Friday, September 30, 2016

Chasing Time

I've been chasing time but can't seem to catch it. It just slips through my fingers like sand in an hourglass.  August is our crazy month.  A whole host of homeschooling families, co-ops and schools wait until the last minute to get their books for the year.  Between non-stop phone calls, an e-mail box that fills as fast as we can empty it and orders that need to be filled, we hardly have time to breathe.

Rob is under the gun writing the second book in our newest series. It is supposed to be finished in January.  He writes 10 plus hours a day with me trying to scratch out time to edit behind him.

But that is just a small part of busy. 

School started for the little boys in August and with that teaching duties. This year I am there teaching history three afternoons a week.  Add being a mom, cooking, laundry and cleaning a house which has become the last thing on the to do list. 

September brought with it more teaching duties.  At the homeschooling co-op I teach six classes every Monday.... my hourglass shattered a few weeks ago.

It's too many hats and I haven't been wearing any of them well.

Last week I had a convention in South Carolina.

It was a different convention.  The kind where you aren't working every single minute. The kind where your hotel room is right on the beach and you can sit in the early morning and watch the sun wake up over the ocean. The kind where you get an entire afternoon to go down to the water and swim.  The kind where you can sit on the beach and read.  The kind where you can take a break from the one little boy who has drained every ounce of energy from your body. The kind where you can sit and relax and pray and allow the Lord to whisper peace into your tired soul. The kind where you have with you a dear friend who not only is helping you work the convention but giving you space to rest. The kind where you come to the end of the few days away ready to go back home again. 

Back into the arms of my husband who loves me best of all. Back to my family who I love with all my being.

We are in an intense season in our lives.

Some days we love it. We love writing, teaching and parenting our former lost boys. Other days we wish we could back up time to when Rob was building houses and I was homeschooling, babysitting and selling junk on e-bay to make money. It was much simpler then.

But not really.

I don't really want to go back.

I do love writing. I love our business. I love our little boys. I love all that they have brought into our lives. Even the hard.  Even the exhausting.

I just sometimes need to take a break.

And sometimes I need to be reminded that my hard is nothing compared to the hard of others.

This week the Blooms had it confirmed to them that their Daisy who is across the ocean waiting for them will not be moved to where Lee and Violet live. This is what they have been counting on for the entire adoption.  With all three kiddos in the same institute, they don't have to pay for the extra orphanage fees.  Unfortunately, Daisy is too far away from Lee and Violet for her process to be lumped together with them.  Thus, she has to have a separate adoption process. 

Amos is already in a different region.  They were already going to pay extra for him.

What do they do?

Leave Daisy behind?

Leave Amos?

Leave Lee and/or Violet?


Or fight like mad to raise the extra funds to get all four?

They were 8,000 short before finding out this news.

Now they are 17,000.00 short.

That's hard.  That's exhausting.

My hard and exhausting doesn't even compare to that hard and exhausting.

I wish I had a big fat check I could write to them to take that hard and exhausting off the table.

All I can do is yell. And pray. And pray some more.

If there is a donor or two or ten or twenty out there who is realizing that their giving this year is way off from what they have been making... this family....

They are worth the investment.

Four children.

Every single one of them desperately needing to get out.

I know that many many of you dug deep in July to help me raise close to $12,000 dollars for the Blooms. 

I'm asking again.

Just read a few of these blogposts to understand why I care so much.  Go HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE or HERE.

The Bloom's Reece's Rainbow account is HERE where you can donate.

Their blog is HERE.

One of the things you will notice on their blog is that the vast majority of the blog is NOT DEDICATED to fundraising. Seriously? When you are short on funds... shouldn't you be writing post after post begging for money?

Go read their blog. Yes a few of the posts lay out their need.  But the vast majority of the posts are dedicated to advocating for the Least of These.  Just read through the blogposts and you will get a tiny glimpse into where the Blooms put their focus.  They care from the deepest part of their being for the children languishing in cribs and institutes across Eastern Europe and Asia.  It's why I am here in Virginia yelling alongside of them.  I love their hearts.

I love their passion.

Not many are out there yelling for crib-bound mental-institute-bound babes. 

Not many are willing to go rescue FOUR who are all destined to spend the rest of their existence locked away in mental institutes.

They are.

I know I am not the only tired and weary mama, business owner, teacher, cook, writer and/or housekeeper out there. I know that there are many of us who are trying to catch time and losing the race.

Can we stop racing for a few minutes and pray for the Blooms? Can we stop racing and see if there is anything we can do to help ease their financial strain? Can we stop racing and join voices with them in shouting for the Least of These?


Pray wherever you are.

Thank you!

And now back to chasing time....

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Battered Suitcase Battered Lives

They are alone.
Out in the world with their battered suitcases.
Yesterday they were given their walking papers.  The gates that had contained them for so many years were flung open and they were escorted out.
These were not criminals.  They were not freed from behind bars.
They are orphans.
Just 15 or 16 or 17 years old.
Immature. Untrained.  Most of them completely lacking in knowing how to make good choices. Experts in manipulation, lying, cheating and stealing. Experts in surviving on the inside. 
They have few options.
Some will wander back to the families that abandoned them to the system.  Some will enter trade schools that are woefully ill-equipped to do more than just teach them a job that they are too often ill-prepared to master. Many will be swallowed up into the dark world of trafficking and slavery. Others will turn to drugs for solace. Many will steal to survive. Most of those will find themselves back behind gates that are locked forever. Some will seek escape through suicide.
Only a few survive. Only a few.
That is the realty.
Of the hundreds of orphans who were let out on the streets yesterday with their battered suitcases, the vast majority will shipwreck.  They will be battered by the waves of life and crash and burn on the shore.
There are some who work around the clock to rescue these battered kids.
There are ministries who do whatever they can to support them, train them, equip them to survive in the outside world.
These are a few ministries. There are more.
But the flood of battered suitcases coming out of those orphanages is overwhelming.
There are so many.
And not enough.
It's not enough, church.
It's not enough.
Please find a way to get involved.
Educate yourself. Educate your church.
Give to a ministry that is actively involved in orphan care. 
Get involved. Go. Minister.
Find a place at your table.
Yesterday in the van, while we were waiting for their favorite Papa in the whole world to come out of the mechanics shop, my two little boys and I talked about those battered suitcases. We remembered the orphans. We discussed the world they left behind.
Yesterday I rejoiced that two little boys in my world are safe and secure in our family.
Today I grieve the hundreds. I grieve the thousands.
I grieve the battered suitcases. I grieve the battered lives.
Defend the weak and the fatherless;
    uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.
Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.
Psalm 82:3-4