Sunday, December 28, 2008


I updated my blog just for you. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Thank you all so much for those who sent money to contribute to things for the boys who are now in our home and hearts this Christmas. They were all like 5 year olds (even the biggest ones) was so much fun.

We gathered at Mami and Papi's house for Christmas Eve as is their tradition here. The table had been set beautifully, there were decorations and candles everywhere, and I got all kinds of sappy as I thought about how these boys had never ever in their life witnessed the special touches of "home" as we know it at Christmas time. It was so special. We each took our part in helping to prepare. I was in charge of Christmas cookies, David in charge of mashed potatoes, etc. We loved it. They open presents at midnight here and so the festivities of that began...I thought the kiddo's were going to die as they waited for the clock to get there. :)

Anyway, it was a beautiful night with family. We are so incredibly blessed to know them all.

As I sat around with Luvin and watched him settled and at peace, I thought about how far we'd come in just a little over a year. He's quite the little man these days, so polite and just inwardly settled. It's making my eyes tear up about every 5 minutes but I'm so honored to get to be a witness.

And the 3 guys who now live with us...Carlos, Eduardo, and Saul. Good things are happening, they are growing everyday in ways that matter. Funny how being surrounded by "good" people naturally kinda urges your goodness to ooze out. Watched Carlos stand for an hour and was the after Christmas dinner dishes with Mami the other night and thought, yep...beautiful!! They're all doing well and loved their gifts and loved getting to spend time here with terrific people.

Then yesterday we drove up the mountain to see our little guys and have a party with their family. It was a LONG ride as the rodes up there have been significantly damaged by all the rain we had here a couple months ago, but well worth it. They had made tamales for us and they were made with love in their kitchen as the holiday feast and so we prayed with every bite and ate them. :) So far so good, no effects as of yet, so I think we're safe.

The boys opened their presents and their parents watched with delight.

I LOVE CHRISTMAS. Seems that it makes us all better people in some ways. More about giving than receiving. We're willing to go the extra mile much easier than we normally do. We love from a deeper truer place in some ways as we sacrifice for one another. I like me better when my heart is focused on other people. Christmas somehow helps us do that in so many ways I think. Perhaps it's that Christ if Christ is in the middle of it, somehow we naturally become better people as we think and attempt to become more like Him.

I pray you all had a wonderful time with family and friends and that you are refreshed in both heart and soul.

I love you much. Merry Christmas from our whole "tribe."

Monday, December 08, 2008


Just received word lately that Luvin will be able to be here for Christmas...he has gotten the grades and good behavior to get permission to leave the property for a bit. I AM SO EXCITED to have him here with me. I haven't gotten to spend much time with him since he went to the other facility because he needed to have time to adjust and rehabilitate some from his street life and get in a routine with rules and such. We have visited several times, but he's not been able to leave the property for weekends or anything.

YAY YAY YAY...gonna be a house full of boys this Christmas.

For those of you who may not know, Carlos, Eduardo, and Saul have moved in and are living here now full time as well. So we're having fun with a Christmas tree and lights and baking cookies and allowing them a home this Christmas.

I look back at the times I knew God was leading me to invest in these little lives and am so grateful that I listened regardless of how much flack I received because they were the "bad" kids. I can't imagine missing out on this with all of them. I'm watching God change them each day and I am humbled to be able to play a part in any of this for or with them.

Sometimes all it takes is someone to believe that you're better than the way you are acting. I know I needed someone to love me in spite of my actions and love me into being better.

By the way Carlos announced to us out of the blue the other night that he wants to be baptized, and Eduardo went away to a teen camp with the church this weekend. Good things are happening.

Please keep us in your prayers as we attempt to love on and direct them in ways that are pleasing to God. It's a whole new world, but we're loving it!!

I'm a firm believer that a house is made for filling up...guess God believes my house is for filling up too. I like that!!

Blessings on you this day.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Miss Betty...

One of my favorite people in all the world passed away today.

She's gone to meet Jesus and Heaven is no doubt having a party...but the earth (and more specifically my heart) are feeling a tremendous loss!

There are certain people in your world that have secured such a spot in your heart that even though you know when their days here on earth are over and Heaven is certain you would love to be a part of ushering them there you know??!! Holding their hands as they take their last breath, saying the things that you say in moments like those, rubbing feet or hands, just being present as the days on this broken planet come to an end. She is one of those for me.

She just went into the hospital a few days ago and since then has been basically unresponsive. They discovered she had multiple myloma and then her kidneys weren't functioning well and last night she had a massive heart attack and so the medical personnel said they didn't expect her to live through the day.

For the past few days I have faithfully been receiving text messages letting me know her condition and two things kept running through my head. #1 ... I am sooooo mad at myself because I was just home and saw Miss Betty and I kept being "reminded" in my heart somewhere that I needed to go spend time with her and take her to lunch or something and I didn't do it. I got busy, distracted, selfish, whatever and it got bumped down on my to do list until the days ran out and I missed my chance. I knew better, I heard better...I didn't listen well to what God was trying to warn me of at all. So I'm reminded again today that the moments matter, they way matter. #2...I want to be there. If I were home or anywhere close I would have shown up at her bedside and I would have sat beside her for a bit nad reminded her that I love her so much. I would have thanked her for praying for me every single day while I have been here and for her commitment to praying everyday without fail for the mister that God would choose to allow me to walk through life beside. I would have laughed (even if she couldn't laugh with me) about all the crazy things she's said and ways she's made me laugh. I would have reminisced with her about good moments, sacred moments that God allowed us to share. Doggone it, I may not have done a single one of those things, I may have sat there silently and not been able to do a thing, but I WOULD have been there.

Some days being far away feels like a chasm too wide to cross. I love here. I so love being here. I love getting to do what I do. I love feeling like it matters. I just hate it when being here means I can't be there for moments like these.

Tonight though Miss Betty sees the face of the one she's spent a lifetime serving. For a long time we've all talked about how we want to be like her when we're her age. She was in her late seventies and still went to ladies class always...she attended Kid City...she was just a cheerleader in the lives of so many. You would be hard pressed to find someone who didn't just genuinely like this sweet lady.

I had the privilege of getting to stay with her for a couple weeks a few years ago after she'd fallen and broken her hip. We watched movies together and I slept in the bedroom across the hall and listened for her to yell if she needed help in the night and I watched her hobble every morning to a chair by the window to read her Bible and spend time praying.

She was SUCH a sweet lady. I miss her deeply already and cannot wait until I get to see her face again.

Thank you Miss Betty for all you added to the lives of so many of us. Thank you for the memories, for your heart bent toward listening to Jesus, for your faithful prayers, for your sense of humor, and for your realness that made anyone and everyone comfortable in your presence. Thank you for your love and kindness to everyone who knew you. You have left quite a legacy dear one. We will remember you with grateful hearts and an abundance of memories that will forever be company on the days and times that we miss you most.