Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm an anxiety-ridden fool!

Have you ever had one of those days-or meetings-where you HAD to confront someone or someone HAD to confront you and it completely consumed your mind and filled you with anxiety until the moment it was over?

That was me today.

I prayed and prayed and prayed about a meeting today. Last week was the original meet time, but it had to be rescheduled-I breathed a sigh of relief but dreaded what was still to be dealt with.

I hate that!

All week and especially today, the Lord saturated me with the verse "My grace is sufficient for you. For my power is made perfect in your weakness."

How awesome is it that God knows ME and MY needs so well that He provides the perfect food to feast on.

And...why cannot I remember that? Grrr....I need to totally work on that.

I'm grateful for the Warrior Girls in my life and partnering frienships locally I have that I can call in an instant and pray. So grateful and you girls know who you are!

Love you!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Letting go....and gaining

...and no, I'm not talking about weight :)

I'm talking about all of the fear that has been sweeping across my mind lately. The fear of things that I think about as we make transitions towards moving to Kenya.

For me, I think about the dreams I have had for my kids-such as baseball game tournaments, piano lessons, school plays/musicals. They seem silly when I step back and look at the big picture. But, I know God cares about the details of my life as a mama to my boys, so I let it go and leave it in God's hands.

There are times when TJ and I have been on the brink of saying "no"...and I feel a rush of relief come over me. TJ and I start praying "break our hearts for what breaks Yours God" and the overwhelming feeling of "serve me through orphan care" comes swooping back in and we are desiring more than ever to be in Kenya. Then comes the fear again.

I've been praying a lot about this cycle. Naturally, there are a lot of feelings that come with moving such as fear of the unknown, the "how will my kids transition" worry, and "really...ME...homeschool!?!?!?". Many more thoughts come, but you will probably think I've lost my mind.

We are going to Texas in February to speak more with Bud and Kimberly about going on staff with them. Lots of things up in the air right now. It will feel so good to connect with them again!

As we process all of the different emotions of moving overseas, there is one thing that remains firm. Jesus. I'm reminded why we are on this earth-it's but a whisper in the scope of eternity, and I do not want to spend it doing things other than where we feel God calling us-no matter what. We also know that God does not waste one drop of suffering-does not waste one tear we shed or barrier that may come our way because we know God is growing us through that experience. Sometimes, that's hard for me to swallow-especially think about taking our boys for the ride.

I'm human. I struggle. And some days, it is not easy.

I know there is no greater joy that comes with serving others-serving the Lord. So, with that, we are pleading with God to get our debt paid off, in His time. To give us a renewed joy in the work that we do here in our community and the rhealm of Social Services.

We are praying for patience, unity to continue in our marriage and for God to continue to prepare the hearts of our children. Will you join me?

Monday, January 25, 2010


As I am all snuggled up in my cozy clothes and working from home today, I wanted to take some time share with you something that has been helpful for me living on a budget.

Introducing Swagbucks.

At first I was a little suspicious. But now I ask why didn't I start using them a looong time ago!?!?!
While making swagbucks my homepage on my computer, I use it to search for everything! I even earn bucks when I search for my own blog! I use it as like I was using other search engines-only this one I earn redeemable gifts and giftcards at places I prefer to shop at. It's a sinch to use. With our dual Social Work income, it has helped our budget SO MUCH-especially around birthdays and holidays when we can now afford gifts that otherwise we couldn't.

So, click here and see for yourself how easy it is to earn swagbucks and gifts from your favorite store!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Adventures in Dad Land :)

My hubs is going to attempt joining the crazy world of blogging. He is trying to appeal to fathers out there who may be struggling with parenting, marriage and also bringing in a passion for endurance training and orphan care.

I'm really excited for him as he is an inspirational writer and has been for a long time, but has now become comfortable with making it known to others.

Head over to and encourage him!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Tears. Joy. Hope. Praising God for sweet miracles happening THIS hour in Haiti and as I read tweets about adoptive families being united with their Haitian children-much like how we came to our Father I suppose-traumatized, relieved, unconditionally accepted. Hallelujah.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It took me 29 years

It took me 29 years to realize that....

BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can advocate for orphans.

BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can never do anything to make Him love me more.

BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can love those around me who are really difficult to be around.

BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can believe that He will move my mountains.

BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


It took me 29 years to get that. I heard over and over again that "Because God is already on my side, I can love people, advocate for orphans, I can treat other people different than me with LOVE."

When I heard this, it was like rubbing salt in a festering wound because it felt too vulerable. Surely God couldn't love someone like me. After all the mistakes I have made?

Then I heard a sermon that completely changed my heart.

The power to help anybody, to love others different then myself, is a power that flows from the Gospel knowing that we are already accepted.

I have always struggled with not having to "earn" God's love through action. I struggled with it being free. Just a gift I had to receive? That's it?

That's it.

I didn't know how to do that. Until this week.

It wasn't something I was used to feeling.

A lot of my life, growing up, I felt like when I did something wrong, it was taken away and I was left to with an emotional wound -trying again to do the next "right thing" to earn favor in the eyes of people I loved. This left a thick shell around my emotions and my heart that became harder with everything I did wrong.

Thus, creating in me the fear of failing. Craving acceptance. Being saturated in genuine joy. Freedom in being me without shame.

I have found all of those things. My new realization has completely changed my prospective on my relationship with my husband, with my kids, parenting, my relationship with God, my partnership in my marriage, reaching out to those who do not know God.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bukedea update

I have a really exciting update for you guys regarding the orphan care point we did a launch weekend for back in December. Remember Bukedea, Uganda?

I received word yesterday that we received funding at the end of the year for the Bukedea community to be "built out"- meaning, these 250 kids will now have a kitchen, a well with clean water, and a storage facility for food.



We still need about 240 sponsors to step up and sponsor at least 1 child so we can consistently be feeding these kids.

Without sponsorship, these children will not eat.

Are you interested in sponsorship? If so, please email me at
tlkenya (at) yahoo (dot) com as soon as you can and I will hook you up with one of the most precious children you will have ever met.

And your life will never be the same!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Box.

I have a confession. Ugh. I hate those. Sometimes.

I've been putting God in a box. Bigtime.

I have been called out on that bigtime. Growth is sweet, but it hurts.

I think I am really good at looking at other people's lives and saying "wow, look at how God moved THAT mountain or brought THAT marriage out of trouble or healed THAT man" but fail to allow God to move in my life the same way because of the limitations I put on him.

Too expensive, my house is too small, my kids are almost out of the house, my kids are all potty trained.....

A box.

This has been very toxic to my faith. I didn't even realize it. I am putting excuse after excuse up in front of faith opportunities not allowing God to work.

God is way too big for the boxes I put him in. I'm learning that if I surrender and give ALL of it to the Lord, HE WILL MOVE!

I'm done putting God in boxes by way of using excuses.

Regarding adoption, this is the most recent example I can think of. TJ and I have been considering this for a long, long time. The excuses we have been using have been "well, what about moving to Kenya", "what about finances", "what about, what about what about....".

We're done.

We found out that our home study will allow us to also be able to be a foster home or potential foster to adopt family if we choose to be that for Haitian orphans.


My brain-it immediately went to "what about..." but I stopped myself. I'm done using boxes.

I don't know what the Lord is going to use our homestudy for. I'm thankful we are using an agency that supports what we want to do. We are surrendering our homestudy to the Lord with open hands so that HE may use it for how HE wants to build our family.

Have you been stumped by putting God in a box before? This is not a time to pass judgement on others. Share your heart. Where are you really at?

My new "love" is right here. She is precious. She also knows what it's like to put God in a box.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Today I held a sweet baby girl who was born at 24 weeks gestation. She was discharged from the NICU today after spending over 4 months in the hospital. It was a miracle that she survived. It brought me back to the days my 2 boys were in the NICU, though much older than 24 weeks, and all the emotions that went along with that experience. Miracle.

It also made me think of how vulnerable children are and how there are babies just like her born to mamas around the world who lack the resources to help their babies survive.

And they die.

Does your heart break for the children in your community and around the world whose innocence is so quickly shattered because of a natural disaster, physical or sexual abuse, or lack of resources her family doesn't have access to (like water)?

For some reason, God instilled in me at a young age a burden for innocent victims of the world's horrible atrocities. I use my blog to help bring awareness of orphan care to those of you who also may feel the pangs in your heart to make a difference.

I also want to bring awareness to avenues that you can participate in that can make a huge impact. If you follow me on Twitter, you may also find others that I tweet to that are also in the same arena I am. It is JOY to celebrate miracles of healing, a well being drilled, 400 pairs of shoes purchased for orphan's feet and an adoption.

