Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Charlie has a home!! :)

Sweet little Charlie from the side of my page has a new home! His forever family has found him and are beginning the process of bringing him home! I am so happy. Please join me in praying for his family and the long process that they have to go through to get him. It will be tiring, expensive, stressful, and everything else. BUT it will be so worth it! If you would like to donate to his fund just click here! 

Over the past few days I have been "blog-surfing". I find blogs from Reece's Rainbow of people in each stage of their adoption process. It is so interesting and sweet to me. I love to see these families doing all that they possibly can to get their babies home! I love it when I see the face of a child, whose picture I have looked at, be moved to the new commitments page!! Although, a twinge of me in kinda jealous! I am so ready to begin the process of adoption. I am not being very patient. I am ready to be married to the right man who will go down this road along side me and will be as excited as me! Is it weird that as a 23 year old girl I can NOT wait to do this?! Sometimes I feel like it is.... But I am thankful that God is calling me to do this. I am just glad that He is calling ME. Because I KNOW that He could find someone better. I feel so inadequate sometimes. 

Until that time I decided to become a Prayer Warrior for a child from Reece's Rainbow. All you have to do is click here and read this page. It is FREE and easy to do. It is the least we can do, right? :) I will leave you with some verses that I have found about taking ACTION to help the orphans and "fatherless".

  • Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans... James 1:27
  • A Father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, IS God in His Holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families. Psalms 68: 5&6
  • It is not the will of Your Father that one of these little ones should perish. Matthew 18:14
  • Remember those...who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. Hebrews 13:3
  • This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us...let us not love with word or tongue, but with action and in truth. 1 John 3:16-18
  • "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know Me, Declares te Lord." Jeremiah 22:16
  • I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Being in His will not His way...

I thought I had my whole summer figured out... But God has other plans.

I thought ok, since this is what I've done the past 3 summers, then that is what I'll do this summer, too. I will work Souled Out, go to Nicaragua, and then for a little extra this year I may go to El Salvador (if it works out). Well, while at Doug and Amy's this weekend I got the email from the operator of Starfish Orphan Ministry. It is much like Reece's Rainbow, in whom I have fallen in LOVE with. It is a more local ministry. They draw awareness of the orphans in our area and around the world. Ok, back to the email... She was describing their typical trip to El Salvador. Since you know from my previous posts that God has been laying orphans on my heart, as  well as down syndrome kids. And this trip she was describing sounded JUST like what I want to do. And better yet, what God wants me to do.

Again, I was thinking "ok, I will do S.O., Nicaragua, and then go to El Salvador in July". But I kept getting this feeling that maybe I was not supposed to go to Nica. And if you know me, you know I LOVE that country, the friends I have made there, and the kids there. So, this was hard for me to think about. I said to myself "but what harm can it do?" and I still don't think it will do harm... BUT when I was talking to mom about El Salvador she asked if I meant instead of Nica... I replied no, since I was still trying to forget that feeling. She said she thought it was an either or situation.... I started to get defensive. Since that is what you do with your mom! :) I thought and prayed for a little while and then talked to Doug. He will tell you the truth and not care if it is what you want to hear or not.... He, too, said he thought I should do El Salvador instead of Nica... BOO! I wanna do BOTH! But, one thing mom said was that if  I went when God said NO then I would be in His WAY not His WILL! Ok, ok. Doug made it clear to me that Nica wouldn't be bad for me but with the desires God has been placing on my heart for orphans and down syndrome kids then Nica would not fill those desires... I understand. Kicking and screaming, I understand. I know God has placed orphans and down syndrome kids on my heart for a reason and I cannot ignore that. El Salvador will give me what I am looking for. It will show me if that is really what God is calling me to. Nicaragua, I have experienced. El Salvador, I have not. Nica is comfortable, convenient, and predictable to me. Not that that is a bad thing! It isn't. But El Salvador is new, unpredictable, and will give me new experiences and will broaden my spectrum some! So, God willing, this summer I am going to El Salvador!!!!!!!!!! :) But not Nicaragua! :( But I know that there will be friends to be made and kids to fall in love with in El Salvador!!

Did I mention that she attatched a few pictures of some orphans that they see every year who have down syndrome?! Hispanics and Down syndrome my 2 favorite things... in one! :) I can't wait.

And furhter affirmation that I am not supposed to go to Nica is that it and Souled Out were overlapping... I had been stressing myself on how to do both and now I know I can focus on S.O. and the girls I will work with and not worry about getting to Nica!

So my goal in life is to stay in God's WILL not His WAY!! :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What do you do?

