Monday, January 28, 2013

Wishing for Warmth


So the ice/snow/sleet was nice for the day is was here but now we are wishing for warmth. Thankfully tomorrow it will be close to 70!! YAY! Here are some pictures from the summer to enjoy.

On a side note... if anyone is looking for Valentine's presents... check out my recent creations on the side bar. Valentine magnets made from tin off of a barn here on the farm. 4 for $10! or $3 each.Just email me @ with questions. I'd be happy to personalize one as well.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What Garment will you put on?

As I was teaching Noah today, I read ahead to the "thoughts" section written by the author of our curriculum, My Father's World, named Marie Hazell.  It was so wonderful that I thought I'd share it with my blog friends. It is something that has been rattling around in my head  for a while but I could not express it as lovely as she did.... so here goes....

When I awoke this morning, I saw in my mind a clothes rod with a selection of clothes. A song also ran through my mind: "Put on the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...."

I understood that I had a CHOICE. I could start my day by choosing to put on praise, as if it were a robe; or I could choose something else-dwelling on worry, frustration, unforgiveness, people who have wronged me..

Today I chose praise. I imagined selecting the robe of praise and putting it on. But that wasn't enough. "God what else do I need to understand"? 

Oh- I need to ACTIVELY praise? I spoke out praises to God--"Thank you, God, that You love me enough to enter my life and guide me and teach me the way to go. God, you are amazing! Your forgiveness is sweeter than honey to my deepest needs. I love you! God, you are way bigger than any problem (or person) I will meet today. (Insert my own praise here: "God thank you that even though my dryer caught on fire and is ruined that you spared my house and our lives!!!" ) :) I will rejoice and be glad in what You plan today."

As I praised God, I imagined my robe of praise not just covering me like clothes, but going deep into all of my being, so that praise became a part of my inmost being- TRANSFORMING me!!

We do have a choice. "Choose this day whom you will serve...." (Joshua 24:15)

Today choose the path of blessing. Tell your Father WHY you love Him. The Lord promises to give us "The oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair" (Isaiah 61:3) Which garment do you want to wear today?  


But please don't think I'm perfect. Right after I wrote this, I got ambushed by a huge blob of despair, gave in to it, and had a miserable day. Early the next morning, I was reminded of another song: "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is they faithfulness, O God."

Oh joy! I could rejoice because "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, of the mud and mire and gave me a firm place to stand.... He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God" (Psalm 40:2-3)

Thank you, God, for your never-ending love and strong arm that reaches down and rescues us. This is a the day the Lord has made! I WILL rejoice and be glad in it.      -------Marie Hazell

Our church theme this year is "Let Christ Jesus be seen in 2013!" In looking for ways to do this in my own life and my family's life ; Praising more and Complaining Less  None :) has been something I will strive to do. 
So....In order for Jesus to be seen in me I must put on the Garment  of Forgiveness, Praise, Peace, Humbleness and Gentleness. If not, I am the same as the rest of the world. Praise, Praise, Praise!! That is what He wants. He has promised Peace and Rest to those of us who dwell in Him. This is the year of Transformed Lives! I want to be one of the Transformed!

Funny Noah & Laurel"ism" : 
While riding in the car listening to a story on a cd about a sheep being sheared: 
Noah asks "Mommy, what does shearing mean?"
Laurel says" It's what God and Jesus want us to do"  (sharing)  ;)

Friday, January 18, 2013

Missing Maw Maw

"WALKIN' WITH JESUS".... that's the text I got from Mike telling me his Grandma, "Ma", had just passed away.
It has been a tough journey. The family chose to care for her at home and with that comes special challenges but ones I know to them and to her were worth it.
She loved to sing! She loved to dance and to make her great grandbabies dance! She loved Jesus and didn't care who knew it! She appreciated the "finer" things in life.... nothing cheap for her thank you ;) She had great taste!
She was a fabulous cook!

