Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Nehemiah's Question

I took a picture a few months back, 
but tucked it away.

To share on a special day, 
because it a cherished rendition of God's amazing love.

It speaks volumes.

A tender picture for which there really are no words....

*******

Our Nehemiah....

He's a thinker.

He remembers well.

And he has begun to really open up about his life without us.

Out of the blue, the other day, he questioned, 

"God love Ch*na people?"

I assured him he did.

He proceeded in his sweet broken English
 to share some stories of people he had encountered in Ch*na.

After finishing, he asked me again,
 as though I might not have previously  
understood that there are all types of people in the world,  

"God love Ch*na people?"

"Yes, little treasure, even those who show no love, 
He still loves."

Unconditionally.

And so I share my cherished picture:

Taken on Nehemiah's first Sunday at Phoenix First
{our home church} with us.
Nehemiah had been home with us just two days.  
As the worship band started to play
 - Graham was on drums this particular Sunday -
Nehemiah and Elijah stepped out in the aisle,
Nee slipped his arm around his littlest brother 
and Elijah slipped his arm around his newest older brother
and both stood watching from the back
where we were sitting.

Completely captivated.

Nehemiah had never been in a church nor had he seen anything like it.

They did not move.

No doubt, Elijah understood this to be a sacred time.

Not one single stirring from either.

Until the worship had ended.


"God love Ch*na people?"

Oh how He loves.


{And most certainly this would be just one more reason why we do what we do.}

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: 
While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."  
Romans 5:8


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Things We Do For Love

A few weeks ago our oldest, Abigail, asked me a question.

I didn't hesitate.



After all, there are all kind of things we are willing to do for love.
Even if we've never done them before.

But first let's back up...

As most of you know, Abi and Ryan and Finley surprised shocked us
at Christmas when she showed up with a big ol' 6-1/2 month sized belly...

they were in the midst of their second adoption
and a baby in the belly had not been in their thoughts.
At.All.

Isn't it crazy how God intercepts our plans?
*makes this mama giggle big time*
Clearly, Almighty God has a very unique plan for this little guy in the belly.

After telling the families over Christmas, they announced it to the world...


And with the announcement they wrote:

Surprise! 
The Quisenberry family is growing by TWO in 2013. 
Yes, we are pregnant, and yes, we are still adopting baby #2.
 We are anxiously awaiting both babies arrivals, 
and Finley can't wait. 
He is very excited for his "two babies." 


Yes, indeed.

That girl of ours and her hubby are going full steam ahead with baby #2
{he or she was 'on the way' first} and should be matched with him/her
{literally} any day now.   He/She will look like Finn!

So what was her question?

"Mom would you tell your bloggy friends about the pictures
I am selling to raise money to bring home Baby #2?"

So you now how it is, there are just some things we do for love....

Here's the scoop:

Abigail is a professional photographer who has requests to fly all over
 the country doing photo shoots...
her pictures are a.m.a.z.i.n.g {and I'm not just sayin' that, see for yourself.}

Abi sweetened the deal with a extra special offer just for my bloggy friends:

15% off  on all orders over $100 with this code:

APLACECALLEDSIMPLICITY

There are photos of cities {San Francisco, London etc},
landscapes, seashores, sunsets and photos from when she was in Uganda and Haiti.

Here's a collage sample of a few of the 100+ pictures available:



Here's the link:

Abi Q Photography Fine Art Sale


Would you be willing to help bring my
 treasured grand baby home? 
Thank you so much! 



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Punking Dw

Over Christmas something happened that brought far too many giggles not to share.

Dw's big brother Steve and his wife, Diane, had sent us a monetary gift for Christmas.  It came with strict instructions:  Blow it on something fun!!  

We laughed when we read the note.  They know us all too well - blowing money is not really part of our DNA.

Dw and I talked and we decided that we would take the family out for dinner, which we had not done in ages.  And actually, if we did it right, maybe we could even get two dinners out of it.

