Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I surrender All...

My mind drifts to the hymn when I hear those words, I am sure many of us have sung it but I wonder how many of us have sung it and actually stopped to realize the words that were actually being spoken from our lips and what exactly was taking place once those lyrics reached God’s heart, does He in return look back at us and say are you really surrendering all? …I am sure this goes for all of us. There is always some part of our lives that we just can’t give it all to God and trust Him to have control of it. But what I felt the need to talk about in this entry is..Children..The average family in America today has a family consisting of 4 to 5 members and that’s including the parents. Now most of you would say 3 kids that’s enough for 2 parents to handle who needs anymore..I have three kids and for awhile I couldn’t have agreed with you more..There was a time that I would hear others reply ahh we have enough children we are done..Or people using contraceptives to make sure they don’t become pregnant..

And honestly I never thought twice about the comments or decisions. That was until God began to give me His heart on this…and honestly now when I heart those comments I cringe, because its almost as if we have placed ourselves in a position to say ok God I trust you with everything but the kid part...that part I get to choose and call the shots ok? Do we seriously think that flies in heaven? Does God really look down and say with a smile oh ok I didn’t really need that part of your life anyway.. When God asks us to surrender all..I am going to take a leap here and say I think He means ALL.. ..I know I can already hear the reasons of why this part of our lives just has to be off limits to the surrendering part..Trust me I get it..As a woman we desire “me” time whether that be hanging out with a girlfriend for coffee, a new outfit or a hobby that we really enjoying doing..And of course we can’t forget our desire to keep up our womanly figures;)..We don’t want to sacrifice “our” time. I totally hear you ladies, and when God began calling my heart on this, trust me He heard a few whines or two..Or three ha;) But I knew without a doubt what He was speaking to my heart was the truth and I had to make a choice to listen and obey and to decide to follow Him or the voices of the world on this.

The voices of the world have made us believe that children are a curse and the more you have the worse things will be, you’ll never be able to take care of them (how many times have we said oh we just can’t “afford” another child) As Christians I believe we are doing God an injustice and totally disobeying Him when we buy into that lie. We are staring God in the face and saying I don’t want anymore children because you know I just don’t trust that you will provide for their needs…hmm that makes it sting when we hear it that way huh? So what exactly does God say about this? In Genesis 9:7 “As for you be fruitful and multiply, populate the earth abundantly and multiply in it.” Psalm 127:3-5 “ Behold children are a gift of the Lord , the fruit of the womb is a reward like arrows in the head of a warrior , so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man, whose quiver is full of them, they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate”…God chooses to reward us with children..Not curse us..So why don’t we accept it that way?

Take a breath this is gonna hurt….But maybe because we live in a selfish society were its all about us and “our” time and meeting “our” needs? We think our standards are God standards, that to answer this call our lives then we have to have tons of money...did we forget who Jesus parents were? That we have to provide them with a huge house.umm did we forget where Jesus was born and where He slept? That children just cost to much( clothes, toys, extracurricular activities etc)But is it really the children who cost too much or is it us the parents who have bought into this false image of what a family really looks like..Jesus didn’t come to give us the American dream..He came to give us Life..And to help us build a legacy and I believe that starts through our children..And if we all really took the time to simplify our lives and allow God to teach us how to raise our children we would began to realize that they really are a reward and a blessing. I think of the TLC family the Duggars when I see a family who has answered this call on their lives..Isn’t it amazing how so many of us will tune into their show watch it and then turn it off and never for a second think that God is calling us to make the same commitment to Him??..They are no different than the next family who steps up and takes a step of faith and says God I commit to you how many children we are to have, God didn’t just call the Duggars folks..He has called all of us who belong to Him to commit this part of our lives to Him..God desires to find faithful people of this day. And when He does there is no stopping His hand upon their lives!..But it requires us taking that first step of faith and trusting God with the rest….”Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1

As for me and my family we will serve the Lord and we choose to commit and surrender this part of our lives to Him..anyone else ready to join us and choose to do the same?:)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Here I am Lord..SEND ME!!!



What GOD thinks about orphans:

God calls us to be instruments of justice for orphans...

Dispense true justice and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor. (Zechariah 7:9b-10b)

God calls us to love and to care for orphans...

Learn to do good; Seek justice, reprove the ruthless, defend the orphan, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:17)

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. (James 1:27)

When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not go over it again; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow. (Deuteronomy 24:21)

God blesses those who are obedient to care for the needs of orphans...

