Monday, February 28, 2011

Multiply Your Time...with Thanksgiving

Monday hadn't even started and I was already lamenting the week. Our schedule the next two has exploded, and I'm already feeling the pressure. Snug under the covers I began the next chapter of One Thousand Gifts, and was astonished by the words. The sentences. God speaking into my life with the keystrokes of another.

"I speak it to God: I don't really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven or wild to get it all done - yesterday. In a world with cows to buy and fields to see and work to do, in the deep and blink of the twenty-first century, with its "live in the moment" buzz phrase that none of the whirl-weary seem to know how to do, who actually knows how to take time and live with soul and body and God all in sync? To have the time to grab the jacket off the hook and time to go out to all air and sky and green and time to wonder at all of them in all this light, this time refracting in prism.

I just want time to do my one life well." (page 67 & 68 One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp)

As I read those words I wanted to shout, "YES!" And would have, if not for the slumbering man exhaling the day next to me. That's what I want! Time. Time enough to feel like I'm not herding the day away from me. Time enough to feel like I soak up the sticky kisses, the giggling hugs and the warm breezes of life.

How do I get that Lord? Tell me how to get to enough time. Please.

"Like the God-Man counting His too-few loaves and not-enough fishes. The one I remember form felt boards and figures pressed out smooth, where 'Jesus then took the loaves, and gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted' (John 6:11 NIV, emphasis added).

Gave thanks. He'd done it there too? Again? I'd missed it and all of my life?

I'd never considered those two words, the bridge words there in the middle, the crossing over that took the not enough and made it enough.

Gave thanks....Jesus embraces His not enough...He gives thanks...And there is more than enough. More than enough!

And who doesn't need a miracle like that every day? Thanksgiving makes more time." (page 71, 72)

The chapter to goes on to speak of our thanksgiving multiplying our time. That when we're wholly in the moment, looking for the blessing, be thankful for the moments of God that we slow down. That our time slows down.

A flash of lightening. The sound of the rain brings me out of the pages of the book into my dark bedroom.  I love that sound. The sound of spring rain. The tapping of the first few drops of heavenly refreshment.

As if a period on the page, I'd been reading I began to think of all the other things I love. The moments I cannot wait to be in the midst of and are gone too soon.

At the beginning of this long week and weeks to come I am choosing to slow time down. To be aware of the blessings in the moment.

My list continues....

30. a broken in sweatshirt
31. heated seats
35. homeschooling
40. Paxton's "gabillion kisses" game
43. William's hand on the small of my back
46. waking up with praise songs in your head
48. stolen moments with Jesus

Oh, Father, let us linger with You. In this parched world, let us soak our moments in thanksgiving, so that we might live them for all they are worth. Amen.

How about you? What's on your list?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stupid & Mean

{this post was written by my sweet friend Mary was inspired by events that happened to me yesterday. The truths are too good not to share.}

i read a friend’s status update yesterday on facebook. a woman she had just met, with whom she has a mutual friend in common, said to her, ‘you’re not as fake as i had heard you were.’ my friend graciously said, ‘nice to meet you’ and went on with her children.
who has the nerve to say that OUT LOUD?
i personally have a defect with the filter betwixt my brain and my mouth.
and my memory is selective anymore.
i don’t think i’ve ever said anything that stupid and mean to someone’s face, much less in front of their children.
okay, probably i have. if i’m really being honest. i really just don’t remember anymore.
{but if i have ever been that stupid to or in front of you, please know how profoundly sorry i am.}
my response to her:
i am so sorry. how hurtful.
wonder what jesus has to say about that.
because here is what i’ve learned. and this has absolutely nothing to do with my friend who is nothing but genuine, if not transparent. her example, however, made me think on this.
it is very easy for me to hear the loving things people say about me. 
Visit Mk's blog 

to read the rest of this post

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

When Words Fail, Give Thanks

I have started no less than 7 blog posts since yesterday. Wanting to share with you what's in my heart. The redemption and love that shone in my life yesterday.

But I just can't find the words. So in honor of all the words I find to write. I am starting my 1000 gifts list (inspired by One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp...a challenging, beautiful, life changing book).

Because life is a gift. Christ is a gift. The redemption in my life is beautiful gift that moves me to wordlessness (is that even a word??).

1. early morning phone call full of love soaked news
2. women's ministry leadership meetings
3. laughter
4. the big bird noise my hubby makes sometimes when he snores
5. puppy breath

to be cont'd.

