Tuesday, December 29, 2009

making memories

Levi's 1st Christmas was memorable to say the least!

here are some pictures of my sweet boys (please dont mind the grainy pictures as my camera was set on some funky setting and would not be swayed from it despite my constant pressing of the correct button... ugh just made the morning a tad bit more frustrating)

a little recap... the boys started getting sick on the 21st and i took them to the pediatrician on Christmas Eve just to be sure and sure enough Levi was wheezing so he was put on a steroid and on a steroid breathing treatment and i was told to just watch Eli to be sure he didnt start wheezing too (in case you forgot he was not breathing when he was born and then got rsv as a 7 week old so his respiratory system is not the greatest and it will take a few years before his lungs will be able to fight respiratory infections off well). so come the bedtime on Christmas Eve i should have taken Levi to the hospital, but selfishly we didnt want to interrupt Christmas with a two year old so we held off, but come the morning it was evident that Levi needed more than just the breathing treatment... so off to the ER we went, but after we opened our presents and i quickly threw together the remains of all the side dishes and dessert i was to take to the inlaws with instructions for Chris as to finish making them. Levi was diagnosed with pneumonia and given antibiotics and after a few hours sent on our way... so we made it to the inlaws for Christmas lunch. only to be back in the hospital come sunday as Levi had not eaten and was only producing 1 wet diaper a day so he needed an iv. and was then diagnosed with rsv. and after a few hours and into the evening we were released once again. thank goodness Meme & Babu (my parents) were here to play with all of Eli's new Christmas presents. yesterday we went back to the pediatricians office and the boys were put on some different and stronger medicines and both on breathing treatments through the winter months.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Tissue Needed

I received this story as an email from Nightlight Christian Adoptions. It is a story from one of their clients. After I read this with tearfilled eyes I passed the computer to Chris who also shed a few tears (which does not happen nearly as often as my tears). Oh how I wish I could just go love on orphans now. When I took care of abandoned babies there was one that I had had in my dorm room for a few nights before we could take the baby to New Life orphanage, he was quite sick so we were up many hours in the night and I just loved, cuddled, and sang to him. About a week passed and I traveled back to Nairobi for a get away weekend, staying with a dear family whom I grew to love and now miss. They lived within walking distance from New Life, so whenever I was "home" I would spend time visiting the babies, however, this time was like never before. When I asked for Edgar the sweet nurse named Mary took me aside and told me that he passed away that very morning. I cried and cried and cried some more! First off I have never lost anyone close to me, secondly I realized that I was probably the only person who even cared that he passed away (don't get me wrong the nurses there do care, and maybe some of them did cry, but none of them had spent as much time with him as I had). I will never forget that day.
My heart ached...

Needless to say for my ramblings... read this story and I will continue mine at the end


In 1994, two Americans answered an invitation from the Russian Department of Education to teach morals and ethics (based on biblical principles) in the public schools. They were invited to teach at prisons, businesses, the fire and police departments and a large orphanage. About 100 boys and girls who had been abandoned, abused, and left in the care of a government-run program were in the orphanage. They relate the following story in their own words:

It was nearing the holiday season, 1994, time for our orphans to hear, for the first time, the traditional story of Christmas. We told them about Mary and Joseph arriving in Bethlehem. Finding no room in the inn, the couple went to a stable, where the baby Jesus was born and placed in a manger.

Throughout the story, the children and orphanage staff sat in amazement as they listened. Some sat on the edges of their stools, trying to grasp every word. Completing the story, we gave the children three small pieces of cardboard to make a crude manger. Each child was given a small paper square, cut from yellow napkins I had brought with me. No colored paper was available in the city.

Following instructions, the children tore the paper and carefully laid strips in the manger for straw. Small squares of flannel, cut from a worn-out nightgown an American lady was throwing away as she left Russia, were used for the baby's blanket. A doll-like baby was cut from tan felt we had brought from the United States.

The orphans were busy assembling their manger as I walked among them to see if they needed any help. All went well until I got to one table where little Misha sat. He looked to be about 6 years old and had finished his project. As I looked at the little boy's manger, I was startled to see not one, but two babies in the manger. Quickly, I called for the translator to ask the lad why there were two babies in the manger. Crossing his arms in front of him and looking at this completed manger scene, the child began to repeat the story very seriously.