When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. (Deuteronomy 24:19)

For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it gave witness of me, because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the orphan who had no helper. The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, and I made the widow's heart sing for joy. (Job 29:11-13)


God has placed a piece of Uganda in my heart and I long for there with everything inside me, I don't just want to go, I HAVE to go or this aching in my heart will surely consume me!! The Lord has opened that door for me to travel to Uganda this fall (Sept 26th -October 5th 09)with an AMAZING organization that has a heart to reclaim hope for orphans... Carolines Promise (http://www.carolinespromise4u.org/index.htm) We will be ministering to the orphans and widows there through various resources (including food, children's activities, medical assistance etc)


Not only for me but for the many orphans and widows not just in Uganda but all over the world! God moves when His children PRAY!!

* Become a child sponsor, you can make a HUGE difference the life of a child by becoming a sponsor..visit these websites for more information



* Partner with me financially as I take my step into the mission field of Uganda!!

Click the button below to donate towards my trip to Uganda!! Your donations are so greatly appreciated and May the Lord Bless you as you give!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sweet Reunion...

I experienced the worst feeling in my life tonight as I frantically paced through the isles of Wal-Mart in search of my daughter Morgan, she had been just one aisle away and now she was nowhere to be found, I felt the anxiety coming over my body as every horrific senearo possible raced through my mind. I kept pleading oh God please don’t let this be happening, please bring her back to me! Through panic and tears I pleaded with someone to please help me find my little girl! I could hear Code Adam alarming over the intercom and realized this was really happening to me, it suddenly became personal, how many times do we hear that a child is missing and dismiss it because its not our child? I could feel my body becoming weak and things around me were getting blurry as my body was going into shock at the thought that my baby was gone. This just can’t be happening..Please God I pleaded again…And I heard the most precious words I could ever hear..We found her!! My heart leaped and when my eyes met hers I just ran..Ran as fast as I could to her..I have never been so excited and relieved to see my daughter than I was in that moment. The expression on her face was one of confusion..You see Morgan didn’t even realize she was lost. I had told her to get her brother a toy to ease his tantrums which was one aisle over in the baby dept..But in Morgan’s mind she thought I meant in the toy dept on the other side of the store!..So all along Morgan thought she was right where she was suppose to be, that was until an employee approached her and asked if she was lost..Morgan replied umm I don’t think so..After telling the lady what her name was, the lady oh yes her mother is looking for you!..Through this ordeal I could hear my Heavenly Father speaking to my heart. Through the frantic search for her I could hear God whispering this is how I feel..This is my heart to those that are mine, that are wandering and lost, the way you feel right is now is how I feel towards them. I search frantically for them, I leave everything to search for them to seek them out,and the horrible images that you seen, I see too..I see what they will endure if I can't bring them back to Me.... and when the moment comes that my eyes meet there’s, I run to them just as you ran to her. They are out there just as she was, not even realizing they are lost, thinking they are right where they are suppose to be..That is until someone approaches them and lets them know indeed their Daddy has been searching for them! And as followers of Jesus we are that someone..We need to take the time to ask the simple words..Are you lost? And then assure them that yes indeed your Daddy is looking for you and oh what a sweet and precious reunion it will be!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

HIS Church..

As Christians what do we normally do on Sundays? Most of us would answer we “go” to church right? And when we arrive we put our children in Sunday school and we listen to sermons that teach us what we should be doing as His children. Then most of us leave and say wow that was a good message and some of us may even think about it for awhile before the distraction of what’s for lunch enters our minds and we are back entertaining thoughts that center only around us. Is this what Jesus meant for His church? Does anyone else other than me think we are missing the point? Missing what Jesus meant when He called us to be His church? Did he mean for it to become a building where His children come and keep the pews warm? Where we listen to message after message and hear what Jesus is telling us to do but never actually going and doing what Jesus told us to do? Do we believe that church is a place you go? Or did Jesus mean for it to be who we are as His children? Aren’t we as followers of Jesus the church? Isn’t Jesus coming back for His bride? Those that have accepted Him into their heart and are saved. He doesn’t give us names of buildings he’s coming back for..No He says His church..His followers..

So what then does that mean for those of us that follow Him? We are following Jesus to become more like the image of Jesus to the world right? So then how do we do that? Do we just keep the church full of Pharisees and keep out the tax collectors? Read Matthew 25:31-46..In this Jesus is saying you want to find me and be my church then go serve and love the “tax collectors” if your wondering who exactly who would be the tax collectors of our day? They are the outcasts, the ones you wouldn’t dare think of letting in “your” church buildings...The strippers, homosexuals, drug addicts, homeless people, alcoholics, convicts and the list continues. What kind of “church would that be right, if we dared let a stripper dressed in her attire sit in one of our pews, that’s just not right!..Or is it? Isn’t that what Jesus commands us to do? Since when do we make the rules? Why do we think we can make a list of rules about who gets to come in our “buildings”? When Jesus said you are my church, isn’t our “bodies” the temple of the Holy Spirit which means the Holy Spirit lives in us not in a building..So for that stripper to see Jesus, folks she is going to have to see it in the church..And that means in US..And that means we are going to have to take it outside the comfort of our buildings and go find them..Jesus did..He met the woman at the well, He didn’t wait for her to come meet Him in a building somewhere..He went to her..He sought her out..