Thank you Jesus.

PS -- start your lists, share your lists...I want to hear the things you are thankful for. The gifts Jesus gives you every day (big, small, random, lovely, all of 'em!)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Swinging Practice


I'd pitch. The ball would go by him. Then he'd swing.

Over and over again.

In the twenty minutes of our front yard baseball game Paxton never once connected with the ball. Not once. Every time it rolled down the driveway he ran after it. Laughing and galloping all the way. His smile never faded.

He found joy in the process. Joy despite his repeated failure (in the worlds my eyes). Joy.

As we were putting away the toys he turned to me with a big grin. Those baby blues were just sparkling. "Mom, did you see how good I'm getting at swinging?" "I sure did buddy. You're getting really good at swinging." "Yeah, maybe next time I'll hit the ball. That would be fun too."

In that moment my baby boy taught me a HUGE lesson.

Every time I pitched the ball, I had hoped and prayed he would hit it. That it would go somewhere off the tip of that blue plastic bat. And every time he chased it down the driveway I silently lamented his failure. Worrying about frustration or disappointment.

He never worried. He never got frustrated. He wasn't disappointed.

So often we spend time learning, preparing, gearing up for the big moment. That moment when we connect. When the crack of the bat echoes into the stands and we watch the ball head for the wall as we trot to first base. Looking for the home run on the horizon we miss the game we are playing.

What a sweet reminder to be present in our lives. To find the joy in "swinging practice", to look for laughter in the little moments, to share a smile and love along the way. Enjoy the moments of "failure" and know that next time you might succeed and "that would be fun too."

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Sticky, Mucky Mud of Gossip

"In case you haven't heard..."

"You should pray for ______ , because...."

"I spoke to _______, yesterday. Can you believe...."

Oh Gossip. We are a society that lives to talk about what others are doing. In the dirty details of others lives we wallow like pigs. Have you ever stepped in mud? I mean really stepped in...your shoe is so deep that when you finally pull it out you hear that sucking sound? That's gossip. That sticky, mucky stuff that is hard to get off, hard to get out of and makes a noise like no other.

My phone rang this morning. It was the gossip train come to call. Yikes. Three sentences into the conversation I realized where it was going and I needed to shut it down. I finally managed to say, I'm not sure we need to talk about the details of ____'s life. If she wanted me to know I'd be happy to speak with her. (I could hear the sucking sound as I tried to extricate myself from the mud.)

The line went dead. Offensive I was, I suppose. But sometimes the truth is offensive. And this morning I chose something other than mud. I don't always make the right choice, it isn't always easy, but I'm trying.

When the world says, "Don't tell her I told you, but.."

The Bible answers: A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret. Proverbs 11:13

When from the mud you hear, "You have got to hear...."

God assures us that: A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends. Proverbs 16:28

When the phone rings and you hear, "I've got so much to tell you. You'll never guess what I heard from..."

We are reminded in Proverbs 20:19 A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.

I was struck as I read the Bible passages on gossip. Betrays and separates was used over and over again. The damage done in a moment of weakness, in a moment of wanting the power of information in our hands, is real and lasts far beyond the echo of our own voices. In those moments we inflict wounds on people, on reputations, on friendships. We start fires that can spread faster than any wildfire and can consume relationships, small groups, churches and more.

How do you avoid it? Prayer, of course. And a conscious effort to constantly stay out of the mud. If we hold each other accountable for where we steer the conversations, perhaps we'll keep each other from wallowing.

I want to be a woman whose reputation is one that I won't gossip. The confidences, secrets, and friends are safe in my hands.

Father, how I hate the thought of hurting others, of hurting You. How easily I get sucked into feeling like I'm in the know. Help me see my conversations and my intentions for what they are Father. Let my life shine with the white linens of righteousness, not be speckled with brown and mud that can't be washed away. Amen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Fridge Magnet Truth & Tissue Paper Love

The little magnet on the back barely holds it onto the fridge. The sheer weight of its truth almost makes it too heavy to be useful. But even before it touched the fridge something about the craft struck a chord so deep in me that I almost couldn't breathe.

I can hear some of you now. Um, yeah, Wendy its a foam heart with a cross on it. And???

Stick with me here.

