Monday, February 28, 2011

Ok, Ok, Ok,

Sandi I truly laughed outloud when I read your comment..."It's today, just in case you hadn't noticed"...

Rett, I'm hurrying.  I really am.  I hate to keep anyone waiting!

Char....I'm sorry you live on the other side of the world and have to get to bed, didn't even cross my mind about time zones and people waiting....so sorry sweet friend {who is going with our GO Team} =) 

And Denise, I've been helping Liberty with Math, folding 6 loads of laundry that were mounting and overseeing  the little guys school work....so promise I haven't been laying eating bon-bons with the remote in my hand....

 I fully intended to get up in the night and write it, but there was something that happened that has made my heart so heavy...when I awoke in the night I knew I needed to "spend time on my knees" instead...please forgive...

Soon.  Promise.  Really soon.

And in the meantime - in all seriousness - thank you guys for the laughs...

I really needed it today.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finally, Finally, Finally...

Tomorrow I will share with you, my sweet bloggy friends what I thought I would 
be able to share about 6 weeks ago.  

The Lord has moved in a mighty way and 

finally, finally, finally

we can share our news,

our joy,

and exactly what faithful God has done.

Thank you to all who prayed on Thursday.

We are rejoicing and celebrating with friends today

and tomorrow I will share with all of you the sweet news.....

{There will not be a Memorial Box Monday tomorrow.}

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Please Pray!!!

A blog friend posted a request on our prayer post from Thursday just a little bit ago.  As soon as I saw it I wrote and asked her for more information.

My heart is so burdened for this situation, would you please pray with me?

A young couple that this blog friend knows has been ministering in Kenya.

Here is the story from our blog friend, Adrian:


Ebel and Lora Kremer are from Holland.  They did their DTS {a program with Youth With A Mission - aka YWAM} in South Africa and started building an orphanage at Athi River YWAM base, Kenya.
( 8 homes where local foster parents can give a normal family life to 12 children)
They were also involved in the children's program for the YWAM base.
The base accommodates 25 staff members and 50 students had just arrived there.

The robbers came into their home arround 1 am, shot and killed Ebel, and brutalized Lora,
Their two small children were home at the time. Lora has been to hospital and is now with the kids at friends in Nairobi (50 km away) and prepares to come to Holland where her husband will be buried. He was a former policeman.

Ebel


Would you please pray with me for Lora and their children?  The trauma.  The pain.  Who can imagine? I cannot type without tears.  The cost of serving Christ can be unbearable.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Girl Can {finally!} See!!

Yesterday was a biiiig day...

Miss Liberty can now officially see!!

She marvels at the pine trees having needles and being able to see the clock...

And we think she looks beautiful..

Check it out!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Where Two Or More...

I was laying awake in the stillness and starting to pray and wondering how many had already posted requests and all of a sudden  {if you'd had a video watching me} my eyes popped open and I realized I hadn't even done a post for anyone to put a prayer request. 

Forgive me.

Anyway, here's the post.  

Many will be praying throughout the days over the requests posted here, joining together to see our God move on your behalf.



As always, if you have a personal request, you are welcome to just comment "personal".

Also, don't ever be concerned about posting the same request time and time again.  We're in it for the long haul. Some requests have been on my prayer list for years.  

Jesus told a parable about a widow who kept going over and over and over to a unrighteous judge pleading her case.  Jesus said that's how we are to come to him with our concerns and needs.  And trust me, when I bring the same burden to Him over and over and over and over, often I start the conversation with Him like this, "Remember the widow in Luke 18 {vs 1-8}?  Well, here I am again...."  He didn't tell us to pray like that, except that He meant it.  

So post your comments with your prayer requests here.

And please let's remember the people of ChristChurch, New Zealand. What a horrific situation.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Facebook Sandwich....

I asked a person in our home, 
{whose name will remain anonymous}
 to make some grill cheese sandwiches...

With a great attitude, they got right to work...
and they were coming along nicely...


until Facebook started screaming their name...



And now we have appropriately renamed it...

a Facebook Sandwich

Wanna' take a bite?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This Is Why and This is What......

Yes indeed, this is why!

Early yesterday morning I got an email from a dear friend.

