Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Piece of My Heart...

...is in WISCONSIN... where Arsema Rose and Ytbarek Taye now live...I love these children and saying goodbye was hard ...but I'm happy for their new lives and new family.

...another piece is in ARIZONA with Benjamin Tesfaye, Asher Bilisuma and Grace Miheret... the three musketeers.... These beautiful children always made me laugh...I miss them.

...and one more piece is in COLORADO with precious Yonas... his smile can melt any heart and those eyes!!!

All of these children left Ethiopia on Christmas Eve and arrived into their forever families on Christmas day... now that's a gift! I am so grateful to God for allowing me a small part of their lives... the smiles, tears and laughter. Thank you Lord for these three families who answered your call...may they each be abundantly blessed!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A day like any other...

I’ve spent Christmas away from home before. But I’ve never been in this small room, in this house, inside these four stone walls, along this dirt road, just off the beaten path, in a third world country in Africa. A country that celebrates Christmas on a different date and in a much different way. When you take away the trees, the stockings, the lights, the plastic yard figures, the music, the candy, the reindeer, the jolly man in red, the huge amounts of food, the family gatherings, the egg nog, the gifts, the plays, the traditions and the count down calendars…..yes, all the STUFF that we add to make it Christmas….well, it becomes a day like any other. I would have never known it was Christmas except I have a ten year old who wouldn’t let me forget! I love Christmas…maybe a bit too much…which is no doubt one of the many reasons I’m here. I awoke to a strange sound…but it wasn’t footsteps on the rooftop…it was the daily 5am Muslim call to prayer…than another familiar sound woke me at 6am…the sound of the handmade broom sweeping the courtyard. There was nothing magical in the air….there was no reindeer poop on the steps outside…it was just Friday. When all the STUFF is taken away….we are left with the one thing that is not of this world….Jesus…and our relationship with Him. With everything else removed, I could focus on Him and truly celebrate His birth. It should be like this every day. I spent some time this morning holding “H”….a beautiful 8 week old (we’re guessing)… who was found about 3 weeks ago laying in the dirt on the side of the road…I bet Jesus likes this story…He can probably recall the taste of dirt on His lips as an infant. I know His plans for “H” are glorious. I thought about how today for her was just another day to survive…another day waiting for simple things… things every child should have. I looked at “M”, “A” and “D”… a young girl and her two little brothers who watched their mother die from AIDS and than lost their father in a tragic accident….they know loss…they know hunger… they know poverty …they know what it’s like to be left at an orphanage by their only living relative. Today for them was just another day to survive. A day longing for a family…the comfort of their own bed …a promise of full stomachs every day. There were no visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads. But I’ve seen 7 year old “D” praise the Lord with pure abandon…they still have such hope….and joy …and they have no idea what a stocking is….much less a candy cane. I think with Christmas we are trying so hard to produce joy…to create magic …and to make others happy. What I’m realizing is that there is tons of joy all around me …all around each of us …if we’ll just look for it. I know now that I’d rather find Jesus in an unwanted child than in a plastic manger. I’d rather taste the sweetness of orphan kisses over a Snickers bar any day. God is working on my heart …on this day…just like any other.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

May your Christmas be filled with gifts from above!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

One of those moments...

Today, I watched my child make the right decision. One she shouldn’t have to be involved in, but she is. I’m sorry I can’t share the details. Without thinking it through… without concern for her own safety…she chose to put someone else above herself. She reacted immediately and therefore gave me a glimpse into her true character…her heart of compassion…her determination to see good prevail…that in a pinch she stepped out for another. Wow! At least for the moment I seem to have forgotten the attitude, the eye rolling and the battles…for the moment, I’m proud and even inspired…individually we can make a difference…one person making the right choice…one battle at a time…one child at a time. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, December 20, 2009


What a treat! Kenli and I had never had sugar cane...... everyone else here had. We all got a piece..

You cut it in half and than in fourths....tear off a piece and chew on it to suck out the yumminess...

Everyone enjoyed it!!!!

This is what you do with it after you've gotten all the yummy out. Spit it on the ground!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I know...but

These three words leave my daughter’s lips way too often….and they normally send my head spinning. I consider it backtalk and disrespectful. She is certainly allowed an opinion, but I believe there is a better way to verbalize it. These three words seem to cancel whatever I’ve just said…treating it as unimportant…dismissing it for her “own” better idea. It’s something I’ve worked long and hard on to correct. Recently I was frustrated and angry after an “I know…but” encounter…and God began to reveal something to me. God likes to speak to us in a language we understand…so He often uses our lives to parallel what He wants to teach us. What I realized was this….I say these same 3 words to my Father way too often! I can hear God say “I will never leave you” and I respond “I know…but how will I manage being all alone”. I can read God’s promise “Do not worry about what you will wear or what you will eat” and I respond “I know…but where will I get the money to buy what I need”. He reminds me “I knit you together in your mother’s womb” and I respond “I know…but I don’t really like this or that about myself”. Oh, how frustrated my Father must be with me some days…but His head never spins and He never looses it. He continues to gently correct me and love me anyway. How often in daily life do each of us say to our Wonderful Father, “I know…but”….many times every day I believe. “My grace is sufficient”… “I know…but”… “I can do miracles” … “I know…but”… “With Me ALL things are possible”… “I know…but” … “I called you to adopt so I will make a way”… “I know…but”… “You are forgiven”… “I know…but”. Okay, I’ll stop…I’m sure you get the point. I know that I do this but until it was done to me I wasn’t really thinking about how disrespectful I was being to my God. Questioning His authority and treating Him as if somehow He doesn’t know what He’s talking about. Absurd!!!!!!!….just like a ten year old who thinks she knows more than her mother! I’m trying so much harder to just accept what He says… no questions, no doubts, no buts…

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear Lord...

You can restore ANYTHING….even when I doubt…even when I question how…even when I try to bypass you and do it on my own…even when I decide it can’t be done…even when I wonder how you can…even when I refuse to believe…even when I quit and walk away…You CAN still do it!!!!!!!! You are capable…you make all things possible…your plans and ways are perfect…you know what I need…you can make it brand new…you are victorious…you love me more than I can understand…you aren’t worried about the enemy. You know what has broken my heart…you know what causes my tears…you know my desires…you want me to be happy…you know what my future holds. Trusting you is sometimes hard…I know you are all I need, but living that is difficult…there are days in my human weakness that I desire more than you. I must lay it at your feet….I must pick up your promises, your protection and your love…I must walk away believing that it’s worth it….whatever IT is. I know Satan has been victorious so many times in my life…I live with the consequences of his victories everyday. That doesn’t mean I’m not forgiven…or restored. But life is REAL…the good and the bad…God and Satan…truth and sin. For me, one is past and one is now…but I remember because I never want to forget. That WAS MY life….my path…it has helped to shape my today. I ask BIG and pray BIG because I believe my God is BIG…bigger than anything in this world. He might say no, but I can live with that…I want no more regrets in my life…they are much harder to live with than no.

I’m asking BIG!!!!!….HUGE….ENORMOUS…but I think it only looks that way to me…God isn’t worried.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Love These Faces...

I thought you might love them too!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Look What's Been Hanging On My Clothesline...

Welcome to our 3 newest arrivals...."R" is an adorable 2 month old little boy, "A" is an energetic 2 year old cutie pie, and "H" is a gorgeous 1 month old little girl. The clothesline may be a little fuller but so are our hearts!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Big City

We are in Addis Ababa (the capital of Ethiopia) for a few days. My director (boss of my boss) is visiting from the States and we have the privilege of hanging out with her a bit. We have been going non-stop...but it has been great. We have seen a lot of the city and are learning more about the inner workings of international adoption. One highlight was seeing (and hugging) six of my sweet children from Adama. They have all passed court and came up to Addis to await Embassy appointments and of course their new parents. I have missed them terribly these last few weeks and was thrilled to see them. They will all be heading home for Christmas! We have tagged along with Joy (the boss lady) to meet with children who are just being placed and we also met a wonderful (but very sick) two year old who desperately needs sponsorship. Check out http://www.thatwemightbeadopted.blogspot.com/ to read Joy's account ...it's far better than anything I could write. Today we hung out with some WONDERFUL "former" street kids who are part of YWAM's Mercy Ministry here in Addis. They are on fire for the Lord and their stories break my heart and inspire me all at the same time. There are so many stories to be told and so many children to help ...I am glad God has a plan!

