Friday, June 29, 2012

The colors of summer fun - pics of the kids!

I'm madly in love with these two little people and thank God daily for the privilege of being their mom...










Wednesday, June 27, 2012

You are good you are good

Forever Reign by Hillsong. Not a new song, but one I listen to frequently these days.



I call it the 'you are good you are good' song. I listen to this song while I cook. I listen to it at work. I listen to it at night. I listen to it face down on my porch floor while salty tears stream from my eyes. Because the words are the truth that my heart needs to hear: God is good. God is peace. God is light. God is hope. He's the reason my heart sings. I'm running to His arms...and it's in His presence that I'm made whole. He is God He is God of all else I'm letting go. 


Letting go is hard to do. Letting go of plans and hopes and dreams and expectations. Letting go of control is freeing...yet my flesh resists the letting go. It fights the letting go process as I daily surrender to the only One who is good.

That's why I listen. I hope you will too.

You are good
You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love You are love
On display for all to see
You are light
You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope
You are hope
You have covered all my sin

Oh I'm running to Your arms
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are peace
You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true
You are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy
You are joy
You're the reason that I sing

You are life
You are life
In You death has lost its sting

Oh I'm running to Your arms
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more
You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord
You are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here
You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God
You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

Hallelujah forever
All the glory forever
All the praise to You

My heart will sing
No other name
Jesus Jesus


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Another lesson in timing

Hi friends,
I know it's been a couple weeks since I've written. I've got a lot on my heart these days, but right now it's just between me and the Lord. He's teaching me. And speaking to my heart. And reminding me once again that it's His timing...not mine.

Because I forget. My flesh forgets that His beauty looks different than mine. My flesh forgets that His timing is perfect. My flesh forgets that He is the creator of time and the sun sets and the moon rises on His call.

And that's why I wouldn't trade His timing, His ways, His plans, His beauty.

For now, I'll leave you with a new blog header and pic of this broken writer who is continually learning what it means to love Jesus and share the story He is writing. I am thankful God can and does use this small corner of the world to encourage and challenge and teach and share. But I want it to be His words, not mine.

So thank you for allowing me time. And if you would, pray that Jesus might help me to rest in the truth that I so frequently write about here...that He does indeed make everything beautiful in its time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

I grumble while she gives thanks

I read Kisses from Katie a couple weeks ago. It’s a book written by 22-year-old Katie Davis who daily cares for the 13 children she is in the process of adopting while also caring for hundreds of others that the Lord brings her way. Her story is powerful. It’s life-changing. It’s convicting. It challenges me as a woman of faith, a mother and an American. You can read Katie’s blog here.

A few months ago, prior to reading her book, I watched a video featuring Katie (her stories are a small snippet of what’s in her book). You can watch the video here.

On her blog and in her video she talks about children like the sweet boy below who are on the brink of death from diseases like tuberculosis and severe malnutrition. These are before and after pictures of a little boy she is nursing back to health: 




Seeing images like this, and reading countless stories of selfless love and sacrifice brought me face to face with myself. And I didn't like what I saw. I was so convicted of my selfishness and ingratitude that I penned the following:


I grumble while she gives thanks

A mama in America:
It’s 6:35 a.m. and I hear my son on the monitor. My bed is warm, my pillow soft and I stayed up later than I needed to reading on my Nook. I grumble, roll over and try to sleep a few more winks.

It’s 7:15 a.m. and I’m feeding my son breakfast. He chooses his favorite cereal from a number of boxes on the counter and I go to work in the kitchen making scrambled eggs. I grumble because the dishwasher is full of clean dishes and I dislike unloading. I am not a morning person.

It’s 8:30 a.m. and I’m getting my daughter dressed. I can’t find a matching top and have to look through piles to find what I’m looking for. I grumble because there are clothes everywhere – clean clothes, dirty clothes, clothes to be put away, and dress up clothes.

It’s 9:45 a.m. and we are at the doctor for our well-check visits. I ask the doctor my long list of questions about sleep and picky eaters and growth percentiles. I grumble because the kids are fighting about the same toy and distracting me from my conversation with the doctor.

