Thursday, June 30, 2011

More miracles....

We have so much celebrating going on at the moment, I can hardly contain myself.

First, I have to give a HUGE shout out to my sister, Nicole. She just got engaged last night to her long time love. He's been called Uncle Chris for a while now, but FINALLY we can make it official! Welcome to the family, Chris! Oh, and if you haven't checked out my sister's blog, then you need to go here. She cooks as if it's her last day on earth. You'll love her!!!

Also on the homefront, we had a huge step forward last night. I'm telling you what guys, PRAYER WORKS. The impossible CAN happen. We are still in a bit of shock that we are going, actually going, to Kenya.

We thought that something like this was too far out of reach. Or, only to be done only by watching other people doing it and would never be applicable to us.

We will be booking flights to leave for Africa by Labor Day weekend. I will share more about how this came to be so soon once I get my thoughts together. For now, I'm so scattered!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

Funky Family Friday

Whoa! Well, I've been a bit forgetful behind on getting Funky Fridays posted.

I've had a few things going on........

******The purpose of Funky Family Fridays was created to give ideas on how our family functions, sometimes it's creative activities, traditions or just a funny moment during this past week.******

This week, we celebrated my son's 5th birthday. We have a tradtion that recently started at the dinner table. We go around the table once a week or so and take turns saying one thing the like and appreciate about each person.

On Collin's birthday, we all took turns saying our favorite thing about Collin. When it came to be my turn, Collin looked at me, rolled his eyes and said,

"oh great. Yeah, yeah I know Mom, you love all of my kisses and snuggles. Good grief".

I just sat there with my mouth open. OF COURSE that is my favorite thing!!! Does the number 5 make him too old for that stuff!?!?

.........he has no idea what's coming. Wait until his mama picks him up from school wearing a large, purple velvet hat and blasts Will Smith in my mom-mobile.

Thursday, June 23, 2011


If you're not praying big, pray big. God has no ceiling.

Psalm 50:10 "...for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills".

Meaning, EVERYTHING in the world is God's. (Psalm 50:12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.)
We have nothing to fear. (Psalm 5:11 "But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.)

We can ALWAYS trust Him. (Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for give you hope and a future")

There is nothing God cannot do.

We just have to ask.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

30 days and counting

In 30 days, we are scheduled to leave.

We have a house to sell and the rest of our support to raise. We need to purchase plane tickets and sell the rest of our stuff. In our little Midwest homeland, we have this little saying that goes, "UFF-DAH" meaning, "that's a lot on your plate".

Yeah, feeling that way.

I'm not overwhelmed or stressed, I'm totally in peace. Peace knowing that we have surrendered this entire process and we are TRUSTING Him. It's a full plate, but He is carrying it and refining us in the process....and my knees and elbow are pretty scraped up :)

I was skyping briefly with another mama overseas the other day and she really encouraged my heart in so many ways. She made me feel validated and really excited
to see mind-blowing miracles in the next 30 days.

Miracles to pray for:

We have a big meeting on Thursday at noon. HUGE. I'd appreciate prayer for this. It's a real cornerstone for us to be able to get the container shipped and us to Kenya. Whatever is meant to be, right?

I have a garage sale planned July 16th to sell our stuff. Daring? That's how I roll! My mini entrepreneur (my first born) is selling cupcakes to benefit orphan care at our sale. I hope you come and eat a ton of them and buy our stuff. :) Or, just come and visit and say hi!

To be fully supported.

Oh, an our house to sell. Is that too much to ask!?!!?

It's all in His precious time. And we wait.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Summertime is for.....

I found this at a garage sale over the weekend for $3. The go-cart...not the man in the tie-dyed tshirt. Just to be clear.

This toy has brought more joy to our boys than I've seen in a long time! I'm thinking this will be brought to Kenya with us to share with our Kenyan family. It's too fun NOT to bring.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Living in a "newspaper" world. Change.

I do not know many of you who read my blog. But, I feel lead to show you this 10 minute video.

John Piper has been one of the billions of pieces of my life's puzzle that God has used to mold me in who I am today.

Suffering has been on my mind lately. It's been one of the BIGGEST heart issues that as a mom I have aggressively wrestled with this year as I tell God


I've feared suffering. "No, not me, God". Not my family or my kids.

I found myself living and building this false sense of security and safety.

Safety and security doesn't exist. You can build your walls higher and wider. But in reality, I've failed.

You may not understand things John Piper talks about fully in this brief sermon. But, I challenge you to listen to every word and be moved. Be disgusted. Be offended. Know Jesus. Be challenged.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Isaiah 58

I've been reading Isaiah 58 over and over again. It's wierd. I'm drawn to it. I wake up at night and Isaiah 58 is in my mind.

