Sunday, September 27, 2009

Joyful Sunday!

I love Sundays!

Today, I feel God met me where I really needed to be met. My last blog post was kinda....unJOY-ful, wouldn't you say? Clearly, I am a girl with many emotions and twists and turns that come and go in this life of mine. I suppose it is to be expected when we are headed in a direction that is literally turning our life upside down! ahem...and PMS does NOT help things, either.

Today, one of our sweet Pastors, and a mentor to our family preached today on "Discipleship". I learned that many people today are "saved" but few "follow". Girls, if we claim to know Christ-I mean, KNOW Him, then we need to be pouring out into other women, encouraging them. I was really convicted today that I need to be doing more of that. I have been so blessed to have women in my life who encourage me-and have been an encouragement years ago when I was in college. I need to be giving back.

I'm also thinking of ways we, together, as a blogging community can serve others here locally. I'm thinking about doing something with "Playdates with a Purpose" such as going to the Women's Homeless Shelter and throwing them a party-or something in the future. Is anyone up for this? If so, leave a comment or email me at

Have a good week!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


I'm sitting here wondering where the week went by? Have you felt like that lately too?

Recently, I feel as though I've been just treading water-you know, just because "life" is happening around me.

I'm transitioning into a new job within the agency I work for that starts on Monday. I'm really excited, but I'm desperately trying to get all of my paperwork completed before I officially start so I can work in the present and not in the past. This new job will allow me to be at home with my kids during the day and work when my husband is at home a few nights a week. Again, another way we see the Lord being faithful to our family at this time!

Monday night, TJ and I had our first conference call with the Board of Directors from Mattaw Children's Village in Texas. We spent time getting to know eachother a bit and asking a lot of questions we have been dying to ask! It was a great time of fellowship and we are looking forward to more conversations in the near future.

We are in dire need of a second car-are any of you annoyed with car salesman as much as I am? With all due respect, I know the economy has put some of these places in desperate situations...but c' they need to be all over me like a monkey over a cupcake???
We've been praying for God to provide something for us that would get us through these next months ahead before we go to Kenya so we don't push further into more debt.

I've become more and more aware from people I have been getting to know overseas just how dire the food crisis is in Africa. Pray for RAIN people! More babies' bellies are growling than ever before due to the shortage of rain in Kenya, Uganda and other parts of Africa. There are many kiddos needing our help, our resources, our love and prayer to help them through each day.

I'm balancing a Kindergartener-who clearly, still needs to nap "just enough" each day to avoid meltdowns by 6pm-but not too much, so he can still fall asleep at night. I'm also researching different homeschool cirriculum....and I'm finding it ever so much MORE fun than I thought it would be.

I am battling difficulty sleeping-for reasons I am trying to figure out. I am bright-eyed and bushy-tailed around 2 or 3am every night (or morning) and cannot fall asleep until a few minutes before I am supposed to be up for the day.

I'm tired.

So this week, I am resting-resting in the arms of my Savior, because I know I cannot do this all, but I am grateful for a God that has all of this in the palm of His hand. I'm grateful for this life He has given me. I'm thankful for the quite hours of the night where I am reminded I can use that time to pray for my husband and my children and the future that is before us. I'm thankful for a God who gives us peace beyond all understanding.

How has your week been?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Prayer team

I am just needing to be real-a bit raw for a moment.

TJ and I have a big weekend coming up. I'd appreciate your prayers. Some intial dialogue is coming up with folks down in Texas regarding Mattaw Children's Village and we are finishing up an article that will be published about our family in a local magazine in November.

I'm a bit nervous about all of this and I feel myself wanting to jump ship, but am also reminded in the same moment that this is His journey and we are choosing to be His hands and feet. Step by step. Faith.

This is not a journey we are choosing to take to become noticed or to become a "brave face" for those to admire. No. Simply, we hope to be a testimony of who Jesus Christ was and is today while actively living out what God has given us a heart for.

We are fighting a real battle. Sin trips us-daily. I scold my children too hard sometimes, I have bad attitudes some days. TJ and I get into arguments. My prayer is that TJ and I can take up our crosses daily and focus on serving a God who loves us more than we could ever know. We want to surrender our lives to serve Him wherever He leads us. To stay united.

We need prayer. We need a solid prayer team to be behind us as we make decisions this year. Would you like to join us? We have an email set up to communicate with those of you that may have questions about what we are doing. Feel free to ask us "WHAT has been going on with YOU" or, whatever strikes your fancy. I will be better at sending more regular updates, as there are many details happening behind the scenes that I do not blog about right now as I do not feel like it is necessary. Our email is:

We would covet your prayers. We would love to get to know you-whoever you are and hear YOUR heart for what God is doing in your life. We would love to build a community that wants their hearts to break for what breaks the Lord's heart. Through orphan care, or whatever YOU are passionate about.

