Tuesday, June 29, 2010

OFL Road Trip, Days 3/4/5 -- Guitars, Flower Beds, ERs, and HOME!

(This is Mike--I'll recap the last 3 days of our trip in one long entry!)

Sunday morning, Carter and I worshipped where Libby and I were on staff back in the mid 90s. It was wonderful to see so many old friends, and they were glad to see us too. Carter must have heard twenty times how amazed everyone was to see that “baby Carter” was now a handsome young man. It was shocking to see and hear of the many children and youth who were now grown, married, and have kids of their own. The visit was also bittersweet as I learned that many of our friends from our time there had gone to be with the Lord.

After church we enjoyed a great lunch with friends and then Carter and I went into town to work on our presentation for Sunday night. The only wireless internet we could find was at Schlotzky’s. The young man working there gave us free water and coffee while we worked which was great! It began raining while we were in there and didn’t stop all night.   Anyway, we worked for about an hour and a half on our talk, slideshow, and then drove home practicing the song we’d decided to sing.

After a couple of songs to start the evening service, the rest of the time was ours.  I began by reintroducing our family and showing pictures of the younger kids. Then I introduced the idea of the OFL Road Trip. Carter and I shared a few stories from the past couple of days. Carter told a couple of stories and did a great job! He was so comfortable on stage talking about what we’d done, and his jokes were actually funny! Very proud daddy moment for me. After we’d shared our stories, I spoke about the concept of “surrender” as depicted in Workman’s Outward Focused Life, peppering it with stories from our trip. We closed by singing the song we’d practiced. Carter played the guitar and did a great job.  It was his first time to play in front of a crowd, and he handled it like a pro. All in all, it went very well. I hope that God will work in the lives of those we shared with and move them to serve as well.

After church, we went to dinner with friends. It was after 10:00 when we got home, so it was off to bed. Yard work Monday morning!

Monday morning we got up a little later than we expected, so we hurried through breakfast and went to the church to find out where we were to go.  One of the ladies we were to work for was there, so we followed her back to her home. She's a young 78 years old, but since her husband passed away 13 years ago and with a recent hand injury, she can’t do much yardwork herself.

The note we had regarding Mrs. Betty's yard only read “flower beds.” We thought we were going to be cleaning out an existing flower bed, but it turned out that she wanted a large chunk of yard in front of her house (about 25 feet long and 5 feet wide) turned into a flower bed!  Carter and I took turns between clearing the flower bed and doing other work (mowing, weedeating, trimming low-hanging limbs). It was unseasonably cool and the ground was soft due to the rain the night before. God really blessed us with that rain. I can’t imagine how we’d have done all of this if the temperature was as high as it usually is or if the ground hadn’t been softened by the rain. Thank you Lord! After about 3.5 hours of hard work, we finally had that yard looking good! She knew we wouldn’t take any money for our work, so she insisted that we take her extension cord to use on the next house we were going to work on as well as some trash bags.

We headed back home for lunch and some well-deserved rest. After lunch, we were going to cross the highway to north Grape Creek for more yardwork, or at least so we thought!

The next house was a trailer sitting on a pretty large lot. We checked it out, got our game plan together for doing the yardwork, and headed back to the van to get our equipment. I walked through the gate, but Carter decided to hop the fence.  As he jumped, the old fence gave way under his weight and he lost his balance, falling awkwardly. It was funny, and we both laughed until he realized how badly his wrist hurt. He got up holding his arm and covered by fire ants! I brushed the ants off of him (we kept finding them for the next 10-15 minutes) and checked out the wrist. It began swelling immediately, and he was in a lot of pain, especially when he moved the wrist at all. I was sure it was broken. We loaded up and, with Carter apologizing over and over, we drove home to clean up before heading to the hospital. We went to Angelo Community Hospital (the same hospital where Carter was born in 1996) and went to the ER. The x-rays showed no break, but he did have a pretty good sprain. They gave him a splint and sent us on our way. Brad came to the hospital with us and waited in the waiting room the whole time. What a friend! Afterward, in the parking lot, he gave Carter a pocket knife as a gift. Carter has been so impressed with the people here throughout our visit, and he loves Brad and Karen. At one point I joked that he ought to go to ASU and come be a part-time youth minister at GCBC. As we were leaving the hospital, he said, “I’d really like to work with that guy someday!”

