Monday, February 13, 2006

Muy Guapo Chico...Bryan :)

Well I had the precious privilege of visiting one of my very favorite places on Saturday afternoon. I got to go back and see this little guy who stole my heart the week after I moved to Honduras. His name is Bryan and as God is my witness if I could figure out a way to adopt this little guy I would do it tomorrow. He is precious and as soon as I walked in the door he got this HUGE smile on his face and we hugged on each other a whole bunch the rest of the afternoon. I love this picture. It reminds me of all the reasons I am here and all the reasons it's exactly where I'm supposed to be right now. This is a genuine smile coming from somewhere way down deep in my soul. Think maybe it's coming from somewhere way deep down in his too. Sometimes God just does that...connects two souls and I'm learning it doesn't matter how old or young they are. Is He cool or what??

Leann this is my Christian. I think I know better now what happened in your heart that day. Pretty sure it happened in mine. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Children...Coming SOON!!!

Ok so I'm sorry that it's taken a few days to update about all that's happening on this end of the world. Several of you have emailed for updates on which children are coming and so I'll answer this way so that you can all hear what's up.

We went to Casitas on Wednesday afternoon (which is the state run orphanage that all the children are filtered through first) and we met some precious little ones. I fell in love with a little boy named Milton who was a year old. Sweet little guy who felt just right in these arms who are waiting to cuddle up some of God's kiddo's who need to feel someone love them. We didn't walk out of there with children or even know which ones we'd take though. We spoke with the director who is a very nice lady who has done wonderful things for the place and she was extremely helpful and encouraging.

We spent the day yesterday going to Jimmy Hughes, who is this really cool guy that also has a children's home as well as a rehabilitation center here in Honduras and is much involved with IHNFA (which is the "social services" system basically here). He gave us some really great counsel as well as made some phone calls to help us figure out the process from here for getting children.

We're still waiting for updates on a few things with the paperwork and legalities tomorrow and we'll know better how soon we're able to move forward with children.

Please continue to pray for the children who are coming. I trust God will choose them and that once we get them we'll instantly fall more in love with His heart and the heart of these little ones.

We'll keep you posted every step of the way. Thanks for encouraging and praying and supporting us in a thousand ways. We appreciate all of you!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Exclamation Mark Living...

Am going through Beth Moore's study right now called Living Beyond Yourself (ok, ok I'll confess I'm a groupie, I am) but it's my favorite so far and I've done several. This one I'm doing online and it's awesome it talks all about living in the Spirit and the freedom offered there.

In the video I watched today, she made a statement that we were called to exclamation point living for Jesus. I LOVED that!! Mediocrity doesn't cut it, we are meant to live a life marked with passion, conviction, abundant love, joy, peace, patience, etc. A life that could be classified as written and lived with an exclamation point not just at the end as Heaven awaits, but all the way through in the day to day living of our lives.

So here's a prayer that your day and mine will be marked with living that has exclamation points for Jesus ALL over it!!!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Some Words of Truth

You all have heard and seen me write several times about "my girls." This group of 10 gals who started out just wanting to study God's Word together and who came together weekly to do that. When I think about that one goal and how God sprang a thousand other good things from it I seriously want to encourage everyone I know to grab a group of people whose hearts are searching for an authentic relationship with Christ and find a study and get into God's Word together. It has FOREVER changed my life and I mean that with every ounce of my being.

On the last Thursday night I was home before I left to come to Honduras we had a special night where we all attempted to thank and encourage each other in a multitude of ways and it was absolutely beautiful. I cried bucketfuls and so did these other gals I just happen to adore.

I got to wash their feet and I think in some very small human way I understand more of Jesus' heart in that one act now. I desperately wanted to thank them for walking beside me as I sought after God's heart through the ups and downs of life. They just hung in there beside me. In the course of 3 years we've all had quite a few of both together. Anyway with tears in my eyes I went around that room and got to say words that God gave me to each of them about the ways they had touched my life, and served my heart. I wonder if Christ did the same thing and we just didn't get all of those words recorded. Can you imagine some of what He might have said to them after 3 years of ministering together so intimately? Wonder what he would have said to John the Beloved? How about Peter? I like to think he would have had the same emotions leaving them as we all do leaving one another. I feel sure he did.