I love this face !!!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

So Long Emmy Ruth...

On Thanksgiving Day this little sweetheart came and told us goodbye. She passed court a few weeks ago and went up to Addis Ababa to wait for her new family. Her new Daddy and big brother Alex were kind enough to bring her to Adama for a final farewell. Everyone here loved her so…she was the little queen. We know God has great plans for her life! This is what it’s all about …an orphan being adopted into a new forever family …a wonderful family doing their best to fix what this world has broken. God bless you “R” family!

Friday, November 27, 2009


I can’t believe my little girl has been around for a decade! Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! I love you goose…have a great day!

“10” Things I love about you…

*I love to hear you play the piano and sing. I am so glad God gave you musical talent.
*I love that you sit and make plans for how we can feed the homeless.
*I love that you have a heart for children and that you are so good with them.
*I love your imagination. You create so many fun things.
*I love your smile. It always brightens my day.
*I love to watch you give what few possessions you have to those who have nothing.
*I love your heart for the orphan. That you “get it” at such a young age.
*I love to hear about all the dreams you have for the future.
*I love to cook with you. It’s fun to make new creations.
*I love to witness your faith in the Lord…the faith of a child. It’s a joy to see you grow in Him.

I could write a million things I love about you!!!! I look forward to many more decades!!! I pray you always trust in the Lord. He is your strength and your guide. Remember, we must follow Him…even if it’s hard!!! Following Him is what life is all about!!! I am so grateful to God for the gift of YOU!!!

Happy Birthday to you…
I love you,

Sunday, November 22, 2009

You Are Being Monitored...

The “I am Thankful” list is endless….so I decided to focus on one thing. That sent me to thinking …what has God been discussing with me lately? Well, many things…but something stood out…The “Christian” of today. No, that’s not what I’m thankful for. Honestly, I’m quite the opposite. Lately, I have noticed unsavory trends among Christians. Maybe they’ve been around for a while, but I haven’t been hanging out with church people for too long. Anyway, where does the typical bible thumper get off? I’m not talking about divorce rates, “Sunday Christians”, bigotry, prosperity gospel lovers or even orange kool-aid drinkers (although all these things need to be addressed). I’m focusing on the new, scripture-spewing, judgmental, “us against them”, Pharisees….if you will. This new generation who are growing up in perfect, Mommy and Daddy married forever, quiver-full, liberal hating, don’t go near the sinners cause the stain might rub off on you-type families. (and before you bust a forehead vein…if I could go back in time I’d be married forever with a quiver full of home schooling, garden growing, skirt wearing, green bean canning, goat raising, farm living, Jesus loving little ones…you can have all this and not raise what I described above!!!!!) Unfortunately, that’s not normally the case… many such families are raising biblically proficient, socially illiterate kids whose one-sided opinions are a dime a dozen, but their doing nothing to make a change, much less are they living it …and the above situation can be changed to describe any family in any situation. So…to the point….are you raising road blocks or salt and light? Many are raising road blocks even if you want to think you’re not. Just a few years ago I was playing for the other team (Satan’s Flamethrowers)…and about 90% of “Christians” that I encountered were ROAD BLOCKS ….they in no way, shape or form demonstrated Christ to me. I was going to hell (even though I didn’t think so) and they knew it and they did nothing to stop it. Now that’s just stinkin’ sad. They looked down at me and treated me as if I were beneath them….like my sin might be catching. They had no interest in my salvation or eternal destination. And for the few who left me little prayer pamphlets ….I think you could have tried a bit harder. I know this is all critical …that there are some who try…but I can count on one hand those who made any effort at all ….and I was living deep in bitterness, hate and sin for about 23 years. These statistics bother me…maybe I take it personal …or maybe I’m just a pushover. Or maybe it’s because all those liberal, pro-choice, bitter people who live to satisfy their flesh represent my past…I was one of them …and proud of it. Enough testimony babble …What I was trying to say is that I know what it’s like on that side. I know how they feel about me (disciple of Christ) and I know nothing I can say will change their minds. But that doesn’t mean “give up”. I can pray (which I do desperately for some I left behind) and I can be their friend (even if only casual) and I can stop judging them. They (referring to ALL lost people in the world) do not care how many bible verses I have memorized. They care if I speak to them like an equal, they care if I reach my hand out to theirs, they care if I listen to their story and their opinion …they know if I am genuine …and if I am they will eventually look at my life …and THIS my friends is where Jesus likes to work. God will pursue us but He won’t force us …so when He has us cornered He likes to place people in our paths to SHOW us truth. God knows what we need to see and that is who He will use. I think this is where so many fall short (including me). Someone IS watching you …what do they see? Please take time to think about this. Do they see hypocrisy? Do they hear laughter as they walk by? Do they become part of your gossip? Do they feel the judgmental stare? Do they witness your excess when they are in need? How are you representing God to them? I think this is very important!!! Most people who are lost truly don’t know God. So you may be the only God they ever see…..most who represented God to me would have never encouraged me to want to know Him more (luckily I had experienced God as a child, so deep down in me was the truth) . This isn’t so for many others. God chased me for a long while and placed many in my path …most, I never noticed. But one man and his family were obedient to God. By that, I mean they were living Jesus out loud. God knew that I needed to see this family and their lives…this is part of the way God was winning me back. This man could have been rude to me or I could have witnessed him be a hypocrite …but that never happened. He would bring his family to the restaurant I worked at. I already knew him from my childhood …and respected him greatly. Over a two year period I watched them. They always said hello, they always asked how I was, and they always treated everyone with the same kindness and respect. When I was pregnant (and not married of course) they never made a rude comment and they never stopped treating me in the same kind manner. They didn’t knock me over the head with the bible and if they judged it certainly wasn’t evident. God used this man and his family to show me a better life. God knew that I wanted to give my daughter something more and He knew exactly what I needed to see. But what if Pastor Jim wasn’t living it out? What if he wanted to keep his children away from me…because I would be a bad influence? What if he thought himself so much better than me that he quit being nice? I know that he doesn’t even know that he played a significant role in my coming back to the Lord …but the Lord knows …and more important …now I know the Lord!!!!! So, I am thankful for Pastor Jim and his amazing family (some are now even my friends)….and of course they are a quiver full, home schooling family!!!!! So see, I’m not a hater….I was just giving an example before. I must keep in mind that some of you may not actually know me …so you should know that I also home school and share many of the values of the family type I was tearing apart before …it’s just a real example. Have a blessed Thanksgiving over there in America!!! Remember, God WILL use you and you probably WON’T know it!!!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Receipe for a Full Day of Fun

Some old bottle caps
Handful of dirt
Eight children
Endless Imagination

Give an equal amount of bottle caps to each child. Pack dirt into one of your caps (this will be your throwing cap) and stick the others in your pocket. Divide children into groups of two. The first group can each lay a cap on the ground (side by side) and stand back behind the line. Each child gets one throw (with the throwing cap prepared earlier) to hit the caps. If they miss, than each child can flick their cap from where it landed to try and hit the caps again. Whoever’s cap landed farther away goes first. You may capture one or two caps depending on if they move. Repeat until smiles occur. (This is similar to marbles). Enjoy this homemade fun!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

