Tuesday, March 29, 2011

That ever so open-ended not so simple question... "WHY?"

I have struggled with "Why?" for years. 

There is a great book I read once when Abby was way, way, way sick, "The Mystery of God's Will," by Charles Swindoll. I wanted to know "why?"  Why was she dying, why had God brought her to me just to watch her die, why was He doing this to her, to me, to us... and why wasn't He showing up?

"For if we are going to live appropriately, we must be aware that we are living in the middle of a story that was begun and will be concluded by another.  And this other is God..." (101)  That simple sentence (well, two sentences) kinda starts bringing perspective.

"In God's sovereign plan, your life may be painful, disappointing, difficult, inexplicably confusing, and downright mysterious.  But through IT ALL, God SOMEHOW will get ALL the glory." (90)  Isn't it amazing that our God is the God who makes beauty from ashes.  It's what He does best.  It is a gentle and sometimes not so gentle reminder that HE in fact is in control.  And it is a beautiful promise that GOOD will come through it.  Then GOD can be seen... not our efforts, not our wisdom, not our decisions or strength and THEN GOD IS GLORIFIED... people are amazed at what HE did and they are drawn to Him.  Isn't that just a glorious and sovereign plan made and put into order by a glorious and sovereign God!

Sovereignty:   "Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!  How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!"  Romans 11:33~  "When He (God) makes His decisions which here are called "judgments" they are "unsearchable," because we live in a finite realm and He is in the infinite.  We live in the temporal now.  He lives in the eternal forever." (86)

I often tell my children that we have fish brains.  Fish live in the water.  It's the world and life they know.  It's all they know.  They don't understand humans.  They have no idea about the cities and countries in the world.  They have no idea what happens when they are caught on the fisherman's line.  They have a fish brain.  In the perspective of God and the spiritual realm and eternity... we have fish brains. When I describe it to them this way... trying to fully understand "Why?" to a lot of life's questions or even about God's reasons for things... they get it.  And it is a great reminder to self.

"His plan includes all promotions and demotions.  His plan can mean both adversity and prosperity, tragedy and calamity, ectasy and joy.  It envelops illness as much as health, perilous times as much as comfort, safety, prosperity, and ease.... His sovereignty, though it is inscrutable, has dominion over all handicaps, all heartaches, all helpless moments." (87)  "For who knows the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor (ouch...)?  Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to Him again?  For from Him and through Him and to Him are ALL THINGS.  To Him be the glory forever. Amen."  Romans 11:34-36~

WOW.  It doesn't get much clearer than that.

The dream God so sweetly blessed me with on March 19 was such a gift and blessing.  In the moment I was asking questions... He came.  And when He touched me... every question vanished as I was bathed in His love and holiness.  Over and over I could hear myself saying, "His holiness and His love are enough."  It was the most amazing and precious and healing experience I have had with Him so far (close in second is being bathed in the Holy Spirit for sure).  The peace and joy that flows through me now is straight from the hands of God and I remain in awe and overflowing thankfulness that He was so GRACIOUS and LOVING to come to me and touch me in that way!  OH HOW I ADORE HIM.... PRAISE HIM... REJOICE IN HIM 

And you know what is even cooler?  Once I embraced the truth that His holiness and love is enough... some answers and clarity for Abby started to be unveiled.  I was sitting at the table, thinking of all the horrible behavior and habits Abby is going through right now, and the Holy Spirit said to me, "Klonapin withdrawal."
I ran to the computer to research it and there it was... almost every side affect listed was what we have been dealing with.  I wasn't happy to see it.  It saddened me.  But I was thrilled to have some clarity.  Then later that week, Don and I met with a naturalist doctor (amazing man with scientific understanding of the body that just captivates me!) who also works with homeopathy and he starts drawing diagrams and explaining things about Abby that just had me sitting with my mouth open.  Clarity on some "why's" of her diease and her seizures that we haven't had since her diagnosis when she was three!  To see it in paper and see it broken down to cellular processes was just mind blowing. 

As Don and I sat at dinner after that... my soul was smiling.  Not for what we had been shown and for the new hope we had been given (I WAS thrilled about that) but from the fact that GOD HEALED ME BEFORE THAT AND SHOWED ME WHO HE WAS REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENS WITH ABBY.  What we had just learned seemed like icing on the cake!

