Oct 30, 2009

100 years ago ...

I wake up each morning (early) and as soon as I have them all out the door, I RUSH to the computer.  I eagerly anticipate what new messages might be in the inbox.  If the "from" box looks all crazy and unreadable, I go there first. 


Daily I get messages from people in China.  Daily I am receiving questions to answer and answers to my questions.  It's a daily dialogue halfway across the world.  And if I get to the emails IMMEDIATELY, the people on the other side of the world will have a chance to read and shoot me an email back before they must head to bed.  Then I spend the day answering the questions and thinking of new things to ask them. 

I was pondering my female counterparts just 100 years ago.  Think about it.  1909.  There was no internet.  There was not a way to pick up a cordless phone and call China.  There was no way for her to jump on a plane to get there.  And yet here I am 100 years later and it's not even a big deal to me that I chat daily with people on the other side of the world.  I don't find it strange that I'm becoming very good friends with people who speak no English (and I speak no Chinese). 

In 11 days, I'll be hopping on a plane (OK 2 planes) and less than 24 hours later, I'll be sitting in a hotel in Beijing. Then I'll use Skype to call back to my kids and see them and talk to them.  Isn't that marvelous?  And I can pick up a cordless phone and speak to them too. 

And I'm doing all this ... why?? 

When you were little, did your parents ever say to you, "Eat all your vegetables.  Do you know there are children starving in China?"  Well mine did ... it was about peas.  Hated those little suckers!  I was like, "So ship them to THEM!"  And now I have the opportunity to make sure at least a few of those little ones go to bed with full tummies.

And now you know why I rush every morning to open my emails.  There are babies on the other side of the world. 

Oct 29, 2009

Time to reflect

Things are back to "normal" at my house.  I'm back to having 2 hours every morning where the kids are gone and the house is eeerily quiet. I can enjoy my time by myself ... and it seems quite self-indulgent having always had the kids around 24/7.

Yesterday I took a shower ... all by myself.  Now that might not seem like such an incredulous task.  But for me, it is.  Or at least it was.

Last Friday I took a shower before I headed towards Peoria.  Dan was already away attending a conference of his own.  All the kids were supposed to be sleeping.  Zoe came in and just stood there staring at me.

I'm like, "What?"
She says, "Nothin'".
Me: What are you doing?
Her: Staring at you.
Me: (realizing it was a stupid question the moment it left my mouth) WHY??
Her:  Because you're Hubba Hubba.
I make a mental note: Talk to the child when I get home!

There are really, really hard days with them.  There are days I want to crawl up in bed and hide under the covers.  There are days I'm almost dehydrated due to the tear loss.  There are days where I'm frustrated beyond belief.  Days where I feel I'm making no difference at all.

But there are mostly moments where I realize how precious these little people are.  Where I realize how fleeting this time with them is.  I know that in a moment, I'll wake up and it will have been like a dream.  I'm already forgetting what they looked like as an infant.  I'm already forgetting their sweet baby smell.  I'm already losing the memories I thought would never fade.

I wonder if I'm helping shape them into Godly people.  Am I helping or hindering God in His process with them?

So as I sit here on this quiet morning - freshly showered, I have a chance to take pause and reflect on such things.  I think about where they have been, the miracles God has already performed in their lives.  I think about where they are and I think about the roads ahead (some fun and some tough).

Hope you are taking a moment here or there to reflect on what matters most to you.

Oct 25, 2009


Do you get paid to talk about your favorite subject? Have you ever been paid to do something that you would have PAID to do?

I do. I don’t know how I got to be so blessed, but I’m on the plane on the way back from giving a talk about what it’s like to be the mother to 5 adopted children with special needs. There’s this awesome ministry in Peoria, Illinois called “Angel Arms” and they just had their first conference for the caretakers of individuals with special needs.

They found me via google! Isn’t that amazing? About 1 ½ years ago, Colleen contacted me and asked if I’d be the keynote speaker at a conference. I usually get booked via “word of mouth”. People have heard of me or have heard me speak. This was the first time I got found and hired with Google.

I did some research about them and was actually quite impressed. They have a program to help assist families with special needs children. So if you go to their church and you have a child with say autism, they will make a plan (much like an IEP) to assist you and your child. This way, the parents can actually attend worship service! Each family will have a different plan to meet the needs.

