Monday, January 31, 2011

Be their example

We are constantly telling our children to share...

but we can not only tell them- we must show them...

by our example.

So share.

Show compassion.


Reach out.


If you are not willing to show them by your example- how will they learn?


One Day-One Lunch.

February 3rd-

Include your kids and teach them to think of others.

Let's do (without) lunch!!

"A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor." Proverbs 22:9

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Friday, January 28, 2011

One Day~One Lunch

“There’s a young boy over here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?” John 6:9

Often times we are guilty of doing nothing because we can’t do it all. Often times we excuse ourselves from doing God’s work because we don’t believe we can make a difference with the little we have to offer.

On February 3rd marks 100 days of my 15 year old daughter, Addisyn, eating a small bowl of soup and piece of bread for lunch, like the children at the feeding program receive. Addisyn decided to do this so that she can donate her lunch money to Lifesong for Orphans for the children at the Adami Tulu preschool. You can read about what God taught Addisyn through our trips to Ethiopia here and here.

What to some may seem a small gift, God see’s the heart behind her efforts. He sees a child who is willing to give up the little she has for others who have nothing at all. He sees a child who did something for them- and in essence-did something for Him- with what she’d been given. Through a simple bowl of vegetable soup God has taught Addisyn so many lessons- in sacrifice and in integrity. He also blessed her efforts through a friend who decided to join in- doubling the gift.

As I was praying the other morning and thanking God for working in Addisyn's life- God brought to mind the little boy with five loaves of bread and two fish…. and how He took that child’s gift of giving what he could and multiplied it.

If you are reading this today- yes YOU… I’d like to ask you to be a part of something big. God usually preferred to work through His people. People just like you and me-and my 15 year old daughter. You have two choices right now. You can click off this page and pretend you didn’t read this and go on with your everyday life- or you can choose to see that God brought YOU here- to read this- for a purpose- to be a part of something big.

Do not worry, I am not going to ask you to do something you can’t- I am asking you to do something you can. The Average American spends between $2.00 and $8.00 a day on lunch. If everyone who reads this blog post would simple choose- on February 3rd to give up their ‘lunch money’ and then donate what they would have spent on lunch that day to Lifesong for the Adami Tulu preschool - can you image what Jesus could do? A mere $3.00 feeds a child for ONE MONTH. Can you imagine the impact we could make- simply by being willing to make a small sacrifice for someone else?

But more than that… can you imagine how it would affect those around us as we say ‘enough’. Enough of over abundance. Enough of the waste. Enough of going on with our lives like we are the only ones that matter. Enough of turning our back to the needs of others in this world. Enough of pretending we don’t know what to do. If a 15 year old can think of something to give, then so can you and I. No more excuses- all it takes is one day and one lunch.

So mark your calendar for Feb. 3rd and spread the word about the One Day- One Lunch Project. Put it on Facebook, add it to your blog- ask your friends, coworkers and church family to join in. Let’s make a small sacrifice- to make one big difference.

"Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
~ Mother Teresa

Online donations:
**indicate for the Adami Tulu Preschool.

Mail checks to:
Lifesong for Orphans
PO Box 40
Gridley, IL 61744
For the Adami Tulu Preschool

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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Thank you...

One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter.
~ James Earl Jones

There are just no words strong enough to explain to you all how much your sweet comments, emails, words of encouragement and prayers meant to me (and to others as well). All I can say is God knew exactly what we needed to have the strength to keep moving forward. Often I have wondered, "God, where are your people?"~who would have known I would find so many of them right here through a blog?
So thank you to all of you out there who are living out the word of God. Thank you for your examples and for your faith. Thank you for saying "Yes Lord" despite the persecution you face. Thank you for taking a risk for the sake of another, thank you for giving without expecting something in return. Thank you for letting others see God through you.

Today my sweet husband gets home from Guatemala where he spent the past week meeting the children and staff we will be serving. He told me that "being there again made him realize just how much we needed to be there." I cannot wait to share more...

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Making our way through it...

