Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kechene Photo Update

This post is a long time coming. Sorry I haven't gotten it up sooner. Lots of thanks to all the wonderful people that helped make dresses, donated tees for boys, donated money for materials and of course, my friend, Chaos, that delivered them all the way to Kechene, Ethiopia. Look at these wonderful happy faces!!!
Thanks for an opportunity to live outside my own little world.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

One week

Yikes! Just a week. Pictures to take, slide shows to finish, hot dogs/cookies to make for a crowd, a child to graduate 6th grade, a house to clean, laundry to do, clothes to wash, food to cook, friends to see/check in with, graduation parties, vacation plans to finalize..... All good, all competing for space in my head. Prayers for peace, a sound mind, a heart calm and comforted by my God.

Dresses for Kechene Thank YOU!

For those of you that helped provide for the Dresses for Kechene project - A personal "Thank you" from the children to you! I don't know about you, but I shed a tear or two! Love these precious faces!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Worry much?

Today I googled "Do women worry more than men?". Among speculation galore, the interesting consensus is yes. Women are twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders. About 3 years ago, I had a panic attack. It felt like what I thought a heart attack would, and needless to say that starts a vicious circle of more panic, more pain. (I will say while I have felt close a couple of times since then, I have not succumbed to an attack.)

While I know I am not supposed to worry, I do.

I worry that I am not being all God called me to be. I am not. Only Jesus was perfect. If I was perfect, would I have a need for God? His power is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor 12:9)

I worry that I am not the parent I could be. I am not perfect. God fills the gaps.

I worry that I will be left alone. I am never alone. Even if all on earth abandon me, He will my cup and portion be. (Deut 31:6, Heb 13:5, Ps 16:5)

I worry that I am too judgmental. Judge not lest you be judged. I continually ask God to help me to see others with His eyes. He looks on the heart. Man looks on the outside. (Luke 6:37, 1 Sam 16:7, Heb 4:12)

I worry that I am judged. God looks on the heart and his opinion is the only one that matters. (1 Sam 16:7, Deut 6:18)

I worry that my children will forsake the teaching of God and cause themselves heartache. Train up a child in the way they should go, and even when he is old, he will not depart from it. (Prov 22:6)

I worry that I am not enough. I'm not. If I were, once again what would be my need for God? (2 Cor 12:9 again)

I worry in general, about my children, my spiritual walk, my husband, my marriage.

See a theme? The Word of God is the answer to any problem I have. Even my worry. Lately the following verses have been on my mind.

Ps 55:22-23 The Message

"Pile your troubles on God's shoulders—
he'll carry your load, he'll help you out.
He'll never let good people
topple into ruin.
But you, God, will throw the others
into a muddy bog,
Cut the lifespan of assassins
and traitors in half.
And I trust in you."

1 Peter 5:7 AMP

"Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, [once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully."

Philippians 4:6-7 NASB

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Thank you God that you carry my load, you are my help, that you care for me, that you listen. I want your peace to guard my heart and mind.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Flaws and all

God doesn't love me in spite of my flaws. He knows me. He created me. He loves me flaws and all. He knows when I am having a rough day, a day when I feel like noone is listening, He is.

I had one of those days recently. I expect that you might think I took the high road, stepped back, counted to ten, prayed to my Heavenly Father, read the Word and sang a praise song. I admit I did not (although I wish I had).

With each incident I became more and more irritated. I started snapping at my kids and my husband.

Then the shame sets in. Why was I acting like this? Why?! I tell myself it is because noone listens to me. Those always, never, and noone statements we all say to try and make our point. The ones that are not always full of truth. My statement was untrue. My Heavenly Father listens. He hears every word. The cries of joy, the wails of grief and pain, the whispers of defeat and sadness, He hears them all. And

Ps 56:8 NLT "You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book."

HE KNOWS. He knows every joy, fear, worry, hurt, kindness. Not only does He know, He has the answer.

I made a mistake. I let my emotions carry me away. We all have emotions, and they are not inherently wrong, but we can't allow ourselves to be ruled by our emotions. Sometimes we have to stop and press the reset button. What is your reset? How about the things I mentioned above? Distance, reading the Word of God, listening to praise music. Remembering and rehearsing God's promises. How about reminding ourselves to think on the good.

