Sunday, June 27, 2010

Family Mission Trip

Heading out for a family mission trip today.  Please pray for us.  We will be leading a camp in Kentucky for impoverished children.  Our boys will be leading worship for the week while Reid and I serve as counselors for the 3rd and 4th grade.  In the afternoons, Lauren Prince and I will be hosting a girls camp on "Imperishable Beauty." 

Our family has been feverishly preparing for weeks.  Please pray for hearts to be open to the HOPE of God.  Pray for our entire team to come back more passionate for this great God we serve.  Pray for our strength to endure.  The following families would appreciate your prayer covering: Prince, Sloan, Lively, Browning, Ancelet, O'Leary, and Beebe. Please pray the following:

For God to prepare hearts for His love beforehand:
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

May our service come from a pure heart as a reflection of Christ:
"Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men." Ephesians 6:5-7

May the power of the Holy Spirit fill us as we are witnesses:
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth (including Cumberland, KY)" Acts 1:8

May God receive all the glory for the work that is done next week at Club 180:
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Matthew 5:16

Know that Christ is interceding on our behalf:
"In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words." Romans 8:16

That the people of Cumberland, KY would come to a saving knowledge of God through Jesus Christ:
"This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." John 17:3

May we remain focused throughout the week, even if we are tired:
Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. Gal. 5:9

For all of the 17 children serving on this trip:
Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 1 Tim. 4:12
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T-Shirt Giveaway WINNERS

Congratulations to Deborah and Kristie!  Whoot-Whoot!  They have both won a FREE Perfect Aim shirt!  Thank you so much for posting! 

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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Tournament Ready

My heart did a flip-flop when I saw this first picture.  It is NOT my little boy.  He looks so...grown up.  There's nothing childish about in his face or his stature anymore.  What happened to my baby?
Franklin received his uniform for the Karns All Star team today.  The day he turns 12.  He plays in his first tournament next week.  Because of our commitment to the mission trip in KY, we've juggled some things so Franklin will play in two of the four games next week.  He is pumped!  His first game will be against his cousin, Zach, who is on the Maryville All Star team.  There will be a family crown cheering for both sides on Wednesday!  Sadly, I will miss the games but my heart will be with him.  I'll be cheering from Cumberland!  Reid's the official cheerleader for our family, so he better yell as loud as I would!
Go get 'em, slugger!
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Not So Little Anymore

Today is Franklin's 12th birthday.  He is officially 12 years old!  While on the computer, I've been reminded of this precious son who brings so much life into our home.  He is our go-getter, risk-taker, fear-challenger, and laughter-filled child...  A-hem...I mean, young man...
Look how he's grown from 2004...
to 2005...
to today - 2010!  What a young man!
For those who have not had the privilege of raising boys, let me tell you that a "sports cup" to a boy is like a "training bra" to a girl.  It's extremely important and something that, well, guys seem to take some pride in for some unknown reason?!?  This item is a necessity in baseball. So what better to give Franklin for his birthday than his first pair of slider shorts!
Complete with a new sport's cup with it's own pocket in the shorts!  Well, fancy that!  (I never thought I'd be buying this stuff...and I'M the one who bought them!  Oh my!  A mother's love runs deep...)   Franklin actually put the "sport's cup" on his nose to be funny.  He looked like a short-trunked elephant!  Embarrassed, he refused to do it again so I could take a picture.  I'm sure he knew it would be on my blog!  Boys, boys!
After our gift, Franklin opened his gifts from his brothers.  We stopped at the bank yesterday and the boys combined their money to surprise Franklin with his first Under Armour Shirt.  I know that's not a big deal to most people, but on our family's budget - this was a HUGE DEAL to Franklin.  He was thrilled!
For the brothers' last gift, they sent Franklin on a traditional Beebe scavenger hunt.  Around the house...
Figuring out twelve clues to find...
His new bat and junk ball!  Whoot!  Whoot!
No, son, you are not 21 yet...
You are 12!  An amazing, tremendous, joyful, life-giving young man!  I pray you will continue to grow in your faith.  Our prayer for each of you in your youth has always been Psalm 144:12
Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants...
May you continue to be strong! 
Happy Birthday, Franklin!  I love you so much!
While we try to teach our children all about life,

Our children teach us what life is all about.
~Angela Schwindt
Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. ~Neil Postman
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Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Reason for Silence

So sorry for the silence about what is happening on the adoption front.  However, it's purposeful.  We continue to desire your prayer for God's leading for both Reid and myself.