Their ministry is relatively small right now … but … I have a feeling it won’t be that way for long. I truly believe it’s going to explode in the near future! And furthermore, I believe this needs to be the model for every church! (If you know of a church or pastor … let me know and I can give them some awesome info about an amazing ministry.)

Anyway, I got to talk about my kids and share a little of our testimony of our journey. And as typical “Beth” form … I told the truth. I mean, I don’t think other necessarily “lie” when talking about special needs, but I do think they often leave a whole bunch of the picture out. And as I looked out over the audience, I saw a lot of heads nodding in agreement. I saw many tears being wiped away as I shared some of the stories. I saw people who “got it”.

It’s just such a blessing to be in a room full of people who completely understand what I am talking about. There are also BTDT. I do a lot of presentations but I rarely speak to an audience quite like this one. (I’m usually trying to get people to understand what I’m talking about … and these people are living parallel lives.)

They also asked me to sing some of my songs. It’s actually kinda cool as I don’t normally get to combine those worlds. But I have songs I’ve written on the subject and never get to sing them. One is called “Catch My Tears”. How God captures every tear we’ve ever shed (Ps. 56:8).

So as I go home to my children tonight, I’m so blessed to be their Mommy. And as I shared today, I know to the core of my being that my children were “Handpicked” for me and I was “Handpicked” for my children.

Oct 22, 2009

Collecting donations for Ayis

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a foster mother or a caretaker of babies?  Have you wondered what it's like to pour your life and your love into a child only to see them leave? or worse, die? Have you ever wondered what YOU might be able to do to say "Thank you" for even just one of these wonderful nannies? 
Zoe's Foster Mother/Ayi

The countdown is on. (If I'm not delirious from the lack of sleep with all the H1N1 and pneumonia around here) I leave in 19 days for China.

Last trip, I collected donations (monetary and "stuff").  As a result, we were able to purchase hundreds of pairs of shoes and socks. We bought 2 refrigerators and 2 washing machines.  We got diapers, wipes, formula, bottles, etc etc. 

For this trip, I haven't asked for donations ... and I'm really rethinking that decision.  While this will be a "smaller" type deal this time, I would still love to be able to live donations in all the places we are going.  And since I'm going to be spending most of my time with the caretakers this time, I'm wanting to give some small gifts of appreciation to them as well.  (I did foster care for 9 years and I know how hard it is to care for a child only to see them die or leave.)

So ... with that in mind.  I know that times are tough.  Most of you are stretched to the max financially.  I understand.  But if any of you are in a position to help ... even just a bit, that would be awesome.  If that is cash, great.  If that is a few supplies and mailing it to me, wonderful.  Even one gift for a caretaker?

If you are wanting to give via paypal ... go to www.destinyshouse.com/shoes.html and click on "Make a Donation".  If you want to give a check or send donations, email me and I'll send you my address. (goredan @hotmail.com). 

If you cannot give ... NO PROBLEM and no guilt.  I still need other things so email me for that too.

Thanks for all the love and support.

Oct 19, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together

Little by little, bit by bit.  That's how a plan comes together.  I don't know about you, but I get *giddy* when I start to see how the pieces of the puzzle fit.

Today I got an email from the director of the Taiyu*an SWI (orphanage) and he says he is very excited to see us again ... and it was one of his greatest hopes to meet one of the children adopted from there.  He's asking what all WE need!

Truthfully, what we *Need* is the open door to help him.  We want the "all clear" that we can actually serve the children of that province.  We need his help for that.

When we were there in March, we went down to Hong T*ng and had a very interesting day.  We saw some of the children in foster homes there.  (That was a bit "strange".)  We ended up having a marvelous lunch with the director and his staff - along with all our entourage!  (We started out with 1 Chinese person helping us and by the end, there were 12 I think was the final count!)

But while there that day, I got the experience of a lifetime.  I got to meet Zoe's foster mother, in her home.  It was an hour full of tears and laughter.  There wasn't a dry eye in the place (including the Director's) as these 2 women shared stories of the little girl they both loved so dearly.  At the time, I was so engrossed with the actual experience that I was unaware of anyone else but that foster mother.  But looking at pictures (thankfully I had friends with me to snap away), I saw how intently he was watching the interaction.

