Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Blessed Are the Children

People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.   Mark 10:13-16

This week my daughter and I are serving with World Help at the Hope of Life in Guatemala. The picture above is just a peek, a mere glimpse, into the fabulous day that we had today. The girl in the crib is just one of the many disabled children who live at "Kelly's House". She doesn't communicate with words but with her eyes, with coos and with sweet smiles. She, as well as many  all of the children, have stolen my heart. 

I have so much to share but I know that we have another busy today tomorrow so I should get some sleep! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

One Child

Last fall I decided that I would like to sponsor a child and God gave me the insight to involve the daycare children in this decision. Oh what a blessing that has been!

I already knew that I wanted a child from Guatemala as Guatemala was one county that had been weighing on my heart. Since the majority of my daycare children were three years old, I searched for a child to sponsor who was also three. After narrowing our choices down to 5 children, I printed their photos and "introduced" them to my kiddos. For a week we prayed for each one of the children and at the end of the week we voted for which child to sponsor (oh, how I wanted to sponsor all of them!).

As we talked about the children, I shared with the kids in a age appropriate manner the needs of these children. We discussed the way in which we are so fortunate to have parents who love us and care for us so well. We have food and access to clean water. We have abundance, yet these dear children who we prayed for, have very little. As we learned more about the needs in Guatemala, I saw in these young Little Sprouts of mine a compassion for others.

At the end of our week of prayer we chose a new "Little Sprout" and the children where so excited to tell their parents all about Karina and Guatemala. It made my heart sing to hear the kids talk with such love about Karina!

Sponsoring has opened up so many learning opportunities for the daycare children as we learn where Guatemala is, we learn basic Spanish words and we learn to love others. My prayer is that my daycare children will carry these memories forever, that they will live a life of compassion and that they will continue to care for the "least of these" for the rest of their lives.

On Sunday my daughter and I will be traveling to Guatemala with World Help and working at Hope of Life International. We may even get the opportunity to meet Karina! My heart skips a beat and my eyes well with tears as I pray for this chance to shower this sweet girl with love and gifts. The daycare children, although disappointed that this isn't a daycare field trip in which they can join, have been buying gifts for me to bring to Guatemala.

One mom shared with me that her daughter insisted on buying toys and candy for Karina because, although the fact that she may be impoverished in other ways, the most shocking idea to this sweet four year old was that Karina may not have any candy! Oh, the hardship. :)

Katie Davis, in her book "Kisses From Katie", writes, "I have learned that I will not change the world, Jesus will do that. I can however, change the world for one person.....And if one person sees the love of Christ in me, it is worth every minute. In fact, it is worth spending my life for." My prayer is that Christ's love would shine through me to each of my Little Sprouts. Even my Little Sprout who seems to live a world away.

Friends, I'd like to encourage you to prayerfully consider sponsoring a child. Make a difference in the life of just one child!

Friday, July 4, 2014

When Dreams Come True

Nearly two years ago, after a moving sermon on missions, the congregation was asked to write on a prayer card the name of a country, or a people group, or a cause which created heart stirrings. Guatemala was on my heart that day, as well as many days before and every day since. At that time I didn't know and couldn't even fathom that one day I would get the opportunity to serve the people in Guatemala.

When I first received the invitation last October to travel to Guatemala with World Help, I was overwhelmed with financial "burdens" as my son had just had the first of two needed knee surgeries. Planning meetings for the 8th grade class trip to Washington D.C. (although we homeschool we had the opportunity to join) had just began as well. Traveling with my son to D.C. had been a dream of mine since my daughter's trip nine years ago. I had no idea how I'd be able to swing one trip let alone two! 

I must admit that I shed a few tears (maybe more than a few) thinking that my two dream trips were out of reach. I had came to the conclusion that neither were a possibility until one morning during my devotions I was struck with the fact that I was not trusting in God. I had forgotten that I serve a God who can make the impossible possible. After much surrender and prayer He did just that. 

Last week I was in Washington, D.C. with my son making memories that will last a lifetime and in ELEVEN day I will be going to Guatemala! Up until yesterday when our t-shirts arrived from World Help it still felt like a mere dream. Reality is beginning to sink in. I am so excited and a little scared but most of all I am blown away by God's goodness. He has made this trip possible and this morning I am on my knees in humble gratitude.





