Saturday, March 30, 2013

Forecast of Renewal...

I am definately in a state of renewal...a new phase of transformation...mind, body and soul!  So many things that are taking place in my life are changing from moment to moment...the Lord amazes me to bewilderment and enchantment just about every day.  He never ceases to amaze me and I love it!  During this whole past Lenten season has been a time of  witnessing and experiencing miracles as well as experiencing life on a whole other level.

It's like my mind can't keep up with the changes and new mind blowing life reminds me of when I was telling our little girl Cailan of how I have so many things I can't wait to surprise her with and she said:  "You mean even more than you already have?"  I said "Uhuhh!" and she goes "Oh my, I don't think I can take anymore!"  :)  Thinking of that moment makes me smile and giggle with delight!  Knowing that the next part of my life with her is to finally be a she has already called me!

My husband and I will finally have a child...a little girl will now have a mother and father who will love her and make sure she will always be safe.  It's really hard to type all my feelings as my eyes keep filling up with tears...tears of joy of course!  This is the one miracle I have prayed for and now very soon it will will be!!

Artistically as well my view of things and the expressions I want to put to canvas are enhanced dramatically!  I have even been 'reworking' older pieces that although I thought they were complete or 'good enough' to sell now seem to be 'missing something' or be dull and lifeless...they needed new meaning, new layers to just be more 'me'...simply that is what everything in my life is about...I have changed...I think in a good way...a better way!
I originally created this in 2011...I reworked this piece to softer tones and eyes she's 'California Dreaming'
Spiritually, my Faith has been enhanced to a new and exciting level and I know there is more to come...the miracles that I will witness, the KNOWING without having to be proven has always been the way I've viewed God...but lately he still is blessing me with abounding and touching miracles or witnessing answered prayers...he is always showing me how much he loves me...every Lenten Season and especially to Good Friday, it is revealed to me more and more each year!  He pours down his affection and I lift up my hands to the sky to praise him and recieve all his love for me!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

I am Forever Changed...

On our way home...
Last Thursday my husband and I began our trip to Seattle, Washington to meet Cailan for the 1st time...we decided to drive as it really was our only choice.  Little did we know how much that drive was going to change our whole life.  I know that for me, this whole weekend's event of meeting my little girl and even the traveling experience has changed me forever...the Lord has truly blessed my soul and I will never be the can I be?

We drove 18 hours straight...only stopping for gas and food...we were so full of adrenaline from the excitement of meeting her that we didn't even feel tired!  We knew the whole time that we were in God's care...even before we left we were being blessed.  As I wrote before we weren't sure how we'd get there due to our financial situation but we felt the timing was crucial that we leave when we did...I prayed so hard all through the night and the Lord provided...we were blessed with Love gifts from our family and friends with enough to have the gas money we needed to drive up there plus be able to pay for our hotel for 2 days and food for the trip up there...for that we are forever grateful!

On Friday morning while we were still in Oregan we were happy to see that his paycheck did get deposited as our cash was running low and then we knew we would be able to really enjoy spending time with Cailan and not have to worry about money anymore.  We arrived just in time on Friday to meet with our new caseworker...who is a Godsend!  She is really nice and pleasant to work with.  She had us meet Cailan that night and even though it was a short visit it was obvious that Cailan felt close to us almost immediately!

The next day we spent the whole day with Cailan and really loved every moment!  We took her to the Aquarium and to eat and just hung out for hours with her.  On Sunday we went to the church she goes to with her foster mom and then we took her for lunch.  On the way back we took her to this really cool place that was like a whimsy metal garden.  Then we went back to her foster home and packed a few of her things to take back with us.

Explaining that was the only hard part because she thought we would be taking her back home with us and she cried...which broke my heart...I hated seeing her get I comforted her the best I could by explaining to her that we wish we could take her but this was the way we had to do things...that it wasn't our choice to do things this way and that she didn't do anything wrong, that we loved her and that she is our little girl and we will be together soon!

