Monday, February 10, 2014

Rise up

For far too long we have sat around idly while the world goes on around us. What are we doing?


It’s time we throw off everything that hold us back and step in to the calling God has for us. What is that calling you ask? I wish I could answer that for you but that is something you and God have to wrestle about.


Some people have that calling that came at a young age that we just kind of let hang around but not really do anything with it. Some have yet to find their calling. Some are content to not know their calling, just let the world slip by and hope to make it through another day.


Romans 12:3-9 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.


You see my calling is different than your calling. I think sometimes we want to make our calling look like someone else. We don’t feel like we are good enough or what gifts we are given are significant enough to matter so we simply ignore them. However, it takes everyone walking in their calling to make the body function as a whole. You wouldn’t bake a cake and leave out the flour because it wouldn’t come out right. So why do we just choose to be content to just survive the days and weeks and months?


I urge you to begin having dialogue with God and ask Him what He has for you. The Bible tells us to work out our salvation with fear and trepidation and sometimes it is just that, scary but being obedient to God is better than having your own personal “Jonah moment”.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Life as we know it

We are coming up on the 11 month mark since our family has been added to times 4. I would love to say it has been an easy journey but that would be a lie. While this is probably the hardest thing we have ever done I can say it is the best thing we have ever done. We have learned a lot about ourselves and how we handle the unknown. I wish I could say it has been all with grace but again that would be a lie. Navigating through the foster care system can be very trying ESPECIALLY if you are a recovering control freak like I am! However, just when I get to feeling overwhelmed God reassures me with His peace that only He can give.

Our life looks totally different now than it did 11 months ago. I've had people say "why, when your kids JUST got out of the house?". To that I say why NOT? This life I have isn't mine anyway, so why not give away the love that I have to someone that needs it? 

Do I wish I had "free time" like I did before? Yes, there are days when I get selfish and just want to go and do what I want, when I want but I don't have that option anymore and you know what most days I love that. The joy that these little souls have brought to us is unexplainable. I am sure if you ask my friends they might say they feel neglected by me because quite frankly I don't have time like before to be able to just go out to eat or to the movies or whatever. 

The future is unknown but I do know one thing, God has given us this lfe to give away. Don't try holding on to something that isn't yours anyway. Let go and hang on for the ride!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Instant gratification, entitlement & selfies

If you have social media or are anywhere near it I guarantee you will see at least 5 selfies in a day. I know, I know I am being modest in this estimate. Here's the thing, we have become so engrossed with ourselves that we hardly notice the people around us. I am just as guilty as the next person, our phones; ipads have become more important than actual face to face conversation. This is sad people. 

2 Timothy 3 English Standard Version (ESV) But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men. 

YIKES! Did you read that. ACTUALLY READ IT? That passage describes what is going on in today's society accurately. We have raised kids to think about #1 to not be concerned with other people, to not respect those in authority over us. We have done this to the kids, We are to blame.

So, how do we turn it around? 

Explain to your children how you're helping others 

Encourage your children to choose a charity that resonates with them and help them raise money to donate. 

Before your child's birthday, work with them to gather toys they no longer play with to give to needy children. 

If a sports figure starts a charity and your children love that particular sport, share the news with them. 

Be gracious to waiters and salespeople when you're out with your children. 

Most importantly, if you catch yourself not being respectful to your children, apologize and ask them for a do-over so you can respond with more graciousness. You don't want to be practicing "do as I say, not as I do" parenting!

 Together we can help our kids be respectful and put others before themselves.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

A first world person with a heart in a third world country.


My body lives in a first world country but yet my mind and heart reside in a third world country.

It is hard to explain to those who haven’t been called to a third world country as my friends that recently made the trip to Africa with me can attest. I have felt a sense of compassion for them because I remember all too well when I returned home from my first trip. It is a feeling of total unrest, like you just don’t know where you belong in a land of plenty when you have just seen some of the poorest people on the planet. You began to question even the smallest of things.

Some people feel guilt, some depression, some just get angry. And, some feel each of these and if we are honest there are times when we feel all of these. With each of my three trips to Africa I have come home a little different. I wish I could say with each trip it is easier, if anything I have learned how to manage my emotions.



 How can a place so beautiful hold such a horrifying secret




How can I sit still while babies are drowning in a sea of poverty and slavery?



When people ask me to tell them about my trip I have to formulate how to word it because my first instinct is to express how angry I am. How angry I am that children are being victimized for selfishness and money. I am angry that apathy has stolen the American people and churches. I am angry with myself, at how I would rather be comfortable than do what Christ has called me to do.



We all see the faces of the poor and we ALL make a decision. Yes, I will help or No, I will not. It is that simple. We choose daily by how we live our lives to either aid or hinder. Once we have seen we are responsible. Faith has a response.



Gideon just happened to be born in a land filled with poverty. He is six years old and lives a life on a fishing boat. A life that is not too far removed from where I sit in a cozy home with luxuries. I used to think I needed bigger and better, a better house, a nicer car but my perspective changed drastically in 2011 and now I am sickened by the way I wasted before.

We went to the lake this time and I had a mission. You see, Ed had been struck by a picture. I never knew ones heart could be so broken and messed up by one photo yet, it happened. I watched as Ed would sit and cry because of his heart breaking for this one little boy.




I had my cell phone out asking the kids that could speak enough English to understand me if they knew this boy. I asked probably 12 of them and no one could quite understand what I was saying until Festus approached me and said that it was Sammy but that he wasn’t there today. I was saddened and disappointed because I wanted to just hold him. So we left the lake that day but God had other plans.

Later that night Hack told us that he was feeling very conflicted because we still had a lot of items left to give out and he wanted it all to go to the kids on the lake. So, we adjusted plans for the next day and delayed our departure from Yeji. I decided to sit back and take pictures in the morning because I had recently had surgery on mu hand and it was injured by the grabbing for the items. So, I stood back and took photos of the others handing out all the goodies. I had given up on seeing Sammy and was just looking off into the lake when I looked down beside me and saw this…


My heart leapt. I looked and Kim and Kim and said “that’s him”. I bent down and scooped him into my arms and immediately my heart was gone, connected to a boy whose picture hangs in my living room, the boy who stolen my husband’s heart, the boy with the eyes I will never forget. He snuggled into my grasp and we stood there for what seems like a lifetime. The absolute hardest thing I have ever done was to put him down and leave him there. As we drove off, my heart was torn in pieces. How could I just leave him there? These are the things that make trips like this hard.


We are commanded to be the voice for those who cannot speak for themselves whether it is in Africa or right next door to you. So, we continue to work. To be hope to the hopeless. My heart beats for the children on Lake Volta and for that reason I cannot sit still.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Stay out of my dirt

I was sweeping the floors today and I had to continually tell A, who is two and a half to stay out of my dirt. She was persistent though and kept getting in it. She was trying to "help". I finally gave in and gave her the dustpan and little broom and let her help.

I was reminded that often times we want to wallow in our own dirt and don't want anyone to get in it with us. We try to hide it or minimize it. We think we have it all under control. But, we weren't called to walk through life alone. God is our ever present help in time of trouble (Psalm 46). He also sent Holy Spirit to be our guide. We also have a valuable resource in community. It's important that we have a support system in place, people that can say the hard things to us without it bothering us. We are made to be relational. That can be hard because people will always let us down but it's better then walking through life alone.

We are given opportunities each day to be Jesus hand and feet. There are hurting people all around us. All we have to do is step in faith and reach out to someone that crosses our path. I encourage you to reach out to someone today.