Later yesterday Jenny left a comment asking this:

I also have a silly question. I'm a little unclear what I should write with the package we are sending you! I had hoped to get it out today, but we got snowed in! So hopefully tomorrow or Wednesday. Any suggestions on a starting point of what to say to the child who may get our little outfit? I'm really at a loss here, and feeling silly!

Well Miss Jenny, that is not a silly question - I am sooo very thankful you brought it up.  

Now get this....

Yesterday early morning I got an email from a dear friend.  Her name is Kathy and she runs an orphanage in Uganda {incidentally, the team will be ministering there}...

Kathy had read the posts about the wedding feast and here's what she wrote:

Regarding your encouragement to have people write and send pictures, I just have this to add:
 
The first time I met a young teenage girl named Betty on the streets of Gaba, Kampala, she told me about her American friend, whom she called by name.  She said they had been friends since she was a little girl.  After that, every time I met her, she talked about her friend.  One day I went home with Betty to meet her sweet mama, and Betty brought out an old and worn letter.  It turns out her friend, whom she loved so dearly, was a woman who had sent a Shoebox Gift through Samaritan's Purse and included a letter years before!  Betty had not only treasured the letter, but the friendship she felt from that dear woman.  And I know our kids at Redeemer House treasure the letters, and especially the pictures, they get from their sponsors even more than the gifts - truly!  Please keep encouraging these people to write to these dear kids! 


I told ya!! In our Western world we cannot fathom the loneliness and hopelessness that so many have faced every, single, day of their lives.  Betty held on to that letter for all those years and referred to her friend over and over.  Seriously folks, I cannot help but cry when I think of the joy that simple act of writing a letter years before, had brought Betty.

  

So that's the why.

Here's some ideas about 'what' to write:

Include things like:

Who you are
If you have kids {even if they're grown}
What you do 
Where you live {like we live where it is snowing!}
That you are praying for them
That you are so thankful God made them
If you've ever been to Africa or hope to go one day
Exciting news that you/your family has {ie, grandbaby on the way, recently engaged, weddings coming} 
That you will keep praying for them
Say things like:  "I'm so glad we're friends now!"
Where you live
A picture of you and/or your family - In fact I know of one person who is laminating the picture they are sending!  Perfect!  Guess what?  Each picture sent will be treasured forever. 




So take a picture and stick it in too!

****

And lastly - please, please, please tell them -
that you love them! 

 Okay, just a little forthrightness here...I have spent my life dumbfounded by the number of people who struggle to say "i love you" even to dear friends.   Sweet friends, God's word is clear:  He loves.  If we are to be like Him, we are to love.  He expresses His love to us by saying He loves us...Please lay down the idea that it is awkward to say "i love you"...and be set free to say 'i love you'!!  "I Love You" is not something I say flippantly.  I truly love.  I love each of you and I care about you and your concerns.  God's love compels us to love others and to tell others that we love them.  God freely loves and so must we.  

So please don't be afraid to tell these street boys that you love them.  

Trust me, if you met them, you would see their circumstances and your heart would be wrecked.  

Forever.

And you would, without even thinking, wrap your arms around them and tell them you love them.

I know you would.

I.know.you.would.



Lastly, if you are not able to send clothes, no problem.  Maybe some of you would just like to send notes to the street boys, or maybe you already sent an outfit and you are willing to do more.  I know several people who are sending big boxes of stuff.  I am certain that not all the outfits will have letters.  So we will put the letters sent with outfits that don't have letters.  

And if we have 'extra' letters?  

We will hand everyone out to people we meet.

Promise.

The streets of Kampala, Uganda will never, ever be the same.

Please send letters to:

The River Church
860 Plymouth Drive
Durango, CO  81301
Attn:  GO Team April 2011

Monday, February 21, 2011

Whatcha Think....

about having a day of prayer and fasting this Thursday?  

I have gotten many emails requesting prayer recently
{even more than normal}.

I also confess that something monumental {for us} is happening Thursday.

So Whatcha Think?

Thursday, February 24th

Day of Prayer and Fasting??


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Memorial Box Monday - the Bed Rest Miracle

So today's story goes back to when I was pregnant with Graham, almost 16 years ago.  We were pastoring in Charlotte, NC where we had just moved to a few months before.