Everyone thought it would be fun to do a bit of shopping and then Dw and I figured we would end up out for dinner.  Chili's was near where we were going and we heard they had some dinner specials.   Perfect!

The day was lovely.

Truly.

We laughed and talked and walked arm and arm through the mall.  When we were leaving we drove across the street to the Chili's.  The kids were thrilled!!

The hostess seated us in almost a private area, after all, we were a party of 11.  As we checked the menu we thought about the possible selections, reasoning that we could really make this work.  We would order and split things up and end up with only spending half of the gift.  It seemed we could quite possibly pull it off and have a second 'blow it on something fun' dinner!

In the course of ordering, the waitress and waiter {they gave us two - ha!} both clearly thought the kids were extra sweet.  We shared a bit of our story and the waitress shared how she had always loved the idea of adoption.   A blessed time!

Eventually the waitress brought our food and we split things up.  It was great fun!  The kids loved being in a restaurant to eat and the table conversation was so lively.



After an entertaining time of dinner together, Dw excused himself to the men's room.

About the moment he walked away the waitress came to the table.

She said, "Every once in a while, during the holiday season, we like to show our customers our appreciation for them with 'Dessert on Us'.  So if you are up for it, we would love to bring all of you any desserts you want.  

Oh.me.

I love when God has little surprises for us along life's way.  

Graham, Emma, Liberty and I giggled in disbelief.

Seriously?

Being in the restaurant to eat was a thrill to all of us, but free dessert too?

WOW.

We ordered several desserts {some would split} and the waitress rushed off to have them made.

About that moment, I realized that Dw was missing this whole thing.

And I could hardly contain myself.

"Let's not tell Daddy what she said.  Let's pretend 
that we just decided to spend the 
rest of Uncle Steve and Aunt Diane's money on dessert."

Emma, Graham, Liberty and I were howling.

This was gonna' be really sweet.  {pun intended}

Dw came back to the table and we carried on talking and enjoying ourselves, never letting on what had transpired while he was gone.  Within a few minutes of his return to the table, the waitress returned with a tray laden with some delectable desserts.

Dw's eyes were huge as she placed the tray on the table and started to hand them out.

He whipped his head to me and with a face of panic blurted out,

"What is she doing?"

I smiled widely, "Babe, we changed our mind!  Uncle Steve's note said that we should blow it on something fun and so we decided that dessert would be the most fun."  

His eyes grew wider still and with a fairly firm tone,

"You are kidding me, right?"

Smirking, I responded, "Nope.  Look at the kids faces, Dw, they are so excited."

His expression was clearly not appreciating any part of my reasoning.

Emma and Graham piped in, "Dad!  Uncle Steve wanted us to blow the money on something fun!!"

Dw was definitely not amused now.

At.All.

Not even a speck.

Which made our giggles turn to uproarious laughter.

And our uproarious laughter was actually ticking him off.

"We said we were going to try to make this stretch to TWO dinners out
 and I went to the bathroom and you just go ahead and change our plan?
 Just like that?"

Graham, Emma and I could hardly talk we were laughing so hard.

Truly.

Minutes passed we were laughing so hard.

Dw, however, was not laughing at all.

{I thought I was going to have to excuse myself to the ladies room, but then I remembered I had surgery for that.}

Slowly I managed to eek out of my laughter what the waitress had said and how all the desserts were 'on the house'.

"Really?"

"Yes, really."

Dw's expression was priceless.

And, actually, so was dessert.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Six Months

It's been six months since our Nehemiah joined the family.

We had a post-placement visit the other day. 
Our caseworker mentioned how relaxed he has become 
compared to her first visit.

Ya' know how it is when you are around someone,
you don't notice the change like others do.
It was really fun to have her mention the relaxation of our newest son.

He is doing unbelievable!


Nehemiah's English is beginning to come as well.

But there are some things that are so doggone cute, 
I just don't want to change or correct.

Like this:

Remember how I mentioned that without fail,
every single night, our treasures ask if I am going to come 
and kiss them goodnight.

