Friday, July 31, 2009

You learn something new everyday

It is so much fun to be a mom to these wonderful children of mine. As you know, I am still getting acquainted with 2 of them, and I frequently learn something new.
Today was no different.
Today I learned a little something about Hanna's pain threshold. I would prefer the children not experience pain, but it still comes in handy to know how they handle it.
I was reading at the table when Svetlana runs in. "Hanna's Hurt!"
I run to the family room.
Hanna's face is a mask of horror. Her eyes are wild and her mouth is a perfect "O" shaped silent scream. Tears are streaming and she is holding her side.
What happened?
Did you fall?
Are you hurting inside?
Which side is the appendix on? I really need to figure that out.
She begins gasping and OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.
"the boat, zzzz zzzz zzzz and bam."

She has been stung by a bee.

As she calmed down, I tried to determine if she was experiencing any breathing problems or if her lips were swelling. She was too distracted by her brother's game of Lego-starwars on Gamecube to give me a good answer.
She over-reacts but her recovery is quick.
Short attention span helps too.

She's going to make it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

More begging with a date change

Hi friends.
You will notice on the right side of my blog is a picture of a beautiful hand made quilt. For $5 dollars a chance, you can purchase a raffle ticket for the quilt, with proceeds going toward paying for our fence.
If quilts aren't your thing, you might be interested in a tattoo. On August 17, 2009, Rich and Bridget Kocis, owners of Peace of Art Tattoo 133 Joe Orr Rd. Chicago Heights, are donating all proceeds from that day toward our fence. Hours are 10am to 10pm. So, if you have kicked around the idea of a tattoo, now is the time!!!
I am strongly considering having the verse Psalm 113:9 He gives children to the woman who has none and makes her a happy mother. Praise the Lord! along with my children's names written in their language. If I don't chicken out, I will post pictures.
Like I said before, COME ON PEOPLE, PAY FOR A PICKET!!!!!

***************Date was changed from August 10th to August 17th. ***************

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Paying for Pickets

Hi friends.
As you know, I am in charge of events and fundraising for Project Hopeful. Gear up for our first event. It is happening right now.
Here goes...

I am on my knees begging you to help us with my new promotion "Paying for pickets".

"Paying for pickets" involves you going to and donating money using the DONATE button and specifying "village". or going to the site and buying something from our store and specifying "village". The bottom line is, we need $4,400 to pay for a fence to go around the acreage we have been given for Covenant Village. We must establish ownership of this property now, and the best way to do this is to put a fence around it. it will cost $4,400. I think that is quite a bargain for a fence. We have all paid a lot more to fence a lot less here in the states.

Here is Project Hopeful's vision for the property:

A VISION to care of Orphans and widows/woman infected with HIV. Holistic care including; Specialized medical clinic, psychosocial care, education, spiritual needs and housing in a self-sustaining atmosphere. Focusing on the needs of the community, integrating the Covenant Village purpose into the community through sponsorships and relief efforts, with the first goal to maintain families and eliminate the need for woman to relinquish their children for reasons that can be alleviated.

ALMOST HOMES• Family like settings (cottages) for 5-8 children consistently with 2 caregivers. Unlike typical orphanage setting, children will be raised in small family units. Providing for a nurturing atmosphere, with emotional development and care being paramount.• The goal ultimately to place the children in forever adoptive families, after the possibility to keep them with family in country is exhausted.• We will utilize HIV+ widows and HIV+ young women, to care for the children, giving them housing, education and medical care. • Every child shall be paired with Christian family/person in U.S. to advocate and pray and ACT until the child is placed in FOREVER family. (Families In the Gap, FIGS…)

FAITH MONTESSORI SCHOOLING• Hands on learning, crosses language barriers. Originated for underprivileged children. • Encourages self-learning and teaching . • Train women to be certified Montessori teachers and contribute to the village and community.• Excellent and easy to replicate materials and manipulatives. Sturdy and easy to clean and maintain.• Stimulating and fresh atmosphere full of HOPE and KNOWLEDGE.

SELF-SUSTAINING VILLAGE• 6 fresh springs• Clean river• Acres for agriculture, chickens, cows and sheep• Bee keeping • Potential for income and industry Career and skill training• Building materials, for bricks etc. on site. Adequate soil compounds. MEDICAL CLINIC• Specialized clinic within the compound to treat and monitor HIV and related infections.• Available to community to sustain first goal of maintaining original family units.• Consistent health care in a community that otherwise has none.• Aid to prevent passing HIV to unborn by infected mothers, providing means necessary with medication and baby formula to reduce the chance of transmission.

