Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Vapor. A Mist. Once here and quickly gone.


Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

We've all heard it before... Life is short. Live it up while you can. You aren't promised tomorrow. Eat dessert first (or maybe it is just my Dad that quotes and lives by that rule.)

Car accidents. Cancer. Suicide. Domestic violence. Just four of the ways I seen lives quickly go over the last few years. I've stepped back and attempted to examine each death. The mourners. The reactions. The lost life. The ones left behind. The hope or lack there of.

I started writing this post almost a week ago, but the words weren't there. I wanted to be able to grab people and shake them with my words because it would be assault if I actually did it. I was mad that people reminisced about the times they got drunk with a person they found out had passed or did something crazy with that person or other nonsense. I wanted to tell people to stop messing around. Stop playing house. Stop living for yourself. Stop relying on others to keep you happy. Stop sinning on purpose. Stop.

Stop and turn. Turn to the One who cares for you enough to have a friend call just when you need it. Turn to the One who is there waiting for you to accept His gift of salvation. Turn to the One that you don't think is even there for you... who didn't answer your prayer the way you wanted Him to... who will walk with you through your loss and your hurt and your rough days, but not take them away. Turn.

You have turned? Great. Your job is not done. Your eyes will wander from the goal. You will trip and fall. You will mess up. You will question whether you were saved... whether you really meant it when you said it. You may wonder for years if He even cares for you while you feel He is so far away. You will forget to talk to Him while you are busy struggling with your own problems or relishing in what you've done well. You will read His word and skim through because you have read it before. You will feel guilty. You will realize that this path is hard. Persevere. Struggle to be right with Him. He is Faithful even when you are not. He is a worthy goal. He is the prize.

Here is where I haven't done as well...

Point. Point everyone to Him. All the time. In every circumstance. On good days. On bad days. On days you screw up. On days you have done it right. Point people to Him. People are lost! They know of Him, but they don't know Him. Point everyone. Your kids. Your friends. Strangers. Your family. Your coworkers. None of you are promised tomorrow. When they are gone... when you can't tell them... when there are no more opportunities to tell where your hope comes from... Point to Him now. Not tomorrow. Not when your done partying with your friends this weekend. Not when it "feels" right. Not when you aren't busy. Now.

You are vapor. I am a vapor. Let the perfume of our Risen Saviour that we immerse ourselves in be inhaled by all near us.

WE GOT OUR I-171H!! Our approval to return to the USA with orphans... just not ours specifically yet :) Thank God!

We are now waiting on our affidavit and then court date. A.maze.ing.

A family in Georgia is leaving this weekend for the orphanage and is taking our photo book to hand deliver to our kids. I can barely type that without tearing up. I can't thank them enough!

One week.
You have one week to buy a raffle ticket for the crossbow. 71 sold. We were hoping to sell 200, but now we are hoping for 100. Matt REALLY wants to do the drawing on the 30th so the owner has time to site it in before deer season. Help us out. Share it. 1 for $10 or 3 for $25! Great odds!

Four to six weeks.
We may leave in 4 to 6 weeks. I have just 20 puzzle pieces left to sponsor. If you sponsored a piece and haven't given me the info on what you would like on yours, please contact me. I would like to have all of it sponsored, filled out, and put in Plexiglas before we leave. This will be something our family treasures forever.

Volunteers will be working on a widows house and getting sponsored (like a Relay for Life, but this is more of a rescue mission.) If you or your missions team or your relief ministry would like to be involved PLEASE contact Matt (sfmatt@comcast.net) It doesn't get much better than serving a widow and three orphans at the same time!! Our link will be live soooooon!

God blessed Donna (Lanexa, VA) with 28 years of marriage before her husband was called home in 2002. Even with breaking 3 vertebrae, she still cares for 3 of her 10 grandchildren and has opened her home indefinitely to her sister. “This feels awkward… I want you to know that who I am, and what I have done is for God’s glory.”

Help us bless this beautiful woman and bring Margaret, Joel, and Kenneth home!