For such a young boy, who had only heard the Christmas story once, he related the happenings accurately.. .until he came to the part where Mary put the baby Jesus in the manger. Then Misha started to ad-lib. He made up his own ending to the story as he said, "And when Maria laid the baby in the manger, Jesus looked at me and asked me if I had a place to stay. I told him I have no mama and I have no papa, so I don't have any place to stay. Then Jesus told me I could stay with him. But I told him I couldn't, because I didn't have a gift to give him like everybody else did. But I wanted to stay with Jesus so much, so I thought about what I had that maybe I could use for a gift. I thought maybe if I kept him warm, that would be a good gift.

So I asked Jesus, "If I keep you warm, will that be a good enough gift?"

And Jesus told me, "If you keep me warm, that will be the best gift anybody ever gave me."

"So I got into the manger, and then Jesus looked at me and he told me I could stay with him...for always."

As little Misha finished his story, his eyes brimmed full of tears that splashed down his little cheeks. Putting his hand over his face, his head dropped to the table and his shoulders shook as he sobbed and sobbed.

The little orphan had found someone who would never abandon nor abuse him, someone who would stay with him...FOR ALWAYS.

"I've learned that it's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts."

My story continued...
my heart aches for these hundreds of millions of children who are all alone who may never hear the words I love you or further more, God loves YOU!

no matter what version you prefer... no matter what way you look at it the Bible states it pretty clear:

James 1:27

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you. (NLT)

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world (NIV)

Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.(Message)

Monday, December 21, 2009


Believe from Harmony of Hearts on Vimeo.

Raindrops falling down
Heavens tears scattered all around
You can hear the sound
Shaky teenage voice
Mother forced to make the choice
There is so much noise

Look around and see them dying
And few of us are even trying
To take a drop of paradise
To quench a thirst
Save a life
Listen close you will faintly hear
The sound rings out everywhere
A cry for hope a cry for peace
A people desperate to believe

A starving little soul
Hunger pangs begin to take their toll
He’s 8 years old
I’m comfortable in bed
Echoing my head the words you said
The words you said

Sunday, December 20, 2009


Christmas 1 Corinthians 13

Christmas Style
By an unknown author.

If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls, but do not show love, I'm just another decorator.

If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love, I'm just another cook.

If I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love, it profits me nothing. If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crocheted snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir's cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.

Love stops the cooking to hug the child. Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband. Love is kind, though harried and tired. Love doesn't envy another's home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way, but is thankful they are there to be in the way. Love doesn't give only to those who are able to give in return but rejoices in giving to those who can't.

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, golf clubs will rust, but giving the gift of love will endure.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

identity blending

James 1:26-27 (The Message)

Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.

as of late i have been pondering how i can combine my skills, personality traits, spiritual gifts, values, dreams, and passions and ironically well not really ironically, because it totally was a God thing, this past week at our Financial Peace class the lesson was about just that... blending our strengths!

i still have yet to figure out how to make that come into fruition here in the states, but ultimately what would be my dream.... opening a baby orphanage like the one mentioned in this video! saving the lives of little babies who have been abandoned, thrown out, tossed in a latrine, neglected, starved, infected, and betrayed of love. being a mother, i do not know how any of these mothers would be able to do such a thing, but desperate times make desperate people do desperate things... oh how i long to cuddle them in my arms and pray over them, sing to them (no i cant sing, but i can make a joyful noise unto the Lord), nurture them and make them well again. so here is my heartbeat

Thursday, December 10, 2009

What do i know of HOLY???

this song beholds the questions on my heart as of late... i have found myself so busy with the everyday things that come my way that i have missed what life is really all about. it is so easy to get caught up in "this world" and forget why i am even placed on this earth. i hate to admit that. i hate that i often find myself very shallow in my thinking.

there are a few seasons in my life that i miss... i miss being in school because at least i was studying the Word all the time, hearing chapel messages and worshiping daily. living in Africa was an even better chapter, because prayer goes into the littlest things. you see, its quite impossible to be "self-sufficient" there like it is here. for the most part, in the western world, we do not NEED God, because we can do it all by ourselves, but in a third world country, where my southern accent and white face mean absolutely NOTHING... there is a different story. praying for EVERYTHING seems normal, but just not here. WHY IS THAT????

but where am i now? now i find myself praying in very short intervals throughout the day for little prayer requests i get from twitter or friends texts or things on my heart, over meals, putting the boys to sleep, and as i drift off to sleep... that is NOT where i want to be. ITS TIME FOR A PRIORITY CHANGE!!! i guess i feel as if i write this down for all to see, that it will hold me accountable, because i do not want to be seen as a liar.

a few weeks ago we had a sermon series on worship. Jeremy Kingsley probably gave the best sermon i have ever heard on worship. i realize my problem with my priorities is the fact that i have a skewed view of God vs. me. i have made a HUGE miscalculation in life and i have a too big of view of myself and a too small of view of God. i have been putting myself on a pedestal and God in a box and with that my worship is very limited. this song by Addison Road, What Do I Know of Holy, describes the sermon perfectly!

