Saturday, June 29, 2013

Above the noise

We live in a little enclave of houses on a double cul-de-sac set back from a fairly busy street. When we looked at the lot years ago one thing stuck out. Just next door was a church. And with that church came church bells. As we contemplated purchasing it, praying through it, I heard the bells. I knew right then and there it was ours. We used money my sweet grandmother, who had passed away before this, had given us to make the down payment. I believed she would have loved the bells. She was an inspiration to me in my faith journey growing up. She always had a little devotion or two laying next to her bed on her nightstand. And her faith was simple but real. A treasured memory for me. Back to the bells...... I enjoy sitting out on our back porch each morning having my quiet time. I get up early and the busy road which runs behind our backyard is quiet at the early hour. As time advances, the cars start to move and the noise builds. This morning as I sat enjoying the still cool air and reflecting and praying about our upcoming mission trip, I heard the bells. I knew it was God confirming and reassuring. I closed my eyes and listened to each chime. Some were loud and clear...and then a car would go by and all but drown out the bells. If I listened very carefully, I could still FAINTLY hear them. They were there, just hard to hear. And it was good.

How often do we miss what God is saying to us because of the "noise" in our lives? What have I missed by not straining to hear Him? He is there. Always. We just have to tune our ears to Him, not the noise of the world...which at times is just so LOUD isn't it? And what if we don't strain our ears to hear? We miss it don't we? And those bells...are so lovely. They are perfectly pitched and timed and rhythmic. And the "noise"...well it is NOT. It is loud and harsh and not very ordered. So I was reminded today to LISTEN. Listen for His voice, His leading, His peace. Even if I have to strain to hear it, it is there. Always there. Just like those bells always chime. And what a smile they bring to my heart...unlike the noise of the cars. May you hear the bells today and know He is always there, always wanting to speak to us, always wanting to be heard above the noise.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

test with pic attached

Having some fun now…..adding a new level of difficulty by adding a picture! Go Wilma Go!!!!!


testing to see if we can email posts to my blog while in China……Wilma Flintstone is waaaaaay out of her element here!

Friday, June 14, 2013

In 17 days.....

In 17 days I, along with Julia, am going back to China. I have never been to China without bringing back a precious gift....a child. This time I am going to serve the children left behind. To say my emotions are all over the place would be an understatement.

 First of all. I am leaving  4 of my children, my husband, 2 dogs and a bunny for 2 entire weeks!!!! Oh that kills me...not so much the 2 dogs and the bunny.I will miss my family terribly! And I am worried about my hip accessory, aka Lulu, doing ok without me. She follows me into the bathroom. If I go where she can't see me, she cries out for me. Poor baby. But it is good too. She will see Daddy can be wonderful and meet all her needs as well. And then there is poor unsuspecting Daddy.......hopefully he will survive as Mr. Mom. And Jaida tells me numerous times a week, "Mommy I don't want you to go to China." Ugh! Sam says he wants to go too! I feel so bad not taking him! Xin....not a care in the world! As long as someone is feeding him, he is good-to-go. And preparing everything at home and trying to prep ahead for Will, well, that to-do list is a mile long. SO many details! At least it is summer and that alleviates some of the hassle. We are also going to be missing our annual family gathering at my parent's lake house for 4th of July and that makes me sad. Always so much fun with everyone.

Then there is the thought of looking into every women's face I see  and wondering "Could she be Lulu's biological mother?" You see, we are going to Chenzhou, Lulu's birth city and her orphanage. What would I feel or say or do should I ever meet this lady? I would want to thank her profusely for her gift, her daughter, our daughter. I would want to cry for her for all that she has and will miss in this beautiful little girl I get to adore daily. I would want to tell her endless stories about my little spitfire. I would want her to know her daughter could not be loved more. I think I would feel quite humbled.

I also know I will see first hand the reality of what my 3 adopted children's lives would have been like had they not found their forever family. This will make me miss them all the more.

And then there are the children still waiting in the orphanage. The faces I will come to know and love. How my heart will ache for them. It will be our job to show them love...but love for just 2 weeks. Then they will go back to the reality of orphanage life day after day after day. How will I leave them and come back home to comfortable living? How will I kiss and snuggle my children without thinking of those that are left behind, those that may never be adopted. Oh my heart hurts already. We each had to choose a verse for the trip. I choose Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." I must somehow convey this to them. Lord please help me to do this and do this well.

We are going with 10 other girls and women. I am so excited about spending 2 weeks with those who share the love of Jesus and my heart and passion for the orphan. The amazing thing about these gals is that a good many of them are teenagers or college age. These are girls who instead of saving money for the latest electronic device or stylish clothes,  have worked and saved to spend 2 weeks serving the least. What a privilege it will be to serve along side them. What a wonderful experience for my own daughter to share at such an early age.

This whole set-up is such a God-thing! Two years ago when we were matched with Lulu, a mission team was there in Chenzhou at that exact time. We were able to get in touch with them thru a friend telling me about a blog she was following of a woman on the trip. We got to see pictures of Lulu, videos and thoughts about her. The team leader has been back 3 times since. Her own daughter, 13 at the time, took a special liking to Lulu and loved on her the entire trip. Her and I have become friends and now I get to go to China with this amazing women, adoptive mom of 2 and waiting on 1 more! He orchestrated this whole thing. I know He has some awesome plans ahead and I cant wait to see what He reveals! My prayer is that I would be open to what it is He is showing me and then have the faith to follow through with His calling.

So off we go in just 17 what I am not sure. But I am sure of the One who called me to this and He "has plans to give you (me) a hope and a future."

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Donations needed for Chenzhou CWI

Julia and I and a team of 10 others will be leaving July 1st for a two week mission trip back to Lulu's orphanage. While I am excited about this in alot of ways, I also know the heaviness that is going to come with it. To see these kids that are still there.....1 year later....and may never leave, will break my heart. I also know that seeing the reality that would have been my 3 adopted kiddos lives will hurt deeply. We would appreciate prayers all around for this trip.

 We are also trying to bring many items over there and also purchase things in China for the orphanage. Any monetary donations for the orphanage would be so appreciated. No amount is too small! We hope to bring some donated therapy equipment with us but the airline charges a fee so it is for things such as this as well. They need baby rattles, small hand toys and teethers too so we could use those as well-the ones in the USA are much better made and are not a hazard. We are also hoping to "build" a sensory wall but have to purchase that stuff there. Please feel free to leave a message in the comment section if you have questions.  It is really unbelievable what they DON'T have and it really sets these kids back and they are already at a disadvantage being orphans and most of them with special needs.

Thank you in advance for your support and prayers.