Another Holt (our adoption agency) family is about to head over to UG for their court date and they are going to bless the children and workers at their son's and J's orphanage with cloth diapers. They have very little diapers there right now and not to be gross but the kiddos just go in their pants. Would you please help? You can go to their blog and they have an Amazon Wishlist all set up. You don't even have to ship them to the Boltes...Amazon will do that for you! You can also just donate money using the paypal link. J is one of those babies who will benefit from this...would you please consider it? Thank you!!
Last night we had a good friend over for dinner. Sine has been in this country for over twenty years. He is from Ethiopia and was a refugee himself. Of course last night as we sat around our table what did the conversation turn to...the famine in Africa. I don't know how many times I have heard his own story of life in the refugee camps in Somalia but everytime I hear it, it still moves me so deeply! He told us how he was moved to tears and sorrow when he saw the pictures of those suffering right now. He gets it on a much deeper level than I ever will because he has actually suffered from hunger, homelessness and utter despair in his life! But God has taken care of him time and time again because Christians were willing to step out and be used by God! We talked about the organizations over there right now trying to help. I know in situations like this it is easy to disconnect from it because it is so far away and honestly there is so much in our lives to distract us and I know I feel like what can my little amount do to really help? But if we all work together in Christ he can multiply what we give. Please consider skipping lunch or dinner this week or like a friend and her husband did...give up your grocery money for the week and just eat soup and sandwiches and give it to the relief effort!
"'The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them. Ezekial 16:49-50
Have you seen the news reports about the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa? If you haven't there are about 10 million people who are on the verge of death because they do not have any food or water. They are fleeing into refugee camps but for many of them it is too late! It is being called the worst drought in the last sixty years. My friend MaryBeth wrote a great blog post about it here.
How can I look at these pictures and walk away and just live my life as if this is not happening? How can I walk into Starbucks and buy myself a four dollar cup of coffee and not feel convicted? But how many times do I do just that? How many times do I walk around like these children and their basic needs do not exist? Yesterday I was reading in Luke 11. In verses 37-54 Jesus is talking to the Pharisee whose house he is at to eat.
When he finished that talk, a Pharisee asked him to dinner. He entered his house and sat right down at the table. The Pharisee was shocked and somewhat offended when he saw that Jesus didn't wash up before the meal. But the Master said to him, "I know you Pharisees burnish the surface of your cups and plates so they sparkle in the sun, but I also know your insides are maggoty with greed and secret evil. Stupid Pharisees! Didn't the One who made the outside also make the inside? Turn both your pockets and your hearts inside out and give generously to the poor; then your lives will be clean, not just your dishes and your hands.
"I've had it with you! You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but manage to find loopholes for getting around basic matters of justice and God's love. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required.
"You're hopeless, you Pharisees! Frauds! You love sitting at the head table at church dinners, love preening yourselves in the radiance of public flattery. Frauds! You're just like unmarked graves: People walk over that nice, grassy surface, never suspecting the rot and corruption that is six feet under." The Message
No more looking the other way...how can I? How can I claim to have the love of Christ in me but continue on without helping!
So we can do something about this! MaryBeth had a great idea and it is here. We are going to participate in Give your Lunch to Jesus. What if all of us gave up eating at our favorite restaurant or fixing a great meal and just ate pb&j on Sunday, July 31st...think of the glory God would get because of our obedience to his word! What an incredible picture it would be of the body of Christ doing what the body of Christ was made to do! I hope you join us on July 31st! There are so many great aid organizations out there but Compassion International and World Vision are two Christian organizations working to help the people suffering in this region of Africa.
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke? 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? 8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard. 9 Then you will call, and the LORD will answer;
you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
with the pointing finger and malicious talk, 10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
and your night will become like the noonday. 11 The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
On Sunday, J turned 22 months! We rejoice in the fact that we are one month closer to meeting him and having him here with us. But of course the Mommy heart in me is sad to have missed one more month with him. But we are blessed! He is healthy, his belly is full and he is trying to learn to run and kick a ball! Good stuff!
So, each month as he turns older we buy him a book to celebrate! J's library is growing and this month we got the book Through Moon and Stars and Night Skies. It is a beautiful story of how a little boy joined his family through adoption. It came highly recommended! I can't wait to read it to him!
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, The Message
For the past couple of months I have been keeping a thankful journal. After reading Ann Voskamp'sOne Thousand Gifts I knew I had to keep one also. It has become a way that I worship God. When I write down what I am thankful for it helps me to praise God and focus on him the way I should!
This month at church our sermon series is on worship and David said something on Sunday that really struck me...are we letting God into the secret places of our heart or are we just keeping him where we want him? (Tracy's wording) I know I do exactly that! Yesterday as I was looking back in my journal I realized I had thanked God for lots of awesome things...Jason, our kids, flowers,coffee, clean water, salvation, grace and on and on but I hadn't thanked him for the hard things. Of course that is the whole point of Ann's book...thanking God for the hard things and bad things. Thanksgiving in everything...worship in every situation! Well, I hadn't done that yet.
So...here goes number 229. I am thankful for Waiting. UGH!! That one is tough to put down! I don't like waiting. I want J home right now!! I don’t like not being the one who is in control of this process. I don't like not knowing the timing. I want to be the one putting him to bed and I want to read him books and be the one who gives him hugs and kisses right now! But there was such freedom and joy that came from writing that down! Yes I thank you God that your timing is perfect and you know more than I do! I thank you that in the waiting you are molding me and changing me to be more like your son! I thank you that this is for your glory! So, I praise God for the waiting!!
I hope this song blesses you as much as it has me!
I love getting out of the city and into the country. Don't get me wrong I love living in Charlotte but sometimes a break from concrete is good! Today was one of those days. So we packed a picnic lunch, loaded up the car and headed to Jo's farm with some neighborhood friends! We have lots of blueberries to bake some yummy things with!
Besides picking blueberries we got to feed their chickens! This was more of a hit with the kiddos than picking blueberries!
While we were picking the blueberries we came across a nest in the blueberry bush! We all thought this was the coolest thing!!
I have had a lot of fun reading all of the blog posts about activities to do with my kids this summer! It is always good to get inspiration and ideas from other places...sometimes by the end of the school year I am little drained when it comes to ideas. The first great idea I found is by Meg at Whatever ...she painted this fabulous chalkboard in her kitchen and added their summer bucket list to it. I love the ideas and chalkboard!
Summer is such a great time but it is easy to get caught up in the...what do WE want to do next question! Serving ourselves is easy but serving others...sometimes it is easy to let that one go the by wayside. The example I have to follow though is this... just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve Matthew 20:28
So here is a great list to help remind me of where my focus needs to be! You may have already seen this post that Kristen wrote about 100 ways for your family to make a difference ( it is up to 109 ways and growing)! If you haven't seen it I have reposted it below. Kristen and her family have started Mercy House.
"Better to love God and die unknown than to love the world and be a hero; better to be content with poverty than to die a slave to wealth; better to have taken risks and lost than to have done nothing and succeeded at it! -E. Lutzer
I follow Christ and try to bring him glory in what I do. I am fallen and imperfect and so thankful for Christ who died for my sins. This blog is just a way to share how our family is trying to grow deep roots in God.