There’s No Place Like Home

I’ll make this short and sweet. I made these letters in honor of Kate and Charley and their two new daughters, Vivienne (new name Bethany) and Laura. They spell out HOME, which is where we want to get them VERY SOON! If you would like a chance to have them for your very own, simply donate $5 dollars to Kate and Charley’s adoption fund via the Chip In button below. Every $5 entry will garner your name in the hat.

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The letters are made out of paper mache and covered with just about the cutest scrapbook paper I’ve ever seen.

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They’ve had little accents decoupaged on them, and some of my own doodles to boot!

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Seriously. I think these are the cutest letters I’ve ever constructed. Each one is about 8 x 5 inches high, and about an inch thick. Perfectly happy to stand upon a shelf or just about anywhere you need a little bright cheeriness.

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Oh, the cuteness. Each letter has been hand-inked around the edges to give it a little extra pop. And each one has been covered with mod-podge for protection from wayward sticky fingers and sudden sneezes. I wouldn’t recommend submerging them, but you can wipe them clean with a damp cloth.

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I cannot even BEGIN to think of a more perfect quote than this one as it relates to adoption. How blessed we are, who have warmth of home and love of family to comfort us. How much the same is needed for so many sweet children around the world.

Each letter has painted sides that have then been sanded to give it a perfectly imperfect appearance. Because we all know perfection is way overrated.

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 This raffle will end in one week, on the 3rd of March. Winners will be chosen from each $5 contribution (donate more, get more chances to win)!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Ways to Help Two Sweet Girls

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Today for Top Ten Tuesday I’m outlining the top ten ways you can help bring two lovely Ukrainian girls home to their new family.

10. Make a straight-up donation to the Parker family adoption fund here via paypal.

9. Buy some coffee.

8. Send a check or money order to Reece’s Rainbow, PO Box 4024, Gaithersburg, MD 20885. Please specify that your gift is for “Vivienne/Laura for the Parker Family”.

7. Bookmark or subscribe to Kate’s adoption blog so you can check in regularly and find out new ways to help!

6. Come back HERE tomorrow (here, as in, right here, my ownty-own blog, the one you’re currently staring at) to find another way to donate, and possibly win a great prize!

5. Buy something from my shop! I’m donating 50% of all my sales to the Parker family until their babies are home. OR, buy something from my friend Sarah’s shop! She’s donating 100% of her sales to the Parkers!

4. Remember that you CAN make a difference, no matter how small you think your gift might be. Remember Luke 21:1-3, and also John 6:9-13. God is pleased with even the smallest effort, and He is the King of Multiplication!

3. Pray for the Parker family. Pray for their adoption fund, but also pray that the Lord prepares Kate, Charley, and their 7 children for the arrival of their new sisters!

2. Pray for Vivienne and Laura. Pray for their health and safety, and for the quick slicing of governmental red tape and a facilitation of the adoption process!

1.  Purchase a chance to win this jewelry!

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This beautiful jewelry was handmade by my dear friend and soul sister, Sarah. It has been made ‘specially for this event! The jewelry is made from sterling silver and swarovski crystals in the colors of the sea. A stamped “Blessed” charm centers the bracelet and is a perfect reminder of our status as children of God.

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For just $5 you can purchase a chance to win the set (bracelet and earrings); ALL money will go directly to Kate and Charley’s adoption fund via Paypal. Just click the “chip-in” button to make your donation and then leave me a comment to tell me that you did so! If you donate $10, or $15, or so on, your entries into the giveaway will also multiply by the same 1:5 ratio.

I’m sorry I just tried to do math in front of you. You shouldn’t have had to see that.

 The winner will be picked from all contributors in one week, on the 2nd of March! And be sure to come back tomorrow to take part in another fun giveaway! 

