Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A rose by any other name...

is still a rose.

This thought hit me today when I had the privilege to visit a Children's Home here in San Antonio.

While it was a great place with an excellent staff and a wonderful ambiance it was still an orphanage. A place for children who have no parents or parents who are unable to care for them.

For most of my life I have thought of orphanages as places overseas that are dark and dreary. But today I realized that right here in our own state there ARE orphanages. Yes, we like to make ourselves feel better by calling them children's homes but never the less there are still thousands of children (yes, Texas alone) living without the love and care of a mom and a dad. No, our orphanages are not dark and dreary, they are bright and colorful and offer the best care you can possibly hope for in an institutional setting.

While I was so blessed by the ministry of this children's home and all that they are doing to make a difference in the lives of these sweet children, I couldn't help but think about what it would have been like to grow up there, without the love and protection of my mom and dad and just the comfort of my own home.

I know that not everyone is called to adoption. But I do know that James says that religion that God accepts involves looking after the widows and orphans in our world. I do know that 1 John says that we are to love not with words or tongue but with action and in truth. I do know that when Jesus talks about His followers in Matthew 25 they were the ones who fed the hungry, clothed the naked, cared for the sick, and visited the prisoners.

You may be called to adopt. You may be called to foster. You may be called to sponser child so that they can stay with their families and have access to the care they need. You may be called to go and visit orphans in America or across the globe. You may be called to give to a family who needs help to be able to stay together. You may be called to pray for orphans and those who will be called to visit them or adopt them. You may be called to help educate families in Africa or other parts of the world about AIDS so there are not as a many orphans from this deadly disease. You may be called to give to families who are adopting. You may be called to help struggling parents who desperately want to get their lives together so they can get their children back. I don't know what your calling is...but I do know that we, as His children, are called to love and not just with our words!

I know that is heavy stuff and I don't want to step on toes or be a downer it is just something that God really laid on my heart! :)


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice...

That is most defiantly the best description for my newest little niece!

On July 16th my sister and her husband welcomed Addison Grace into the world.

She is perfect and just beautiful in every way.

I had no idea when my sister-in-law had my first niece that it would be 7 years before I had another one to spoil! Big bows and pink dresses here I come.

I wasn't able to be there for the big moment but I got there pretty quick!

I am so proud of my sweet little sister! She had a very tough delivery that involved a blood transfusion and then ended up back at the hospital to have a blood patch after she developed a severe headache from her epidural. Nothing like becoming a mom to make you toughen up a little!:)

I know that Julie and Scott will be wonderful parents and that they will love sweet Addy with all of their hearts.

Holding Addison reminded me all of over again of the awesomeness of God's creation and just how wonderful His thoughts must be to craft such a beautiful little one.

God has great plans for you little Addy. I am praying for you and I can't wait to see all that you become! Love, Your favorite aunt!:)

Monday, July 12, 2010

My little summer cooks!

I love to cook!

I love to spend time with my little boys!

So what could be than better than cooking WITH my little boys!

And there is nothing like s'mores in the summer! But since we live in Texas where it is ALWAYS hot we had to change up the recipe just a bit. I stole this recipe from our VBS snack crew...they did an awesome job!

Break up some Graham crackers (great small motor skill)and place in a bag...

Next add some mini marshmallows and chocolate chips...

And now for the fun part...shake, shake, shake...

And the verdict is...

Looks like little bit is enjoying it!:)

Happy Summer Cooking to you!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What Now?

It is the name of a Steven Curtis Chapman song that I have come to understand more and more in the last few weeks.

It is also the question I have been asking myself over and over again.

I was first drawn to the song because it talks about a sweet orphan girl across the world where he saw the face of Jesus. But then it goes on to say "I heard the voice Jesus gently whisper to my heart, didn't you say you wanted to find I am, here you are...what now?

At first I didn't understand those words until I looked more closely at Matthew 25:40..."And whatever you did for one of the least of these you did it for me". I have always liked to see myself as acting "like" Jesus when I reach out to those in need. But if I really look hard at this verse I see that in a sense Jesus is the one in need...for He says that when we take care of the least of these we are taking care of Him.

So now I know...

I know that there are children and people all over the world who are struggling to eat just one meal a day.

I know that there are people within ten minutes of my home that live with no running water and who are struggling to keep their family together.

So what now? Now that I have found Jesus what do I do now?

To be honest the task at hand seems so overwhelming. But in growing closer to the Lord I have begun to recognize that overwhelmed is just where Satan likes to keep me so that I am too paralyzed to do anything.

So what about you? I would love to know ideas that you have for how to give and love on these people in need. Ideas you have for how to get out of this American me, me and more me mentality.

Comments Welcome!:)

Here is a link to the video for the is worth watching!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Step 3 and a little watermelon!

This last week we took step number three (out of about 100 or more) in the adoption process! We sent in our application for the big application...I know it sounds crazy but it just means that we are one step closer to A LOT of paper work but more importantly we are one step closer to a sweet little African girl!

To celebrate the 4th some of our church folks got together for a little "watermelon and worship" in the park. Just hanging out with our church family makes for such a sweet time! We had more watermelon then we knew what to do with!

I knew that Kaden would LOVE the watermelon but I had no idea how much Karter and Kolson would love it! We spent a little time in sprinkler when we got home just to wash all the sticky-ness off before we came in!

Friday, July 2, 2010

52 card pick-up

I will never forget the day my grandpa asked me if He could teach me to play 52 card pick-up. Obviously, I was a little naive because I was about 13 and sat listening intently for the directions to the game! Man, my grandpa sure got a good laugh at my expense that day!

I have thought about that memory a lot in the last few months as I really feel like God is showing me how to play 52 card pick-up with my life! It started sometime last fall when I felt like He dumped out all my "cards" and one by one I have had to pick them up and decide things I really believe this about life...why do I believe this...what do I do about this honoring to the in the world did this end up in my life and so on.

I have had to ask myself though questions. Questions like...If I really believe that God is who He says He is and that this is not my home because He has a wonderful place planned for me then why in the world I am so concerned about making my life here so comfortable?

Or what about the 26,000 children who die everyday around the world of PREVENTABLE diseases...what I am doing about that?

If I believe that the Bible is the true and inerrant word of God then verses like Matthew 25:40 (Whatever you did for one of the least of these you did for me) have got me wondering what have I done for Jesus lately?

I could go on and on and on about all the "cards" He is having me pick up. There are cards I am having to throw out because they just don't fit and new cards that the Lord is placing in front of me that I am trying to learn how to live with and to live out.

To be completely honest, there are some days when I think it would be easier to go back to the blissfully ignorant girl I have been for so long. The girl who just settled for the regular routine. The girl who actually believed that spending time at church and volunteering to teach children's choir was what it meant when the bible said to "take up my cross daily and follow Him". Yes, that may be easier but like the Avalon song says...Lord, I don't want to go somewhere if I know that You're not there because I know that me without You is a lie.

So 52 card pick up it is! I am praying that He will show me everything that needs to go in order to be more like Him and that He will give me the strength to do it even when it hurts.

I am praying that God will grab all of our hearts and open our eyes and hearts to the "least of these" who are near and far and that He will give us a burden for them and a strong desire to obey His word to take care of them!