where would you go and what would you do?

I just booked our plane tickets to Palm Springs.  We planned months ago to take a little family vacation to Indio, CA this winter.  I realized we are getting close to ‘vacation time’ and so I jumped online and found the cheapest, quickest way to get where we needed to go.  I was successful but I couldn’t stop thinking of where I would go and what else I would do if I could go anywhere and do anything!  Now don’t take this the wrong way, I’m ecstatic to be taking off with my 3 favorite people to play in the sun and swim in the lazy river of the resort.  We always have so much fun together and the kids are at the PERFECT age to travel and giggle and eat junk food with….but…

God has been allowing some pulling of my heart lately.  I just finished reading the book “Reckless Faith” by Beth Guckenberger and I can’t stop thinking about the orphans in Mexico and actually the orphans all over the world.

I have some friends that have family with an orphanage in Africa…Kings kids village….they are planning a trip to Africa later this year.  We also have many missionaries at our church that I pray for often.  My family has 2 kids that we sponsor through Compassion International.  We get letters from them but I wish I could meet them face to face.  They live in my heart just as my own children do. 

So, I’ve been praying and thinking about the questions, If I could go anywhere and do anything where would I go?  Westside is taking a group to Israel and I would love to do that.  It costs a lot of money but more than walking on the streets that Jesus walked, I want to do the work that Jesus would do.  I want to visit the lost, provide for the poor, give hope to the orphans…I want to heal the sick and restore sight to the blind.  It really isn’t my desire…it is God’s desire in me.  He is to blame for all this crazy thinking about others.   Crazy Love they call it….I’m wanting to live that reckless faith, to offer that Crazy Love and to really make a difference.  I love sharing the hope and coming alongside people to see that God has a plan for them!

I’m praying about going to AFRICA.  I would go and I would do what God wanted me to do.  I would hug the children, I would encourage those that care for them and I would bring the Hope that I am sure of.  That’s it for me….where would you go and what would you do?

PS…I’d also go to the spa and get a massage…just incase my husband reads this and needs an idea of how to tangibly show his love and appreciation for me:)

In Memory of Ms. Cathy

A Little over 4 years ago we were in search for a nanny.  My kids were 2 and 5 and my business was getting to the point where I needed help during the day in order for my  work to get done.  We reluctantly put an ad in the local paper.  I say reluctantly because you never know who will answer a ‘nanny’ add in the paper.  We had tried a nanny agency and were not at all happy so we decided to look ourselves.  We received many resume’s from people with past experience in Banks and other non-related experience but one we received from Mary Poppins herself.  Or it might has well have been from Mary Poppins. 

Ms. Cathy’s letter to us was amazing…she wrote how she would play, teach, tend to and love our kids.  She told us that she had raised 4 children and had 11 grandchildren.  I called her immediately.  In our first phone conversation Ms. Cathy did most of the talking.  She had mentioned in her letter that she enjoyed teaching biblical stories to kids and so when I asked her about that she asked if I knew Jesus as my personal Savior.  After telling her my quick testimony about growing up in the Lutheran church and now attending Westside Church.  She said OK, but are you sure you are going to Heaven.  Have you received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  I assured her I had and she said “Well, I would like to meet your family”. 

We met with Ms. Cathy, our children met with her and it was love at first sight.  For the next 3 years Ms. Cathy was a firm foundation in our home.  She was with us when Noah went to kindergarten for the first time, she was solid when Marc and I separated for 6 months, she was with us when Abby went to preschool and kindergarten.  She cooked us meals, she disciplined our children, she taught us all proper manners and mentored me as a mom! 

Words can not express how this Angel came to us and was given to us at such an integral time in our lives.  She and I had many long conversations about life and many more about Jesus. She helped raise our kids with the same desire we have…to see them become spiritual champions.  She was amazing a true Gift!

Last summer, Ms. Cathy was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.  Ms. Cathy didn’t feel comfortable with doctors and put off the symptoms longer than she should have.  She did get some treatment but really her hearts desire was that if the Lord was to take her she would have time with her family.  She was given a little over 1 year to spend quality time with her 4 children and their families. 

On September 7th, 6 days ago, early in the morning, God called her home.  Cathy had lived her whole life to see Jesus.  I know she was excited to meet Him face to face.  She had said her goodbyes, she had spent her time, she will miss us all dearly but she will see us again.  She went home to be with Jesus.

Abby and Noah have missed her this year.  Not a week goes by that someone in our home doesn’t say..”Ms Cathy says….” or”Ms Cathy would…” We miss her but we are filled with Joy because WE ALL know that she is dancing with Father God, she is serving her Lord and Savior in Heaven.  Abby is just sure that there are  many jewels on her crown in heaven.  Ms. Cathy taught my kids not to fear death but to anticipate that reunion with our Creator.

Today we celebrate her life and today I celebrate the life she brought to me.  I can guarantee you my family would not be what it is today without this Gift from God in our lives.  I will miss her, but I will see her again!  Hallelujah!

How to save the world

I have been drowning in this question of how to save the world.  How do I feed all the hungry people, how do I help the people in my community find shelter for the winter, how do I help those around me know Jesus better, how do I share Jesus with everyone who doesn’t know Him, and how in the world am I going to find room to take in the 143 million orphans in the world?

An amazing friend of mine, Bo Stern, has a heart for orphans.  She’s been teaching me a lot on her blog.  Every Tuesday she writes something on orphans called ‘Tuesday’s Child.  If you look at her vol. 6 entry you’ll have an opportunity to watch some video and have your heart entirely wrecked for little one’s without mommy’s.  They need Jesus, they need you too….so check it out!

I am amazed lately that everywhere I go, everywhere I look I see orphans.  I haven’t been to Mexico villages, or Africa, or anywhere on a mission trip but just driving down the street, at my child’s soccer game, in my neighborhood, all throughout the community I see orphans.  They have somehow lost their God, they have lost their Daddy or they have never found him.  They are missing an important piece of who they were meant to be because they have not allowed their ‘Daddy’ to move into their heart.  They are orphans.

Lamentations 3:21~ Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.  Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassion’s never fail.

….yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope.

God never leaves these orphans, even those who don’t yet know him…God is waiting.  It is the hope I live with, the reason I go about each day seeking an end to our Orphan Epidemic.  I allow God to move within my circle of influence and somehow meet the needs of the orphans around me.  I have hope.

2corinthians 4:18 ~ So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen, for what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

It is our job as adopted children of the Most High King to swing wide the heavenly gates and show the orphans who don’t yet know they are children of the King, who their daddy is!

So how do we save our world?  By being faithful to reach the orphans in your neck of the woods.  To meet the needs of those around you, to show them their Daddy. You may not change an entire nation but you will make a difference to the one you reach out to.