Friday, June 21, 2013

Sharing a Need and Being a Blessing

The Johnson's at Christmas 2012 before committing to adopt.  D. and V. are on either side.


    The Johnson's were put on my heart and so in obedience I am sharing their story with you in the hopes that a radical thing will be done with this small act of posting. 

    Erin and Phillip from Virginia had two boys when they began their journey to adoption a few years back.  God brought them to their lovely daughter M. in Ukraine and from that point on, they like many others have been wrecked for the fatherless. 

    Pulled by God again they stepped into hosting.  They weren't thinking adoption again at this point, but God placed precious 7 yr old, V., into their home.  And as you all know, when God has a plan there isn't any stopping it.  God was already working in them to see through an eternal lens and with peace that they might trust him in this journey.


The oldest three - (Baby K. stays in a place separate from the older boys)

    You see, V., comes with a package deal.  He's a part of a sibling group of four.  V., now 8, has three brothers; D. 11, Little V. 7, and baby K. 2 years old.  This last Christmas they hosted again.  This time D. the oldest, came too.  Phillip and Erin were sure they would see why it wouldn't work out to adopt a child much older.  But instead they discovered a precious heart of a child who looked at them and said "nee mah" Ukraine. Here. Dom (pointing to our house).  With hope and through tears he longed to be their son.  Erin shared "We just couldn't live our lives knowing a child asked us to be his parents and we said no."

Erin with D. and V.

   These last few months as they have stepped out in faith knowing it would be ALL God to be able to not only bring one home but four, he has continued to teach the Johnson's about dependency on him for everything.

   They have been comforted and encouraged by 2 Corinthians 9:8:  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

   Yesterday as I visited with Erin and listened to their story of needing $16,000 by September 1st, I felt peace with the pull that I needed to join them.  To stand with them in whatever small way I could and with what resources I have available to me and so I offered my blog to share them with you!  I pray that you will feel what I feel and want to add them to your prayers too. 

    And today something pretty incredible happened.  Erin messaged me to say that first thing this morning someone came to them to offer a $5,000 matching grant and that they have ONE week to match it. Amazing to think that as we were agreeing together for what God is doing someone was already being moved to bring this offer to them!!  What a beautiful reminder to me too that trusting God in EVERY detail and stepping out when it just seems "too big" absolutely go together. 

    May those who are walking this same journey find great comfort in this and I pray that those who are reading about adoption but not called to adopt themselves would lay themselves out as an offering to be the means - the bridge - the answered prayer for orphans. 

To sow into the adoptions of these four boys and to MATCH your giving click here:

www.adopttogether.org/thejohnsons

 To watch their video, How Hosting An Orphan Changed Our Life:

http://youtu.be/HNL9-FF3JO0



And to follow the Johnson's journey you can read their blog by going to

www.enteringtheborderland.blogspot.com 

 Bless you Erin and Phillip!  We are cheering your family on!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

A New Thing - Outing Myself



 

 
     I feel a sense of dread and thankfulness all in one.  There is something I have held close to myself and shared with few.  It's a thing that I keep that way because it feels safe there.  For if it were to be spoken, perhaps the thought of failing at it would be unbearable.  But its been years now that I have been doing this and told God why I wasn't able and now I feel such conviction to be completely vulnerable and to share it.  My weaknesses, my less thans all want to creep up even as I write.
 
And that is it.   Writing.   Pouring out the things God has been doing in me as I tend to these children He has entrusted to me.  Why the wrestling?  I mean I love to blog and that IS writing so why would writing be something so difficult to announce for me?
 
Because here its just raw me and I can hit delete at anytime. 
 
But the kind of writing I am talking about is in print and its the kind that once released into the hands of others stay there.  As you can't take back the words once they leave your lips so are the words that we write. 
 
God sets the parameters for my writing.  If it's my efforts, I promise you, it's not worth reading.  I am a weak woman leaning on a strong God.  I am so very aware of my need for Him.
 
So I am embarking on something new.  It was confirmed when I was contacted to do this thing I love and have been locking away a wee bit: devotional writing
 
While I love to bless and I love to share my heart I also know that any piece from me must be all him.  I am asking you to pray for me in this season of additions and newness.  We have new schedules, new needs, expanding ministry work, medical appointments and plannings.  Please pray that I would be strengthened through His grace to get up even earlier (4 am) and to be in bed by 11pm.  This would take some real discipline but would actually give me more sleep than I am currently getting.
 
