Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wednesday's Child

Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go,
Friday's child loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child who is born on the Sabbath day
Is fair and wise and good in every way.
Wednesday's child is full of woe??
Full of woe?
I have read that poem many times before but never really thought about that line. 
How sad! 
What a sad poem for the Wednesday Child.
Full of woe.
Sorrow. Misery. Distress.  Sadness. Unhappiness. Heartbreak.
Wednesday's Child.
I was so stressed yesterday morning.  After writing my blogpost and whispering prayers for Ten Thousand Tuesday we climbed in the car and hit the road for Alexandria.  I was a wreck.  The entire time Rob and Ben and I were talking in the car I was, in the back of my mind, rehearsing what I was going to say to the officer when I was asked why we had arrived 6 days early for our appointment.  By the time we arrived my brain was a muddled mess.  I had no idea what I was going to say.  Rob's sweet nature precluded him from leading the charge and Ben just laughed when I asked him if he wanted to take the lead.  So I took all of our papers in hand and when the time came... I said nothing.  At all. I handed the officer our paperwork and shut my mouth.  She looked at the papers.  Saw our appointment dates.  Rustled the papers a bit. Sighed.  Then she looked across the room at the waiting area.  There were actually two waiting areas.  The first waiting area had three rows of chairs that were half-filled with people working on the forms she had just given them.  Once those forms were finished they would bring them back to her to be checked and she would send them to the second waiting area.  That area was five times the size of the first.  It was that waiting area where I followed her eyes.  It was just about empty. Empty.  Only a few people were sitting in there waiting for their number to be called.  She looked. I looked.  She sighed.  I held my breath.  She stamped us through.  I looked at Rob and he looked at me and we grinned a thousand grins in that moment.  No words.  Literally. No words.
We were in and out within an hour. 
I danced all the way to the car.
Harper my sweet girl... we are one HUGE step closer to bringing you home!!
Once in the car I had the pleasure of getting updates on the babes who were dropping over the 500 wall on the Angel Tree.
Tuesday's child is full of grace.
By the end of the day all 86 babes dropped over!!
It was a day of GRACE for all those Tuesday Children!! If you were one of the many many who helped a babe over then consider yourself hugged by me! 

But it isn't over....151 children are still not over the $1,000 wall.
151 Wednesday children.
Children who HAVE experienced much woe in their lives. 
Children who have lost everything. 
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
We cannot save every orphan in this orphan-filled world.  I get that.  But we can make a difference for these.  We can be their voice.  We can shed light in their darkness.  One solitary child at a time.
These Wednesday Children who have suffered so much.
We can make a difference.
Today is New Year's Eve.
If you didn't take part in Ten Thousand Tuesday... would you take part today?  Pick a Wednesday Child on the tree??
Whisper a prayer for them.  Ask the Father of the Fatherless to call out a family for him or for her.  Donate to their grant account?
Be their voice!
They don't have one!
I have no idea if we will get all the Wednesday Children over the $1,000 wall.  It would be fun and amazing and I would have my Elizabeth Dehority socks knocked right off my feet.
What I do know is that each child matters. 
They are Wednesday Children and they matter.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Ten Thousand Tuesday

I went to bed with my head filled with a thousand worrisome thoughts.  We are driving up to Alexandria today to get our fingerprints done for immigration.  Our appointment is actually next Monday but because I teach six classes on Mondays and Aaron has school and needs to GET there and all the drivers in the family have to get fingerprinted.... we are going early in hopes they will take us.  I'm nervous.  Driving 2+ hours to beg for favor from a fingerprinting officer isn't my cup of tea.  I would rather stick by the appointment date. 
I also went to bed worried about the Angel Tree.

Yesterday the day started with 128 babes under 500 and when I went to bed 126 babes were still under 500.  That was hard.  Really hard.  All day I watched and prayed and hoped.  I have to admit I was terribly discouraged. 
This morning I woke up and counted as soon as I came down...
Only 86 babes left under 500!!
Oh how sweet to see the movement in the tree.
And this morning.... I find out that I get to announce this sweet piece of news...
Ten Thousand Dollars...
That's how much has been offered in a matching grant to the Angel Tree!!!!
The goal...
Get those left-behind 86 babes over 500...
Every single time a babe bumps over the 500 mark... the donor will bump a babe from the bottom over the 500 mark...
That means that we only need to bump 43 babes and 43 more will bump over!!
Please... CLICK HERE.... pick a child who is under 500....  PLEASE... bump them up... You can bump them all the way over 500 or you can just bump them a little... If we all work together we can get them all over!
And don't forget that there is a HUGE Giveaway happening so once you give CLICK HERE to enter into that giveaway!!
I am going to be on the road today and won't be able to do more than watch from my phone.  I'm so hoping we get those babes bumped today!! Please join in!!
This is going to be fun!!
Join In!

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Whisper That Changed Everything

(part of this was originally written December 29, 2010)
Just a whisper.  A Holy Spirit breathed whisper.  A longing.  A stirring that began years before but began to grow louder and more insistent as time passed.  Adoption.  One day we said.  One day.  Later.  Too busy now.  Our days too full.  Not enough money.  Not enough time.  Later.  Much later.  When the boys are gone.  When we finish our current projects.  When our bank account is above 0.  Another day.  Not today.

All good arguments but the whisper stayed.  The stirrings continued.  The voice wasn't silenced.  The God-ordained encounters with those who had gone before kept happening.  Consider.  Just consider.  Pray.  But... can't... not.... all the arguments.  Mental gymnastics.  The money, God.  Where?  It can't work.  Our boys.  It's crazy.  We are broke.  Our business is tumbling down.  We are consumed with our side projects.  Our schedule is insane.  Dear Lord, it's just not the right time. 