It’s 10:30 a.m. and we head to Costco. We shop for everything on my long list and eat samples while we shop. We fill our cart with essential items and a couple new things to try out. The shelves in the warehouse are piled floor to ceiling with food, household items, toys and clothing. I grumble because I bought too many things and spent too much money.

It’s 12 p.m. and I’m feeding the kids lunch. Their tummies are full with healthy, nutritious food that they ate to their heart's content. I grumble because there are crumbs on the floor, spills on the table and smudges on their shirts.

It’s 3:20 p.m. and my daughter is awake singing in her warm, cozy crib. She slept for two hours surrounded by endless blankets and dolls and teddy bears and nuks. I grumble because I didn’t finish my to-do list during naptime and dinner isn’t yet started.

It’s 4 p.m. and I take the kids outside to play in the snow. They love the winter wonderland that is our outdoors. I dress them in warm boots, thick winter coats, hats, mittens. Their cheeks are red from laughing and playing and running. I grumble because it’s cold outside and we are all wet. 

It’s 6 p.m. and my husband comes home. His dress suit is wrinkled after a long day of work. He works so hard and provides endlessly for his family. I grumble because he came home late and didn’t call to let me know. 

It’s 7 p.m. and I’m giving the kids a bath. They splash around in the clean, clear water that runs freely from the spout. They laugh hysterically during ‘bubble races.’ I grumble because they splash water all over the bathroom floor and I have to wipe it up.

It’s 8:15 p.m. and I’m putting the kids to bed. They choose 3 books from shelf after shelf of reading material. They are clean. They are happy and full of life. They snuggle close with their blankets and we read, sing and pray. I put them to sleep and grumble because I am tired and it was a busy, exhausting day.


A mom in a small village far from America:

It’s 5:30 a.m. and she gets up from her mat on the dirt floor. The heavy, humid air is just the beginning of another excruciatingly hot day. Her body aches, her eyes are sunken and years of sunlight have aged her far beyond her years. The stress and worry of food and health weigh heavy on her mind. She gives thanks to God for another day to live and breathe.

It’s 7:00 a.m. and she feeds her son a small bowl of rice. She walks outside and lights a fire to begin the day’s preparations. She gives thanks to God for dry wood and fire, which is her lifeline.

It’s 7:30 a.m. and she’s tries to find fresh clothes for her daughter. She finds a shirt that is worn with holes, but is fairly clean. It’s a little small, but it fits because her daughter is severely underweight. There are no shoes for her daughter’s tender feet, yet she gives thanks to God for clothing.

It’s 9:30 a.m. and she holds her son while his body racks with cough. His eyes are bleak and there are sores covering his skin. There is no money for medicine, and even if there were, the closest doctor is two villages away – at least a full day’s walk. She gives thanks to God for another day with her son.

It’s 12 p.m. and she continues to work around her home while her children quietly play. Their eyes are lifeless. Their bellies swollen from malnutrition. There is only one piece of bread and a tiny bit of rice to share for lunch. She breaks the bread into small pieces and gives thanks to God.

It’s 3:20 p.m. and her daughter wakes from a short, restless nap in the shade outside their home. She swats away flies and cries out for something to drink. Her mama gives her a little sip rationing their drinking water so there is enough for everyone.

It’s 4 p.m. and she walks with her children to pay their electrical bill. They have one light bulb in their small home and sometimes they use a fan for the excruciatingly hot nights. She thanks God for his provision.

It’s 6 p.m. and her husband comes home. He's weary. His hands are blistered from a hard day of working in the fields. The change in his pocket signifies what he made from his 12-hour work day. He will use the money to buy food, desperate to feed his family. She gives thanks to God that her husband returned home, when so many never do.

It’s 7 p.m. and she walks more than a mile to the local well to get water for drinking and bathing. They ran out of soap months ago, but she gives thanks to God for clean water to bathe her children and wash their clothes.

It’s 8:30 p.m. and she puts her children to bed on a single mat under a dirty blanket. She gently kisses their cheeks and softly sings them to sleep. She prays over them asking God to breathe life into their weak, sick bodies. She prays for medicine and medical care she cannot afford. And she gives thanks to God for another day.