"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Friday, September 18, 2009

the haircut

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut. After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, 'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.' The florist was pleased and left the shop. When the barber went to open his shop the next morning,there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his door.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill, the barber again replied,'I cannot accept money from you, I'm doing community service this week.' The cop was happy and left the shop. The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a 'thank you' card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his door.

Then a Congressman came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill, the barber again replied, 'I cannot accept money from you I'm doing community service this week.' The Congressman was very happy and left the shop. The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Congressmen lined up waiting for a free haircut.

And that, my friends, illustrates the fundamental difference between the citizens of our country and the politicians who run it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009



That's the sound of my heart beating. Racing actually, as I think about this precious gift God has blessed me with.

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. Every sadness comes with joy in the morning.

As many of you know, sweet hubby's new job takes him away much more than we like and much more than we expected. I miss him in a big way and so do the kids.

But as Scott said in his post yesterday, "God's plan is amazing!" While we are missing Daddy, God knew it was more important to push Anna Grace's attachment to me to another level. I believe Sweet Hubby's new business endeavor entailed a lot more in God's plan than just financial provision. He's created the time for our bonding to grow.

Our girl's been sleeping in her own bed since two weeks after coming home from China. She didn't sleep well with us, which in turn made us not sleep well either. So, I gave in and let her sleep in her bed.

Now that Daddy's away, I've asked her to be my buddy at night. A special treat since the kiddos really only sleep with us when they are sick. Twice I've been awakened by her little hand on my face. I've opened my eyes and found her within inches from me, just staring at me, as if she were in different world. Staring at me with love in her eyes. What an awesome gift to wake up to!

Tonight after putting on her pj's, she asked me if she could sleep in my bed again. I scooped her up and whispered, "Of course! You're my baby girl!" She smiled and put her head on my shoulder as I carried her to the bed. I then said to her, "Anna Gracie, ssshhh.....Don't tell the boys!" She loves when she can do something special that the boys can't do. She giggled and responded with, "You the best Mama in the whole whirl!"

I've now been laying next to her, watching her sleep for about an hour. My thoughts traveled back to China. To that day 27 months ago when I held a scared little girl who seemed to hate everything about me. I then thought about the months that have transpired after that. The intensity of her attachment issues and how hard she's fought to get me to push her away, to reject her, to give up on her. We've struggled at times, but I've always reassured her that I will never, ever give up on her.

The night's also brought many thoughts of my persistence in telling her that it didn't make a difference how much she hated me, how badly she treated me, how badly she misbehaved, the bottom line is that, she is our daughter and always will be. We may not love what she does, but we love her. That will never change.

I think about each time I remind her (sometimes 2 and 3 times a day) that God created her especially for our family and that's where she belongs and where she's always going to stay. Many times, there's no response, except for the faint little breath of relief that she emits as she exhales, and the tension releases from her little shoulders. Her body relaxes and she feels secure. Words don't say it, but it's written all over her. She knows she's home.

Tonight has made my heart soar when I think about how much I love my beautiful baby girl. Twenty seven months ago, we were two strangers, both scared of what the future held for us.

Today we are Mother and Daughter. For better or worse, love has no boundaries. We're not at the end, but we're walking through the valleys and the mountains together.

Anna Grace, I love you more than you could ever imagine and I thank God he chose me over all the women in the world, to be your Mama!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My blog's been hijacked...

...and I'm oh, so glad!

Below is a day in the life of sweet hubby. He knows how much my readers love those "ain't God amazing" stories. So, he offered to share one of his! (written on Monday of this week) I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me.

You know its funny, everyone has one of those "Mondays" every once in a while. Me? It's been a long long time. See, I love my life, my family, my friends, and I know everything I have is because of my Lord and Savior. To me, its amazing how His plan affects me each and every day.

Today was no exception. I had to work 180 miles north of my home today, a classic Monday morning. When I started the car this AM, something was gnawing at me as i was pulling out of the driveway. As I made my way to the end of the street, I heard this subtle buzz. Actually, it was more like a "BUZZZZZZZZZZ........ BUZZ!" And it was gone. I stopped, got a coffee and hit the highway. Everything was cool.

I drove the whole way without incident. It was 5 am, 7:15 am when I finally reached the exit off the highway. As I came to my first red light and started slowing down, the car said, "Ummmmmm... time for a day off." She stalled, hiccuped, and shut down in the middle of the road." Damn it! What the h*ll?" She would turn over but not start. I'm sitting in the middle of a three-lane highway saying, "Oh yes, here we go." I get out and push her off the road, and then begin the standard "MAN" routine. You know.... jiggle this wire, poke this piece of plastic.... looking for a hose thats fallen off. I even did the old "TAP everything to see if something's stuck". NO GO!

So I call the wife to tell her the good news and to get a number to call for a tow. She says, "Yes, we have roadside assistance. Call this number.... " I write it down and prepare for the usual, "The tow truck will be there in about 30 minutes", and end up waiting 2 hours on the side of the road. But nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! We accidentally didn't put the roadside assistance on my 93 Ford Escort Wagon (Don't ask me what we were thinking, but I assure you, its covered now!) and now I'm at an impasse.

Fortunately, the idea popped into my head that my GPS has an "Emergency" button. I hit it and find out that I have a WHOLE BUNCH of garages around me. I'm about to do the eeiny-meeny-miny-mo thingy, but stopped and prayed to Jesus. I simply asked for his guidance to help me get through this. I picked a garage called "Kelsey's Garage" which was .2 miles up the street. I locked up the car and started walking.