Louder.  No longer a stirring but a wave.  A push.  An emptiness.  A realization that we lacked.  Something.  Someone.  Our lives were full of nothing.  Crazy chasing after useless dreams.  Circling - protecting our boys from what?  Our spiritual lives - Church - worship - tithing - going through the motions.  For what?  Our passion gone.  Realization of our empty cup.

Then a picture.  A smiling face.  A helpless child.  The Holy Spirit whisper becomes a scream. 


 This child.  In that country. GO.  Now.  Say yes.  Despite the bank account.  Despite the schedule.  Despite the arguments.  Despite it all.  GO. 

Five years later.  Our 'whisper' celebrating Christmas with us.  Our son.  Our child.  Our little brother.  Ours.  But more than Ours - God's.  His child.  His son.  His treasure that He called out of darkness.  To our family. 


And five years later. Another whisper.  Another child.  A little sister.  A treasure needing to be found.  Go get her.  From that same country.  Despite the turmoil. Despite the schedule.  Despite the bank account.  Despite the diagnoses.  Go.  GO!


December 29, 2009 - five years ago - Just a whisper in our hearts. 
Five years later a second whisper has us waiting to go again.  Waiting and wondering and praying for our whisper across the ocean.  Waiting and hoping.
Just a whisper.
Are you listening??

Do you hear??
 The whisper that will change everything for you?  Despite the bank account.  Despite the diagnosis.  Despite your schedule.
There are 140 million orphans in the world.
We can't save them all.
But we can make a difference for one.  Or two. 
There are 199 children on the Angel Tree this year who do not have committed families.
199 children.
That's 199 whispers.
Are you listening?
 Even if you can't right now..... Please.... go help a child over the $1,000 wall. Give one of those 199 children a greater chance of a family.  We can't let money be the reason why a child doesn't get a family! 
Go help someone's whisper.  Maybe, just maybe it will be yours.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

To Us...

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on His shoulders.
And He will be called
Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God,
Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of His government and peace there will be no end.
He will reign on David's throne and over His kingdom,
establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness
from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.
In the midst of our hustle and bustle and fun and laughter and pageants and travel and baking and presents....
Let us not forget that it was to US a Child Was Born!!
Isaiah 9: 6-7
Without Christ in our Christmas it would be an empty holiday for us!











Monday, December 22, 2014

Stuffed Stockings

Every year that cagey old Grinch shows up at our house and STEALS OUR STOCKINGS.
Every year we have to send out the troops to get them back.

Losing our stockings at Christmas is a HUGE issue because we can't start any of our Christmas traditions until they are found.
Traditions that include listening to the Christmas story and putting Jesus in the manger on the Advent Calendar. Traditions that include dumping the contents of our stuffed stockings out on the floor and chowing down on the candy inside.  Traditions that include each person finding Angel Tree dollars in those stuffed stockings and then 'spending' that money on sweet orphans who are lost and alone on Christmas morning.
Ben told me the other day that those Angel Tree dollars hurt his heart every year.  They hurt mine too.  In the midst of our Christmas celebrations we are confronted with the reality that hundreds, thousands, millions of children around the world don't even know what a Christmas stocking looks like. 

My heart is going to hurt even harder this Christmas.

My little girl is across the ocean. 

She's not here and that makes this Christmas a bit of a wreck for me.  The empty place at our table feels terribly empty right now.  The empty hook hanging on our chimney makes me sad.  Each time we pray around our kitchen table and cover her little head with a whispered prayer we are reminded that we are missing a piece.

She doesn't know about the problems we have with the Grinch or that I have been looking for a stocking for her to fit on that lonely hook.

She has no idea that we have a few presents for her set aside. Simple things that we will take with us when we meet her the first time. 

She doesn't know about us. That hurts my heart.

I haven't bought my Angel Tree dollars yet.  I plan on doing it soon.  Five years ago the Angel Tree led us to Aaron and our lives were radically changed forever. Even though Harper's isn't on the Angel Tree this year, we never would have found her without Reece's Rainbow.

205 children are on the Angel Tree this year.  200 children who still need families.

200 children who desperately need us to be their voice.

Is their space in your stockings for Angel Tree dollars?  Do you want your heart and your children's hearts to be "hurt" a bit in the middle of your Christmas festivities? Click to buy some Angel Tree dollars.  It's a great family tradition!

P.S. Make sure you redeem them BEFORE the end of the year!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Fatherless Friday

It's Fatherless Friday and I'm crying out for two fatherless little boys.  Do you see them?  Can you see the utter need?  Both these boys have been neglected beyond belief. One of them was literally locked away behind doors.  Hidden. 
Pic 2 Nov 2013 (2) Dang Sheng Long
If you want to read that story go HERE.
Thankfully, they have a family coming.  A really cool, fun, crazy family.
I met them this last summer.
I was standing at the pool when they came walking in... 
This is what they looked like when I met them...
 Goodness me they were a mess!!
Meet the Chocolate Maas Family

The two youngest Maas babes are little RR babes!
They live on the wild side!!

Do me a favor..
Scroll back up and look at those two tiny, emaciated boys ...
 Now imagine those two precious little boys surrounded by this crazy bunch!!

How utterly different their lives are going to be in just a few short weeks.
Yes.  I said weeks.
You see those two little boys are in such desperate shape, their process has been speeded up and put on the fast train.
The Maas family started the process in September and are traveling to get the boys in January.
5 months.
It's a rescue mission.
A rescue mission that is going to cost $45,000.00.
They could buy a new van with that.  A vacation in the Bahamas.  A pool. 
 Or they could invest into two precious little boys.
Pic 2 Nov 2013 (2) Dang Sheng Long
They choose the boys!
They have raised $15,000.00.
They need $30,000.00 more.
Won't you help?
Every tiny little bit helps!