Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy and You

I was in  college in Downtown Buffalo during the Blizzard of 77. 


 It would probably only be remembered by those who were living there at the time, but there is no doubt, lives were lost in the days of endless blinding snow.    It was ridiculous!  Drifts were so high that we could actually climb them and touch the light in the center of the intersection.



 Having a treasure with significant special needs, who at any moment might need to be transported to the hospital, I look at storms from maybe an angle that many others wouldn't.  

Our family would like to be lifting up our bloggy friends that could possibly be affected by Sandy.

So if you feel like placing your name in the comments and your geographic location, our family {and I'm sure many others} will be going thru the list and praying for all of you and any special concerns you might have.    


In the meantime, we will be watching the news and praying for God's sovereign protection over each of you and yours!

*Pretty weary and worn out so we will be postponing Memorial Box Monday. 
Always thankful for His continual faithfulness.*

    

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Those Little Umbrella Thingys

The other day the kids were swimming in the pool.....
Autumn and Savannah have come to spend some time with us
{Karl flew in yesterday}......

Well, if you know Autumn, you know how much she loves zebra anything
 {and I mean a.ny.t.h.i.n.g.}

Anyway, Autumn found a little bathing suit for our little African Princess Ruby...
and Lil' Miss Ruby looked positively stylin'....
enjoying her new suit and smirking away at Emma...
but I couldn't quite catch it.  

I'm pretty sure Ruby was thinkin,

"Who'd have guessed when I was found in that garden in Uganda, 
severely malnourished and dying - 
that one day I would be laying beside a pool in Phoenix, Arizona 
sportin' a zebra bikini and being loved on by so many? 

Ummm, wow.  Only Faithful God.  

Now would someone please pass me an iced lemonade
with one of those little umbrella thingys?"   

haha


And in the meantime we are celebrating the response to 
Friday's "Final Seven"...
If you missed out, hop back a post...
it's not too late to 'shower' on the blessings that we 
have so generously be blessed with...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Choosing Joy

Today I am choosing JOY.

It is a choice, right?

Cause if I didn't choose joy, I would be walking around in complete frustration.  Grrrr.

And some of the things that make my heart happy are balloons....driving down the road, I sound like a little kid when I start squealing, "Look at the balloons guys!! LOOK!!  Aren't they gorgeous?"

[Hence the picture of balloons, cause when I found it, it just makes my heart smile.  Aren't they so happy looking?]



No doubt, the Lord must have something A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. in store,
because I have never, ever, ever had such trouble getting
something working on my blog.

I have worked and worked, using different computers, emails back and forth, wireless systems -

SERIOUSLY!!

If I was one given to high blood pressure, it would be spiking over the last two days!

But I am determined to get this done.  I know the Lord told me to do it and I want to see our Place Called Simplicity orphan-lovin', God-fearin', Jesus honorin' family lovin' on each other in a very tangible way....

SOOO I am trying one more time, a different system on this post.

I sincerely regret the delay.

If you linked on yesterday's post, I regret to inform you that you will have to use THIS post and LINK on this Linky below.  Again, once it is linked, approval will be required and nothing will show up immediately until I approve up to 7 {God's perfect number}.

Remember this Linky is for our Place Called Simplicity friends and pertains to those already assigned to bringing more than one treasure {which means you and Immigration know that you are bringing two or more} and traveling soon and when you get your permission to go, two or more treasures will no longer be orphans! 

If you have no idea what I am talking about, you will have to back up and read beginning with He's Not A Deadbeat Dad Part 1, then Part 2, then Part 3, then Part 4, then the Praise and Prayer posts, and then the questionnaire post.

Thank you for being patient.

Choose Joy with me!

I will choose JOY and THANKFULNESS with you...and together we will rejoice at all that God has done!!

And by the way, should you see some balloons, thank the Lord that your eyes work...because not everyone has the privilege of enjoying the pleasure of bright and beautiful balloons!





Thursday, October 25, 2012

Storing Up Treasures {The #2s}

We have prepared by studying {the Deadbeat Dad Series parts 1-4}.

We have Praised, {Fasted} and Prayed. 

And now we get to Respond to all that God has shown us.

How stinkin' cool is that?

Kind of like training, eating well, and then running the race!  

While we were Fasting and Praying on Tuesday, toward the end of the day, answers to prayers posted earlier in the day began to roll in on the Prayer Request post.  

Were you able to see that?  

Friends praying for one another right there on the post...it was amazing!  

Then seeing results the very same day as many around the world joined together to pray for each other's needs - absolutely delightful! 

Today is the day to post the links of families among us who are nearing travel to bring home more than one treasure.   

