Saturday, May 12, 2012

A Mother's Heart For The Forgotten

Tonight {like most nights} I sat next to my oldest daughters bed as we said our good-nights and like most nights she asked me to sing her a song and rub her back. One of her favorites for mommy to sing is the "Uganda Song", which is a song I learned from the children in the prisons we visited in Uganda. As I sang "Let the Mercy of the Lord come down"..."Let the Forgiveness of the Lord come down"...."Let the Peace of the Lord come down"...I couldn't help but to think of those beautiful children in Uganda who I first heard sing those sweet truths while we sat on the cold concrete floor of a prison. Tomorrow is Mother's Day and my heart is aching for these children. These beautiful kids that are without a mothers love.  Many are orphaned, or abandoned, some are lost and don't know where their parent's are and some were even placed in these prisons by their very own parents. I think about my girls and I couldn't even imagine them in these conditions and sometimes it's still hard to believe children are in these places, even after seeing it for myself.

Right now I am not even sure what to do with all these thoughts or how God is moving our family but I do know that this is not the way it should be. All across the world there are children without families. Children with no one to help them feel safe, with no one to tuck them in at night, sing songs, and rub their back. No one to lovingly send them back to bed for the third time, no one to comfort them after a bad dream, or get them a glass of water when they are thirsty. God knows these children, He knows their names and He alone can bring hope and restoration but what we forget is that we are His hands and feet, we have been given the tools, the resources, the hope and we aren't stepping up. We aren't filling that gap. He is once again showing mercy on me and reminding me that His heart aches for them and His heart is in me.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Christ's Call To Radical Obedience

God has been working in my heart the past couple weeks and revealing areas of my life that I have been holding on to and not wanting to let go. I am SO easily distracted by the things of this world and I so easily begin to make excuses and justify myself when I sin or when my life begins to look a lot like the world around me. One of the areas God has been convicting me is my wasted time and He has been graciously reminding me again that my days are numbered {Psalm 39:4 “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is.} and that I was saved for a purpose and that purpose was NOT to live for myself and be comfortable. Rather, it was to deny myself daily and follow the example of Christ's life {Peter 2:21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.}. 

I have listened to the following sermon by Pastor K.P. Yohannan (Founder of Gospel for Asia) multiple times and I believe it to be life changing and I can not recommend it enough. If you have about 45 minutes I would encourage you to watch it below. The quotes below are from the sermon just to give you a taste.

" The call of Christ for us is, as the Father had sent me, so send I you.

you are my hand,
you are my leg,
you are my eyes,
you are my ears
you are my tears.
You are mine!

Go into the world and touch the poor, the needy, the lepers, the dying, and the hurting, and the ones going to hell and grab them-rescue them! That is the call of Christ.
If your pastors teaching and this church is only making you a better Christian, a better family man, a better father, a better mother- I'm sorry for you because that is only the beginning. The call of Christ is to die, not to live- I can assure you that. " Pastor KP Yohannan

" I am so concerned when I see a church like this, and the appearance of affluence, and the nice things and all the stuff you have. I pray you would not forget a world out there that do not know Jesus and they are going to hell and forever.....
-Jesus, my Lord died for them and I can not sit and be at Peace. That's how I became a crazy, maniac, radical and I have one thing on my mind. To live for Him and I challenge you to come along and walk on this narrow road." - K.P

Also, on the Gospel for Asia website you can go HERE and download an audio version of his book, Revolution in World Missions. I have started listening to this and it is SO good. So often we believe the lie that missions and spreading the gospel is some sort of calling for a special kind of Christian when in fact it is a command to all believers.

Matthew 28:19-20
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Matthew 10:33
"But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven."

