Thursday, June 30, 2011

Two more days...

I am so humbled as the days slowly/quickly go by and July 2nd draws near.  There remains this quiet excitement... a knowing... and a smile.  I can not wait to see my creator, savior, father, and Lord in Africa.  I know I will see Him... everywhere. 

I can not comprehend what it will be like to hold my sponsored child in my arms and pray over him.  Or to hold the hand of a woman... a widow... and pray for God to renew her.  I can not imagine what it will be like to sing praises to the Lord with these precious people.  I can not grasp or dare I even try to, what He has in store... what lies ahead.  But Oh I can't wait to soak it in.

Hopefully, soon, I will feel like I am almost ready...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's JUST a zip lock bag...

No, no it's not.  It's hope.  It's love.  It's fun.  It's Christ.  Yes.  I said that... it's Christ.

It is traveling across the ocean in the hands of people who are reflecting Christ's love for the receiver... a child. 
It was packed by a person Christ touched to enter this child's life.  A person who listens and obeys the prompting of Christ through the Holy Spirit is Christ's hands... His feet... His love.

It is simply amazing me... how much can fit into a gallon zip lock bag.  You should try it.
A photo album of the family loving and praying for this child.  A family who is now feeding and providing medical attention to this child.  A family who is sharing $34 dollars a month to change this child's life... this child's future.  A family who will write and tell this child about Christ's love for them... and will encourage them and build them up... make them smile.  A family who is reflecting Christ.

A jump rope fits inside easily... along with bandaids, soap, chap stick, gum, pencils, beads, beading string, and paper.  A jump rope that will allow many, many, many children to take turns and... simply... play.  A jump rope that will lead to laughter and games.

It can hold a t-shirt that doesn't have one hole in it... not one.  It is not ripped or torn.  One t-shirt.  A t-shirt that is bright and clean.  It holds a small coloring book and markers.  Crazy fun glasses with large eye balls that will definitely cause a roar of laughter are safe inside too!

It holds silly bands... little bracelets that are cute shapes and fun colors.  It hold tissue for their noses and hand sanitizer.

 And when this sweet little child gets their zip lock bag... they will be touched.  They will smile... BIG.  They may giggle and some may cry.  And they will be flooded with the love of Christ.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Africa and More Pics...

I leave for Africa in 15 days.  Wow.  To say the trip has arrived so quickly is an understatement!
I have just 11 more children to get sponsored and my 25 will be sponsored and "in" loving families!  :0)
I am so excited.  It's a strange excitement.  I don't know quite what to expect... but I know God will be there and that excites me more than anything.  Your prayers for my trip are so greatly appreciated!

And here are some more pictures from the beach trip.  I hope you all have a fabulous weekend celebrating fathers!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Seaside 2011

There is just something so wonderful about warm sand between your toes, salty skin, and the crashing of the waves... oh... did I mention the smell of the sea in the air!?  I-LOVE-IT!

It makes me so happy to be there.  It could be that we are simply on vacation and in vacation mode... but I do think the ocean, the breeze, the sand, and the sun have something to do with it!

The kids seem to really love it too.  Abby LOVES it.  I noticed while we were there, that she seemed calmer... and she is nonstop in the sand and water!

The sun was way low and so my shutter was staying open way long since I am a no flash girl and so this is a bit blurry... so sad... but I like it anyway.  Sweet girls.  :0)

Everyone played in the sand and we made numerous sand castles!  Taylor was way stoked when she saw people stopping to take pictures of one she and daddy made one day... actually... as we showered off on the boardwalk... several families stopped and took pictures and she just beamed with joy!

All of us boogied and biked and played hard.  Here are some highlights...


OK... I am sure that is enough for one post... I'll share more and the more "artistic ones" in the next day or so... but here is a teaser...

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Little Mockingbird

We are back from our week long trip to the beach.  I think it was the fastest week that has blown by this year.

I need to download pictures from the week and I will... but I want to steal just a few moments to tell you about a sweet moment that lingers in my heart.

Last Thursday, Taylor came in from taking Dusty outside to do some business and she told me she had seen a bird lying under a bush.  She told me she thought it was dead.  Well, of course, there is no way I could just let that go... and so I asked her to take me to where it was.

She took me outside to a tree actually... a tree with lots of undergrowth woven beneath it and there was a sweet little mockingbird... lying there... still... but breathing.  As I approached it, it started flapping it's wings and was trying to get further beneath the protection of the undergrowth.  It got itself jammed in between two branches... it was stuck.

I crawled beneath the branches and got a hold of this fragile and precious creation as gently as I could and pulled it out and into my hands.  And it simply sat there and looked at me.

I started looking it over and the only thing I could see wrong was it's legs were curled under... neither of his/her legs were working.  My heart sank as I realized that hydrating was not what it needed and then of course the big question... "What do we do now?"

My sweet husband, who knows my heart for God's precious creations, got the phone book and found a wildlife rescue group and a woman was on her way to get my bird.  It would take her 30 minutes to get there.  And so I went to the balcony and held my new baby and prayed for it.

It's heavy breathing calmed and I began to sing to it...
 "Jesus loves you... this I know... for the Bible tells me so... 
little ones to Him belong... they are weak... but He is strong."

It watched me... and followed me with it's tiny little head.
And he/she fell asleep in my hands... and tears fell from my cheeks.

I know this may seem silly.
It's a bird.

But it was hurt.
It was alone.
It was helpless.

And God let me love on it.
God let me comfort it.
God let me hold it.
God let me feel His heart for what He had created and for what was wounded.

And it was comforted.
And it felt love.
And it trusted me.
And it fell asleep in my hands.

And it was precious.
It was a precious moment that lingers on me.

The bird lady arrived.
Her name is Diane.
She is my hero.
She had three baby birds in her car that she was in the process of helping.
That is what she does.
She gives of herself and she drives 30 minutes to get a bird from a couple on vacation.

My bird died that night.
Diane thinks it was something viral.
My heart sank again.
Oh how I had hoped that food and water and quiet would renew it's strength.
Oh how I wished she would drive back and we could see it fly away before we came home.

But that didn't happen.

But God gave me a sweet and precious little moment.

We are His creations.

We are wounded and we are left to feel so alone sometimes. 
We run and try to hide in the undergrowth of "busy"ness and distractions.
And He ever so gently reaches in and pulls us free and holds us in His hands.
And then He sings to us... with His Spirit.
And if we trust Him, we can relax and fall asleep in His hands. 

I am forever thankful for such a sweet opportunity.
 I am forever thankful for a Father who will come and find me.
I am so thankful for that little bird... and I really miss him/her.