Wednesday, September 17, 2014

“I was a terrible believer in things,but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things. I was as searching as I was skeptical. I didn't know where to put my faith,or if there was such a place,or even what the word faith meant, in all of it's complexity. Everything seemed to be possibly potent and possibly fake.” 
 Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

This song gets me through every day. This help you through your day too. ;)

I listen to this song a few times every single day. It's the song that's kept me going over the last 3+ years.

Here is my very favorite part:
"Step Out
Even when a storm hits
Step Out
Even when you're broken
Step Out
Even when your heart is telling you, telling you to give up
Step Out
When your hope is stolen
Step Out
You can't see where you're going
You don't have to be afraid"

The truth is, I have been very afraid and have to try to overcome that every day. Every one of those things listed up there is what I feel every single day. It's hard. I want to hibernate. I want to run and hide. I want to say "JUST KIDDING!" when it feels too scary.
In those moments, I need to remember that fear will not change those circumstances. I just need to keep taking those steps forward. Deep breath, one step forward, repeat, every day.




Tuesday, September 9, 2014

...


I’m so tired of seeing people cut down and gossiped about. What happened to loyalty, community, and lifting each other up? It’s crazy to me that after thousands of years, this is still a favorite pastime. 

     I’m going to guess that we’ve all done it. There’s been a moment or hundreds of moments where we’ve spoken about other people in a negative way, we shared information that they would have rather we didn’t, and we felt connected to people in those moments. Those are such dirty moments. I wish I could have never have been a part of any of that. 

     I have days where I don’t even want to put myself out there emotionally or other wise because I have seen how quickly people can turn when in the “right” company. 

     I’m ready for a change. I’m ready for a community who truly uplifts one another. Who chooses to believe the best in another before jumping to conclusions. I want to be part of something that’s so honest that I don’t even have to wonder if these people will do something hurtful. I want to be the one who decides that the whispers and talking behind closed doors stops here. I want to be kind, loving, loyal, and part of something genuine. 

    Think of how amazing that would be for all of us. Think of how amazing that would be for our children. 

     You may read this and think “oh no, that’s not me at all. I’m Miss/Mr Amazing and I have always been awesome. :)” I call B.S. I think we all need to be real about where we are and have been with this. I see people being cut down daily and it’s wearing me out. 

     We’ve all done something that we are not proud of or that hurts to think about still, and we have all done things that are wonderful. We are all human. We all don’t totally suck. We all aren’t Jesus either (It would be awesome if we were). 

     I see so many people trying really hard to be great/ do great things/ love on peeps, but we have to try harder. We may be doing great in a few areas that we are so proud of but there are still those weird judgey feelings about people that we should be prepared to face ourselves with and figure out if this is really who we want to be. No, I’m not asking you to call out everyone you know and point fingers. I’m talking about ourselves. Point the fingers about ourselves. Look at ourselves. Make personal changes. Have you been saying/writing/etc things about people who would be hurt if they knew? Are you judging people and their choices? I know I have been guilty of this. I’m so over it. I have no room to judge. Neither do you. 

     I’m ready for authentic living and authentic relationships. 

I look to a time when brotherhood needs no publicity; to a time when a brotherhood award would be as ridiculous as an award for getting up each morning.  ~Daniel D. Mich

In union there is strength.  ~Aesop 

You cannot contribute anything to the ideal condition of mind and heart known as Brotherhood, however much you preach, posture, or agree, unless you live it.  ~Faith Baldwin

If we could all hear one another's prayers, God might be relieved of some of his burdens. ~Ashleigh Brilliant

I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being, let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again. ~William Penn

The only care
      That I shall share
      Shall be the care of others,
      And on the road
      I'll halve the load
      Of overburdened brothers.
I rather guess
      It's selfishness
      That drives me to such actions,
      For in this plan
      I find I can
      Forget my own distractions.
~John Kendrick Bangs 

God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through. ~Author Unknown

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. ~John Wooden

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives. ~Tracy Chapman


When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world. ~Author Unknown

Monday, September 1, 2014

NEW Sevenly Campaign ~ Love Without Boundaries


"Many Chinese orphanage directors report that 90-98% of the children entering their care have some sort of special need."