Just a question...
              What do you do when you have a job that you LOVE, but it just doesn't pay what you need?? I absolutely LOVE my job... not to mention the opprotunities it gives me to travel and do the things I love. It just doesn't pay me what I need. I find myself very strapped for money every month! I know I haven't always spent it wisely but after my bills it just doesn't leave much. Thank God that I can still live at home and not have rent or anything to worry with.... My hold up is, do I need to get a 2nd job? If I do won't that defeat the purpose of having a job that allows me to travel in the summers? I really feel that I am still where God wants me to be. I feel that C still needs me, as well as his family. I just don't know what to do... I wanna send money to Reece's Rainbow, and be a supporter of Doug's ministry, and pay for my Compassion kid without worry, and tithe without worry, and help people on missions, and have a little money in my pocket!! What do I need to do???? I trust God to supply and He does... but there is SO much more that I want to do but have no funds! I wish that I could find some kids to babysit on the weekends or afternoons... Or some elderly person who needs some assistance at night...Or something that I can do that doesn't wear me out or take away from C and my job here at school....  So, with that being said, any suggestions??? :) Thanks! :)  

Monday, January 11, 2010

Happy Birthday, Hilary :)

We had such a good weekend. Saturday was Hilary's birthday. She had asked to go to Paducah to eat. Since I have decided to fast from eating out through the month of January, I had to make an exception to go. I figured I could eat out for my sis's birthday. :) So, off we went. Mom, Callye, Hilary, Gracie, Myself, Eric, Jaime, Jessie, and Manny. :) It was an interesting day, not to mention the COLDEST day of the year! We went to Cracker Barrel. There was some snow on the ground, so prior to going in we had  a mini snow fight! The kids were so excited and loved hitting us with snow balls! We had a good lunch, in which, my Aunt Teresa, Uncle Dale, and Aunt Pam joined us for. They just happened to be in Paducah and wanting to eat Cracker Barrel so they joined us. :) Gracie could not eat her lunch for wanting the CAKE!!! I am sure she asked for it about 9873 times! Ha! Gotta love that kid! :) She's super strong-willed. Not to mention, if she says PLEASE, then you HAVE to give it to her. :) The kids enjoyed playing in the store... Most of them had not ever been to Cracker Barrel before. They thought it was cool to play checkers and with the toys in the store. We went back outside and had another snow fight! The kids had never seen the dam wall in downtown Paducah. So, we went to show them. They thought it was really cool. We didn't stay long since it was SO COLD!!!!

The girls from our youth group were having a bunking party at Brandi's house. Micah was out of town so she used that as  a perfect opprotunity to have a girl's night! :)  We wanted Jessie to join us since she had not gotten to know many of the girls yet. She had a good time. They had kinda turned it into a small party for Hilary. They had her a cake and everything! It was very sweet. We decided to go home at bed time because those girls were getting NO WHERE near ready to go to sleep! Jessie went home with us to stay the night.

We went and got all of the boys for church. After church, Mom cooked a HUGE lunch for all of us plus: Narika, her kids, Cory, Bethany, Danielle, Shelly, Justin, and Nick. We had a house FULL. :) It was very fun to fellowship. I just really enjoyed spending the weekend with the people I love! :) I am blessed.

Not a one of us had a camera so these are taken on our phones!! :)

Hilary and the Torres kids. :)

Hilary, myself, and the Torres kids in front of the river.

Sweet Jessie and me! :)

The "Core Four"
Jessie (in the Blue Hoodie), Eric (in the baseball  hat), Jaime in the black jacket), and Manny (in the orange jacket)

Hilary and myself :)

Mom, me, and Hilary
(Callye and Gracie stayed in the car. It was TOO cold!)

Sweet Manny and me :)

Eric and myself
 (Jessie decorated the picture on my phone! It says Eric and Merany with a happy face)

I hope my sister had a wonderful birthday! Sometimes plans don't go as we want but if you focus on that then you won't have the fun God intended you to! It was just fun to watch these kids do things they had never done before. As simple as it was to us, they loved it!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Thankfulness :)

I just want to take a moment and name some things alot of things that I am thankful for!

First off I am so thankful that the Lord chose me to be His child! What a wonderful gift. I know sometimes I don't live like I am thankful, but I truly am. Can you imagine a child, waiting in an orphanage, and this same feeling they must have when their families come rescue them! I am thankful for His deliverance! His deliverance from poor relationships that I have put myself in on this earth. From bad situations we were in as children. I am thankful for His grace! His grace that covers ALL my sins. Wow. And His mercy. The mercy that keeps me from going to Hell, where I belong. I am thankful for His wonderful plan. The plan for my life. The differences I can make in the kids at school, at camp, in Nicaragua, and hopefully the orphans around the world who are waiting on their families to come rescue them. Just as He rescued us! 