Well recently Nehemiah started asking as well.

Only thing is that it is not quite like 
"Hey mom, are you going to come kiss us goodnight?"

Our newest treasure has his very own  
"Nehemiah-version" of that, 
"Hey Mom, you kiss guy?"  

It makes me giggle every night.  
Of course I definitely will not be correcting him.
In fact, truth be known, I will bum out when he learns 
the real way to say it.

Reminds me of when Emma was a little tike...
she wanted to wear "lick-smick" in the worst way
{lipstick}
And it seems like I barely turned around and our 'lick-smick' girl 
lives in Africa serving the orphan.

All too fast.
{ugh}

The other day we were going to head into Costco.
Every big person 'partners' with at least one little person
as well as me pushing Ruby in the stroller.

Isaiah piped up loudly, 
"Mom will you be my partner?"

To which Nehemiah immediately chimed in,
"Mom! Nehemiah's 'prrrrranneddeder'?

He was trying to say "partner" but just schmeared a bunch of letters 
together after saying the 'p' sound.

I repeated what he said and then I started to giggle.
He giggled too.

It was adorable.


When I am tucking the boys in at night, I hold hands
 as kind of one big circle as we pray together.
But I only have two hands...and there are of course, three little boys.

So I rotate.

One boy gets a foot and two get hands...as I do a giant "X" between the bunk beds.
The giggles start when it's a top-bunk boy's turn to get mom's foot.
Fifty-four years old and giving it my best to conquer a 3D Twister game move...

 Nehemiah has been opening up about life before he came home.
His memory is impeccable and he has, in broken English, shared some painful and 
very intimate details of the first 9 years of his life.

Two brothers, Isaiah and Elijah, have laid respectfully quiet 
and listened to the tidbits of life as they have spilled out.  
 A solemn time.  

And with each little piece Nee's shared, 
my heart has become only more emboldened to be the voice of those who have none.
Passionately determined to tell all who will listen of the joys of adoption:
whether older child or those considered 'special needs'...

Everyone

deserves 

a family...

Everyone deserves a mom to "kiss guy".




Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ruby's Miracle Story Continues

An extra sweet miracle story to tell this Valentine's Day 2013...

Please do NOT skim...
or you might miss the most important elements 
of this story....

As Ruby's story continues to unfold, I share the details of our lives so you, too, can rejoice, celebrate the miracle of adoption and praise our Almighty God with us!

I have been giddy since last week....and then, it was all confirmed on Tuesday {and I have video to prove it!!}'




Here's the background:

An eye specialist came to Ruby's hospital room when we landed in November of 2011 and upon examining her had found that she was blind.  We were in shock.  We had had absolutely no idea!

Six months later, in June of 2012, Dw and Emmy were in Uganda leading a mission team as I took Ruby to a second eye surgeon at the suggestion of her pediatrician.  He also confirmed that Ruby has cortical blindness.   He went on to say that it was pale {as opposed to white} behind her eyes.

I was so hopeful going to this second eye surgeon, hoping that maybe he would see something that the first eye surgeon specialist had not seen when examining her in the hospital.

Wow!!  Had I heard him right?

He just said it was pale behind her eyes....Yippee Jesus!

I was so excited!

Smiling widely, I blurted out, "Well in the hospital they said it was white behind her eye, but pale is better, because there now is blood flow, right?"

He looked me straight in the eye and said, "Yes, pale is better than white, but she is blind and she will never see."  

The adamancy with which he spoke took me back.

Wait a second!!

TIME OUT!!

I was thinking of that verse:

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, 
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life."
Proverbs 13:12  niv 

The reality of any situation is just that, R.E.A.L.I.T.Y.  

However, we can always hope, and this guy was trying to steal my hope.  

After all, we have a really, really, huge God.  

He can do a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g.

Besides there is such power in prayer {and fasting}.

In fact around here we refer to our great God as:

The Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God.