The Problem

With an increased rate of birth defects in China has come a rise in the abandonment of children with medical needs. Many orphanage directors report that 90-98% of the children entering their care have some sort of special need. The majority of these children are abandoned for one of two main reasons: the stigma surrounding children with birth defects and the high cost of medical treatment. For many of those children, attending public schools is often impossible.

The Solution

After learning that some children were unable to attend public schools due to special needs, Love Without Boundaries decided to bring schools to the kids. Your purchase this week supports schools that are located inside orphanages. Help provide an education for children who may not otherwise have a chance of attending school.

About The Charity

It is Love Without Boundaries’ vision to provide the most loving and compassionate help possible to orphaned and impoverished children in China, and to show the world that every child, regardless of his or her needs, deserves to experience love and be treated with dignity and care. The Education Program sponsors the education of over 350 orphaned and rural children in China, from preschool through college. We are committed to helping as many children as possible to achieve the dream of an education. Our education program aims to equip children for the brightest future possible!










Saturday, August 23, 2014

Well, that was fitting...

After my first blog post in a long time, I went straight to church. 
The message addressed exactly what I was struggling with. 


August 23

It's been a long time since I've written anything. We've gone through so much and although I typically write the good, bad and ugly, I've been at a place where I just do not have the strength to hear the feedback.

I've been struggling a lot. When I write I feel so much better. Like I got it all "out." My husband is deployed and we don't live near any family at all so there's not many opportunities to confide in loved ones. I know it's annoying to listen to me feel frustrated and I am in a place where the pile up is so huge that I have a hard time even thinking clearly or being "fun." I've bottled it all up and I feel like I'm going to explode if I don't write something.

So here I am.

We are in the process of trying to adopt two beautiful children from China. We are completely emotionally invested. We've been working night and day for about 5 months now and we have many months still to go.

There's a possibility that China could tell us no. This is really hard. Each day that goes on, we (my children included) become just that much more attached. I'm scared that they will have their hearts broken. Again.

We are also worried about coming up with adoption fees.

I am worried about a million other really big things in our lives right now.

I'm scared.

I keep wanting to stop it all. To run away and say "JUST KIDDING! I didn't really mean it when I said I wanted to take a giant leap of faith." For the last two months I kept going only because the energy it would require to say "never mind" would be more than continuing the way things are.

When I really break it all down, my worries come down to not wanting to feel sad, heartbroken and more grief. I don't want my kids to feel that again. I don't want to face the world and say "I failed everyone." I don't want to waste time in getting these two precious children into families.

They deserve better.

Today we had a friend donate to our adoption. Completely out of the blue. Someone who is kind and sweet, but I never would have imagined in a million years that she would feel that she should donate to our adoptions. I am in shock. Humbled. Thankful. I still cannot find the words to express what that means to me.

The rest of life is weighing heavily on my shoulders. At the same time, I'm so thankful for the gift we received from her today. I want to make sure our adoption goes smoothly so I don't let her down (she never made a single comment about this). I'm just piling that on...

Then, I realized that I cannot control it all. I can't control if China will like us or not. I cannot control much at all. What I can do is prayerfully walk in the path I feel I should be in this moment. I can be faithful to listening to the Holy Spirit. That is actually the only thing I CAN do.

Today, as I look back at the last few years and all of the heartache and grief, I am seeing it from a different point of view. I used to beat myself up day after day (there will be many days that I still do that I'm sure), but today, when I think of our journey, I know that in each step, I have prayed, I have tried to do what I felt God wanted me to do even if it didn't make sense to me. I have walked down a hard path, but in each of those moments I was trying to do my best. Trying to take a step out in faith for God.

