Thursday, July 30, 2009

From Kalyn-Book Review

Lamplighter Books

The Giant Killer

‘A knight lay stretched on the mossy ground; his head reclined on a shield, his two-handed sword girt to his side- even in sleep his hand rested on the hilt. This was the brave champion Fides, the chosen knight to whom had been given mighty treasures and a golden crown my the King whom he has served from his childhood. But he was not yet to enter into possession of his riches, he was not yet to wear his bright crown; hard labors, great dangers were before him-he was to fight before he might enjoy. So Fides was to pass alone through the enemy’s land, to slay every giant who should oppose him on the way. His Kind had provided him with strong armor, and with a wondrous sword which gave certain victory if he who drew it shrank not back like a coward, or yielded to the foe like a traitor; he had, in truth, nothing to fear but his own slackness in fight; if but faithful he must be triumphant. ‘ (The Giant Killer-Giant Sloth)

One of my favorite places to buy books from is Lamplighter's. They have books for all ages, whether it be a small child or an adult you will find joy in reading these books. Lamplighter restores old books and puts them back on the market. Each book is filled with morals of life and God. Some are deep and thought proving like the Printer at Udell's; others are love stories like Prisoners of the Sea, and there are a dozen others! Each book has pearls of wisdom hidden in its pages. From a young girl learning through hardship and pain that Gods house of Love is everywhere to young boys learning what it takes to be a true knight in the world of today. I could go on and on about how good these books are. They are safe clean books that the whole family can enjoy!

‘They are teaching you to know yourself, my Bertha. They are not causing the selfishness in your soul; they are a only tearing away the veil which prevented you from knowing that it was there. A gilt object may appear as well as a gold one until it is tried in the fire; it is the furnace of temptation which proves of what metal we are made. A lake looks clear and pure while perfectly still: the oar which stirs up the sand from below is not the cause of the sand being there; it lay in the depths before, like evil in the depths of our hearts.’ (The Giant Killer-Giant Selfishness)

One of my favorite books is called The Giant Killer. It is for young children but hey I'm 16 and I still enjoy reading it. It is about over coming the giants that threaten to destroy us and how one family and two young boys will find how difficult but also how rewarding it is to follow Gods path.

‘“O Experience,” he said, as he laid his hand on the Will, “how can this instrument, once used by pride, be ever an acceptable offering to my King?”

Experience took from a small casket a phial labeled “Submission,” which contained a colorless fluid. He poured a few drops upon the dark heavy metal, then rubbed the staff with a rough hairy cloth, and wherever the liquid had toughed, there was a spot of bright glittering gold!

“This rough cloth is Discipline,” said the old man; “with patience, through its rubbing thou shalt see all the value of the Will when restored to its rightful owner.”

“Yet can I not offer to the King that whist is crooked and bent! It bears too evident tokens of having been in the service of Pride!” And as Fides spoke, he tried and tried again with all his might to straighten the massive staff, but the tough metal resisted all his efforts!

“The Will is crooked indeed, but it may be straightened,” said Experience; “we have other ways of working. My furnace of Affliction is near.” So saying, before Fides had time to reply, he plunged the staff into the red glowing fire.

“Give it back!” exclaimed the knight with impatience; “any way, any way but this.”

“No way but this,” said the old man firmly, keeping back the hand that would have snatched it from the fire. “See how the gold is brightening, see how the metal is softening in the furnace. Submit the Will to what is needful to make it perfect, a precious offering, acceptable and pure.”

So saying, Experience drew it from the furnace of affliction, and laid it on the anvil of Trial. He struck it with his heavy iron hammer, but was interrupted by Fides.

“No more-thou wilt destroy it; no more-it is enough!”

“Not yet,” replied the old man, and struck it again.

“Stay thy hand!” exclaimed Fides; “it can bear no more.”

“Yet a little patience,” cried Experience, and struck it again. Then the Will was restored to Fides-straight, pure, beautified; oh, how unlike that staff which had been so deadly in the grasp of Pride!’ (The Giant Killer-Giant Pride)

I encourage homeschool mothers or any mothers to look into these books. They have become favorites in my house. I hope you enjoy reading them and learning from them just as much as we have.

I Am So Glad...

Why am I glad you ask? (You did ask, right?)

Well, first this little man turned three yesterday....

This is my precious little baby when I arrived in Liberia to bring him home....
And here Aiden is enjoying his new birthday gift....

I'm also glad because I did something I haven't done least not like this. In the past I have planned our dinners 2-4 weeks at a time on just a printed calendar page. Or I winged it, which is stressful! Yesterday I found this and was motivated that right now, this kind of system would be much simpler for me.
It took most of the afternoon to do this...but I really do think that it will make it easier for me.

I now have 7 weeks of meals (just dinners for now) with their shopping list for those meals. Did that make since?

And I'm also glad because this beautiful thing was outside my front door.
Goodness, it is hard to believe it's already Thursday. I must get some little girls hair braided (hours of work). Still need to work on next years school (might be procrastinating just a touch on this one). Found out that we may not get a court date in Ethiopia till later in the fall...