Hoping to mail the I-600A and grant applications by Saturday.  We still do not have our finalized home study in hand.  I doubt it's ever taken anyone this long to complete, but one thing after another has caused delay.  Ugh!  I've been reminded that adoption is not a race, and placing my trust in God is the only spot of safety.  His timing is perfect.

Adopting from Ghana requires great faith.  It's my understanding that this country has only allowed international adoption for less than two years.  Therefore the process is unpredictable and challenging.  As one friend said, "Adopting from Ghana is not for the faint of heart.  Your faith must be strong."

Currently, I am wrestling with God.  Wrestling.  My desire is to wrestle until I am able to step out of the ring with complete peace that we are on the path that God has chosen for us.  I believe He will be faithful to give it. 

I have so many questions that I would like to hear the answer to.  God has met me there and has spoken to my heart saying, "If you are trusting in the answers to the questions, then you are not trusting me.  Trust me, Child."  I've realized that so many of my questions will never be answered until they are experienced.  The responsibility of parenting, shepherding, and loving another child is such a high calling.  I only want to do it well - providing all the child will need - physically, emotionally, medically, financially...  But it will not be "me" who provides these things; it will have to be God.   "Trust me, Child.  Trust me."

At times, I feel we are in a great spiritual battle.  Please pray for our protection.
“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”- 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Please pray for Reid and I through the "wrestling." 
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?  - Psalm 13:2

  So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man.  Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."

  But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me." The man asked him, "What is your name?"
  "Jacob," he answered.
  Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."
  Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."
  But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.
  So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."
- Genesis 32:24-30

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PS - Please post about the PERFECT AIM t-shirts for the giveaway.  The drawing is tomorrow!  See the next post below.

Friday, June 18, 2010

PERFECT AIM T-SHIRT GIVEAWAY - Adoption & Band Fundraiser

So, what's your AIM?
Yes, we have another t-shirt fundraiser!  And we are giving some away to kick-off the sale!  The profits from these shirts will  help the boys buy some needed music equipment for their band, "Perfect Aim," and also support our adoption.  Who knows?  Our next child from Ghana could be the next member of "Perfect Aim."

This shirt was designed by Mason (with a little help from Mom), and challenges people to really evaluate what they are living for?  What's your AIM?  Is it to please Christ?  Are you headed for the target?  Where is your arrow of life headed?

The target will wrap around the side of the shirt.  It will be under the "M" on the front (opposite side from above).  These shirts are red with white and black embellishments on the front and back.

How can I win a FREE shirt?
Simply post about this giveaway on Facebook or on your blog, leave a comment or send me an email at, Your name will be entered and we will draw 2 WINNERS next Saturday - June 26th!  Yes, TWO WINNERS!  Please help us get the word out!  

People have generously helped us raised some of the money needed for the adoption, but still have a long way to go and the boys have quite a bit of equipment they still need for their band.  The boys lead worship monthly for the homeless in our town at Water Angels.  Additionally, they will be traveling in a few weeks to lead worship at a camp for impoverished children in Cumberland, KY.  Please help them challenge others to "make it their AIM to please Christ."

Here's what Mason, age 13, wrote about their band on his blog.
Here's a personal view of their music from me, their Mom.

How can I order one of these cool shirts?
These shirts are $20 each with FREE SHIPPING!  BUY FOUR, GET ONE FREE!  (These shirts are expensive to print because there are three print locations with two color on front and back.)  REMEMBER YOUR PURCHASE SUPPORTS TWO GREAT CAUSES!  Thank you!

Pre-shrunk, 100% cotton, amazing design, challenging questions!

CHILDREN - XS (2-4), S (6-8), M (10-12), L (12-14), XL (16-18)

What about payment?
Pay me directly or via Paypal with the DONATE BUTTON on this blog. Be sure you specify sizes ordered. (If you can pay me directly through snail mail, that will save us some fees - every bit helps, but do what is easiest!) Please e-mail me, send me a FB message, or comment on this blog for more information.