Fast forward ... I want to propose to him that I open a children's home there ... to have a foster home component.  My selling feature?  That moment.

In his letter to me, he actually mentioned the Hong T*ng visit as one of the most memorable moments of his life.  (That's a good sign, don't you think?)

Meanwhile, there's yet another person who has great insight into this process (been doing it for over 10 years) who has offered to give advice.  People are bending over backwards to help us. (I hope that continues.) And she has been working with Taiyu*n as well.

More to follow!  But this is getting exciting.  I leave in 3 weeks from tomorrow.

Oct 17, 2009

Warning: NOT going to be a popular post

Disclaimer:  I am going to stray from the adoption topic for a day to discuss Halloween.  I feel that I need to post this ... even though I know it won't be popular.  I just feel it needs to be said and people can do whatever they choose to with the information.

OK ... here goes!

Most of my friends are Christians.  Most of these friends celebrate Halloween.  Most of them feel it is just a day for their kids to have some innocent fun, wear cute costumes and get candy.  I understand that point of view. 

Our family does NOT participate in Halloween in any way.  I do not feel it is all innocent fun. I can't get over the pagan history of the day.  It's basically just a day to celebrate witchcraft and evil in general.  There are MANY sites on this if you're interested (Just google "Halloween Origins" and you'll find plenty ... here is just one  http://www.jeremiahproject.com/culture/halloween.html).  I'm not sure why Christians feel this is OK to participate.

Daily, people ask if the kids are ready for Halloween.  To which they proudly state, "We don't celebrate Halloween."  Then people (including Christians) stare at me like I'm the worst parent on the planet!  How does this make me a bad parent that I won't let my kids dress up like Witches? 

And in case you feel my kids are all deprived, here's what we do.  After Halloween, you can get the greatest deals on costumes.  We buy princess outfits, spiderman, superman, etc.  And you wouldn't believe the deal you get on candy.  We let them wear these costumes any other day of the year besides Halloween.  And they get their fill of candy. 

OK ... I said it.  Like I said, I know this won't be popular.  And if you do Halloween, I'm not judging you and I don't expect you to defend your position.  I'm just saying ... I don't think I should be considered weird just because I don't let my kids celebrate witchcraft. 

Know where I'll be on November 1?  Picking out new play outfits for the kids and stocking up on candy. 

Oct 15, 2009

Tickets are bought

I bought tickets today for China.  I did it with trembling hands and a mind full of questions.  Am I doing the right thing?  Am I crazy?  Who the heck do I think *I* am to try this?  What if it fails? What if it doesn't work?  What if I can't find funding?  How do we pick which children come to the home and which don't? 

But I hit "send" and bought the tickets anyway.  Why? 

Because for a lifetime, I've had the dream to run an orphange.  Because I see the need.  Because it was asked of me and to ignore the request is to ignore the proverbial beggar on the side of the road.  (You know that story?  Everyone saw the guy but they all passed by.)   

But the biggest reason is because I keep telling God, "I will walk through each door until you say no".  And He keeps saying "Yes".  Every time I put a problem before Him, a reason for NOT doing this ... He finds the solution to it. 

I am putting one foot in front of the other.  I'm scared out of my mind.  I'm way in over my head.  But I also know who is in charge.  And there's something completely humbling about being His instrument.

Oct 14, 2009

What's in a name?

Let's assume we're going to take on this MONUMENTAL task of a children's home in China. 
Further, let's assume we know what we're doing, how to do it.
Let's continue down this assumption road and say we will find the necessary funding to pull it off. 

So with those pesky details out of the way, we're going to need a name for this children's home.  I have been asking for suggestions.  Some border on the insane.  Some just don't roll off the tongue well.  Some don't translate to Chinese very well. 

The one that everyone seems to like is one that I'd thought of a long time ago but hesitate to use.  The vote so far seems to be - Zoe House.  I LOVE the name.  I just didn't want people thinking I was naming it after our daughter, Zoe.   We actually named her that because it's the Greek word for "Life" (Like in John 10:10 ... came to give you life (Zoe) and that more abundantly.  We named her after that word. 

