Wednesday, March 31, 2010
"We read your blog the other day. We're praying for your adoption journey. Grace went and got all the charity money she had saved up from her allowance and is wanting to give it to you. She found a jar and it said "Mason" on it...mason jar. She put the money in it and said that would be the Beebe's jar since it had Mason's name on it. She was trying to figure ways to raise money. I cried reading the blog. What a precious commission God has given you! We are praying as to what we too can give. Blessings, Yvonne"
Yvonne and Grace, what an encouragement you are to us! Thank you!
at 5:38 PM
He and his partner, Garrett, placed fourth in their main study event, Dynamic Planet, covering earthquakes and volcanoes. FOURTH IN STATE! Out of sixteen teams! Wow! We are so proud of him. He and Garrett have devoted themselves to studying and we are thankful that their efforts were rewarded!
Way to go Mason!
at 5:25 PM
Joyfully, a few shoppers perused his table and bought some of his drawings. Shhh...I think perhaps Mom may have handed a dollar or two to a few shoppers instructing them to stop at his table.
This is what most men do at a Yard Sale...visit in the front yard. I LOVE IT! We are so blessed to have so many friends sharing this journey with us!
If you know John, he pretends to be tough, but...Hannah convinced him!
Reid and I both felt the greatest blessing from this was the friends who stepped out to help us. Our lives are richer because of our time with all of you. Your smiles, words, laughter, and JOY brought so much encouragement. We are grateful to all of you! Thank you! It's an honor to share this journey with you, and comforting to know you are praying for us.
at 4:28 PM
and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need." Acts 2:44-45
at 4:05 PM
Friday, March 26, 2010
All of the kids took turns working. Although they ate nearly as much as they sold, today the grand total of their efforts was $103.00! Not bad! Mom's sausage biscuits and Maddie's Rice Krispie treats kept people coming back!
at 10:24 PM
See the HOT looks for Spring and meet the Shopping Experts that will help you find the LOOK YOU LIKE!
Just a few of the "looks" we can help you put together...
There is a look for you - come shop for it tomorrow!
at 10:08 PM
God has been gracious and blessed this endeavor with some sweet surprises. Kevin Henderson (Pictured below) worked one summer with me in 1988. We served on Staff for ASP (Appalachia Service Project). We worked together in Harlan, KY to improve the living conditions of the impoverished people in the area.
Kevin came to town to visit his sister and the two of them stayed for several hours to help set up on Saturday. It was an insurmountable task, but with their help, everything was semi-organized before opening this morning. Thank you Kevin and Kathleen! Thank you for giving of yourselves to help bring our child HOME!
Ummm...Kevin, I don't think those will fit!
Yes, every good and perfect gift comes from above. I'm constantly amazed by God's goodness in this journey.
at 9:23 PM
Thursday, March 25, 2010
"Where there's a will, there's a way..."
The rain today made it difficult, but many friends made it possible to at least semi-sort the treasures. The Yard Sale is ON for tomorrow. Please pray for us.
Pray for our strength and stamina! We are tired! T-I-R-E-D!
Thank you Mom, Janet, Melissa, Kristie, Kristy, Kristin, and kids who helped all day! Kevin and Kathleen Henderson surprised me by stopping by today! (Kevin and I worked together 20 years ago when I was on staff for Appalachia Service Project (ASP) in Harlan, KY. What a wonderful surprise!)
Thank you to everyone who helped by organizing, sorting, pricing, and covering with rain tarps a--l--l d---a---y l----o----n----g! You all were such a blessing! Thank you!
at 10:35 PM
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
3/25 - Thursday - Drop Off and Set-Up
3/26 - Friday - MEGA YARD SALE
3/27 - Saturday - MEGA YARD SALE and Clean-Up
We would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your help with anything! All proceeds will help the O'Leary family and our family with adoption costs. Thank you all for everything! Please pray for God to send sunshine and, as our 6 year old prayed, "for the Yard Sale to make lots of money."