Upon getting there, I requested a tow from the shop owner, a man with a heavy, thick Greek accent. "I have an old man who is my tow truck, don't worry. He's not expensive either. I call him, eh?" I said, "Yes, please!" He does. After hanging up the phone he said, "He'll be here in 5 minutes, relax, have a coffee." Hanging on, the tow showed up in 10 minutes... AMAZING!!! If you've ever had a car stranded, you know its a wait for that tow truck. You spend an hour or two watching the horizon for anything that LOOKS like a tow truck.

Anyways, I got in the truck, and we headed out. He said, also in a heavy Greek accent, "You know, I just don't understand this country. I mean, I love it, but it's such a mess. I thank God I have just what I need, because of God I'm OK." Where did that come from? I said, "Yes, God takes care of all of us. I'm nothing without Him. But don't worry, he's going to deliver this country back to a better way of life." He responded by saying, "You know what? You are right." We began to speak politics.

I struggled to decipher the Greek accent. When we got back to the shop (1 minute later), he said, "I usually charge $80.00, but for you, $35.00!" I said, "Well, thank you! Thank you very much! "

To make a long story short, it ended up being the timing belt, notorious for going bad in a 93 escort after 55k miles. I had just hit 56k. Sheesh! I should've drove circles around my block until it broke!

Anyways, it was a $450.00 repair, unless there's valve damage, then who knows. I said, "Go for it." like we had a choice here. I sat down and said another prayer to God. "Please Lord, take this situation, and help me. Please let it be just the belt, and please make this as painless as possible. It's your plan Lord. I'm here to follow as I always try to do! Amen."

Just then, my phone rings. It's the owner from my last job, calling to tell me my sales commission check should be ready for me (money I've been waiting a few months for... argh!) tonight, or tomorrow. AWESOME!! I thanked him and said it would be great because I was sitting in an auto repair shop with a $450.00 repair. He said, "Call me tomorrow and we'll have it for you."


I sat and stared out the window for the next three hours and really thought about it.

God's plan is amazing! I mean, to the average Joe, this morning would have been a nightmare. But, when I look at it, God was watching over me EVERY SECOND!! Here's what I figured out:

1) I got stranded 180 miles from my house, this is true. But think about it. He left me safe on the side of the road, .2 miles from a wonderful garage owner who didn't try to rip me off. He also didn't leave me on the side of the INTERSTATE with cars flying by at 70-80 miles an hour! And we all know a tow at 6 am would've been hours of waiting. His hand guided me to that spot, and he let it go.

2) He then gave me His sign. Whenever people begin to bring up God to me in a conversation, I know that's Him saying, "See? I'm here for you! Relax!"

3) And lastly, when I was at my lowest of the morning, he had a phone call made to me to say, "See? The bill's covered! No loss!"

When you see all the small things God does for you everyday, everyday is awesome! I see his Works in me everyday.

Thank you Jesus for taking care of me today and blessing me with so much!!!

Scott (a/k/a Sweet Hubby)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Be the change...

11:30 p.m. 9/15/09 - UPDATE:

YEEHAWW!!!! A great big hug going out to all my wonderful readers that took the ball and ran with it. Lavender Bank's Memorial Fund has surpassed it's goal...in a matter of hours! Check it out HERE!


By the way, if you still feel the urge to give, please by all means do so! Every cent received will go towards the surgery of a cleft baby listed by LWB!

Sweet Lavender, I'm sure you're smilin' big, baby girl! We love you!


This sweet baby's death must not be forgotten and certainly was not in vain. God, for his glory, uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things.

A group of adoptive Moms from the Single Adopt China Yahoo!® Group teamed with one of the most humanitarian organizations assisting Chinese orphans, Love Without Boundaries, in order to change the life of a child. A child just like Lavender, born cleft affected and residing in an orphanage. Thus was born the Love Without Boundaries Lavender Banks Memorial Fund.

Many children born with cleft lip can go years without repair in China. A simple surgery that is fairly routine in our country, yet sometimes can make the difference on whether a child lives or dies in an orphanage.

Did you know that a simple cleft lip repair can not only help a child receive adequate nutrition and speak correctly, but it can greatly increase an orphaned child's chance of being chosen for adoption?

YOU can make a difference in the life of a child and I could not think of a more sweeter gift than doubling the joy and doing so in memory of our girl, Lavender Banks!

Please, as you sit and sip your morning coffee today, or snack on the bagel or muffin, will you stop and think about blessed you are? Can you think about how just $1., $5, $10. can make a life changing difference to a child on the other side of the world? Trust me, I know times are tough. We're living proof of it right now, but I also know that we can all afford ONE DOLLAR! Can you please help? That's all I'm asking. If everyone that reads this can send in $1. and then spread the word for others to do the same, can you imagine how many little lives can be forever changed?

Team LWB has set a goal of $1250. Thus far, they've reached 59% of that goal, $738.00.

Please don't just read this and say to yourself, "Oh, I hope or I know they'll reach their goal." Please open your heart. Don't assume someone else will do it. Take it into your hands and YOU be the one to make it happen! It's too late to change sweet Lavender's life, but in her memory we have the opportunity to change so many others.

Visit Team LWB and do your part by clicking HERE!

I know we can do this together!

You don't have to ask me. Please feel free to link to this post on your blogs, FB, yahoo groups or any other forum you may feel will help bring a smile to these waiting babies.

Thank you and may God bless you ten fold for your generosity!

two rays of sunshine in the dark

We all know that we shouldn't drink and drive. But it's when you read stories like THIS one that it stops you in your tracks. This is reality. Every parent's nightmare. Thank goodness for this family's faith. Only God could pull you through such a tragedy. They now have two very special rays of sunshine to fill those cloudy days.

Their story appeared on the Today Show:

Please don't drink and drive. Care enough not to let anyone else do so either. It may be your child's life that is saved.

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