Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Heads Up!

Christmas is coming!  

There is so much excitement with that -

for some.

But to others, it is one of the most difficult times of the year.

Many have lost loved ones.

Some are battling health issues.

Others are struggling financially.

Depression is rampant.

And many are trying to bring kids home forever....
but there have been snags and delays...

God's word is clear:

"Bear one another's burdens."
Galatians 6:2


Tomorrow will be a day of prayer {and fasting}.  Yesterday I was talking to a dear friend.  She was telling me about some exciting things God was doing in the lives of her extended family.  She said that she had prayed for years for things to happen - with little result.   She had never fasted before until recently, when she had heard me mention it.  And since incorporating fasting into her life, she was now seeing God do some huge things.  

Sweet bloggy friends and lovely lurkers - there have been certain situations in my life that I could not have handled, had I not been fasting about them.  If you have never fasted before, I would encourage you to ask the Lord for the courage to do it.  Even just one meal.

God loves us so much.  He doesn't ask us to fast to ruin our day.  I firmly believe He desires to see our commitment and dedication to see something happen.  He is not a kill-joy. He longs for relationship with us....deep and personal - He wants to talk to us....

I know in my own life, when I feel things spinning out of control, I fast.  It calms me.  It makes me feel safe.  I can hear God speak more clearly.  I can feel His presence.  I can sense His care.  

So tomorrow, we will fast and pray for each other.  

Please consider joining us.  

All you have to do is post a comment with your prayer request.  There will be, literally, people around the world that will pray for your needs.  

If it is a need you have shared in the past - That's OKAY.  We are here bearing your burden's with you.  Some concerns take years of diligent prayer to see the results!  

Yesterday I told a Memorial Box story...it was a gargantuan concern Dw and I had been praying for for years.  Many years.  God moved when the time was right {and the hearts were yielded!!}.   I just don't know that things would have changed had we not been fasting and praying!

If you have a personal need, you are welcome just to post "personal".  God knows.  We don't need to.  

I am thankful for each of you.  Your prayers for my family have buoyed us through many a not-so-fun time!! I am looking forward to praying again for all those who list a need.  

PLEASE POST YOUR NEED/REQUEST ON TOMORROW'S POST.
I will put it up just after midnight!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Memorial Box Monday - A Long-awaited Text Message

I am so excited about all the donations that have been made today for Reece's Rainbow!!  Yippee Jesus!! I was at my staff meeting all afternoon and coming home - it's the first thing I checked....oh how God's heart is rejoicing!!  Thank you, thank you, thank you!! 

 It's not too late to donate.  {Please see previous post!}




Just about two years ago I shared the following Memorial Box Monday story.  Every one of the stories in our box {and in your box} are worth repeating.  In fact that's what God wants us to do!  Remember.  Remember what He did.   So here is the story, posted first on December 30, 2008...so when I refer to Thanksgiving, it was the Thanksgiving in 2008....

*********
As I lay awake last night in the middle of the night the Lord gave me the wording to share for one of the items ......you see, there is a little item in our box that represents something in our family for one of our grown kids. It was placed in the box recently.


But because we pastor there are some things about our kids that we just will not share publicly but suffice it to say that this thing we were praying for weighed heavy on our hearts. Our child didn't know that we were praying for it, but will one day.  It was one of those secret prayers that parents pray over and over. Actually, I would be more accurate to say we were begging the Lord for, pleading over and over throughout the day. We fasted. We agonized. We fasted some more. We asked a couple of close friends to pray for this situation with us.


Then around my 50th birthday things took a turn. The circumstances got even worse. They looked significantly MORE hopeless. Yet we know that we serve a mighty big God and He is bigger and mightier than what any circumstance might appear. I love to call Him our Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God. And when we found that the circumstances were even worse we continued to pray; tearfilled prayers - oh yes - we prayed!


And around my birthday, when the situation looked the most bleak was a very good time to look into our Memorial Box and remind ourselves of all the other things that God has been faithful in. Remind ourselves of all the things that He has moved mountains for. Remind ourselves just how much He loves to work in the impossible and remind ourselves of just how completely trustworthy He really is. And then to pray some more!


