Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!!

Last year, we two, brought you bloggy world a Christmas pic greeting....this year, as I was remembering last year, I thought it'd be nice to give an updated Christmas pic!

(look who's walking and starting to even run!!!)
We love you all and wish you all a Very Merry CHRISTmas!!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A season of unfamiliar.

The changing of seasons is always somewhat difficult.

Learning a new routine...yet still bonded to the routine of a time past.

The thrill of new with the ache for what has been.

The longing for the closeness that once was, but instead awaiting the days of goodbyes.

Anxiety trying to creep in about what the the new familiar might hold.

What used to be familiar gradually becoming the unfamiliar.

The changing of seasons is a season of unfamiliar, while waiting for the new familiar.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Saturday, December 10, 2011


Just sharing a quick interesting update of today...

Yesterday was a really wet day.. wet meaning there was pouring rain, and flooding in the streets...On my way home, I had walk a couple times through water over my ankles.. it was just wet and rainy all day.

This morning, it was sunny! I was getting ready to head out the door to school, and I saw my umbrella where I put it yesterday to dry out. Oh.. I need to grab that since it's been so rainy lately. I was about to be 'running late' and was thinking where did I put that little cover bag (you all know what I mean.. the little bag that goes with the umbrella). Well.. I quickly glanced around the room looking for it...

You won't need it.

Ummm...Lord?? Did I really just hear You say that? I could hear my Daddio's advice in the back of my head telling me to always be prepared, and never fall victim to ''poor planning''. So.. Lord.. don't you think maybe..

You won't need it.

Ok. That was enough for me...I left for school kinda puzzled.

You see, when I first came to the Philippines back in 2009, I had prayed that the Lord would allow me to hear His voice and give me wisdom in discerning His voice and His will for my life. In the year that followed, the Lord answered that prayer many times over. However, lately, I had been struggling with this again. Doubting what/who I was hearing, afraid I was hearing my own self and wanting to believe what I wanted to hear.

So, for several months now, a main prayer of mine has been "Lord, ... just whisper to me. Gently whisper to me, let me know Your voice again. Speak to me, let me hear You. "

On my way to school, I thought about what I had heard and kept thinking..Lord? I'm certain that was You... wasn't it You?

I got to school and sat with some friends inside for a little while before my one class. When we came out of that building to walk to the room where our class would be held, low and behold, it was pouring rain.

Umm... Lord??

I told you, you won't need it.

And.. in typical human fashion.. "Lord... it's raining now..." It was at that point that I realized.. the room to which I was walking to ... there was a covered sidewalk leading right to the door..."The rain is gonna stop isn't it God??" I felt like a little kid that was finally understanding a grown-up conversation...

You won't need it.

Later on, I walked out of the classroom to a parking lot with small puddles all over it.. but ... as I expected... IT WAS NOT RAINING.

I smiled to myself as I walked out the school gate.

The commute is nearly an hour, riding multiple trains and walking some more before I reach my final stretch of walking outside. The clouds were dark and cloudy, waiting to release when I stepped outside from the final train station.

"Lord... I need to run stop by the store real quick before I go home.. but it looks as if it'll start to rain..", me oh my... always in typical human fashion I am, worrying, as the thought, the Lord knows I need to go to the store, He knew this morning before I even looked for the umbrella, before I had even thought about stopping by the store on the train home.. He knew. "Ok, Lord, stopping by the store it is."

I came out of the store with dark clouds and carrying a full load of bags. . .

It NEVER RAINED... yet..

as I type this... the rain is pouring outside my window. I hear the stream of water coming from right above my window. And through it all.. I never needed my umbrella, just as HE said it would be.

It was about an umbrella, nothing major, nothing big or wonderful, but oh my wasn't it!!! I'm reminded of a skype date I was able to have with my parents last night. I hadn't realized how much I had been holding things in until I was given the opportunity just to speak with them.. what did I say?? Something big or important??? ... No. I spoke about school, about my professors, about my friends, about new people I had met that week, I spoke about things that really don't affect my parents at all, but just the act of speaking to them brings us so much closer. And... I know... that they don't mind that it's not huge important things, they just want to hear what I want to say.

That's what today was for me. I'm so tickled that He spoke and whispered so clearly to me. I'm so thrilled that He ALLOWED me to hear. I'm so thankful for Him repeating it.

Lord, Thank You! Thank You for whispering to me, even something so little, but it was You speaking to me!!!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sorry to keep you all waiting.. an update will come soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A season of... really???

I've felt God gently whispering here lately. Gently telling me what was next. He knew He must be gentle.. and He knew I wouldn't want to hear it.


.. you know how it goes. Fingers plugged in your ears screaming at the top of your lungs, making it practically impossible to hear anything and making it that way on purpose.

Because to be perfectly honest.. I did NOT want to hear what I was thinking I heard. I did not want it AT ALL. But still.. it was there ... that feeling... that whisper... THIS is what I have for you for now. THIS new season...

I know you are all wondering what this whisper was, some big change???? A change yes, but big.. no.

