Monday, March 26, 2012

Coffee Colored

Layla is the color of coffee with a hint of caramel and cream.  In certain lights, you can see a slight deep red tone in her skin. Her eyes are so black, that many times they appear to be whatever color surrounds her.  She is always playing with the soft ringlets that sit on her head.  She is the perfect combination of hispanic and and african american.  She's stunning. 

There are moments when we are out eating or shopping that people will stop us and tell us how gorgeous she is.  Some strangers have a knowing look, as they take in the sight of our family and smile.  Some smile at us with searching eyes; confused and questioning without actually saying anything that might give them away.  Sadly, there are still people who look absolutely appalled by us.  We aren't typical.  We aren't all the same color.  We aren't safe.  What I see as beautiful can sometimes leave people outraged and uncomfortable.  There isn't much of a middle ground.

The sad truth is that we grow up in a society that conditions us to be ashamed of interracial anything.  I remember briefly "dating" a bi-racial boy when I was in middle school (Let's be honest, no one actually dates in middle school.)  I remember to this day the conversation that I had with my family about it.  It stung knowing that I had accidentally broken some unspoken rule.  Years later I outright lied to a lot of people and claimed that it never happened.  I was embarrassed by the fact that I had ever even considered liking someone of another color. 

Fast forward 10 years.  God overcame my ignorance.  God gave me a precious baby girl that would break apart every barrier that we'd built.  She is perfect and her very existence has destroyed our family's masked racism.  Now, I'm gripped by the fear that my beautiful Layla, with her coffee colored skin, wild hair, and infectious smile might one day fall in love with a boy whose parents don't approve of her.  What will I tell her then?  Will the love that we instill in her in our home protect her from the outside world?  No.  But I'm constantly praying that the love of our Father will always be enough to convince her she's beautiful and wonderfully made.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Afternoon to Ourselves

Today I got to spend a lot of time with Layla.  I love my little booger so much, but its not every day that I get to just hang out with her by myself and not be working on something for school.  It was perfect outside, so we spent an hour or so just hanging out in the front yard playing with toys.  I took a couple of pictures to help me remember the day.  Layla is crawling all over the place and she spends a lot of time getting into mischief and attempting to walk.  She love being outside, minus the pollen.

Friday, March 23, 2012

God is Not a White Man

I'm blown away by this completely simple idea that we so often overlook.  God is love.... no matter how you look at it. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DIY Lace Earrings Tutorial

So I don't typically do tutorials, but this one is so easy I feel like I just HAVE to tell you guys how to do it.  So if you want a pair of these earrings (see below), follow along!

What you'll need: 
cotton lace
hook earrings
(You can get both of these at any fabric/craft store)

The hardest part of this whole project was finding some thick(ish) cotton lace.  I found mine at Hobby Lobby on sale, but I'm sure most fabric/craft stores will have some.  Pick lace that has a defined section that you like and think would look good as an earring.  I chose the two below because I liked their pattern and felt they were thick enough to hang as an earring.
To begin, take a pair of scissors and cut our the section of the lace that you want to use.  Don't worry, the lace won't unravel when you cut it.

I cut out two matching pieces from both laces so that my earring wouldn't be all wonky.

Next, take some needle nose plyers and open up the small metal catch on both hook earrings.

Decide how you want your earrings to hang.  Find a loop on the top section of your lace cut outs and hook the earring catch through the loop.
Close the catch of the earring back so the lace can't fall off and you're finished!
Probably the easiest DIY I've ever done.  Seriously, you would think it is so much harder than it actually is.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Harvest is Ripe, but the Laborers are Few