Just hours before Jesus died He was sharing a meal with those closest to Him, the disciples. It is at that meal that Jesus gives the disciples a new commandment. "Love one another." There's the long and the short of it. So simple and yet, so darn hard. Love one another. Not like. Not put up with. Love.

But, I digress.

Jesus says that is how the world will know that we are His. Our love for one another. Not by the Scripture you can recite. Not by the number of times you go to church. Not a pew with your name on it. Not how well behaved your children are. Your love for others.

What is stamped on your heart? As I held Isabel's Sunday school craft project in my hands I heard the echoes of this they will know this they will know me.

With that truth ringing in my ears I continued my quest for the perfect Valentine's card for my sweet hubby. He always seems to find just the right card -- love, devotion, God and romance all sealed tight in an envelope with my name on it. For every holiday. I struggle. I must read 50 cards every time I go searching for one for him. Be it valentines, birthdays, whatever. There are never the right words. NEVER!

And this year was no different. Feeling like a failure I gave up the hunt this year. There is no card for my man, because no one can speak the love that is in my heart for him.

Hallmark doesn't make the my life sucked then you appeared card. Or the why do you find my attractive?? I don't get it, but I'm thankful for it card. Or how about the thanks for putting up with my mood swings, food cravings and emotional breakdowns card (that would be a hot seller, huh?)

As our peanuts began making cards for daddy it struck me. I can make a card, because I know the love I have for that man.

So I wrote. (that was the easy part) I spilled out my lil heart on the inside of a folded piece of card stock. With the final stroke of my name signed at the bottom I was pleased...there is our truth in this card. The love, the laughter, the silliness, the blessings and the Creator of our love.

I folded it shut. Happy. Content. Excited to give it to him.

But there on the table laid a plain piece of folded white card stock. Hardly a romantic card. Then the spark of creativity flashed in my brain. Grabbing glue, tissue paper and a pen I was off like a flash. Creative magic was happening right here in my kitchen.

When I was done it isn't exactly the beautiful masterpiece I had envisioned. Not so much...

And for a split second I was ready to toss it out. Ready to face my hubby with no card on the most romantic day of the year (okay, so it was a melodramatic split second). And then I opened it again.

There under that mass of sorta, kinda heart shaped tissue paper is our love. My heart calling to his. There would be no throwing it out.

I have spent years waiting for huge spiritual truths to come crashing into my a heavenly meteor lined with the knowledge I need. I study and pray and wait for spiritual enlightenment in grown up ways. And where did it come from this week...fridge magnets and tissue paper. Ha, so simple I could have missed it.

Father, how blessed we are that You love us. That you teach us how to love. Thank you for the truth of who you are and what we've been given. Thank you using the simplest things to teach the biggest lessons.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In Love with Love

When we were dating and falling in love Will asked me, "Are you in love with love?" He went on to tell me how his friend had told him to avoid women who just were in love with love and not with the man.

I quickly assured him that I was in love with him...not with love. In all truth I had no idea what that question meant.

Still don't.

And while I didn't want him to think I was some lunatic girl in love with everyone and connected to nobody, I answered no. But the more I thought about the question. The more I live. I might have changed my answer.

Oh, sigh, on this day of hearts, flowers, lil fat guys armed with arrows and chocolates wrapped in romantic colors, don't get me wrong. I love my husband. I love his laugh, his smile, the tears that well up in his eyes when life moves his heart. I love that he is a provider, a conqueror, my hero and my comedian. His love inspires me to be a better person, to be the wife he deserves. Oh, yes, I love that man of mine.

But the truth is I am in love with love.

For you see, I am in love with the One who is love.

God is love. (1 John 4:8)

God is patient.
God is kind.
God does not envy.
God does not boast.
God is not proud.
God does not dishonor others.
God is no self-seeking.
God is not easily angered.
God keeps no record of wrongs.
God does not delight in evil.
God rejoices in the truth.
God always trust.
God always hopes.
God always perseveres.
God never fails.

So, as we celebrate a sugared up holiday about romance and love. I urge you to take a moment breathe a prayer to the Holy valentine.

I'm in love with love.
I'm in love with Jesus.

Father, thank you for loving us before we knew of love. Thank you for loving us despite all the reasons not to. Teach us to love. The deep, grace-filled, sacrificial love that only comes from You. Bless our single friends, may they feel complete in Your Holy love and remember that You are the author of their love story. And for all those in a relationship and marriage, Father, remind them of the preciousness of their treasure and celebrate them. Thank you for love!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Whose Words and Labels Define You?