Love and hugs.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Loop Deee Loops

So, Collin, our youngest son, seems to find humor in all the things he does. It's never a dull moment with him in our family.

So, clearly, who would have thought we would have the same experience on this raft while on vacation this summer?

Not my child! child! Loop Deeeee Loop!

Loop Deeeee Loop!

See, this raft was sitting upon a crystal clear pond that got it source from undergroud springs that gurgled up from the bottom. We had to turn the steering wheel to the left or right, along a rope, to move it across the water.

Collin, of course, had many creative ways of turning it.

Loop Deeeeee Loop!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Book Club

Hey gals!

I am joining a Bible study this sememster with a group of women and we are going through the book "Prodigal God" by Tim Keller. I'm super excited about it.

I also am reading this AWESOME book, titled "Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God".

I would love for YOU to join too! Here is the site:

I also have copied and pasted the reading schedule. The site above is where you can go and watch a video "discussion" and join in on chats with other women like yourselves.

Here is a bit about the book from the website posted above:

About the book (from Amazon): "Sometimes I feel like when I make decisions that are remotely biblical, people who call themselves Christians are the first to criticize and say I'm crazy, that I'm taking the Bible too literally, or that I'm not thinking about my family's well-being. . . When people gladly sacrifice their time or comfort or home, it is obvious that they trust in the promises of God. Why is it that the story of someone who has actually done what Jesus commands resonates deeply with us, but we then assume we could never do anything so radical or intense? Or why do we call it radical when, to Jesus, it is simply the way it is? The way it should be?"

The schedule for reading is as follows:

September 13: Intro and chapter 1
September 20: Chapter 2
September 27: Chapter 3
October 4: Chapter 4
October 11: Chapter 5
October 18: Chapter 6
October 25: Chapter 7
November 1: Chapter 8
November 8: Chapter 9
November 15: Chapter 10 and wrap-up

Let me know if you join! It would be super fun to see you on discussions :)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Day by day

Today, this is happening right now, half way across the world as we go about our day. This community lives on

day after day

with no food

day after day.

As we go about our day. Imagine opening your cupboards in your kitchen and having nothing.


Or turning on your kitchen faucet and dirty water drips out, and you drink it

because that is how you survive

Day by day.

A team of volunteers is exploring this precious community in Uganda right now. Pray for them. For safety, for wisdom, for churches to snatch these babies up and call them their own.

"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...whatever you have done to the least of these, you've done it to Me." Matthew 25 according to Richard Stearns, President of World Vision

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Our baby girl :)

I am so excited to share with you today, new video of my baby girl, Priscillah, whom I have sponsored with TJ since 2002. Last year we met up with her in Kenya for a brief time and later learned she had become pregnant but was too ashamed to tell us. We have kept little contact with her over this year due to her whereabouts being unknown. Today, however, proved to me again, why I blog, why YOU be such difference in the life of a child-one child-across the world. I love you baby girl and Daniel is beautiful! See you soon!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Let me hold you longer.....

My baby boy went to Kindergarten today. Isn't he handsome? We think so too!

"Long ago you came to me, a miracle of firsts; First smiles and teeth and baby steps, a sunbeam on the burst. But one day you will move away and leave to me your past, And I will be left thinking of a lifetime of your lasts ...
The last time that I held a bottle to your baby lips, The last time that I lifted you and held you on my hip.

The last night when you woke up crying, needing to be walked. When last you crawled up with your blanket, wanting to be rocked.

The last time when you ran to me, still small enough to hold. The last time that you said you'd marry me when you grew old. Precious, simple moments and bright flashes from your past- Would I have held on longer if I'd known they were your last?

One last adventure to the park, your final midday nap, The last time when you wore your favorite faded baseball cap.

I never said good-bye to all your yesterdays long passed. So what about tomorrow- will I recognize your lasts?

The last time that you talk to me about your hopes and dreams. The last time that you wear a jersey for your high school team.

I've watched you grow and barely noticed seasons as the pass. If I could freeze the hands of time, I'd hold on to your lasts.

For come some bright fall morning, you'll be going far away. College life will beckon in a brilliant sort of way. One last hug, one last good-bye, one quick and hurried kiss. One last time to understand just how much you'll be missed. I'll watch you leave and think how fast our time together passed. "

I have been working on Ben's baby book this week as I got some awesome digital scrapbooking software last week! It was probably bad timing to start as I was sorting through all of his "firsts" and newborn photos, meeting his brother for the first time, and going to preschool.

When I was a part of a MOPS group when Ben was a year or 2 old, a group leader read us the book "Let Me Hold You Longer" to us. At the time, I heard it from a distance, as preschool, art projects from school and college seemed so far away.