So from the time of Ruby's blindness diagnosis in the hospital back in November 2011 we have prayed: God would you please heal Ruby's eyes?   In fact our little Elijah took it upon himself to pray about her eyes at every single opportunity.  He was kind of on a mission:  God heal Ruby's blind eyes.

So as I found myself sitting in this second eye surgeon's office with complete hope and truthfully I was hoping that this second eye surgeon would have hope with me...

I pressed it a bit, "But we are a praying family and we really believe that God can do anything, so to me the pale as opposed to white six months ago is a sign that God is doing something."

This time his jaw got a little more set and he looked at me again and spoke slowly, 

"She is blind.  

That will never change.  

She will never, ever see."  

My own eyes welled up with tears and with the Holy Spirit's boldness flooding my soul and with firmness of heart and soundness of speech, I resolutely spoke with complete gentleness, my voice quivering a bit as I continued:

"So what you're telling me, is that Ruby will never see?  Okay, well then, since you are so positive that she will never see and that there is no hope that she will ever see, then should my God heal her eyes and give her sight, you would be willing to admit that it was ONLY GOD who healed our Ruby's eyes, and you would also then be willing to give Him complete credit, right?" 

The doctor stared at me and with jaw set squarely, his eyes steely cold,
 he looked at me head on and spoke:

"Your daughter will never see.  It will never change."

With that, he turned and left the room.

As I drove home that day I bawled.  Sobbing and sobbing.  His attitude was so yukky.  He clearly doesn't believe that God can heal and he surely did not offer any hope.  I sobbed for a good part of the long drive home.  Stupid specialist.

And then the Lord whispered, 
"I can do anything.  
I can heal Ruby's eyes.  
It does not matter if there is a defect with the eye 
or cortical blindness of the brain.  
I can do anything.  
Your hope has to be in me."

Right then and there I told the Lord as I drove on the 101, "Forgive me Lord.  You are so right!  You can do anything!!  It doesn't matter what that yukky surgeon says.  Show that doctor your power!  Show him that with you all things are possible."

And so that takes us to last week...

Off and on over the next few months we had noticed that Ruby seemed to be "tracking" with us periodically.  Not every single time, but enough that we had noticed....if we would set something in front of her, every now and then she would purposefully reach and grab whatever it was.   BUT we had not had anyone who "counted" see it happen.

Until last Tuesday.

Artemis, her physical therapist was working with her and very clearly, Artemis, on her own, saw Ruby 'track'.  Artemis {who, I might add, believes in the power of a healing God} got so excited!  She almost shouted, "Look!! Did you see that?  She tracked with me."  Over and over Ruby grasped something put in front of her.

Ruby's reach was intentional.

It was purposeful.

It was a miracle!!  

And the best part of it?   Artemis had seen it!!

We were giddy.  Artemis and I cheered and cheered!! We rejoiced all day!  Someone who 'counted' had seen it!  Artemis made a special note in Ruby's therapy notes that she turns in to her superiors.

Then this Tuesday, Savannah and Graham and Ruby and I were in the family room.  I had finished up school and the kids had gone to play.  Graham was drinking tea.  Savannah had been sitting in a chair near drinking water.  Both cups were on the floor, partially filled.

Very distinctly Ruby rolled toward Savannah's clear Mason jar, partially filled with water, and with one purposeful swoop she grabbed the glass and dumped the water all over the floor.  We shrieked in delight!!  We could not believe it!  She doggone well knew what she was doing and was enjoying every second of it!

We laughed and giggled and screamed and carried on like a bunch of ninnies!  Ruby grinned!

Ruby then, without any effort, immediately rolled to where Graham's tea was sitting on the floor.  Purposeful.  Intentional

I ran to grab my camera.

I had to get this monumental moment on video.

I didn't make it for the first grab and spill...

But I made it for this....

And Savannah and Graham and I watched giggling and rejoicing....






So sweet bloggy friends and lurkers around the world...we do hereby declare that Miss Ruby is beginning to see!