Phil 4:8 NLT "And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise."

But God doesn't condemn us. When we are "tested", when we start to lose ourselves in our emotions, know it can be a chance to grow.

James 1:3-5 "For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking."

Apologies made. Thoughts readjusted. Seeking wisdom. Sharing. Flaws and all.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Rewards of Obedience (A Dresses for Kechene Update)

Let me preface this post - I believe God's people hear his voice. Through His Word, as a still small voice some call a conscience, and yes, even sometimes audibly.

As a parent I strive for complete and prompt obedience from my children. I want them to obey because they trust that I have their best interest at heart. I want them to obey because they love me. Love motivates more than fear. This constitutes actual heart change.

The more I learn about my God, I want to obey. His love for me (and you) is extravagant. He sent his son to die for me. He sets rules in place for me because He loves me. He wants to protect me from myself, from what I can do to myself. His rules and commands are for my benefit, not to punish me.

My story of obedience -

I had a friend go to Ethiopia for the court date for her adoption process. When she returned I felt this "tug" in my spirit. I had viewed photos on her blog of her visit. You can check out her blog. I was supposed to make some dresses for these little girls. I spoke with my friend, Chaos. I thought I could make dresses for some of the girls at the care center where her daughter was located. I thought 20 or so dresses.

Chaos suggested that girls in the Kechene CarePoint sponsored by Children's HopeChest could use the dresses. Another question arose, how could we leave out the precious boys? Contact was made with an advocate. We were supplied with a list of 65 girls and approximately the same number of boys.

I have to admit when I was given the list initially there was a little bit a lot of panic. How would I complete 65 dresses in a couple of months? How many do I have to do each week? But it lasted only a short time. This alone is remarkable for me, I have to admit I have a nervous personality. I like to be in control. This was beyond me. I didn't want to let these children down. My God would not let these children down!

God calmed me so quickly. I could imagine Him standing next to me, saying, "I've got this!" My God has gifted me with an ability to organize. I put out a blog post, I put out info on facebook, I talked with those close to me. I entrusted the outcome to my God. My God who told me, "I've got this!" I chose to trust Him. I chose to be obedient, to not let fear control me, to release my control to God. I chose to give control to the one who is more than able, who is greater than I, who spoke the universe into existence.

It wasn't long before the monetary donations starting coming in. Friends and friends of friends stepped forward with supplies and volunteering their time to sew.

One amazing part of the story that I want to share - A woman from Wisconsin was directed to the blog post by Children's HopeChest. She has a group from her church and 4-H club that for years have collected material to make these dresses and send them all over the world with missionaries. They sent me 40 dresses. The kicker, one of the children posted in one of the photos was her sponsor child! Far left, this photo -

Isn't our God Great!!!!

Thank you to all of you involved (You know who you are!) Today, a short 6 weeks later, we have 99 dresses done and/or committed. More than enough, with money left over to donate to the cost of transport or to an effort to buy shoes for these darling children. That's the kind of God I serve and obey!

Pictures for your enjoyment -

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup - The Best Comfort Food

We have had a rough couple of months. Lots of sickies around here. One thing always helps, Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. I am sharing the love (at least the recipe) today!

You will need -

One 12 oz bag Frozen Noodles (I know you can make them from hand, I usually don't want to take the time)
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
4 cups chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
2 TBSP fresh parsley snipped (or 1 TBSP dried)
1 tsp dried and crushed Thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
1 bag frozen veggies (try peas, pea and carrots mixed, or sliced carrots)
2 cups milk
1/4 cup flour

Put broth, chicken, onion, and seasonings (including bay leaf) in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Add Noodles and veggies. Return to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover for 20 minutes or until noodles are almost tender. Combine 1/2 cup milk and flour, mixing until smooth. Add to soup. Add remaining milk. Cook and stir until thickened slightly and bubbly. Remove bay leaf before serving. Makes approximately 8 servings. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kechene Project Update!

See this post for original information. Quick rundown - Making 65 dresses and wanting to purchase 65 shirts for children at a school in Kechene, Addis Ababba, Ethiopia.