I haven’t talked a lot on here in details about us going into full time missions because honestly, we are still wading through a lot of the mud.

It was like this when we first decided to adopt- and each time after that. As questions, comments, and concerns from well meaning individuals all piled up- we had to wade our way through them.

One thing I am learning is that most people feel comfortable as long as we are just ‘lukewarm’ Christians. Lukewarm, as in, Christians who attend church and claim to know Jesus- and that's about as far as it gets. But the second you do anything radical like adopt a child of a different race or a child with special needs or announce that you are going to give up everything you have ever owned and move to another country to serve the Lord-they are not so comfortable with it anymore.

Why is that?

So far we have literally been disowned by one family member. We have endured the ‘you are crazy’ comment more than I can count. We have been told we have 'given up on Americans’ and asked why we would do this to our children. We have been told that we will regret it- with a few more "you are crazy" added in. We have been asked why we would even want to move to Guatemala and told flat out not to expect financial support from them. We have been told that "all missionaries do is beg people for their money" and mocked for saying the Lord has called us to the mission field.
Those who have walked this road before warned us that Satan would be working over time to try to stop us...

and they couldn't have been more right.

And yet each morning when I open my bible- I once again find confirmation. His words are crystal clear. I don't know how anyone could miss them.

In the worlds view it may not make sense for a family with 9 children to walk away from a good job and rely on God to be God and on his people to be God's people.

In the worlds view it may not make sense to live in a country where we could be putting our family at risk to help those who are at a greater risk.

In the worlds view none of it may make sense- but in God it is the way He intended all along...
to put others before ourselves, to follow him at all cost and to trust in Him alone.

But unfortunately this is so hard for most of us to understand as the world calls out to us louder and louder. Perhaps that is why the bible says the gates are narrow and only a few will pass through...

We have been brainwashed our entire lives by the lies of this world.

We are brain washed into thinking we have to be strong enough, good enough and smart enough and do it on our own.
We have been brain washed into thinking it's all about us.

We have been brainwashed into believing that money = security.

We have been brain washed that we can ‘control’ our lives and our futures if we make the right plans.

All lies.

Because the truth is, no matter who you are and how much money you have in your savings account or what plans you have put into place for your future- one thing you will never have control over in this life- is death.
You and I, we will die one day and there is nothing we can do to change or control that. Whether it be tomorrow in a car accident, 5 years from now from cancer or 15 years from now serving the Lord in a 3rd world country- when God says our time is over- it's over.

And one thing I can promise you is- I would WAY rather stand before the Lord broke, broken and exhausted from fighting the good fight- than stand before Him with my bank statement clutched tightly in the palm of my beautifully manicured hand.

We have been brainwashed, lied to and deceived-and at some point we are going to have to make a choice- believe the lies this world has told us...lies that cannot hold up over the test of time- or believe in Gods word- that are unchanged since the beginning of time.
You get to choose.

This morning as I was crying out to God for comfort, for confirmation and for strength this is what I read in the study notes from Philippians 1:20-21...

Read them and just for a second let them sink in…

“To those who don’t believe in God, life on earth is all there is, and so it is natural for them to strive for this worlds’ values, money, popularity, power, pleasure, prestige. For Paul, however, to live meant to develop eternal values and to tell others about Christ who alone, could help them see life from an eternal perspective. Paul's’ whole purpose in life was to speak out boldly for Christ and to become more like him. Thus, Paul could confidently say that dying would be even better than living, because in death he would be removed from worldly troubles, and he would see Christ face to face. If you’re not ready to die, then you are not ready to live. Make certain of your eternal destiny: then you will be free to serve- devoting your life to what really counts, without fear of death.”

So while the comments and questions sometimes sting- I simply cannot do the lukewarm Christians thing anymore. I cannot pick and choose the parts of the bible that are safe and convenient for me anymore. With God it’s an all or nothing kind of deal. No half way Christians, no middle of the road Christ followers, and no (as my son Keegan calls it) Christian Couch potatos. We have chosen to live out our faith and to give it all- regardless of the outcome. We are sold out. 100 percent committed and 100 percent on board- and I will no longer apologize if that makes people uncomfortable.