Oh yes she is!!

And ONLY Almighty God gets the credit.  

He is our miracle-working, mountain-moving, awe-inspiring, gasp-giving God...

Yes indeed -   

Ruby's "cortical blindness is turning to sight"
and her miracle is beginning!

Celebrate and Rejoice with us!! 


"As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 
His disciples asked him, “Rabbi,who sinned, this man 
or his parents, that he was born blind?”  
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, 
“but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.."
John 9:1-3


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Jubilee's Surgery


Wanted to share an update on our Jubilee Promise...

She had surgery last Friday.

The plan was to slit the eyes in the lower part of the white...

Go in behind the eye....

Cut the muscles....

Move them over and reattach them...

in an effort to have her sweet brown eyes no longer cross 
nor work so hard to keep themselves from being crossed,
nor wiggle side-to-side...

But when the surgeon actually went in, he found that they
had already done this very surgery in Ch*na.

We had no idea!

Hence, because of the previous surgery the surgeon on Friday 
found a ton of scar tissue behind the eyes.

He said that they had to remove so much scar tissue that there is a smaller chance of the surgery working this time around....

not to mention that the recovery would be longer and extremely painful...
{which proved to be true!}

Jubilee has had several surgeries since coming home and has done fantastic post op...

But this time she threw-up for 8 hours after, off and on...
Crying and moaning from the pain...

Saturday she threw up as well...

But today, she is much improved...
and we are so thankful for all your prayers!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Graham Josiah


So very difficult to imagine that 18 years have flown by since I birthed Graham
on February 11th, 1995.

I was telling Graham the other day how I would stare at him as he nursed...
I could not get over how different he looked than Abigail and Emma.

Square jaw.  Fair skin.  Light eyes. Blonde hair.


Loyal, tender-hearted, gentle.  
No-nonsense.
The little one who would check people out before he decided if he would share a smile.

The same little guy who poked the tinted lenses out of a red pair of sunglasses
and for months and months, every day would wear them.
When he took them off at night, studiously placing them beside his 
bed, he would squint {as though he could not see without them - haha}.

He did it so often, 
I finally said to him {with tongue in cheek}, 
"Wow Graham, maybe we need to get your eyes checked"
...and leaning close, he whispered in his deep, gruff voice, 
"Mom, you know I'm just kidding, right?"

But still, morning after morning, the squinting would begin, 
until he placed his little red glasses on his face, wearing them the entire day.

{Graham with Grandma}

From the time he was just two, he would toddle over to the cupboards,
take out the Tupperware bowls and tediously set each one out, upside down,
in a very distinct order.

Each was specifically set in place.
Meticulously.

Graham would then sit down on one of the smaller bowls, also upside down.
If one of the other bowls wasn't quite to his liking,
he would get up and adjust it a bit.
A half inch this way
or
a half inch that way.

I would shake my head.

Day after day.
No exceptions.

The same routine.

The bowls would come out.
Perfectly placed.
Setting himself down.
Lift himself up for a small adjustment to one of the bowls.
Set himself back down.
Spoons in hand.

And play.

And play.

And play.

He was not merely banging.

The little guy had unbelievable rhythm.
And he would do that for hours.

So much so that by the time he was three we went to a professional music store and
bought a good set of small drums.
{He took two drum lessons. That's all.}

There was no doubt in our minds that Almighty God had created Graham to be a worshipper
with his love for music and his natural musical gifting.

As a young teen he taught himself how to play guitar.

No lessons.

It just was the Lord.

Last year when we moved to Phoenix Graham auditioned to play with the adult worship team. 
Within a few weeks he was playing at our mega-church, Phoenix First Assembly, regularly.

{Last year, we were able to take this picture of Graham on the worship team, 
and the Lord was so sweet, as I snapped the picture, 
little did I realize that the stage camera was directly on Graham 
making him appear on the large side screens - 
Yippee Jesus!}

He plays drums or lead guitar on any given Sunday that he's needed.

