Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time ~Oswald Chambers

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A Family of Her Own: Holly's Story

Meet Holly.

 
This beautiful girl loves to paint her nails and show off her new hairstyle.

She loves to learn new things and share what she's learned with others.

She gives love as readily as she receives it.  And oh how she loves to receive it.

She has blossomed under the care of some amazing people and she desires a family of her own.

With each passing birthday, Holly's chance of being adopted grows smaller and smaller.

Here are some sobering words by one who knows her well:

Regularly, adoption agencies visited Holly’s orphanage, hand-picking children to place into adoptive families. But Holly was never picked. Monthly, Holly’s orphanage prepared adoption paperwork for children in their care. Holly’s paperwork was never prepared. Nothing was done that would enable Holly to be adopted, because no one ever thought that a family would chose her to be their daughter.

But we believe that “everybody” is wrong. We believe that there is a family out there for Holly. They just haven’t found her yet.

And I believe it too.
Would you consider helping to advocate for this beautiful girl by reading her story, praying for her, and helping to spread the word.

What a blessing it would be to play a part in helping to give this sweet girl the desire of her heart.
A family of her own.

For more information on Holly please contact karen@newdaycreations.com.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth :)

Because a slide show and a little Ray Charles is always more entertaining than a massive picture dump, right?

Happy Fourth!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Best of the Beach

So thankful we were able to spend this past week at the beach with family.
In our work and in our rest, You Lord, are always good...

Monday, May 28, 2012

Celebrating...

Today we are celebrating 13 years of those big blue eyes.
That beautiful spirit.
That captivating smile.
And that heart that beats with a love for others.

Happy birthday Lauren.
What a beautiful blessing you are to us!










Wednesday, May 23, 2012

She's Home!

Maya has been released from the hospital and has arrived back at the foster home!

Today we are rejoicing with the many others who have prayed for her health and her healing.

She still has a long way to go but, praise God, she is home.

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory,
for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
                                                                        ~Psalm 115:1

Planting Trees

Monday, May 21, 2012

And Last But Not Least...

...there is this one.

This one who has been known to "permanently" misplace his sheet music, who has a habit of "forgetting"  to practice minutes after being reminded that he needs to and who has been overheard explaining how he can't work on his songs before 3 in the afternoon because his....ahem...fingers aren't awake before then.

Yes, this one.

Yet, despite all those tendencies, he some how, some way always manages to pull it together for the  recital.

And once again, he doesn't disappoint.

He did a great job with his song (as did his personal page turner who quickly learned after volunteering to help that page turning can be quite a stressful responsibility!)


Starry Night
Chris August

From the Birds that Sing, In the Tallest Trees.
To the Human Life, of you and me.
From the Desert Sands, to the place we stand.
He is God of All, He is Everything.

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, 'cause he is everything
'Cause he is everything

From the Autumn Leaves, that will ride the breeze
To the Faith it takes, to pray and sing
From the Painted sky, to my plank filled eye
He is God of all, He is everything

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the praises ring, 'cause he is everything.

Hallelujah (Hallelujah)
Hallelujah
I believe
Hallelujah (Hallelujah)
Hallelujah
I believe

I'm giving my life to the only one who makes the Moon reflect the sun
On that Starry Night, He changed my life.
I'm giving it all to the only Son who gave me hope when I had none.
So let the praises ring,
Let the Praises Ring

I'm giving my life to the only One who makes the Moon reflect the sun.
Every Starry Night, that was His design.
I'm giving my life to the only Son, who was and is and yet to come
Let the Angels sing, that he is Heavenly

So let the Praises ring
'Cause He is everything

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spring Recital (Round 2)

Lauren chose Josh Wilson's song "I Refuse" for her piece because, in her words,  it was up tempo and had an encouraging message.

Happy, upbeat, positive and encouraging.

That pretty much describes my Lauren to a T.