I have heard, have been convicted about my attitude of NOT wanting it, and finally have come to accept it, (Now.. I'm still not to the point of being THRILLED about it... ) but I feel the Lord calling me to a season of... me.

I know alot of people won't understand this.. I was one of those people at the beginning, but I believe those words are the exact words that HE placed on my heart. I was as I said earlier, completely against this at first. I fought and fought against it. It was completely selfish I thought. Never would I settle for a 'season of me' when there is still so much to be done, so much suffering. Instead I ached...(and believe me.. I STILL ache)... to open my heart and life to a little one. I had been counting down the months... and now I watch, a silent tear finding its way down my cheek, as that dream is put several years in the future... I accept, my heart literally breaking in my heart, that God has other plans for me. I fight the disgust that constantly tries to arise within me at this thought of this 'season of me'. And once again, I'm finding that the plan I had for my life... is far from what He has, and once again, I'm left not knowing what will happen.. again.. but this time, it seems a little more major. That feeling tries to come with more panic this time, more fear this time.

As part of this plan, the LORD was gracious and allowed me some time ago to inquire of and pass the entrance exam to Philippine Christian University, here in Manila. I am now in my second week there. I have classes 6 days a week and am working towards my BSW, Bachelor Degree in Social Work.

Does this mean ministry stops completely, absolutely not! The toddlers are usually my first stop when I come in the door. I will still be doing outreach at every opportunity, but that will mainly be limited to the weekends.

What this means is that for the time being, my life will again be one of homework, studying, research and quizzes.

What this means is that my heart breaks to just be away from them during the day, every day.

What this means is that I'm stepping back from alot of what used to be, and am stepping towards this new area of my life.

What this means is that I'm working towards something that will ultimately allow me to do further ministry and work for the LORD.

What this means is that... there is still a TON that God has in store for me during this time. Much of it has not been told to me yet, some has been whisphered, but for now, I'm learning the ropes for this new season.

A season I'm still trying not to resent. A season I'm still trying to embrace.

A season of me.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We opened the curtains that morning...

I have struggled with whether or not to post this entry on my blog. This is such a private, extremely close to my heart story and part of me wanted to keep it all mine. But, it being so important to me, I knew I must share it, I must share her story, I must share the grace of God and His faithfulness that has been evident through all. You can learn more about Jellyn's story by visiting the Gentle Hands website or facebook page, where Ate C has written two posts about this precious little girl I came to love so much. Again, I pray that through all things, every word I speak, every touch I give, every blog I post.. may it ALL be to the glory of God! ~ To God Be the Glory

We had been up numerous times throughout the overall quiet night. And for some reason unbeknownst to me, the Lord inclined it upon my heart, to look to the curtain. I looked at the big windows that covered the length of the entire wall and then back to beautiful but tiny reason I was there in the room to begin with. Jellyn, as she lay in her hospital bed was staring at the curtains as well, tho she had never given them a glance before. I motioned and asked, in a language she wouldn't understand, "Do you want me to open them?" Catching my motions, she gave me raised eyebrows to indicate yes. So.. I pulled the curtains back and together we watched the sun come up over the big building next to the hospital. We watched, with the beating of the oxygen monitor in the background as color filled the sky.

We had been in the room exactly 1 week, learning how to communicate around our language barriers. She was broken, oh so broken. She had learned to rely on no one. She had a learned to wear a mask, a mask of a tough exterior, unaffected, but underneath.. oh so broken.

Once she knew that I wasn't going anywhere, that I wasn't going to harm her, she let the mask down. Underneath she was absolutely empty of love and affection. So, kisses were given in abundance, lotion mixed with love rubbed over limbs that had scarcely ever seen a gentle touch, the words that translated "I love you" were meaningfully whispered in her ear. In the moments when the pain was the worst, she would hold her arms up, longing to just be held. And so ... love was given, love was cherished, love was her's.

She had been struggling, but that afternoon the struggling took an intensifying turn. As I held her close, I saw it in her eyes, she was struggling and I felt it in my gut... it was too much. Knowing she wouldn't see the next morning, I tried to wrap my arms around her. Through her battle to breathe she uttered the words saying she wanted to be held, to sit in my lap.

I scooped her into my arms and we sat there for hours.

We sat, and we sang softly, one of the few tagalog songs I know. A song that talks of a Great and Good God, who loves us very much. We prayed. I told her that she didn't have to fight anymore if she didn't want to, that it was ok. I told her that she could go with Jesus and she wouldn't need to fight anymore. She looked at me, getting worse by the hour, and I uttered, it's ok. I kissed her cheeks for the millionth time. And then as her eyes wandered, she saw something, but it wasn't for everyone, it was just for her. With her gaze set, seeing something I was unable to see, I knew. I whispered to her... "You see Jesus don't you? It's ok... you can go. Go to Him" Soon after that, she closed her eyes and they remained.

Ate C arrived and we sat for hours in the quiet room as she went into a comatose state. Knowing the end result, we stayed just the same, we wouldn't leave her now.

We stayed by her side, my arm around her, both of us letting her know she was loved and once again, it was ok not to fight anymore. We told her it was ok to go to Jesus now.