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cupcake Kids

{This is from a guest post I wrote HERE on the CK Kids blog}
Just over a year ago God used one seemingly random mouse click to completely turn our family’s world upside down (or maybe right side up!).
Shortly before stumbling upon the Sixty Feet website I had been praying that God would break my heart for what breaks His and He didn’t pull any punches. The words imprisoned and children do not belong in the same sentence and after reading The Story I was immediately broken. We no longer could say we didn’t know, close our eyes and pretend these kinds of things weren’t happening.
This past September my husband and I were blessed with the opportunity to travel to Uganda to serve along side Sixty Feet. We visited these prisons and we saw that the pain, suffering, and difficulties these children face are real but more than that we saw hope. God is there in these prisons and these beautiful children are not forgotten. The gospel is being preached, He is changing hearts, and redeeming lives. Many of these young men and women have such a strong faith and vibrant love for Jesus that it was amazing to see. With what appeared as having all the odds against them and facing unimaginable hardships everyday they had an incomprehensible joy that you could see spread across their face. Worshiping with these brothers and sisters inside a hot and dirty prison was truly one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had.
We are now blessed to call the Sixty Feet board and team on the ground friends. The love, transparency, and sacrifice we have seen displayed is incredibly encouraging. God is using this ministry and He is doing amazing work and one beautiful way is through the simplicity of cupcakes.
Last year, we had the opportunity to hold our own Cupcake Kids Sale in our area and get our friends, family, and even complete strangers involved. We were already holding a big garage sale to raise funds to start our families personal adoption from Uganda and thought this was a great opportunity for the kids set up a tent and tables in the grass. We spread the word ahead of time and many friends baked us cupcakes to sell. We had friends and family come and buy cupcakes but also were able to share with many strangers who stopped by to see what was going on. God blessed our efforts and our little sale raised almost $600.00!

What I love about this idea is that it’s such a tangible way to get our children serving. My daughter knows about Uganda, loves to look at pictures and we pray for the children half a world away but to have something she can help with makes it very real for her. We are planning and looking forward to our big sale this year, and what is so exciting is to know that kids across the country and even across the world, will be doing the same thing. Will you join us?

Thursday, May 3, 2012


A couple weeks ago we went camping and since I am so... on top of things, I am just getting around to writing about it now.

We love camping but haven't been since Zoë was born. I think our last trip made us a little hesitant to go again. We ended it early after spending half the night in the car trying to comfort Evelyn after she woke up and realized she did not like sleeping in the woods one bit....
I am happy to report this trip went much better and we had a lot of fun {despite a few hiccups}. 

The girls had a blast exploring, digging in the dirt, roasting eating marshmallows, and collecting as many rocks, pine cones, sticks and leaves that they could carry.
Just digging in the dirt
Evelyn did great and didn't want to leave. She loved being able to get dirty and just be outside. We went on multiple "hikes" {one of which she filled her entire bucket with "special" rocks and insisted mommy carry for her}. She did great sleeping at night and can't wait to go again. 
Checking out the view

Zoë had fun but I could tell towards the end she was missing home {she kept asking to go play in the van instead of being outside}. She had a hard time sleeping; it took her a while to fall asleep and she woke up multiple times. She loved playing, running around, and exploring. She really enjoyed eating gooey marshmallows by the campfire and blowing bubbles.  
Enjoying her "marshs" 
Funny face
Rock climber
We camped at the rim and the view was beautiful. We talked about God's creation and how it displays His awesomeness. We went down to the lake and Evelyn tried catching fish with her net but then settled on a little lady bug she found instead. She tried bringing it home but thankfully for the lady bug it escaped. Whenever we visit the lake we get an ice cream at the camp store before heading back {which is always a high point}. 
Best part of living in AZ
Trying to catch fish with her net
New Friend
Zoë was not a fan of the new friend 
Ice Cream Break
Having Fun

So all in all we had a great trip with little hiccups until the ride home, where we got 2 flat tires on the same wheel of our pop up trailer {yeah changed it once and then it blew again}...but thankfully we were about 30 minutes from home when we got the second one and were able to get it towed. We are excited to go many times this summer and we are planning a beach trip in a couple months.