By the way, if you are looking for some unique artwork for your home, there will be plenty available for sale. Braden has been working non-stop creating artwork to sell! Come see his gallery! The kids will also have a concession stand, so come enjoy the snacks!
See you this weekend! You'll see the signs off of Oak Ridge Highway, next to Grace Baptist Church. Stoneridge Drive.
at 6:57 PM
Monday, March 22, 2010
Will people be offended? Will they run the other way? Will they think we're money hungry mongrels? Will they stop praying for us? And, of course the dreaded thought, What will people think when they see it? To add it, or not to add it, that is the question!
But it's done. Added to the blog. A "Donate" button. Yes, you can help us with the adoption via Paypal. I pray it's not offensive.
Today, my friend Kristie came over. Her family is several steps ahead of us in this process. She shared some of the costs we will incur that are not listed on the application. (Immunizations for the kids - $1200-ish, I-600 for Immigration - $830, Passports - $120 each for the kids, Airfare - Ummm...no telling! Be still, my racing heart!) After writing down these additional costs, she helped me add this "donate" button to our blog. Oh my!
Someone recently said to me, "Robin, you can't expect people to help you with this. You need to be able to do it on your own."
The words stung a bit, and as I examined my heart, I realized...Honestly, there isn't any part of me that expects people to help, but there is a HUGE part of me that HOPES people will! The financial cost is overwhelming for us to grasp. Yes, we hope for help, but we do not expect it. God's people are His hands and feet, right? In the past, when we have had friends adopting, we have wanted to be a part of it. The Lord has been gracious to provide encouragement through friends that feel the same way.
We believe this is God's child, and some of God's people might want to be a part of bringing him/her home. No matter what, God has called us to it, and we will bring this child home. Several people have blessed us in creative ways already to help with this adoption. THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ALREADY HELPED US! If everyone gave a little bit, it would help tremendously. So, by adding the "button," we're making it easy if you decide you might like to help by donating to the adoption fund. Seriously, we will need it.
We are trying to "fund raise" through various means. We are working hard right now, but know God will provide what is needed in His timing. I'm teaching Day Camps, we are having a Mega Yard Sale, and trying to think of other ideas. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for reading this post. Thank you for your encouragement. Thank you for praying.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Braden immediately piped up, "And soon SISTERLY!"
It took a moment for his words to sink in. He was referring to our adoption and that soon the boys may have to love each other with SISTERLY love as well as BROTHERLY love! Too funny! I'm so thankful God is preparing their hearts to love another sibling!
at 10:39 PM
Friday, March 12, 2010
"The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Day to day pours out speech,
and night to night reveals knowledge." Psalm 19:1-2
My friend, Kim, forwarded this to me today from the Pastor at Calvary Chapel, Aurora. As I read it, I wondered, "What would the world look like if our hearts were truly consumed with HIM?"
"We need a heart warming.... The early Christians did not need a shot in the arm every Sunday to keep them going. They knew Jesus and they upset the world and worried the devil and gave wicked rulers insomnia and started something the jails couldn't lock up, fire couldn't burn, water couldn't drown, swords couldn't kill....
May our hearts be consumed with Jesus!
at 9:03 PM
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Our close friends the OLearys are nearly at the end of the American side of the journey and they crossed a HUGE milestone today! God's given us a great gift by allowing us to walk alongside such precious friends. We are using the same two agencies they chose as well.
Thank you all for praying! One of my friends who adopted from Guatemala chose this verse for her adoption - "If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day." Habakkuk 2:3
Because I'd hoped to get all of this in the mail a few weeks ago, this promise seems fitting for today. Today, March 10th was God's chosen day for us to officially begin.
Hold on, precious little one, we're working toward coming to YOU!
at 4:00 PM
Monday, March 8, 2010
In Reid's defense, he has NOT been dragging his feet. He's been working long hours and Saturdays. We will trust God's timing to be PERFECT!
We were at Water Angels yesterday, and Reid preached the entire sermon standing in a basket! (It was an illustration Amy shared about how we are to offer ALL of ourselves to God! There is no better offering we can give!) The service was very moving, many tears were shed -myself included! I'm so thankful that God does not see us as failures when we fail. Instead, He offers his abundant grace and mercy.