And peacefully, she took her last breath.

I had struggled with why the Lord had not healed her.. had I not enough faith? had we done something wrong? But as we sat those last hours with her, the Lord showed me something... He had called her to Himself in Heaven the whole time, that part was never to change. I had been looking at this situation as if it were about us, it was not about us, it was about Jellyn.

Jellyn was going to heaven with or without us, but how would we want her to spend the last week of her life? How would we want her to pass? Scared, alone, unloved?

Instead the last week of her life was full of tenderness, prayer, hugs, kisses, a beautiful fluffy bear that was all her's, and all the love she wanted.

Ate C prayed with her one evening in the hospital, and Jellyn herself asked the Lord, "Lord help me, I'm having a really hard time."

Oh Sweet Jellyn, the Lord has heard your prayer, you will never again have a hard time, you will never again have to fight. You have found your peace in His arms!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wrapping things up...

I've spent the last 3 1/2 weeks back in my hometown in the USA. It's been a needed rest. However, in a few hours I'll be on my way again, back to the place God has called me, back to my home, as much of an earthly home as I'll ever have.

People always ask the same questions: Don't you wish you had more time? Are you sad to be leaving again?

And the answer is never as easily breathed as the question itself. For I've come to find that no matter where I go in this whole world, I will always be missing someone. I will never be 'still' and 'done'. There will never be a moment when I will have everything and will want to just stay there forever. That is not who God has called me to be. He has called me to follow Him and in that He has interwoven my heart with those in many different places, many different lands. As nice as this break was, it is just that, a break, a bit of relaxation. I don't go back to "get it out of my system" and I will never finally be "done".

And because this is what God has called me to and because He has become my passion...I have suitcases packed waiting by the door and tomorrow I will again be on my way.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Friday, October 14, 2011

I never was good at art...

So, I read this post from my dear friend J just minutes ago... everything in this is exactly what God has been dealing with in my own life. I'm learning this lesson, but a month ago I was asking REALLY GOD?? I now know the answers to my questions that I have HAVE to trust Him. But this is a huge life changing decision in itself. J's words are so elegant and honest and bare and exactly .... real.

Read it HERE

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Oh A.... sweet little mr A... how I will miss ....

those raised eyebrows,
that hysterically unique imagination,
your adorably fake 'surprised' look,

your silly faces that make me laugh,

your brilliant creativity,
(your first time to build something other than a tower.. AIRPLANE!
and your first drawing.. other than scribbles.. SNAKE!! )

your sweet caring spirit,

those sad 'puppy dog' eyes you can give that melt my heart,

your contagious laughter,

your leadership,

your protective heart,

your beautiful friendships,

your love for life.

Oh, A, how I will miss our snuggly smiling pictures! God has such a wonderful plan for your life, He has delivered you to your family! I love you and through these tears, I'll be praying for you always.

~ To God Be the Glory!

I know I haven't posted in a while, I'm just laying low for a little while.

I have taken some time to return to KY for a short but much needed break. Only 3 1/2 weeks, but God is doing much in my life, I'm refocusing on Him and catching my breath.

I'll be starting a new chapter in my life when I return and I'm desperately needing to process this last year and mentally and emotionally prepare for this next chapter. I know this is what is needed, but it's so hard to be away from those precious faces.

Here's a few pics of those faces I'm missing!!! :

Monday, September 19, 2011

.. and I am overwhelmed.

Ok, so, it's been a while since I've really posted... like really. And part of that is... I was just not sure of what I wanted to say.. not sure of what I wanted people to see. I began feeling like everything that I wanted to share.. was all too much, too pessimistic for a public blog. I don't like to dwell on the negative, hard times, but all too often that's exactly what I do. I know you're supposed to 'be real' when blogging, and I have been completely real in the past, but lately I've felt a sudden urge and need to have 'my' emotions and 'my' feelings be all 'my own'. I can't exactly explain, but I wanted this privacy and I think that may have come with other emotions I was experiencing.

But for today... I want to be real again. To put my heart out there again and expose my life again. And know that even writing this... I contemplated several times just saving it to drafts and leaving it there. This is my heart.

For starters... let's just get this clear.. I have issues. But... come on, who are we kidding... don't we all have our issues?? (Or.. maybe I'm the only one, and that's ok.. but I highly doubt it.) One of those issues is a low self-image. And here lately I've really been dealing with intense loneliness feelings. I know.. in a house of so many people, how could you possibly feel lonely. But the feelings were there and they were very real.

I felt that I was just here, that the people that I had become intensely bonded to, did not feel in any way that same bonding back to me. I turned all of these negative feelings back on myself and blamed myself.

Someone else should be here doing this, they would all like someone different.

I too often just get in the way.

They will only ever see me as a foreigner, an outsider that they are waiting for to leave.

They are like family to me, but they will never see me that way.

But... I don't know anything else. I was called here, but what can I do? I can't keep putting these people that I love in misery. God, are you changing my direction?? I don't really feel it, but ... What are you doing?