But I have to say there is a renewal of "Why?" questions in my pocket right now. 

Why was the day of worship changed from God's sabbath to Sunday?  When? And by whom?  The answer is eye/mind opening.

Why do traditional holidays have 2 sets of symbols?  I never understood how in the world an Easter bunny and colored or dyed Easter eggs had anything to do with Jesus being resurrected from the grave.  I never understood how Santa and elves had anything to do with Jesus being born?  If they were christian holidays... what were these other things doing in there?  The answer is eye/mind opening.

Why does the church as a whole avoid discussing the Holy Spirit like the plague?  Why is the power of the Holy Spirit not an active part of today's modern day churches?  Why do people think the Holy Spirit lies dormant today when He is needed more than ever before?  Why does Paul talk to the churches about the spiritual gifts that are supposed to be flowing through the church (not a building... but the body of Christ... Christians) if they are no more or were only given to the disciples?

Why is there a blank page between the Old and New Testament?  Testament means covenant.  The covenant is the blood covenant God made with His people.  The old (animal sacrifice) pointed to the new (Jesus sacrifice) but it all flows together.

Why do we totally ignore dates that God has given us for biblical holidays in exchange for manmade holidays?

Why is one of the biblical feasts not fulfilled yet?

Why are we so distracted by this temporal life?

Why are the majority of Christians searching for more?

Why do many Christians look just like their non-christian friends?

Why do so many Christians not ask why and just go through the motions?

Why do so many Christians hesitate to tell people what the LIVING GOD is doing in their life?

Why do so many Christians not want to know?

These are the questions God has been putting on my heart... His "why's".  And the answers are changing my life.  So there seems to be a time and place for "why?"... two sets of "why?" questions.  For many... we are stuck on the wrong set and missing the whole thing... and missing HIM!

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Tonight we had our fundraiser for our teams trip to Africa this summer.  Tonight I saw people with hearts reflecting God's heart gathered together to give of themselves... their time, their love, their support, their encouragement... and it was beautiful.  God's love and God's heart was reflecting everywhere and it was just wonderful. :0)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Gift From The Light

I want to write this early this morning.  I normally do not get on the computer on Saturdays.  But today I must.

The past two days have been horrid for me.  Abby has so much of my heart.  She is intertwined in there like a vine that becomes one with a tree trunk it has been entwined around for years.  She is part of me.  And when things don't look good for her or when she is in danger or when she is hurt... every ounce of me aches.

The blow of Thursday impressed itself on every inch of me.  It became my shadow and occupied much of my thoughts.  Sorrow came in waves that took me even by surprise.  And the hardest thing was... my faith was being attacked as well.  And I know the enemy uses this situation with Abby to attack the very core of my heart and my soul.

When things like this happen, I sometimes can run to the Father and find Him... find His love... find His peace... and bury myself in His presence.  But other times, I am stubborn and I won't go to Him... almost out of defiance.  Like a wounded child who rejects a parents love and hug.  I won't even approach Him... because I can't.  I feel so rejected... so overlooked... so exhausted... so frustrated... I just sit and try to process it myself.

Last night, I was having yet another mini-breakdown.  Don and I were talking and he was trying to remind me of God's goodness.  I didn't want to hear it.  I have clung to that for years and look... we are still here and it still is killing me and she is still in danger and she is still not getting better and for all reality's sake... she is getting worse!  That is what I said... that is what I was thinking... that is what I was crying.  And then I said this... "And I don't want to hear that she can be healed through death because that is crap.  She won't be healed through death... she will be dead and I am not buying that anymore!"  The moment it left my lips... I knew my faith was under attack and that I was in dangerous territory.  Yet all I could bring myself to say to God was "Where are you?"

This morning, at 5:06 a.m., Abby had a seizure.  I went in and her face was in the pillow and she was having a hard time breathing and so I got her to turn back over onto her back and soothed her for a minute.  As I walked back to bed... numbness was all I could feel.

When I went back to sleep after that... something wonderful happened.  The Lord has spoken to me, revealed Himself to me in dreams on a handful of occasions.  Last night... or this morning... I was given a gift in a dream that I will cling to with both hands with all my might... with all His might.

I was in an area like a field.  There were different areas of the field and one I avoided.  It was where my grandparents died.  It made me feel choked and desperate.  I could not even look towards it.  I was with two other people.  One was a small girl and one was another girl around my age.  I am not sure who they were.  They wanted to go into that area of the field.  