So if it's the Zoe House, it means house of life.  Not a bad name ... Also, if you write it out with Zoe horizontally and House written vertically (crossing at the O), it resembles a cross.  Not a bad reference. And besides, our Zoe is from Taiyu*n where this house will be.

Let me know what you think.  (There ARE runners-up for names. )

Oct 13, 2009

Full panic mode - Help wanted!

(Please excuse my "dust" as I remodel the blog.)

Many of you have offered to help in some way.  I'm in need of help and support.

Looks like I'll be headed to Beij*ng and Taiyu*n in November.  Yes, that's right.  NOVEMBER.  Can you say "full panic mode"?  I don't have flights, hotels, guides, drivers, details, funds, donations to take, etc.  Yet I'm still trying to pull this off.

I'm talking with directors of several different organizations who have been great about extending their help to me.  Several of them have offered to give me any info I could want if I could just get there.  So I'm working on it.

Many of you have offered to collect donations to take with us.  If you want to collect a few things and ship them to me, that would be great.  As you know, the winters in Northern China are brutal so we can use warm things.

Cleft bottles are also high on the list if you have any of those hanging around.

I'll try to put up a full list of "needed" items in the next couple of days ... but it's the basic list that's always needed.  (list will be linked on http://www.destinyshouse.com/shoes.html )

I know most of you aren't in a position to donate money and I completely understand that.  But if you are, you can donate via check or paypal.  (same link as above).   We're hoping to purchase some much needed things like diapers, formula, and bigger items etc that we can get in China.  That's what the money would be used for.  (And of course, any donation is tax deductible as this is a non-profit charity.)

If you are able to secure donations from other sources (such as corporations, doctors, etc.) that would be awesome as well.  It never hurts to ask!  (Like I mentioned our trip to Zoe's dentist and he donated hundreds of toothbrushes.)

I'm also in need of other types of support ... such as those of you who have offered specific support, I will need that now.  (Like those who want to write for me, etc etc.)

Oh and finally, if you have adopted from Taiyu*n SWI, I'm going to take a photo album with me with as many kids from there as possible.  (With updates on how they're doing, new photos, measurements, etc.)

So I guess I'm calling in all the support offered.

So exciting!  We're going to figure out if we can really pull this off or not.

Oct 12, 2009


Not sure when it happens.  But it happens.  Every time.  

Maybe it's after the mountain of snotty tissues but before the knee deep in throw up.
Or maybe it's between the bottles of used tylenol.
Perhaps it's the smell of Vick's Vapors wafting in the air.

But when people are sick in my house, time stands still and nothing else seems to matter.

Kaley sounds like she is swimming. Her head and chest are so full of fluid.  And even the tiniest cough hurts her stomach because she's coughed so much.  So she's trying to do these baby coughs not to rattle her horrible headache.

Luke, meanwhile, has a VERY high fever and is throwing up.

And somewhere in the midst of it all ... I think of Jesus Christ.

He died a sinless, perfect life in exchange for us.  He paid the penalty of death so we could all live.  But that death could have come in any number of ways.  As long as He died, it would have served the purpose.

He went "above and beyond" and was tortured, willingly taking stripes on His body.  It tells us in Isaiah 53:5 that "with His stripes we are healed."  He purposely, willingly took on the beating of His physical body so we could have our physical bodies healed as well.

I know a lot of Christians 'know' this.  But when we're wading through snot and changing out bedpans and doing the piles of laundry, do we really consider this?  I mean, REALLY consider it?

I know that physical illness affects all of us from time to time.  And most times it's a temporary condition (like a cold or the flu).  And simply the passing of time will "cure" it.  But there are other times when it's more complex like cancer.  There are times when we know this will just "go away" and other times, we wonder how long we will live.

So it's at times like this that I wonder why sometimes we get an immediate physical healing and other times we don't.  I know many people speculate on it.  But the truth is, we don't know.  I don't think there's a formula with God for this.

I know some of you know that a few months ago I was going through all sorts of testing for lumps in my axilla.  Fast forward - one doctor thinks it is not a big problem and I should just get re-evaluated after 3 months.  Another doctor feels it's a big deal and wants the whole thing gone immediately (every lymph node on that side).  I'm awaiting a 3rd opinion to break the tie.