About a week and a 1/2 ago, a man from the church I've went to many times shared something with me, "God is going to give you revelation, something is coming that will show you how much He loves you. You really are loved, and something is coming that will help to open your eyes to how much God loves you."

I went with that thinking, "OK.. God what are you going to do?" But the next day, I got some rather discouraging news...I was really broken-hearted and the only thought that came to my mind "Lord.. this is the opposite of what was supposed to be coming my way. Lord, I'm honestly coming and telling you Lord, I don't feel Your love in this at all. I will still praise you, but this is so very painful Lord, but I will praise You because You are God and Your ways are higher than mine."

I had made the decision long ago, that whatever came my way, I would always worship, WHATEVER came my way, even if it was the most painful thing, it was always right to worship. So, with a broken heart and tears, I worshipped. Fighting the urge to scream NO!, fighting the urge to be angry, fighting the urge to ... just give up.

I found so much comfort in Psalm 143, and that became my prayer.

1 Hear my prayer, O LORD;
give ear to my pleas for mercy!
In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness!
2 Enter not into judgement with your servant,
for no one living is righteous before you.

3 For the enemy has pursued my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;
he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead.
4 Therefore my spirit faints within me;
my heart within me is appalled.

5 I remember the days of old;
I meditate on all that you have done;
I ponder the work of your hands.
6 I stretch out my hands to you;
my soul thirst for you like a parched land.

7 Answer me quickly, O LORD!
My spirit fails!
Hide not your face fom me,
lest I be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,
for in you I trust.
Make me know the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.

9 Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD!
I have fled to you for refuge!
10 Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God!
Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground!

11 For your name's sake, O LORD, preserve my life!
In your righteousness bring my soul out of trouble!
12 And in your steadfast love you will cut off my enemies,
and you will destroy all the adversaries of my soul,
for I am your servant.

Then, September 18, 2011 happened. For a week, this was my prayer, as I also had to prepare for this date. Here in the Ph*lippines, when one has a birthday, instead of getting things and be treated, that person gives to everyone and treats others. So, for my first filipino birthday, I wanted to do things culturally proper. I planned the party, the menu, asked for help, and invited all of GH and some friends for a birthday party this past sunday.

There was so much to prepare and get ready, I knew I needed help and lots. I was nervous asking people for help, but everyone was so gracious. The day before, people were already preparing. The day of, I was on my way to run and get some last minute things... and the kitchen was full. All of the boys, girls, ... everyone, downstairs cutting vegetables, cooking, some upstairs decorating, others sweeping and getting things so clean for the visitors that were coming.

I literally could not believe it... like literally. I am a very untrusting person (another one of my issues). I COULD NOT BELIEVE that they were all doing this.. in my horrendously untrustful mind, went the thoughts, 'I'm sure when the party starts, they'll all disappear.' So, I was so happy and touched, but also so very fearful at seeing this. "There's no way, they'll do ALL of this AND come to the party" I was so fearful of them becoming resentful at having to help do all of this.. I was so scared and skeptical of the smiles and laughter, I was sure it was a mask covering up the growing resentment inside.

Once back, getting closer to the time we were supposed to start, I hesitantly asked one of the guys, "Are you coming to the party?", thinking I needed to prepare myself, I needed to know that they were going to be 'too tired' and 'too busy' to come up. "Yes, I'll be there." was the response in an 'of-course' tone. "Oh... and...??" I named off other names... "Yes, they're coming too."

"Oh, ok" was the words that came out of my mouth, but the smile that spread across my face as I went back upstairs revealed the fact that it meant much more than 'ok'.

The party started... and I was NOTHING SHORT OF AMAZED!

I am still left breathless and speechless at the thought of the outpouring of love that I felt. There were songs and dances. The kids worked so hard on songs and dances...their beautiful smiles only made my own smile bigger.

My precious Z made a dance to my favorite song, and totally ROCKED it I must say! Even the older boys, (who I was certain most of whom wouldn't be there and most certainly didn't care enough to actually plan anything (yes.. I'm so sighing and kicking myself for my untrustingness and lack of faith in now) ) They all went up front smiling and sang one of my favorite songs.. complete with motions and multiple singers! They had me laughing the whole time, no doubt laughter spilling over from my heart, I was touched to the core.

I have often said 'You either laugh or you cry'.. I have always thought this to be in regards to the sad things in life... but now I know differently... this was the first time I HAD TO RESORT TO LAUGHTER TO KEEP FROM CRYING TEARS OF JOY!

After the songs and dances, several people spoke and wished me happy birthday and just truly spoke to my heart. I have NEVER been so touched in my life.

The last speech impacted me so much, that as everything quieted as they prayed over me, after singing Happy Birthday, laughter was no longer there to hold back the tears of joy that overwhelmed me. Thanks to precious visitor to GH, we have a video, as they are praying, you can see the tears rise to my eyes as I wipe them away quickly ( I had no idea there was a video going.. .but am thankful that it was there to capture the raw and bare moment).

Not in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined a more beautiful day (asides from having my KY family there also :) ).

It was so much, that I was on emotional overload and couldn't actually process it all, but I think Ate C really helped me to open my eyes with her text, 'Now maybe you can see how much we really do appreciate and love you'. When I read that text... I just stopped. And it clicked and tears rushed to my eyes again.

