Monday, January 31, 2011

Memorial Box Monday - Mountain Number Two Gets Moved!!

Short and sweet.  


{Soon to be revealed.}

So this morning I posted about being distracted.

We have been waiting for news.  

An email.


A phone call.



This afternoon Dw phoned.  

"Get on your computer!  I just sent you an email." 

I jumped on my computer, but there was nothing.

Graham and I kept refreshing the screen.  

Dw had sent it, but it didn't send.

Graham said, "What is it Dad is sending?  Is it about ____?"

"I don't know Gray-Gray, he didn't say, but from the urgent 
excitement  in his voice, all I gotta' say is it better be!!!"  

Dw rebooted his computer.




Dw rebooted his computer again!

And resent the email {again and again and again!}

Graham and I refreshed and refreshed and refreshed and 
refreshed and refreshed and refreshed and refreshed!

What seemed like an eternity and finally{!} there it was.  

*loud, crazy squeals mixed with big ol' happy tears!*

The first two mountains have officially been moved....

Almighty God, you are absolutely amazing!!

My very first thought? 

 "Oh my gracious!  My blog friends have been praying!"  

Yes you have.

Yes, indeed.

He is our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God!!

In our Memorial Box will go a copy of that email.

And Lord willing, in the next few days,  you will see pictures of what has us giddy beyond reason!

And you will rejoice with us!!

Just one more mountain to go.

{Just one.  Did you hear me?  Just one.}

Can you hear the muffled screams over here in SW Colorado - all the way to your corner of the world?

How about you?
What has God done for you?
What mountain has He moved on your behalf?
How has He provided?
 How has He protected?
How has He healed?

Please share your personal Memorial Box Monday below by linking a permalink below.....



Oh I am so distracted.


I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to share something, but we were waiting because of circumstances.  We are still waiting.

Waiting on decisions from people we have never met.  



Today is different though.  

I cannot think of anything else.

Nothing else.







You know what kind of waiting I mean?  

Knowing that a precious, precious, precious someone's future looms. 

I want to be able to share it with you, my sweet bloggy friends, but because of circumstances I cannot.  I want you guys to know so that you would pray.  Pray that God would move the mountains.    

SO I was thinkin...

How about Wednesday, February 2nd we do another day of prayer and fasting?

I will do a post just after midnight on Wednesday and invite you to place your needs on that post...

A day that we join together and plead on behalf of each others needs.

I know many, many of you have concerns and needs that you would love us to join together with you about.  And we would like to come before the throne with you.....joining hearts together.

Please set aside this Wednesday, February 2nd to post your requests and pray {and fast}.

Would you join me?

Thank you so much!

{I thought it would be best to give you all a heads up.
Will be back later with Memorial Box Monday.}

Sunday, January 30, 2011

5th Sunday

Since this is my "diary" of sorts for my family to read someday, I just have to share about today.

It is a 5th Sunday.  That means that we combine our services, the place is standing room only packed.

Dw started the service off with introducing a couple from our worship team who are adopting a sibling group from an Eastern European country.  This couple is precious!!  They should be able to travel in the next few months.    

We then had the missions teams that have been gone in the last quarter {since the last 5th Sunday} share.  We had teams minister in Mexico, Romania and Uganda.   Each team showed a video.  All of the trips went to minister to the orphans of those countries.  Team members shared how God had changed their lives through the trip they took.  It was amazing.  Tears and more tears.  

{picture taken from Kevin's cell phone}

Then Dw shared a speck about God's heart for the orphan and the responsibility for everyone to do something.  We then played Eric Ludy's video: Depraved Indifference.  The one I linked to here.   I'm not sure about anyone else, but I cannot watch that without wanting to jump up and run to orphanages and grab everyone of the 163 million orphans and bring them home.  

All of them.

I was able to share about the ministry to the orphan that we are starting.  
{so excited!}

As the last worship songs were being sung people went to change their clothes.  There were 19 people awaiting baptism.  Some have been recently set free from addictions.  Some were making a renewed commitment to Christ after not walking with Him.  All wanted to be obedient.  

I had the privilege of baptizing a young mom.  
She's actually going to Uganda with Emma and I and the rest of our team.