What is God saying to me? I've never been one to audibly hear God speak. I've never been one to have scripture just come to me like that. However, in my little, small world, I've been pummeled by the reality of how RELEVANT God is to my life today. I'm longing to be in His word more and I'm thirsty to know what His ways are for my life.

I've not been a morning person much of my life. Recently, I've been awake at 4:45am for several days in a row. Laying there. Staring at the ceiling. Coincidence?

"Isaiah 58. Spend yourself".


"Spend yourself on behalf of the poor".

Mmmmmmmmmmmm ...... k.

I thought I was kinda doing that...right?

"Isaiah 58"

Okay, so apparently there is more I need to learn. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Sprouts Needs List


Toy, feeding and clothing donations can be gently used. They do NOT have to be new!!!! Please avoid anything that is broken or torn. Thank you!


So I'm in the phase of beign ::this close:: to ordering a container to ship on its merry way to Kenya filled with treasures YOU have generously given to Sprouts. I'm also stashing some goodies for other families in Kitale as well as stuff for our family.

But we have a little ways to go to be fully furnished for the baby home. I'm not trying to get this home to be like the "American way", however, there are essentials we need and there are some products that we need that would make life with 50 babies a lot easier for the staff caring for them.

If you are interested in getting a group of people together to go in on a bigger product or starting a campaign on your own FB page or blog, that would be HUGELY helpful in getting this list finished off.

Please remember that if you do donate through paypal on the button on the right side of this post, please remember to designate on the donation form specifically what it is for.

Alright! Here we go!

35 cribs - $100 each- handmade by a Kenyan craftsman in Kitale

Toys = rattles, blocks, rings, water toys, outside toys, etc
*please no stuffed or battery operated toys

Feeding = bottles, nipples, dinnerware, bowls, plates, sippy cups
15 highchairs - $120 each - **need to be ordered very soon!!!

Clothing = 24 month to 3T pajamas, tshirts and non denim pants

**It's not a huge list, but they are all things that are needed to top off our donation list!

If any of you are local, we are having an inventory organizational party at my house on Saturday starting at 1pm. Please email me if you are interested in coming!!!!


I've heard it said many times "there is a reason for everything" or "it's just a season". Have you? It couldn't ring truer for me right now.

Last weekend our family went and visited the town I grew up in Northern Minnesota. The weekend was filled with mixed emotions as I intruduced my family to people who meant the world to our family growing up and showed my family the home we lived in, the window I used to sneak out of, the woods my brother and I used to build forts in, and the trail we would ride our bikes down and harass golf players to buy golf balls from us. I ran into the father of my best friend growing up who lived just down the road from us and got an update on my dear friend that I have searched for but never could find!

We jaunted briefly across the Canadian border so the kids could get their first stamp in their passports.

We saw many bald eagles on the way in which Ben affectionately started reciting The Pledge of Allegiance to each time he saw one (we saw 2). Perhaps this is his following of his mother who seems to burst out in "America the Beautiful" at every 4h of July fireworks show.....but I digress..

It was an awesome weekend.

In many ways, the weekend was very healing for me. See, growing up, I did not make the best choices. My perspective was that I was doing normal small town stuff. My family decided that it was in my best interest for me to move to Wyoming to live with my aunt and uncle just before my junior year of high school. Leaving at that time, for me, was very traumatic and I've had this dark cloud over that part of my past for a long time.

I gave a brief presentation to my little home church I grew up in. Many people attended that I remember from growing up. Many people I spoke in front of about how Africa has wrecked my life prayed for me during those tumultuous years and I had no idea. Prayer works, people.

Coming back as an adult to the town that partially haunted me was a good thing. It gave me a different perspective. Hearing people's memories of me-joyful memories- was so healing, as my perspective and belief about myself was always so negative.

Looking at my oldest son and seeing that I was exactely his age when I moved to this town and having this sense of things coming full circle was amazing.

There is a season for everything. I'm thankful for the seasons HE has taken me through and I'm thankful for the season I am in now.

God isn't done with us yet. He is not finished working in our hearts. Some things he continues to sift me and refine me to be more like His image.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I just want to GO!

Sometimes I have days like today where I wonder "hmmmmm".

I'm not discouraged. I'm joyful. I'm trusting in His plan for our family. But sometimes I just wonder "hmmmmmm, what is God doing?"

I'm not one who plays things last minute. However, this is all this journey seems to be. I'm clearly out of my comfort zone most of the time.