Did He snarl His nose up at how she was dressed or slam her for her reputation? Nope he simply asked her for a drink of water and then talked to her; he made conversation with her..He met her right where she was. He went straight for her heart and it change her life..So then as followers of Jesus..His church..Aren’t we commanded to do the same? Instead of sitting in our nice comfortable churches..Hearing sermon after sermon, attending bible study after bible study...When will it finally hit you that Jesus said GO be the church? That those that Jesus commands us to reach are out there on the outside waiting and not seated in your pews because we as the church have made them believe they aren’t worthy to come inside? How many more bible studies do you need before you realize that Jesus is saying pick up your cross and FOLLOW me. Follow Him into the streets where strippers are, follow Him into the woods where homeless people sleep, follow Him into the prisons where convicts wait, follow Him into a orphanage where orphans cry, follow Him into foreign countries to preach His gospel, follow Him wherever He leads because that is BEING His church.

Will it get uncomfortable, you better believe it..But when did this become about our comfort? When did following Jesus become about us? Its not about us folks, it’s about God, everything we do with our lives should be to glorify Him and Him alone. Does that mean I am saying you should stop going to church building, No..But I am saying that I think we need to take a long hard look at what exactly that means and ask God to reveal to us if we are simply wasting our lives by only “going” to church and never actually “being” the church. We need to realize that as a follower of Jesus, we are indeed His church and that means we should be carrying that always to a lost and dying world, that it means not just getting up on a Sunday morning to rush to church and on the way you pass by a homeless person on the side of the road and yet you failed to stop because you were in a hurry to “get” to church instead of actually “being” the church ..And in doing so you missed the one you were in such a hurry to learn about, love, serve, and see……….JESUS

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Is it Worth It??............

Is the question I heard on the other end of the receiver as I was telling my mom about my mission trip to Uganda in September. It burned through my heart like fire..How could she ask me that? Does she not understand why I am going? Has she not seen what goes on there? It saddens my soul to know that so many go on about there daily lives unaffected by a hurting world around us and I too admit I was once one of those people, I was oblivious to the fact that I had so much and took so many things for granted, I too was a spoiled American. We so often forget that even the poorest American is considered “spoiled” in many parts of the world. And then I began to pray, I began to ask God to give me a heart like His, I wanted to see people the way He sees them, I wanted to care about the things He cared about, and He answered that prayer and my life will never be the same..

I can’t eat a meal or feed my children without seeing images and hearing cries of starving children in this world. I can't play with my children without thinking about the lonely orphans wishing they too had a family, I can’t lie in bed at night without images of a homeless people filling my mind wishing they too had a place to lay their head. I can’t buy a stick of gum without thinking to myself is it worth it? Is it worth it to waste this money on gum while a child somewhere hasn’t eaten for days? I am haunted by these images and so many more everyday, every second of my life, because I prayed to have a heart and eyes like my Daddy. There are times I wish I could just have my old eyes and heart back..But the other part of me knows it’s needed..Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross, He cried out in the Garden ..Father is their another way? He knew what was ahead of Him..The pain, the torment, but I think the hardest for Him was to know He was about to see the images and feel the pain in his heart..Images of our sin flashed before His eyes..And He saw what would become of us if He didn’t go through with the cross..And with a heavy heart He went.Through the mocking He heard..Is it worth it?...Is this beating worth it? Is this pain worth it? Through the spit and laughter..maybe just for a moment He did wonder and turned His head toward heaven and asked…Father is this worth it? And then His eyes met the ones who would choose Him ..And from the core of His being He whispered…Yes they are more than worth it…

And now He is asking us the same question..Are the orphans worth it? Are the homeless worth it ? Poverty and places like Uganda exist because God is waiting for His children to listen to His call to GO and be His hands, feet, heart, mouth, arms..His Body to a lost and dying world…I am aware of the things that could happen to me when I travel to Uganda..I learned a long time ago that to Live is to Live for Christ and to die is gain because I get to spend eternity with Christ..Either way I win;) Its in the orphans, the widows, the homeless, and the outcast that Jesus said, you want to find me?.. then come to me here..This is where I will be…waiting for you...I have looked into the eyes of an orphan and it was there that I seen the face Jesus and I can say with everything in me that IT IS WORTH IT!.......