I wanted to stay where I was.  I had no need to go into that area and did not want to face the emotions that were awaiting me there.  But there we were... at a small wooden gate that opened into that part of the field.  As I looked towards it, it was like a tunnel almost.  It was long and narrow and went on beyond view.  And there was a very strange looking twisted tree that haunted me most.  I envisioned my grandparents dying as they hung in that tree.  I imagined their pain and fear and lack of help.  It made me feel like I was choking... I couldn't breath.

The girls were pushing me to go forward.  I looked down and the entry was blocked with a large bush of thorns.  Everytime I tried to take a step forward, it hurt my feet and legs... it was sticking me and scratching me.  Then, one at a time, they simply stepped over the bush and walked in.  I was perplexed and so I did the same and wa la... I was there.  

Suddenly my grandparents were by my side.  I was shocked.  Not because they were supposed to be dead but because they looked amazing!  They were healthy, slim, and full of joy.  (This is very contrary to how I have known them in the real world.)  They walked along side me as I walked down through the field and approached the tree.  I asked them if it bothered them to be here.  They both replied, "Oh No" with great enthusiasm.  "But you died here," I replied.  And then my grandmother went on to tell me that it was a joy that they had died here.  She told me that she had instantly lost 80 pounds and her body was the way it was meant to be.  She was joyful and so peaceful.  I asked her if she was dead or alive.  I can't remember her exact answer.  But she said something about how dying had made her alive... and they started talking about God.  My grandfather told me that God was living in the red letters of the Bible. 

 I was trying to comprehend what he meant (in my dream) and kept asking them questions about God and suddenly this rush of wind came through the field and I heard words.  I sadly, for the life of me, can't recall those words.  Oh how I hope God brings them back to my mind.  But they were spoken gently and quickly and were not repeated.  And then the light started coming down the field and towards us.  Along with the light came a presence.  A mighty presence. It filled every inch of every bit of space.   And then there was a gentle rumble as footsteps approached.

The situation led us to some sort of wall... the next thing I knew... we were sitting with our backs to the wall and our heads buried in our knees.  I remember feeling almost like an ostrich... if my face is covered... maybe "it" won't see me.  You see, I wasn't sure what was approaching.  My gut thought it was good.  My mind told me it couldn't be happening.  And my fear told me it was the enemy.  The power of the presence was causing me fear... yet there was a sense of calm.  The light was so bright and so thick... it enveloped me.

As the footsteps slowly came towards the back of the wall, I knew it would be coming around the corner any minute.  None of us moved.  It was a surreal stillness.  I started quietly saying over and over and over... "Holy is the Lord.  Praise the Lord.  Holy is the Lord.  Praise the Lord."  And then I felt it, the presence was there... right next to us... and I could feel it looking at us.  Then I could hear it breathing.  I was so still.  I was prepared to sit there for eternity... not moving... hardly breathing.

It seemed like 10 minutes passed.  All the while I can feel the presence and hear it breathing.  Then the girl to my left said, "Let's look!"  I dared not move or even speak to tell her not to and the next thing I hear is her saying, "Aww... strawberries!"  WHAT?  Strawberries!  

Then I started thinking to myself, should I look... is this a trick... should I keep my face hidden...?  I started to lift my face every so slightly to maybe peek at the feet of what was there... and then it happened.  It is the most amazing encounter I have had with my LORD yet... and I never want to forget it.

I felt His fingers gently and lovingly rest upon the sides of my forehead and He started lifting my face towards Him.  I sobbed so deeply as the knowing swept across and through me.  I was trying so hard to open my eyes and see Him... but I couldn't.  But it didn't matter.  I knew.  I knew this was the LORD GOD.  And He was thereHe had come to me.  He loved me so much to come to me and give me His presence.  I had just asked Him for His presence the night before.  And He had come. 

I sobbed as I felt shame for having doubted Him.  I sobbed as I tried to grasp that God was touching me.  I sobbed because I had not trusted and had kept my face from Him... I had actually chosen to turn away from this... from Him.  But all I felt was love.  He, the very LORD of the universe, loved me so much that He came and was lifting my face up to Him again. I sobbed deeply because He loved me... and I could feel that love in the tender touch of His hands and the gentleness and power of His touch.  And I could not get over the feeling I had just being in His presence... I still can not put it into words.  But with that feeling came the knowing... "GOD IS HOLY... OH HIS HOLINESS.  He is ALL POWERFUL.  HE IS RIGHTEOUSNESS.  AND HE IS LOVING.  AND THAT IS ENOUGH. 