After it was all over we had a giant church dinner.  

During dinner, as Dw and I mingled through our precious body, 
a young couple came and shared how God has been stirring their hearts to adopt.   

It was an awesome day.  Every single part of it.

Pastoring is not always easy.  It is often lonely in an odd sort of way.  But it is an amazing privilege.  So totally rewarding.  I know you other senior pastor's families know what I mean. 

 How thankful we are that God would entrust us with such a privilege for the last 20 years.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

That Crown

It's been a couple of months since I "updated" you, my sweet bloggy friends,
 with how my Crown of Splendor is comin' in.  

I just snapped these two pictures a few minutes ago.  

One in natural light and one in our foyer.

I got it cut yesterday and she said, that in the front bang area,
probably one cut and it will be all gray.  

I am soooo excited.

And on a really fun note: I have to tell you....
there are three ladies at church that are "going for it" now too!!

I am so stinkin' tickled.

Whatcha think?

"Gray hair is a crown of splendor;

it is attained by a righteous life."

Proverbs 16:31 {niv}

Friday, January 28, 2011

Isaiah Samuel Sheng Turns SEVEN

He stole our hearts almost five years ago with this picture....

smitten completely with this one as well.....

It took God moving the mountains{the mountains being the entire Chin*se Government} to bring him home, as many around the world fasted and prayed for a miracle....

In fact, the other day we were talking about God.  Elijah, Isaiah and I.  We were talking about how big God is.  Elijah was asking, "Is God this big?"  Finally, to get the point across Isaiah said, rather matter of factly, "Elijah, God is so big, He can move the mountains!"  I said, "Dude! You're right!"  Isaiah quickly replied, "Yeah, Elijah, He moved the mountains to bring me home!"  Oh yeah Buddy - He sure stinkin' did.  

If you have never read Isaiah's story, slide over to the sidebar {under Special Places} is a miracle story that will flood you with tears....Our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God love, love, loves the orphan and He WILL move an entire c*mmunist government to bring an orphan home.   

Oh yes He will. 

And Isaiah knows it.  

After God moved the Chin*se Government we were finally able to bring him home...
at age 3 years 8 months.

And here is the first glimpse we saw of him at his orphanage:

in Ch*na...

He is a treasure.  

The kid whose smile is endless. 


Snuggler all the way.  

Loves to initiate "the thankful game"...



 Loves Jesus and asked Him into his heart when we were
 living in the rental, a few months after the fire. 

So today, being his 7th birthday he requested homemade 
Jewish Mother Coffee Cake for breakfast...

Today, we celebrate this son, Isaiah Samuel Sheng....

A sweet gift from our Father...

Two of his favorite girls....

And if you guys were willing to leave a birthday wish 
{pleeease?  Even if you just left a comment on the last couple of posts, 
I know, I know, I'm shameless...haha}
 you can just imagine how 
he will smile from ear to ear when I read 
each birthday wish aloud to him...  
{thank you}

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Being Completely Vulnerable - Part 2 - {the rest of the story}

Disclaimer: If you are new to our Place Called Simplicity, then I would ask that you skip this post.  Please.   It is written only for those who have been 'hanging around' for awhile and have heard my heart repeatedly.  The friends who 'know me'.  The friends who love me.  

And if you are a true friend whose been stopping by our Place Called Simplicity for "coffee on the porch" for awhile, but you were unable to read the Memorial Box Monday post from two days ago, then I ask that you please, go back and read that first.  You will not really understand this without reading that.

This is one of the most dramatic things that has ever happened in my life.  It is NOT intended for the faint of heart.   I am sharing it so that others will indeed walk in freedom.  I am sharing it only to bring honor and glory to Jesus Christ, my Lord and my King.  He is always faithful and completely trustworthy.

On that note - here goes:   

As I mentioned in the post two days ago, the second anniversary of the fire {1/14/11} was the day I was {once again} set free from fear.  

I remember when I was set free from fear the first time, all the way back in 1980.  At that time {1980} I faced one of my largest fears that very day.  I am confident that one of the keys to walking in freedom from fear is to face the fear{s}.  Think about it, I can say, "I'm set free, but if I don't do anything that would normally cause me fear, then I'm just talkin, right?" 

