Sunday, October 18, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Babes

My precious Kayden, she's one smart cookie! Last night she said to me, "Mom, I really think you need to change your number because I know you're 44, but you don't look 44, so you should change your number." :) :) :)

Today she was telling me about God speaking to us through His Holy Word and said, "I thought we had to wait to get to Heaven to hear God's Word, but He speaks to us today through His Holy Word. There's even red letters in there that are actually Jesus' words."

Then, this, "We can read the same thing in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John because they are the four Gossips. Then we can read more in Acts and Romance." (I love it!!!)

Counting my blessings

Beautiful weather Saturday. Beautiful children always!
Goofy, gorgeous children!
Ummm ... not great at setting the timer ;-) Someday I will have an amazing camera that takes fantastic pictures ... and I will learn how to use it!
Blessings too many to count!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Truth for Today!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. Prov 13:12

I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High. Psa 9:1-2

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psa 19:1

Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man's behalf! Psa 66:5

...for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is his name. Luke 1:49

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is this Yours?

Not the beautiful baby girl - but the dress, is it yours? It could be! My friend Diane is holding an auction to raise travel funds ASAP. Please check it out HERE.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Memorial Box Monday ~ Giving Back

Giving back what is already His!
This is kind of hard to write because it involves a confession – yikes! But in order to share my testimony I need to get real!
Last month as the adoption process progressed and we realized we were going to soon need a LOT of funds to complete the journey we began to put the pencil to the paper. It just wasn’t adding up. We have been trusting God for everything in this process, following as He leads, finding that His plans are far greater than we had imagined. But the cost was escalating, and though we had come up with over half of it, there was still a l.a.r.g.e. balance.
We went to our friend and pastor and shared our hearts. For the previous processes we have been able to borrow the funds, if necessary, to complete the process. I know that debt is not the best option … but we have committed to do what was necessary to bring our children home, even it if means paying on a loan for the rest of our lives. Now, God has never allowed the debt to last very long – He’s always provided for timely repayment!
This time is different. Since starting up a new farming business, we have exhausted all collateral and ability to borrow. In the past we’ve felt we trusted the Lord completely for everything we needed, but this time we were really, really trusting Him. We’ve held fundraisers, giveaways, applied for 6 grants, received anonymous love offerings, cut our budget to bare bones and saved every penny we could, and still we were short – really short.
On September 12 we committed to fasting in order to seek the Lord. We desperately needed to hear from Him. Maybe He would confide His provisional plans to us. Or maybe, better yet, He would change us! We began our first extended fast. And the Lord spoke volumes.
Many times the enemy tried to make us doubt, question our motives, or remind us of our own weaknesses and allow discouragement. We spent a lot of time in the Word and in prayer, and God was faithful to speak. What we really wanted was direction, to know how He was going to provide all we needed, if we were to keep it to ourselves or make it public. We wanted Him to change our circumstances … but we didn’t expect Him to change US so much!
He began to remind us of Truths He had spoken to us months before about following Him with reckless abandon because His plans are so awesome and His power so limitless (Psa 40:5; Eph 3:20), others may forsake us but He never will (Psa 27:10), many may question our calling, but He is faithful to carry us outside the barriers of our comfort (Jer 29:11 ), He wants us to have abundant life here and now (Psa 27:13-14), and all good things come from Him (Psa 16:2).
We didn’t know how long the fast would last, but our prayer was that the Lord would speak the same things to each of us, individually. Throughout the week we shared things He had spoken to us, and then on Friday, were struck with an awful truth: we had become unfaithful in giving. In the previous months the budget had been tight, but there was no excuse. The simple truth is we had stopped recognizing that what we receive is God’s. We k.n.e.w. it was from Him, but we were not living that out by giving back. How He desperately wanted us to understand His abundant provision by trusting Him enough to give back to Him first. No wonder we were at a financial dead end! We lacked faith!
As we talked about it, we realized we needed to repent and start giving immediately no.matter.what! I am also grateful for the way He uses His faithful children to speak and live out His Truth. (Thank you, L, for taking the time to counsel and pray with us as well!)
Suddenly we were free! We still didn’t have the funds we needed, but we had the direction we so desperately sought. Our role is to faithfully give back. On a Friday evening, six days later we broke the fast.
Early Saturday morning a sweet sister from church stopped by, totally unexpected, and gave a gift of $1,000 toward our adoption! We shared our testimony of the previous seven days and told her that only $900 would be applied to our process because the first was for the Lord. That’s my God! We don’t deserve His blessing, but He is so faithful!
The following weeks as long-awaited paychecks began to arrive, we were so excited to set aside the Lord’s portion first, and He began to restore our finances! Still we lacked the amount needed for the adoption. Suddenly we had the idea of a benefit/fundraising dinner. We weren’t really sure how it would go over, but with the encouragement and prayers of our brother/friend/pastor we quickly put it together. We mailed personal invitations, spoke to our ministerial alliance and hung flyers.
Five days later we prepared a pasta feast with expectations of feeding 300 hungry guests. The weather turned cold and illness was rampant. But we had been praying for God’s provision. We had been placing our hope in Him. We knew He was speaking to the hearts of His children and many would respond. We just knew it. We were told over and over again by dear friends that He was surely going to do something big … and we had no idea how big!
We probably served between 150 and 200 people, but we were not discouraged. The cash box was whisked away as we began the massive cleanup effort. In hindsight I’m so glad it happened the way it did. Our pastor (friend!) has been one of our biggest prayer warriors and encouragers over the last six years of adoption blessings, and he was the one who shared what God had miraculously done on a cold Tuesday evening in a small church in a town of 500 citizens. We needed $21,000 to complete our process, and God provided $21,115!!!!
Because so many wish to remain anonymous, we do not know who gave or how much. We apologize that we can’t thank each individual personally, but publicly we say THANK YOU for seeking and responding to our Heavenly Father, and we PRAISE YOU, Father, for knowing and providing exactly what we need! Even when we are not faithful, YOU ARE!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Friend's Giveaway!