When I told Noah and Laurel she was in heaven, Noah said " Oh Mommy, God just gave her a new body!". Laurel said "I'm so excited...she gets to see Jesus." Oh that childlike faith we should all have!!
I knew it would sink in eventually though and it did last night for Noah after gathering with all the family and Ma not being there. He told me he was feeling anxious. Finally it came out that he was sad he wouldn't see Ma in her house anymore but made sure he told me his tears were "happy tears" for her. My sweet, gentle son.
Last night we bought them Bibles because Noah is reading and Laurel will be hopefully soon. Noah wanted to go to bed with his Bible and a flashilight. This morning, first thing, he jumped out of bed and brought me his Bible. He told me he wasn't sad anymore because of a verse that he found..... WHAT??!!! He's 6, I thought!!

So.... here is the verse that my 6 year old told me the Lord had showed him to heal his heart.....

"You changed my sorrow into dancing. You took away my rough cloth,which shows sadness, and clothed me in happines."
"I will sing to you and not be silent. Lord, my God, I will praise you forever."
Psalm 30:11,12

And a little child shall lead them....

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ella Update

Hello Blogger Friends.... I just wanted to update you on how God is working for the cause of the orphan (a cause that by now you probably know I am passionate about) ;)  Anyway, this is from my friend Nikki's blog. She is who will help get the hearing aids to "Ella" the little girl many of YOU helped raise money for. A verse comes to mind when seeing how God provided the money so quickly with people from all over:

"Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and sympathetic?
   Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one heart and purpose." 
                                                     Phil 2:1-2 (NLT)
People... this is what you did. You worked together with one heart and purpose to help a child in need. No denomination or petty differences got in the way, only unselfish giving. Praise God!! How much more could get accomplished if we would follow this command of Christ. Once again.... THANK YOU!
PS: All of these precious babies are in the process of being cleared for International adoption...hopefully soon!

I have been singing a song off on and for the last few days . . . "Great is Thy faithfulness, great is Thy faithfulness, morning by morning new mercies I see. . . all I have needed THY hand hath provided . . . "
And I love contemporary Christian music.  I choose it over hymns on a daily basis but when I see God doing big, God-sized things, it's those old hymns I learned as a child that come bubbling out.

And here is why I am praising . . .

This is the ear of a profoundly hard-of-hearing child in The Philippines. Notice how it does not have a hearing aid inside?

 THIS is the beautiful child who is attached to  the ears that do not have  hearing aids inside but should.  She is standing with my husband on Evaluation Day when he was meeting visually impaired children for The Bartimaeus Project. But her caring staff had hopes that we might help a deaf child, too.

 THESE are the hearing aids donated and paid for by my precious friend and fellow adoptive mom, Martha, her friend Lillian and donors who read about sweet "Ella" and felt moved to help!!!!!! These are also the batteries, cleaning supplies and other needed items to make sure beautiful "Ella" will be able to hear for a long time to come.   GREAT IS HIS FAITHFULNESS!!!!!
This is THOUSANDS of dollars' worth of equipment that came together in the span of 48 hours. Because God's people care and they want to help, if they can just see the need!  

 And this is the little boy that stole my family's heart as we learned he possibly had congenital glaucoma, a seizure disorder and little hope of developing anything close to normal communication.  He is sweet and shy and cooperative with a tentative demeanor.
This is also the very boy that The Bartimaeus Project sent to a pediatric eye doctor with a tinge of sadness only to discover this sweet angel just needs a patching regimen, no surgery and does NOT have glaucoma after all!!! Great is HIS faithfulness!!!!

So we now extend our arms to this little blessing below. She has what appear to be benign tumors on the surface of both eyes. Possibly cysts, and we seek the Lord in prayer for her as we work to get the help to her that will insure she grows up with her eyesight in tact.
Please pray with us that her needs can be met as quickly as the needs of the two beautiful children above.  If she needs surgery, the Bartimaeus Project will stand beside her all the way through.  She is in a wonderful, loving children's home that will make sure she is surrounded by support as her treatment continues.  We all have high hopes that her story will end with perfect vision and a loving family. We can rest in HIS Great Faithfulness as we move forward with helping her. 