NEW HOPE CHURCH and RELATIONSHIP CENTER• Community outreach respectful and loving to the culture…. living JESUS through love and care of the most vulnerable people in the world today.• FOCUS on THE PURE AND FAULTLESS RELIGION in all facets and seeing it through from beginning to end. Teaching relationship with the LIVING GOD that SEES them KNOWS them and LOVES them. THE TRUE GRACE MESSAGE…. No…really…THE TRUTH OF THE GRACE MESSAGE.• Reducing stigma through the actions of the church, through caring for HIV + orphans and widows without ceasing.• Church building and worship center, community center.• Feeding program• Sponsorship disbursement• Integration and HIV education• Skill and career training• HEALING….HEALING….HEALING and a little more HEALING. Through recognizing the VALUE of ONE at a time.EDUCATING, ENCOURAGING and ENABLING families adopting children with HIV/AIDS. EXPANDING: Creating villages to fulfill His intentions for the orphans and widows, the lonely and the desolate."A FATHER to the FATHERLESS and protector of widows is God in His holy dwelling.God places the lonely IN FAMILIES and gives the desolate A HOME in which to dwell;" Ps 68:5-6




It's done.

Our first event.

Me begging and you giving.

Our events will be much more elaborate in the future, but for our first one, I thought I would go with simplicity.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More challenge

I like the verse I posted earlier. It's my theme verse.

Ephesians 4:1
...I urge you who have been chosen by God to live up to the life to which God called you.

Don't you feel the challenge? LIVE UP TO THE LIFE TO WHICH GOD CALLED YOU.

It stands as a challenge to God's people to get busy living the life He wants you to.

I've been reading Just Courage: God's Great Expedition for the Restless Christian, by Gary Haugen. I guess that's me- a restless Christian.
Gary Haugen writes:
"Accordingly, I can take my gifts and passions and training and strengths beyond the places of safety and control, and into the sphere of the kingdom where I actually need God...

Do you and I have work that we can't imagine doing for thirty minutes without prayer? If not, perhaps we need a new life's work. Or perhaps we need to do an old life's work in a new way...
...our rescue is not the ultimate destination, it is the indispensable means by which God works out his plan to rescue the world.

..."You are the light of the world."
according to Jesus, we are it. You are it. The world is a dark and hurting place, and the Creator of the universe has one pan to bring light to it-and through Christ, we are that plan...

God calls us to make the transition from being those who have been rescued from the world, to those through whom God is literally rescuing the world."

I could continue quoting the book until I typed the whole thing out on my blog. It all boils down to that verse.
Live up to the life to which God called you.
If we all started living like God intended, we would be seeing miracles every day. We would be the vehicle through which those miracles would happen.

Slaves would be set free
the hungry would be fed
the sick would be healed
the orphan would have a home
the widow would be cared for
the homeless would have a resting place


Don't you hear him calling?

I do.

Monday, July 13, 2009

This morning's issue

Hanna and I had a small clash this morning. I think I handled it ok, you tell me.

Hanna and Svetlana have been signed up for a week long song and dance class. 9am to 3pm Monday through Friday with a show at 6:30pm on Friday night.
The girls are so excited and anticipation for the class to start has drawn them even closer. I overheard Hanna express concern about understanding everything the teacher said, and Svetlana assured her that she would stick by Hanna and help her out.
They spent the afternoon on Sunday choosing what they would wear and Hanna did Svetlana's hair. When they came downstairs this morning, they had big smiles and were ready to go!
Hanna had chosen to wear Svetlana's blue and gold gym uniform.
She also had on 2 mismatched terry cloth wrist bands.

Just below her knees.

I have told her in the past not to wear the wrist bands there and I told her to take them off.
No problem.

The director asked that all the children wear gym shoes and I reminded the girls to put them on.
At the back door there was a problem. Hanna's shoes are too small. She would rather not wear gym shoes and so has not worn them in almost 2 months. It was true. The shoes were too small.
OK Hanna, you still have to wear gym shoes, so you need to wear the black gym shoes that don't fit your brother. I will have new shoes for you this afternoon.
Big tears! I'm not going! I can't wear those shoes! Wah Wah Wah.

You can't wear the shoes?!!?!?!?! In your whole ensemble, THESE SHOES are the problem?

I don't say that. Deep breath.
I tell her that I understand that she doesn't want to wear her brother's shoes, but I assure her that nobody is going to notice her shoes.
Over breakfast, she continued to shoot me very nasty looks. Finally I asked her why she was looking at me that way. (like I don't know)

I no like these shoes- through her teeth.