But his musical gifting is not the only thing that defines this young man of ours.

He has a prophetic calling as well.

Dreaming prophetically, for starters.

He had his first prophetic dream when he was just three years old.
At the time, Dw and I went to a pastor friend and shared what Graham had dreamed.
It was spot on about a serious situation in ministry.
We knew that the Lord was clearly showing us his prophetic gift.

Over the years, he has had several powerful and very prophetic {warning} dreams.
When he says he has a dream, trust me, we are all ears!

In fact, a couple of months ago, on a Saturday morning, Graham came to me.
He said, "Mom, I had the craziest dream."

He proceeded to tell me, with great detail, every part of the dream.
The dream made me sick to my stomach.
It was serious and it would have serious implications if it came to pass. 

He and I talked and decided we should fast and pray.

The dream was definitely an unbelievable
 warning from the Lord.

Little did we know, there was no time to fast and pray!!

Within just two hours of his sharing the dream with me, 
the very dream he detailed, to our utter shock - was unfolding,
exactly as he had told me!

Our family went into prayer at mock-speed!

The outcome of this dream could have been devastating, 
had we not immediately begun to pray!

Yet, because of the warning, 
we knew exactly HOW to pray....
and pray we did.

That day was extremely intense as every single detail of the dream 
began to unfold right before our eyes.

{Yes friends, there is so much that happens in our lives, 
behind the scenes, that is not blogged about!}

And yet, due to the prophetic warning - the Lord had victory - and the 
end of the dream was completely different - 
only because of the power of prayer that day.

{I share this about Graham's prophetic gifting, so that others can recognize that the same can be so in their children's lives.  Pay attention.  God's gifts are for us to utilize.  I shudder to think, had we not already known that Graham dreams prophetically, what could have happened recently, if we had not known how to pray and how to respond. Faithful God.} 

Graham loves his siblings, loves the orphan and loves missions.
He has done many trips to Mexico with us as a family
and of course, has done many mission trips to Uganda as well.



He's been told he looks a lot like Stephen Curtis Chapman!
Even SCC thinks so!
How crazy is that?




And so today, we celebrate the 18th birthday of our second oldest son of ours...
the young man who doesn't really like 
having pictures taken of himself
"unless someone is in the picture with me"


Picnic of Crepes in Graham's room..

{Jubilee is feeling much better, thank you for praying - details soon.}

Ruby thinks birthdays are crazy fun!



On the phone with Emma from Uganda. 



Would you be so kind in wishing this young man 
of ours 
a very Happy 18th Birthday?
No doubt, his sweet little smile will eek out as he reads the wishes.
Cause down deep, I can tell he's pretty tickled it's his 18th birthday!



Lastly, a video of our boatload singing Happy Birthday this morning.... 
as we delivered his homemade crepes to enjoy in his bed...
{both with Nutella and fruit -  
one with strawberries
 the other with bananas and  blueberries}
We love you Graham with all our hearts and 
we are so thankful that God brought you to our arms. 
We are so proud of you and your walk with God. 
You are a invaluable blessing to all who know you
and we are confident that God is going to continue to accomplish unimaginable things
as you continue to yield to Almighty God's calling on your life.
xo  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Little Dwight {and Miss Jubilee}

With grateful praise we rejoice that Little Dwight, the little orphan boy in Kenya, with no mama or baba, whose seizures would not stop, had brain surgery and it was successful!!

Thank you to all who prayed for Little Dwight.

There is, no doubt, that God did a powerful miracle when He moved on the surgeon's hands.

Yippee Jesus!


Speaking of surgery, Miss Jubilee is about to have surgery at Children's in about an hour.  It is always difficult to explain to Jubilee all that is about to transpire, due to her ability to understand.  We have done the best we can to help her to understand the process and the recovery. She's no stranger to surgery but not necessarily a fan {who is!}.

We appreciate your prayers.

Lord willing, we expect her to be released today.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Was God Just Kidding?