Yes we are definitely crazy- crazy in love with the God who gave us more than we could ever deserve.

As we begin to scrape this mud off our boots I will continue to share on here how amazing and faithful our God truly is.

And for those of you who have prayed for us, supported us and encouraged us- I cannot thank you enough. Through your genuine love of Christ and through your examples- we have the courage to keep moving forward.
For those of you who too are stuck in the mud somewhere because you too have chosen to truly live out your faith- I am here for you and I'd love to be able to pray for you.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. 1 John 2:15-16

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Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Verdict is in

For those of you who have been checking in by the hour to see if the verdict came in, ahem... the case has been solved.

It was little Miss Havyn,
In the living room,
with her ever growing curiosity and toddler hands.

(a game of Clue anyone?)

Thank you for playing along with us- my kids had a blast and loved it every time someone voted for them. :)

Around our house things getting broken, dirty or missing are pretty much an everyday occurrence. With nine children- what else could one expect? But Todd and I didn't go into having a large family with blinders on- we don't expect for our house to be a museum or for our children not to be children. Now don't get me wrong- respect in our home in a huge deal. Respect of others property, respect of each other, respect of ourselves- and most importantly- respect of our God. But the truth is, we are all humans and we will all make mistakes. Broken things can easily be replaced- broken relationships sometimes cannot.

Yet often we live as if it's the exact opposite. We place so much importance on our 'things' and not enough importance on the people in our lives. Most of our time and energy are poured into working to obtain more 'things'- while relationships with the people in our lives and relationship with God often get the least of our attention.

When we look at the world around us there are hurting people everywhere. Hurt by mistakes people make. Hurt that people have put 'other things' before relationships with God and His people. Marriages are split apart, families struggle to get along, children are abandoned and friendships end. I cannot help to think that if each of us truly lived the life God intended for us to- loving the way he loved, forgiving the way he forgave, giving the way He gave- this world would be a much better place.

So what does all of this have to do with Havyn breaking a decorative piece in our home?

Nothing- and everything.

Because you see, as I picked up those pieces to throw into the trash and swept that baby girl into my arms snuggling her warm little body next to mine- this incident once again reminded of where the material things in our lives will once day end up... in the trash.
Lord help us to never ever put things before people. Help us not to let our desire for what money can buy come before serving you and loving others. Help us not to become so chained to our material possessions that we forget the real blessings in our lives- our children, our spouses, our friends and above all else- YOU.

Thank you Havyn for your helping me de-clutter our lives as we walk towards full time missions leaving our things behind. Lord, as this precious baby girl grows and becomes drawn to the things of this world -help me to show her what really matters- you Lord, only You.

Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 1 John 2:15

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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Sharing your love

Oh I am so excited to notice that Valentines Day is just around the corner!!! Growing up my mom always used to leave us a little something on the ends of our bed on Valentines day and we carried that tradition on. Valentines day is my favorite. I don't know if it's because I adore those little conversation hearts, chocolates wrapped in red foil, or because my husband is always on his best behavior. ;0) But regardless of why- some of us just need reminders every now and then to 'share the love'. Sharing the love can come in so many different forms- sending a card, bringing flowers, or even a smile and a hug. Because the truth is- most days it's so easy to get caught up in 'the stuff' that we forget to tell those we love just how much we really do love them.

Relationships are a gift... if you ask any person who has been told they have only a short time left on this earth what matters to them- I guarantee you all of them will say the people they love.

A sweet friend of mine, Shelley (who is adoptive mama of twins- one who is being rocked to sleep by Jesus each night) decided to share the love and help out a few precious families who are in the process of adopting right now. She's got a great drawing going on right now on her blog that you do not want to miss out on. So go share the love, help a child (or two or three) find their way HOME- and perhaps you could be the lucky winner!