One of the neatest things they did for me over the course of that night was each of them went into a room for a few minutes and on a piece of paper that I will treasure for the rest of my days they wrote some words of some things they were willing to covenant to me. They are precious. I wish I could type out the words from each of them on here because they were Spirit led and would touch your hearts as well. I think one of the things I love so much about them is that they each so fitly represent the hearts from which they came. The words sum up so much of each of their personalities and as I read them I am reminded of the bond God gave to each of us.

On my way to the airport, the next night, I got this envelope placed in my hand and I opened it and inside was this note that said "I couldn't write a better covenant than these words. I love you, Jen. - Momma Grose" Underneath that note was a stack of notecards with Momma Grose handwriting on them, that she started well over 10 years ago and has read and reread and read and reread I suppose thousands of times by now. They are tear stained and a little tattered. They are precious. Precious because they came from a time in life when she needed to rely on God's promises more than she ever had before. Given to me at a time when I needed to do the same. They were one of those grace gifts I've posted about previously.

I have kept a few that I read almost daily, that I have clung to and begged God to burn into my heart. I'm sharing them tonight on here in the hopes that you might read these words and understand they are the most beautiful covenant ever given, written in God handwriting, a gift straight to your heart. I pray you read them as such. Pretend you are in a room and God's looking into your eyes, He's going away for a while and these are just some of the things He wants you to hear. Making His words personal really does change everything. Just a suggestion, read through these verses, take them to heart, and then go back and insert your name or personal pronouns to make them apply just to you. That's the way they were meant. Just for you. That's the way our God's heart works.

"I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps." Jer 10:23

"I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken." Psalm 16:8

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are. We know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is." 1 John 3:1,2

"The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." 1 John 4:4

"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart." Prov 5:3

"Teach me Your way, O Lord, and I will walk in Your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear Your name." Psalm 86:11

"One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard, that you, O God, are strong, and that You, O Lord, are loving." Psalm 62:11.12

Nope, guess I couldn't come up with a better covenant than these words either.

Thank You Lord for them. May we read Your word always as if it was a letter written in your handwriting with promises just for us contained inside.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

THANKS for everything!!

Well our container officially arrived on Thursday afternoon around 3 pm and we were seriously like kids at Christmas. We had some terrific people show up to help us unload, Katie and Jen got pizza for all of our tired bodies and hungry tummies afterwards, it ended up only taking us an hour to unload the container and there were things EVERYWHERE!!! Casa went from being completely empty pretty much to wondering where in the world we'd put it all.

So many people have done so much to contribute to this. As we've gone through the container the past couple of days I have been so completely touched by the servant hearts behind every packaged box, dollar spent, and gift given to these kiddo's. So many others have made significant contributions as well but I must share at this moment my gratitude to "my family" that I get the privilege of worshipping with when I am "home" in the States. Our home congregation at Belpre has just gone above and beyond in every way to make this happen. When we asked for money for construction they showed up and gave so generously. When we handed them a list of things we'd need and asked if they had any of these things they would be willing to give to some children who have nothing they overflowed a container and we are waiting for enough funds to send a second container because everything wouldn't fit on the first one. When we weren't going to be able to get a container shipped from Belpre they got in some trucks loaded up the stuff and drove for hours and hours and hours to deliver it to Nashville and drove back the next day. They just have been amazing and I need to just say THANK YOU!!!!!! Your notes on our boxes, your prayers, your cards since we've been here, your phone calls when you found out our number just to encourage our hearts, all of it has been so incredibly kind and we appreciate you all so much!!