If He Comes

I’ve been searching for my purpose…..well my human (in my own mind) purpose …..God’s purpose is played out as long as I obey him…and keep my eyes on him …..follow his commandments….I couldn’t wrap my mind around it anyway. Actually it is probably more simple…..love God with all that you are and love your neighbor as yourself …..this is what Jesus said you know ……simple really. I want to love the neighbor who is about 5 years old and the dirtiest child I’ve ever seen in person….living on the street ….but with a smile that made my heart happy. What did she have to smile about? Maybe seeing the white person was a good enough reason ….she ran after me….unashamedly….I hugged her and moved on. I want to go back and see her…maybe take her an apple and some water and a hug. She literally is my neighbor, living just around the corner from my gate….but she is my neighbor regardless of where she lives ….so are you. So really, it is simple. Why can’t I chase after Jesus the same way that little girl chased after me? It really is a likely parallel ….to that little girl maybe I was hope or change…someone to lift her up out of her despair…a reason to smile. That is what Jesus was to me (and still is). One day I looked up from my dirty, boring life that was leading me down the road to death….and I just happened to see this cool guy walk by. He was different from anything I’d ever seen. He noticed me….not like the others. He embraced me….he offered me something different and new and it filled my heart with hope. So much so that I couldn’t help but smile. I by no means am comparing myself to Jesus …..but I am called to be as much like him as I can be. Maybe I can be Jesus to that little girl…if not me, than who? God knit her together in her mother’s womb…he created her with a purpose…a plan for her future. God doesn’t make mistakes….she wasn’t an accident….she is not a burden. She didn’t mess up ….we did. That’s right…. “we” did….all of us. By being part of a society that allows there to be 147 million orphans (does anybody really believe God made that many extra children…whoops). The apathy is tearing me apart …mine and everyone else’s. I know it sounds so cliché, but what if Jesus did come back today. Do you think He just wouldn’t notice the 147 million? Do you think He would accept our excuses? Heck no, I think He would be mad…really mad …knocking tables over mad. Why do you have so much extra room in your house …why do you have so much extra money in your bank account? Why are MY children starving? Why are MY children dirty? Why are MY children alone? Why do you have plenty and MY children have none? Did I not tell you to care for MY sheep? Did I not tell you to do to the least of these what you would do to ME? Did I not tell you the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these? Did I not tell you whoever welcomes a little child in MY name welcomes ME? How in the world do you come up with an excuse good enough to make Jesus say, “Oh yeah, I guess you’re right, that is more important than MY children”. It breaks my heart and it hurts my soul…deep inside of me. Where I question God and man. I become still…not because I am thinking of something great or even spending time with my Lord …but because I feel empty. So helpless …I just sit and listen to a constant whisper in my ear. The lies are overwhelming but they make sense …because Satan seems to be winning this one. I absolutely refuse to give in!!!!!!! I “MUST” do something to make a difference in that little girl’s life. I have to step out of my comfort zone…take a chance ….be unashamed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tis The Season...

Tis the season to overspend
Suddenly each coworker becomes a friend
Even the relatives you never see
Must have a package under the tree
Not to mention the kids with their lists
Taking great care so that nothing is missed
There are stockings to hang and cookies to ice
Way too much naughty and not enough nice
A tree to trim and bows to tie
The same for each so no one will cry
It's more about get and not about give
Forgetting the babe and the life He lived
I wonder how Jesus would spend Christmas Day
I'm guessing He would give Himself away
No strings attached, No pretty bows
Just simple acts of kindness wherever He goes
Giving to those who are really in need
Doing something that will truly plant a seed

Maybe this year you would like to buy a chicken, a school uniform, or a pair of shoes...for a child in Ethiopia. Maybe you would like to help an orphan have Christmas. Maybe you would like to buy an awesome t-shirt from a family after God's heart, so that they can bring an orphan home to his forever family. Maybe you would like to sport a bracelet that shows your support of a family who are orphan advocates. Maybe you might purchase one of many great items that are sold to help families finance adoption and to feed hungry children in Uganda. Maybe you would like to contribute to one family's dream to pay for "someone else's adoption". Maybe your family would give up one gift each...or all their gifts...so that someone less fortunate could experience the love of Jesus Christ. May you be blessed in this season...May we all reconsider the price that was paid ...May we truly give so that we May truly receive all that He has for us. Amen.

Please check out these sights for any of the above ideas:
Gift Catalog/Buy a chicken
Christmas for orphans
My friends who are adopting
Orphan Advocates/Adoptive family
Orphan Advocates at 147
Funds for "someone else's adoption"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

sample in a squatty...huh?

Kenli is a very healthy child. The last time she went to the doctor she wasn’t quite two (excluding annual well visits). She has thrown up once in her life…she was still a wee toddler. So, needless to say, when the puke came yesterday we were both caught off guard. She grew sicker and pukier as the day went on. Eventually we ended up at the local clinic. After we entered and took a number, she was weighed and had her temperature taken. Than we sat outside in the back courtyard with all the other waiting patients. Watching the stray kittens and puppy helped pass the time. Our turn came for the doctor, where we were questioned, checked and sent for lab work. Now this is where Ethiopia has the upper hand…..in America you can wait days or weeks for simple tests….not to mention the drive to what ever random place you have to go to get the lab work done. Not here… we just took the gravel path, past the lady doing laundry, and into the last small room. There were two tables, a small refrigerator, three chairs and one nurse pricking fingers. She simply squeezed the blood onto a small slide and handed it to the guy at the next table with the really nice microscope. Than we were off to the “waiting room” again. Back to the doctor… Thank God it is not Malaria or Typhoid. Meanwhile Kenli is as pale as me (now that’s pale) and her fingernails were as white as clouds, as if she had nail polish on them…not to mention she was about to pass out and was burning up with fever. The next logical step….well IV fluids of course. This was taken care of a few moments later in the hallway/exam room/breezeway where others were now being weighed and probed. It was quick, painful as any long needle in the top of the hand, and once you saw past the flies, not that unusual. Than the nurse was off with the IV bottle; Kenli nearly sprinting behind so as not to have the needle yanked back out; back down the gravel path and to the other small room. Here she was put in bed….this particular bed being reminiscent of one you might see in a documentary about Romanian orphanages… we stayed here for over an hour while the fluids dripped and the mosquitoes bit (now we might need that Malaria test). Once the fluids took their course, Kenli had to go (in the worst way)….so we’re off… running down the gravel path to the outhouse… please picture squatty potty… me holding up IV bottle and Kenli’s skirt….her about to pass out….a slippery floor…the unmentionables of course …and the nurse trying to pass me a plastic lid (no lie…like off a water bottle) through the door so I can get a small sample …are you kidding me …there was no time for a sample and my third hand wasn’t cooperating anyway. Eventually we did retrieve a sample and hand it over to the cool guy with the microscope…did I mention the microscope …sorry I was a Biology major in college and I still get giddy around them. A large antibiotic injection later …and we’re on our way home. I should mention the doctor was fabulous and spoke wonderful English…and no doubt all were doing the best they could with what they had. My one regret… no camera …back in my scrapbook days I would have had it with me. What I learned…On the way to the clinic/hospital …grab the camera, OFF and a snack.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Are We Holding God to a Standard?

