Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Ugly Side

Recently I noticed one of our treasures seemed to have a very different expression.  I studied the expression, finding it difficult to read.  Each day I paid attention.  The countenance was very unusual and I wondered what was going on.

A few days passed as I continued to watch.  When this one caught me staring at them they stared back.  I could tell that their face was reading mine.  It concerned me, but there was much activity and little time to just talk.

Finally, yesterday, the timing was right and I had a few quiet moments alone as I questioned,

"What's wrong honey?  Your face is telling me that something is troubling you."

Tears burst from their eyes instantly!


Whoooa.

Through sobs they blurted,

"I dreamed you left me on the street and never came back."

Oh.  Such grief.  Unimaginable.

My heart felt so sick.

Tears welled in my own eyes.

"Oh sweet one, mommy will never, ever leave you.
Not in a million years.
Never.
Not ever.
You are mine always.
You can't get rid of me if you want to."

I held them as they sobbed for literally almost an hour.

Such grief for one so young.

No doubt, this is the ugly side of life.

The side of grief that must come out, needs to come out, has to come out,
but oh, the heartache.

How does one really process this horrendous reality?



As the moments passed I questioned more, "Have you dreamed it before?"

"I have been dreaming it every night.  
I can't go back to sleep.  
I wake up crying sometimes."

I held this little treasure of ours for a long, long time.
Snuggled together on our big bed.
Safe.
Whispering how much we love this one and how sickened I am that they
have ever had to experience such pain.


As I held our precious treasure I realized this is the exact time of year that they 
were abandoned. That ugly moment when despair met hopelessness and they 
were abandoned on an incredibly lonely road. 

No doubt, they are remembering the moments in the innermost {and very powerful}
recesses of their memory.

The worst fear ever envisioned possible did come true for them.

How do we assure them it won't happen again?

That it can't happen again.

That it will not ever happen again!

I prayed, struggling in the torment of the gripping truth of what
abandonment means to each of our children.

In my own frailty I reminded them that we brought big brother home 29 years ago and never changed our mind.  We brought big sister home over 25 years ago and never changed our mind. And on and on I went reassuring that we never changed our mind.  Not ever.  No matter even when some were naughty or unkind or mean or anything else.

And somewhere in there another treasure of ours had been observing a bit of this discussion, unaware of what was being said or what was going on.  This other treasure could just could tell something powerful was being addressed and suddenly this other one began to sob.

Loudly.

Uncontrollably.

A bigger sibling picked this second one up and brought them to me where I held them both on the my lap, all the while Ruby was resting between my legs.  All four of us wrapped together on my bed.

Literally a giant ball of family.

We sat like this for a long, long time.

Me whispering.

Reassuring.

Praying softly.

Singing a tiny bit.

Holding the three tightly.

"Mommy and daddy will never change our mind.  
You're stuck with us forever."

Somewhere in there the biggest sister came in.  Her own eyes welled with tears as we
all talked together for a while.  Then her words spoke:

"Even if something were to happen to mommy and daddy, we're family.  We stick together.
No matter what.  Forever."

My eye filled with tears.

Large families.

Grown treasures with their own treasures.

But we're family.

So much ugly truth broken through by the solemness of such holy moments.

Faithful God.

Ministering to our little ones broken hearts.

How grateful I am for the privilege of being the mommy who
gets to snuggle young broken hearts.

Thankful every second for the overwhelming grace of our gentle God.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

She Did It!


As our hearts still celebrate
the resurrection day...

wanna hear some news worth a 
continual party? 

So the other day Ruby was at therapy where
both her OT and PT were doing a session together.  

Artemis and Valerie are good friends
which makes it even more fun.

Together they talked and decided it was
time to see if Ruby would 

stand

with 'a little help from her friends'.  

Well the proof is in the pudding
{and the pictures}...

check this little chica out! 


Together they gave Miss Ruby a gentle hoist and
up, up, up she went...

Yes, they had to balance her, 
support her and
yes, her legs only held her briefly...
but for 15 seconds of joyful bliss
she 

stood her ground 
several times!


And to think - 

Some said she'd never do anything!!  

But by the power of Almighty God
and His miraculous ways....
we are witnessing miracle 
upon miracle upon miracle...

He has been so good to us!!

Thank you to all who pray for Ruby...
we are so grateful for all your prayers. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter from Our Home to Yours

Happy Easter from our Home to Yours...


Part of our family is together
celebrating the resurrection of Christ today.

Abi and her three sons
came from San Francisco
{Ryan had to work} 
came to surprise my parents
who are visiting from Buffalo.

Abi hadn't seen my parents 
in years and none of their three
little boys had ever met their 
great grandparents.

It made for a perfect surprise!!

Lindsey, Ruby's caregiver and her 
sister joined us for the day as well.
Sweet memories.  

My parents {who have been divorced for years}
came together and
Autumn arrives tomorrow.

We have had a lot of fun!!

PS  Stone Wolfer Moon love, love, loves Graham
and basically won't let him out of his sight.
In fact Stone looks so much like Graham 
that it would be easy to think he's his son.
Pretty funny.