"For years of mornings, have woken wanting to die. Life itself twists into nightmare. For years, I've pulled the covers up over my head, dreading to begin another day I'd be bound to just wreck. Years, I lie listening to the taunt of names ringing off my interior walls, ones from the past that never drifted far and away: Loser. Mess. Failure. They are signs nailed overhead, nailed through me, naming me." These words from Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts (emphasis mine) rattled in my head and heart. Through my dreams and waking fog.

Names ringing off my interior walls.

Fat. Failure. Liar.
Slut. Angry. Crazy.
Lost. Sad. Wrong.
Lost. Worthless. Unworthy.
Alone. Ugly. Stupid.

The list goes on and on. The echo inside my heart raises to the fever pitch cry of an angry mob. I spent years looking for the voice. The love. The hope. That would quiet those voices. That could tear down those "signs nailed through me, naming me."

My whole life I have been labeled by others, by the world, by myself. And I live in those labels. Pinned under them like a bug on a Styrofoam board. A spectacle defined by them. A life barely lived.

As I read Ann's words in this book I understand. I know these words I've never read. I breathe in her pain, and while it looks different then mine it still smells and tastes of bittersweet loss and love. I am nearly paralyzed as I read this book...afraid to breathe, hesitant to read and open doors long closed, and yet I fear if I put it down I'll miss the heavenly whisper in the turn of the page.

When I finally lay my head down for sleep, I can't. Labels. Names. Words. What are they? Do I still live by them??

I would love for the music to hit an epic crescendo here and across the screen the word


You'd sigh in a doesn't-Hollywood-make-it-all-better kinda way and life would have a pretty little bow on it.


My life isn't decorated by bows and ribbons -- more like,diapers, toys, school papers and laundry. And this isn't Hollywood (for one thing which I am thankful) and Hollywood's manufactured happy endings are not eternal and they aren't filled with saving grace.

Emotional. Uncool. New.
Inexperienced. Fat. Tired.
Angry. Unlovable. Lazy.
Trivial. Egotistical. Proud.
Confused. Lost. Cowardly.

Oh yes, the labels are still nailed to me. And while I get up every morning with the hope that today will be different. That today I'll live in the true reflection of Christ's love in me. But by the end of the day if anyone can even see Christ in me He is but a hint of His glory, if that, as though twisted in a fun house mirror.

Isaiah 43 says, "I have called you by name; you are mine."

Mine, whispers Jesus.

From the heights of heaven to the depths of my heart God reminds me, you are mine.

Where do I lose that? How does the world speak louder than the Bible? Than the Creator? Then the one who bears the scars for my sinful life?

I am His.

And while I am His, I will fail, but He will redeem the failure. I may overeat, but He will forgive the sin and walk with me to better choices. I will be emotional, but He made me that way and He can help me channel those emotions to emotionally driven energy not outbursts and entanglements. I will be proud and boastful, and He will correct the wrong thinking, humble me when needed and teach me to be boastful in Him.

You see, at the core of my being. Those very fibers He knit together in my mother's womb. I am who He made me. But left to my own devices, to the world's forces and cruel names, I'm not the best me I can be.

It is in Him, that I can become that woman. It is through Him that I have the strength to pull those covers off. It is through Him, that I can rip down the labels of this world and see my label.

Washed white at the cross my name tag sparkles in eternity.

It says, Hello my name is Wendy...and I am His.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Rain Cloud of Unbelief

They say that admitting your problem is the first step to healing.


My name is Wendy and I struggle with unbelief.

Yep, I have a belief problem.

It isn't that I don't believe Jesus can save, heal, love and more. It isn't that I don't pray for those things or ask for those things.

It is that I just don't believe enough. There are times when I get caught in a cycle prayer or thoughts that start out "If you can" or "if you would". Like I am bothering God with my petitions. Like I don't think He will answer or He has time or that I am worth it to Him.

And in my desperation for healing, for saved family members, for a ministry that shines Jesus into the world I begin to live in the shadow of my unbelief. Like a little black rain cloud it hovers over my head, blocking out the Son and changing the look of my circumstance.

In Mark 9 there is a father desperate for the healing of his son and he finds himself asking for Jesus to heal him. As he answers Jesus' questions he says, "But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us."

if you can do anything

We don't know if this man knew of Jesus' birthright. That He was the Son of God. But what we do know is this father believed in Jesus enough to ask Him to save His son. He believed in Him enough to be stirred into action.

