Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crazy Dreams

Recently I was commiserating to the Lord about a crazy dream I had and wanted to do 
again but didn't think there was anyway it would be possible.  

We'd done it before {twice} and there was no logical way we could do it again.  
It seemed to me, as I pondered it all, that I would just have to revel in the thought that 
we had had the privilege of doing it twice before and leave it at that.

But the Lord knew my heart.  It was more than just a longing.  It was a feeling of 
antsy mixed with anticipation. 
 The Lord had to be up to something.  
It was all too crazy.

Surprising to most perhaps, but this particular dream does not involve 
bringing home another treasure.  Although being perfectly honest, it does 
involve a Crazy Dream of orphan-loving magnitude!  

Anyway, after whining a while to the Lord about the prospect of not being 
able to ever do this again, I put the thought out of my mind for a little bit.  
Okay, so maybe for only about 10 minutes, but whatever, 
at least I let it rest in my head for a few seconds.

A few weeks passed of off and on dreaming and longing and 
suddenly and without warning, I came across an email yesterday 
that made this Crazy Dream almost look like it could become another 
Crazy Reality...and I was giddy beyond belief.

Dw was sound asleep in the States and I could not wait for him to wake
up.  I checked the clock about 1,384,281 times to see how much
longer till he should be awake.  I was afraid to text him in case
it woke Ruby...but as soon as that man of mine woke up 
I was excitedly sharing that Crazy Dream with him...
[He actually kind of loved it!!]  

Now, the point of this post is not to try to make people guess 
what this Crazy Dream is, 
because it is not for guessing.   
It's a personal dream at this point.

The point of this post is to challenge every one of you with this:

What Crazy Dreams do you have that you just think are probably 
just a thing of the past?

Is there a Crazy Dream that seems so far-fetched to Dream again??

Have you put the power of God to accomplish your Crazy Dream in a box?

Cause if you have answered 'yes' to any of the above questions - 

It's time - 

Open the box and dare to Dream Again!!

Cause that's what I had to do.  

I had just guessed that this twice lived dream was my Past to rejoice in....
never thinking that He just might like to make this new Crazy Dream another reality!!

Soooooo....sweet friends,

It's time to dream again!!

Ask Almighty God to re-ignite your Crazy Dreams for Him!!

Ask Him to take the Crazy Dreams He planted and light a fire under them and 
turn the impossible into the possible!!

Because it is NOT TOO LATE!!  

His heart is for us to dream Crazy Dreams that require faith and trust and joy and uncompromising steadfastness - and He not only can bring the Crazy Dreams 
to reality, but He delights in doing just that!  

Dream Big cause we have a magnificently enormous God!! 

And trust me in this:  It's so exciting to be dreaming again!!

“The world has yet to see what God can do with one man wholly dedicated to Him.”
     ~Dwight L. Moody 
{who my sweet husband was named after}

Friday, October 17, 2014

A Poem: Two Little Fellas...

 Walking through The Gem Foundation one day....

A little fella was a'screaming away.  

Nap time should be kinda quiet ya' know,

But Caleb had something he desperately needed though....

Both legs in casts and unable to move, twist or bend,

Oh me.  His head by-golly needed to get to the other end,

Scream, scream and scream some more...

Surely someone will walk through that door!

Just why wouldn't someone come and set Caleb free?

So his best buddy Collins he would be able to see!!

It was about then that this silver-haired Mimi moseyed on by

And knew in an instant she had to try,

To settle precious Caleb the other way

Why of course flipping his body just made his day....

After all, the plan, it just could not fail,

Because suddenly their fingers were reachin' right 
through the ol' rail,

Completely and instantly the screaming had stopped 

As soon as Caleb's sweet little body was at the other end plopped

What was once a face filled with bits of fear

Was now turned and thoroughly grinning ear to ear...

Squeezing fingers and playing together

Precious friends they'll be totally forever...

And really, just think with me....

How frustrating it must always be

To be trapped in your body and not ever free...

Until that silver-haired Mimi comes strolling in

And she understands and you start to grin...

Mimi slides the cribs over closer end to end

And you start to move and bend and bend 

The buddy's hands are now touchin' and really sweet

And that's a feeling that obviously can't be beat!!

Cause these two little guys, both smarter than smart.

Sure love each other with all their heart.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

To God Be the Glory, Great Things He has Done

Ahhhh, sweet friends, it's a joy to write from the field.

I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, 
but when I was a young girl, I remember standing during a 
Missions Conference and dedicating my life to missions.

Although I never went to live on the mission field
{that's another story for another day}
I have this amazing blessing to be here from time to time
and to serve where needed.

Of course
who would have ever guessed when this GO Team trip was planned
that we would be here for the loss of one of 
The Gem Foundation's precious Gems?

We could not have even begun to imagine what it would be like
to experience it all...

My eyes well with tears...
such incredible heartache,
yet so thankful we had this incredible privilege.

I will write more about the loss of Jason, 
but need some more time to process it all.

Lord willing, soon....

In the meantime, the team has been working hard 
and blessing the people of Uganda.