Today in church, as we all stood and clapped along with the upbeat music, my mind was wondering. Yes, I’ll admit to it. I looked to my right and noticed a man. He was different from the rest. He looked so tired and his body was worn beyond its years. His arms were rail thin and his feet were dirty as I would imagine a disciple’s to have been. The back of his t-shirt was nothing but holes connected by struggling thread and the bottom was very tattered. Yet, he had managed to tuck it into his corduroy pants (it is 80 degrees). His pants were covered in dirt, but the holes were still visible. They were held up by an old scrap of material. His eyes were closed and his hands were raised. He was praising God and I was captivated. Why was he praising God and I wasn’t? As I watched him, I knew there wasn’t much he had to be grateful for….but he WAS grateful. Am I holding God to some kind of standard? I will praise him when the promotion comes, when the sickness goes, when there’s enough money, when my food is hot, when I’m having a great day, when I hear good news……but most of my time is spent in the valleys not on the mountaintop. People I love are dieing, my friends are far away, someone’s marriage is failing, I walk past starving children, I worry about support, my daughter is being mouthy, a friend lost their job, I don’t feel appreciated….the list goes on and on. Am I praising Him in each of these times? Am I praising Him despite my situation or because of it? It’s easy to say “Thank you Jesus” or “My God is worthy” when you have a smile on your face. But it’s the times I’m broken that I need him most….and it’s those times that I am asking Him for things…..when I should be praising Him. He is still capable, even if I’m having a bad day. He is still Holy, The Creator, King of Kings….He inhabits our praises. I saw Him inhabit that man’s today. There is nothing like praising God. You can’t help but be filled with joy….I think this is the point. To let Him turn my sorrow into joy ….to be made strong in my weakness….for His joy is my strength. So if I’m not praising Him in every circumstance, then I will remain weak and full of self-pity. So I’ve decided to praise God when I’m happy and when I’m sad….when I’m laughing and when I’m mad….in my human weakness ….in all the places I fall short…. on the days I want to quit….with every embrace of a precious child…in victory and failure…. Because all else will fail….. But not my God…

Shout with joy to God, all the earth!
Sing the glory of his name;
Make his praise glorious!
Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds!
So great is your power
That your enemies cringe before you.
All the earth bows down to you;
They sing praise to you,
They sing praise to your name.” Psalm 66:1-4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving
And his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:4-5

Saturday, October 17, 2009

No Picky Eaters Here

There are things I have never heard here. For instance: I’m not hungry, I don’t like that, That looks gross, I don’t want to try it, Can I have the red sucker instead of the yellow one, That’s not the way I like it, This doesn’t taste good, I can’t eat another bite, I’m saving room for dessert……Children who have known hunger…They are a unique bunch. I’ve heard adoptive parents comment that their children have food issues, but I never understood it until now. They turn down NOTHING. Being a member of the clean plate club is not an option, it’s a matter of survival. Perfectly good food is not off limits just because it hit the floor. Touch so much as a bean in their bowl and you might draw back a nub. Eating is serious business! It is not about taste or pleasure, but staying alive. And these children get 3 meals and at least one snack a day. They have plenty. I suppose it’s not so easy to leave hunger behind. It must stay with them…even haunt them. It is so very real…the possibility that there may be no more food. It breaks my heart and honestly, it makes me mad. How do we allow this to happen? Jesus is hungry and we are not feeding him! (and for anyone thinking, “well, it’s not really Jesus”…you might want to skim through Matthew) Today, 30,273 more will die. The hunger pains won’t go away…more food will never come.
Dear Lord, forgive us! Open our eyes!

BONUS UPDATE: Our little girl “R” passed court !!!! Jesus Rocks !!!! Her family should be here to get her in a few weeks. I will do a post about her with pictures when that happens.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I love to be inspired by what God is doing through His people. I received a message from an amazing lady a couple of days ago. Check her out at www.operationgiggle.blogspot.com . Her name is Sherri and she is from little ol’ Cleveland, TN. She has a heart for the orphan and has started Operation Giggle to do something about it. Originally she was just working with the orphans in China, but now, thanks to God’s hand, she is working with the little ones right here in Ethiopia too….with the organization I work with. I love the way God worked out all the details and I love Sherri’s obedience. They will be sending Christmas gifts to the children here. To find out how you can be involved visit her blog. I know, like you need one more Christmas project….but hey, if God prompts…….Love you guys !!!!!!!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Kenli sporting her braids…now she definitely looks Ethiopian. Betty, who is the nurse, also does all the girls hair. Kenli finally got up the nerve to ask her to do her hair…and there you have it. Everyone already thinks she is Ethiopian…people speak to her in Amharic all the time.
Yesterday the children were playing taxi. They lined up their little stools and took turns driving each other around…they paid with money they had made with leaves. I heard things like “Café” or “Airport”…eventually I overheard “Wal-Mart” and “Payless”…seems like Kenli is preparing them for America without even knowing it…I had to laugh !!! Below is a picture of some of the boys lined up with their taxis…waiting on passengers. It’s fun to delight in the little things.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jesus Never Fails...

Today, I decided to quit…(with some of you I have shared how I want to quit every day)…but today I was pushed to the very limits…my values tested one too many times…my boiling point reached…the lies of the enemy lingering by my ear had gone from a whisper to a scream…feeling defeated and unappreciated…I was having a crash landing…I was mad…and I was even madder that I couldn’t vent because no one speaks English…I had bit my tongue too many times…kept quite so as not to give in to the enemy… I am at an ugly place on the inside right now…trying to find my way…trying to wait on God, but feeling more alone than ever…trying not to throw arrows even though some people deserve one right between the eyes… feeling sorry for myself…hmmmmm… what to do…well cry of course… because I was sad…which led to … I have no one to share this with… which led to… I’m so alone… which led to … crying over a lost love… which led back to… feeling sorry for myself… which led to… why am I even here… which led to… I am a horrible mother… I think you get the pathetic picture… I am now a crumbled mess at the feet of Jesus…and than I remembered a story about someone who had a really BAD day… He was betrayed by a friend, arrested without cause, falsely testified against, beaten, disowned by another friend, judged by those in power, accused of many things and than a crowd of people who didn’t even know him shouted, “Crucify Him”…they stripped him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head… they mocked him, spit on him and struck him on the head again and again… they divided up his clothes by casting lots and shouted, “Let him save himself”. He was forced to carry his own cross up to the place where they crucified him… as he slowly died, they sneered at him and hurled insults… not to mention the agony, blood, and pain… or the weight of my sin on his shoulders… not once did he shout “this isn’t fair” or “I didn’t do anything wrong”… he was the King of Kings… he could of saved himself…it’s a good thing I don’t have that power…because I believe I would save myself… and from circumstances far better than the ones my King endured. Dear Lord, forgive me…on the days I complain and feel sorry for myself I am so glad that although I am weak, you are made strong in my weakness; that my lack of faith always causes me to sink, but you can walk on water; that my eyes still doubt the miracles I see, but your miracles open blind eyes; that I see a mountain as reason to change course, but you move mountains; that I fear there may not be enough food, but you care for me more than the sparrows; that I complain my load is heavy even though you held the weight of the world’s sin while hanging on a cross; that I resent the authority placed over me, forgetting you are the one who placed me here; that I can walk past a homeless man without taking notice, not even remembering I just worshiped one on Sunday; that I have no problem climbing up on a pedestal to condemn the sin around me, when I need to be on my knees begging forgiveness for my own; that I tell someone I’ll pray for them and never get around to it, all the while you are at the right hand of the Father interceding on my behalf; that I complain that my food is cold while others are begging for food; that I doubt the promises you make me, even though your words have the power to speak a universe into existence; that I am so bothered I can’t help many that I overlook the joy of helping one, knowing in my heart that you would have suffered and died that day even if for one…even if that one was me. Thank you for not quitting Jesus. Thank you for greeting me each morning with brand new mercy. Thank you for the shadow of your wings. Thank you for always moving our meeting place to where I am. Thank you that all your gifts are good and perfect. Thank you for letting me start over every single time I mess up.

“O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. You hem me in - behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from you presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Psalms 139:1-10


Monday, October 5, 2009

Hush Litttle Baby...