I wish that God's Will and my happiness were one and the same. They are not. He has a bigger picture. He sees where this will all lead. I am only here to walk the walk. I mean it when I say "My His will be done." Honestly, that is a scary thing. I am making myself vulnerable for the hard, ugly, heartbreaking stuff. I'm also opening myself up to the amazing, incredible, redeeming stuff too. I don't know which way this is going to go. All I know is that, today, I am trying and overriding the fearful and terrified part of me to face my fears to see what can be there.

No matter what happens in the future, today, I can say that I am right where I am supposed to be.

Heading to church right now for the first time in weeks. I need it today.

“Your current circumstances are part of your redemption story He is writing.” 
~ Evinda Lepins

Monday, August 18, 2014

Watoto, Sevenly and Uganda

This week's Sevenly Campaign is so great!  :) For each item sold, Sevenly will donate $7 to the cause. Just to make things a little more super awesome, they also will send me 12% of each order sold! :) So super wonderful. :) This is a little way to help with our adoption fees. <3 

Here's this week's cause info. :) 

The Problem

In sub-Saharan Africa, the HIV/AIDS pandemic has orphaned more than 14 million children. According to World Hunger Facts 2009, 11 million children die each year before their 5th birthday. More than 20,000 children have been abducted - forced to serve as child soldiers in Uganda.

The Solution

Watoto is positioned to rescue an individual, raise each one as a leader in their chosen sphere of life so that they in turn will rebuild their nation. Watoto is not an orphanage in the traditional sense. Real homes are built to cater for children who have lost their family or are vulnerable for many reasons. Each Watoto family consists of a mother who takes care of up to 8 children.

About The Charity

Watoto is an holistic care programme that was initiated as a response to the overwhelming number of orphaned children and vulnerable women in Uganda, whose lives have been ravaged by war and disease.








Monday, July 7, 2014

Sevenly - Mocha Club

This week at Sevenly...  AMAZING!  LOVE IT!!! As Sevenly affiliates, we receive 12% of all orders placed through this link. The charity still gets their full amount. ;)   :) :) :)

The Problem

When you think of Africa, the word "orphan" often comes to mind. It seems like a daunting challenge to tackle. But one woman - Irene Tongoi, stay-at-home-mom and educator - found a way to change the future of the orphans in her local community. She is the founder of the New Dawn Educational Centre, which serves children in the Huruma and Githogoro slums of Nairobi. One quarter of New Dawn's students are orphans. another 60 percent only have one parent. They have little to no funds to contribute to their schooling. But thanks to Irene and these students' hard work, they can go to a high school that offers a caliber of education rarely accessed by children in slums, much less orphans. They are achieving high test scores, winning national essay contests and going on to college.

The Solution

This week, we are partnering with The Mocha Club to provide orphaned children and their peers with an education and daily meals. Providing education for a child can determine a completely new path for his or her life – and with your help, we can reverse the trends of injustice and poverty that lead to a lack of education in Africa. Mocha Club has worked alongside New Dawn's leadership for nearly 7 years, rallying to ensure that the school continues to offer high-quality education.

About The Charity

Mocha Club is a community of members who are passionate about making small sacrifices to create a big impact. By giving a small amount every month - the cost of a few mochas - these individuals come together to support the leaders in African communities whose ideas, strength and faith are truly transforming their communities. In the end, we strive for independent, sustainable efforts that originated right in the communities they serve.



Monday, June 23, 2014

Surfing and Autism! AWESOME!!!

Check out this week's campaign!!!

The Problem

People seem to have a lot of pre-conceived ideas about what kids with autism can or can't do. We're here to change those notions forever.

The Solution

Through the transformative experience of surfing, Surfers Healing attains greater mainstream acceptance for both the families of and the kids living with autism. Surfers Healing has spent the last fifteen years taking children with autism surfing. Our goal is to help foster the understanding and acceptance of autism.

About The Charity

With the help of incredible volunteers and a team of the most amazing surfers in the water, Surfers Healing is making a difference in the lives of families and kids living with autism. Last year we took out over 4,500 kids. Next year we plan to take out even more. Our Mission, with your help, is to keep our camps completely FREE.









I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community
 and as long as I live, 
it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. 
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, 
for the harder I work the more I live. 
~George Bernard Shaw