Friday, June 19, 2009

" I am with you always" Matthew 28:20

This is a picture of Morgan's softball coach at their end of the season pool party, Morgan hugged him and this is the image that was left!! How awesome is that?!?! Jesus wanted some pool time fun too!! hehe;) this seriously made me cry!! and I hope it blesses you as well!!:)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Switching Gears;)

Take a hold of my hand as I lead you with me into the Fields of the Fatherless, hold on tight as my adventure with the Lord, isn’t one that is for the faint at heart, nope buckle your seatbelts kids, this is gonna be a wild ride! My journey starts back in September when I came across the Caroline’s Promise website, the overwhelming burning in my heart let me know I needed to contact her, little did I know what God had up His sleeve..Meeting Lisa was lifechanging, she had this passion for orphans that I had never seen before, and it was through her that God began to speak to my own heart, about His burden for the fatherless and asked me to join with Him in this journey. My first step in that journey was the Survivor Guatemala contest that Wbfj hosted, I prayed and allowed God to write my story, because honestly I had no idea what to write, this was God’s idea afterall;) And then I find out that I have made it to the top ten! My reply to God was ummmm ok God now what? Are you really going to send me on a mission trip? Seriously though…Me? Lol And in that still small voice of the Lord, I heard child do you trust me? And so my journey continued..

I didn’t win the contest but what God opened my eyes to through this contest, still blows me away..I wanted to know more about orphans and prayed that God would give me His heart and burden for them..and what He said to my heart forever opened my eyes..He said Amanda I can’t give you my heart and burden for them..because if I did it would overwhelm and consume you. I will give you just what you need to fulfill the purpose I have placed on your life.. And so He has…I have been disturbed by the Lord on this issue and my life will never be the same, My normal day to day activities are forever filled with images of those that have no home, no family, no HOPE…I have stared into the eyes of orphans, and what stared back at me will haunt me for the rest of my life. They are empty vessels where no joy, peace, or love reside there..just a cold empty shell, they have guarded their hearts from loving because it just hurts to much to feel…Can you hear their cries? Screams? Can you feel their loneliness? Abandonment? Pain? As Christians we don’t have to choice whether we hear the cry of the orphans. "Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world." James 1:27 God isn’t saying if you feel like hearing the cries of fatherless then you have the option to join with Him to take care of them, no He commands us as His children, those that bear His name to take care of those that are so close to His heart, He wants to give us His ears to hear their cries and His heart to feel their pain and through that He wants to use us to go bodly into the fields of the fatherless to bring them hope..His hope..hope that will forever change their lives..and yours..if you allow it..

I have fell before the throne of my King, and cried out to Him, telling him to send me wherever, that I was ready to go..and that leads me back to Guatemala..I continued on that journey because I felt that is where the Lord was leading..that is until last weekend..On April 24th I received a email from Lisa, stating that I needed half of my money for the trip by that Sunday, I was devastated as I surely thought the money was coming in, and I sent a message back to her asking her to pray because I wasn’t sure what God was doing..I crawled up in the lap of my Heavenly Father, asking why this wasn’t working out..I thought I was suppose to go..and through His warm embrace He whispered..my child its only Friday..Sunday is Coming;)…Oh how I was about to find out just what God meant through that simple yet powerful statement! On my way to my mission trip meeting Saturday evening, I prayed that God would show me if I was to continue on the journey to Guatemala or if wanted me to go somewhere else and that I surrendered my will to Him, that I didn’t want to go on any mission trip, I wanted to go where God was leading...And as I sat in that meeting, I felt so disconnected from the group..like I was there but I really wasn’t..and as they were all talking about their ideas..I had nothing to give..My heart cried out to God, where is my place here? Why do you need me in Guatemala? And I began to feel the lord closing the door to Guatemala and it broke my heart..I left there a mess and cried all the way home, I just couldn’t understand why all this was happening and what all of it meant.