We were on our way home from the store, walking down a street that was new to me. I take in all the people with my eyes, especially those lining the streets; the homeless, the unwanted and the down and out. Suddenly, there she was…I first noticed the pink hat on her tiny head…it was a baby, a very small baby. She was covered to her chin with a blanket…and her face…well, it had obviously been handcrafted by the Master…she was gorgeous. As quickly as I was amazed at her beauty and the fact she was on a mat on the ground next to her homeless mother…we passed by and kept going. They don’t stop for much around here. I looked back over my shoulder and wanted to run back and pick her up…but I didn’t…I couldn’t…she was not mine. I was told the mother would not give her up… she brought in too much money. I want to go back and get her…I am haunted…truly she is etched in my mind and heart. I think of her through each day and night. Why didn’t I stop? Would God let our paths cross again? Was she hungry? I would go back alone…but I don’t know the way or the language. I asked if they would take me back…”sure, maybe tomorrow”…that was 3 days ago. I think they find it funny that I want her…that I want to help. Maybe they are numb to it. After all, it’s my first encounter with a newborn living on the street. I want to pray for God to remove her from my mind, but I don’t…because that’s all I have of her. I want to remember…I don’t ever want to be numb. I am here not to judge “why” they are on the street but to be Jesus to them however I can…even if I don’t know how. I pray for her…that I would have another chance…it is possible…with God. Lord, I feel so helpless… I am broken… a failure.
“He will defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy: he will crush the oppressor.” Psalms 72:4

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Jesus and The Evil One

Yesterday, I feel sure I looked into the eyes of both. I visited a local market with the Director early in the morning. As she bartered for the best price on carrots and potatoes, I took in the sights and sounds. I am quite used to being stared at here. Some just glance my way as they pass; some smile and nod; some make comments about the foreigner to their friends; and some glare. But this stare was different…I felt it before I looked up. As I turned my head to the right our eyes met. He was an older man ,about two booths away, dressed in full Muslim garb and he was certainly glaring at me. I casually looked away and than back….he had not moved. So I did the slight smile and nod and looked away and than back….I don’t think he had even blinked. I knew at that moment that it had nothing to do with him being Muslim or me being white…what was alive in him was staring at what was alive in me….I turned to him once more and locked eyes with evil. Knowing I already had the victory with Jesus, I looked at him briefly and asked God to shine light into his darkness…and than we walked away. He continued to stare…frozen in the moment…my heart breaks for his bondage and the darkness that surrounds him. We returned home to find 3 new faces. There they were…an 11 year old girl and her 7 and 8 year old brothers…they were being dropped off by their elderly grandfather. They lost one parent to AIDS and another in a car accident. The grandfather is extremely poor…which is quite evident when you look at the children…but he wants something better for them…and he has heard the children who come here may get new homes in America. These three were dirty…their little feet were worn well beyond their years…and their ragged clothes couldn’t hide the frail bodies underneath. But what truly caught my attention were their big, beautiful, empty eyes….eyes that had seen too much…eyes that mirrored tired, weary souls. Their fear was evident. I sat in the Director’s office as she typed up paperwork…they sat just outside…remaining close to their grandfather. A short while later, he was gone, and they were alone….I looked over at them…at the beautiful faces of children who had just been left with strangers at an orphanage….left by their only living relative…and than it happened…our eyes met. As a wave of sadness came over me…my heart trying to make sense of what just happened…I realized their eyes weren’t empty. I saw a glimpse of Jesus…for He is with the little ones. He “IS” the abandoned, the alone, the dirty, the hungry, the tired, the imprisoned and the orphan. I know God has a marvelous plan for these three. I prayed last night for their forever family….do they know their children are one step closer to being with them…do they even know yet that God will call them to adopt “three”…..do they even know they are being called? They will….and I pray it happens quickly. I look forward to watching Jesus restore life into their eyes…

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Imitator ?

The Worst Thing That Happened To Me Today:
A small child spit in his hand and threw it on me

The Best Thing That Happened To Me Today:
A small child spit in his hand and threw it on me

This got me thinking…am I being an imitator of God?….Hardly…How did I react when the spit landed?…I was frustrated, angry and my feelings were hurt…but I didn’t hit the child (believe me it crossed my mind) or spit back…well handled, I thought (can you say “pride issues”). I walked away calmly, said a quick prayer and allowed my anger to subside…than I opened my Bible and looked down to see Ephesians 5...was I being an imitator of God? Loving as Christ loved us?….I don’t think so…He didn’t have bitterness in His heart or judgment on His tongue. I once heard a really cool guy (*) give a great sermon about what happens when we are broken….when the pressures of life cause us to crack, what oozes out?… bitterness? Anger? Rude comments? Evil thoughts?… Being broken or cracked is good (in our weakness He is made strong). The more I am broken the more opportunities I have to let the light of Christ shine… apparently I need a lot more practice… I guess there’s more spit coming my way! I hope today each of us can be more like Christ. When something makes us crack…that peace and joy will come out, and the love of Jesus will be evident to whoever is watching.

*props to Mr. Stum

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I can't even think of a title

Well...I figure the only one reading this now is my Mother....sorry for the long absence...my life and the Internet feel a bit like a ketchup commercial...and even then the wait can't truly be captured. To say the least it is a difficult task to blog from here. I hope to configure a quicker way...but until then....who knows. We are here and all is as well as it can be. The home is small but nice and there are 11 children right now. The poverty is heartbreaking and around every corner. The Home has a wall around it and can feel a bit isolating at times....we can not go out alone....and town is a distance away. It is a nice town....but small by American standards. The children are fun and full of energy and always have a lot of love to give....they can sometimes be a little like caged animals....but as I witness the circumstances of their beginnings it is understandable. Luckily they all have families preparing for them....God's perfect plan for their life. I thank all of you who read, send emails, pray and give.....I may not be able to respond right now, but know that I am very grateful. There are so many needs here....please pray that I would be a good steward of the provision God gives. Please pray for our health and continued adjustment...and for the people of Ethiopia. I hoped to include some pictures....but are you kidding....maybe next time. For the sake of anyone reading this I hope to have something inspiring to write about next time. Peace to each of you.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And We're Off

6 bags + 1 carry-on....just missing my carry-on in this picture...In my defense, we are taking quite a bit to the orphanage :)

Leaving on a jet plane....don't know when we'll be back again. It's that time....FINALLY....to go. I am excited, tired and a wee bit stressed. Packing has been my biggest issue....and I'm asking that everyone would be praying for a miracle at the check-in counter tomorrow!!!!!!!! We leave Atlanta at 2:00 and fly out of D.C. at 8:30 in the evening....we arrive in Addis Ababa at 7:00 pm (noon back here in EST) on Sunday. I could panic, cry, scream, over think it.....but I'm really just not thinking about it....so I can avoid a headache...and just rest in the palm of His hand. This is His gig anyway...and He's better at working out the details...big and small. I know there are hard times ahead. But I also know that God is going to teach me wonderful things and open my eyes to things I never knew existed....I know He is going to grow my daughter's heart and show Himself real and mighty to her....I know He is going to love the orphans without ceasing....pound the enemy into the dirt and call us to follow Him as He continues on....I pray for His grace, that I might be able to keep up. Thank you everyone who has prayed, given, written cards, sent gifts, read our blog and fed us.....Thanks for being part of our team .....you go with us. This journey has really just begun....God has wonderful things in store!!!!!

Prayer requests:
His peace
safe travel
divine appointments
new friends
miraculous language learning
New Forever Homes for 147 million children of the King

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No Seed is Insignificant

I have been asked this question a lot recently, "So what are you gonna be doing in Ethiopia". I've had many answers to this question...some came out smooth and may have even fooled people into thinking I was on top of things....other times I'm sure folks just walked away confused. Truth is....I really don't know what I'll be doing in Ethiopia. I have ideas....playing with and caring for the children....cleaning, laundry and chores at the orphanage, homeschooling my daughter, learning about and helping out with the feeding program in two local villages, teaching some English lessons. Most of the time I get caught up in the "What" and not the "What For"....I want my answers to sound good....or good enough that others might think what I'm doing is a big deal. But really who I'm doing it for is the big deal!!!! Every task is important as long as we're being obedient to God. Satan would want me to feel insignificant....He would lie and say, "Seeds are so small and can be blown away by the wind." But seeds are what God has called us to sow. There is a wonderful post here that really got me thinking. If God has called me to it...than it matters. I have said things like, "Oh, we'll just be helping out" or "We probably won't be doing much at first". But it is significant.....the task may be small (every little thing must be taken care of) but our vision should not be. A quick story from the other post... A man was walking along a road and saw three brick layers hard at work. He asked the first man, "What are you doing?" The man said, "I'm laying bricks." When posed with the same question, the second man replied, "I'm building a wall." The third man answered the same question with a big visioned answer, "I'm building a cathedral." Although I must be diligent in every task my King gives me I've decided to have a bigger vision....the one God has given me. So now my answer , when asked what my purpose is in Ethiopia, is going to be ...."I'm going to help bring ALL 147 million orphans into their forever homes...caring for each one along the way"....... I believe this is what I'm a part of...my God is capable...and He didn't create too many children...so it seems to me that He has a forever home planned for each of them...it seems that we are to blame...we have failed them....God hasn't...So I know I'm part of a HUGE vision....God's....every little thing matters.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Praises...Part 2