What sweet encouragement from the LORD...
Psalm 74:28 "But for me it is good to be near God; I have made the LORD GOD my refuge, that I many tell of all your works."

So today I am GLAD, even though my emotions might try to convince me to be otherwise. They are not my boss. I will praise this LORD as I begin this day with the good work my FATHER has for me.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Defend the Orphan!!!

There is a new movie coming out....a horror movie...

Here is part of what Tom Davis has written on his blog...

"I want to challenge my readers and friends to write 500 positive blog posts about how an orphan has impacted and changed your life. Post this on your own blog so that when people search for the movie, they are flooded with positive messages about adoption and orphan care.

Just finish this sentence: "Warner Bros. new horror movie Orphan proclaims that it must be hard to love an adopted child as much as your own. Let me tell you about how an orphan changed my life..."

This is the heart of defending orphans. Help push back the darkness and deceit here by holding up as an example the powerful love that adoption and orphan care can unleash."

Visit his site to read the rest.
After the birth of our 3rd child, I heard a piece on the radio about the baby girls in China who had been abandoned. God just captured my heart as I considered the helplessness of these girls. This is where our story with orphans begins. We knew that we wanted to add to our family through this miracle of adoption. Eighteen months later, Steve walked off of an airplane with our new daughter. I was crying as he handed our precious baby girl to me. She was of course, crying and squirming to get out of my arms. I understood. The first year of her life had been spent in a crib by her self most of the time; no one to really hold her, pick her up when she cried, gaze into her beautiful eyes, or bond with this child who was so alone in the world.
Steve and I could have never known the journey WE were beginning.

Cry of the Orphan writes:
"Many orphans and waiting children worldwide have lost their parents due to armed conflict or disease, such as AIDS. In some countries, however, children are increasingly abandoned at alarming rates due to poverty, restrictive population control policies, disabilities or perceived disabilities, and cultural traditions that value boys more than girls."

After our daughter came home from China, we heard about little boys in Korea that had no families to be matched with because there was no waiting list of parents for boys, as there was for the girls. Again, we considered the vulnerability of these orphans who waited for someone to accept them, value them and receive them home. We were matched quickly and brought home our infant son in 5 months. Our family's journey continued as a vision took shape. Again, the plight of waiting children prompted Steve and me to move forward with a long and difficult struggle to bring home our next son from Vietnam. And that little sweetheart was worth every bit of the struggle!

The orphans cry. Will we hear them? A little girl in America with no mother or father to hold her when she is lonely; a baby boy in Korea born premature and sick to a teenage mother who is unable to care for him; a brother and sister abandoned because of war and poverty wait in Africa, praying that they may be adopted together, but afraid to even hope; a sick little girl in Europe that may not even make it without medical help from a willing family ready to adopt and save her life....these needy ones cry out for the strong and tender arms of a mother and father who will provide sanctuary and belonging. They dare to dream of help from a sponsor so that they can go to school and have a chance in their world.

We have also adopted amazing to meet the birth mother. I was so nervous, but a miracle took place that day - a circle of love for a baby boy. Three children have also come home to us from Africa. We were able to meet the birth grandfather of two of our children... his family was either killed or displaced as they ran from their homes during a war. Their new home...a refugee camp with no food or hope for his grandchildren. The refugee "village" people were so excited that the biological brother and sister would be adopted by the our family and able to grow up together.

We had to opportunity this year to work with orphans who live/lived on the streets of Uganda.
The streets are a slum area - dirty, scary, full of drugs, prostitution, fights, hunger and abuse. This is where young children are living and dying. The only way they can escape such pain is to hide from it with the drugs.
No mother, no father, no family....

A few of us visited an orphanage. This young lady cried several times because she doesn't have a mommy or daddy and anyone else. So young, so alone. I gave her my "mothers love" as much as I could and prayed with her. I pray that in her heart she will accept the truth that she has a Father who loves her.

When these boys first come to the home from the streets, their eyes are hopeless, their faces hard to cover the fear and anger.
Soon, their sweet hearts change and happiness and playfulness begins to replace that hopelessness. They can look forward to living life, instead of living death.
They began to trust that someone cares, that they will be protected, fed, schooled and helped - they began to trust that they are loved and will not be alone again.
Then they learn about the love of God and can began to trust the love of a Heavenly Father.
"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you." Jesus
Jesus CAME to us so that we could have hope and life and know the TRUTH. If we do not GO, how will these little ones know that they are not orphans! How will they know the love of a father or a mother. The LORD encouraged me before I left that I would just do what I love to do here in my own a mother. I can't adopt them all and bring them home...but I can mother them and tell them of SOMEONE who is their Father and is bring them home. They are no longer "orphans", it isn't "who" they are...who they, and all of us, are is "Children of God."