Have you ever been there?

There are so many details that need to pan out for us to move. I've been wrestling with feelings of fear pelting my spirit yelling, "what if this doesn't work out?" What I've learned is that I (we) need to be content being the kind of vessel that God has called us to be. This journey is not about us. If our family was meant to be used to have a community united to build a beautiful baby home for Kenya's tiniest treasures, then Praise God. The icing on the cake, for me, would be to live in Kenya and watch Sprouts be built from brick 1 on up. That is the direction we are headed.

Today, I am feeling challenged to surrender the plans that I have for my life and be content where I am today. I struggle with pride and I struggle with being discouraged easily. Does that make sense? I know God is refining me in these areas of my life on a daily basis.

I feel like I've been living 'in the future' for months and I just want to be in Kenya. I know I need to be focused on today, the present, and stop worrying about the "what ifs".

Yesterday, we had sweet time with my Grandparents. My kids' Great-Grandparents. This meant the world to me to have them together as they have not seen our kids since Ben was 9 months old.

They stopped for lunch on their way back home to Colorado. They poured their years of life and wisdom and filled my soul with much needed encouragement.

I'm so thankful to have generations before me who have loved God deeply and have loved me unconditionally despite the "detours" I have taken along the way.

This verse came to mind after I had posted these pictures and it seemed fitting.

Psalm 100:5
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Why our Pastor rocks

So, this morning, we went to church like any other Sunday. My husband has been away for several days, so I frantically got the kids ready to go AND the house tidied up for yet another open house.

The kids "earned" their promised treat this week of a cinnamon roll and a hot chocolate for sitting so well in the service last week. They were thrilled.

Anyways, our Pastor's sermon today was on "The Sermon on the Mount". Pastor Glen had memorized the entire Matthew Ch. 5-7 and spoke it as if Jesus were preaching it to us. There was a lot of fun emphasis and props. Ben had a lot of questions during his sermon today, such as

"Why, Mommy, do I have to cut off my right hand if it sins?"


"Why, Mommy, do we have wood in our eyes?"


But, what really made me gasp was when we were driving to the beach today and he told me,

"Mommy, Pastor Glen really makes me want to read the Bible more. I have so many questions".

I could have turned into a puddle in that moment. I pray every day that my kids crave the Word of God and want to learn more about Him.

God is so good. God has known my little mothering heart and known my longings for my children. I just love it when God encourages me like that.

Things to pray for this week:

1. To gain stride in our family's support raising.
2. To sell our home (dropped the listing price, have had 4 showings since Friday)
3. For our inventory for Sprouts to be filled so we can get the container shipped!!!

God is good, all the time. There is no other timeline I'd rather trust.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Pressing ahead.

Today is a day that I am feeling confident, but overwhelmed! In looking at my "to do" list, there is NO WAY I can get it all done by depending on myself. Someone told me that it seems like a ballet dance. Yes, that's an accurate description. There are so many details that all need to be timed perfectly for us to go.

Selling our home. Plane ticket purchase. Being fully funded. Scheduling the container to be shipped to Kenya. Etc.

Trusting God has given me a new perspective. It's not just about s few things in my life I can easily brush off and "hope for the best". It's trusting Him wholly, completely, and ultimately, to make many, many details of this move to Kenya a reality.

I've been so overwhelmed with people's compassion and generosity recently, it has left me speechless. Strangers who have never seen my face are giving their resources to Sprouts. If you are reading this and are one of them, THANK YOU.

All I want this little blog to be is an encouragement to anyone who reads it as to how God is real, living, relevant to our culture and life today.

Never in my life did I think our family would be moving to a third-world country and leaving all we know behind.

In this season, I want to remember that God is faithful in sustaining us in the very moment we need it. Since I am one who loves to have things mapped out, it drives me crazy to get things in last minute and be disorganized.

Disorganized and last minute is all that I'm feeling! I feel like this is not by chance, but it is a part of God slowly refining me for a greater good.

There are still many ways to give if any of you are interested. I will put a post up soon about specifically needs left for the baby home. I'm also excited to share with you about a new project coming up to benefit Sprouts and another struggling group in Kenya-widows.

This is not about me, or our family, or about us. This is about all of us choosing to step outside our comfort zone and use the resources that have been given to us to bless others who have n.o.t.h.i.n.g.

Sponsor one of Mattaw's kids.
Be a donor towards Sprouts.
Pray for us.
Be an advocate for orphan care.

These are all ways you can be a part of this. For more info, please email me at mattawsprouts (at) yahoo (dot) com

Wednesday, June 1, 2011