After leaving the hospital, Carter and I went to eat and see a movie. It was time for a break! After a good meal and movie, we headed back to our friends' home for our final night on the road. Tomorrow we start the trek back home. Carter and I talked about the trip as we drove, recapping all of our experiences. He said this has already been one of the best summers he’s ever had!

Tuesday was our long trip home.  Carter slept in the back of the van most of the way.  Our only OFL act today was a stop along the way to give food to a couple of people we passed in Ballinger.  A lady was pushing another lady in a wheelchair down Hwy 67. They were two sisters headed to Wal-Mart. We stopped and gave them a couple of bags of groceries and prayed with them. 

We arrived home around 4pm and it was so good to see everyone and to be back in our own home!  The trip was such a success, and we are already talking about doing more "Outward Focused" events around here with the supplies we have left over.  Thanks so much for your prayers for us while we were on our adventure over the last few days!


Monday, June 28, 2010

UGH, a bump in the road

Carter may have broken his left wrist!!!!  After spending all morning doing yard work for a widow, he fell when a fence post gave way.  They are 5 hours away from me so I can't see it to assess, but from what Mike is telling me, it is probably fractured.  I'm sad that he always seems to have a weird illness or injury!  Not the way you want a 14yr old to end a mission trip.  Say a prayer for him if you wouldn't mind.  He LOVES to play praise songs on his guitar and this won't make it easy.  He also leaves for youth camp next Monday and it is in New Mexico.

Okay, Mike texted me and the ER says a bad sprain not broken.  Hooray!!!  Poor guy.  I'm so relieved!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

O.F.L trip, Meeting Dutch

more stories from Mike and Carter's OFL road trip(if youdon't know what I'm talking about, click here (http://psalm139verse14.blogspot.com/2010/06/ofl-road-trip-begins.html)

This is "Dutch," a self-proclaimed hobo in his camp outside San Angelo, Texas. We spent about an hour with him. He shared his story with us--drugs, motorcycle gangs, the death of his wife, etc. He currently has a job at a car wash, but lives in the back of his pickup. The next few pictures are of his camp. All of his cooking implements are on the table on the left. Check out the campfire with a potato wrapped in foil and cans of beans over an open fire! We used our mower to clear out the back of the lot where he lives and he was so grateful. We prayed for him and left him with a couple of bags of groceries, some new socks, and a Bible stashed down in the bottom of it all.  He was super excited about the groceries.  He said that the rice, beans, and veggies would make a great pot of "hobo stew" the next night.
 This is the "kitchen" in Dutch's hobo camp. The red hose provides water for the sink. There's no electricity in the camp--and the only water is supplied by this hose.

This is the bathroom.  Check out the lawn chair with a hole in the seat over a bucket and a phone book for TP!  The "shower" consists of water in buckets warmed by the sun and old car floormats spread over a pallet to stand on.

This is Dutch's bedroom...an inflatable air mattress in the back of a pickup.

PS...In case you were wondering, Dutch thought it was great that we asked to take his picture. After taking one with Carter, he insisted that we take pictures of the whole camp! 

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 2

From Mike:
We arrived in Grape Creek, a small community just outside of San Angelo around noon at our friends home.  Brad is the pastor of Grape Creek Baptist Church where I was on staff for 3 years when Libby and I first got married.  We had a great time catching up and settling in.  After lunch at their home, we headed into San Angelo on Carter’s “birthland tour.”  We spent the afternoon checking out various sites that were special to us when we lived here.  We drove by Angelo State University, went into Eggemeyer’s General Store, wandered around the Cactus Hotel, along the Concho River, and even got out and went into the hospital where Carter was born back in 1996.  Carter thought it was pretty cool to be able to stand in the same viewing room outside the nursery where his aunts, uncles, and grandparents stood and watched him as a newborn being weighed.  