My blog will be taking a new twist, you see. A twist that my husband and I would like to share with you. We would like to invite you into our journey as we prayerfully consider adoption ourselves.

Adoption is something that has been pressed upon our hearts for some time, we just needed to find THE time we felt was right. We are not ready to share where we are adopting from, as some details we need to keep private for now, but we are REALLY excited!

I've spoken to enough parents to say that it is a joyful, yet heart-wrenching experience. A miracle.

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

God sets the lonely in families. I have found that to be true many times as I have seen God complete families through adoption.

Have any of you adopted before? To be honest, I am scared. I need you to help encourage us in those hard moments and rejoice with us in those WAHOOOO moments. We need prayer. Our God is a big God. It's amazing that He knows our future daughter right now (yes, we are hoping for a girl) and is protecting her. His eye is on the sparrow.

And that, in fact, is a miracle :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Shirts for Shoes Project

Hey everyone!

Looking for an idea for Valentine's Day? Check out the pink box on the top left of my blog. This will get you to "My Crazy Adoption" site...where you can help give orphans a pair of shoes when you buy a Valentine's Day T-shirt! Will you also post this on your blog to spread the word!?!?!?!

Do Something Now from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Blank. Hope. Prayer.

If you are an avid blog surfer like I am, then you have probably seen this button lingering around some of your blogs calling out for help for Haiti.

Have you been numb to what you are seeing on TV or hearing on the news? I feel so distant from it and cannot help but just stare at the TV screen when I see the faces of those who are suffering greatly. I watched a video of a 13 yr old girl being pulled out from underneath a collapsed wall today...alive!


Miracles are happening all around there I'm sure and I just pray that more are found alive than lost.

Check out Kristen's blog here. She is one of my favorites to read, and she is giving away a space to advertise YOUR blog on hers for 3 months. If you want your blog to get some traffic, then you want your space on her blog, believe me.

I'd offer you an advertising block on my space...but, you know, I'm not quite there yet...maybe one day :)

If we cannot afford a dollar to give, we all can be on our knees for those in Haiti and those here who are longing for an answer from a loved one.

Prayer is free, and is the most powerful life-changing tool anyone could offer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


"In this life we cannot always do great things. But we can do small things with great love." - Mother Teresa 1910 -1997

Monday, January 11, 2010


I'm sure, like us, you have experienced frigid, bitter cold temps. We have fluctated 60 degrees since Friday the 8th. The past couple of weeks we have seen lows dip down overnight into the -30's and -40's F. This consistent weather has made going ANYWHERE hurt, making some stir crazy little boys and one depressed dog.


But finally, HALLELUUUUUUUUUUJAH! We caught a break, and it is only looking better this week!

We spent the weekend outdoors. Sledding. Boy-Joy.

But Collin, really, I think spoke the loudest about how all of us felt when it was all said and done!

He's gonna kill me for this one, isn't he?!?!?!?

What have YOU done to beat the cold this year?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

6 years.

Six years ago today I walked down the aisle to officially start my life with TJ.

It's been a sweet ride babe! I love you more every day and I am so thankful that because of Christ Alone, we will be His forever! I cannot wait to see what the next 6 years brings and the 6 after that.

From our first trip to Kenya, falling in love with God's desire to serve orphans.

To bringing our first son home....

...and then our second

It's been a journey already, packed with a ton of memories,

Memories that make me proud to be your wife and to call you my husband.

Love you!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Gasp! Could it be!?!?!

....that there ARE people in this world who think there is life outside a Wii, Nindento DS games, PBS and DVDs?!?!?!

Whooooo DA THUNK?

Actually, I'm not being critical, at all. I use all of the above sources as entertainment for my boys, however, I do remember when I was a little girl, we had none of the above and I spent my days playing dress up, hosting tea parties, building forts in the woods then being covered in poison ivy.... and joining an all-girl "biking gang" [you know, we were TOUGH....with our pink Huffies and all].


This past Christmas we received the book A Dangerous Book for Boys. They have one for girls too. Our evenings have now been filled with having paper airplane flying contests, dreaming of the go-cart we will build this spring and researching outter space.

Can you smell the sweat poured out already? *sniff* Oh, nevermind, that's just our bathroom...