  I was 6 months pregnant with Graham at Thanksgiving.  I remember I had so many contractions over Thanksgiving {at just 6 months pregnant} that I didn't tell Dw, cause I knew that he would high tail me to the doctors and that doctor he would put me on bed rest.  Right after Thanksgiving I went to see my OB.  He was asking how it was going.



I fessed up.  I told him I had been having contractions.  He asked how many.  I said I wasn't sure. =)  He got a little more specific.  "For instance, how many did you have as you drove to the appointment?"  "Ummm, like seven."  That was that.  He did an internal.   I was already dilated to 4cm.  He said he was putting me immediately in the hospital to remain until close to my due date, which was February 22nd.

We had only been pastoring in Charlotte for a few months.  We had no family nearby and barely had made any friends.  I begged this kind older doctor to please, please, please allow me to stay home on bed rest.  He asked me if I would promise not to get up {at all}.  I promised.

I went home to climb into the couch and settle there for the next 10 weeks.  He had a monitor brought to our home and twice a day we would hook a monitor to my belly to record the contractions.  Then Dw would hook the monitor to the wall phone and transmit the information to Chicago.

Abigail was 11 at the time.  Tyler was about to turn 9.  Autumn was 5.  Emma was a little over a year.   It was a time of blessing and struggle.  We had only moved into our home two weeks before the bed rest.  The day we had moved in I had left to lead a women's retreat in South Carolina.  The following week we had had out of town company.  I had not unpacked basically at all and there were boxes everywhere.

Boxes, boxes and more boxes.

 So here I was, on complete bed rest and I couldn't open even one of the boxes.

I went no where.  No where at all.  I couldn't make meals.

I laid on the couch and did school from there.

The only thing I got up to do was go to the bathroom.

And I drank water.

Lots and lots of water.

I had told my doctor that I did not want to take any drugs.

Any.

At all.

The doctor told me that there was a general thought that drinking lots of water would dilute the hormone in my body that was causing the contractions, so I drank.

And drank.

And drank.


Literally, it took me about 20 minutes to finish an 8 ounce glass and immediately Abi
or Tyler would put another one down to drink.  I thought I would float away.  I didn't complain though.  I just wanted my baby safe and I hated the idea of drugs.

I regretted {after it was all said and done} not measuring just how much water I had drank.  I did a rough guess and figured that after almost 10-1/2 weeks on complete bed rest, drinking about every 20 minutes {even some times through the night}, I figured that I probably drank an official Olympic swimming pool.  {sorta not even kidding}

Imagine that!
During that time on the bed rest I stared at my empty home, thankful to be in it, but wishing I could nest.   Boxes were still everywhere.  No window coverings.  No wallpaper {In those days I was known for my mad wallpapering skills-haha}.  It was so stark and I was longing to nest and make it feel like home.  

So I began to ask the Lord if He would do me a little favor.  See, with Emma I had been on bed rest as well. Only for three weeks, but none the less, complete bed rest.   When I was allowed off bed rest, the very next morning I went in to labor and had Miss Emma Joy - a full three weeks early.

Well knowing that our home was stark and so-not-home, I asked the Lord if He would be gracious enough to hold off labor until I had nested a bit.  Mind you, contractions were happening like nuts {and I was hospitalized twice during those 10-1/2 weeks because I was starting labor, but through prayer and anointing with oil by our elders, the labor contractions miraculously stopped.  Seriously, totally a miracle!  No drugs, just prayer and drinking water, drinking water, drinking more water.  The nurses at the hospital shook their heads and sent me home.}

The weeks passed.  Finally, it was February 1st and the doctor said it was only 3 weeks till my due date so I could go off bed rest.  He expected me to have the baby {although we didn't know if it was a boy or girl, remember we LOVE surprises} that very day.  

I, on the other hand, having asked the Lord for a season of nesting, 
I just knew He was gonna' answer.  I just knew it.   He is just so faithful.  

The very minute I had the doctor's permission to be off bed rest I headed to a giant fabric store.  Dw had measured windows.  I bought several pieces of fabric.  I went home and got out my sewing machine.  I sewed my little heart out.  In the meantime my mom came from Buffalo, NY to visit.  She said, "Let's wallpaper."  We picked out paper and got to work on that.  Seriously, it was fast and furious and we were not gonna' stop.  