I have to consider that just one short year ago, my Dad was fighting for his life and had basically 0% survival rate.  They didn't feel he would make it off the operating table.  I knew that his life was completely in the hands of God.  If he was supposed to stay, he would live.  If God was ready to take him, he would die.  Plain and simple as that.

I could go down each and every one of my kid's and the miracles God has performed in their lives.  One by one.  It would take us weeks just to discuss them all.

God has touched my life with so many miracles - big and small.  I'm aware of quite a few.  Sometimes I ponder all the ones He did that I missed.

So my point?  If you're sick or you know of someone who is sick and needs healing ... ASK.  God has made provision for YOUR healing too.  And when He heals you, make sure to let me know... I LOVE hearing about the miracles of God!

Oct 7, 2009

Where she needs to be

Is it sitting in those little chairs?  The smell of the chalk in the air?  The dingy florescent bulbs flickering on and off?

What EXACTLY is it that makes me absolutely cringe to be back in a school room???

I know, maybe it's the fact that I spent 12 years in school and another 7 years in college classes (2 bachelor's degrees, MA, PhD).  That's not to count the years I taught in school or in the university.

My poor deluded 1st grader (Luke) went off to class the first day and I thought ... "You have NO clue what you have just signed up for, the YEARS ahead of you."

But I digress.

This morning, I had a parent teacher conference with Mrs. Ryan.  She's Kaley's 4th grade teacher.  She is WONDERFULLY amazing.  Love her.  She is kind and respectful and most of all, she likes my kid.  She was telling me all the lovely things Kaley is.

Kaley is so tiny that her classmates all want to take care of her, help her out.  And truthfully, she can use all the help she can get.   Mrs. Ryan is an experienced enough teacher to know that it's OK for a fellow student to help out.  She said Kaley and Lydia (the next seat over) are always talking, but it's always on point, never about the latest movie or whatever.

Kaley IS having a bit of struggle with some of her reading/writing assessments ... but we knew that going in.  She learns just a bit slower in this area and I'm so thrilled that she has Mrs. Ryan, someone who "gets" it.

So I left this teacher conference with all the confidence in the world that Kaley is right where she needs to be.  That is HUGE news.  Before sending the kids to public school, SHE was one of my main concerns.   But seems that God has put her right where she needs to be.

How often can we say that in life:  We made the right choice!  So I'm going to enjoy my cup of hot tea and this feeling of doing *something* right.  But I'd better drink fast ... I know these feelings are fleeting. ;)

Oct 6, 2009

Who knew!?!

Tough economic times.  Check.
Already contributing somewhere else.  Check.
We're financially strapped right now.  Check.
We're in the middle of an adoption.  Check
Where you going to get the money from?  Check.
Why you?  Check.
Why China?  Check.
Why not help "our" kids?  Check.
Why now?  Check.

These are just a few of the questions/statements I expected to get ... and I got them.  (Strange though because I have not asked ONE person for ONE penny.)  We haven't decided IF we're going to do this yet, how much it would cost, etc. so I've asked for help - like brainstorming.  But it's too soon to start asking for monetary donations.

What I have been shocked by (so far) is how many people come up with reasons/excuses for me NOT to do this orphanage alternative.  People are being so helpful at trying to eliminate my guilt or my burden or whatever insanity I must be experiencing that makes me want to even consider this.  They're not telling me it's a bad idea.  They're not saying I couldn't do it.  They're simply saying, "Why do you feel YOU have to help?"

I understand that they might not get the whole picture.  I get that people might project their own feelings onto me.  Fine.  But what I don't get is why they think their sense of morality and obligation can be passed along to me.

What I know is this ... when I was standing in the orphanage (2 days after adopting Zoe), I was overwhelmed by all those 'left behind'.  There was one little boy especially about 15-18 months I'd say in the far corner reaching his hands out to us asking us (through the glass window) to pick him up.  His little face haunts me still.

As we left the orphanage that day, something was deposited in me.  I KNEW I had to do "something" for those left behind.  I knew that I MUST return.  And I did.  I brought shoes, socks, medicines, strollers, washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, clothes, school supplies, food, formula, diapers, wipes, etc.

And it wasn't enough.

I left from that trip knowing I would have to return and do MORE.  What that will be still remains to be seen.  I at least have to try.

