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147 Million Orphans Blog
how many hits?
Mike and I have been sitting in the den talking about our meeting at Josie Love's school today. We left VERY encouraged. Mike had his ipad, so he pulled up a couple of pics of Josie when we went to Uganda to bring her home. The room filled with gasps and tear filled eyes as we talked about the difference in the pictures and the bright eyed little girl that walks down their halls each day. We talked about her being stubborn, and how her "survivor" mentality is probably the reason that she is alive today. She is continuing to thrive and winning peoples hearts with her infectious smile each and every day. (makes a mama's heart happpy!!)
While talking to Mike, we were reminiscing about how Gwen and I read Katie's blog, then we met her for ice cream one night, started doing fundraisers for her at my house several times a week..ADAMANT that we were going to spread her story so that she could fund her sponsorship program. INSTANTLY the Lord connected our hearts, and we have spent countless hours working out, laughing, crying, eating POUNDS of chocolate cake (sinful actually), raising children together, and now promoting her book.....REALLY?! promoting her book?!?! how did THAT happen? Can someone say surreal? Is she really coming to the US in October for a book tour? I can't help but giggle. The Lord has used her in such a mighty way in my families life...why not others?
I love that she gets overwhelmed in a grocery store when she comes home.....she says that there are ENTIRELY too many choices! I love that way that when we go out and people see her their eyes well up with tears and she looks around at me and Gwen TOTALLY perplexed and says "you americans are weird!!" She really has NO IDEA how Christ is using her on this side of the ocean. She's just living over there doing "her thing" while people over here read her words/heart and INSTANTLY think...."how can I help? what can I do? what is my part?!?"
So, here I am...promoting my sweet friend's book. my heart is FULL. I am So proud of the young woman that she has become right before my very eyes! You can go to 147 million orphans and pre-order. we will be sending 50% of the profits back to katie...AMAZIMA MINISTRIES. It will make a GREAT gift for Christmas!
I awoke at 5:30 this morning to have some alone time with God. I read my Jesus Calling, and prayed that HE would just give my heart peace, turn off the tears, and help me put my "big girl" pants on! It was a sweet time to sip my coffee and my heart to be affirmed that he loves this little angel SO much more than I can fathom. I know this is just the beginning of many changes. I also know that at times I feel that I am in the refiner's fire, only to see shiny gold in the end!
Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. James 1:2-3
I havent posted for the past few weeks because I have been at a loss for words. My prayer this morning was "Lord, can I PLEASE just live in my comfort zone for one week?...please?" I couldn't help but chuckle as the words leaked from my lips. Comfort zone? I don't even really know what the definition of those words mean anymore. For five years, since our first adoption, I feel as though I live in a foreign land.
Will there ever be a time while I am sitting at Vanderbilt and see "infectious disease" on the door that I don't think..."how did I end up here?" Its been two years, and I still shake my head in wonderment. I saw Mike walking down the sidewalk the other with all of my children a few steps behind and I had one of those "AHA" moments of ....I know that's my husband but who are all of those kids following him?!!? They are all different colors and who is the little one in the pom pom's stopping to hug and talk to every stranger that passes?"
My hope was that I could blog about how fabulous Josie entering school had been. While she has her first day this Friday, satan has had a field day with the preparation of her starting. All of her testing information has yet to be sent to her school. I wonder at what point am I going to think ....."this is just the norm" but I continue to be shocked over and over by peoples responses, the look in the eyes, the bewilderment that GLOWS form their faces. After the first few times of calling Mike in tears after leaving the school, we decided that he would go with me from now on. My heart breaks IN HALF for my sweet little angel that God views as PERFECT, and in the worlds eyes she is far from that.
I cant help but think of Jesus and Judas at the passover. When Jesus explained that He would be denied and all of the disciples were shocked. Jesus KNEW it, He even TOLD them that it was going to happen, but in the end, HE was still hurt, heartbroken, and felt abandoned. I KNOW that my family is going to feel those feelings each time we walk into a new situation. I even explain to my children how it is going to feel. Yet, each time that it happens....I feel hurt, heartbroken, and abandoned. I am so thankful that I have my sweet Jesus to cling. He is CONSTANT, EVER PRESENT, and just what I need in my brokenness.
