Friday, August 22, 2014

Mattie's With Jesus

Do you remember just over a year ago when I asked for prayer for a
 precious treasure named 

The youngest son of my friend Tracie Loux and her husband John.

Many of you know Tracie from the adoption world.  

Adoptive mom.

God-fearing.

Orphan advocate.

Tracie is also an adoption consultant and friend of our family.

Yesterday night, suddenly, 
fragile Mattie encountered a life-threatening asthma attack.

Although every measure was taken and medical help arrived almost immediately, 
Mattie went home to be with Jesus.



Mattie's medically fragile state, although different,
was very similar to Ruby's.  

Round-the-clock care, round-the-clock privilege,
round-the-clock love, round-the-clock thankfulness and joy.

Tracie and I chatted briefly this morning. 
Their hearts have been ripped open and the hole in their hearts is gapping.

Would you please pray for my friend Tracie, her husband John,
their children and their family?

And if you should feel led to help financially,
please go here.

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted."
Psalm 34:18  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Shocking Twist!!


I seriously appreciated each of you who took the time to give some of your 
thoughts on what you would have done.

I confess that I giggled when I read what 

Randi and Melissa P'P said. 

And truthfully, Vicki H - Oh girlfriend!

You made me laugh straight out loud!

And JT - I totally enjoyed that you wholeheartedly agreed with Vicki,
your comment made me laugh out loud all over again!

And Lisa C, whatever your husband means, 
I am right there with you!

So here's what I did....

I was in shock and disbelief at what I had just witnessed.

There was no way I could talk to anyone at that moment.

Like you lori, I needed to go and think and pray.

I was alone and so I drove home to ponder what my next move would be
but I knew that I could not leave it!

As far as I was concerned she had just made fun of the man
who could easily have been my daughter!

And Business-Banker-Lady had not stopped it but in my
humble opinion needed to be reprimanded as well.

When I reached home, I went into our room and
called the bank and asked for the manager.

She was out to lunch but the woman who answered said
she was the assistant manager and asked if 
she could help me. 

I assured her that I only wanted to speak to the manager.
I gave her my number and asked her to call.

About a half hour later my cell rang.

As I said Hello to her and began to explain to her what had happened,
I began to sob.  I'm not joking.  I did not cry or get choked up, 
but I was stinkin' sobbing.  
It could have easily been our Uncle Mark or our Jubilee...

I tried to get a grip, but I was barely audible as powerful emotions were choking on my words...

As I was relaying the details of the story, 
I happened to also mention that there was no way the Greeter-Girl
could deny it because there was a witness to the whole thing,
the Business-Banker-Lady - that is if the Business-Banker-Lady
was truthful!!

I then questioned the manager 
regarding the one witness 
{the Business-Banker-Lady}:


"Do you know which employee I mean?
She had a 'flowerdy' shiny fabric shirt on?"

Her words stunned me as she replied:

"That was me."



You cannot be serious!!?!?

I almost fell over.  
The mean-spirited young whipper-snapper had been making fun 
of the customer with the very bank manager!

{Janet C - you called it!!}

And Preppy Pink - no wonder she hadn't done anything!


I was undone.
My sobbing didn't end as she went on to tell me that 
Greeter-Girl just needs more training.


I explained, 

"Actually, 
more training will accomplish absolutely nothing,
because the Bible tells us that our words come out of what is in our heart and obviously she has a very, very, very ugly heart.  
So it's really a heart issue.  You can do all the training you want, but it will not make a difference until she has a heart change." 




I mentioned that with the high unemployment rate these days
it seems that there ought to be many in the city of Phoenix who 
would serve the bank well and not make fun of the customers.

I told her that I would be speaking to my husband and that 
we would possibly be pulling our money out of this bank.

She said, "It's too bad that one bad experience would make you do that."

I replied, "She was making fun of the customers!  
I would never bring my children in - they could be made fun of as well!"

The conversation went nowhere 
other than her saying, 

"I'm sorry you had to hear that."    


Clearly the bank manager needs heart surgery as well.  



I then called Corporate and told them the whole story.