Come join me on this new adventure.  What if we help just one child?  Would it be worth it?

Oct 5, 2009

Full circle of emotions

Metacognition.  Thinking about thinking.  It's your mind's ability to step away from your life for a second and view it as you would a movie.

There are people who have NO clue what they are thinking.  They are not aware of their internal processes.

I do not understand that.

Currently, I've been asked to take on this HUGE project.  On the one hand, it's a dream come true.  Truly, I've had this dream for most of my life.  And right in front of me is the opportunity to seize it.  I've been musing lately on how to help, truly HELP the orphans of the world.  How to make an impact.  And the answer falls in my lap.

But on the other hand, what the heck am I thinking?  I don't have any money.   I do not know where to get funding.  I am not a business person.  I don't have a clue how to get corporate sponsors.  I don't know what it takes to run an orphanage.

The responsibility is overwhelming.  And yet I know I cannot walk away.
But I also have 5 children at home who also depend on me (6 if you count Hubby).

Last night, someone said to me, "And out of the 1 billion people in China, YOU are the only one who can help these kids?"

I kept my mouth shut!  I wanted to scream.  How dare they attempt to pull down my dream!  And NO, I am NOT the only one who can help ... but why AREN'T they helping?  And the Bible says we are to help our neighbor.  Who is our neighbor?  Anyone who asks for help!

But the truth is ... Who *AM* I to think I can do it?  I could, at this very moment, rattle off 50 reasons I am NOT the person for the job.

In the story of the good samaritan, I'm mostly struck by those who can walk past, do nothing.  How can they see a travesty and turn away as if they didn't see it?  I've seen things in China.  I cannot "unsee" them.  I know of children who at this very moment are hurting!!  And I can't "unknow" it.  The question really isn't who do I think I am but rather, who else is going to come along beside me and answer the cry of these kids.  They are asking US for help.

I have no clue how to say "Yes" ... I just know I can't say "no."

So back to "metacognition" ... THESE are some of the thoughts running through my head lately.  People's first question is often, "What are you thinking?!?"  to which I can now refer them to this blog entry.

In summary, I'm thinking:  I have been asked to help.  I must find a way to do it.

Photo is Zoe soon after arriving at the Group Home (similar to what we're talking about creating).  I'm very thankful someone said "yes" to her. 

Oct 4, 2009

Calling all churches

I'm a firm believer that the Bible actually MEANS what it says.  We can all get caught up in the various doctrines of what makes you a better Christian than me or than your neighbor.  But when it comes down to it, there seems to be some clear mandates.

Don't know if you've been to Matthew 25:31-46 lately or not.  But it seems pretty clear to ME.  Jesus himself says the Lord will separate the sheep and the goats - some to life and some to death.  Based on our doctrines?? NOPE!  Based on some simple principles of life.

Did we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, etc?

In 9 years as a foster parent, I couldn't take in one of those little ones and feed and clothe them without thinking, "You do this unto the least of them you've done it unto me."

Now we've been presented with the opportunity to help, REALLY help some of the special needs orphans in China.  Due to circumstances, there are some children falling through the cracks of the system and WE have been asked to help.

Many of the successful models of group homes have several churches and companies as their "base."  They support financially, with donations, volunteers, etc.

In the next week or so, I'll be putting together a proposal of what that looks like.  I'll be contacting various churches who do not currently have an orphan care program to see if they would like to help.  And corporations who might want to make contributions.

So think about it, do you know of a church?  You friends with a pastor? Know of a company who does charitable donations? Know of a person who would like to donate?  (Time, resources, money, services).

Many of you have offered to do "anything".  THIS is my first request:  Rack your brain for people you know who might be a resource.  

Be encouraged.  Many, many things are coming together behind the scenes, faster than I can keep track.

More details to come!

Oct 2, 2009

The shoestring ... The faith of a child

Sam has these shoes that he picked out because they were "COOL".  They have a blue string at the top and a black string at the bottom.  Problem is ... they won't stay laced and the laces are 3 miles long.  I've hinted about them being a problem.  I've made suggestions on how to keep them tied.  I've tied them for him.

And frankly, I've grown tired of reminding him to "Tie Your Shoes!!"

So I took matters into my own hands.  I took all the laces out and started fresh with only ONE lace per shoe.