In what ways are you going to share your love this Valentines Day?
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Monday, January 17, 2011

Who Dun It... this time?

So as I may have mentioned in the past-my kids feel there are many benefits to being in a large family. While some people are concerned that children in big families may not get enough one on one time or enough personal space- what they fail to recognize are the benefits of being in a big family. Benefits like lots of support, lots of love, always someone to play with, always someone to talk to... and always someone to blame things on.


Huge benefits....

especially when something like this...

is left sitting on my living room floor-

and no one wants to fess up to it.

So what does a good mommy of many do?

Why, she lines them up and interrogates them, of course.

From the smallest to the tallest.

Nobody is off the hook- until proven INNOCENT.

And because sometimes figuring out who 'dun it' takes a lot of detective work this is where YOU, my jury, comes into play.

You see, they all claim innocence... You know, batting big, beautiful, angelic looking eyes at me and saying in those sweet little voices "wasn't me mommy"...

I can't see past their cuteness- and they know it.

So, I need for you to case your vote on who you think 'dun it' so we can get to the bottom of this. Now, Keegan has an alibi so he is safe this time...

so let's begin with....

Culprit #1 "Wasn't me Havyn"
Age 1- cute as a button
Known for having us all wrapped around her little finger.
Often found toddling around the house getting into absolutely everything.

Culprit #2 "Wasn't me Carson"

Age 3- and as adorable as they come
Known for having the longest eye lashes humanly possible and he isn't afraid to use them. Often found at this brothers side masterminding their next move.

Culprit #3 "Wasn't me Kaden"
Age 4- personality that will knock your socks off.
Known for his speed, agility and clever tactics.
Often found at his brothers side charming the pants off of other around him.

Culprit #4 "Wasn't me Aleigha"
Age 7- AKA The Princess
Known for her sneakiness and crafty ways of getting the others to do exactly what she wants. Often found listening to music, reading, playing dress up and getting into everyone elses business.

Culprit#5 "Wasn't me Mya"

Age 8- and as sweet syrup.
Known for her helpfulness and kind heart- but do not let the puppy dog eyes fool you.
Often found drawing pictures, mothering her younger siblings or playing soccer.


Culprit #6 "Wasn't Me Kallan"
Age 14- known for his sly smile and flirtatious moves.Creative, quiet and a deep thinker.
A behind the scenes kind of guy.
Often found texting, practicing the guitar or tormenting his younger siblings.

Culprit #7 "Wasn't me Addisyn"

Age 15- and wise beyond her years.
Strong, creative, beautiful and independent.
Known for her compassionate heart for the least of these and her serving nature.
Often found on facebook or reading blogs. Enjoys eave dropping and visiting foreign countries.
Now help me out and go cast your vote on who 'dun it'.
Until the verdict is in...
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Friday, January 14, 2011

Several of you asked me to share if I found out more about Davids- the precious little boy who found his forever family just days ago. You can follow his amazing and beautiful families story here.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Don't EVER underestimate...

the power of prayer.

He has a family!!! This little boy mattered to God in a very big way- just like scripture says.

I WILL NOT LEAVE YOU AS ORPHANS- I will come to you. John 14:18

Thank you Jesus for ALWAYS keeping your promise.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Less than 2 weeks for a chance at life...

Is he YOUR son?
Please pray he finds his forever family soon!!
Go here.... time is running out!!!

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Monday, January 10, 2011

The battle rages on...

After writing my post on why we adopted a sweet reader left me a comment with a question. This morning during my quiet time with the Lord it popped back into my head. Her question is one I have asked myself a thousand times and one I think is so important for us to bring before the Lord.

Here is what she said:

"This explains my heart for our adoption as well. I too have lost my care about name brands, etc. However, I need advice on how to keep myself there. Maybe when we travel for court in March and actually visit Ethiopia it will be easier, but I am so selfish. I try so hard and I am easily sucked back in. Any suggestions to help?"