It was then that God began to remind me of something I had read in the book called “Strength of Mercy” where the Lord sends this couple on an amazing journey into the fields of the fatherless where they find their baby girl..At first though He sends them a picture of one child and uses that child to prepare there hearts, to open their eyes and to allow them to learn to trust Him with their plans and to direct their steps, and when He closes that door on them adopting that child, He whispers to their soul, you can’t dwell on this, because I have showed you this child to prepare your heart for another one. And I felt the Lord reminding me of this and giving me peace, that Guatemala was my”first baby” It was what He used to open my eyes and light the fire inside for orphans..I sent Lisa a email explaining how I was feeling and how I felt the Lord was closing the door to Guatemala to open a new door…. Africa..And I just wanted her to pray that God would give me something to confirm it and give me peace..After I sent the email..I opened up my daily devotion that sits on my desk and God could'nt have spoken anymore clearly to my heart, so clear that it nearly knocked me out of my chair! This is what I read “ Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up, do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:19 WOW Loud and clear the Lord was saying Amanda I know you are disappointed and heartbroken that I have shut the door to Guatemala but you can’t dwell on the past, because I am doing a new thing Africa! It has already sprung up in your heart, can’t you already see it?? And I am already there paving a way in the desert and wasteland!! Just as the Lord had spoke to that couple in the book, He was speaking to me now! Ahhh when God speaks He speaks!;)

I have known for awhile that the Lord was going to send me to Africa..The Lord is pulling my heart towards there and it grows more unbearable as everyday passes, so much so that if the Lord were to say Amanda, pack up everything and move your family to Africa to be full time missionaries there we would and not look back! Just hearing the name Africa, my heart leaps and overflows with burden. Its not just that I want to go to Africa, its that I have to go or the fire inside my heart and soul for Africa will consume me. There is hidden treasures in Africa that the Lord is calling me there to find, and I am not sure if Africa needs me so much as I believe the Lord is calling me there because I need Africa. I received a email back from Lisa that Sunday night and she replied that she too felt the Lord was shutting the door to Guatemala, and let me know that Caroline’s Promise was going to Uganda….but that they were'nt planning there first mission trip there till the fall of 2010..I admit I was bummed as I am ready to go now..but surrendered my will once again to the Lord, and said if that’s when you want me to go then I will wait Lord..I submit to your plans. "We can gather our thoughts, but the LORD gives the right answer. People may be pure in their own eyes, but the LORD examines their motives. Commit your work to the LORD, and then your plans will succeed." Proverbs 16:1-3, "We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps" Proverbs 16:9 I knew my plans what my plans were and I knew my motives were right in wanting to go on a mission trip..but until they were lined up with the Lords plan, I didn't want any part of it..

I was willing to wait and laid my hearts desire at His feet and asked ok Lord whats next.. And the Lord once again answered;)…I had a few weeks earlier requested a packet about starting a girls GEMS group, and well the packet had arrived in my mailbox..and what I found when I opened it, drew me to my knees! Tucked inside the folder just beaming at me, was a little African orphan girl..and James 1:27 written across the top and on the back in big bold letters was The call to Africa, there is so much waiting to be done! As I am reading the flyer..I noticed that they were building a school there for these orphans..and the name of it is The Esther school..ok your wondering whats the big deal? Well let me tell you;)…That very morning I felt intrigued to read the whole book of Esther as God has revealed to me that I resemble her..so off I went into the incredible journey of Esther and what an awesome book that is! And here I was reading the flyer that came out of the blue and clearly the school of Esther was staring back at me! And confirming in my soul that My God was up to something HUGE!

And so now my journey begins towards Africa..do I know exactly when I will be going? Nope..Do I know what exactly what I will be doing when I get there? Nope..But one thing I know for certain..My God is directing my steps and is there making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland..And I trust Him with everything I have.. and know that God is the one that has taken me on this journey into the fields of the fatherless and I fall before the King, surrendering my all and give Him my life to use however He wants. And as my friend reminded me yesterday in Philippians that Jesus was able to sleep during a storm because He had the perfect peace that His father was in control..I too can walk boldly in my calling even in the uncertain times because I know who is in control..He won’t guide me or lead me anywhere that He is'nt already there For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11...And so once again I crawl up in my Heavenly Daddy's lap and ask Him ..whats next daddy? And He whispered… my child..hold on and hold on tight..its gonna be a wild ride!!;)

Friday, April 24, 2009


Me and the girls are having so much fun creating Lapbooks to go along with what we are learning and we just wanted to share with all our family and friends!;) The first one is our Lapbook to celebrate Earth Day;)

These two are Subtraction Facts and Phonic Rules!;)

Morgan is currently reading American Girl Josefina and we are going to do a Lapbook on her once she is finished!!;) Also we are so excited that God has led us back to My Father's World Curriculum and we will be starting the 3rd grade Adventures program the end of this summer and we are thrilled there are so many Lapbooks to make to go along with our lessons! So many fun things in store for us in our journey of Homeschooling with the Lord and we can't wait to share them with you all!!;)We hope you enjoy the pictures!! If you are interested in making your own Lapbooks you can find many resources here: http://www.homeschoolshare.com/Lapbooks_at_HSS.php and feel free to contact me with any questions!! May the Lord Bless You!!