The words of the man from church came flooding my mind... I felt alone and the LORD saw that and HE LOVED me enough to open my eyes. The scripture Psalm 68:6a also came to mind, "He sets the lonely in families".

This is a scripture I've known for a long time, praying it over my kids here, but I never thought to ask God for that same sort of thing. I figured, I had a family and I left them when I came to the Philippines. If family was what I was mainly focused on, then I should go back to the US and forget the calling the LORD had placed on my heart. Why should I pray for what I already had on the other side of the world, but God knew.. God knew I was longing for some type of family structure here and He had given it to me, but my eyes were not open to it.. until this past sunday. I've caught myself this week, just smiling. Running errands, walking through the mall, and realizing.. I have a dumb huge grin on my face... because they love me!!!!! Running to the grocery store walking by the spices aisle smiling silly... because they love me!!!

And I keep telling myself it over and over.. because as I said..I have issues. And Satan is trying to use those issues to tell me it's not real... but now. Now I see...they love me! And so I keep trying to wrap my brain around it... and I keep walking around silly and smiling because I am still trying to grasp all that it is... they love me!

And to think... He loves me so much more!! He brought all of this about.. just to whisper both in the midst of the laughter and beautiful chaos and in the midst of the quiet prayers and tears... I love you even more my daughter.

... and I am overwhelmed.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Funny little lessons along the way...

I know it's been way too long since my last post, nothing too big, but here are just a few little interesting lessons I'm learning along this journey.

~ Bathing extremely ticklish kids is extremely difficult.

~ It melts my heart when a certain little one has to get out of bed and come to me with arms open saying 'Kiss...' and then starts back only to come back within a few steps with... 'Oh... and hug. Hug..'. <3

~ The list of words that have had to be added to my predictive text dictionary on my phone is amusing. The words my phone never thought I would need that have been added included, among others: seizure, fecalasis, er, colostomy, dengue, hep-lock, intubation, nebulize, many medications and of course... Starbucks.

~ Listening to little ones start to grasp and use language is precious and gives me so much comic relief.

~ The absolute worst place to sit on a bus in Manila, the seat by the window directly behind the driver's seat (which is considerably lower than the rider's seat), allowing you to feel as if you are driving the huge bus in horrible traffic with no control.

~ 3 year olds give among the strongest hugs I've ever had.

~ Mango shakes should be a regular part of any diet.

~ I'm discovering how therapeutic sitting and throwing/dropping marbles down an empty closed stairwell can be, as well as a very good bonding experience.

More to come later if more come to mind. But that's about it for now.

~ To God Be the Glory!!

Friday, August 12, 2011


427. It another world.

It's a totally different world, but it is a world that is always open.

It is always there, forever in my heart, constantly in my mind.

Watching my kids, I often think back to my life when I was their age. All the memories, all the laughter, all the tears, all the smiles, all the hugs. The traditions, the memories, they are the place that anchors my soul. Though I know from now on, I will have multiple homes, 427 will always be the home of my memory.

I was sent out from you with more love and support than I could have ever have imagined.

I know that in my life, no matter what I face, or where I go, 427 and all that is represents will always be there. Always it will have my back. Always I can return. Always I can find shelter and rest there. And ALWAYS love.

It's a fairytale land.. truly it is. I look around and see what my kids have had to go through, and 427 is a dream.

I hold them tight, and tell them they are loved.. because oh they are. I love them so very much and the huge amount of love that I have, this love I have for them, that overwhelms even myself, is nothing compared to the immense love that Jesus has for them. I teach them to pray and to talk to Jesus, because I know that if they will trust in Him, He will take care of them forever... He will go with them wherever..

427, God blesses me immensely when He blessed me with you, you have helped to mold me into the person I am today...and you are the reason that I can let mine go. I let them go because they need what I have. As much as it hurts, I've not been given the blessing to raise them, so I must let them go, so that they may find their own version of a '4-27' that God has planned for them. That they will have that forever shelter from the world. They need to go and make their own memories and bonds that will keep them going through this life, whatever God has for them.

427, you are the reason I can let them go.

~ To God Be the Glory!!

Thank you to my family, I know this journey has not been easy on you either. When God called me, I never knew how it would change all of us. So thankful for a family that has relied and trusted in our Heavenly Father every step of the way.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Lord Jesus

The day is done, records are written, junior owies kissed all better, fights reconciled and forgiveness hugs given, bodies and bums all clean, little ones hugged, kissed and told they are loved and all are asleep...finally.

I sigh, take off the glasses that have shielded my tired hurting leaky sore eyes, my mind replays the day, once its all said and done, it seems there's no reason for the aches in my back or the drag of my eyes. I love them so much, so shouldn't it be easy to care for them? Shouldn't it be a joy? But then I think, it is a joy. It is a joy. It always has been. Then I hear him whisper, 'If it is a joy... then why are you so tired???? If it is a joy... then why on earth would you have ever even thought of losing your patience the way you did tonight....24398 different times???? If it is a joy.... you'd be a better momma to them, temporary or not...' I climb up into my top-bunk bed and I know as I climb and crawl... the LORD is not the only on that whispers.

