Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In Awe of God. . .

In awe of our Creator today! Boy does He love the orphans. He moves mountains for them. Please don't ever underestimate how much any little (or big) part you play means.  It is incredible when you see God's people come together to get something done that God has set in motion.  We are working feverishly on a new adoption blog/website. I do not get giddy about these types of things. In fact, Jim wanted to do this and I was incredibly hesitant. But I am really excited about this one. I feel like God is putting a plan in motion so much bigger than us. Call me crazy but I do.

For this adoption, the website will serve several purposes. First, I will begin posting all adoption related blogs there. Second, it will be the location for our online auction and so much better than doing it on Facebook. And thirdly, we are going to have some amazing adoption T-shirts available there.

After this adoption, we don't know what the plans will be but perhaps it will be used in some wonderful way to continue to get the message out and helps others. Praise God for whatever He will do!  The 1:27 Mandate

Pertaining to the t-shirts. . .have I told you how big our God is and how much He loves the orphans. Whew!!! We have an amazing friend who is donating professionally designed beautiful soft t-shirts to sell!!! God moves His people! Praising Him for ever puzzle piece, every auction item, every t-shirt and most of all for bringing hope to a little girl who would otherwise have none. Don't you love when God takes hold of something and all you can do is watch in awe. Humbled. . .

Friday, September 19, 2014

Is this real?

One of the things that I love about God is that often where He takes you would not be where you would go on your own.  During the very early morning I laid awake listening to thunder roaring.  I begin to let myself think about what it will be like to bring our new daughter into our lives. What will she be like? Will the transition be hard for her? Will she grieve greatly all that she will leave behind? What will her personality be like? How in the world did we get here? How did we get to the point that we are willing to adopt an older girl from the other side of he world? God! It is the only explanation.  I remember just a month or so back saying to our pastor that it would take an act of God for us to adopt again. Well, I wonder if God laughed as I said that?

For the past couple weeks, I have struggled. I came to terms pretty easily with God's general plan. Just not so much the specifics. But He is teaching me, sanctifying me, and humbling me. This too I must fully lay on His throne. Hands WIDE open! Life lived for eternity!

Today. . . the "to do" list is long. Too long. And that is not helped by this growing passion that I am starting to feel that we need to work hard to go get our daughter as soon as possible. Is that my impatience or God's prompting. I am not sure. We don't know for sure how old she is so we have no idea if she is close to aging out. We don't know what if any special needs she has so we don't know if she needs other issues cared for. Thankfully, what we do know is that we serve a mighty God that day-by-day changed our hearts and minds sending us back to China for our new daughter. He is much more able than we are to care for her. And He is able to provide the way for us. Praise God!

So far, we have sold 16 puzzle pieces. 984 to go.  When people help, not only does it help financially but it also helps us see God's hand in this. He moves His people. I know that for these kinds of things people like to be the eluding "last piece", but we need 984 pieces before that. Would you be willing? Would you buy a piece today and maybe even ask a couple friends or family members to also buy a piece? Have you watched "God's Not Dead"? Our suitcase is in the car (so to speak). Will you put yours in with us? Faith.

Which piece will you be?

1) Brian and WendyWatson
2) Brian and WendyWatson
3) Brian and WendyWatson
4) Brian and WendyWatson
5) Brian and WendyWatson
6) Brian and WendyWatson
7) Brian and WendyWatson
8) Brian and WendyWatson
9) Brian and WendyWatson
10) Brian and WendyWatson
11) Jason Owen
12) Amanda Owen
13) Allan Owen
14) David and Ann Ess
15) David and Ann Ess
16) David and Ann Ess
17)Rocky Carswell
18) Evelyn Carswell
19) Rico Carswell
20) Taylor Shelton
21) Taylor Shelton
22) Taylor Shelton
23) Taylor Shelton
24) Taylor Shelton
25) Edith Page
26) Evelyn Carswell in honor of Vesna Solheim
27) The Temple Family from Missouri
28) The Temple Family from Missouri
29) The Temple Family from Missouri

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

So here we go. . .step of faith

So.  . . Here we go.  With fear and trembling talking a step of faith.  Honestly, the whole fundraising idea makes us feel vulnerable and I gotta say that we still prefer the $30,000 miracle.  Wouldn't that be a story?  But while we know our God is able,  we know He may have other ideas including some that are $10.00 at a time.  So our step of faith will begin with a “puzzle fundraiser” for our adoption!

We are selling each puzzle piece for $10. You can buy one piece, or as many as you like. We will then put your name/family's last name on the back of the puzzle piece. Once we have sold all the puzzle pieces, we will have it framed (glass on both sides) and hang it the room of our new daughter as a lasting treasure. She will then be able to see who helped bring her home from China.

You can donate through PayPal or mail us a check. Please indicate what you would like written on the back of your puzzle piece(s).   Please share this information with your friends too!   it will take a huge amount of support to bring her home.  We will post updates on the progress of the puzzle as it is coming together. Thank you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Orphan Ministry and next steps. . .

Orphan Ministry. . .how do you define such a thing? I don't know that you do. You might start off trying to define what it means to you but then it just grips you. God opens your eyes and peels back your heart. You no longer have much choice. . .you just move out of love and compassion.