First I want to say that I hope when I post on here that I do not ever come off as sounding like I have it all together. Because the truth is- I seriously do not. I struggle daily- actually by the minute- to live as Christ has taught us to through His word. And, most of the time- I fail. While over the past 10 year since I became a Christian I have grown and changed more than I ever though possible (just ask people who used to know me) I am still a work in progress- big time.

I think one of the hardest things about being a Christian for me isn't believing- it's the peer pressure to conform to this world. Sometimes we do things and don't even realize that by doing them we are compromising our faith. I don't know if that's because it's just what we've always done it- or because everyone around us is doing it so we feel it must be right. Acceptance speaks volumes without us evening realizing it.

Most things I write about on here are things I have struggled with and I write about them after the Lord has brought them to my attention. And then I share on here in hopes to help or encourage someone else along the way. One of my biggest struggles (if you couldn't tell by my writing about it a lot) is the desire to have things... only, I didn't even realize it a majority of my life. Most people wouldn't have known this about me- because we certainly didn't have a lot of money and I didn't purchase the best- but I wanted to. It was all about my heart condition. I coveted what others had- and thought I needed to have it too. I believed if I did- it would bring me happiness and make me successful.

What a lie I had been sold.

And even today I still struggle- I know the truth- and yet I still struggle. As I have mentioned on here in the past- I can literally walk into the mall, smell the air and my heart will start to beat faster. I will start feeling like I just have to have this and have to have that. When will I ever conquer that desire? Even after traveling to 2 third world countries and seeing the poverty there, even after having orphan after orphans face forever etched in my mind- I still struggle with greed. I still want things I don't need and covet things I cannot afford.

Often times we will hear people defend their extravagant lifestyle by saying "But God wants us to have nice things." Absolutely. I am so not disagreeing with that. He loves us THAT much. He is so good. He wants us to enjoy the blessings he has given us. However, we must be very careful and truly examine our hearts over this. He wants us to have nice things- but if those things come before wanting Him, serving Him or our relation with Him- then they are wrong. If we cannot afford to give because we are working so hard to pay off our credit cards on those things we had to have-and if we cannot find the time to serve because we have to work over time to pay off that new car we felt we needed- then perhaps we are not putting God first...

So how to do I stop myself from being sucked back in? I fight. I cling to Him and to what He teaches me daily through his word. I pull myself out of bed every single morning early and spend time with Him- asking Him for strength to live out His word. I ask Him to help me see things the way He see's them. I ask Him to point out the sins that I don't see in myself. Daily.

Secondly, I don't go there. I hardly ever step into the mall anymore. (Can you blame me with nine kids? LOL Think maybe God knew this?) I know what my weaknesses are- and I am aware of them. And if I do have to 'shop' I pray before I go in and ask God to help me be thankful for the needs He has provided for- and to want nothing beyond those. Satan wants to suck us in. He wants us to want things more than we want God. He wants that big ol' house payment to be the reason that stops you from adopting. He wants to chain us to our possessions so that we cannot move to do God's work.

I wish I could say it was easy- once our eyes are opened. I wish I could say that change will come over night. But it isn't always- as sad as that sounds. I wonder though if perhaps God allows us to struggle as a constant reminder of our need for a daily relationship with Him? When we continue to seek Him-to turn to Him- He will be right there waiting to give us more than we could have ever wanted- for eternity.

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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Why we adopted...

In the past week I have had 2 people I didn’t know ask me what made us decide to adopt. Because we already had 4 biological children which is considered a large family now a days- I understood their curiosity.

So what led us to adopt?

The truth is- it was simply God. But we all know that when the Lord is involved it is never simple. So let me share our story...

Todd and I were just new Christians when we sat in church one Sunday- Missions Sunday to be exact. Being a newer Christian I really didn’t know a lot about missions- and it intrigued me. I was completely engrossed in every word. During one of their short video clips they told of a missionary couple in China- and vaguely mentioned the couple was taking care of an abandoned little girl in their home... then on they went telling of their missions work. End of story.

Or rather, the beginning of our story.

