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147 Million Orphans


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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

guest post by Annabelle

We arrived in Orlando on Sunday. The past few days have been full of fun. Michael's team has won every game so far. Tomorrow we are going to Magic Kingdom. Today we spent the day celebrating Emily Oatsvall's 6th birthday. Here are a few pics for you.

We love our sweet friend Abby mom says that she has been a LIFESAVER on this trip!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Life is Good!

all three little ones fell fast asleep all on top of me....with some maneuvering, I was able to slip out and snuggle them under some blankets

The child LOVES the water, she kicks and squeals the whole time she is in it...hilarious!

Mama's big girls...these two would stay on the tube for hours if they didn't have to share!
Exploring all of the buttons, knobs and screens...

I often think about Josie's life up until we brought her home. I am so thankful that she was in a children's home that had loving caretakers. It was clean and had a HUGE yard so the children can run and play all afternoon. My niece from India never even left the small little room that they found her in...NEVER the light of day.....I do not EVEN know how to process that.

We spent the weekend at our cabin. I couldn't wait to see how Josie would transition into a new bed, not to mention just all of the new things she was was about to experience. When the boat motor started she sat quietly taking it all in. As the breeze began to blow into her face she was ALL SMILES. She sat on her knees looking out over the side of the boat for hours. At one point I saw a big cherry sucker in her hand, breeze blowing in her face, and listening to the music that was playing. I couldn't help but think..."LIFE IS GOOD!"

You see, even though the children's home had a large yard for her to play, she never was able to walk, much less run and play. I have visions of her just sitting on that mat, in that big beautiful yard. I wonder... why? Why didn't she TRY to walk or run? Was it because she was too weak? Was she just ALWAYS sick? At four years old, why didn't she try? I do not have the answers, but I cannot help but wonder.

She asks me on a regular basis..."Mom, I go with you?" "Mom, I stay with you?" She GETS IT....she KNOWS what it feels like to have a mommy and a daddy and she doesn't ever NOT want to EVER have one EVER again. This sweet little angel just needed a home, a mommy, daddy, 3 sisters and 3 brothers to make her want to live. To make her want to walk, run, sing, and LOVE life the way that she does. We all learn from HER how to love, laugh, and most of all LIVE life to its fullest.

It seems that since our journey to Uganda and hearing that Josie Love is HIV+, I spend a lot of my time just wondering. I do not try to figure things out, because I know that He has His mighty hand on my life. But I can't help to wonder how many other children are out there? How many that are labeled significant "special needs" but are perfectly normal. The only thing that is broken is their heart? How many would start walking after just being home for a week? How many would ask "Mom, I go with you?"

When Gwen and I are trying to solve all of the orphan problems of the world while on the treadmills, she reminds me that there will ALWAYS be orphans. She tells me that it is biblical..."there will always be orphans".....yea, yea, whatever...can't we still try? If we all lock arms and just heal one broken heart at a would HAVE to work..right? While I keep wondering and probably never know all of the answers, I want those of you that have THOUGHT about helping the broken hearted to know that I am praying FERVENTLY every day that He bring you to your knees so that you will ask "which one? which one Lord? Take me to them so that that child can show YOU how to love, laugh, and most of all LIVE!

I am so thankful that I have such a sweet husband that has walked this journey with me. I am so thankful that we have watched our family grow bigger and better than we could have EVER imagined. He is the best father that I could have ever dreamed imaginable for my kiddos...Happy Father's Day Mike!



Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Balancing Act

Josie with sleepy eyes, empty tummy, on a mission to make us some pancakes for breakfast!(I really do not sound this country in real life...hahaha)

My mom and I have laughed many times about how well she had me believing that she knew EXACTLY what she was doing while raising me. There was never a time that I can remember that I thought " she has no idea what she is doing with this whole Mommy thing". After Grace (my 14 year old was about three, I looked at my mom and said " I am just flying by the seat of my pants"(a southern phrase for you means I have NO IDEA what I am doing!)....and you use to fly by the seat of your pants too...didn't you?!?! and she said "I sure did!" with a grin.

There is really NO WAY to prepare for parenthood. You can read all of the "self help" books and really have a firm grip on that first child that comes along. Even the second child, and maybe even the third....and then the Lord decides that it is time for you to start depending on Him....on your knees! (haha) Each child is so uniquely and wonderfully made that as soon as you think that you have somewhat of a hold on this "parenting thing" you better DUCK because here comes a curve ball!! I will NEVER claim to have parenting mastered.(Although, I am pretty good at diagnosing a rash or illnesses) It actually is just one more reason on my list to live moment to moment and not plan ahead. This way, I do not feel defeated.

I LOVE parenting. I enjoy studying each child and trying to figure out what makes each one tick, what their love language is, and learning what their gifts are so that I can encourage them in them. It is the MOST wonderful blessing and pleasure on earth. I HAVE found that parenting can be exhausting. But one area in which I try to focus is BALANCE. There are three areas that I feel are vital for me to feel balanced. All three involve EXERCISE...the DREADED word!

1)Exercise my body
2) Exercise my mind
3) Exercise my heart

1)I have received several emails the past few weeks from people stating that they have seen me out running. The next question is "how in the world do you find time?" Well, honestly, I have found that if I can sweat for a bit, then I have more patience, grace, and energy with my children. Mike exercises also, so we make it a priority to tag team and MAKE the time for it. I ACTUALLY have it on my calendar for 3 days a week...if it is not on the calendar with time marked out specifically for "workout" then it DOES NOT happen.

2)I open my eyeballs, swagger to the coffee pot, mix in my yummy hazelnut creamer, grab my Jesus Calling and Bible and head to my back porch. Josie and Caleb on my heels. I go outside because its so early, there are birds, rabbits, and deer in my backyard and it keeps my little ones distracted for awhile. They have learned to whisper so we do not scare the critters away. they count the golden finches, bluebirds and cardinals...this is my morning ritual. I try to bring Christ to the forefront of my mind, and pray for my sweet husband to guard his heart (before I throw him to the wolves) before I even start the day....which leads to my heart exercise.

3)Here on earth, Mike holds my heart in the palm of his hands. If I do not keep Mike second in line after Christ EVERYTHING is thrown off. We have to make alone time for us. We go out to eat if not once a week, once every other week. How do we have time for date nights? How do we have help for date nights? How do we NOT? If you have trouble finding someone to watch your kids so that you can find time away, pray that the Lord will send you someone special. The Lord has provided a sitter every time and their credentials are MUCH more than I could have EVER imagined! It is the BIGGEST investment that we make here on earth. Our children have to KNOW that Mike and I are a priority to each other...there is NO OTHER option. If we do not spend time to know each other then how can we be a team? Everyday is teamwork at the Mayernick house.

After these three things are a priority, everything else just seems to fall into place. SOMEHOW, there is enough time in the day for each child, 147 Million Orphans, eating, baths, books,etc....NOW, I don't answer the phone much, and I HARDLY EVER have on make up or nice clothes. (I save those two things for my date nights and church) Most days, I look the same when Mike gets home in the afternoon as I did when he left for work that morning.

So, that's my word for the week....BALANCE.
Do you have it?



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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.
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