I went to the doctor's seven days later for my appointment.  
He was dumbfounded that I hadn't had the baby.  
I wasn't.  
*giggle*

Would you believe a complete 10 days of sewing, wallpapering, unpacking, emptying boxes and moving in had passed without any sign of baby?  Lots of contractions, but no baby.   On the night of February 10th, I spent some time with the Lord before going to bed.  I said, "Thank you my precious Lord sooooo much for giving me a season of nesting.  I'm ready.  You can bring the baby now."  

And the very next day I labored quickly and one push later and 
there was a blondie we named Graham Josiah.    

I am still amazed that my precious Savior would hear my prayer and stay labor so I could nest.  He is definitely my Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God.  The Almighty God who hears and and answers our heartfelt cries.  

What about you?  

What are your heart cries?  

Do you know He not only cares but He is willing to move for you?  

He loves you {and me} that much.  
He cares about whether your husband wants to adopt or whether you want to find your soulmate and marry or whether you or your husband needs a new job or whether you are trying to get a treasure home forever or whether you want to get pregnant or whether three sisters have a place to call home for a little season or whether I needed to nest or whether street boys in Uganda are treated like royalty for the first time in their lives.....He just cares.   That much.  

Link your permalink below and share with us your story of God's faithfulness in your lives.  


Nineteen

Six weeks from tomorrow the GO Team April 2011 trip to Uganda will be heading across the world...

I know some of you have been praying for the trip....

 so I wanted you to meet the ladies who are going:  

Terah
Stacy
Rebekah
Misty
Mary
Lynne
Lisa
Kris
Kim M
Kim H.
Kelly
Kaylee
Kathy
Hannah
Char
Bethany
Bambi
Emma
Me

Ladies from all over the world {yes, yes, yes!, even one sweet friend is meeting up with us from another part of the world} - all joining together with one purpose:  to unconditionally love the forgotten treasures of Uganda.  I know some of you are praying for the team and I wanted you to know their names. 
Most are in the throwing of raising the funds to go.  Please pray for that as well.

Nineteen ladies who will be {for all of you who are sending shirts and/or ties and/or shorts and/or pants} your hands and feet at the wedding feast.  We get to. And we don't take the privilege lightly....It is a privilege to serve and minister to the orphan and we will steward our time and resources wisely.  And Lord willing, we will never, ever, ever be the same again.

  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

A 9-1/2 year old Weighs In...

Recently I had a comment from a 9-1/2 year old male
 {tickled to pieces when that gender has something to say!}......

Did you, sweet bloggy friends,  happen to see it?

I am doubting many did, because he posted it several days after the original post.  But it made my eyes water {and still does}.   This young man gets it.  His heart is soft.   And it is so worth repeating...

My name is Clay. I am 9 1/2. My mom told me about what you are doing. I have been praying for the homeless. This is an answer to my prayer. I want to send some stuff for the boys. I would be glad to give my neckties for people who don't have any, when I can just go to the store and buy more. I hope it goes GREAT!


Clay, first off, thank you so much for leaving a comment.  Your words have made me start to cry every single time I think about them.  Ya' know why Clay?  Cause at your young age you are already praying and doing something.  Do you know Clay that there are many adults who don't care?  Many adults who don't get it?  I am sooooo thankful that your heart is soft and tender to care for the homeless.  In this case Clay there are boys {the same age as you and even younger!} who are homeless and living on the streets, without moms or dads or anyone to care.  And the thoughtful act of giving your ties and stuff to the homeless boys of Uganda is something that will truly make a difference!  The boys who have been shunned by society and mocked by those around them will have the opportunity to be dressed up and loved on and welcomed at a wedding feast!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring, for writing and for loving the forgotten treasures of Uganda.  There are forgotten treasures all over the world...and I pray God's continues to break your heart with the things that break His.

May the God who cares and loves the orphan, the homeless, the needy, the broken and the poor so much - bless Clay and continue to use Him in a mighty way!  Can you imagine what would happen if just 1/10 of the people sitting  on pews around the world did what Clay is doing?  Our world would never be the same.  

Oh Lord Jesus, continue to break our hearts with the things that break yours.

Friday, February 18, 2011

This Week......{in pictures}

I took some pictures yesterday for some fun.  

