Sunday, July 31, 2011

Already Thinking About Orphan Sunday....

"Defend the cause of the fatherless...." Isaiah 1:17

I am so excited that our church will be hosting Orphan Sunday this year! John and I are going to help spearhead the event and I can't wait to see how God is glorified and how He softens hearts for the orphan. Those of you who have participated in Orphan Sunday, what should we include in our event? Send me your ideas. I would love to hear them!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Another Month Down

Three months on the wait list! Only 12-15 more to go....this photo was taken on the third base side of the Cardinals stadium in St. Louis!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:My Car

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

He's Weaving A Story....

Over the past 3 weeks, God has begun to weave a story together - a story I can't yet share- but one that God's hand is clearly all over. Yet there is something looming over the situation - a sort of Goliath - that has me a tad bit fearful.
Just like David, there is nothing that I can do in my own power to take down this Goliath. I have to place my confidence solely on God's power. I must place it in His hands and trust that He will make a way.
Last night I spent some time praying about this amazing thing God is doing in our lives and He led me to 1 Peter 3:6 which says "Do what is right and do not give way to fear..."
I heard the Lord whisper "why are you afraid? Your faith and hope is in Me and I am much bigger than what you are fearing - capable of overcoming these obstacles."
This morning I was listening to Kari Jobe on the way to work and she was singing "Nothing is impossible for you...Nothing is impossible for you..." and I was reminded once again that our Goliath is not bigger than our God. With just a sling of a stone it can be gone - if that's God's will.
But maybe this Goliath is in our situation to remind me daily that I HAVE to cling to Jesus. I have to step out in faith and realize that there is really nothing I can do but pray and trust God to move in this situation. This Goliath is another way of drawing me closer to my Savior.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

My Tweet....

Part of my job is to keep up with our social media sites (twitter, facebook, etc.). I don't personally tweet, so twitter is a whole new ballgame for me. Yesterday I tweeted that we needed school supplies for the kiddos that live at the Mission and my tweet ended up on the digital billboards across OKC. How cool is that?

We had a bunch of people retweet my tweet and pass the information along on Facebook. We have had several media outlets pick up the story. I was on Fox 25 News this week and my Texas twang was SO thick. I looked liked a big ol' dork! Oh well...anything for the kids!

If you live in the OKC area and would like to donate school supplies to the Mission, here is the list of items that we need: $25 gift cards to Wal-Mart, child scissors, glue sticks, rulers and protractors, thesaurus, pocket folders with brads, markers, No. 2 pencils, pencil boxes, highlighters, blue and black pens, spiral notebooks, dictionaries, Elmer’s glue, backpacks, three ring binders, colored pencils, wide ruled notebook paper, red pens, pencil sharpeners, Kleenex.

If you want to donate, contact me at I can tell you where to drop the items off or I can come pick them up from you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

163 Million Orphans, Closed Orphanges and Adoption

Last night my hubby went to see a movie with a friend and I was more than happy to have the house to myself - I really needed to clean, but more than anything I needed to sit in my chair, open my Bible and spend some much needed time with God. Too much time had gone by since I had cranked up the worship music, lifted my hands towards heaven and sang my heart out. I prayed, I seeked, I let the Word speak to my heart. You see, for the past few weeks my heart has been extremely burdened.

I have the most wonderful job in the world! I spend my days working with some amazing people - people who are being transformed by God right before my eyes. But it's also a hard job. If I'm not careful I can be zapped dry - I have to depend on Jesus to give me the strength and all that I need to love the people I come in contact with everyday - because they aren't always easy to love. I must constantly cling to the hope I have in Christ, because I daily see situations that seem so hopeless.

Here's the sucky part of my job...falling in love with these kids....wishing I could take them home and love them and give them all that they need. Watching them walk out the door last Friday (after hugging and squeezing them and telling them goodbye), not knowing if they will have enough food, diapers or hugs and kisses. I bawled all the way home. I thought my heart would break....

On Sunday God put me in the exact place I needed to be. A 16-year-old who used to live at the Mission , happened to be at the church I was visiting. She knew nobody except me and the lady she was with. I got to hug her, I got to make sure she was okay. She's about to have a baby at any time. She's 16. She has no money. She doesn't have the kind of family support that I have. My heart breaks. I wonder how she'll take care of the baby. Does she have a safe place to stay? When will the cycle be broken? Will it ever be?

Tuesday morning I was reading a blog post by Lara about an orphan in Eastern Europe. An orphan with Down's Syndrome, which is a death sentence in her country. What Lara wrote made my stomach turn.