So if you don't know by now, I've decided to step into the role as point person, or "advocate," for an organization called The Forgotten Initiative.  Since TFI is new to Columbia, my first order of business was to try and create a working relationship with some people at the Department of Social Services in my surrounding counties and also the smaller children's shelters.  My first worry was that I would have a hard time getting my foot in the door and convincing these people to trust me and tell me their actual needs.  I prayed and prayed and God answered.  Of course He did....  
I've spoken with 2 agencies (out of like 20 or so) and they've given me a very small idea of their needs.  I know that once I start digging deeper, I'll find that they have more needs than they even dreamed to tell me about. Now that I know without a doubt in my mind that these children need so much from the community, I'm feeling slightly discouraged and heartbroken.  Children that are taken from their homes because of abuse or neglect need the Church in real, tangible ways.  I'm overwhelmed by the enormity of it all.  I feel like I have only just scratched the surface. 
I don't want to let these kids down.  I know that Christ will take care of them, but I so badly want the Church to rise up and do something about this.  The harvest is ripe, but the laborers are few.  There are churches on every street corner and a TON of Christians in Columbia.  Yet I feel as if I'm begging people to consider helping children that desperately need the love of Christ.  These kids really are "the least of these." 
We've only just begun to spread the word that there is a problem and a real need in our Foster Care community.  I need to trust that God will raise up workers to step in the gap and do awesome things.  I need to trust that I can't do this alone and that I won't have to.  I need to trust that we will show these children the love of Christ.  I need to trust in His timing. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Secret

I've been keeping a secret.    Something big is moving to South Carolina.  Something that I think will change a whole lot of hearts.  Something that could change so much of how foster care is seen in our community.

Here's a sneak peak:

The Forgotten Initiative "Journey Bags" from Vale Community Church on Vimeo.

More on this to come VERY SOON.  If you have any questions that you just can't wait to ask, please send me an email at

Friday, March 9, 2012


I know you ladies are dieing to know, so here goes:

Anna Copeland is the winner! 

Anna, if you would send me your address, I can get these in the mail to you asap.  Enjoy them! 

For everyone that didn't win....  No worries!  I'm going to be posting a really easy tutorial on how to make the lace earrings very soon.  Keep an eye out so you don't miss it!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Lace and Flowers Giveaway!

So I've been working on a couple of DIY projects for me. I finally have them perfected and decided that since I love them so much, then perhaps all of you ladies would too. I may work on a tutorial for them eventually, but for now getting the finished project for free will have to do. So without further ado, check out these super sweet, super cute lace earrings and rosette bracelet.

To Enter:  
Become a Follower of TheCookoosNest
Leave a comment below saying "PICK ME! PICK ME!", tell me how cute Layla is (JK), and  let me know that you're a follower.  

The Winner will be chosen by random on Friday at Noon.

Pretty simple huh?  Honestly I just want to know who's reading and who's not.  So lucky you gets a chance to win some free stuff just to appease my curiosity.  :)    

Friday, March 2, 2012

Missions In Our Own Backyard

God's got some MAJOR things in the works with our family right now.  For a while after we got married, we felt like we couldn't really find any ministries/mission opportunities to plug ourselves into.  So a couple of months ago, we asked the Spirit to start doing some work and let us be a part of it.  Basically, we shoved our little family into the passenger seat of a speeding car that God was driving and said "Let's Go!"  He certainly hasn't dissapointed.

We've been presented with.....I don't know.... like 5 or so HUGE mission opportunities that are right here in our own backyard.  This has made me a bit scatter-brained at times. 


But I can't..... :(  I mean I could do them all, but my family would never see me, and I wouldn't do a very good job at any of them. 

Now is the hard part:  Discerning the ones that God has led us to take part in, and graciously declining the ones that we can't.  I hate saying no...  I hate not being there when I know that I could be helping someone.  We attend a newly planted church and there are a ton of things going on.  There are also a ton of needs to be met.  I think this next season God is going to be teaching me what I need to grab and run with, and what I need to encourage others to grab and run with.  After all, we can't do them all by ourselves.  Half of making disciples is sending them out and giving them responsibilities. 

Please keep our family in your prayers as we narrow down our options and decide what our family is best suited for.  Our roles in our community have been changing drastically over the last couple of months, so I don't want to let the cat out of the bag until we have a better idea of what we'll be doing.