I sat today in the middle of the babies room after we'd put together a couple cribs and two changing tables and I was overwhelmed with joy truly. I cried happy tears. I cried because it was as if God gave me this vision of rocking that first sweet baby in that chair and laying them down at night in that crib. I sat in that chair and prayed for every single child that would soon get to be touched not just by our arms, hearts, and love but by yours. Seeing it all come together and things be put into place, toys all over the kids play room, kids shower curtains hung in the bath room, clothes too numerous to mention, adorable shoes that will go on their previously bare feet (thanks Tammy and the Reynoldsburg crew we'll have the best dressed feet in Honduras) all of it, is a special sight to witness. I so wish you all could be here to see it with your own eyes but since that's not possible right now I will send these pictures to give you a glimpse of how far we've come and how far we have yet to go.

It won't be long until we're tucking one of God's chosen Casa children in at night. Please continue to keep us in your prayers please. We've already heard some heart wrenching stories about children who need a home and it will be difficult to decide which ones to take in initially. We need loads of wisdom and listening hearts tuned in to His Spirit.

Thank you for everything to each of you. God is smiling on your servant hearts, I am sure of it.

Our Storage Room ... Ay Ay Ay...

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The Whole Room from the Doorway

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The Kitchen

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Karen Organizing Toys

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The Messy Half of the Baby's Room

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The Baby Room

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The Popcorn and a Disney movie corner :)

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Another Kid Corner

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Friday, February 03, 2006


Hey gang, thanks for your comments on the last post. It definitely challenges me more as well when people respond and share their insights and thoughts. Feel like I need to share a few things to perhaps clarify a bit.

FIRST AND FOREMOST: Please know that when I post on here I am simply sharing my thoughts about where I am at the moment in this journey with Jesus. It may be right on target with His heart and it may be way off base somewhere. I always pray for God's Spirit to lead my heart and my thoughts and make me look, act, and love more like His Son but I know that my humanness will undoubtedly get in the way sometimes. So I guess I would ask you to read it as that, a journey in process. Doesn't have to look exactly like your journey and most times won't probably and that's what makes God so unbelievable that He would choose to be that intimately involved in each of our lives. I pray that regardless of whether you agree or disagree it might challenge your walk with Him as you think about some of what God is challenging me with. If you disagree and yet are challenged to think it through and mull it over with Him, I am a happy girl regardless.

To add to that, I'm not bailing on "Christ's" church. Being a part of the body of Christ has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I have been privileged to worship with a family who has become just that and I watch them with humility pursuing holiness. It has grown me up and nurtured my heart and helped foster an atmosphere that has helped me walk into a personal relationship with Christ and has forever changed my life. So I'm hanging with the body of Christ, I just have been challenged lately to recognize my place in all of that.

I'll speak personally here for a moment. I think I was able to go through most of life up to this point minus the past few years with a pretty lacsidaisical attitude about my relationship with God because I think I had this very unacute awareness of how desperately I needed Him. I didn't hear much about how messed up we all were but about how good we were supposed to be and act and somewhere in there I didn't come face down before God. I have heard a hundred similar stories. When I did however, and I realized that I am a sinner who is absolutely lost without Christ's blood and wandering aimlessly without God's help, it wasn't an excuse to throw my hands up in the air and not try, I wanted so badly to be who He is asking me to be because I realize how much He loves me and I am compelled by that. I've made a thousand better decisions out of this relationship of love than I ever made out of my doctrinal know what I'm supposed to do stuff. Think that's true for most people who've gotten a taste of fall on your face grace.

My thoughts in the last post weren't a criticism of any one fellowship of believers at all. It was just my thoughts on where we find ourselves as Christians in general sometimes. Myself as guilty as anyone else.

I just have been over and over again challenged by the words arrogance and pride lately. Maybe because God's trying to drill them out of me I don't know. I have also been over and over again allured by this word humility and desperately wanting to possess it and help to encourage it.

I guess I've just watched people over here with nothing who have absolutely nothing to be prideful about and they walk into this church building like hungry thirsty souls who are begging for a touch from God. Just wish we could all be more like that sometimes I guess.