby Lathrop

Holy Moly I can't believe all the love Reed and I have received since sharing the news about our adoption! I don't just mean on social media, but from dear friends and family that will be a part of our little Faraway babies life forever! Reed and I knew that we would have community interested in hearing our story and why we decided to move forward on something so many say is nothing but hard. We also know that this journey is going to be long and that not everyone is going to be thinking about it constantly like we are. 

So when trying to find a way to tell our nearest and dearest about our decision to grow our family we wanted to give them a physical object that would remind them to pray along with us ever chance they get. As I was trying to use my creative juices to come up with something special to us I realized a promise that God had given us and that it applied to so much more than we thought. 




At the very beginning of our adoption journey, like before we took our first step, God laid this verse on our hearts. It seemed fitting for our family that is spread out across the countries, so it ended up on our fridge as a reminder that though we see Reeds family very little God has promised to bring us all together. Then as our adoption progressed we realized the true reason this verse was put in our lives; a promise from God that He is going to bring our Faraway baby home!


We read through Nehemiah back in January when our church did a series called "Difference Makers". This series broke down the journey that God took Nehemiah on to restore His people.  This was the series that broke our hearts, that made us realize we didn't have any reason to wait. God called us to make moves and He would take care of the rest.

At the time of this series, we knew our hearts had been broken but I don't think we realized the significance of the promise God gave us.


God gave us a promise that was written thousands of years ago, but it could have been written just for us. It fit so perfectly, and became something I prayed over and over again. A promise that truly has taken away my anxiety because I know God will make good on His promise to me.

"Even if your people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name." 
Nehemiah 1:9




So when it came time for us to share with our family and friends it only seemed fitting to share with them the promise we were given. These little globes may  not be the nicest things, but they are a physical reminder and promise from God. He IS going to gather up our little Nica baby! 


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If you are interested in helping us bring home this little faraway baby feel free to check out our funding page. We will be sharing many opportunities of how you can get involved, so stay tuned :)  

Friday, July 1, 2016

God Broke Our Hearts and We Decided to do Something About it.

Have you ever used the saying "How heart breaking?" or "That just breaks my heart?", I know I have about a million times. But I realized this year that I don't think my heart had ever truly felt heart break, I had never been so emotionally and spiritually broken to actually DO anything about it. But this past January (Jan. 31st 2016) I heard a sermon and realized God had broken my heart completely and I HAD to do something about it.

You are pobably preparing for a post that is gonna touch your heart strings and maybe bring some tears so you are grabbing the tissues. But I want you to know that when your heart breaks it isn't always because of struggle or a hard time. God uses heart break to bring about action, He can use heart ache in ways we never imagined and right now I have a broken heart that has solidified a calling from God, and I couldn't be more excited!

So Reed and I have decided to step in to what God has for us, to make moves on a something God wrecked us with and now we can officially share with  YOU!
















We know you now have about a million questions just ready to jump out of your mouth, don't worry we are going to be filling you in every step of the way! We fully intend to use this God given adventure to educate people on the adoption process, and how God breaks hearts to create difference makers that lean on Him to carry out great things. 
Now to answer a few quick questions!

Where are you adopting?
-Nicaragua

How far along in the process are you? 
-We just got accepted by our agency and have started our 6 months worth of paperwork. Our next step is to prepare for a home study!

How Long does it take?
-No one really knows, the variation in wait time with Nicaragua is what deters many people from adopting there. We have 6 months worth of paper work, then we send it to Nicaragua to wait on acceptance and a match. We have seen people matched within 6 months and others having to wait 4 years. We are praying that God will bring us our faraway baby quickly, but also that he will be preparing our hearts through the wait, no matter how long!


Do you have an age range you are looking at?

-We want to remember that adoption is not about getting us a baby, but rather about finding a child a home. So we have selected to stay very open. We are currently signed up for a boy or girl in the 0-5 age range.


Do you still want biological children?

-Yes, but we feel that right now God has broken our hearts for orphans in Nicaragua. We have decided that we want to be the people that do something about it. So we are beginning our adoption journey now and trusting that God is going to build us the perfect family!