I don’t know what it was, or why it was- but God spoke to my heart that very minute. It wasn't one of those neon sign kind of moments like one would expect- but rather a soft, gentle nudge. On the way home from church that day (as our 4 little ones sat in the back seat of the van) I asked Todd how he felt about us adopting one day. He responded with a "Well, we can look into it."

And our journey began. Seems simple again right? Not at all.

In the worlds view I am sure it didn’t make sense for a family with four biological children and not a lot of money to be adopting a child. "Why did we need another they asked? You can’t save the world after all. What if this hurt our ‘own’ children? What if this child, you know, causes problems?" It was through these questions and comments we would begin to search and grow and learn the truth about who God is and what He cares about. Adopting had nothing to do with our needs, our abilities or our safety- and everything to do with our God.

A God, who along this journey, would change us in more ways than we could ever imagine.

The bible tells us we are to live like Jesus. Live a life that directs others to him- through our example of how we love. God grew our hearts for the least of these- in reflection of His. He asked us to abandon our dreams, walk away from our self-serving plans and live for His purpose- serving others and in essence serving Him- completely. What I found is that God is an all or nothing kind of guy. Adoption is giving a child all you have and all you are. It’s the perfect picture of God’s love for us.

For many people today it takes the presence of 'alive Christians' to lead them to Jesus. We live in a world of hurt, darkness, hate and greed. Christians need to be that ‘alive’ example. We cannot simply show up to church on Sunday, raise our hands in praise, wear crosses around our necks and claim to know him. We have to give him our all- with nothing held back- or its a half way, self-benefiting faith. For us to fully understand that- God allowed us to experience His heart- through an orphan. The day they placed that brown- eyed baby girl into my arms something inside of me broke. And through that brokenness- God was able to work.

Many believe that following Jesus with our heads and our hearts alone are enough. But true faith will be evident in changed behavior. All too often though we cling to our comfort and ease- even at the cost of our walk with God. It is so easy for us to become consumed with our personal success in life. We believe it’s all about wise choices, making good moves, and approval of those around us. We measure our greatness in terms of worldly success. But in God’s eyes our greatness is measured in how we express our concern for others- especially in those who cannot pay us back- the helpless, the needy and the poor.

I was reading in my bible the other morning and I once again came across one of my favorite verses. "If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it." Luke 17:33.

Just take a look at the study notes from that verse:

“Those clinging to this life are those seeking to escape physical persecution. Those who live for themselves display these common attitudes: (1) Materialism- I want it and work hard to get it. All that I see is real. Unseen things are merely ideas and dreams. (2) Individualism- I work hard for me and you work hard for you. I may make it; you may not. That’s your problem, not mine. (3) Skepticism- anything I am not convinced about cannot be important. Everything important I know I can figure out. Those who have these attitudes may protect themselves, but they will lose the spiritual dimension to their lives. Keep your commitment to Christ at full strength. Then you’ll be ready when he returns. "

Through our adoption journey- I lost who I was. I lost the goals I had set for MY life. I left behind MY dreams and MY personal plans and I took on His. I believe God used our adoption experience to accomplish this.

Our purpose in life had been self serving- but God opened our eyes through an orphan. Suddenly climbing the corporate ladder, building a larger house, name brand clothing, savings accounts, striving for the newest, the biggest, the best- as we had been doing- seemed ridiculous, repulsive, and wrong. Especially now that we knew what was at stake- the life of one of God’s children.

So to answer the question as to why we adopted... it truly is- God. Perhaps this was not the answer you expect- I know it wasn’t what I was. But what I have learned is that there is a big difference between knowing there is a God- and personally knowing God. I thought we were going to adopt to rescue a child… but in the end, it was our lives that were rescued- from living our life without purpose in Him.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

"Look mommy- their family is just like ours- black, brown and white!"
~ Kaden, age 4

And just so ya know, I am choosing to focus on the cuteness of this- and not the fact that he compared us to a herd of cattle. ;0)

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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Anyone in need of a vacation??