Anyway, I pray your day is blessed.
God has been so good to us,
but we miss that guy who is
serving our country in the Special Forces
and his precious family...
as well as that favorite missionary of ours
with her LM..how we miss them all so much!

Friday, April 18, 2014

He Will Do This

Since this is Good Friday, 
it seems like the absolutely best day ever
 to tell a very powerful story of 
something that happened just the other day.

It's so easy in the hubbub of Easter week-end
to barely stop to remember who HE is,
let alone what He did, 
what He does
and 
just how powerful He is.  

But of all times to remember,
it should be now...

humbly grateful for His submission to the cross
so that He could have an active role in our lives!

I often have thought about how 
the God of the universe sent His son
to die for each of us,
yet, 
He then could have left us on our own...

However, He is so relational that
He longs for us to spend time with Him...

He deeply desires for us to allow Him
to be part of our lives at every turn...


So the other day something happened that 
has boosted my faith a bazillion degrees..
again assuring those involved just how active He is in our lives...

and 

I pray it encourages yours as well...


So the story goes like this:  

I have a long-time friend who has been longing, praying and fasting 
regularly for something very specific to happen.  

In fact those closest to her have been praying with her
for this seemingly enormous situation to 
be met by the loving fingertips of God....

Many of those who know her know of the situation 
 and they have fasted as well.

No doubt the situation is huge.

But,

there is no doubt,
that no matter how enormous any situation is,

God is bigger still.

Ya' know we say that,
right?

But do we really get that 

Not One Thing 

is too difficult

for God?

No matter how seemingly insurmountable the situation,
every single obstacle falls at the foot of the 
powerful cross of 
Jesus Christ.

So the other day I happen to be talking to my friend.

I could tell she was discouraged.

She has been praying for her situation for a long,
long, long, long, long, long, long, long
time.


Yet the Lord had been whispering to me
over and over and over and over
that the answer she has been longing, hoping,
fasting and praying for 
was 

*almost* 

here.

So I told my old friend that.

And I believe she was encouraged,
but 
ya' know how hard it is to believe
when there are mountains the 
size of Mt. Everest standing in the way 
of the answer?

And then ya' know how sometimes when we are personally
involved in the situation and so up close
it is very hard to really, really believe that
the circumstances will ever change?

I know personally, 
I can totally relate,
sometimes I can believe for others,
but for me it can be harder.

Anyway, 
after hanging up, I began to pray
passionately and specifically.....

See my friend has had powerful
prophetic dreams.  She has had God speak to her
in dreams far more times than most I have ever known...

So I prayed that God would speak to her through a 
dream that very night and give her hope!

I prayed all day about it...
not telling a soul about my secret prayers.

I prayed persistently 
and 
yes, I prayed very, very specifically.

In fact the longer I prayed the more convinced I was
that God was going to speak to my friend in a dream
that night.


The next morning I could hardly
wait to talk to my friend....

I was soooo confidant and certain that God had given 
her a dream that filled her heart
with expectant hope...

As she answered her phone I blurted it out,
"How'd you sleep?"

Her answer was the best ever!

"I slept great and I had the craziest dream!"


I was beyond giddy, 
"What did you dream?"

"Well I dreamed that...."

She went on and shared with me a very
detailed and joyful dream where 
the long-awaited promise was fulfilled
and the Lord actually gave her an exact 
time in the dream!


I giggled and shrieked as I told her
what I had prayed for...

She was dumbfounded!  

And remember the mountains the size of Mt. Everest
that stand in the way?


Well,
no surprise, 
but suddenly 
the
what-once-could-have-been-thought-as-seemingly 
insurmountable mountains 
have begun to 
shake, rumble and crumble...
our Almighty God is moving 
and my friend's
heart cry is about to come to pass.


"Trust in Him and He will do this."
Psalm 37:5b

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Around the Corner

Yesterday as Dw and I were talking about a current 
situation we have been walking through,
suddenly the Lord brought this story to mind.

So I reminded that sweet man of mine about it 
and in recounting the story again we
both were greatly encouraged.

It is so good to tell each other the stories of
God's faithfulness.

To share just how good He has been to us.

Although I have shared this story
before, as I looked back through this
Place, I discovered it had been
four years since last sharing it!

Where in the world does the time go?

It's been four years ago since I shared this story,
but trust me,
it's a darn-tootin' good one!

Many years ago Dw and I planted a church and were
pastoring outside Richmond, Virginia.

We had built a sweet home on those acres and with six kids at the time,
we really wanted to get a pool.

Not a fancy pool, just a pool to splash around and cool off in. 
So we started praying for one.  
We asked the Lord to provide a very specific pool. 


God's word also says, "You have not because you ask not." 
Based on that scripture we decided many years ago that 

when we bring our requests to the Lord 
we need to ask specifically.

So we asked for a pool that was shaped like a figure 8 and was used 
(but in great condition), so it would be very affordable. 
There was a used/swap kind of newspaper that was for 
Richmond and surrounding areas. 
I started checking that.

Before long I realized that that little used/swap paper covered many miles. 
Some places advertising could be hours away. 
So I changed my prayer - 
Lord, you know how busy Dw is, 
could you please provide a used, 
figure 8 pool right here in our neighborhood of our little town? 