The boys played beautifully - for the glory of God. Weston had typed all of the slides and Braden was the technician in charge of changing the lyric slides for the songs. I noticed several times that God was not capitalized in the songs ("god") and numerous times, Braden had the wrong slide was on the screen. I stopped my critical spirit from focusing on all of my children's mistakes. Amazed that a nine year old would sit at a computer and create lyric slides for most of Friday afternoon, and our six year old, who is just beginning to read this year, would even attempt to take on the responsibility of working the computer. I sat in awe of their willingness to give of themselves. Perplexed that all four of the boys would spend hours practicing when most of their friends are playing outside - without a parent asking them to do so. Touched that Mason would spend time in prayer seeking God for the songs to sing that will move these precious people toward God. My heart attitude could learn much from their tender hearts!
When Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, for to such belongs the kingdom of God," Jesus obviously knew that the children would be leading the hearts of unwilling adults. (Yes, I'm talking to myself!)
Do I have a heart that offers ALL, willingly, sacrificially, with joy? Sadly, over this past weekend I've realized that my typical response is begrudging obedience. How offensive! I'm repulsed by my own heart condition that desires to serve, but, quite frankly, wants to serve when it is convenient. Forgive me, Lord. You know my sinful state. Help my heart to reflect you in ALL circumstances, at all times, in all degrees of stamina, in every relationship, in moments of physical pain, and in times of ease. You are my ALL in ALL.
Finally, we've been blessed recently by a few friends offering to help with the adoption costs. Their gifts have been an amazing blessing because these gifts have come from friends that I know are sacrificing in order to give. They are doing without in order to help bring our child home. These friends are also teaching me as I see their willingness to give sacrificially with JOY! I've been moved by their willingness to give in faith. Thank you!
Don't forget the Yard Sale is a few weeks away! Bring your stuff by on March 25th!
YEAH-RAH!! REID JUST CAME IN AND SAID HE'S DONE!! HOMESTUDY APPLICATION WILL BE MAILED TOMORROW!! THANK YOU FOR PRAYING!!
10:05 pm - (I must record this!) The boys just finished an amazing JAM session playing a song that Mason wrote today. The song has a strong drive conveying TRUTH! I think he titled it, "Hold On To Him." Wow! Not only am I amazed that these are my children, I'm was also convicted by the words Mason wrote in the song!
When I asked Mason what he was thinking of when he wrote the song, he said, 1.) Himself and his own failures. 2.) He's reading through the book of Job, so he was also thinking about Job. 3.) About the people at Water Angels!
I am sooooo thankful for Stephanie's ministry. God is doing so much in all of us through Water Angels. What a gift that our family is there worshipping and ministering together! I'm dumbfounded at the understanding my 13 year old son has about our sovereign God. Yes, Lord, Let your little children lead me... Let them lead me...
at 8:42 PM
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
We are planning our first adoption fundraiser on March 26th & 27th. We are hoping to have a MEGA Yard Sale to help raise funds for our family and for the O'Leary family to adopt from Ghana, Africa. If you would be willing to donate some items, help with the sale, come shop, or simply pray - we would be extremely grateful. Start saving your stuff now!
The Yard Sale will be held at our home on Friday and Saturday. (E-mail for directions) Your help in any way would be a blessing. If you would like to donate items, you can bring them on Thursday, March 25th, or e-mail me if you need to arrange another time. Additional hands for set-up, clean-up and working the sale would also be appreciated.
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him" Psalm 28:7
at 9:29 PM
Not enough money
Not enough time
Can't afford it
Already have 4 children
Not sure if it's God's will
Can't afford it
What will others say?
What will others think?
People will think we are crazy
What if they are right?
Can't afford it.
What if it's hard on our other kids?
It's not the right time
Not sure if I would be good at it.
House is too small.
Can't afford it.
Not sure if I want to start all over again.
What would we drive?