They wanted to know Greeter-Girl's name and I explained that the 
bank manager wouldn't give it to me - they were pretty surprised at that.  
I did give them the manager's name. 


So the other day I happened to be talking to a casual 
friend of mine who is a Psychologist.  I just had to get her take on it all.   

I had one main question for my Psychologist friend:

"Don't you think that the Manager is making fun of customers as well
since Greeter-Girl thought it was okay to do it with her?"

She agreed completely!!


Then my tender-hearted Psychologist friend spoke,

"Oh how sick it makes me.  
Just imagine all that that young man has had to 
overcome to be able to ride a scooter alone to the bank!"  

And when she said that, I started to cry all over again.

She knows my Jubilee and together we pictured:

If my sweet girl were ever able to ride a scooter that would be monumental.  If she were able to ride alone somewhere that would be over-the-top.  If she were able to do banking? 
It would be the equivalent of walking on water.

Oh friends.  


It's been weeks, but my heart still grieves and as I've typed this post
I've cried all over again.

The injustices done to people with special needs are despicable.  
May God grant us the courage to 

Be Their Voice.

No matter what.

And truthfully, as the mom of many special treasures, I would rather hear of someone who handled it the 'wrong' way 
{go ahead Vicki and knock them into next week} 
then to hear that someone, 
for fear of handling it wrong, 
did nothing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What Would You Have Done?


The other day I went to the bank to wire some money to 
our favorite missionary.

Although Dw does the banking most of the time, 
since he has been going to Africa more and more, 
I've needed to go in much more often. 

Up until this point, I hadn't done the banking in a long time and so I 
was surprised to see that the banks now have a person greeting 
each customer who comes in.    

Do the banks in your area do that as well?

"Hi! How are you?  How can we help you?"

Interesting.

Anyway, I was sitting at one of the desks
as a young man helped me with the money transfer.

However, his computer froze and he had me move to another desk
right behind the Greeter-girl who was greeting the people coming in.

I looked up a few times because, really,
I was close enough that I could have pinched tapped her arm.

Since the other computer had frozen, 
this pleasant young man had to begin the wire transfer
all over again. 

Sitting watch the young man typing,
I could overhear the Greeter-girl.

"Hi! How are you?"

and

"Oh hi! How can we help you?"

or

"Hi!  How are you today?  What can we help you with?"

About that time a woman came from behind me and went out the 
door of the bank to the "Business" banking door, which is located right next 
to the entrance of the bank at large.

I was guessing that the woman worked for the bank
because of her attire and the way she walked into the Business banking
door.   I will call her the Business-Banker-Lady.

I was only half paying attention, but suddenly glancing up, I
 noticed that the Business-Banker-Lady was now back inside the bank
and was standing next to the Greeter-Girl and they both appeared to be
greeting the customers who were coming and going.

Both were close enough to hear every word they were saying
without trying.  As I said, I could have reach out and touched them
without any effort.

Well within a matter of seconds of seeing Business-Banker-Lady 
now standing beside Greeter-Girl, I noticed a young man leaving 
the tellers and walking toward the exit.

He was carrying a motorcycle-type helmet and there was no 
doubt that it was an effort to move.  His gait was notable.

He reminded me of my sweet Jubilee Promise.

His gait made him struggle a bit as walked to the door, but as he did so, 
he was looking at Greeter-girl, swinging his helmet, 
and grinning from ear-to-ear he spoke,

"Need to hurry up and get back to work."


To which Greeter-Girl's face contorted in a contrived smile and answered, 

"Buh-bye!"

The young man, swinging his helmet, still grinning, turned and went out the door.

The second he turned, Greeter-girl turned to
Business-Banker-Lady and rolling her eyes in complete 
disdain and disgust exclaimed, 

"Weirdo!"

Greeter-girl continued,

"He thinks he has a motorcycle.  But he rides a scooter!" 



Greeter-girl was laughing now.
I did not hear Business-Banker-Lady say anything 
because Greeter-girl's nasty laugh was drowning out anything else.  

