Thursday, July 28, 2011

Puzzle Progress!

Many people have asked about our excited to show you it's progress!!

Out of 750 pieces, we have sold 215!!! YAY!!!!!

We did some calculations today about the upcoming events (going to court/lawyer fees, visa and embassy fees, medical exam, food, lodging, transportation, changing my ticket and purchasing a ticket for Z) and we estimate our need over the next 4-6 weeks is going to be approximately $6,000.

No big deal.

                                                     Not for our God!!

For us, yes. This presents a HUGE problem. But we are not doing this, God is. I think He's made that ABUNDANTLY clear!! giggle!

A friend of mine says, "His will is His bill!" :)

What a tapestry of people are there on the back of this growing puzzle--he will KNOW that he was meant for this family!!! :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

God Said to Our Mountain, "MOVE!"

“I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you. ”
Matthew 17:20

It is with tears of joy that I sit to type out this news....

WE GOT A COURTDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and what's more amazing????




And thank YOU for praying with us!!! What a HUGE answer to prayer!!! Hallelujah!!!

Ya know what? ...we are gonna bring home our little Z!!! :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

ETD is coming soon...

My days lately have centered around two things lately: Annie (more on that soon!) and Africa. Two "A's" that pull me in very different directions!

Just so you know...although it will probably not matter to you in the slightest...

I'm not a list maker. 
                             I'm not an organized person. 

...but sometimes, I do what I don't want to do for causes I love. And let me tell you, going to Africa is something I  know I'm going LOVE!!! :) And I already love a little boy "Z" very very much!

And just in case you are worried, I have some wonderful friends who have given me THEIR lists to prepare for Africa and I'm just working from that! ;) Thanks for your concern!

But this post really isn't about that.


We are going to pack all of our necessities in our carry ons. Guess what that means? We get two 50 pound bags EACH to load up with goodies to take to the children in Uganda!! I'm so excited to love on them!!!

We have three types of destinations: orphanages, remote villages, and the children's prison that Sixty Feet works with. One of the orphanages is (of course!) where our little Z is living. We also will visit other orphanages. Our goal here is to simply show love to the children and encourage the workers who work day in and day out with these precious little ones. And of course to meet and bond with our little Z! I AM SO EXCITED TO HOLD HIM!!!! (Sorry, all this excitement bubbles up and it gets a little boisterous and loud sometimes!!)The bulk of our time will be spent in his orphanage.

We have several rural villages on our docket as well. Brian has received some great donations from a vet and a pharmaceutical company that will enable him to do some specialized work with their cattle and dairy goats. We are very excited to meet all the children in these villages and just play. I may not make lists well, but I play well!!

Thirdly, we will visit the place referred to as "M." This is the place that I have lost sleep and shed many, many tears over. There is something about this place that draws bees to honey. And I know it may be different than what I expect. But truly, I cannot wait to be there in person and to look into these precious boys and girls' faces and be with them. I am honestly not sure what good I will be there, but I pray that God will love them through me. I pray that Brian's agricultural/animal husbandry background can go far to help them on their 300+ acre site. I pray that God does big things. I am so excited about this I am tearing up just writing about it! I will take our photography equipment too. Who knows what God might do!

Our case for the adoption of Z is filed in the high courts. We do not have a court date. It is fully conceivable that we spend this amazing time in this soon-to-be beloved country and return home only to learn we've been assigned a court date. If this happens, we will scramble to arrange life for our children and fly back. Of course it would be easier if we could get a court date while we were already there. We pray for it! We ask YOU to pray for it! But we also know that sometimes, God does not do things in the timeframe or way we think would be best. (Wow, what an understatement!!) So we just trust. ...and we pack for our adventure!!

 Oh, and remember those bags we have? You can help us fill them! Already we have bubbles and frisbees, pick up sticks, bookmarks and some granola bars. If you would like to send some tangible love to the children of Uganda you can bring your donations of the following items to Pettisville Missionary Church no later than August 4th:

  • children's sizes of underwear (new please)
  • infant formula
  • rubber gloves
  • hotel sized soaps and lotions
  • granola bars (the chewy kind that won't crumble)
  • durable children's books
  • small toys: jump ropes, deflatable balls, dolls, toy cars 
  • toothbrushes/toothpaste
All this is going to bless their socks off!! I cannot wait! Pictures will come soon!!! :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dwelling Deeper (Part 2)

I wrote a post a little bit ago about dwelling deep within the holy of holies in our hearts. Please go here if you have not read it. This post is my follow up as I continue to process these things.

I was doubled over in pain. Diarrhea wracked my body. While I waited it out, I picked up a little book called His Thoughts Said, His Father Said by Amy Carmichael. (She is one of my heros...a life given to Jesus in India!) I had recently written the aforementioned post about dwelling with God and even mentioning her name as one who seemed to not allow how she felt physically to impact her joy.

There I was, feeling quite miserable, and I stumbled on to this passage from this wonderful little book and I was stunned: (sorry for the details...God shows up at the craziest times!!)

Dwell Deep
His thoughts said, My longing is to heal the broken and the weak, to defend the maimed, and to lead the blind unto the sight of the glory of the Lord. My choice is to be a corn of wheat and fall into the ground and die. Then why these waverings?
His Father said, Too much of thy surface is exposed to the breath of every wind that bloweth. Thou must learn to dwell deep.
And the son who had wavered answered humbly, Renew within me a settled spirit. Establish me with Thy directing Spirit. My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed. I will sing and give praise.