After touring SA for a while, Carter reminded me that we were on an OFL Road Trip, not a trip down memory lane, so we busted out the cleaning supplies and started looking for restrooms to clean.  The first place we stopped was a business I remembered as being owned by a family I knew.  It was closed, but a young man was there catching up on paperwork and came out to meet us.  He turned out to be Justin, a former member of my youth group!  We met his new fiancĂ© and prayed with them before leaving.
The next stop was a cell phone store where we offered to clean restrooms.  The manager was friends with the music minister at GCBC, and he was glad to hear what we were doing, and a young lady working there was so touched by what we were doing that she came out with a bag full of cold bottled water for us.  When I asked how we could pray for them, she told us that her entire family is working in Minnesota at a vegetable processing plant until the season is over in October.  She was left alone here in SA until they returned because she didn’t want to leave her job at the cell phone store.  She was maybe 18-19yrs old.
Next door to the cell phone store was a Dollar General

An older man in tattered clothes was sitting out front.  As we grabbed our cleaning supplies and one of the cold bottles of water, a taxi pulled up to pick him up.  We grabbed a second bottle and flagged down the taxi.  We offered the driver (Mary) and passenger (Bob) bottles of water and asked if we could pray for them.  Both of them were very happy for the water and the prayers.  Please pray for Mary and Bob.
We went on into the Dollar General.  We asked the manager if we could clean his restrooms and he seemed kind of frustrated as though he really didn’t have time to mess with us, but showed us the way back to the restroom.  As soon as we started cleaning, a lady came rushing back asking if there was a restroom she could use.  We cleared out and wandered around the store until she came out. As soon as she exited, another lady went in.  That restroom was the dirtiest we’d seen so far, and needless to say, I was less than thrilled to go back in after it had just been used twice!  I won’t go further with any details, but my fears were confirmed and that was the quickest bathroom cleaning in the history of OFL service!  We did a good job though!!!  After cleaning, we needed some new rubber gloves and sunglasses for Carter.  The manager had watched us clean  after the two customers had used it and his heart softened a lot.  He even pulled out his wallet and offered to pay for our items out of his own pocket!  We told him that we would pay but that he could let us pray for him, to which he agreed.  The cashier lived in Grape Creek, so we hope that she will visit the church.  We’ve been giving out cards that tells people “God loves you so much.  Please accept this gift as an expression of love from Him and the people of Grape Creek Baptist Church.”  Please pray for the manager Kevin, and the cashier whose name I cannot remember.
Now we’re at a Starbucks mooching their free wireless right now, and we’re both pretty wiped out.  I think we’re about to head back to Brad and Karen's home, eat dinner, and hit the hay.
Carter and I decided to sing Monk and Neagle’s song “Twenty-first Time” tomorrow when we share at Grape Creek Baptist Church.  Carter sat in the back of the van playing his guitar while we practiced singing.  I think we sound pretty good (or at least his guitar does!).

From Libby:
After painting my living room, cleaning orange nail polish off the tile floor and door frame that Dillon spilled and then cleaning up a bowl of watermelon that Dillon spilled 10minutes after the nail polish fiasco, I'm so glad my buddy Susie came over to hang out!  Abby prayed for "mommy to have grace and patience to take care of Hudson and Dillon."!!!  HA, if that doesn't tell you what those 2 little boys are like when together all day, then I don't know what will ;)

Friday, June 25, 2010

OFL road trip begins

Mike and Carter left early this morning for their first Outward Focused Life roadtrip (we call it the OFL road trip, pronounced awful). They don't have internet tonight so I'm trying to remember what I heard on the phone. The minivan was loaded with bags of non-perishable food, bars of soap, some coloring books, the lawnmower and various yard tools, water bottles and a few change of clothes. 

