Thursday, December 22, 2011


It's almost Christmas!! I'm so excited. I love everything about this season- from October to December I'm in Heaven!! Although I love Easter dearly, I feel very close to Jesus around Christmas.
We should feel this way every day, I know, but at Christmas I feel like just the reminder that Jesus went through the same things as me and walked on this earth's dirt comforts me. a lot.

Jesus blesses each of us, I believe, with little encounters to remind us of Him. I wish we could just see Him now, but these gifts He gives us can be pretty sweet. So I have a story to share.
My family and I were at the airport, and this girl came up to us- just dying to say hi. She was in a wheelchair, and someone I presumed to be her brother told us-as she came up excusing herself profusely-that she just really wanted to say hi.
So she introduced herself, and then as we told her our names she just kept shaking her head and telling us how much she loved us, and how much she was praying for us. And she meant it! It wasn't just an ' oh, I'll be praying for you...'. It was an 'oh! I love you! I just LOVE you! And I'll be praying for you because I love you.'

How often do you get that from a stranger?? Not often enough is my guess. I was touched by dear Bridget, to say the least. I've been thinking about her these last few weeks, as I promised to pray for her, too. She embodied Jesus' love- unashamedly and freely giving it to all. It blessed my heart to meet her.
After we met her, Mom and Dad told me what her parents had told them. Bridget had been a junior in college when she was in a car accident. She suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury.
My first thought was sadness. Even as a freshman in high school, I have dreams. I know she probably had big dreams and goals, too. How would I have felt if that had happened to me? Life really is so fragile. But I remembered this Bible verse as I thought of her recently...

 "For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. " Jeremiah 29:11

 Hope. A future. The life Bridget lives today may not be what she imagined when she was my age, but her life is in perfect alignment with God's vision. And it is beautiful. I know my family isn't the only one she has touched, and my prayer is that she will continue to be able to touch many more. She is following God's perfect plan, and is living proof that Jeremiah 29:11 is true. God does NOT mean to harm us. He gives us a future. As hard to see as that may have been for Bridget's family after that accident, it is clear that He has a perfect plan for her and that He is using her in amazing ways to bring people to Him.
Isn't it comforting to know this is true for each of us? Whether we minister from a hut in Africa, a classroom at home, or a wheelchair at the airport, God has a plan for us. And it is perfect.
May you rest without worry for the year 2012 as you enjoy this Christmas. Your Blogger,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

These are the faces...

 Dear Readers,
 I don't know if you have heard of the international adoption ministry 'Reece's Rainbow'. But it is a beautiful organization started to bring home precious babies with Down Syndrome. It also has 'other angels' with a variety of disabilities- ranging from Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, or Osteoimperfecta to Fetal Alchohol Syndrome, Autism, Deafness, Blindness, etc.  I have seen and heard a lot about them, and while my brother was in surgery looked them up in depth. I looked into the eyes of probably hundreds of children- all living in either an orphanage, nursing home, or mental institution. These kids have no hope- and how could they? They spend their lives drugged and tied down to a crib. Their only interaction is when they are fed and diapered. 'Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world!' That song is so true- and for every one of these sweet kids. That same Jesus who loves those kids calls us to care for the widows and ORPHANS. So what are we doing for these precious ones?
  I'm going to be featuring one orphan a month. I ask you to pray with me for him, and to make donations to his adoption grant fund if you are able. One orphan. Once a month. That is the least we can do! And maybe..just're the next featured child's mama. It's not fair that these kids' future looks like this- they live in a 'baby house' until they are 5 or 6, and then they are sent to a mental institution where they get no interaction and are next to grown adults sucking their thumbs and rocking back and forth. Most die within their first year there. That's no future.

 Please look at these pictures. It will hurt. You will fall in love with each one.  I cried as I went through them. But please know- this could be you. Or your daughter. Or your son.  And God never gets to look away from their pain- so neither should we. Let yourself cry and please let your heart be touched.

Poor Kolina has nothing to smile about.

This is Lauren, waving and saying "Hi Mama! I'm here waiting for you!"
(She has a kind of common dwarfism that I forget the medical name!)

Dear Marcia has Spina Bifida and is waiting for a forever family.
Are you her mama?
Dmitry has already stolen my heart! Has he stolen yours?