Yesterday was our last Sunday at FBC for a while....sad and exciting. They had a special prayer time for us at the end of all 3 services..and a special prayer time for us in Kid's Church where I volunteer each week. Something unexpected happened....within a very short time I received cash, checks and cards containing $ from folks I've known for years and folks I don't know at all. It was a blessing and it should be what I need to pay for extra and heavy luggage charges (and Check Spellingregular luggage charges now...uggghh)......God is so good....He continues to care for us in such a special way!!!!! Another detail that He had worked out all along. I know I've posted about $$ the last 2 days...and it certainly isn't always about $$....but that is where God was blessing yesterday....oh and just for giggles (and a little extra WooHoo to God)....I also received an email yesterday from a member of my church (who I don't know) who wants to support us monthly... well if God isn't up to something!!!!!! Every dollar counts....this family was prompted by the Holy Spirit and they stepped into action....that money will directly effect the lives of children.... they will have something they need because a family was obedient!!!!! That's Jesus in action!!!!! He calls us to different things...and He expects us to answer YES....What's God calling you to today???????

Grateful for His good and perfect gifts,

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Do Not Worry....

I have to give praises to God. My daughter and I had to pick up our anti-malarial meds at the local pharmacy today. I won't bore you with the dilemma this has caused in my life....getting our hands on these pills....I know for many it is simple...but for me it became a fist fight with Satan. But, because God is good and He takes such good care of us...we headed to Walgreen's with smiles and relief. I knew that the price of these pills would be an issue....but I try my hardest to let God deal with those things. Before we pulled out of the driveway, I stopped and decided we should pray. I said a quick prayer out loud....asking God to untangle the problems, place just the right person at that counter and that we would only pay exactly what He (God) wanted us to. We were off....upon arrival we encountered the nicest pharmacist ever....who seemed to make all the tangled issues just fall away....than he gave us a quote (which was doable) and told us "10 minutes".....it only took 5....and as he rang us up he casually mentioned they had knocked some off the price...I didn't question it and gave him a hardy Thank You!!!!!......Truth is they knocked off half (from the original quote) and we walked out amazed and a bit giddy......I'll be honest in saying I'm not sure if I was happier that God answered our prayer or that He did it so simply right in front of my 9 year old. I made sure to discuss this answered prayer with her as we left.....I am so thankful to God for taking such good care of us....for providing the big and the small things....and for showing up in front of my child....God is amazing for showing Himself real to His little children in ways they can see and understand. Thank You Lord!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Lazarus x 3 = ?

Randomly, I had the story of Lazarus brought to my attention twice yesterday. The first was a post on a blog I just happened upon...as I was lurking around in blog world. The second was as I watched a video I had put off for a couple of weeks...but needed to watch. These two folks looked at the story from different perspectives. After I heard (and read) these two accounts my mind went back to a third account I had heard about Lazarus. My SOE peeps may remember the wonderful speaker we had in Houston...this guy rocked...and told the story of Lazarus in a way that sent goosebumps racing across my body...his words impacted my life....I wanted to run from the room shouting truth. Anyway, I've now read the story in Luke 16 about 7 times. I wonder what God is trying to say to me. Which angle of the story does God want me to hear...or maybe all three...or maybe a 4th. Why do I bore you with such ramblings? It is an interesting story....is anyone still reading this? The 3 angles you ask? Briefly.....1) that anyone would want to cross over the great chasm from heaven to hell.....2)about how God cares for the poor...how we certainly will be held accountable for merely tossing our crumbs to the needy...just stepping over them.....3) Note: this guy was a converted Muslim...he spoke about the rich mans' desperation that someone go tell his brothers...he spoke of the lies of Islam and how he knows that as these guys (like the hijackers of 9/11) enter hell...they immediately realize the truth and scream out....Somebody go tell my brothers!!!!!!!!.....all three of these people caught my attention. There is truth in what each of them speaks. Anyway, I suppose I will read Luke 6 or 7 more times tomorrow...just waiting for something to jump out :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I Confess...

..."That child needs a spanking; I would never let my child get away with that"......"I can not believe she is buying her child three more coats; we only have one coat each at our house".....Listen to that woman complain that she's hot, that they need to turn the air up - she should just be grateful she has air conditioning"...."No 4 year old should be telling her mother what she will and will not wear; I've never allowed that"....."American families are so wasteful"... "That's right Bro. Allan, you tell these people sitting out here in these pews exactly what they need to hear; I sure hope they are listening"....

I am sorry to say these are all thoughts (conversations in my head) that I've had this week. Wow, PRIDE, rearing it's ugly head. My judgemental attitude makes Satan happy and leaves Jesus feeling disrespected. It's so easy to get caught up in trying to do the right thing and trying to live the right way...and than flush it all down the toilet with and aggravated glance or a disagreeing sigh. I want to meet with Jesus and listen to Him. I want to live my life in the way I feel God has called me to...but if I'm trying or even succeeding...does that make me better? NO !!! I'm still not worthy...I'm still a sinner. We are all caught up in the rat race... many of us are trying our best to keep our focus on Jesus...Where I succeed...someone else is failing and vice versa...Instead of judging them, I should be reaching out to them...being Jesus to them. I certainly expect others to help me in places I struggle....It's our nature. So I'm trying to catch myself more. When I roll my eyes (even if it's just on the inside of my head..yes, I can do that) because I've been inconvenienced...or when I sigh in judgement at the way someone does or does not handle a situation. I'm only raising my own blood pressure...and no one got to see Jesus in the line, aisle or car I was in. I believe Satan loves us angry and judgemental...especially when we are coming against another Christian. God has truly convicted my heart this week...I'm receiving an attitude adjustment....Much Needed!!! And although I continue to believe we only need one coat each...it's not my job to convict...I think I'll leave that up to the Holy Spirit. God has changed my mind about so many things over the last few years. As I look back.. I know seeds were planted many times by folks just living it out in front of me....not by a pointing a finger or an uninvited lecture from an angry, rigid "Christian". I don't ever want to become that..."That" kept me from God for almost a lifetime...but that's another post:) If His joy is my strength and I am filled with His Spirit, than I should find it quite impossible to huff, puff, sigh and moan.
Note: As I read over this, I am feeling a bit ashamed of my thoughts (and there were many). It's very ugly and mean....Now I, Kelly, Praise and Exalt and Glorify the King of heaven, because everything you do is right and all your ways are just. And as I walk in pride you are able to humble me....Daniel 4:37

Thank you for your forgiveness...Thank you that your mercies are new every morning....