(by way of explanation, the Chipin button takes you to a paypal site, which lists MY email beneath the fundraiser name. That is simply because I’m using my own Chip-in account for the fundraiser; Kate’s paypal account is the one all donations are going into, which is listed just below that! I thought that might look a little strange to some…)

Special Needs

One of my dearest online friends has what I consider to be some of the most exciting news EVER. She and her husband are planning to expand their fabulous family of seven beautiful children to include two precious girls from the Ukraine. 

The obstacles one faces when adopting are daunting, but to say that Kate and her husband Charley are no strangers to daunting situations would be putting it mildly. In their parenting journey they have faced obstacles that would have had most average mortals wailing in self-pity and crippled by fear.

To state that Kate and Charley are not average mortals would also be putting it mildly. They meet challenges head-on and with a tenacity and faith that I have honestly never seen before in anyone I have ever known.

The girls they are adopting have special needs of their own, and I know that there could not be a better family for them to grow up in. Kate, Charley, and the kids have fallen completely in love with them. You can read all about their journey to adopt at their adoption blog.

Would you like to help bring these precious girls home? Obviously everyone knows that adoption is costly, and there is no denying that this is a plea for funding. But even if you cannot give a dime, would you consider putting up Kate’s blog button on your own site so that others may become aware of the opportunity?

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Most importantly, would you pray? Pray for direction, wisdom, and for patience. Pray for red tape to be swiftly navigated and for efficiency in the most unlikely of places: national governments.

Thank you!

First Hand

Just wanted to share a VERY enlightening blog post from Apparent Project Mission worker Corrigan Clay, who is in the midst of the Haitian Earthquake relief efforts… he has some good advice for people wanting to help!

 

You can scroll down to the bottom of his eyewitness post to find out the best ways to help RIGHT NOW, but in case you haven’t time to do that, the summary is: They are desperate for food, water, and medical supplies. If you want to give money, the BEST places to do it are with the smaller charities (like the Apparent Project) that are already established in the country.

 

(and might I insert here that Compassion International, while not a “smaller charity”, is in an excellent position to help, being not only established in the country already, but plugged in to local churches and communities!)

 

The sad truth seems to be that aid that is simply flown into the airport and passed out to the first hands to grab it is often going to a black market situation that only serves to capitalize on the great suffering and need. Those who are already set-up in Haiti are the best organizations to know how to get the aid to the right places. Larger organizations such as Red Cross will be most helpful in a month or two, but right now they are still getting their act together and trying to establish the who/what/when/wheres of distribution.

 

Mostly, please keep praying. Consider fasting. Haiti was so needy before the earthquake. The world moves on, but the crisis remains.

Heartache

The stories emerging from the Haitian earthquake are as bad, and worse, than I could ever imagine. The photos are stark and terrifying. The mind recoils; human bodies should not be gathered up in bulldozers and taken to mass graves, entire families should not simply cease to exist. It overwhelms the imagination.

 

At this moment, people are organizing, gathering, tabulating, flying, recovering, ministering, grieving, comforting, distributing, cleaning, and working to help the people in Haiti. I wish I could go. I think most people like me feel the same way. But we can’t.

 

So we stay at home. We change diapers. We feed mouths. We shop. We clean bathrooms. We teach minds. We arbitrate disputes. We do laundry. And we pray. We pray for miracles to surface, for hope to rise, for comfort to reign. 

 

And we give our pennies. We send help the only way we can: with our wallets. There are so many good places to drop your gift, so many noble organizations who will use your money responsibly and carefully. I have listed a few below (plus a couple of links that will enable you to help without spending a dime).

 

We hope it’s not too little. We trust that He will multiply.

 

Compassion International’s Haiti fund (or simply click the button to the left)

 

Pioneer Woman’s generous giveaway (she’s giving per comment, so leave one!)

 

Here‘s a site where you can help out, and possibly win some really neat stuff, for just ONE dollar. Hope for Haiti has gathered together all sorts of raffles where you can donate just one dollar and be entered to win anything from jewelry from Lisa Leonard to a Prada bag. The more raffles you enter (for just one dollar each) the more you help, and the more chances you have to win. This is the brainchild of Jenny Buttler from Simply Delightful Designs, and I think it’s an amazing opportunity.