Somebody asked me this morning if I even notice 3 extra kids being in our home.  

Truthfully?

Not really.

Seriously, when you already have a lot of noise and chaos, three more is not even noticeable.

We are seriously having a blast. 

And the three girls are loving being here. 

So home schooling with ten kids at home {only Elijah doesn't "do" school} is crazy fun!   




 For Bible yesterday morning I made home made pumpkin bars.  Remember the gazillion pumpkins I got in the fall?  Sure comin' in handy these days.  So we ate them with coffee {for the big folks} and did our Bible time...and then we all prayed together....some of you {like Renee and Vanessa's mom and Esther =)} were even prayed for!!  





 Writing in her journal during Bible time....




 Doesn't Jubilee look so intent? 

Then I got a phone call that I absolutely had to take....
I was gone for about 3 minutes and well..
here's what I found when I came back.....
Flips and somersaults and jumping and bedlam...

and snuggling and loving and giggling...
And these two have been fric-n-frac...
{already good friends, but loving that they are together day-n-night!}



These two girls have been up to no-good...can you tell by their giggles?

And Elizabeth begged and begged and begged me  -
 "please, please, please can I take your picture mommy?"  

So I obliged. 

Thankful for our little boatload at the moment...
how blessed we are!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Changes

After the fire we were given a beautiful log bed.  It was custom made.  It was only used about 5 times by the person it was made for.  I had been praying for a log bunk bed.  No doubt, the Lord answered, "above and beyond all I could think or ask."  

Graham used it in his bedroom at the rental.  Then he put it in his bedroom 
when we moved into our home, but really, it's big.  His room is really small.  

It's bulky.  Gorgeous - but bulky in a small room.  It's a double bunk.  


So there was some discussion as to what to do with the bed.  I would not budge.  I knew that it would be perfect for our "extra" room.  The double bunk easily accommodates a family of four!!

Yesterday three sisters came to stay with us for awhile.  Two home school, one goes to school.  It could be for a bit, it could be for awhile.  The room is perfect for the three of them.  

Isn't it amazing how our faithful Father prepares the way for every, single need we have? 

My heart smiles.  

And thank you, in advance, to all who pray for peace 
and comfort for these precious three sisters during this season.  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Well, THAT was a Surprise!

I love this picture of Liberty.   
{She has the greatest giggle and she was giggling big time when I snapped this.}

Anyway, Liberty told me recently she was having trouble seeing far away.  

Hmmm.  

Okay.

Made an appointment for our eye doctor.

I was a minute or so behind her as I went into the room this afternoon.  
He already had her at the little machine that is like a 
preliminary thing that gives him an idea what her eye sight is like.

He looked pretty surprised and said, "Wow.  If that's any indication of what we can expect...whew!"

Sure enough the kid has needed glasses for awhile.  

Like a LONG while. 

I told him that she is just not a complainer or whiner.  
She's just easy-going and had never {until recently} said she couldn't see.

He kept shaking his head.  He said, 'Boy, is she going to be in for a surprise 
when she can see that things have edges!!"

Yes indeed.

Miss Liberty is getting glasses.

And she's gonna' look gorgeous!!


Oh Yes They Have!

Yes Indeed!!

Oh Yes They Have!!

I am just bursting!!

The first TWO packages {from Victoria in MO and Sarah in KS} have arrived for the wedding feast!!

Dw brought them in the door last night...

and my eyes keep welling with tears.

You guys are lovin' the "least."

Reminds me of a verse:


"And the King will say, 'I tell you the truth, 
when you did it to one 
of the least of these my brothers and sisters, 
you were doing it to me!'
Matthew 25:40

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Some questions:

There are a few little girls part of the ministry of A Perfect Injustice.  Mostly under the age of 8.  Is you have a beautiful dress that is begging you to send it to Africa for an African princess, then you are welcome to send it.  Please stick a love letter in with that as well.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!  

I am soooo excited!!


Monday, February 14, 2011

Memorial Box Monday - A Giveaway - It's VALENTINES DAY

Memorial Box Monday - where we remember.  

Give thanks.  

Acknowledge just what God has done for us.

Celebrate His provision, protection, and power!

But today we're going to do something a little different.


It's Valentine's Day - 
so let's have a little sweet bloggy celebration!