Once he was in action his belief wavered. How many times has that happened to you? You believe God is calling you into action. You are on your feet or maybe on your knees and suddenly it happens...the rain cloud begins to hover. Hello unbelief.

if you can do anything

How does Jesus answer the man? Probably the same way He whispers to us from the height of the heavens into the depths of our hearts. “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes." (Mark 9:23)

Oooohhhh!! How I want to be one who believes. Who everything is possible for.

I'm not the only one those words convict. In Mark 9:24 the father cries out, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

I'm weak. I do believe, a little. But help me, Lord, to not live in the shadow of this dark cloud. Help me overcome my unbelief!

Like the son in Mark 9 our lives can be changed, healed and rescued from the darkness that lives in every corner.

Fight your unbelief. Strive to live in the light of Christ. Ask God for more it.

Father, I ask that you help me strengthen my belief muscles. That every time distrust or disbelief darken the skies of my life you would help me to reach out to You. Help my belief grow so that my unbelief is but a memory. Amen.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lessons in Obedience...from our dogs.

I held his food bowl in my hand. Drool was pooling on the deck where it was dripping from his mouth. He was sitting patiently. Waiting. Triton knew food was coming. A reward for his obedience.

In my other hand I held her bowl. She was twitching, wiggling, and whining. Sitting is hard for her. Barlow is a sweet dog and if you can engage her brain for 25 seconds she can be obedient. But this morning as the smell of fresh dog kibble wafted on the breeze she was not happy. Her whole demeanor yelled, "I'm listening. I'm obeying. I'm so not happy about it." It didn't matter what the reward was. Obedience came at the price of her happy labby heart.

Our Rottweiler, Triton, is a very obedient lug. He's content to lay on his bed when asked, with a watchful eye and a wagging tail he waits. He knows that love, bones, food, kisses and kiddo giggles come when the time is right. Obedience is the way he rolls. His quiet presence fills our house with security. His slow, intentional affection makes you want to spend time with him.

At Mach 3 Barlow has the best labbish intentions. She loves you and she wants you to know it as she stands on her head, in your lap, licking your hand, while wiggling her fool little body with her coffee-table-clearing-tail. If she's excited, she barks. If she's worried, she whines. If she's disgruntled, she grumbles. She's always got something to "say". There's nothing halfway about Barlow's love or her need to play with our family. But caught in the emotional wiggles of life, obedience is forgotten, ignored or avoided. Loving her can be exhausting, irritating and often downright difficult.

Something I've learned today. I'm a kind of a lab these days.

God has called me to a place of obedience. A place where the only reward is time with God. Where the heavenly aroma of a sweet savior wafts on the breezes of my life. There is nothing easy about the uphill, often lonely, sometimes hidden path God has me walking on.

And what have I become? My yellow lab. I whine. I wiggle. I grumble. I want to do it my way. Mach 3 with emotions flapping in the breeze. But now, is not that time.

In the past weeks, months maybe, I have tried to blame others for why I'm unhappy. For why I shouldn't have to walk the path my Master has called me to. They aren' t kind enough. They don't care. They don't see the value in my work. They don't see the need for my ministry. They...they....they. Grumble....whine....grumble.

Whether those things are true or not have no bearing on what the call on my life is. No more than Barlow's want, or not, to sit for her breakfast. I said do, so she should. She will. She must. Or she'll be a very hungry lil thing.

In my life. He's laid it out. Work here. This is your ministry. Do it....or you'll be a very empty lil thing.

And that is what I am. Empty.

I'm hungry for fellowship. I'm hungry for direction. I'm thirsty for my Jesus. I'm empty because an earthly, emotional, wiggling life is hard and there's no substance to it.

Here are words I never knew I'd utter...I want to be more like my Rottweiler. Steady. Listening. Obeying.

Father God, how far beyond my comprehension are your plans and this life. I am sorry for grumbling, doubting and selfish unbelief. As I walk this path you have laid in front of me, please, please strengthen me. Whisper to me. Help me to obey you, so that I might live in your presence knowing that the reward of you is worth far more than the unpleasantness of my circumstances. Amen.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

...and a little child will lead them

From the moment I held my newborn babies I knew life would never be the same. In the wee hours of the mornings during feedings and fevers, in the moments of laughter and the moments of discipline I knew God was using my children to make me a better person.