Each person was required to fill out a questionnaire for several reasons.  I have come to the place where I am convinced that I will spend the rest of my days only encouraging stewardship of God's money. 

For that reason, I also feel strongly that this is almost a sacred time.
  
A few years back I did several of the big "throw the doors wide open, tell all your friends to link up as well and let everyone post their needs".

But somewhere in there I, personally, began to feel kind of, ummm, I don't know....almost like it had become a free-for-all, where people didn't have to have any type of accountability....

Do you know what I mean?   

Because people could post a need, but there was no 'checks and balances' of "is this a true need" or is this a "we don't want to dip into our savings" or "we're going as a family to Tahiti for a vacation and I want you to pay for my adoption" thing.  

God's word is clear.  We are to have excellent stewardship over His money that He has graciously and most generously entrusted to us.

For a couple of years I didn't have any of the "calling everyone out there who is adopting to link up"...it just felt kind of not-okay deep in my soul.

But recently, the Lord encouraged me to do the "He's Not a Deadbeat Dad" series followed by a time of Praise, Fasting and Prayer...preparing our hearts for the opportunity to Respond to what He showed us in our day of Prayer and Fasting...

And so that's where we each come in....

To the best of my ability the questionnaire is an accountability system.  I also have Linky set up so that each person posting a link has to be approved.  I will be reading each entry, and am only going to allow up to the first 7 {God's perfect number}. 

You, bloggy friends, who have been stopping by our Place Called Simplicity for any length of time have been reading my heart.  You know how I only want to please the Lord, unashamedly.  You also know how deep my convictions are about things like Prayer, The Faithfulness of God, Fasting, Tithing and each Individual's Responsibility to Care for the Orphans in some way.

Hence, we get to.

Some in our Place Called Simplicity Family are in group 2.  Together we can lend a hand.  Help bring their treasures home and forever know that we had a part.  How amazingly cool is that? 

The thing is, no gift is too small.  Remember when I wrote about the penny on the street that I picked up?   It starts with that - one little itsy-bitsy penny.   

Some folks will be drawn to one family...others another.  Still others may be drawn to several.  Pray, seek Him and then, give as the Lord directs.  Our family will be giving and I am so excited.  We have helped dozens of treasures come home.  Many we have not known in any way but through the blog world.  And our hearts couldn't be more thankful - we got to help!  I could never even begin to name all the ones we have helped bring home.   How fun is that?  The only one "keeping score" is the Lord and that means we are "storing up treasure in heaven". 

If you are #2, link up...and remember I am only going to allow the first 7, and each one will have to be "approved" before they show up on the listing.  

Thank you each for being willing to participate and thank you to each of the friends of our Place Called Simplicity for your deep love for the orphan.  

 Honestly, you guys are the very, very best! 

 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I'm Sorry Friends....

If you are out there waiting for the post - - -

I regret to inform all you sweet friends that I cannot get McLinky to work.

I have used it 72 times in the past several years.  I know how to work it - it's quick and easy.  I will write to the owner...he usually replies quickly, there is definitely a problem on their end.

Ruby was up until somewhere around 2:00am this morning.  I was up at 6:30am.  I'm definitely sleepyish but I know what I'm doing with McLinky...

I will wait for his reply and post it first thing in the morning and if Ruby doesn't sleep most of the night, I will post it earlier than if she does.

Off the subject, did you know that kids with significant brain trauma don't sleep much?
{Neither do their mommies? haha.}

Ruby is happy when she is awake, always.  In fact if she cries, we all stop, our eyes grow wide and we say, "Oh my gracious, Ruby what is wrong?"

Seriously, an entire month can pass without even a grumpy sounding cry.  Such a little treasure. But yes, Mommy is feeling the late nights and middle of the night feedings.   
Back to the McLinky situation.

Dw came out and laid hands on my computer and prayed.  McLinky still won't work and trust me, I've been trying for forever.

Clearly, the Lord must have something pretty stinkin' amazing in store!

Okay, off to write the owner...Lord willing, it will be fixed and ready to roll in the early morning hours.

Thank you for understanding.

xo

The Questionnaire

What a beautiful day it was: Praising [loved that!], {Fasting}, Praying for each other....

Doing the He's Not a Deadbeat Dad series, we finished up with remembering that the primary way the Lord provides for people to bring treasures home is simple:

through orphan-lovin' people like you and me.

Since the Lord reminded us of that, we took Tuesday, October 23, to be PRAISE, {FAST} and PRAY before moving into our RESPONSE time.