Wanna?

Here's how it works.

I won TWO Chocolate Covered Strawberry Candles 
at a Celebrating Home party.

I want to give them to TWO of you.

Here's all you have to do:

ONE candle will be given to someone who links a Memorial Box Monday story on today's post.

ONE candle will be given to one of you sweet bloggy friends who leaves a comment sharing how Memorial Box Mondays have effected your life, by the stories you've read and clicking on the links for others stories.  For instance: you started writing your own stories down OR you bought a Memorial Box OR you are searching for one OR you have started to talk with your loved ones about the things God has done as you remember your own stories...whatever...leave a comment telling how God has used this to minister to your heart and you will be entered to win...

My treasures will randomly pick ONE winner from the comments 

and 

they will also randomly pick ONE winner from the links below that people link to this post.

{Sorry, old Memorial Box stories linked don't count.}
I will have this MckLinky open until Sunday {2/20/2011}...


so relax...


you have plenty of time to write and link...


And lastly, we celebrated Valentines Day in our home with a tea for lunch.  We honored the martyrs of the faith who lost their lives. Martyrs like Valentine.....remembering their deep love for Christ, their courage and their heroism.  Oh that we would even have an inkling of what those who went before us endured for the sake of Christ...we wouldn't be the same....

Pink just seemed so fitting...little princesses and princes...all dressed up for tea and sandwiches





Happy Valentines Day from our home to yours...

and don't forget to enter the contest...
xo



Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweet Sixteen!!


Sixteen years ago this past Friday {February 11th} I woke up and began to have a few contractions.  About lunch time, my contractions got even stronger.  Dw and I took a long walk around the Matthews, NC subdivision we lived in.  I could not wait to meet the treasure I had had 
the privilege of carrying almost to term.  

Dw and I were the type to never want to know "what the baby is" while I was pregnant.  
We loved being surprised!!

By about dinner time we made our way to Matthews Presbyterian Hospital.  We walked the halls a bit.  Abigail who was about to turn 12, was with us.  We had asked if she wanted to see her little sibling being born.  So the three of us settled in when I began to feel like I was going to pass out {haha}.  Dw read scripture to me.  Abi sung with me.  "You came from heaven to earth to show the way, from the earth to the cross, my debt to pay, from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky, Lord I lift your name on high."  

When it was finally time to push, it only took one!  

And there he was!!  

Surprise!!

Graham Josiah

Dw and I take naming our children really serious.  Either the name has to have a powerful meaning OR be after a person in history whose life has made a monumental significance in Christian history. Graham was named after Billy Graham, a great man of God, with a passion for the lost, who never had a scandal. 

Our Graham is very tender-hearted. He is serious.  Not shy, but quiet, observant.  He loves the orphan.  He loves music.  He taught himself to play the guitar.  He took three drum lessons and plays for our adult worship team {when they need him} and leads the youth worship band.  To say he is gifted musically would be an understatement.  He has spiritual discernment and a prophetic gifting.  Someday maybe I will share about the prophetic dreams he has had.   If Graham has a dream we take it very, very, very seriously.  Each prophetic dream he has had, has come to pass.  

While in Africa last month, Dw called me with a troubling situation.  Dw and I were Skyping and Graham was listening on Dw's end.  I suggested we fast and pray.  Graham was standing with him.  {He would be be sooo embarrassed if he knew I was typing this}, but Graham said, "I've already fasted mom here in Africa.  I want  God to move."   As I listened to my fifteen year old say this, I thought, "Wow Lord.  I know adults who would never even consider on their own fasting for a situation."   There is more to the story, but that is for another time. 

We are not sure where God will lead Graham, but he thinks he may be in the music field, with time in Africa with Emma when he is not doing music.  We'll see.  

In the meantime, I want to honor this precious son, whose heart wants to please the Lord.  Who talks openly with Dw and I about life.  His buddy is Emma.  He loves when the little boys camp out in his room.  Graham Josiah, you are a true joy to our family and anyone who knows you!! 

We are so thankful that God allowed you to be our son...
what a privilege we have...  

 Autumn had the evening off, so that was a special treat...

Isaiah gave Graham a Monst*r drink...Gray-Gray's favorite...