They began their adventure of service in the city at a homeless ministry called Beautiful Feet.  They rode in a bus to the usual corner of our city where the homeless gather.  They helped pass out muffins and invited people to get on the bus and go to Beautiful Feet for lunch and the gospel presentation.  One man touched them in particular.  His name is Vincent.  On Mother's Day, Vincent was jumped by a gang, beaten, and left to die.  He awoke in the hospital with a concussion and a broken hip that had to have surgery to fix.  After being released from the hospital, he was staying at the Salvation Army's shelter where someone stole his walker.  Now he is stuck sitting in a wheelchair.  Another man they met had moved to the city from Oklahoma because he had heard there was construction work here.  He's still not found a job and has nowhere to live.  There was a young woman on the street with a double stroller--with toddlers--homeless!!!  Kinda kills ya doesn't it?  After being in the city a few  hours, they headed west to a town where Mike has long time contacts in ministry.  Mike said Carter wanted to know about the whys and hows of homelessness and  poverty.  They had a good hour of conversation and then Carter fell asleep :)

In the smaller town, that I'll call "B", they drove around to find where they could help.  Mike said "apparently it is harder to find places to serve than we thought."  It felt rather awkward driving up to a run down house and saying something along the lines of "Um, excuse me, you look poor, your yard is a mess, do you need groceries or your yard mowed?"!!  They ended up cleaning the restrooms at a 7-11 convenience store (this was one of the ideas taken from the book that sparked this trip The Outward Focused Life).  The manager on duty was dumbfounded that they'd want to clean their restrooms.  After leaving the toilets sparkling, they gave her a card about how much God loves her and then asked her if she needed prayer.  Mike and Carter chatted and prayed for Judy and her co-worker Betty while they were on their smoke break (Betty and Judy-not Mike and Carter). Next they went to some run-down low income apartments where they handed out some pre-packed bags of groceries to a sweet little old lady named Anna Maria.  Mike said she was from Peurto Rico, and he thinks he spoke Spanish well enough to get the message across!  They also mowed a yard for a lady sitting on a porch in a wheelchair.  Mike said she seemed happy about it, but it was hard to tell due to her communication limitations.

They ended the day by going to the church where his friend is on staff (by the way, to our C-wood friends, this guy just got back from Kunming working with Craig S.  Isn't it crazy how our lives intersect and we don't even know it??) and helping stuff some bags that the church is handing out tomorrow.  As of this morning, they didn't have a place to stay tonight.  We prayed for God to provide somewhere for them to sleep.  Boy did He ever!!!  The friend I mentioned above had another friend who has an apartment over a barn that is on the lake.  So, they aren't exactly roughing it tonight. 

A really really amazing thing happened.  Mike met a guy who is on staff at the aforementioned church this evening.  They got to talking and this guy and his wife are an international adoptive family and are waiting on a new referral of an older sibling set in China!!  AND(this part totally blows me away!), his family is so burdened for the thousands of girls trapped in the sex slave industry that they just sold their family business and are building a shelter on the Chinese border for girls rescued out of the sex slave trade.  Is that not just amazing?????  Just 8months ago Mike and I knew nothing about this rampant and demonic business.  Now, it is everywhere we turn.  Almost everyday we hear of someone else serving to reach these woman trapped in evil.  Hmmm, okay God, Mike and I laid our life plans at your feet long ago, we are game for anything, but we were thinking more along the lines of adopting, not working to rescue people from the sex slave trade!
Well, that about wraps up day one.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lucy Lane Gotcha Day - 1 Year Later

FIRST:  scroll down to the far right and pause my Music Player so you can hear the video's music.  This video is shared with the owner's persmission.  Trust me, you'll be inspired, you'll probably cry, you'll grin a lot and just love it!  As a person who is super passionate for orphans, this speaks straight to my heart.  Who knows, maybe someone out there will be called to adopt after watching this?  You  never know how God will speak to you ;) 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