This little boy belongs to God!

Here is a loved child of the King.

Have you ever seen such beautiful eyes?

Isn't Diane a little babydoll? She actually has 'babydoll syndrome'.
Are you going to bring this brown eyed beauty home?

Kyle has already been transferred to a mental institution and
is going to be bedridden for the rest of his short life if someone doesn't
rescue him.
Sweet Sophia dreams of a mommy and daddy...
I'm in love with dear Tara!
This sweetie has Cerebral Palsy and is facing imminent transfer
to a mental institution. Is Olga your daughter?

These are the faces of neglect and abandonment. They are the faces of hopelessness. And they are the faces of those who we need to be fighting for. The faces of people who need us. Please don't forget these faces...
     Prayers work! Let's pray these babies home! Your blogger,

Monday, December 12, 2011

The joy not just of the season, but in your heart!


From the day of his (Jesus) birth, the forces of darkness began plotting against the Babe in the manger. Why? Because the adversary and his wicked hoards knew that this was the Child who would ultimately crush Satan and bring an end to wickedness in this world. God is so grieved over evil, that he sent his only Son to die in order that righteousness and peace, truth and love would prevail... in order that we might escape the clutches of hell and be welcomed into heaven. God permits what he hates to accomplish that which he loves.

Celebrate the defeat of darkness by singing this verse today from the Christmas carol, "Joy to the World": No more let sin or sorrow reign, nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings known far as the curse is found!

God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay, remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day: to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray, O tidings of comfort and joy!    
 From Joni Eareckson Tada

Dear Readers,
 It's the most wonderful time of the year.....there'll be much mistletoe (ing) and hearts will be glowing when loved ones are near! You all know the words. This season is filled with warmth, joy, family, and the celebration of Christ's birth. Of GOD coming down to earth to save US. Wow.
  Now, I've been working on this post for a while. I am having a very hard time deciding if I should write about how for those in orphanages, nursing homes, hospitals, the homeless, etc. this Christmas season still hurts. And sometimes it causes even more hurt. Or, I could just focus on the pure JOY of this season. And as I type that up, I think I will focus on the joy. Because anyone can walk out the door and find suffering every morning. I think the biggest trick is to find joy amidst your suffering.
   I think everyone has their own traditions that bring the most joy. Even if they're little things they still hold so much meaning! For example, one of my favorite things to do at Christmas is to go through and watch all of our Christmas cartoons and holiday specials. My family does this year after year, and it is so much fun! I also love making batches and batches of goodies for neighbors, and I have been bugging my mom to make sugar cookies and oatmeal lace cookies since September! Those two are my favorite and they are a lot of fun to make. We have a huge stock of red and green sprinkles ready, ha! 

For anyone who has ever had to spend a holiday away from home, you know how hard it is.
No matter where you are, you will always miss those small little details that make Christmas so special. That is a big reason why those in hospitals need your love and prayers especially during this season. Can you imagine Christmas dinner at the Ronald McDonald House while your child is on chemotherapy or critically ill?? Many families face that this Christmas.

This weekend my friend, Breana, and I got to help with Ballet Academy of AZ's Holiday Festival!
It was fun- I love my little ballerinas!!

This is from last Christmas. What does a thirteen year old do with her new camera? :)


Family time is my favorite part!
Excuse the man in the back...this was on our way home from our Thanksgiving trip to MS.
See- we LOVE getting ready for Christmas as soon as we can! We were all wearing Christmas shirts. :)

Sorry for having to use so many recycled pictures...our computer is messed up and it won't hold my pictures!
But there will be more Christmas to come, I promise! Now, please don't think I'm trying to give the impression that my life is perfect. I hate it when blogs look like that. But I wanted to share a little of the JOY of Christmas today. And these bring me joy! I hope they brought you some, too, as you enjoy the cold weather and hug your family today! Your blogger,

Okay- I have a prayer request! I want to start always including prayer requests in my posts, so feel free to comment and leave one and I will include it in my next post! But my brother, Mason, is having surgery today. It's been so encouraging to see all the comments of prayers on Facebook! I just wanted to mention it on here. :) Thank y'all!