It was enough.  All the questions I was asking my grandparents didn't matter anymore.  All the trying to figure Him and His will out didn't matter anymore.  HIS PRESENCE AND HIS LOVE WAS ENOUGH.  THERE HE WAS... WITH ME... THE GOD OF EVERYTHING... HIS PRESENCE PRESSING ONTO ME, ON EVERY SIDE OF ME, LIKE A SOFT WEIGHTED BLANKET AND THAT WAS ENOUGH.

I stood in His presence and lifted my hands and praised Him.  And then He was "gone"... although He was still everywhere.  I was marveling in what had just happened and I asked the younger girl to my right if she saw Him.  She answered yes.  I asked her what He looked like.  She replied, "like makeup."  "God looked like makeup?" I asked.  "He looked priestly and as soon as I saw Him... he started disappearing."  She was coloring, I think, and was happy... content.  I am wondering now if that little girl was Abby.

I woke up this morning with that same sense of marvel.  I immediately thanked God for meeting me and loving me and coming after me.  And I felt peace.  I could still feel His presence and I wanted to remember every detail possible about the dream and so I stayed in bed and recalled it over and over and over. 

It wasn't until the third time I thought about it, and after I asked Him to reveal things to me through it (besides the obvious!), that I saw the link with death.  God answered what I had just spoken to Don the night before about healing coming through death being crap.  He showed me that healing does in fact come through death. 

 And that is multi-faceted.  Healing comes in death to our fleshly lives and accepting Christ and being reborn in Him.  Healing came through death when Christ (God in the flesh) died for us.  Healing comes when we die to our understanding and rely on God.  Healing comes when we die to ourselves, our desires, and trust in Him.  Healing comes when our earthly bodies are sick, don't recover, we die, and are reborn in the very presence of God... in our eternal bodies.  We are forever healed. 

When I said what I said to Don last night, I said to myself... I don't trust God.  In my dream, even though the light that shone so brightly and the presence itself told me it was God... something in me didn't trust that and so I hid my face.

God came and He waited.  He watched and He waited as I hid from Him.  And when I gave in just a little... He reached down with His holy hands and gently took my face into them.  Then He simply lifted me back into His presence.  I will never, ever forget this precious and holy gift.  I will cling to it with everything I have in me... everything ounce of His strength.

My despair is gone.  My faith renewed.  My God ever so ever ever close to me.

"I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.  My soul shall make boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.  Oh magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together."  Psalm 34:1-3~

"I will love You, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;  My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised;"  Psalm 18:1-3~

Friday, March 18, 2011

Another Deeper Blow...

This picture is from several years ago... three years ago.  Three years.
A lot can happen in three years.  It can seem to go by slowly or it can seem to fly by.

Yesterday was a very tough day for me.  It came with a blow... one that I was completely unprepared for.  We went to get the results of an evaluation Abby had done.  She had the same evaluation done three years ago.  We were going to compare the two evaluations and see where Abby is... developmentally and academically and emotionally.  I thought that she might be close to the same level... maybe a tiny bit higher.  What we found out was that she has declined in almost everything.  I had never considered she could have declined like that.  The information took my breath away and came with a blow that knocked my soul for several loops.  As I sat there and tried to listen to the rest and tried to not have a breakdown in front of this stranger... things were going through my head ninety miles an hour... questions... emotions.

What was going on three years ago?  What has changed?  How could I be so unprepared for news like this?  Was this confirming one of my biggest fears that she is slipping away right before us?  Had I caused any of this?  How much medicine increase has happened in that three years?  Is this causing some of her bad behaviors?  Her frustration?  Can it be reversed and fixed?  What can I do?

I am still trying to process it.  I am grieving and trying to find answers at the same time.  It is not a good time.  My heart is deeply wounded and my soul wants to scream.

I have spent a significant amount of energy trying to live as if everything is normal... like everything is ok.  And it is not.  It is not ok.  And I have to figure out how to live with things not being ok.