Saturday, September 14, 2013


We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you... Colossians 1:3

15 days ago, we had only raised around $4,800 and I had decided to change the amount we needed on the fund raising thermometer to $15,000 to be more realistic.

Today, $8,706 is our new total raised! I also changed the total needed to the actual $37,000. Why? (You did ask, right?)

Because even if we don't raise it all... even if I can't picture us coming close to the total needed... I don't want to put a limit on what God can provide. Not that I could do that with a silly fund raising thermometer anyway!! :) It's just a visual of what God has done... not what He hasn't done.


Generosity - Realizing everything I have belongs to God and using it for His purpose.

We've been memorizing character traits in our house for a few years now. It's been good for the kids. Sure. But mostly it's been good for me. Yep.

For most of us, if we were asked to define generous, we would say giving money or things to people in need. This type of generosity of the people around us has blown me away. Raffle tickets for the crossbow. T-shirts sales. Puzzle pieces. Stevi B's. Yard sales. Donations of clothes and time. Change jars.

As I have looked and studied the operational definition of generosity, I have realized that it means so much more. I'm going to break it down here for me to revisit later. I hope you get something from it too.

Realizing... Comprehending COMPLETELY. No room for doubt. It's real to you.

everything I have...  Material things and money. Absolutely. But to me lately it has been so much more than that. What else do I have? A listening ear. A shoulder to lean on. Laughter. Prayers. Knowledge. Time. Love. A helping hand. A family. A heart. All of me.

belongs to God... It's His. Not mine. I wouldn't have it anyway if He hadn't blessed me with it in the first place. On top of that, when I read belongs all by itself, I think of "goes with." Like popcorn and movie. We were made for Him... by Him too.
 and using it..  Money doesn't do much good in a mattress. Food rots away if it isn't consumed. Muscles weaken when they aren't used. An empty house isn't a home. I must allow myself and my belongings to be used.

for His purpose.   His thought are higher than our thoughts. His ways our higher than our ways. His purpose is higher than our purpose.


Ways you can help.

     1.  Pray.
     2.  Buy/sell raffle tickets for the crossbow and tell your hunting buddies.
     3.  Share our blog.
     4.  Pray.
     5.  Check out our fundraising tab.
     6.  Pray... I think I mentioned that already.
Some exciting things are coming on top of our current fundraisers.

We have been chosen to do a BOTH HANDS FOUNDATION project! Check it out!  Please pray we find the right widow(er) and that we assemble an enthusiastic team. Pray about joining with us to live out James 1:27 as a community and maybe even taking on a leadership role.

We have applied to be a featured family on the Give1Save1 blog. Their verse is 1 Timothy 6:18. Our self recorded video has been edited by Nazarite Media for FREE (thank you David Paul!) and been submitted. Pray with us that we be featured and soon. We may only have 2 to 3 weeks notice before heading to Uganda and this blog has been very successful at drumming up support for adoptions! Here are some photos taken during our kids during their outdoor part of the video.

Is that a ninja?? Hmmmm. Maybe.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

12 Years Ago

12 years ago today, Matt and I welcomed Trinity into our lives and what a blessing she has been to us!  She made me a momma, but, more importantly, she made me a better person. I could never put in to words how special she is. A servant. A friend. A great hugger. I love her so much! Her goal in life is to be a wife and a mother and I couldn't be more proud of her choice of career! :)

Happy Birthday my sweet Trinity! WE LOVE YOU!


Thank you everyone for coming out to Stevi B's in Mechanicsville last night! My heart is overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our family and adoption. Margaret, Joel, and Kenneth are so loved already!!

In other fundraising news...


With your help, we will bless a widow and bring our orphans a little closer to home at the same time. Everyone can help with this one.

Check out the video. Share our news about the project. Join our team. Stuff envelopes. Visit local merchants. Pull weeds. Paint. Take the widow out for a day. The whole family can help with this and we can't wait!

James 1:27

 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Window

african broken window
The window. I am close enough to be able to see some of the details inside. In fact, if it had glass in it, I could press my hands against it, stretch, and place my forehead against my hands to peer to see what's waiting there.