{Jubilee, Elizabeth and Elijah were all sick...so they went to bed a bit earlier...}


And if you would be so kind....Would you be willing to wish 
this young man of ours a very happy birthday?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Speechless

Friday is almost always Dw's only day off.  We were sitting around and Tyler texted and wanted to Skype with us.  We were tickled.  He and Sarah are going away on a sweet vacation soon, and he's been working long hours since returning home, so we've not had much chance to talk to him.  We were all excited.

He talked to Dw first and next the computer was passed to me.  I said, "Hey honey!"  He looked at me.  Then he leaned a bit closer to the screen of his computer.  He squinted and leaned even closer.  Slowly he asked, while still squinting toward the screen as though straining to see, "Uhhh, Mom, what color are you dyeing your hair now?  {squinting more} Is that a new color?"

I held up the little eye of the camera of Dw's computer so that it pointed to my crown of splendor and laughed really loudly!!  "Ty! Didn't you know, that's my crown of splendor!!! I'm letting it all grow out!!"

For the first time probably ever in our 25 year old son's life he opened his mouth, squinted, looked perplexed.  

Started to say something.  

Stopped.  

Opened his mouth again. 

 Closed it.  

Sorta of shook his head side to side and one last time, 
opened his mouth, paused, breathed and closed his mouth.

Speechless.

I laughed for probably 5 minutes straight as I handed the computer to Graham.

Speechless.

Well that's one reaction.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Long-sleeve, short-sleeve, & a Message to Some Men

I am seriously giddy about all the enthusiasm for the African wedding feast!  

You guys are awesome!

Some of you have tweeted about it.

Some have Facebooked about it.

Some have sent emails telling their friends and family.

Some have even blogged about it.

Really guys?  You're the BEST!!

I was talking to my precious niece on the phone this AM while I ran some errands.  This project is such a tangible way to love the forgotten treasures in Kampala, Uganda.  

About the shirts:

If you are searching we would prefer short sleeve, but long will do.  Dress shirts {the kind that button all the way up the front are best to use with ties.  Plaid, stripes, plain.}  Just, please, no flannel or heavy weight.  It's Africa.  It's hot. Always.  

Joni tweeted this picture of what the Lord had provided for her at a thrift store:




This is all such a wonderful example of  all of us Ordinary People doing Extraordinary things for the Orphan!!

Thank you Joni, for tweeting the picture! It's perfect!!  And can't you just picture a little street boy looking so dashing in that?  Oh.my.


As I wrote yesterday:  

Shorts are preferred to pants. 

 Pants are bulky to take.

  Shorts would be much better.

Brand new undies would rock!

And as far as the concerns over the sizes, here's my thoughts on that:



I firmly believe that our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God is going to provide exactly what we need.  He knows the sizes.  He knows the needs.  As we pray and seek Him, He will provide exactly what is needed.  How many times have you had an unusual idea pop through your head?  The kind like, "Pick up a such-n-such."  And so you throw it in your cart and all of a sudden someone says, "I need a such-n-such" and it's exactly what you just picked up.  Only God.  

So I'm not concerned about the sizes sent.  God will take care of it.  And if it were to be that there were not the right sizes, I am convinced {not even kidding} that somewhere in the luggage compartment ministering angels will be stretching or shrinking the clothes to what's needed.  Seriously.  God is THAT big and His ministering angels will do anything at His command.  He just loves the orphans {and us} that much!!

Please, most importantly, remember to tuck a love note {and picture please} in with your gift.  Tell that treasure how thankful you are for them. Tell them how you are praying for them and tell them that you love them.  Really.  That note will be as important to them as the outfit itself.  I am convinced that it will be tucked in their pocket for the rest of their life.  Really. 

And in the meantime, please pray.  NO doubt, as people strive to minister His love to the precious orphans in such a large magnitude, the enemy of our and their souls gets mighty ticked.  Pray! Pray! Pray!!

