Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dear Readers,

My Mom introduced me to this song "It is Well"... and then shared the story behind it.  This man had lost basically everything. And yet still, he could sing ' it is well with my soul'. What a beautiful reminder! My prayer is that whatever you're going through- whether cause for joy, cause for fear, or cause for grief, it will be well with your soul! I know this is easier said than done, but it is not impossible. Why?
 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13
  Have a wonderful weekend, dear Readers! And know that God knows everything you're going through.
 Your Blogger,

by the way- the image is from the  Life.Rearranged blog!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Blessings in Special Ministries

 My dear Readers,
  I have been so excited to write this post!
One of my favorite parts of blogging is that when I feel sad that such a good thing is over-vacation, volunteering, Christmas, etc.- I can always relive it on here when I write it all down! That may sound goofy, but it is fun! My other favorite part of blogging is the off chance that someone reading this might be encouraged. Or feel pressed to adopt one of the precious orphans I feature. Or, just- enjoy the life stories I so love to share!
  So. I can't wait to share my first visit to Scottsdale Bible's Special Ministries' Bible study with you!
First of was amazing!!! It was kind of like meeting Bridget, in my opinion. (here's a link to that blog post if you're new here! :) ) I think they're similar because  in both of these encounters, I felt like God was so clearly there. This Thursday I felt so sure that God has planned for me to be there it was just exhilerating!
   For those of you in AZ, you HAVE to visit this Bible study. (Thursday nights, at Scottsdale Bible Church, 6:30-8:00) It is the most amazing thing. All the people there are just precious! They had just met me, and yet several of them mentioned me in their prayer requests.
  I wasn't even there but a few seconds when a girl came up to me and started talking to me all about sign language, and how she would love to hang out with me, and how she was so glad I was there. Then later, as I was interpreting she just came up and started signing everything I signed! I don't think I have ever made a friend that fast in my life! She was so sweet. But they were all sweet. They all were so sweet to me from the minute I walked in the door- I felt so loved!
 And as I was detailing all of this to my mom afterwards, she told me that that was the beauty. That is the beauty in Down Sydrome and some of the other challenges these people faced. They are so pure and loving. I wish all of us could be as kind as that!
   I loved interpreting. Love love loved it! It's the best feeling in the world to know that you are making God's word more accessible to someone. And I love it. But the hardest part about it was the prayer requests at the end. Each person told their table leader their prayer request, and then the table leader would pray for each of the people and each of their requests. There were about 7 tables....and each person had about a dozen prayer requests! Fingerspelling all those names and trying to make sure my friend understood what I was saying was quite a task! And I'm so glad that I got the oppurtunity to do it. Because listening to each of the people at my table's prayer requests was the best thing in the world! Caregivers, parents, friends, family, pets, others at the table, ME,- they each had so many people who they loved, and who they wanted to pray for. I think one of my favorite things I got to relay to my friend was when I got to tell her that one of the people at our table had requested to pray for her. By this time she was watching my signs more attentively than when we started,and I knew she got what I was saying when she smiled.
  These people at Special Ministries are living like Jesus. And it was such a blessing to be able to spend time with them. I can't wait to go back next week!
    I just feel so amazingly blessed that God has allowed this.
   And moments like Thursday night are such beautiful reminders to me that I am exactly where God needs me. Some days I wish with all my heart that we could adopt a dozen little children with special needs. And some days (like when Mason was recovering from surgery) I wish we didn't have to go through surgeries or therapies at all. But if we adopted a bunch of precious children, I couldn't have volunteered with Special Ministries. And if we didn't have to go through surgeries or any of the other things Cerebral Palsy comes with, I wouldn't be the same person I am today. We wouldn't be the same family,either.
 And right now I really am so glad that we are exactly where God needs us! Because in His plan is an amazing place to be.
 Your Blogger who probably just shared way more information than you wanted,
 By the way- here is a link to SBC's Special Ministries site. I encourage you to contact Amy Daniels if you want to get involved! She's amazing!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dear Readers
  Have you ever felt like you just wanted to escape to a deserted island with your closest dear ones? Although no one ever really means this (how would you get healthcare, food, evangelical oppurtunites, etc??) I know sometimes my family jokes about it. When the weight of the world come crashing down full force, it can be easy to want to escape to your own tiny nook free from troubles!

   "For the Lamb at the center of the throne
            will be their shepherd;
      He will lead them to springs of living water.
   And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." ~Revelation 7:17

Doesn't that sound just like your island? Except even better.  Some days God gives us little glimpses into what it will be like, and I think Christmas generally does! The time to be goofy with your family is always  much appreciated in my house.

I tell Cate I want pictures..and this is what she does! haha love that girl

She does this,too...