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


The blessing me and my kiddos have been waiting for finally arrived on our doorstep yesterday!! We were stoked!! And what a blessing it has already been! After much frustration over sight words and how they are simply a ridiculous way to teach children how to read..yes I am officially a sight word Nazi! ask anyone they will confirm it! ha ha;) I prayed and asked God to rewire my daughters brain, I seriously believe that sight words caused some if not all of her reading difficulties, and so I prayed that God would heal her from this and give me something that I could use to teach her PURE phonics(I say pure because this program was the only one I found on the market that does not include some type of sight words in with the phonics, I simply wanted a true phonetic program, because ALL words can be sounded out!!) and I wanted my daughter to learn how to really read and not memorize! And God so delivered! I came across ABC the Key while searching online for a phonics program and I knew it was the answer to my prayer, so I prayed about the purchase since it was a big one and I felt God nudge my heart to purchase it;) And what a true blessing it has been! We have only had this program in our home for a day and Maddie is learning all of her sounds, Even little Mason can tell you the sound A makes! he he;) Morgan is learning so much and she is having so many light bulb moments!;) and best of all she is learning how to read!! and really read! She looked at me and said mom this makes sense now, I understand how to sound out the words I don't know and I don't have to guess what it is! woohooo!!! I looked back at her with tears in my eyes and said yes love that's reading!! I am so grateful to the Lord for this blessing and just had to post about it!!;)

Here is some pics of my little ones enjoying their skittle dogs that came with the program;) The company was nice enough to send me two free extra dogs since I have three kiddos and they wanted them all to have one to teach;) and they have so enjoyed them! We so LOVE ABC the Key!!;)

Mason didn't get to be in the pic this time as he was enjoying his much needed nap;) he he;)

If you are interested in learning more about the program ABC the Key you can visit the website here;)


Adventure in Homeschooling;)

I knew God was laying homeschooling on my heart again and so I pulled my daughter out of the Arts School she was attending mid year to homeschool her again, I admit I was nervous about the transition but when God calls He equips! And we are having so much fun and learning so much! I wouldn't trade it for anything! Homeschooling is such an incredible adventure and I am so blessed to ride it with the Lord and my children!;)

I wanted to allow our family and friends a peek into our world of homeschooling! We are having a BLAST!;)

My chefs;)

Homeschool Skateboarding;)

Maddie practicing her letters;)

Morgan and her Playdough creations;)

I will be updating and adding more pics, as we have lots of field trips planned! so keep your eye out for them!;)

I wanted to end this post with a cute video made by a homeschool mom that made me giggle!;) I will survive!!;) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!;)


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

May we choose to Love..

(Scroll to the bottom of my page first and mute the music so you can hear the video)

My sister showed this video to me and what an impact it had on my heart. It has always broken my heart how we as “followers of Christ” all to often choose to hate instead of love. We are called to love like Jesus and treat those as He would treat them. It is not our job to fix anyone, we are lead them to Jesus place their hands in His and allow Him to do the rest. My mind drifts to the story of the Forgiven Woman in Romans 8:31(” But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?" They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin.")

But how often do we think we have the right to point fingers? To give them the impression that God hates them..what if that was true? What if God hated those that did something outside of His word? Then friend that means there would be no hope for mankind, none us would be able to come to the Lord, we all have done things that are wrong, God said so Himself in His word, Romans 3:23 (“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” ) Sin is the same no matter what kind it is, and there is only one sin that will separate us from God and that is not accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, anything else in our lives that we are struggling or dealing with is not outside the grace of God.

Jesus came to die for the sinner, John 3:16 (" For God so loved the world that He sent His one and only son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but recieve everlasting life") Jesus came to die for us all, so may we all see others through the eyes of Jesus and reach out with His heart and show others compassion and grace, so that God has the freedom to open the door to thier hearts to reveal who He truly is to them..