As I lay awake last night the Lord told me to tell this vague story to remind you my bloggy friends that God is Almighty!! He is Faithful! Even when your circumstance looks bleak - keep praying! Even when your situation looks hopeless - keep pleading! Even when your circumstance looks like it is beyond repair - keep trusting! Even when your need looks too big - keep fasting! He is Jehovah!! And He is working the night shift on your behalf, He is moving mountains and He is orchestrating things behind the scenes that you are not even aware of.


Why is He moving? Because He loves you that much! Because He delights in you! Because He desperately longs to show Himself strong on your behalf. Because He is 100% faithful.


Let me just assure you, this situation was such that Dw and I were crying out in desperation! And little did we know that God, even when it looked like there was no hope, was STILL working!!


Then in the wee hours of Thanksgiving morning, laying in our bed at our daughter Abigail's home I awoke and looked at my cell to see the time and there it was. A text message. Hmmm. Weird. How had I slept through the ring of it coming in? Who was it from? I checked. It was from one of our kids.


And then I read the message. Oh my gracious! There in a text message was our miracle answer. I read it. I read it again. I blinked and read it again!! I gasped!! Did it really say what I thought it said? YES! Yes indeed! Yes, My Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God had moved!! I could not wait for Dw to stir so I could tell him this monumental news.


The situation had looked so bleak, so hopeless, so desperate and yet, as bleak and as hopeless and desperate as it had looked - Almighty God had been working the night shift on our child's behalf.
So whatever you are praying for, begging for, pleading for - keep on! Fast! Watch and see "the salvation of our Lord." Yippee Jesus!

PS And one day, years from now, I will most likely share exactly what it was....but for now....please forgive, but it must remain a mystery. 

*********



Please post your links below...if you don't know how to post a permalink, or what exactly to do, click here.

I can't wait to read what God has done for you!!  

Miracle Monday {for the Orphan}

You know, I was thinking about Black Friday and all that it entails.  Shopper madness, crazy long lines and purpose-driven people...

And I was praying that you guys would be up for a little Miracle Monday {after Black Friday} stuff?

Remember just a speck over a month ago we had "Shopping with a Purpose?"...

Forty-three sweet bloggy friends linked  up to share their fundraisers to help bring treasures home{and it's seriously, not too late to do some Christmas shopping}.  

Well one bloggy friend, Holly, wrote and asked if I would be willing to let her link because she was doing a fundraiser for Reece's Rainbow?   Although not in the midst of an adoption, Holly is doing all she can to raise money to put toward grants on children waiting for their forever families.  

Our family loves Reece's Rainbow, and we also are participating in Holly's fundraiser...  

We, like Holly, want to see large grants posted with these treasures...
helping to remove any barriers that would prohibit families from pursuing an adoption...

With that said, the fundraiser Holly is doing ends tomorrow.

And here's the amazing part...

What can you possibly win for your contribution?


Seriously?

Seriously.

Can you imagine if Holly's fundraiser "went over the top" today?
{Do it Lord! Do it Lord! Do it Lord!!}

I would say we could call that a Miracle Monday for special needs kids listed with Reece's Rainbow.  

Would you consider donating $5.00 or a whole bunch more to Reece's Rainbow?

Help be part of the Miracle this Monday...
 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our Family Christmas Tree Hunt....

With our $8.00 "cut a tree down" permit from the National Forest in hand.....

The Hunt Begins...
not so far from our home...

 Weaving through the fresh powder...






 Climbing Little Hills ....in the National Forest....
Four Little Treasures who could still be sitting in orphanages around the world...

wondering what the word "family" even means.....not having a clue about the 
Christmas Tree Tradition in our home...

are instead giggling and laughing...


Playing with Sticks and getting pelted by little brother's snowballs...

 Forging over little mountain streams still flowing under icy surfaces...

All the while looking for the "perfect" tree....


This little tree was screaming, "How 'bout me?" 
{another year lil' buddy, another year} 

Enjoying the experience

as we remembered Christmas tree hunting with Tyler a couple of years ago....
something happened that we will laugh about for the rest of our lives...
and of course, always wondering where he is and praying he is safe....

 And wondering why snow is tastes so good??
And why does Africa not have snow like this??
 Building a bite size snow baby...

 and resting under a beautiful pine with the fragrant aroma filling the air....

 Ahhhh....finally...

OUR "perfect" tree...

 The family picture in front of it....
every year it's a tradition...