"Since turning five, she was transferred from the babies' orphanage where she was, which was abysmal, but much better than where she went after she was transferred. Teri Lynn went to the asylum. Had her head shaved. Her days are now spent strapped to a crib. There is a 95% chance she will die there. Starved of love, human contact, and food."

Yesterday I discovered that numerous orphanages have been shut down in Ethiopia. They have been shut down because there were unethical practices going on. Children were living in awful conditions. It's rumored that up to 40 orphanages could be shut down in the near future. Here's the deal: these orphanages need to be shut down if the children living there aren't being taken care of or if they are involved in unethical adoptions. But my heart hurts - what happens to all of these children? Most will go into other orphanages, but what happens when they are overflowing and they can't hold any more kids? What does the future look like for Ethiopian adoptions - there are so many unknowns.

Lara urges Christians to take a stand for orphans. She writes:

"224 million Christians in America.
163 million orphans in the world. (UNICEF, 2009)

Now, all 163 million of those children can't be adopted. But they can be sponsored, educated, fed, loved, and given a chance at life.




By millions of us.

My prayer is also that the Spirit would continually convict my heart and yours. When I become complacent and comfortable and life starts looking good. I pray He would wreck it. When I'm ready to turn my head or stop looking beyond my own front door, I pray He would bring me to my knees. "

John and I are passionate about orphan care and adoption - we are in the process of adopting orphans from Ethiopia, we sponsor a 7-year-old girl in Ethiopia, we're hoping our church will host Orphan Sunday in November, but are we really doing enough? I don't think so!

There has to be more that we can do, and like Lara I'm praying that God will speak to my heart and reveal how John and I can help defend the cause of the fatherless even more than we are doing now. After all, it's what God has called us to do!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Perfect Summer Sweet Treat

I just made this yummy fruit pizza for a friend! It's a homemade sugar cookie topped with a cream cheese frosting and piled with fresh fruit! It's the perfect dessert for the scorching summer days that we are experiencing here in Oklahoma!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Six Ways I Spent My Saturday

At the Zoo with John and Madison in the 150 degree heat. Seriously, we only lasted about two hours! But we saw the baby elephant and the cool lion below. Maddie had a blast and John and I had fun practicing for when we become parents some day. After the zoo we headed to McDonald's for a Happy Meal.

After a few hours in the brutal Oklahoma heat, John and I decided to take a nap in the cool air conditioning. I spent three hours here:

When John and I woke up we decided we needed a cool treat so we headed to one of our favorite spots. Il Dolce Gelato. Our friends Sommer and Neil own the place and it is fabulous! I had pina colada and watermelon gelato today. A great way to spend a hot summer day.

After gelato John was a trooper and took me to Pottery Barn Kids so that I could get some ideas for the nursery that we will soon begin to decorate. I saw this bedding and I really like it - but I'm not sure. It's hard when you don't know if you'll be getting a boy or a girl. I also found some great bedding online that is just bright and colorful and I may have my friend Kathleen make it for me since she's the queen of the sewing machine. So many ideas....

After looking at baby things, John and I tried out a new burger place in OKC. It was amazing! If you live in the area you must go to the Patty Wagon! Great burgers!

And last but not least, I got the logo for my new baking business! Isn't it the cutest thing ever?? Becky designed it for me! You can see other cute stuff she has done by clicking on the button to her blog, which is on the right hand side of my blog. I designed some business cards and I'm ready to spread the word about
 Sweet Inspirations!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Each Week These Faces Bring Me Joy...

 This is Jesse...I'm her mentor at the Mission.
 This is my little buddy Jatavian. I get to hold him almost every morning during devotion. He gives me hugs and high fives and usually ends up falling asleep in my lap. He absolutely loved the water sprinkler today. It was so much fun watching him run and play...
 This little princess is Jatavia and she also sits in my lap a lot. Can she be any cuter?? She also liked the water sprinkler. Would stick her face right in it and then laugh.
 Me and my buddy...
 The cutest kids ever....
My friend Abby (who I love to pieces) with our girl Jatavia

Just another day at the Mission. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

My Heart is Burdened....

For the past few days I’ve been in a funk. I feel like my spiritual tank is dry. It’s my own fault – I’ve allowed the busyness of life to keep me from spending time with Jesus the way I should.

Yesterday I read my morning devotion and God knew I needed a little reminder that I needed to be making more time for Him.

“The world is waiting to squeeze you into a mold and to crowd out time
devoted to Me.” ~Jesus Calling

When you’re spiritually dry, it’s really hard to work in a homeless shelter. Each day I pour out (definitely not as much as I should) but I’m not taking the time to refill my spiritual bank.