A few posts ago we kind of divided up the people who stop by our Place Called Simplicity into categories:

1.  Those who have identified a child and are in the midst of an adoption.
2.  Those who have identified multiple children and are nearing travel to bring them home. 
3.  Those who have yet to identify a child/children but are in the midst of your paperwork {application/home study/immigration if adopting internationally, etc}.
4.  Those who are intending to adopt, but have not yet begun anything.
5.  Those who hope to someday begin an adoption
{but still are praying or waiting or both}. 
6.  Those who are not in any of the above five categories.
7.  They have already adopted and are willing to help others out.
And a precious bloggy friend, elizabethd, asked for an 8th category:  
those who are adopted and want to help others out.  
So we'll add that as well:
8.  Those who are adopted and want to help others come home.

So here's what we're going to do.  

First let me explain:  
No matter what category you are in, there is a spiritual principle here that works 
for our family 
every.single.time.  

Here it is:

We share what we have with others and the Lord always meets our needs.   

How does He do it?  

Creatively.

Timely.  

Always, faithfully.  

I am crazy enough to believe that if we see a need, we are to meet it.  

Sharing what we have.  

It's that Simple.

Now some may say, "Does that mean we are to help every single person who posts an adoption need?"  No, that's not what I'm saying.   I believe that God will naturally draw some to one and others to another.  By the same token, being perfectly frank, there are many though who *could* help each person in need.   

One of my favorite reminders about our money:

"But keep on storing up treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moths and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal, because where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."   
Matthew 6:20, 21 isv

I remember a couple of years ago doing this same thing:  Having links for people with needs to link their blogs explaining their needs.  I remember one woman, in the midst of an adoption writing something to the effect:  "We have been having to dig into our savings...."

Ummmm, ma'am let me just be perfectly honest here:  "Bringing kids home is what you should be digging into your savings for.  Remember according to God's word....treasures that last are the little ones that we can take to eternity with us.....and truthfully, I know, for a fact, that there were people blessing others who were giving "the widow's mite"....and yet she didn't think she needed to be dipping into her savings." {*good grief!*}

So on that note:  If you have a savings account, please don't link.  Dip into it.  Use it.   That's probably why God richly blessed you with that money.    

Then there is this verse as well, which is another personal favorite:

"But whoever has the world's goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him?
I John 3:17 nasb

So this is kind of where I'm at....if I know that there are friends needing money to go to get their treasures {child/children} and I am have money, then I am thinkin' that I know what I'm supposed to do with said money.

I remember when we were taking the clothes to the street orphans for the Wedding Feast and a precious young woman named Piper contacted me and asked:  "I was given a gift card for my birthday.  Could I go buy all the necessary things to make boutonniers for the Street Orphans?"  I wrote about her amazing gesture of love here. 

Piper envisioned how special precious Street Orphans would feel wearing classy boutonnieres and decided that that gift card would be perfect for her to spend for the orphan. 



But ya' know what stood out the most to me?  Was that Piper could have spent her gift card to buy herself something.  After all it was for her birthday.  No one would have faulted her for doing just that - but she  selflessly loved the orphans with her own gift card, her own time and her own energy.  I will never forget Piper's gesture and I will never forget her generosity.  And God remembers as well.  

So whatever we have, we have the opportunity to bless others with.   Birthday money, Christmas money, 'fun money', savings, "foo-foo coffee money", whatever.

We could actually opt out of "celebrating" stuff like Halloween and use that money to help bring orphans home.  Right?  I mean, we could - -  if we really wanted.  

We could actually decide to buy simple things for Christmas for those we love and instead donate to an orphan coming home and write a little note: 

 In lieu of a gift this year, the money that would have been spent on your gift
 has been donated to help bring a treasure home.    

Or it could read:  
In lieu of a gift this year, your birthday/Christmas money 
has helped feed ___ street orphans.  

Can you imagine if we did that?  

The world would be rocked.  

And I have to think that we would lay our heads down at night and sleep with peace, knowing we are doing EVERYTHING we can to help the orphans.

Ooops,  so stinkin' easy for me to get side-tracked when I talk about
 the plight of the orphans.....
back to the McLinky post....

Anyway, the next post will have a McLinky on it which will enable you, our bloggy friends, to link up and share your need.   

As I stated the other day, this first McLinky will be for the "2" group.  

The "Rules":

Folks who are a #2 = Matched with more than one child  
AND
are nearing travel, 
but are in need of finishing up the funds.

If you have already traveled, even overseas at this moment, this is not for you...