I was upset because I knew this would happen...but there is nothing we could say or do to change the other Social Workers mind when she was setting up the 'Plan of Action' to get our case resolved...even our new Social Worker didn't like this idea.  Thank God we were able to cheer Cailan up again and see her beautiful smile...she looked happy to see us packing her was like she knew we meant what we said to her.  We said our goodbyes and let her know that we are going to finish getting her room ready and that we love her and can't wait to see her again...I could tell she was happy about what we were doing at this point.

*I wish I could post some photos of her...especially her beautiful smile but due to the sensitivity of this case I don't feel comfortable to post pictures of her but I am sharing our experience of meeting her because it is part of my documenting my life here on this blog.

This experience has truly changed my outlook on so many levels...the first was on TRULY relying on God...I always have but I felt like he wanted to show me some miracles unfold before my very eyes!  I also had to TRUST him completely...which also meant trusting my parents completely with my furbabies and NOT worry about them at all...which I won't lie...was hard!!  But not because my parents wouldn't be good to them but because I tend to worry about "what if's"...which was the same for the driving up there...I think God was sick of me worrying about "what if's" and he made me realize that I wasn't truly trusting him if I was worrying about just before we left I prayed about everything and gave all my worries to the Lord...I truly did...I declared that I wasn't going to worry and that I was going to enjoy myself...I felt like the birdie that finally leaped out of the nest and was delighted to discover that she was SOARING!!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Amazing Grace...

"May I know Jesus...More & More"  Lenten Crosses #21
Well Hello There to all my Friends and Family who happen to stop by to read this and to all the strangers who happen to find yourself here!  I welcome you and hope that you will find some encouragement and hope in whatever you are dealing with in your life from what my message is about.  There is so much happening in my life right now, so much that I don't even know how to begin to describe what it is that I'm going through spiritually, emotionally, mentally and yes, even physically!  All I know, is at this moment...I feel so humbled and full of blessed.

Last week, the last time I posted here...I was so awestruck by what my wonderful friend Lisa initiated for my husband & I and ever since then, am still in awe of all our family and friends and even a few strangers for stepping up for us and sending us love gifts...we have never experienced that and no matter the amount that was sent we appreciate your generous hearts greatly.  We just got through a very hard thing to go through financially...we thought we were going to have extra money for this trip but when emergencies come up sometimes you have no choice so we ended up with going from having a little extra for the trip to no extra money...which left us concerned.

At the same time...we had already committed to doing this trip and we don't want the Social Workers or the Foster Family to think anything negative about if we were having 2nd thoughts or that we are flaky people or not really we decided to go ahead with our plans and we just asked our family for prayers for a miracle and I prayed for the Lord to bring us provision...and he is...continually...we have been blessed.  We have been blessed with enough to at least book our hotel as St. Patrick's Day is pretty busy up there in Seattle!

What is amazing is that my friend had no idea what we just went through...not many do as it is something we'd like to keep private.  But the night before her posting...actually the timing seems to husband was going through a tough time because we had no idea where we would get the money we'd need to get through to his next paycheck let alone to even get the planning started...I was concerned for him and I was praying all through the night...from when he went to sleep around midnight till he woke up for work the next morning.

So when my mom, who is one of the few that knows of what we have just been through called me at 8 am to ask if I've seen what she posted I was so awestruck at how the Lord amazingly moves the hearts of our friends and family into really felt like that part of our favorite movie "It's a Wonderful Life" when everyone starts moving into action to help out George Bailey.  My husband is that kind of man...he never hesitates to help out others and has been my hero ever since I met him.  He was even awarded a Medal of Valor a few years ago!  (A whole other post someday soon!!)

In addition to all that was happening of course I got really sick since last Monday...was literally in bed for days!  Now that I am feeling much better my only concern is that my husband won't get sick as he is usually heartier than I am... :)  I also have so much to do in only the next 3 days...but I wanted to make sure that I took the time to share this part about our story...this Amazing Grace that I recognize only from God could all this be possible!  Most people don't acknowledge all the Blessings and Miracles that surround them every day...I treasure each one I am blessed to witness!

We are getting so close to the day when we will finally have our happy home with a child finally filling our home with laughter.  We know it won't always be so easy as we have been a part of helping out our family with so many of our nephews and we know there is the good, the bad and the!  But we look at all that as many of you who have been blessed with your children have no idea of the heart ache and many tears that my husband I have been through to finally get to this place where we are willing to go to the moon and back to recieve our sweet little child!  We are so thankful to all of you who have reached out to help make this happen for us...most of all, thanks be to God for his Amazing Grace!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Witnessing Rainbows Together...