...anyways, that's been our life. If you haven't already, I'd highly recommend the book if you have boys in your life. Taking them back to the days where they were milking goats and chopping wood to keep their toes warm is good for me. I hope one day I get to delve into the book Daring Book for Girls. I'm sure, her and I together could combat the stank that comes from 3 boys peeing in the same toilet and putting clothing in the laundry after it has been worn 37 time (or just freshly folded) by wearing pink boas and sipping tea with our teddies and dolls. One can only dream, eh?

It's a joy to have boys. It really is. This book has made the journey more adventerous and create and it that, I am thankful.

Have you jumped into this book? If so, what do you think?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Update on Priscilla

I'd like to share with you a HUGE answer to prayer we have had recently. Back in 2002, I met a dear girl named Priscilla. At the time, she was 15 yrs old, top of her class academically and participated in choir. She had dreams of becoming an air hostess and traveling the world. I became her sponsor.

I saw her again the next year and then once again in the Fall of 2008.

Today she has a son, Daniel, who is 6 months old. She unexpectedly became pregnant and was forced to leave school. You see, in Kenya, if you become pregnant, it automatically disqualifies you from participating in school. Priscilla had graduated from the school I had met her at in Loitokitok and started Secondary (High) School in Kitale when she became pregnant.

In the Winter/Spring 2008, a political war broke out between the her tribe and the opposing tribe running for President of Kenya. Her tribe was brutally attacked and she was forced to flee Kitale for fear she would loose her life because she was Kikuyu.

Priscilla fled for her life and started living with her sister in Kibera. Her home consisted of a constructed square area about 8 x 10 feet. There is a mattress and a box to sit and a piece of tin covering her head at night. Did I mention she shares this space with her sister, who has a toddler?

Priscilla often spends nights on the dirt floor of this space, trading between the bed and the floor she shares with her sister and nephew.

This is her reality. Unfortunately, many girls like her, become pregnant as a result of a consensual relationship or rape and live the rest of their lives this way.

Priscilla is living this way today.

Enter Ernest Ambole.

Ernest is a man who lives the Lord with all his heart, all his mind and all his strength. He worked for the school in Loitokitok when I first met him in 2002. Ernest has since worked for little to no money with the organization and has kept a watchful eye on Priscilla to be sure she was safe. Ernest is married and his wife gave birth to a baby boy around the same time Priscilla did.

Recently I received an email from him.

Hi Lindsey and TJ

Merry Christmas

How are you and family, I trust that you are well and protected by the Good Lord.

We are well, looking forward to Christmas and the new year.

I managed to get to meet with Priscilla. She came to my house on Saturday and we went to visit with her. Her son has been having some health problems we perceive are as a result of teething. He has dropped in weight from 7.4 kgs to 5.7 kgs. He has a low appetite and it seems like it’s a struggle to feed him. However, she had taken him to hospital and the doctor had prescribed something that I cannot really remember for him to eat.

We went to visit her. She lives with her sister who also helps her take care of Dan whenever she goes out to find work to care for her baby. Her sister who is called Wambui however was not in but they live in the same compound with her brother who suffers from some brain related medical situation. Her mother went back to her rural home and because she also suffers the same case as the brother is also not able to assist Priscilla. Her other sister, Wangu also went back to her husband in Limuru.

The house they live in as mud walled and the roof has holes in it. She shares one bed with the sister sometimes one sleeps on the floor. It is quite cold inside even with the sunny season here in Kenya. I didn’t think that environment and I think it is not conducive for the baby and even for her. She uses a tin lamp that is very unhealthy for her as it produces black soot. This is not good for her baby and even herself as both could get severe respiratory complications.

We have started a process to find a suitable school for her. We have been talking about boarding Vs Day School. I prefer a day school that way then she can be with her child daily. Boarding school on the other hand will allow her sufficient time to concentrate. Both arrangements will need day care services. We could also go for a hybrid situation whereby we look for a nice place to house her and get for her some help to stay with the baby during the day and then she takes care of her baby at night but with some support so that she can concentrate on her studies just like you were saying. I wish I had like at least a two bed roomed house then we could host her because now I live in a one bedroom house and we are already out of space. I believe that we can find a suitable house if we look and we could then have Priscilla stay with us for the next one year. By the way, speaking of this house, it could start as an office for our non profit to serve young people in situations like Priscilla and even reach out and do much more youth and community empowerment. I am in the process of trying to meet Lucy and I think that hosting the two of them will be much more convenient and cost effective. We have tried to see who else can assist and maybe the mother to the Daniel’s dad. But this has its own complications.

