Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Husband Flew The Coop

Oops.  A little typo.  My husband is building the coop.  Thank goodness.  I'm glad he's still around. 



Jeff is getting lots of help.


  His best helper, Tristan, has all the right tools.

 
I can't wait for it to be finished so the little henny pennies can move in.  Grace has named them already: Ruth and Naomi.  If we get 4, the other two will be Mary and Elizabeth.  If we get 5, I get to pick the name and I pick Omeletta.  (grin)  But I think we'll start with 2.


The coop will be the Sunny Side Up Hut.  The nesting boxes will be, of course, The Egg Plant.  And the run will be The Chicken Strip.  Only 4 cells of my brain remain.  It's tough being the sole, self-appointed building-namer of our household. 


Friday, January 21, 2011

More Compassion

Be careful what you wish for?  No, be careful what you pray for! 

God has turned my heart inside out for the needs of this world, locally and globally.  I asked Him to.  And He has, in a big way! 

My heart has just exploded for the children of Compassion, and after much prayer, Jeff and I decided to step out in faith and sponsor a second child.  (My husband is such an amazing man with a huge heart for God.  Sometimes I am overwhelmed at the depth of his faith.  We are so blessed to have a him as the spiritual leader of our family).

I talked to my cousin Amy and she currently sponsors two children and that inspired and encouraged me that it wasn't such a reckless idea.  We will need to make some changes in the way we live--mainly lifestyle changes.  Things like asking myself if I "need" this right now, or do I really just "want" it?  I'm excited to face that challenge head on and allow God to do some work in me. 

This is Miderline.


I'm sorry for the poor quality of the scanned image.  Believe me, she is absolutely gorgeous.  She has piercing eyes that drew both Jeff and I in.  She is four years old and lives in Haiti.  Just like my girls, she likes to play with dolls.  She is doing above average work in preschool.

Since sponsoring Miderline, I have had moments (or sometimes hours...) of fear.  But I just need to allow Jesus' words to wash over me.  1 John 3:17-18 says If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

I don't want to read the bible and shake my head in a meaningful way and then go about my business "in my own little world" of "population me".  I want to take God's commands as seriously as His promises.  I want to love with actions.  I pray that God continues to bless us with a steady income so that we can continue our sponsorships for as long as Digina and Miderline need us.  My own children are a bit young and my faith is yet a bit small to go on an actual mission trip, so for now, this can be our long-distance mission trip to Tanzania and Haiti.

It's amazing how Grace, and even Tristan and Sophie, have responded to Digina and Miderline.  Their photos and maps of their contries are up in our kitchen.  Daily they want to know what Digina or Miderline is doing at any given moment.  (Usually I have to tell them that Digina is sleeping as Tanzania is 11 hours ahead of us!  But in Haiti, Miderline is only 3 hours ahead of us and they get a kick out of hearing she is probably preparing to eat lunch as we are sitting down to breakfast). 
Whenever they draw pictures or play with play dough, they tell me they are making it for Digina or Miderline.  The twins call Digina "Gina" as they can't yet say her full name.  "Gina" doesn't know it but she has had at least 7 or 8 play dough burritos made for her. 

We talk about the conditions the girls live in and the huge differences in material possessions.  Sweet Grace wants to use her piggy bank money to buy them furniture and clean water, or some stickers.  Luckily, the customs in both countries allows Compassion shipments to include paper products measuring up to 1/4" thickness, so we will most certainly send them stickers.  (smile)  I love watching Grace think beyond her own needs and circumstances (hard for a 4 year old.  Well.  Hard for a 34 year old too.) 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Compassion

This is Digina Raphael:



Isn't she so beautiful? She's 17 and lives in Tanzania. She likes sewing and art. She lives in poverty.
I can't imagine the hardships she endures every day.

We are sponsoring her through Compassion International and my heart could not be lighter.
I am hoping our sponsorship lessens her hardships.

When I was searching for a child to sponsor, I had no idea what I was looking for. I was just hoping God would lead me. So many of the children's faces called out to me. So many of their circumstances or interests tugged at my heart. But Digina's face would not leave me. Every time I looked at her, I just knew I wanted to know her better. I knew I wanted to help her.

I left the computer for a bit. I needed to put the twins down for a nap. Then I exercised for 30 minutes. Then I went back and refreshed the Compassion International webpage. I was going to bring up Digina's profile and show Jeff. With so many children in need on my heart, I needed to make sure Jeff and I were on the same page, and make the final decision to sponsor her.

But the webpage reloaded and Digina was gone! It said she had been sponsored by someone else. (When a person views a child, that child is reserved to them for 50 minutes, after which time, the session times out and others are again allowed to view that particular profile. My session had timed out, Digina's profile had been available to other people searching, and she had been chosen). I actually cried out an audible, shocked "ah!" I had such an unexplainable, intense feeling of loss. How strange, I know, to feel that just from a picture of a stranger, but there it was. And then I started to cry. I knew it was good that she had been sponsored and all that mattered was that she would get the love and support she needed. But I realized in that moment how much I had already sponsored her in my heart. I realized I had already composed my first letter to her in my head.

All in all, I was "highly emotional" as Jeff put it. And boy was he was right. Looking at those children's faces for the last two days, and reading about their circumstances, while my own children ran around playing in this enormous house, so carefree, never once wondering when or where the next meal would come, never once questioning whether they are safe from disease or prostitution or drugs, had brought me to tears more than once.  I was pretty much crying all afternoon.

After a few moments, I was renewed in strength and sat down to look through the children again. Jeff and I saw the sweetest, most loveable children, all so valuable and good in the eyes of Christ. It's horrible to sift through them, trying to find a connection, a common birthdate, a look in their eyes, as if they weren't all 100% deserving of our help. But how does one choose? Horrible. But we had narrowed our search and were contemplating when I, on a whim, searched with Digina's age range criteria once more.
And up popped Digina's sweet, sweet smiling face! Someone must have either have started the sponsorship process with her and then backed out, or had been viewing her profile which had made it appear that she was no longer available for sponsorship. I, of course, began to cry immediately. Highly emotional, I tell you.

The twins are now potty trained, so what normally would have gone towards diapers will now go towards sponsoring Digina. That won't cover all of it, so I've decided to stop getting my hair professionally colored and that will fund the sponsorship completely. Oh, how utterly blessed (spoiled?) we are! To know that I'm trading hair color so a perfectly adorable girl like Digina can have breakfast, a bible, medical care... It almost makes me sick to my stomach. (Trying not to cry again). Mother Theresa said it best: "It's the greatest poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish."

I am so blessed to be able to do this. If you are blessed too, pray about whether or not you should go to compassion.com and sponsor a child.

James 2:15-17 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.


Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

Matthew 25:40 The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'

James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
1 John 3:17-18 If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.




Thursday, January 6, 2011

TELL ME YOU LOVE ME...DO IT!!! NOW!!!

This video cracks me up! 
It's long, and maybe only the grandparents will make it to the end. 
I just love my boy.  I love listening to him talk. 
Listen to this pitiful plea of mine, and Tristan's one track mind (cookies):


video