Monday, January 1, 2018

Resolution State of Mind

It's the first day a brand new year, and I've got resolutions on my mind. But leading up to today I had something else on my mind. What did I feel like I was missing in 2017? Where did I miss out? I found my answer in, of all things, a Christmas carol.

"O, come let us adore Him, 
O, come let us adore Him, 
O. come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord." 

When I look back at 2017, I feel like I missed out on so many opportunities to adore my Savior, to give Him the honor and glory He so rightly deserves. I'm so tempted ALL THE TIME to rely on myself and try to do things on my own.  And as a Christ follower, I simply cannot do that. I have to recognize my complete and utter dependency on Jesus.

So as I sit here tonight with resolutions on my mind, the one that jumps to the front is to make 2018 the year that I shift my gaze to Jesus. I want to see everything in my life through the lens of Jesus Christ. I want to be a wife whose devotion to her husband honors the Lord. I want to be a mother who raises her children to seek God first. I want to be a friend who bears the burdens of those she loves, who points them back to Christ when they are tempted to walk away.

So how on earth am I going to do this? NOT BY MYSELF. I know that it will be Jesus alone who changes the posture of my heart and my life. But I also know that I have to do the work, too. So I am trying to start the year off by being more focused, more intentional with my time. I am trying to manage my time in a way that honors God. Literally writing every single thing I plan to do that day on a calendar to make sure I have account of what I am doing.

It is my prayer that God will reveal Himself to me in brand new ways this year, that He will show me aspects of His character I have not yet seen and that He will further amaze me with His profound love and abiding grace.

Happy New Year to you!
Baylor 

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Time to Wait

I got a call from our social worker this morning.........

WE ARE OFFICIALLY LOGGED IN!

Our dossier has been processed and registered. We are now a logged in family, which means that the clock has started on our time as a WAITING family.

This is a MASSIVE milestone for us, and we are so, so excited! Baby girl, we are waiting for you and praying for you every single day.

AND this happened on Giving Tuesday, the one shopping day a year set aside for us to give spend our resources on causes that matter to us. So we are going to ask you again to consider joining with us on this journey by purchasing one of our mountain moving adoption shirts. These will make fabulous Christmas gifts for the ones you love, and each shirt gets us closer to our girl.

You guys have already ordered FIFTY! Y'all are incredible.

We are only selling shirts through THIS FRIDAY. Time is running out!

Click HERE to shop, shop, shop!

With love,
Baylor

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Where Going Morning?

There is a question that I get asked by my three year old several times each day:

"Where going morning?"

It's his way of asking what we are doing next, and he hits me with this question as soon as we finish ANY activity. He always wants to know what the next fun thing is. I'm a planner myself, so the question itself doesn't bug me. But the frequency. Oh, the frequency.

There is a part of me that wants to say, "Can't we just appreciate the thing we just did? Can't we just bask in the fun we just had?"

And that got me thinking.

Do I do the same thing to God?

He provides in some miraculous way, and I look up at the throne and impatiently ask, "What's next?"

Does He shake His head at my demands? Does He get tired of my selfishness?

A few weeks ago, our pastor taught on contentment. The sermon was focused on greed and the accumulation of wealth. That kind of greed isn't a major temptation for me, but CONTENTMENT. Oh,  now that is something I struggle with. I am always on the lookout for the next experience, the next adventure. 

I struggle with THANKFULNESS.

I struggle to look at what the Lord has done and bask in the graciousness of my Heavenly Father. Instead, I look ahead, wondering what's next. Sometimes, in my pursuit of relevance or life experience, I pass over all that the Lord has done. It's wretched of me. This God I serve has FAR surpassed any and all expectations I may have had for my life. And He has done so out of His deep, abiding love for me. He is a Father who LONGS to give good things to His children. AND HE IS GOD. The sovereign Lord over all creation knows and loves me. And you.

We need to be more thankful. I need to be more thankful. I need to show that thankfulness to the world. Because every single good thing I have ever had has come directly from this great God I serve.

And so my three year old convicted me this week. 

The Lord used my sweet son to remind me that HE alone is enough. He is the Great Provider, and I need to give Him thanks. 

With love,
Baylor

Friday, November 17, 2017

Three Little Words

YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS! YOU GUYS!

I talked to our social worker today and she said the three little words I have been longing to hear for MONTHS:

DOSSIER TO CHINA!

Our family is DTC (dossier to China) as of TODAY! I could sob.