My heart lept! There it was! Proof that my dear Amy Carmichael needed to consciously go deep in order to tolerate the circumstances she faced in the world. (How could she have lived among the neediest in the world without aching for their healing till it killed her?!?!? THIS IS HOW!)

Just then I pulled this lovely tee shirt out of my drawer for the day. (One of our adoption fundraising shirts!) Isn't this just incredible? I was beginning to get what God was teaching me! (Complete with diagram!) The secret to true, everlasting joy! No matter how my body felt, no matter how many children melting down around me, no matter what atrocities I may encounter as I travel around the world. Dwell deep down in that secret space with the Lord. 

I love that Amy pointed out that too much of her was above ground...too much of her was feeling the wind above the surface. She needed to go DEEPER. Now those verses about hiding myself in God make sense.

Psalm 17:8 "Keep me as the apple of your eye, hide me in the shadow of your wings..." (emphasis added)

And take a minute to soak this one in with great joy:

Psalm 27:5 "For in the day of trouble He will keep me safe in His dwelling;
He will hide me in the shelter of His tabernacle and set me high upon a rock."

WOW!!! That was how I got here in the first place--realizing that my body is God's tabernacle (temple) and that I needed to dwell with Him in the Holy of Holies!!

Isn't God so amazing to show us such sweet things?

So my challenge now is that when things overwhelm, threaten, frighten and intimidate--I beg to go deeper with Him in that special place and have less of me exposed to the surface winds.  More than just having deep's dwelling there with great joy. Having MORE of my life spent in that quiet space with Him than taking in life from the surface. How to work that out with 4 children, a household to manage, two businesses and an adoption underway is mine to work out on a moment by moment basis.

How do you dwell? Do you go deeper when it gets tough? Let us seek to live deeper with God in the secret place so that we can tolerate that which blows in our lives above the surface.

We will be blessed beyond measure by His presence.

"How good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things You do."  Psalm 73: 28

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I have Doubters.

Yes. It's true. I have people in my life who doubt. They doubt me. They doubt God. They wonder if they should say something. "What if..." they formulate their questions that stem from their doubt. " don't have enough money," "...the judges rule against you," " break that little boy's heart because you can't get him home?"

On the spot, I'm not very good. Answers rarely pop into my head, but their questions mull. 

They roll around. And around.

My God is MIGHTY. My God loves. His very definition is LOVE. His heart breaks for the fatherless. The orphan makes Him cry. Wouldn't these children remain homeless and family-less if we followed the fears of the doubters? (I really should pose that question to them!)

Let's take a quick look at what God's Word says about these beloved children who are left fatherless in this world: 

Deuteronomy 10:18
 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien giving him food and clothing.

Deuteronomy 14:29
The fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Deuteronomy 24:17
Do not deprive the alien or the fatherless of justice...

Deuteronomy 27:19 
“Cursed is the man who withholds justice from the alien, the fatherless or the widow.” Then all the people shall say, “Amen!”

Psalm 10:14
You [God] are the helper of the fatherless.

Psalm 10:17-18
 You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed

Psalm 68:5-6
 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. He places the lonely in families.

Psalm 82:3 
Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed.

Psalm 146:9
 The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless...

Isaiah 1:17
 Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.

James 1:27
 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good. 
And what does the LORD require of you? 
To act justly and to love mercy  and to walk humbly with your God.


That little tour of Scripture was pretty impacting. God's Word is true. It reflects His heart. And it's abundantly clear that He loves the fatherless and He wants us to too.

So...perhaps it comes down to a question of FAITH.

Do we (you fill in your name here!) have the FAITH to believe that God will accomplish His passions, purpose and will in OUR lives? I think we quickly want to answer yes. But slow down a bit, do you R-E-A-L-L-Y mean YES?????

Faith says, "I'll adopt even though I don't have the money upfront." And right now it's saying, "We'll fly to Uganda using up our adoption money and trust Him to provide the rest when we need it."

Faith says, "Yes," when asked to adopt a child with a special need.

Faith says, "I may not have what it takes right now, but I believe He'll supply all my needs just as He promises."

Faith says,  "I'll do whatever it takes," knowing full well that the path may be full of great obstacles and  be asked to go through extreme difficulties. But one also knows the strength does not lie in oneself, but in the God they trust.

What IS the cost of obedience anyway? Let's go back to the book and just see:

Luke 9:23
 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

John 12:24
 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.


 So, just because this is HARD it doesn't mean I'm supposed to stop? 


And as Brian so often reminds me, "Everyone wants to have miracles in their lives. But not many people are willing to be in the place to NEED a miracle." He's so right. Who wants to seek out being desperate???? 

No one wants to be desperate. No one wants to be uncomfortable. Yet it is in that very state that we experience God as our Rescuer, our Healer, our Provider. that worth it to you? Is obedience to God--a very act that will put you in a DESPERATE state--worth knowing your God as MIGHTY? Are you willing to exchange some comfort for knowing God better? 

So, dear doubters, I say to you: I have no idea what we'll do in these "if" situations you create for me. But I know that MY GOD DOES, and that's good enough. Yep. It is. And I guess for you, well, you'll just have to watch and see.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...