Thursday, September 29, 2011

I've been sewing...Olive Oyl Blanket.

When I went to China I was blessed enough to get to go to the fabric market and I bought a little of this fabric because I couldn't resist.  

This adorable blanket has Olive Oyl on the top, and is red velvet backed with natural cozy batting in between.  
I kept it small for the perfect little girl...

36" X 36"               $55

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The 1/2 Marathon Adoption

There are people who train very hard to run a marathon.  They are committed in every area of their lives, they spend countless hours running and cross training and sprinting.  They eat food that "fuels their body" and forgo the well deserved snacks at the end of a long day.  Well, I'm not that person:)  I don't have the time to commit and I don't have the focus to endure.  I love to run, most of the time, and I find that if I set a goal, sign up for a race, pay the fee and tell people, I will stick with it.

I ran the Surf City 1/2 Marathon in February of 2009 and I finished, but I didn't finish well.  I trained for it in that I ran each week, I met most of my weekly mile goals but I didn't cross train and I didn't eat to fuel my body.  The week before the race I got sick, the day before I didn't eat well or drink enough fluids and on race morning I drank coffee and ate toast.  I finished, like I said, but I was severely dehydrated and it took me the next 24 hours to feel like I wasn't going to die.  I learned a lot of lessons about myself during those months though and as I get ready to train again I will do things differently.

I liken this to our adoption because I feel like there are those who are truly doing their adoption the marathon way.  They are starting from scratch and it is taking 2 to 3 years.  We skipped a few steps because the Lord matched us with Henry uniquely.  We know where he is and we know who is taking care of him.  We know he is being loved and it makes a huge difference.  I know how blessed we are...I know how difficult and treacherous the endurance part must be on the normal course.  I think the Lord know's how much I can handle, how much stress my body and mind can endure and He chose the 1/2 Marathon Adoption for me.

This time I will train like I know I can finish.  I will choose the fuel that will feed my body and my soul and my mind.  I will surround myself with the people who are supportive and help me to believe that in Him I can do all things.  Yes, I am talking about training to run 13.1 miles but I am also talking about adoption.  I am talking about preparing my home, preparing my family and preparing my heart to start on this journey that I know will be much longer than 13.1 miles.

I thought that since you are here for the ride with the adoption it may make it more interesting if I included the physical training of the 1/2 too.  
So yesterday I started.  I ran 4 miles, well not 4 solid miles but I ran alot.

My goals this week:      13 miles (4 down, 3 wed, 2 fri, 4 sat)
                                   1 hr strength and stretching (thurs)
                                   Eat more vegetables

                         Take photo of household for homestudy
                         Get certified Birth and Marriage certificates
                         Finish 2 quilts:)

That sounds like a full, productive week!
Good thing I don't have to work:)  
I should get started.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shepherd's Field

Shepherd's Field Childrens Village is a place of refuge
 After taking a team of young adults there over the summer one explained it like this, 
  • "We see them as children with special needs and we feel sorry for them but they are in the best orphanage in China.  Could it be that it was God's mercy that they were born with special needs so that they would be able to live there and know His love?"  
I agree with her.  There is not one child there that goes unknown, that lives under the radar.  Every one has a face, has a name and is being prayed for.  Every one of them learns about how much God loves them and every one of them deserves to have a "Forever Home".

It is rare to come across such a worthy cause.  This organization is full of people who love the Lord from the founders to the interns.  Most of the people who work there are Chinese and though they are non believers when they are hired, it is not long until they see the Lord's hand and become believers.  To stay there it is undeniable that the Holy Spirit is working and that these people are living each day in faith that He will provide and direct.

So I just wanted to throw it out use this blog as an avenue to promote awareness...if your church does short term missions trips, pray about taking a group.  If you are looking for somewhere to donate money on a monthly basis, this is truly a place where money is not wasted.  If you are looking for somewhere to invest your prayers as a family what better place than an orphanage?  Please pray about about the miracles...browse the faces of the children... 
invest yourself in His kingdom.

Shepherds Field Childrens Village
(Click to go to link)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why Did You Doubt?

I have been thinking a lot about the story in Matthew 14 when the disciples were in the boat and there was a storm.  The boat was a long distance from the land, battered by the waves;  for the wind was contrary.  An in the fourth watch of the night Jesus came to them, walking on the sea.

When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Instantly Peter said to Him, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to you on the water.”  And He said, “Come!”  And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus.  But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.

Peter walked on the water…not a windless, glassy water, a stormy, contrary water.  But he was walking on it because Jesus said “Come.”
Its easy when you see Him and you focus there, its easy to follow Him and depend on Him until you look down and realize that is what you are doing. 
In theory, we are supposed to have this faith in Him, because He is faithful and He is trustworthy, but we stop short of stepping on to the water so many times because we can’t see the solution…or the solution is there but we fear it because it will take “walking on the water”.  What if I heard Him wrong and I get halfway to Him and its not really Him…?
I have proceeded a step…or a few steps further.  I am on the water…walking with my eyes focused on my God.  It is a wonderful place to be 8 out of 10 days.  It’s those 2 days that I look down…I want to go back to the safety of the boat but I am already too far away and then I start sinking.  I literally feel like I’m suffocating, like there is water filling my lungs and I have to cry out, “Lord, save me!”  He always does, there is always that person who says just the right thing or that new photo of Henry on Facebook…waiting….waiting.   
Its easy to keep your eyes on Jesus when your purpose is clear. So that is the goal, keep my purpose in mind.  The Lord said, “Come, Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”  What more could I ask for?
Jesus did not calm the sea before he told Peter to come.  Peter didn’t wait for the sea to calm before he stepped out.  
We are called girls…we are called to step onto the stormy sea…keeping our eye fixed upon our savior.  Our buoyancy is dependant on our faith, however small, it is dependant on our focus, on our purpose, on our Savior.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Its just like God...