I had a revelation the other day, that was NO doubt God's whisper in my ear. The school that we have attended for 10 years has watched us grow from 2 children to 7. They have seen the transformation in our lives. While some still deem us "radical" it has become quit normal to see our family around....not to mention that there are 10 children from Jinja,Uganda with 5 more coming....at our school. It has become quite the norm. At Josie's new school, we are a little freaky looking walking down the halls! haha In time, people will get use to our family. (hopefully). My prayer is that they will see HIM and not us.
At the end of the day, I will continue to whisper...."YOUR will not mine, YOUR will not mine, YOUR will not mine!"
Summer is dwindling and it is time for us to have some significant structure back in our lives. My children have been fabulous all summer and the past few days they have been fighting. IT IS TIME. Joshua will start kindergarten this year. I cannot believe it. He will be going to the small christian school that my oldest four attend. I have spent countless hours testing Josie Love and trying to find the best "fit" for her. While she has made HUGE strides in EVERY way, her speech and fine motor skills are still very much delayed. We live in williamson county which is known nationwide for the public school system being at the top of the charts. There is a school 3 minutes from our home that she will be attending. They will provide her with an assistant all day, while the therapies that she needs will rotate in and out through out the day. It is TRULY a blessing. I cant wait to see the progress she will make with one-on-one therapy, when she has come as far as she has on love alone. I have been so excited about it that I havent stopped to think about how my heart will feel on the actual first day of leaving her.
The first day of kindergarten is always an emotional one for me. It is a sure sign that my children are getting older and entering a new chapter in their lives. Everything that I have invested in them about Christ and how to treat others is going to be be put to the test. feet to the fire!! And this year I have Joshua AND Josie starting on the same day. eeeeeeek.
I stopped by Josie's school to leave her paperwork. the moment I stepped out of my van, my stomach started turning. NEW place, NEW faces, NEW voices, NEW smell...totally out of my comfort zone. After handing the lady my paperwork, She became a little overwhelmed. She couldn't find Josie's name in her folder, so I explained that she would be receiving therapy/assistant etc....that her folder might be in a different place than the norm. She looked over her papers and I was very quickly led to the principal. I couldn't help but giggle and think...first day and I'm already going to the principals office! haha We talked through her needs briefly, and he said that he would check with their therapists and they would get back to me.
As I walked out of the building tears streamed down my face. Josie's paperwork paints a totally different picture than who she is. it reads THERAPY, ASSISTANT, HIV+, extra time, extra effort, time away from the "normal class". My heart ached as I thought of the perception that was painted of her to the normal person. No wonder the poor lady at the front desk was a little bumfuzzled by me. I GET IT!
I got in the car and said "OKAY LORD, I AM TIRED OF BEING OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE...can't I just feel an INCH of peace in my heart?!??! Just let me SIT in my peace of mind for just a moment. aaarrrggghhhh. He whispered to me, "you will sit in the peace that only I can give...not what this world can give you, and it is far greater than anything that you could ever feel from the world." So, that is what I am choosing to do...once again, sitting in HIS peace that is NOT of the world, and once again...feeling like an alien in my own skin. It is going to be good.....I just wish I had hindsight and could see the fruits now instead of later. ( I will never learn....)
The things that make her so fun are her mischievousness, giggles, activity level...these things are not so endearing in a class room setting. I have no doubt that once she transitions in, she will follow what everyone else is doing...however, it wont take the "mischief" out of her sparkling eyes!
Pray with me that her teacher and her assistant will see her heart. That she will bring them joy from the first day. That they can smile and appreciate all that life has dealt her and feel the love that she truly brings to my heart each and every day. Pray that Mike and I can stand firm in our life that HE has given us and we will NOT waiver. The we will represent the love of CHRIST in a mighty way.
- I am a lover of Jesus. I have the most fabulous husband that anyone woman could ask for. The Lord has blessed us with 7 beautiful children. I started this blog so that friends and family could follow our trip to Uganda to visit Katie Davis. I have decided to keep blogging to help bring orphan awareness to the world around me.