1. Each person will have the same questions to answer {just copy, paste and answer}. 
2. The questions are to be the body of the post that is linked.  
3. You must link back inside the post to our Place Called Simplicity as well explaining to your bloggy friends what we are doing over here. 
4.  Anyone who uses an old post will be deleted, as will anyone who fails to answer each    question.
5.  PCS reserves the right to delete any link that does not follow the rules set forth.
{I don't want to delete anyone, so please follow along sweetly.}

Here's the Questionnaire that must be copied, pasted, answered and posted.  
Each question must be answered honestly.  There is no wrong answer, the only thing that matters is truthfulness.   In the interest of most people reading your post, it would probably be best to be brief with your answers.   I have questions that I feel honor the Lord, promote stewardship responsibilities as well as obedience to scripture allowing those willing to share what resources they have to get to know the folks participating.   

1.   How many children are you adopting?
2.  What names have you chosen and what are their ages? 
      {Please post pictures if able.}
3.  Are any of the children you are adopting considered "Special Needs"?  
4.   If yes, specifically what Special Needs?
5.  What country or geographic area are you adopting from?
6.   Have you adopted before?
7.   How close to travel are you?
8.   Do you attend church regularly?   If so, what type of church is it?
9.    Do you tithe with each pay {at least the scriptural standard of 10%}?
10.  Yesterday, did you participate in any way with the day of Praise, Prayer by giving praise on the link and then posting your request? 
11. How did you hear about the Link up? 
12.  Is there anything, briefly, that you would like to share with our orphan-lovin', God-honorin', Jesus worshippin' bloggy friends reading this?
   
****************
Finally, understanding that each gift received through this "Response Time" has been entrusted generously for our use from our loving Father, we promise, in the unlikely event that we would be unable to or decide not to adopt the children we are advocating for, we promise to return all of the money gifted to us as a result of this link to International Voice of the Orphan so they can, at their discretion, give to other families adopting.      

{Please place your initials on the line.} 
Yes, I will submit______             No, I am unable to submit to this ________

*****************
I will put up the McLinky post up later this today {Pacific time}, so please get your post ready by copying, pasting and answering the questions.  
We will limit the time McLinky is open.   
May God be glorified as we bless one another with the resources He has given us.   


Monday, October 22, 2012

Let's PRAISE HIM Together

This is the place to post your PRAISES, before you post your REQUESTS 
on the other post below.

Remember what God told the Israelites to do:

"After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever."  2 Chronicles 20:21




Imagine how it was to go ahead of troops to the battle praising Him... 


Scripture clearly states:   
"The battle is the Lord's" 
and so we can be confident -

He always, always wins.  

We rejoice together that God has been faithful in the past. 

 He has always been faithful.

We will show what He has done on this post.  
No matter what  - we are to praise Him.....
for everything and anything!  

So praise with me, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and the splendor of His holiness!  

Then slide down to the REQUEST post and place your requests...

"The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." 
Zephaniah 3:17
  

THE BATTLE - {PRAYER REQUESTS}

It is a privilege to pray {and fast} with and for those who stop by Our Place Called Simplicity today.

This is the PRAYER REQUEST POST.

We have seen amazing answers to our needs as we have had many, many days of prayer and fasting over the years.

Please post any prayer needs on this post.  Bloggy friends and lurkers from around the world will be praying.  No many how many prayer requests, they will all be prayed through by some.  Soooo, please post away.



And as I stated in Monday's post....the Lord clearly showed me that we are to PRAISE Him first and then humbly make our requests.

Please post a PRAISE {at least one} on the other post titled "PRAISE".....we are going to do what God told the Israelites to do:  PRAISE before the battle, and then go to BATTLE {where we post REQUESTS}.  

If you are discouraged as to whether God answers prayer, please read through the PRAISE post...it will encourage your heart - He is always faithful - no.matter.what.

"For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them."
Matt. 18:20

So if you have posted a PRAISE [at least one] on the other post, 
please post PRAYER REQUESTS on this post. 


"Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. 
Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."
Phil. 4:6 nlt


An Even BETTER God-Idea for Tomorrow

Tomorrow is our Place Called Simplicity's day of prayer and fasting, right?

I am overjoyed at the amount of participation when I posted about it the other day.   You guys, who hang out at our Place Called Simplicity are just amazing...I am so thankful that you are part of our lives.  We have cried, laughed, prayed, rejoiced and shouted for joy with many of you.

So, while praying this morning the Lord popped an idea in my head that just made me giggle.

Remember how God sent the people praising at the front of the pack when they were marching?  Remember?  One story is found here:

"After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the LORD and to praise him for the splendor of his holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: "Give thanks to the LORD, for his love endures forever."  2 Chronicles 20:21  



The Lord whispered to me this morning, "You and your friends need to praise ME before doing BATTLE {also known as Prayer Requests}."

