Thursday, September 27, 2012

You are invited...

IF you live in the Bloomington/Normal Illinois area
we'd love if you joined our family. 
            Hope to see you there!!!
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How much do you matter? (repost)

One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.
~ Mother Teresa

Image with me for a minute…
Right now, today… you are small and alone.
You are hungry and lost.
You have no home, no parents, and seemingly no future.
You are scared, and weak, from days without food. You have no where to go, no where to be.
People walk by you but they don’t even look your way.
 It’s like you are invisible, nothing.
You keep walking, your feet are bleeding and sore… and yet still you manage to cling to the small bit of hope, the little voice inside your head that says maybe, just maybe, one day things will get better.
Maybe one day -you will matter.
It is getting dark outside- inside your fear is growing.
Where will you go?
Your heart is beating faster, and your fear becomes over whelming, consuming your every thought.
Then you see it, a dirty, broken cardboard box and you bow your head thanking God for His provision.
For you have found it- shelter.
Safety, if only for one night.
You slip underneath it, hugging yourself, vowing once again not to cry- because by now you know tears are a waste of your strength.
Your eyes become heavy, despite the sweltering temperature.
As you begin to drift off to sleep you pray, hoping, dreaming, of a family of your own one day...
of a place where you will matter...
to someone.

Half away around the world is a family...

They are just sitting down to dinner together.

They are smiling and their laughter fills the room.

Dinner is served and they bow their heads and they pray- thanking God for their many blessings… their home, their job, the food that is set before them.

They lift their heads and go back to the laughter and the joy.

They talk of their upcoming vacation plans, the lunch date they shared with a friend today and the movie they plan to see this coming weekend.

More laughter, more excitement, more.

As the leftovers are scraped into the garbage can and the table is cleaned up, hot bubble bathes are taken by all.

Evening settles in, and the family slips under their down comforters preparing for a good nights sleep.

Before turning out the lights, the husband leans over to kiss his wife good-night. She shyly smiles at him and begins to tell him that she has been feeling that perhaps God is calling them to adopt.

The room grows quiet as they are both lost in their own thoughts… their minds are flooded with questions, concern, and then inevitably -fear.

How could they manage?
Another child?
Why, they already have two!
Where would they put the child?
Who would share a room?
How could they afford to adopt?
Would they be able to take that vacation?
What would people think?
What if the child, you know, caused ‘problems’?

As their eyelids become heavy, they begin to drift off to sleep... and they think to themselves ‘surely not’.

Surely God knows this is not convenient.

Surely God wants them to take that vacation they deserve...

Surely he knows how busy they are.

They have plans and they have dreams.

As sleep overcomes them, the temperature in their master bedroom is perfect… and their pillows are fluffed to perfection.

Life is good for them, just as they had planned...

Because after all, they matter...

Too much...
to themselves.
"This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. "- 1 John 3:16-20

Friday, September 14, 2012

Behind the pistol.

There are sometimes places and situations in life that we never expect to find ourselves. That is just the way life is sometimes. Even if we make all of the right moves, even if we make all the right plans, all the right choices- there will be times of trials. And while those times are scary, difficult, and not at all what we'd hoped for- I find comfort in the fact that knowing no matter what the circumstance- or no matter what the outcome- the Lord is there to hold us through it.

Many of you may or may not have heard that yesterday our family was robbed at gun point on the way home from the bank yesterday just a few blocks from Village of Hope. Todd, Addisyn, Kaden, Carson, Havyn and I had gone out that afternoon to run some errands. Just normal, everyday stuff- stopping by the market for fruit and running into the bank to exchange some money for projects being done throughout the week. About 4 minutes after leaving the bank and a few minutes from Village of Hope, in a busy area with cars and people everywhere- we were suddenly surrounded and trapped in by two cars as two males with a gun jumped out and began screaming and pointing the gun at our heads.

As I have replayed those moments over and over in my head like the scenes from a bad movie- more than ever before I am certain about one thing- how fragile our lives are and our need for the Jesus.

 A lots of things go through your mind when you have a gun pointed at your head. The screams of your children from the back seat, the pleading of your husband next to you and the angry words coming from the one holding the gun... and yet somehow, over all of the noise of this world- I could still hear my shepherds voice reminding me that He was there. Oh how faithful our God is. And through that reminder, I was able to take my focus off he gun and look instead into the eyes of the man holding it.

 In that moment, instead of feeling fear- I felt an even greater passion to share Jesus with this lost world.

Because in this mans eyes, I saw a soul who was lost, hurt, and desperate. Desperate for safety, desperate for love, desperate for peace- and the money that he took will never bring that to him. The only place he will ever find what he was longing for is in the arms of the one who loves Him no matter what crime he committed.

We spent a lot of time praying as a family that night. Praying that daddy would be able to let go of the guilt of not being able to protect his family and the Lords money, praying that our children would have those images erased from their little minds and praying for these men to somehow find the Lord.

 Sometime later that night as we were counting our losses and going over the list of valuables that was taken, Addisyn reminded me that inside of my purse that was taken was a bible...

and I couldn't help but to call that a gain.

Would you please join us in praying for these men?

Lord, thank you for who you are and for what you have already done for us regardless of who we are and what mistakes we have made.  Lord I pray for these men who stole from you and I ask your forgiveness upon them. I ask Lord for them to somehow come to know who you are.  Lord forgive me for the times in my life when I have missed an opportunity to share you with a stranger, with a neighbor, a family member or a friend- for that may have made all the difference. Forgive me for the times I have failed to be bold and live my life in such a way that people couldn't help but to long to know you more. Forgive me Lord for looking the other way when I see someone in need of you. Lord may you use our lives and everything we have to bring you glory. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Keegan

Happy 20th Birthday Keegan!!

There are simply no words to say how proud we are of you. We hate not being there by your side on your birthday but we hope you are SURROUNDED by people who love and adore you as much as we all do here.

We love you and we are so thankful God gave us you!!

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So excited to announce...

Our new super cool,
you cannot live without them...
Village of Hope Tshirts!!!
 Get yours here today!!!
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Happy 3rd Birthday Havyn!

Today we celebrate 3 years of Havyns life.  When I think back over the past 3 years of this precious little girls life I cannot help but to stop and marvel at God goodness and what a miracle she is. I am so thankful God allowed us the privilege of being this beautiful little blessing forever family. I am so thankful for the gift of adoption and so thankful for the one who made her adoption possible. To celebrate Havyn today I thought I'd share some of my favorite pictures of her. :)

The second she was placed in my arms...
7 months old...

8 months old...

9 months old...

One year old...
18 months old...

23 months..

2 1/2 years...


Happy 3rd Birthday my beautiful Ethiopian blessing!
We love you more than words can say.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A helping hand...

We were walking in a small village the other day and a friend of mine spotted these two out of the corner of her eye...
Two tiny little girls walking down an alley with nothing to protect themselves but each other.
 And I couldn't stop but to wonder how many times in life we try to do it all on our own, how many times we believe we have to know it all, have it all and BE it all...

and we miss out on the greatest gifts in life- watching His body do what it was intended to do- work together...

 to bring Him glory and lead others to Him.

Often here at Village of Hope we look at each other and say 'this is so much bigger than we are' -and it is.
 It is God sized.
 But we know, without a doubt, that it isn't too big for Him.
We have less than 72 hours to reach our goal of the 10K match. Would you prayerfully consider what part the Lord wants you to play in reaching out to the least of these?
Click here to give and be a part.
From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16

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Monday, September 3, 2012


Lord, help them to see YOU through us....



Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked." Psalm 82:3-4
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