So the very next day after praying with JD, Irma and Carie was Saturday January 15, 2011 and all the kids wanted to spend the night at Grandma's.  My mom has never had all the little ones spend the night.  Several at a time, but not all.   I was speaking both services the next day and wanted the evening to 'tweak' and spend time with the Lord.   BUT I had never stayed home alone all night long.

When you have a boatload of kids, the house is never empty.  So even though I had no problem with Dw traveling, I had never had opportunity to be completely alone over night.  Ever.  

Being as the very day before I had repented of the fear with my sweet friends, I really believed that this was the Lord's opportunity for me.  I was actually {cautiously} excited!  

As the shadows began to fall, I just started to praise Him.  I had a beautiful fire going in the wood stove and I moved my bear chair and footstool around so I could see the fire better.  I asked the Lord for a special verse, just for me.  He instantly led me to a chapter.  Instantly.  It was awesome!  I was marveling at His grace and love for me.  One of the first verses in the chapter started with, "Do not be afraid..."  Oh sweet words...

Early in the evening Autumn texted me, "What are you doing?"  I told her.  She immediately called me.  She said, "Are you okay? Do you want me to come stay with you?"  I told her that I wanted to face the fear and so although I was so grateful for her thoughtfulness, I was gonna' face it alone.  She told me she would keep her cell on beside her bed and if I needed her at any point, to just call and she would come right over.  I love that girl of mine!!!

Anyway, I was loving my time alone.  Having the wood stove I went out about every hour to the porch to get wood. On a sidenote: When I told my Abigail what happened that night, she was incredulous: "Mom!  You are overcoming fear, but what in the world are you doing going out on the porch every hour?"  I said, "I was walking in fear whatsoever!"  

Somewhere around 10 pm I went out on the porch to get more wood.  As I picked up a bundle of wood, I felt such an urge to look in the den window.  It was weird.  I knew it had to be the Lord.  So I peered in the window of the dark room.  I looked to see what someone looking in the window would see.  I could see the family room {kind of}.  Hmmm.  Okay, whatever.  I just took the wood inside and didn't think anything else. 

I read my Bible. I worshipped.  I thought about life.  I prayed.  I even dozed a bit.  Then about 11:15 pm I went out to get some more wood.  As I was coming into our foyer from the porch, all of a sudden I saw a bright blue light off to my right.  BRIGHT BLUE.   I remember wrinkling up my face and saying outloud, "What in the world?"   So I turned to my right where the little double doors to the den were open and I'm sure my eyes almost popped out of head!!

There, to my shock, I saw what the BRIGHT BLUE light was! The TV was now on!!

Looking back, I am certain that the Lord wanted me to look in the den window the hour before to see that there had not been any TV on.  It was just a dark room! 

Back to the bright blue light of the TV....let me just say....this TV is over in the far corner of the room.  It was used by Uncle Mark when he was here last year.  It has been used a handful of times since then to play video games, but really, it hadn't been used or turned on for months.  MONTHS.  I stood there looking.  Probably my mouth was gaping.  

It had never, ever, ever gone on itself.  How could it?  It is not on a timer, it is just a little tv sitting in a corner.  And the even weirder thing was that the room was full of stuff.  To get to it one would have to climb over things.  Not.Even.Kidding.  

Here was my test.  I totally believe it was the enemy sent to strike terror in me!   What would I do?

I am so thankful to tell you what I did.  First, I had overwhelming peace.  Truly, it was "a peace that passes understanding."  Really.  I think back in amazement.  There was not a fiber in my being that panicked.  Not.One.  I did not feel like running.  I did not feel like screaming.  I had complete peace.

So here's what I did:  I stood there and softly said, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.  There is something about your name."  {The enemy hates Jesus' name.  He HAS to flee!} 

I walked into the family room whispering softly the name of Jesus. I thought, "This is likely the weirdest thing I have ever encountered."  And then {again} I said softly outloud, "Jesus.  Jesus.  Jesus." 

I decided to go in the den and shut off the TV.  I walked in there and can tell you that {still} I felt complete peace.  Isn't that victory?


I was conquering fear at that very moment!