And if any one wants to sing while they are posting requests, better still, sing loudly, I would love to hear you.  No one, except maybe my littles, wants to hear me sing.  Trust me in this.

Our sweet Place Called Simplicity has become known for prayers prayed, fasting, prayers answered and now it's going to be known for Praise!

So here's what we're going to do:

Tonight, just after midnight I will do two posts.

The first will specifically say, "PRAISE"

On the PRAISE post, please post things that you are specifically praising Him for.

Prayers answered.

Victories won.

You can write as long as a Praise comment as you want.

And for the record, if you think of other things to PRAISE Him for, please feel free to come back and post more praises.  You can post as many as you like.  Zillions if you want!
Praises will make us want to clap and shout - "Look at all He has done!"


It will lift all our weary souls to see together all the things we are praising Him for! 

THEN the second post, will clearly be titled, "THE BATTLE" - this is specifically for prayer requests.

If you are posting a prayer request on "The Battle",  please first post something you are praising Him for.  We have to always, always remember that the battle is won on our knees.   Victory comes through praise.  Truly, it's scriptural.

We are not attempting to manipulate God in any way,  just doing exactly what the Israelites did before they went to battle.

This is just about real people {you and me},  praising Him before humbly going to battle for real needs.

Doesn't it sound perfect?

Praise before The Battle {Prayers}. 

Soooo cool.  I don't know if I'll even sleep tonight.  {Not.even.kidding.}

Can't wait to see all He does!

Over in Scotland


I couldn't resist, I knew you guys would want to know what's going on over in Scotland.


 I mean, seriously, could these pictures get any cuter?  

Sweet bloggy friend, Moira, from Scotland sent two pictures the other day.  
Seems that after reading "What In the World Are We Doing?" 
Eliana and Malachi and their mom Moira have decided eating beans and rice
 is going to become a regular routine and then they will donate
that money 'saved' to Frontlines+ Feeding Program

Such a simple, tangible way to change the world from their own home! 

No doubt, the pictures enthusiastically portray the joy that comes from denying self
 in order to show love to a hungry treasure - just like them. 


I am 100% convinced that the seeds of selflessness planted by this mommy in Scotland 
will extend for generations,
 because that's just how God works...


Way to change the world Moira, Eliana and Malachi - one meal at a time!

And on behalf of the hungry around the world:

THANK YOU!

"To whom much has been given,
much will be required."

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Saturday

All your comments were really fun to read.  Thank you for taking the time to speak!  It was kind of comical, I would read one and say in my head, "Ohhh, good point."  And then the very next comment would say the opposite and I would say, "Ohh ya, you're right."   I was clearly conflicted and actually some of you were too.

I completely forgot when I mentioned the yard sale possibility mentioning that we live way off the beaten path in the desert.  It's Phoenix, true enough, but it's not in the hub of it all.  It is in a subdivision, but really, people who live here are the ones who come here, not much else.  

Well, except for

the coyotes  {seen plenty}


scorpions  {we've seen a few of them as well}



and

creepily, the rattle snakes....
{only Graham and Liberty have had that privilege, thrill, terrifying experience}


In my deeply conflicted state, I prayed and I honestly felt like the Lord reminded me of living out in the desert in a less traveled area...and there would not be many people.

It turns out the people across the street had opened their garage for the sale and we saw two or three cars the entire morning.

I was so thankful that I hadn't put anything out.  I would have been frustrated, to say the least.

Instead I sipped coffee and spent time with the kids and got tons of laundry done.   Dw ran to get our vegetables and came home with four huge boxes of tomatoes.  {More canning coming, just need to find some canning jars!}  And we were able to share some with our neighbors, who were tickled.

Somewhere in there some sweet friends asked us if we wanted to come hang out and have dinner {we shared some tomatoes with them as well.}

Emma went to her Bible study group's gathering and Graham was at a Battle of the Bands {his band was competing and moved to the next round}...

The rest of us went to our friends where the kids swam in the pool and even dunked for apples.  Dw grabbed this picture of Nehemiah and Elijah.



We said, "Elijah didn't dunk for apples.  He dove for them!"  That kid was soaked and wet, almost completely head to toe.

It was a really, really sweet day.  And the stuff in the garage is waiting.  Maybe there will be a place to take it that is "on the traffic path" cause I really would love to turn it into money for future "Wednesdays"....

So excited - off to church!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Should I or Shouldn't I?

There is great joy in my soul today since posting about our day of prayer and fasting on Tuesday and then the Wednesday time of blessing our bloggy family.

You guys are amazing and I am thrilled beyond words at your response!

So what are you all doing this week-end?  Anything super-duper fun?