What if it's to much work?
What if it's too hard?
Can't afford it.
Yet for every excuse God has the answer-
It's all about Him- period.
He must increase,
but I must decrease.
We limit God with our excuses.
We limit God with our fears.
We limit God by putting Him inside a box-
A box we have designed on our own.
But by doing this we are actually robbing ourselves-
robbing ourselves of the blessings.
Robbing ourselves of true joy
Robbing ourselves of truly living.
Because you see when we take 'us' out of the picture
And we put God in the center of our lives
The possibilities are endless.
He has the way...
He IS the way...
And all you have to do is
stop making excuses and take that first step.
Stop listening to the world.
Stop being afraid of the what ifs-
And listen to the one who knows.
The one who has the answers.
The one who really matters.
The truth is
we don't have to be perfect
because He is.
We don't have to have all of the answers
because He already does.
We don't have to know how
because He will show us.
Each day you wait
is a day that they wait too...
The cost of your excuse is a lot higher than the cost of an adoption
because look at what it's costing them.
Stop making excuses.
They are waiting
And so is He...
To show you the way.
God's churning up our hearts for so much right now. We are moving forward with adoption completely trusting God. No, it doesn't make sense. No, we can't afford it. Yes, our house is small. Yes, it feels overwhelming. No, I have no other answer than "YES!" Yes, we will do whatever he desires of us, trusting him with the uncertainties.
God's placing other questions in front of us as well. Please pray for us as we seek His Will for our family. Pray for us to know the way.
Finally, if you are living life with the false belief that everything is as wonderful as we experience it here in America, please take 10 minutes to watch this short video. It's a dose of perspective. You need to watch it until the end, but know you will not be the same after viewing.
Sam and Esther
(I just found out there is a follow-up to this video also. I haven't seen it, but plan to.)
"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe him,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.
at 1:50 AM
Monday, March 1, 2010
I've seen families of twelve, ten, eight, and on... I've seen families with many nationalities under one roof. I've seen blended families and it's all been beautiful.
Reid and I were talking at dinner this evening about everything God is currently stirring in our hearts. (It's overwhelming!!) We were reflecting on adoption, missions, and so much more... Eternity is our focus. God is speaking - "Teach us to number our days" (Psalm 90:12) for the time is short. Reid declared, "Our life is really our official short term mission trip!" (For those of you who have always wanted to go on a short term mission trip, realize you are currently on one!) Yes, my friends, it's true.
My question for myself is, "Am I living my life as if I'm on a mission trip? Am I living on mission?"
This week, I've felt honored to be a vessel of God in situations I didn't anticipate or expect. These moments came because I was willing to yield my life over to his plan. God was on the move! I felt His hand all over everything for about three hours on Friday. Praying with two complete strangers highlighted the afternoon. I'd expected to be praying with a homeless girl who jumped off the Henley Bridge to end her life on Wednesday, and instead God had me praying with a father in the waiting room and his son in his hospital room. Me, Lord? Yes, you, Robin!
On Sunday, I went to Water Angels (the homeless ministry where we are involved). The girl I'd planned to pray with on Friday sauntered into the parking lot as I arrived. Being ten minutes late was part of God's plan! Handing her the card I'd written for her at the hospital, I was overwhelmed with a sense of love for this homeless, scarred, abandoned child of God.
After the service, again God allowed me the opportunity to be His minister of hope. This same desperate girl kept trying to hold onto my arms as I was praying for her. Her hands kept sliding off, and I visualized the battle going on for her mind. She is trying to hold onto Jesus, but her hands will not cling. Friends, please pray for J if you can. She greatly needs prayer. I believe God has plans for her life, but she does need people fighting for her before the throne. Being in the midst of the helpless, hurting, homeless, and poor in this city makes me mourn for the sinful state of this world.
One of the blogs I read tonight contained this quote in the header...ponder it...
"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, orphans, & all of the injustices in the world when He could do something about it ... BUT I'm afraid He might ask me the same question ..." -Anonymous
at 11:52 PM