"Lord Jesus" is my only utterance.

After uttering that precious names a few times, I'm reminded of another memory from today. Sitting with one of my new friends, Arnel, talking about how crazy it seems to get sometimes and how sometimes I feel like I just can't do it. He reminds my gently, 'Yes it is hard... but... what else? Where would these children be without Ate C and those here, like you, that love and work hard to take care of them? What would happend to them if not for this place? What would become of them then?'

And as I'm thinking and watching each child sit and eat their lunch, all being goofy, one trying to bicker with another, my thoughts become words, "That one, on the end, he wouldn't have lived, the infestation of worms combined with the 3rd degree malnutrition would have killed him. That one... well even the doctors said he wouldn't live or ever walk.. and he walked to lunch happy as could be today, that little one.. the TB would have taken her life" my thoughts continue in my head 'that one would have continued to be beaten so severely, eventually it would have killed him...'

"See..", Arnell's one words response means more than he knows.

There are days when my prayers... are only utterances. They are not long and elegant, not filled with pretty pauses but instead filled with gasps for breaths and utterance of the only hope I know "Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus, Lord Jesus.' There are hundreds of requests that I need to lay before the King, and I unload them... 'Lord Jesus.' My mind cannot be still or coherent enough to make the actual words, instead I offer the 'highlight reel' of my reality that is running through my mind, I let it go, with each exhale, with each release of my lungs. 'Lord Jesus, You see.' I release the pain, 'You feel.' I give away my insecurities, my fears, my dreams. I hand over my heart as I untangle my own fingers from the death grip they have on my biggest hopes, my deepest fear, my life goal, I give it to Him who knows already. Lord Jesus, who feels. Lord Jesus who sees. Lord Jesus who knows so much better than I do.

Oh Lord Jesus.
That's all I can utter.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I want him to live...

The last few nights have probably wrecked my back, but that's not what is important. I'm thankful for at least the metal benches to sleep on as I think back...

On our way back from the beach and we get the call a baby has been born, down syndrome and other difficulties, requiring him to need surgery for a colostomy to be put in. We are informed he's a month old and had surgery yesterday and has now developed sepsis, blood poisoning. We are informed of the hospital at which he was taken to... and we know we must act.

We are still more than an hour away, but through multiple phones and sim swapping, we start making the communication amidst other crisis and we above all we start praying, finding that he's only 2 days old.. not a month. Praying that its not too late too act.

We get home with our team of short-termers and Ate goes to help with the hospital transfer, and I go pack my bag. I, along with Jordan, will be on night duty tonight. I pack quickly, trying to remember to my last hospital duty and what exactly to pack, extra clothes, toothbrush, deodorant, book, mp3, I think that's it, as I head out the door.. I see my bible.. yea I'll need that too.

We go ahead to the new hospital to welcome the mother and others involved. We can't offer much, but just a boost of encouragement and news of relief, we will take it from here... they can rest now. We're early and spend the time in odd light-heartedness, both knowing deep down, we have no clue what to really expect but that no matter what, God is God and this is what He's called us to do. So, we talk lightly and people watch, both innerly preparing for the task ahead.

The ambulance arrives and I'm captivated by this little boy.. this tiny little being... fighting to live. Surrounded by the safety and necessity of the incubator he's in, I can only see him but ...

I'm captivated. My prayers become more personal.

He is whisked into the NICU at once. We are informed that we cannot be with him at all, but there is a waiting room down the hall. We go into the tiny room, air con (a.c.) has made it feel more like an igloo, with its metal benches.

I read for a bit, my mind not so much on the words but on a little boy down the hall. Before long, I lay over, shaking from the cold and as the prayers keep running through my mind the events of the day catch up and eventually bits of sleep find me.

We are given semi-regular updates, the morning of Day 3, Jordan heads back to pack up her things and I find myself with the whole room to myself and I find myself thinking of a little boy. I walk the hallway that is now familiar to me and I see through the drawn blinds as they care for him. I'm thankful. In that moment, I'm just thankful as I watch the tender touches of the nurses as they change him and check him.

I can barely see through the thin fabric of the shades... and I see a tiny little arm go up in the air...and the thankfulness in my heart is immediately evident by the smile across my face.

The doctor comes out and gives me an update and at the end as she's walking away, I call out to ask, 'Is there any chance at all, they can raise the blinds so that I can just see him for a little bit.'

'Yes, of course, you just have to request it, wait I will tell them' are the words that keep the smile on my face.

The blinds are raised and I'm captivated even more. My hearts is consumed with love and prayer for this babe I have never met. I ask the Lord to send His angels to watch over him and to hold him when we cannot. I'm thankful for the clear casing of the incubator that allows me to see the little hand, as soon as I say amen,... the open hand closes as if grasping an unseen hand... I know the Lord has heard my prayers, I know the angels are holding him and singing softly to him.

And my heart continues to pray... I'm captivated and, blinking the tears away, I'm overwhelmed by this feeling... of wanting something so badly...