I had to climb over some furniture {it is a catch all for the stuff that needs to be taken to the shed, Christmas decoration boxes, etc.}...and I reached the TV and turned it off. 

{Incidentally, it has not randomly come on since either.}

Anyway, I came back to my chair speaking softly Jesus' name.   I texted Carie. I said, "U up?" I told her in the text briefly what had happened."  Immediately my cell rang. We talked for a few minutes and prayed together.  She asked if I wanted her to come over.  I declined.  I wanted to spend the night alone.

I continued to feel peace the entire time.  

I finished up my sermon preparation and got ready for bed.  I prayed {outloud} as I climbed into our big log bed that the Lord's ministering angels would fill our bedroom and minister to me as I slept.  I thanked the Angel of the Lord for being present. 

Believe it or not, I fell to sleep instantly and slept the entire night through.    

I awoke so excited!! I had done it!!

I had had victory!!  Even when a test came, I did not panic or run. I called upon my sweet Savior and He gave me incredible peace.

Seriously {who like me} have been enslaved to fear. Time to pray with family or a friend and ask God to give you strength to face your fears.  He wants you to have victory.  He's not gonna' set you up to fail.  He loves you {and me} too much!!  He is faithful - completely!! He is always trustworthy.  

So when Dw and the kids came home from Africa I told them about what had happened.  We prayed.  And tonight {just before typing this post} we went through every single room in our home {and walked three acre boundaries of our property} and anointed it with oil and dedicated it {again} to Him.  

To God be the Glory - Great Things He HAS Done!! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thank you...

Erica Hami
Kristi O
Liberty Ruffles
Mom to 4 Bugs
Sarah Elizabeth
Renea Lynch
Kelly G
Lori Smith
Goodness and Mercy Mom
i'm beccy
Mom on a coulee
Chris and Sarah
Susan A
Jim and April
The Family
Liz Tolsma
Tricia Thompson
Brittany Simmons
About Me
Kim Foo Young
The Spicer Family

for all your brave comments and your own transparency. 

Each of you have deeply, deeply, deeply touched my heart.  I am truly humbled. 
 To those who emailed me or left FB comments, thank you also.  

I was actually thinking of making up a little badge that could be on the a "Simply Transparent"...agreeing together to be transparent so Christ would always be glorified.  

Isn't it funny how the enemy wants us to keep us fearful to even share
 that we struggle or have struggled with fear?

I have had tremendous victory since that night of praying with JD, Irma and Carie, which is amazing in itself that it would be on the two year anniversary of the gracious of God!

I have been praying and I am planning on writing about what happened the very next day, as I chose to stand up in the courage of the Lord and do the bravest thing I could ever imagine!!  You will rejoice with me at the victory {but not without the opportunity for fear} I had in the power of Jesus' name!

Going to do Bible with my treasures, but Lord willing, back later.  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Memorial Box - {Tuesday} - Being Completely Vulnerable

I mentioned last week that I was considering sharing something that happened while Dw, Emma and Graham were in Africa.  I'll be honest. All day long today I have struggled. Do I make myself completely vulnerable?  Do I just share it all? 


Here's why I struggle:

It's fresh.
There have been times when I pour my heart out at our Place Called Simplicity and only a few make comments. Now, truly, I don't blog for the comments, but I do appreciate each and every one.  And when I make myself very vulnerable?  Yeah, well it almost feels like I've just laid open my heart and I don't know what to make of the apparent silence.  It's almost creepy {to me}.  

But as I was praying I felt like the Lord said, "Linny, there are women who need to hear this.  Maybe even a few men.  It's your story, but it will help others."  

So on that note, here goes.


I have mentioned from time to time how I used to be controlled by fear.  My life was one big ball of fear.  And then the Lord set me free.  It was a powerful time.

Over the years I had much opportunity to cave to fear again.  Like the shark, the tornado, the mountain lion, the robbery and the stalker.  But each time I stood firm.

I would NOT be a slave to fear again.

Until that flight.  

I wrote about it here.

Now I know that the Lord had graciously warned me about it and all that, but truthfully, 
I gave in to fear.  Warning or not, I did not want to fly again. 