This post has been mulling in my heart for a really, really long time.  I have prayed.  If you are 'not in the mood', then please just skip it.   If you decide to read, proceed with caution and remember that what I share, I share in love and through deep conviction in my own heart.

********************

Remember Lisa {Karl's aunt who instigated the blind date between Autumn and Karl}?  She and her husband and two children are missionaries in Kenya.

Yesterday morning I received a text message from Lisa asking for prayer.   A little boy whom they call "Little Dwight" from the orphanage where they serve, was having seizures and they could not get the seizures to stop.  They had brought Little Dwight to the hospital and they still would not stop.

Somehow Lisa's text hit me close to home.

Ruby has seizures.  They are scary.  They are long.  Really long. She had one about 10 days ago when Dw was still in Africa.   Seizures are not something that one ever gets "used to".  Even two of Ruby's neurologists, when I have said, "Seizures freak me out," they each {separately} have responded, "Yes, they're very scary."  {When neurologists who have dedicated their lives to caring for the brain, agree that seizures are scary, that says something!}

To top it off, Lisa's prayer request was for a little orphan boy with the same name as my husband.

All day long I could not stop praying for Little Dwight, his precious body fighting.

Later in the day I received this text message:

 "Little Dwight, who has no mama or baba, 
did not wake frm seizure.  
Medicated n sleeping @hospital.  
Pls keep praying." 

A little boy, known by only a few, without a mama or baba...

Tears filled my eyes.  I could feel the sobs coming...

What are we doing friends?

*and*

Do we honestly care?

There are, literally, millions of precious treasures around the world, without a mama or baba.

Do we care?

I mean, do we really, really care?

And what are we doing about it?

Do we really think that an all-knowing, all-powerful God put us on Earth to ignore the orphan's cry?

Do we really think that Almighty God put us on Earth just to spend the vast majority of our time making ourselves happy?

Do we really believe that the God of the Universe, who wove throughout His word a thread to 'care for the orphans and widow", really meant it as a suggestion for people?  

Maybe it was just an idea from God 
for those who don't have anything else to do?  
You know,  kind of like, "busy work".  

Or do we think that God was just kidding?

The thread throughout God's Holy word is to care for the orphan, the oppressed, the poor, the widow, the starving, the imprisoned. 


  

And yet, we spend most of our days with little thought for the orphan, the oppressed, the poor, the widow, the starving and the imprisoned.  

Sooooo....was God just kidding?

And why did He use real life examples of people who made a difference through the power of adoption in the Bible?

When God could have chosen any one of thousands of beautiful young women to be Queen and save the entire Jewish nation....He chose an orphaned girl who had been adopted...named Esther.

WHY?

Because adoption is His heart.

And if adoption is His heart, what are we doing to beat with His heart?

Oh me.  We're so busy hustling through life:  "busy, busy, busy."

"You have no idea, just how busy!"

I hear people all the time say:  "I am sooooooo busy."

And I don't want to appear rude, so I bite my tongue, but wonder:

"Exactly what are you soooooo busy doing?"

Sweet friends, do we realize that at the end of our days we will give
an account for how we spent our time -

And yes, we will account for what we did specifically to care for the orphan, 
the oppressed, the poor, the widow, the starving, the imprisoned.

Was God Just Kidding?

Each one of us have the same number of hours in our day.

It's true, God gives us each our free will and we can spend our days however we wish.

But I can't help but wonder how much regret there will be when we kneel before the throne?

If there were to be a big screen, revealing our lives, moment by moment....how much wasted minutes, which roll into hours, which roll into days, which roll into weeks, which roll into years?

Minutes wasted on Facebook
{unless you're using it to primarily advocate for the orphan}

Minutes wasted on Pinterest
{longing for things we can't have and don't really need - ouch!}

Minutes wasted reading Books that hold no eternal value
{in the end, what do they matter?}

Minutes wasted on Television
{it's basically all garbage, really!}

Minutes wasted on Shopping
{filling our homes with stuff while the rest of the world won't eat}

Minutes wasted on Hobbies
{while more than 350 million don't know if they will eat today}

Minutes wasted on anything but what really matters for eternity.