I want him to live.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Please be prayerful for this little one as he is fighting for his life, for wisdom for the doctors and nurses caring for him and also for the financial provision so that he can continue to get the care he so desperately needs. We have no budget at all to care for this little boy... we only know that God has brought him to us and we are to care for him and fight for him, we trust God to provide the rest. Please be prayerful how God might use you in helping save this little one's life.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

the worst missionary...

I'm really quite sure of it, I am the worst missionary ever. I don't actually like people... well.. I do I guess in a way, but more often than not, I don't.

I was taught growing up to be 'realistic', however, I've also learned along the way that most of the time reality is pretty negative... so in my attempts to be realistic, I'm labeled, and probably quite correctly I might add, a pessimist.

Another area, that I was blown away by tonight that makes me continue to state.. I'm the worst at doing this... I'm here to live out my faith, being obedient to what my God has called me to do.. but oh how much of this God I still cannot comprehend. I'm here wanting to give my life to sharing Him with the nations, when in all reality, I'm still trying to know Him more. (And please no comments about being obedient/faithful/any other praising me comments and no comments about the I know we all as Christians are constantly supposed to be seeking Him and knowing Him more...just bear with me, I'm using this to go in a slightly different direction.)

Tonight, we went to an evening service with the team of short-termers and we began to sing a song that I have never sang before and it described mainly one of the qualities of God.

Now before I say what this quality is.. I can say this, if someone were to ask me to describe God, there are many things I would say, but as we were singing, I realized.. this particular aspect of God would have never crossed my mind, I just don't see/think that way. I would say God is: sovereign, almighty, faithful, strong, worthy of all praise, compassionate.

The main chorus of the song:
You are Good
You are Good
You are Good

How often do I simply overlook that God is GOOD?

The sermon went on to be about Luke 11:1-13, which talks about how to pray but towards the end of the text, Jesus talks about if we, as evil people know how to give our children good gifts, how much more so will our Heavenly Father.

Even though I've known the whole "God is Good", "All the time!", "All the time", "God is Good!" chant for years, but yet I've never saw or praised God as being simply good.

Needless to say, my mindset will be undergoing some changes.

Father LORD, thank you for being so GOOD!! Amen

~ To God Be the Glory!

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Sorry for lack of posts lately. But here's some pics that I've been wanting share for a while.

Pics from several weeks ago... A team from my home church in KY came and we were able to take all my toddlers to the beach for the first time!!! So much fun!! They were a little nervous but all ended up in the water and LOVED it!!

On the way there... the kids did wonderful for the 3+ hour drive to the beach!!

But with so many toddlers, monsters, and team... space was scarce.

Everyone was assigned a specific child to watch.

(This was the part where I could have was such an amazing experience for them and to see them taking it all in..)


Sorry.. but soon after these is when we started taking them out into the water and I don't have pictures of that. My mind was then completely focused on other matters. :)

Thank You LORD for allowing us this day to experience your good creation! Thank You LORD for Your protection and Your blessings this day.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

At the end of my rope...

It's nearly midnight... 4 minutes away to be exact. I'm laying down to sleep and talking to my Heavenly Father, and I find myself praying, Thank You LORD for this day. This wonderful day of rest... but LORD I realize that even on the days that are easy and refreshing that I'm always at the end of my rope, needing to rely constantly on You in the good and bad...

And at that point, I stopped and opened my laptop.

the end of my rope

The end of my rope.
I've heard that expression my whole life, we use it often, but.. what do it mean? What do we mean when we say we are at the end of our rope?

What does it mean to be at the end of my rope? Does it mean I've gone as far as I can go? Does it mean I have nothing left to give? Does it mean I can't do it any more?

I think so.

And I know, that tonight I'm making the decision:

I'm letting go of my rope completely.

Because I can't give anything more. I have nothing left to offer. Because I can't do it anymore... I'm letting go. Letting go of MY rope completely.

Here's to free-falling into the arms of GRACE!

Ya ready to jump with me???

~ To God Be the Glory!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Elizabeth Elliot wrote about Satan trying to cause us to doubt... "I know of no more steadying hope on which to focus my mind when circumstances tempt me to wonder why God doesn't 'do something.' He is always doing something-the vey best thing, the thing we ourselves would certainly choose if we knew the end from the beginning. He is at work to bring us to our full glory."

I had someone tell me recently after God spoke this word to them, 'God has a plan for your life and it is the best, the very best.' These words came not days but hours after a specific journal entry/prayer. God was so clear in sending this person to tell me in an audible voice what I was stubbornly not trusting myself enough to hear for myself.

Yet, Satan does not give up.

As Christians, we are not called once and once alone, done forever after that initial choice to follow Christ. That choice is only the beginning of a life full of fighting, a life full of battle, a life of being watched. Fighting the never ending temptations that try to knock us down and far from God. Battling against Satan and his demons that are oh so real and oh so powerful, but God (such sweet words) is bigger and we as His children are called as warriors against the enemy. All of this while constantly being watched by those around us, seeking to see the difference, if any, that Christ has made in our lives.