 

Shel who blogs at Large Family, Many Blessings, is donating $5 per comment, so head over there too!

 

Red Cross donations

 

Real Hope for Haiti is taking donations here

 

World Vision’s contribution page is here

I Would Be Remiss

If I did not take a moment to tell you of the buoying effect your words have had upon me.

 

Every…single…comment. Every single comment (yes Carol, even yours…perhaps especially yours…) was used by the Lord to give that blackout curtain a good swift kick. The sun is shining again, and though I know it is a battle that will continue til Kingdom Come, I find the strength again in both the Lord’s Goodness and His great cloud of witnesses.

 

I hear your cheers of encouragement. Those that sent up prayers, be assured that I felt them. God spoke to me in so many ways in the days following that post that I cannot wait to share. But for now I’m just letting it percolate.

 

Percolate all the way to my heart, a drip at a time.

Happy Happy Joy Joy!!!!

I'm sitting here quite literally sniffling and wiping tears from my eyes at God's goodness to us, even in our most doubt- and fear-filled moments. He knows our frame, that we are dust, and he is filled with compassion because He has walked in our footsteps and tasted our grief. How awesome is He? Go here to find out.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever!
ps. 118:29

Brother (but probably mostly sisters), Can You Spare A Prayer?

Today my friend Kate and her sweet boy Joshua head to the hospital to prepare for surgery tomorrow. It is safe to say that Joshua, at two and a half years old, has had more surgeries and procedures than the majority of people on this earth will have in their entire lives. He lives currently in a state of constant pain due to complicated issues with his spinal cord, and the surgery he is about to have is supposed to fix that. Unfortunately, there is a high chance that some paralysis will be the payoff.

It's a sobering prospect, to say the least.

Kate has a list of prayers she is sending up specific to this situation, and I humbly implore you to take a minute to click on over there and add your AMEN to any and all of those. If you haven't got that kind of time, the long story short would be:

Pain GONE. For good. Forever.

And here's a gorgeous face to put with that name as you pray…

 

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16

Thank you to anyone and everyone who lifts Joshua up in prayer today, and in the days to come…

Comrades In Arms

Life is a battle, no doubt. But it is safe to say that not all of us are on the front lines at any given moment. Those of us who find ourselves in a relatively neutral zone of calm and contentment have a spiritual duty to lift up in prayer those who are dodging cannonballs. Would you spare a moment to pray for some beleaguered warriors today?

 

My heart is aching lately for my BFF since Jr. High whose sixteen year old daughter has recently been diagnosed through laparoscopy as having endometriosis. She (the daughter) is in a great deal of pain daily, and they are struggling to find the right course of treatment for her. She is feeling so very alone in her situation and would love to hear any words of encouragement, insight, or simple fellowship from someone who has been (or is) where she is, especially at such a young age. Is there anyone out there who could help? Please don’t hesitate to visit her blog at Beauty in the Mundane and let her know.

 

I have a brilliant friend, Kate, whose smallest son, Joshua, is undergoing surgery in about a week and a half for a complicated issue related to spina bifida. You can read more about it here and here, and see some pictures of what is possibly the most adorable little boy on the planet, but it all boils down to desperately wanting him out of pain. I’ll probably post again about this, closer to surgery time, but if you could just pray right now for peace all over Kate, it would be greatly appreciated.

 

Lastly, but not leastly, the Compassion bloggers who are right now on a trip to the Dominican Republic to try to shed some light on the desperate situation there. The button on my sidebar (left) will take you to links to all their blogs, and hopefully will remind us all to pray for the trip–for their safety, for their ability to accurately portray the need and the solution through the written word, and for many children to be released from poverty in Jesus’ name (as the Compassion slogan goes).

 

God is not made of clay. His ears are not dull to our cries and His arm is not too short to save. He moves on our behalf, in His unfathomable mercy! If we never ask, how can He do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think (Eph. 3:20)? I’m looking forward to Him showing off for me this week!