Feeling so blessed right now...the Lord has been so good to us!
Oh how amazing and wonderful you are to me oh are so faithful...I thank and praise you for all your wondrous deeds!  I needed to begin this post with praises to my Lord because without all that he's done for us...what I'm posting about wouldn't be...

***Heartwarming News***

*About Cailan...
So after a really long and challenging time...we are finally at the point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel...we are making arrangements to go meet Cailan for the 1st time in Mid March which we are so excited about but the most beautiful thing I got to experience was to actually be able to talk to her on the phone for the 1st time Thursday night.

She is sooo adorable and I felt a connection with her right away!  At first she was shy but as I asked her questions about what she likes and her favorite animals and colors she began to open up more and more.  It was such an intense experience for me because as I was hearing her share those things with me I was cherishing each response, taking in her little character and noticing how intelligent she is too.

Our bonding has already begun too, I can tell because when I told her that she would be living with my husband and I and that she wouldn't have to move any more she said:  "You mean when I go live with you I get to stay forever?"  When I told her yes, she excitedly told her foster mom 'I get to live with her forever and ever and ever!!'  I just about cried...then she began to sing for me...and when she sang the words 'yes, Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, yes Jesus loves me, the bible told me sooo'...she melted my heart...I can't wait to meet her but more than that I can't wait till she's finally home with us...her home!

*About True Friendship...
So with all the different things that happen with husband and I are trying to find the best way safely yet also affordable to us and I had posted on my Facebook for references and opinions on the best way and such.  So this morning I was personally touched by my dear friend Lisa, for her beautiful words on our behalf that she posted on her FB page to her family & friends which I am posting here because what she wrote was so beautiful and touched me deeply that I want to document this and this is also to show truly what a wonderful treasured friend of mine she's what she wrote:

Dear Family & Friends~

I am reaching out in hopes I can get some assistance for my friends Gina and Arturo Arzaga. This beautiful couple is so close to fulfilling their dreams of becoming adoptive parents. They are preparing to visit their soon to be adopted daughter, Cailan for the first time! Cailan is in Washington State. My friends are asking for information on discounts on airfare or hotel accommodations since the trip is not something they initially planned for. If anyone has any means of helping with some great connections in the airline or hotel industry, it would be great to know. They would never ask for financial support or freebies/comps because that is not in their nature but I am taking a leap here on my own by asking. I would love to hold a fundraiser for them but there is no time, they must leave very soon. If anybody is interested in helping Gina & Art, please let me know. I will collect donations on their behalf. Send me a message and I will give you all of the information on where to send your monetary donation to. I know times are tough for so many of us right now and understand that it may be impossible. Either way, I ask for prayer or a kind note of support to them. The days ahead will busy and I know they would truly appreciate all the prayers and love.
This journey has been so very long. They have shown so much patience. Gina & Art have remained strong. They have experienced some road blocks but God has moved those road blocks and they are on their way to see their angel, finally. Some days were brighter than others but never giving up, ever. They want this more than anything. It will all be worth it. Proud parents they will be. Incredible, loving parents is how I see them already.

Gina & Art are devoted to God, they both give so much time to their church and their family. God has blessed them and will continue to bless them. Miracles are happening for them. They have longed to have a child of their own for many years and this dream is truly becoming a reality.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, thank you for your kindness and thank you for the prayers! Love & Blessings Always ♥

(she even included one of my favorite pics of us with that post)
Again, I am with tears of joy...and as I let her know...Major tears of joy here...I'm overwhelmed with joy and amazement of how the Lord blesses us with special people in our lives to be there for us through the storms of life so we can witness the rainbows together as the light shines through the clouds!!
We have been friends for over 40 years, since we were only 3 years old...around the age of Cailan...what a neat coincidence...but then again, there are no coincidences in God's plans!

So I dedicate this painting to my beautiful friend Lisa...because she spreads love where ever she goes!

God bless you all!  Gina Arzaga