I Refuse
Josh Wilson
 
Sometimes I, I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone's alright
When I know they're not
This world needs God, but it's easier to stand and watch
I could pray a prayer and just move on
Like nothing's wrong

But I Refuse


I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
I could choose not to move
But I refuse

I can hear the least of these, crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet of You, oh God
So if You say move, it's time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
And show them who You are

I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
I could choose not to move
But I refuse

I refuse to stand and watch the weary and lost cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back and try and act like all is well
I refuse to stay unchanged, to wait another day to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse

I don't want to live like I don't care
I don't want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
I could choose not to move
But I refuse

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Spring Recital

This year for their spring recital the kids had the opportunity to play their songs with a band which included a guitarist, a drummer, and a keyboardist.  With that in mind, they each picked a contemporary song which meant that our house has sounded a lot like K-Love over the past few months.

The same handful of contemporary Christian songs played over and over and over and over...but I digress.

Still, when they got up on stage today, it was amazing to see what all that practicing had produced.

Caroline, who initially wasn't too keen on this whole band thing, overcame her nerves and was the first of the three to play.  And play she did.   

Cute and talented?

Yeah.  She's a keeper.



Give Me Your Eyes
Brandon Heath

Looked down from a broken sky
Traced out by the city lights
My world from a mile high
Best seat in the house tonight
Touched down on the cold black tar
Hold on for the sudden stop
Breathe in the familiar shock
Of confusion
And chaos

All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

Step out on a busy street
See a girl and our eyes meet
Does her best to smile at me
To hide what's underneath
There's a man just to her right
Black suit and a bright red tie
Too ashamed to tell his wife
He's out of work, he's buying time

All those people going somewhere
Why have I never cared?

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

I've been there a million times
A couple of million eyes
Just move and pass me by
I swear I never thought that I was wrong
Well I want a second glance
So give me a second chance
To see the way You've seen the people all along

Give me Your eyes for just one second
Give me Your eyes so I can see
Everything that I keep missing
Give me Your love for humanity
Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted
The ones that are far beyond my reach
Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten
Give me Your eyes so I can see

Give me Your eyes (Give me Your eyes for just one second)
Lord, give me Your eyes (Give me Your eyes so I can see)
Everything (Everything that I keep missing)
That I keep missing
Give me Your heart (Give me Your arms for the broken-hearted)
For the broken hearted (The ones that are far beyond my reach)
Give me Your heart (Give me Your heart for the ones forgotten)
Lord, give me Your eyes (Give me Your eyes so I can see)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Just A Little Update...

on Miss Maya.

She held on and was able to have surgery yesterday where they removed a 2 pound tumor from her tiny 12 pound body.

Mercy.

She's recovering in the hospital, awaiting biopsy results (please pray it is non-aggressive) and will hopefully return to her foster home soon where she'll continue with treatments and no doubt get a whole lot of loving from those who have missed her sweet smile.

What a story that little one has.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Because the Best Gift Today...

...is just being with them.
Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

If...

* Maya does have pneumonia. Her surgery was rescheduled for next week. *
---------------------------------------------
If she doesn't have surgery this week...she won't make it.
That is what her doctor said.

And that tiny word sticks in my throat.
If.

In the next few hours the decision on whether or not to operate may be made.

What a comfort to know that we don't serve a God of "ifs."
Not in the least.
He is a God of purposes and plans.
A God of sovereign design.

A God who does all things well.

And soon His plan for this precious girl will be made a little clearer.


Praying, praying, praying for a miracle.

He Is More Than Enough

Maya continues to fight.



A surgery to remove her tumor is scheduled for sometime within the next 24 hours
but 
pneumonia looms.
A diagnosis of pneumonia means no surgery.
And without the surgery, she won't survive.


And Alea.

Born 8 months ago.
Abandoned 3 months later.
Taken in by Love here just over 2 months ago.
Now this precious one, created in the image of her Maker, needs a new liver.
Without a transplant (and the money to fund it) she won't make it 10 months more.

In all honesty, it is overwhelming as our prayer list only seems to grow.

Too many sick babies.
Too many orphans.
Too many stalled adoptions.
Injustice.
Indifference.
Disappointment.
Disease.
Death.

The weight of it all bears down heavy and suffocates.

But praise God
praise God
He does not just give us hope for the day that is coming.
The day when sadness and sorrow will be no more.
The day when mercy triumphs and death is done once and for all.
Though that would be enough.
More than enough.