Problem is ... those little "thingys" on the tips are missing.  So re-lacing was taking a very L O N G time.  In fact, so long that I began to think that I wasn't going to get it done before he had to leave for school.  (And he doesn't have a second pair.)  Serious problem.  Each hole was taking 2-3 minutes of twisting, cutting, pushing, pulling.  It came down to 1 minute before they HAD to leave and I still had 3 holes to go ... at this rate, it will be 9 minutes.

Luke came up beside me and started saying, "It's going to work now.  I prayed."

OK ... point of decision.  And some background info is necessary. As a child, I was given a gift of faith. I just KNEW I would pray about something and God would do it.  Plain and simple.  I even know God turned around a tornado  (but that's another blog entry for another day).  I wasn't all that encouraged when I would say things like Luke said to me.

So the question is:  How do I encourage this gift of faith?  How do I raise a prayer warrior?

The answer *I* came up with:  *I* must take the leap of faith.

He prays.  I pray that his prayer works (for HIS benefit).  And VOILA.  Shoe string in!  We clap, we cheer, we do High 5's.  All the hoop-la draws the attention of Sam who joins us and starts to pray too.   Shoe string in!  We clap, we cheer, we all do high 5's.  More hoop-la.  Now Kaley and Zoe join in on the act.

They're all praying for the shoestring.  I'm praying for God to build their faith.  3rd and final shoestring.  It too went in quickly and painlessly!  They're doing dancing in the kitchen and praising God.  Me too.  We get up and dance all the way to the door ... Sam wearing his nicely tied shoes.

And the rest of yesterday, I spent wondering the amazing journeys that God is going to take my family on.  I began to speculate about future things where we gather together and pray prayers of faith - me and my prayer warriors.

Yesterday it was shoestrings.

Maybe tomorrow it will be the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the lame to walk.  Maybe it will be seeing a person with no hand or foot suddenly have one appear.  Maybe we'll see someone resurrected from the dead.  Maybe mountains are going to be cast into the sea.

I don't know about you, but I'm a woman of faith.  And I'm thrilled to say I'm learning (by God's grace) how to raise children of faith.  I'm raising prayer warriors and praisers.

Anyone got any "shoestrings" that need prayer? I've got the cutest bunch of prayer warriors you've ever seen just itching to see what else God will do!

Oct 1, 2009

Am I the only one?

Am I the only one?  Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Each morning I rush to my computer to check on my favorite blogs.  I love getting those notices that one of my favs has written a new entry.  I eagerly click and wait for it to pop up.  I know some will be full of wit or wisdom.  I know others will come with amazing pictures.  Some tell me of experiences in far off lands.  Sometimes I get to experience the birth of a new family ...

... all while wearing my pj's from the comfort of my home while sipping hot tea.

Ahhh ... my morning somehow feels complete.  I feel whole.  I feel connected to an outside world.

This morning ... it hit me like a ton of bricks:  God has His daily blog entry He would like me to read. 


Sure I pull out the scriptures and I pray.  And there are days where I feel I've found the best nugget in the world.  Sometimes I hear from God.  Sometimes I have the best time and feel connected, feel whole, feel complete.  Sometimes I find wit and wisdom.  Sometimes I get a great picture.

But let's go there ... sometimes I do not.  Sometimes it seems more like a chore, an obligation, a duty to check off my ever growing list.

I've begun to wonder this morning:  Maybe I don't always "hear" what He has to say because I sometimes I don't like what He has to say.  Or maybe it's back to that entry I wrote on being a spoiled brat.  (How I like only the extremes, not the daily grind.)  Or maybe I just fill my head with all these other distractions of life so I DON'T hear what He has to say.

I'm assuming I'm not the only one here.    

So this morning, (I know this stuff, but ...) I'm reminded to rush to HIS blog entries first.  To find comfort in HIM first, to feel connected to HIM first.

Go be shocked at what God has in store for YOU today!  It's a really great blog entry ... you'll be glad you read it!  Below is something God shared with me.  Maybe it's for you too.

I'd love to hear what God is saying to YOU lately!

Psalm 121                                                                I lift up my eyes to the hills—  where does my help come from?  My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  He will not let your foot slip  he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel  will neither slumber nor sleep.  The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.