Every penny will help us. Literally! We still have a LONG way to go for the funds we need...a LONG way to go!  And, YES, your name will be added to the chain of people answering the puzzle of how God will bring this adoption to come to pass! Thank you!

"We make it our AIM to please Him..."  2 Cor. 5:9
"We AIM for perfection..."  2 Cor. 13:11

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P.S. The Africa Adoption t-shirts are still for sale as well! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Baseball ALL STARS, Here He Comes

Franklin's played an outstanding season this year.  One the field, he's rotated between first base, short-stop, and pitcher.  Several nice hits helped him round the bases to third several times.  His coach called him the "Field Coach," because Franklin would call out to the team where to make the plays.  "Take two!  Second, then first!"  he would hollar.  And, even when the team was down, Franklin never gave up.  He always gave his best on the field.

At the end of the season, the coaches and players voted to select the All Star team to play in the local tournaments representing our league.  Franklin was chosen!  We are so proud of him.  Way to go, son!

The practice schedule looks intensive, but Franklin is so excited!  We love to watch him play, and look forward to seeing him match his skills to other players in the area.  You've been rewarded for doing your BEST.  Yes, we really are proud of him.
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Wordless Wednesday

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Africa Adoption Reality Check

This blog post was written today by a lady who received her full adoption decree in Ghana.  Wonder what these children are enduring/facing/experiencing?  Take 2 minutes to read this post and be enlightened.  After reading Kathleen's post, read the post below for the rice and beans challenge. 

More people willing to say YES to adoption are greatly needed.  Will you?

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Rice and Beans Challenge for Ghana, Africa

So, one night we are having Life Group and Kristie O'Leary challenges us to think about replacing our typical meal with one consisting of only rice and beans.  The money we would have used normally could be donated to help feed the orphans.

Are you kidding?  Our Life Group is IN!  We accept the challenge!

Last Sunday night, we gathered for our first Rice and Beans meal.  Believe it or not, we fed 14 people for $6.00!  Only $.42 per serving!  All of the money we would have spent will be given to Sydney to feed the orphans in Ghana, Africa!  The O'Learys and the Von Hagens were absent and sorely missed, but we plan for all of our Life Group meals to consist of beans and rice - more than most people will eat on any given day in Africa. 
Even the kids LOVED it - Braden had five helpings!  I suppose his serving cost closer to $.60.  It was a HUGE hit, and such a simple way to give what we otherwise could not.  So, are YOU up for the challenge?
We even ended our meal with two birthday cakes.  Yes, RICE CAKES!  One for Janet, and one for Emmie!  Happy Birthday - Challenge Style!
Finally, it was time for a Kids vs. Adult game of street basketball.  Where's Blake when you need him?  Balls bounced from dusk 'til dark.  Ummm...who won that game anyway?
While everyone played, the girls watched.  Janet, Heather, and I cheered for our hubbies and kids.  Paige represented us well on the court.  Way to go, Paige!   And, yes, Heather is trying on a baby sling because...drum roll, please...she and Jeff are beginning the process of adopting from Ghana as well!  Little Emmie will now have a sibling!  Yeah!  Their adoption will mean three families out of the five families in this Life Group are bringing home orphans from the country of Ghana.  O'Learys, Bales, and Beebes.  Isn't that incredible?  Truth be told, there is now another family in our church beginning the process from Ghana as well!  Four families with adopted children from Ghana in our little, tiny church!  God is working!  Big time! 

The Von Hagens, who were not with us this evening, but are part of our Life Group, are hosting an orphan from the Ukraine this summer as well.  Many adoptive families, many circumstances, many countries, one Life Group!  Yes, we are living life together!
BTW, Heather is pointing to the fever blister that no one can see in the picture!  (Sorry to put it on the blog, but it's the only one I have of you in the baby carrier!  Oh my!)

In the photo below, can you tell our hearts are tied to Africa?  Everyone has the African continent on their shirt.  Our Africa adoption fundraiser t-shirts, Feeding the Orphans t-shirts, and the one Weston is wearing (in the middle) supports Pioneers Africa - Ghana.  Our Life Group - praying for the continent of Africa.  For the love of Christ to be made known - one child at a time!
Will YOU accept the Rice and Beans challenge?  Think about it.

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"   - Matthew 25:40

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