Dw and I went out for a morning coffee date with Ruby {she doesn't really like coffee - j/k}...anyway, we pulled out of our sub-division and found signs everywhere that our community is having a community wide yard sale.

Tomorrow.

Sure would have been nice to know ahead of time.

Guess we probably need to get on their email list or something.

Anyway, so my question is:

Do I stay up late tonight, throwing the stuff in the boxes in the garage on tables and have a yard sale with the rest of them?

Or do I just take it to the thrift store and donate it all?

What's your thoughts?

Did I mention I'm really tired?




Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Idea

While I was praying about the orphan crisis and the need for many to be adopted, the Lord reminded me of something we had done a few years back.

For those who've been hanging around our Place Called Simplicity for awhile you might remember, however, we still are going to structure things a bit differently this time around.

Remember in part 4 of the "He's Not a Deadbeat Dad" series, I mentioned that there are probably about six basic categories of people who stop by our Place Called Simplicity.

I'll refresh your memory, just incase you've forgotten:

1.  Those who have identified a child and are in the midst of an adoption.
2.  Those who have identified multiple children and are in the midst of the process
to bring them home.
3.  Those who have yet to identify a child/children but are in the midst of your paperwork {application/home study/immigration if adopting internationally, etc}.
4.  Those who are intending to adopt, but have not yet begun anything.
5.  Those who hope to someday begin an adoption
{but still are praying or waiting or both}. 
6.  Those who are not in any of the above five categories.

A few people commented that they thought they fit in to category "7" which meant that they have already adopted and are willing to help people out.  I love category 7 {and find it interesting that 7 coincides with "7" being God's 'perfect' number associated with "divine completion" - how cool is that?}  

The entire "He's Not a Deadbeat Dad" series was birthed out of the Lord's prompting to remind people that He can be trusted to bring through the funds needed to bring home His most precious treasures, thus fulfilling by one avenue of His command to love and care for the orphan.  

So in other words, if you are stopping by our Place Called Simplicity, you have gotta' have a tender spot toward the orphan.  You gotta.  Cause that's kind of the heartbeat of our lives.  Ya' know what I mean?

If you read the Deadbeat Dad series, you will remember that God has many ways He comes through to provide for adoption.  Many.  Many.  Many.  He is not limited to any one way.

BUT

the main way He uses to provide to bring treasures home
 forever is really kind of crazy simple...

Ready?

Holding your breath?

{Okay, just kidding, please don't hold your breath, you might pass out}







It's this:

Through plain ol' ordinary orphan-lovin' people like you and me.

How crazy is that?

Think about it, we already have tender hearts for the orphan.

We already see the need.

Many of us have adopted.

Many of us want to adopt.

Many of us want to adopt more.

Many of us want to do something, anything.

Many of us have laid awake at night, staring at the darkened ceiling, tears filling our ears whispering to Him,

"What else can I do?
Show me Lord!
Show me what else I can do from my little piece of the world?
My husband isn't into adoption right now...so what can I do?
Or my life is far past adopting age, what else can I do for an orphan?
Or I'm still too young, I'm in high school, but I love the orphan, what can I do?"

Or some have even said,
"An anonymous gift helped us...
I want to do the same for someone, but not sure who..."

Sooooo, based on that fact....here's the truth about our family:

We are a large family.  We live by faith.
We do not have any 'extra' cash floating around,
BUT we know that we are called to help others bring treasures home.  

And here's the other part of that truth:

You are called to help others too.

Remember the verse:

"To whom much has been given, much will be required?"

Yup.  It applies to this too.

So here's what we're going to do.

Next Tuesday we are going to have a day of Prayer and Fasting.

We will open up the comments for people to pray for each other.

Then on Wednesday we are going to have Linky open so that people can post their adoption financial needs by linking a post from their blog. Only thing is we are going to divide it into different groups on different days.

Next Wednesday's group will only be for those who are adopting MORE than one internationally and are nearing travel.  

There will be some rules set forth as well:  

1.  I am only going to allow between 7 and 12 links.  That's it.  Otherwise there are just too many for people to wade through.   
2.  The link has to be to a completely fresh blog post that is linked directly back to our Place Called Simplicity mentioning what we are doing over here, complete with a questionnaire as part of the body of the post.
3.  I will be posting the questionnaire late Tuesday.  Each person will take the questionnaire and copy and paste it into the body of their blog post.  That way, any one reading their post will all know the same thing.  
4.  Each family linking must have a Paypal on your sidebar OR an address where people can send you a donation. 
5.  A picture must be included in the link/post.  Preferably of the little treasures coming home to you {although I understand there are some countries that do not allow it, but there is something that you can post a picture of - you, your family, your kids waiting, something!} 

Lastly, 
There are many of you who comment fairly regularly and have even commented on the Deadbeat Dad series.  Or you've mentioned being in the process of bringing little ones home in other comments.  I can name a few of you right off the top of my head.  Some of you are even on the Knee Team.   All of you are the ones I am thinking of.