speech-still praying

Guys, I'm asking for some more serious praying for a miracle for Dillon.  Bless his precious little heart, he can't speak clearly.  He has a fairly severe articulation disorder.  We've had him in speech therapy since he was 11months old.  He is 7.5yrs old now.  We are barrelling towards 8yrs old and I'm getting panicky.  When a person can't speak clearly, it doesn't matter what their brain is capable of doing, people immediately peg that person as "retarded."  I despise that word, but alas, that is what people use(I know, I hear it in the workplace all the time-- used often as a joke--not funny!).  The school systems have never given him speech during the summer so we hire our dear private therapist.  She works wonders with him and he responds well to her.  It isn't in the budget, but a sacrifice that is certainly worth it.   Here's the deal, we want and expect a miracle.  Please join us in praying for Dillon.  A few weeks ago he was wanting to tell us a story about something that happened at school.  He struggled to tell us and after asking him to repeat it 3 times, his lower lip began to quiver and his eyes pooled with tears.  It is so cruel!  I used to pretend like I understood everything and would nod my head and say things like "uh huh, and really?".  I've decided to be hard.  We can't let him slip into laziness.  People in the world will not pretend to understand him.  We have to make him try harder. 
Speaking of prayer, Mike and I are learning a lot of things that we were never taught in the church.  We love listening to Francis Chan(author of Crazy Love) podcasts.  Man, that dude is radical for the truth of the gospel and is  not afraid to  say exactly what the Scriptures say--not watered down or politically correct.   We can't expect healing and such with unconfessed sin in our lives.  Please, do NOT hear me say that Dillon's speech disorder is punishment for sin, no way am I arrogant enough to claim those kind of judgements!!!!   Yes, God is a god of love and He is a good god, but God is a holy and pure God, not a vending machine that we put in our requests and get what we want. 
James 5:16

16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
So, I'm going to examine my life and confess sin that I've been harboring and then I'm going to ask my Heavenly Father for healing for Dillon.  Will you join me?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Mike's big weekend

Happy 40th birthday to my sweet man.  We had a very nice party last night.  I must say he looks quite amazing :)  Here is Abby showing off the welcome table that held old pics of him, Mike is the stylin dude in behind her.

And for Father's Day, a throw back.  Check out this first meeting pic of Hudson with his new daddy!

Talk about a great daddy.  Happy Father's Day to my honey.  Our children trust you and are learning by your example. When you come home from work, Hudson runs to the door yelling "Daddy HOME."  You love our kids, you love other people's kids at Trinity and want them to grow up loving Jesus with their whole lives.  You are a Biblical example of being a father to the fatherless and defender of orphans.  I'm not building you up as perfect, no earthly father is.  But, we know you are one awesome dad.

And, to my own dad.  I learned to think for myself, question what others are saying, search the Scriptures, play silly games like throwing socks at kids while they run across the house, how daddy's love their little girls and treat them with respect, to love worship music and so much more.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Splash of reality

Leave it to your kids to keep you humble!  While driving home from the library a few minutes ago I found a loose totally white hair that fell from my head.  I showed it to Abby who then said "Daddy and I both agree that you should start dying your gray hair!"  Geee, thanks a lot.  And, for the record, Mike is the one turning 40
tomorrow, June 18th, ---NOT me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

cause he's just that cute

Dear God,
Ya know how Psalm 139 verse 14 says that you've made us fearfully and wonderfully?  Well, I want you to know you hit this one out of the ballpark!  This chubby cheeked Korean gem is a masterpiece!!!
Hudson is so funny.  He is totally different than our other 3 kids.  He's a wild and crazy kind of dude, not afraid of trying stunts, loves to go fast, is loud, talks incessantly and when you say "Hudson, hush" he whispers the same words he was yelling at you.  He is super duper stubborn--you know the type--the kid who slowly sticks his finger out to touch whatever you just told him not to touch?  All the while, making eye contact with those gorgeous black eyes.  He is a night owl.  That is so different from my others.  For the most part, our family goes to bed early and wakes early.  At 9pm he is happy as a lark and going strong.  He is so smart and is recognizing some colors, can put together a Thomas the Tank choochoo track, says 3 words sentences.  I just can't help myself, but I bite and smooch those adorable fat cheeks all day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

camp stuff

I alluded to my 2 days of girls' church camp(ages 3rd-6th grade) last week.  It was fun and certainly interesting!  Here are some funny things heard at GAcamp
 When I was teaching them about persecuted Christians in North Korea and how people might smuggle God's Word over the border, one little girl had quite an idea.  She said we could put pink covers on the Bibles and write the word "Diary" on the front, leave blank pages at the beginning so the soldiers would think it was a girls' diary. :)