And here I am today! My baby boy is a Kindergartener. It's hard to find the balance of letting kiddos learn to fly and grow their wings and not hang on too tightly, or be too overprotective. My, how does time fly. And don't we, as mom's hear that from other mom's too?

I love you Benjamin Timothy-more than words could express. You make us so proud and we know God has GREAT plans for your life.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Making much of Jesus-through orphan care

Orphan Sunday from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Here are some opportunities coming your way for YOU to be involved in serving the least of these!

Orphan Sunday 2009 — November 8: Christian Alliance for Orphans recently announced the official launch of their 2009 Orphan Sunday campaign. Orphan Sunday is an opportunity for churches all over the world to spread this God-centered, Gospel-driven, Jesus-magnifying vision for orphan care.

Christian Alliance for Orphans SUMMIT VI will be held in Minneapolis on April 28-30, 2010. John Piper is one of the keynote speakers.

Together for Adoption Conference 2009 is an October 2-3 event that connects the dots between our adoption by God and the earthly practice of adoption and orphan care.

Monday, September 7, 2009

So dreamy...

Lately, I have had these really vivid dreams. It seems like the same dream but it involves being in different places...all my dreams recently have been in the water. I used to be fascinated with the meanings of dreams, I kept a dream diary years ago for fun as part of my Psychology course I was taking.

This is different. Really different.

"Coincidentally" I was doing my devotions this morning and the page I read talked about rivers and how, we, as people, need to be in a place where we are freely and willingly giving back.

Giving back.

We can become a dud like the Dead Sea, where things just flow into us and never out of us. But that is not what God intends for us. If we know and have 'received His fullness, "rivers of living water" will flow out of us, reaching in blessing "even to the ends of the earth."' (Acts 1:8)

We may never know how far our blessings go. How many times paying it forward will go.

It also compared a river to our life....rivers come to many obstacles-like we do. The river will be blocked for a while but soon make a new pathway around the obstacle. If we pay attention to the Source of the river, He will either take you around the obstacle or remove it. Try not to focus on the obstacle or difficulty, but rather, focus on the Source, the Spirit of God in our life, who overcomes all obstacles.

This really spoke to me this morning. Sometimes TJ and I feel like we hit a dead end-or difficulty, or we are taken into a season of silence where we are forced to just wait


for what is next.

For those of you who may know me well, I am sure many of you would say that patience is something I struggle with. Ironically, I am moving into a culture that depends on cell phones but rarely glances at a clock..where time seems to have no meaning. Ha ha.

But what I've learned is that I, TJ and I, need to focus on the Source. Depend on His promises and faithfulness and go back to realizing that God has THE plan. All we need to worry about is taking the next step.

..and the next step.

Oh, how I cannot wait to see what's ahead. But I'll have to wait.

Allow God to flow into you-receive His blessing and pour it out to others.

I can think of around 140 million kids that need it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

..ahem..not my planning

So again, I sit shock. In amazement of what God can do. Several weeks ago, I put in a proposal to my employer of creating a new position that was needed desperately within our agency. With some minor tweaking and adjustments, they APPROVED THE POSTION!

So, starting in roughly 2 weeks, I will have this new position that allows me to keep my salary and benefits for my family PLUS stay at home with my children during the day, eliminating our cost for daycare each month.

We have been praying for God to help us pay off our debt by June 1st so we may be debt free before we go to Kenya next year, Lord willing. I had no idea that THIS would be a part of HIS plan.

So, I sit here. Shocked. ReJOYcing in all He is able to do. Clinging to the hope that God knows our hearts desires, knows our needs and is willing and able to provide for them if we are willing to step out in faith and trust/surrender our plan to His.

Do you have a story in which God has unexpectedly provided for you or your family? If so, share!!!! I'd love to hear it!

Financial Peace...and beyond

My husband and I committed this summer and took the Financial Peace University seminar Dave Ramsey offers. Our last session was just this past Sunday. We learned so much about things we wish we would've known growing up. So it motivates us to start teaching our children about money today and not waiting until they are in high school or in college.

Anyways, I cannot remember the blog I found this on, but it was hilarious to find as we were taking the class. Watch it here.

I know, right? What a concept! Hope you enjoy it! Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Speaking of leaving a legacy....

I have recently learned about a fantastic conference coming up in October as a way we, as parents or those of us that know of grandparents raising their grandchildren can participate and think more about what kind of legacy you want to leave for children in our household.

The Legacy Conference is happening in Minneapolis/St. Paul October 23-24th. This is a baby brand new ministry that started out of Colorado Springs, Colorado designed to be a resource for parents and grandparents who desire to have more meaningful time with their children and grandchildren and desire to be an influence that reflects that of Christ.

All the information you want to know about this conference can be found here.