I have been thinking alot lately about the path that God has taken us on to bring us to this point in our lives.  Where out of the blue...out of left field...out of nowhere, crazyville, tim buck the point in our lives where we were seeking independence and rest we would be adopting a 5 year old from China.  A friend of mine called me last night and asked the questions...the hard ones that I know are going through alot of people's minds as they hear the news of our adopting...I appreciated it.  I loved it that she asked me instead of talking about it with others.  I loved it that at that quick moment, being unprepared to give her an answer the Lord spoke to my heart and it made sense:)  The bottom line is that it doesn't have to make sense to anyone, although its nice if it does.  But it does have to make sense to Charles, Vivienne, Ben and I. 

The truth of it is that He has been working on us for years.  The first thing that stands out in my mind is the short term missions trips that he has called us on.  The first one we went to support at a VBS in Hungary, the next one we led a group of young people to Leatherhead, England to do youth outreach at a small Calvary Chapel that Matt Kottman pastors.  The third was to an orphanage in China, The Shepherd's Field Children's Village where we met Henry.  Short term mission trips make a difference.  They matter to the people you are going to support...they bring unity to the body and share the love of Christ with the world.  But they also make a difference in the lives of the people who go and that is my favorite part.  You can see the fire being stoked, hearts learning to trust Him, and lifelong relationships forming around His love.

The second thing that the Lord used to change us to the core was Vivienne's health.  She is 16 and we have spent the last three years battling Ulcerative Colitis as well as a related inflammatory joint disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis.  For a person who found a way to control everything and every situation it is exhausting, infuriating, frustrating and yes, humbling for your child to be in pain and the doctor's to be filling her with medicine "trying" to see what would bring it under control.  The lessons we learned were that God is in control of everything and God wanted control of our finances.  Vivienne is doing well.  Still on a lot of medicine but she has learned to manage her disease and is one of the strongest people I know.

We are changed.  Our finances are completely dependent on God, but are simple and stable.  We have learned to live at the feet of the Father, knowing that He is sovereign and that He loves us.  And I have done a year long study on Peace which God has shown me countless lessons on.  Foremost of them is that Peace is the opposite of can't have both.  You can have the Peace of God but you have to trust Him with the control  OR  you can have control...He will allow you that but you will not have His peace because.....YOU are not trustworthy!  (Speaking to myself, of course:)

God is Good...All the Time.  These two things together has brought us to the point where when we saw the faces of the fatherless and heard the call of our Father our hearts were ready.  We could see the lack of necessity of independence.  We could fathom His provision.  What we could not imagine was ourselves retired if it meant not heeding His call.

It may not be "normal" but at the end of the day Jesus is not normal...nothing He did was normal and he does not call us to live a life that is safe...He calls us to be extraordinary....In Him, Through Him, Alongside Him.

Matthew 14:27  "But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid'"

Friday, September 16, 2011


So it's finally starting to feel real now.  We received our pre approval to adopt Henry yesterday, amazingly quick, praise the Lord!  So from what I understand we are approved based on how we look on paper.  Now we have to go through classes, a home study, fill out a mountain of paperwork and then we will see if we are approved in person:)  oh, yeah and raise a TON of money!!
But we are so excited to see what the Lord does.  We keep hearing that He does miracles for orphans and we get to take part in it!

So let me officially introduce Henry:
He is 5 years old, will be 6 in January.  He was born with an absent right eye but is really smart, so independent and completely sweet.  I spent time with him when we were in China over the summer and fell in love with him among other children at Shepherd's Field Children's Village but when Charles and I felt the call to adopt his face was the only one I could see:) 
I will write more on the story later but I just wanted to share the news and post some photos...(I have hundreds:)
 I love this one because it is such an interesting photo and because he looks like he's patiently waiting.
THANK YOU for all your support...Its gonna be a long ride but I'm confident it will be exciting!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Well Watered Garden

 And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.
And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones; And you will be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.  Isaiah 58:10,11

Isaiah 58 begins with the Lord telling Isaiah to declare to the Israelites that they are in sin.  Although they are a righteous nation who delights in God, they cry out to him, asking why He does not notice their fast and their humility.  God tells them that their fast is about forcing their flesh to behave, but that the fast that He chooses is completely different.

This is where it gets good!
Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke? v. 6
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; when you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? v. 7

God doesn't desire a fast where we focus on the flesh and what we aren't supposed to do, He wants us to focus on the things that He HAS called us to do.  Either way we are denying our flesh but one way is positive, acceptable to the Lord.  The other is oppressive and counterproductive.

These are the verses that the Lord gave us when we were praying about our short term mission to China over the summer.  Little did we know that during that trip we would be called to take it more literally than we expected.  But it goes on...with promises and encouragement!

Then your light will break out like the down, and your recovery will speedily spring forth; and your righteousness will go before you; the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. v.8
Then you will call and He will say, 'Here I am'.  If you remove the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, v.9

Do you love that? The promise of Jesus going before you as your righteousness and the glory of the Lord as your rear guard?  Could it get any better than that in a world of such uncertainty?  Our call is simple...Deny yourself...after that it could be hundreds of thousands of things every single day but there is always a promise...there is always that certain encouragement.

 And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday. v.10
And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones;  And you will be like a well watered garden,  And like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.  v.11

This is the beginning of a calling to deny myself, to deny the plans I have for myself and my future and submit to His...not because I am forcing submission but because I am answering the call He has placed on my life...because I long to be a well watered garden.