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Great Blogger Challenge

Okay...I've been inspired again...I know you're probably thinking I should stop lurking and stealing from other blogs and write my own...but why do today what I can put off til' tomorrow. Plus, I couldn't have written this story any better....it is so my heart though. Anyone who knows me, knows I am constantly going on and on about the spoiled, ungrateful children (and adults) of America....my poor daughter knows this best....I've been giving her "talks" about the starving, needy children of the world since the day her carseat turned to front facing....I'm sure the damage is done.....I have a heart of compassion and mercy....it is a gift (or so the test I took said it was :) I can't help myself...I want people to care....I want people to make changes in their own lives so they can make a difference in someone else's....This post over on Amy's blog has stirred me up....AGAIN....That's it folks....we HAVE to do SOMETHING. Go read the challenge and than do it.....have your kids do it...Jesus would!!!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Finally...I Got SCARED

I've just finished reading Scared....a Glorious Novel by Tom Davis. I know some of you are saying...."you just got around to it...geeeez"......and for those saying "scared of what?"....walk....no RUN to the nearest bookstore...NOW. I am not a reader in any way, shape or form...but I wanted to read this. It took 3 nights (well I could of easily finished in 2....but I purposely didn't finish the 2nd night so I would have something to look forward to yesterday).....yes my life is that void of monumental happenings :) I laughed, cried, questioned, hated and loved....I was moved. I think that's the point....to move us to ACTION. I am not sure if it is the best book to read 18 days before moving to Africa....parts of the book made me question my sanity....but in the end it helped confirm exactly WHY I'm moving to Africa. I recommend this book (Jacki...that means go buy it NOW....read it NOW...and let God minister to your heart NOW). Have a great day all....remember to be Thankful!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Pay It Forward

Truth is, when it comes to blogs, I'm a stalker...I'm a lurker...yes I will admit it. But I find so many great stories in the process. Thank you God for Amy...I came across her family's story yesterday. They have a heart for orphans and are in the process of their 4th adoption. They stepped out in faith...trusting God for the finances. The lid was barely off the Pickle Jar when they received an incredible gift....$20,000....WOW....but do you think they put their jar away? Absolutely Not....They are still raising $20,000....For Someone Else's Adoption....I'm feeling INSPIRED....please check out their story at http://www.buildingtheblocks.blogspot.com/ .

Thursday, August 13, 2009

22 Days and a Bowl of Cheerios

Woo Hoo...We have plane tickets...If all goes as planned we fly out Saturday, Sept. 5th. There is tons left to do...it's a good thing I work best under pressure. Only with God's help will we be able to fit ALL the school books, our water purifier, bedding and other necessities into our luggage and stay under weight....this should be interesting. Does anyone out there have useful knowledge about packing large things for overseas travel....like a keyboard. ~HELP~ We are excited about this Journey and pray that MANY would join us....as Jesus leads!!!!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Glimpse Of Where We're Going...

Hint: Go to the bottom of the page and turn off music before watching.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


This is how I feel while waiting on a piece of mail I must have before purchasing plane tickets...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fellowship With Friends

Thursday evening I had the privilege of going to dinner with seven WONDERFUL women! Tara, Dee Dee, Jenny, Deanna, Leslie, Diana and Laura joined together to say farewell. We had a great meal and priceless fellowship. It is so nice to sit around with your friends laughing and recalling funny stories. They are each dear to my heart and it means so much that they and their families will be praying for us. I am so thankful that God has placed each of these "Jesus-loving" women in my path. He is so good ...His plans are perfect...and there's no telling what He's got up his sleeve:) I can't wait to see what He does in each of our lives!!! I BELIEVE so many seeds are being planted right now...I BELIEVE I will one day reference this post when I tell stories of the watering and blooming of those seeds....Our King is MAGNIFICENT.
I have several other lunches and dinners with friends in the near future. It is with sadness and JOY that I say "so long". I am so ready.....I am at peace....

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Punishable Crime

Yesterday I was flipping through the channels and a show about religious cults caught my eye... anything odd is right up my alley. It was a story about a little boy who had gone missing from one of these groups. His name was Samuel and when they discovered his body, all were horrified. This one year old had died of starvation. I sat and listened to the reactions of the police and locals..."heart-wrenching", "unbelievable", "so so sad", "who could do such a thing", "how did this happen", " I can't imagine what he went through", "He must have suffered", "his parents must pay". His parents had been told by a prophet in their group that they needed to do this...he could only have breastmilk...too bad his mother's milk dried up....he sucked and chewed on her breasts until they were bloody...but his parents didn't budge. Samuel died....a slow, hard, painful death. The outrage was understandable...the parents were put on trial for murder. Someone was going to pay for this child's suffering...as they should. This is an UNACCEPTABLE crime...my heart broke for Samuel...but than it began to break for ALL the others...more than 27,000 a day....WHO will be held accountable for them? What court will hold those trials and hand down sentences? Where is the anger and sadness for THEM? You may say... well it's different....is it really????? I don't think God is up in heaven wearing a black robe, madly swinging a gavel....but I think He's mad....I think He's heartbroken. Are we just blind to THOSE children because they live over THERE....or do we think it's THEIR fault? I think WE are guilty of withholding food from over a BILLION people everyday......sure we are.
I didn't quite finish my muffin this morning...I scraped the rest into the garbage.
I threw out 7 strawberries yesterday..they had gone bad because we hadn't got around to eating them.
My daughter poured half a cup of cranberry juice down the sink this morning.
Last week we threw away a whole bag of greenbeans because we waited to long to do something with them and they went bad.
I threw away some meat not to long ago...it had been in the FREEZER way to long.
I went to a meeting Monday night and didn't really like the freshly made, warm cinnamon roll... so part of it ended up in the garbage.
I know...some may think I'm making a mountain out of a molehill....or you may be trying to figure out how I could have gotten those 7 strawberries to Ethiopia or Myanmar....But I know that I'm GUILTY !!!!!...I think God's people are GUILTY.....I think God continues to burden my heart with this...and you have to keep reading about it...sorry :)

...For I was hungry and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink...Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty...He will answer...I assure you; whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either...
Matthew 25

That's Jesus talking folks...not me. We really can make a difference...each of us. I'm challenging myself...and you...tell me what you're gonna do....
I'm gonna put less on my plate...I can go back for seconds and eat leftovers...but that way I'm not scraping my plate into the trash.
I'm gonna buy fresh products in smaller amounts so it doesn't go bad before we get to eat it.
I'm giving more $$ to my church's Manna Ministry that helps feed those in need.
I'm getting on my knees for those who are hungry.
I'm talking to my daughter even more about this.
I'm purposing to learn more about Fair Trade.
I'm gonna keep talking about it until everyone runs screaming from by blog......
There are so many ways....I DO BELIEVE God holds us accountable.....

So thankful I've never felt the pain of hunger,

Monday, August 3, 2009

Modern Paraphrase of Matthew 25

For I was hungry, while you had all you needed. I was thirsty, but you drank BOTTLED water. I was a stranger, and you wanted me DEPORTED. I needed clothes, but you needed MORE clothes. I was sick, and you pointed out the BEHAVIORS that led to my sickness. I was in prison, and you said I was getting what I DESERVED.

- Richard Sterns, The Hole in Our Gospel

I needed to hear this...I need to hear it everyday. I am SO Blessed...SO Selfish and SO caught up in the Things of this World....May I see Jesus in EVERY set of eyes...in EVERY circumstance
*To learn more about the little ones in the picture and see how they are progressing check out www.livesayhaiti.blogspot.com


Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy.

And May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in the world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done to bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.



Monday, July 27, 2009

Wanted To Share This

Hint: Go to the bottom of the page and turn off the music before watching!

God Opened My Eyes

Long story...made short. Last night I had to run to Wal-Mart for something. I left at 9:05 (dark, but not completely). I turn onto a main 4 lane road and proceed to drive...off in my own world...listening to a great song. I am a pretty "straight-ahead" kindof girl...in life and on the road. For some reason (????) I looked to the right...and we made eye contact. It took a second to register in my brain...it was a LITTLE boy...just standing there against the guardrail. I quickly pulled to the shoulder..at the same time realizing he really was alone. Luckily another car stopped at the same time. He was scared, wearing only shorts and carrying a dandelion (he had picked it for his grandmother...that's where he thought he was heading). It took us a couple of minutes to reassure him and figure out he left home because his Dad had just left and walked away (from home) and had been gone a while and the little boy didn't know what to do. He was carrying his Dad's wallet (later, I figured he did this because he had seen his Dad always grab his wallet on the way out...cute)....anyway we called 911...the officers were great and after about 35 minutes an uncle and than grandparents (have you ever seen the relief in a grandmother's eyes when she sees that her grandbaby is okay...after receiving a call that he is walking down Keith St. ??) showed up. This child was so funny and smart....he told his dad's name, mom's name, grandmother's name, where he went to school, his birthday, and what colors the power rangers are (this is education to me)....did I mention he was FOUR....this precious baby had walked about 4 to 5 city blocks and taken a couple of turns...one officer was amazed that no one had noticed him...me too! But I am sure Satan would have loved it if no one had noticed at all....but God turned my head and opened my eyes...God is my hero. The little one was okay (I will continue to pray for "C" )...I did Wal-Mart and went home. On my trip home God spoke to me...you know, when He just explains it....Yes He opened my eyes so I would see that sweet baby...but God likes to teach in every circumstance....He was speaking to me about how I need to not always be so focused on what is in front...what is to come....what I have MY sights set on....if I will turn my head...He CAN open my eyes to things He would love to use me for...there are things all around that He can use us for....there are people around every corner who could use a hand, an ear or a hug... it goes on and on. Grow where you're planted....Enjoy the feast God has laid on the table before you (instead of letting it get cold, because all you can think about is the dessert to come)...in Ethiopia there will be so much need...and of course I have my own ideas...but I have to be willing to let God gently turn my head and open my eyes to those HE wants me to approach....I pray it will be so.....