Then it was time to go to Africa for my sweet babies and Dw had just had his surgery and there was no way he could go. I know that was the Lord forcing me to go, and so I went.

I did great and the flights were all wonderful {many of you prayed and I thank you!}.   

And we got home from Africa and life was good.

For almost  four weeks.

And then our home burned down.


The trauma of the fire is still unable to adequately be put into words, so suffice it to say that I couldn't even think straight, let alone remember the promises of God given specifically for me.  

{Like Galations 5:1}

It's painful to say, but truthfully, fear became a part of my life {again}.

I have never talked much about the weeks that transpired after the fire.  The weeks in the hotel.  The thoughts.  The images.  The reality.  

I'll be real honest.  The fear was real.  

But I tried to pretend it wasn't.

And then on January 13th, 2011 {the night before the anniversary of the fire} I had a dream.  No doubt, it was prophetic.  I woke up remembering all the tiny details.  It was so real.

I will spare all the details of the dream, but in the dream were some of our closest friends.  In the dream, they were at our home to spend the anniversary of the fire with me {since Dw was in Africa}.

Really, the dream was exactly what life was about to do.  Cause when I awoke, it really was the anniversary of the fire and these dear friends really were coming to have dinner with me so I wouldn't be alone cause Dw really was in Africa.  It was so real it was almost unbelievable.  And I was troubled.  Parts of the dream were really horrible.  But in the dream these friends were with me.  What did it all mean and what was the real interpretation?

When I awoke, it was of course, the anniversary of the fire and these dear friends were truly coming for dinner.  So when Irma arrived I asked her where JD was.  She said, "I thought it was just a girls night."  I said, "I had a dream last night and you both were in it, would you please call him?"  

She called him and he came a few minutes later.  We visited and ate together.

When we were done eating, the kids all ran off to play.  I hadn't wanted to talk about the dream with the kids around.  So once the kids ran to play, I started telling them about the dream.  It was very detailed and it was very creepy.  

I had prayed all day before my friends got there. I had a good idea what it meant.

After hearing all the details, JD said, "What do you think it means?"  I said, "Well I know in the dream, I was too afraid to scream because I was completely filled with fear." With tears in eyes they said, "Linn, we were just praying for you yesterday morning.  You are filled with fear."  

It might sound like such a simple revelation, but really guys, it was huge.  THese precious friends of ours had been praying and the Lord had shown them just how entangled to fear I had become {again}.  The Lord loves me so much that He had shown me in a prophetic dream that would line up almost exactly as the day was about to transpire. 

 It was one of the most powerful moments in my life.

Together these treasured friends, {and my friend Carie, who was also over for dinner} these three, who had walked beside us {basically non-stop} during the days following the fire, were once again, used by the Lord to bring me to a place of healing.

Right there, we prayed together. I confessed allowing fear to enter and control my mind. I asked Christ to set me free from the chains again.  I prayed about some other things that the Lord had shown me in the dream as well.  It was amazing.  And I felt total peace.  True peace.
And courage like I haven't felt in a really, really long time.

Little did I know that the very next day, 
my new courage and freedom would be tested.  

There is more to the story, 
but I will save that for another time.  
Maybe next week.  

In the meantime, there are others of you that are entangled to chains of fear.  Christ came to set us free. 

More specifically:  If you are fearful about:  flying, adopting, marrying, dating, sleeping, staying alone, fire, swimming, traveling alone, memories of pain, driving, etc. He came to set you free as well.  Grab a friend, and pray together.  Be set free.

"It was for freedom that Christ set you free, therefore, 
keep standing firm 
and do not be subject again to this yoke of slavery." 
Galatians 5:1

Have a Memorial Box story to share?  Please link your permalink below. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Elijah Mueller Turns FOUR!

 Our littlest treasure {so far} turned FOUR today.

The little guy whose smile melts this mama's heart.  

Rather shy and quiet, let me just say, this guy knows how to pray.  He is concerned for those around him and prays with passion.  We know that the man Elijah {in scripture} was "a man who prayed earnestly"....we pray this over our son also....that he will be a prophetic voice, who prays earnestly...

My sweet prophetic promise whispered from the Lord through the song on my playlist "Days of Elijah" {long before Dw found him}...