We have been working toward this for almost this entire year. Right now--RIGHT NOW--our papers are flying overseas, and once they are registered, we are officially waiting to be matched with our daughter.

OHMYSTARS.

We are so excited and so very humbled to see what the Lord has in store for this family in the coming months. Thank you so much for you love and prayer and support. We could not, COULD NOT, do this without you.

With love,
Baylor

**And we are still selling our new t-shirt designs. Click HERE to check them out and place an order. As of right now, we have sold 24 shirts, and our great big goal is 150. Shirts will ship in time for Christmas!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mountain Mover

If you have been with us any amount of time, then you know that we have seen the Lord move MOUNTAINS for our family. Big, giant, huge mountains. Mountains that scared us, challenged us, humbled us. But each of these mountains have one thing in common: God has used them all to WOW us, to remind us of His sovereign power and endless grace.

And we have seen Him do the same this year as we have started down the road of international adoption again. Already, we find ourselves humbled by the work the Lord is doing in our family, for the chance to glorify His great name and point people to Him.

We are now at a critical point in our journey to bring our daughter home. All of our FINAL paperwork has been received by our adoption agency. It feels insane to even type that. Our social worker is reviewing everything this week, and early next week, our papers will fly to China, and we will officially be a waiting family.

I can't believe we are here again. Standing on the edge of something so huge. We're honored that the Lord has asked us to do this again, and we cannot wait to see what He has in store for our family. We know that whatever it is, God will continue to move mountains.

And as we prepare to enter this next phase, we are trying to think and plan ahead, to get ready for whatever might happen. So we are asking our family, faith family and community to partner with us once again, to join with us as we seek to follow this mountain moving God.

We are selling a BRAND NEW, mountain moving t-shirt design during the weeks leading into the holiday season. Check it out!
 Tank top in Heather Deep Teal
 Tank top in Maroon 
 Baseball tee in Grey and Emerald 
 Long sleeve tee in Dark Grey Heather 
 Long sleeve tee in Forest Heather 
 Crew neck tee in Heather Clay 
Crew neck tee in Black 


Each shirt will come with a beautiful, printed thank you note from our family, making them the perfect Christmas gift for everyone on your list this year. The shirts will be $25-$27(includes shipping) and are available in sizes small through XXL.

Our goal is to sell 150 shirts by December 1. Will you be a mountain mover and partner with us to help bring Baby Knott #3 home for good?

And we promise they will be delivered in time for Christmas.

Click the link below to shop away!

www.theknottsadopt.bigcartel.com

With love,
Baylor



Tuesday, October 31, 2017

So That God Gets the Glory

It's so funny. When I look back at our journeys to Bradley and Asher, there are so many SPECIFIC instances I can point to that so clearly demonstrate God's sovereignty, His goodness, His love for us, His desire for His own name to be glorified. During those seemingly impossible years, Adam and I saw the Lord move in ways that are still beyond our comprehension. By God's grace alone, we found favor in the eyes of our government and the government of Ethiopia to proceed with an international adoption. With no experience as parents, we were somehow deemed suitable. As we walked what seemed to be an endless road toward parenthood, we watched God change our hearts, our marriage and, most importantly, our view of Him.

God glorified Himself in a breathtaking way as He slowly wound us toward our children. He used the platform of our family, our pain, our struggle and our redemption unto Him in order to bring glory to Himself alone. By compelling us to share our story as it was being written, He elevated His Name, allowing those walking the road with us to see what He alone is capable of achieving.

So why am I even a little bit surprised that He is doing the same EXACT thing this time around as we run toward our daughter in China? Don't know what I'm talking about? Allow me to explain.

We have been finished with our homestudy for awhile now. Which means we have been waiting on our immigration approval before we can send everything over to China and become a family waiting to be matched. More or less, our case has been in the hands of the U.S. government, and I have become a mailbox stalker, checking each and every day to see if our approval letter has come.

For a host of reasons, I have not been able to document this adoption process as thoroughly as I did the first. Something about a three year old and a one year old living in our house. But on Friday, I did share via Facebook a post that I had written four years ago that day. It talked about focusing on Christ instead of all the hardship and impossibility raging around us. At that time, I was thinking a lot about Peter walking on the water, doing the impossible only because Christ was enabling him to do it. So I shared that post again on Friday and asked our community to please pray that our clearance letter would come by the end of the following week.