Although the faces change...


One thing we are certain...


When it's all said and done...
and everyone has had a chance to saw at the trunk for a bit..
{cause that's tradition too}













We ARE family...
and we pray for those who have yet to stand in our family 
pictures in front of future trees...
bring them home Lord, bring them home....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dw & My Mom

So many of you {Mary McG in TN, Lisa, Katherine, and Susan A} have mentioned or asked....


Dwight is sore.  

Sore. 

 Sore.

When there are multiple impacts involved....it would be crazy to think that there would not be soreness.

I am so thankful for all the prayers.  

Really.

It could have been so much different.

The rear axel was dismembered from the truck.

The drive train broke in half.

Smashed back.

Smashed front.

I remember when the big kids were little.  They were pushing Autumn in a stroller down a hill.  The stroller crashed {with Autumn's foot in the front wheel}.  Autumn limped around.  Never complained.  Finally after two days of limping I called the doc.  She had one question.  "How is the stroller?"  I said, "Oh, the stroller is smashed and we had to throw it out. It was completely bent out of shape." 

This wise pediatrician said, 

"Well Linn, the general rule is: 

 If the stroller {car, truck} is mangled, so is the person." 

 Haha.

Took Autumn in for xrays and sure enough her foot was broken.  

So, the mangled truck is proof that this handsome hunka-hunka husband of mine is feeling pretty mangled as well. 

 He tires easily.  

Walks gingerly.  

Slowly.  

Your continued prayers are appreciated.

As for my mom.  Hmmm.

She moved back to her apartment.  I went over today to check on her.  On Thanksgiving Day I had noticed something.  Her smile is crooked.  Her lower lip is staying in the same place.  I am wondering if maybe she had a small stroke??  We will be calling the doc on Monday. 

And Dw and I are trying to figure a way to have her come here to live permanently, where she has her independence, but I am right here to care for her.  

So there you have it. 

Thank you so much to those who have continued to pray.  

I love you guys dearly.  xo

Compromise

Dwight called me to the window.  The kids had run out to play for a little bit.  He wanted me to see Elijah.  

Mind you.....  

It's 46 degrees out.  

I called Elijah in.  He did not want to put anything else on.  {silly boy}

He said, "Can't I wear my flipflops?  I not wear them for long time."

So we compromised.



He was in in about 15 minutes.

Guessing it might have been a tad too cold for his beloved flipper-floppers.  






Friday, November 26, 2010

Late Night Fun

 After seeing the picture I posted yesterday of Jonathan and I, Sarah asked me just how tall Jonathan is?

I was enjoying how tall he was so much that I called him from watching football to get the bowls down from above the stove....

Seriously, who needs a footstool when Jonathan is around, right?




Jonathan is 6'8" tall.  And I am 5'3"...here he is with Elijah.

Sweet, sweet guy and really, truly hysterical.  He had us doubled over more than once yesterday.

 After putting some of the littler ones to bed last night, we played Left, Right, Center.

Ever played it?   Super, super fun!  


 

Jonathan and Tellus goofing around.



 Savannah seemed to keep cleaning up at Left, Right, Center...
We kept it pretty low key yesterday.  Just a few people who might need some family time....because of their situation....and let me tell you, all day today I smiled.  The meshing together of people who had never met each other - was beautiful.  We laughed.  We talked.  We gave thanks over and over.  

And then late last night my cell rang.  Oh thank you sweet Jesus, it was that precious son we miss oh-so-much....calling from far, far away.  It was so good to hear his voice.  We talked for just a minute and the call was disconnected.  We waited for him to call back.  But he did not.  We are thankful for that quick minute....

Around midnight, a few of us went into the hot tub.  The temperature outside was a brisk 8 degrees.  
Yes! Single digits!!  

Then we decided for the kids to have their friends spend the night and a couple of minutes after 5 am I drove them to New Mexico to shop.   We thought we would find some deals.  All we found was that a billion {not much exaggeration} thought they would find some deals as well.  We turned around in no time and headed home.  We made a big breakfast and reminisced about the fun of yesterday. 

Graham said a few minutes ago, "That was pretty dumb how the shopping was in New Mexico this morning, we won't ever do that again. But we can laugh about it forever."   Yes, indeed, sweet son, yes indeed.