Thursday, May 24, 2012

Africa in our Backyard

Do you think this hole in our driveway looks quite a bit like Africa, or is it just me?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Free to Love

One of my favorite things is watching my children who were adopted serving others.  The world had a plan for these girls, but God's plan for their lives won out.  Now they are free.  Free from poverty and hopelessness.  Free to love and serve.

Here are a few pictures of Sitota sharing her love with our Little Man T.

Sitota is a wonderful helper and does an amazing job keeping up with Little T!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

You've Got a Friend

How I felt this morning before I met up with my friends:

How I feel now, after sharing my heart with my friends:

(Side note:  I bought my husband red Converse for Valentine's Day.  Is there a better way to express your love?  I think not.)

I had been feeling more than a little beaten down, suffering the after-effects of a cold, and emotionally tapped out from caring for our frenetically-attached Safe Family toddler.  I don't think you'll find "frenetically- attached" in any official literature, but it works here, trust me.  I had let the words of another make me doubt everything I was doing and totally forgot for Whom I was doing it.  

Enter my friends.  They reminded me that it does matter.  They gave me the One Day at A Time speech- that never gets old and is always true.  They affirmed how hard it really is.  They would have given me grace if I threw in the towel, but they saw I still had a spark and they flamed it.  

I walked away thinking, "it is wearying to absorb someone's trauma, but isn't that exactly what Christ did for me? And with Him inside of me, why couldn't I do this?".

Are you weary and overwhelmed?  Reach out to a friend!  Like a real life conversation.  Let the kids play in the backyard and bear your soul!  You will feel so much better.  I know I do.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Adoption Fundraiser

Check out these great shirts!

A friend of mine is working hard to raise money to bring their little one home from Ethiopia.  The shirts are only $12, so you could buy a bunch!  Only $10 for kid's sizes!

The 4 million they are referencing is the number of orphans currently living in Ethiopia.  Friends, we can do something to bring that number down!

Contact Dawn at to order your shirt.

Urban Ministry in the Burbs

One thing I know about myself is that I could feel sorry for just about anything and anyone.

I feel sorry for convicted criminals, telemarketers, and the curling iron I never use that sits all lonely in the drawer.  Really anything. I guess that is the gift of compassion I have that my grandpa warned by mom about when I was just a tike.  He said my mom better "toughen me up" so I wouldn't get by heart broken so much.

My heart is drawn to so many things, that sometimes I wish I could just pick one thing to focus my compassion on.  I wish I could be utterly sold out to helping Africans secure clean water, or serving the homeless in Chicago.  But at this point in my life, my heart is bleeding all over the map!

One thing I know, I am committed to serving the Lord right where I am today, and that is in the suburbs.

One incredible way we are able to do some urban ministry in the suburbs is through the Safe Families program.  We are practicing Biblical hospitality by hosting an 18- month old in our home for the next several months.  His mom needs some time to take some steps to provide a better environment for her children.  We are going to give her that time to get healthy, and build into her little one for as long as we have him.

The Safe Families program is in 25 states.  You do not need to be a licensed foster parent to participate.  You not actually have to host a little one in your home to participate.  Maybe you would like to host a pregnant teen?  Maybe you can supply a package of diapers to a host family?  Maybe you would babysit for a host family?  Would you pray for hearts of the little ones living away from mom?

I encourage you to check out their website to see if this is something God has for you.

I cannot say enough good things about this ministry.  We have hosted four children so far and it is one of the most rewarding and stretching experiences I have ever had.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mommy Meltdown

As part of my 7 , An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, we are giving away seven items from our home every day this month.  My girls have jumped into this project with their whole hearts.  They have stunned me with their generosity giving away clothes they still liked, but didn't need.  Toys that they still like, but don't love like they used to, as long as someone else would love to have them.

But THIS, my heart could not bear!  Are my girls really ready to give away their fairy wings?

I know two of them will be middle-schoolers in a few months and I guess I can't actually remember the last time they dressed up like that, but STILL.

I suppose I can accept they may be too old to dress up with fairy wings on their backs, but... I will make it my mission to ensure they never lose the fairy wings in their hearts.