 I am thankful for my awesome mom. She did not do everything right while we were growing up... But who does? She did her best. She instilled in me (and my sisters) a love for the elderly! She indirectly made me good at loving them. She didn't really give us a choice, actually! :) I am thankful that she loved us and cared for us. Even if it was through someone else taking us to practice, feeding us lunch, watching us while we were home sick, or checking to make sure we got off of the bus! :)

 I am thankful for my big sis, Callye. She was our rock! She took care of us, bathed us, fed us, dressed us, made us do our chores (which took pulling a knife at times!) HA! She was ALWAYS there for us... I will never forget the time in 2nd grade that I was "scared" at school and Callye told me to come find her if it got worse. I went to her and she gave me her cross necklace to wear and told me if I was wearing that, I would NOT be scared. :) I will never forget that, Cal. I love you.

I am thankful for my big sis, Hil. Hilary is my best friend. We fight some A LOT, but that is us! People just need to understand that. We like to say as a whole we are bipolar! :) Hil has always been there for me. She loves me unconditionally. She makes me so mad sometimes, but I love her through it. She is open and honest with me. She trusts me. She protects me from things that will hurt me. I am thankful that Hilary and I can sit for long periods of time and do nothing but quote movie lines! It is one of my favorite things to do with her. And for that, I am thankful. I love you, big sis! :)

I am thankful for my daddy. He has not always been around, but he loves me. I know this. He may act like Hilary is his favorite, but who cares!? Ha! I keep telling myself that. :) But my daddy has shown me, without even knowing, what a daddy should be. What a husband should be. Although he has not been those things in my life, he has shown me what I want in a husband and daddy for my children. I know that sounds kinda harsh but it is the truth. I am thankful for him. I will love him forever because I am half him. I may look just like my mama, but I'm half my dad!

I am thankful for my friends. I love my friends. Malarie is one that is an awesome friend. Sometimes we drift away but I know she loves me and I hope she knows I love her. I want the best for her. Always. She makes me laugh. We share our love for Nicaragua. We've done so much together in the 2 short years we've been friends. Who else have I traveled to a foreign country with by myself?? :) Kristin is another. Kristin and I have been friends for a while! I love her. She is so strong in her faith. She has always been an inspiration to me. We can laugh, cry, complain, or just sit together and be completely fine with it. We can sing off key to love songs, eat ice cream when we are uspet, or walk creepy bridges in the middle of the night. :) Hannah, oh Hannah. :) This girl is amazing. I've never had  a friend who is so encouraging. Hannah makes me a better person just being my friend. Who knew, when she got in my car to ride 8 hours as a complete stranger, that we would leave the trip best friends?! I sure didn't. I was worried about it, actually. But my worries disappeared really fast. She's so real and open to me. She sends letters randomly just to make my day. I love some Hannah. Chelsea, :) Chels kinda goes along with Hannah. We are like 3 peas in a pod. We can have SO much fun together. I mean just look at our pictures from this summer! You'd never guess how much fun we had. :) After the fun fades and life begins again and sends it's negative ugly vibes at us, we are there for one another. If it is only a text that says "PRAY" and we stop what we are doing and we do just that. We send song lyrics to one another and get the next line back as a reply. I love me some Chelsea! As a whole, I am SO SO SO SO thankful for my Souled Out friends... Brian and Goodie, who I love to death. We can laugh, joke, be honest, and spill our guts with one another. Blake, Bekah, Adam, Trammell, Jackie, and all the others. They are the most amazing friends ever. There are no other people on this Earth that I can laugh with at ANYTHING and then turn around and praise our God with. :) I absolutely LOVE that about my Souled Out friends!!!  I am thankful for all my other friends. I have too many to name but those are just a few that I love dearly. They are in no order or more important than others.

I am thankful for my church. I love 2nd Baptist church. I love Bro. Eddie, Bro. Barry, Bro. RIck, Bro. Micah, Bro. Jerry. I love Donna Middlebrook.I love my sunday school class. :)

Ok, so maybe this is a blog about the things I love! But aren't they the same. haha.