His Name Alone makes the demons shudder,

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Homeschool Loose Ends

I went Friday to our local Homeschool Fair to get Math books. I have been putting it off. In May there is a huge Homeschool Fair in Atlanta....a group of us go from here and make it a fun weekend!! Anyway, I like the math we use, but have felt like I need to move to something else. It's hard because the choices are endless....anyway, I bit the bullet and made a choice...and paid lots of $$...ouch. Of course I picked up a couple of other things too :) Honestly, I still need one thing and I need to order it or I won't have it in time. It was fun and I ran into some other Homeschool Moms I know. Now comes the crazy task of getting all these books to Ethiopia...they are heavy...and extra luggage is EXPENSIVE....this should be fun (yes, read that with a hint of sarcasm).
Also, my cousin and her three children were visiting from South Carolina, so it was nice to spend some time with them this week:)
Have a blessed day!!!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Called to be Uncomfortable

I think if I'm comfortable in my church, my relationship with God, or my daily life that I've lost touch with Jesus. I believe we are called to be uncomfortable...it keeps us alert and it keeps us in need of God. I am reading an amazing book called "The Irresistible Revolution...living as a ordinary radical" by Shane Claiborne....it has challenged me. I wanted to share something he said about allowing God to make our life uncomfortable. From some of the rich young ruler text which appears in Matthew, Mark and Luke......"After Jesus' teaching that you must enter the kingdom like a little kid, a wealthy man comes up and asks Jesus what he needs to do, and Jesus tells him he lacks one little thing. ("lacks" is an interesting word to use, since the rich man thought he had everything.) And what might that one thing be? You can almost see him get excited. Then Jesus drops the big one: "Sell everything you have and give it to the poor!" The man's face sinks and he walks away with his riches. I think it broke Jesus' heart to let the man walk away. The text says that Jesus looks at him and "loves him" as he walks away. But Jesus doesn't run after him saying, "Hey, it's a journey, just give half, or Start with 10 percent." He simply lets the man choose his wealth. In our culture of "seeker sensitivity" and radical inclusivity, the great temptation is to compromise the cost of discipleship in order to draw a larger crowd. With the most sincere hearts, we do not want to see anyone walk away from Jesus because of the discomfort of the cross, so we clip the claws on the Lion a little, we clean up a bit the bloody Passion we are called to follow. I think this is why the disciples react as they do. They protest in awe, "Who then can be saved?" (Why must you make it so hard? We need some rich folks here, Jesus, we're trying to build a movement.) And yet Jesus lets him walk away."
I think the point is...God's gonna ask you to give up or give away what makes you comfortable. This happens through out the bible in different ways. And half way isn't good enough. I want to be uncomfortable. Jesus warns us to count the cost before putting our hands to the plow...and he allows us to walk away. I am challenged to not walk away in any part of my life !!!
Sorry so long:(


Monday, July 20, 2009

Tired But Alive...

We are back from camp and it was a blast. Yes, I was worn out....only three hours of sleep the first night but a solid eight the second night. As usual...God sustained me and I had energy that could have only been from Him. Kenli had so much fun and heard wonderful messages about how important she is to God and how He has a wonderful plan just for her. There was so much food...I think I gained 5 lbs.. The children loved the waterslide, the pool, basketball, volleyball (okay...the truth is our cabin built sandcastles), putt-putt, the obstacle course and the lake. There was super praise and worship and enough sugar snacks to keep them going !!! There were ten girls in our cabin (BTW did I mention we won cabin clean-up) and they were so great. I am glad we went and am so greatful for the relationships that were built (for me and Kenli). A huge thanks to Ms. Tara, Ms. Donna, Ms. Jenny, Mr. Jim and the countless others who made it happen :) Our Father is soooooo good and gives us such wonderful gifts.

oops...Kenli lost her mat...but still loved it.



Friday, July 17, 2009

Off To Camp...

Well, we are headed to Breakaway Camp. It's a two night camp my church does every year for elementary age children. Kenli is very excited....and I (brave counselor) know I will be very tired !!! I am praying that each child has an experience with God....one that opens their eyes and fills their heart with joy...one that speaks to them in a way they understand....and very well may even change the course of their life. Pray BIG or go home :)

Wish me luck,

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Journey to Where?

What's the gameplan..you ask? Well, we hope to leave in August or early September.... paperwork seems to pick the date. We will be heading to Adama (also called Nazaret) which is about a two hour drive south of Addis Ababa (the capital). The plan is to live and work in The Orphans and Widows' Home. Right now there are seven widows and about ten or twelve orphans....they hope (and know) the numbers will grow. There is also a food and sponsorship program in Adama and Tede (a nearby village).... they give flour to widows and single moms and help pay for schooling and other things. I'll know more details once I get there. Most things will have to be worked out through trial and error. I will be homeschooling Kenli in the mornings and working (cleaning, laundry, english lessons, etc.) in the afternoons and evenings. The days will be full and HARD... I am sure. We are working on details now...buying a water purifier, wind up flashlights, voltage adapter, hand sanitizer :) and many other things.....like OFF and more OFF !!!! Oh yeah, and I need mosquito nets...the list continues to grow. I am excited..really not very nervous. I have to put the details in God's hands (along with all the big stuff). If you want to be inspired today go to www.weloveourlucy.blogspot.com and scroll down just a tad and watch their Gotcha Day video of the gorgeous Lucy...... yes from Ethiopia. This family is amazing !!!

Serving the One who has plans for ALL His children,

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Journey Begins....well, not really

This is my first blog entry....does anybody really want to read the first entry? Am I supposed to introduce myself? My blog journey officially begins. But this is not the beginning of my journey. I guess that began at birth....skip ahead many, many years. I have done a year of training with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) and have waited here at home for a year (well maybe God was waiting on me more than me waiting on Him)....I have a patience issue. My daughter and I are now preparing to move to Ethiopia. Most who read this blog already know us...but I hope new friends will be made along the way. I have established this blog to keep an account of God's glory. Not to say "Look at me".....but to say "Look at Jesus" (you'll find him in the poverty...you'll recognize him in the eyes of the orphan). We are on a journey to the least of these....therefore we are on a journey to be with Jesus....yes, yes, I know He is everywhere...I know I can find him in a song, a breeze, a child, my heart, the Word, laughter.....but I want to find Him MORE. I was put on this earth to follow Him....to be like Him.....to be Him to others...to know Him and make Him known. He has called each of us to follow Him....and the best way to do that is to follow in His footsteps. No doubt, Jesus would walk in Ethiopia (He is there)....He says "will you"....I say "yes". I know there are many adjustments ahead...and even more hard work. I know that He will teach me things that I can't even imagine right now. I know His ways are better and His plans are bigger.....so I go....and I trust. This isn't about me (or my daughter)....my life is not my own (nor is hers). I am on my knees and I ask that you join me. That He will always get the glory...not me. That He will give me His eyes, His hands, His ears and His heart. That I will remain empty, so that the Spirit can pour through me

We've had our shots.
We've got plane ticket $.
We need visas.
We need tickets.
We need a departure date.
and many other details.

So glad I serve the King of all Kings,