Even when things are upside down. Even when I don't have the slightest clue as to what God is doing. Even when I don't know what to say or do next. I have to trust him. In the midst of the dark, I must trust that He sees the way.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I planned and dreamed of you coming.
The first bit was just how I imagined.

But these last two days... were not.
You were strong and healthy, while my weakness forced me to be absent from your last two days.
Absent apart from the constant trips to the CR.

The knowing you were leaving, the guilt only paralyzed me more.
I'm so sorry, but I know... the guilt is all misplaced.
It was not of my doing.
But I always find ways to carry responsibility... even when it's not mine to bear.

So tonight, as you rest up for your long journey tomorrow,
I will start my coping process of writing...

For those reading
I know my words don't rhyme or flow like a pretty little nursery book.
I know they often don't leave behind the feelings of butterflies and roses.
I know my words don't rhyme, but they are just that... my words.
They match something else of mine.. my life.
My life doesn't always rhyme, or sound nice.
It very rarely flows.
For the outsider looking in... it does not speak volumes of butterflies and roses.
But to me... it is simply my life.
This is what God has called me to, this is where He sent.
As crazy and lacking in roses as it is, there is nothing and nowhere else I'd rather do and be than right here.

Yes, there are days when I am sad. Yes, there are days when I'm mad. But through it all, down very very deep, there is joy. Joy because I know that I'm doing exactly what I was put on this earth to do.

Joy because in my weakness, He is strong.
Joy because in my weakness, I see all that there is for Him to teach me.
Joy because whatever my circumstance, I know that He is still God and He is still in control!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Preciously Blessed.

Dinner night with Momma and Daddio... wonderful.
Grocery shopping with Momma and Daddio...splendid.
Walking through Malabon with Momma and Daddio...treasured.
Jeep'ing to church with Momma and Daddio...joyful.
Swimming with Momma and Daddio... and a team of 7 more ... and 6 toddlers... beautiful.

So thankful for this precious week!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Today is a good day.

Today is a good day for me.

Which brings me to believe, with there being as many people on this Earth as it is, today is all sorts of different days for all sorts of different people. And everyday is a good day for someone.

Today is a good day for me, it is confirmed, my parents are currently thousands of miles above the ground on their journey to the Philippines, with 7 others. The day fills me with excitement.

But I wonder... what does this day fill others with. Maybe somewhere today someone's life is filled with tears as they learn of the loss of a loved one. What about the parent in the US that is wondering where their child is amidst the wreckage left behind by a tornado?

What about the heart that is full of bittersweet emotions as a wife awaits the return of her husband deployed overseas? One day closer to being reunited with her love, but still months away.

What about the heart that is unable to breathe, after being informed that they have only months left on this earth due to a silent deadly disease?

What about the mother somewhere in this world that is giving up her baby for adoption today so that it can have a chance to live?

What about the little boy I held in my arms this morning showing him pictures of a family that loves him and is coming for him?

There are so many hearts in this world and so much pain and happiness, both to be experienced in this world.

In every circumstance, the correct response is always worship.

Today is a good day for me, filled with upcoming happiness. It's easy to be thankful today. It's harder when I'm sitting in a camp full of strangers, and I get the news that another precious little one has gone to be with Jesus. But.. the reaction is the same. I must as a Christian worship Him who brings all things.

Today is a good day!

~ To God Be the Glory!

Friday, May 6, 2011

I wonder...

Every time I look into my precious little girl's face, I see God. I see the way He rescued her. How He delivered her into the hands of Ate C. How He saved her very life.
I see the miracle that she is to be running and laughing with that sweet voice t
hat is the sweetest music to my ears.

I remember praying so very fervently for her one remaining sibling, after 2 unnecessary deaths, I prayed that a third and final sibling would not follow suit.

Now... I see a similar miracle in his eyes. One of my most recent treasures. I see the same hand of the same Mighty Sovereign Creator Savior that I serve in his life.

But that's not the only similarity.

I see the similar sweet smile.

I hear that similar sweet laughter.

I note the similarity in his precious voice.

Reason would say there's no way they can know. No way they can remember... but how is it, that they are drawn to each other.

No I don't believe they fully grasp, but I do believe there is something there. Something that draws them to each other.

I wonder... does he remember that starving little baby that was taken away from his house nearly 2 years ago?
I wonder... does she ever think about that kuya she used to know so long ago?

I wonder... does she know this isn't the first time she has seen 'her new friend'?

But for now.. my mind wonders and I leave it at simply that. The wonderings are not important right now. Right now is the time for hugs that hold him tight, for kisses that have healing power over 'ow-ies'; now is the time for a little one to finally know what it means to be safe, to be fed, to be cared for; now is the time for the words 'I love you' to be heard for the first time by precious ears.

Now is the time to do what God has called me to do, and love, love with all my heart, love this little one who has never known it before, love as He loved me.

~ To God Be the Glory!

Though this little one is out of physical danger, we ask for your continued prayers as healing for all this little one has been through will quite possibly take years. They are safe and fed, but there is still much our little one carries on the inside, that only the love of Christ can heal.