Not two hours later, I received an email from immigration telling me that our case had been approved and that we could expect our clearance to arrive within 3-5 business days. EXACTLY THE TIME FRAME I HAD ASKED OUR FRIENDS TO PRAY FOR. I couldn't believe it (though I don't know why; the Lord has already moved mountains for us in this process). The thing I had been begging for for WEEKS. We share it publicly and get response in a matter of hours.

And I have a theory about that. God wanted to give Himself the glory. Might it have happened this way regardless? Sure. But I know for certain that when the Lord moves, He does so for our good and for His own glory. And I believe wholeheartedly that our sharing this request with our community provided an opportunity for God's sovereignty, goodness, faithfulness, everythingness to be on full display for more than just our family.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL.

Yesterday morning, I got a phone call from our case worker. Somehow, she already had her copy of our clearance IN HER HAND. I thought it would be Friday at least before she had it. But then GOD. He is sovereign over the postal service! So our last document was sent for translation today!

And isn't that just like our Heavenly Father? We ask for something that feels impossible to us, and God not only does it, but then does something we wouldn't have even thought to ask for because it's actually beyond the realm of human possibility. He is bigger than we are!

So I tell you all this to keep you updated on our progress toward Baby Knott #3. But even more, I tell you this to remind us all of Whom we serve. He is a great and powerful God, and His Name deserves to be exalted high. So when God is doing something incredible in your life, SHARE IT. Not to turn the spotlight on yourself, but to shine it brightly on the Lord Almighty, to give Him the glory and honor that are rightly His.

With love,
Baylor

Thursday, August 17, 2017

We Must Take Sides

I have felt compelled to write something--anything--in the days since Charlottesville. But every time I have sat down in front of this computer, I have been unable to order my thoughts in any coherent way. Anger, frustration, sadness, helplessness, despair, rage, fear are all warring with each other. And so I was tempted to just walk away, to let other (far wiser) voices ring out. But there is a deep part of me that knows that the absence of my voice would speak volumes.

The absence of my voice might project that this horrifying display of the wretchedness of human sin was simply not enough to move me to action. The absence of my voice--a white, female, middle class voice--might scream that since these events did not directly impact me that I am excused from acknowledging them, much less dealing with them. The absence of my voice would, in all reality, be my giving consent to allow things like this to continue.

And that I cannot do. I cannot give consent, even tacitly. I cannot ignore. I cannot accept. I cannot pretend that people like this do not live in my neighborhood, go to my church, play on my playgrounds and shop in my grocery stores. I cannot.

But what I can do is add my own voice to the chorus of those standing against racism. Because that is what this is. It is racism. Pure. Simple.

It is a group of people so entrenched in their own pride and selfishness, so accustomed to their own superiority, so insistent that they alone should reign supreme, so consumed with hatred that they are willing to incite violence, to bring harm, to hurt, maim and even kill all who stand against them.

When I allow myself to sit and truly sink into thinking about all that Charlottesville represents, I feel like I am drowning. And so I cannot even begin to fathom what my brothers and sisters of color must be thinking and feeling. What my own son would be thinking and feeling if he was fifteen instead of three.

It is time for us white people to do better. Our fellow human beings, fellow image bearers of the Most High God are being attacked because of the color of their skin, a color that same God designed. It is not enough for us to shake our heads and say, "How awful." It is not enough for us to make jokes aimed at white supremacists. It is not enough to change our profile pictures on Facebook and quote Dr. King.

We have to start looking at people the way Jesus looks at us. With love and compassion. With arms open wide. We have to start living the way God commands us to in His Word. What if the white Christian church did that? What would change? Everything would. God's banner over us is love. Let that be what identifies us to the world. Not this racial elitism that threatens to destroy anything in its way.

Let us live like we believe that Jesus died and rose again for all mankind, not just those who look like we do. Let us live in such a way that our children learn to love the way Jesus did, recklessly. And when our leaders fail to call out racism, let us be bold enough to step into the gap and speak the truth in their stead.

I'll finish with a quote from a hero of mine, Elie Wiesel. Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor. He lived through deportation to Auschwitz and was eventually liberated from Buchenwald. I had the privilege of teaching his beautiful memoir Night for all of my eight years in the classroom. At the end of the text, his publishers included his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech. It is incredibly compelling, and I always made sure my classes took time to read it and discuss its importance.

The words I have included below shake me every time I read them. There is so much truth here. Truth and a call to action. A call to respond.



And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever wherever 
human beings endure suffering and humiliation. 
We must take sides. 
Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. 
Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. 
Sometimes we must interfere. 
When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. 
Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must — at that moment — become the center of the universe.



May we have the courage to interfere.

With love,
Baylor

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