I'm preparing for the day that I'm told to climb inside. Thoughts swirl in my mind. What will it be like? Sound like? Smell like? Feel like? What will I need?

I make a list and begin to go and gather items... all the time feeling tethered to the window. Not wanting to wander far. Not spending much time away from longingly looking into it. I don't need to keep an eye on the it, but I do anyway. I can't help it.

People try and talk to me about other things. I try and talk about other things. Each time I still steer the conversation back to the window. I catch myself. I return to the original conversation while continuing the window conversation in my head. I care about what they are saying. I do! But the window.

I've seen people inside. They wave. They send messages and pictures. Some are happy. Some are hilarious. Some, though, are really hard. Heart wrenching. The images they send back are beautifully scarred.

Every once in awhile while waiting, one of the people near me is allowed in. What a joyous day of mixed emotions! We are all half afraid to climb inside and can't wait a second more at the same time. Some of the people that come near while we wait say things like you are courageous or what a blessing or how amazing. I don't feel any of those things. I'm scared. I'm nervous. I'm being attacked while I stand here and I know more is coming inside, but I know it will all be worth it.

The window. I am close enough to see in and I still wait.
Why ?

Because He is placed me at this place. He is near me here.
Because I need those blessings waiting on other side of this hard climb.
The hard part now is taking a picture at Trinity's sleepover and not having to take another step back to fit them in the frame. The hard part now is loading up into the van for church and picturing them in their seats. The hard part now is Titus being the only one of my sons hiding under the table in his class this morning... Azriel being the only one telling me about the honey sticks in her class... Emma being the only showing me her drawing from learning about the Ebenezer stone in her class. The hard part now is taking out 6 bowls for lunch instead of 9. Each moment they are not here is hard.

As I have been reading blogs and watching videos, the pain of time lost with them while we wait has turned to what they have lost and will lose to come here and be with us. Their culture. Their village. Their friends. Their extended family. Their parents. ALL they have ever known they will have to lose. Adoption is ugly. Yes. Adoption is beautiful too. Yes. 

Raffle update:
Matt has sold 30 tickets! 170 more and we will pick a winner!

Puzzle update:
365 of 500 pieces sponsored! UPDATE... 380 of 500!


Also, we raised $354 in our second yard sale and were able to bless the Henrico Mercy Mall with great items that didn't sell. Search for them on Facebook! They are doing the Lord's work. Thank you everyone who gave us their items to sell and helped at each one! You know who you are.

Our new total is $6,044! Woohoo :)  UPDATE... $6,548!!

Monday, September 2, 2013



Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen and called its name Ebenezer; for he said, “Till now the LORD has helped us.” (1 Samuel 7:12, ESV)

At Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville this past Sunday, I had the privilege of hearing a sermon titled "Rematch at Ebenezer". Pastor Rick spoke of our struggles being our victories because we fight. We don't give up. We know that something we are doing is keeping the sights locked on us, but we refuse to change that because we follow the guiding of the Lord. We will not deny that Christ is our hope and the reason we continue to stand up each time we fall. I sure feel like I've been tripped and knocked down more than normal lately. I will never stay down. My God will rescue me and help me rise to my feet again.

 It was great, but, like my norm, I read a few verses behind the passage and a few ahead. That's when and where I read that verse above and when I read that verse an "amen" was said in my head. "Till now the LORD has helped us!" I know I can say that about so many things that have gone on in my life, in my marriage, with my kids, and with this adoption. We have had more things break in this house or get broken by storms than ever. The roof. The carport. The pool pump. The printer (not good with all the adoption paperwork!) The ice maker. We have had medical bills. Azriel's peanut reaction ER visit. A minor surgery. Matt's food poisoning. But God.

But God has provided. He has helped us. I know I can trust in Him to bring these children home because He loves them even more than I do... and it is hard to love a child more than a momma does :) 

NEW Fundraiser Alert:

31!!!!!! Thank you Stephanie! 

Don't forget!

Stevie B's on the 9th next MONDAY!

We still have lots of other fundraisers you can participate in including the puzzle, parties, soap, vanilla extract AND the Crossbow Raffle!