Christmas baking makes for some goofy pictures,too!

And then there's the silliness that comes in a box full of gingerbread!

I thought you might like to see the final project just for fun...
This one's me being aerial photography a spin!
I thought this one turned out really pretty,though

Another birds eye view! Haha this one looks REALLY goofy!

And the triplets who wrapped all their gifts up in ridiculous boxes!

I looked forward to the sugar cookie decorating ALL DECEMBER. We finally did it on Christmas eve!

EVeryone pitched in--this is a very serious project, people! Haha

I hope everyone had a smiling-ful Christmas! And I also hope it provided a much needed breather from everything going on. I always feel like the world rushes,rushes,rushes, and while Christmas certainly isn't free from that, it does allow you to take a deep,collective breath and just 'be'.
  But my prayer is that this week, as everyone adjusts to going back to school,work, etc, it will be joyful! My mom always says joy is a choice and it is definitely a choice I'm working to make as we go back to school tomorrow.
  God has been amazing with already providing me an oppurtunity of joy. I started volunteering at our church's Special Needs Ministries this past weekend, and it was beyond amazing. I loved every minute and fell in love with the kids and the ministry. But not only that, I now get to interpret their Bible Study for a Deaf woman who attends. Those of you who know me know that this is a dream come true! I am thrilled and CAN'T WAIT for my first Bible Study this thursday. I will be blogging about it, I promise! Prayers would be appreciated. :)
  Also, I wanted to give a shout out to anyone reading this. I have fallen in love with Marcia (the orphan mentioned in my previous post) and feel desperate to get her out of the orphanage. I have emailed Jeanette and the blog "Life Rearranged" to request that she advocates for Marcia on her blog. If you or anyone you know would like to help this dear child find a home by featuring her on your blog, leave a comment! I would love that more than anything. You can also visit  this link for all the information you need on her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

 Have a joy filled week, my friends. I am forever thankful for those who read my thoughts on here!
Your thankful blogger,

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Featured orphan- sweet Marcia

Dear Readers,
 It is a new year! I can't believe it. 2011 seemed to go by so quickly... and yet here we are! Happy New Year, everyone!
 This is my very first blog post to feature just one (it's so hard to choose!!) orphan from Reece's Rainbow Adoption Ministry. I will feature one each month with the hope that his mommy will be reading this! But even if you aren't a featured child's mommy or daddy, I just ask for you to remember these and the millions of other orphans around the world in your prayers. (By the way, I have had this written for a while, but waited to publish it until today, January first! haha yes, I'm goofy that way. :))

 Her name is Marcia. She is four years old and a little cutie, isn't she? Here is her diagnosis:

'Marcia has a mild form of paraparesis, pelvic organs dysfunction, instability of hip joints; stemming from her main diagnoses — compensated hydrocephalus (treated with a shunt) and operated spina bifida.'
  Marcia can walk with help, and doctors have a good outlook for her future mobility. She is delayed in speech, and is being seen by a speech therapist. Also, Marcia understands commands and is very smart! She loves those who take care of her at the hospital, and loves to cuddle. Don't you just want to scoop her up?

  Marcia, though, doesn't have a mommy to cuddle with. She didn't have anyone to love her back to health after they put the shunt in. And after a hard hour of speech therapy, Marcia doesn't get to run into the always supporting arms of her mother. It is reported that she is failing to thrive at the orphanage. She would benefit from an adoption quickly. Do the words 'failing to thrive' rip your heart out as much as they rip out mine? Sweet, dear Marcia is longing for a family, but because of her diagnosis of Spina Bifida this may never happen. If it doesn't, she will remain bedridden for the rest of her short life, suffering in an institution.

  This past week (Christmas week) my friend's dad died after valiantly fighting cancer for a year. We went to the funeral and saw a lot of people we hadn't seen since moving from that side of town two years ago. Just being in that place, seeing all these people look so much older (imagine- while we were gone kids kept moving up a grade! :) ), and having one member of our little community missing made me realize just how fragile life is. We are so breakable. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow. Marcia is not guaranteed another birthday, and neither are you. So why can't we give it all away? Why do we hold our money, our time, our homes, from people in need? Why do we hold grudges when we could love freely?
  If I were to die tomorrow, I would want to know that my life had made a difference. If Marcia were to die tomorrow, I would want to know that she had had the best few years she could. And living in an orphanage is NOT the best way to spend your life. In fact- it kills it.

  Please, please, please- consider your life. Consider the commands God has given us, and consider the days you might or might not have. Why don't you give it all away for Him when you can? Let's let this new year be filled with crazy, insane, give-it-all- away moments for God! Why don't we bring Marcia home.
Your Blogger,