One donor volunteered to supply all shirts for the boys.
Money raised so far from 6 donors - $245. Amount to raise - $40 to $90ish.
Seamstresses committed - 6 to 8.

Trying to get these done by the end of March. Would you like to help? Pray! or you can sew too! :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What is Hope?

Amazing how routine makes me take things for granted. What is hope in my life? I use the word all the time. "I hope you feel better soon." "I hope the weather is better soon." "I hope I get what I want for my anniversary." (Notice I use it mostly as a verb.)

When my children struggle with a word meaning I point them to the dictionary. Mr. Webster and I had a consultation.

Hope - Noun - A feeling that what is wanted will happen; desire accompanied by expectation, the thing that one has a hope for, a reason for hope trust;reliance

verb - to expect, to look for, to want AND expect, to trust or rely;synonym-expect

Vine's defines it as favourable and confident expectation. It has to do with the unseen and the future. Romans 8:24-25 "We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope[a] for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.) Hope describes (a) the happy anticipation of good (the most frequent significance)

I started to think about confidence and hope and how they are linked. Where desire is accompanied by expectation. Wanting and expecting. Things that are unseen. Anticipation.

When I don't see the result I'm expecting, am I confidently patient? Ummm, honestly, not usually, more honestly - rarely. How else can confident hope be defined? FAITH

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Hands and Feet of Jesus (Opportunity Knocks)

A friend, Chaos, has adopted a beautiful girl from Ethiopia and will get to bring her home in the next few months. You can follow her story here. During the process, Chaos partnered with Children's Hope Chest to help gather sponsors for children in Kechene, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Chaos met these beautiful children on her visit to Kechene.

The Kids of Kechene Slideshow: Jamie’s trip from Wichita, Kansas, United States to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia was created by TripAdvisor. See another Addis Ababa slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.

In the summer of 2010, I made dresses for Little Dresses for Africa from Pillowcases. You can see them here.

Now, I want to send dresses back to Kechene when Chaos returns for her daughter in the next few months. I have two sets of instructions. One to make a dress from a pillowcase and one to make a dress from a t-shirt and material for a skirt. Both are very simple. There are 65 girls. Would you consider helping? We need people to sew dresses, but we also need supplies. If you don't sew, could you provide pillowcases, ribbon, lace, bias tape, t-shirts or a yard or two of material (or a monetary donation to purchase supplies)?

Look at these beautiful faces!

And, if your heart is for the boys, there are approximately the same number of boys that would be blessed to have a new shirt if you would like to buy a shirt or give a donation to purchase some.

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’ " Matthew 25:34-40 NLT

AND you ALL can pray for this effort and for these beautiful children!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tactful Children

May I preface this story with these facts -
My husband drives a 1998 Contour. It is our second car. He uses it mainly for transportation back and forth to work, so the kids rarely ride in it. It has seen better days. My son is 9 and speaks his mind.

On the way to basketball practice in hubby's car -

Son - "Dad, on the way to school this morning I saw a sign that said "We Buy Junk Cars". Your car has a hole where the inside light used to be, the visor is broken off, You can't read the digital clock in the dark anymore, this car is falling apart!"
Hubs - "Son, I bet if you were 16 and this were your car you would appreciate it!"
Son - "I wouldn't drive this junk!"

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A New Blog

I haven't had a blog post since February last year. And if you are here, you may not know I had another blog before with 400 posts. Why did I let it go dark? Was it because I had nothing to share? HA! NO! Details aren't necessary, but I'm back and while my old blog and old posts are still up at Mommy Daily Vent, I've decided that I wanted a fresh start.

Does this mean no more venting? Probably not. But I am more than my venting. I've contemplated the blog thing since I quit posting. I've been told to be "successful", I need to pick a niche. I thought about cooking, but I am more than a decent cook. I thought about crafts, but I'm more than just that too. Spiritual, "mommy blog", activist, you get my drift.

I've decided, my blog is what it is and I will post whatever. Some days you may get stories about my kids, some days a favorite recipe, book recommendation, charity, my devotional for the day, you name it. And I may not post every day (probably won't).

So here it is! Why the name? One of my favorite verses lately from the NLT, "Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying."

Hope to see you back soon!