I know our children do not belong to us.  I know God loves them more than I ever could.  But I also know that I am responsible for making decisions that affect this little one's life... every aspect of her life.  From what we feed her, what we don't feed her, how much we medicate her, what suppliments we give her, how much rest we insist she gets, and what kind of schooling and social activities... much of her life is based on what we decide for her.  That weighs on me heavily.  Are we doing enough?  Are we doing the right stuff?  Are we looking in the right places?  Are we asking the right people?  Are we making any of this worse?

Please pray... really pray.  We need your prayers.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Heart Broken...

I feel like my life has been an emotional roller coaster for at least six years.  I feel my spirit has been tried to the limits for many years.  I have run on little sleep for many years.  I am seeing affects...

We were at St. Simons Island this past weekend and we all shared a hotel room.  The first night we were there, I awoke to the sound of Abby having a seizure.  My heart sank.  It does every, every, every time.  It sinks and cries and hurts so much.  Then I start wondering what caused it.  Was she over tired?  Should I have given her a nap?  Did she have too much dairy?  Did she have too much sugar?  Did she have enough vitamins?  Should I have given her more?  Did she get enough water?  Is it just the fallen world or it it an attack of the enemy?

The second night we were there, she had another one.  My heart sank again, deeper... harder.  And there was anger.  "WHY?" screams from the inner most part of me!  Anger comes to protect me.  Anger comes to try and dull the pain that has eatten at me for years.  Anger comes to try and get something done.. something... something.  Anger comes to give me release of the massive ball of emotions that comes with dealing with Abby's illness.  Anger comes but in truth it does not help.  It only covers.  Or tries to.

What I want to do is scream and kick on the floor like a two year old until there is nothing left in me.  Trying to stay together when all I want to do is fall apart is hard work.  It depletes me.  This whole thing depletes me.

Abby had two more seizures this morning.  My heart sank... deeper... and now I feel numb.  The fears start creeping up as well as the guilt that I am not doing enough for her... trying the right things... fighting for her enough... helping her.  Her behavior has been more than challenging.  It's almost constant.  Last night, she actually came up to me and touched my arm and told me she loved me.  It's been a long time since she has done anything like that.  It was a tender moment from her and I thanked God for it several times.  I WANT THAT ABBY BACK!

There is a spiritual battle that also depletes me.  Do you know how hard it is to keep her before the Lord?  I KNOW He loves her more than I do.  I KNOW she belongs to Him.  I KNOW He is in control.  So WHY won't He heal her?  And what am I supposed to do!  Just watch her deteriorate right before me and do nothing!?  She is slipping away.  This makes me feel anxiety and pain like none other.  I have prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed. 

Will you pray?  Pray for Abby and pray for me?  I hate to lump myself into prayers with her but I so need them too.  Thank you.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

(beach collection I)
A Fine Fabric Frenzy

Aren't they beautiful?  Don't just just want to eat them!  Well... not really.  But you can wear them all summer long!  This is one of the collections of my newest fabric pins and they were inspired by the GORGEOUS vintage buttons in the center!  My sweet, sweet friend Pat gave me a BAG FULL of vintage buttons and these are just stunning.  They are so yummy... the colors are just amazing. The lavender one looks more blue gray... but in reality it is a soft lavender.  I named them and you can pre-buy them here before my fundraiser at the end of the month.  They are $10 each and all the money goes towards my mission trip to Africa this July.  Just message me, facebook, call me, comment here, or email me!
** Lemon Crush- SOLD

(beach collection II)

These are just lettered... I know... so sad.  My brain is tired and I am sinking fast so they just got letters.
These are also $10 each.  These are also made from vintage buttons.  They are also gorgeous.  The purple and dark orange are not stitched yet but I included them in the picture anyway.

 (retro fun)

And last, but oh so not least, is the "retro fun collection"!  These are so super fun and are also made with the fabulous vintage buttons!  LOVE THEM!  The fabric was given to me by my sweet friend Campbell.  These are also $10 and are not named... sorry.  I took individual pictures of these!

retro 1 (this one is spoken for... :0)

retro 2

retro 3

retro 4/ SOLD

retro 5/SOLD

Yeah!!!!  I love them so much I want to keep them all!!!!
Hope you like them too...
More coming soon...