I LOVE it when families get CREATIVE with their adoption fundraising. This one made me smile. This precious family is willing to do WHATEVER it takes to bring a child home. They have stepped out of the boat and said YES to God and to TWO waiting angels on Reeses Rainbow who are both HIV+. Oh my heart!!!

They are planning to leave in just 18 days and need God to come through in a big way with between $8-10,000 more. Let's be God's hands and feet. Let's support each other in the work God is having us all do. I cannot imagine being alone in this world and facing a death sentence without the proper medical care. Children with HIV can live almost the same life expectancy as everyone else when receiving adequate medical care. Let's wrap our arms around this beautiful family and show them God's love as they bring these precious gifts home.

Won't you consider helping them out and at the same time YOU are given the chance to be the lucky winner of a 7 night Stay at Sand Castle One Condominiums in Indian Shores Florida!!!

Go here to donate now!!!

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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Don't let the cost stop you

On a pretty consistent basis I get emails from people asking questions about funding an international adoptions. The one piece of advice I have for them is to NOT LET THE MONEY BE THE THING THAT STOPS YOU.

In my life time I have learned that when God calls us- He will provide. Our job is not to have it all figured out. Our job is to simply say ‘Yes Lord’ through our obedience, hard work, sacrifice and faith.

Only, that isn’t always so simple… because often our unbelief gets in the way, or sometimes it’s our pride, or our fear. Or perhaps, for some, we expect it to come easy since God has called us to it. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

With Aleigha and then Mya’s adoption from Guatemala we worked HARD. We sacrificed, went without, fund raised and prayed. Through these experiences God taught us what truly mattered. He taught us humility. He taught us how we could live on way less than we thought. While raising the funds was one of the most difficult things I have ever done- I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I believe God allowed us that experience so that we would become deeply invested. I believe He wanted to know just how much we were willing to give up, go without and sacrifice for something that that mattered to Him. God used the fundraising as an opportunity to grow, stretch and mold us. It wasn’t easy- but necessary. And because we said yes- God not only blessed us with the funds, he blessed us with friends who came along side of us and through their example showed us how to truly serve. If we had had the money in the bank all along- we would have missed out on these blessings.

Another thing that is important to remember is that Gods provision is daily- not all at once. Many of us want to see the $$ in the bank before we will say yes to God. But sometimes I think God wants to use our experiences to grow our faith in Him. If ‘we’ could do it on our own- we wouldn’t need Him. Then we would get all the credit and not God. He provides daily because he doesn’t want for us to store it all up and then cut off communication with Him. There is so much more He has for us than just supplying the funds.

With Havyn’s adoption God did allow the funds to drop into our laps- AFTER we had taken the first step in obedience. Only He didn’t stop there. Through this experience we would learn in a greater capacity the importance of accountability for what God has given us. God taught us that when he blesses us- it’s so we can bless others. With God it is never about only one person. This wasn’t about our family being given the money to pay for our adoption- it was about the importance of coming along side others- and offering what we can to further His kingdom. Hence, why the Pass It Forward Adoption fund was started.

I have also learned that many times people miss out on all that God has for them- simply because they never take that first step of obedience. If we don’t have the faith to move forward-then we are not even giving God the opportunity to provide.

As we are once again walking this same type of faith journey while raising funds to go into full time missions work in Guatemala- we cling to all that God has taught us through our adoptions. That He is the source. Daily, he always has and always will provide for our needs. Each day I get up and spend time with Him. He knows our every need and I trust that through His people He will provide for the things He has called us to do.

Nothing in this world worth anything comes without a cost. So dive in- and let the journey begin. Trust me, it will change you and challenge you. Because adoption isn’t JUST about a child finding a family- it’s about our journey to become more like Jesus by allowing Him full reign of our lives.

If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. Matthew 10:39

I couldn't close this post without mentioning the beautiful children waiting in the foster system. While I know there are different challenges in adopting out of the foster system- these adoptions are very affordable. If God has called you to adopt- please do not forget about these precious treasures.

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