  The speaker was talking to the  girls about having faith.  He wanted them to answer his questions and prompted them with
                                "Peter walked on water by"......the girls answered Faith!
                                 "Abraham moved away from his homeland by"...... the girls answered Faith!
                                 "Noah built an ark by"............ the girls answered Himself!
We grown ups really cracked up at that.

Overheard when walking behind 2 girls "Would you rather have a cabin near the auditorium or cafeteria?"   The other girl answered "cafeteria"

I was asking a girl if she liked the speaker.  She replied that she did and elaborated as to why.
"You know how some preachers go on and on?  She gets to the point and makes it simple so you understand, and she's funny."  I hear  ya little one, loud and clear!

I watched my sister-in-law work with the girls and I, once again, realized I'm not gifted in the area of children's ministry.  I mean, I had fun and I loved teaching the girls about God's call on all of our lives to be about His work and missions.  But, the constant mothering and interaction with 26 girls was exhausting.  At bedtime, Shana would work the room, hugging and telling them all "night night baby."  No lie, I was laying on my bunk, iPod in my ears, thinking "would you all please just hush and go to sleep!?"   Put me on a plane to a thirld world country with my backpack and I'm cool--put me as a sponsor in a cabin with 26 girls and this woman is whooped.  Good thing the Bible reminds us that we all have an important part in God's economy, each person is gifted in special ways.  Hats off to everyone of you out there who faithfully serve children.

Now, for the kicker.  We were having night-time prayers when a sweet little girl raised her hand and said "Mrs. Shana, there's a snake on the window."  YEP, a big S.... N....A.....K....E was slithering on the outside window pane.  There are no blinds, just frosted glass but,dude, we could clearly see this 4.5ft disgusting demon of a creature!  Apparently Shana was supernatural filled with speed and agility cause she bolted out in the dark and ran to the first aid cabin while I stayed and pretended it was no big deal to calm the girls.  Men came and took care of the snake issue.  I dreamt about boa constrictors all night ;)                    

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Putting your faith into action. As Ive mentioned before, my mother is the full-time minister to women at our old church.  After several staff members read The Outward Focused Life by Dave Workman(have you read it yet?  Come on people, it's good!), they decided to do something really meaningful this summer.  It is called Summer of Service.  Instead of gathering in the church building, they will go out in the community.  I'm so excited to hear the cool testimonies.  Hmmm, what if tons of churches across America did this?  We'd totally wow this disallusioned world huh??  I copied and pasted some excerpts from her blog.  Because I'm a bit paranoid about protecting my family's security, Ive not given the full church name.

This summer, the C____ church staff is working together to bring the opportunity to reach out to our communities every Wednesday evening. We are planning to come together in three different groups to minister in different ways.
One group will come together to do some service projects that are preplanned for people who need the help; yard work or minor maintenance jobs. You may know some in the community who do not know Christ, or do not attend a church, who have some practical needs that we could help with; no large projects, just simple things that could be done in about an hour.
Another group will come together to go out to the community for the purpose of evangelism; giving small gifts to show God’s love. If you have ideas about simple ways to go out and share with people contact....

A third group will do some planned visiting;  those who are in the hospital or at home ill.  As the time comes near, and you know someone who needs a visit, in the hospital, nursing home or in their homes contact...

Doesn't that sounds just so fun????  I love love it!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Third World Woman--song

I've been at a girl's church camp the past 2 days speaking to them about missions. The verse I shared with them was
 I John 3:17 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?
The talks went really well.  I enjoyed sharing my experiences with the sweet and spunky girls(more crazy stories from camp will be shared later!!).  As I was driving home today, my friend Carol, texted me about a song she'd heard.  It is Third World Woman by Amy Grant.  Wow oh wow, these are some powerful lyrics and go with this picture I took in Haiti!!