When my tank is full it’s easier to love the people that cross my path every day, it’s easier to see the bright side of things. Despite how bad the situation looks, I can always find a little spark of hope – when I am filled with Jesus.

This week my heart has been burdened by what I’ve seen. This morning I spent my drive praying. My heart hurting for those that I see on a daily basis.

For the girl who is pregnant and had to come to the shelter because her parents practically disowned her when they found out she was expecting.

For the same girl who has to make the hardest decision of her life – should she put her baby up for adoption? to work crying and

Wishing that John and I could provide the love, family and home that the baby will need if the birth mother does choose to put the baby up for adoption – if only it were that easy.

For the two children that I hold and play with on a daily basis, who I’ve come to love. Their situation makes my heart sad. I see their circumstances and I don’t know how it can get better, how they could possibly have a chance for a better life. I hear the 3-year-old say the F word and see him flip people off – I get on to him, but his family member is the one teaching him those things.

For the parents who don’t have patience with their kids. They scream and yell at them just because they are being kids.

I started reading the book “Plan B” last night and there was a quote that really stood out to me.

“The question that resurfaces for me again and again and again has more to do with all the unexplainable pain and hurt in the world. The greater struggle for me is that God exists, yet so does a lot of pain and suffering.”

Yesterday during our morning devotion, I caught myself asking God why it’s so hard for John and me to become parents when so many children desperately need the love and stability that we can provide. Why does it take so long and cost so much for children to be placed in families?

I’m glad that God let’s me ask those questions. That when I am an emotional wreck and my heart hurts so desperately, that I can just spill my guts and He loves me just the same.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July Weekend in Pictures....

We spent 4th of July weekend visiting John's family in St. Louis. We spent a day out on the river on John's dad's boat and then went to see the Cardinals play baseball. Here are a few pics from the weekend.

 John and I headed out on the boat....
 John's sister Adrienne and her husband Scott
 John's dad and I cooling off in the river - it was hot, but not near as hot as it has been in Oklahoma. Driving home today my car said 107. Really???

 John, that life jacket may be a tad bit too small....
 John, Adrienne and I soakin up the sun - so much so that I got a tad bit burnt.
 John and his mom
 John's parents
 John and I sporting our new Cardinals hats at the game
 John, me, Adrienne and Scott after a Cards win
 An awesome view of the Arch from the stadium
 I had a treat during the game - dippin dots in honor of Anna
John and I headed to the game....

Monday, July 4, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Sweet Inspiration stole the show and will be the name of my new baking business.
There's actually a really cool story behind this name. My friend Kim and I were having dinner before Bible Study last week and we were racking our brains for the perfect baking business name but were getting nowhere.
When I got home that night Kim sent me a text message that included this photo.

If you look really close you can see the words Sweet Inspiration. Kim had doodled these words on her Bible Study notes a few weeks before and had no idea why. She just knew this was what I should call my business.
So I added Sweet Inspiration to the list of finalists and it was by far the favorite among voters.
But the icing on the cake for me and what made me know it was the THE name was what Erica had to say about it.
She said that the name Sweet Inspiration will leave people wondering how I came up with the name. When they ask, it will open the door for me to share our adoption story since our adoption was the sweet inspiration for starting this baking business and the name is one I can continue to use long after our kiddos are home!
Thank you to everyone who gave me their ideas and voted for the perfect name!
Let the baking begin!!!! First order will be whatever sweet treat Kim wants since she's the winner!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:St. Louis

Friday, July 1, 2011

A few "Sweet" Business Names to Choose From

I had several people send me their ideas for what I should name my baking business. I have narrowed it down to three of the suggestions that I received and want my bloggy friends to choose the one that you like best! Tell me which one is your favorite! The name with the most votes will win. The person who came up with the creative idea will receive a special prize - I can tell you that part of the prize will include some delicious homemade treats (I gotta let you sample what I'll be selling!). I will also throw another surprise or two in the prize winning jackpot!
Okay....drum roll please....the choices are:

Baby Cakes
"Our sweet journey to Ethiopia"


R.E.D. Velvet Bliss
"Reaching Ethiopia Deliciously"


Sweet Inspiration
(a few friends thought I should name the business something that doesn't relate to our adoption since I will continue to bake long after I bring our kiddos home....)

Post your vote in the comment section below by the end of the day Sunday. I will announce the winning name on Monday as well as the winner of the finger lickin' good contest!