But His compassion is too tender.
His grace is too lavish.
Because of His great mercy,
He gives us glimpses of His glory here.

Not in spite of the difficulties
 but in the midst of them.

In the very things that hurt the most, we see Him.

And that glorious truth has been so beautifully displayed lately.
In the perseverance of this marriage
Through the pain of this diagnosis.

Oh, to trust Him through the tears.
To follow Him willingly into the darkness.
To say with our very lives "You, O Lord, are more than enough."
No matter the circumstances, You are more than enough.

This morning we plead for healing and successful surgeries for these babies.
We cry out for families to be united and orphans to come home.
We pray that funds would be raised,
lives would be saved,
and the hope of His coming kingdom would be glimpsed here on earth.

But above all,
above all,
we pray that You would bring glory to Your great name.

In these lives
In these circumstances
In all things

And may the weight of these burdens be beautifully eclipsed by the weight of Your great glory.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Be The Difference

She's Still Fighting

This sweet one is still fighting.
And though the disease and the treatment are both taking their toll on her little body, nothing seems to be able to dim that glorious light in those dark eyes.

Please keep praying for that miracle she desperately needs.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Patient

Last week she knocked out two of her four doctor's appointments. 
At the podiatrist's she charmed them with her easy going personality.
"Is she always this agreeable?" they inquired.
I pleaded the fifth.
Nonetheless, they got rid of that troublesome little spot on her toe without so much as a wimper from the little princess.

Between that and the miracle-medicine-in-a-tube prescribed by the dermatologist for her eczema, I have since determined that specialists are indeed worth the extra $10 on our co-pay.

And tomorrow night, the patient and I will be having a slumber party of our very own at the sleep center to check on her "snort."  It's a little problem she's developed due to the fact that her airway is the size of Rhode Island while her tonsils are the size of Texas.

Poor thing snores like a middle-aged man in a lazy boy during the fourth quarter of a Monday night football game.

Not sure how it will go with 28 various nodules hooked up to her to monitor her sleep.

One thing I've learned about this patient, though...
sleep or no sleep
she will be well accessorized.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Hope in a Ziploc Bag

A few weeks back, I mentioned the backpacks that were being collected for the street children of Uganda which would be delivered by a team traveling there in June.

In addition to those backpacks, the team is collecting individual Ziploc sandwich bags filled with snack items such as a granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers and candy that they will hand out to the children they pass on the streets.

Children
whose home
is the streets.

Unfathomable.

And so many of us have items like these in our pantry right now.

Would you consider packing up just a bag (or two... or twelve), including a quick note of love to the precious soul that will receive it, and sticking it in the mail?

Just 15-30 minutes of your time
and a few dollars for postage...

It doesn't seem like it would accomplish much
But in His hands
the miraculous can happen.

Hunger pains will be eased
Love will be displayed
And hope
the only hope that any of us have
hope that is anchored in the mercy of Jesus
will be shared with little ones like this....

Who wouldn't want to be a part of that?

Send all bags to this address no later than May 23:

International Voice of the Orphan

3655 W. Anthem Way, Suite A-109-305
Phoenix, AZ 85086-2599
 And above all please pray.

Pray that these little ones, who in this life have nothing, will come to believe on the One whose good pleasure it is to give them (and us) the kingdom.
-------------------------------------------------------------
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
 
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 

Matthew 25:37-40

Monday, April 23, 2012

Please, Will You Pray?

This little one has stolen my heart.

It wasn't that long ago that I spent hours with her.

Kissing her sweet face whenever I could get my hands on her.

Watching her beautiful smile light up the entire room.

Praying that she would find healing and home.

Since then she's become very, very sick.

And it breaks my heart to think that there's no mommy to keep vigil by her bedside.

No daddy to wrestle in prayer for his little girl.

Would you please just take a minute and pray for her?

Pray that our great God, the Father of the fatherless, will stoop down and show mercy to this little one and bring glory to His great name.

It would mean so much.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Math Time




Saturday, April 14, 2012

It's Time...

Time to dust off the front porch.
Dig out the flip flops.
Stock up on some lemonade.
And exhale.

The strawberries are ripe for the picking
And summer's almost here...