 If you haven't read "Our Wild Adventure" parts 1-6 of how Elijah and Elizabeth came home...slide over to the sidebar and read will be reminded of how God loves the orphan and how His surprises are always the very, very, very best...

 Oh Elijah Mueller, you have brought mommy and 
daddy so much we love you precious son...

Traditional breakfast in bed...
whole grain pancakes with real NY maple syrup...
with a side of fruit...

Our mini Spiderman or not - he still loves his daddy to tickle him...

Another princess attended the party...

 Big Brother Spiderman
 There were glamorous princesses celebrating too...
{the kind mini and big Spiderman needs to 
rescue from time to time}

And closing the party out {just minutes ago} with our 
homemade ice cream cake...

If anyone out there wants to wish our mini-Spiderman 
a happy birthday, 
I'm sure he'd be tickled to pieces!!

silly, tired mommy

The kids came running to me this morning as I was dressing for the day.  Somehow they had looked at a calendar and found that is was the 24th. 

I confess, I rarely keep track of what day it is.  
Monday, Tuesday, etc, yeah, I know those {usually! haha}

But seldom do I know if it's the 17th or 18th or whatever.

And the other day I had looked at a calendar {obviously not the right year!}
 and saw that the 24th was Tuesday.  

So when the kids came announcing that today was the 24th I was kind of dumbfounded.

But no, it's true.  

Today is the 24th.

oh boy


Today, {not tomorrow} is a birthday in our house.  

Silly mommy.

Totally was planning on tomorrow, but the kids were so excited to learn it was 
{it would have been ludicrous to try to dissuade them till tomorrow}.

Hence, we will move Memorial Box Monday to tomorrow and 
I will be back in a little while to ask you guys to help 
wish a very special someone a very special day.  


Silly, tired mommy.  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Emma and I Are Lookin' For:

a  group of crazy, fun lovin' gals

who want to make a difference in this life,

who believe that orphans are the sweetest treasures of God,

who think working at a feeding program in the slums 
is truly being Jesus' hands and feet,

who aren't afraid of loving till it hurts,

who aren't squeamish about funky smells,

who want to look back on their lives with no regrets,

who don't care if little ones pee on them or spit up on them,

who can get up at the crack of dawn to snuggle 
with just-awaking orphans,

who can risk lovin' what some in society 
would consider unlovable,

who are lookin' for a challenge,

who think that getting out of their comfort zone 
sounds really, really refreshing,

who are flexible when things don't go according to "plan",

and who think that spending 12 days ministering to orphans
with Emmy and I sounds like an "I can't miss this" experience.....

then girlfriend -  

this just might be the trip for you!!

~and on that note~

Emma and I are tickled to pieces to announce 
this mama and daughter are leading a GO team..


Where:  Uganda!

When:  April 4th to April 16th, 2011 {approximately}

Cost:  $1,300.00 + airfare

Mission:  To hold, hug and love some of the most precious treasures living in Uganda

This trip is not for the faint of heart.  
It is not for those who aren't flexible.
and it's definitely not for those who are given to grumbling or complaining.

If you are interested in joining Emmy and I, 

please send an email requesting an application to:

In the subject line please put:  Uganda, April 2011

PS.  Dwight and Emma will be leading 
another GO team in June 2011. 

Come on, girlfriends, 
let's make a difference together!!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Tears of Relief!

Dw had left me to sleep in this morning.  He was going to get the little guys breakfast.  {I am not much of a sleeper-in type gal.  There's way too much to do in my humble opinion.}  

Anyway, Dw's cell was charging in our room and it started ringing.  

It was early.

I dove out of bed.

Caller ID said it was Sarah, our precious daughter-in-love.

I answered, "Honey?! Is everything okay?"  

And on the other end of the line I heard a most treasured voice,

"Mom!  I'm home!"

Our newly promoted Sergeant is stateside!  


American soil.

Sobs of relief unleashed by this mama.

Poor Ty. 

 Seems all I do when I talk to him is cry.

I ran the phone to daddy so he, too, could hear his voice.

He's safe.  

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your prayers while he was deployed.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Please remember our troops and please God, continue to bless America.