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life "its" name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

out for drinks...edited just for you!

tonight i had a girls night out for drinks... but our drink of choice was our beloved coffee craving! due to the coffee craving... im still wired and its 1 am.... im looking at 4-5 hours of sleep now... ahh what have i done? not only did we relish in our coffee and cookie cravings, but also in a deep desire for conversation! we all enjoyed the fun friendly fellowship. i think it goes without saying that we all are in agreement with my next statement... let me start by saying that we all LOVE, ADORE, and ARE SO THANKFUL FOR BEING STAY AT HOME MAMAS but sometimes we just need a break to be able to hold a conversation without being interrupted without a tantrum, potty break, snack time, boo-boo, feeding, screaming, or just plain ole playing. it was fabulous to just catch up. ironically we sat in barnes and noble on the floor in the children's section... but it brought back memories of our ciu college days!

note one more thing that feels like college... the fact that i only got 3 1/2 hours of sleep due to the caffeine keeping me up and the little men waking me up! oh the joys of motherhood

Monday, December 07, 2009

i am responsible

copied from a new blog friend with Julie in mind... enjoy!

Albertine lyrics

I am sitting still
I think of Angelique
her mothers voice over me
And the bullets in the wall where it fell silent
And on a thousandth hill, I think of Albertine
there in her eyes what I don't see with my own
now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are
now that I have seen, I am responsible
Faith without deeds is dead
now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are
I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet
I am on a plane across a distant sea
But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet
I will tell the world, I will tell them where I've been
I will keep my word
I will tell them Albertine
I am on a stage, a thousand eyes on me
I will tell them, Albertine
I will tell them, Albertine

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


today is worlds AIDS day... sadly i could put up many pictures of little faces i personally know who are living with HIV/AIDS. i could tell you countless stories of babies getting it from their mother, of little girls being raped, or women and children who had to sell their bodies to put food on the table. you see not everyone got HIV/AIDS because of their sinful lifestyle. regardless how HIV/AIDS was obtained, as a Christian we are called to be compassionate and love the those who Christ would love. that means the down and out, the poor, the sick, even those who have HIV/AIDS!

so let me tell you a little story...

when i lived in Kenya, i would visit the local "hospital" (if it where here, DHEC would shut it down in less than a heartbeat) a few times a week and even more when there were abandoned babies present. its run differently than our hospitals... all the women were in one huge room and the babies in a different room, the moms would only see their babies during feeding times, so i would go during feeding times to love on the abandoned ones. we would all sit in a big circle on benches feeding our babies. they would all be whispering but it was clear that they were talking about the mzungu (white person). some who did know english, including the nurses, would lecture me about touching the "sick" babies (they NEVER spoke the words HIV/AIDS). i didnt wear gloves (heck the nurses rarely had them anyways and only used them for the "sick" babies). they never touched the "sick" ones. they rarely changed the bedding (note, NO diapers). it was the responsibility of the mother to have some form of blanket for the baby to lay on, so the abandoned ones just had nasty, crusty, rough rags. i often would take the babies clean kanga's (colorful clothe that all the women used for carrying the babies on their back, as a skirt, head scarf, etc). i washed them, fed them, held them, and prayed for them. i worked with a missionary and the children's officer to get the paperwork moving in order to get the babies into an orphanage. once these children had someone actually caring for them, they would thrive! they would gain weight and would not be as sickly. they were not always newborns, but quite often weighed as much as a newborn here in the states! one baby in particular was roughly 9 months old and weighed less than either of my boys (who were both born nearly a month early). when they would get the the orphanage, they were given the antiretroviral drug, which help to improve the length and quality of life of someone with HIV/AIDS.

part of the problem is not admitting that there is a problem, clearly not even saying the words HIV or AIDS is representation that it is taboo and that needs to change, before real change can take place. many of the Christian students i studied with thought i was crazy for spending so much time with HIV/AIDS babies, because so many think it is contagious by contact, like a cold! it is important that men are being educated that having sex with a virgin will NOT cure them from AIDS. its no wonder that 33.2 million people worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. Every minute a child dies because of HIV/AIDS (stats taken from baptist global response).