I am thankful for my job. I love my little C with all my heart. We fight, argue, cry, and fuss but we love each other. I am thankful that his parents are so super supportive. I am thankful for the love I get to give to these kids. Kids who don't get love at home. They drive me absolutely crazy but I love them!! I love seeing them at Wal Mart, or Los Portales, or anywhere in town and them smiling from ear to ear! :) And then telling me every day for 4 months that they saw me! Ha! :) I love that my job led me to Manny. I love that kid. He has my heart for sure. I am glad, that through Manny, I was led to Eric, Jaime, and Jessie. :) I love those kids. I am thankful for the people I work with. They all have a faith that is so real. I am the "baby" here so they take care of me. :) I am thankful that my job allows me to do the things I love the most. With it being a school, I am off in the summer. I do not have to worry about taking time off to work Souled Out, go to Nicaragua, travel to see friends, or do anything else I wanna do! :) Not to mention, Fall Break, Christmas Break, and Spring Break! :)

I am thankful for my step-dad, Jason and step-sister, Shelly. They are part of my family now. I love them. They make me crazy, but what family doesn't?! :) They make me a better person. In whatever way that is! :) They are awesome. i am thankful to Jason for making my mom happy. After many epic fails for her happiness, she finally got it. :)

I am thankful for my step family on my dad's side. I love that I can have such a large family. :) I love the memories that I have with Preston, Leigh Ann, Tessa. I love how we used to fight! Poor Pres... He didn't stand a chance with all of us girls! But he sure put up a good fight. I am thankful that Tessa and Leigh Ann took us to that little country church. That church holds a lot of memories for me. :) And now I am thankful that we can all get together, with all of their spouses and kids, and remember all of our memories!

I am thankful for the rest of my family, too. My Granny. My only ever living grand-parent. She may not have been the cookie baking, sit on her lap loving Grandma, but she was mine. She loved us. I am thankful for her. I am thankful for my sweet awesome brother in law. Brad, he is the only big brother I've ever had! And he is an awesome one. He loves me like he has always been my brother. And through Brad and Callye, I got the most adorable, mischevious, dramatic, high-maintenance neice, Gracie. Gracie brought a new love to our lives. She makes us do things we swore we would not do! I love that little girl

I am thankful for all of the families that trusted me with their kids! I kept so many kids while in high school! I was "THE" babysitter in Obion. Some of those kids and their families became my family. Tammy and James Albright. I am so thankful for them. Their kids mean the world to me. I practically lived with them for a while. I love the fact that I am trusted with their children. Their most precious things. I am thankful for Lauree and her boys. :) Those boys were awesome. We may have bumped heads a few ALOT of times but I know Chase and Boo love me. I know when I see these kids, all grown up, that I had a part of their raising. :) There are many more kids that I kept but I cannot name them all! :) Those summers are some of my favorite memories!

I feel like I am leaving some things out but I will give my fingers, and your eyes, a break! Thanks for reading. Sorry that I write books instead of posts. :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Two times in one day!

So, I found it very refreshing to blog! I honestly did not think that I had anything to write about! Boy, was I wrong! :) Ha!

Right now, I want to take a minute and just talk about how cool it is to actually see part of God's plan unfold! As most of you know, I work with "C". He is in the 3rd grade and has asperger's syndrome. Well, while working with him I met Manny. You probably know Manny or heard me talk about him. I usually refer to him as my "Mexican Kid"!! I know, you are thinking that is wrong... :) Well, Manny is the 6th kid out of 8! So needless to say his mother does not have a whole lot of time for just him! He wanted to play baseball last year so I signed him up. I took him to his practices and games and he quickly found a place in my heart! Not to mention, my family's. He became a part of our family very fast! I started taking him to church with me. He loved it! Over time, he started spending the night some. 

This year, his brother Jaime has been wanting to go to church as well. So I've paraded into church for the last few months with my "mexican kids". :) Jaime is in the 6th grade and hilarious! :) He does not meet a stranger. So, he loved going to church, too. Our youth group was planning a trip to Gatlinburg and my mom wanted Jaime to go.  She paid his way and he was all signed up to go. 

They have another brother, Eric. Eric is a freshman in High School. Eric does not live with Manny and Jaime. He lives with another family that takes him to his practices and games. (They are all SUPER athletic!) Eric was home the Wednesday before Christmas and asked to go to church with us! Of course I said yes! He loved it! :) He, like Jaime, is very outgoing! Everyone loves them. Our youth pastor asked Eric if he wanted to go to Gatlinburg. Eric said no because he had basketball and I knew we could not afford to pay his way as well. So, we left it at that. Especially since the trip was on Sunday and this was Wednesday! We didn't have much time to plan anything. 