I sat astonished that I had just witnessed the clear 
mocking of a customer who was very obviously physically and 
cognitively challenged - right in front of me - a customer!!  

This bank, which is supposed to be a place of professionalism
had two of their employees jeering as a customer,
who likely considered them his "friends" left the place
where he did regular business. 

I can tell you this much...

The righteous anger was rising with each beat of my heart.




But before I share what I did...








Let me ask....

What would you have done?


Anything?

 Nothing?

Let it go?

Walk away?

Ignore it?

Get out as fast as you could?

Twap them.
{After all I was close enough. j/k} 
Sort of.


I would love to hear your thoughts.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gems...


This is called a gem.





This is known as an antique necklace full of gems.






But this is the true definition of




An Authentic Gem.





And this is also the definition of an authentic gem.





I am leading a team of women to love on the 
precious hidden gems of Uganda.


Would you like to come along?

We will be serving

at


as well as in 



street feeding program.


Some of the beautiful things we will have the privilege 

of doing is loving on this sweet gem


and this one...





as well as this gem....


and this handsome gem...





We get to!!

We will be spending our days 
ministering to these precious gems...
loving them, feeding them, reading to them,
playing with them, painting with them,
and even having wheelchair races!!

We will be having a day of honoring the caregivers who 
lovingly care for the gems as well!

Oh yeah.

It will be, perhaps, one of the most valuable 
times of your life!

October 2014 GO Team
October 7th - October 17th
{approximate dates}

$1450. Team fee 
Plus airfare

For an application, go here.

Questions?

office@InternationalVoiceOfTheOrphan.com
Subject:  October 2014
[Include your phone number and we will call you.]





Saturday, August 16, 2014

Log Cabin Living Begins

I am excited about beginning a new week-end series 

called 

Log Cabin Living.



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.    

*******


While Dw was in Uganda the kids and I laid pretty low.

We had gazillions of doctor appointments, 
therapy visits,
 and 
thankfully there were also several wonderful Hope Kid events. 

Other than that, we didn't do a lot of running.

We decided that each Sunday, after church, we would
Sabbath with Simplicity. 

As we planned our sweet Sabbaths with Simplicity
we decided to just do easy, simple cold food.
One day, while running through the grocery store in
 preparation for our upcoming
Sabbath with Simplicity
 the thought crossed my mind that it would be nice to have a
 special salad dressing
to kind of liven up our Sabbath salad.

Usually I eat my salad without any dressing,
however, while at the grocery store I happened
 to notice that the salad dressing 
{that is kept in the refrigerator section}
was having a mega-deep sale!

I thought to myself, 

"Oh some extra yummy dressing would be fun and
it's such a stinkin' awesome price!"

Mind you, I hadn't purchased this brand of salad dressing
in many, many years.  But the sale intrigued me 
and so I moved over to look at the flavor options.

I found one that sounded very yummy to me.

So as I reached to pick it up, the Lord whispered to me:

"Look at the ingredients."

I have basically always looked at ingredients and
being Gluten Free has only emphasized the need.

Not to mention:

I hate chemicals.

I hate fake ingredients.

And I really hate things that I can't even pronounce!

Imagine my surprise as I read the ingredients:





What in the heck was the weird word:

"Natamycin"??

 I sounded the word out slowly to myself:

Nat - a - my - cin

Natamycin?

I was definitely intrigued, but not in a good way.

I took out my smart phone and standing beside the 
refrigerator case I searched out the definition of Natamycin.

Oh me.

Don't you worry dear friend - 

What is Natamycin?

It's just a prescription drug.

Here's the web's quick definition:   

  1. Natamycin
    Prescription drug
    Consult a doctor if you have a medical concern.
  2. Treats eye infections that are caused by fungus.
  3. Brand nameNatacyn
  4. Molar mass665.725 g/mol
  5. CAS ID7681-93-8
  6. Pregnancy riskCategory C (Risk cannot be ruled out)

Oh. 

 Okay.  

No problem.


And the side effects of Natamycin?
     Natamycin can cause vomiting, nausea and diarrhea. 
There are no other records of adverse effects found. 
Use with caution during lactation.