I had no idea how my five-year-old would change my world view in a moment and inspire me to do more. (If you haven't already read Whose Child Is She?, please visit that post first so you are up to speed about the amazing happenings in our household this week.)


Here's Isabel holding one of the dresses we finished today!

In the past few days we have purchased fabric, cutout patterns and started making things that are starting to look like dresses. While I have been doing a lion's share of the assembling it has led to sweet moments as the kids sit on my lap and help guide the fabric or the conversations we have over the whir of the sewing machine.

As we were sewing one of the sides on the dress above Isabel said, "This dress is beautiful. I hope the girl that wears it feels beautiful too." (yes, you know me, I teared up)

As I explained to Isabel that we can do 3 or 4 dresses and a blanket to send out next week she made a funny face. "So we can do that every week, right?" she asked. "Um, baby, I'm not sure we can afford that or that we have time to keep up that much every week." "But mom, they need more than 3 dresses and what about the boys?"

I didn't have answer. We can't clothe the whole world or even just the orphans of the world. But we can't turn our backs or ignore God's mandates that are living themselves out in this child's heart. So what do we do?

Ask for help.

Do you knit?
Do you crochet?
Do you sew?
Can you knot those no sew blankets?
Can you buy a couple of yards of cute fabric?

Can you help Isabel bless others?
Can you help clothe an orphan?
Can you shine a little bit of Jesus into a whole lot of lives?

Do you have children? Can you get them involved in helping Isabel -- sew together, pick out fabric, learn to crochet together?

In Isaiah it says, "...and a little child will lead them."

And I'm so excited to follow.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Whose Child is She?

"Whose child is she?"

A question jokingly asked in our house frequently. Whether it is the "concerts" with complete with microphone & guitar, a fashion show or the occasional meltdown with screaming and carrying on, I often look at my daughter and wonder. Whose child is she?

Lately I have noticed something different in the way Isabel plays and how she speaks about when she's older (or how she says it..."old and married"). She has decided when she gets married they will adopt orphans so she can be their mom. A tender heart has emerged with a passion I am floored by.

I stood in the hallway the other day listening to Isabel "teach" the imaginary orphans at the school she runs in her bedroom. I was floored by her patience and laughter with the game. I listened as she taught them of God's love and her love for them. I listened as she sang to them and cuddled them. (Okay, yes I do know they are invisible, but in her game, in her head, they are not).

Then last week as the kids' quiet time was wrapping up I walked by her bedroom and saw all her play money spread all over her bed in piles. "Whatcha playing?" I asked. "Well, mom," insert flash of a dimpled grin here, "I am selling things with my princess cash register to get money for the people who don't have any. Then they can come to me and I'll give them money to get what they need."

I cried. Right there leaning on her door jam, I cried big, overwhelmed tears. Whose child is this?

When I regained my composure I hugged her and explained that I am amazed by her love for people and just in awe of the heart that God gave her.

Moved, I was today. (and apparently channeling Yoda in my writing)

I went in search of a project our family could do. Something to help Isabel take her heart and really touch people for Jesus. Something that would allow her to do something for these orphans that she loves in her heart and in her imaginary world.

Soon into my online research I found myself getting discouraged. Everything I found was about giving money. Don't get me wrong, I am not opposed to supporting organizations but this was about more than a check. This was about making service real for Isabel, for our family.

On a whim I submitted a form asking an organization called Orphan's Lifeline International explaining a bit about Isabel's heart and what I was searching for. Within minutes I had an answer back that we could make blankets, hats and clothing for orphans right here in the U.S..

When I told Isabel she covered her mouth in shock and then she cried. Big, overwhelmed tears. With tears still on her cheeks she began to smile, "Okay, we'll start with a blanket and clothes. When can we get to the store, mom?"

Whose child is she?


And if He is moving the heart of a five-year-old to provide for His children imagine what He'll do with her life. Imagine what He could do with our family.

So this afternoon's homeschooling is cut short. We're off to put our shoes on and go to the store. After all, there are orphans to be clothed and blankets that need to stitched together with love. And there is a 5 year old whose view of Jesus and the world is about to get a whole lot bigger.

One last thought, as I read James 1:27 (look after orphans and widows in their distress) to Isabel over her snack today. I said, "See how your games and desires are matching up with God's word."

"Yep," she said. "Cuz that's why God made us. To love. So when are we going to the store?"

(right now, baby girl, right now)