What if I were that mother staring from my TV

What if that were my brown-eyed baby

Hungry as she could be

What if that were my family

What if that was my world

Waiting on water, waiting on a vaccine

Waiting on someone to bring me a bag of beans

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me

What of I was that mother and I was waiting on me

The big success so well dressed on the other side of the sea

Living with my distractions

Life’s been good to me

Maybe she’s praying

Praying for a miracle

Maybe the answer is me

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me

I was born in Georgia where I could do as I pleased

And I can get my hands on just about anything I might need

Who’s that third world woman

Maybe she could be

Could be mother, could be daughter

Could be sister to me

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me

Lord have mercy on me


Monday, June 7, 2010

The International Adoption Delivery Room

This is a throwback, waaaay back!  I wrote this several years ago while reflecting on Dillon's referral in Feb of 2003.

James 1:17a  Every good and perfect gift is from above
     I have just hung up the phone.  The decision has been made.  Yes, we will choose to parent this two months old baby boy we read about on three pages of faxed, impersonal information.  Any minute now, a picture should be transmitted via email.  Praise the Lord for modern technology!  I click the refresh button a  hundred times.  My husband is at work and expecting the same computer aided first glimpse of our new son.  Funny, when pregnant, peole love to talk about who the baby will resemble.  Once born, the new bundles is bright pink and has squished up features.  Grandparents proudly claim inherited traits from their side of the family.  Adopting a child transracially grants much more of the surprise element.  Sure, many mothers-to-be report having dreams of what their new child will look like.  Generally, we have no idea.  This is our second Korean adoption so we are familiar with the beautiful Asian traits.  I envision plump cheeks, almond eyes, and that adorable stand-up hair. Oh, there is a message in my inbox!!  Slowly, the attacment for Myeong Cheol opens.  The face of an angel looks back at me.  He is a small two months old with no hair.  Huge black eyes burn their image into my heart.  He has tiny rosebud lips and two bare feet sticking out of a sleeper.  We are forever bonded; mother and child.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

quite a day

Friday was interesting.  It began with dragging the kids to the car repair place at 7:30am in the city.  We dropped off the minivan for some long needed(but put off to save money so we didn't have to use a credit card) maintenance.  We drove across town to get ready for our private speech therapy starting up again for the summer.  At 8am we entered a donut shop to try to get a free donut since it was National Donut Day and the news said many places were giving away donuts in honor of the day.  We walked up to the counter and I heard Abby say "Uh-oh, Momma!".  Dillon barfed right there in front of the donut counter.  I was so embarrassed that instead of free donuts, I spent 6.00 getting donuts and drinks for everyone!  Dillon was magically cured and wanted Sprite :)
We headed to speech.  After speech we went to the dentist.  That was interesting too.  Nothing like trying to parent and keep 3 kids in check while lying on your back getting plaque scraped off your teeth.  The hygenist and her husband have no kids yet and she proceeded to tell me how 2yr olds "should" behave! HA, that was a laugh.
After this,  I was very tired and hungry.  Radical Experiment went out the window.  We got lunch at Subway.  We headed to my aunt's home to meet up with my sister and swim a while.  I was basically stuck there til our minivan was done at the shop.  My sister is keeping a new foster child for 2 weeks.  The little girl is a very smart and sweet 10yr old.  She broke my heart when I was talking to her asking basic questions.  I asked if she had any siblings.  She replied "I have a 7yr old sister, she lives in a different house for respite care."  SAD.  Her status as a foster child was so matter of fact, ya know??  I mean, she just stated it like it was the same fact as her hair is blonde.  What a sad sad way to grow up.  Being an adolescent girl is hard enough.  Throw being a foster child and man, that is tough!!!!
Finally the van was done.  Lets just say the bill was huge--can you say a double ugh?!  I told the repair dude that he had to keep it running well for many more years, so fix it all up. 
In the midst of all this, Hudson has an intestinal issue--shall we say--and his booty is raw.  Carter was exposed to poison ivy during his combat wars in the woods Tuesday and had an allergic reaction.  His eyes and nose are swollen and dark purple and he itches terribly.  He refuses to leave the house and has been holed up for 4 days :(
Fun times.  Seriously, I'm not complaining.  It is a privelage to care for these little dudes in my home.  It is a blessing to have medical care, be able to hire a speech therapist for Dillon, a big blessing to have dental care and a big privelage to have transportation to it all.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Here are Carter and his buds decked out for air soft gun wars.  They had a blast playing war in the woods
across from our neighborhood.  Unfortunately, Carter got the gift that keeps on giving--poison ivy and an allergic reaction to it.  He's bright red and covered with rash!!  We went to the doctor to get steroids today.