Now if you knew how rural and little this town was, you would have laughed. 

Dw did. 

Come on, what are the odds that a used, figure 8 pool in great shape was
anywhere nearby? 

 Odds in the world's eyes? 
Slim! 

But in God's eyes? 

*giggle* 

Before long we were leaving to go to Western New York
for our family vacation.
Just before leaving I saw an ad in that little used/swap paper.

It was for a used, figure 8 above-ground pool that 
had only been used one season.

 It was listed for sale for $700.00.
And where was it listed?
In our little very rural town!!



I called the man and left a message, but didn't hear back.
{This was pre-cell phones.}

We left on our family vacation.
I thought about that pool and asked the Lord to hold it for us
till we got back two weeks later.

When we got home there was a message on
our answering machine.
A man's voice said, "Don't know if you are still interested,
but my pool has not sold." 

Dw had already gone to the church office, so I called the guy.
He explained that he had just bought the house,
the pool was in the backyard, he didn't want it and he had the receipt
 that it was only one year old.



The previous owner had paid about $5,000.00 for it!!
I said I would call my husband, but just before he hung up he said,
 "Listen, I just really want it out of here...I will sell it to you for $500.00"

I was so excited (as I despise negotiating - ugh!!)

I hung up and called Dw.
I forgot in my excitement to tell Dw that he had lowered the price to $500.
Well Dw called the man and was talking to him about the pool and said,
"My wife told me about the pool,
but I can't even remember how much you are asking."
He said, "I started at $700. but really I just want it gone.
I will sell it to you for $300.00." 

When Dw called me I was whooping, come on now friends - it started at $700.00, 
was just $500 minutes before
 and in the time it took for me to tell Dw and have Dw call him 
right back he had dropped it again by $200 dollars!!

Dw called me to tell me we were going to look at it and it was $300.

I was laughing - come on dude,
we aren't even there yet and you are dropping the price like a crazy man!!

We said we would come to see it the next day.
 And oh, by the way, where did that guy live?

 *giant giggles*

Being there is rural farmland -
he lived approximately 60 houses from us!

We went to look at it the next day.
He wanted to show us the receipt.
It had just been installed the year before by the previous owner
 for over $5,000. It was a figure 8.
It was wonderful!!

Then the man said,
 "I really think you will need a new liner because of the heat shrinking it
 (or something like this)...
I just don't feel comfortable selling it to you for $300, 
how about just for $200?" 

{{uproarious laughter}}



So for $200 we drove away with an almost brand-spankin' new pool 
which we didn't have to negotiate for - 
that we found almost literally around the corner
 from our home.

Unbelievable!! 

Only God -
He is soooo faithful!

That awesome pool
brought us boatloads of fun for the years we pastored
there and it daily reminded us that God is into the details -
if we just ask.

Yippee Jesus!

What needs do you have?
What concerns?
What specifically are you praying for?

God cares.
God wants us to talk to Him.
He is definitely in the details.
Just ask.

In our Memorial Box there is a little
rubber duck that represents this story.

Monday, April 14, 2014

We Could Use Your Help




There's about to be a gathering together 
of a sweet pile of precious gems....

and these little gems are going to be 
in need of some very fun therapy tools...

Mind you,
this is definitely not my area of expertise, 
however,
being Ruby's mommy I am learning a
few terms from her therapies 
and some of the reasoning
behind things like 

Swings!




Ruby needs to swing to begin to
to understand her 'body in space',
have spatial awareness and 
to promote the awakening of all her
senses.

On a personal note, Ruby is beginning to 
enjoy swinging and it is so stinkin' fun to watch!


In a couple of months


is leading a GO Team

to serve at


Dates: May 22nd to June 2nd, 2014
Cost:  $1450 + airfare

One of the key things the team will
be doing is building a playground/swingset 
for the Gems of The Gem Foundation.

If you are looking for a purpose for your summer...
please prayerfully consider joining the team...
we could really use your help!

For more information or an application, 
please email:

Office@InternationalVoiceOfTheOrphan




Saturday, April 12, 2014

Any Ideas?

 It was a long week.

A really, really, really long week.

So this is a first for me,
I think.

 I have a question for you guys.

We have recently painted our kitchen a soft taupe color
with our white updated cabinets,
which Dw totally did
{and did a dang-tootin beautiful job,
I might add}.


The laundry room is right off the kitchen.

and is pictured below.

I was going to tidy it up to take a picture,
but decided to keep it real, since it never, 
ever, ever looks better than this.

Here's my question to all you Pinteresting friends...

What color would you paint it
and what else would you do to make it a 
place that you would love hanging out in.

{Okay, what sicko really loves hanging
 out in their laundry room.}

The washer and dryer are bright red...
and I have to laugh...
they were such a fun color
at the time..
still cheery and colorful but maybe it limits
wall color a bit?

I have no idea.

I just would love a fun laundry room
and maybe someone out there has 
some wonderful ideas for me.

There is a small row of cabinets 
behind the door opposite the
washer and dryer.