Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28th

Okay, so I'm sitting here bawling my eyes out after just taking down Alayna's crib and bedding from her little bedroom. It's moments like this that catch me off guard as I process and grieve the life we created in this home. Breaking free from the comforts and memories of life here in Minnesota and looking ahead to the unknown.

This week has not been easy. We are currently packing up our home and preparing this house for the next family who will live here. I can count the number of days we have left in this house on one hand.

It's with mixed joy, anticipation, weariness and hope that we move forward to this next step.

Our possessions here on this earth have dwindled down to a few boxes, but our hearts have never been so full.

That's the life that Jesus brings. I am humbled to be chosen to be on this journey with my family. With Jesus.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


It's been way too long since I've posted. An update is well deserved. This is going to be a bit scattered, because I'm having a hard time collecting my thoughts.

My heart and my brain are full-so full of joy of what He has done in our lives this season. I'm sitting here, blank, trying to find words to appropriately describe what I am feeling at the moment.



We are ready.

Our house didn't sell. But God knew about that. He provided the perfect family who needed our home until we wanted it back. Our furniture, too. We've learned that our desires are not His desires. We've learned that His ways are always perfect.

God taught us lessons of downsizing while we lived in a shell of a building that used to be our home. We've learned that it's not our home. It's God's home. And whoever wants to use it is welcome to that-and everything in it.

We prayed, begging God for help to answer our kids' tough questions about life in Africa. He gave us words. We've learned that God gives us just enough for today. Today is all we need to worry about.

We have learned to pray to ask God to change our hearts and not to change our circumstances. There are so many things to learn within our circumstances that it would be a tragedy to wish it away.

Be challenged to pray bigger. Prayer works. I wish I realized the depth of this years ago. However, I'm thankful for this journey we have had this year and all the lessons learned from it.

Just about there. More updates to come.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Want an awesome bug repellent?

Perhaps your neck of the woods could be described like this right now.

Our summer has our backyard infested with mosquitoes. Thankfully, my babes haven't had many welts on them like past summers.

Mix one part of Shaklee's basic H with two parts water and VIOLA!!! have yourself some awesome non-toxic bug repellent. I've been spraying my kids with this stuff all summer. It works. It even works on your animals.

My kids also think I've gone all crazy on them by chasing them with a "water bottle".

Basic H is a concentrated non-toxic formula that is also great for cleaning your kitchen, your bathroom, your windows, your carpet . . .

You can purchase Basic H right here.

ALL profits I make from your Shaklee purchase goes directly to funding Sprouts' monthly operating costs.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

yes, the anxiety is still there.

"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house.

God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives.

God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war.

God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives,

and God is with us when we are with them." -Bono

I try to sit and process how on earth we will process the suffering we will see and experience on a daily basis. This has often come to mind as I think about bringing my kids to a third-world country.

I don't know how to do it, guys.

I don't think I'm supposed to know. That's okay. I don't have a choice. I cling to the truth that God doesn't thrust us into situation that He hasn't equipped us for. God is with us when we are with the poor, the addict, the destitute, the homeless, the orphan, the widow, the _____________.

But c'mon. I'm still human and I'm axious.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The numbers are not numbers. They are children. Like yours.

Sponsorship is something very close to my heart. I dove in for the first time "sponsoring a child" 10 years ago. I've told you about Priscillah before. She struck chords deep in my heart and became my daughter, before I even knew what parenting was about.

A 13 yr old girl who had suffered through abuse I had only read about in my college text book reading. Priscillah had lived a lifetime already and was barely in the 7th grade.

I get emotional thinking about it. Children should never have to suffer the way she had to.

Priscillah is one of the 1.9 million orphans living in Kenya. Now a mother herself, she is fighting to provide for her son so he isn't left motherless, too.

Sponsorship works. Sponsorship is more about writing a check each month. The resources we are blessed with should be helping others no matter what color or culture differs from our world.

Sponsorship became a real relationship to me, from far, far away. A few dollars a month completely changed her life. I also sent her letters and had a phone call a time or two. She changed my perspective on orphan care.

Orphans in Kenya need you. YOU. Sponsorship defines the lines of life and death to many kids in Kenya.

Specifically, at Mattaw, we are in need of sponsorships for many of our kids. It will be far more than just a check you write each month. You will have opportunities to write to, send gifts to and perhaps one day VISIT her (or him).

The kids at Mattaw need YOU to give resources to them that allow them to thrive in an environment that raises them to be responsible citizens of their country and teaches them about a God who loves them more than we can articulate.

Please consider opening your heart to one of our kids in Kitale. Then when YOU come and VISIT US this year, you will have a chance to love on the little boy or girl who will forever change your perspective on what life is all about.

To inquire about sponsorships, please email mattaw (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

How to tick off a llama.

I really love the 4th of July. It's one of my favorite times of year! We spent the weekend out of town with family in North Dakota. The kids had so much fun and truly embraced moments of their own that will be going in their memory books.

Let me explain.

(this is where I realize how I would love to have a family photographer following us at all times. Some moments are TOO awesome to not have a camera!!!)


My sweet, Alayna Joy, totally ticked off a llama this weekend. Yes, a llama. Her name is Hannah Montana. Oh, it gets better.

We were visiting a dairy farm that had quite the collection of animals including rabbits, donkeys, goats, sheep, and yes, a llama. Her name is Hannah Montana. She is very tall and hairy. Hannah loves the goats she shares a pen with and she loves to give kisses.

Hannah walked up to me while I was holding Alayna about 2 inches from my face. I got a kiss (awwwww!). Alayna proceeded to rake her fingers across Hannah's face to grab and tweak Hannah's nose so hard that Hannah sneezed, stared and stomped away.

She's kind of a diva. Hannah, not Alayna.

However, I'm sure Alayna will act like a diva one day.

..............anyways, Alayna also got her chance to ride a goat. She was squealin' louder than any animal in that pen as she rode! Perhaps it's my mother's Western roots coming out in her.

I was also educated on the process of milking. God bless all of you who farm. I will never look at a glass of milk the same.

Collin- I know I don't need to say very much that would surprise you about this kid. If you have been reading long enough, you would know that he has had his moments.

Well, he gave us his glory this weekend. We caught Collin peeing on a tree in the middle of a park Sunday afternoon during a pot luck. It was part of a family reunion we attended.

He loves giving grand first impressions.

We lectured Collin as to why we do not pee in public (this isn't his first time).

About an hour or so later, we look up and see Collin dashing behind a large tree far off in the distance. My motherly instinct takes over and I yell to my husband that Collin is peeing on trees again, and he runs over to help Collin tinkle in a more appropriate place.

Off to the bathroom they go. They return a few minutes later and my hubs informs me that Collin was caught full monty going...ahem....#2 by the tree. "Mom, I couldn't find the bathroom".

I have a feeling that this is not going to be our last issue with this.

Ben- He is pleased to tell you that he followed ALL the rules this weekend, and supervised the safety of others as we were lighting off fireworks....

.....because he is so laid back that way.

I love my kids. How on earth are they sooooooo different!?!?!!?

Hope you guys had a great 4th! Updates on Kenya soon to come!