  I'm throwing myself out there.....being as real as I can be.  It gives me the all squealy feeling to think about hitting that "publish" button here.  It's commital.  It's an obedience thing.  And I know He will meet me with His grace.
 
  This morning in prayer time I meditated on 2 Chronicles.  Oh again and again.....Lord, like Solomon, just give me wisdom and knowledge to lead my little ones the way you would have them!  Solomon recognized that taking over David's role as king was to lead people as numerous as the dust of the earth and that He could only do it by God's help. 

  For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9  

  Our strength to do anything He has called us to comes from our commitment to him.  Asa didn't depend on God near the end of reign and he fell apart.  He depended on man and peace left him.  He became enraged at the seer who spoke wisdom and truth to him and jailed him and then oppressed his people.  
 
  The moment we insert our own offenses and plans and stop seeking him we lose all sight.  We fall victim to believing we know the answers and lose our teachable spirits.  I don't want a "been there, done that" perspective or I might miss an expansion of a word.
 
Please pray that I will remain steadfast upon the Lord, will remain vulnerable and honest with my own weaknesses so that He can be glorified in my life and that He will be the author and organizer of my days.  
 
 
And here comes the squeal......

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Camp Out Daze

Before the heat wave came in we took advantage of some pretty nice weather and did a camp out last weekend.  I should add....it was in the backyard.  Everybody slept in tents including all of the animals.  Thought you'd like to see some pics.
 
Cephas loved the bounce of the air mattress and Lucia showed off with some push ups.
While Rainan joined Dad on the trampoline. 
Grace managed to take in FOUR hotdogs and from the looks here you can guess she didn't slow down.  Seriously how can someone eat SO much and be this skinny?  Must be that arm flapping.  Soon she should fly!
Maxim with his neighbor friend Caleb.
 
 Grandma joined us!
 
   We made it all through the night with a little sleep even. LOL!  As soon as we got up and ever since Cephas keeps asking if we can sleep outside again.  He wasn't scared at all and Randy and I were in the other tent.  Thought that was pretty amazing. (As I am writing this he is calling out from the other room, "Jesus loves me, Mama.  Jesus love you, Mama!")  He is such a happy little boy.  I can so easily forget how old he is.

 

Wow.  I just love this.

 
Rainan helping me water my flowers...

Funny story.  Liam and his friend Seth (lives next door) decided to race and both ran home and made macaroni and cheese and then met back up on the front porch to see who could go the fastest.  I love these kids.  They have so much innocent fun together.  I think Caleb won though.  He chose to make ice cream instead.  Make, as in, dig it out of the carton and put it in a bowl.


Look at that concentration.


Holden and Liam led some summer learning time.

  Thanks for all of the love and support you have given to us in words, prayer or other ways. 
 
Our praises to God have only grown! 
 
 
 

 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stretching and Growing


Some special life long memory events happened this week. 

Rainan had her very first dance recital and we got a new kitten!



I was so proud of her! This was a day I had always dreamed of. For all of you who have known me since childhood, pretty much dance was my focus and seeing her enjoy it too blesses my heart! Especially when she is dancing for Jesus!! Right before her dance began someone announced to the audience that this one was dedicated to Lucia and Cephas. It was such a surprise and I immediately teared up. I looked over at them and had another one of those "pinch me" moments again. THEY REALLY ARE HERE. They are HOME!
 
 
 

Our other big surprise was this beautiful little baby who joined our family.



Meet GINGER!




 
We are all things kitty at the moment. 
 
And some other really cool things we've noticed......
 
 
We laid Lucia down on her wedge and she pushed herself up to this position on her own!!  This is HUGE.  HUGE. HUGE!!  Her strength and determination to do more is amazing.  She pushes herself and says, "I'm sorry" when she didn't attain what she hoped.  We constantly tell her she doesn't need to be sorry but she is so hopeful to do more things on her own. 
And I went inside for a bit and came out to find she had pulled herself up so she is leaning her weight to the side...nothing is touching her upper back here.  I did a little Mama jig dance on the porch for her.  We had to celebrate!!  She is spending less and less time in her same curled position.  We see her "lengthening" as she has some tummy time and frequent changes of position.  That alone has done wonders.  At first it was bothering me that we couldn't get her in to the specialists right away but I think this may end up being a good thing to give us some time to work on the muscular aspects so that by the time they see her she may present more accurately.  Those muscles just hadn't been stretched all of those years.  
 
When we are weak, then we are strong!