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Hidden Treasures;)

God has been laying adoption on my heart for quite sometime, I remember attending the Steven Curtis Chapman Christmas Tour Concert and listening to him talk about adoption and once he began to sing the song “All I want for Christmas is a family” I was moved to tears and I knew that someday my family will welcome a child or children into our home in the form of adoption. And then after the Survivor Guatemala contest God opened my eyes on a whole new level to the orphans of this world.. God has been speaking to more adamantly lately about adopting. Let me back up so you will understand why I feel this way. I heard a story recently from Lisa Kertchal from Proverbs 31 Ministries and she spoke about how she went to this church and heard these orphan boys from Liberia sing and God spoke to her heart that two of those boys were hers and how God chased her until she finally surrendered and embraced Gods heart on adoption and became the mother of those two boys, and after this program was over the radio announcer mentioned that the Daraja Children’s Choir from Africa was coming to my area, and I heard God whisper to my heart I want you to go to this, I have something for you…

I was so eager to go so I decided to pack up the kids and drive alone in the rain, at NIGHT. Which if you know me this was not the best decision, I have absolutely no sense of direction and I am blind as a bat at night..So needless to say I got lost and panicked! Lol I called my husband crying and begging for him to help me as I could sense the panic coming over me as I was scared to death that I would never find my way home..He assured me that it would be fine and THEN..I hit a patch of water that made the car hydroplane and yep that did it..I could feel my body get cold and my lips and hands go numb and everything was getting very white, I was about to have a panic attack on I-85 in the pouring rain at night with three kids in the car! I told my husband I had to go and threw the phone down and I praise God my two youngest children were asleep but my oldest daughter Morgan proved to be a mighty prayer warrior that night as she prayed for us to find our way back home and that the anxiety that was overtaking mommy would be broken and my baby girl prayed to her Jesus so hard that night and God so listened to my baby girls prayers and answered them, because we did find our way home safe and sound;)

I was so bummed that I didn’t get to see this choir that I so felt like God wanted me to see..And then I went on the website and seen that they were performing at a church an hour and half away from my house on a Saturday night and I told my husband that we were going..I didn’t care how far away it was and that I didn’t understand completely why we were going but God wants us there and so he agreed we packed up the kids and traveled an hour and half to witness nothing short of a miracle;) All the way there I just had butterflies, you know the kind you get when you about to see your child be born? Yep that’s the same ones I was having…I was overwhelmed with this feeling and had no idea what God was up to..We arrived at this Baptist church and walked in and sat among many waiting patiently to see these children sing..And then I heard the sweetest sound of these amazing children chanting in their own language..my eyes filled up with tears as these children walked up on stage and to watch them sing praises to God with such joy and love even through unimaginable circumstances they have endured just crushed me with humility. I could feel the Holy Spirit tugging on my heart throughout the program. He whispered to my soul you will adopt two children from Africa..

My husband though was not so sure on the way there..He enjoys his life of simplicity and wasn’t too comfortable with the idea that God could be calling us to adopt an African child..So I prayed God please call his heart..Make him see with your eyes tonight..And I remember looking over at him many times throughout the program and just seeing the love in his eyes for those children and knew that God was at work! After the program was over..My husband looks at me and with tears in his eyes and says I believe we are going to adopt from Africa! Umm yea I stood there with the deer in the headlights look for what felt like eternity and kept looking at this man wondering what he done with my husband! lol still in shock I put the childrens coats on and we walked to the car..Once inside the chaos of the car.. I have three small children and it’s late and they are tired, hungry and well just kids haha..And in the midst of it my husband says to me…are you going back in? flustered I reply for what?

He says I am not sure but I feel like God is telling me to tell you to go back in..So I sigh and say ok I need to use the bathroom anyway lol..So I grabbed the girls and we rush back inside the crowd and make our way into the restroom and while I am waiting on my children to finish..I make a plea to God..I said God please show me why we are here and what it is we are supposed to do..Please God do something..And then we walk out to wash our hands and I turn around from drying the girl’s hands and there she stands leaning against the sink..Just gazing at me..My heart leaped..And I didn’t know what to do! One minute I was praying for God to do something and in a matter of seconds my prayer was answered! And in a still small voice I heard “speak to her” Fumbling with my words I managed to get out a Hi...Her eyes just lit up with joy and was then nudged to give her a hug and told her she done a great job and this little precious child just snuggled herself into me and in the most precious voice I have ever heard said “thank you”..

My heart was racing as I introduced her to my girls and she just smiled and just kept looking at us with this look I can’t even begin to describe, it was as if she was speaking with her heart asking me to take her home..I couldn’t believe what was happening but I so knew God was up to something!!..I then told her to have a wonderful night and then she smiled and said byee. I couldn’t make it back to the car fast enough! I told my husband what happened and he just looked at me with amazement in his eyes..We were both blown away at what we just witnessed..And we both prayed God if this is your will for us then make it clearly known..Like He hadn’t already, but you know us humans we just have to be SURE haha..And so God continued to speak, on the way home we heard a song on the radio and in the middle of the song the same sweet childrens choir we just witnessed began to once again pour out their hearts and my eyes once again filled with tears and the ride home was that of a quiet one as neither me nor my husband really knew what to say. At church the next morning I was asked to step in to serve with the two year old children, I normally teach the 4 year olds but went eagerly to minister to these little ones and as the class began the teacher began to read the children a story about Africa! Oh trust me God was so not done there hehe! I then went into service with my husband and during meet and greet me and my husband turned around to come face to face with a couple from Africa and who possessed the same accent as those amazing children we had seen the night before!