These blessings are the top three in a deep stack!
Donations continue to come in as our family prepares to move full-time to The Philippines.
Our home repairs are almost complete so we can place our US home on the market. 
The peace of God engulfs us as we start selling our worldly goods and making the needed connections abroad.
We have been asked to speak at three different locations in the next month and share the project with Believers! 

If you have donated to The Bartimaeus Project, we just can not thank you enough. On behalf of these children and the many others who stand in line for vision services "thank you" is not enough.   I pray that you feel in the depths of your spirit, the magnitude of what our Great and Faithful Father has done and will do through your giving. 

If you are praying about partnering with us, please do it!  I can assure you of two things:
1. Your gifts will benefit the children above, and others like them, for a lifetime.  Children with restored and preserved vision have an exponentially greater chance at being placed in adoptive homes than those who remain visually impaired.
2. When your gifts help us move permanently, we will be even more effective in sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and in getting more children to pediatric eye specialists.  Please help us get there!

To learn more about donating to The Bartimaeus Project, visit our web site at:
All donations are tax deductible as we are a 501c3 in partnership with The Community Foundation of Carroll County

If you feel God tugging at your heart to do more than give financially, if you want to come spend time with our family in The Philippines after our relocation, let us know!  We can use any extra hands God sends and just the encouragement that comes from time with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  You can bring your children, too!  The Philippines is a visitor-friendly country and you will have access to medical care if needed.
If you have another gift or talent you would like to offer The Bartimaeus Project, we are all ears! We welcome you to come alongside us and get in on what the Lord is doing.   

Thank you for praying. Thank you for giving.  THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING and I have to pinch myself!!!!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

To Sum Up...

The Fam

Christmas Morning: Noah taking after his Daddy

No party is complete without Baby Duncan

Nobody cried at Santa this year!

Noah continuing his tradition of sleeping with a different hat every night- weirdo :)

Little Lucy being an angel in "The Best Little Christmas Pageant Ever"

Laurel playing Army with Daddy
Trapping Beavers with Daddy
Why I feel the need to do a wrap up 2012 post is beyond me but I'll try! Perhaps it's because I want to preserve memories for myself when I'm crazy and for my children....when I'm crazy :)

We are blessed. Even in the midst of the storms and trials of life, we are so blessed. We have a wonderful family, a great church, good friends, a fabulous place to live and we have a Living Saviour who knows our thoughts and needs!
I would say the most significant events this year for us would be that BOTH of my babies "Decided to follow Jesus". Noah did this in August and Laurel just did this last week! To know that 3 short years ago, she was in a forsaken place, an orphan, completely deaf, non verbal just blows my mind. Our hearts desire for her has been for her to learn to talk & hear. The Lord has answered this. But, our biggest desire was to help her see her need of a Saviour and choose to follow Him. She did this the other night. She told me that morning she was going to do it that evening. I waited to see if she would remember and really understood what she was doing. She did. We are truly blessed.

Christmas was a wonderful whirlwind. Because we all came down with the flu the week before, we didn't get to do many of the traditions that we usually do but we still had a wonderful time celebrating the birth of our Saviour.

We've had some sad times too in 2012. Mike's Grandma is battling cancer receiving hospice. My Aunt Janie is also in the end stages of cancer. It is a comfort to know that both of these loved women are believers and this won't be the end for them!  My Great Aunt Ruthie is battling Alzheimers and my Great Aunt Lottie JUST fell and broke her arm. So much hurting BUT GOD is not a stranger to our pain. How comforting to know that He knows what we go through and wants to give us His joy and peace!!

Looking Forward...... exciting things happening. We are adding on to our house. We start this month and look forward to MONTHS of work! Well, not looking forward to that but rather the finished product. We only have 2 bedrooms in our house & the kids are needing their own rooms. Hmm..... might I have room for one more..... we'll just have to wait and see what the Lord has planned:) Don't tell Mike I said that ;)

That is 2012 in a nutshell. I know I'm missing so much but bottom line is that GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. Even when things seem dark, confusing.... we must trust that he is working behind the scenes for His Glory!
                                       HAPPY 2013 EVERYONE!