In fact if you notice, the Natamycin is not part of 
the "less than 2%" ingredients...
meaning there is a substantial amount in the dressing.
I was dumbfounded.
Just think...a prescription drug being put in our food that we ingest and 
readily allow our children to pile on without even thinking.
Seriously?
Of course I didn't buy the stuff, but opted to make my 
own dressing {again} out of oil and balsamic vinegar
for that sweet little salad for the family.


So last week I happened into our local market again 
and this time I was looking at the bulk cheese bag.

Who would think that the bulk cheese bag would have anything suspect in it, right?

After all, it should just have CHEESE,
cause it's bulk and it's CHEESE.

And there it was again:
Natamycin





Does this freak anyone else out or is it just me??

It causes diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Use with caution during lactation?

Are there longterm side effects not yet known?
Could there be?

How about the commercials over the years that begin with, 
"Have you or your loved one been exposed to...."?


I'm more passionate than ever to read the labels...

Cause, for our family -  
Log Cabin Living =/= Natamycin in our food

Friday, August 15, 2014

Silence in the Face of Evil


This week I have been sequestered away working on Ruby's book.

I popped on to write a couple of brief blogposts,
because, quite frankly, I miss you guys.

Not writing is kind of like not seeing a really good friend for a few days!

But as my hands pecked away on my keyboard, my
thoughts, prayers and tears were often turning to the Christians in Iraq 
that are running for their lives at the hands of ISIS.   

Much of the world seems in
complete shock and disbelief - this evil band has even decided to 
flaunt their beheading of children and the undeniable kidnapping and rape of 
Christian women!  



Friends, NOW is the time to take a stand!!

If you think for a second that you are safe in whatever country 
you are reading this...guess again!

Christians are under catastrophic attack globally
and the time to speak up is NOW.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke truth:

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: 

God will not hold us guiltless.

Not to speak is to speak.

Not to act is to act.


Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham
sent out an urgent request:

Please tune in tonight - Friday
 to FOXNews Channel
at 7:00 pm EST
{Greta Van Susteren show}



DVR it if you are unable to be home.


Franklin Graham will be talking 

LIVE 

about

Christians Under Attack


I applaud Franklin Graham's courage - - 

It is not recognized as 'politically correct' to speak out 
against anything or anyone anywhere
at anytime anymore!!






“Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin 
than about courageously and 
actively doing God's will.”  
~Eric Metaxas

More coming about a day of Prayer and Fasting at our Place for our 
Christian Brothers and Sisters suffering globally.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Ruby Spotting!!


We were pretty giddy over here when I received a text the other day
 from our friend Kimmy telling me that her husband Bruce had been
at the check-out of their local Circle K 
{a convenience store} 
here in the Phoenix area and found our littlest treasure
on the United Cerebral Palsy fundraising display!!

Oh yes, indeed - 

there has been a Ruby spotting!


Check this treasure out!!



No one could have dreamed it possible - 

A speck over three years ago 
 a severely abused little Ruby lay dying 
in the blistering African sun...

and yet today, 

by a mighty move of our omnipotent God
that precious little treasure
was rescued by Him 
and is 'modeling' and a 'spokesperson'
 for United Cerebral Palsy of Arizona....

Only God!!

To think He took a nameless, faceless
little treasure with infinite value
and brought her to place where she would be a
little visual spokesperson for a valued organization 
that ministers to those with special needs....

Who could have ever imagined that?

Only God!!

If you happen to be in the Phoenix area and venture
into a Circle K store and find Ruby's picture on 
the canister, please snap a picture and email it to me
with the location of the Circle K.

Thank you so much!

I'm going to keep them all in a scrapbook for her!

APlaceCalledSimplicity@yahoo.com
Subject:  Ruby spotting!


PS 

I have been sequestered away this week as I finish up writing Ruby's book.  
I think I have four chapters left to write!  
Lord willing they will be done by mid-Friday!
This is my screensaver as I write:


Ruby Grace just before I brought her home.
18 months old and approximately 11 lbs.