Which adds up to hours, weeks, months and years.

Was God Just Kidding?

Do we really think that Almighty God is nodding His approval as we spend our days doing nothing that really matters?   Doing nothing to make a difference in the lives of the orphan, the oppressed, the poor, the widow, the starving, the imprisoned?

Somewhere in life the Western world got the idea that
"if we have earned it, we most definitely deserve it."  Kick back.  You've 'worked' hard enough.

Friends!!

We didn't earn it to keep for ourselves.  Actually, we didn't even earn it to "keep most" for ourselves!!  We 'earned' it by His grace and His grace alone - 
to give it away - 
generously!!

I can't help but wonder how much grief there will be when an accounting is done in eternity?

Will there be great applause for the bigger home?
The big boat?
The super-sized camper with all the frills?
The big 401K?
The things that brought the applause on Earth?

Not a chance.

Was God Just Kidding?

He most definitely was NOT kidding.

But there is time, friends!!

There is time to change our hearts and our ways.

There isn't much time, but there is time.

Repent.

Turn from the things that steal your minutes, your hours, your weeks, your years and your resources.

Turn off the TV, get out of your comfort zone, get off the couch, get off Facebook, get off whiling away the minutes, the hours, the weeks, the months and the years....

Get involved in caring for the orphan, the oppressed, the poor, the widow,
the starving and the imprisoned.

Where do you start?

Prayer is the starting point....

Pray for the orphan.  Little Dwight!  The orphans around the world.  The foster care system in the United States.  Those in the midst of adoption.  Those just home from adopting.  Those who are contemplating disrupting their adoption.  The missionaries who tirelessly serve around the world.  The widows in your community {The modern day widow is the single mom.}  Start fasting regularly for all of these needs...

Join Elijah's Hope {it's free!} and commit to pray for ONE orphan!

BUT while you are praying - Get busy!  

Don't wait!!

I know so many people who are using the excuse "I'm still praying about what to do!"

Are you kidding?

The need is there.

What in the world must be prayed about?

Get busy!

Don't wait!

Say you "care?"

{It's an action verb.}

Prove it!  

Prove it in tangible ways. 

Get involved in real ministry to the orphan, the widow, the oppressed, the poor, the vulnerable - No doubt, it WILL hurt - but it will change your life - for good!

Then lay your head down at night knowing that because you were alive today - 
the world is a better place - 
because you were alive today - you did all you could to be His hands and His feet - 
to minister God's love 
to those who He so desperately loves....
because no, actually, 
God was NOT kidding.    




Sunday, February 3, 2013

Some Sunday Fun

Our family likes sports and we actually really enjoy a good football game -
 especially college games.

Yes, we do.

We play it in the yard {now that we have one} and if we don't have a yard, we often find some grass to play a little football.  

We cheer for certain teams - none of which are actually in the Superbowl this year.  Waaaaa.

We endured the famous "Bills years" when they were in the Superbowl three years in a row and lost every.single.superbowl.game.   Yes, we did.  We were living in Buffalo at the time and yes, it was dreadful, painful and almost humiliating.  And yes, we heard all the jokes.

But we moved on, geographically and team loyalty-wise as well.

In the pre-game show they had footage of the troops in Afghanistan getting ready to watch - that was probably my favorite part of it all.  Love our troops stationed around the world and their families who sacrifice so much!!  

You guys are our true heroes!!  xo



Yet here it is:

Superbowl Sunday

And so I have a fun question for bloggy friends:

Who are you cheering for?

I'll tell you who our entire family is cheering for, later in the comments.  And some years, our family is divided, but this year, we are one!

We're having some very simple yet fun snacks, Graham's two friend are coming and the kids and Dw and I are front row and center cheering for the ____?____.

GO ______________