Hopefully in the New Year, I can manage to start doing more empowerment with young people through the nonprofit but we ll see how it goes.

We felt, and had been feeling, Ernest's call to serve these young women who were forced to drop out of school. Ernest has no resources. He struggled to meet the needs of his own family but was willing to take her and another girl into his home to try to help them. We began to pray for a way we could help these girls who were falling quickly in between the cracks.

I spoke to Bud and Kimberly Huffman last week. Bud and Kim are the Program Directors for Mattaw Children's Village in Kitale where TJ and I are moving forward moving to. They knew of a lady who runs a program for teen girls who need to complete secondary school but have a child and many difficulties fulfilling their goal to finish school. It's called Esther's Home. After we contacted the Director, she stated they would accept Priscilla into the program as long as we could provide the means for her to stay there.

Guess where Esther's Home is!?!?! Kitale, Kenya baby! Could it be that the little girl I met so long ago would have her needs specifically met and live only a few short blocks from us one day???

I wrote Priscilla a letter asking her if she would consider this (the last time she was in Kitale, she was almost killed). I was very nervous. She stated she wanted to go to finish school. She stated she was willing to go.

I'm thankful that a program existed to serve Priscilla and many more girls like her. I'm thankful to serve a God who brings hearts together across the world to work in the life of one child.

I hope that one day, a few blocks may separate Priscilla and our family and not continents and oceans. It's been an amazing journey with her and I know God has big plans for her life.

Can you holler a BIG amen!?!?!?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Prayer for Salem E Free Church

Today I am praying for my church. I am praying for God to stir up a great desire in our church leaders to attend the Christian Alliance for Orphans in Minneapolis, MN April 29-30th. Will you join me in praying for YOUR church to become involved in orphan care in 2010?

Here is a short 2 minute video with John Piper urging people to become involved. Whether it is by supporting a family who is adopting, by becoming a foster parent, or choosing to adopt yourself, there are many ways to be involved.

Invitation to Summit VI from Christian Alliance for Orphans on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Kenya update and trip coming up!

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted! Sorry about that. It's been kind of a rough transition into 2010 with work and the holidays being so busy. Our Christams was spend with precious family and a lot of awesome memories were made. I hope you also had a great Christmas!

It has been a while since I have specifically posted about Mattaw Children's Village. There have been a lot of developements that have been going on with Mattaw, some of which I can't speak about at this time, however they are very, very postive!

One of the possibilities that TJ and I are looking at right now is coming on board with Mattaw staff while in the US. This would include doing some administrative things as well as working on sponsorships and networking with churches in our area that may want to get involved.

This is where YOU come in! TJ and I are tentatively looking at going on a vision trip in July 2010 for 7-10 days to visit Mattaw Children's Village. We are wanting to invite people who are interested learning more about the ministry, the culture of Kenya, and seeing what God is doing in the lives of so many who are suffering. It will truly change your life in many ways.

So, if you are the slightest interested in coming along, please leave a comment or email us at tlkenya (at) yahoo (dot) com.

We do not know the cost yet, but it will be somewhere between $2500 and $3000, depending on the cost of the tickets and whether or not we do a safari. We are praying for 10-15 people to come along this summer. If there are kids under the age of 18, a parent or youth pastor needs to be present.

So, please pray about this and see if orphan care is an area YOU would like to be involved in and participating in a trip this summer to see what God is doing in Africa.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A new challenge for a new year!

Do you have a New Year's Resolution yet? Many are starting to loose wieght, get back in shape, or eating healthy.

I would like to share and challenge you to join me in doing something different this year. You know how we all say how life flashes before our eyes and before we know it, our kiddos are grown up and we are planning retirement.

Check out Project 365.

This has challenged me to remember 2010 in a new way...through photographs. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I have created a new blog for this one purpose. It is called A Year in Photos

I'm hoping YOU provide me with a bit of accountability in this as I try to post every day or two a photo of something that struck me that day.

I have just purchased a new camera, so I am anticipating this to be a lot of fun (or frustrating until I figure my new camera out) but nonetheless, a fun new challenge for the New Year!

Starting today!