One of Emma's dreams was for a small classroom for some of the Gems
to begin to attend to help them work on their life skills.

So the GO team set to work and boy-oh-boy 
 the room looks so amazing!

Miss Mary Caitlin {left} has beautiful God-given artistry skills
which enabled her to paint the outline for some really sweet
animals...and some of the team went on to complete the art...

That's Emily on the right with the sweet blonde bun...
they have worked so hard!

It looks amazing!


And surprise!

Meet Kevin.  

Kevin is on the board of directors 


and is also Mary Caitlin's daddy
and a very close friend of Dw's.  

As the Lord would have it, at the very last minute 
{as in the day before} 
due to circumstances, Dw called Kevin and
asked if it would be possible for him to come along the trip with Mary Caitlin. 

Kevin and his sweet wife Michelle, love the orphan, are adoptive parents 
and are a beautiful blessing to be part of our IVO team.  
Kevin's sudden need to come on the trip has been a great blessing
at this time - although we had no idea what would transpire with Jason.   

We are so thankful to the Lord for Kevin and Michelle's tender hearts
 who love the orphan
and willingly change plans with a moment's notice!

Only servants with yielded hearts can do that.
And without even a word of complaint.  
We love them so much!

So as the Lord would have it, the team was able to meet precious Jason
before he passed away.  

Then Kevin willingly ran to the hospital with 
Emma, Jason and the nurse
when they were trying to revive Jason.

Later that night, 
Kevin and Mary Caitlin went with me in the dark to find a coffin.

Emma and Macey commented what a blessing 
it has been to have a dad 
{Kevin} here for a short time.

Such an incredible blessing.

We are so grateful for this God-orchestrated team.  

Also, please meet Karoline {Emily's mom} on the front left.
Karoline and Emily were on our April 2013 GO Team
and it has been a
precious blessing having them join again.  

They tenderly love the orphan
and Karoline is gifted with ministering to those with Autism -
such an incredible blessing for 

I am so very grateful for the faithfulness of our Mighty God -
who saw just what we would need at this exact moment
 and placed together just the right people to 
serve together and accomplish His good plan.  

To God be the glory, great things He has done.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Log Cabin Living: Simple Remedies

I am loving sharing some of our Log Cabin Living
ideas with my bloggy friends.

Just to recap what it is though, in case you missed it...

In my heart of hearts, pre-Ruby, I longed to move to a remote area 
{with the desert weather!} 
where we could enjoy Log Cabin Living 
{like the one pictured above}
as a sweet family.  It would be nestled in an area 
"a hundred miles" from civilization...
{see, I really am an introvert}.   

I am so grateful that I had the privilege of living in our little log home
before we lost it in a fire. 

No doubt, with Ruby's fragile health, there is not even an albeit 
brief possibility of entertaining such a wild and crazy idea 
{unless God totally heals her - 
which is, of course, totally possible!}.  

 In the meantime, we embrace our beautiful home in the city of Phoenix, 
with close proximity to Phoenix Children's Hospital while 
we enjoy to the fullest the spectacularly gorgeous Phoenix 
weather and all the perks of big city living!!

The series will be an on-going and I will share our version of 
large family living, on a very limited budget while practicing Simplicity.  
We invite to share this journey with us.  
As always, there are plenty of ways to do life.  

We humbly welcome you in
to our home.  

Please be nice.    

I have mentioned on numerous occasions how much
I despise meds...

Today I would love to share 
a simple story of our Simplicity approach
to life without a lot of medications.

Recently I shared how two weeks ago 
Nehemiah needed to have a MRI of his brain. 

He had never had one before, but had another similar test,
which was a confining kind of test {similar to an MRI}
 and surprisingly {haha} he didn't enjoy the confinement.  

In order to help him relax for this now needed MRI, I took along some Lavender
and gently gave him a massage down his spine and on the bottom of his toes
as we waited in the little examining room before we went in for the MRI.

He relaxed enough that he even fell asleep during much 
of the 90 minutes of testing.

We were thankful for the relaxing properties of 
the Lavender which proved themselves yet again.

Although Lavender is one of the most versatile 
of the Essential Oils we use it to help us relax every so often.

Then, of course, with Nehemiah's wiggling as he breathed in his sleep 
the doctor ordered a STAT 
MRI with anesthesia for the very next day.

This time I took Peppermint for after the anesthesia.

And it was actually kind of comical....

 the kind-hearted anesthesiologist came to
talk to us beforehand.

He explained the anesthesia to me and then said,
"Oh and I'll be giving you some blah-blah-blah in case
Nehemiah has nausea after."

I just nodded my head.

Of course I was thinking, "Ummm, probably not."

Then he questioned, "Wait!  Does he get carsick?"

I answered, "Actually he does." 

"Oh, I'll just have the nurses give it to him when he 
gets back to recovery."

Oh dear.

Now I had to spill it.

"Well actually, I kind of really like Young Living's Essential
Oils and I use Peppermint for nausea.
Would it be okay with you if I just put some on the
bottom of his feet when I get back to the recovery room
and we just pass on the meds?"

Seriously, it would have been pretty funny to 
get a picture of his kind face at that moment.