Oh my, my friend Kim is hosting a giveaway of an a.d.o.r.a.b.l.e. dress! You must check it out here and enter! Thank you, Kim!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Garage Sale Halfway Point :)

I mentioned that Oklahoma Hearts is having our fundraising garage sale this week, so we are swamped. Did I mention the wind chill is 25?!?
Today is the last day. Once we close today, all the stuff gets loaded and hauled to good will. Praying the people come today!
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My GOD Supplies ALL!

Praise my Father in Heaven! Even before we ...
chopped a few vegetables ...
... made a little sauce ...
... sliced a few loaves of bread ...
... frosted a little cake ...
... made a little spaghetti ...
... and added a little more frosting ...
... He was already working in the hearts of His people! We are in a place of total dependency on Him. Through a time of intense prayer, He directed our steps. He spoke many things into our hearts (which really need to be in a Memorial Box Monday post!).
We knew He wanted us to keep trusting Him and not to step out ahead of Him. He reminded us often:
... for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. Psa 50:10
We're not talking pocket change here, or even airfare. We were asking for ... well, what is possible only with God! Clayton and I talked about whether we really should tell you the amount we needed. After all, it's beyond humbling, almost to the point of embarrassing. Beloved, I say it again, we serve a mighty God!
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him," 1 Cor 2:9
It was a busy, fun, exhausting day. There were so many unfinished conversations as I tried to sit and chat and then noticed something needed to be done. We saw so many precious people walk through the serving line, and some were missing due to illness or distance. We have so many people to thank, and as I start thinking of names, I realize I am forgetting so many and I don't want to forget anyone. So you know who you are - we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for serving, praying, loving the Lord, giving your time and resources! Thank you, Brother Brian, for believing with us!
At the end of the day, "my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:19
No doubt about it, when God calls His people to a task, He does not expect us to be equipped; He expects us to let Him equip and supply, even when the need is $21,000! In our pastor's words, "I stopped counting at 21!" Praise Him! I have been up many times in the night just offering praise!

I wish we had a list of all the people who came. My friend Lori gets the prize for driving the furthest, 2.5 hours!!
The cheerful clean-up crew sometime after 9:30 p.m.

Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord. 1 Cor 1:31
Thank you for responding to His call. May He receive the glory and praise!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Dinner Invitation!

It's gonna be a busy day, and I'm so excited! Thank you for your prayers for our fundraiser tonight. It's going to be awesome, and I can't wait to share what the Lord is going to do! Hope to see you there. 5-8 p.m.!

Will you please pray for Kenzie. She hasn't been feeling well and today we're going to the doctor to see what's going on.

Also, Oklahoma Hearts for Adoption is preparing for a huge two-day garage sale this weekend! I haven't been one bit of help marking items (sorry, gals) ... tomorrow I promise to devote my attention to the project. Please pray for good weather and lots of great customers!

Friday, October 2, 2009

He's Got the WHOLE World in His Hands!

Seriously? Did she say that?
Clayton was telling me something that happened to him yesterday. I truly want my blog to glorify the Lord ... so consider it grace extended in the midst of stupidity :)

He was in a store with the three-year-old 'twins' when an acquaintance walked in and commented on how much they had grown. THEN she said, "I'm a person who believes we ought to support the children in the country in which we live."

Dumbfounded by the out-of-time comment, but being the godly man he is, my sweet husband walked to the counter top and drew an imaginary image of the world, pointed to North America, China, Africa, etc., and asked her, "If you could see the world through God's eyes, which of these children do you think He loves more?" WTG, Honey!

She obviously just needed a soapbox moment because she continued on with how we need to help the children here in our country (no doubt about that!). Helping the children here starts in our own homes, taking responsibility as parents. But that wasn't really her point. She just wanted to voice her disagreement with our family, in the presence of my children.
So, to this dear woman who has never:
parented a child
fostered a child
adopted a child
taught a child
advocated for a child
I would say, "my God loves you anyway."

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