At this point, (anther very deep breath first) I gently suggest to her that she choose a better attitude. That she should focus on the great day she was poised to have rather than make her focus something as inconsequential as shoes. I told her I couldn't make her change her attitude, but that I hoped she would.
By the end of breakfast, she was again smiling and discussing the day with her sister, and by the time we arrived at class, I could tell she had forgotten about the shoes.

I think this is good advice for all of us. We need to quit focusing on tiny disappointments and start marveling at the awesome blessings we have been given.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The least I can do

I have been struck. It has hit me hard. I pray this hits you too, and I hope it hits you in a place you can't ignore.

Clearly it is on my mind and heart what we should be doing as Christ's hands and feet, and while I don't think that adopting a child is the ultimate thing a person can do for orphans, I realize I have been writing about it that way. Like if you aren't "called" to adopt a child, you could pray for the orphans, or financially support someone who is adopting, or offer your time babysitting for someone who has. While those things are true and accurate supportive rolls that someone could and should fill in order to help take care of orphans, adoption is not the ultimate in meeting this need. There are still millions of orphans who need care across this country and around the world. Orphanages need funds and food and workers even after the one orphan is placed in a home. IT NEVER ENDS!
I have written A LOT about bringing it down to one, and that needs to be done in order to begin meeting needs, but it has finally occurred to me, IT'S THE LEAST WE CAN DO!!!

So in all of these posts, it turns out that I have been asking you to find out what is the least you can do and urged you to begin doing it.
That is only step one.
Because you know what? it doesn't stop there.
One step is not enough.
It will never be enough.
Once you have done the least, it is no longer a stretch for you and is now inside your comfort zone. You must go further to get outside your comfort zone in order to define the least you can do.
In this way, "the least you can do" becomes greater and greater, and beyond anything you ever asked or imagined.
What once seemed extraordinary will become commonplace.

Adopting children doesn't seem like any giant sacrifice. I don't feel like I have done anything special. In fact, it is amazing to me that the job I do for Christ means I get to be some one's mom. Inside this job is something I get.

Adoption has become the least I can do.

I can't wait to find out what I get to do next.

Ephesians 4:1
...I urge you who have been chosen by God to live up to the life to which God called you.

What seemingly amazing thing will become the least you can do?

Don't you want to find out?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

If you hear God's voice, you are not alone

My dear friends, it is happening. Here is another example of someone stepping out in faith, in complete abandon to God's will.
Will it be easy?
Can they do it on their own?
Definitely not.
Will our God provide for all of their needs?
Without a doubt.

Please do your part for this family.
Give your time in prayer.
Give your money in support.
Give your life for God.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Same message

Every time I think I might move off of this topic, I continue to be slapped in the face with the same message, so brace yourselves. These next verses describe Jesus on the cross. They also describe "one of these" from the verses in the past posts. The very ones who we are supposed to be DOING for.

Psalm 22:14-18 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; My heart is like wax; it is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to my jaws; and you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs have surrounded me; a band of evildoers has encompassed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones. They look, they stare at me; They divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

Am I being melodramatic? Am I exaggerating? I wish I were. I wish it were not as grave as I say. but more and more it is. If I were to describe it as it really is, in all probability some of you would not read any further. We don't want to hear it. We don't want to know it. The stark reality of our sin is too sickening, too unpleasant. We want to shut our eyes, stop our ears, and bury our heads. Ignorance is bliss.
We live in our own world- undisturbed, uninformed, and untroubled by realities that could demand our concern and attention as God's ambassadors of reconciliation. It is a delight to be an ambassador when you enjoy the notoriety, the privileges, and the niceties of life. But bring on the demands of resolving issues and problems, of confronting the unpleasant and the unjust, and we say, "you can forget my ambassadorship."
We want to be healed ourselves. But we do not want to be involved in others' healing. We don't want our hands soiled. Let us send our money; let us give from afar. Let us hear only enough to motivate us to compassion, not enough to haunt our memories.
If we are to be God's representatives on earth, manifesting to the world the character of God, if we are to minister rather than be ministered unto, we must search out those who need a physician and become actively involved in healing the wounds of His people. There is no question about it, Beloved, because the name of our God is Jehovah-rapha, the Lord who heals!
from Lord, I want to Know you, by Kay Arthur

Daily I am more and more convinced that this life is NOT ABOUT ME! It is not important if my kids get to play soccer or go to Disney World, or have their own room. It is about us, God's church, doing His work, to His glory. If we get to do those other things, great, but we really should be realizing that WE GET TO BE HIS HANDS AND FEET. WE GET TO SERVE OUR CREATOR BY:

Do we believe it? Do we really believe that God is the Lord who provides? Guess what? He is the Lord who provides, and most often He provides US to meet the needs of others.
Are we doing our job?