Saturday, June 7, 2014

My hands

My hands are small I know but.......

these hands can be lifted up to heaven as I sing praise,

join together in applause for a job well done,

rub the back of a child with comforting whispers to still the crying, 

hold hands,

dig in the dirt to plant food which will nourish,

work to provide an income, a meal, a clean house for my family,

grasp tight onto the shoulders in a hug to comfort a friend,

wipe away tears

wrap tight to show love

wipe away dirt, signs of a good day of playing outside, from the face of a toddler 

clean boo boo's

gathered and folded together in prayer

create art

write words which will comfort, inspire or bring affirmation

These hands which were created to work, may have a little dirt under the nails and may not be perfectly manicured, are what I have to offer. My hands and my heart....God use them. These hands, though small, in God's hands can do mighty things. Use me, oh God! 


"We are God's hands......"


Joining Lisa-Jo and hundreds of fabulous writers today for Five Minute Friday, where we write for five minutes with no hesitation, no worries, no editing. We write just from the heart on one word. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Happy Days

After reading the post title did you start singing this song?


Although, after watching this video, I did have to look up Scott Baio to see if first he was still alive and if so, was he as adorable as he was in the early 80's; this post isn't about the TV sitcom "Happy Days". No, this post is about finding just one thing in your day that made you happy. One small happy moment for one hundred days and posted to whichever social media you choose. 

My daughter told me about #100happydays just over a month ago and we decided to take the plunge. A couple of years ago I taken Ann Voskamp's challenge to find 1000 gifts and my practice of counting blessings has dwindled a bit. Time to step it up! There are blessings all around us but we must open our eyes to see them. 
Since I don't have instagram - I don't have one of those fancy picture-taking-web connecting phones  -  so I decided to post my 100 happy days to my Facebook page.
Counting blessing, seeking that happy moment can have such a dramatic influence on one's attitude. Pretty soon you see "happy" everywhere! How 'bout you? Do you have a daily practice of noticing the good that is around you? Want to join the challenge? You can do so HERE!

Here's another happy song for you: :) 


May you look and see the happy moments in your day today!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Nothing

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters." Genesis 1:1-2

He took nothing and formed something. The earth, with it's deserts and mountains, with it's valleys and streams, with it's magnificent oceans and beautiful rain forests......all of it created. Created from nothing. Created by a mighty and powerful Creator.

If He could create such beauty, just think what He is capable of creating in me. I am nothing but He created me. He created me for something much better, much bigger than nothing. I grasp on to this, holding tight, on days when I am drowning in the seemingly mundane tasks of everyday life. 

I cling tight to the hope that He is using me even in the simple tasks of folding laundry and preparing meals, sweeping the floor and dusting the furniture. He strengthens me each day to clothe my family, to give nourishment to their bodies, to provide a home for the ones that I love the most.

I am not nothing. You are not nothing. For the God who created the heavens and the earths created me, created you! What marvelous things He has made!



O Lord, how manifold are Your works!

In wisdom You have made them all.
The earth is full of Your possessions—
25 
This great and wide sea,
In which are innumerable teeming things,
Living things both small and great.

Psalm 104:24-25

And even though it's Saturday, I'm joining a group of writers for Five Minute Friday. Today may you see the beauty that God has created around you as well as the beauty that He has created in you!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Mint Chocolate Smoothie

The other day I stumbled across a recipe at Gwen's Nest for a Thin Mint Chocolate Milkshake. This recipe sounded like just the thing to curb my craving for sweet and was "plan-approved". Except I was out of cottage cheese (I know. Weird. But cottage cheese makes shakes extra creamy delicious. I'm not lying.), I didn't have any peppermint extract or a dark chocolate bar. Time to experiment!

I used peppermint essential oil instead (word of warning: when using essential oil you only need a couple of drops!!) and subbed my Special Dark Cocoa for the chocolate bar. I had to double the recipe after I found out that I had made my shake a bit too "minty". This extra would come in later for my mint chocolate ice cream!

MINT CHOCOLATE SMOOTHIE

1 c. Almond Milk (unsweetened)
6 ice cubes
1 scoop Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
1 T. Special Dark Cocoa powder
Peppermint Essential Oil (to taste)
1/8 t. glucomannan
1/4 t. liquid stevia + 1T. truvia

Blend it all up in the blender. Viola! A sweet treat that's not too "naughty"! :) I topped mine with a little shaved skinny chocolate (a favorite treat among Trim Healthy Mama's!).

Like I previously stated, I made too much of the above recipe trying to fix it to my liking. The extra filled one ice cube tray. I left this in the freezer overnight. For my afternoon snack I put my frozen smoothie cubes into the blender, added a little vanilla unsweetened almond milk and splash of heavy whipping cream and blended until ice cream-like. It was more the consistency of a Wendy's Frosty. YUM-O!