Sunday, March 06, 2011

The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying, "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass, And as I have purposed, so it shall stand;" Isaiah 14:24~

A dear friend of mine used this scripture the other day and it jumped off the page at me.  It yelled to me.  It spoke confidently to me.  And although it was written about the destruction of Assyria, it still resounds loud and clear about my life... the LORD does what He does, when He does it, how He does it and for the reasons He wants to do it... and He has a purpose and IT WILL STAND.

We have just spent some time focused on seeking the LORD'S direction on several things in our lives as well and doing some intercessory prayer for several people we love.  As I watch the journey of this year unfolding before me, I see God's hand all over it and it excites me.  I LOVE and LONG to be in His will for me.  There is no other place I want to be.  I don't want to miss anything He has purposed.

Along with this desire and focus has, of course, come attacks.  Anytime you are looking to the Father and striving to yield yourself to His thoughts and desires, the enemy comes out full throttle to try and distract you, distort your thoughts, and pull you away from the intimacy with Him.  I HATE that! 

I KNOW it comes with the territory, but I still hate that the enemy knows my weaknesses and pushes my buttons like an immature child... and a very wicked one.  Irritation is what he attacks me with and it affects my mood, my relationships with others and with the Father.  And then that just irritates me MORE!

Yesterday was a very bad day of irritation and of course it was when I was focused on resting and being with the Father on the day He created me to be with Him, to commune with Him, to worship Him, to rest in Him... the Sabbath.  And that irritation just about ruined the whole thing.  I KNOW it was no accident... as is the enemies vicious attacks to distort how I think about myself and steal my joy.

It is the thorn in my flesh that sticks me digs into me again and again and again.  Oh how I wish it would be burned out of me with the Holy fire of heaven!  And I guess that is what the LORD is trying to do.  It comes to the top, and He wants to skim it off.  He wants me to confess and lay it before Him so He can take it away.  The process is not an easy one.

I will not be deterred.  I will not allow my thoughts to be distorted.  I will continue to confess and confess until there is none left to bubble to the top.  Oh, I pray that is soon.

The LORD has me on a path of beauty in Him right now.  The enemy wants me to be distracted.  The LORD has me on a path of some very good stuff right now.  And the enemy wants to drag me off of it.  And even though I may fall and get scabbed knees, stubbed toes, and even a banged up face... I know the LORD has things purposed for me and THEY WILL STAND.

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10~

I am about to spend a lot of time crafting for my fundraisers and nesting in my home... or "refreshing" as I like to call it.  I am hoping to have some renewal of spirit by soaking in, playing in, and enjoying the creativity that the LORD so sweetly has given me as a gift.

(source: Country Living)

Wouldn't it be great if I could refresh here each day!  I wonder if I can talk Don into bricking the back wall of our bedroom! :0)

(Source: Country Living)

Or here...
(**note to self: rip carpet off the stairs, paint them, and paint the top rail dark chocolate brown!) 

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I am overflowing with God's presence and provision today... HIS very presence dancing all around me.  Joy.  Such sweet and pure joy drips from every ounce of me.

I contacted Chick-fil-A yesterday and asked for a donation of sandwiches for our fundraiser. The manager asked for my request in writing.  I went back today with a little package I put together and within less than 2 hours, he called me back to say they wanted to help!  Not only did they want to give us sandwiches, they want to give us tea, come to the event, set up a tent and sell it all for us, and bring the cow!  And the kicker is that the store owner has been involved with Children's Hope Chest!  How cool is that!?

Today, I also have had two people express interest in sponsoring a child.

Today, I got an amazing note in the mail overflowing with love and encouragement for my trip from a dear, dear friend.

Today, one of my brothers asked to send me pillowcases and told me he donated to our trip.

Today, another friend offered to donate to the trip.

Today, another friend has offered to do a Mary Kay fundraiser for me.

Today, God smiled on this team of people and this trip we are planning.

Today, God blessed it... He showed off really!

Today, my quiet excitement has turned into full blown passion and love.

I am overflowing.

See the smiles in the picture above?  These children do not live in homes like we do and they never taste Chick-fil-A.  They don't attend schools like our children attend. They do not go to the movies.  But look what many of them have... look at those smiles.  They have some hope.  And we will multiply it through the Father's hand and with His love!


POST EDIT:  I am embarrassed to have forgotten that another friend, today, told me she is giving me fabric and buttons to make my pins and headbands with... and yesterday, a friend offered to make 30 to 40 pins for me!  It overflows to the point of me not even being able to remember it all!!!!  Praise Him!