Because truly, I feel like we are all one family over here.  So if you are a semi-regular commenter, a part of the Knee Team, please get your typing fingers ready!!  I want you to be one of the ones listed.  

As much as I would love to open it up to everyone on the face of the earth that is adopting at this moment, that's not what this is for.  This is for the Place Called Simplicity family.  And seriously, that's what I feel with you all.

And family takes care of family.  They see a need and they meet it.  

The days of prayer and fasting have drawn people together like none other.  That's why we will pray and fast together.  Then we will hear of the needs of those going to bring home more than one and we will have the opportunity to respond.

So there you  go.

Are you with me?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Reminder Call...

The other day I received an automated phone call from Ruby's neurologist's office.   It was a call to remind us of her Wednesday appointment.

Okay, got it.

So today I gathered her up and Elijah as a tag-a-long date and headed the 29 miles to the neurologist.  To make a long story short, I found that her appointment was actually NEXT week.  I said, "But they called to remind me...."  "Ya, we're doing that now about 10 days ahead."

10 days?

Seriously?

Whatever happened to the reminder call the day or maybe two before?  I guess us Americans need a 10 day reminder and then some of us silver-haired Americans still can't get it right!  Aye-yi-yi.

I graciously explained that I didn't even know what day today was, other than Wednesday and that I was so sorry, but could someone see us anyway?  I told them Ruby was doing fantastic neurologically and probably all we needed was about a 5 minute appointment with a little "a-okay".

I leaned over closer and whispered quietly, "Actually if you are willing, we even just let Ruby see you."  {Miss Appointment Gal was not even slightly amused.  Probably cause she knew I was only slightly kidding.  But she still could have smiled a tad.  I mean, come on, really, smiles are free and are easier on her facial muscles than the grumpy pants look she gave me.}



Medically speaking Ruby just needed to be given itsy-bitsy stamp of approval so we could get her seizure prescription for the next 6 months.

We were told to wait.  That was a good sign!

I texted Dw and asked him to pray.  I did not want to come back next week and actually, another one of the kids has an appointment next Wednesday in a different part of the city {silver-headed mama didn't know I had inadvertently double-booked and YES I have a calendar}.

Thankfully, they squeezed Miss Ruby in after a semi-long wait and the doc himself was wonderful {he always is.}  I thanked him for squeezing us in.  He laughingly explained, "The other day I went to see my own doctor and had actually gone on the wrong day too."

So there you go!  He's about 15 years younger than me, so I felt comforted, I'm not the only one.

Ruby slept through the uneventful quicky appointment.  So grateful he saw us.

Anyway, I didn't sleep much last night.  My brain was on over-drive.  Whirling.

So I'm going to head to bed semi-early and tomorrow, Lord willing, I will share the idea for the numerous categories of folks who stop by our Place Called Simplicity, which I shared on Part 4 last week.

Stay tuned.  It's gonna' be good.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What in the World Are We Doing?

This morning as I was praying, the Lord made it clear what I needed to share today.  It's comforting to my soul when He does that.  He whispers and that to me, is the most unfathomable thing in my life.   So here's what He said:

Do you know what today is?

Besides being Tuesday,
October 16th, 2012

it is:

World Food Day

A day where we are given the opportunity to think about millions of hungry people around the world.
Since He whispered it to me,
I have been praying most of the day about it and so many thoughts are whirling around....
but here's the bottom line:

What are we each doing today {myself included} that will change the number of people hungry 
around the world tomorrow? 

See, knowing there are hungry people around the world, doesn't change anything.
Feeling bad that there are hungry people around the world doesn't change anything either.
Praying for the hungry people around the world is also not enough. 

Remember this verse:

"To whom much is given, much will be required." 
Luke 12:48

Being 'given' much means we need to 'give' much out of what we've been given!

It is the very essence of the scriptures:  caring for the orphan, feeding the poor, giving to the needy.

Can you imagine if that verse had said, "To whom much is given, be sure to pray that somebody else will feel compelled to give out of their excess."  

Not quite, right?

Think about it with me, will you?



We don't like what's in our fridge...so we head to the store for something more appetizing.
We don't like the flavors of ice cream in the freezer so we buy more flavors....
We don't like the temperature of our food, so we whine....


