We had a Hiking Party for Parker's 5th birthday. It was a lot of fun, a little chilly but tons of fun! We cooked out at Woolly Hollow and then hiked one of the trails afterwards. We all had a good time celebrating Parker. Oh I wish you knew how dear you are to us Parker!!! You are the joy of our family! You truly are a constant joy, full of life. I pray for you SO often. My prayer is that God will use your passion to honor and bring Him glory.
I've just updated our new can totals:) Since November 23rd we've raised $834 in can collecting!! That is almost 58,000 cans:) YAY!! Did you see that total? My goal for the year was $1000. It looks like we'll pass that in just over 3 months! It's a GOD thing! You wouldn't believe how involved my students have been in this!! They have amazed me! Daily I get to my room and find bags of cans waiting. We probably have over 400 folks collecting cans! My cousin Amy is rallying tons of support in TX. Mrs. Henthorne at West Side has gone crazy collecting cans! Our youth room has contributed mucho cans!! Blogger friends have been rallying behind us. A dear friend from Canada has been collecting for us. Complete strangers have been collecting cans to help bring Joleigh home. The youth of United Methodist Church in Greenbrier have taken this mission on full blast!!! It is their ministry and they are PUMPED about it! Thanks to ALL who have helped us collect cans. We are forever grateful!
Andrew has been in need of jeans for quite sometime. I've sent him to school over and over in the same hole filled pairs of jeans. I've tried to buy him some here or there but they don't fit right so I've had to take them back. I decided to go to the Children's Place b/c they were having a great denim sale AND I had a coupon;) While giving the $1.99 rack a good looking, I couldn't help but observe other moms around me. They were off browsing the Easter section. Some of the little girl clothes were SO cute but you could easily spend $30-$40 on a little dress that may fit a month or two. It didn't seem to bother these moms because their arms were FULL. As I waited in line to pay, I thought of the reality of who "we" are and I couldn't help but beg HIM to help me not fit in with the "we". Americans are SOOOO concerned about appearances and no I don't just mean hair, make up, etc... so much deeper than that. It's like we define ourselves by what we drive, how many sq ft our house has, diamonds, perfectly dressed children, granite counter tops and the list goes on and on and on!! Where is the SUBSTANCE I want to SCREAM??!! It reminds me of a passage from the book I'm reading A Hole in Our Gospel (you MUST get this book.. it's 1/2 off right now at the CBO and it is life changing). Here's the passage: ... he and some classmates did a little experiment. They went through all 66 books of the Bible and underlined every passage and verse that dealt with poverty, wealth, justice and oppression. Then one of his fellow students took a pair of scissors and physically cut every one of those verses out of the Bible. The result was a volume in tatters that barely held together. When Jim would speak on these issues, he would hold his ragged book in the air and proclaim "Brothers and sisters, this is our American Bible; it is full of holes. Each one of us might as well take our Bibles, a pair of scissors, and begin cutting out all the scriptures we pay no attention to, all the biblical texts that we just ignore." The gospel Jesus describes in Luke 4 is indeed something solid. If there is a hole in our gospel, in our understanding of the nature of God's call upon us, His followers, it is NOT because Scripture is unclear about these issues. Rather, it is because we have CHOSEN, as Jim Wallis suggests, to pay little attention to God's unmistakeable message to bring the WHOLE gospel to the WHOLE world.
It leaves me asking WHY are we spending/wasting money on such frivolous things when there are almost 150 million.. MILLION... orphans. Read that again! It's not just a number... PLEASE don't read that as a number. Put the faces of your babies there. God did not give you everything you have to live in comfort. He gave it to you to GIVE to those without. The kingdom of which Christ spoke was one in which the poor, the sick, the grieving, cripples, slaves, women, children, widows, orphans, lepers, and aliens - the least of these (Matt. 25:40) - were to be lifted UP and embraced by GOD. It was a world order in which justice was to become a reality, first in the hearts and minds of Jesus' followers (that is US... people that is US) and then to the wider society through OUR influence. In his book Stearn talks about how more and more our view of the gospel has been narrowed down to saving as many souls from hell as possible - for the NEXT life. We minimize any concern for those same people in THIS life. We aren't as concerned with whether they are poor, hungry, persecuted, or perhaps rich, greedy and arrogant. We just have to get them to pray the sinners prayer and then move on to the next potential convert. Focusing almost exclusively on the afterlife reduces the importance of what HE expects of us in THIS life.... we are to meet THEIR needs with what we've been GIVEN... NOT earned... it's a gift! Sweet Jesus, Savior of my soul... PLEASE prick my heart ALWAYS for the needs of others and burden me to give it all. It's not mine anyway! Constantly ignite the passion within me for the salvation of others BUT please never let me forget they are your children and have great needs that you want ME to meet while they are on this earth. Let my life show YOUR love for them!
Can I also just add that my husband GETS it?? He told me yesterday he ordered me some flowers at a local florist and felt guilty all day about the cost. Later in the day he called and canceled them and picked me up some flowers at Kroger for $12. I LOVE them:) especially b/c of the pure heart they came from!
For the past 12 days we've been counting down Valentine's Day with our fortune blessings:) Aren't they cute? A fellow blogger made them to sell to raise money for Haiti! The kids have LOVED opening them every night at dinner. Today was Andrew's Valentine party. He had a Mad Scientist Valentine Box:)
I am married to a wonderful man named Cameron. We love to laugh and do so often! We have 3 children who bring us more joy than we could've imagined. We're currently in the process of adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We cannot wait to bring her home!