I will post an address soon for those sending larger boxes from small groups {etc}, 
but in the meantime, please send to the church your smaller packages: 

The River Church
860 Plymouth Drive
Durango, CO  81301
Attn: Uganda GO Team April 2011

Ooops, I almost forgot. I have to just say I am always tickled to have a comment from any brave gentleman who is stopping by our Place Called Simplicity.  Mr. Daddy is pretty much the only guy willing to comment {special thanks Mr. Daddy} but it was so stinkin' fun to have a comment from a brave guy named Kevin, who said that he and his wife would be participating in the Wedding Feast. Kevin:  I tried to leave a comment on your blog, but you don't have a single post to comment.  Come on dude - write.  The world awaits.  =)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wanna' Kind of GO to Africa with Us?-Pt. 2

Wow.

You guys are awesome!

All 116 of you.

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!!

There have been many questions in your comments.

So let's see if we can figure this out...

1.  Since the response has been wonderful, how about if each person sends one or two things? {Two sets would be perfect!}   If you only have a shirt, awesome.  I am sure there will be someone who only has ties.  I know the Lord will work it all out.  Really.  It would be much more fun to focus on one or two that are picked in love and prayed over.  Ya' know what I mean?  

2.  I had a thought from the Lord late last night.   Ya' know what would be extra, extra special?  How about if you write a note to go with what you send?  {And sticking in a picture of you or your family would be the cherry on top!} Of course, if you send two ties, please send two notes.  Two boys will get your two ties, so we would need two notes.  Can you imagine though, when boys receive gifts with sweet love notes from people that they don't know?  

I was thinking about how this can be such a lesson to our kids and our grandkids or our church Sunday School class or Bible study.  If you have never been to the streets of a third world country and served the orphan there, it is really beyond words.  I walked around the slums in disbelief when Emma, Graham and I went to Africa for three weeks.  

For a teaching moment take your group outside {barefoot - unless you are in snow country and there is snow on the ground, without coats, when it is dinnertime or they are hungry.}  Then talk to them about what the street kids have. 

 Nothing.  

Where will they find food?  

Great question.  

Maybe a feeding program?  

If one exists near them.  

Where will they sleep?  

They're on their own. 

Do they have to go to the bathroom? 

No toilet paper.

Are their hands dirty.  

Oh well.

What if their lips are chapped?

Good luck with that.

What if they cut themselves?

They have to figure it out on their own.

No band aids.  

Nothing.

What if someone bigger wants to hurt them, where do they run to?

There is no safe, warm home for them.

Imagine what it would be like.

Then pray for the boy who will receive your gift.  Pray that God will breakthrough the tough, protective exterior many of them portray.  Pray that God will minister through your gift to their soul.  That God will continue to raise up ministries to minister to these treasures.  Some of the kids living on the streets are as young as two.  They have been abandoned to try to figure life out alone.  

Can you imagine?

And always, always, always, pray with your family and friends 
that God breaks your hearts for the things that break His.

More questions answered:

Shoes, although wonderful to take, weigh too much.

Pants would be great, but really shorts are better
{They weigh less and the heat of Africa makes them much more practical.
Even basketball shorts would be wonderful!!}

Underwear would be super.
PLEASE ONLY BRAND NEW UNDIES.

waitingarms left a comment, 
part of which really bears repeating here:


I am praying that everyone who responds would have true love and compassion for the special boys and not simply send their torn and worn rejects that they would never dress their children in. Nothing communicates to a child a lack of worth than receiving torn and very worn clothes from the richest country on earth! We did a shipment of clothes to needy children in Kenya a few years ago and involved quite a number of churches. It was amazing the condition some of the donations were in - and these are from churches in pretty up scale communities! It took so much work to sort thru the donations to remove and discard the clothes that were not fit to even be used as rags. I think everyone donating should ask themselves if they were donating an item of clothing that their own child would wear to church or on a special outing.


{Thank you waitingarms for echoing our prayers as well.}  

I shop at thrift stores and yard sales all the time.  But I do not buy things that are all stained, trashed and garbagey looking.  I am sure you guys know what I'm talking about.  Let's treat these African treasures, who have most likely never been to a wedding feast, dressed like the guests of honor should be dressed.

It reminds me of these verses :

 Luke 14:16-21 

 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
   “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
    “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
    “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
    “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’     “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’   “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.  I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”




Lastly, if you said that your Bible study or small group were gonna' get on this, please would you wait to ship a larger parcel?  I am trying to find an alternate address so that another group going on the trip could receive those {like the group coming from Idaho - hint-hint}.   When we get it all figured out, I will post that! Thank you sooo much!