Well, Eric asked to go to church that Sunday, too. I left super early and went and picked up Manny and Jaime, then to Eric's. After church, we left Jaime at church, along with my sister who was going on the trip. Eric, Manny, and I met a friend for lunch. While at lunch, my sister calls and says that a kid got sick and could not go on the trip! They said if Eric could pack and get to the church in 20 minutes then he could go! So, I left Manny with Cory at the restaraunt and headed to Eric's. He asked the man he lives with and I called his mom. Both said it was fine for him to go! He packed SUPER fast and we headed to church. Some parents sent extra money for Eric since he had not planned on going at all. They buses pulled out of the parking lot as soon as Eric got on. 

Both boys had an amazing time on the trip! They skied, heard good christian music, had good wholesome fun! And best of all, both boys asked Jesus to be their Lord and Savoir!!! :) :) :) It was all a part of God's DIVINE plan for these boys to go on this trip! 

I say all that to say... God knew the future when He allowed C to have Asperger's. He knew that I would be his aide, would meet Manny, fall in love with Manny, then his brothers, and send them on this trip! All for them to receive Him as their Lord and Savior! 

Here are my boys!! 2 of which are my new brothers in Christ!! :) Hopefully, soon, Manny will feel the conviction to ask Jesus to come into his sweet little heart! :)

How awesome is it to see God's Plan!?!? :)

Here goes.

So, here goes nothing. This is my first blog! I have been following random people's blogs for a few weeks now... I know I have nothing interesting to share with you but I still feel the need to have a blog!

I just feel that God is putting so many things on my heart here lately. It is a little overwhelming! He has introduced to me Reece's Rainbow. If you have never heard of that I urge you to check it out. Yes, I know. It will break your heart. But if you can look at this site and not feel the need to do SOMETHING, whatever it is, then you need to check yourself out! For real. It is an advocacy for orphans with special needs. Primarily, Down Syndrome. It is not an adoption agency but someone to help you find YOUR child that was not born to you biologically but was still made to be YOURS!

I know, you are thinking, if I have the choice I sure wouldn't CHOOSE a child with Down Syndrome or other special needs. But my response to that is these children did not CHOOSE to be born with it! They did not CHOOSE to be given up by their mama's just because they have that little extra chromosome. They did not CHOOSE to be born and looked upon as a disgrace or embarrassment. So, did God choose YOU to save YOUR child from another country?? Did HE??? Are you sure you are listening to Him? I promise you, if I were married and old enough, I would be trying to find MY child to bring them home. Actually, I can't wait to do that. I am praying for my future husband. I am praying that God has already placed these desires on his heart so that I don't have to try to change his heart. OK, so enough on that. This is just my first blog and I am a little behind on expressing my feelings!

Another thing God has been placing on me is the possibility of working a summer camp for Special Needs children. I have no idea what to do or where to look really... But I feel like I can impact more than just my little boy at school. He has asperger's and for now we will call him "C". C is my best friend and I am his... but did God put me in this job to only help him? No, He did not. I know this. Thanks to my friend Doug for pointing that out to me. I did not do all that I could. I did what I wanted to do with C and that was it. I did not look to find out more about Asperger's or Autism. I did my 8 hour day and went home. But God has been showing me more things to do. My hold up on this is that I LOVE Souled Out church camp every summer and going to Nicaragua. It has kinda become my summer routine. This year, if I could find one, I could work almost the whole month of July at a summer camp. This sounds crazy to me because that would mean I would be gone ALL summer!!! Wow. I LOVE to travel but am SUPER close to my family. This would be super hard. But I am not quite ready to give up Souled Out or Nicaragua. Most of these camps want the help for the WHOLE summer. Am I ready for that? I know God would prepare me but my selfish self says I'm not ready. Excuse, I know. So, for now I will pray. Pray that God shows me what to do and to make my desires HIS desires. Psalms 37:4 says "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart!" This means He will change my heart to have the same desires of His. So, I will try, no I will do this with God's strength.

Also, as "poor" as I am, what can I do for these orphans around the world? I can give my very LITTLE amount of money. I can tell others about them. I can raise awareness and PRAY for these families to find their babies. These babies are there waiting..... Waiting on their family to find them. They cannot get out and find you. You have to go to them. So, I have even thought, well maybe there is a mission opportunity to go to one of these orphanages and help! Help LOVE these babies! Help these families find their children! I don't even know if this is a possibility. It is not something I would do alone. I would have to have some kind of interpreters or organization to do this through. A lot to think about! But my fingers are getting a little tired! I promise that my blogs will not be this LONG!!! I just had a lot bottled up!!! Thanks for reading!