"But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." John 1:12-13

If you or I were an orphan, we would want someone to defend we must speak out loudly about the REAL TRUTH of the orphan, and not give room for some ridiculous Hollywood movie maker to leave such a horrible impression about these children in need.

He Asked Me...

He asked me "Mom, are you ever going to born any more babies?"
I said, "No honey, I get very sick."
He said, "I'm glad. I don't want you to die."
Ha-well me, neither!!!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Love Faces

The fun theme this week at I Love Faces is Beach. I couldn't resist this fun picture of my brother with Landon. The whole family helped build the sand Ford, but my brother is an engineer and very creative, so it really was his design. After they finished I told Kim to pull his truck up behind the sand truck, and there you have it...this fun picture that I call "what a little truck wants to be when it grows up."

Visit I love Faces for other wonderful Beach Photos!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"you did it to Me"-Jesus

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me drink,

I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me,

I was in prison and you came to me.

Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. " Matthew 25:34-36(This may be a little long, but it is part of our story)
When I arrived in Liberia, late at night, in Oct, 2006, of course the only thing on my mind was to meet my new daughter. Her birth mother had named her Blessing. We named her Alia Marie (after my Grandmother). I went down stairs with the head lady and was handed my little 15 month old daughter and told to take her upstairs to my room quickly so that her fussing wouldn't wake the other babies in the room. I took her to my room and got her settled back down on her stomach, which I quickly learned was her favorite way to sleep. The next morning, Alia was understandably unhappy. I began to find out that she was also very hungry (a deep hunger that was not satisfied easily), and she was beginning to have diarrhea. I soon learned that Alia handled her stress in one of two ways, cry and fuss loudly and constantly, or lay her head on my shoulder and need me to constantly hold her there. Did you notice that I wrote constantly twice...not an accident.
In Africa the babies are carried with a piece of cloth on the women's back. Alia would want me to hold her in this familiar way. Unfortunately, she did not like my sling because it was not what she was comfortable with. And I had learned quickly that I could only handle her intense crying for so long. I held her on my back as much as I could, tried everything and anything to bring a smile to her face. Nothing helped her. She was unhappy all the time! After several days, her intense insecurity and grief, hunger and sickness, and other feelings that come from abandonment and neglect really began to have an effect on me. I also think, now, that I was feeling the spiritual oppression and I was emotionally wore out trying to help this little daughter of mine. I wanted so much to love her and help her attach, but we were both becoming more and more drained. I was not attaching to her either as I had been able to do with our other children.
One morning, in the midst of these spiralling emotions, the LORD began to speak the verses of Matthew 25:34-36 (above with the pictures). I had never SEEN the reality of those verses as clearly as I was now. This was so perfect because Alia would require that I did everything for her...hold her glass for her to drink from, feed her even though she was old enough to do it. She was so much in need, and with nothing to give back. No smiles, no happiness, nothing. Funny enough, I looked for the verses in my small Bible, but could not find them; but Jesus just kept encouraging me with them as I took care of this little one who was hurting so much. She would scream and scream if I didn't hold her just right, and when I got too tired to hold her and tried to put her down once she bit me! It was a very hard time for both of us. Our two day trip home to America was HORRIBLE!!! That story will have to be another post. I can tell you we were both crying by the time we got to Colorado. And my husband wasn't even there because he was in Texas helping with the hurricane Katrina families. These Bible verese were such an anchor for me as I knew that I was truly giving a sacrifice of love at a time when it wasn't easy!!!!
After being home for a while, things settled and Alia became healthier and changed right before our eyes into a very happy, playful child. She became more secure and comfortable although she still gets intensely upset!! I had completely forgotten the Bible verse that the LORD had used to encourage me in Africa. One night I had a dream that Alia and I were with her birth mother. In the dream, the birth mother was wondering about her new name - Alia. She asked me what Alia means and I immediately said "Blessed of the LORD." Then she got up and left very happy. It was as if that was all she needed. (Remember, her birth mother had named her Blessing.)
That very week God reminded me of the special verses in Africa and showed me where it was - Matthew 25:34-36 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are BLESSED OF MY FATHER (KJ); the very meaning God had given me for Alia's name in my dream! WOW! We are blessed by our Father because "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. God used Alia's situation in Africa, this child of mine half way around the world, to teach me in such a real way the beauty of these scriptures!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Swingin' baby

Just cuz....I was playing with the Photoshop, learning to adjust colors. OK, big breath, back to the BIG cleaning project!

summer babies

I'm working really hard today on some MAJOR organization/cleaning out in the school room, so I just can't think of anything fun to write about. One of those moments went my mind just .... well, doesn't want to...
humm, can't think of what I'm trying to say LOL! See, I better just post a few cute pictures and give you a break from the "mind-tiredez"!

I'm sure your asking what I ask every time I see him sit like this, "HOW does he do that!!!"

I played with the colors on this one to put some fun on the water spray.

And I just have to let you have a peek at our precious new son-Keshawn Lee. Come home soon sweet darlin!
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