How much does adoption cost?
-Well, this is a long answer and I plan to share a LOT more about this in the future. But I will share this for now. It costs a lot more than we have, and we do not want to go in to debt. God has broken our hearts for adoption, and He knows our financial situation better than anyone else. If He feels like it is time for us to adopt then I have no doubt that He will help us in the financial department.
In the mean time check out our Fundraising Page . This is going to be the place that has all the information on our financial goals and timeline, along with ways you can be apart of bringing our faraway baby home! We are going to be doing a bunch of different things ranging from BBQ Dinners, silent auctions, to selling my art work, and other crafts!



These are the questions we have found to be asked the most. There are plenty more details and things I am sure some of you may be interested in. But for now that is our basic story, timeline, and thoughts on the process. We are believing God to do BIG things and to bring us our faraway baby in the perfect time.

God has already done things in perfect time and is blowing our minds every day as we walk with Him through this. We are so excited to be sharing our adventure with you and can't wait to introduce you to our faraway baby sometime soon!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Finding Yourself In The Paint

Have you ever struggled to find yourself? Like to feel confident in your decisions about life? Not that you aren't happy, but just feeling a little awkward teenager-ish??

I was just walking through that stage. I was feelin real awkward, like one day I was a prep, the next day I was country, next day I was goth. Ya know one of those girls that tries out a million different styles because she can't quite figure out where she fits in. Except I wasn't doing it with clothes. I was struggling to find how to express myself through art.


As I have said here MANY many times, I am extremely blessed to have a creative family, my grandmother paints, my aunt is an artist, my mom and other aunt can make junk from the side of the road look like a million bucks. Basically, I was born to be creative. So I tried out a lot. I tried painting furniture, making furniture, water color, acrylic, oil and on and on. I liked them all. I just didn't feel like I was expressing "ME".

Art is a form of expression. Just like some people express themselves through music, writing or speaking. Creating is a gift from God that allows you to express yourself and your story in a unique way, and I don't want to waist that! I want to find how to express myself and my God story through creating. Gah it was such a struggle. Was I doing certain things because I saw other artists be successful with them, or was I doing that because that truly felt natural to me? Did I feel like it was MY story or was I just trying to tell a story someone was interested in...

STRUGGLE BUS!


After talking to an artist I have learned to really love and admired, she told me to put challenges in place. Put restrictions on my paintings. It could be certain sizes, or colors, but these restrictions would allow me to see similarities that are unique to me that I may have missed in the chaos of creating. And ya know, what I did.


I found that I love vibrant colors, buttery strokes, and southern subject matter. When I stepped back and saw how all of these things ran through each piece I created I realized I truly did find myself in the paint!

(find these paintings and more on my website www.gracelangdonart.com)
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Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Not Losing Your Dreams


So, long time no blog right?! OOPs :)

Well, I have made a goal for myself to start blogging, just writing once a week. I am not sure what I will be sharing, just life. For me that means sharing my faith, things I am learning in my marriage, and of course my creative dreams.

There are plenty of DIY blogs, cooking blogs, and even artists teaching their skills. I don't want to be "competitive" with them. I just want to get back to writing because I always feel better after "talking it out".

I hope you find my ramblings to be something that inspires you to follow your dreams and share your faith.

First up, I will just give ya a little recap of my life since about a year ago.


April 2015 I started as gallery manager for Sozo Gallery in Charlotte, NC.

June 2015 Reed and I started to help build NewSpring Church in Rockhill, SC. We LOVE the community we have gained and can't believe we did life for so long with out it! We started meeting in a living room, then moved to 2 houses, took a big leap to meet in a CrossFit gym, and are now meeting in a local school with the average attendance hovering around 300 people and growing! Our minds are completely blown at how God has shown up!

August 2015 I rebranded myself and got a fabo new logo. I mean I love it like times a million.