We don't like the portions...so we 'supersize' it next time...
We don't want "that" today, because we just had it 'yesterday'.

We don't like the taste so we try to perfect it...

And while we are focusing on food, over 15,000 young treasures,
 made in the image of Almighty God, will die a painful death of starvation today alone.

Like this little girl and her friend that I met on the streets of Kampala last year.  

They were propped against a building.

Sitting alone.

On one of the busiest streets in Kampala.

Her lifeless eyes are forever etched in my mind.
She and her little friend didn't speak English.
But they understood that we had brought them some
 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
{Do you notice her friend's arm? Just bones.}
He kept giggling when I gave them the food and water.
She was too weak to eat.  I helped her put the sandwich to her mouth.
Then I helped her sip from my bottle of water.
She was so weak.  So frail.  But eventually she smiled a tad.
Her face, her need, her lifeless eyes are why 
I am so passionate about our Frontlines+ Feeding program!
She is the face that compels me to do more!


And yet, while they sit starving on a street on the other side of the world, 
we can't find something that we like in our fridge.

Or there aren't any restaurants that "sound good" for dinner.

Or we don't 'feel' like leftovers...

What in the world are we doing?

Seriously....

if you are a chef or a gourmet cook or your favorite television shows 
are all on the Food Channel, 
this is not about that.

You can be all of those and do all of that,
it's okay, 
the bottom line is still:  
What are we each doing today for the over 15,000 children that are starving to death today alone?
What are we doing tomorrow for the over 15,000 children that will starve to death tomorrow?
and
What are we doing the day after tomorrow for the starving children that will die that day?

"Whoooa, Linny" you might say.

You're right friends, I'm passionate about it all.  

I have looked into the eyes of starving children.
I have held starving babies.
I have witnessed the panic of kids who have come to a feeding program 
and the program is running out of supplies...
and
I can't pretend I didn't see it.

Almighty God is watching.
He sees it all.
He knows I saw it
and yes, He knows we know.
His love compels me to challenge those around me.

We have to do more!

I will never forget sitting next to a youngster at a gathering of moms and kids a few years back.
The little boy sitting next to me was about five years old and he went on and on
pitching a hissy fit because he didn't want the ham and cheese sandwich his mom had brought him for lunch.   I had to get up and move.  I couldn't take it anymore.

Shame on us western world!!

"To whom much has been given, much will be required." 
Luke 12:48

But no doubt, many wonder: 
What can we do? 
Can we really make a difference from our little corner of the world?

You betcha
and
Together we can make a BIG DIFFERENCE

Here's one idea:

 Today, for lunch, all of us ate with our hands our beans and rice.  We talked about kids {just like our little treasures} around the world who have nothing to eat today.

Several of our kids remember being very hungry.  One remembers eating dirt outside the orphanage because he was so hungry.  Several of them remember older kids at their orphanages taking their food from them.  It was actually a very emotional, teary discussion.     

Then the money that we would've spent to eat something more "American" we donate to the Frontlines+ Feeding program, which feeds street orphans in Kampala.   {No doubt, there are many other reputable feeding programs run by many different organizations - pick one!}

Can we really make a difference?

We can!!!

Each from our little corner of the world -

Think about it -

For instance, since January 2012, Frontlines Feeding+ program has fed approximately 14,960 meals to street kids in Kampala - and we are have just been getting going!

These orphaned street treasures are being fed because normal, everyday people around the world donate a bit here, a bit there...and now, 10 months later we have fed 14,960 meals!

All praise to Almighty God!

As we promised at the inception of International Voice of the Orphan -
100% of the Frontlines+ Feeding program donation proceeds goes directly to feed the kids.    


But what else can we do?

Talk to your friends.
Have a dinner, invite your friends and serve a meal of beans and rice and then eat with your hands.
{We are going to do this!}
Talk about the hunger around the world.
Ask your friends if they would want to help feed a child for a year?
{IVO Frontlines+ Feeding Program spends approximately $1.00/ for every three meals fed.}

Decide today to change the way you look at food.

Make a decision to eat beans and rice regularly
{with the money saved going to feed a child for a week or a month or a year.}

Can we really make a difference?

Together - we can!
{more ideas soon!}

"To whom much has been given much will be required."
Luke 12:48 

And I was thinking....
if you are interested....
invite some friends or family...
have a beans and rice meal and donate the money to a Frontlines+ Feeding program
 and send a picture to:
office@internationalvoiceoftheorphan.com
we will post it to the IVO blog in an upcoming blog post...

We can't pretend we don't know about the 15,000 kids today or tomorrow or the next day.
We have to do something.
Starting today.
Together we can make a difference!