Our journey with orphan care started out of infertility and not passion. It started as self care. That is a harsh but true statement. Oh, we were interested and compassionate about the plight of the children  but only to a certain degree. Then God brought two little boys into our lives. We were young and naive. They were traumatized and in many ways broken by the many hard places they had been. Their family failed them and then foster home after foster home failed them. Honestly, it was six years later before we came up for breath. It was that hard. One day we realized that we had breath and stated out loud how wonderful it was. But God saw hands that were about to relax and He said no.

It was time for the next part of the journey. But as I said, we were content and had no need. But He told us as clearly as writing on the wall that we had a daughter in China. What could we do but go get her. The Lord God had already pronounced her on loan to us. And the second journey began. We paper chased for a year. But then one day a FedEx envelope appeared at our doorstep with a picture of our baby girl. I cannot say it was instant love but it was as if I had always known her. This child that I had prayed for over the past year was already there with me in many ways. So we anxiously jumped on a plane for the long flight and brought home our daughter.  She has been a joy and delight. Finally, our family is complete.

Fast forward seven years. God opened our eyes to even a deeper level to the plight of the orphan and His heart for these children. Specifically, the many children that are forever orphans without families many of which are trafficked. So we began advocacy and began to really get involved in other families who foster and adopt. We even licensed to foster parent. But we felt like God clearly said "no, this is not where I want you." That took some time and prayer to digest and understand.

So we settled back. . .what next Lord? He began talking to us about "living life for eternity" and living "hands wide open".  These terms are still proving hard to grasp. After all, only our Savior could truly master that.  Meanwhile, we tried making plans for the next steps in our life but doors keep getting closed. While I am so thankful to not be allowed to go in the wrong direction, those doors are starting to get a bit bothersome even painful at times.  Yet at the same time it is clear to see God is up to something. He is preparing us for something. Both my husband and I are fully aware of this but what?

To my surprise, discussions from the most unlikely of places started surfacing about adopting again from China. But this time an older girl (in China they age out at 14). What???? Since we decided long ago that we were too old, too poor, too tired, etc to adopt again and that we would never adopt an older child. . .where did this come from? Hum? It is overwhelming and it will take a HUGE step of faith. Financially, we are not at a point to do this. God will have to provide it ALL. We have seen Him do that before but yet it feels more daunting now than ever. We covet your prayers. I jokingly said a few months back as I watched others do adoption fundraising that I would go back in a heartbeat if someone handed me a $30,000 check (that is how much it cost roughly). Um well, I think God is testing me on this but without the $30,000 check.

I have no idea what. . .if. . .when. . .etc.  We need desperately to see God's hand. There is nothing our God cannot do. We are sure of that. Prayerfully, we can be fully willing to do whatever He ask of us. Even if that is to prepare pile upon pile of documents, travel across the World, fund-raise tirelessly, parent patiently a little girl who has spent too many years as an orphan already. Again your prayers are greatly coveted. Please pray that we see God's plan more clearly, that He provides provisions and resources if we are to move forward, and that we will be His willing servant.

In order to help us take the first leap of faith,  would you consider purchasing a piece of the puzzle?If so, go to the next blog entry. . .Be a piece of the puzzle!

Thank you so much!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A fresh new tilling. . .

I love when God gives my heart a fresh new tilling especially when it is in the morning. The hardness is gone and I am filled with awe and humility even joy. But I do know there are times that people spend time with God and they don't feel like their hearts are tilled. In fact, they fill nothing. I personally have had plenty of those times.  And with myself, I see a pattern.

A farmer would never go out to plant a field where the ground was hard. He would first till the field and prepare it even painstakingly. But we often rush to take a bit of God's Word from Sunday morning, a really quick devotion, or a flick of the radio dial and plant it in the hard soil of our hearts. Then we get busy again and fail to add anything necessary for the seeds that have fallen there to grow. So they simply lay on the hard soil of our hearts until the next time we take a few minutes to seek Him.  Sadly, then many come to a very false conclusion such as: "I don't understand the Bible", "That preacher is boring", or "I can never feel God's presence".

God is about relationships. He loves each of us more than we can comprehend and wants to spend time with us. The more we spend time with Him. . .the more we began to understand Him. With each time of reading His Word, prayers full of humility, and authentic worship the soil of our hearts is tilled. Then the next time we hear a sermon or read His Word it falls on soft rich soil ready to receive the gift of relationship with God. NOTHING compares. There is no other way to obtain such a feeling. It is a sweet gift from our Savior. Have you ever felt so incredibly loved it blows you away?

So if you haven't spent any real time with the I AM lately. Today is a great day to change that. But if you don't sense His presence today, that is ok. Tomorrow the soil will be tilled a bit from the day before and so on. You wouldn't expect to build a relationship with a new friend in one quick sitting. Relationships take time and require something to build.  Your relationship with God is no different. If you want the greatest experience in all of life. . .let Him till the soil of your heart.

Reading Revelations 4-5 is a great way to begin to let the magnitude of God penetrate your heart.