October 2015 Reed and I finally took a step of faith and lead a group of 8 friends to Nicaragua for a missions trip to our parents pineapple farm. It was a HUGE learning experience and something that we both want to continue to do in the future. Sharing our faith, and love of Nicaragua is something God has put on our hearts and we don't plan to ignore it :)

March 2016 I decided I wanted to take another step towards my dream of selling my artwork. I did a lot of soul searching, spoke with mentors, and finally, started to find myself in the paint. I then created a few pieces that my heart skipped a beat for and launched my online studio www.gracelangdonart.com and had my first sale in less than two days!


Now I am about to celebrate 1 year at Sozo, start our 2nd year in NewSpring RockHill, and start our 4th year in York, SC! To say that God has been a good good father is an understatement. He brought Reed and I to a place of overflowing joy in every aspect of our lives and I couldn't be happier for how we got here. GOD IS GOOD!



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Friday, January 15, 2016

Christmas In The Community & Building the Church!


So, you are probably wondering why my first post in over 6 months is about Christmas, and Christmas has already past... I know, I'm feeling the same way. 

Back in November I was contacted by Christmas Tree Market to pick out one of their trees to decorate for a local organization. At first I didn't think I knew an organization that needed me to do that. During this same time I was helping build my local church in Rock Hill SC. Reed and I had been involved for a while but with Christmas coming closer we were both realizing that some of our talents could be used in ways that were really needed to reach others far from Christ. 



Right now our Church is less than a year old and we see an average of just over 200 people each week. We have started meeting in a CrossFit Gym which means Sunday mornings start early with a load in crew. So during the Christmas season we really grew closer as a church as we spent so many early mornings prepping the space to transform from a gym to a cozy and welcoming winter wonderland. 



We chose the 7.5 ft Fraser Fir  for our tree. Because of our load in load out situation needed the tree to be easy to put together, but still look like a million bucks! This tree was PERFECT! It came in 3  pre-lit sections and a base. And it even fit nicely back in the box with out much fuss :)

We had so much fun setting up and decorating each week. We hosted over 300 people and created so many fun memories!! Thank you for giving us the tools to create a fabulous space, Christmas Tree Market!!







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Monday, September 7, 2015

The Best Gift

See this??
 



 Yep, it is the motorcycle Reed and I got engaged on, left our wedding on, and then sold 2 years ago. But guess what?! WE GOT IT BACK!

Yep. After years of dreaming, and many failed attempts to save the funds up I was able to purchase this beauty back and surprise him with it on our 3 year wedding anniversary.

After this I had so many people say “you are a keeper”, or “best wife ever” and Reed even said he could never get me something as good as that. But ultimately that wasn’t my goal. I wasn’t trying to win a battle of gift giving, or the best wife award, or have the coolest pictures on social media (even though I do because my super awesome and talented friend Mary, of Mary DeCrescenzio Photography, made sure we captured this moment for all time).


My goal was to love my husband well. Show him that I see those long hours, I see that sometimes he feels like he works all the time and never gets time to just do what he wants. I see that. I see him agonize over being able to put gas in the boat to go fish or go out for a quick bite at the Mexican restaurant. I saw him sacrifice his wants for me and our family for over 2 years. I knew he wanted to give me more, he would tell me constantly that he was sorry he couldn’t just let me go out and get the shoes I wanted. But each month he took me out for a fun dinner, I got to buy fun little pieces for my wardrobe or save funds for a trip with friends. He made sure that even when he wasn’t getting what he wanted all the time that I was feeling loved and supported.


During that time, when he was so selflessly giving to me, I didn’t have a job. I tried, and my pride always got in my way but Reed would remind me not to worry. We would figure it out. He would tell me not to get a job just for the money, he had our needs taken care of. I could do what I felt I needed to do, even if that was wait for my dream.


So when the time finally came that our budget grew, that my dream job came true, I knew I had to let him know I saw all his sacrifice. That is what this was about.


That my husband acted out the love of Christ for me for 2 years. He put me first. He lead our family the way we needed to go, even when it was hard. I wanted to give him something to love him well and let him know that HE gave ME the best gift. So no everyone, I am not the best wife ever; Reed is the best husband ever and I am just saying thank you.  

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PS> if you need some awesome photography for your fam and you are in SC go check out Mary and her photography blog! She is so talented and a blessing of a friend :) 
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