His eyes grew so wide, his face almost disappeared.

I think he wasn't sure what to say.

Then he kind of mumbled,

"Ummm, okay."

I smiled and thanked him for his kindness.

I had explained to him and the nurses that
Nehemiah had had a lot of trauma in his life
and if it was okay with them, I would need to 
hold his hand until he was anesthetized.

Everyone was great with that.

I also asked if it was okay to have me come back 
to the recovery room before Nee even woke 
up so I could be the first face he saw when he awoke.

They all were great with that as well and said, "Sure."

So before Nehemiah was even awake
I had gently massaged his sweet feet and spine
with some Peppermint oil.

And, he did not even have a dab of nausea.


Not one speck.

He drank the apple juice and was feeling
so well that when the nurse offered a little snack, 
he chowed it down.   No problem.  
The nurse was quite impressed.

Not one bit of nausea at any point.

Just two more reasons why I love using my Essential Oils...
natural, healing properties...without the drugs.

Living in Simplicity.

My favorite thing.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Oh Our Hearts

No one had any idea when we planned the GO team to come at this time that this would happen....

Minutes before Jason met Jesus.  

I know so many of you love, and pray for The Gem Foundation and would want to know. 

Thank you in advance for your prayers.

The burial will be tomorrow.   

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Where'd Ya Go?

When I began writing our Place Called Simplicity, I meant it to be a journal to my family.  Just a place to share my thoughts about the people I love, the miracles we have seen God work and the things I am most passionate about.   Never would I have dreamed, not even in a million years, that God would turn it into a ministry.

There is no one more surprised than me.  Promise.

Of course, being a mom of 12 treasures, nine adopted from around the world,  there would be no way that adoption and the orphan crisis would not be a topic as I wrote for my family.  It's who we are. It's what we live.

It's what we've been doing for almost 30 years. 

Being perfectly honest, it was very exciting just a few years ago to have so many talking about the orphan crisis, going to bat for adoption and being outspoken for the needs of the vulnerable around the world.

Yet in the recent months my heart has been pondering, wondering, confused -

To be straight up, it almost seemed like suddenly, without any warning, the orphan crisis wasn't mentioned very often anymore.   One could almost think that the need had passed to serve the orphans or perhaps there were no longer orphans in the world.

And many of us who have been in it for the long haul have been left to wonder,

"Where'd ya' go?"  

Was it kind of just a fad?

[Please say no!]

Could adoption have just seemed like "the rage" that in the end was just too hard
or too expensive or too much work or just not cool anymore?

Cause I've just gotta' share my heart here...

I'm sitting upstairs from some of the most vulnerable Gems in the entire world.  It's 1:04am in Uganda.

One of these precious treasures has been crying off and on.....he's in incredible pain and very sick. His contorted body just seems to hurt all the time.   Barely able to be soothed.

His needs are significant.  But what a sweet little lovey he is.

Another whimpers....he can't unknown infirmity that the doctors just can't figure out.  He sleeps much of the day...but in his wakefulness, his eyes follow you.  I wonder what he's thinking as I tell him how handsome he is and how much I love him.

There's another who has completely stolen my heart.  He is probably the most vulnerable of all residing here now.  His name is more than perfect for his situation.  He has much to overcome. He will have to be strong and courageous.

And all the others??

Their needs are so enormous.  

Every one of them.

And at the very same time I am reminded that there are 
orphanages or homes filled with orphans very much like 
The Gem Foundation in places like China, Russia, 
Mexico, Ukraine, Liberia, Guatemala, Haiti, Mali, Ecuador, 
HongKong, Ghana, Korea, the Philippines, Kenya - 

all just for starters.... 

And all I can think of is this:

God's heart for the orphan has not changed.

Neither can ours.

Monday, October 6, 2014

From The Gem with the Real Gems

A snippet from Africa!!

I flew under the radar and arrived at the Gem in the wee hours of morning.

The craziest most awesome Memorial Box story coming soon about the trip! Wow!! 
What a crazy miracle-working God we serve!!

Seriously, still giggling at how much God loves us and how He delights in causing all 
things to work together for good!!  He is just so faithful.

But here it is 2:31 am and although I'm still pretty jacked up, I think I better try to get 
some sleep...the day starts very early at 

Or of course maybe I should just pull an all-nighter so that I can sleep really, really, 
really good tomorrow night!

I did get to meet all the Gems and me-oh-my they are all precious beyond words.

This silver-haired chica is completely smittten!!  

Every one of the them is unique and words fail to describe how precious each one is!!  
I am overcome with joy at how remarkably wonderful each one is.  They have surely 
stolen my heart and I am Jaja to all of them.

One little guy, Caleb {who just had surgery} saw my silver head bling and grinning from
ear to ear reached up to feel it!! It made me giggle like crazy!

Then after running his hand through my hair for a few seconds, he reached up to his 
freshly shaved head and rubbed his head and silently giggled!  

My heart leapt!!

It is truly humbling to see the dreams placed in Emma's heart as a little 6-1/2 year old girl finally come to pass.  

Perfectly astounding!

God is so faithful!!