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

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.

whose home
is the streets.


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...

Friday, April 13, 2012

Opening Night

Tonight's the night.

The night my baby makes his theatrical debut.

Yes, my 14 year old baby.
My introvert.
The child who would be quite content to spend the rest of his life under a rock as long as he had a good book to read and an endless supply of Cheez-It Party Mix.

Well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration.
A good book, Cheez-It Party Mix, and Mountain Dew Code Red.
Then, he'd be content.

And it's this same child who has shocked us all by voluntarily signing up for Performance Theater for a second semester in a row because...gasp... he likes it.
He really, really likes it. (a la Sally Field)

And so for three performances this weekend, my normally mild-mannered teenager will transform himself into the role of Giles the butler in the timeless classic Oliver Twist.
Not only does he get to throw down the British accent but he gets to shoot two people as well.
All while wearing a jacket with tails.
Clearly this is a win-win.

And might I add, that the fact that he is playing the role of a butler, which I presume carries with it some level of responsibility pertaining to household chores, will only illustrate the depths to which he must reach in order to portray a character shall we say?... so unlike himself.

Surely a Tony nomination awaits him.

Go ahead buddy, break a leg tonight.
We've already reached our deductible at the orthopedist's, so it's all good.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Look Out World

Well, it finally happened.
I walked into the room last night.
And there he was.
Stretched out across the bed.
Oblivious to the world around him.
Working his way through the gripping saga of Amelia Bedelia like nobody's business.

My boy was reading.

Out loud.
On his own.
Conquering words like another great Alexander conquered himself an empire some time ago.

Glory be.

And let me tell you, this is big.

Because my little Alexander of new found reading "greatness" can hardly sit still 5 minutes, let alone listen to me wax pontifically about what happens "when two vowels go walking."
And if he could manage the sitting part, you can be sure he doesn't find phonics rules nearly as intriguing as light saber battles or Legos or the antics of Mario.
That's most definitely where his mind is most of the time.
Because those are the things in life that really matter.
When you're six.
And you're Alex.

But somehow, some way, something in that cute little head of his clicked.
And while I'd love to think that it was all those mornings of phonics drills and reading primers that set him on his literary way, I know better.
Because I know my boy.
And I only have one thing to thank for his new love of the written word.
Electric Company.

Oh yes.
Electric Company.
It's simple, really.
See, my explanation of the classic "vowel-consonant-e" rule would go in one of those adorable ears of his and then right out the other.
He was unfazed.
But that same rule encompassed in a beat-box ballad entitled "Silent E is a Ninja?"

Well, now we're on to something.

And now my little guy is reading.

And all I can say is...
Look out world.
Here he comes.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

These Two

It's not always "sugar and spice and everything nice" with these two.

No, sir.
Cute as they are, they have been known to go a round or two with each other.

Over the silliest of things.
Like who gets the shower first.
Or who left the mess.
Or who's really in charge around here.
(Because apparently it's not me).

But thankfully, that's not the norm.

And besides the occasional sibling power struggle...

there's the infectious laughter...

the unmistakeable joy...
and the unequivocal love
that can only be shared by

Makes me wish I had one myself.

To The Doctor We Will Go (and Go and Go and Go)

Took this pretty little thing to the doctor yesterday to check out a troublesome spot on her toe.
We left with the spot still there as well as...
a podiatrist appointment
a dermatologist appointment
a sleep study appointment
a speech therapy appointment

All are unrelated.
Except on my calendar.  On my calendar they are very related.

I think I may need to look into getting this sweet girl a personal assistant to help her get to all these appointments in a timely manner.
And the more I think about it...
having someone to dole out orders to will probably suit her blossoming "managerial personality" just fine.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Could It Get Any Easier?

Just found out today that LL Bean has backpacks on sale for $19.99.

And Free Shipping.

So if you were interested in purchasing one and shipping it for FREE to:

International Voice of the Orphan
3655 W. Anthem Way, Suite A-109-305
Phoenix, AZ 85086-2599 could do that. :)

And if you order over $50 worth of items there, use the code DUC0136 and get $10 off.

But if you choose to send a backpack this way, please still send your picture and letter separately to the same address above and they will do their best to match you with what you ordered.

The backpack will help meet their physical needs.

But your photo and your letter will speak volumes to their hearts.

Linny re-posted this picture from last year when clothes were purchased for the children for a special wedding they would attend and photos were sent along in the packages:

"Hours into the wedding feast festivities and this is what he was showing everyone... "his" family picture." she writes.

Look deep into those eyes.
And consider the magnitude of a simple gift of love.

Another Opportunity to Love Them

Over 130 million.
The number of children worldwide who have been orphaned by disaster, disease, poverty, or abandonment.
Sometimes the number is paralyzing.
So many in need and we often just don't know what we can do to make a difference.

Which is why I was so excited to read this post the other day over at A Place Called Simplicity.

A way to help one of the 2.5 million orphans in Uganda.

It's so simple.
But it would mean SO much to one of these precious ones who lives on the street struggling to survive day after day.

Here's all you do.

1.  Buy a backpack.  (A nice one that will hold up for a while).

2.  Throw in a pack of candy that won't melt.  Maybe some gum too.

3.  Add a picture of yourself or your family so they will see with their own precious little eyes the real people who have loved them in such a tangible way from half way across the world.

4.  And most importantly, write a quick note.  Telling about yourself.  Or your family. About how you delighted in shopping for them (because you will; I know you will). And how you have been praying for them.

Then mail it to this address by May 15:

International Voice of the Orphan
3655 W. Anthem Way, Suite A-109-305
Phoenix, AZ 85086-2599
There is a team traveling to Uganda in June that will deliver the backpacks to the children.

And I can almost guarantee that sometime in June, over at A Place Called Simplicity , there will be pictures of these beautiful ones delighting in their backpacks, delighting in the gifts they found inside, and delighting in the love that He has shown them through your generosity and prayers.

So consider doing  it.

On your own.
As a family.
Or a Sunday school class.
Or small group.

Consider the impact of loving them in this very simple, very tangible way.
And if He grips your heart with it, then do it.
I guarantee you, the blessing will not only be theirs.
It will be yours as well.

"You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving."  ~ Amy Carmichael

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Today (and Every Day)...

Celebrating the truth of an empty tomb and a risen Savior.
Have a blessed Easter.