Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Therese's Hero

One of the highlights of our trip to visit the First Baptist Church in California, MO was the incredible privilege of getting to meet Therese's sponsor, Howard.

Howard met Therese days after she arrived at the orphanage.  A doctor warned him not to fall in love with the girl, because she maybe had a year to live.  But it was too late!  Howard agreed to sponsor Therese, even paying double the sponsorship fee to provide life-saving medications.  He tried to bring Therese to the States on a medical visa, but was she was denied.  It looked like she might need a heart transplant, and non-citizens are not allowed on transplant waiting lists.

Through the years, Howard prayed faithfully for Therese, supporting her any way he could.

Do you know how humbling it is to think that our family was part of the answer to his prayer for Therese's life?  Can you imagine the debt of gratitude we feel to the man who kept our daughter alive?

The woman in this picture is Ruth Cox, affectionately known as Mama Ruth, the director of the Therese's former orphanage and school.  Another hero in this story of God's saving power.

Child sponsorship saves lives.

Prayer changes everything.

God uses his people as his hands in feet in the world.

If you are interested in sponsoring a child from Therese's former village, click here.  Save a life.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The End of Clothes Month

Yesterday was the glorious end of our Clothes Month.  Yes, we ended a day short of our four-week period, but Easter Sunday was the perfect day to burst out of our self-imposed clothing rut, and into our Easter finery.

As you may know, a group of friends and I are conducting an "experimental mutiny against excess" as inspired by Jen Hatmaker, author of 7.  For the past month, I only wore 7 different articles of clothing.  My wardrobe consisted of 3 t-shirts, 2 pairs of jeans, a denim pencil skirt and a cardigan.

For the most part- I LOVED this month.  I loved the greatly reduced amount of laundry.  I LOVED the simplicity.  No thinking about what I would wear each day, just put on the clothes.  Before this month's experiment, I wouldn't have considered myself to have a ton of clothes.  Now, however, I realize how much I really do have.  I have already given away piles.  I simply don't have the mental space to keep clothes that don't fit, or don't fit well.  I am loving my paired down closet.

On the other hand, I did miss being able to express my mood through color and outfit choice.  I love color and I picked all neutral colors for the month in an effort to not get annoyed at any of the clothes I had to wear.

I have also been thinking more about the responsibility of choosing clothes that are manufactured responsibly when I do purchase clothes.  This is something I want to understand better.

I leave you today with a picture of our family squinting in light of the Son sun after Resurrection Sunday service.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

This One Goes in the Baby Book

Oh. My. Word.

So Carter woke up with a bloody nose this morning.  Whilst I am tending to him, Casey goes upstairs to inspect the damage.  Upon removing Carter's pillow from the bed, THIS is what he finds under his pillow:

That's right.  
A LIGHTER, a POKER CHIP and a piece of mulch.  

While Casey questioned the child about where he got the goods, I had to leave the room I was laughing so hard.  Apparently, these were all items he found while scavenging at the self-service car wash while Casey washed the car before we left for Spring Break.  Awesome.  

In his defense, I don't think Carter knows what a lighter does.  He is always on the lookout for robot parts, and I have a feeling he thought this would be perfect.  

In Casey's defense, he knew Carter had found the poker chip, was totally grossed out, and assumed Carter had thrown it away when Casey asked him to.  Apparently we need to "adjust" Carter's hearing aids a bit.  

So there you have it.  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Have You Actually Prayed About It?

"Should I go to Haiti this summer?"

"Should I commit to sponsoring the DAILY before school prayer club at school?"

These are a couple of questions that Casey and I have asked each other over the last week.  They are not life-changers, but they were questions we struggling with.  In discussing the pros and cons of each situation, we discovered that while we were struggling to find the answer, we hadn't actually taken the time to pray about it.

It is easy sometimes, for me to think I HAVE prayed about something, but really I've done nothing more than think it over, maybe with Christian music in the background in the car.  I mean God already knows my thoughts, right?

There is a difference though, between thinking things through, and truly getting alone and quiet before God, seeking His heart and will.

"If anyone of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him."  
                                                                                                                                               James 1: 5

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Break Adventures

Over Spring Break last week we got to do some pretty amazing things.

Like visit with Casey's sister, Christy, and brother-in-law Jeremy, who are about to bring home my two newest nieces from Ethiopia!  My girls are very excited to meet their "new brown cousins".

We also visited Casey's other sister, Carrie, and brother-in-law, Charlie.  They do an amazing job pastoring at Grace Church in Cleveland.  We are inspired by their love for their neighborhood and faithfulness in serving.

And we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Casey's parents who hosted our crazy crew and even seemed to enjoy it!  They even gave us the gift of letting us get away for TWO WHOLE NIGHTS kid-free.  We ate some amazing Pad Thai at Johnny Mango's , finally saw the Hunger Games, and invested in our marriage by watching a great marriage DVD series called The Art of Marriage.

Casey and I were super impressed with this series.  With most things Christian, there is a lot of cheese factor you must get over in order to get to the good stuff.  Honestly, there was very little cheese factor here and loads of good material.  We highly recommend!