And so we went humbly to the throne of God and said ok Lord, we accept your call of adoption in our lives but we cried out to God that we don’t have the resources to make this happen, our house is just too small, our car won't hold anymore children and the income my husband makes is just enough to support our family of 5… How can this work? Where is the house, the car, the money going to come from to fulfill this purpose?? But I heard God whisper to my heart..just trust me child..trust me….

We have wanted to buy a house for awhile now, but every time we have tried , God in some way has continued to shut the door and made it clear that He has a different plan for us... And my husband God bless him, kept making the comment that God was going to give us a house..And my response was always YEA RIGHT lol UNTIL…

Thanksgiving day I was going to drop off a Photo Cd for one of the ministers of my church, I had done his gorgeous families pictures and wanted them to have it in time to make their Christmas cards, so I let her know that I would be there..and she gave me the directions, and on my way I went..as I reach the house development I was shocked these houses were huge! I had no idea they lived there and honestly my flesh was a little irritated..and I was like is this where our tithe money goes? Yea I know I thought it lol..little did I know what God was about to do for my heart..I walked up and knocked on the door and she answered and we began talking and I mentioned how gorgeous her house was..and tears began to fill her eyes..and she said Amanda God did this..she began to tell me that her husband’s parents gave them this house for free, that there was no way they could afford to live there, that she never in a million years dreamed she would ever live in a house like that, but that God always provides..I then heard God whisper..Amanda what I have done for them, I can do for you..do you trust me? It took everything I had not to bust out crying right there on her doorstep..I held them back until I got in the car! It was then that I said ok God I trust you! I don’t know how you are going to give us a house but I believe you! I know that you will provide for what we need!

..I kept thinking about the idea..and kept replying back that’s just crazy..there is no way you can just give house!! Why would you do that??? And then He gave me a glimpse....

I could hear their laughter, I could hear their feet running through the hallways, I could see the excitement in their eyes , I could feel the warmth of their hugs, and I heard them call me MOM.. I could see the day that I could hold their sweet faces in my hand and say God gave us this house for you so you could have a home and a family…

God has put such a passion and desire in my heart for the orphans of this world, that I have spent endless nights watching adoption you tube videos and flipping through endless pictures of orphan children, I have cried myself to sleep thinking of all these children around the world with no one to tell them goodnight, I love you, no one to hold them, rock them, kiss them, just be their mom, my heart aches and I have given my heart and my dreams to God, I want my motherhood story to be one that reaches to the ends of the earth and brings as many orphans children into our care as God sees fit! What an incredible feeling it is to know that the same feeling I got when I was expecting my biological children I am feeling now , its as if I waiting for those special children that God created just for me and my family to love, cherish and to raise in His word are out their somewhere and I can’t wait for the day I can finally meet them and bring them home!!

God wants to do an incredible work through us and I truly believe He is going to give every resource we need!I will admit though I hadn't told a lot of people about our decision to adopt and even less people about God’s crazy idea that He was going to give us a house but the people I did tell..Wasn't as encouraging as I would have hoped they would be..and well it discouraged me..and my heart was hurting and I began to second guess what I had thought God was calling me and my husband to do..UNTIL... and God nudged me to read it a friend's of mines blog and as I scrolled down there it was..The entry titled " "What God can do with a dream in 5 years" The words just spoke so deeply to my heart and soul..and then I got to the song.." Never Give Up" and it felt as though God himself was singing those words to my heart and I was moved into a blubbery mess of tears…I know there is a call inside my heart and I know that my family has been called to adopt, and I know and believe that God will provide us with all the resources to make it happen, even the crazy idea of Him giving us a house!! Is it still crazy out of this world idea?? Yes!! lol but then again I belong to a Out of this world God! And if it all made sense it wouldn't take faith to believe it right? So my family is clinging to the scripture " Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for the proof of what is not seen" Hebrews 11:1 And I boldly say let the journey of Adoption begin!;)

I believe that we all have hidden treasures tucked away inside us waiting to be discovered...its that treasure that sets your heart on fire, that passion that will consume you until you step out on it..My treasure is to reclaim hope for orphans of this world, to use my gifts and talents to change but a small portion of the world..

Whats your hidden treasure? what is it that sets your heart on fire? Its time to fall before our King and ask Him how He can use YOU to change the world...