Here is Abby with her sweet sweet teacher.  They give each kid a characte/Fruit of the Spirit award.  Abby's was kindness and that surely fits her.
 And here are the two munchkins!  Mike and I had been out running and came in about 6:30am to find the little Korean contingent asleep together on the couch!

And finally, Kindergarten graduation.  Dang, that little dude is adorable!
As for me, I'm working my 2 days a week.  I am painting the living room a little at a time.  I'm excited about reading more.  My sweet cyber friend, Sunny(who I'm sure shares my brain and heart), told me about a good Christian fiction book called Quaker Summer that I plan on checking out.  I'm going to take Abby to get her own library card and check out some books.  I'm currently working on a Bible Study called "Five Conversations You Must Have With Your Daughter."  Several of us moms with girls entering 4th grade are going through this study and will talk with our daughters over the summer.  Oh, what a daunting task to raise godly, pure girls in this crazy culture!   I just started getting up at 5:30 and jogging again--no big distances, but I sure feel better.  I am also trying to be patient with the house being a wreck from having all the kids home.  Man oh man, it is so hard for me to relax and not stress about it.
Mike is working in the office for the month of June.  People are always surprised that the principal has work to do when school is out.  We are planning on breaking ground for a new building in a few weeks.  Our school is doing an ministry for the on-site construction workers.  I can't wait to tell you guys about that.  I'm thinking about posting a little about tithing sometime too. Hmmm, it is painful to have a brain as hyper as mine ;)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

How's your Radical Experiment coming?

Every 20 seconds, a child dies from a water-related disease.
1.4 million children die as a result of diarrhea each year.
90% of all deaths caused by diarrheal diseases are children under 5 years of age, mostly in developing countries.

I took this picture on a city street in Haiti. 

This morning I watered my flower bed.  Just so it would look pretty when I drive up,  I sprayed precious clean water on the plants.  Meanwhile, these kids have this as their only water source.  OUCH.  I don't want to cruise through my life consuming and throwing out while babies die from starvation and diarrhea. 
So, how's my Radical Experiment coming along?  Well, today marks 2 weeks since I've gone through a drive through.  That's good!!  Yippee, but don't celebrate yet.  We did all go to a nice Italian restaurant a few days ago to celebrate school being over.  As for new clothes, haven't bought a stitch--for myself anyways.  I did get Abby a pair of shorts and the boys some Tshirts.  Making a big change takes time.  I want to keep plugging away though. And, let me clarify, there is nothing wrong with buying some things or enjoying the fruits of our labor.  It is just that we live in such a gluttony consumerism society and rarely think about the people suffering while we consume more and more and more-it is never enough for most of us!

In "Radical", David Platt gives a blazing statement about our wealth and the millions in the world without the basic necessities of life.
We look back on slave-owning churchgoers of 150 years ao and ask, "How could they have treated their fellow human beings that way?"  I wonder if followers of Christ 150 years from now will look back at Christians in America today and ask, "How could they live insuch big houses?  How could they drive such nice cars and wear such nice clothes?  How could they live in such affluence while thousands of children were dying because they didn't have food and water?  How could they go on with their lives as though the billions of poor didn't even exist?"

If you are doing a Radical Experiment, drop me a comment and let me know how it is going.